Top 50 JAzz Blog

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Lost New Orleans


One-Nostril Clyde
Toothpick Willie
Joseph 'Vaseline' Brunelle
Clyde 'Ofal' Pivnik
L'il Chicklets
Big Sluice
Leroy 'Creampie' Shavely
Melatonin Slim
Rufus 'Cutacle' Scaline
Buzz The Flea
Girdle and Griddlecakes Duffy(Siamese twins)
Oleander 'Sniffles' Zampa
Two-Crack Max Figgis
Langdon 'Crabcakes' Beaudoin


Sweetie Pie's Monodrome
Mamie's Mantis Hideaway
Queen Lillie's Nectar trap
Pookie's Natural Foods
Betty's Both-Ways Cabaret
Rita's Donuts and Crullers

Musical Organizations

Krispy Taylor's Trudgers
Juan San Juan and His Coffin Twirlers
Harry Ruby and the Minyon-aires
Clyde Baleen and the Super Sieve Six
The South Rampart St. Rhythm Manglers
Ollie's Watchfob Handlers
Louis The Greek's Menthol Stompers
Colonel Butt's Aftertaste Ragtime Orchestra
Ben Bichette's Trough Scrapers


Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Jazz Resolutions for 2021

So far, we've had a 100% failure rate with our end-of-year resolutions, and I see no reason this year should be any different. In fact, especially this year. 

If you should wish to reach me, I'll be curled up in a corner, trying to figure out the difference between LinkedIn and Alignable.

This Year's Resolutions:

  1. Open myself to the wonderful world of Tribute Bands.  
  2. Kickstarter campaign for my chops transplant operation. 
  3. Still have 8 "Giant Steps" keys left to learn. 
  4. Outsource hologram of Jabbo Smith.
  5. Stockpile valve oil, before OPEC gets back its leverage.  
  6. Resurrect career of Hal McKusick.
  7. Finish monograph on sepia-ofay combinations.
  8. Re-make “Bolden.”
  9. Continue not to post Miles Davis photos on social media.
  10. [Fill this space-contact author for price list].

Monday, December 21, 2020

The Worst Xmas Tunes

This is not to knock the idea of hearing songs befitting the season. There are some that retain their charm despite being in heavy rotation decade after decade-mostly the religious ones, not the secular ones, although "The Christmas Song" as sung by Nat King Cole and Judy Garland's version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" are hard not to like.

The fact that the ones I list below are still disturbing the ether is beyond me. And why didn't "(Everyone's Waitin' For) the Man With the Bag" and "I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas" get more traction? Even the best efforts of the Institute cannot elucidate this phenomenon. 



"Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" (Brenda? Come on)

"Santa Claus is Comin' To Town" (intimidation for the kids)

"Jingle Bell Schlock-sorry-Rock"

"It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" (Meredith Wilson. you've done a lot better)

"A Holly Jolly Christmas" (If Burl Ives can't make this work, who can?)

"Santa Baby" (Really, Eartha?)

"Feliz Navidad" (It would be nice to have one in Spanish. So much great music down there and we end up with this. )

"I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" (no comment)

Special mention to "Let It Snow Let it Snow Let it Snow" for the most repetitious title and the most arcane harmonic modulations.


And, just so you don't leave in a bad mood, here's Louis Armstrong doing "Cool Yule.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Music and Political Agita

One thing both Biden and Trump voters seem to agree on is that there’s a lot at stake in this election. The degree of partisanship itself signals how much everyone is worried about the results. Of course, the more partisan you are, the more likely you are to believe that only your side has due cause for concern. The degree to which you accept the idea that someone on the other side has a right to be concerned is the degree to which you accept them as fully human. If you can take a breath and step back from this combative environment, you’ll see there’s kind of an ironic symmetry in this situation and that there are probably emotions that people on both sides are experiencing. 

There may not be a lot of overlap in the musical tastes of Biden and Trump adherents, but music does address at least some of the emotions at play. I’ve been experiencing a complex and wearisome welter of emotions and have tried to choose some tunes that reflect the way this is playing out in my gut. I hope some of it resonates with you and that after this near-civil war, music will offer a way for us to find some common ground.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Stormy Daniels: Super-Heroine

Stormy Daniels: Space Force 

If you're basing a comic book and an animated cartoon series on a sex scandal, who are you gonna choose for your hero? Will it be the always frisky ex-Presidential contender Gary Hart? Jerry Falwell, Jr. and his ménage a trois? What about basing it on humiliated family values and abstinence crusader Representative Mark Souder? 


The eventual winner, it turns out, easily outpaces Hart, Falwell, Mills and their tawdry peccadilloes. For that heroine is none other than Stormy Daniels, adult film star and real-life antagonist of a man easily cast as evil overlord: D. Trump.


The publisher, TidalWave Comics, describes its brainchild Stormy Daniels: Space Force this way: “Captain Stormy Daniels commands the for-hire U.R.E. Helix, a United Republic of Earth starship.  Led by OrDon, a self-proclaimed “very stable genius” and Ruler for Infinity, the U.R.E. seeks to exploit the galaxy’s untapped riches with little regard for who – or what – is out there…Only Captain Daniels, her second-in-command, Dax, her droids, and the mysterious alien, Munch, can save us.”


Co-creator Stormy is excited: “What girl doesn't want to be a sexy comic book character?! I never thought in a million years this dream would come true much less that it would turn out so amazingly! I am so excited to share Space Force with everyone...and not just because it will piss off you-know-who!”


The question we must ask, however, is whether this will actually piss off you-know-who. History says otherwise. The entire sordid tale, one would have thought, might have been enough to penetrate the armor of Trump and his voters. The source of the $130,000 in hush money Daniels was paid by Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen is still not accounted for and may have come from the campaign fund. Trump and co. colluded with National Enquirer owner American Media to keep the story out of the media. A California judge ordered Trump to pay Daniels' legal fees as the prevailing party. None of this made a dent and the fact that Trump was an adulterer, of course, isn’t even an important part of the story. Oh Evangelists, where art thou?


We will see if Stormy Daniels: Space Force is a worthwhile scion of venerable adult comics by the likes of Ralph Bakshi, Larry Welz or R. Crumb. I have a feeling it’s likelier to be closer to Playboy magazine’s Little Annie Fanny and Penthouse 's Oh Wicked Wanda. Still, in an era where humor is circumscribed in the extreme, I welcome something with at least a whiff of transgression. And to be honest, I am curious about that mysterious alien, Munch.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

TOP 10 explanations for the Endless Flow of Miles Davis Photos

Is any one else astonished at the endless succession of Miles Davis photographs? There simply can't have been this many photos of Miles taken during the 65 years of his life. The staff of the Institute has been avidly, even doggedly hunting down the source of this endless fount and has come up with:

THE TOP TEN explanations for the endless flow of Miles Davis photos.
  1. New Drilling in the Arctic
  2. Advances in dowsing
  3. Final accounting of Jimmy Hoffa’s crypt 
  4. Venus in retrograde
  5. Pandemic-inspired cleaning
  6. Excavations at Stonehenge
  7. New Lojack add-on
  8. Milk carton campaign
  9. “Dark Matter” revealed
  10. Uri Geller is back!

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Music Biz Post-COVID

The future of the music industry is very uncertain. Everyone's crystal ball is cloudy, but  
I would refer people to my commentary HERE. Your comments on that page are welcome.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Jazz Snacks

Jazz fanatics are particularly egregious eaters-too busy listening to pay much attention to food. I believe this array of sweet treats will satisfy even the most ludicrously undeveloped jazz palates.

Jack the Gummy Bear
Junior Cook Mints
Chick Webb-lets
Almond Joy Spring
Twix Beiderbecke
Pete Jolly Ranchers
Tootie Heath Bars
James Reese Europe Cups
Bentyne Chewing Gum
Charleston Chew Chasers
Baby Dodds Ruth
Wee Dots
Good and Plenty o' Nuthin'
Eddie Lock-Jaw Breakers
Milk Dud Bascombs
Jeepers Creepers Where'd You Get Those Peeps
Pez Prados

So, spin your wax of Bill Evans' Waltz for Little Debby and Stan Getz's Hershey Bar and wash it all down with a bottle of Chateau Neuf de Pops-bell shaped tones with a poetic nose and a hint of okra. Next day, don't forget your dose of Swiss Kriss.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Covid-19 April Fool’s Prep Kit

Five Great Bagpipe Songs to Play On Your Balcony For Your Neighbors

Hand-knitted fingerless mittens

Zorro Protective Mask

Mao Tse Tung Substitute Toilet Paper (“Don’t squeeze the Chairman”)

Social Distancing Enforcement Device

TV Snacks for the Sports-Deprived

Covid-19 Testing Kit (unlimited supply)

And, an Exemption for Dr. Anthony Fauci:

No more surprises on April Fools Day.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Great Pre-1930 Jazz Tunes

I solicited the favorite pre-1930 songs of the Hot Jazz Records (1917-1931) Facebook group and this is what that knowledgeable group of folks came up with. It represents an enormous variety of music, ranging from "dance" to "blues" to "hot."

People will know some of the names in the list, but I'm sure many more individuals and bands will be unfamiliar. Do yourselves a favor and check out what these musicians have to offer. All of the songs on the list are available online. They are in no particular order.

1.     Oreste's Queensland Orchestra-When The Morning Glories Wake Up In The Morning
2.     Frenchie’s String Band-Red Hot Hottentot
3.     Fletcher Henderson-Whiteman Stomp
4.     Luis Russell: Jersey Lightning
5.     Duke Ellington: Jubilee Stomp (Victor)
6.     King Oliver: Canal St. Blues
7.     Louis Armstrong: Hotter Than That
8.     Irving Mills & His Modernists (w Jack Pettis) - At The Prom-
9.     Red Nichols: Feelin' No Pain (Brunswick)
10.  Nat Brusiloff and His Orchestra-Out of a Clear Blue Sky
11.  Powell's Jazz Monarchs -Chauffer's Shuffle
12.  Original Dixieland Jass Band: Margie
13.  New Orleans Rhythm Kings: Panama
14.  Jimmy Wade: Someday Sweetheart
15.  Red Allen: Swing Out
16.  Clarence Williams: Longshoreman's Blues
17.  Bix: In a Mist
18.  Frank Trumbauer: Ostrich Walk
19.  Walter Page: Squabblin'
20.  Cecil Scott: Springfield Stomp
21.  Joe Venuti/Eddie Lang: The Wild Dog
22.  Al Trent: The Nightmare
23.  Benny Moten: Goofy Dust (1924 Okeh)
24.  Jabbo Smith: Bandbox Stomp
25.  Charlie Johnson: Walk That Thing (take one or 2)
26.  Bessie Smith: Backwater Blues
27.  James P. Johnson: Snowy Morning Blues
28.  Fats: Ain't Misbehavin' (solo piano)
29.  Ted Lewis: Milenberg Joys
30.  Jelly Roll: Black Bottom Stomp 
31.  Jabbo Smith and his Rhythm Aces-Take Your Time
32.  Jack Purvis either Copy'n Louis or Mental Strain At Dawn
33.  Harlem River Quiver" Duke Ellington And His Orchestra
34.  The University Six -San
35.  Benny Goodman and his boys-Jungle Blues
36.  Miff Mole & His Little Molers-Shim-Me-Sha-Wabble
37.  Albert Wynn's Creole Jazz Band-Parkway Stomp
38. Fats Waller - Lookin' Good But Feelin' Bad
39.  Junie C. Cobb & his Grains Of Corn - Shake That Jelly Roll
40.  Fletcher Henderson - Pensacola
41.  Henry Red Allen - Singing Pretty Songs
42.  Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orch. - Rumba Negro
43.  Johnny Dunn, "Sergeant Dunn's Bugle Call Blues" and "Buffalo Blues"
45.  Paul Howard-Quality Shout
46.  Louis Armstrong & His Hot Five-Struttin' With Some Barbecue
47.  Bix Beiderbecke & His Gang -Sorry
48.  Original Memphis Five -Fireworks
49.  Jabbo Smith -Michigander Blues
50. Benny Goodman's Boys-Blue
51.  Roy Johnson's Happy Pals -Happy Pal Stomp
52.  Freddie Keppard's Jazz Cardinals-Stock Yards Strut
53.  McKinney's Cotton Pickers -I'll Make Fun For You
54.  Brownlee's Orchestra Of New Orleans -Peculiar
55.  Fate Marable's Society Syncopators -Frankie And Johnny
56.  Golden Gate Orchestra -After You've Gone
57.  Original Dixieland Jass Band-I Lost My Heart In Dixieland
58.  New Orleans Rhythm Kings-Barataria
59.  Mississippi Maulers -My Angeline
60.  Red Nichols & His Five Pennies -Alice Blue Gown
61.  Jack Purvis -Copyin' Louis
62.  Maynard Baird & His Orchestra -Postage Stomp
63.  Jelly Roll Morton-Burnin' The Iceberg
64.  Tiny Parham -Washboard Wiggles
65.  Danny Altier -My Gal Sal
66.  Paul Tremaine And His Aristocrats -Four Four Rhythm
67.  Cliff Jackson-Torrid rhythm
68.  Duke Ellington - Immigration Blues
69.  Cliff Jackson-Ring Around the Moon
70.  Blue Steele Orch.- Sugar Babe, I'm Leavin
71.  Perdido St. Blues- Johnny Dodds
72.  Tennessee Ten-Long Lost Mama-augmented version of the Original Memphis Five
73.  Charles A. Matson & his Creole Serenaders-Tain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do
74.  Charleston Chasers -My Gal Sal
75.  Lou Weimer's Gold and Black Aces, "Merry Widow's Got a Sweety Now
76.  McKinney's Cotton Pickers - Shim-Me-Sha-Wabble
77.  Jelly Roll Morton - Hyena Stomp
78.  Jimmie Lunceford and his Chickasaw Syncopators-In Dat' Mornin'
79.  King Oliver's Dixie Syncopators-Wa Wa Wa
80.  Louis Dumaine's Jazzola Eight - Franklin Street Blues

Monday, March 23, 2020

Beware Social Distancing Offenders: the Oblivi-Ometer is Here!

At last-a new weapon in the war against the spread of COVID-19: the Oblivi-Ometer! This vital invention is guaranteed to give accurate readings of any citizen’s self-delusion/ego-driven resistance to recognizing the threat of a pandemic. And to do something about it!

Some elements of design remain classified, but we can reveal that the system was built utilizing loading coils in parallel with reruns of Meet The Press to analyze the size of inauguration crowds. The Oblivio-Meter can now penetrate even the thickest skulls and if the meter shows obliviousness readings above a certain level, a shock from Central Headquarters can be delivered, knocking some sense into the subject’s stupid cranium.

Don’t you just wish?

Sunday, January 12, 2020

On Bird's 100th

everyone’s taking a crack at Bird turning 100, so I will:

pubescent ill-fitting jeans of too-early fatherhood.
Out the Shed, gonged by Jo, return to shed.

Dig the drug and start a life spent scoring.

Scares the rest of Hootie’s boys and ripples out.
Dishwashing with a mind full of ecstatic lines. Meets the mob with simultaneous dreams-Diz, Monk…

The dream, sweeping up any musical minds not solely locked into self-preservation. Swamped in the wake of this enormous destroying juggernaut.
The buzz is all and is music and is drugs and the magnetism pulls in the village.

Bastard kind man, generous thief. Appetite’s a ponderous load that crashes wildly down 52nd St., sideswiping and enrapturing.

Wasted bright genius of focus and nod; all things to some and often nothing but tracks and trax. Cracking open the doors. 

Satori and scab, locked in a fatal dance.

Still the purest deeply soiled magnetic field. Swept clean now. Burnished to notes.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Peaches En Regalia

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Frank Zappa's Hot Rats, here are my lyrics to "Peaches En Regalia" (every note).


Too lifelike to destroy,
That fruit can bring you joy.

Let’s put those peaches en regalia;
March proudly with them,
Watch them walk down the street.

Please won’t you let them pass by safely;
Don’t spit on them and don’t eat their little feet.

On a melba float, you can gloat,
As you proudly cheer:
“Let the peaches vote,” they can quote,
Shakespeare, they’re sincere,

You won’t feel remote, if you note,
How they wave to you
Just as if you were the proudest parents who had raised them
Like they were your own small fruit-like children.

Teach them loyalty, wisdom, dignity;
Open a can, let your mind expand.


Set them free, remember even fruit has dignity.
When they come tell them hello,
When they leave tell them goodbye and
Come again, next time please stay longer.

Beware of reincarnation, that fruit you eat may be family,
What if you have stuffed a great-aunt in a spongy cake,
Have a heart, what if she is suffocating
In gooey artificial topping.

They like to dress in nice clothes,
A small string tie and a leisure suit.
No sense resisting a clean, well-dressed fruit,
Panama hat and their snakeskin boots.


Zappa used lots of notes with harmony that changes keys,
Arpeggios and passing tones that rise and fall with accidentals,
Winding riffs a twisted rock zoo,
Wah-wah pedals run amok too.


Hear them coming, closer and closer and closer and closer with
Peaches Leading the way;
Peaches happy and gay,
Why can’t we treat them decently and
Not like delicacies, with a social disease.


Choosing fruit that really sings is not as easy as it seems,
No watermelon, pomegranate, seedless grape or sundried raisin
Has the impact of that peach so fuzzy, fully ripe, delicious.