Moe Koffman: The Swingin' Shepherd Blues


The Swingin' Shepherd Blues


Moe Koffman (flute)


Instrumental Gems of the Fifties (Collectors' Choice CCM-080-2)

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Moe Koffman (flute), Ed Bickert (guitar),

Hugh Currie (bass), Ron Rully (drums)


Composed by Moe Koffman


Recorded: Toronto, Canada, February 7, 1957


Rating: 92/100 (learn more)

As Canadian flutist Moe Koffman's 2-minute "Swingin' Shepherd Blues" swung for three months on the U.S. pop charts, he and his swingin' shepherds flocked their hit on TV robed as Franciscan friars, cowls and all. Although the connection between flutes, shepherds and Franciscans was never explained, Moe's follow-up "Little Pixie" sold well enough to make him a 1-hit wonder. As for why "Swingin' Shepherd Blues" became the token totem of late '50s jazz, it was probably the reverb. This track appears to have been recorded deep in the echoic catacombs of Carlsbad Caverns. Maybe the cowls were protection against bats.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

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