Saturday, 20 August 2011

The Spirits of Rhythm

In an astute, perceptive comment on my Ink Spots post, a certain S.R. Shoes, who speaks with authority on all things strummed, speculates about the instrumental accompaniment to Your Feet's Too Big. I'm certain about "Hoppy" Jones' pizzicato cello, but as for the strummed instrument Mr. Shoes writes:

That might be a ukulele, but to me it sounds more like a tipple -- which I think had twelve strings and was often part of the Spirits of Rhythm recordings. The Spirits are contemporaneous with the Mills Brothers (the Mills clan exploded as stars in 1931; the Spirits first recorded in 1933 and never made it in the same way).

All the more reason, then, to revisit the Spirits of Rhythm now. The selection playable below is, by happy coincidence, called Rhythm. It's from 1933 and includes the inimitable scat-singer Leo Watson, Wilbur Daniels, and Douglas Daniels playing tipples, Virgil Scoggins on homemade percussion, and the estimable Teddy Bunn, about whom a much-loved jazz scholar and commentator once wrote, "The world would be a better place if more people knew about guitarist/singer Teddy Bunn."

This one's for you, Mr. Shoes. Feel free to play air tipple while you listen.

And an encore: the Spirits of Rhythm with Red McKenzie.

No comments:

Post a Comment