Recorded at Van Gelder Studio in Englewood Cliffs, NJ (November 1965)
Larry Young- Organ
Woody Shaw- Trumpet
Joe Henderson- Saxophone
Elvin Jones- Drums
What immediately struck me about this album was the use of organ (a Hammond B3 in this case) in place of piano in this otherwise traditionally instrumented quartet. The color and vibrato of the Hammond really gives this album that classic, hip 60's feel.
As many small ensemble recordings are, this album is very saturated with solos. The title "Unity" is very appropriate as all the solos flow very smoothly between one another. One great example is how the tenor sax solo picks up where the trumpet left off about two minutes into the track "The Moontrane."
While the tracks run slightly longer than your usual radio length, they are definitely a great listen as all the players are able to keep the longer tracks interesting with the aforementioned unified solos. This is definitely a great pick for quartet listening (especially if you're a jazz organ enthusiast)!
Recorded in Chicago, IL (February 1926-December 1928)
Louis Armstrong- vocals, trumpet, cornet
Mancy Carr- vocals, banjo
Don Redman- vocals, clarinet, alto saxophone
Earl Hines- vocals, piano, celesta
May Alix- vocals
Dave Wilborn- guitar, banjo
Lonnie Johnson- guitar
Johnny St. Cyr- banjo
Jimmy Strong- clarinet, tenor saxophone
Johnny Dodds- clarinet
Fred Robinson- trombone
John Thomas- trombone
Kid Ory- trombone
Lil Armstrong- piano
Pete Briggs- brass bass
Baby Dodds- drums
Zutty Singleton- drums
This compilation album is very well-selected, and there's no track of negligible quality to be found. This album typifies the height of the Roaring 20's in jazz.
The old-timey feel of it is extremely charming, and it comes to no surprise that Louis Armstrong and all the artists on this album play exceedingly well in that style. Let's not forget about those classic 20's jazz vocals and scatting, markedly present in this album. The use of clarinet and banjo definitely reinforce that classic 20's sound.
The tracks stay within a general radio-friendly length, which comes to no surprise given the time period it was written in. If you're looking for some of the best 20's jazz (or the best 20's jazz, but I'll leave the decision up to you) then seek out this compilation!