Satchmo: The Louis Armstrong Encyclopedia

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When pressed to name the most influential musician of the 20th century, many music historians will name Louis Satchmo Armstrong. Born in New Orleans in 1901 and recording into the 1970s, Armstrong is known as the father of jazz, the one figure most credited with moving the Western world from the age of classical music and Tin Pan Alley pop standards into an exciting new era of swing and hot jazz. Michael Meckna's book is the authoritative reference on Armstrong. Alphabetically arranged entries give detailed information on the many aspects of Armstrong's life and music. An appendix of CD releases includes entries that detail the record company, date of issue, song list, and performer list. Other appendices include a chronology, a list of movies, and a resource guide to Satchmo on the Web; a bibliography offers yet another useful tool for fans and students of Armstrong's life and music. A selection of historic black-and-white photos completes the volume.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Louis Armstrong is probably the best-known musician in the history of jazz. He has been the subject of over 100 books and countless magazine articles. Meckna (Twentieth-Century Brass Soloists) has created a resource that aims to get a firm grip on this formidable body of material. The 2000-plus alphabetical entries vary in length from several sentences to several pages, depending on the subject. Topics include both professional and personal information, e.g., Armstrong's four marriages, musicians associated with Armstrong (including trumpeters he influenced), and songs that he performed. While the author seems to know his subject well, the book suffers from repetition. Some of the entries borrow text from one another. For example, under "Associated Booking Corporation," readers learn about Joe Glaser's booking of black artists; this information is repeated in the entry for Joe Glaser (Armstrong's longtime manager). In that same entry, it is implied that he was involved in pedophilia and rape, but this information is never supported. When such strong accusations are made, they should not be given as a throwaway remark. Bottom Line While this book has some useful features and is the first encyclopedia devoted to Armstrong, the quality is lacking. Libraries are better off relying on The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, 2d ed.-Ronald S. Russ, Arkansas State Univ. Lib., Beebe Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313301377
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/30/2004
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

MICHAEL MECKNA is Professor of Music History at Texas Christian University. He is also the author of Twentieth-Century Brass Soloists (Greenwood, 1994).

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Table of Contents

Preface ix
The Encyclopedia 1
Appendix 1 Satchmo on CD 339
Appendix 2 Chronology 373
Appendix 3 Movies 393
Appendix 4 On the Web 395
Selected Bibliography 397
Index 409
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