And I heard this cascade of notes coming out of a trumpet

World Trade transept escalator ( In Terms Of The Idea Of Doing What You Are) ©MAIERMOUL
World Trade transept escalator (In Terms Of The Idea Of Doing What You Are) ©MAIERMOUL

I went to Chicago. I made a pilgrimage. I took a week off, I went up to Chicago, I had a little car, and I found my way to a place called the Savoy. I sat on a rug-covered bandstand and just waited, and Louis Armstrong came on.

The first thing he played was “West End Blues” and I heard this cascade of notes coming out of a trumpet. No one had ever done that before.

So I was obsessed with the idea that this was what you had to do, something that was your own, that had nothing to do with anybody else.

I was influenced by him, not in terms of notes, but in terms of the idea of doing what you are, who you are.

– Artie Shaw, Our Language, Jazz PBS