Gary Giddins
November 30, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

Mack the Knife

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Louis Armstrong
Producers
Pablo
genre
Jazz

We gave it a B

Nineteen years after his death, Armstrong remains the supreme embodiment of jazz aesthetics. Mack the Knife, previously unissued, documents Armstrong’s 1957 set at the Newport Jazz Festival. The performance is hardly inspired, but there are a few highlights, including a rousing ”Indiana,” a version of ”Mahogany Hall Stomp” in which Armstrong revives his 1929 solo with even greater rhythmic elan, a buoyant ”Sweet Georgia Brown” by clarinetist Ed Hall, and an offhandedly dramatic ”Lazy River.” B

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