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Hot Fives/Hot Sevens
WOSU TV TO BROADCAST JAZZ ARTS GROUP’S
LOUIS ARMSTRONG’S HOT FIVES / HOT SEVENS REVISITED
The Jazz Arts Group of Columbus (JAG) presented the music of Louis Armstrong’s famous Hot Five and Hot Seven recordings through a series of concerts and educational activities in February 2010 to coincide with Black History Month and the rebirth of the Lincoln Theatre. WOSU Public Media was there to capture every note and will broadcast Louis Armstrong’s Hot Fives / Hot Sevens Revisited on Wednesday, March 24 at 9 PM on WOSU TV.
The music of the Hot Five and the Hot Seven is considered by most critics to be among the finest recordings in jazz history. “Louis Armstrong provided jazz with its quantum leap forward – his Hot Five and Hot Seven group recordings were the culmination of all he had accomplished in music to that point,” cites All About Jazz. The Hot Fives began in 1925 and the instrumentation included trumpet, clarinet, trombone, piano and guitar/banjo with the addition of drums and tuba in 1927 to make the Hot Sevens.
“With each single that Armstrong released during this era, musicians would wait with baited breath to hear what he was going to do, and then they’d try to emulate the style,” describes Byron Stripling, Artistic Director of the Columbus Jazz Orchestra. “He forever altered American music in three ways – rhythmically, melodically, and harmonically… and Armstrong was the first great soloist, with the trumpet being the lead voice in an ensemble… This era was truly Armstrong’s most creative.”
Jazz Arts Group’s own interpretation of the Hot Fives / Hot Sevens performed February 19 – 20 as part of the Lincoln Theatre’s Inside Track series and featured Byron Stripling, trumpet; Bob Breithaupt, drums; Mark Flugge, piano; Don Vappie, banjo/guitar; Wycliffe Gordon, trombone; Allan Vache, clarinet; Tony Zilincik, tuba; and Larry Cook, bass. In conjunction with the performances, a series of educational activities also took place at the Jazz Academy including: a keynote address entitled Louis Armstrong: American Icon from John E. Hasse, Curator of American Music from the Smithsonian Institution; plus Louis Armstrong Solo Improvisation with Mark C. Gridley; and The Banjo and its Influence on American Music with Don Vappie.