Wednesday, 25 March 2009

The world is just one big O' Rooni

'Cement Mixer' by Slim Gaillard (Cadet Records, 1945)

'Travelin Blues' by Slim Gaillard from

Ahhh, no, its allreet...arooni

Everythings alreet when you're with Slim Gaillard, master in swing groove & Gaillardese ('Vout!''Macskooto!'), the highwater mark in hip. The coolest man in the world? Neal Cassady saw god in him, now thats pretty hip-arooni...

' Now Dean approached him, he approached his God; he thought Slim was God; he shuffled and bowed in front of him and asked him to join us. 'Right-orooni,' says Slim; he'll join anybody but won't guarantee to be there with you in spirit. Dean got a table, bought drinks, and sat stiffly in front of Slim. Slim dreamed over his head. Every time Slim said, 'Orooni,' Dean said 'Yes!' I sat there with these two madmen. Nothing happened. To Slim Gaillard the whole world was just one big orooni.'
-extract from On The Road by Jack Kerouac

Slim's nonsense songs were pretty much improvised in the moment in clubs and even recording studios. 'Cement Mixer' emerged as Slim, taking five outside the studio, watched a cement mixer in use across the lot for a moment, then ran back inside & commemorated it in song.

Slim was the linguistic ringmaster of fourties bebop, and became the toast of Hollywood after a residency on Frank Sinatra's CBS radio show led to a part in the movie Hellzapoppin'. His jive jargon enjoyed enormous vogue. Bob Hope asked Marlene Dietrich what she thought of Slim Gaillard on his radio show. 'Vout!' she replied.

"There are only two men that I look up to...
Slim Gaillard and Dizzy Gillespie. Without them
I wouldn't be playing."
-Miles Davis

Travelin Blues by Slim Gaillard:

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