I LOVE…Louis Armstrong! Satchmo….the father of New Orleans jazz, the iconic and unmistakable sound of his trumpet and cornet, his instantly identifiable voice. Hearing him play I can’t help but smile. His complete virtuosity with either instrument, trumpet and cornet, absolutely testifies of someone totally in love with what he’s doing, in love with the music, and in love with which ever song he’s performing. He takes each song and owns it, makes it his. There is a joyousness in his solos, a relaxed easy-going feeling of someone who completely accepts things as they are and is happy with whatever that is. I adore his creatively, his style of always pushing his playing to the edge of his abilities, and his way of presenting standards in his own unmistakable way.
But even more than his horn playing, I love his voice. He sang just as he played, with creativity and improvisation, pushing his vocals to the edge, using his voice as an instrument. There is a warmth in his voice which, to me, feels like a warm cup of rich, sweet coffee on a cold and rainy day. There is a ‘feel’ to his vocal style, just as with his playing, it’s a feel of acceptance. When listening to him, I can almost picture a man determined and happy to be himself, no matter what. A man content to walk down any road and to do so happily. His voice reminds me of the guy who at the end of the day shrugs, throws his jacket over his shoulder, and walks away with a smile on his face knowing….there must be a way.