He returned to New York and later collapsed from a stroke.
During this time, Armstrong also made many recordings on the side, arranged by an old friend from New Orleans, pianist Clarence Williams; these included small jazz band sides with the Williams Blue Five (some of the best pairing Armstrong with one of Armstrong's few rivals in fiery technique and ideas, Sidney Bechet) and a series of accompaniments with Blues singers, including Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, and Alberta Hunter. Henderson was born in Cuthbert, Ga., on Dec. 18, 1897, and started learning piano at the age of 6. After playing in New York, Armstrong returned to Chicago, playing in large orchestras; there he created his most important early recordings. At about the same time, the band’s musical director and alto saxophonist, Don Redman, conceived the arrangements and instrumentation that would become the standard for big bands.
After his early success playing second cornet in Joe "King" Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band in Chicago, where Armstrong met and married pianist Lil Hardin, he moved to New York at Lil’s urging, and joined Fletcher Henderson’s big band.
Henderson was born into a middle-class family; his father was a school principal and his mother a teacher, and he studied piano as a child.
In later years it was Henderson’s charts which established Benny Goodman’s Orchestra as a genuine jazz band. To his ears, liquor made music worse, and marijuana made it better. Henderson was born into a middle-class family; his father was a school principal and his mother a teacher, and he studied piano as a child. Name two bands (and in what city) Armstrong served in between his time in Marable's band and the recording of his Hot Fives.
He perfected his ability to sight-read music and learned to appreciate ensemble playing. 1932 was also the year Bennie Moten’s band, desperate for work, barged into the Victor studios and persuaded them to record ten tunes—all of them swing. Armstrong switched to the trumpet to blend in better with the other musicians in his section. He perfected his ability to sight-read music and learned to appreciate ensemble playing.
He changed his name (James was his grandfather’s name, Fletcher Hamilton his father’s) in 1916 when he entered Atlanta University, from which he graduated as a chemistry and math major.
In 1924, Fletcher Henderson hired a young trumpeter who reinvented his band's rhythmic concept. hide caption.
Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. He got confident with sightreading the complex scores, which let him expand his musical vocabulary and get high-paying steady jobs with movie house orchestras later on. He started singing in his performances. Armstrong and Oliver parted amicably in 1924.
One of Armstrong's biggest complaints, later in life, was that Henderson refused to let him sing. Arrangements were constructed in the call-and-response manner (e.g., the brass section “calls,” the reed section “responds”), and many tunes were based upon “riffs,” identifiable musical passages repeated throughout the song.
It was a night off, when there was a sort of open-mike contest. Don Redman’s sophisticated arrangements did appeal to Armstrong. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. The band reached new heights of popularity and could be heard everywhere — on radio and touring coast to coast. (Some white musicians played it, too.) By the time Henderson was in high school, he was an accomplished pianist.
Fletcher Henderson kept beating out the rhythm on the piano...". “I wondered what he could possibly do with that big fish horn voice of his, but finally I told him to try it.
Once in New York, Henderson abandoned school and took a job playing songs in a music store. Armstrong was allowed to play a cornet solo with just piano accompaniment on a song called “La Veda,” which apparently went over well. Henderson put together another band during the 1940s, but work was scarce, and that band also folded.  The Henderson Orchestra was playing in the best venues for white-only patrons, including the famed Roseland Ballroom, featuring the classy arrangements of Don Redman. Metronome/Getty Images Updates? Duke Ellington’s orchestra would go to Roseland to catch Armstrong’s performances and young hornmen around town tried in vain to outplay him, splitting their lips in their attempts. His influence upon Henderson's tenor sax soloist, Coleman Hawkins, can be judged by listening to the records made by the band during this period. After Redman left the band in 1927, Henderson used the same approach in his own arrangements. For a year Armstrong played in Fletcher Henderson's band in New York on many recordings. Henderson’s invitation to Louis Armstrong to join his band was an invitation to that new sound. "I think they made him play ten choruses. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Bandleader, arranger and pianist Fletcher Henderson is one of the most influential — and yet least-known — jazz masters. Fletcher Hamilton Henderson, Jr. (December 18, 1897 – December 28, 1952) was an American pianist, bandleader, arranger and composer, important in the development of big band jazz and swing music. In 1924, Fletcher Henderson hired a young trumpeter who reinvented his band's rhythmic concept. When Armstrong arrived in New York, he was met by some of the band members, resplendent in bespoke English suits at $110 (more than a month’s wages for most working-class earners), plus spats and expensive shoes. Although he found a part-time laboratory job, he immediately began getting work as a pianist. Lil had ambitious plans for Louis. Henderson went on to compose and arrange music for Benny Goodman and, with Henderson's help, Goodman's career took off; he became known as the "King of Swing." He changed his name (James was his grandfather’s name, Fletcher Hamilton his father’s) in 1916 when he entered Atlanta University, from which he graduated as a chemistry and math major. In the 1960s Columbia issued a four-LP boxed set, The Fletcher Henderson Story, C4L-19, now valued at between $30 and $75. He was great.”. (Regular movie houses had a piano or organ for silent film soundtracks, but movie palaces had plush seats, baroque ornamentation, and a full orchestra.). (c.f. Armstrong took the advice of his wife and left Oliver's band. Henderson then met his musical partner, saxophonist and arranger Don Redman. Despite white bandleader Paul Whiteman’s claims to have put together the first "jazz orchestra" (he employed jazz musicians but did not play true jazz, playing dance music and more ambitious music – including Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue – instead) it was black bandleader Henderson who is credited with the first genuine "big band" jazz orchestra. At the same time, he took the town by storm with dazzling solos. There’s a back, middle, and front of a beat.
His was one of the most prolific black orchestras and his influence was vast.
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