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Historic Photos of New Orleans Jazz


The cover of Historic Photos of New Orleans Jazz says it all. A beaming Louis Armstrong leans on a piano surrounded by the equally overjoyed Basin Street 6 with a young Pete Fountain matching Armstrong's grin. The photos within have a similar sense of exuberance. They capture many New Orleans jazz legends when they were young, hungry and rebellious. In a band photo from the early 1920s, Harold "Duke" Dejean is so bright-eyed, he might jump off the page. Freddie Keppard and Louis "Big Eye" Nelson exude the wary and tough expressions one might see on Canal Street today, a century later after the snapshot. Many of the images come from the Louisiana State Museum archives. Historian and WWOZ radio programmer Tom Morgan has captioned them, often highlighting the great sense of humor reflected in many songs. He also refutes rumors that Irvin Fazola changed his name and explains how one-armed Wingy Manone got his name. But it's not all fun and games. There is a solemn air to a couple of the many Louis Armstrong shots, including one in which Satchmo stands in the shadow of King Oliver. It is rare to see Armstrong without his trademark big smile. An odd side angle and contrast between bright and dark tones give clarinetist Johnny Dodds an abstract yet majestic look. The pictures offer these nuances, and the book is a great addition to the history of New Orleans music. — David Kunian

Historic Photos of New Orleans Jazz

Text & Captions by Thomas J. Morgan

Turner Publishing



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