Tag Archives: fireworks


Photograph courtesy of the Louis Armstrong House Museum

Photograph courtesy of the Louis Armstrong House Museum

The Fourth of July is a national holiday in the United States: our Independence Day.  And it is also the day that Louis Armstrong said was his birthday.  So did his mother, so even though I don’t think he was born in 1900 but in 1901, if your mother says you were her “firecracker baby,” that takes precedence.


Here, the Fourth of July is celebrated with fireworks.  So this 1928 recording is doubly appropriate.  I salute Tim Gracyk and thank him for his lovely YouTube presentation:

And since three minutes of Louis is never enough, I offer the good news that Columbia University’s FM radio station is back online / streaming, and that on both July 4 and August 4, they do twenty-four hour celebrations of Louis’s birthdays.  To hear that broadcast and future broadcasts, click here (the station’s Facebook page) or directly here.

And with a small orthographical variation . . .

May your Louis-ness increase!


It was Sunday afternoon and Jazz at Chautauqua had ended.  Guests had flown to their cars, hoping to get a head start on the long drive home.  The staff at the Athenaeum Hotel was putting the place back together, rolling tables back into storage, tidying up.  I was waiting with a group of musicians for the bus that would take us to Buffalo Airport. 

Suddenly I became aware of spirited piano playing.  That in itself wouldn’t have been exceptional, for the party featured Keith Ingham, John Sheridan, Mike Greensill, Ehud Asherie, and Rossano Sportiello.  But the playing was coming from the piano in the hotel parlor — a romping rendition of ALL GOD’S CHILLUN GOT RHYTHM.  It sounded like Rossano.  But no, like Ehud.  I got up (drawn magnetically by spirited improvisation) and went to investigate. 

Just for fun, Ehud and Rossano were playing four hands (sometimes three), with magnificent results — not only in their own brilliant solos, but in their inspired teamwork.  Here’s the portion of ALL GOD’S CHILLUN that I captured for posterity:

If any of my readers have CD companies of their own, I suggest that this is the idea of the decade . . . . !