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This title in other editions

Louis Armstrong's Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings (Oxford Studies in Recorded Jazz)

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

For jazz historians, Louis Armstrong's Hot Five and Hot Seven recordings mark the first revolution in the history of a music riven by upheaval. Yet few traces of this revolution can be found in the historical record of the late 1920s, when the records were made. Even black newspapers covered Armstrong as just one name among many, and descriptions of his playing, while laudatory, bear little resemblance to those of today. For this reason, the perspective of Armstrong's first listeners is usually regarded as inadequate, as if they had missed the true significance of his music. This attitude overlooks the possibility that those early listeners might have heard something valuable on its own terms, something we ourselves have lost. If we could somehow recapture their perspective-without abandoning our own-how might it change our understanding of these seminal recordings?

In Louis Armstrong's Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings, Brian Harker selects seven exceptional records to study at length: "Cornet Chop Suey," "Big Butter and Egg Man," "Potato Head Blues," "S.O.L. Blues"/"Gully Low Blues," "Savoy Blues," and "West End Blues." The world of vaudeville and show business provide crucial context, revealing how the demands of making a living in a competitive environment could catalyze Armstrong's unique artistic gifts. Technical achievements such as virtuosity, structural coherence, harmonic improvisation, and high-register playing are all shown to have a basis in the workaday requirements of Armstrong's profession. Invoking a breadth of influences ranging from New Orleans clarinet style to Guy Lombardo, and from tap dancing to classical music, this book offers bold insights, fresh anecdotes, and, ultimately, a new interpretation of Louis Armstrong and his most influential body of recordings.

Synopsis:

For jazz historians, Louis Armstrong's Hot Five and Hot Seven recordings mark the first revolution in the history of a music riven by upheaval. Yet few traces of this revolution can be found in the historical record of the late 1920s, when the discs were made. Even black newspapers covered Armstrong as just one name among many, and descriptions of his playing, while laudatory, bear little resemblance to those of today. Through a careful analysis of seven seminal recordings in this compact and engaging book, author Brian Harker recaptures the perspective of Armstrong's original audience without abandoning that of today's listeners. The world of vaudeville and show business provide crucial context to his readings, revealing how the demands of making a living in a competitive environment catalyzed Armstrong's unique artistic gifts. Invoking a breadth of influences ranging from New Orleans clarinet style to Guy Lombardo, and from tap dancing to classical music, Louis Armstrong's Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings offers bold insights, fresh anecdotes, and, ultimately, a new interpretation of Louis Armstrong and his most influential body of work.

About the Author

Brian Harker is Professor of Music at Brigham Young University. The author of Jazz: An American Journey, Harker is a two-time winner of the Irving Lowens Award for his articles on Louis Armstrong. He lives in Orem, Utah, with his wife and two children.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

1 Novelty: "Cornet Chop Suey" (26 February 1926)

2 Telling a Story: "Big Butter and Egg Man" (16 November 1926)

3 Playing the Changes: "Potato Head Blues" (10 May 1927)

4 Top Notes: "S.O.L. Blues"/"Gully Low Blues" (13-14 May 1927)

5 Pretty Things: "Savoy Blues" (13 December 1927)

6 Versatility: "West End Blues" (28 June 1928)

Epilogue

Bibliography

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780195388411
Author:
Harker, Brian
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Author:
null, Brian
Subject:
Jazz -- 1921-1930 -- History and criticism.
Subject:
Armstrong, Louis
Subject:
Composers & Musicians - Jazz
Subject:
Genres & Styles - Jazz
Subject:
History & Criticism - General
Subject:
Jazz
Subject:
Music | Popular Music | Jazz
Subject:
Biography-Composers and Musicians
Series:
Oxford Studies in Recorded Jazz
Publication Date:
20110331
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
44 musical examples
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
5.7 x 8.2 x 0.8 in 0.7 lb

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » General
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Jazz
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Jazz » Biographies
Arts and Entertainment » Music » History and Criticism
Biography » Composers and Musicians

Louis Armstrong's Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings (Oxford Studies in Recorded Jazz) New Hardcover
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Product details 208 pages Oxford University Press, USA - English 9780195388411 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , For jazz historians, Louis Armstrong's Hot Five and Hot Seven recordings mark the first revolution in the history of a music riven by upheaval. Yet few traces of this revolution can be found in the historical record of the late 1920s, when the discs were made. Even black newspapers covered Armstrong as just one name among many, and descriptions of his playing, while laudatory, bear little resemblance to those of today. Through a careful analysis of seven seminal recordings in this compact and engaging book, author Brian Harker recaptures the perspective of Armstrong's original audience without abandoning that of today's listeners. The world of vaudeville and show business provide crucial context to his readings, revealing how the demands of making a living in a competitive environment catalyzed Armstrong's unique artistic gifts. Invoking a breadth of influences ranging from New Orleans clarinet style to Guy Lombardo, and from tap dancing to classical music, Louis Armstrong's Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings offers bold insights, fresh anecdotes, and, ultimately, a new interpretation of Louis Armstrong and his most influential body of work.
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