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In the last decade Marvel movies have turned the teaser into one of the most effective forms of self-promotion imaginable, virtually ensuring each viewer will show up for the next film in the series.

Obviously this site is a long way from the MCU but the premise is kinda the same in that to better understand the larger story you should read the reviews in order. Now if all you’re interested in is one song or even one artist, that’s not vital, but to see how rock ‘n’ roll evolved, how one thing led to another, the chronological fashion they’re laid out helps a lot.

For example the last two reviews, two versions of the same song, tells a broader story than could be laid out in one review but it was at the end of the second one where we included a small teaser…

“it’s usually best to leave these songs to the squares and focus on making them and their music irrelevant with more exciting original material that those kinds of artists could never hope to cover with any credibility.”

Today’s record is precisely the kind of exciting original material I was talking about.


Weighing In
The very concept of cover records is an anathema to creativity. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done well – see Paul Gayten’s surprisingly effective take on Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! referenced above – but rather that when you have just a few releases a year in what is bound to be a much shorter career as a recording artist than other professions face, why you’d waste your time cutting versions of other people’s songs is a little hard to fathom.

Of course when it works it tends to work really well. Aretha Franklin cutting a revitalized take on Otis Redding’s Respect, or The Orioles defining Darrell Glenn’s Crying In The Chapel for eternity show there’s occasionally rewards for doing so which means to take all cover songs off the table for artists would be overkill.

However the point remains that there’s a big difference between hastily recording something with the sole intent of trying to latch on to the rising popularity of the original, which is a business decision, not an artistic one… and having a genuine affinity for a song but feeling you can bring something entirely new to it by re-crafting it to suit your own style.

Joe Morris’s version of Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! – likely done at Atlantic’s request – fell squarely into the former category… a shallow insincere effort, competent but not inspired.

Where he WAS inspired however was on the flip side, Jump Everybody Jump, an original song designed to remove any doubt that Joe Morris was merely some musical opportunist, a rocker by circumstance rather than choice, because this is without question his most committed effort to go toe to toe with the heavyweights of the genre.

He might be punching above his weight class in some cases, but not here where he comes out throwing haymakers at the start and is still landing them when the final bell rings.


Staying Tight And Breaking Loose
This has the feel of a loose-knit jam by design, from Elmo Pope’s boogie piano that kicks it off backed by Roy Gaines playing a sly guitar figure to the way Joe’s calling out “everybody” repeatedly to make sure that nobody is ignoring him.

That enthusiastic build up could wind up backfiring if what is to follow doesn’t live up to the hype, but once the horns kick in and Morris starts laying into the title line with a gravelly shout then Jump Everybody Jump coalesces perfectly into the kind of musical hedonism that tends to happen when you get your second wind somewhere around 2:15 AM seguing from Friday night to Saturday morning.

This is the sound you hear when the last keg has finally run dry, when guys and girls are fiendishly smiling with glassy eyes as they shimmy half naked in a room that feels like a sauna from all the body heat being thrown around. It’s the sound that fills the air while the lights are flickering and the sirens are getting closer.

And it’s the sound you’ll vaguely remember in the back recesses of your mind years later when someone asks about the best party you were ever at.

That doesn’t mean it’s the best SONG of all time. Far from it. In fact, without that atmosphere to go with it it’s not much of a song at all. Morris is just shouting at the top of his lungs, the band is mostly riffing rather than playing something melodic and it goes from one showpiece solo to the next without pausing to catch your breath.

But as an aural recreation of losing your mind with your friends when concerns over proper music structure – along with any OTHER concerns from everyday life – are the farthest thing from your mind, it’s pretty damn effective.

Going For Broke
The solos are the key to it all, for if one falls short then the momentum is stalled and it may never recover. Thankfully everyone here, many of which are unfortunately anonymous (shoddy record keeping at Atlantic in those days), are in top form starting with the horn brigade playing in tandem backed by some absolutely hellacious drumming.

Morris’s trumpet moves to the forefront of that riff the second time through while the tenor sax peels off and starts something new as a counterpoint which in turn leads into his own solo as the other horns fall back. It sounds completely out of control yet has clearly been worked out to the smallest detail to allow for maximum impact.

Morris puts down his horn to start chanting again, now sounding increasingly hoarse, as the rest of the group locks into that groove so intently that you couldn’t knock them off course with a battering ram. As he keeps repeating Jump Everybody Jump you half expect the record itself (assuming this was 1951 and you were actually spinning a physical record) to start jumping on the turntable.

It’s maniacal in its intensity as they transition to the last instrumental section full of overlapping parts with different instruments seeming to come to the forefront each time through, but that could be just your imagination due to sensory overload.

By the time they wrap it up you’ve lost your sense of direction… along with possibly your hearing and your sense of smell and taste. It’s like shotgunning pure grain alcohol while taking the residue intravenously so as not to waste a drop.

If anarchy had a theme song in 1951 this would surely be it.

Looking Back
Of course this kind of thing isn’t for everybody. In fact there are probably a lot of people calling themselves rock fans who would be uncomfortable at such a party, even if they were in the right age group at the time.

The music fans who view listening to music as a solitary pursuit (thus probably gravitating towards the late 60’s and 70’s album era) rather than as a social stimulant meant for hanging out with your friends with music as the soundtrack to your night, could be left wondering what point there was to something so unhinged.

They might view it as indulgent (it is), non-melodic (ditto) and excessive (duh!) and therefore after reluctantly admitting it has a certain visceral pull would claim that it has a limited appeal that requires a very specific environment to go over well.

Okay, maybe all that’s true, but the fact is that specific environment is the primary setting rock thrived in through the years.

Rock ‘n’ roll’s strongest appeal has always been with teenagers and those in their early twenties and the reason is because that’s when you’re always with your friends, when this kind of music is always a backdrop to your communal activities, thereby taking on an out-sized importance in your day to day routine.

Jump Everybody Jump is made for them. That all too brief stage of life between the time of being supervised and kept in line by adults and of settling down of your own volition and being the responsible one who keeps yourself in line.

A time where partying with your friends is the most meaningful and rewarding part of your existence.

Because that won’t last forever – because it CAN’T last forever no matter how much you want it to – you need to nail that atmosphere perfectly in the moment to get the most out of it. For those in the winter of 1951 this was the sound of freedom that defined life in that short-lived bubble before adulthood showed up unannounced at your door one morning and convinced you to turn that noise down and grow up.


(Visit the Artist page of Joe Morris for the complete archive of his records reviewed to date)