Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Cozy Cole - Dual Performance Cozy Cole / Savinadotdotdotdot
artworkThis is not a surf release, but as far as drum records go, it doesn't get much better than Cozy Cole's "Topsy II," a song that many surfbands have covered or were influenced by. Alan Hartwell's big band featured drummer Cozy Cole, and extraordinarily vivacious stick man with a real sense of creativity with his kit. Few drummers can hold attention for very long with a solo, but Cozy Cole surely did with his chart topper "Topsy II." The rest of the band included a few names that you will recognize, including keyboardist Dick Hyman (later Moog hero - "The Minotaur," Al Caiola (on bass here), and saxophonist Art 'Pepper' Adams. All of Cozy Cole's tracks begin with his bass voice.

This is actually a split with Savina, a sultry Julie London-ish feme fatale.
Picks: Topsy I, Topsy II, Turvy I, Turvy II, Topsy-Turvy I, Topsy-Turvy II, Bad, Afro-Caravan, Crescendo, Late and Lazy

Track by Track Review


Topsy I dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Similar to the hit part 2, "Topsy 1" is softer and more sensual, with more organ fills and lower energy. That's not to say it's not powerful and driven. There are more of those great drum fills from Cozy Cole and lots of cool keys from Dick Hyman. It's also one of the great (if very late in the game) big band tracks.

Topsy II dotdotdotdotdot
Drum (Instrumental)

The title is in reference to Uncle Tom's Cabin. There just aren't many better drum solo tracks than this 1958 single. The basic track is a very powerful big band thing, like "Sing Sing Sing" in terms of it's infectious melody and power. Cozy Cole's drums are incredibly great, incorporating light work, tribal beats, and big band power snare work. This is a singular track of unparalleled energy and soul.

Turvy I dotdotdot
Drum (Instrumental)

"Turvy I" was an attempt to follow on the success of "Topsy II." More of the great drums, but the melody and orchestration is just not has excruciatingly hot. Quite cool, but less electrifying.

Turvy II dotdotdot
Drum (Instrumental)

The very cool Dick Hyman piano lines that open "Turvy Part II" are all that really grabs me here. The rest is relatively pedestrian big band, though again there are some stellar drum licks from Cozy Cole.

Topsy-Turvy I dotdotdot
Drum (Instrumental)

Now, this is the ultimate in follow up titles, melding both "Topsy I" and "Turvy I." It ends up being more of a jammy groove than an interesting song, at least until Cozy Cole comes pounding in.

Topsy-Turvy II dotdotdot
Drum (Instrumental)

Great cymbals and a saucy groove ensue, but again it's Cozy Cole insane drum licks, this time directly borrowed from "Topsy II" that keep it afloat. I think it's actually the same drum track edited in, because it not only is lick for lick, it is also of quite a different aural character than the drums in the rest of the track.

Bad dotdotdot
Drum (Instrumental)

Tribal drums and sexy sax drive this stripper's runway bump and grind special. Cheesy and sleazy to the max, "Bad" is fun and scintillating.

Afro-Caravan dotdotdotdotdot
Drum (Instrumental)

Incredibly cool drums underpin this exotic arrangement of Duke Ellington's "Caravan." The guitar chords run softly below, and the horns come in like a belly dancer out for your soul. This is a really interesting and very different arrangement. The clarinet is kinda cheesy, but otherwise, this is quite a track.

Crescendo dotdotdot
Drum (Instrumental)

That great "Topsy II" drum beat drives "Crescendo" right along. The song is just so-so big band fare, but the drums rule!

Late and Lazy dotdotdot
Drum (Instrumental)

This has a softened "Manhattan Spiritual" feel to it. It writhes slowly with a sensual sound and pulsing bass line. "Late and Lazy" is definitely an easy mover with sex on its mind.