If You Have to Ask What Jazz is, You’ll Never Know | Louis Armstrong, 1901-1971


Louis Armstrong draws a trumpet on the Head of a French Punk, 1961


“If you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know.”

“To jazz, or not to jazz, there is no question!”

“Each man has his own music bubbling up inside him.”

‎”We all go Do, Re, Mi, but you’ve gotta find all the other notes yourself.”

“[Bebop is] Chinese music.”

“The memory of things gone is important to a jazz musician.”

“Very few of the men whose names have become great in the early pioneering of jazz
and of swing were trained in music at all. They were born musicians: they felt their
music and played by ear and memory.
That was the way it was with the great Dixieland Five.”

“What we play is life.”

“If I don’t practice for a day, I know it. If I don’t practice for two days, the
critics know it. And if I don’t practice for three days, the public knows it.”

“All music is folk music. I ain’t never heard a horse sing a song.”

“Music is life itself. What would this world be without good music?
No matter what kind it is.”

“I never want to be anything more than I am;
what I don’t have, I don’t need.”

“I do believe that my whole success goes back to that time I was arrested as a wayward
boy at the age of thirteen. Because then I had to quit running around and began
to learn something. Most of all, I began to learn music.”

“Every time I close my eyes blowing that trumpet of mine, I look right into the heart
of good old New Orleans. It has given me something to live for.”

Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five – Heebie Jeebies, 1926
Louis Armstrong – (What Did I Do To Be So) Black And Blue, 1929
Louis Armstrong – What a Wonderful World

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