OCR B Music Louis Armstrong Hotter than That

  • Subject: Music
  • Level: AS
  • Exam board: OCR
  • Author: meg
  • Year created: 2013

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Preview of OCR B Music Louis Armstrong Hotter than That

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Louis Armstrong: Hotter Than That
About
19011971
New Orleans musician ­ key figure
Pioneered Jazz
Left New Orleans as young man for wider opportunities in northern cities of US
Initially went to play for mentor King Oliver in Chicago
Until depression of 1930s Chicago rivalled New York for theatre and cabaret ­ plenty work for
talented musicians
Enjoyed successful period in New York with the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra ­ attracted
attention as soloist
1925, his wife Lil Hardin brought him back to Chicago with promise of job in Bill Bottom's
Dreamland Cafe ­ paid $75 a week ­ unusually large wage at time for a black musician
As band soloist at Cafe, led a busy life ­ in afternoon, for black audiences at Vendome Theatre,
would be overture from whole band, followed by music interval ­ jazz number usually or operatic
aria.
In evening Dreamland cabaret ­ broadway show numbers or standards ­ most of work
accompanying, but his solo improvisations attracted admiration of Chicago musicians
Hot Five and Seven recordings
For Lil Hardin ­ had to both promote his career and prevent his womanising (had been problem
when she was in New York)
Together, Armstrong and Hardin worked on most material for Hot Five recordings, produced for
OKeh Phonograph Corporation
As Hot Five and Seven progressed, solo role increased ­ his performance became focus of
recordings and important factor in commercial success
Key Features of style:
Skill and resourcefulness at improvising, combining both interesting melodic detail and
satisfying overall shape
Use of swing and rhythmic displacement, using rubato and cross rhythms more freely than
other contemporaries
Colouring individual notes with vibrato, shakes, rips and falls, gave playing tremendous
energy
Trumpet technique ­ employed powerful tone and wide range
Bold dramatic solos ­ dominated ensemble and enhanced role as virtuoso soloist
Scat singing
Armstrong's Style
Despite popularity of hot five ­ never performed live
Players selected from among best of New Orleans musicians working in Chicago
Like Armstrong, steeped in New Orleans style and played in many of same bands ­ i.e Fate
Marable's Riverboat Band, Kid Ory's own band in New Orleans and King Oliver in Chicago
For Hotter Than That, Armstrong added blues guitarist Lonnie Johnson ­ won a talent competition
with Okeh and was staff musician with company

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Amstrong already recording with larger group, promoted as Hot Seven ­ rhythm section included
tuba and drums ­ stronger accompaniment to solos
However, Hotter Than That has no percussion ­ bass divided between trombone and left hand
octabes of piano
Main focus of piece is on Armstrong as soloist ad in dues wit Johnson
Substantial solos from Dodds ad Ory
New Orleans style of collective improvisation confined to introduction and second half of final
chorus
Hotter Than That
Recorded: 13 December 1927
By: Louis Armstrong

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Full ensemble ­ New Orleans style
Coda 4 bars 2.

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Chorus 3
Break at end of chorus 2 introduces Armstrong's singing for first time
Piano drops out of accompaniment ­ leaves banjo comping and Lonnie Johnson improvising
countermelodies on guitar
Scat
Scat solos on some of Hot Five recordings ­ very popular with public
Armstrong believed to have recalled when he recorded Heebie Jeebies in 1925 ­ accidently
dropped the lyric sheet, forgot words and forced to scat in order to complete recording
By time of Hotter Than That in 1927, scat choruses planned part

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Slide between notes
Rhythm section continues to drive forward energetic accompaniment for solo
In background ­ Lil Hardin's piano decorates harmony
Style typical of ragtime piano ­ elaborate countermelody in right hand higher register
Break at end of trombone solo brings Armstrong back ­ leads into second half of chorus with
unaccompanied ascending scale in straight quavers ­ begins as chromatic scale and rising over an
octave to high B
Second half of chorus begins in New Orleans polyphonic style:
Trumpet ­ repeated high Bbs

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