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I Can’t Get It Started August 9, 2008

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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I can’t find any supporting evidence for this bit of web noise from something called Toxic-Web’s today in history page, but it intrigued me enough to pull up this excellent video of our own Al Hirt with Maynard Ferguson:

“1937, Bunny Berigan and his orchestra record the jazz standard “I Can’t Get Started”… the chord changes from this oft-covered tune become a staple for bebop musicians a decade later … “

A bit of searching on Bunny Berigan also credits his solos with Benny Goodman’s Orchestra as helping to launch the Swing era. If any serious musicologists out there can educate me on the merit of those two claims (which taken together are mightly impressive) I’d appreciate it.

Just looking at You Tube, a hell of a lot of players have covered this tune (which is a great one). And New Orleans’ own Al Hirt is someone I completely dismissed in my youth, back when my musical tastes ran closer to my son’s. (A little Uriah Heap or Bloodrock, anyone?). I’m not sure I’ve closely listend to him since my appreciation for jazz swung 180 decades ago in my late teens. This might be the first time I’ve heard him really play. Wow.

And here is Berigan’s original.

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Comments»

1. Marco - August 10, 2008

Great version, thanks. I can’t shed any light on you question since I don’t know much other than what I like. I can tell you that my favorite version of Vernon Duke’s classic is by Sonny Stitt on “Tune Up”.

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2. Wet Bank Guy - August 11, 2008

Well, poking around on jazz sites I find out he is certainly an important figure, but I can’t find anything indicating he is a seminal as the little tidbit would indicate. But hell, it’s a swinging song and I’m glad I stumbled into it.

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