I doubt that the title of this original composition by Herschel Evans, recorded by the 1938 Basie band, has much to do with this puppy, named W.W. King, or any actual canine.
Many of the titles given to originals in that period were subtle in-jokes about sex, but somehow I don’t associate that with Herschel. I had occasion to speak a few words to Buck Clayton and Buddy Tate, to spend a long subway ride with Bennie Morton, and to be spoken at by Jo Jones . . . and I regret I never asked them, although they might have been guarded or led me down the garden path because I was clearly a civilian outsider. But we have the music. And — unlike other bandleaders — Bill Basie did not take credit for music composed by his sidemen, which I am sure endeared him to them even more.
Moving from the linguistic or the canine to the music, listeners will hear Jon-Erik Kellso delineate the harmonic structure of the tune as “UNDECIDED with a HONEYSUCKLE bridge.” What could be simpler?
Thus . . . music to drive away gloom, created by Scott Robinson, tenor saxophone, cornet; Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Joe Cohn, guitar; Murray Wall, string bass, Cafe Bohemia, 15 Barrow Street, New York City.
I look forward to the day we can meet at Cafe Bohemia and hear such music.
May your happiness increase!