Release Year: 2012
Publisher: Vintage Books
Much has been written about Louis Armstrong, but the majority of it focuses on the early and middle stages of his career. In this prodigiously researched and richly detailed book, jazz scholar and musician Ricky Riccardi reveals for the first time the genius and remarkable achievements of the last 25 years of Armstrong’s life, providing along the way a comprehensive study of one of the best-known and most accomplished jazz stars of our time. During the last third of his career, Armstrong was often dismissed as a buffoonish if popular entertainer, but Riccardi shows us instead the inventiveness and depth of his music during this time. These are the years of his highest-charting hits, including “Mack the Knife” and “Hello, Dolly; the famed collaborations with Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington; and his legendary recordings with the All Stars. An eminently readable and insightful book, What a Wonderful Worldcompletes and enlarges our understanding of one of America’s greatest and most beloved musical icons.