September 3, 2005
THE MEMORY of things gone is important to a jazz musician. Things like old folks singing in the moonlight in the back yard on a hot night or something said long ago. Louis Armstrong One of my choice amusements during my stay in New Orleans was going down to the old French Market, especially of a Sunday morning. ... I remember I nearly always on these occasions got a large cup of delicious coffee with a biscuit, for my breakfast, from the immense shining copper kettle of a great Creole mulatto woman (I believe she weigh'd 230 pounds)
December 26, 2004
By the time Louis Armstrong moved into his first real home in 1943, he had already transformed American music. With his soaring trumpet, unmistakable voice and dazzling sense of rhythm, Satchmo enchanted audiences throughout the world. But he often lived out of a suitcase, spending more than 300 days a year on the road. So when Armstrong's fourth wife, Lucille, said she wanted a house, he let her buy one and decorate it before he'd ever seen it. Now called the Louis Armstrong House & Archives, the home at 34-56 107th St. in the Corona neighborhood of Queens, N.Y., is a national landmark and open to tourists.
November 19, 2004
There's nothing unusual these days about a hospital marketing itself, but the advertising campaign unveiled yesterday by Johns Hopkins Medicine is a bit different. Although it will eventually run in Baltimore, the campaign is starting nearly 200 miles away, in New York City. It doesn't mention any specific Hopkins services, and rather than showing Hopkins doctors or Hopkins patients, it invokes such figures as jazz great Louis Armstrong, movie star Ingrid Bergman and Winston Churchill.
October 17, 2004
Are you hip enough to read a book on the history of hip? To paraphrase what Louis Armstrong said about jazz, if you have to ask the question, you already know the answer. But here are some ways to make sure: If you drink Pabst Blue Ribbon while wearing a trucker hat and listening to the Strokes, forget it. If you registered for Friendster within the last year or style your hair into a faux-hawk and take part in flash mobs, forget it. If you use the word metrosexual. If -- heaven help us -- you are a metrosexual.
October 3, 2004
It's a great time to be a jazz singer in your 20s," Jane Monheit says, with the slightest hint of nervousness. The 26-year-old performer admits to being a little surprised by the explosion in vocal jazz over the last few years. When she began singing professionally in the late 1990s, Monheit was among a lonely handful of young artists attempting to further the grand tradition of Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan. Now, as the major labels strive to superserve those bewitched and bedazzled by Norah Jones, there are scores of fresh-faced stylists, each hoping to put his or her stamp on the Great American Songbook, each selling a different shade of saloon croonerismo, each determined to buff the standards until they're fabulous again.
November 2, 2003
NEW YORK - For a few sweet, sultry seconds recently, the notes of Louis Armstrong's gold-plated trumpet once again blew magically over working-class Queens. It was a sound that serenaded 107th Street for almost 30 years beginning in 1943, when Armstrong's wife, Lucille, bought the modest frame house where the jazz legend often played for neighborhood children, who called him "Pops." When the city of New York unveiled the house as a museum, the Gully Low Jazz Band, featuring clarinetest Joe Muranyi, who once played with Armstrong, transformed the street into a New Orleans-style party.