© Mosaic Images; photograph by Francis Wolff

Historic Jazz Sessions


Featured Jazz Albums

Historic Jazz Sessions

© William P Gottlieb, Library of Congress

Louis Armstrong
West End Blues

June 28, 1928

“The history of jazz in one-bluesy-run descending blitz of notes that immediately follows the high C … It’s 12 seconds of heaven.”

Louis Armstrong
Potatoe Head Blues

May 10, 1927

“And then…space. That’s one of the most beautiful things about this solo: Armstrong’s use of space. “

Coleman Hawkins
The Day You Came…
September 29, 1933

“Hawkins floats lightly throughout this impassioned statement, with longer melodic phrases coming from the higher register.”

Bunny Berigan
I Can’t Get Started
April 13, 1936

“Berigan explores his instrument’s full range, dropping to its lowest notes before reclaiming the high range for a grand climax.”

James P. Johnson
Carolina Shout
October 18, 1921

““Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Earl Hines, Art Tatum, Willie “The Lion” Smith and , of course, Fats Waller, knew about James P. Johnson.”

Lester Young & Basie
Shoe Shine Boy
November 9, 1936

“And in the young Lester Young there can be heard the reinvention of the tenor saxophone as well the first recorded examples of a new vocabulary for jazz.”

Count Basie
Oh, Lady Be Good
February 4, 1939

“…and the closing choruses, which are themselves mostly left to the rhythm section, which is hotter than hot yet never breaks a sweat.”

Count Basie
Lester Leaps In
September 5, 1939

“Lester Young would launch himself into improvisations with which each new chorus renewed themselves as if by magic”

Chu Berry
Eenie Meeny Miney
October 25, 1935

“Chu Berry’s whirling dervish figures flying around Eldridge’s melody and Morton’s tailgate lines”

Lionel Hampton
I’m In The Mood For Swing
December 21, 1939

“…Coleman Hawkins is not only in superb form, but his rich tone was captured in all its complexity by the Victor engineers.”

Lionel Hampton
Flying Home
May 26, 1942

“It was a fairly simple swing tune that in a classic three-minute recording by Lionel Hampton virtually gave birth to rhythm and blues.”

Randy Weston
New York Public Library
Jazz Oral History – June 1996

Featured Jazz Albums