Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Classic of the Week

Slim Gaillard, "The Legendary McVouty" (1941-46); Hep

July 14, 1994|BUDDY SEIGAL

This British release presents a collection of early '40s radio transcriptions from the king of the hepcats. Vocalist-guitarist Gaillard couldn't be denied by jazz critics of the day--though many would have preferred to--due to his work with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, but it's through his persona as a jive-talking, loose-throated singer of bop novelties that he is best remembered.

Gaillard created a nonsensical dialect he called "Vout" and employed it liberally throughout such songs as "Voutoreene," "Yep Roc Heresi" and the absurd "African Jive." Listening to these bizarre snippets of sublime wartime surrealism today demonstrates that Gaillard, an unabashed entertainer who relished the raw silliness for which detractors panned him, actually was ahead of his time.

These hypnotic, stream-of-consciousness song-sketches can legitimately be compared to the formless experimentation of Ornette Coleman, Frank Zappa and others, although Gaillard's work is purposefully artless and performed strictly for fun. The extended take here on "Avocado Seed Soup Symphony" boggles the mind with its unrestrained senselessness.

Abetted on these swinging tracks by the likes of Tiny Brown, Slam Stewart, Dodo Marmarosa, Chico Hamilton and others, the rhythm intoxicates as much as the laughter.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|