PDF/EPUB Thomas Brothers Æ Æ Louis Armstrong Master of Modernism ePUB ï Louis

Nearly 100 years after bursting onto Chicago’s music scene under the tutelage of Joe King Oliver Louis Armstrong is recognized as one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century A trumpet virtuoso seductive crooner and consummate entertainer Armstrong laid the foundation for the future of jazz with his stylistic innovations but his story would be incomplete without examining how he struggled in a society seething with brutally racist ideologies laws and practicesThomas Brothers picks up where he left off with the acclaimed Louis Armstrong's New Orleans following the story of the great jazz musician into his most creatively fertile years in the 1920s and early 1930s when Armstrong created not one but two modern musical styles Brothers wields his own tremendous skill in making the connections between history and music accessible to everyone as Armstrong shucks and jives across the page Through Brothers's expert ears and eyes we meet an Armstrong whose uickness and sureness so evident in his performances served him well in his encounters with racism while his music soared across the airwaves into homes all over AmericaLouis Armstrong Master of Modernism blends cultural history musical scholarship and personal accounts from Armstrong's contemporaries to reveal his enduring contributions to jazz and popular music at a time when he and his bandmates couldn’t count on food or even a friendly face on their travels across the country Thomas Brothers combines an intimate knowledge of Armstrong's life with the boldness to examine his place in such a racially charged landscape In vivid prose and with vibrant photographs Brothers illuminates the life and work of the man many consider to be the greatest American musician of the twentieth century


10 thoughts on “Louis Armstrong Master of Modernism

  1. says:

    view spoiler Bettie's Books hide spoiler


  2. says:

    From BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week Account of the life and legacy of the influential musical artist


  3. says:

    After 138 pages not only have I given this book a fair shake I've come to one inescapable conclusion This is intended for either readers who know a whole lot about music or readers who want to learn a whole lot about music I unfortunately am neither falling somewhere in between wanting to know about Louis Armstrong the man and musician than this book ever hints atAuthor Thomas Brothers is a professor of music at Duke University and I assume his observations regarding music history techniue and evolution are perfectly valid and accurate Unfortunately his chronicle of Armstrong during the decade between 1920 and 1930 reads as though it was written by a teacher This may make a great textbook of sorts but Brothers' style is much too pedantic for the average reader who may be interested in Armstrong's musical heroes his inspiration his motivation his thoughts about the racial climate of the times his interests outside of music and so forth As it is this reads like a lecture with little drama and even less tensionOf what I did read it included only a smattering of uotes by Armstrong himself Surely there must've been material to enliven the storyline than is included here Thank god for the occasional photograph of the man in his youthPerhaps the reading gets livelier starting at page 139; I'll never know The fact that I won this in a Goodreads giveaway is at least some consolation


  4. says:

    Awesome Also listen to the music Love itBBC book of the week; starts April 07view spoilerA definitive account by Thomas Brothers of Louis Armstrong his life and legacy during the most creative period of his careerNearly 100 years after bursting onto Chicago's music scene under the tutelage of Joe 'King' Oliver Louis Armstrong is recognized as one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century A trumpet virtuoso seductive crooner and consummate entertainer Armstrong laid the foundation for the future of jazz with his stylistic innovations But his story would be incomplete without examining how he struggled in a society seething with brutally racist ideologies laws and practices1 'Little Louis' Armstrong makes the long journey north from New Orleans to Chicago to join his mentor 'King Oliver' and a new jazz era is born2 As his career in Chicago continues to blossom Louis grows close to Lil Hardin a beautiful pianist and starts to distance himself from his long time mentor Joe 'King' Oliver3Louis is offered a big break with a jazz band in New York and although he much prefers life in Chicago his New York adventure will bring a whole new dimension to his music4 Louis brings his new style back to Chicago making some of his first great recordings and also moving into a new entertainment sphere working and playing in the theatre5Louis befriends Al Capone He's singing and dancing for white audiences and embracing the popular big band sound but is he selling out? hide spoiler


  5. says:

    Thomas Brothers has done a most amazing thing Somehow he figured out a way to combine an accessible masterful and well researched biography of old Pops himself with a just as masterful scholarly analysis and breakdown of Louis Armstrong's music which I had never seen done before Because of the wide range of his artistic talent and just the size his persona in the popular consciousness of America and the world it's easy to take Armstrong for granted in terms of the actual technical aspects of what he brought to music in general and Jazz in particular This was not only an enjoyable read that made me feel like I got insights into Armstrong as a person but was also an education into the specifics of the evolution of the composition and performance in this region of music Building off of from the late 19th early 20th century's seminal New Orleans cornet player Buddy Bolden's and othersinnovation of the shuffle on the 2 3rd beats in a measure that would gestate the swing that Louis would deliver from the womb as it were to the ongoing and oft ignored further innovations that Armstrong worked on including composition tone and the playing of the trumpet as an instrumentBrothers weaves a rich educational tapestry into what as he is careful to distinguish and define should precisely be considered the evolution and integration of a West African musical heritage into the New World in the years surrounding the Civil War in AmericaBrilliant all the way around Well done


  6. says:

    This book does a great job of covering Louis Armstrong's time in Chicago which was pivotal to the artist and cultural icon he grew into The author cites recordings and gigs throughout Armstrong's career in the 20s and 30s mostly He really gets into the details of Armstrong's playing and writing style which I appreciated It gave me an appreciation for how influential Armstrong really was as a musician and artist something I wasn't altogether clear about before reading this book While much of the book is scholarly in its detail and could be a little tiring at times to read through the author shines when commenting on Armstrong's personal life and his place in American culture black and white He does a great job of tying all these different aspects of the manicon together and letting the reader take away what they want from the book


  7. says:

    Armstrong was probably the most influential jazz musician of the 20th century Enjoyed the audible version of this book Couldn’t help but think that it would have been improved greatly if audible had included the music Brothers talked about Unfortunate that Brothers cut things off largely at the end of the thirties Armstrong continued to have a highly successful carrier for the next thirty years as well He dethroned the Beatles from the top of the charts as well as becoming the oldest person to have a number one hit with “Hello Dolly” Freuently criticized for being Uncle Tomish during the fifties he canceled a State Department good will tour to the Soviet Union because “The way they’re treating my people in the South the government can go to hell”


  8. says:

    I am not a professional musician but I took classes in University so it helped with a lot of the terminology It is difficult to describe music on paper There are references throughout to specific records along with time indications so you can hear for yourself This book is cultural history biography music school and so much I appreciate the author's discussion of Louis Armstrong and Civil Rights I've always thought it easier for the young to take on grand things for those older have mortgages to pay I agree with the author that Louis Armstrong likely wasn't a subversive in the racist portraits he often had to do in the movies and in the wider culture I think he like so many had to make peace with making his living in a world dominated by a racist culture


  9. says:

    This book brings alive Chicago in the 1920s It is exhaustively researched but Tom Brothers brings all those facts together to make some original conclusions about Armstrong pop culture and the meaning of race in history of American music This isn't a biography but a piece of cultural history with Armstrong at the epicenter You have to listen to the music as you read to really appreciate Armstrong's genius Knowledge of theory helps but I know very little and I was still able to appreciate this book I plan to read Brothers' first book about Armstrong's early years in New Orleans


  10. says:

    More music theory than a non music player like me could comprehend at times but the long windy road that Armstrong's career took as he pioneered a genre was very insightful The struggles with racism and drugs that made his style was very moving The battle of breaking down barriers while battling against the stereo type of being an Uncle Tom showed the strange times he lived in Beautiful music the will stand the test of time was the result