Acknowledgments Introduction 1 Novelty: "Cornet Chop Suey" (26 February 1926) 2 Telling a Story: "Big Butter and Egg Man" (16 November 1926) 3 Playing the Changes: "Potato Head Blues" (10 May 1927) 4 Top Notes: "S.O.L. Blues"/"Gully Low Blues" (13-14 May 1927) 5 Pretty Things: "Savoy Blues" (13 December 1927) 6 Versatility: "West End Blues" (28 June 1928) Epilogue Bibliography Index
Brian Harker is Professor of Music at Brigham Young University. The author of Jazz: An American Journey, Harker is a two-time winner of the Irving Lowens Award for his articles on Louis Armstrong. He lives in Orem, Utah, with his wife and two children.
"Harker has spent more than a decade immersed in Armstrong's work and it shows. He has absorbed the music, the period, and commentary about it to do something for scholarship that he claims Armstrong did for the music: consolidate what is known and weave it into something that sounds new and fresh." --Jeffrey Magee, author of The Uncrowned King of Swing: Fletcher Henderson and Big Band Jazz "For anyone who wants to learn more about Louis Armstrong's great solos from the 1920s, this book is the place to begin. And for those who already know and are weary of reading the same tired cliches repeated year after year, this book will be a joy to read, fresh and stimulating. Harker brings first-rate historical research to music that truly deserves it." -- Thomas Brothers, Professor of Music, Duke University "Brian Harker's book will provide Armstrong aficionados with a deeper appreciation of Armstrong's genius, but also will provide Armstrong neophytes with an engaging introduction to these jazz masterworks." --Michael Cogswell, Director, Louis Armstrong House Museum "Harker bravely and capably combines musicology (attentive readings of Louis's playing on six famous sides recorded between 1926 and 1928) and cultural history (how were these performances influenced, shaped, and perceived)...Since the book costs what a CD would--and it is more rewarding than many--I commend it to you. Brian Harker is clearly a Big Butter and Egg Man of music." --Michael Steinman, Jazz Lives "Provides a deeper appreciation and understanding of Armstrong's genius...This book makes a significant contribution to the Armstrong literature...Essential. All readers." --Choice "Armstrong's journey through the Hot Fives turns out to be a great adventure story, a narrative buoyed by Harker's love for his subject matter...The book's unique blend of biography, scholarship, oral history and musical analysis allows the author to come at the recordings from several interesting angles, and altogether Harker provides an enjoyable and thought-provoking entry into the music." --AllAboutJazz.com "The combination of judicious selection of musical examples to analyze in depth and historical and social insight makes for a readable, concise volume of fresh insights into one the most studied figures in jazz." --ARSC Journal "An artful jambalaya of rigorous musical analysis, thoughtful cultural contexts, and some provocative informed speculation as to how Armstrong absorbed, innovated, and consolidated the music we call jazz." --New Books in Jazz "Harker's book represents a superb achievement, evidence of his stature as one of the truly outstanding younger scholars now working in the area of Armstrong research." --American Music