My friend plok is apparently Officially Old today (I don’t know how old, but those were his words) and has decided that for a birthday present he wants people to post YouTube videos of songs he asks for on their blogs. From me he asked for this – Gimme A Pig’s Foot And A Bottle Of Beer by Bessie Smith.
Interestingly, I’d always liked this track but never looked up who the backing band were. Turns out it’s a pretty stellar line-up – Buck Washington (piano). Frank Newton (cornet), Benny Goodman (clarinet), Jack Teagarden (trombone), Chu Berry (sax) and Billy Taylor (bass). It’s a shame the recording is so muddy, because this is so different from the music Goodman or Teagarden would normally play I wish I could make out their lines better (Goodman is one of the major influences on my own melodic thinking), but the only instruments that can be heard with any clarity are Washington and Newton (playing in a style very obviously influenced by Louis Armstrong).