Red Norvo: Dance of the Octopus

Music, declared Surrealist Manifesto author André Breton, is "the most deeply confusing of all art forms." He might've been referring to "Dance of the Octopus." After hearing a test pressing, a Brunswick Records exec manually shredded Red Norvo's contract. This was an understandable reaction to the strangest jazz track theretofore recorded. If we define surrealism as a phantasmagoria of irrational juxtapositions, then "Dance of the Octopus" is surrealist jazz. As wonderfully wacky as Hollywood's early 1930s black-&-white animated shorts (to which it could easily be a soundtrack), this quirky submersible by jazz's primo malleteer is an experience not be missed.

December 08, 2007 · 0 comments


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