Louis Armstrong, Rudy Vallee’s Fleischmann’s Yeast Show & Louis’ Home-Recorded Tapes (Jazz Society, two CDs). Don’t be thrown by the elephantine title–this is the most important historical release of the decade. The first CD consists of previously unreleased 1937 airchecks from NBC’s Harlem Radio Review, the first variety series ever to be hosted by a black, in which Louis Armstrong and the Luis Russell band play as though the world were ending. The band never sounded remotely as hot as this on its commercial sides for Decca, and Armstrong is in full-tilt knock-’em-dead mode. The second CD consists of fascinating snippets from Armstrong’s private stash of postwar reel-to-reel after-hours recordings, the same tapes on which I drew in writing Rhythm Man. Absolutely not to be missed under any circumstances whatsoever (TT).