Are you a cat? If you are anyhow related to the jazz world, or even if you are not, you probably heard this slang before. Like many others from the same origin (“gig” comes immediately to mind) it belongs to he current mainstream vocabulary and has such a broad use now, that basically describes anyone who plays or likes very much jazz music. If you read my previous post, you already know that I am into animations and if you are a regular Red Flower Press enjoyer, you might even know about my researches in the visual arts field.
My first step towards becoming a cat had the help of many animated animals, among them the cats from the US sitcom Top Cat. Produced by Hanna-Barbera, the adventures of a gang of Manhattan alley cats leaded by T.C. had jazz almost as an extra character. From the main title theme to the looks of the cats, the jazz vibe is everywhere and I loved to watch it in the afternoon reruns.
The show forged my taste in many ways and it belongs to my fondest childhood memories. I remember being specially fascinated by the way the cats turned the alley into a multi-functional space. The police box phone was the highlight of their creativity and it has a lot to do with the way I deal with decoration, using objects for multiple purposes, alley style.
I never had music classes as a child, neither was taken to concerts and had even less contact to jazz, what makes those visual references so important to me. Gloria Wood singing The Woody Woodpecker song, Louis Prima´s I wanna be like you from The Jungle Book (check out the very nice story behind his participation), Henry Mancini and The Pink Panther theme, among many others, were more than an important part of my musical background, they were my first music lessons. Music will always find a way.
Be seeing you!