musicology #283

twolegendsclash #6

(Louis Armstrong And His New Sebastian Cotton Club Orchestra – You’re Drivin’ Me Crazy)

Judging by this weeks viewer statistics It would be far more effective for themusicologist to roll with some funk/boogie/reggae/etc, boosting the figures, (and the ego), and patting myself on the back for my musical taste and how well it is received around the world but, for me, the unviversal language has a will of it’s own and compells me to follow rather than lead. themusicologist has no destination in mind or even a reason for being other than to share and spread the word.

It’s harder to be and stay positive when under seige from the media and society at large but through thick and thin music is always there to inspire thought and action on the journey and for themusicologist the selection chooses itself…

Armstrong and Bechet, (to name but two), learned, spoke, evolved and taught the language of the underdog, the oppressed and the disenfranchised to millions around the world in a style and formula that needed no translation or formal education. Listening to these Cats blow delivers musical riches beyond my wildest dreams and makes the spirit soar in tandem with the notes that emerge from their weapons.

Doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, what you believe in or what colour skin you have, (which it most certainly did back then), the universal language speaks to us all and as always this page is a tribute to the artists on parade.

Today’s cut, featuring Father Armstrong, recorded on December 23rd 1930 in Los Angeles showcases his dexterity as trumpet player, vocalist and authentic man of the people. The way he mixes and blends, weaving in and out is a hallmark of his uniqueness. How many trumpet players are there, (or have ever been), that swing so effortlessy from playing to singing?

The band supporting consist of:

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Hite, Les (Conductor, Alto Saxophone, Bass Saxophone)
Orendorff, George (Trumpet)
Scott, Harold (Trumpet)
Graven, Luther (Trombone)
Johnson, Marvin (Alto Saxophone)
Jones, Charlie (Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet)
Prince, Henry (Piano)
Perkins, Bill (Banjo, Steel Guitar)
Bailey, Joe (Tuba, Bass)
Hampton, Lionel (Drums, Vibraphone)


2 thoughts on “musicology #283

  1. Sidney Bechet has the edge for me at the end of
    the first week (round 1) of the soundclash between these two greats..I usually find vocals more appealing and theres no doubt Satchmos voice gets the rhythm juices flowing but Bechets astonishing clarinet playing delivers the knockout blow for me especially on Sweet Sue..mind blowing…although ‘weather bird’ delivered a few choice blows!


    1. it’s certainly a tough call. Bechet as a player might have the edge but Armstrong uniquely blends singing and playing. Also the instrument obviously makes a difference. Personally I’m no big fan of the Cornet/Trumpet whereas the Clarinet/Sax is more to my personal taste. Next week the tempo is slowing down which provides ‘Satchelmouth’ more time to elucidate. One thing’s for sure though….they both blow my mind and touch my soul deeply.


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