Unit 3: Chapter 6
Dissonance: the quality of an unstable harmony that resolves to another chord
**more information, refer to Courselink page
Louis Armstrong (1901-1971)
-Armstrong established the blues scale and blues feeling as a harmonic
foundation when significant jazz figures (Eastern Seaboard) thought it a mere
1924 - New York: countered the Broadway shows and dance bands with his
-ensured jazz as a genre that prizes individual expression
-he became too spirited for traditional New Orleans ensemble
-proved improvisation to be just as stable and wholesome as written music
-began scat-singing as a young boy, mastered it quickly
-influenced work from Bing Crosby and Billie Holiday
1930’s – many tried to argue that jazz should not change from its original sound.
Yet, jazz was taken from so many other genres heard in the south, so Armstrong
resolved it by creating music based off of Tin Pan Alley songs.
-taught is to swing
-his approach to rhythm showed the contagiously joyous, bawdy, accessible,
human nature of his music.
-part of a brass band at New Orlean’s Coloured Waif’s Home
-First worked/played in Fate Marable’s Orchestra (first time out of Louisianna)
on a boat owned by Streckfus Steamboat Line.
Members: Henry Kimball – bass
Boyd Atkins – violin
Fate Marable – piano
Johnny St. Cyr – banjo
David Jones – saxophone Norman Mason – saxophone
Louis Armstrong – cornet
George Brashear – trombone
Baby Dodds – drums
Riverboat: to be able to play on the Mississippi riverboat, he applied for a draft
card, backdating his birth to July 4, 1900, a patriotic date which was now
associated with him from that point on.
-Armstrong was still working under Fate Marable when he quit the band because
Marable wouldn’t let him sing.
-joined Oliver’s Creole Band at Lincoln Gardens, August of 1922
-found his second wife, the pianist
1924 – Fletcher Henderson offered him a spot in his New York band – he
New York – Spent 14 months with it.
-quickle drew record producers during the Blues Divas time. Mamie Smith sang
“Crazy Blues” with Armstrong as the accompanist (piano)
-Recorded with: Bessie Smith
-while with Henderson, recorded more than 3 dozen with the band
-every band leader wanted a soloist like Armstrong (Paul Whiteman, Dave
-left Henderson because he also wouldn’t let him sing as much as he’d like to.
Nobody thought that listeners would like his gravelly timbre.
-returned to Chicago in 1925
The Hot Five ->
1925 – Okeh Records invited him to record as a leader
-Johnny Dodds – clarinet
Kid Ory – trombone
Johnny St. Cyr – banjo
And his wife were the only ones he performed with, therefore creating the Hot
The Hot Five only recorded, never live performances.
-Jazz evolved from a group concept dominated by polyphony to a showcase for
soloists and individual expression with the 65 titles Armstrong’s group recorded
“Hotter Than That”
1927 Hot Five recording
Guest guitarist, Lonnie Johnson
-Armstrong plays first chorus, entirely improvised
**Refer to listening guide, Pg. 146
Earl Hines (1903-1983) -from Pittsburgh