West End Blues is one of the most famous recordings in the history of jazz for the following reasons:
- Armstrong’s introduction showed how dazzling his skills as a trumpeter were;
- he laid the groundwork for jazz soloists to be considered true artists, the same as musicians in other styles of music and;
- 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.
- Trumpet introduction by Armstrong
- Ensemble plays with Armstrong heard above all
- Trombone solo
- Call and response: clarinet solo alternates with Armstrong scat-singing
- Piano solo by Earl Hines, playing with a trumpet-like attack
- Armstrong solos: holds a high B-flat for almost four measures
- 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