May 1, 2011

Louis Armstrong - Satchmo lives!

Without question one of the most important figures in Jazz in the last 100+ years. Louis Armstrong has been synonymous with traditional Jazz out of New Orleans since the dawn of commercial recording. And his popularity has endured long after his death in . In the 1950's Jazz (well, all music for that matter) was undergoing a transformation, having evolved out of the Big Band era into small units. Trios, quartets, quintets and everything in between began an era of exploration, branching out from traditional styles into the experimental and the extended solo. Traditional Jazz had a rough go of it for a while, and practitioners like Armstrong were in danger of being swept aside with the tide of Avant-Garde. But Armstrong was true to his roots and withstood the shifts in popularity and, like many before him, took to the road and made a case wherever he went. His perseverance won out as this broadcast from the All-Star Parade of Bands series for NBC Radio.

This performance features Louis Armstrong leading a small group at Basin Street in New York on May 21, 1955. It's a half-hour of top-notch Armstrong and further evidence why his artistry has endured for so many years.

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