The Internet Is Delighting In The Discovery Of The Worst Jazz Solo Of All Time
It'll melt your brain.
Jazz is a complicated, technical artform, where the key to success is mastery over your instruments. At least, that’s normally what jazz is like. That’s definitely not something you can say about the clip currently making its way through Twitter, a recording of the world’s very worst jazz solo.
The clip of the honking, atonal breakdown first hit the internet properly back in late 2019, thanks to Twitter user Gal Gracen. “This is absolutely the worst solo I have ever heard by any instrument,” Gracen wrote.
And they weren’t underselling it either. In fact, so mindnumbingly derivative is the track that it went viral again this week, when Business Insider‘s James Hennessy recirculated it with another widely shared Tweet.
And I mean, it’s not hard to see why we can’t get over this track.
This remains insanely funny https://t.co/xjz59dwUOD
— henno (@jrhennessy) April 19, 2020
Truly, unfathomably ridiculous.
But where did the song come from, and why does it sound, uh, like that?
The Origin of The Worst Jazz Solo In The World
The band behind the world’s worst jazz solo are the acclaimed and beloved doo-wop group The Five Satins. If that name is familiar, it’s probably because you’ve heard their extraordinary single, ‘In The Still of the Night’.
That song, which sold millions of copies back in 1956, has been used in countless cultural properties, including Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman.
In fact, the world’s worst solo is slap bang in the middle of ‘The Jones Girl’, the B-side to ‘In The Still of the Night’. The version that’s going viral on Twitter is an ‘alt’ version of ‘The Jones Girl’ that appeared on their debut album The Five Satins Sing. But to be honest, the saxophone bark is just as distinctive — read: annoying — on the original version too.
As to why the saxophone bark sounds that way, it sounds like an attempt to rip-off the style of jazz legend Charlie Parker. Parker, who had died the year before the song came out, was well-known for his sharp blasts of sound, turning his saxophone at times into a kind rhythm instrument — all percussive bleats of music.
Of course, Parker was a master, and the solo on ‘The Jones Girl’ is far from masterful. But the influence is there, however mangled.
For those who are curious, here’s the full-length version of the alt song. But be warned: it might melt your face off.
Consider this song a gift, then: a morale boost that should convince you to forge ahead with your confidence first, and your skill set second.