Satchmo at the Waldorf

The Shakespeare & Company/Long Wharf Theatre Production of SATCHMO AT THE WALDORF
by Terry Teachout
directed by Gordon Edelstein
starring John Douglas Thompson
November 16, 2012December 2, 2012

Swing that Music

During the early days of Louis Armstrong’s career, he became known for pushing his horn-playing skills to the limit by playing multiple high notes in a row. He incorporated this routine into his performances of the song “Shine”, hitting about forty high Cs in a row and ending on a high F. He finally got a chance to record this talent in 1936 on the song “Swing that Music”. Armstrong collaborated with Horace Gerlach, a pianist and songwriter, on this particular recording as well as his autobiography of the same name. Gerlach is credited as an “editor” of the book’s final section which features several transcriptions of jazz solos. As exciting as Armstrong’s high notes were, the act eventually took a toll on Armstrong’s lips and Armstrong’s manager, Joe Glaser, encouraged him to back off the high notes in order to save his lips and his career.

LISTEN TO 'SWING THAT MUSIC'
Jimmy Dorsey & His Orch., voc. & trumpet Louis Armstrong - Swing That Music, Decca 1936

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