I know the blogging life has been spotty over the past weeks and right now I don't have the gas in my tank to unleash one of my usual diatribes. But today was a big day in my world as, after years of work, I turned in my Louis Armstrong manuscript to my editor at Pantheon. I had been rewriting it and editing it right up until the minute before I hit "send" but once it went out, I was hit with a wave of jubilation. Looking back at the last month-and-a-half of my life, I gave three Armstrong lectures at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, four Armstrong presentations at the Satchmo Summerfest in New Orleans, had weekly gigs, took care of my four-month-old daughter, kept my wife happy and finished a book. Thus, I might need a day or two to come down from what has been a hectic, if incredibly rewarding time in my life.
But naturally, the music of Pops kept me going through it all. And now that it's behind me (for now), the one Armstrong song that probably best reflects my mood is the 1938 recording of "Jubilee." So without my long-winded spiels, here's the basic info: it's Pops and Luis Russell's orchestra (Paul Barbarin on drums) doing a Hoagy Carmichael tune, swinging like mad on an arrangement by the great, unsung Chappie Willet. Armstrong's trumpet positively soars on this number, guaranteed to put an end to any trace of negativity in your day. As the lyrics state, "Mr. Gloom won't be about, music always knocks him out, sing a song, you can shout, and join the Jubilee!"