If anybody was Mr. Jazz it was Louis Armstrong. He was the epitome of jazz and always will be. He is what I call an American standard, an American original.
He is the beginning and the end of music in America.
…The bottom line of any country in the world is what did we contribute to the world?…We contributed Louis Armstrong.
When you deal with Armstrong you are dealing with a multifaceted personality who was a genius in all these roles – trumpet playing, singing acting, comedy. Everything he did was natural and real.
The sound of that horn was a pure spiritual essence, the sound of America and of Freedom.
By the time Louis Armstrong died in 1971 he profoundly changed the culture of the world. He was born into his affability and his musical excellence, underscored by comic genius combined to make him one of the first great pop figures of the 20th century.
-Peter Watrous , New York Times
As an instrumentalist Armstrong was a genius, and as a vocalist he codified most of what we now take for granted, setting the stage for singers from Bing Crosby to Billie holiday, Tony Bennett to Ray Charles to David Ruffin and to Steven Tyler.
-Leonard Pitts, Jr., Miami Herald
…You can’t play anything on the horn that Louis hasn’t already played…even modern.
One of the 100 most important Americans of the 20th century.
What he does is real, and true, and honest, and simple, and even noble. Every time this man puts his trumpet to his lips, even if only to practice three notes, he does it with his whole soul.
He’s the father of us all, regardless of style or how modern we get. His influence is inescapable. Some of the things he was doing in the 20’s and 30’s, people still haven’t dealt with.
-Armstrong disciple Nicholas Payton
Louis Armstrong is the master of the jazz solo. He became the beacon, the light in the tower, that helped the rest of us navigate the tricky waters of jazz improvisation.
Armstrong is to music what Einstein is to physics and the Wright Brothers are to travel.
-“Jazz” documentary producer Ken Burns
If you don’t like Louis Armstrong, you don’t know how to love.
When Louis comes on, man, it’s like the atomic bomb arriving – for peace.
Louis is charged with a divine kind of electric energy which enables him to reach the hearts of his listeners with his music.
- ELLA FITZGERALD
- BING CROSBY
- PHOEBE JACOBS
Louis Armstrong and Bing Crosby on the set of “High Society,” 1956
Jeff Chandler, Lucille Armstrong, Louis Armstrong, Peggy Lee, friend, Cab Calloway
Ella Fitzgerald, inscribed to Louis, “the greatest person I know,” in the 1930s
Louis Armstrong on stage with Luis Russell’s Orchestra in the 1930s
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