Louis Armstrong, Master of Modernism

  • by Thomas Brothers
  • Narrated by Andy Caploe
  • 19 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The definitive account of Louis Armstrong - his life and legacy - during the most creative period of his career. Nearly 100 years after bursting onto Chicago’s music scene under the tutelage of Joe "King" Oliver, Louis Armstrong is recognized as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. A trumpet virtuoso, seductive crooner, and consummate entertainer, Armstrong laid the foundation for the future of jazz with his stylistic innovations, but his story would be incomplete without examining how he struggled in a society seething with brutally racist ideologies, laws, and practices. Thomas Brothers picks up where he left off with the acclaimed Louis Armstrong's New Orleans, following the story of the great jazz musician into his most creatively fertile years in the 1920s and early 1930s, when Armstrong created not one but two modern musical styles. Brothers wields his own tremendous skill in making the connections between history and music accessible to everyone as Armstrong shucks and jives. Through Brothers's expert ears and eyes we meet an Armstrong whose quickness and sureness, so evident in his performances, served him well in his encounters with racism while his music soared across the airwaves into homes all over America. Louis Armstrong, Master of Modernism blends cultural history, musical scholarship, and personal accounts from Armstrong's contemporaries to reveal his enduring contributions to jazz and popular music at a time when he and his bandmates couldn’t count on food or even a friendly face on their travels across the country. Thomas Brothers combines an intimate knowledge of Armstrong's life with the boldness to examine his place in such a racially charged landscape. In vivid prose, Brothers illuminates the life and work of the man many consider to be the greatest American musician of the 20th century.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Enjoyable and informative, but where is part one?

Early in this book the author maks reference to an earlier work called Louis Armstongs New Orleans which deals with the period from 1900 to about 1922. Unfortunatly, this book is currently not available on audible. Master of Modernism covers Armstongs life and career from 1922 to the mid 1930s and while this volume absolutely stands on its own, it would be nice to have part one. There are also a number of references to CD tracks as if a cd was included in the print version but not the audio version. I don't know why these audio clips could'nt be included in the audio version
That being said I found this to be a great book and it would of real historical value to anyone who plays or just enjoys listening to Jazz.
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- Arthur

Very in-depth look at Armstrong's crucial years.

The best thing about this was how it tied everything together. Armstrong's evolution was as much a part of the times as anything. This book really put things into the proper perspective of music, politics, race, etc. For some people, there may be a bit too much technical discussion of the music, though I never felt it became a theory lesson. My biggest disappointment was that they couldn't have included soundclips instead of referencing time markings on CDs. I doubt that was an option as the recordings are still copyright protected in the US. Still, a fascinating listening energetically read.
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- Rob G.

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-25-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios