Thanks to Dick Karner of TradJazz Productions for providing inspiration and source material for this blogpost. (You could look into the label’s inspiring hot backlist for some good sounds, too.)
Before we get to Dick’s beneficience, I must ask a difficult question. Do you know how to do the SHIM-ME-SHA-WABBLE? Or, like me, are you simply someone who loves the 1917 song? Hark to the lyrics and perhaps you can learn.
Like the very best teaching, it leaves ample space for personal improvisation. You’re on your own. But you look perplexed. Before you start to “bounce ’round like a big rubber ball” in silence, I have something that will help. For the impatient listeners, the music takes about nineteen seconds to start:
Frank Chace, clarinet; Don Ewell, piano, Beale Riddle, drums. Ewell’s apartment, either Chicago or Baltimore, c. 1952.
Isn’t that brave lovely music? Please don’t write in to say that Ewell sounds just like Jelly or that Frank imitates Pee Wee: I don’t have the psychic army that will protect you from their avenging spirits. Emulation, homage, but not imitation: these are courageous swinging melodists getting under the skin of the music to have their own glorious say.
Now you can truly do the SHIM-ME-SHA-WABBLE.
May your happiness increase!