Tagged: Sidney Bechet Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • mistermuse 12:02 am on August 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Jelly Roll Morton, , , , , , Satchmo, Sidney Bechet, , trumpet,   

    MEMORIES OF SATCHMO (Aug. 4, 1901-July 6, 1971) 

    “If you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know.” –Louis (“Satchmo”) Armstrong

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Awake at night, at sunrise, every sunset too, seems to be bringing me….

    But that was long ago, and now my consolation is in the….

    My only sin is in my skin — what did I do to be so….

    In contrast to our current culture of celebrity-for-celebrity’s-sake, today we celebrate the memory of a man who was the genuine article: a true game-changer, unsurpassed in the history of America’s contribution to the music world, namely jazz. To quote Scott Yanow, author of CLASSIC JAZZ:

    Although jazz existed before Louis Armstrong (including important giants Jelly Roll Morton, James P. Johnson, Freddie Keppard, Sidney Bechet, and King Oliver), Armstrong had the biggest impact of any jazz musician. Whether it was transforming jazz from an ensemble-oriented music into one showcasing solos by virtuosos, popularizing both scat singing and hornlike vocalizing, infusing pop songs with the blues, making dramatic statements with the inventive use of silence and dynamics, and (via his sunny personality) making jazz accessible to millions who had never heard it before, Armstrong’s contributions are so vast [that] jazz would have been a lot different if he had not existed.

    To help the reader (who isn’t a jazz buff or remembers only the past-his-prime Armstrong) understand something of the impact of the early Armstrong, I’ll close with this 1928 recording — his favorite (and mine) of his own playing:

    There, brethren, you have the earthly counterpart of The Rapture enrapturing you from the West End of jazz heaven. May you abandon yourself to the American Gabriel’s clarion call as his golden trumpet leads you to Blues paradise. Or just enjoy.

     

     

     

     
    • leggypeggy 12:30 am on August 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I was lucky enough to hear Satchmo perform live.

      Liked by 4 people

    • calmkate 3:01 am on August 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      one of my heroes, thanks for this delightful tribute!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Garfield Hug 4:58 am on August 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      These are beautiful oldies but goldiesūüėä

      Liked by 1 person

    • masercot 5:54 am on August 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      “Incomparable” is the only word you need to describe Armstrong…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger 8:25 am on August 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Hello there. I saw him once in concert, in a stadium in the borough of Queens, which is part of New York City. He lived in Queens with his wife. Their home has been turned into a museum.

      Neil Scheinin

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:43 am on August 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Neil. I didn’t know their home had been turned into a museum. It could have just as fittingly been turned into a shrine.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Ashley 8:29 am on August 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Brilliant! Love that last piece….the best!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:48 am on August 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        That’s what’s known as saving the best for last (though, in this case, it’s the best of the best)..

        Like

    • scifihammy 8:37 am on August 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Excellent post and music. ūüôā
      My Mum really like Satchmo. ūüôā
      Once when I was talking about him to my kids, I called him Sasquatch!! But my kids knew who I meant. ūüėÄ

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:53 am on August 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Glad to hear you talked to your kids about Sasquatch — I mean Satchmo. All most kids today know about music is today’s music.

        Liked by 1 person

        • scifihammy 10:16 am on August 4, 2019 Permalink

          That’s true. But I think it’s important to share with your kids things that you appreciate ūüôā

          Liked by 1 person

    • Rivergirl 10:40 am on August 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Classic!
      Great clips… I’d never heard Black and Blue from 1929.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 1:08 pm on August 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        In 1929, only a black man with the stature of Louis Armstrong could ‘get away with’ performing such a song sympathetic to the black man’s perspective. Then, in 1939, a black woman first sang this much more outspoken song that continued to outrage white racists for years, including during the McCarthy hearings of the early 1950s. Here she sings it in a 1959 TV appearance:

        Like

    • In My Cluttered Attic 3:34 pm on August 5, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Satchmo, truly was one of the very best. Thanks for this post, Jazz. :O)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Don Ostertag 3:53 pm on August 5, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks Neil for getting me out of the funk caused by this horrible weekend. I found that playing my wide selection of Satchmo’s recordings helped me see in spite of what’s happening, deep down I agree with him when he sings ‘What a Wonderful World.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 5:09 pm on August 5, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      My oldest daughter is a Red Cross volunteer in Dayton, helping with the human aftermath of the horrible weekend there. Words cannot adequately convey what the victims’ families are going through. We can only hope that, with time, it will become a Wonderful World for them again, although it will never be the same.

      Like

    • thelonelyauthorblog 8:27 pm on August 5, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      A great one from our past.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Silver Screenings 4:05 pm on August 7, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Ah, these songs are a marvellous soundtrack to this gorgeous, sunny Wednesday. Thanks so much. ūüôā

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 5:27 pm on August 7, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the comment, SS. You inspire me to write this:

      I screening, Silver Screening, we all screening for ice creaming.

      Actually, I wouldn’t blame you for screaming at me to stop being so inspired.

      Like

    • America On Coffee 12:15 am on August 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Such an amazing personality with a loving style and loving smile. Great song!

      Liked by 1 person

    • barkinginthedark 3:04 am on August 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      MM, i had the great honor of Louis Armstrong recording one of my songs; Not a great jazz piece just a little feel good thing. I am eternally humbled by it. Here it is:

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 8:28 am on August 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Love this kind of “little feel good thing,” Tony! Although no one could do it like Louis, it’s the kind of song I think a good Dixieland band could also ‘have a party’ with.

        Like

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on May 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Gilbert and Sullivan, , , , Joseph Cotton, , , , , , Sidney Bechet, ,   

    HIGH FIVE FOR FIVE STARS 

    Each of the five days since my last post¬†was the birthday of¬†at least one iconic figure in music or film¬†who¬†left¬†lasting memories for those who appreciate legacies in¬†artistry. I could easily go overboard¬†writing in depth about any¬†of these mid-May arrivals, but maybe it’s best to lessen my losses by not overly¬†testing readers’ patience (O me of little faith!):

    May 11 — IRVING BERLIN (1888-1989). Perhaps the most prolific composer in American history, with an estimated 1,500 songs to his credit, including the scores for 19 Broadway shows and 18 Hollywood films (three of which were Astaire-Rogers musicals). Writing both words and music (relatively rare for his era), his hits include seasonal evergreens¬†White Christmas¬†and¬†Easter Parade,¬†as well as¬†the red, white and blue¬†God Bless America. His lyrics may lack the wit and sophistication of Cole Porter and Lorenz Hart, but there’s no denying the¬†emotional appeal¬†of¬†such songs¬†as….

    May 12 — KATHERINE HEPBURN (1907-2003).¬†In the¬†Golden Era¬†of Hollywood, was there¬†ever a more successful,¬†fiercely¬†independent woman than Katherine Hepburn?¬† Successful? It’s hard to argue against receiving¬†a record¬†four Academy Awards for Best Actress, and being named the greatest female star of Classic Hollywood Cinema by the American Film Institute. Independent? Her own words say it all:

    “I have not lived as a woman. I have lived as a man. I’ve just done what I damn well wanted to, and I’ve made enough money to support myself, and ain’t afraid of being alone.” (Hard as it may be¬†to¬†imagine¬†the Bryn Mawr-educated Hepburn uttering¬†“ain’t,” I ain’t about to correct her quote.)

    “We are taught you must …. never blame yourself. It’s never your fault. But it’s always your fault, because if you wanted to change, you’re the one who has got to change.”

    “As one goes through life, one learns that if you don’t paddle your own canoe, you don’t move.”

    “Life gets harder the smarter you get, the more you know.”

    “Politicians remain professional because the voters remain amateur.”

    NOTE: For my ode to another May 12 bundle of joy, see my post of May 12, 2015.

    May 13 — ARTHUR SULLIVAN (1842-1900). Can’t place the name? How about Arthur Sullivan of¬†GILBERT AND SULLIVAN fame? Who doesn’t¬†enjoy their great comic operas such as THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, THE MIKADO and H.M.S. PINAFORE —¬†the latter of which I have loved since When I was a Lad:

    May 14 — SIDNEY BECHET (1897-1959). This is a name you almost certainly can’t place unless you’re a classic jazz fan….but if you are such a fan, you know¬†him as a¬†major figure in¬†jazz¬†annals since his¬†recording debut¬†in 1923. New Orleans born, he spent the last decade of his life in France, where he died on the same day — May 14 — that he was born.¬†Here he is on soprano sax in¬†a 1950s recording¬†from the soundtrack of Woody Allen’s magical¬†MIDNIGHT IN PARIS:

    May 15 — JOSEPH COTTON¬†(1905-1994). I have previously mentioned Joseph Cotton in regard to his co-starring role (with Orson Welles and Alida Valli) in one of my favorite films, THE THIRD MAN. He first met¬†Welles in¬†1934, beginning a life-long friendship and on-and-off association with Welles in numerous plays, radio dramas and films,¬†as well as co-starring with Katherine Hepburn in the 1939 Broadway play THE PHILADELPHIA STORY. But it is in¬†his role as Holly Martens in THE THIRD MAN that he stands alone (literally so, in the end), and I can think of no more fitting way to¬†end this post than with that indelible closing scene from the film (to the¬†tune of Anton Karas’ Third Man Theme):

     
    • calmkate 3:49 am on May 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Nice to know I share my birthday with someone better known lol

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:10 am on May 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Being better known isn’t necessarily something admirable — in evidence, I offer that supreme IT’S-ALL-ABOUT-ME showman, Donald Trump. ūüė¶

        Liked by 1 person

        • calmkate 3:55 pm on May 15, 2017 Permalink

          well you know how to burst a girls balloon .. what a truly terrible comparison … now I want to stay anonymous forever!

          Liked by 1 person

    • Jay 12:17 pm on May 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Isn’t it nice to imagine a big party where they’re all celebrating?

      Liked by 2 people

    • Don Frankel 12:41 pm on May 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Irving Berlin was born Israel Isidore Baline in what is now Belarus. I always think of that when I think of such songs as Easter Parade and White Christmas since he was a good Jewish boy.

      One of my relative’s relative was his Accountant.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 4:23 pm on May 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Don, Berlin once wrote a song titled I PAID MY INCOME TAX TODAY. It figures that he might have gotten the idea from your relative (the accountant).

      Like

    • Ricardo 6:02 pm on May 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      True dat about the voters, Sr. Muse

      Liked by 1 person

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