Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Louis Armstrong Language Exercise

To my Intermediate Students, Here is a portion an article by jazz critic David Lida taken from the California Review (to read the entire piece, see called “A Tour of Louis Armstrong’s Unconscious”. Try to fill in the gaps with the words in italics below the text. Or, if you are daring, try to fill the gaps without any assistance. Good luck and enjoy the Satchmo film clip below. -- David

A musician friend once told me a story about Louis Armstrong. It is one of those anecdotes that, while possibly apocryphal (fictional), ought to be true. Waiting to go through customs in an airport, Armstrong found that Richard Nixon, then vice president, was standing in the same ¬_____________. He approached the politician, exchanged a little _________ talk, put on his famous smile, and asked, “Mr. Vice President, would you like to carry my trumpet through customs?” Nixon replied that it would be an _________, and took the case _________ containing the instrument in his hands. Legend has it that Armstrong packed his marijuana – he smoked it every day of his adult life – in his trumpet case.
The story ought to be true because it is _________ of Armstrong’s humor, shrewdness and the slyly complex nature of a man who appeared to be absolutely straightforward. He was often said to have _________ jazz, and while this is hardly the case, he was the most emblematic and influential exemplar of that most American of musical _________ .
Sidney Bechet, Bix Beiderbecke and Armstrong were jazz’s first great soloists, but the trumpet solos recorded by Armstrong with his Hot Five and Hot Seven groups in the mid 1920s were those that all jazz musicians of the time aspired to emulate. Few could dream of _________ his high notes. He became so famous for them that the saxophonist Lester Young referred to all high notes as “Armstrongs.”
Answers (but not in order!):
honor // reaching // forms // invented // emblematic // supposedly / small / line /

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