Woody Herman channels Steely Dan

Bizarre. But interesting: Big band leader Woody Herman’s take on Steely Dan’s “Kid Charlemagne.” (The McCoy can be seen here. Check out that dude groovin’ in the audience at around 1:30.) Haven’t seen anything like this since The Puppini Sisters covered The Smiths’ “Panic.”

I saw Herman once playing at Disneyland one summer back in the 80s. Poor guy looked like he was going to have a coronary right there. (Nor did he last much longer – he died in 1987.) I saw Artie Shaw “play” at the same place during the same summer. I use the scare quotes because though Shaw had re-formed his band, he had famously quit playing clarinet decades before and refused to try to re-learn it. So he’d just introduce the tunes, stand back, and snap his fingers the whole time!

As it happens, I’ve got a post in the works about Steely Dan and Roger Scruton. I Kid you not.
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