7 June 2013

Post 99: 'GATEMOUTH'

Here's another easy but effective tune for your band to play - if you don't already have it.
Gatemouth was written in about 1926 by the pianist Lil Hardin (possibly in collaboration with her husband Louis Armstrong). It has two catchy themes. The first is a 16-bar, using the Sweet Sue Chord Progression, and allowing for breaks - if desired - on Bars 7 - 8. You can even have breaks right through a chorus of this theme, as The New Orleans Wanderers did in 1926 when they recorded it. You can hear their performance if you

That first theme - by the way - is virtually identical to other good old standards, such as Do What Ory Say, Mamma's Baby Boy, Get It Right and the main theme of South.

The second theme is also 16 bars. Normally, bands play both themes a couple of times and use the first for solo improvisations.

You can hear Gatemouth played more recently by The Peruna Jazzmen.
The tune certainly lends itself to a variety of New Orleans treatments, taking advantage of the opportunities to incorporate breaks and stop chords.

It is generally played in Eb: