Monday, December 10, 2007

Disseminated Penguins

MOG Post: 12/10/2007
Artist: Raymond Scott Quintette
Album: Microphone Music
Track: The Penguin
2002 Basta Audio-Visuals

Brrr it's cold here - I'm glad this long-backordered CD arrived just before the snow hit - it's been a cozy weekend of delightful listening. Ten years ago I taped a CD I borrowed from a coworker. Irresistible Bliss by Soul Coughing became a cassette I constantly played in the dash on commutes and road trips. I finally got the iTunes download just a couple of years ago and I still enjoy the album (still on road trips now with a much-used iPod). Initially hearing the track "Disseminated", I was confounded as to the sample they set the tune around. (I've never had the CD to look at any credits and never researched it). I have a penchant for old, foundational jazz. I also have a fetish for old cartoons with old music. This particular Soul Coughing sample contained these elements and was definitely ingrained in my brain somehow ... somewhere.

So years later I'm pondering my second Carl Stalling anthology CD. Carl was the musical genius behind the fabulous Warner Bros. cartoons (or was he entirely?). 'Digging' it, I came across (and yes I did remember his name from my first Stalling liner notes) .. Raymond Scott.

Simply explained: Raymond Scott started recording with studio brilliance back in the 1930s and everyone has used the man's ideas ever since. His compositions and sound are so ingrained in the beginnings that we've forgotten his name. (Please listen to contrabandwidth's fantastic post about the Amen Break for the idea here). (And, no, Also sprach Zarathustra was not written in 1968). I digress.

Good music is a requisite for Good cartoons. To wit, you hear pure Raymond Scott compositions in most of the Ren & Stimpy classics (John K's Spumco creation is a study in art on many levels). And you undoubtedly heard these Scott musings through Stalling's vast Warner Bros. repertoire of flutes, violas, clinks, and whirlygigs. 'Twas the Scott CD I chose that day, and I will definitely be sharing some more of this, the indubitable Raymond Scott Quintette (his spelling). Cool thing is ... Raymond never wrote his "descriptive jazz" with a cartoon in mind. He was tinkering with sound and electronics.
Click on this for a very good read about him.
To THE TUNES man! :p

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