Picking Peaches (2007)
for jazz trio, 21:30 minutes
Instrumentation: clarinet, piano, drums
Performers: The Snark Ensemble
Film synopsis and musical notes:
Harry (Harry Langdon) is a department store clerk (shoe department) and bored with his marriage. Endowed with a “wandering eye,” Harry takes great interest in his female customers, one in particular.
Picking Peaches, Harry Langdon’s first film comedy with Mack Sennett, is a two-reel comedy (20 minutes) which follows the “hero’s” philandering adventures to the beach, where he winds up among the famed Sennett “Bathing Beauties,” from there to a beauty contest and his boss’ apartment, finally ending up in the hospital, as his flirting ways bring his comeuppance (but not a change of heart, as the final scene shows us!).
Picking Peaches was written for the Snark Ensemble, and has been performed live numerous times in addition to appearing on the DVD set The Harry Langdon Collection: Lost and Found (All Day Entertainment, 2007), one of the New York Times’ “Critic’s Picks” for 2007.
--Andrew Earle Simpson