Happy Birthday, Raymond Scott (1908-1978)
Not a figure that most jazz fans know, but certainly Raymond Scott's music left an indelible mark on me as a kid in much the same way Bird and Diz did. While not considered a composer for cartoons, as he never actually scored for Warner Brothers or the other big animation houses, his melodies like Powerhouse and Toy Trumpet were often used by such legendary cartoon music composers as Carl Stalling (another of my favorite composers of all time). While you may not know any of his compositions by name, Raymond Scott's melodies will most likely be familiar to you if you've ever seen old cartoons from the 1930's and 1940's. He was also an early experimenter in electronic music in the 1950's and 1960's. For a bit more musical insight, Soho the Dog recently talked about a tune Scott wrote in tribute to Cootie Williams leaving Duke Ellington's band. Take a look at the videos -- they range from performance footage of his band, cartoons with his music, details on his electronic music, and even a funny remix of how Soylent Green might have sounded if they used Raymond Scott's music. Happy Birthday, Raymond Scott - I look forward to the parties in honor of your centennial next year!