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Portrait Of Louis Armstrong

Wynton Marsalis


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Marsalis pays tribute to both Armstrong and Cootie Williams


In 1970 as part of his “New Orleans Suite,” Duke Ellington featured Cootie Williams on “Portrait Of Louis Armstrong.”

Although Armstrong was an early influence on Cootie, Williams did not attempt to play like him on this piece, instead soloing in his own distinctive manner.

In 2008 with the Jazz At Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis was featured on the same arrangement.

As with Cootie Williams, Marsalis plays the piece in his own voice, including some furious runs at one point and coming up with fresh variations that Ellington would have appreciated.

- Scott Yanow

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