Louis Armstrong's Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings

Louis Armstrong's Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings

by Brian Harker


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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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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195388404
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 04/02/2011
Series: Oxford Studies in Recorded Jazz
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 755,282
Product dimensions: 8.20(w) x 5.50(h) x 0.70(d)

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


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)


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