Bruno Leicht writes from Germany, embedding a weekend viewing and listening present.
Browsing YouTube can be an adventure. Never seen this film before. Louis Armstrong and the All Stars at Newport, 1958. — Please listen and look closely. Miles was wrong; Pops was no Uncle Tom. This man WAS serious, nothing else but a super-professional artist here. Just watch him play his trumpet, look at his face when he announces the last number: Absolutely no traces of “Uncle Tom”, except the joy of performing some funny lyrics of Rockin’ Chair with a surprise guest.
Pops was a man of jazz: Deep, concerned and totally focussed on the music, on the people he performed with, and on the audiences he played for. His sound is so clear and strong here, I’m completely overwhelmed.
Especially on minute 2:26 is a particularly brilliant phrase, two glissandi in a break, perfectly timed … can’t describe them … It’s amazing how he does that. Pure genius to me. No one else could do such little big things as convincingly as Louis Armstrong.