Saturday, October 06, 2007

HALLOWEEN STOMP FOR HALLOWEEN COUNTDOWN DAY 6. Yes, that's right. Renfield (would you care for a fly) has dug down deep into his dungeon and produced this marvelous 1990 CD called Halloween Stomp from Jass Records. This is such a great cd and it's been a favourite of mine since it came out. Firstly, there's that cover: isn't that great?!? It would be hard to top but the music on the cd itself does: it's jazz and big band 78's with a horror theme. And some great ones, too!
The tracks are arranged chronologically from 1931-1950 starting with old time radio stalwart Ray Noble and his Orchestra and a zany song called "The Haunted House". Undoubtedly my favourite track on the cd is the classic "Mysterious Mose" by Harry Reser and His Radio All-Stars. Some other notables include Rudy Vallee's version of "With Her Head Tucked Underneath Her Arm" (about the ghost of Anne Boleyn, natch), Glenn Miller's "Swingin' at the Seance" (1941), Ozzie Nelson and His Orchestra (yes THAT Ozzie Nelson) performing "The Black Cat" (1938), Louis Prima's "Mr. Ghost Goes To Town" from 1936 (the music of which was appropriated for the Don Knotts' film "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken" decades later -- without credit, as far as I can tell), and two songs which argue with each other (and "Mysterious Mose"): "Ol' Man Mose Ain't Dead" by the Nat King Cole Trio and "Ol' Man Mose Is Dead" by Peggy Lee with Charlie Barnet's Orchestra. Why, it even includes Kay Starr's classic 1949 single "The Headless Horseman".
Besides all this great music, there is a warning to the buyer on the cd booklet that reads: "This cd is haunted! Mysterious aural apparitions appear in front of tracks #2, #4, #5, #9, #11, #13 and #17. Are they friendly spirits? Friendly? To exorcise them, simply forward directly to the track number desired and they disappear like magic! Amaze your friends!" This is actually TRUE! Through the magic of cd technology, strange snippets of unidentified ghostly music appears after the finish of one song and before the start of the next. The cd booklet also includes very nice liner notes and commentaries on each and every sinister song.
The spirit with which Jass Records (for those out of the know, "Jass" is the earlier original word from which "Jazz" evolved) has produced this cd is perfect for Halloween listening. In fact, you can bank on the words printed on the cd cover: "Jazz & Big Band Dance Music For A Haunted House Party!" This cd will get ALL the ghosts stompin'!

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