Three Important Songs from Louis Armstrong
From time to time we will share a brief post about authentic New Orleans Jazz.
It is impossible to appreciate traditional New Orleans jazz music without being familiar with Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five and Hot Seven. Many of us are familiar with his more commercial work, including Hello Dolly and What a Wonderful World. However, his depth as an artist lies outside his more popular tunes.
From 1925-1928, Armstrong’s Hot Five and Hot Seven revolutionized New Orleans jazz and demonstrated some of his most brilliant trumpet playing.
Of course, the recording technology is not what we enjoy today, but go past that and listen carefully to what is happening in the examples below.
Potato Head Blues (1927)
Potato Head Blues exemplifies Armstrong’s brilliant trumpet playing. Especially notable is the stop-time solo introduced by the banjo.
Heebie Jeebies (1926)
Heebie Jeebies popularized “scat singing,” or wordless improvised vocals. Some say scat singing was created out of necessity; that is when a singer forgot the words. Whatever its origins may be, it adds a wonderful dimension to the band.
Hotter Than That (1927)
Hotter Than That is Armstrong’s final recording with his Hot Five and demonstrates his improvisatory prowess both on trumpet and scat singing.
We hope you enjoyed listening to these three great songs!
If you are interested in exploring the music of Louis Armstrong further here are some great resources:
- Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation
- Louis Armstrong Foundation on Facebook
- Louis Armstrong on Biography.com
- Louis Armstrong House Museum
- Louis Armstrong on Spotify (free account)
Please feel free to share this post using the buttons below.