The Slipped Disc daily comfort zone (54): Satchmo counts composers


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  • A great number from the film “The Fivepenny Saints,” ostensibly about the life of jazz cornetist Red Nichols. (He was known as “The Poor Man’s Bix Beiderbecke.”)

    Hard to believe that there once was a time in America when the “average” moviegoer would recognize the names of these classical composers.

    • Close! The film is The Five Pennies (1959) and the number is known as “the Five Pennies ‘Saints’ “. Nichols himself recorded the cornet pieces for the soundtrack.

  • I did not know that Danny Kaye had such skilled impersonation techniques. As much as I love Satchmo, I thought Kaye dominated this skit. What hand gestures! What overall talent (I know he was also a skillful dancer).

  • Danny Kaye (Danny Kaminski) was also a very fine conductor, and did many benefit concerts with well known Symphony Orchestras in the states near the end of his career.

    I played under him at Yale University in ’76. He never learned how to read music, but had the best eye contact of any conductor in the field.

    This video is even better than the one above, and included many giants, including Louis Armstrong:

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