Marc Myers of JazzWax listens to “In a Mist”:
While “In a Mist” lasts just 2 minutes and 44 seconds, it features a dense fabric of chords and multiple rhythms. The song opens as something of a minor-key cakewalk but Bix quickly shifts to stride piano in a major key, and “In a Mist” lurches, spins and staggers until it softly reaches its destination.
For me, it’s the perfect anthem for the end of summer and start of the fall season. Bix’s haunting melody and stop-start attack was ahead of its time musically. As you’ll hear, this piano piece has multiple personalities, all of them rich with poetry.
Interestingly, “In a Mist” was recorded this time of year—nearly 80 years ago on September 9, 1927. Whenever I hear “In a Mist,” my first reaction is astonishment that Bix, the cornetist, could get so much out of the piano. My second reaction is bafflement at how complex a puzzle this song is.
This afternoon, “In a Mist” played beautifully as the dimming intensity of the summer light crept across the tops and sides of brownstones and buildings on New York’s Upper West Side.
[September 5, 2007]