Joe Jackson “Jumpin’ Jive”

Posted 20 Jun 2011 in 80s, Albums of 1981, Albums of the 80s, Swing

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#410 in the Series) is Joe Jackson, Jumpin’ Jive

Now THIS my dear friends is the absolute definition of a “Cool Album.”  Joe Jackson released this album of many big band, swing tunes in 1981.  It’s Cool and it’s fun.  I didn’t get a chance to see this tour, but I did see Mr. Joe play a lengthy medley of these songs on his Big World Tour in 1986.  He and they were marvelous.

What Joe did here was release an album of well-known cover tunes that were originally released by the classic of era. Performers like Louis Jordan and especially Cab Calloway made careers of playing this music. I would have loved to have seen them in their prime. My vote- spectacular!

It’s interesting that this “Swing, Big-Band” or even “Jump-Blues” sound made a comeback in the mid-nineties.  Joe had bands like Big Bad Voodoo Daddies and The Brian Setzer Orchestra beat by about 15 years!

Joe Jackson really did have an interesting start to his career. His first few albums helped usher in the post punk, new wave, pub rock sound (along with Elvis Costello and Graham Parker.) After those first few album he released this gem and them moved onto his sophisticated sound a couple years later. That was when he produced another classic in “Night and Day.” Steppin’ Out sounded like nothing he did before.  When we were listening to those early Joe Jackson and Elvis Costello albums, who would have ‘thunk’ that they’d eventually grown into the songwriters and musicians that they did. We’re very luck to still have them.

There’s a lengthy playlist below.  It contains tunes such as “Jack You’re Dead”,” We The Cats (Shall Help Ya)”,”Five Guys Named Moe” and of course, “Jumpin’ Jive.” It was not on the album, but I also included a live version of Joe covering Cab Calloway’s “Minnie The Moocher. “  Dig it!!

— Larry Carta

Track listing

Side One

  1. “Jumpin’ with Symphony Sid” (Lester Young, King Pleasure) – 2:43
  2. “Jack, You’re Dead” (Richard Miles, Walter Bishop) – 2:46
  3. “Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby” (Bill Austin, Louis Jordan) – 4:57
  4. “We the Cats (Shall Hep Ya)” (Cab Calloway, Jack Palmer) – 3:19
  5. “San Francisco Fan” (M. More) – 4:28
  6. “Five Guys Named Moe” (Jerome Bresler, Larry Wynn) – 2:30

Side Two

  1. “Jumpin’ Jive” (Cab Calloway, Frank Froeba, Jack Palmer) – 2:41
  2. “You Run Your Mouth (and I’ll Run My Business)” (Louis Armstrong) – 2:31
  3. “What’s the Use of Getting Sober (When You’re Gonna Get Drunk Again)” (Meyers) – 3:46
  4. “You’re My Meat” (Skeets Tolbert) – 2:54
  5. “Tuxedo Junction” (Erskine Hawkins, Buddy Feyne, William Johnson, Julian Dash) – 5:18
  6. “How Long Must I Wait for You” (Paul Specht) – 4:06


  • Joe Jackson – Vocals and vibraphone
  • Dave Bitelli – Tenor saxophone and clarinet
  • Graham Maby – Bass
  • Raul Olivera – Trumpet
  • Pete Thomas – Alto saxophone
  • Larry Tolfree – Drums
  • Nick Weldon – Piano
  • All – Backing vocals


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Posted by Larry Carta

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