Lil Hardin Armstrong (1902?-1971) was, as the saying goes, present at the creation. Classically trained, she had been in the piano chair of King Oliver's seminal Creole Jazz Band for two years when in 1922, a young unknown cornetist named Louis Armstrong joined the group and began to make history. Lil, who married Armstrong in 1924, encouraged her husband to leave Oliver for Fletcher Henderson's pioneering big band and, subsequently, to go out on his own. In the mid-to-late Twenties she became an integral part of Louis's Hot Five and Hot Seven, two of jazz's most significant small groups. These sides, featuring a Chicago all-star ensemble sometimes numbering as many as ten, joyously draw upon these years without seeking to recreate them.
Royal Garden Blues, Red Arrow Blues, Muskrat Ramble, Boogie Me, Clip Joint, Basin Street Blues, Eastown Boogie, Bugle Blues
with Bill Martin, Roi Nabors, Eddie Smith, Preston Jackson, Al Wynn, Darnell Howard, Franz Jackson, Pops Foster, Booker Washington