Skip to main content

Louis Armstrong - Jazz Musician - is remembered as a towering influence



Louis Armstrong: Jazz Trumpet Player - Singer

Louis Armstrong is remembered as a towering influence in the community of music lovers. He was born August 4, 1901. Nicknamed Satchmo, Satch or Pops. Known as an American jazz trumpeter, composer, and singer, Louis also was an occasional actor. His career covered five decades from the early 1920s to the 1960s.

By virtue of the content of his character, Armstrong was one of the first African-American entertainers to cross the skin color divide that existed in America at the time. To the dismay of many, he avoided publically politicizing his race but stood up for the desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock.

By 1920, a younger generation of players, born after 1900, was emerging, and one name above all others began to be mentioned after 1918 when he first started appearing with Kid Ory's band: a talented trumpeter named Louis Armstrong.

The year 1928 was Armstrong's last full one in Chicago before he moved to New York, and began the phase in his career that elevated him from a supreme jazz musician to a popular entertainer.  He was, as he put it, "getting to be a big man on the South Side. Chicago was entering its final flourish before the onset of the Depression.

On October 29, 1929, The stock market crashed. The country was plunged into the great depression. That made it hard to make a living in the music business when no work for people meant no money on the streets. In the 1930s, Satch went to work at Connie's Inn in Harlem New York. The club had elaborately staged shows and was a front for the racketeer, Dutch Shultz. Harlem was in a transition.

The Harlem  Renaissance was giving way to the rise of a new upstart...jazz. Bumpy Johnson was numbers king uptown, Shultz was beer baron downtown, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitsgerald and other jazz musicians were trying to etch out survival on the mean streets in Gotham City, Harlem New York.

As the bite of the Depression wore on and record sales fell away the music scene shifted to the larger orchestras of Cab Calloway and Duke Ellington. They catered to the more influential wealth class that frequented the Cotton Club that was said to be backed by organized crime. Satchmo had to resort to doing lenghy tours and "one nighters" to survive.

Satch was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an early influence. Some of his solos from the 1950s, such as the hard rocking version of "St. Louis Blues" from the WC Handy album, show that the influence went in both directions

Louis Armstrong loved playing and singing more than anything. Against his doctor's advice, Armstrong played a two-week engagement in March 1971 at the Waldorf-Astoria's Empire Room in New York City. At the end of it he was hospitalized for a heart attack. He was released from the hospital in May and quickly resumed practicing his trumpet playing. On July 6, 1971, a month before his 70th birthday, Armstrong died of a heart attack in his sleep

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Strange Fruit-Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday - Female Jazz Singer

Billie Holiday, jazz singer, probably best known for the song, "Strange Fruit", was born in 1915. The world enjoyed her work, music, and rare talent for nearly thirty years. Her vocal delivery and improvisational skills, not common in the jazz world, was considered an evolution in the art of jazz composition. At the tender age of eighteen, she was already the headline singing in small clubs in Harlem.
In 1935, Billie Holiday began recording with pianist Teddy Wilson. They put together several small jazz groups that included some of the best musicians in New York like Lester Young, Benny Goodman, and Ben Webster.

In late 1937, Holiday had a brief stint as a big-band vocalist with Count Basie. The traveling conditions of the band were often poor; they performed many one-nighters in clubs, moving from city to city with little stability.


Holiday chose the songs she sang and had a hand in the arrangements, I Must Have That Man", "Tra…

John Coltrane: American Jazz Musicians Look To South Africa For Inspiration

John Coltrane, Jazz Saxophonist, Musician

John Coltrane, jazz saxophonist, musician: In the 1940s and 1950s, numerous American jazz musicians looked to South Africa for inspiration, but it was John Coltrane, in 1961, who made one of the most profound statements about what South Africa stood for (spiritually), among jazz musicians in the United States.The man's playing is in essence, lyrical - even when he is at his most demoniacally complex. 

Because of the breadth of his work, his technical innovations as an instrumentalist, and the stimulating combination of discipline and experiment he brought to the groups he led, John Coltrane became the most influential saxophonist on the jazz of the last four decades of the twentieth century, overtaking Charlie Parker as a universal role model.

Coltrane's career began substantially earlier than that of Ornette Coleman, the other dominant innovator in jazz saxophone playing of the 1960s. Although Coleman outlived him and continued to de…

Damien Escobar | Violinist

http://www.manifest.geimage.com/2017/11/damien-escobar-violinist.html
Damien Escobar | Violinist

Damien Escobar, also known as Dame Esco, is an American violinist. He was previously in the duo Nuttin' But Stringz with his brother Tourie, but has been a solo artist since 2012. His "crossover violin" musical style consists of a mix of classical, jazz, pop, R&B, and hip hop.

As kids Damien and Tourie worked as street musicians, playing at Grand Central Station and on the New York City subways. In 2003, they began playing professionally under the name Nuttin' But Stringz. In 2005, Nuttin' But Stringz won a talent contest at the Apollo Theater. In 2006, Escobar appeared in the film Step Up. Nuttin' But Stringz took third place in the 2008 season of America's Got Talent. They performed at the First inauguration of Barack Obama in 2009[2] and won two Emmys. In 2012, Nuttin' But Stringz separated. Escobar returned to school and got his real estate license…