>> Thursday, November 20, 2008
One of the most popular and beloved of all American musicians, Louis Armstrong remains "the standard" of jazz. Born to a very poor family in New Orleans on August 4th, 1901, Armstrong came into prominence in the 1920's as an innovative coronet and trumpet virtuoso. He was also known for his "scat" singing, or wordless vocalizing.
Renowned for his charismatic stage presence and deep, instantly recognizable voice, Armstrong's influence extended well beyond jazz, and by the end of his career in the '60s, he was widely regarded as a profound influence on popular music in general: critic Steve Leggett describes Armstrong as "perhaps the most important American musician of the 20th century."
Armstrong died of a heart attack on July 6, 1971, at age 69, 11 months after playing a famous show at the Waldorf-Astoria's Empire Room. Shortly before his death he stated, "I think I had a beautiful life. I didn't wish for anything that I couldn't get and I got pretty near everything I wanted because I worked for it." He was residing in Corona, Queens, New York City, at the time of his passing. He was interred in Flushing Cemetery, Flushing, in Queens, New York City.
Information source: Wikipedia
He's featured here in one of his most thrilling trumpet "jam sessions" ever, in Paris Blues with Paul Newman and Sidney Portier.