Louis Armstrong, Master of Modernism

Louis Armstrong, Master of Modernism

by Thomas Brothers


View All Available Formats & Editions
Usually ships within 1 week


The definitive account of Louis Armstrong—his life and legacy—during the most creative period of his career.

Nearly 100 years after bursting onto Chicago’s music scene under the tutelage of Joe "King" Oliver, Louis Armstrong is recognized as one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. A trumpet virtuoso, seductive crooner, and consummate entertainer, Armstrong laid the foundation for the future of jazz with his stylistic innovations, but his story would be incomplete without examining how he struggled in a society seething with brutally racist ideologies, laws, and practices.

Thomas Brothers picks up where he left off with the acclaimed Louis Armstrong's New Orleans, following the story of the great jazz musician into his most creatively fertile years in the 1920s and early 1930s, when Armstrong created not one but two modern musical styles. Brothers wields his own tremendous skill in making the connections between history and music accessible to everyone as Armstrong shucks and jives across the page. Through Brothers's expert ears and eyes we meet an Armstrong whose quickness and sureness, so evident in his performances, served him well in his encounters with racism while his music soared across the airwaves into homes all over America.

Louis Armstrong, Master of Modernism blends cultural history, musical scholarship, and personal accounts from Armstrong's contemporaries to reveal his enduring contributions to jazz and popular music at a time when he and his bandmates couldn’t count on food or even a friendly face on their travels across the country. Thomas Brothers combines an intimate knowledge of Armstrong's life with the boldness to examine his place in such a racially charged landscape. In vivid prose and with vibrant photographs, Brothers illuminates the life and work of the man many consider to be the greatest American musician of the twentieth century.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393065824
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 02/03/2014
Pages: 608
Sales rank: 1,060,120
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 2.00(d)

About the Author

Thomas Brothers is the author of Help! The Beatles, Duke Ellington, and the Magic of Collaboration; Louis Armstrong’s New Orleans; and Louis Armstrong, Master of Modernism, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. A professor of music at Duke University, he lives with his family in Durham, North Carolina.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Introduction 1

1 "Welcome to Chicago" 13

2 Oliver's Band and the "Blues Age" 40

3 Opposites Attract: Louis and Miss Lil 70

4 The Call from Broadway 116

5 "This Is What Really Relates to Us": The Dreamland Café, the Vendome Theater, and the First Hot Five Records 165

6 Melody Man at the Sunset Café 222

7 "Some Kind of a God" 276

8 The White Turn 326

9 The Rosetta Stone 377

10 Sleepy Time Down South 417

Discography 463

Bibliography 465

Endnotes 489

Source Notes 521

Index 571

Customer Reviews