Daily Archives: June 5, 2009

MR. ARMSTRONG AND MR. ROBINSON

“To me he was the greatest comedian + dancer in my race.  He didn’t need black face—to be funny.  Better than Bert Williams.  I personally Admired Bill Robinson because he was immaculately dressed — you could see the Quality in his Clothes from the stage.  Stopped every show. . . . I don’t think that there will ever be a Bojangles Bill Robinson again.  They might try to Duplicate him, but I doubt it.  May the Lord bless his soul.  I am very proud to say that I shared the stage with the great Bill Bojangles Robinson’ many times for many years.  Yessir.

from Louis Armstrong + The Jewish Family in New Orleans, La., The Year of 1907, reprinted in LOUIS ARMSTRONG IN HIS OWN WORDS, ed. Thomas Brothers.

VISITING NOBILITY

New Yorkers are lucky for many reasons — but here’s something new to celebrate.

Trumpeter Duke Heitger is paying us a visit! 

Duke Heitger

Duke will be playing this coming Sunday (June 7) at the Ear Inn with Matt Munisteri, Jon-Erik Kellso, and the EarRegulars, Tuesday (June 9) at Roth’s Westside Steakhouse in duet with pianist Ehud Asherie, and twice on Wednesday (June 10) — once in a gala at Birdland with David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Centennial Band (guest pianist Dick Hyman will be there, too!) and a late-evening / early-morning gig with multi-talented John Gill.  I don’t know where the latter gig is taking place, but one could ask the very amiable Mr. Heitger in person. 

If he’s new to you, just check out his most recent CD — DOIN’ THE VOOM VOOM — a duet with Bernd Lhotzky on Arbors Records, or my recent post of a YouTube clip, “IS THERE ANYONE FINER?”  He’s someone truly special.  I first saw Duke play at the 2004 Jazz at Chautauqua (have you bought your tickets for this year?) and his passionate swing knocked me out, as they used to say.  And he comes through whole on recordings — but there’s nothing like seeing Duke in person and watching him give his whole heart to the music.  Don’t miss him!