Friday, April 20, 2007

Slim Gaillard

For Phil Schaap:

Once upon a time there were hipsters. I'm not talking about the people who moved to and ruined your neighborhood and are killing you softly with their ironic bad taste. Hipsters had good taste and were actually hip. They knew about and experienced things that you only read about in books. Slim Gaillard was a hipster of the highest order. Jack Kerouac (another hipster) knew this and wrote books about it. In On The Road, Sal and Dean go to see Slim play in San Francisco and have a drink with him after his set. "Bourbon-orooni...thank-you-ovauti..." Slim said. Like Lester Young (another hipster), Slim spoke his own language. He called it Vout. It was mostly gibberish be-bop jive, but there was a method to his madness. He was funny as hell and he swung. Slim claimed to be half Greek and from Cuba. In fact, he was half German and from Detroit. When I was kid, we sang a nursery-rhyme called, "Down by the Station," I found out later that Slim wrote it. It's featured below in today's selections, as are collaborations with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, Cold War musings about the apocalypse, and "Yep-Roc-Heresay," where he recites the menu from an Armenian restaurant.

So have "a double order of reeti-footees with a little hot sauce on it...that'll just about fix it."

Download: GONE mp3

Download: GONE mp3

Download: GONE mp3

Download: GONE mp3

Download: GONE mp3

Download: GONE mp3

Slim Gaillard and Van Morrison on YouTube: Here

More about Slim Gaillard: Here

Buy Slim Gaillard music at Amazon
or at your local independent record store


baikinange said...

Nice stuff. Maybe you will enjoy my Slim stuff on my blog:

Ted Barron said...

very nice, thanks,

jon said...

Nice stuff. His daughter married Marvin gaye didn't she? I have some hazey recollection of a TV documentery about him many moons ago. . .
oh well,
thanks for the cool blog

Unknown said...

Killing me softly with ironic bad taste? hah!

I've had a few old Donald Duck comics that had whole stories based on Slim Gaillard's jive. Just ask Jimmy Gettinger! That fuck!

Ted Barron said...


The documentary you are talking about is in the YouTube link with this post. Done for the BBC in the 80's. It's all I've seen of it, and it looks awesome.


Anonymous said...

Slim was also on Flip Wilson's show doing a couple of songs.

Anonymous said...

That BBC documentary has never been repeated and with good reason, it caused a minor scandal. In the last episode of the doc, Slim interviews a girl purporting to be the girl in the famous BBC 'test card': He even sings her a song 'Who's The Little Girl In The Test Card?'. Anyway, it turned out he'd been taken in by a nutcase.
The real 'test card' girl found out and raised a ruckus. I remember seeing her on a few TV shows setting the record straight and all that.
Christ, what an embarrassment. A sad end to a great life and career.

BTW his early stuff is nice an' all but check out the late work 'Siboney' It's really very good.

Ted Barron said...


thanks. i had to look up what the test card girl was, being a yank, i knew nothing of this bit of uk culture. carole hersee is her name, daughter of the engineer who designed "test card f". i couldn't find anything on the controversy. and thanks for the tip on late slim. i shall explore.


Oscar Grillo said...

I need to report that in a blog I visited recently I had to write the verification word VOUTI. I felt like if I won the lottery

Ted Barron said...

That may be my favorite comment ever, unfortunately with this post being nearly 2 years old, I may be the only person that see's it. What are the the chances of someone knowing the signifigance of VOUTI having to type it in one of those boxes? Slim. Get it? It is serendipit-o-roonie.


Kozmic Dung said...

I have just discovered Slim... totally far out!!
Thanks for this post :)

The Daisy Farm said...

I feel like a bit of a hipster myself listening to him, but he is good. Lots of hipster guilty pleasures here: