Wynton Marsalis reacts to re-discovered Louis Armstrong live recording

Two legends on the road: Murrow and Armstrong
A recording of a performance by the legendary jazz great Louis Armstrong shortly before his death is now being released 40 years later.
CBS News

(CBS News) In 1971, jazz legend Louis Armstrong gave his last know trumpet performance at the National Press Club in Washington.

He was in failing health, doctors warned him against it. But he went on stage, and CBS was there to record it.

After working with the press club and the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, that recording was released on CD and digital download by Smithsonian Folkway Recordings.

Jazz great Wynton Marsalis, CBS News cultural correspondent, listened to the recording and offered his thoughts on Armstrong's performance and life.

The Basement Tapes: Edward R. Murrow and Louis Armstrong

"I didn't know this recording existed," Marsalis said. "And I've listened to a lot of Louis Armstrong. This is a great find - Not so much for the virtuosity of his playing, but for the joy of his presence at that age and at that stage of his life."

Marsalis was "shocked" by the energy and vigor of Armstrong's playing. "I'd heard those songs many times. But that he could play with this type of energy and intensity with that amount of time off. It was shocking."

"Louis Armstrong was one of the greatest human beings to ever set foot on this planet," Marsalis said. "He gave us a healing that still sits with us. Thank you, Pops."

(Watch the full report by Wynton Marsalis in the video player above.)