Saturday, August 13, 2011


Kokomo The fact that Kokomo was Jimmy Wisner, and that Jimmy Wisner had a successful career as an all-around music guy (jazz musician, songwriter, producer, arranger, etc.) seems strangely irrelevant. His alter-ego is what lives on in the hearts and minds of anyone who became enamoured of his irreverent take on the classics that’s embodied on his one and only hit.


Asia Minor – Cute title, but the song has nought to do with Asia. It is a rock and roll adaptation of the main theme of the first movement of Grieg’s piano concerto in A minor (get it?). This kind of thing was a minor (no pun intended) subgenre of pop music for a while (B. Bumble & The Stingers etc), and it somehow seems to take all the pomp out of those 70s progressive rock groups like Yes and ELP and even Exception who made a career of merging (or attempting to merge, depending on one’s opinion of their success) rock music with classical forms, and sometimes with classical music itself. ELP spent an entire LP torturing Mussorgsky’s Pictures At An Exhibition, but here this guy had it all figured out in 3 minutes. From the spring of 1961.

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