“The later years of Louis Armstrong are one of the most fascinating untold tales in the history of jazz. What a Wonderful World is indispensable to anyone with a serious interest in the greatest jazz musician of the twentieth century.” —Terry Teachout, author of POPS
Ricky Riccardi’s biography on Louis Armstrong What a Wonderful World: The Magic of Louis Armstrong’s Later Years just went onsale today, and has already been named one of the best books of the summer by the LA Times and Christian Science Monitor.
Much has been written about Louis Armstrong, but the majority of it focuses on the early and middle stages of his long career. Now, Riccardi—project archivist for the Louis Armstrong House museum in Corona, NY, and the author of the popular Armstrong blog http://dippermouth.blogspot.com—takes an in-depth look at the years in which Armstrong was often dismissed as a buffoonish, if popular, entertainer, and shows us instead the inventiveness and depth of expression that his music evinced during this time.
Pick up a copy of What a Wonderful World before June (Black Music Month) is up, and check out Riccardi’s summer tour stops, including a launch event at the Louis Armstrong House museum on Sunday (6/26) at 2 pm. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations.
Praise for WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD: The Magic of Louis Armstrong’s Later Years:
“What a Wonderful World . . . is written in a generous spirit and indeed enhances our understanding of just how good Armstrong really was in the postwar years.” —Washington Post
“Mr. Riccardi—writing with the fervor of an advocate, the skill of a critic and the knowingness of a musician (he is a pianist as well as a writer)—gies us something vivid on every page of What a Wonderful World. Along the way, he does justice to both Armstrong the artist and Armstrong the entertainer, a unique American creator who knew that ‘any kind of music could become jazz if played from the heart.'”
—Wall Street Journal
“This is an important book. Even those who already think they know Armstrong well will be surprised and delighted – and probably walk away with new respect for this seminal figure in American music.”
—San Francisco Chronicle