One Hot "Garden"...

Today is my birthday, number 29. When I started this blog in 2007, I was still 26. A 26-year-old Louis Armstrong nut? You don't see that every day. A 29-year-old one? Why, those are a dime a dozen! Might as well call me Old Man Mose...

Of course, I kid. I relish my role as Armstrong "freak show" and I hope keep doing this til I'm 80. (Wow, when I'm 80, "West End Blues" will be 132 years old!). Though I promised a blog on "Gut Bucket Blues" today, my "Shoe Shine Boy" entry from last week has been blowing up, earning a record number of hits for such a short period of time. Thus, I'm going to let it stew for a couple of more days to allow you to alert your friends and neighbors to the playing contained in it, especially that 1949 version.

The 1949 "Shoe Shine Boy" is the centerpiece of that blog, taken from the night Armstrong was crowned "King of the Zulus" on February 27 at the Booker T. Washington Auditorium. Today, as a birthday gift from me to you, I want to offer up the very next song played at that concert, one of the hottest "Royal Garden Blues" performances in the Armstrong canon. If you've been with me for a while, I knocked myself out last October with a massive blowout piece on Armstrong's history with "Royal Garden" (click here to see it). It featured over 30 music examples and thousands of words and frankly, I think it was a little overwhelming for those looking for a quick read...and not for an excuse to spend three days in front of the computer trying to get through one article!

But boy, I wish I had this "Royal Garden Blues" back then. It's truly a killer. I know there's a lot of Big Sid Catlett enthusiasts out there, myself definitely among them. Sid's a monster on this cut. Never mind pioneering bop drumming; he practically invents free jazz drumming. Listen to Armstrong's second solo might as well be Don Cherry and Billy Higgins! Anyway, the whole group sounds great and Pops is tops, as usual. I'll close with the audio....enjoy!


mario alberto said…
Happy birthday from SPAIN.
Anonymous said…
...and of course Happy Birthday from GERMANY. Uwe
Ella may be too young for cake, but you and Margaret can take up the slack. I hope you receive gifts today and tomorrow and onwards that are half as generous as those you bestow on us. And as far as Sidney, I will only quote Dan Barrett, "Oh, my goodness!"

Cheers always, Michael of Jazz Lives

P.S. I've also stolen the last two posts for my blog; couldn't resist a moment longer . . . .
Anonymous said…
Dear Ricky--
Found you through Michael Steinman- Shoe Shine Boy and and now Royal Garden. What a version of RG!-- Sidney in the driver's seat all the way. Loved your comments!
Well, I clicked on "here" and took the entire tour/trip , so masterfully prepared and presented by you, through the ROYAL GARDENS-

Thank you! How much do I owe you? Please make checks payable to:

Getting back to today's RG find-- Cymbally speaking-- Don't you love the way Sid comes through strong, like making the cymbal roar/boil, and then he just simmers down, on the same cymbal, to a relentless ping!

Don't we wonder how free he might have sounded at
83, I think of Roy Haynes,-- What would Big Sid's colorations, combinations be like? What magic in his tones while playing completely out of time-- extensions.
I'm sure I read it somewhere-- that Sidney discharged a band only to finish the night playing solo.

Thank you for being out there, Ricky

Best! mb

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