Take your pick. Would you like to celebrate Louis Armstrong’s birthday as if it had been July 4, 1900 (what he and perhaps his mother believed it to be), July 4, 1901 (where Ricky Riccardi and I think the evidence points), or August 4, 1901 (what’s written in the baptismal record)? I don’t think the debate is as important as the music.
And to show that LOUIS LIVES, I offer three examples of musicians evoking him with great warmth and success in this century. Louis isn’t a historical figure; he animates our hearts today, and tomorrow, and . . .
Folks down there live a life of ease. WHEN IT’S SLEEPY TIME DOWN SOUTH (San Diego Jazz Fest, November 29, 2014: Connie Jones, cornet; Tim Laughlin, clarinet; Doug Finke, trombone; Jim Buchmann, Dave Bennett, clarinet; Chris Dawson, piano; Katie Cavera, rhythm guitar; Marty Eggers, string bass; Hal Smith, drums):
Cold empty bed. BLACK AND BLUE (Fraunces Tavern, July 25, 2015: Mike Davis, cornet; Craig Ventresco, guitar; Rob Adkins, string bass):
Does he strut like a king? HE’S A SON OF THE SOUTH (Jazz Bash by the Bay, March 2013: Marc Caparone, cornet and vocal; Clint Baker, clarinet; David Boeddinghaus, piano; John Reynolds, guitar; Katie Cavera, string bass; Ralf Reynolds, washboard):
Yes, Louis made the transition into spirit in 1971. But his spirit is very much alive.
May your happiness increase!