"There was something different about him. Ellington made you feel so much at ease. Just like he was going to turn the music business upside down and you would be part of it." Clarinetist Barney Bigard was a part of it, and With Louis and the Duke is his own story of life at the top of the jazz world.
A member of the band from its early days, Barney Bigard played with Duke Ellington for fourteen years, stopping only when the pace of international touring began to tire him. A few years later, in Los Angeles, he began a long association with Louis Armstrong's newly-formed small band, the All Stars. Without resorting to technical language, Bigard is able to analyze the different musical approaches Armstrong and Ellington took, and to make the reader feel the vitality of the jazz form as it was practiced by its two greatest geniuses.
In direct and rhythmic language that recalls his own playing, Bigard introduces the reader to hundreds of jazz musicians, from "Kid" Ory and Jelly Roll Morton to Jack Teagarden and Charlie Mingus. With Louis and the Duke give the intimate feel of witty and loving remembrances, as well as classic "backstage" stories. It includes Bigard's personal collection of photographs, many of them never before published.
About the Author:
Barney Bigard was a major jazz clarinetist. He died in 1980 after writing and dictating this book, which was edited by Barry Martyn. Barry Martyn has been a bandleader and drummer for almost thirty years and has written extensively on New Orleans jazz and jazz musicians.show more