From the Record Shelves #158

Someday You’ll Be Sorry

LP RCA Victor VPM-6044

It must be decades since I’ve listened to this album, but way back then, I did it a lot. As it happens most often when you listen to something with Louis Armstrong, your foot starts going up and down, and after a while, it’s like the whole room is rocking in rhythm to his trumpet and voice.

It was shortly after his death that the record came out in commemoration of the greatest jazz man ever. It was quite a shock when I heard of his demise in the late news. We had celebrated his 70 years on his alleged birthday the year before. He was a person that you took for granted—that he would always be there to give you his version of the latest hits.

I think that RCA was the first record company to react, though they did not have the best material of his classic period if you think in the terms of “the best of.” Armstrong had a rather short period with Victor (1932-33) after his groundbreaking Okeh records, and before a long contract with Decca from 1935 and on.

But they used what they had to great advantage, and this his own composition, recorded in 1947, is a fine gem in his testament. Jack Teagarden is featured on the trombone. The album has a tasteful layout and a good comment from Nat Hentoff that starts by saying something that we all felt back then: “It is only barely possible to believe that so gloriously reverberating a life force as Louis Armstrong has proved to be mortal.