A museum in Queens, New York, devoted to the life and music of monster trumpeter Louis Armstrong has put the catalog of its three largest collections online. The catalog, including hundreds, possibly thousands of photographic images, is available for browsing by anyone and everyone. We've looked, and it's a joyous thing.
Armstrong a monster? That's the word Gary Giddins uses in his brilliant description of Armstrong's enormous and unprecedented fame in the late 1920s and early 1930s (in the wonderful Satchmo, itself filled with photos). Over a period of a few years, Armstrong revolutionized the art and technique of trumpet playing, re-invented jazz improvisation with his searing, soaring, incredibly sophisticated solos, and lived as a bigger-than-life character - a character who was, as Giddins brilliantly explores, a master artist and a master entertainer. At some point, Armstrong was, by far, the most-widely recognized American in the world.