March’s episodes focus on trumpet-led dates from the 1920s and ‘30s.
Episode 135 takes a thorough and loving look at Louis Armstrong's 1930's recordings for the Decca company. After a couple years nursing a blown lip and searching for new musical contexts, Louis hooked up with manager Joe Glaser and soon had a contract with Decca records, which featured him on a kaleidoscope of recordings, from remakes of some Hot Fives triumphs to collaborations with the Mills Brothers to novelty numbers about Hawaii. The resulting four hours of music is surprisingly rewarding and Louie rarely playedor sangbetter. Brief discussions of Bryan Ferry's Olympia and Quincy Jones' diss of the Beatles follow in pop matters.
Listen to Episode 135
Louie Armstrong wasn't the only trumpeter playing jazz in the twenties and thirties, and in this episode the boys put him into context with discussion of recordings by Bunny Berigan, King Oliver, Henry "Red" Allen, Oscar "Papa" Celestin, and Sam Morgan. The Celestin/Morgan sides are some of the only recorded evidence of Dixieland as played by African American bands in New Orleans in the twenties (most recordings of the period took place in Chicago and New York). Henry "Red" Allen was still in Armstrong's shadow during this period, while "King" Oliver's final recordings show a player in decline soon before he completely lost the ability to play due to dental problems. The most problematic sides are the ones where Bunny Berigan accompanied white performers singing in what Mike describes as the "novelty" style but Pat labels "satanic." The only (vocal) ray of light in these sides comes courtesy of the Boswell Sisters, though Bunny's playing is exemplary throughout. Macy Gray's Stripped comes in for scrutiny in the pop matters segment.
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.