This unusual reissue has five selections from a date featuring the great tenor Coleman Hawkins, pianist Hank Jones, bassist George Duvivier and drummer Shelly Manne. Both “Take the ‘A’ Train” and “Cherokee” find the group at times playing two tempos at once (Manne sticks to doubletime throughout “Cherokee”) and showing that they had heard some of the avant-garde players.
Tom Traubert’s Blues by Tom Waits from Small Change (Elektra/Asylum, 1976)
(Four Sheets to the Wind in Copenhagen)
Tom Waits: vocals and piano
Shelly Manne: drums
Jim Hughart: bass
Lew Tabackin: tenor sax
Recorded complete on July, 1976
Tom Waits - Tom Traubert’s Blues
Wasted and wounded, it ain’t what the moon did, I’ve got what I paid for now See you tomorrow, hey Frank, can I borrow a couple of bucks from you To go waltzing Mathilda, waltzing Mathilda, You’ll go waltzing Mathilda with me
I’m an innocent victim of a blinded alley And I’m tired of all these soldiers here No one speaks English, and everything’s broken, and my Stacys are soaking wet To go waltzing Mathilda, waltzing Mathilda, You’ll go waltzing Mathilda with me
Now the dogs are barking and the taxi cab’s parking A lot they can do for me I begged you to stab me, you tore my shirt open, And I’m down on my knees tonight Old Bushmill’s I staggered, you’d bury the dagger In your silhouette window light go To go waltzing Mathilda, waltzing Mathilda, You’ll go waltzing Mathilda with me
Now I lost my Saint Christopher now that I’ve kissed her And the one-armed bandit knows And the maverick Chinamen, and the cold-blooded signs, And the girls down by the strip-tease shows, go Waltzing Mathilda, waltzing Mathilda, You’ll go waltzing Mathilda with me
No, I don’t want your sympathy, the fugitives say That the streets aren’t for dreaming now And manslaughter dragnets and the ghosts that sell memories, They want a piece of the action anyhow Go waltzing Mathilda, waltzing Mathilda, You’ll go waltzing Mathilda with me
And you can ask any sailor, and the keys from the jailor, And the old men in wheelchairs know And Mathilda’s the defendant, she killed about a hundred, And she follows wherever you may go Waltzing Mathilda, waltzing Mathilda, You’ll go waltzing Mathilda with me
And it’s a battered old suitcase to a hotel someplace, And a wound that will never heal No prima donna, the perfume is on an Old shirt that is stained with blood and whiskey And goodnight to the street sweepers, the night watchmen flame keepers And goodnight to Mathilda, too
Shelly’s Manne Hole 1608 North Cahuenga, Hollywood
Drummer Shelly Manne was Contemporary Records’ go-to drummer. He had a long running series with the label entitled “Shelly Manne & His Men,” featuring a rotating cast of local talent. From 1960 to 1972, he ran a Hollywood jazz venue called Shelly’s Manne Hole. Pianist Bill Evans recorded an immortal live session there in 1963 while Jazz Bakery impresario and vocalist Ruth Price recorded a live album with Manne and his men, while she was still in her early twenties.
The small manhole plaque is embedded off-center on the once-again happening sidewalk of Cahuenga Boulevard, commemorating the spot where so many great heroes once stubbed their cigarettes.