Among the many gems in the interviews, this one called my attention particularly.
TT.Armstrong always described his own playing and performances in terms of what he recalled from his past. He saw his playing as a way to paint pictures. He talks about being on the bandstand and thinking about things that happened to him in his life. Duke Ellington was the same way. In my experience, this is not how musicians generally refer to what they do and how they do it.
How do musicians generally refer to what they do and how they do it? Is there any documentation? I imagine that of all musicians, Artie Shaw, who was remarkably cogent and highly articulate, must have said or written something on this subject. Other musicians? Bix was reticent and said little. I don't remember Bix's fellow musicians telling much about what Bix was doing and how he did it. If anyone talked about this, it would have been Bill Challis.
Bix's piano compositions do tell us something about what Bix was doing or trying to convey, especially the titles: contrasts in light and darkness, chiaroscuros. But his cornet solos? Complex and varying feelings yes (buoyant in "From Monday On," poignant in "I'll Be A Friend With Pleasure," bittersweet in "I'm Coming Virginia," etc) but what else, if anything?
I am surprised that Louis saw his playing as a way to paint pictures. There are distinct art forms, painting, writing, music. Each has its own language, different and unique. Granted that some music conveys or paints images ("La Mer" by Debussy, for example), but I don't associate images from Louis's past with his playing of, for example, "Star Dust." What was Louis painting when he played "West End Blues" or "Potato Head Blues"? Can someone explain?