Rooted: The Importance of Improvisational Music

This week we are looking at a piece inspired by one of my personal favorite jazz musicians, Louis Armstrong. 

My introduction to Louis Armstrong’s music was in Disney-Pixar’s WALL·E in 2008. I was 4 years old and it was the first movie that I remember seeing in the movie theater. As I got a bit older, and started listening to music, I became more familiar with his music and started listening to his music outside of the movies his music is featured in. To me the sound of Louis Armstrong’s trumpet is nostalgic for many different personal reasons whether it be thinking of the first movie that I saw in the theater, or growing up watching romcoms with my mom. Louis Armstrong‘s music is definitely a go-to on a rainy day or just whenever I feel like relaxing after a long day. 

When I was making this piece, I wanted to make the background with more of an abstract shape style for a very particular reason. To the right of Louis’ trumpet there are a few shapes around his silhouette. Upon studying this piece, you will realize that the shapes to the right of the trumpet overlap but they overlap with the same shapes. This is meant to indicate normal sounds. You will see to the left of the trumpet there are so many different shapes overlapping with each other. This is intended to indicate sound coming from the trumpet, but also to symbolize the complexity of jazz music.

The more I educate myself on music, the more I truly appreciate jazz – not just as another genre, but as an advanced art form of music. Yes, all music can be complex no matter what genre it may reside in, and I personally believe there’s a lot to learn about art in every genre of music. With improvisational jazz, I believe musicians aren’t just playing their instruments, but expressing their creativity and individuality through spontaneous composition. This is what I think makes improvisational jazz stand out. I believe any kind of music has the potential or the power to do something like this, but I found in my personal opinion that the talent of jazz musicians, such as Louis Armstrong and many other jazz musicians, has stood the test of time. I believe they are some of the most talented musicians of all time. Jazz has had a positive and influential impact on our world. The first signs of the roots of jazz date back more than 100 years ago. I think it’s important to remember and appreciate jazz because it often doesn’t get the credit It deserves in our fast moving, always changing world.



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