Gary Giddins
July 14, 2000 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Sullivan Years: Louis Armstrong

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

We gave it a B+

Armstrong was a frequent guest on Ed Sullivan’s Sunday night TV show between 1956 and 1966, and The Sullivan Years collects — for the first time — 18 performances from those shows. Several of the arrangements were painfully abridged for TV, but Armstrong is in good voice and the instrumentals are animated. The selections include most of his hits from the period, from ”Blueberry Hill” and ”Mack the Knife” through ”Hello Dolly” and ”Cabaret” (an unusually slow and persuasive reading). Sullivan’s intros are surprisingly warm but make for bad history: He thinks Louis hit New York in 1920. B+

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