Bix's lead

by John Coffin

It is striking how much Bix's presence affects his fellows. Without playing a 'usual' lead, there's an excitement that includes everyone. This seems especially strong on the 'Gang' sides.

Its a measure of the quality of the other players that they aren't confused or intimidated by him. On some of Armstrong's early New York records, he sometimes has to play straight quarter notes on the beat so the rhythm players can get back on track. Some of Louis' rhythmic daring seemed to overwhelm the piano-banjo pickup accompanists.

Posted on Jan 26, 2018, 5:54 PM

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