Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Terry Teachout's biography of Louis Armstrong, Pops, is now out and getting rave reviews. Here's a quote of Armstrong's cited in the NYT review I really like:

“When I blow I think of times and things from outa the past that gives me an image of the tune. Like moving pictures passing in front of my eyes. A town, a chick somewhere back down the line, an old man with no name you seen once in a place you don’t remember.” This belief in music as a deeply felt and personal expression is one reason Armstrong avoided using musical terminology when speaking about his work and it’s one reason he said that he disliked bop (like other cooler, more modern forms of jazz), complaining that it “doesn’t come from the heart,” that it’s “all just flash.”

Besides writing books, helping create operas, having a regular column or two and keeping up a terrific blog, TT has been good enough to respond to e-mails I've sent him over the years. I really like the way he writes, but am amazed by his productivity.

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