No, I haven’t utterly lost my ability to proofread. The title of this post is, however, a nearly unforgivable pun. I couldn’t resist.
YouTube is neck-and-neck with potato chips as an addictive pleasure, and while looking around for something else jazz-flavored, I came across this. Or, properly, I tripped over it — turning it on simply because I couldn’t believe it. Perhaps you should turn it on before I describe it, as it might seem indescribable at first. For the skeptical reader, I assure you, there’s a solid underpinning of jazz here: Bix Beiderbecke’s recording of SORRY.
The performer is Mike Penny, someone I knew nothing about except that he seems a string virtuoso with a hot attack and a swinging terminal vibrato. And the instrument? YouTube says that it is a Tsugaru shamisen. It has three strings and no frets, and to me it resembles a boxy banjo.
Perhaps Mike Perry is somehow channelling Snoozer Quinn’s dextrous ghost? Stranger things have happened! But I went to his MySpace page and learned that he lives in Valencia, California, and is a master player of this instrument in every genre imaginable. In fact, you can hear him play GRACE ANE BEAUTY there, too. Check him out!
And BIX LIVES, by the way —