VIDEO: Derrick Gardner & The Big dig! Band – Heavens to Murgatroyd!

Composed and arranged by Derrick Gardner for the 2020 Impact Jazz release “Still I Rise” by Derrick Gardner & The Big dig! Band. “Heavens to Murgatroyd!” is a bit of an outlier. It looks back to the cartoons of my childhood and forward to the electronic innovations of hip-hop. This tune began with the boxed-in ragtime feel of a bass ostinato and repetitive harmonic figure. Once I had that going, I composed a melody—I was looking for something that would contrast with that pattern, but not get in the way of it. When I put them together, the combination was so humorous that I suddenly heard “Heavens to Murgatroyd!” in my head—in the voice of Snagglepuss, of course. I found this funny bells-and-chimes pattern that I remembered from a cartoon sound track, and had my engineer sample and loop it. It creates part of the oddball mechanical feel of the tune because it’s a 4/4 loop laid over a 3/4 tune. That off-balance feel is enhanced by the drums. For the ending vamp, I layered over a big drum solo with a bunch of old slapstick cartoon sound effects like horn-honking and that funny sound when a character takes off really fast. The whole tune is a hodgepodge bouquet of chaos— it’s crazy! Soloists: Derrick Gardner (trumpet), Vincent Gardner (trombone), Rob Dixon (tenor), Curtis Nowosad (drums), DJ Stop (DJ) Visit the album website at:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *