Jazz legend Louis Armstrong released a record of Disney music in March 1968.
album, that is one of the finest albums of the 1960s, ended up being re-released several times on cd
since it first debuted on the format in 2001.
Louis seriously approached ten Disney classic songs and gave them new intriguing
arrangements and at the same time staying true to the spirit of the original film versions.
Among the album’s highlights we find the slowed-down and heartful version of “Chim Chim
Cheree” from Mary Poppins, the bright and funny “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” from Song Of
The South and “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo” from Cinderella and the inspired rendition of the Disney
signature song “When You Wish Upon A Star” from Pinocchio.
By anyone’s standards, “When You Wish Upon a Star” is indeed one of Armstrong’s most
affecting recordings. He gives one of his most touching performances on this song, especially when
he picks up the trumpet after the bridge and it almost sounds like a human voice. Jazz experts agree
that the Armstrong trumpet on this track is unusually good for that stage of his career. (He would die
just a few years after the release of this album).
“The Bare Necessities” from The Jungle Book was a brand new song when this record was
first released. The film had just come out in cinema in 1967 and when it was nominated for an Oscar
in 1968 it was Louis who played the song live at the 40th Annual Academy Award Ceremony,
helping making the song popular.
Overall the cd is a bit campy and some of the arrangements sound a bit too vintage for today’s
standards but that’s probably part of the charm of this album, filled with optimism and heart, that is
still a best seller today on i-Tunes. This collection of tunes also helps introducing to Jazz children and
people who don’t usually listen to this type of music and even if “Jazz purists” may
not appreciate it.
Full Track List
01. Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah 2:22
02. Ten Feet Off The Ground 2:47
03. Heigh-Ho (The Dwarf’s Marching Song) 2:36
04. Whistle While You Work 1:56
05. Chim Chim Cher-ee 6:41
06. Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo 2:08
07. ‘Bout Time 2:53
08. The Ballad Of Davy Crocket 3:15
09. The Bare Necessities 2:26
10. When You Wish Upon Star 4:25