Slim Gaillard

The Legendary McVouty

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Slim Gaillard tickled many a funny bone with his jive vocals and invented a language which he called McVouty. These transcriptions, which were made for broadcast to the U.S. Armed Forces -- generally complete with stage chatter between numbers -- were made between 1941-1946 with various lineups. Gaillard never achieved the same level of chemistry with bassist Bam Brown that he did with his original partner, Slam Stewart, who was both a far better player and more listenable singer than Brown. Several of Gaillard's memorable novelty hits are included: "Cement Mixer," "Tutti Frutti," and the hilarious "Avocado Seed Soup Symphony." But vocal features for drummer Leo Watson ("Operatic Aria," though it's actually a blues) and pianist Harry "The Hipster" Gibson ("Hey, Stop That Dancing Up There") fall flat. The performances give the impression that the listener is missing out by not being able to see the group's antics on-stage. Slim Gaillard is best-heard in small doses of three to four songs before the novelty wears off, but this well-recorded collection is representative of his typical fare during the 1940s.

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