[Dixielandjazz] Re: Hotter than That

Ed Danielson mcvouty78 at hotmail.com
Wed Nov 24 17:20:10 PST 2004

“Luis Daniel Flores” wrote:

Want to know why you consider this tune “Hotter than That” to be as close to 
perfection as music ever gets. Do you think more than the solo of “west end 
blues” ?


There are a lot of recordings that I think are close to perfection, “West 
End Blues” among them, certainly.  I try to avoid ranking the music I like, 
because that way madness lies.  Mozart's 40th Symphony, Miles Davis' 
recording of “Oleo” on the Relaxin' album, “Stolen Moments” by Oliver 
Nelson, “West End Blues,” “Weather Bird,” “Hotter than That” and more by 
Louis, “A Real Slow Drag” from “Treemonisha” by Scott Joplin, Prokofiev's 
Lieutenant Kije Suite, any number of Ellington recordings, “Who Put the 
Bomp” by Barry Mann (just kidding!) -- how do you position those in any kind 
of order?

What I like about “Hotter than That” is how modern Louis' playing still 
sounds, and how he uses the rest of the band to great effect.  Charles Suhor 
talked about the brilliance of his scat solo, but Satch's trumpet entrance 
after the trombone solo is equally brilliant, like nothing that had been 
heard to that point in time.  And if I were a trumpet player, I'd like to be 
the guy who came up with the last trumpet chaser at the end of the piece, 
where Armstrong trades single measures with Lonnie Johnson's guitar.  It 
presages the kind of licks Dizzy Gillespie and the beboppers would become 
known for, some twenty years before the bop movement.  Is “Hotter than That” 
better than “West End Blues?”  No, but it's every bit as good.

“There are only two types of music -- good and bad,” someone once said.  The 
quote has been attributed to many different people, but I think it's wrong.  
There are at least five types of music:  great, good, mediocre, bad and 
terrible.  “Hotter than That” is great!

Happy Thanksgiving.  Thank God there was a Louis Armstrong!

Ed Danielson

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