The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong’s Art


| July-August 2009


One of America’s great ambassadors, the New Orleans–born trumpet player Louis Armstrong never let iconic status devour his populist personality. From 1953 to 1971, while he was touring the globe, he spent hundreds of hours making audio journals on reel-to-reel tape.

As chronicled in Steven Brower’s Satchmo: The Wonderful World and Art of Louis Armstrong (Abrams 2009), he then “adorned the tape boxes with collages culled from newspaper clippings, movie stills, ads, greetings cards, [and] photographs.” The results, like Satchmo’s best jazz, are both instantly gratifying and worthy of deeper analysis.

(All images courtesy of Abrams; www.abramsbooks.com)