Most of what is written about Louis Armstrong focuses on the early and middle stages of his long career. Jazz scholar Ricky Riccardi takes an in-depth look at the last twenty-five years of Armstrong’s life, during which he was often dismissed as an amusing entertainer, and shows us the depth of expression of his music during this time. Following World War II until his death in 1971, Armstrong recorded his highest-charting hits, including “Mack the Knife” and “Hello, Dolly,” and collaborated with Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, and Dave Brubeck among others. He also recorded with strings, big bands, and the All-Stars, his primary performing ensemble for more than two decades. Riccardi makes clear these were years in which Armstrong enhanced his legacy as one of jazz’s most influential figures. Ricky Riccardi is a jazz pianist and holds a degree in Jazz History and Research from Rutgers University. He is the author of a popular Armstrong blog, http://dippermouth.blogspot.com, and is the project archivist for the Louis Armstrong House Museum. (jasbro)
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