The Pop Of Yestercentury (formerly titled Aesthetic, Not Anesthetic) is devoted to hot jazz, eighteenth century hits, big bands, Baroque opera, rag-a-jazz, early music and more archaic pop.

Its author, Andrew Jon Sammut, loves popular music that just happens to have been popular between eighty and three hundred years ago.  Andrew is proud to have contributed to All About JazzThe Boston Musical Intelligencer, Early Music America and the IAJRC Journal but is not a trained critic or a professional musician.  He is just a music lover and self-taught clarinetist trying to learn more about the music that interests him.  Since most of this music is left out of history books and magazines, Andrew’s blog will have to do (for now).  Hopefully it will attract new listeners, intrigue familiar ones and perhaps encourage professionals to investigate this music in greater detail.


13 thoughts on “About

  1. Credit where credit is due…

    That adorably thought-provoking cartoon that I am lucky to share with readers is the work of Matteo Bertelli, and can be found here.

  2. Hello,
    I am working on a jazz documentary and I would like to contact you via email directly.
    Thank you,
    Valeria Rios

  3. […] Cool in Your Ears, Not Cold in the Ground Skip to content HomeAnd We’re Back…About ← India’s Jazz Age, for Your […]

  4. Andrew Homzy says:


    It has been well documented that Monk was inspired by Mary Lou William’s “Walkin’ And Swingin'” – “Rhythm-a-ning” – and John Kirby’s “Pastel Blue” – “Blue Monk”.

    Thanks to your blog, this morning, I discovered that Bob Zurke’s performance of “Tea For Two”, with the Bob Crosby Band in 1938, is the genesis of Monk’s still-unique version of the same tune. Recorded in New York, March 10, 1938 for Decca.

    Zurke’s spectacular reharmonization begins at 2:39 –

    In Chicago, on January 18, 1940, Zurke returned to Youman’s theme, recording it with his own big band – Bob Zurke and his Delta Rhythm Band. At 2:17, there begins an even more extensive, i.e. full chorus reharmonization. Monk could have heard this version as it was issued on Victor & was probably widely distributed.

    The 1940 version has been reissued on HEP CD – and is available on iTunes.

    I would love to hear the version Squirrel Ashcraft recorded in Chicago, 1938 – a duo of Zurke and Joe Rushton on clarinet.

    Zurke was also mentioned “Jelly Roll” Morton as a favorite contemporary player. As told to historian Alan Lomax on May 23, 1938, “There’s only a very few jazz pianists, if there’s any, that as I state today. So far as the present time, musicians as pianists, I don’t know of but only one that have a tendency to be on the right track, and that’s Bob Zurke of Bob Crosby Band. Far as the rest of ’em, all I can see is ragtime pianists in a very fine form.””

    Bob Zurke died on February 16, 1944, just weeks after his 32nd birthday.



  5. saana lehtonen says:

    Hello Andrew! You posted a great photo of bass clarinet In your post from Jun 24 2013 “Jazz Bass Clarinet Before Dolphy”. I was wondering if it would be ok to use it in a e-book that I’m editing. It’s a music education book for elementary students. Let me know!

  6. billysobczyk says:

    This blog makes me happy. I love the tone and sincerity of your writing. I too am a non-musician, non-professional whose taste-for and interest-in early jazz preceeds my knowledge of the form, and your blog has served as a guide that I can relate to, not as an intimidating know-it-all encyclopedia. Thank you.

    I was saddened last year when you wrote that you were giving it up. I foolishly never came back to check it after that and today I find that there is a lot of new material for me to dig into. Oh joy! I need to pace myself. Keep up the good work.

    • I am embarrassed that after receiving compliments for my writing that all I can say is “wow.” Thank you so much for reading, for reaching out and above all for such kind words. It is honestly so very rewarding to know that this blog has been helpful.

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