Director/producer Sacha Jenkins honors the life and legacy of Louis Armstrong in his new documentary Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues.
Jenkins who was the music editor of Vibe magazine, and has spent his career covering a wide array of recording artists, takes an intimate look at Armstrong, the so-called founding father of jazz.
In the film, audiences get to hear and see never-before-heard home recordings, archival footage, and personal conversations from Armstrong himself — narrated by Nas.
“When I started doing the research I was completely blown away and he immediately reminded me of so many people I grew up with and one of those was Nas,” he explained. “I called him up and he said let’s do this.”
The film also shows how Armstrong’s own life spans the shift from the Civil War to the Civil Rights movement, and how he became a lightning rod figure in that turbulent era.
“I feel like today’s generation should recognize those that came before you and those who made it possible to do what you to do,” he said.
According to Jenkins, Armstrong was a masterful musician, genius and visionary, but didn’t have to say it, he just “led by example.”
“There’s good music from all era’s but you flash to now, there’s a particular artist, I’m not going to name names,” he says before describing the artist formerly known as Kanye West.
“He’s got to tell people he’s a genius, he’s got to tell people he’s rich, he’s to tell people he’s smart, he’s got to tell people he’s woke, he’s got to tell people what he thinks is best for black people, look at him and then take a step back and look at Armstrong.”
Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues is streaming on Apple TV+ now.