Final Word from Thursday, January 12, 2012

When his record company issued a pricey box set of his music, Elvis Costello tookthe unusual step of telling fans to buy the Louis Armstrong "Ambassador of Jazz" setinstead. So we did. And he was right, it's first-class. If you're one of those who thinksmusic started with the Black Eyed Peas, try Satchmo's version of "The Faithful Hussar,"which he also played when he was at the Lucerna in March 1965. The biggestsurprise of the box set is actually the "Slivovice Interview" from May 1965, where hetalks about his trip to Prague and about having to "leave that slivovice alone ... becauseit'll knock you out." The next day, he said, "that hangover is something, boy."He also said they gave him a beautiful trumpet in Prague that he keeps as one ofhis choice possessions. The people behind the Iron Curtain seemed pretty happy, hesurmised: "They have everything they want, they just can't come over on this side."

Glossary of difficult words

to swing - to dance to a style of jazz or dance music with an easy flow but vigorous rhythm;

Satchmo - one of Armstrong's nicknames;

pricey - expensive;

hussar - a Hungarian light horseman in the 15th century;

Slivovice Interview - most of the part about Prague is in the first 10 minutes of the interview;

to surmise - to suppose that something is true without having evidence to confirm it.


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