Music to dance to: Mr. Scruff

Manchester-based Mr Scruff has long been one of my favorite DJs.  Not only does he have funky grooves, he produces fantastic hand-drawn animations (often about pie).  I got to see Mr Scruff twice about a decade ago when he came out to Santa Monica.   Scruff is best known for his electro-jazz anthem “Get a Move On” featured in numerous car commercials.

Mr Scruff “Get a Move On”

As with a lot of great songs, “Get A Move On” is rooted in a classic jazz song.   The melody is directly from “Bird’s Lament (In Memory of Charlie Parker)” by Moondog. Known as the “The Viking of 6th Avenue”, Moondog was a blind eccentric New York street composer who dressed as a Norse god and invented and played his own instruments.  He had a unique style of minimalist percussive jazz that ranges from piano to saxophone to his own Trimba drums – all of which are ripe for rediscovery and reinvention.

Moondog and his trimba drums

Moondog and his Trimba drums

Now for dancing, I still love to have a female lead.  Most of Mr Scruff’s work is instrumental, or at most full of short samples about fish.   Then in 2008, he released “Music takes me up” , an ode to music with soulful vocals by Alice Russell.  Plus the music video has dancing fruit – I would always love to see a pole dancing banana.   So I present the dance song of the day.

Mr Scruff with Alice Russell “Music takes me up”


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