Preview: Jazzy musical ‘Five Guys Named Moe’ comes to Riffe

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From the May 2, 2013 edition

The song titles of the musical “Five Guys Named Moe” are a pleasure for anyone who likes things a little raunchy. Among them: “What’s the Use of Gettin’ Sober,” “I Like ‘Em Fat Like That” and “Pettin’ and Pokin’.”

It’s good to let your 15-year-old self have a laugh, but the most interesting part of these songs is the legacy of the songbook in which they reside.

“Five Guys Named Moe” is about a man named Nomax, a despondent new dumpee who finds solace by listening to the music of, you guessed it, five guys named Moe (distinguishable by descriptors Big, Eat, No, Little and Four-Eyed). The band of Moes play the songs of popular 1940s-era saxophonist and songwriter, Louis Jordan, who wrote the original “Five Guys Named Moe” musical in 1943.

Jordan’s brand of jazz, a pulsing, syncopated stew of boogie-woogie, swing and blues guitar, laid the groundwork for rock and roll’s cultural breakthrough a decade later.

CATCO’s rendition of this hip hopping hit runs through May. Can’t attend? At least YouTube Jordan singing “Ain’t Nobody Here but Us Chickens.”