Tomorrow, July 4, Louis Armstrong would have celebrated his birthday. If you read this post in time, know that Columbia University’s radio station — streaming in cyberspace — WKCR-FM — plays Our Hero for twenty-four hours.
I dream of an alternate universe where at some agreed-upon time, everyone goes to his / her home stereo system (archaic word) or iPod or phone or car system and kicks off TWO DEUCES or WHEN YOU WISH UPON A STAR or ON A COCOANUT ISLAND — we could perhaps agree on the chosen performance in advance . . . so that the whole world vibrates with love of Louis.
But here’s something for right now. This music comes from a recent practice / get-together of like-minded friends in Copenhagen or nearby, captured for us by Lars Ole Christiansen on YouTube.
The performers are Ib K. Olsen, cornet; Johannes Wrisberg, Bent Tranberg, clarinet; Finn Wellejus, trombone; Jörgen Möller, piano; Per Krogh, banjo. Ordinarily they have a string bassist as well.
What first caught my attention was the pairing of songs — 1930 and 1929 — that I love, recorded so sweetly and memorably by Louis. Then, as I got deeper into the performances, which have their rough edges, I was won over by their naturalness, their steadiness, their sincerity. They might not be cozy virtuosi to everyone’s taste, but they are deeply IN the music they play.
See and hear for yourself.
I’M IN THE MARKET FOR YOU:
SWEETHEARTS ON PARADE:
I am a truly amateur cornetist now: in my dreams (if I practiced regularly) I would be the second cornet player with a band that has sessions in someone’s home. Its easy stride would be embracing and forgiving. How do you say, “In Bb, please, and not too fast!“? I know the Danes know English well, but I want to try to fit in.
May your happiness increase!