LOUIS ARMSTRONG’S BLACK & BLUES
Few figures loom as large in the history of American music as legendary trumpeter and vocalist Louis Armstrong. Yet, as this fascinating and revealing portrait from documentarian Sacha Jenkins ably demonstrates, there was much more to the man than his jovial public persona suggested. Jenkins draws extensively on a treasure trove of recorded diaries that Armstrong dictated over the years, which offer a thornier and altogether more human picture of the revered jazzman. Though Armstrong was widely embraced by white mainstream culture, the film fascinatingly delves into his more complicated relationship with his peers and successors in the jazz community, many of whom regarded his success with suspicion before fully recognizing his genius. Combining the diary tapes with personal correspondence (read by rapper Nas), backstage footage, and electrifying performance recordings, this enlightening portrait offers a nuanced look at Satchmo as both a performer and a man.
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