Thursday, December 31, 2009

You're Invited To Spend New Year's Eve In A Haunted House

Like most of Raymond Scott's 1930s Quintette tunes, "New Year's Eve In A Haunted House" is a descriptive musical portrait of a specific fantasy. As Max "Bunny" Sparber observed, Scott "eschews the hammy organ and ghostly wailing typically associated with ghost-ridden mansions in favor of a sprightly horn-driven number. The piece could pass for a cheerful foxtrot, but for a single muted trumpet blast that interrupts the music with a moaning 'waah' sound and a percussion solo that includes an ominous chimes progression. There’s something haunting this song, that’s for sure; we should be grateful that it appears to be in a good mood." Welcome that good mood for the new year — watch > THIS < spirited live arrangement by Portland's Vagabond Opera.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Holiday Greetings from the Hit Parade Gang

Raymond and his Your Hit Parade costars insist the Christmas tree isn't the only thing in your house that should light up this holiday season. May Santa bring you a car-sized carton of Luckies.
Ironically, Scott did not smoke. But he probably didn't object to getting paid for endorsing the show's sponsor. Here's a video of Dorothy Collins singing holiday praises for the brand.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Beau Hunks Sextette: Powerhouse

Beau Hunks Sextette drummer Louis Debij leans into the "Powerhouse" 'B' section

Dutch TV footage of the original Beau Hunks Sextette's performance of Scott's "Powerhouse" from 1994 has been uploaded by designer/historian Piet Schreuders. The seg features some great camera angles of the players.

The band was originally called The Wooden Indians (after a Scott title) when their all-RS tribute CD, Celebration on the Planet Mars, was released by the VPRO that year. When it was reissued the following year on Basta, the band morphed into the BH6, an acknowledged spin-off of the much larger Beau Hunks Orchestra.

Bassist Gert-Jan Blom was in the vanguard of the RS revival. He first contacted me in 1992 after the release of the first Scott CD compilation, Powerhouse: Volume 1, which I co-produced in 1991 with Will Friedwald for the now-defunct Stash label. At the time, Scott was an obscure historical footnote; "Powerhouse" consisted of several melodies instantly familiar to every Earthling from its incessant use in Warner Bros. cartoons, but few knew its name or the composer. Gert-Jan recognized the importance of this music, and began to champion Scott in his native Netherlands in concert, on radio, and on CD. He was a significant force, along with Jeff Winner, in the first commercial release of Scott's historic Manhattan Research Inc. electronica from the 1950s and '60s.

Beau Hunks saxophonist Robert Veen has revived saxophone classics from the early 20th century on several of his own CDs

Friday, December 18, 2009

everything old is ... still old

When the Raymond Scott boomlet emerged in the early 1990s (print media still predominated), "clever" headline writers by the dozens resorted to a pair of first-thought cliches: "Great Scott!" and "That's Not All, Folks!" Great minds don't think alike; unimaginative ones do.

Now from our friend in Tokyo, Takashi Okada, comes proof that one of these shopworn teasers had gained RS-related currency decades ago (if not earlier). This Australia-released Coral "Little Album" (in the U.S. = EP, for extended play, longer than a single, shorter than an album) hit retail shelves down under in the mid-1950s:

The quartet of recordings originated on Scott's full-length orchestral U.S.-released LP, This Time With Strings (reissued on CD earlier this year thru Basta). Okada recently purchased this little-known artifact and provided us with scans. Here's the back cover:

"Pretty Little Petticoat" was an orchestral composition by Scott which was used for several years in the early 1940s as a radio theme. It is unrelated to 1939's "Pretty Petticoat," three versions of which appear on the Raymond Scott Quintette CD Microphone Music.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Merry Christmas & Happy Smoking!

One of Raymond Scott's earliest and most-successful commercial jingles was "Be Happy, Go Lucky" for Lucky Strike cigarettes. A special Christmas modification was made to the tune for the 1950s TV show, YOUR HIT PARADE. Watch here as YHP star (and Scott's second wife) Dorothy Collins explains the virtues of gifting your loved ones tobacco. Then check-out more Raymond Scott videos on our YouTube Channel

P.S. An interesting aside: the holiday version of the carton's packaging was crafted by another influential Raymond, the famous industrial designer Raymond Loewry.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Archeological stunner

Raymond Scott's "Powerhouse," composed in 1937, discovered in 1932 cartoon. Thanks to Miguel Malla, tenor saxophonist of the Spanish band Racalmuto, for the archival alert.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Trouble With Hitchcock

For years I've asserted that Six Degrees Of Separation can be reduced to two or three if Raymond Scott is in the equation. Case in point: Alfred Hitchcock's 1955 feature, THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY. This morbid comedy/murder mystery connects Scott to numerous Hollywood heavies including Shirley MacLaine (in her debut role), John Forsythe, legendary Academy Award-winning soundtrack composer Bernard Herrmann, and even a young Jerry Mathers (later a TV icon in the title role on LEAVE IT TO BEAVER).

Scott's song "Flaggin' The Train To Tuscaloosa" is sung by Forsythe's character, Sam Marlowe, early in the movie. According to an April 1955 Daily Variety news item, Scott originally composed the tune as a commercial jingle for the YOUR HIT PARADE television series (on which he conducted the orchestra during the decade). Variety noted that the melody had different lyrics for the commercial, with new words penned by accomplished songsmith Mack David for the Hitchcock film. (Mack is the brother of Hal David, who co-wrote with Burt Bacharach — another legend three degrees from Scott.)
ABOVE: from the opening credits
BELOW: Shirley MacLaine & John Forsythe are pictured on the cover of the piano sheet music

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Totally Tubeular

Live concert footage, classic and contemporary cartoons, vintage movie clips, clever commercial interruptions, and low-brow home-brewed videos are just some of the cheap free thrills to be found among the 150 favorites collected at our official YouTube channel:

Monday, November 23, 2009

Reel News

Raymond Scott's son, Stan Warnow, with updates on his documentary about his father:
My film is now basically finished, and I will be in Amsterdam this week as it's been accepted into the International Documentary Film Festival (the 'Docs For Sale' component). It has shown in a few other festivals already, including Biografilm in Bologna last June, and the HHM Film & Music fest in Bay City, MI in September.
It gained world-wide publicity through the BBC — they've interviewed me three times in the past year — the most recent being a Front Row piece a couple of weeks ago, and a segment from BBC World Service last August.
Excerpts will be shown at the Northern Lights Film Festival in England as part of a linked event with Stu Brown's group, performing at the Sage Gateshead Jazz Festival, which runs concurrently. And the official UK premiere will be at the Sensoria Festival the following month in Sheffield.
Also, it is scheduled for a screening next April as part of the Jazz Film Series at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.
Another relevant development — I recently sent Leonard Maltin, one of the country’s most recognized and respected movie critics and historians, a preview DVD in hopes he would screen the documentary. Very gratified to report that he has, and here’s his reaction:
''A fascinating look at a musical genius and the way he lived his life. Stan Warnow allows us to share his journey of discovery as he pieces together the story of his father. I throughly enjoyed it.''
It’s a real thrill for me to get such positive feedback from one of the best-known film critics in America!
—Stan Warnow

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Bump In The Night

Adult Swim, the adult-oriented cable TV network that shares channel space with Cartoon Network at night, features shows and commercial breaks that are interrupted by creative bumpers that use short jokes or Internet fan feedback, usually broadcast in simple white letters over a black screen.

If you took a bathroom break and missed them, here's a trio of bumps featuring a mutated mix of Raymond Scott's "In The Hall Of The Mountain Queen" obsessively archived at

Friday, November 06, 2009

Egg Money

These two clever commercials for the UK-based Egg Bank have been perched on the web (and forgotten about, by us) for several years. Both spots feature super furry animals—in fact, some of the top names in the guinea pig acting community.

The musical scores are by Raymond Scott—specifically, two licensed tracks from Manhattan Research, Inc.: "Domino" and "Baltimore Gas & Electric," both composed and recorded in the early 1960s. Ironic that two works intended by Scott for commercials wound up almost 50 years later being used in ... commercials.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The Marx Bros. meet Raymond Scott

It hadn't even been composed when the Marx Brothers movie A Day at the Races was released in 1937, but thanks to digital editing (and a mischievous disregard for cinematic integrity), the Raymond Scott Quintette composition "Steeplechase" now underscores the final sequence of the film, thanks to the Spanish jazz sextet Racalmuto. Miguel Malla of the band also writes:
"We just finished another successful week at El Café Central and on November 19 we'll play at the opening of Experimental Movie Week in Madrid. We'll have a chance to play with projections on a big cinema screen in an old cinema house from the 1930s, maybe the largest screen in Madrid."

Thursday, October 29, 2009

jungle drums, slapped bass & squeaky toys

Stu Brown's Raymond Scott Project CD draws celebratory ink from the UK's Mojo magazine. It's also "Disc of the Day" (Nov 2) at The Jazz Breakfast.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

epic bash

"Hitting things with a stick is the cornerstone of civilization," wrote P.J. O'Rourke many years ago. Percussionist-composer Jude Traxler offers a frenetic contribution to civilization with his drum solo on Scott's "Powerhouse," performed as part of the Manhattan School of Music's weekly Power Concerts in December 2008. The camerawork's a bit fuzzy on the YT clip, so we decided to forego a screen grab. Lots of fun to watch, though. Thanks to MSM trumpeter Andrew Kozar for coordinating the Scott repertoire, which included "Dinner Music for a Pack of Hungry Cannibals," "Tobacco Auctioneer," and "The Penguin."

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Shhh... John Cage & Raymond Scott

More than a dozen Raymond Scott tunes were immortalized in Bugs Bunny classics, but there's one Scott composition that was never heard in cartoons. In fact, it was never heard.

"The antics of a 13-piece orchestra made audiences fidget and giggle," TIME magazine reported more than a decade before the premiere of John Cage's famous silent composition, 4'33". "The band was going through all the motions: the swart, longish-haired leader led away; the brasses, the saxophones, the clarinets made a great show of fingering and blowing. This, explained leader Raymond Scott, was silent music."

Scott's 1941 audience didn't appreciate the stunt, however. According to Cage, his 1952 presentation also fell on deaf ears: "They missed the point. There’s no such thing as silence. What they thought was silence, because they didn’t know how to listen, was full of accidental sounds."

Raymond conducted other sensory deprivation experiments during this period. The same TIME article claimed he had learned to drive a car with his eyes closed, and that he could "take one look at a parking space, back into it without taking another; memorize a turn the first time, drive it shut-eyed thereafter. Raymond Scott still drives his band open-eyed — with results which, when audible, sound neat and crisp."

Sadly, few recordings of Scott's "Silent Music" survive, and it remains unreleased to this day. However, to any musician brave enough to attempt it we will provide charts.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Pasadena Creative Music

The mission of the Pasadena Creative Music series is to showcase many of "the most fun and imaginative performing artists in Los Angeles." And on Monday, October 12th at 6pm, the second half of the program will "explore the music of the legendary composer and inventor Raymond Scott, whose music is widly known through its placement in many Looney Tunes and Merry Melodies favorites, despite the fact that he never actually scored for cartoons. The Los Angeles Raymond Scott Sextet will play a set of these exciting pieces in their original jazz concert context."

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Dought Abides

''I had a big thing for Raymond Scott loops. Hell, I could probably eke out a living producing hiphop records, using nothing but breakbeats and Raymond Scott compositions.''

Today Mike Doughty dropped his new album, SAD MAN HAPPY MAN. There's no connection to Raymond Scott on this record, but we wanna plug it anyway. Irwin & I are big fans of Doughty's music & his 1990s band Soul Coughing — & not just because they released three tracks with Raymond Scott samples.

"Bus To Beelzebub," from their first album RUBY VROOM, was based on adapted loops from Scott's "Powerhouse," as heard in numerous Bugs Bunny cartoons. "Uh, Zoom Zip," from the same album, uses samples from the RS Quintette's recording of "The Toy Trumpet" that are so distorted they went unidentified for years. By contrast, the loops from the RSQ's "The Penguin" heard throughout SC's "Disseminated," on their 2nd album, IRRESISTIBLE BLISS, are easy to spot. I love the track & think it's one of the coolest uses of Scott samples by any artist, but Doughty is ambivalent. "The lyrics are not my proudest," he explained for "Don’t get me wrong, I’m pro-nonsense, but at the time we were sequencing the record I dismissed the song as 'harmelodic vaudeville.' Democracy won out, the song made the record, and it ended up being the only damn song on the record that Robert Christgau liked when he reviewed it in Spin."

Doughty is currently working on a new batch of loop-based electronic music, but don't expect more Raymond Scott samples. "After the first record, my bandmates were increasingly unreceptive to loops I brought in from other people's music. Maybe they were right, we woulda been poorer, giving our money away to other composers," he said at "I could only use the majority of the loops live — gone are the days when Warner Bros. would write a fat check to pay off the Raymond Scott estate and Toots Hibbert for their unsuspecting contributions! Even rappers are too smart to use samples these days."

Monday, October 05, 2009

Raymond Scott Project site updated

Stu Brown, whose UK Raymond Scott Project we've written about previously, has updated his website, including new press shots and a video clip from the Glasgow Jazz Fest. He intends to add more video over the next few days.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

The thrill of a lifetime ...

... a long lifetime (91 years), one of the highlights of which has to be seeing yourself portrayed—however briefly—onstage in a New York theater. That was the honor accorded Mrs. Raymond (Mitzi) Scott on Sunday September 20, after she flew in from the west coast to attend a matinee of Powerhouse, the FringeNYC Festival biographic musical fantasia about her late husband. The cast was told Mitzi would be attending one of the four "Fringe Encore" (extended run) performances, but were not told which—to prevent an added layer of stage jitters (particularly for Clare McNulty, who offered a very sympathetic portrayal of Mitzi). The highly animated performance zoomed along smoothly, and Mitzi adored the show, after which she was introduced to the house and presented by the cast with a bouquet of roses.

The snapshot above was taken outside the Actors' Playhouse on Seventh Avenue after the final curtain. Left to right: Josh Luxenberg (writer); Jon Levin (director and concept); Hanley Smith (Dorothy Collins); Clare McNulty; Eric Wright (Mel, Puppet Designer and Builder); Mitzi Scott; Ben Dziuba (Chuck); Deborah Radloff (Pearl Zimney); Erik Lochtefeld (Raymond Scott); and Jesse Garrison (Carl).

Following the initial August run, the cast was awarded the FringeNYC 2009 Excellence Award for Outstanding Ensemble. The show was one of 20 (out of over 200) that earned a September slot in the Encore series. The next step—if the theatrical gods show favor—is for Powerhouse to open Off-Broadway. Here's hoping. A larger venue and a more accommodating budget would magnify the show's abundant charms.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hell's Half Mile

Director Stan Warnow, Raymond Scott's son, has an update about his documentary:
"Yes, the film is headed for another festival, the Hell’s Half Mile Film and Music Festival in Bay City, Michigan. If you are in the area I hope you can attend."
There will be two showings: Saturday, October 3rd at Delta College, 11 AM, & Sunday, October 4th at State Theatre, 3 PM. Details here.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

gig alert: Stu Brown's Scott Project
9/24 in Glasgow

Stu Brown's six-piece Raymond Scott Project has a gig this Thursday in Glasgow, at the Europe Jazz Network Conference. If you're just coming on board, more info about Stu's barnstorming RSP here and here.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

POWERHOUSE (with puppets), Act II

The New York Fringe Festival production Powerhouse, a freewheeling take on Raymond Scott's life and music, gets an extended life. Four additional performances will be staged Sept 19-21 as part of Fringe Encore, which features the best 19 (out of 200+) shows from the August festival. Ticket and venue details about the show are here. We blogged about the show on August 17, with rave reviews linked at the bottom. Here's another.

I hadn't seen the show at the time, and later attended one of the final performances of the limited run. The bravos are deserved. Powerhouse the musical, like its novelty namesake, doesn't have a dull moment. It's cleverly constructed and staged at a dizzying pace. For a production featuring real people (and two hand puppets), it might as well be animated. You'll learn a bit about Scott, and be hugely entertained in the process. If you consider yourself even a modest Scott authority, ignore the factual inaccuracies in the chronicle. I told writer Josh Luxenberg and director Jon Levin after the show that it was riddled with historical errors—and that I wouldn't change a word in the script. It's a Raymond Scott fantasia. The cast (six, each playing multiple roles) is charismatic, with physical gestures and facial expressions that match the pacing. At the Festival's closing ceremony, they received an award for "Outstanding Ensemble."

Raymond Scott's widow, Mitzi, is 91 and lives in Southern California. She will be flying to New York next weekend to attend the Sunday matinee, where she will behold herself portrayed onstage by the vivacious Clare McNulty. Twenty years ago, such an event would have seemed unlikely, if not unthinkable.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Raymond Scott 101:
Happy Birthday

Today is the 101st anniversary of Raymond Scott's birth. But before we eat cake & ice cream, let's review some basics for the kids who were late to class.
Q: When was Raymond Scott born?
A: On September 10, 1908.

Q: Is Raymond Scott still alive?
A: He passed away in 1994 at the age of 85.

Q: Did Raymond Scott write music for cartoons?
A: No, but 20 of his compositions have been immortalized in countless classic animations, from BUGS BUNNY to THE SIMPSONS.

Q: Did BOB MOOG, the inventor of Moog Synthesizers, work for Raymond Scott?
A: Although Bob Moog was more than 25 years younger than Raymond, they were professional colleagues & friends for nearly two decades. Bob acknowledged Ray as an early influence during the 1950s & '60s. Details about Scott-Moog connections here.

Q: Was Johnny Williams, drummer for the 1930s Raymond Scott Quintette, related to JOHN WILLIAMS, the famous film score composer of music for JAWS, STAR WARS, INDIANA JONES, HARRY POTTER, etc.?
A: Yes, they are father & son.

Q: Did Raymond Scott work for MOTOWN?
A: During the 1950s & '60s, Scott perfected his 'Electronium,' an electronic music machine which attracted the attention of Motown owner Berry Gordy, who purchased an Electronium for Motown in September 1970. Scott then became Motown's Director of Electronic Research and Development for several years. Following a serious heart attack in 1977, Scott retired from Motown at age 69.

Q: I've heard that Raymond Scott worked with MUPPETS creator JIM HENSON. Fact or fiction?
A: Henson was more than a quarter-century younger than Scott when they met in the mid-1960s, and they collaborated on experimental art films, industrial reels, and TV projects. Many of the Scott-Henson collaborations are showcased in the 2-CD/144-page book package MANHATTAN RESEARCH INC.


OK, now it's time for the birthday party!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Catch A Brain Wave

On Sunday, August 28th, 1949 — newspapers across the globe published the following article & cartoon about Raymond Scott's “brain wave” music of the future:
CHICAGO, Aug. 27 - (AP) - Some day composers won't write music, and musicians won't play it — yet fans will enjoy it in never-before-heard perfection. The composer or artist will simply project it by brain waves — "thought transference," says Raymond Scott.


This man, who thinks in terms of electronics and music, thinks that is all quite possible. Scott said in an interview:

"Brains put out electrical waves. I wouldn't be at all surprised if some day it were possible to do away with lines in music, such as writing it out and playing the notes. You'll just be able to think it.

"Imagine fastening electrodes to your head, inviting some people to your home and then thinking your music. If you wanted 1000 violins you could have them – and if you wanted the bass fiddle to play piccolo parts, you could do that, too."


Scott says even recordings will carry, instead of musical sound, the brain waves of the composer. No arrangers, no rehearsals.

Scott is a New Yorker who has spent most of his adult life working on new developments in his two loves, music and electronics. He maintains a permanent electronics research laboratory in New York, while he composes music and directs his bands for radio shows and night club appearances. His musical theories have always been off-beat.
Raymond Scott's 1949 prediction that music would one day be generated by brain waves is becoming a reality. For example, musician & computer engineer James Fung organized an experimental concert at the University of Toronto for which music was generated by the brain waves of the audience via EEG devices suspended from the ceiling. This video clip explains Fung's work & includes footage of the performance.

Friday, August 28, 2009

BBC Radio Interview

The BBC World Service radio arts program, The Strand, recently aired an interview with Raymond Scott's son, Stan Warnow, about his forthcoming documentary film, DECONSTRUCTING DAD. Listen to the feature, which also utilizes generous portions of Stu Brown's new CD: here<<
photo of Stan Warnow
by: Gert-Jan Blom

Monday, August 17, 2009

POWERHOUSE — with puppets

We'll just quote part of the press release for this intriguing production currently running at the New York Fringe Festival (ecstatic reviews posted at bottom):
With puppetry and live action, swing dancing and physical comedy, POWERHOUSE tells the story of a brilliant man who wrote music that nearly every American has heard and yet almost no one can identify. It’s 1936 and 27 year-old Harry Warnow has it all — a beautiful wife, a hit record, a recording company, a publishing company, his very own swing orchestra and a new name: Raymond Scott. But in 30 years he would be virtually unknown. Secluded in his home studio, he would spend his time writing commercials and inventing futuristic music machines. Unbeknownst to Scott, however, his music had become imprinted on the minds of millions. For years, the animators at Warner Bros. had been scoring their Looney Tunes cartoons with Scott’s life’s work. This would be his legacy — and he never knew. Featuring puppets playing cartoons, people playing machines, and machines playing music, the acclaimed Sinking Ship Productions presents the world premiere of POWERHOUSE at the 2009 New York International Fringe Festival.
You can download a pdf of the show's press release here. The production opened Saturday. Scott's son Stan Warnow was impressed, emailing: "It was well done and inventive. Staging and directing were very good. It was fluid and moved right along, lots happening on stage." Although we haven't yet seen the production, we met with Jon Levin and Josh Luxenberg a few months ago while they were researching the project. Their absorption with the details of Scott's legacy conveyed impressive intentions to tell the story respectfully, if idiosyncratically. And they were nice guys, so we're cheering them on.
Update 1: reviewed by The New York Times Arts Beat:
Powerhouse, which somehow manages to pack very funny puppetry, exuberant dance numbers, fascinating historical tangents, a mountain of narrative and a vivid sense of period mood into one steam train of a drama, is the rare Fringe show that lives up to its title.
Update 2: Another satisfied customer: "Every element was perfect and brilliantly creative. It's what live theater can be that no other medium can match." Update 3: TimeOut New York: "... a kinetic and visually enchanting production. Aiming to honor the mad, creative urge to perfectly transmute ideas into art, Powerhouse succeeds beautifully." Update 4: Doesn't anyone not like this show? Update 5: Andrew loved it (and so did Andrew): "Powerhouse is that rare Fringe Fest gem that doesn’t come across like a drag show on steroids." Update 6: Jeff Winner attended the August 22 performance and met some of the cast, including Erik Lochtefeld, who plays the lead. Jeff reports:
Finally, after all these years, I met Raymond Scott! I had read he was only about 5'9", but apparently that was just part of the Scott mythology. He's actually 6'5". Photographic evidence:
Photo: Das Überbabe

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Les Paul & Raymond Scott

Raymond Scott's fellow/rival musician, inventor, and multi-track recording pioneer Les Paul died today at age 94. Details about this audio giant and his important accomplishments here.

Below is an excerpt from THE WORLD OF SOUND, a chapter I contributed to the SOUND/UNBOUND anthology, compiled by Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky:
In 1952, Raymond Scott designed and built two of the world’s first multi-track tape machines, capable of recording seven and fourteen parallel tracks on a single reel. Two years later, sonic maverick Les Paul made an eight-track prototype, and inventor Hugh Le Caine devised a way to mix-down six separate tape sources in 1955. But as author/music historian Thom Holmes points out, “nobody came close to matching Scott’s early achievement.” Scott filed two patents for his advancements in magnetic tape technology in 1953, and a third in ’59.
Neil Strauss included a chapter about Raymond Scott in his new book, EVERYONE LOVES YOU WHEN YOU’RE DEAD, and added this footnote:
"During an interview with Les Paul, the musician who helped develop the electric guitar and popularize multi-track recording, I mentioned Raymond Scott and accidentally set him off on a tirade. Evidently, the two were rival innovators. 'He used to come to my house,' Paul snapped. 'He sure had some equipment though. I envied him.'" 

Friday, July 17, 2009

QSF: Boy Scout in Switzerland

Jeremy Cohen's Quartet San Francisco performing Scott's "Boy Scout in Switzerland" for string quartet. A studio version appeared on QSF's CD Whirled Chamber Music, along with six other RS tunes.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Stu Brown's Scott Project gig alert

Stu Brown's virtuosic Raymond Scott repertory sextet will be performing at the: on August 8 as part of the festival's Scottish (no pun intended, but appreciated nonetheless) Jazz Expo. Don't forget the band has a great new CD which is fully endorsed by the Raymond Scott mavenhood.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

bells toll

A ringing endorsement of Raymond Scott's "Powerhouse" by "musical percussion theatre" ensemble Campanile. Played from a piano score with added keyboard part by Jeff Batdorf.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Kings of Swing:
Chamber Jazz 1927-1940

An upcoming concert in London, presented by BBC Radio’s Russell Davies, will include five Raymond Scott pieces: "The Penguin," "Powerhouse," "Minuet In Jazz," "War Dance For Wooden Indians," and "In An 18th Century Drawing Room."

Also to be presented is the elegant virtuosity of the John Kirby Sextet, the piquant jazz harpsichord of Artie Shaw’s Gramercy Five, Duke Ellington's distinctive orchestrations for small bands, and the contrasting styles of jazz violin greats, Stephane Grappelli and Joe Venuti.

WHEN: Thursday, July 16th, 2009, at 7:30pm 
WHERE: Cadogan Hall, 5 Sloane Terrace, London

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Todd Schorr: American Surreal

Todd Schorr is a leading figure in Southern California's cartoon-based art movement, dubbed Pop Surrealism, which embraces lowbrow imagery and a ribald graphic style indebted to popular culture. Check this video preview of the Los Angeles-based artist's newest retrospective, set to a tune that's familiar to our ears. (More here, here, here, & here.)