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|Songwriter(s)||Oscar Brown, Jr.|
Recording and lyrics
The song was first recorded by Bobby Timmons in his debut album This Here Is Bobby Timmons (January 1960) and shortly after by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers on the album The Big Beat (March 1960) with Timmons as the band's pianist.
Oscar Brown Jr. wrote the lyrics later for his 1961 debut album Sin & Soul...and Then Some. He wrote lyrics for two other jazz instrumentals, "Afro Blue" by Mongo Santamaría and "Work Song" by Nat Adderley. Brown's lyrics describe a child's curiosity and excitement on a visit to the zoo with his father and the parent's reflections on the child's growing up.
"Dat Dere" includes a joint trumpet and tenor saxophone solo from measures 9 through 23. Then the saxophone takes its own solo from measures 34 through 59, sporting a D minor- B minor7 (b5)- E minor7 (b5) chord progression. At measure 59 the whole band joins in for a loud and proud "shout chorus". It takes the coda back to 18, and once measure 30 is finished, it is open to the whole band to solo individually.
- Cannonball Adderley performed and recorded the song when Bobby Timmons was a member of the quintet, and so did Art Blakey.
- Sheila Jordan recorded this song in 1961 on Portrait of Sheila, her debut album for Blue Note.
- A Swedish version, "Va' e' de' där", was performed by Monica Zetterlund in 1962. The Swedish lyrics were written by Beppe Wolgers.
- Mel Tormé performed his version of this song on Ralph J. Gleason's Jazz Casual series. Taped on May 2, 1964, it includes Gary Long on piano, Perry Lind on bass, and Benny Barth on drums.
- Valdy included a version of this song on Hot Rocks (1978) as well as on Valdy's Kid's Record (1981).
- Woody Shaw covered the song on his 1987 album Imagination.
- The Mary Lou Williams Trio recorded the song on the album Free Spirits (1976).
- Rickie Lee Jones recorded the song for her 1991 Pop Pop album.
- Tony Bennett recorded this song on his 1998 album The Playground.
- Herman Brood, a Dutch rock star, performed the song on the 1999 album Back on the Corner.
- A Norwegian version, "Den der", was performed by Eva Trones on the 2011 record Tango for en ("Tango for one") with lyrics by Terje Nilsen. The sentence "And mummy can I have that big elephant over there?" was translated rather freely to "Og mamma kan æ få sånt høyt hår som ho dama der?" ("And mummy can I have such tall hair as the lady there?")
- Fielder, Christopher. "The Big Beat - Art Blakey". AllMusic. Retrieved 25 June 2010.
- "Oscar Brown Jr. Biography - Took to Airwaves as Teen, Fought Racism with Politics and Revolution". Biography.jrank.org. Retrieved 2012-02-12.
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