Chapeau Mauvais

Originally Performed ByTrey Anastasio
MusicErnie Stires
VocalsInstrumental
HistorianTim Wade (TheEmu)
Last Update2011-10-20

History

“Chapeau Mauvais” is an instrumental jazz number composed by Trey’s late friend, mentor, and instructor, Ernie Stires. The song begins with keyboard, horn and guitar lines which crisscross as they ascend and descend through slippery time signatures. The song then shifts to a more straightforward swing tempo, where Trey and the horns trade licks before returning to the floating and melting effects with which they began. The title is French for “Bad Hat,” which was also the name of the brief collaboration between Trey, Fishman, and Jazz Mandolin Project founder Jamie Masefield (who was also a student of Ernie Stires).

“Chapeau Mauvais” was performed six times during TAB’s fall 2002 tour, usually filling the cool-down slot after a longer jamming tune. As the song is not itself built for extended jamming, most performances are similar, though one version, from 10/29/02 Louisville, emerged from the remnants of a 22-minute “Night Speaks to a Woman.” TAB last tipped this particular cap on 11/1/02 at The Tabernacle in Atlanta, GA.

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