LOS ANGELES–In celebration of the late, great Louis Armstrong’s 116th birthday, Verve Records/UMe have released the digital collection, The Complete Decca Singles 1935-1946, bringing together every single and B-side Pops released during his first decade on Decca Records.
A prequel to The Complete Decca Singles 1949-1958 issued at the end of 2016, the new collection is comprised of six digital volumes with the tracks (A-side/B-side) in chronological order by original release date. Representing an overview of Armstrong’s highly prolific period recording for Decca Records, The Complete Decca Singles illuminates a time when Satchmo was developing a clear vocal and scatting style and and his trumpet playing was second to none. Of note, three-quarters of this collection has been properly pitch-corrected for the first time ever, a cause for joy for practicing trumpet players (and singers) all over the world
Upon signing to the recently formed U.S. Decca label in 1935, Armstrong quickly scored a hit with “I’m in the Mood for Love” and it’s that song that appropriately begins the sprawling set. Many of his other hits are represented throughout including, “When The Saints Go Marching In,” “Public Melody Number One,” “Swing That Music,” and “Struttin’ With Some Barbecue,” as well as several notable collaborations like Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald’s first-ever duets, “You Won’t Be Satisfied (Until You Break My Heart)” and “The Frim Fram Sauce,” and his duet with Bing Crosby, “Pennies From Heaven,” the title track of the 1936 film they starred in together.
During this fertile decade, Armstrong recorded in a wide variety of settings, including big bands, small ensembles and pairings with the likes of Jimmy Dorsey and the Mills Brothers, and the material here encapsulates this creative wanderlust and evolution. The songs range from early jazz, big band swing, ragtime and Dixieland, to the novelty Polynesian sounds of the day and even spoken word. Regardless of genre, it’s Armstrong’s remarkable trumpet playing and trademark gravelly tenor that are always front and center, making these songs unmistakably the work of the one and only, Louis Armstrong.
The Complete Decca Singles 1935-1946 is available here: https://UMe.lnk.to/LouisCompleteDecc.