Dope & Glory | English
British National Newspaper THE INDEPENDENT just voted "DOPE & GLORY" as one of "THE TEN BEST COMPILATION ALBUMS" ever.
"This two-CD set is the most comprehensive anthology of "reefer songs" from the 30s and 40s, its 50 tracks by Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, Benny Goodman, Cab Calloway, Sidney Bechet and Tommy Dorsey offering indisputable proof of the vital part played by wacky baccy in the early development of jazz."

(The Independent, 26. Feb. 2003)

Anyone who still thinks the Sixties were the great dope era should have a listen to this. Fifty tracks which unashamedly celebrate the weed and, in most cases, make no attempt to disguise the subject. Ok maybe 'Spinach Song' could just be about the stuff that Popeye used but Julia Lee & Her Boyfriends' spirited jive leaves you in no doubt which greens are on offer here. Some great trumpet and sax too.
Titles like 'I'm Gonna Get High', 'Weed Smokers Dream' and 'Save The Roach For Me' don't even pretend to be ambiguous and Tampa Red delivers the first in that list like he means it while The Chicago Five kick along behind him. Fats Waller had a prodigious appetite for many things and on 'Vipers Drag' he sleazes his way through a dream about 'a reefer 5 feet long'. He sounds as though he's having a good time anyway. The song appears elsewhere too as 'If You're A Viper', though with out Fats' dopey scat.
The Meltones' crooning makes 'Mary Jane' seem like an innocent song about the girl next door who is 'just the kind you could take home to mother' but they also remind us how 'stunning how cunning this girly can be'. Less innocent, perhaps, is 'Sweet Marihuana Brown' whose dangerous allure is captured in lyrics like 'every time you take her out/she's bound to take you in'. Little devil.
Some songs highlight the reefer lovers struggle with the law. Imagine their chagrin when 'The 'G' Man Got The 'T' Man. The song is still delivered with verve by the unrepentant Cee Pee Johnson & Band. There would be other 'connections' who could step in and supply the 'jive' after all. 'Jive' 'this modern treat makes life complete' is celebrated by the fact that 'Stuff Is Here' and that 'The Man From Harlem' really could cheer up the gloomiest gathering. Other herbally refreshed characters like 'Reefer Man' and 'Dopey Joe' flit in to deliver their goods then vanish.
Most of the songs are celebratory but a few register the need to escape from grim reality. 'Knockin' Myself Out ' is featured three times and each woman's voice is desperate. Take your pick from Yack Taylor, Lil Green or Jean Brady. Larry Adler's lugubrious 'Smoking Reefers' also suggests that dope is only 'to get beyond the misery' while Jazz Gillum warns about his 'Reefer Headed Woman'.
Of course you can just enjoy some of the music. 'All Teeed Up' and 'Golden Leaf Strut' don't need words. Marvel at how the surface noise keep perfect time on the first track. Then listen to the superb New Orleans jazz circa 1925 of the second track. And while you listen there's an informative booklet that tells you something of the lives and times of reefers and those who championed them. Whether it comes to a canablis café near you or is supplied direct, it is a thoroughly life enhancing experience.
(Paul Donnelly -

In der Zeit, bevor es Tonträger gab, tingelten viele US-amerikanische Musiker durch die Staaten, auch einige jener, die hier zu hören sind. Oft reisten diese Musiker als Lockvögel für Wunderheiler in sog. „Medicine Shows“, ein Job, den selbst Little Richard in den 50ern noch ausübte. „Das Umherreisen mit den Medicine Shows war Teil der Mythologie, die das Musiker-Dasein umhüllte: Es deutete auf unberechenbaren Verstand, Freidenkertum und ein Outlaw-Dasein hin, das unabhängig von gesellschaftlichen Konventionen war. Als Drogen dann illegal wurden, entwickelte sich auch um sie herum eine eigene, geheimnisvolle Musik, die sich bestens in den Outlaw-Mythos des reisenden Musikers integrieren ließ.“ (Harry Shapiro) Bereits 1910 wies der für öffentliche Sicherheit zuständige Beamte von New Orleans warnend darauf hin, dass es im Unterhaltungsviertel Storyville bereits 200 Personen gäbe, die Marijuana rauchten. Der schlechte Einfluß des Marijuana zeige sich darin, dass es die Schwarzen denken ließe, sie seien so gut wie der weiße Mann....

Dope & Glory
Reefer Songs der 30er & 40er Jahre
Preis: 17€

last updated: 13.11.2004 | top