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Louis Armstrong Powerpoint

Musicology 115 Tribute Project

Madison Iman

on 19 November 2012

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Transcript of Louis Armstrong Powerpoint

Satchmo: The Main Influence for Jazz Music Where would we be without Satchmo? Madie Iman
Musicology 115
November 20, 2012 Louis Armstrong, nicknamed Satchmo, was born on August 4, 1901 in James Alley, New Orleans. After the Hot Five success, Louis moved to New York City where Armstrong played for Connie's Inn. A favorite performance called "Hot Chocolates" was so successful that it went to Broadway where Louis performed the hit "Aint Misbehavin." This turned into Louis' first real hit record which occurred in 1929 (Morgenstern 111). And from 1929-1933, he recorded many songs in New York that made it to the top of the music charts. He even formed his own band known as Louis Armstrong and the Stompers who became a hit in the Big Apple (Morgenstern 111). Without Louis Armstrong, music, particularly jazz, would not be where it is today. We can thank Louis Armstrong for the light, upbeat texture which is pop and jazz music. With his spunky cornet solos and growling voice, this African American musician tested the waters in the music industry. Despite being an African American in a world dominated by white people, we can look to Armstrong as inspiration to follow our dreams even though it may seem like an unreachable desire. We have Louis to thank for swing music which Gabe Baltazar claims is "something that makes you tap your foot, feel good, you know, and snap your fingers" (Baltazar 1). Armstrong in Europe Enter Joe Glasner He was the illegitimate son of William Armstrong and Mary Albert. He was born into a poor family and was raised by his grandmother Josephine Armstrong (Boujut 18). Childhood Louis' father left his family shortly after his birth and his mother was never there to support him. Thus, with his grandmother as caregiver, Louis spent his time at church, school, and the youth club where he learned to sing (Boujut 19). However, music was his passion and you could find young Louis playing the cornet on the street corner or singing in the trio, The Singing Fools (Boujut 19). A Life-Changing Event On New Year's Day, 1931, Louis was on the streets of New Orleans partying when amidst the commotion, he shot a pistol into the air. Louis was put into Waif's Home, a detention center for colored boys. At the home, Armstrong learned to play the cornet in which he continually practiced playing. Once released from the home, Louis was hired to play for a plethora of cabarets around town which included funerals, dances, and church gatherings. Much to his surprise, life at the Waif's home would change his life forever (Boujut 20). Louis' Significance After enduring a rough childhood, Louis eventually found his way in the music business in which he became a successful musician. Louis Armstrong is an important innovator of jazz music in which he popularized the idea of solo performances, changed the texture of jazz music, created the vocal style of scat-singing, and deteriorated racial barriers in the music industry. In 1919, Joe Oliver, one of Armstrong's idols, left for Chicago in which Louis replaced his position and became co-leader of Oliver's band with Kid Ory. Louis soon caught the attention of Fate Marable, a bandleader on a famous Mississippi riverboat. However, Louis spent little time with the band in which he later returned to Ory's band in 1921. He became well-known in Ory's band but soon was asked to join Oliver in Chicago at the Lincoln Gardens (Morgenstern 98-99). Promotion Armstrong was quite the sensation in Oliver's band. The main influence he placed was his cornet performances with Joe Oliver. Together they innovated the cornet sound with their ornamental double-cornet breaks in which they could synchronize on the spot. The breaks were often organized in an unthinkable way in which Oliver would play one break while Louis memorized the tune. Shortly after, Armstrong would play a second break that was musically different but matched perfectly with Oliver's (DeVaux and Giddins). Their sound became popular and their use of the cornet became a sensation to all audiences (Morgenstern 110). The Magical Duo After marrying Lil Hardin, the pianist in Oliver's band, Louis was persuaded to join Fletcher Henderson in New York. With Henderson, Louis started recording his music which was a big advancement in the music industry. In New York, Armstrong recorded with Henderson at least thirty-six times (DeVaux and Giddins). He brought the New Orlean's style of blues music to the band and made their sound more popular. Also, he recorded with the saxophone player Sidney Bechet and the blues singer Bessie Smith while in New York. All in all, Armstrong began to raise the bar for musicians in the New York area (Morgenstern 101-103). Life in New York The Hot Five and Hot Seven In 1925, Louis ventured off on his own. He formed his own group, the Louis Armstrong Hot Five in which he became the leader of the group. Being part of the Hot Five, which later became the Hot Seven with the addition of Bobby Dodds on drums and a tuba player, helped Louis' music become more popular to the public with a multitude of new recordings. Louis recorded around sixty-five recordings with the Hot Five and Hot Seven groups (DeVaux and Giddins). Not only did Armstrong show his strong trumpet skills while part of the group, he showed his strong vocals and started the scat-singing era. The Hot Five and Hot Seven groups helped maintain and keep the New Orleans bluesy style of music alive (Morgenstern 104-105). Louis' Impact on Soloists Louis' long, improvised solos revolutionized the jazz world. Many people began to imitate his style which led to innovations in jazz music. Before Louis Armstrong, bands would play as an ensemble with music that was coordinated together. However, by 1929, musicians began to copy Louis' style of solo performances and improvisations, changing the way composers wrote their music as well as how musicians performed their music (Pinfold 60). Success in New York Swing Music Defining Racial Barriers A Unique Voice Music Clip In July 1932, Armstrong made his way to Europe to perform in England (Morgenstern 117). It is in his first tour in Britain where Armstrong got his nickname "Satchmo." In Europe, Louis' style was unlike anything the Europeans had heard before. Armstrong had many mixed reviews while touring in Europe. However, a Pianist and bandleader Carroll Gibbons claimed he was "a gigantic player and supreme originator of style" (Pinfold 80). Eventually, Louis toured Europe for a second time but returned to the United States at a low point in his career. At a low point in his career, Armstrong sought the help of Joe Glasner who was an acquaintance from Chicago. Joe turned into Armstrong's personal manager. With Glasner, Louis signed a contract with the Luis Russell Band and Decca Records. With the contract with Decca Records, Louis began composing his own songs again. This included "Old Man Rose," "Swing that Music," and "If We Never Meet Again" (Morgenstern 130). After his trip to Europe, Louis came back with a newer sound. According to Mike Pinfold, "His brilliant supercharged virtuousity, last heard in Europe, had matured into a simplified, more declamatory style while still retaining the same glorious feeling" (89). This "new," innovated sound made Armstrong a popular Swing Era musician. People claimed his voice was mellower and his trumpet playing was greater than ever. The Swing Era music was often characterized by solo performances which were initiated by Armstrong and the use of musical "riffs" to add repetition and a unique pulse to the composition. All in all, Armstrong had a large impact in the Swing Era of jazz music (Morgenstern 129). The fact that Louis Armstrong was so successful in the music industry was a huge leap for African Americans. In a country where white Americans dominated and controlled all prospects of life, it was incredible that Armstrong was seen as a musical genius by the white American public. It is Louis who tested the racist thoughts about African Americans being inferior to white Americans. Charles Hersch commented on Armstrong's success in defining racial barriers when he states, "Armstrong's bold originality also gave lie to the racist notion, prevalent at one time, that African American artists are mere imitators" (385). His unique spin on jazz music confirmed the fact that African American musicians are just as able to bring new innovations to music as white Americans (Hersch 385). Listen to the trumpet solo of Louis and the technique he uses to vary the opening figure so that it is not quite the same each time. He plays the opening figure 16 times, each time a little different than the last. This is an example of improvisation. (Edmundusrex). Louis was not only a huge innovator for trumpet playing, he was a large contributor to new styles of singing. Louis sang with a style that was rough and throaty. Louis' groggy form of singing did not gain much popularity until the 1950s when he became the new voice of jazz music (Morgenstern 129). In addition, Louis brought about a new genre of singing called "scat-singing." This form of singing allows singers to improvise with the music while singing non-sense syllables. In scat-singing, the performer's voice often reflects the sound of a musical instrument (Morgenstern 129). "Skid- Dat- De- Dat" Louis Armstrong singing "Skid- Dat- De- Dat" with his Hot Five Band. This is an early example of his scat-singing (Wolfenden). (The singing starts around 1:35) The All Stars With the help of Joe Glasner, Louis formed a band of rotating members including people like Jack Teagarden, Earl Hines, and Velma Middleton. Known as the All Stars, this group that formed on August 13, 1947 performed lively jazz music which always kept the crowd moving (Morgenstern 136-138). During the fame of the All Stars, Louis appeared in over thirty films (DeVaux and Giddins). In addition, due to the success of the All Stars, Louis became the first jazz musician to appear on the cover of Time Magazine on February 21, 1949 (Boujut 50). Thus, Louis was gaining popularity and public support setting higher standards in jazz music. (Boujut 122) (Boujut 50) (Boujut 78) (Boujut 26-27) Louis Armstrong and the Films Louis reached great popularity through his appearance in many films. From 1931 to 1969, Louis appeared in twenty-four American films. He also performed on a plethora of television programs. Thus, Louis could reach to a wide range of audiences. This was a large step for him in his career, especially because he was African American (Bogle 147). (Bogle 175) By: Madie Iman
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