Tag Archives: Louis Armstrong

Sunday Jazz Corner With Louis Armstrong

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Louis Armstrong was posthumously awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1972 by the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.  He was one of the most famous musicians of the Harlem Renaissance.
Coming to prominence in the 1920s as an “inventive” trumpet and cornet player, Armstrong was a foundational influence in jazz, shifting the focus of the music from collective improvisation to solo performance. With his instantly-recognizable gravelly voice, Armstrong was also an influential singer, demonstrating great dexterity as an improviser, bending the lyrics and melody of a song for expressive purposes.  He was also skilled at scat singing (vocalizing using sounds and syllables instead of actual lyrics).  Armstrong was one of the first truly popular African-American entertainers to “cross over”, whose skin-color was secondary to his music in an America that was severely racially divided. He rarely publicly politicized his race, often to the dismay of fellow African-Americans, but took a well-publicized stand for desegregation during the Little Rock Crisis. His artistry and personality allowed him socially acceptable access to the upper echelons of American society that were highly restricted for a black man.

In Louis Armstrong’s later years he resided in Corona, Queens NY in a home that now many schools and classrooms still visit today for history on the Harlem Renaissance and Social Studies.  It was explained to me recently by a teacher who took his classroom to visit the home as a school field trip that when Louis was on the road and would drive home all the neighbor kids would run up to the driveway to greet him and he would play his trumpet for them.  It is also told that his wife and him would invite the neighborhood kids in for cake.

Here is Louis Armstrong singing his classic version of ”What A Wonderful World.”

QUOTE: Louis Armstrong

“If you have to ask what jazz is,
you’ll never know.”

- Louis Armstrong

SUMMER JAZZ MIX (Podcast) RhythmDB

By HarlemHouse

SUMMER JAZZ MIX (New Podcast) By RhythmDB

Celebrating the beginning of summer with some classic Jazz along with an eclectic selection of various R&B and Jazz remixes to keep your fingers snapping and your feet stomping.

Available for streaming via Podbean or downloading via iTunes.

See playlist below….

1) Tony Bennett – Shine On Your Shoes

2) 9 Lazy 9 – All Aboard

3) Dinah Washington – I’ve Got You Under My Skin

4) Ella Fitzgerald – Wait Til’ You See Him (De-Phazz Remix)

5) Dave Brubeck – Take Five

6) Billie Holiday – All Of Me

7) Louis Armstrong – Just One Of Those Things

8 ) Sarah Vaughan with Ella & Louis – Summertime (RhythmDB Mix/Mash-up)

9) Dinah Washington – I Get A Kick Out Of You

10) Chet Baker mixed with Billie Holiday – Don’t Explain (RhythmDB Edit with Dzihan & Kamien Mix)

11) Chet Baker – My Funny Valentine

12) Cookie Raver – Illumination

13) Waldeck ft. Chet Baker – This Isn’t Maybe (Lo Fly Mix)

14) Aretha franklin – Trouble In Mind

15) Miles Davis – Round Midnight

16) Rinocerose – Last Pictures

17) Washington/Harline – When You Wish Upon A Star

18) Billie Holiday – God Bless The Child

19) DJ Cam – Waiting For Franck Black

20) Shirley Horn/Miles Davis – You Won’t Forget Me

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Where Can I Buy The Duke Ellington Coin In Harlem

By HarlemGuy (excerpted from CNN.com)

Today the United States Mint launched a new coin Tuesday featuring jazz legend Duke Ellington.  This make Duke Ellington the African-American to appear by himself on a circulating U.S. coin.  

The coin was introduced Tuesday in Washington.   Ellington, the composer of classics including “It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing” appears on the “tails” side of the new D.C. quarter.   George Washington is on the “heads” side, as is usual with U.S. quarters.  

The coin was issued to celebrate Ellington’s birthplace, the District of Columbia.   The U.S. Mint Director introduced the new coin at a news conference Tuesday at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. Members of Ellington’s family were present at the ceremony.  The jazz band of Duke Ellington High School performed.  Ellington won the honor by a vote of D.C. residents, beating out abolitionist Frederick Douglass and astronomer Benjamin Banneker.   The coin features the phrase “Justice for all.”    

Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington received 13 Grammy Awards and a Pulitzer Prize, among numerous other honors. His orchestra’s theme song, “Take the A Train,” is one of the best-known compositions in jazz. Ellington was born in the district in 1899 and composed more than 3,000 songs, including “Satin Doll,” “Perdido” and “Don’t Get Around Much Any More.” “It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing” helped usher in the swing era of jazz. Ellington performed with other famous artists, including John Coltrane, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald, and he traveled around the world with his orchestras. He died in 1974 at the age of 75. The first African-American to appear on a circulating coin was York, a slave who accompanied Lewis and Clark on their “Corps of Discovery” adventures across America at the dawn of the 19th century. The 2003 Missouri quarter features the three men together in a canoe on the obverse.

The U.S. Mint distinguishes between circulating coins, which are intended for daily use, and commemorative ones, which mark special occasions. African-Americans including Jackie Robinson, who broke baseball’s color barrier, have appeared on commemorative coins. Educator Booker T. Washington, botanist George Washington Carver and the first Revolutionary War casualty, Crispus Attucks, all of whom were black, have also appeared on commemorative coins, according to the U.S. Mint.

Please check our sidbar to preview and purchase selected Duke Ellinton songs from iTunes.

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