It’s likely to be unwise to attempt to determine who was the most popular pop-culture icon in the 20th century. However, if one were given the chance to pick, Louis Armstrong would be an excellent choice. He was one of the pioneers of modern jazz and played a significant role in its development to the shape we see in the present. The American story of oppression inhumane and resplendent hope is in his bones. He made music for the Star-Spangled Banner a distorted anthem that was full of anger and pride way in the past Jimi Hendrix. It’s an incredible listening experience to see him play in his expressive purr and reach one of his sweet high notes.
C’s on the trombone, working the dirt, with his amiable savoir faire on a TV talk show. It was the perfect way to fall in love with him. For more than 50 years, the world came to love Louis Armstrong, but he really was a part of America, even though the country didn’t merit his. Sacha Jenkins’ enthralling film about the life of Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues combines Armstrong’s personal life and the history of the century that he played a role in helping define. It covers everything from the Jazz Age through the Depression, Civil Rights Movement and into that Cold War era.
The beloved home of the couple of Corona, Queens is enlivened by footage from Armstrong’s life and career, along with animations which appear to have been inspired by the collages Armstrong made himself. Jenkins documentaries also contain Fresh Dressed which is a look at hip-hop fashion, and *******’ the sound and Fury Of Rick James.
Amiri Baraka and Stanley Crouch, along with Wynton Marsalis (the contemporary trumpeter) are helping shine an spotlight on the trumpeter’s amazing talent. Marsalis admits that regardless of Ellis Marsalis’s calls for his approval, it took quite a while before he could finally accept Armstrong’s genius. He didn’t comprehend Armstrong’s showmanship and considered him like an Uncle Tom trick to appeal to the majority of whites.
Armstrong was the complete package. His talents in music were not secluded from his charming personality as an entertainer. Armstrong was revered and loved throughout the world. The video of his performance chosen by Jenkins illustrates why: Armstrong at the age of a young man, taking the stage for the first time in his native New Orleans and later in Chicago which was where his fame skyrocketed. The performance by Mack the Knife is an astonishing feat of phrasing. His affable voice seems to float across the water that the song’s lyrics.
Armstrong always loved playing and singing. It was an expression of and expressing his love for his country , as well as his grave disappointment in his country. A performer, entertainer and public figure, Armstrong both bestowed blessings and took them in a gracious manner. A TV clip from the era of the s features Armstrong with Peter Davis (an early music teacher) whom he describes his student’s talent. They are seated side-by-side and it’s not possible to see who’s happier.
As you watch the video footage of Armstrong’s performances shows that he truly was a master of his craft. He was a master of the music industry and was able to connect with his audience like many musicians cannot. His warmth and personality radiate through every show and it is easy to see why he was extremely admired and loved by the fans across the globe.