Have you heard The Five Satins’s rendition of The Jones Girl? According to the Internet, it features the worst jazz solo of all time. It’s bad enough to make Kenny G sound legendary but the reasons behind it’s atrociousness have been generic and incorrect in some cases.
About The Five Satins
The Five Satins are an American doo-wop band from Connecticut, best known for their 1956 hit, ‘In the Still of the Night’, originally released as the B-side to ‘The Jones Girl’.
Is ‘the worst jazz solo of all time’ the worst jazz solo of all time?
But not Adam Neely’s brilliant critique. In his video, The Worst Jazz Solo of All Time, he discusses Vinny Mazzetta’s infamous solo which isn’t atonal, as described by one publication, but rather out of time, slurred, and out of tune (at least for the note that’s supposed to be played).
Interestingly, the song is an alt take and in the proper version, the same solo is played better. Neely goes in-depth with the history of playing one note as a compositional technique, its jazz origins, why Mazetta’s solo was bad but not the worst ever, and why Mazzetta wasn’t that bad in general but was on that take.
By the end of the video, you’ll have learnt a lot more than you expected and changed your mind about the solo.
Stream Neely’s analysis and the alt take solo below.