A true original, Slim Gaillard
would have been a star only on his merits as a singer, dancer, and multi-instrumentalist specializing in guitar and vibes, but it was the addition of his one-of-a-kind invented language that made him a legend. It's unlikely that even Gaillard
himself knew what he was going on about when he sang of "the flat-foot floogie with the floy-floy" or "cee-ment mixers putty putty," but the intoxicating mix of jive slang, foreign languages, and just plain inspired nonsense is habit-forming. This well-chosen set of 22 tracks covers Gaillard
's most fruitful era, starting with his duet sides with Slam Stewart
(including "The Flat Foot Floogie," natch) and continuing through to his small-combo era and his mid-'40s big band. All the most famous tunes are here, along with oddities like "B-19," a wartime tune with a bizarre spoken dialogue between Slim
as a pilot and bombardier that shows just how weird popular culture got during World War II. The sound quality is oddly variable on this release; some of these songs sound notably better on other compilations, but this is probably the best single-disc introduction to Slim Gaillard
's unique world.