Louis Armstrong: ” The Word Jazz as far as I can see or remember, was when I was a little boy five years old, the year of 1905. In those days it was called Rag Time Musicand when ever there was a dance or lawn party the band consisted of six men, would stand in front of the place on the sidewalk a half hour of good Rag Time music, and us kids would stand or dance on the other side of the street untill they went inside. That was the only way that we young kids could get the chance to hear those great muscians such as Buddy Bolden, Joe Cornet Oliver MY IDOL, Bunk Cornet Johnson, Freddie Cornet Keppard, Henry CornetAllen Sr. & his Brass band, Old man Moret and his Ecxelsior Brass Band, Cornet Wonder and leader at 60 Frankie Dusen Trombone. Kid Ory, Trombone and a whole lot of the other players who will live forever in my mind as the greatest that I ever heard since I was big enough to realize what was happening”.
Jazz Funeral March
Even to the Brass Bands down in my hometown New Orleans, to witness them playing a funeral march will make something inside of you just “tinkle”. Even to a 6-8 march, they always expressed themselves, and their very souls in the music. Joe CORONET Oliver ( MY IDOL) and Emanuel CORONET Perez had a brass band by the name of ONWARD BRASS BAND, And “My MY” how they could play in the street parade’s and funerals. Joe Oliver to me was always a sort of fantastic sort of fellow. And the greatest creator of them all. One Sunday Hustler and Pimps HUSTLER AND GAMBLERS in my neighborhood who had a good baseball team, and would go all over the city and play other teams in other neighborhoods, one Sunday they went over in Algiers a little town across the Mississippi River to play the team over there. Of course everywhere they’d go the neighborhood crowd would follow them. Even us kid’s would tag along. They’d only play for a large keg of beer, but it was lot’s of fun. And we kid’s would be thrilled to luck up on a glass of beer. Well Sir- McDonald cemetery was just about a mile away from where the “Black Diamonds” (MY TEAM) was playing the Algiers team. When ever a funeral from New Orleans had a body to be buried in the McDonald cemetery they would have to cross the Canal Street ferry boat and march down the same road near our ball game. Of course when they passed us playing a slow funeral march, we only paused with the game and tipped our hats as to pay respect. When the last of the funeral passed , we would continue the game. The game was in full force when the Onward Band was returning from the cemetary, after they had put the body in the ground, they were swingin It’s a long way to Tipperary.They were swinging so good untill Joe Oliver reached into the high register beating out those high notes in very high fashion, and broke our ball. Yea! the players commenced to dropping bats an balls etc, and we All followed them all the way back to the New Orleans side and to their destination. Of course there were many other greats even before my time, and my days of the wonderful music that every muscian were playing in New Orleans. But to me Joe “King” Oliver was the greatest of them all.
From Louis Armstrong, July 4th. 1960 his sixtith birthday,
Courtesy of Columbia Records.