Rich Armstrong | Rich's Life Pageant

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Rich's Life Pageant

by Rich Armstrong

Intimate soft warm jazzy solo trumpet
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Fusion
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Sakura
2:43 album only
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2. In Their Eyes
3:41 album only
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3. Skoo’ Pies
5:20 album only
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4. Anika’s Song
1:56 album only
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5. $100 pocket Trumpet
3:39 album only
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6. Varese
4:25 album only
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7. Willie’s Bounce
2:01 album only
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8. Amazing Grace
4:58 album only
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9. Rapture of the Blue 2
2:24 album only
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10. New Orleans Blues Walk
3:14 album only
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11. 5.2 (Minus MNO)
3:28 album only
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12. Someday We’ll All Be Free
3:01 album only
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13. Quiet CT
3:10 album only
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14. Barbary Coast
3:31 album only
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15. Booterstown
2:35 album only
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16. Sakura 2
3:41 album only
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35. Bonus track (Waits' Laboratory)
1:18 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
RICH ARMSTRONG- RICH’s LIFE PAGEANT

Spend an evening with Rich Armstrong and experience a rare communion between artist and audience. With Rich’s Life Pageant, his first solo album, listeners who have never seen Armstrong on stage can hear the quiet spellbinding majestry and improvisation of Rich Armstrong in his natural milieu - the solo trumpet. This album is more than a document of Armstrong's life and more than a keepsake for fans. Rich’s Life Pageant touches the heart of Armstrong's songwriting, his life experiences and showcases the variety of styles that make up his distinct musical persona; from the electronically multi-layered funk of "Skoo’ Pies," to the sheer acoustic beauty of “Amazing Grace” that has placed him in the vanguard of a new acoustic frontier.

Rich Armstrong, a seasoned performer, has honed his songs and his chops playing with Michelle Shocked across America and Europe. His songs are equal parts muscle and intimacy which reveal a rarely achieved relationship between the artist and his craft. Hailing from San Francisco, California he has forged a connection with his fans from the onset of his earliest performances in residencies with the Neo Trio at South of Market’s Club 11 and Harry Denton’s Starlight Room.

"I’ve wanted to do an album for a long time, but never found an interesting slant" he explains. "Michelle Shocked and Mighty Sound Records offered this idea of a solo trumpet album and I jumped on it. I got to explore every facet of what I do with the trumpet, from playing like a vocalist to electronica." Armstrong has long been known for his innovative and expressive trumpet playing which the press has called everything from "startling" to "dazzling" to "show stealing." The Boston Globe compares his playing to that of Louis Armstrong, but it's his songs that have been garnering more attention of late.

Rich’s Life Pageant features the signpost songs of Armstrong's career, written from life’s intense experiences. "Song For Anika," for instance, opens with the emotional screams of joy at the birth of his daughter and her first cry preludes a beautiful piccolo trumpet melody. “Wille’s Bounce” was inspired by a relationship breakup and “Varese” is an interpretation of a love lost. “In Their Eyes” and Donny Hathaway’s “Someday We’ll All Be Free” come from distinct vocal melodies and his flugelhorn somehow ‘speaks’ the lines, expressively reaching beyond the limits of the instrument.

"When you play in front of people by yourself with your instrument, you're essentially naked," Armstrong continues. "I learned to play the trumpet at the Conservatory, but I learned to play jazz in the streets of San Francisco. This album echoes everything I’ve learned, seen, and done. Playing it live to tape raises the level of the performance, the intensity, and the adrenaline. This album is the musical equivalent of reading my diary."

It’s that life’s energy that crackles throughout Rich’s Life Pageant. Recorded at Rotund Rascal Studios in Los Angeles on a 1940’s ribbon mike, MNO Studios in Berkeley, as well as the streets and beaches of San Francisco, Rich’s Life Pageant resulted from a very imaginative culling process. The CD was executive produced by Michelle Shocked, who oversaw the LA recordings and described the streets of New Orleans into Armstrong’s headphones while he played “New Orleans Blues Walk.”

Armstrong's unassuming nature has always been part of his appeal. Now in the soloist's spotlight, Armstrong's attitude-free approach shines. On Rich’s Life Pageant, the profound simplicity of Armstrong's music is entirely up front and unmasked by band arrangements. This gives free rein to his beautiful trumpet and flugelhorn playing with a fiercely emotive lyrical approach.

Armstrong seamlessly switches horns from track to track, using their distinct timbres to his advantage and inspiration, as in the aptly titled “$100 Pocket Trumpet.” Another case in point, he performs some growling blues on the normally classical ‘C’ trumpet with plunger mute. Flugelhorn, the trumpet’s mellow cousin, is beautifully played throughout with a vocal flair that’s rarely heard in the brass world and Armstrong frequently uses guitar foot pedals to great effect as a sort of electronic mute.

Fans of Miles Davis’ moody muted trumpet won’t be disappointed with the original song, “Varese” and opening and closing the album with the haunting Japanese folk song melody of “Sakura.” “Rapture of the Blue 2” reprises the feel of his mute work with top Internet seller, Gretchen Lieberum.


For Rich Armstrong, life has sent him on a wandering path of self-discovery and improvement. With Rich’s Life Pageant, Armstrong has arrived at his destination.

For more info, visit: www.THEricharmstrong.net


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Tracklisting

1. Sakura
2. In Their Eyes
3. Skoo’ Pies
4. Anika’s Song
5. $100 pocket Trumpet
6. Varese
7. Willie’s Bounce
8. Amazing Grace
9. Rapture of the Blue
10. New Orleans Blues Walk
11. 5.2 (Minus MNO)
12. Someday We’ll All Be Free
13. Quiet CT
14. Barbary Coast
15. Booterstown
16. Sakura 2

© 2006 Mighty Sound™, All Rights Reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
Please send questions & comments to richarmstrong(at)sbcglobal.net

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