Recorded in 1964
|1/||Don't Forget To Mess Around||Louis Armstrong||3:07|
|2/||Lazy 'Sippi Steamer Going Home||3:07|
|4/||Butter And Egg Bossa Nova||2:40|
|5/||If We Never Meet Again||2:27|
|6/||Gate Mouth Blues||2:48|
|7/||Someday You'll Be Sorry||2:20|
|8/||Where Were You Last Night||2:07|
|9/||Wild Man Blues||3:31|
|10/||Swing That Music||1:54|
|11/||Hear Me Talkin' To Ya||3:20|
|12/||Satchel Mouth Swing||2:24|
Recorded in New York City, April 28 & 29 and May 1, 1964. Engineer: Frank Laico.
Producer:Bob Morgan. Selection of material and musicians, arranging and conducting: Marshall Brown.
Cover photography . Cover art: Tom Allen.
The idea of making an album of Louis Armstrong compositions was Bobby Hackett's. The somewhat unusual instrumentation (tuba, banjo, soprano saxophone, cornet, trombone, piano and drums) was also Bobby's idea. The selection of the material and musicians, arranging and conducting was left up to me.
For many years I had been familiar with the better-known (at least to jazz musicians) Louis Armstrong compositions, i.e. Someday You'll Be Sorry, Swing That Music and Brother Bill. But I didn't realize how much music Louis had composed until Epic Records producer Bob Morgan presented me with a list of several hundred Louis Armstrong pieces, out of which I was to select 12 for this album.
I called in Satchmo-phile Jack Bradley and Jazz Magazine editor Dan Morgenstern for assistance. We spent many hours together listening to records, some of which were 40 years old. We studied old hand-scribbled lead sheets. My collaborators' suggestions at this stage in the project were invaluable. I narrowed down the list to about 25 compositions, most of which had been recorded by Louis at one time or another, but some of which were in lead sheet form only, never having been recorded by Louis or, apparently, by anyone else. Jack Bradley transferred all of the recorded material to tape, and that, along with some musty lead sheets given me by Mark Koren of Leeds Music Company, constituted my Louis Armstrong "package." I left for Florida the next day for a two-week engagement with Bobby Hackett at the Doral Hotel in Miami Beach. The album was to be made immediately upon our return to New York City. I had visions of myself writing arrangements at sunny pool and ocean side. However, as it turned out, since we were staying and playing at the same place, I never left the hotel. I was either "blowing" on the bandstand or writing arrangements in the room. In the middle of our second week in sunny Florida, Bobby suggested I rent a sun lamp. I arrived back in New York City somewhat pale but with my 12 Louis Armstrong settings completed.
The musicians were selected for this recording with no less care than the music. Soprano saxist Steve Lacey, a current disciple of Thelonious Monk, came to his present jazz point of view by way of such people as Johnny Dodds and Sidney Bechet. Roger Kellaway is a young contemporary pianist who loves and plays the music of Jelly Roll Morton. Trombonist Sonny Russo is a veteran of many bands, big and small. He plays with a muscular authority that both Bobby and I like. Ronny Bedford, our drummer, comes to us by way of such varied band leaders as Don Elliott and Pee Wee Russell. The tuba player, Harvey Phillips, has an extremely varied background, stretching from the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra through the Gil Evans Orchestra, all the way to the New York City Center Ballet Orchestra. Al Chernet is my good luck piece. Not only is he an authentic tenor banjo player but he made the original demonstration record many years ago of a million record seller co-written by me called The Banjo's Back in Town.
I think it is particularly appropriate that Bobby Hackett do an album devoted to Louis Armstrong compositions. Bobby has always idolized Louis' playing, and according to Louis, the feeling is mutual. Louis once referred to Hackett's cornet playing as "having the right ingredients." They have recorded together many times, and have been the closest of friends for years.
I think it should be mentioned at this point that Bobby's hobby, or rather sideline, is sound engineering. (He moonlights with his own hi-fi business, "Sound Stage," on Northern Boulevard in Queens.) Accordingly, the recording technique used on this album should be of interest to audiophiles. The band was set up in performing position: piano, tuba, drums and banjo close together in a straight line in the back row, with trombone, cornet and soprano sax close together immediately in front. Engineer Frank Laico suspended three Neumann M-49b microphones at a height of 5 1/2 feet in a line 5 feet in front of the group, 4 feet apart. The musicians sat close together, not separated as is usual in stereo recording. The microphones had the best seats in the house. You hear the music as you would actually hear it at a concert.