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Louis Armstrong: The Jazzman Choosing a recording definitive of Louis Sachmo Armstrong may be an impossible task. He is known as the most influential person on American Jazz, one of the truly American genres of music. He was also involved in blues, swing and ragtime, pop and other sub-genres.
Jazz was invented by African American slaves, and the term originally meant “sex”, but eventually included all kinds of fun, and then became the name of possibly the most American music style of all time (Harker, 2011). Jazz has its roots in the work songs of American slaves and their Gospel music from Christian churches (Ondaatje, 2011). As it became popular it was added to and modified by artist from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Because of its original improvisational style, it was easy for it to absorb contributions from other kinds of music and for master of other genres to contribute to its growth (Harker, 2011). Louis Armstrong actually played with many musicians, and they all influenced each other. However, many of the greats in were in Armstrong’s original groups or in groups started by people in them. We are lucky to have so much of his work, but it would have been really nice if somebody had put an automatic recorder in Louis Armstrong’s shirt pocket. In live performance he may never have played any song exactly the same way twice, Many of his recordings have different versions, such as his 1929 “After You’ve Gone” (http://www.redhotjazz.com/lao.html ) for Okeh that includes one version rejected for distribution that I like better. Jazz is cooperative and improvisational. It is like a conversation among the instruments, most evident in Dixieland style. ...
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