Bent Fabricius-Bjerre (b. 1924) is a Danish jazz and pop pianist and composer. He is better known as Bent Fabric and published his work for many years as "Frank Bjorn"
Bent Fabric's simple piano foxtrot number, "Alley Cat," is one of those tunes we all know but hardly anyone recognizes. It first hit the radio and record charts in Denmark in 1961. By the end of 1962 it was a worldwide hit. It sold over a million copies placing in the Top 40 in Europe, the U.K., Australia, and the United States. Because it was simple enough for even beginning piano students to play, "Alley Cat" sold over 500,000 copies in sheet music within the first two years of its publication.
Fabric wrote many originals, but "Alley Cat" caught listeners like none of his other tunes. Atlantic Records licensed a whole album of Fabric's piano numbers and it became their biggest seller for 1962. They went on to release a half dozen Fabric albums over the next 4 years, but not one came close to matching the impact of "Alley Cat." As evidence of the utter unreliability of the Grammy Awards, "Alley Cat" went on to win the award for Best Rock and Roll Record of 1962. ref - spaceagepop.com
|The guitar arrangement|
What I play is a simplified version of an arrangement by Mario Abril. This can be found in the book "Popular Songs for Classical Guitar", published in 1972 by Charles Hansen Music & Books.
The arrangements in this book are intermediate arrangements, whatever that means. I've never understood why classical guitar players and teachers spilt things into categories like easy, intermediate and advanced. My personal philosophy is simple. You can either play it or you can't. If I find an arrangement difficult because of the gratuitous stretches and harmony notes, I simply leave them out.
Which is what I did with Alley Cat. I want to play the damn thing, not anguish over technique. It's a fun tune. Mr Abril has done some excellent arrangements. My challenge is not to play them as is, but to modify them (sometimes a lot) so they are fun and EASY to play. More about Mario Abril
Where can you buy books by Mario Abril? Who knows? I don't think you can anymore. Amazon has the 2 books that I own, and a few other Abril titles I know of listed as unavailable. Sadly, they appear to be out of print. I read somewhere that Warner absorbed Charles Hanson Music. I assume this means they deleted Mario Abril books from their catalog because they were not profitable. That's just wild speculation on my part. In any case, there are some great arrangements in these books. If anybody knows if they are still available and who sells them please let me know.