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Armstrong Hotter Than That Essay

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Armstrong’s Hotter Than That had a variety of instruments playing in the piece, but the clear focus was on the interplay between Armstrong’s trumpet and scatting and Lonnie Johnson’s guitar. The trombone, clarinet, and piano were used throughout the piece to add a variation in sound to prevent the piece from sounding to monotonous. One section I appreciated was the end of Armstrong’s first trumpet solo transitioning into the clarinet solo, which was accentuated by the clarinet playing a single, syncopated high note. Throughout the clarinet solo, Johnny Dodds utilized many blue’s slides, which I think added an interesting dynamic to this otherwise concise piece. In regards to Armstrong’s solos, both trumpet and scatting, his improvisational…show more content…
The only obvious difference I heard was the expression in the pieces. While Armstrong was bombastic and syncopated, Beiderbecke had a smooth approach to his notes, and would utilize blue’s slides to transition between the notes. Another difference between the two players was the range at which they would play in. Armstrong was all over the place, comfortable at super high notes and low notes, whereas the only situation where we heard Beiderbecke play a series of extra high notes was during his dramatic “outburst” partway through his solo. I do think racial origins did affect the way these pieces were performed. African music is highly syncopated and rhythmic, often utilizing accents and outgoing behavior to draw attention to the piece. In contrast, the European influences for jazz were more introverted and subdued, resulting in soothing pieces that, while rhythmic, don 't always give extra syncopation. I liked both pieces a lot and the trouble with picking a favorite depends a lot on my mood. Today, I would have to say that I would prefer Singin’ the Blues. The cool jazz influences are soothing and are more fitting for my post-finals week brain, than the crazy energetic performance that was Hotter Than That. That being said, under different circumstances, my opinion is subject to
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