A Jazz Icon

A picture of Louis Armstrong. Short-haired, black man in his fifties blowing into a trumpet. He is wearing a light-colored sport coat, a white shirt and a bow tie. He is faced left with his eyes looking upwards. His right hand is fingering the trumpet, with the index finger down and three fingers pointing upwards. The man's left hand is mostly covered with a handkerchief and it has a shining ring on the little finger. He is wearing a wristwatch on the left wrist.
Louis Armstrong. Photo credit: wikipedia.org

February is Black History Month and while many applaud well-known figures such as Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Rosa Parks, I think on a music icon who changed the shape of jazz music: Louis Armstrong. He was a man known for his raspy voice and his inventive trumpet playing. Unlike those who played before him, he would play his trumpet solo during a musical piece. In addition, his music crossed the colour barrier and encouraged non-blacks to listen to his brand of entertainment.

My introduction to Louis Armstrong came when I began dancing. Dancing the foxtrot to What A Wonderful World, I realised I enjoyed the melody. And when I heard his raspy voice, I was hooked:

Of course, I enjoyed the trumpet solos too that I heard in La Vie En Rose:

A love of Louis Armstrong’s music would have to include the number When the Saints go Marching in

I enjoy listening to the jazz music from this era. The music is raw and unfettered by electronics.

Do you enjoy the music created by Louis Armstrong?

(This post was created in honour of the changes Louis Armstrong brought to Jazz, as well as a reference to something that I enjoy. Join Paula and other bloggers for her Thursday Special in which we highlight that which highlights our interpretation of the world.)

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

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37 thoughts on “A Jazz Icon

  1. I love Louis Armstrong’s music. I still have a few of his records from back in the day. Thanks for highlighting this special jazz singer and trumpet player.

    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

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  2. I’ve always been a fan of Louis Armstrong, ever since I was a child growing up in New Orleans where he’s a cultural icon. There’s a park in New Orleans named after him, Armstrong Park, where musicians still meet up every Sunday to play music. It’s as much a part of city history/culture as gumbo, Mardi Gras, and Café du Monde.

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    1. That must be an inspiring place to visit. I can imagine whiling away many hours in the park listening to beautiful music. If I ever have the chance to go to New Orleans, visiting Armstrong Park will be on my list of things to visit

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  3. No wonder you got hooked. I got goosebumps listening to this 🙂 His interpretation of “La vie en rose” is better than Piaff’s 😀 … it made me remember my shot of Eiffel Tower at sunset where I enclosed this song sung by Grace Jones :D. I can’t thank you enough for this wonderful post, Colline. “He never hurt anyone” 🙂 P.S. I had no idea you danced foxtrot 🙂

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  4. Louis Armstrong is also one of my favorites. When his “What a wonderful world” reached the top of the music list everybody bought his music no matter who and what he was!

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      1. Yes, I saw him at first in a movie. I think it was with Grace Kelly and Bing Crosby and at the end he played “What a wonderful world”. Can’ remember the name of the movie. After the movie Grace married and became princess of Monaco

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  5. Love Sachmo! How about “A Got Plenty of Nuttin” with Ella Fitzgerald, or, “A Kiss to Build a Dream On”? Actually, I don’t think you can pull up a recording from his songbook that I won’t love.

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