Minnie the Moocher was Cab Calloway, in point of fact. A whole other order of business than the Duke. I never took much interest in Cab myself, but he did seem to be a pioneer of hybridizing jazz and swing with comedy, almost a sub-genre in its own right, in the days of vaudeville giving way to Hollywood musicals as a primary means of widespread entertainment.
the words are usually incidental…it’s the music that you remember, more than anything.
As an entirely subjective and personal matter of taste, I can share that sentiment. But as an overall analysis of the gigantic world of performing arts and artists that is jazz, I’m not so sure this is accurate. Like I said, much of the musical basis of jazz from the beginning was intertwined with the art of songwriting. Yes, many performers such as Miles Davis would have as a big part of their book, a plethora of lyrical songs they would rework in their own style with no vocalist. But to go and see an artist like Ella or Lady Day, was to go and hear what they were singing. It was the musicians, known in that setting as “side men”, that one could more easily forget.
Try this one, and let me know if you still find the lyrics forgettable: