Theme: Louis Armstrong. Bobby Darin. Ricky Nelson. Jethro Tull. Neil Sedaka. Etta James. Vanessa Williams. Save for Later.
How to Order. International Shipping. Return Policy. Beale Street Blues. Before Long. Black and Blue. Bluberry Hill. Blue Again. Body And Soul. Can Anyone Explain. Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man. Cheek To Cheek. Chim Chim Cher-ee. Chinatown, My Chinatown. Christmas In New Orleans. Christmas Night In Harlem. Cold, Cold Heart. Congratulations to Someone. Artie Matthews. Melancholy Blues. Alligator Crawl. Twelfth Street Rag. Euday L. Ory's Creole Trombone.
New Tiger Rag. Nick LaRocca. I Got Rhythm. Track Listing - Disc 3. Jeepers Creepers. That's My Home. You Rascal You. Sam Theard. Save It, Pretty Mama. Swing That Music. I Ain't Got Nobody. Phil Baxter. Blue Turning Grey over You. Basin Street Blues. James Infirmary. Walkin' My Baby Back Home. She sings the solo she recorded on her studio version of the tune and continues to develop more ideas, among them band hits, quotes and the comedy routine at the end.
This performance is the perfect representation of her ideas and hard work, and of the magic that happens on the bandstand when you have the crowd in the palm of your hand. He manages to keep these attributes alive and threaded together through 27 choruses. Everything can be traced to how he sets this solo up.
What makes it so memorable? The fact that he plays great melody after great melody for over two minutes of melodic perfection; this is a study in what makes a melody a good melody. He keeps upping the ante, chorus after chorus, a wellspring of invention, head-shaking in construction and catchiness, with a touch of psychedelic production to add to the ear candy.
I was living in Chelsea and was determined to make the transcription happen. And yes, my neighbors were thrilled when I finished it! Chorus after chorus, nearly 20 in total, it feels like one big groove-driven story to me. They were profoundly melodic, harmonically complex, swinging and soulful, full of fire and passion and of course always contained what I called pyrotechnic feats of strength; he did things on the instrument that were seemingly impossible and would leave us all stunned.
He not only maintains the form but also references the melodic phrase of the tune. For a long time, I was under the impression that Elvin turned the beat around during the solo; however, upon further study and the improvement of my own time, I began to see that he would play through entire sections of the tune on what seemed like the wrong side of the beat, then suddenly make the phrase correction needed to land on his feet.
It is jazz legacy in sound. I also enjoy the rainbow-shaped arc of the solo. Using Armstrong's classic solo on 'Potato Head Blues,' Ecklund deconstructs the fusion of these elements.
Then play the rhythms only, on one pitch, and you hear a very hip Afro-Cuban drum solo. Speaking of high notes, that's one thing the "Potato Head Blues" solo isn't really known for. There aren't many, but when he hits them, the effect is marvelous. The first high B comes in bar 21 and it's just touched upon, the beginning of another tricky descending phrase based off of a G7 chord there another Eb in there, too, for good measure.
But just four bars later, at the climax of the solo, Armstrong hits that high B again and holds it with that beautiful tone. What comes after it is a descending phrase that you can immediately connect to Hoagy Carmichael's "Star Dust," not yet composed.
Hoagy loved Bix and often said that "Star Dust" was written with Bix in mind but he also loved Louis and it wouldn't surprise me if he wore out a copy of "Potato Head Blues" before writing "Star Dust. After skating across a few more bars, Armstrong comes to his final break. For this one he reaches skyward and rips up to his highest note of the solo--a D--before working his way down. The final note of the solo is another E, the sixth, a very hip way to conclude.
Bravo, Pops, bravo! Of course, it's moments like that that lead most writers to say, "The importance of these recordings is that they turned jazz from an ensemble music to a soloist's art.
But don't sell those ensemble choruses short, either. This is where Armstrong came from and 20 years later, when it was time for him to go back to playing small groups, he fell back on his early days and remained a terrific ensemble player until the end, with a lead and a tone that couldn't be matched.
It's euphoric. I wish more young jazz musicians got as inspired by the ensemble interplay as they do from the art of taking solos actually, this is happening, as you can attest if you live in the NY area or frequently visit Michael Steinman's aforementioned "Jazz Lives" blog. Relaxation and swing is key to the success of the closing ensemble. Armstrong throws those G's up and just lets them linger, allowing everyone else to get their say in around them. When it comes time to put an end to the record, Armstrong takes one more break--and again, reaches into his bag of licks for something he once played on Erskine Tate's recording of "Static Strut," in addition to using it to end an earlier Hot Five number, "I'm Gonna Gitcha.
So maybe Louis didn't perfect and set this solo before getting to the studio that day but there are licks and phrases that he had been performing for years much like how the cadenza to "West End Blues" can be traced back to Louis's break on "Changeable Daddy of Mine".
Like every working musician, Armstrong had his pet licks; unlike every working musician, Armstrong's pet licks changed the world, until every working musician was incorporating those licks into his or her own playing. But as I stated in the beginning, that was it. No one else attempted "Potato Head Blues" on record for decades. There's no references to Armstrong performing it live or in concert, either.
It was just three sublime minutes of his life and that was it, when it was over, it was time to move on. The next time I've found "Potato Head Blues" attempted on a record was in and as can be imagined, it pales in comparison.
Oh, the trumpeter on this version? Louis Armstrong. Yes, it pains me to say this but Louis's remake of "Potato Head Blues" on "Satchmo: A Musical Autobiography" is one of that album's only ho-hum moments. As Dan Morgenstern wrote in the liner notes of a Mosaic set, it could have used a few more takes.
It could have also used an arrangement not as rigid as the one provided by Bob Haggart. Yet, as I write this, I feel like I'm being unfair. It's actually a fine recording and Louis sounds wonderfully relaxed throughout.
It became my favorite track on the tape and I played it incessantly. But even once year-old Ricko heard the version, it was like, "Oh. No comparison. Okay, full disclosure: after I wrote that sentence, I sensed a good time to take a break. I had to pick my wife and daughter up from a party so I brought the "Autobiography" with me and listened to "Potato Head Blues" three times in a row.
And you know what? I really liked it. Having said that: it does not belong in the same universe as the original. Plenty of times on this blog I've argued passionately for "Autobiography" remakes being better than the original or at least as good. Can't do it this time. But it's still a very nice record and I can see why it appealed to my year-old self.
There's a few things that kill it. First and foremost is the arrangement. I love Bob Haggart and he was a legitimately great arranger but I always thought his work on the "Autobiography" is kind of over-arranged.
He should have come up with a framework and just let the band do its thing.Check out Potato Head Blues by Louis Armstrong & His Hot Seven on Amazon Music. Stream ad-free or purchase CD's and MP3s now on loditudixavo.bentchiseluperdicalidelistsamqui.co From the Album Louis Armstrong: Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man May 10, out of 5 stars 1 rating.5/5(1).