Play, Louis, Play!: The True Story of a Boy and His Horn
Muriel Harris Weinstein & Frank Morrison
Bloomsbury, 2010 (2010)
Reviewed by Bob Walch
'm a cornet and the narrator of this chapter book. You may think it is a little odd, a horn telling a story, but this is a very special story. I was sitting in a pawn shop in New Orleans when a little boy first saw me. I knew he wanted to make music with me, but he didn't have the money at the time.
ell, this little boy, whose name was Louis Armstrong, waited and worked. Eventually he collected the $5 he needed to make me his. And then the fun started! This little boy was a natural musician and he turned a lot of heads with his ability.
s I share his story with you, you'll learn how Louis had to help his mother raise the family. He often worked two jobs, but once he began playing the cornet with various bands and jazz groups, he didn't mind.
You'll see that Louis didn't have an easy life, but he stayed positive and things did work out for him when more people realized what exceptional ability he had.
Of all the music he played, Louis loved the blues and swing best. Together those two forms became the jazz he developed. When Louis heard the blues, the music crawled into his heart and slept inside his soul. He felt the sorrow, the heartbreak of the guy who wrote it. And swing fit his personality, always 'up,' always ready to see the sunny side of life, always ready to help someone who couldn't see it. Louis liked making people feel better. He was one mellow cat.
fter you have read about Louis Armstrong's boyhood I think you'll want to find some of his recordings and listen to his music. You might discover you really like jazz too!
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