Monday, July 27, 2015

Mount TBR #23

I read this book for the Mount TBR Reading Challenge hosted over at My Reader’s Block from January 1 – December 31, 2015. The challenge is to read books that you already own.

Satchmo: The Genius of Louis Armstrong – Gary Giddens

Any music lover or entertainment buff will get much out of this short biography of the seminal jazz vocalist and trumpeter. In readable prose, Giddens goes over the life chronologically and touches on the times only as needed. He also emphasizes the great influence the subject’s singing style had on other singers. I agree with Gidden’s assertion that as a singer Armstrong could make any song his own and rise above commonplace lyrics and hokey arrangements. See on Youtube his covers of Disney stand-bys such as “When You Wish upon a Star” and, believe it or not, “ChimChim Cher-ee.” To be honest, I find myself listening more often to his vocals from the Forties onward than his seminal instrumentals from the late Twenties.

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