Friday, March 16, 2012


Clarinetist/bandleader Wilbur Sweatman helped invent jazz, but before you start falling asleep, let me assure you that this 1918 recording of "Oh! You La! La!" is as nutty as it's title. Many many decades before hardcore punk, thrash metal, etc., this song is played like everyone's on speed, and everyones' speed is on speed. It's so crazed as to verge on incompetent, like it's all gonna fly apart at any second, but it doesn't, retaining a core musicality throughout. What else would you expect from a guy who could play 3 clarinets at the same time? Jazz music certainly used to be a far stranger, more entertaining beast then it is today. I'm including two versions, primitive early recordings being what they are. The second version, tho plenty hissy, is actually a clearer recording.

Wilbur Sweatman: "Oh! You La! La!":

1 comment:

Sharon Edrote said...

Wilbur C. Sweatman first recorded version of Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag". Oh! You La! La! my dad's fave music, I got a channel I want to upload music more like this. Thanks.