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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Bent Fabric - Alley Cat

Name: Bent Fabric & His Piano
Album: Alley Cat
Year: 1962
Style: Instrumental Swinging Piano
"One Word" Review: Silent-Film Rag-Time Honky-Tonk Scores
Similar Bands: Scott Joplin
Based Out Of: Copenhagen, Denmark
Label: Atco Records, Atlantic Recording Corp.
Bent Fabric - Cover
Bent Fabric - Back

Alley Cat (1962)
  1. Alley Cat 2:24 (Sample)
  2. Across The Alley From The Alamo 2:11
  3. You Made Me Love You 3:03
  4. Trudie 1:56
  5. Markin' Time 1:38 (Sample)
  6. In The Arms Of My Love 2:28/
  7. Delilah 2:15
  8. Catsanova Walk 1:58
  9. Symphony 2:19
  10. Early Morning In Copenhagen 2:22
  11. Comme Ci' Comme Ca 2:06
  12. Baby Won't You Please Come Home 2:50
Album Rating:
5.0

Band members & Other Groups:Bent Fabricus-Bjerre - Piano (Frank Bjorn)
Ed Gray - Cover Photo
Haig Adishian - Cover Design

Unknown-ness: I never heard of Bent Fabric. I really liked the name Bent Fabric and by that alone, I thought that the record might be from a great underground band from the 60's. I did not realize it was a single guy (Whose name really is Bent Fabricus). To top that off, I HAD definitely heard his song Alley Cat many many times. After noticing that this WAS the same Alley Cat that I was familiar with, I assumed it was a cover. I had no idea the song was so recently recorded. I assumed it was from the 20's or earlier. Adding to the mysticism was the cute cat on the cover, the derby wearing, cigarette smoking piano player on the back, and the feline flavored song "Catsanova Walk." Really, I had no idea what to expect with this record until I read the back that described it as swinging piano music.

Album Review: Okay, I have a musical no-no that I have to admit to before I get into the review. When I recorded this record to CD, I accidentally recorded it at 45 rpms, rather than 33. I noticed that the tracks were far shorter than the indicated length on the record, and it was only half way through the recording that I realized this error. The problem was that I really liked the record thus far, at the faster speed. So I finished recording at the 45 speed, and that is the version I am going to review. I listened to a few songs at 33, and I somewhat ashamedly admit, I really like the sped-up versions better. Keeping this in mind, I will not remark about the speed of the songs in the reviews.

The record starts off with the familiar bouncy, Grammy award winning "Alley Cat." I've heard the song many times, and I've even done the dance at a Bar Mitzvah or two with the grandparents, thus I thought it was a song that pre-dated 1961. It truly does bring the imagery of a cat slinking across a picket fence at midnight. The second song has more bouncy bass and piano, but sounds more traditional to rag-time music than "Alley Cat." "You Made Me Love You" is a slower song, which prances along with cat like curiosity and attention. "Marking Time" is a quicker, jittery song. "In The Arms Of My Love" sounds like the backdrop of a romantically set scene in France. "Catsanova Walk" is quite a strutting song. It incorporates "chopsticks" into the chorus of the song. It could easily be in the background of a Charlie Chaplin silent film. It is followed by the slower waltz of "Symphony." "Early Morning In Copenhagen" is a fun visual song, bringing to the mind a walk down the street of a small town, running into all the familiar town folk along the way. The record ends with the jazzy, show tunish "Baby Won't You Please Come Home."

This is a quick review because for one, I don't have much musical training or experience from this genre of music to review it with great depth. And two, this is a quick version of the record. But over all, for what it is, I found the music likable and entertaining.

Stand Out Track:Alley Cat 

Links:
Bent Fabric AllMusic
Bent Fabric Wikipedia
Bent Fabric Space Age Pop
Bent Fabric (in Danish) Home Page
Bent Fabric Facts Page
Alley Cat Song Page

1 comment:

  1. you're a genius!
    i tried the same thing with my 'alley cat' lp and it sounds much better! amazing. why didn't i think of that ...

    (well, at least i only payed 2 euro for the original lp. would have been disappointed had i payed 10 or something, he he)

    ReplyDelete