Chapter Overview

This chapter considers the effect that the landmark career of jazz revolutionary and pop icon Louis Armstrong had on jazz as a solo art. Beginning with the arc of his career from New Orleans to Chicago and New York, it details interactions with the music of his hometown (King Oliver), the new big-band dance music (Fletcher Henderson), and the classic blues (Bessie Smith). Armstrong's Hot Fives and Hot Sevens recordings (1926-28)-which bridged older, New Orleans-style collective improvisation with the new emphasis on soloing-are also examined.

Armstrong influenced two important soloists: Bix Beiderbecke, who represents the pinnacle of young white interest in jazz, and Coleman Hawkins, whose canny understanding of Armstrong's achievements launched a lengthy career. The chapter concludes with a discussion of Armstrong's later career as a mainstream entertainer, singing popular songs with his own, large dance orchestra during the 1930s or his small New Orleans group from 1947 to 1971.

Chapter 6 Jukebox