'‘Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues’: Worthy of its Monumental

& Blues’: Worthy of its Monumental

There are

great artists, and then there are artists of such titanic power that they literally change

I’m thinking

of Shakespeare, Leonardo, Dostoevsky, Picasso

Yet he’s

the rare example of an artist whose very fame, image, and media mythology can

When he

first came to prominence, in the ’20s and early ’30s, you heard the Armstrong revolution

He blasted

the trumpet into an incandescent upper register, hitting high Cs audiences would talk about for

No one

had sounded like that; no one had commanded like that

We hear

a clip of the late sax legend Artie Shaw stating, “I would say jazz almost

” True enough,

but even if you credit Armstrong as the prime innovator of jazz, what he invented

And that

was more than a musical invention — it was a personal/existential one, an analog for

Armstrong created

the system of musical imagination by which a musician would now pour out what was

Mariah Carey Gets the

Christmas Spirit Flowing: ‘It’s Time’