“BUGLE DISPOSITION RAG” — SAVORY TRANSLATIONS?

Newsweek: Exclusive clips from jazz greats

2. “Bugle disposition Rag”: Count Basie’s 1940 ensemble, featuring substance instrumentalist Lester Young, on a set this adornment never transcribed in the studio, on March 8, 1940. Personnel: author Clayton (tp, arr); Harry “Sweets” Edison, Al Killian, Ed adventurer (tp); Vic Dickenson, Dan Minor, Dicky author (tb); Tab adventurer (as, sop, arr); peer Warren (as); Lester Young, Buddy poet (ts); Jack pedagogue (as,bar); Count Basie (p); Freddie Green (g); director Page (b); Jo designer (d).

I know what Bessie Smith would have said about this!  This excerpt came from www.flashnewsworld.com. and is its very own kind of jive.  Brilliance comes through no matter what amiable violence is done to the language: Google translation has at least recognized that the men of the Basie band were adventurers, authors, designers, and poets.  And what they played was always an adornment. 

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6 responses to ““BUGLE DISPOSITION RAG” — SAVORY TRANSLATIONS?

  1. What would Bessie have said?

  2. Those are some interesting surnames for the Basie band. But I guess you could say Walter Page was the original director 😉

    Cheers,
    Chris

  3. I have this on the best authority — Chris Albertson’s book (and perhaps he got it from Bessie’s niece Ruby): “I ain’t never heard of such shit!”

  4. One morepostscript. As the British used to say, “the penny dropped.” I realized that the reason “Buck Clayton” translates to “author Clayton” and “Dicky Wells” to “Dicky author” has to do with Pearl S. Buck and H. G. Wells. Or this will do until something more plausible comes along. I hope.

  5. Stompy Jones

    You’re right. And Buddy poet = (Allen) Tate. I can hardly wait for Herschel sausage and Mildred Irish cream.

  6. Good catch! But what I wonder about (only for a moment here and there) is the process by which this version came to us. Originally it was in reasonably competent English. Did someone use Google translation to put it into his / her own language and then translate it back into English? It’s like ping pong for one player. The ways of the web are indeed beyond our ability to comprehend.

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