Dave Brubeck: Camptown Races


Camptown Races


Dave Brubeck (piano)


Gone With the Wind (Columbia CK-40627)

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Dave Brubeck (piano), Paul Desmond (alto sax), Eugene Wright (bass), Joe Morello (drums).

Composed by Stephen Collins Foster


Recorded: Los Angeles, April 23, 1959


Rating: 89/100 (learn more)

The racist dialect of "Camptown Races" (1850) is lampooned in Mel Brooks' s Blazing Saddles (1974), where black railroad laborers bamboozle their ofay overseers into enacting the song minstrel-style only to have boss Slim Pickens ride up and excoriate the hapless whites: "I hired you people to get a little track laid, not to jump around like a bunch of Kansas City faggots!" That America's most popular jazz group in 1959 could've similarly bamboozled themselves is revolting. "I hired you people to get a jazz track laid, not to jive around like a bunch of corn-fed minstrels!" Good Desmond, bad judgment.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz


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