Slim Gaillard

Slim Gaillard Rides Again

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Slim Gaillard's career had stalled a bit by the time of this 1958 studio session for Dot, as his blend of comic jive vocals and jazz had likely worn a little thin. Unlike his earlier recording with bassist Slam Stewart (and later Bam Brown), Gaillard seems to pretty much abandon the mysterious hip language he referred to as "McVouty," though the emphasis is on his humorous vocals in most of the tracks with an unidentified bassist and drummer. One of the best songs is an instrumental, a blues called "Slim's Cee" featuring the leader on piano. Unfortunately, his routines aren't particularly amusing and haven't survived the test of time very well on either the several standards (including "Oh, Lady Be Good!" and "How High the Moon") or originals, which make up the rest of the disc; while he is adequate on piano and guitar, there's nothing included on this CD that would make this an essential purchase for anyone except the most ardent Slim Gaillard fan. It's not surprising to learn that Gaillard's opportunities to record were almost nonexistent for over a dozen years after this record was released. Like other titles in Verve's limited-edition reissue series, this title will be available only until September 2005.

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