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What a Wonderful World: The Magic of Louis Armstrong's Later Yearsby Ricky Riccardi
Synopses & Reviews
The first account--prodigiously researched, richly detailed--of the last remarkable twenty-five years of the life and art of one of America's greatest and most beloved musical icons.
Much has been written about Louis Armstrong, but most of it focuses on the early and middle stages of his long career. Now, Ricky Riccardi--jazz scholar and musician--takes an in-depth look at the years in which Armstrong was often dismissed as a buffoon-ish, if popular, entertainer, and shows us instead the inventiveness and depth of expression that his music evinced during this time.
These are the years (from after World War II until his death in 1971) when Armstrong entertained crowds around the world and recorded his highest-charting hits, including Mack the Knife and Hello, Dolly; years when he collaborated with, among others, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, and Dave Brubeck; when he recorded with strings and big bands, and, of course, with the All-Stars, his primary performing ensemble for more than two decades. And Riccardi makes clear that these were years in which Armstrong at once burnished and enhanced his legacy as one of jazz's most influential figures.
Here, finally, is a book--eminently readable, in-formative, and insightful--that enlarges, and com-pletes, our understanding of a peerless musical genius of commanding influence as both an instrumentalist and a vocalist.
From the Hardcover edition.
Traces the last twenty-five years of the life and art of Louis Armstrong, during which he recorded such hits as "Mack the Knife" and "Hello, Dolly," and collaborated with the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington.
About the Author
Ricky Riccardi holds a B.A. in journalism and an M.A. in Jazz History and Research from Rutgers University. He has lectured at the Institute of Jazz Studies, at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, and at the annual Satchmo SummerFest in New Orleans. He is the author of a popular Armstrong blog (dippermouth.blogspot.com) and is himself a jazz pianist. He is the project archivist for the Louis Armstrong House Museum. He lives in New Jersey.
Table of Contents
Birth of the All Stars — Europe, 1948 — King of the Zulus, 1949 — Decca days, 1950-1951 — Personnel changes, 1951-1952 — The King of Jazz meets the King of Swing, 1953 — A brush with the law, 1953-1954 — Columbia masterpieces, 1954-1955 — Ambassador Satch, 1955-1956 — Wrath of the critics, 1956 — Showdown, 1957 — The rigors of touring at home and abroad, 1957-1959 — The vicissitudes of cardiac arrest, 1959-1960 — From the Dukes of Dixieland to Dave Brubeck, 1960-1963 — Hello, Dolly! 1964 — From the Iron Curtain to the Crescent City, 1965-1966 — What a wonderful world, 1967-1968 — Winter of his discontent, 1968-1970 — Good evening, everybody, 1970-1971.
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