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The Real Ambassadors

The Real Ambassadors - Album cover

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The Real Ambassadors - The Netherlands LP releaseThe Netherlands LP release
The Real Ambassadors - I Love Jazz LP coverI Love Jazz LP cover

Label: Columbia
Year: 1961
Released on LP: Yes
Released on CD: Yes


1. Everybody's Comin'
2. Cultural Exchange
3. Good Reviews
4. Remember Who You Are
5. My One Bad Habit
6. Lonesome
7. Summer Song
8. King for a Day
9. Blow Satchmo
10. The Real Ambassadors
11. Nomad
12. In the Lurch
13. One Moment Worth Years
14. You Swing Baby (The Duke)
15. Summer Song
16. They Say I Look Like God
17. I Didn't Know Until You ToldMe
18. Since Love Had Its Way
19. Easy as You Go
20. Swing Bells/Blow Satchmo/Finale


Dave Brubeck (piano)
Joe Morello (drums)
Eugene Wright (bass)
Louis Armstrong (vocals)
Carmen McRae (vocals)
Lambert, Hendricks & Ross (vocals)
Joe Darensbourg (clarinet)
Trummy Young (trombone,vocals)
Irving Manning (bass)
Danny Barcelona (drums)
Howard Brubeck (tubular chimes)
Billy Kyle (piano)


1. Lonesome, Nomad, You Swing Baby (The Duke), Summer Song and Easy as You Go were additional tracks on the 1994 CD release not included on the original LP release.

2. The musical’s soundtrack album was recorded in September and December of 1961 in the Columbia Records recording studio on 30th Street in New York City, and was released the following year. It was produced by Teo Macero.

3. The musical was performed in a cut down version of ten tunes with Iola Brubeck narrating live at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1962 by Dave Brubeck and his band; Louis Armstrong and his band; Lambert, Hendricks & Ross and Carmen McRae.

Television cameras, though present, did not capture the performance, and it has not been performed since.


All Music Guide – CD - Review – copyright

In 1961, Dave Brubeck put together a remarkable musical show. Using the talents of Louis Armstrong and his All-Stars, Carmen McRae, the innovative bop vocal group Lambert, Hendricks And Ross, and his own rhythm section, Brubeck and his wife, lyricist Iola, wrote a largely upbeat play full of anti-racism songs and tunes that celebrated human understanding. Although it had only one live performance (at the 1962 Monterey Jazz Festival), The Real Ambassadors was recorded for posterity and now, with its reissue on CD, the original 15 selections have been augmented by five more.

It is important to listen to this music without prior expectations because Paul Desmond is nowhere to be found, Louis Armstrong does not play that much trumpet here, and Lambert, Hendricks And Ross essentially function as background singers. However Satch and Carmen McRae make for a very potent team, and there are many touching and surprising moments.

Scott Yanow

© Copyright Rovi Corporation

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