September 19, 2020

Irish Despair

"Nothing relieves Irish despair. The Irishman's complaint lies not with his circumstances, which might be rendered brilliant by labour or luck, but with the injustice of existence itself. Death! How could a benevolent Deity gift us with life, only to set such a cruel term upon it?  
Irish despair knows no remedy. Money can't help. Love fades. Fame is fleeting. The only cures are booze and sentiment. That's why the Irish are such noble drunks and glorious poets. No one sings like the Irish or mourns like them. Why? Because they're angels imprisoned in vessels of flesh."
Killing Rommel, by Steven Pressfield

For you, papa.

September 1, 2020

September 1913 - The Year Before The Storm

Even though Peter Davis was the one who handed him a trumpet, Louis Armstrong was mostly self-taught (as PD never taught him to read music).

It is September 1913, and Louis Armstrong, 13 himself, is part of the Colored Waif’s Home Band. They are to march around in New Orleans as part of a beautiful, lively parade, wearing discarded police uniforms that had been passed down to them, as was the custom then.

It's his first time performing jazz in public. The first of many. And he loves the music so much that he keeps on playing it, even long into the night after the band's come back to the home.

1913, The year before the storm, by Florian Illies
Louis Armstrong and the Colored Waif's Home for Boys, by Matt Micucci