I recently viewed a 100th Birthday celebration documentary on the life of Louis Armstrong, one of my favorite artists of the 20th century. Louis was one of those rare artists with the ability to tap into the creative well and fully explore his abilities and talent. With a drive and exuberance for life, Louis Armstrong redefined musicianship with his playing and singing skills. He accomplished this by overcoming poverty and racism in early 20th century New Orleans with tremendous talent, heart and determination.
In 1923, he burst onto the national jazz scene in New York with the Fletcher Henderson Band, he played trumpet like nobody ever before. But for me, his singing is what opens the doors of perception. Beyond the gravelly iconic voice, was a sound of incredible emotional range. Creativity gives us the opportunity to see the world in a new way with new possibilities. The best of his recordings still open those doors of possibilities.
Some of my favorites in no particular order:
- Do You Call That A Buddy (1941)
- La Vie en Rose (1950)
- Hobo, You Can’t Ride This Train (1932)
- Winter Wonderland (1952)
- Heebie Jeebies (1925)
- Otchi-Tchor-Ni-Ya (1958)
- All of Me (1932)
- What A Wonderful World (1968)
- Hello Dolly (because it was #1 at the height of Beatlemania 1964)
- La Cucaracha (1935)
- Mack the Knife (1956)
- You Rascal You (1932)
- A Kiss to Build a Dream On (1950)
- Body and Soul (1930)
These songs span 40 years of creativity, an exceptional accomplishment for an exceptional artist. Thank you Louis!
Thank you David Lasky for the art!