…Some Other Peanuts

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Salt Peanuts” is a bebop tune reportedly composed by Dizzy Gillespie in 1943, credited “with the collaboration of” bebop drummer Kenny Clarke. It is also cited as Charlie Parker‘s.[1]

In fact, while the verbal exhortation “Salt Peanuts, Salt Peanuts!” is closely identified with Dizzy Gillespie, the musical motif upon which it is based actually predates Gillespie/Clarke by at least several months, as it appears as a repeated six-note instrumental phrase played on piano by Count Basie on his July 2, 1941 recording of “Basie Boogie” for the Columbia/OKeh label. Basie also played it in a recorded live performance at Cafe Society later that year.[2]

“Salt Peanuts” was most famously recorded by Dizzy Gillespie and His All-Stars on May 11, 1945 in New York City for Guild Records. The lineup was Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet), Charlie Parker (alto sax), Al Haig (piano), Curley Russell (bass), and Sid Catlett (drums)

A few notes of the song are used in “Tiger in a Spotlight” by Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

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