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."
-WSJ online

Synopsis

In this richly detailed and prodigiously researched book, jazz scholar and musician Ricky Riccardi reveals for the first time the genius and remarkable achievements of the last 25 years of Louis Armstrong’s life, providing along the way a comprehensive study of one of the best-known and most accomplished jazz stars of our time. Much has been written about Armstrong, but the majority of it focuses on the early and middle stages of his career. During the last third of his career, Armstrong was often dismissed as a buffoonish if popular entertainer. Riccardi shows us instead the inventiveness and depth of his music during this time. These are the years of his highest-charting hits, including “Mack the Knife” and “Hello, Dolly"; the famed collaborations with Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington; and his legendary recordings with the All Stars. An eminently readable and insightful book, What a Wonderful World completes and enlarges our understanding of one of America’s greatest and most beloved musical icons.

 

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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