Composer: J. Oliver
Publisher: MCA Music Pub.
CD: Louis Armstrong and King Oliver
1992 Milestone Records. All Rights Reserved.
Recording Date: October 5, 1923
Personnel: King Oliver, cornet; Louis Armstrong, cornet; Honore Dutrey, trombone; Johnny Dodds, clarinet, Stump Evans, C melody sax; Lil Hardin Armstrong, piano; Johnny St. Cyr, banjo; Baby Dodds, drums
Title: Workingman Blues
Artist: Louis Armstrong; King Oliver
Type of Tune: early jazz (AKA Dixieland and traditional jazz)
Tempo: 154 BPM (beats per minute)
Form: 12-Bar Blues
Devices: vibrato; slurs; rips; growls; glissandi
Scales: blues; major
Workingman Blues is one of the first recordings of Louis Armstrong who was to go on and become one of the most important figures is jazz history. Recorded in 1923, the technical quality of the disc is not nearly up to today’s standards; however, the listener can still hear the amazing energy and wildly swinging feeling the band had. Louis had a virtuosic command of the cornet (and later trumpet), a full, hot, brassy tone, a wide range (capable of playing high notes), a keen rhythmic conception of hard-driving swing, and an outgoing (non-timid) improvisatory character.