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Welcome back, my friends, to the "Battle" that never ends.
We're so glad you could attend. Come inside! Come inside!
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This is 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' ('BOTB') where you listen to different recordings of the same song and vote for the one you like best. A new Battle gets posted on the 15th of each month and six days later, on the 21st, I place my own vote, tally 'em all up and announce the winner.
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Friend? Foe? Stranger? No matter, ALL are welcome. So pull up a chair, pour yourself 24 oz. of 'DOG BITE High Gravity Lager' (or the poison of your choice) and turn it up to Eleven!
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[NOTE: Links to the first year of 'BOTB' (#1 - #24) can be found at the very bottom of this page.]

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

RESULTS: BATTLE OF THE BANDS -- 2017, MARCH 15 (Or, DJANGO REINHARDT VS. CLYDE McCOY)

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STMcC’s Vote On '2017, March 15th: Battle Of The Bands'
(Or, 'Django Reinhardt Versus Clyde McCoy')
And The Final Tally:

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Well, this was an unexpected bust.
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Granted, I knew going into this Battle that Clyde McCoy would have his hands full against Django Reinhardt. Nevertheless, with 'Battle Of The Bands' being primarily a Rock crowd, I figured the jet-fueled tempo of McCoy's version would rocket him to victory. Apparently the Magic 8-Ball was thinking along the same lines. But, WRONG! & WRONG!

This being BOTB (and to borrow a line from the late great Chuck Berry), "You never can tell."

Django was an absolute master and his recording of 'I've Found A New Baby', with all its subtle shadings played in such a seemingly effortless way is pretty mesmerizing to me. However, it probably comes as no surprise that my vote lands on the Clyde McCoy version which I dubbed "Punk Jazz".

When I was a teenager, long ago in a land far away, I got into the Punk Rock scene when it first exploded. Yep, I had those first two Sex Pistols albums, as well as the first three albums by The Clash. I owned a couple of albums by X, the first one by The Germs, also some proto-Punk albums by Iggy And The Stooges, The Ramones, and 'Radios Appear' by Radio Birdman.

A few years older and wiser, I realized it was all a bunch of shit and I jettisoned that noisy vinyl.

But make no mistake, I understood the Punk Rock genre -- I "got it" and liked it for those first few years before my musical tastes changed and made it unlistenable to me.

In the mid-1980s I turned heavily toward the Blues which led me into Jazz by the late-'80s. And it was probably around 1990 or '91, after hearing 'Sing, Sing, Sing' by The Benny Goodman Orchestra that I (as far as I was aware) coined the expression "Punk Jazz".

What Punk Rock lacked in quality musicianship it attempted to make up for with loads of attitude, speed, and volume (as in "up to eleven") on nearly every track.

Now, obviously, you're not going to find the anger of Punk Rock lyrics in old Jazz tunes -- many of which were instrumentals anyway. But that 1937 recording by Benny Goodman was the first time I had found the same sort of aural attack, the same energetic, all-out ferociousness of Punk Rock in a Jazz track. It was like "take-no-prisoners" music; it was like "get outta my way and hang onto something" music. I felt like I wanted play along on my air-guitar; I felt like I wanted to break something and start a fight. Ha!

A few years later, my dear ol' Ma gave me for Christmas some great Jazz CDs. Those discs introduced me to Ralph Marterie, Bill Doggett, and Clyde McCoy. I loved them all, but especially that early Jazz "Wah-Wah" sound of McCoy's trumpet. And it was on that McCoy disc that I found his 1931 recording of 'I've Found A New Baby'. I recognized in it that same attacking energy, that guttural ferociousness that I heard in Goodman's 'Sing, Sing, Sing' and in most of that early Punk and proto-Punk Rock. And Clyde's track preceded Goodman's by 6 years!

That fierce energy and sound really runs throughout McCoy's 'I've Found A New Baby', but if you want to hear perhaps the most prominent point, go back HERE and listen from 2:09 until the end. That sounds like a cross between a barroom brawl and a bull elephant! Or perhaps bull elephants in a barroom brawl.
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FUN FACT: I went to YouTube to grab a video of Benny Goodman's 'Sing, Sing, Sing' (the 1938 Carnegie Hall version) and while I was there, I scrolled through some of the comments. I was surprised to see that I'm not the only person who has noticed some of the attributes it has in common with Punk Rock. Read these 5 different comments and then give a listen to Benny Goodman's great band rockin' out!

Wow. This punk rocker bows down in respect. Absolute brilliance from beginning to end, but throughout, the raw jungle power of Gene Krupa drives this monster like a muscle car. Flat-out crazy awesome!

This rocks. One of the great moments in popular music history.

Quite punk, in its own way. Excellent raging tune.

This is the best Rock drumming ever!  Not even our Blessed John Bonham could do better.

Have often thought that a lot of Swing could be arranged for Heavy Metal band and vice versa.

Which gives me the idea that I suppose I could have even called the Clyde McCoy version of 'I've Found A New Baby' "Heavy Brass" as well as "Punk Jazz".

'Sing, Sing, Sing' -- The Benny Goodman Orchestra


Well, "Punk Jazz" aside, my own vote for Clyde did nuttin' in terms of preventing a blowout:
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Django Reinhardt = 12 votes
Clyde McCoy = 5 votes
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I thank y'all for voting and I hope you will return on April Fool's Day when this fool will present another installment of 'Battle Of The Bands'.
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Just for fun, while on your way out the door, check out this third rendition of 'I've Found A New Baby'. I'd never heard of The Speakeasies' Swing Band until I was putting this latest BOTB installment together, but I think they're terrific! See what YOU think:
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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7 comments:

  1. Going with Django any time ... 2 bad your post does not include audio ... Love, cat.

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    Replies
    1. "Does not include audio"?

      Hmmm.... Both of the videos I embedded here should play without any problem. They're certainly playing for me. (Then again, maybe I'm just spe-eeee-cial. Ha!)

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  2. I will listen to the 2 you have here when I am home:) I am actually surprised that Clyde did not get more votes. I do like Django but my heart went to Clyde. One day, I have to do my ancestry on my dad's side who claimed we were related to Krupa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BIRGIT ~
      Yeah, I really feel that Clyde should have won this Battle, but then half of my BOTB installments don't turn out the way I feel they ought to.

      Related to Krupa? How cool is THAT?! Krupa is my 2nd favorite drummer of all time, right after Joe Morello of the 'Dave Brubeck Quartet'.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      Check out my new blog @
      (Link:] Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

      Delete
  3. I get what you're suggesting about a punk spirit to the version by McCoy, but I wouldn't have made that comparison myself. For one thing I was never a fan of punk--at least not to any great extent. I kind of appreciated some of the music and actually probably appreciate it a bit more now though it's not something I'd listen to much now either.

    When I listen to that McCoy version, as I indicated in my voting comment, the style evokes what I think of as old cartoon music. Or maybe something out of a frantic old movie. I love that style. I recall in my younger days when I'd listen to that kind of music under a state of altered mind (or any of the faster Benny Goodman ensemble work), I thought the music evoked more of a feel of psychedelia. Of course that was the music I was listening to at the time and the real new wave of punk hadn't quite come on the scene. I did enjoy those early bands like the Stooges and MC5, but not like I enjoyed listening to psychedelic music. So I guess my connections would have been different that the ones you had based on your music experience.

    But any of that older jazzy stuff I can relate to and enjoy hearing. It was a fantastic and unique time for musical exploration. It's good to hear bands like the Speakeasies carrying on the tradition for newer generations.

    Decent outcome for the Battle. I too am somewhat surprised by the outcome. But often I am.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out Theme Reveal: It's About Time

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LEE ~
      Yeah, I suppose one could liken the McCoy version (and Goodman's 'Sing, Sing, Sing' for that matter) to any kind of energetic Rock music, such as Psychedelia, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, or even early Rockabilly.

      But the reason I made the Punk Rock association was because I was already familiar with all those other Rock styles, but knew Punk too. And that energy we find in McCoy and Goodman is really a particular type of energy. It's not just fast and loud, but there is an extreme FIERCENESS in it that we don't find in the others. It's a kind of stripped down rage.

      Punk Rock had that fierce rage like no other form of music. What it didn't have was real musicianship. Most of the Punk Rockers were not really accomplished on their instruments, and that's why as I got older and began to really understand and analyze music, I lost interest in Punk Rock. I couldn't get too excited about something that I myself could have done just as well (or bad) with only 6 months practice on a guitar or bass.

      But in McCoy and Goodman, I got that same fierce in-your-face aural assault but with the addition of really great, A-list musicians performing together with all kinds of complex interplay. Great stuffs!

      When I discovered Jazz, I also discovered that my parents had been right all along: their music was way better'n mine had been. Ha!

      My BOTB outcomes have mystified me recently. But it keeps it interesting.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      Check out my new blog @
      (Link:] Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

      Delete

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