Review: King Pleasure's "Golden Days"

I know nothing about jazz except that the record “Golden Days” by King Pleasure cheers me up whenever I’m feeling blue and hopeless. Released in 1960, this record has splendid instrumental solos accompanied by Pleasure’s charismatic improvisations like “bing-bang” and “bap ba dee dot bwee dee.” As an early master of vocalese (a style of singing that uses improvised nonsense syllables to accompany pre-recorded jazz instrumentals), his voice swings effortlessly through a wide range of tones that will squeeze your heart and move your shoulders. Whether he hits you with soulful declarations of love while singing “Moody’s Mood” or is giving advice to the youth with “Little Boy Don’t Be Scared,” I’ve found that this album is always a perfect antidote for whenever you feel like you need a break.

- Alberto Pazzi