quinta-feira, 3 de dezembro de 2009

Deixa-me rir...

Caros audiophiles, this week I have chosen a song which will be very familiar to everyone. It has become a timeless classic, but actually it was written in 1968 during a time of great social and political violence in the USA with the racial struggles for equal civil rights, the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, the student riots and the growing criticism against the Vietnam war (there is always a war). And not just in America. Think of the student riots in Paris, the invasion of Czechoslovakia...oh, and Caetano.

Our song speaks simply of a better world.

Our artist is one of the Jazz Greats. Louis Armstrong was born into poverty in New Orleans, his father abandoned the family, his mother was forced into prostitution, he left school aged only 11, A typical story. He found work with a Jewish immigrant family who treated him as a son, He discovered that Jewish people also were discriminated against and they taught him a lesson of "how to live - real life and determination". In tribute he wore a Star of David for the rest of his life.

I am not a Jazz afficionado and I do not pretend to comprehend Louis' huge influence in his musical world. You can discover for yourself how he created and developed Jazz styles, both with his trumpet playing and with his distinctive 'scat' singing. What I remember of him is his charisma and his big smile and of course his deep gravel voice. He was always smiling. And I am sure that it was this warm personality and optimism that allowed him to overcome his poor beginnings and to transcend racial discrimination to become a much-loved global superstar far beyond his jazz world.

The video I have found shows Louis singing live, capturing his charisma and expressiveness beautifully. The song is not of course typical of his work but that such a man with such a life can sing with such faith and optimism in mankind, there must be hope for all.

As a bonus, and inspired by the title of Gi's poem on Nov 27, "those thin lines between light and shadows", I offer another video of this same song:

I hope you enjoy!

A proxima.


8 comentários:

Anónimo disse...

What a wonderful story and message. I am not a big fan of jazz myself, but it is true that LA voice was an amazing one. Expressive and deep, beautiful smile. Thanks, P, love the variety of styles that you present us with. Bjs. pcp

Anónimo disse...

Hi, PO.
Inspired by..? What a lovely responsibility!
Now, seriously: thank you for your kind reference.
For those who enjoy "vocal jazz", I really must recommend the records by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong - stunning duets!
Kindest regards,


Philip disse...

Hi gi, I am not familiar (yet) with their duets but I love Ella Fitzgerald, especially her Cole Porter songbook. It's always good to receive recommendations!
best wishes, po

Anónimo disse...

(a bit dark and twisted cover:)


best regards,


Philip disse...

Hi gi, haven't heard this version. Funny, i intend to present something by NC probably next time!
thx, po

mike disse...

Hey, I did.

Anónimo disse...

Mike, you did what?

marialemos disse...

Hi PO. Again an inspiring post. Thanks for that.

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