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Friday, January 3, 2014

15 of 1001 Songs: Cab Calloway and His Orchestra's Minnie the Moocher

Jazz just got so much better with Cab Calloway and His Orchestra. I think over time my love of it has grown, particularly jazz from the 1930's as this one is. Calloway's voicing sounds great with the instrumental arrangement, and it makes the song sound like it has so much attitude. It's a classic you've most likely heard, and will be around for years more.

History: The song was recorded in 1931, and after it's release it would sell a huge one million copies. The song would popularize the scat wording of music associated with jazz. The song is actually referencing drug references throughout the song even though it won't be obvious upon listening. The song is now apart of the Grammy Hall of Fame, and it's still popular in pop culture today with many references in television and movies.


Vocals: Calloway has very good vocals. They are unique and easy to define if you hear them. The scat wording that he used also sounds great, and the accounts of the audience joining in, and him basically challenging them to who could last longer sounds like his shows would have a lot of fun to go to. I like how passionate his vocals are, and how into the music he sounds even though the lyrics are a lot different than the voicing and vibe of the song leads you to believe.

Instrumentals: You a lot of instruments that make up the jazz sound being played. If you like the brass arrangement, and the other various instruments that come together then you'll enjoy how this song sounds. Your like for the song is increased if you enjoy music that is jazz from the 30's. I like the sway of the instrument that sounds most prominent. Perhaps it was a trumpet, most likely a trombone? Either way I liked how it sounded like it was crying, and it adds something that is flare to the song.

Lyrics: The lyrics are very interesting, and it makes it more interesting to know that Cokey was a reference to cocaine, and basically what sounds like the further corruption of a character of Minnie after she meets Smokey a Cokey. Even though these lyrics may not set the best of influences I find it to be very interesting, and very well written. It isn't in your face with what it's about, but you are obviously getting a story when you listen. It doesn't have to be all vulgar and in your face to be provocative.

Minnie the Moocher is a song that I imagine I will be listening to again. It has a very cool sound, and the scat wording is something I've always liked, and it's cool to find artist that do it. The story of the tune is also interesting, and shows that no matter what time you're from people have always been dabbling with the same problems and enjoyments many still do.

Rating 9 of 10.


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