Sunday, 13 March 2011

"Gin for Christmas"

I love Ziggy Elman. Well-known for his frailich trumpet specialties and his And the Angels Sing, Ziggy could play both sweet and hot. Very hot. Gin for Christmas (Bugle Call Rag in another guise) is a record he made with Lionel Hampton in 1939. Hampton is the drummer. With due respect to the other eminent players, the first half is pretty ordinary; then Hampton and Elman set it ablaze. Ziggy's wild entrance at 1:53 never fails to astonish. Outside of Roy Eldridge, I don't know another like it. From there Ziggy takes it home in grand style, accompanied by audible cries of exultation from Hampton.

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