If you’re called “crazy,” it’s not usually a compliment. A psychiatrist might assign your particular condition a number according to the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) so that the health insurance company will know what box your paperwork should go into. But in pop music of a certain era, being “crazy” seems to be an exalted state. Think of the Gershwins’ GIRL CRAZY, or the Fats Waller-Alex Hill I’M CRAZY ‘BOUT MY BABY. Or this wonderful state of being:
The composition was Fletcher’s, but brother Horace did the arrangement and played piano in this wonderful edition of the Henderson orchestra, recording in New York, October 3, 1933 — Russell Smith, Bobby Stark, Henry “Red” Allen, trumpet; Claude Jones, Dicky Wells, trombone; Russell Procope, Hilton Jefferson, Coleman Hawkins, reeds; Horace Henderson, piano; Bernard Addison, guitar; John Kirby, string bass; Walter Johnson, drums. Great dance music, great rhythm section, great solos from Claude Jones, Coleman Hawkins, Bobby Stark, Dicky Wells — I imagine this arrangement being “opened up” for a long romp.
And here’s what that record sounds like:
That riffing composition did not get recorded (although there’s a wonderful video of the Harlem Jazz Camels, featuring Bent Persson, performing it) for another eighty years. But pianist Paolo Alderighi and trombonist Dan Barrett get truly groovy here. What a tempo, and what sounds!
This duo was part of a Rebecca Kilgore record session — recorded in the back room of Portland, Oregon’s Classic Pianos, and you can hear it all on the CD that resulted. Talk to our heroine-friend Ms. Becky here about acquiring a copy, order it on Amazon here, or here on iTunes: it’s crazy in the best ways.
May your happiness increase!