Louis Armstrong : An American Genius
Louis Armstrong. "Satchmo". Tomillions of fans, he was just a great entertainer. But to jazz aficionados, he was one of the most important musicians of our times-not only a key figure in the history of jazz but a formative influence on all of 20th-century popular music. Set against the backdrop of New Orleans, Chicago, and New York during the "jazz age", Collier re-creates the saga of an old-fashioned black man making it in a white world. He chronicles Armstrong's rise as a musician, his scrapes with the law, his relationships with four wives, and his frequent feuds with fellow musicians Earl Hines and Zutty Singleton. He also sheds new light on Armstrong's endless need for approval, his streak of jealousy, and perhaps most important, what some consider his betrayal of his gift as he opted for commercial success and stardom. A unique biography, knowledgeable, insightful, and packed with information, it ends with Armstrong's death in 1971 as one of the best-known figures in American entertainment.
- Paperback | 416 pages
- 142.2 x 217.4 x 26.2mm | 413.05g
- 10 Oct 1986
- Oxford University Press
- Oxford, United Kingdom
"Impeccable scholarship, razor-sharp musical analysis, and lively, vibrant prose are the hallmarks of this groundbreaking biography of an American jazz legend."-Booklist "A detailed, provocative, intellectually stimulating, and skillfully written account-in fact, one of the most engrossing biographies of a jazz musician ever written."-Down Beat "This comprehensive, well-researched, highly readable biography deftly separates fact from myth in telling the rags-to-riches saga of Armstrong's life."-The Christian Science Monitor "A superb book....It is thoughtful, intelligent, informative, provocative, and comprehensive."-Stephen L. Stone, University of Oregon "Splendid....Distinguished by sound logic, a generous breadth of understanding of music and people, and a writing style that is a model of clarity, economy, and grace....Collier's book joins the select group of biographies of Americans in the arts whose representatives are in themselves admirable works of art."-American Music "Only with the publication of James Lincoln Collier's biography is a truly comprehensive critical study of Armstrong available. And a splendid one it is....Distinguished by sound logic, a generous breadth of understanding of music and people, and a writing style that is a model of clarity, economy, and grace....Collier's book joins that select group of biographies of Americans in the arts whose representatives are in themselves admirable works of art."-American Music "It could be a long time before we are given a more detailed, comprehensive, perceptive, and human portrait of the great Satchmo."-Jervis Anderson, The New Republic "An excellent introduction to the real 'Satchmo.'"-History Book Review "One of the most important jazz studies in recent years."-Callaloo "The most comprehensive account yet of the man who all but invented swing."-Newsweek "A masterful critical biography-sophisticated in its contexts, shrewd yet sympathetic, rich in its supporting cast...and splendidly conscientious in the delicate balance between character and culture."-Kirkus Reviews "By far the most thoughtful and articulate study to date of a much misunderstood titan of jazz."-The Nation "The definitive account of Armstrong's life. Collier is a tough, unblinkered critic."-The Washington Post "Destined to become one of the enduring jazz reference works."-The Philadelphia Inquirer