Amazon.com Widgets

Recent Articles

BOOK REVIEWS

Pops – The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong by Terry Teachout

Read "Pops – The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong by Terry Teachout"

Pops--The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong Terry Teachout 508 Pages ISBN: # 1906779562 Aurum Press 2014 Critic Terry Teachout published his biography of Louis Armstrong, Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) in 2009, republishing it under the present title of Pops--The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong in Kindle and hardcover format. Qualitatively, the biographies are the same. Teachout as biographer has benefitted from all previous Armstrong reportage plus recently released personal writings of Armstrong. This new material included 650 reels of tape recordings privately made by Armstrong during the ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Second “Louie” Awards Gala: New York, NY, December 4, 2012

Read "Second “Louie” Awards Gala: New York, NY, December 4, 2012"

Louis Armstrong House Museum 2012 GalaThe Manhattan PenthouseNew York, NYDecember 4, 2012While waiting their turn to play as the Louis Armstrong Centennial Band, trumpeter/vocalist Bria Skonberg, clarinetist Anat Cohen, trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, banjoist James Chirillo, tubaist David Ostwald and drummer Marion Felder enjoyed a great meal before the Second Annual Louis Armstrong House Museum Gala on December 4, 2012 on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue. MC Michael Cogswell--21-year Director of the Museum and a former musician--recognized everyone responsible for their generosity.Tonight's first Louie Award recipient, saxophonist Jimmy Heath, expressed decades of jazz musicians' sentiments: “No ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Louis Armstrong & The All Stars: Satchmo At Symphony Hall - The Complete Performances

Read "Louis Armstrong & The All Stars: Satchmo At Symphony Hall  - The Complete Performances" reviewed by

Louis Armstrong & The All StarsSatchmo At Symphony Hall: 65th Anniversary The Complete PerformancesVerve 2012 Writing about trumpeter and singer Louis Armstrong is difficult. In the most literal sense, he is the watershed of jazz. He was neither the first acknowledged genius of the music (soprano saxophonist Sidney Bechet was) nor its inventor, but in his wake, jazz was made in his image. The best of it still is, even as the image has become abstracted over decades.Despite the world's seeing familiarity with “Satchmo," Armstrong has been largely misunderstood and ...

FROM FAR AND WIDE

Final Call to See "Pops" Making Records

Read "Final Call to See

Final Call to See “Pops" Making Records September, 2012 is final call to catch Genius at Work: Louis Armstrong in the Recording Studio, the currently featured exhibit at the Louis Armstrong House and Museum in Corona, Queens, New York. “Records as well as photographs, scores and other artifacts reveal Armstrong hard at work recording his masterpieces," Jen Walden, a museum spokesperson tells me. “These treasures give you an inside look into what went on at the sessions, allowing you to listen to Armstrong's timeless music with fresh appreciation." A guided, 40-minute tour also pauses at Satchmo's 1961 summit ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Louis Armstrong: Satchmo - Ambassador of Jazz

Read "Louis Armstrong: Satchmo - Ambassador of Jazz" reviewed by

Louis ArmstrongSatchmo: Ambassador Of JazzVerve/Universal2012 “You can't play anything on a horn that Louis hasn't played," trumpeter Miles Davis said. And while pianist Jelly Roll Morton may have claimed to have invented jazz, if any one artist could be said to have done that, it would be trumpeter and singer Louis Armstrong. No one artist invented jazz, of course, but Armstrong's importance in its early development is supreme, and four decades after his passing, he continues to delight. Even during his infrequent below-par periods, he was only treading ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Brian Harker: Louis Armstrong's Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings

Read "Brian Harker: Louis Armstrong's Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings" reviewed by

Louis Armstrong's Hot Five and Hot Seven RecordingsBrian HarkerSoftcover; 186 pagesISBN: 9780195388404Oxford University Press2011In 1925, Louis Armstrong was 24 years old. He had just returned to Chicago from New York City at the behest of his second wife, pianist Lil Hardin Armstrong, who wanted Armstrong back in the Windy City to play with her band. Armstrong had already appeared on numerous recordings, but now he was asked to cut his own sides with OKeh Records. Backed by a varying group of stellar musicians, Armstrong proceeded to make over ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong: The Complete Studio Recorded Duets

Read "Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong: The Complete Studio Recorded Duets" reviewed by

Ella Fitzgerald and Louis ArmstrongThe Complete Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong Studio Recorded DuetsAvid Records UK2011 Was there ever a match made in heaven like singer Ella Fitzgerald and singer/trumpeter Louis Armstrong? When Norman Granz had them together on the Verve label, the impulse to put them together in the studio had to be irresistible. And it was a terrific move, resulting in three terrific albums: Ella and Louis, Ella and Louis Again and Porgy and Bess. Their work together is a highlight of the 1950s, a busy time for classic ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong

Read "Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong" reviewed by

Pops: A Life Of Louis ArmstrongTerry TeachoutPaper; 475 pagesISBN: 978-0-547-38637-9Mariner Books2010 The most unputdownable biography of trumpeter/vocalist Louis Armstrong to be written, by a country mile, Pops is also one of the best jazz biographies on the shelves. Modestly subtitled A Life Of Louis Armstrong rather than The Life Of..., this is the only book about Armstrong anyone but the hungriest devotee will ever need. First published in hardback in 2009, Pops is now available in paperback too. It's a page turner whose easy readability belies the ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Louis Armstrong: The Complete Louis Armstrong Decca Sessions (1935-1946)

Read "Louis Armstrong: The Complete Louis Armstrong Decca Sessions (1935-1946)" reviewed by

Louis Armstrong The Complete Louis Armstrong Decca Sessions (1935-1946) Mosaic Records 2009

As far as recordings by trumpeter Louis Armstrong go, the Decca recordings don't generate much interest. Prior to them came the Hot Five and Hot Seven recordings, the most influential jazz recordings ever made and the template for everything that was to come. Afterward came the superb pop recordings for RCA, which showed a masterful entertainer more respected for his vocal prowess than his trumpet playing. The Decca years represent Armstrong's adolescence: a bit gangly, sometimes awkward, and filled ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Louis Armstrong: The Complete Louis Armstrong Decca Sessions (1935-1946)

Read "Louis Armstrong: The Complete Louis Armstrong  Decca Sessions (1935-1946)" reviewed by

Louis Armstrong The Complete Louis Armstrong Decca Sessions (1935-1946) Mosaic Records 2009

Presumably everyone knows that Louis Armstrong's greatest and most important work was done in the '20s with and around the time of the incredible Hot Five and Hot Seven sessions. During the Swing Era he led a big band and after the war returned to the small group format for the most of the rest of his career with his All-Star bands.Somehow, by the mid '50s, the idea had taken hold that Armstrong's Swing Era stuff was second-rate, ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Louis Armstrong: Integrale Vol. 5 & Live in Australia 1964

Read "Louis Armstrong: Integrale Vol. 5 & Live in Australia 1964" reviewed by

Louis ArmstrongIntegrale Vol. 5 (CD) Fremeaux & Associes2008 Louis Armstrong Live in Australia 1964 (DVD) Medici Arts 2008 Some might assert that the Fremaux label's triple-CD set, containing almost everything Louis Armstrong recorded between December 1928 and April 1931, presents him at his creative peak and that Medici Arts' DVD (actually from 1963) is an occasionally sad document of a man who had achieved international fame but was no longer innovative. And this much ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Louis Armstrong: Live in Zurich, Switzerland 18.10.1949

Read "Live in Zurich, Switzerland 18.10.1949" reviewed by

In the movie Manhattan (1978), Woody Allen's depressed protagonist dictates a list of the things he believes make life truly worth living. Along with Willie Mays and Cezanne's paintings of apples and pears, Allen includes Louis Armstrong's recording of “Potato Head Blues." Whenever you listen to Louis Armstrong, you are doing right by your soul. And you can keep doing right by it in 2009, thanks to this live date from Switzerland, which comprehensively chronicles a performance by Armstrong's “Hot Six," given in Zurich in October of 1949. The term “All-Stars" is apt, describing a six-man summit ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Louis Armstrong All Stars: Live in Zurich, Switzerland 18.10.1949

Read "Live in Zurich, Switzerland 18.10.1949" reviewed by

If you're looking for a quick-fix, musical pick-me-up, Louis Armstrong is usually a sure-fire guarantee. A wonderful example can be heard in this gem of a radio broadcast, recorded in Zurich, Switzerland in 1949. Featured with the trumpeter is the incomparable Jack Teagarden (trombone) and Barney Bigard (clarinet) romping through a set of toe-tapping familiar fare.

The feel throughout the concert is loose and relaxed. Armstrong and company are obviously relishing in the enthusiastic response of the audience, who seem to be hanging on every note. The traditional three-way improvising between trumpet, clarinet and trombone is as good as it ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Louis Armstrong All Stars: Live in Zurich, Switzerland 18.10.1949

Read "Live in Zurich, Switzerland 18.10.1949" reviewed by

Just how good was Armstrong's band in 1949? For one thing look at the lineup; you have some of the best players associated with him, like Jack Teagarden, Barney Bigard, and the crack rhythm section of Earl Hines, Cozy Cole, and Arvell Shaw. This version of the All-Stars, weaned on Armstrong's music, was very familiar with the intricacies of every tune. Also, the group was playing to enthusiastic Europeans who still embraced Armstrong's music as the real deal, which positively invigorates the band.

And it shows. From “That's A Plenty" on, the group is positively invigorated and provides sizzling solos. ...



Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Michael Carvin

Michael Carvin

About | Enter

Steve Wilson/Lewis Nash

Steve Wilson/Lewis Nash

About | Enter

Tom Chang

Tom Chang

About | Enter

Cedar Walton

Cedar Walton

About | Enter

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW

Community Members

Join our growing community of
writers, musicians, visual artists and advocates.

John Sharpe

Contributor

John Sharpe Concert/Festival Reviewer
Mort Weiss

Musician

Mort Weiss clarinet
Mark Robbins

Visual artist

Mark Robbins Jazz Near You Administrator

Join Us Today!