A 1920s Chicago Businessman Answers Ravel: “A Jazz Ballet About Krazy Kat”

I could be wrong — because really I don’t know — but lately I’ve come to believe that John Alden Carpenter (1876-1951) is Chicago’s best classical music composer. After the Chicago way, he was a businessman by day, impressionistic jazzman composer by night. In 1922 he created a ballet adaptation of the George Herriman comic strip: Krazy Kat: A Jazz Pantomime.  It sounds more like the commerce and colors of Chicago than the angular dreamland of Krazy Kat, but that’s really OK. Like interlocking teeth of gold and blue over slate, like beaux-arts in plastic: brassy and American. (And see below the strip for another choice John Alden Carpenter cut from Adventures in a Perambulator (1914))

Krazy Kat
“I dreamed he kissed me”

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