Genius at Work: Listening to Louis Armstrong

One thought on “Genius at Work: Listening to Louis Armstrong”

  1. I stumbled across your article and loved your observations, although some are above me I hope to someday understand what you have heard. At 47 I am new to jazz. I started exploring jazz after chance encounter 5 yrs ago. My coworker always had the jazz radio on and I never listened intently, I thought jazz was just “background” or “mood” music. Waiting for my co worker in the car I heard an amazing song, a mesmerizing hypnotic trio piece that instantly whisked me away to a warm comfortable place I had known all my life but never been to. This place was always there, hidden in plain sight, the song was the key. It was an experience I will never forget. Louis Armstrong (hotfive, hotseven) has affected me this way, more than any other artist I have come across. The first time I “listened” (surely I had heard it before) to Stardust (1st recording), I was brought to tears.
    I never found the song I heard on the radio that day (I found A song, but i was not THE song). The website playlist said it was Donald Byrd, Herbie Hancock, and a drummer I have long forgotten. The song was titled “Noah”. I have stopped looking , but hope I may someday hear it again. I’m certain I would recognize it. It was that piece that exposed me to a whole new world searching through the unfamiliar and finding treasure everywhere, but Louis Armstrong was the mother lode. He is one of the few artists (like Debussey and Hendrix) I am aware of (I’m no scholar) that demonstrates an evolutionary leap in music awareness.
    I sometimes think music might have been our primary language, long before speech. Thousands of years of sounds as they relate to emotion, engrained in our DNA. Slowly we are rediscovering our ancient heritage.
    Thanks for expressing so well what I have wanted to share regarding Louis Armstrong and so much more. I will follow up on the unfamiliar artists and songs you described. I look forward to exploring the rest of your blog. Your a great writer

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