Music Monday – West End Blues

West End Blues is one of the most famous recordings in the history of jazz for the following reasons:

  1. Armstrong’s introduction showed how dazzling his skills as a trumpeter were;
  2. he laid the groundwork for jazz soloists to be considered true artists, the same as musicians in other styles of music and;
  3. the recording introduced Earl Hines as the first real jazz pianist, who was Armstrong’s equal in creative musical thought.

Activity: Follow the outline below of West End Blues.

  1. Trumpet introduction by Armstrong
  2. Ensemble plays with Armstrong heard above all
  3. Trombone solo
  4. Call and response: clarinet solo alternates with Armstrong scat-singing
  5. Piano solo by Earl Hines, playing with a trumpet-like attack
  6. Armstrong solos: holds a high B-flat for almost four measures
  7. Earl Hines’ piano enters to join Armstrong for ending.

The information above was retrieved from: https://americanhistory.si.edu/smithsonian-jazz/education/louis-music-class

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