Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Louis Armstrong’s New Orleans by Thomas Brothers

Thomas Brothers’ musical/historical “map” of Satchmo’s New Orleans follows the study he made five years ago after researching unpublished Armstrong quotes covering his life and career in Louis Armstrong, In His Own Words (Oxford University Press).

Brothers’ latest contribution, Louis Armstrong’s New Orleans, is more of same, and then some. Plenty of observations and eyewitness reports by contemporaries such as King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, Bunk Johnson, Barney Bigard, Sidney Bechet, Baby Dodds and Mahalia Jackson. The frustration begins when Brothers, a Duke University music professor, turns academic. Jazz aficionados know the genre defies classification and definition. If it’s ineffable, don’t go there. But too often Brothers does, choosing the rarefied air of ethnomusicology, sociology, etymology, heterophony and linguistics-all dragging the tempo.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published