Mike Jaimes — The Jazzie Hippie

Mike Jaimes wrote an instrumental piece called Jazzie Hippie around the time Native was formed. His self-recorded demo is a part of Nativology Vol. 1 and makes for an interesting comparison to the version we humbly present today.

As an arrangement, and as a showpiece for his guitar prowess, it’s up there with the band’s best tunes, but it also highlights his skill at linking musical passages that, on paper, might seem too disparate to ever work together.

Mike would employ this talent in so many songs over the next decade. Whenever you hear a musical motif, or a bit of bridging material — chances are that was Mike’s donation.

Interestingly, there is a point of pedantry associated with this song, an odd thing for an instrumental production — the spelling of Jazzie came up upon the first occasion of writing it on a tape cover. One might expect it to be spelled Jazzy, as that’s the way we normally see it used. But, (and here’s where I contributed to the final usage, although I remember it being a group-wide discussion) Jazzy Hippie looks weird in the sense that it employs two differing ways of spelling the same ‘ee’ ending.

So, my point of pedantry led to the present-day, nicely consistent title. It also offers a view into the biotelemetry of the band.

And — what a song!!!!

As a opening number (when we’d had no sound-check) it served to let the sound-technician get a working mix going before having to worry about vocals; as a middle-of-the-set number, it rocked and gave Mat and Woody a chance to rest their voices. The key thing here is — it always worked.

From day one, it was a perfect fit within the architecture of Native’s distinct persona.

Indeed, we did not record an officially-released version until And Then What in 2001, but that version is cut from the same cloth as this wonderful demo, made in the dizzying, chaotic, exhilarating year of 1995.

Recorded and mixed on analogue tape by John Fitzwater at the legendary Marmfington Farm — kick back and spend some time with —

The Jazzie Hippie v. 2

Cornbread Wednesday

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