Lil Hardin Armstrong & Her Orchestra – Chicago: The Living Legends (1961/1993)

Lil Hardin Armstrong & Her Orchestra - Chicago: The Living Legends (1961/1993)
Artist: Lil Hardin Armstrong & Her Orchestra
Album: Chicago: The Living Legends
Genre: Dixieland
Origin: USA
Released: 1961/1993
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps

01. Royal Garden Blues (5:46)
02. Red Arrow Blues (4:29)
03. Muskrat Ramble (6:44)
04. Boogie Me (2:52)
05. Clip Joint (4:45)
06. Basin Steet Blues (4:52)
07. Eastown Boogie (6:21)
08. Bugle Blues (3:52)


Despite being active up until her death in 1971, Lil Armstrong only recorded a handful of numbers in the 1950’s. This CD reissue (other than the soundtrack of a slightly later television special) has her final recording, a jam session from 1961. On three dixieland warhorses, some blues, a few basic originals and “Bugle Blues,” the pianist (who sings on “Clip Joint”) leads a spirited if overcrowded band comprised of three trumpets, two trombones, two clarinetists (Darnell Howard and Franz Jackson), bassist Pops Foster and drummer Booker Washington; “Boogie Me” gives her a chance to perform a duet with Washington. The ensembles of the other songs are often riotous and this rather spontaneous and undisciplined outing is generally exciting if erratic. This is fun music by a pianist who should have been documented much more extensively in her later years.
Review by Scott Yanow