Rickie Lee Jones
Hall of Fame Essay
He was known as America's Jazz Ambassador, but Louis Armstrong's scope reached far beyond the music he so epitomized. No other jazz artist has towered so high above all others in his musical field, not even Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, Miles Davis or Charlie Parker.
In terms of influence, Armstrongs importance to jazz exceeds Beethoven’s to European music, Shakespeare's to English literature and Chuck Berry's to rock & roll. "You know you can't play anything on the horn that Louis hasn't played," Miles Davis once remarked. "I mean even modern."
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