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Taken from Tom Hogan's Obscure Music History (www.obscuremusichistory.com)
The Val Dormand Quintet album "Slow And Cool" is an anomaly in the jazz world – sitting uncomfortably between many genres at once. How were distributors able to market an album that called itself cool jazz, but sat at a speed that pre-empted hard bop?
The recording had all the makings of a hit single; “Hug me And Take My Honey” – a standard from the Lenny Ziff songbook – being performed by an all star band, lead by guitarist Val Dormand, and featuring Ziff’s original trombonist Gary Glotton.
The Record Speed Wars between different vinyl formats peaked at 1950, with record companies fighting to release 45rpm LPs. Val Dormand was highly opposed to these new formats, and released "Slow And Cool" with the demand “Play at 78rpm” on the cover.
The result was not a commercially successful recording, but jazz musicians took notice of the immense dexterity of Dormand’s fingers – of particular notice was Gary Glotton’s “speed bone” technique, pushing the trombone to new frequencies and speeds than previously thought possible. It is strange then, that “Hug Me & Take My Honey” was always performed live by Dormand at a much slower tempo, and lower in pitch.
At one memorable concert, Dormand counted the band in at a speed to match the recording in an attempt to win over the dwindling crowd. The performance went well until the trombone solo; Glotton hyperventilated and went into cardiac arrest, and the trombone flew out of his hands and knocked out one of the pub’s support beams, causing the roof to collapse. The gig finished shortly after.
Interesting Fact: Twenty years later, Dormand would re-release Slow And Cool using the 33.3rpm format (“Play at 45rpm” on the cover). The re-issue is not nearly as interesting, but for “mainstream research” purposes, the track can be heard here.