10/13/07

STORMY WEATHER--CAB CALLOWAY EDITION

CabCalloway

His Armstrong's are on the money, and you can't igg the drape, especially that outrageous orchestration. Before we final this "Stormy Weather" blap, let's slide the jib about Cab Calloway's trickeration...

For a translation of the above jive into English, click here. Then, enjoy Cab's solo moment from "Stormy Weather", the marvelous "Geechy Joe", a veritable master class in the art of "zoot". Few perfomers can reach Cab's heights of uninhibitedness, of near-rapture while maintaining his ineffable cool, his deep groove. He was a curiously overlooked jazz great (no doubt the icky's had their glasses on because of his immense celebrity and showmanship) but he kept working well into his eighties--he was all business, running his band like the cottage industry it was, writing his own material and keeping his name, image and routine in front of the public years after the vogue for his style had died away. Once, as I recall, I saw him at Disneyland in the late 1970's and, while he was a tad more subdued than in the below clip, he still held the stage with mangetic force. Too bad the movies didn't really find a place for him, though in recent years a plethora of "soundies" have appeared, featuring Cab on film in his prime. And of course, there's always the "Blues Brothers"...



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