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Louis and the Sphinx

I’ve always loved this photo. Just Louis playing for his wife, in front of the Sphinx, 1961.




The Skip 5 Show #31: Louis Armstrong – When You’re Smiling

How many years have I listened to Louis? I can’t count, but it’s been most of my life, honestly. There’s a framed picture of him smiling down at me from the top of my LP stand as I type this. Superstitiously, for years, that picture must always be visible from my desk…

This is a sweet old-time tune, one you know well. That voice, so warm and welcoming. That horn, so piercing and with that killer vibrato. Goodness gracious, as a horn player myself, I bow to this majesty. 

iTunes gave me this copy from the Blow Satchmo Blow (2010) compilation, but I’m sure I have it other places in the collection as well.

What a glorious way to end this first month of The Skip 5 Show series. 

The Five Pennies OMPS

Welcome to my Gratitude Series, wherein I go through the loveliness I have received for my birthday this year!

I should also note, I have one more gift from James yet to go, after this, but I didn’t realize (going in) just how much goodness was there, and it’s going to take me quite a while to review it all. I’ll get there when I do!

But still! Here we have goodness from James. Check it out!

The Five Pennies OMPS (LP)

You’ll recall that I found the Five Pennies DVD (a Grail List item for our friend Susan) at Sonic Boom in Toronto, back in June. Susan was thrilled to receive it.* And then, a while later, James was in his local thrift shop and found a bunch of vinyls for me but then set them down and when he came back another dude had snagged them! However, one LP that hadn’t been scooped up was the Five Pennies soundtrack. James texted me to see if I wanted it. YES!  And now here it is!

This is a sweet LP. Danny Kaye and Louis Armstrong seem to really be having fun, on a level I don’t tend to hear in music too much, anymore. And oh, to hear Armstrong’s horn, any day of the week, baby! Yeah! At one point, Kaye mimic’s Louis’ vocals drunkenly, then later Louis switches to the horn and Kaye says “He’s switched weapons! Where’s my horn?” Haha awesome. Some of this stuff is old standards, even mashed together, while some of it hilarious stuff clearly from the movie (I haven’t seen it yet, but I will!). All of what I heard of it is quite good. Sadly, there’s a slight skip in one track of side 2, despite my having cleaned it well prior to play. But! No matter! The rest of it played just fine, and I had a hoot.

The jazz kid in me sat up and smiled. Thanks heaps, James!

five pennies







* We also gave her a homemade strawberry/rhubarb pie. That also tends to go over well.

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