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Re: [RedHotJazz] Re: Lil Armstrong book

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  • Andrew Taylor
    Ditto on the First Lady of Jazz book, or whatever the Lil Hardin book was called. Academics sometimes try to make a name for themselves by creating a new
    Message 1 of 54 , Jun 1, 2011
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      Ditto on the "First Lady of Jazz" book, or whatever the Lil Hardin book
      was called.

      Academics sometimes try to make a name for themselves by creating a new
      narrative (show how original/insightful their research is), and this
      seems to me to be an example of that. It also fluffs over the fact (at
      least in my inexpert view based only on the 20s recordings) that Hardin
      was a clunky, non-swinging piano player (though of course was a big part
      of both Hot Fives and KOCJB). I remember somewhere reading Armstrong
      quoted being highly critical of her playing (out of frustration over
      songwriting credited to Lil for "Struttin' with some Barbecue" I
      think). It wouldn't surprise me if she became a stronger jazz piano
      player later, anyone have an opinion on the development of her playing?

      Remember Lawrence Bergreen's Armstrong biography argued that Armstrong
      did the plunger solo on Dippermouth Blues with Oliver's band? He
      half-quotes a bit from Lil Hardin talking about Armstrong trying and
      failing to play that solo to justify it. The point of Lil's story was
      Louis had to play like himself. That's what happens when some Harvard
      guy pounds out a famous person biography in record time (I include
      Bergreen's bibliography at the end - wow, he's expert on all these
      subjects?).

      In that case, I truly think Bergreen ignored contrary evidence (from the
      same text) deliberately and it still ticks me off. Everyone dumps on
      Collier's Armstrong book, but at the very least that book represented a
      legitimate effort.

      Andrew Taylor

      * /Look Now, Pay Later: The Rise of Network Broadcasting/ (1980)
      * /James Agee: A Life/ (1984)
      * /As Thousands Cheer: The Life of Irving Berlin/ (1990)
      * /Capone: The Man and the Era/ (1994)
      * /Louis Armstrong: An Extravagant Life/ (1997)
      * /Voyage to Mars: NASA's Search for Life Beyond Earth/ (2000)
      * /Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying
      Circumnavigation of the Globe/ (2003)
      * /Marco Polo: From Venice to Xanadu/ (2007)



      On 5/31/2011 6:05 PM, Martin J wrote:
      > in relation to Warren's query, I absolutely agree with Albertson: I
      > had not read the Alberson criticism before, but it is right on. The
      > book's a waste of time. I scoffed all the way to the end.
      >
      >
      > > I was going to get the Lil Armstrong biography, written by one James
      > L. Dickerson, until I read some scathing criticism by Chris Albertson,
      > in which he said that it was not only error filled and lacking
      > original research, but completely off base in its' characterization
      > and interpretations. I figure as much as anyone living, he should
      > know, but does anyone here have anything to say about the book?
      > >
      > > Warren
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com
      > <mailto:RedHotJazz%40yahoogroups.com>, "David Brown" <johnhaleysims@>
      > wrote:
      > >
      > > >> I have -- Jazz Essential Companion -- that Jonah was working with
      > Stuff Smith in a band that Lil took over and she 'remorselessly'
      > billed him as 'King Louis II' and that he left soon after. This
      > implies Jonah was as unhappy in this role as one might expect.
      > >
      >
      >


      --
      Andrew Taylor, MLS
      Co-Curator, Visual Resources
      Department of Art History, Rice University
      713-348-4836



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    • ROBERT R. CALDER
      Well said, Luis!  NETIQUETTE, PLEASE, some would-be contributors!!! You come here to respond to messages NOT TO BURY THEM in copies of the same text Please
      Message 54 of 54 , Aug 23, 2012
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        Well said, Luis! 
        NETIQUETTE, PLEASE, some would-be contributors!!!
        You come here to respond to messages
        NOT TO BURY THEM in copies of the same text
        Please delete the hundreds of lines to which
        you are replying. 

        RRC

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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