Sunday, July 8, 2012

Mantan Moreland "Elsie's Sportin' House"

( While record diggers will attest that the Laff label was so popular that few of their LPs are rare, and comedy buffs might argue that the zero-budget, shoddily assembled, semi-audibly recorded black comedy "party records" they released in the 70s were not the apex of the art form. BUT I LOVE THEM! And I'm so happy this series is bringing these back. I have two Mantan Moreland records on Laff, and while I love him in movies (especially in the black cast films he did, mostly low budget though he did the one big budget flick...his "flies" line in Cabin in the Sky always slays me...) these records leave me lukewarm. While he does perform the classic "Indefinite Talk' routine, which goes back at least to the 1920s, he generally seemed to be cowtowing to current tastes with trashy sex humor that may not have been his forte "That ain't my finger!"). That said, this is the first time I've heard this particular album, and while it is crazy foul mouthed and dirty, Moreland seems more confident and in command of this filth than he did on the other LPs. In fact, these albums, which were all released around, or just after, his '73 death, demonstrate some real boldness with outright profanity, which is impressive because these must have been recorded within a year or two of Rudy Ray Moore emancipating the "f" word. Mantan is the Man!

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