Written by Dan Miller
(1901-1971) The greatest figure in the history of jazz music. His contributions to the evolution of jazz are two-fold, as an instrumental soloist as well as a vocalist. Armstrong was a virtuoso on the trumpet and his tone and technique redefined the instrument. His interpretation of popular song influenced artists as wide ranging as Lester Young, Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra. During the twenties and thirties, he was a soloist without peer (listen: Weatherbird, West End Blues, Chinatown, My Chinatown). His collaborations with Ella Fitzgerald in the late fifties yielded some of the most swinging music ever recorded. Armstrong had the perfect combination of swing, daring, showmanship and creative genius. His fifty years of recording yielded hundreds of masterworks.
© 2002 Dan Miller
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