Jazz as conversation

Jesse Norman, a prominent Oakeshottian, has this article in The Independent on “Pops'” autobiography which I too have recently read. The conceptual overlap between Jazz and the Oakeshott notion of conversation is uncannily similar. I couldn’t express my reaction to “Pops'” autobiography any better than Jesse:

The book is peopled by a vast Runyonesque array of hoodlums and heroes, the dialogue crackles like a bush fire, and the whole is borne along on a huge billow of brio and good humour. Louis has his own ethical code, but he never preaches.

Alongside the jokes and japes, he makes you feel his moments of pain and frustration and anger – and his awesome capacity for hard work. Forget jazz; this book gives Louis Armstrong good claim to be considered one of the great American prose stylists in his own right.

Here are my previous posts to Pops. The featured photo is of me handling one of Pops’ trumpets. One of the most memorable experiences in recent memory. Thanks to Ricky Riccardi for making this happen (buy his biography of Pops – it’s a great read).