Louis Armstrong, trumpet; Kid Ory, trombone; Johnny Dodds, clarinet; Lil Armstrong, piano; Lonnie Johnson, guitar.
Collective improvisation, with Armstrong (trumpet) clearly in front. The remaining instruments provide indifferent support: Kid Ory (trombone) plays simple single-note figures, while the clarinet is distantly in the background.
Armstrong plays a solo that is entirely improvised, based on the chords to "Tiger Rag." Many of his notes are ghosted--played so lightly that they are almost inaudible.
Coming out of the break, Armstrong plays material that sounds rhythmically tricky and quite modern. He begins with a descending arpeggio (broken-up chord), placing accents on the backbeat, before finishing the phrase with a quick triplet figure.
Armstrong emphasizes a high note with a "shake"--an extra vibrato at the note's end.
Johnny Dodds begins his solo during the break.
Dodds plays a solo on the clarinet in an upper register. Beneath him, Lil Hardin plays rhythmic piano fills.
A break, ending on a blue note.
A break introduces the next solo: Armstrong as a scat singer, improvising using nonsense syllables instead of words.
Armstrong begins his solo by singing on-the-beat quarter notes, backed by the guitar's bluesy improvised lines.
Armstrong pulls away from the foundation beat in a strong polyrhythm.
In a loose rhythmic extension of the previous chorus, Armstrong exchanges intimate, bluesy moans with Johnson's guitar.
The piano plays four bars of octaves, leading to the next soloist.
Kid Ory takes a sharply-accented trombone solo. The opening of his line echoes the beginning of Armstrong's scat solo.
During a break, Armstrong interrupts Ory's solo with a rocket-like string of ascending 16th notes, ending on a high Bb.
Collective improvisation, accented by Armstrong's repeated high note, heard in a short, syncopated riff.
The last eight bars are in stop-time: Armstrong plays short, off-balance lines to generate rhythmic tension
Johnson and Armstrong exchange brief solos.
Johnson's line ends on a dissonant diminished 7th chord, leaving the harmony suspended.
Copyright W.W. Norton