New book and newly discovered recording offer fresh insights into Louis Armstrong

by Emily on May 11, 2012

This month, the University of Michigan Press is releasing Music Is My Life: Louis Armstrong, Autobiography, and American Jazz, by Daniel Stein. The first comprehensive analysis of Louis Armstrong’s autobiographical writings and their relation to his performances, the book offers Armstrong fans and music scholars a new look at the legend and his craft. Music Is My Life arrives on the heels of an exciting Armstrong-rleated revelation: Recently, CBS News reported that a recording of Armstrong’s last public trumpet performance had been discovered. Wynton Marsalis described his reaction to the performance, which was recorded by CBS in 1971 at the National Press Club in Washington months before Armstrong passed away. “I was shocked by the energy and vigor of his playing….And I was also heartened by the type of love and warmth that I felt coming out of the room,” Marsalis said. He went on to explain why “The Boy from New Orleans” was his favorite track on the recording, saying, “He takes you through his whole history. He starts with him being born in Jane Alley in dire poverty. And then him developing his trumpet playing and wanting the neighborhood to be proud of him.”

Fans interested in learning more about the connection between Armstrong’s life story and his performances will appreciate Stein’s analysis. To watch the CBS News video about the recently unearthed recording, click here.

 

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