Before Sesame Street or Yo Gabba Gabba made art for kids that their parents understood on a whole other level, there were Hip Fables. Pop prose originally put to pulp by the pen of Steve Allen circa the ‘50s, which inspired a popular album and even a book titled Hip Fables (Simon & Schuster). The original recording featured Steve Allen on the piano accompanied by King Cool himself, Chicago DJ and Impulse! recording artist Al Jazzbeaux Collins!
In 1983 under the watchful eye of original producer Bob Thiele, Jazzbeaux and Allen were brought together once again. This time joined by ace percussionist Ray Mantilla (here referred to as “Watermelon Face” due to a swollen jaw), and one of the original hipsters, Slim Gaillard, to create an updated bilingual take on the cult favorite. In addition to the latin percussion Mantilla brought to the party, Gaillard shadowed Jazzbeaux to translate the madness into what they ultimately called Spanglish! The results are four fab fables filling out the sides of an LP that’s suitable for jazz heads, beatniks, or children with strange taste.