Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
  Book Reports
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  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
Xgau Sez
  And It Don't Stop
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Rolling Stone
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
Web Site:
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
CG Search:
Google Search:

Consumer Guide Album

A Gift to Pops: The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong All Stars [Verve, 2021]
This was organized by Pops-besotted 48-year-old New Orleans-born trumpet titan Nicholas Payton rather than Pops-besotted 60-year-old New Orleans-born trumpet titan Wynton Marsalis. So to keep his hat in the ring, Marsalis claims "The Peanut Vendor" right after Pops establishes his own inimitability by singing "When It's Sleepy Time Down South" to open and doesn't get to outgravel or outshine the ad hoc fan club here again till he and the Fleischmann Yeast Hour Show bequeath us a spoken-word closer called "Philosophy of Life." For sure others sing, particularly Marsalis drummer-sideman Herlin Riley, who takes soft-spoken passes at "I'll Be Glad When You're Dead" and "St. Louis Blues" and gets away with actual gravel on "Up a Lazy River." But the fundamental idea here is to honor his heirs' camaraderie and congeniality as a function of his inimitable genius. Only once do these inheritors mess with the canon, and on the right song too: a rearranged "(What Did I Do to Be So) Black and Blue" with Payton singing and Common having the temerity to add an up-to-date rap. Good for him. I've always believed "Black and Blue" was the only Pops standard Pops never joked around with. It meant too much. Still does. A-