Hot Seven

Louis Armstrong and his Hot Seven was a jazz studio group organized to make a series of recordings for Okeh Records in Chicago, Illinois, in May 1927. Some of the personnel also recorded with Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five, including Johnny Dodds (clarinet), Lil Armstrong (piano), and Johnny St. Cyr (banjo and guitar). These musicians were augmented by Dodds's brother, Baby Dodds (drums), Pete Briggs (tuba), and John Thomas (trombone, replacing Armstrong's usual trombonist, Kid Ory, who was then touring with King Oliver). Briggs and Thomas were at the time working with Armstrong's performing group, the Sunset Stompers.

In five sessions between May 7 and May 14, 1927, the group recorded at least 12 sides, including "Willie the Weeper," "Wild Man Blues", "Twelfth Street Rag" and "Potato Head Blues" (celebrated for Louis Armstrong's stop-time solo and triumphant ride-out final chorus). Thomas Brothers cites "Wild Man Blues" as a "breathtaking breakthrough" for Armstrong's solo style because of its "effortless flow between melody, embellishment, fill-ins, and breaks."

In these records, Armstrong continued and further developed his mastery of the jazz solo, almost completely dominating some of the numbers and further breaking down the New Orleans jazz style of collective improvisation into a vehicle for the soloist. In addition to his continued personal development, the Hot Seven sides feature Armstrong's new inclination towards worked-out and rehearsed arrangements, which can be heard in "Chicago Breakdown" and "Willie the Weeper."

The Hot Seven song "Melancholy Blues" is included on the Voyager Golden Record, attached to the Voyager spacecraft.

Birth and Death Data: Born Founded 1927, Died Ceased 1928

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1927

Roles Represented in DAHR: Musical group

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
OKeh W80847 10-in. 5/7/1927 Willie the weeper Louis Armstrong ; Hot Seven Jazz/dance ensemble Musical group  
OKeh W80848 10-in. 5/7/1927 Wild man blues Louis Armstrong ; Hot Seven Jazz/dance ensemble Musical group  
OKeh W80851 10-in. 5/9/1927 Chicago breakdown Louis Armstrong ; Earl Hines ; Hot Seven Jazz/dance ensemble Musical group  
OKeh W80854 10-in. 5/10/1927 Alligator crawl Louis Armstrong ; Hot Seven Jazz/dance ensemble Musical group  
OKeh W80855 10-in. 5/10/1927 Potato head blues Louis Armstrong ; Hot Seven Jazz/dance ensemble Musical group  
OKeh W80862 10-in. 5/11/1927 Melancholy blues Louis Armstrong ; Hot Seven Jazz/dance ensemble Musical group  
OKeh W80864 10-in. 5/11/1927 Twelfth Street rag Louis Armstrong ; Hot Seven Jazz/dance ensemble Musical group  
OKeh W80876 10-in. 5/13/1927 Keyhole blues Louis Armstrong ; Hot Seven Jazz/dance ensemble, with male vocal solo (scat) Musical group  
OKeh W80877 10-in. 5/14/1927 Gully low blues Louis Armstrong ; Hot Seven Jazz/dance ensemble, with male vocal solo Musical group  
OKeh W80884 10-in. 5/14/1927 That's when I'll come back to you Louis Armstrong ; Hot Seven Jazz/dance ensemble, with female-male vocal duet Musical group  
OKeh W81126 10-in. 5/13/1927 S.O.L. blues Louis Armstrong ; Hot Seven Jazz/dance ensemble, with male vocal solo Musical group  
OKeh W81302 10-in. 9/2/1927 Put 'em down blues Louis Armstrong ; Hot Seven Jazz/dance ensemble, with male vocal solo Musical group  
OKeh W81310 10-in. 9/2/1927 Ory's Creole trombone Louis Armstrong ; Hot Seven Jazz/dance ensemble Musical group  
OKeh W81317 10-in. 9/6/1927 The last time Louis Armstrong ; Hot Seven Jazz/dance ensemble, with male vocal solo Musical group  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Hot Seven," accessed March 1, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/105973.

Hot Seven. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved March 1, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/105973.

"Hot Seven." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 1 March 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/105973

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