What a Wonderful World by Ricky Riccardi

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With "What a Wonderful World," Mr. Riccardi...celebrates the trumpeter-singer's twilight years...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)—gives us something vivid on every page of "What a Wonderful World."
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Synopsis

Prodigiously researched and richly detailed, this is a comprehensive account of the remarkable final twenty-five years of the life and art of one of America’s greatest and most beloved musical icons.
 
Much has been written about Louis Armstrong, but the majority of it focuses on the early and middle stages of his long career. Now, Ricky Riccardi—jazz scholar and musician—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.
 
These are the years (from after World War II until his death in 1971) when Armstrong entertained crowds around the world and recorded his highest-charting hits, including “Mack the Knife” and “Hello, Dolly!”; years when he collaborated with, among others, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, and Dave Brubeck; when he recorded with strings and big bands, and, of course, with the All Stars, his primary recording ensemble for more than two decades. Riccardi makes clear that these were years in which Armstrong both burnished and enhanced his legacy as one of jazz’s most influential figures.
 
Eminently readable, informative, and insightful, here, finally, is a book that enlarges and completes our understanding of a peerless musical genius of commanding influence as both an instrumentalist and a vocalist.




From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Ricky Riccardi

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Ricky Riccardi holds a B.A. in journalism and an M.A. in Jazz History and Research from Rutgers University. He has lectured at the Institute of Jazz Studies, at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, and at the annual Satchmo SummerFest in New Orleans. He is the author of a popular Armstrong blog (dippermouth.blogspot.com) and is himself a jazz pianist. He is the project archivist for the Louis Armstrong House Museum. He lives in New Jersey.
 
Published June 21, 2011 by Vintage. 400 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction
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Reviewed by Tom Nolan on Jun 18 2011

With "What a Wonderful World," Mr. Riccardi...celebrates the trumpeter-singer's twilight years...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)—gives us something vivid on every page of "What a Wonderful World."

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