Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen’s
on This is Vintage Now Vol. 1

Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen perform the song "Everybody's Doin' It"in the film Hollywood Boulevard (1976). Buffalo Bruce Barlow is the wiry blond fellow playing bass; he's on the far left hand side fo the screen from 1:46-149.
(NSFW for language)

Music has the power to move people the way the DeLorean automobile did in the 1985 film Back To The Future. It can take us to different places in different times.

Like Back to The Future, David Gasten’s This is Vintage Now will take you on a tour of styles and periods of classic American music that's exciting and revelatory.

I close my eyes during the album's opening track, and am transported to the classic film Casablanca. I'm in Rick's Cafe. Rick is at the bar and Sam is at the keyboard. However, here, Sam is backing Beverly Kenney, who, while casually leaning against his piano, is singing the smoothest version of “Tea For Two” I've ever heard.

As each track in this collection plays, I continue to time travel. Sometimes it's back to my youth, listening to The Waitiki 7’s“Similau.” I'm in my parents’ house on the beach in Southern California. I adjust the louvered glass panes of my bedroom window to get just the right level of crashing surf to blend with a Martin Denny LP on my turntable. Denny's Hawaiian/Jazz music, complete with jungle bird cries and my own mix of Pacific wave sounds are the tropical cocktail sure to deliver sweet dreams.

For seven years I played bass with Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen, and in the early 70's we had a top ten hit people tell me they still love, “Hot Rod Lincoln.” We played 1950's rock n’ roll, gypsy jazz, 1930’s big band swing a la Cab Calloway, honky-tonk barroom Country & Western, Western swing, and A WHOLE LOTTA BOOGIE WOOGIE, featuring the Old Commander tickling the ivories. This is no doubt why I was hyped to hear that boogie-woogie again on the track by Big Jay McNeely. At 84, Big Jay is the greatest living practitioner of honking sax, first made popular in the late 1940’s. The Dutch are crazy for boogie-woogie, and Big Jay’s track, “Get On Up and Boogie,” was recorded in Holland.  “Get On Up and Boogie” features the great Martijn Schok on keys, and he turns in an inspiring performance of pure boogie-woogie madness that reminds me of my high times with The Airmen.   

The rest of This is Vintage Now—whether boogie-woogie, swing, doo wop, Gasten's jump blues, surf music, cool ghoul/jazz, retro cuts or brand new classics—might also be the time machine to your favorite memories and musical reveries, and it's worth the trip. And maybe it will awaken you to the new genre David Gasten has created with his progressive combination of classic songs, eras, and performances. 

“Play it again, Sam.”

Buffalo Bruce Barlow,
Buckaroo Bass

Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen seal

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