He was constantly challenging himself and his bandmates, and pretty much everything he recorded up until the 80s was great. I'll have to go for Louis. Left said:. Out of interest, what would you consider to be difficult jazz?
OK, I don't listen to that, looking at the description online it looks like something I would enjoy. Some types of jazz are more about in-the-moment interaction between musicians than linear motivic development, maybe that's what you're responding to.
I think Kind of Blue is one of Davis's easier albums for people like me who struggle with a lot of jazz. That has some very pleasing bits, but I struggle to get a sense of the whole and it doesn't really move me too much, although the last minute's freaky trumpet bit is good. But then I struggle with late Scott Walker too. I like tunes. I'd far rather listen to Funkadelic, if I'm honest. Fair enough. That era of Miles has a kind of messy freeform quality that I love, but can see why other people don't.
Funkadelic is great music too! Enjoyed A and C. Didn't care overly for B Siprits on first listening. I can see what you mean that it has a tune. But it is a difficult tune! Kaka Tim Bog Roll Millionaire. Jazz with great songs and tunes.
Johnny Canuck3 Well-Known Member. Apart from being two black guys who both played a trumpet, there's little that's similar or comparable between their music. Let's not forget other great trumpeters! Just been listening to Booker Little, I think he would have easily been up there with these two if he hadn't died at His agent Johnny Collins's erratic behavior and his own spending ways left Armstrong short of cash. Breach of contract violations plagued him.
Finally, he hired Joe Glaser as his new manager, a tough mob-connected wheeler-dealer, who began to straighten out his legal mess, his mob troubles, and his debts.
Armstrong also began to experience problems with his fingers and lips, which were aggravated by his unorthodox playing style. As a result, he branched out, developing his vocal style and making his first theatrical appearances. He appeared in movies again, including Crosby's hit Pennies from Heaven. After spending many years on the road, Armstrong settled permanently in Queens , New York in in contentment with his fourth wife, Lucille.
Although subject to the vicissitudes of Tin Pan Alley and the gangster-ridden music business, as well as anti-black prejudice, he continued to develop his playing.
During the subsequent 30 years, Armstrong played more than gigs a year. Bookings for big bands tapered off during the s due to changes in public tastes: ballrooms closed, and there was competition from television and from other types of music becoming more popular than big band music.
It became impossible under such circumstances to support and finance a piece touring band. During the s, a widespread revival of interest in the traditional jazz of the s made it possible for Armstrong to consider a return to the small-group musical style of his youth. The new group was announced at the opening of Billy Berg's Supper Club. During this period, Armstrong made many recordings and appeared in over thirty films.
He was the first jazz musician to appear on the cover of Time magazine, on February 21, Template:External media. When it was released, the disc garnered worldwide sales. By the s, Armstrong was a widely beloved American icon and cultural ambassador who commanded an international fanbase. However, a growing generation gap became apparent between him and the young jazz musicians who emerged in the postwar era such as Charlie Parker , Miles Davis , and Sonny Rollins.
The postwar generation regarded their music as abstract art and considered Armstrong's vaudevillian style, half-musician and half-stage entertainer, outmoded and Uncle Tomism , ". Guys who invent terms like that are walking the streets with their instruments under their arms " . After finishing his contract with Decca Records , he became a freelance artist and recorded for different labels.
Armstrong continued an intense international touring schedule, but in he suffered a heart attack in Italy and had to rest for a time. In , after over two years without setting foot in a studio, he recorded his biggest-selling record, " Hello, Dolly!
Armstrong's version remained on the Hot for 22 weeks, longer than any other record produced that year, and went to No. In the process, he dislodged the Beatles from the No. Armstrong kept touring well into his 60s, even visiting part of the communist bloc in By , he was approaching 70 and his health finally began to give out.
He suffered heart and kidney ailments that forced him to stop touring. Armstrong did not perform publicly at all in and spent most of the year recuperating at home. Meanwhile, his longtime manager Joe Glaser died. By the summer of , Armstrong's doctors pronounced him fit enough to resume live performances.
He embarked on another world tour, but a heart attack forced him to take a break for two months. Template:Quote In a memoir written for Robert Goffin between and , Armstrong states, "All white folks call me Louie," suggesting that he himself did not. On various live records he's called "Louie" on stage, such as on the "Can Anyone Explain?
Clarence Armstrong was mentally disabled the result of a head injury at an early age and Louis would spend the rest of his life taking care of him. On February 4, , Louis married Lil Hardin Armstrong , who was Oliver's pianist and had also divorced her first spouse only a few years earlier. His second wife was instrumental in developing his career, but in the late s Hardin and Louis grew apart. They separated in and divorced in , after which Louis married longtime girlfriend Alpha Smith.
Louis then married Lucille Wilson in October , a singer at the Cotton Club , to whom he was married until his death in Armstrong's marriages never produced any offspring, though he loved children. Armstrong was noted for his colorful and charismatic personality. His autobiography vexed some biographers and historians, as he had a habit of telling tales, particularly of his early childhood when he was less scrutinized, and his embellishments of his history often lack consistency.
In addition to an entertainer, Armstrong was a leading personality of the day. He was beloved by an American public that gave even the greatest African American performers little access beyond their public celebrity, and he was able to live a private life of access and privilege afforded to few other African Americans during that era.
He generally remained politically neutral, which at times alienated him from members of the black community who looked to him to use his prominence with white America to become more of an outspoken figure during the Civil Rights Movement of U. However, he did criticize President Eisenhower for not acting forcefully enough on civil rights. The trumpet is a notoriously hard instrument on the lips , and Armstrong suffered from lip damage over much of his life due to his aggressive style of playing and preference for narrow mouthpieces that would stay in place easier, but which tended to dig into the soft flesh of his inner lip.
During his s European tour, he suffered an ulceration so severe that he had to stop playing entirely for a year. Eventually he took to using salves and creams on his lips and also cutting off scar tissue with a razor blade.
By the s, he was an official spokesman for Ansatz-Creme Lip Salve. During a backstage meeting with trombonist Marshall Brown in , Armstrong received the suggestion that he should go to a doctor and receive proper treatment for his lips instead of relying on home remedies, but he didn't get around to doing it until the final years of his life, by which point his health was failing and doctors considered surgery too risky. Autograph of Armstrong on the muretto of Alassio. The nicknames Satchmo and Satch are short for Satchelmouth.
Like many things in Armstrong's life, which was filled with colorful stories both real and imagined, many of his own telling, the nickname has many possible origins. The most common tale that biographers tell is the story of Armstrong as a young boy dancing for pennies in the streets of New Orleans, who would scoop up the coins off of the streets and stick them into his mouth to avoid having the bigger children steal them from him.
Someone dubbed him "satchel mouth" for his mouth acting as a satchel. Another tale is that because of his large mouth, he was nicknamed "satchel mouth" which became shortened to Satchmo. Early on he was also known as Dipper , short for Dippermouth , a reference to the piece Dippermouth Blues.
The nickname Pops came from Armstrong's own tendency to forget people's names and simply call them "pops" instead. The nickname was soon turned on Armstrong himself. It was used as the title of a biography of Armstrong by Terry Teachout.
Armstrong was largely accepted into white society, both on stage and off, a privilege reserved for very few African-American public figures, and usually those of either exceptional talent or fair skin tone.
That still did not prevent members of the African-American community, particularly in the late s to the early s, from calling him an Uncle Tom , a black-on-black racial epithet for someone who kowtowed to white society at the expense of their own racial identity.
Billie Holiday countered, however, "Of course Pops toms, but he toms from the heart. In the New Orleans African-American community it is an honored role as the head of leading black Carnival Krewe , but bewildering or offensive to outsiders with their traditional costume of grass-skirts and blackface makeup satirizing southern white attitudes. Some musicians criticized Armstrong for playing in front of segregated audiences, and for not taking a strong enough stand in the American Civil Rights Movement.
Armstrong's criticism of President Eisenhower , calling him "two-faced" and "gutless" because of his inaction during the conflict over school desegregation in Little Rock , Arkansas in made national news.
As a protest, Armstrong canceled a planned tour of the Soviet Union on behalf of the State Department saying: "The way they're treating my people in the South, the government can go to hell" and that he could not represent his government abroad when it was in conflict with its own people. The FBI kept a file on Armstrong for his outspokenness about integration. When asked about his religion, Armstrong would answer that he was raised a Baptist , always wore a Star of David , and was friends with the Pope.
Armstrong seems to have been tolerant towards various religions, but also found humor in them. Armstrong was concerned with his health. Preston gave birth to a daughter, Sharon Preston, in Shortly thereafter, Armstrong bragged about the child to his manager, Joe Glaser, in a letter that would later be published in the book Louis Armstrong In His Own Words Thereafter until his death in , however, Armstrong never publicly addressed whether he was in fact Sharon's father.
In recent years, Armstrong's alleged daughter, who now goes by the name Sharon Preston Folta, has publicized various letters between her and her father. The letters, dated as far back as , prove that Armstrong had indeed always believed Sharon to be his daughter, and that he even paid for her education and home, among several other things, throughout his life.
Perhaps most importantly, the letters also detail Armstrong's fatherly love for Sharon. While only a DNA test could officially prove whether a blood relationship does exist between Armstrong and Sharon — and one has never been conducted between the two — believers and skeptics can at least agree on one thing: Sharon's uncanny resemblance to the jazz legend.
Armstrong continued a grueling touring schedule into the late '50s, and it caught up with him in , when he had a heart attack while traveling in Spoleto, Italy. The musician didn't let the incident stop him, however, and after taking a few weeks off to recover, he was back on the road, performing nights a year into the s.
Armstrong was still a popular attraction around the world in , but hadn't made a record in two years. In December of that year, he was called into the studio to record the title number for a Broadway show that hadn't opened yet: Hello, Dolly! The record was released in and quickly climbed to the top of the pop music charts, hitting the No.
This newfound popularity introduced Armstrong to a new, younger audience, and he continued making both successful records and concert appearances for the rest of the decade, even cracking the "Iron Curtain" with a tour of Communist countries such as East Berlin and Czechoslovakia in In , Armstrong recorded a new ballad, "What a Wonderful World. Armstrong sang his heart out on the number, thinking of his home in Queens as he did so, but "What a Wonderful World" received little promotion in the United States.
The tune did, however, become a No. By , Armstrong's grueling lifestyle had finally caught up with him. Heart and kidney problems forced him to stop performing in That same year, his longtime manager, Joe Glaser, passed away. Armstrong spent much of that year at home, but managed to continue practicing the trumpet daily.
By the summer of , Armstrong was allowed to perform publicly again and play the trumpet. After a successful engagement in Las Vegas, Armstrong began taking engagements around the world, including in London and Washington, D.
However, a heart attack two days after the Waldorf gig sidelined him for two months. Armstrong returned home in May , and though he soon resumed playing again and promised to perform in public once more, he died in his sleep on July 6, , at his home in Queens, New York. Since his death, Armstrong's stature has only continued to grow. In the s and '90s, younger African-American jazz musicians like Wynton Marsalis, Jon Faddis and Nicholas Payton began speaking about Armstrong's importance, both as a musician and a human being.
A series of new biographies on Armstrong made his role as a civil rights pioneer abundantly clear and, subsequently, argued for an embrace of his entire career's output, not just the revolutionary recordings from the s. Armstrong's home in Corona, Queens was declared a National Historic Landmark in ; today, the house is home to the Louis Armstrong House Museum , which annually receives thousands of visitors from all over the world.
One of the most important figures in 20th century music, Armstrong's innovations as a trumpeter and vocalist are widely recognized today, and will continue to be for decades to come. We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us! Subscribe to the Biography newsletter to receive stories about the people who shaped our world and the stories that shaped their lives.
Armstrong and Oliver parted amicably in He switched to the trumpet to blend in better with the other musicians in his section. His influence on Henderson's tenor sax soloist, Coleman Hawkins , can be judged by listening to the records made by the band during this period. Armstrong adapted to the tightly controlled style of Henderson, playing trumpet and experimenting with the trombone.
The other members were affected by Armstrong's emotional style. His act included singing and telling tales of New Orleans characters, especially preachers. Duke Ellington's orchestra went to Roseland to catch Armstrong's performances. In , Armstrong returned to Chicago largely at the insistence of Lil, who wanted to expand his career and his income. In publicity, much to his chagrin, she billed him as "the World's Greatest Trumpet Player". For a time he was a member of the Lil Hardin Armstrong Band and working for his wife.
The word "muggles" was a slang term for marijuana , something he used often during his life. Cyr banjo , Lil Armstrong on piano, and usually no drummer. Over a twelve-month period starting in November , this quintet produced twenty-four records. Cyr noted, "One felt so relaxed working with him, and he was very broad-minded Armstrong was now free to develop his personal style as he wished, which included a heavy dose of effervescent jive, such as "Whip That Thing, Miss Lil" and "Mr.
They furnished music for silent movies and live shows, including jazz versions of classical music, such as "Madame Butterfly", which gave Armstrong experience with longer forms of music and with hosting before a large audience. He began to scat sing improvised vocal jazz using nonsensical words and was among the first to record it, on the Hot Five recording " Heebie Jeebies " in The recording was so popular that the group became the most famous jazz band in the United States, even though they had not performed live to any great extent.
Young musicians across the country, black or white, were turned on by Armstrong's new type of jazz. Hines and Armstrong became fast friends and successful collaborators. It was during Hall's tenure at the venue that she experimented, developed and expanded her use and art of Scat singing with Armstrong's guidance and encouragement.
In the first half of , Armstrong assembled his Hot Seven group, which added drummer Al "Baby" Dodds and tuba player, Pete Briggs, while preserving most of his original Hot Five lineup. John Thomas replaced Kid Ory on trombone. Later that year he organized a series of new Hot Five sessions which resulted in nine more records. Armstrong returned to New York in , where he played in the pit orchestra for the musical Hot Chocolates , an all-black revue written by Andy Razaf and pianist Fats Waller.
He also made a cameo appearance as a vocalist, regularly stealing the show with his rendition of " Ain't Misbehavin' ". His version of the song became his biggest selling record to date.
Armstrong started to work at Connie's Inn in Harlem, chief rival to the Cotton Club , a venue for elaborately staged floor shows,  and a front for gangster Dutch Schultz. Armstrong also had considerable success with vocal recordings, including versions of famous songs composed by his old friend Hoagy Carmichael.
His s recordings took full advantage of the new RCA ribbon microphone , introduced in , which imparted a characteristic warmth to vocals and immediately became an intrinsic part of the ' crooning ' sound of artists like Bing Crosby. Armstrong's famous interpretation of Carmichael's " Stardust " became one of the most successful versions of this song ever recorded, showcasing Armstrong's unique vocal sound and style and his innovative approach to singing songs that had already become standards.
Armstrong's radical re-working of Sidney Arodin and Carmichael's " Lazy River " recorded in encapsulated many features of his groundbreaking approach to melody and phrasing. The song begins with a brief trumpet solo, then the main melody is introduced by sobbing horns, memorably punctuated by Armstrong's growling interjections at the end of each bar: "Yeah! In the second stanza he breaks into an almost fully improvised melody, which then evolves into a classic passage of Armstrong " scat singing ".
As with his trumpet playing, Armstrong's vocal innovations served as a foundation stone for the art of jazz vocal interpretation.
The uniquely gravelly coloration of his voice became a musical archetype that was much imitated and endlessly impersonated. His scat singing style was enriched by his matchless experience as a trumpet soloist. His resonant, velvety lower-register tone and bubbling cadences on sides such as "Lazy River" exerted a huge influence on younger white singers such as Bing Crosby.
The Great Depression of the early s was especially hard on the jazz scene. The Cotton Club closed in after a long downward spiral, and many musicians stopped playing altogether as club dates evaporated. Bix Beiderbecke died and Fletcher Henderson's band broke up. King Oliver made a few records but otherwise struggled.
Armstrong moved to Los Angeles in to seek new opportunities. The band drew the Hollywood crowd, which could still afford a lavish night life, while radio broadcasts from the club connected with younger audiences at home. Bing Crosby and many other celebrities were regulars at the club.
In , Armstrong appeared in his first movie, Ex-Flame and was also convicted of marijuana possession but received a suspended sentence. When the mob insisted that he get out of town,  Armstrong visited New Orleans, had a hero's welcome, and saw old friends.
He sponsored a local baseball team known as Armstrong's Secret Nine and had a cigar named after him. After a tour across the country shadowed by the mob, he fled to Europe.
After returning to the United States, he undertook several exhausting tours. His agent Johnny Collins's erratic behavior and his own spending ways left Armstrong short of cash. Breach of contract violations plagued him. He hired Joe Glaser as his new manager, a tough mob-connected wheeler-dealer, who began to straighten out his legal mess, his mob troubles, and his debts.
Armstrong also began to experience problems with his fingers and lips, which were aggravated by his unorthodox playing style.
As a result, he branched out, developing his vocal style and making his first theatrical appearances. He appeared in movies again, including Crosby's hit Pennies from Heaven. During the s, Louis Armstrong brought a huge impact during the Harlem Renaissance within the Jazz world. The music he created was an incredible part of his life during the Harlem Renaissance. The admiration he had for Armstrong and acknowledging him as one of the most recognized musicians during the era.
Just as the musicians, Hughes wrote his words with jazz. Armstrong changed the jazz during the Harlem Renaissance. Being known as "the world's greatest trumpet player" during this time he continued his legacy and decided to continue a focus on his own vocal career. The popularity he gained brought together many black and white audiences to watch him perform. After spending many years on the road, Armstrong settled permanently in Queens, New York in in contentment with his fourth wife, Lucille.
Although subject to the vicissitudes of Tin Pan Alley and the gangster-ridden music business, as well as anti-black prejudice, he continued to develop his playing. During the next 30 years, Armstrong played more than performances a year. Bookings for big bands tapered off during the s due to changes in public tastes: ballrooms closed, and there was competition from television and from other types of music becoming more popular than big band music.
It became impossible under such circumstances to finance a piece touring band. During the s, a widespread revival of interest in the traditional jazz of the s made it possible for Armstrong to consider a return to the small-group musical style of his youth.
The new group was announced at the opening of Billy Berg's Supper Club. During this period, Armstrong made many recordings and appeared in over thirty films. He was the first jazz musician to appear on the cover of Time magazine, on February 21, By the s, Armstrong was a widely beloved American icon and cultural ambassador who commanded an international fanbase.
However, a growing generation gap became apparent between him and the young jazz musicians who emerged in the postwar era such as Charlie Parker , Miles Davis , and Sonny Rollins. The postwar generation regarded their music as abstract art and considered Armstrong's vaudevillian style, half-musician and half-stage entertainer, outmoded and Uncle Tomism , " Guys who invent terms like that are walking the streets with their instruments under their arms.
Louis Armstrong was present and loved the song. When it was released, the disc was a worldwide success and the song was then performed by the greatest international singers. In the s, he toured Ghana and Nigeria. After finishing his contract with Decca Records , he became a freelance artist and recorded for other labels. In , after over two years without setting foot in a studio, he recorded his biggest-selling record, " Hello, Dolly!
Armstrong's version remained on the Hot for 22 weeks, longer than any other record produced that year, and went to No. In the process, he dislodged the Beatles from the No. Armstrong kept touring well into his 60s, even visiting part of the communist bloc in By , he was approaching 70 and his health began to give out. He suffered heart and kidney ailments that forced him to stop touring. He did not perform publicly at all in and spent most of the year recuperating at home. Meanwhile, his longtime manager Joe Glaser died.
By the summer of , his doctors pronounced him fit enough to resume live performances. He embarked on another world tour, but a heart attack forced him to take a break for two months. Armstrong made his last recorded trumpet performances on his album Disney Songs the Satchmo Way. Judging from home recorded tapes now in our Museum Collections, Louis pronounced his own name as "Lewis". Many broadcast announcers, fans, and acquaintances called him "Louie" and in a videotaped interview from Lucille Armstrong calls her late husband "Louie" as well.
Musicians and close friends usually called him "Pops". In a memoir written for Robert Goffin between and , Armstrong states, "All white folks call me Louie," perhaps suggesting that he himself did not or, on the other hand, that no whites addressed him by one of his nicknames such as Pops.
On various live records he's called "Louie" on stage, such as on the "Can Anyone Explain? The same applies to his studio recording of the song "Chloe", where the choir in the background sings "Louie Louie", with Armstrong responding "What was that? Somebody called my name? In , Louis and Lucille appeared on The Mike Douglas Show to demonstrate the preparation red beans and rice , a dish so enjoyed by Armstrong that he signed correspondence "Red Beans and Ricely Yours" .
In the video with Armstrong standing at her side, Lucille prepares his favorite red beans recipe and refers to "Louie" several times. He started the affair as a client. He returned to Gretna on several occasions to visit her. He found the courage to look for her home to see her away from work. It was on this occasion that he found out that she had a common-law husband. Not long after this fiasco, Parker traveled to Armstrong's home on Perdido Street.
Clarence Armstrong was mentally disabled as the result of a head injury at an early age, and Armstrong spent the rest of his life taking care of him. She had divorced her first husband a few years earlier. His second wife helped him develop his career, but they separated in and divorced in Armstrong then married Alpha Smith.
Louis then married Lucille Wilson in October , a singer at the Cotton Club , to whom he was married until his death inJan 05, · Before Louis (pronounce that “s” – he did), trumpeters looked up to trumpeters, and clarinettists looked to other clarinettists. When he came along, everyone wanted to play like him, from horns to guitars to pianos and even drums. Without Armstrong, jazz and popular music might – nay would – be very different. His vocal style.