‘The Big Show’ concert series promoted by Lee Gordon brought many of the world’s leading entertainers to Australia from 1953 to 1963. These standout performances feature Louis’ All-Stars recorded live at the Melbourne Stadium, 1954 & 1956. Tracks 1 – 9 1954, personnel: Louis ‘Satchmo’ Armstrong, trumpet; Billy Kyle, piano; Barney Bigard, clarinet; Trummy Young, trombone; Arvell Shaw, bass; Barret Deems, drums. Tracks 11 – 18 1956, clarinet, Edmond Hall; Jack Lesberg, bass. Guest vocalist, Velma Middleton.
What can one say that hasn’t already been said about the brilliance of Satchmo’s trumpet and vocals, and his infectious drive. Here, his talents shine as always. A standout “must hear” track is Barney Bigard’s 10 minute solo of George Gershwin’s “S’wonderful” displaying incredible technique and improvisation, especially when it reaches the hilarious duet of only the clarinet and Barret Deems’ drums. Jack Lesberg demonstrates in “The Man I Love” that double-bass can play melody as well as rhythm. Billy Kyle presents a beautiful rendition of “All the Things You Are.” Trummy Young’s trombone really rips in “Silas Green’s From New Orleans.” Velma Middleton delivers “Big Mama’s Back in Town” and she duets with Louis on “That’s My Desire” in her inimitable way. Highlights from two fantastic shows witnessed by full houses of thousands of fans.
Program covers from the two events: