Limehouse Blues

I’m snowed in, and spending time perfecting the iPod collection inbetween
doing golf book stuff. I just spent time researching and adding best
versions of the songs “Crazy Rhythm” and “Limehouse Blues” to the
collection. These are two of the absolute finest swing music songs; they
both lend themselves to fancy solo work.

A few words about Limehouse Blues, which I absolutely love. First, here’s
Bucky Pizzarelli and Frank Vignola close up tearing it up. Wait a minute
before they speed up the song. It’s very good, and they let you see the
fancy guitar work close up:

Finally, the 1936 version by Django Reinhardt (with the Quintette of the Hot
Club of France) has been one of my favorite guitar numbers for almost 30
years now, after discovering swing jazz in college. In the guitar solo, one
can see a direct connection to Jerry Garcia’s soloing style. The classic
version of “Bertha” or “Goin’ Down The Road Feelin’ Bad” from the Skull Set
are unmistakably influenced by Django and soloes like Limehouse Blues:

For me, this is the guitar solo by which all others should be measured.
Wickedly intense and perfectly executed.

My father and I shared a common (and rare) appreciation for this rapid swing
style of music. We were both very fast (and fast thinkers) as young men.
Alas, there’s no civilized outlet to show this side of my personality
anymore. It used to come shining through as a basketball player, when I
could run like the wind until all of that nervous energy was expended.

I listened to Limehouse Blues a few times today, wiggled in my chair, and
shed tears of joy.

Happy holidays.

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