The Hot Five Essay

1306 WordsNov 4, 20126 Pages
Louis Armstrong and The Hot Five Study- By Hannah Brown Louis Armstrong and The Hot Five Study- By Hannah Brown The Hot Five was Louis Armstrong's first jazz recording band led under his own name. It was a typical New Orleans jazz band in instrumentation, consisting of trumpet, clarinet, and trombone backed by a rhythm section. The original New Orleans jazz style leaned heavily on collective improvisation, where the three horns together played the lead: the trumpet played the main melody, and the clarinet and trombone played improvised accompaniments to the melody. This tradition was continued in the Hot Five, but because of Armstrong's creative gifts as a trumpet player, solo passages where the trumpet played alone began to appear more frequently. In these brilliant solos, Armstrong laid down the basic vocabulary of jazz improvising, and became its founding and most influential exponent. The first Hot Five The original Hot Five were, other than Armstrong's wife Lil Hardin Armstrong on piano, all New Orleans musicians who Armstrong had worked with in that city in the 1910s: Kid Ory on trombone, Johnny Dodd’s on clarinet, and Johnny St. Cyr on guitar and banjo. For some or all of the Louis Armstrong and his Hot Seven sides, Ory was in New York City working with King Oliver's band, and was replaced, by John Thomas. On one session in December 1927, Lonnie Johnson was added on guitar. The recordings of this group are considered by many to be uneven, with some of the blunders (e.g. the mis-timed hokum at the end of Heebie Jeebies) becoming notorious in jazz circles, and the solos of Dodd’s, Ory and Hardin sounding distinctly pedestrian in comparison with Armstrong's. However, the ensemble passages are frequently effective, and the genius of Armstrong's cornet or trumpet playing touch virtually every recording and often provide

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