'Blues For Dracula', by Philly Joe Jones
Here we have the Philly Joe Jones debut as a bandleader, shortly after he left the Miles Davis Quintet. He certainly didn’t take a conservative approach to his first solo album. Instead, he chose to use his love of horror movies as the backdrop for this 1958 release. The opening track, the Johnny Griffin tune ‘Blues For Dracula' commences with several minutes of his ad lib impersonation of the horror film icon Bela Lugosi, certainly an unexpected beginning, as unexpected as the album cover.
That remarkable Bela Lugosi/Dracula sequence was actually largely derived from a routine by Philly’s friend Lenny Bruce, who not only gave his blessing, but wanted to participate as a ‘talking sideman’, but couldn’t get permission from the label he was under contract to.
Bela Lugosi as Dracula, 1931
"I am the bebop vampire, everybody must drink!…but Master, Master what are those strange sounds?…Ah, the children of the night make such, such beautiful music. Ooooh, ooooooh!"
This also inspired Wayne Shorter to record ‘Children Of The Night’, three years later on his album ‘Mosaic’.
Johnny Griffin - Tenor Saxophone
Nat Adderley - Cornet
Julian Priester - Trombone
Tommy Flanagan - Piano
Jimmy Garrison - Bass
Philly Joe Jones - Drums/Vocals