Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong – Biography

Louis Armstrong was born in 1901 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He grew up in a time when jazz music was just being invented, back when ragtime pianists performed in brothels, scat bands improvised on street corners and brass ensembles toured the riverboats. And although Armstrong wasn’t the one who invented jazz (an honor which belongs to some combination of Buddy Bolden, Bunk Johnson, W.C. Handy and Jelly Roll Morton), he was the one who developed and popularized the new genre across the nation.

Armstrong got his first big break touring with King Oliver in Chicago, Illinois. After starting his own bands in the 1920s (including the famous Hot Five and Hot Seven ensembles), he became a Dixieland star.

Armstrong’s infectious persona, coupled with his impeccable trumpet playing and instantly recognizable voice, immediately turned him into an American icon. In fact, Armstrong has become so famous that it’s easy to forget how innovative he was as a musician, helping bridge the gap between Dixieland and swing while also shifting jazz tradition from collective improvisation to solo performance.

A first-ballot Colin’s Review Hall of Famer, Armstrong dominated music in the 1920s and ‘30s and kept his influential career going strong well into the 1950s. Keep reading below for Louis Armstrong album reviews and accolades.


  • Hot Five and Hot Seven Sessions (1925 – 28) A+
  • Louis Armstrong Plays W.C. Handy (1954) A
  • Satch Plays Fats: A Tribute to the Immortal Fats Waller (1955) A-
  • Ella and Louis (1956, with Ella FitzgeraldA
  • Ella and Louis Again (1957, with Ella FitzgeraldB+


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