Devil Dog
© ℗ Big Purr Music, LLC (ASCAP)

At the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, I was undone by an incredible installation by the sculptor Katharina Fritsch, consisting of 224 life-size Black Poodles surrounding a baby on a palm frond. After further investigation, I discovered it was inspired by Goethe’s 19th century tale of Faust. In Goethe’s play, Mephistopheles, the Devil, comes to Faust in the innocuous figure of a black dog who follows him home. Mephistopheles persuades Faust that if he invites him in, he will grant all his desires. Naturally, selling your soul to the Devil is never a wise choice, so this is my jazzy swing version of this timeless cautionary tale. With outstanding hep-cat harmonies by Thom Flora, piano by Chris Speasmaker, Hill Baker’s brushy drums, and Kyle Zender riffing on a vintage Epiphone, we transformed ourselves into a swingin’ jazz band.