Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  Expert Witness
Books:
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Writings:
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
  Archive
Venues:
  Noisey
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:

Consumer Guide Album

Louis Armstrong: An American Icon [Hip-O, 1998]
Put off my feed by a single godawful piano solo, I fretted that this post-WWII overview was too lax. Certainly he recorded many of these 60 tunes many times; in other versions, seven are on Columbia/Legacy's 16 Most Requested Songs, an utterly convincing budget-priced survey of Armstrong the Beloved, the Entertainer--the Icon. A few selections here are merely lovable and entertaining, not iconic. But having played all three discs many times--Louis is one artist the boy-group fan in the back seat will always settle for--I've yet to locate another moment I'd rather not hear. Armstrong is my favorite artist because he epitomizes what Gary Giddins's newly reissued Satchmo breaks down as the entertainer-as-artist/artist-as-entertainer: "He was as much himself rolling his eyes and mugging as he was playing the trumpet. His fans understood that, but intellectuals found the whole effect too damn complicated." A