Good Music We Can Know

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Double Order of O-Root-O-Roonies: Slim Gaillard- Slim Gaillard 1945 Vol. 1

If you are anything like me, you are always on a scat hunt, eyes always peeled for hip nonsense droppings like you were a bear scientist. Scatting is that most eloquent confluence of glossolalia and nonsense-syllabic poetizing., and Slim Gaillard is a rare and unique customer in the annals of scat-science, a certain genius of the craft. He spoke eight existing languages, as well as a ninth of his own ingenious creation: Vout. An absurd language it is, but consistent enough that he was able to write a real Vout O-Reenie dictionary, making him a jazzy and hip successor to the spirit of the Voynich Manuscript.

Wiki this dude. He is interesting: Gaillard's childhood in Cuba was spent cutting sugar-cane and picking bananas, as well as occasionally going to sea with his father. However, at the age of 12, he accompanied his father on a world voyage and was accidentally left behind on the island of Crete. After working on the island for a while, he made his home in Detroit. In America, Gaillard worked in an abattoir, trained as a mortician and also had been employed at Ford's Motor Works...

Here's a collection of Slim works for you. On it you'll find the voutest, o-root-o-reetest collection of hipcat jazz slams with obsessive repetitions of vooties, reenies, routies, rooties, vouties, zeenies, and so on. Sublime, goofy, and fairly brilliant. I've also included a live rendition of his finest song: "Yep Roc Heresay," a wild and thrilling mishmash of Voutspeak and Arabic food names and phrases. It has been called the first jazz song sung in Arabic. You will love life while listening to this crazy shit.


(here is a fantastic performance with his very gifted bassist stealing the show and Scatman Crothers on drums. Yeah, you heard me, SCATMAN CROTHERS)

His abilities weren't limited to inventing words and singing them with an insane, cartoonishly gleeful zest; he also played piano with his hands inverted, palms facing up, and attacked the guitar with a proto-avant shred approach, sounding at times like Sir Richard Bishop or Fred Frith, all the while delivering his performance with the slapstick comedic precision of Chico Marx's piano interludes, or some of Harpo's more destructive harp recitals. Check it out:

And here's a link to some stuff of his on Ubuweb. Thank you for your time.


Anonymous said...






Also: the dunkin' bagels song!


Anonymous said...

Wow, those videos are sick. Thank you!

Flash Strap said...

Scat fans can check out some fat slams from occasional Gaillard collaborator and scat genius in hi sown right, LEO WATSON, here:

It's Good!

JT said...

uh, please mister rootie man, can we have a re-up? x

JT said...

your blog is... mindbendingly great...