kottke.org posts about Louis Armstrong

Unbelievably clear recording of Louis Armstrong from 1929Apr 11 2016

If they survive at all, recordings of a lot of older music (pre-50s or -60s) don't sound great because they were taken from old records that aren't in the best shape. This 1929 recording of Louis Armstrong & His Orchestra playing Ain't Misbehavin' was taken from what's called a "mother record", a metal disc that's produced from the master disc. As you can hear, recording directly from a mother gives you an incredibly crisp and clear result:

Wow. It sounds so much better than the same song recorded in a more conventional way:

We're so conditioned to hearing 90-year-old music with that muddy record hiss that the mother recording is a revelation, like seeing early color photography and film.

Louis Armstrong on keeping up his chopsJun 26 2013

In 1964, when they were teenagers at New Trier High School near Chicago, Michael Aisner and James Stein interviewed Louis Armstrong backstage at one of his concerts. In his boxers.

You can't take it for granted. Even if we have two, three days off I still have to blow that horn a few hours to keep up the chops. I mean I've been playing 50 years, and that's what I've been doing in order to keep in that groove there.

Aisner also interviewed Muhammed Ali a couple years later.

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