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Time Out Ten

Potato Head Blues

For this item you need to be able to stop for ten minutes.


We are often moving on to the next job, the next meeting, scrolling down social media, taking the next call ......'Time Out Ten' asks you to stop for ten minutes and listen to a particular piece of music; to find a time when you won't be interrupted, when you can put in/on your headphones and chill out. Ten minutes isn't long.

Potato Face.jpg

Sometimes, by its very nature, life gets complicated and it can help to stop for a minute and take a step back. This month, take ten minutes out to stop and listen again to Louis Armstrong's Potato Head Blues. This is one of the Hot Seven recordings from 1927. Looking back, jazz was still in its early stages but expanding rapidly, but even so the accomplishment of the musicians in those formative years is inspiring. Listen to Johnny Dodds wonderful clarinet solo. But of course it is Louis Armstrong who makes us listen.


It is summed up well here: "Author and Director of Research Collections for the Louis Armstrong House Museum, Ricky Riccardi states that when it came to taking improvised solos, Armstrong was light years ahead of his contemporaries in every way: command of his instrument, harmonic knowledge, a swinging rhythmic feel and put simply, the ability to "tell a story." 1927’s "Potato Head Blues,” with the expanded Hot Seven, again represents a joyous example of New Orleans polyphony until Armstrong steps up and takes a stop-time solo that still sounds fresh and modern today, defining the art of the improvised solo in not just jazz but all forms of popular music."

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