Song Of The Day 10/27/2014: Philly Joe Jones Sextet - "Blues For Dracula"



Halloween Week: Philly Joe Jones was a much in-demand jazz drummer best known for his work on Miles Davis' more mass-appeal work like Someday My Prince Will Come. He was also on all the Miles Davis Quintet albums which beckoned people to engage with them in various low-impact physical activities: Cookin' With the Miles Davis Quintet, Relaxin' With the Miles Davis Quintet, Workin' With the Miles Davis Quintet, Casually Speculatin' With the Miles Davis Quintet, Finalizin' Tax Deductions With the Miles Davis Quintet, and so forth. You know the drill.

Jones' first release on his own was an album called Blues For Dracula in 1958. The title track really is just an excuse to name an album after Dracula; after its bizarre, opening two-and-a-half-minute monologue (credited to Jones) it's just a standard blues-based improv. But those first two and a half minutes are, if not hilarious (and they're not), at least a good indicator of how we parsed vampire lore a bit more crudely in those days, not even offering the same level of deep introspection Anne Rice gave vamps in Interview With Tom Cruise Overplaying His Part. Jones' Dracula impersonation definitely paved the way for future one-dimensional interpretations of Romania's Most Eligible (For Damn Good Reason) Bachelor, most notably the Muppets' Count Von Count from Sesame Street. Think of that next time you put a sock over your hand.

Samples of Jones' vampiric wit:
  • "I am really de bebop vampire. I like de song. I like de song to shine!"
  • "Children! You, over there! Drink your soup before it clots!"
  • "Children, bite your mother good night. Bite your mother good night. Put two more marks on your mother's (unintelligible)."
  • "I will find a wictim, don't worry. I shall find a wictim."

The one about soup's pretty good.

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