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Reviews: Louis Armstrong: Ambassador Satch

Reviews: 1

Review by bdautch June 2, 2003 (1 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Although the performances on Ambassador Satch are, well, proficient, the overall disc leaves me wanting more. See, because they were touring around Europe, I think Louis and the All-Stars wanted to play songs they were sure everyone would know. This leads to a bit of a "Greatest Hits" aura that doesn't really test the true abilities of anyone involved. It's like the home run hitting contest at baseball's All-Star game; you get to see them knock the easy ones out of the park, but they're not asked to bunt, play defense, run the bases, etc. The players' overall skills aren't tested because they're just doing the basic crowd-pleasing thing.

Sonically, this disc is reasonable, considering its vintage. I only give 5 stars for Direct-to-DSD efforts, or (sometimes) to the true elite of the PCM-to-DSD discs. Therefore, this is a 4, because it's about as good as you can expect from a pretty ancient set of PCM masters.

If you're only going to buy one Satchmo SACD, I would suggest "Louis Armstrong Plays W. C. Handy" instead, with "Ambassador" as a solid second-place effort over "Satch Plays Fats." The disc with Ella Fitzgerald is really a different beast altogether, and can't really be compared to the other three.

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