Trumpeter, composer, and bandleader Dizzy Gillespie was one of the most skilled jazz trumpet players of all time. Along with Charlie Parker, he is credited with pioneering the “bebop” style and for introducing Afro-Cuban elements into modern jazz music.
In addition to being an incredible improviser and skatter, Gillespie is responsible for several pieces that have become jazz standards including “Manteca”, which he co-wrote with Chano Pozo and Gil Fuller in 1947. The tune has been covered by a wide array of artists over the years, from Red Garland (1958), to Ella Fitzgerald (1970), to Quincy Jones (1973).
“Manteca” also caught the attention of Vermont four-piece Phish during their formative years, and quickly became one of their most frequently performed jazz numbers. Phish recorded a version of the song for their 1992 album A Picture of Nectar, adding the somewhat nonsensical lyrics “crab in my shoe mouth” to the instrumental melody.
Since then, Phish has continued to work “Manteca” into their live performances in fun and creative ways. From subtle teases to full-scale “Manteca” jams, the appearance of the “crab in my shoe mouth” refrain never fails to send Phish crowds into a frenzy. In honor of the anniversary of Dizzy Gillespie’s death today, give a listen to a few of our favorite Phish “Manteca” jams:
First, check out this dark and dirty “Manteca” jam, part of a top-notch “Stash” at Phish’s 11/14/95 show at the University of Central Florida Arena in Orlando (from YouTube user PhrankieC87):
Phish | University of Central Florida Arena | Orlando, FL | 11/14/95 (setist via phish.net)
Set 1: Chalk Dust Torture, Foam, Billy Breathes, Divided Sky, Esther > Free, Julius, I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome, Cavern
Set 2: Maze, Gumbo, Stash -> Manteca -> Stash -> Dog Faced Boy  -> Stash , Strange Design, You Enjoy Myself -> Immigrant Song Jam -> You Enjoy Myself
Encore: The Wedge, Rocky Top
 Performed over a different arrangement than usual.
Next, give a listen to the “You Enjoy Myself” from New Year’s Eve 2010 at Madison Square Garden, featuring a fun “Manteca” sandwich during the song’s jam section (thanks to YouTube user HarpuaFSB):
Phish | Madison Square Garden | New York, NY | 12/31/10 (setist via phish.net)
Set 1: Punch You In the Eye > AC/DC Bag > The Moma Dance > Scent of a Mule, Burn That Bridge, Weigh> Ocelot, Beauty of My Dreams, Gone, Rock and Roll
Set 2: Wilson > 46 Days, Sand, NICU > Down with Disease > Ghost , You Enjoy Myself -> Manteca -> You Enjoy Myself
Set 3: Meatstick, Auld Lang Syne, After Midnight, Backwards Down the Number Line > Piper > Free, Waste > Slave to the Traffic Light, Grind
Encore: First Tube
You can also check out partial fan-shot footage of Phish’s super-funky “Bathtub Gin” from Bethel Woods (the home of Woodstock) on 5/28/11 containing a double-time “Manteca” interlude thanks to YouTube user d12985’s channel:
Phish | Bethel Woods Center For The Arts | Bethel, NY | 5/28/11 (setist via phish.net)
Set 1: Theme From the Bottom, NICU, Cities, Halley’s Comet > Runaway Jim, Gumbo > Quinn the Eskimo > Limb By Limb, Horn, Bathtub Gin -> Manteca > Bathtub Gin
Set 2: Down with Disease > Free > Backwards Down the Number Line > Makisupa Policeman > Harry Hood > Cavern > David Bowie
Encore: A Day in the Life