18 August 2015


I was thinking about a tune called It Looks Like a Big Time Tonight. I could remember it vaguely. I think I heard a band play it in Preservation Hall, New Orleans, when I was there about twenty-five years ago.

So I tried YouTube.

Sure enough, up came a spirited recording of this tune, made by Ken Colyer and Acker Bilk a few decades ago.

Then Google led me to the discovery that It Looks Like a Big Time Tonight was written more than a hundred years ago by those distinguished producers of popular music - Gus Kahn and Egbert Von Alstyne. Think of Memories, Goodnight Ladies, Pretty Baby and On the Road to Home Sweet Home.

What a great tune this is for traditional jazz bands - happy, catchy and with a simple harmonic progression - all best played at moderate foot-tapping tempo.

So by ear I worked out a lead sheet for myself. Here's what I came up with. I hope it's about right. There are two sixteen-bar sections; and the best way to play it, I think, is to go through (A) twice, then (B) twice and then return to (A), including for any solos.