Thursday, May 26, 2011
Harry The Hipster Gibson
I thought I had featured Harry The Hipster Gibson before here but a quick search through the archives reveals that I haven't. So putting things right with one side of a cassette that Harry shares with Cecil Gant and Benny Carter on the Italian Curcio label which looks like it was part of a magazine called I Giganti Del Jazz from 1981 - but the tracks here were recorded in 1944.
Wikipedia says -
"In the 1940s, Gibson was known for writing unusual songs, which are considered ahead of their time. He was also known for his unique, wild singing style, his energetic and unorthodox piano styles, and for his intricate mixture of a hardcore, gutbucket boogie rhythms with ragtime, stride and jazz piano styles. Gibson took the boogie woogie beat of his predecessors, but he made it frantic; similar to the rock and roll music of the 1950s Examples of his wild style are found in the songs "Riot in Boogie" and "Barrelhouse Boogie". An example of his strange singing style is in the song "The Baby and the Pup." Other songs that Gibson recorded were "Handsome Harry, the Hipster", "I Stay Brown All Year 'Round", "Get Your Juices at the Deuces", and "Stop That Dancin' Up There." Gibson recorded a great deal, but there are very few visual examples of his act. However, in New York in 1944, he filmed three songs for the Soundies film jukeboxes, and he went to Hollywood in 1946 to guest star in the feature-length film musical Junior Prom. Gibson preceded the first white rock and rollers by a decade, but the Soundies he recorded show significant similarities to rock and roll.
"Harry the Hipster" headlining at the Onyx on 52nd Street, May 1948. Note in the photo the Deuces as well as Leon and Eddie's.
While working on "Swing Street" at night, Gibson was a fellow at the Juilliard Graduate School during the day. At the time, Juilliard was strictly a classical music academy, and Gibson excelled there, which partly explains the richness of the music he brought to the jazz world. The other part of the explanation is, his own inventiveness, and Gibson was almost always billed and promoted as a musical genius."
Songs on Side One are-
1. Handsome Harry, The Hipster Gibson
2. Riot In Boogie
3. Stop That Dancin' Up There
4. Get Your Deuces At The Deuces
5. The Hipster's Blues Opus 6
6. The Hipster's Blues Opus 7
Harry The Hipster Gibson - Side One