BOSTON — A new study conducted by the Berklee College of Music has found that one in five jazz cats are now “going hog wild” on their saxophones, wigging out researchers and social statisticians alike.
“We found a record number of hep cats freaky-jiving, shucking sour clams, and puffing limp balloons,” said lead researcher Bernie McKenna. “If we can’t figure out what’s causing this sudden uptick in hot licks, we might have an epidemic of people popping their tops.”
With no reliable cure for the condition, experienced jazz musicians have taken steps to protect themselves.
“The best thing you can do for someone going hog wild is give them a smooth, tight pocket for grooving — just let ‘em sit on it and blow that horn until their lights go out,” said jazz trumpeter “Skinny” Jimmy LaFontaine. “If the cat is really blowing its nose and the boogie won’t show, you gotta step on it double time just to burn the chops.”
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While no demographic is immune to going hog wild, researchers found the condition is most frequent in men between 18 and 35 years old — and not only those who play brass instruments.
“It can hit axe men, hide hitters, bone ticklers — you name it. But right now, sax players are getting hit hardest,” noted bass scholar Vincent Scales. “Balloon lung seems to be the biggest predictor for actually going full hog wild.”
Despite the lack of scientific consensus, the jazz community at large hasn’t shown any major signs of panic.
“Cats have gone hog wild since way before I ever tickled my first licorice stick,” said Sandy Winston, Berklee’s Director of Contemporary Clarinet Theory. “It’s just part of the game. You can either play through it, or you can’t. Look at Herbie Hancock. He got way freaky on Head Hunters and never recovered. Still gets work, though.”
While civilians are generally considered low-risk, authorities advise that uncontrolled scatting may be a sign of a person going hog wild and encourage extreme caution.
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Article by Liam Hart @NiceGuyGreatGuy.