Bud Shank: Blue Jay Way (1968)

 |   |  1 min read

Bud Shank: Blue Jay Way (1968)

The great jazz flute and sax player Bud Shank -- who died in 2009, aged 82 -- had some form in turning his hand to popular songs (that's his flute on the Mamas and Papas' California Dreaming) but he also worked with the late Ravi Shankar, notably recording the thrilling piece Fire Night for Shankar's 1962 album Improvisations.

The Magical Mystery album from which this is lifted -- which also includes treatments of I Am the Walrus, Fool on the Hill, Flying, Hello Goodbye and Your Mother Should Know alongside other non-Beatle songs -- included contributions from Chet Baker (on flugel), guitarists Dennis Budimir (who'd also played on Fire Night) and Herb Ellis, and percussion player Victor Feldman.

Quite a line-up of jazz legends.

Perhaps the droning cool mood of Harrison's orginal (which appeared in Magical Mystery Tour) drew the West Coast coool school Shank to it. Perhaps because he lived in LA most of his working life he also could relate to the lines about friends having lost their way?

In Harrison's original the words "don't be long" also had a neatly ambiguous meaning: "Don't belong"? 

The Shank album is available on iTunes (although they seem to have a weird running order, the vinyl had Beatles songs all on one side) so it's worth exploring if you think there is something going on beyond the lovely surface noise here from the original vinyl. 

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory use the RSS feed for daily updates, and check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Jonny Yen: Stage Struck and Take A Look At My Life (1979)

Jonny Yen: Stage Struck and Take A Look At My Life (1979)

Do ya ken Jonny Yen? The other day at a long lunch the discussion was of obscure New Zealand artists and my friend -- who knows the dark corners and strange recesses of New Zealand pop and rock... > Read more

John Lennon, Child of Nature (1968)

John Lennon, Child of Nature (1968)

Give them credit, the Beatles were always incredibly productive and even on their holidays -- like the six weeks that Lennon and Harrison spent in Rishikesh with the Maharishi -- they were... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

LOU REED, SOLO INTO THE SEVENTIES (2013): Walk and Talk It

LOU REED, SOLO INTO THE SEVENTIES (2013): Walk and Talk It

Pity anyone coming new to Lou Reed these days and wondering where to start: there is that Velvet Underground catalogue (brilliant start, diminishing returns), a couple of dozen albums under his own... > Read more

IMAGINING AFRICA IN THE SIXTIES: The Soul of Africa album considered

IMAGINING AFRICA IN THE SIXTIES: The Soul of Africa album considered

Funny how “African music” has been perceived, adapted and mis-represented down the decades, innit? That’s not to say Bengt Berger and the other musicians from Stockholm who... > Read more