Parents' Guide to

Louis Armstrong's Black & Blues

By Sabrina McFarland, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Definitive bio docu about beloved jazz trumpeter; language.

Movie R 2022 107 minutes
Louis Armstrong's Black & Blues movie poster image.

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This documentary easily scores high notes with its look into the life of the jazz icon. In Louis Armstrong's Black & Blues, the New Orleans, Louisiana native reveals that as a kid he would shoot craps, sell newspapers, and hustle to play with other musicians. Armstrong says that back in 1915 he "always had a pocket full of money" and considered himself "always a kid who had some get up about him."

A stint as a juvenile delinquent, however, led Armstrong to an orphanage where the teen learned to play the coronet. "I became so good," he says and when asked by a teacher to become a band leader, the aspiring musician "jumped straight up into the air." With Armstrong's soaring sound and story of survival, Louis Armstrong's Black & Blues is sure to resonate with film viewers.

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