With Louis playing his cornet and his talented band musicians playing various instruments such as the drums, saxophone, string bass, piano, for five decades they have recorded a music portfolio of hit songs. Much of this music is still heard and played on television, concert halls, and music schools today. It’s likely that you have noticed many of his recorded songs such as What a Wonderful World and When the Saints Go Marching In, an American gospel hymn made famous and recorded by Louis and his Orchestra on May 13, 1938.
Being a good listener is important for everyday living. However, listening with a purpose is vital in order to appreciate and understand any style of music, including the process of creating a tune. It takes a conscious effort to be a good listener. Why then would observing these details be important to understanding what you are listening? Here are the reasons why:
- We listen to obtain information.
- We listen to understand.
- We listen for enjoyment.
- We listen to learn.
With that in mind, let’s practice being an active listener. Click the play button to each track and take a moment to listen and reflect on these Jazz selections.
- How does the music make you feel?
- What instruments can you identify in this song?
- Can you describe how Potato Head jazz piece ends?
- Musicians change the tempo of their songs all the time. Compare the beginning of the song and how is it different from the 2:35 mark?
- Do you recognize a part in the song where a player performed a solo? What is a solo? What do you notice the band do during the solo parts?
- What mood(s) can you feel from the song Hotter Than That?
- Jazz is exciting and fun way to practice improvisation. What do you notice Louis Armstrong do starting seconds before the 2:00 mark to around the 2:18 point in the track?
LEARN MORE: BIOGRAPHY – LOUIS ARMSTRONG