Thursday, April 26, 2007

78s fRom HeLL: Raymond Scott Quintet - The Girl With The Light Blue Hair (1939)

In recent years there's been much written about the music and career of Raymond Scott. That's a good thing, giving credit where credit is due. A pioneer in jazz, a pioneer in electronic music, you're likely at least a little bit familiar with some of his work, even if you don't think you are.

Pictured above: The Raymond Scott Quintette In New York, 1937

From left to right: Pete Pumiglio (clarinet), Dave Wade (trumpet), Lou Shoobe (bass), Raymond Scott (piano), Johnny Williams (drums), Dave Harris (tenor sax)

For the lineup on this particular recording, replace Dave Wade with Russ Case on trumpet (not pictured).

For more photos, you can go to The Official Raymond Scott Website. (click to link)

To see the band in action, check out this very cool video clip over at YouTube.

As it happens, Scott's proto-bebop, 'chamber jazz' Quintet recordings from 1936 - '39 have proven to be an influence in my life. Certainly the adaptation of some of his compositions in old cartoon soundtracks helped form (warp?) my path from childhood. Later, it was seeking out his music that helped lead me to collecting old 78 RPM records. A bit later still, it was the reissue of some of that same music that finally led me to breaking down and purchasing a CD player.

From what I've been able to tell, this fine Scott Quintet recording has thus far not been reissued on CD. There's a different version of the same tune on a recent collection, but this is the one released in 1939 as the flip side to 'New Year's Eve In A Haunted House'.

As more of Raymond Scott's demo and radio transcription recordings resurface, and as more contemporary bands explore his music, I continue to be struck by how amazing and tight these arrangements are, and what a strong sound the band pulled off with their six-man 'quintet'. No overdubs, no multi-tracking... Wow. Still wow...

Listen to: Raymond Scott Quintet - The Girl With The Light Blue Hair (click for audio)


Anonymous said...

Totally frickin awesome! Raymond Scott and Link Wray are my heroes.
Thank You

Herman van der Meij (Toppy) said...

Thank You so much. I will have Raymond Scot end of this month at my Toppyjazz Radio Show in Holland.

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