Harry “The Hipster” Gibson – Who Put The Benzedrine In Mrs. Murphy’s Ovaltine?
Delmark DE 687 (1996)
Harry “The Hipster” was not merely a comical guy who made jazz-influenced novelty records in the 1940s; he was truly a master pianist with a style firmly rooted in the music he loved in his youth, playing a mixture of rag, stride, blues, boogie, traditional jazz, and the occasional bop influence. Gibson picked up where his mentor Fats Waller had left off; Harry’s classic recordings combine swinging jazz piano with surrealist lyricism. This CD is hazardous to the ears of squares as Gibson’s incorrigible disregard for the status quo is evident on nearly every song. The first ten tracks are from a 1989 studio session and tracks 11-16 are from a semi-professionally recorded ’76 live performance with an unknown blues-rock band.