The Cats and the Fiddle: Killin' Jive


Killin' Jive


The Cats and the Fiddle


We Cats Will Swing For You (Fabulous FABCD 191)

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Austin Powell (vocals, guitar), Jimmy Henderson (vocals, 10-string tiple), Ernie Price (vocals, 4-string tiple), Chuck Barksdale (vocals, bass)


Composed by Austin Powell


Recorded: New York, June 27, 1939


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

Here's "the pot smoker's anthem," according to Bill Milkowski's Swing It! An Annotated History of Jive (2003). Of course, we can't say, having never inhaled. But The Cats & The Fiddle's flair for twirling tiples (swollen ukuleles) and whirling bull fiddle hooked hepcats faster than they could roll reefers. "Everything will seem so funny," The Cats purr in "Killin' Jive" with a stage wink, "darkest days will seem so sunny." Given the evolution of jazzmen's preferred intoxicants from 1920s booze to 1940s heroin, the 1930s cannabis cult seems mellow as Jell-O. "Killin' Jive" is a jumpin' joint. Pass it around.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

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