Jazz and Armstrong Essays

Submitted By roudinan
Words: 599
Pages: 3

Gandhi Delone March 13, 2012
Written Assignment
College of Staten Island

Louis Armstrong is one of the great pioneers of Jazz. His contribution to Jazz and American music is undeniable. While growing up in New Orleans in poverty, Armstrong became passionate about music by listening to the jazz musicians of his time such as King Oliver, at a time when jazz was relatively new. Armstrong’s improvisation was a hallmark of his music. He used melodic paraphrases and chord-change-bases improvisations to captivate and charm his audience. He showed how versatile jazz could be by varying the melody as he was performing. Armstrong is also highly admired for his trumpet playing skills. Some of his masterpieces such as “That’s My Home”, “Body and Soul” are structured with high note trumpet solos. He was notorious for his technical virtuosity and inspired several trumpeters of the swing era and saxophonists such as Coleman Hawkins and Bud Freeman. Scat singing was also a hallmark of his music. Armstrong’s ingenious and impeccable way of varying melodies and marrying his grave voice with scat phrasing and his trumpet made his music highly sought after. He laid a strong foundation for the upcoming jazz musicians of his generation. Louis Armstrong was a great influence on Coleman Hawkins and his music. Like Armstrong, Coleman was one of the first improvisational jazz players. He exerted a great influence on the musicians of the swing era, notably Ben Webster and Chu Berry. Inspired by Armstrong’s impeccable trumpet playing techniques, he mastered the saxophone and developed a distinctive style, which earned him the title of the first major saxophonist in the history of jazz. His deep and grave tone certainly reminded his audience of Armstrong. His saxophone playing set him apart and seduced his audience. Like Armstrong who mostly used a complex style in his music, Hawkins structured his music with harmonically complex lines. He was known for his unbeatable energy at faster tempos. One of his pieces called “The Quintet” is evidence of his ability to play fast tempo music. He was also a very versatile musician. His repertoire consists of ballads with tender and rhapsodic lines such as “ Body and Soul”, “Lost in a Fog”, “ April in Paris”. Hawkins pursuit of harmonic structure made him one of the most important people in the history of jazz. His evocative music inspired many and he is oftentimes considered to be the one who…