Louis Armstrong: Potato Head Blues
Potato Head Blues
Louis Armstrong and His Hot Seven
The Hot Fives & Hot Sevens (Columbia 44253)
John Thomas (trombone), Pete Briggs (tuba).
Composed by Louis Armstrong.
Recorded: Chicago, May 10, 1927
Rating: 100/100 (learn more)
In the 1890s, architect Louis Sullivan perceived that switching from masonry to steel-frame construction required an equally transformative aesthetic. The new methods and materials of modern high-rise skylines rendered historical design styles obsolete. In the 1920s, also in Chicago, another Louis similarly redrew America's musical landscape. Whereas Sullivan's triumph was the skyscraper, Armstrong's was the solo. This track finds him in mid-revolution, before his less visionary accompanists could adjust. With strumming banjo, oompah tuba, and strident, herky-jerky clarinet as flimsy foundation, Armstrong's trumpet rises as prodigiously as a gleaming girder amidst the crumbling masonry. Jazz would never be the same.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz