Song of the Week: “Dipper Mouth Blues” by King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band

by Douglas Cowie on 11 May 2018

Each Friday I pick a song–new, old, borrowed, blue–that’s been on my mind and in my ears, and write a short post about it.

This is “Dipper Mouth Blues” by King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band:

I’ve loved listening to King Oliver for years, probably more or less since I started learning to play cornet, or maybe a little bit later, when I’d listened to a lot more types of music; I’m not really sure. Recently I started to learn to play “Dipper Mouth Blues,” which I always think of as “Dippermouth Blues,” but anyway. When you learn to play a song you really start listening to it in all kinds of different and interesting ways, and one of the things I’ve really grown to love about “Dipper Mouth Blues” while stumbling through it is just how wonderfully the rhythm and darting pitches work together to create what to my mind anyway sounds like a small bird darting around.  The song is attributed to Joe Oliver, but often believed to have been composed by Louis Armstrong. It’s tremendous fun to listen to, and even tremendouser fun to (try to) play.


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