excerpt from 'Doggin' around' pp. 157 (161 words)

excerpt from 'Doggin' around' pp. 157 (161 words)

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Doggin' around

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[The Jazz Record Society] asked me to give a talk and I chose the subject 'Humour in Jazz'.  Among the pieces I played were Clark Terry's 'Mumbles' and a lovely track, drawn to my attention by jazz critic and writer, Bruce Crowther, where Memphis Slim sings 'Beer Drinking Woman' and Madeleine Gautier does a line-by-line translation into French: 'Elle était une grande buveure du bière...' It's bliss, if you can find it.

For the grand finale I chose Carla Bley's band playing 'Star Spangled Banner Minor and Other Patriotic Themes.  This is an extended piece - a kind of fantasia on national anthems - and lurches into some very wild free blowing before getting back on to the rails just in time for a big and funny finish.

The band was at its loudest and wildest when I heard someone in the audience murmur to the bloke next to her: 'You're the president - can't you stop it?'

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excerpt from 'Doggin' around' pp. 157 (161 words)


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