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Saturday, April 20, 2019

Lab '76 - The North Texas State University Jazz Lab Band

Labyrinth
North Texas State University School Of Music
Marceau C. Myers, Dean Presents
Lab '76!
Leon Breeden, Director
Album Design, Liner Notes, Photography: J Frank Lively
Loomis Photo by Gary Rago
Shanklin photo from Dr. Wn. Latham
Distributed by Ray Lawrence LTD., Studio City, California
LJ114
1976

Engineering

Side one:
Love Beams: Omega Audio; Darrell Henke, Engineer
Myth Of Sisyphus: Vestige Recording; Bob Grace, Engineer
Chief's Blues: Alcorn Productions; Jim Alcorn, Engineer
Side two:
Dallasonic Recording: Thom Calceta and Don Smith, Engineers

Personnel

Saxophones: Roger Dismore (Lead)
Dan Higgins (Pete Brewer*)
Steve Spencer
Bev Dahlke

Trumpets
Chuck Schmidt (Lead)
Bill Collins
Ron Bergan (Wayne George*)
Doug Coltman
Clay Jenkins (Mike Davis*)

Piano
Jim Milne (Pat Coil*)

Bass
Marc Johnson (Jim Lacefield, 2nd Bass on "Myth Of Sisyphus)

Drums
John Riley

Guitar
Jim Chirillo (Jett Davang*)

Percussion
Gene Glover
*On "Chief's Blues" Only

The Cover: Those of you who remember the famous "lizard" who appeared on our "Lab '75!" cover will find a relative of his on this year's cover. He's down there in the lower right hand corner, watching the "Monster flute player." (Another visual pun!). Our thanks to Sue Ellen Brown, NTSU senior Advertising Design major, who created the work.

From Billboard - March 19, 1977: This remarkable musical and professional collegiate big band conducted by Dr. Leon Breeden is a model of what contemporary large-scale jazz is all about. Exceptional solos by Dan Higgins, alto; Jim Milne, piano and Clay Jenkins, flugelhorn blend well with adventurous, musically fascinating charts by six different arrangers. A bow, too, to J. Frank Lively's lively annotation, LP design and photos. Best cuts: "Love Beams," "Ballad For Gary," Chief's Blues."

Love Beams
Composer/Arranger Mark Taylor (NTSU) - Dan Higgins, Alto Sax Solo

Myth Of Sisyphus*
Composer/Arranger Paul Loomis (NTSU) - Mark Henderson, Tenor Sax Solo

Chief's Blues
Composer/Arranger Rich Shanklin (NTSU Alumnus) - Roger Dismore, Soprano Sax Solo

Phone A Trois
Composer/Arranger Alf Clausen (NTSU) - Dan Higgins, Alto Sax Solo - Clay Jenkins, Flugelhorn Solo - James Chirillo, Guitar Solo

Ballad For Gary*
Composer/Arranger Alf Clausen - Jim Mike, Piano Solo - Clay Jenkins, Flugelhorn Solo

Labyrinth*
Composer Arranger Jim Milne (NTSU) - Bill Yeager, Trombone Solo - Jim Milne, Piano Solo

Friday, April 19, 2019

Quietly There - Chet Baker

Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most
Quietly There
Chet Baker
Producer: Richard Bock
Arrangers: Harry Betts & Julian Lee
Art Direction: Woody Woodward
Cover Photo: Ken Kim
Engineer: Lanky Linstrot
World Pacific WP-1847
Liberty Records, Inc.
1966

From the back cover: Chet Baker and strings always seem to this writer a natural – if not obvious – paring. The 36-year old Oklahoman is essentially a romantic on his instrument. And since he has forsaken trumpet for flugelhorn, the romantic turn of his musical approach has been that much further evident. The flugelhorn, with its roundness and fullness of tone, lends its character very well to a player with the time to rhapsodize. One recalls that Miles Davis (Chet Baker's stylistic ancestor) took to flugelhorn at a point in his career marking a departure from wholly small group settings and the beginning of adventures in music now considered historic.

So the romantic Chet has ample opportunity here to make the most of the arrangements of Harry Betts and Julian Lee, two of our leading craftsmen in the canny art of orchestration. If an arranger is really good, he can leave his personal mark on the treatment of a song just as indelibly as may a jazz improvisor. Both men are capable of this, and both do so here. Betts has been trombonist with many of the country's top name bands, from Charlie Barnet on through the alphabet. Lee is a gifted Australian who has been a Hollywood resident for several years. Both were assigned a half dozen tunes apiece to dress up for the Baker horn... what they did with them may be summed up in the words: Good Taste. – John Tynan


Early Autumn
I Left My Heart In San Francisco
Forget Him
Christmas Song
Quietly There
Spring Can Really Hang Up The Most
Stranger On The Shore
You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
The More I See You
No More Blues (Chega De Saudade)
Message To Michael
(You're My) Soul And Inspiration

Guitars Unlimited - The Barclay Stars

Opus De Funk
Guitars Unlimited
The Barclay Stars
Musical Supervision: G. Levecque
A&R Director: J. Fernadez
Cover Design: Loring Eutemey
Recording Engineer: Gerhard Lehner
Recorded by Barclay Records, Paris, France
Atco Records SD 33-194
A Division of Atlantic Recording, Corp.
1966

Guitar: Francis Le Maguer, Pierre Cullaz, Raymond Gimenes, Paul Piguillem & Victor Apicella
Piano: Raymond Le Senechal or Jacques Danjean
Bass: Paul Rovere or Guy Pedersen
Drums: Frank Houplain

From Billboard - October 22, 1966: Guitarist Doing Right For Barclay - French guitarist Francis Le Maguer has produced a new sound for Barclay Records with an ensemble called Guitars Unlimited.

Le Maguer uses the guitars to reproduce the sound of the various sections of a big band in faithful interpretations of celebrated jazz standards by Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Woody Herman and others.

The album has already sold 6,000 copies in three months and is released in the U.S. by Atlantic and in Britain by Philips. Le Maguer plans a follow-up album shortly in which he will feature further Count Basie and Ellington numbers, Sacha Diestel's "The Good Life," and possibly some Lennon-McCartney tunes.


Fantail
Shiny Silk Stockings
Sophisticated Lady
Flight Of The Foo Birds
In A Mellow Tone
Four Brothers
April In Paris
Satin Doll
Take The A Train
Early Autumn
Opus De Funk

Flamenco Festival In Hi-Fi - Nino de Alicante

Fantasia Espanola
Flamenco Festival In Hi-Fi
Nino de Alicante and His Troupe
Design DCF-1046
A Product Of Pickwick Sales Corp. - Long Island City 1, N. Y.

From the back cover: On the Spanish coast of the Mediterranean, there is a seaport famous for its shipments of wines, oil, cereals, fruit and the finest and greatest of all Flamenco performers, Nino de Alicante is his name, and the seaport is known as Alcanite.

Nino de Alicante was born in a cave halfway up the side of a mountain between the towns of Alicante and Aspe. Here, at his mother's knee he learned all the intricacies of Flamenco with its variety of rhythms; the snapping fingers, castanets, hand clapping (palmas) and of course the wonderful soul-stirring heel work (taconeo). Nino grew to become the leader of his troupe because of his great virtuosity.

The discovery and subsequent famous concert tours of Spain and Europe were brought about because of a statue. The famous sculptor Amleto Cataldi of Rome, Italy had gone in his youth to Valencia, Spain and subsequently to Alicante to sculpt some works for an exhibition that was to be held in Paris featuring the best of the Neoclassical school. He tool ill and returned to Rome. Many, many years after his early death, his daughter Eleanora Cataldi, in going through her father's papers, realized that some of his work existed in Alicante. Off she went by ship across the Mediterranean. Arriving in Alicante, she found nothing remained of her father's work, but she discovered Nino and his troupe working in a little side street cafe: As Miss Cataldi explains it... "Flamenco, when heard and seen at it best, is exciting and infectious; it ensnares us with its sound of 'be alive'... 'be happy'... 'live.'"

Here we present Flamenco at its best. A true art form that is exciting to the ear. While listening, Spain will blossom before your eyes. All the romance and mystery is there – If you get the urge to holler "Ole" or "Viva Espana" ... go ahead... it's part of enjoying the listening.

Nino Alicante and his troupe have never appeared in the United States and it gives us great pleasure to bring their first recording to this country.

We guarantee you many hour of exciting listening. Each time you play this record the sounds will develop more and more in your mind. This is something you must share and play for your friends. – Abbot Lutz


Danza Oriental
Fiesta del Rocio
En Un Cuadro Flamenco
Brisas de Malaga
Fragua Audaluza
Albaicin Granadino
Garrotin Feo
Mezquita Cordobesa
Fantasia Espanola

Waltz Favorites - The 77 Strings Orchestra

Danube Waves
Waltz Favorites
The 77 String Orchestra
Golden Tone Hi-Fidelity C4043

Skaters' Waltz
Danube Waves
The Most Beautiful Girl In The World
Over The Waves
It's A Grand Night For Sharing
Wunderbar
Falling In Love With Love
Beautiful Dreamer
Merry Widow Waltz
Fasciation

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Gene Vincent Rocks! And The Blue Caps Roll

Gene Vincent Rocks!
And The Blue Caps Roll
Capitol Records T970
1958

Available from online vendors so I will not be posting a sample. Presented here to share the cover art and jacket notes.

From the back cover: Exciting because the songs, each in a brand new arrangement, range from the frantic Brand New Beat to the inspiring You'll Never Walk Alone and the traditional By The Light Of The Silvery Moon.

Gene Vincent, the young man behind it all, is pretty exciting himself. Untrained, he stepped from Norfolk, Virginia, into national prominence with his first Capitol recording Be-Bop A-Lula. Today, at 21, he continues the same style of singing that zoomed him to the top – a style that's fresh, action-packed and unrestrained.

Exciting too, are Gene's Blue Caps – a group of talented young musicians with a sound that that can set a statue to clapping its hands and tapping its feet.

Finally, there are some particularly unusual and exciting in this album items in this album. One is a modernized Rock n' Roll version of the folk classic, Frankie And Johnnie, with new words by Gene himself. Another is It's No Lie, a new song from Otis Blackwell, who wrote the sensational Teddy Bear and Don't Be Cruel.

It all adde up to an explosive, different kind of musical experience when "Gene Vincent Rocks and The Blue Caps Roll" – for these are 'hits that won't quit."


From Billboard - March 17, 1958: Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps have a hot album here, one that could rack up healthy sales to teen-agers. There are new songs and oldies, ranging from the frantic, like "Brand New Beat," the the quieter , country styled efforts like "You'll Never Walk Alone" and "By The Light Of The Silvery Moon. Of the new items, "It's No Lie" could get action as a single. A strong new album for Vincent and his Blue Caps.

Brand New Beat
By The Light Of The Silvery Moon
You'll Never Walk Alone
Frankie And Johnnie
In My Dreams
Flea Brain
Time Will Bring You Everything
Should I Ever Love Again
It's No Lie

Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head - Sammy Kaye

I Want You
Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head
Sammy Kaye ande His Orchestra
Produced by Milt Gabler
Arranged by Dave Mullaney
Engineer: Elvin Campbell
Decca Records - A Division of MCA, Inc., New York, N. Y., USA
DL 75176
1970

From the back cover: Everybody's talking about the return of the big bands and I like that kind of talk. Not that me and my band have been "away," but I have to admit the band business has seen better days, even though we've been working regularly. Possibly we've been more fortunate than a lot of the other bands that can't say the same, but we have seen a period of time when bands weren't drawing crowds and were therefore finding it difficult to get bookings. That appears to be changing and people are starting to see and hear the bands again and what's even more important, people are starting to dance again.

Since our Decca albums have been so well received by you folks, we've been recording regularly, too, which gives us a reason to be thankful and continue making more. This latest album of ours gives me a special kind of satisfaction, for it represents a giant step for the Sammy Kaye Orchestra into the contemporary music scene. There's a lot of good music being written these days and I'm particularly impressed with the current crop of tunes on today's hit parade. Writers like Bacharach and David, Lennon and McCartney, George Harrison and Paul Vance have spun a magic web of music and lyrics on a whole new generation of people, young and old alike, and their songs relate the kind of feeling and impact of today's way of life to these people. We've selected some of the best of the many excellent tunes we feel are destined to become standards and the choice wasn't easy because of the quality of those we couldn't use being equal to the quality of the ones we did include.

From the movies, we chose the title song, Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head, and The Old Fun City, both of which are in "Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid" which stars Paul Newman; from Alfred Hitchcock's suspense thriller, "Topaz," we took the Juanita Love Theme (Strange My Love), written by Academy Award winning composer, Maurice Jarre; and from "The Sterile Cuckoo," we burrowed the beautiful Come Saturday Morning. The prolific writing talents of The Beatles were responsible for three of my favorites in the album, Something, Maxwell's Silver Hammer and I Want You (She's So Heavy). Early In The Morning, Backfield In Motion and She Let's Her Hair Down (Early In The Morning) are three more fine songs and ideally lend themselves to a big band sound. For an unusual blend of yesterday and today, we thought we'd include two great standards on one great arrangement, Hold Me/Oh, How I Miss You Tonight. And there you have it... the newest album by the Sammy Kaye Orchestra. Before I sign off, I have to give credit where it's deservingly due, so here's a tip of the Kaye clarinet to Dave Mullaney, whose imaginative, inventive, contemporary arrangements made this album a rewarding experience for all of us. I look forward to doing more of the same on future albums and I hope our fans, both new and old, enjoy hearing un "do our thing" with today's kind of music. – My best to you always, Sammy Kaye


From Billboard - February 28, 1970: Dance bands have come and gone, but Sammy Kaye is still around, and sounding better than ever. He's right in today's groove with his topnotch arrangements of "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head," "Early In The Morning and a medley that blends the oldies "Hold Me" and "Oh How I Miss You Tonight." For listening or dancing, this album will prove a must item for his many fans.

Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head
She Lets Her Hair Down
Something
Juanita Love Theme
That Old Fun City
Maxwell's Silver Hammer
Early In The Morning
Come Saturday Morning
Hold Me/On, How I Miss You Tonight
Backfield In Motion
I Want You

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Dream Dust - Gordon Jenkins

Never Let Me Go
Dream Dust
Gordon Jenkins and His Chorus
Capitol Records T1032
1958

From Billboard - June 16, 1958: Here's an album of smooth, listenable mood music by the Gordon Jenkins ork and chorus. The voices with fem choristers predominant are lush. The arrangements feature alto flute, the Jenkins piano and conga and bongo drums. Tunes include standards like "Yours," Time Was," plus the title tune, an original

Dream Dust
Yours
Never Let Me Go
Prenez Garde
The Lamp Is Low
Something To Dream About
Baubles, Bangles And Beads
I'll Remember April
Time Was
For Want Of A Star
Arrivederci Roma
Hi-Lili-Hi-Lo

Big Boss Mann - Herbie Mann

Senor Blues
The Big Boss Mann
Herbie Mann
Cover Design: Lloyd Ziff
Cover Photo: Pete Turner
Columbia CS 1068
1970

From the back cover: The flute is an instrument comparatively new to jazz. As recently as twenty years ago, it was hard to find anyone who could really play jazz flute. The situation is very different today. A studio sax man is expected to double on flute, alto flute, perhaps bass flute, and sometimes piccolo, oboe and English horn.

One of the men who did most to popularize the use of the flute in jazz was Herbie Mann.

On the other hand, flute has long been a staple of what we generally classify as "Latin" music. In Cuba, where most of the "mother rhythms" as they are called, of Latin music were developed, the wooden flute has been in use since a time predating musicological curiosity about it. Its uses in folk music, of course, go back long before the discovery of Cuba. Next to the drum, the flute is perhaps our oldest instrument.

Herbie Mann has been on of the great experimenters in mixing Latin music with jazz. The word "Latin" must be used advisedly, so rich and varied are the rhythms we call Latin. African musicians claim they can identify tribal sources in the rhythms they hear in the different Latin American countries, and even the basic jazz rhythm.

Jazz musicians have long shown a fascination with Latin American rhythms. Traces of Latin influence can be heard in jazz as far back as 1912. But in the early 1950s, the cross-pollination began to accelerate. Stan Kenton experimented with it. So did Dizzy Gillespie, who added a Cuban drummer named Luciano Gonzales, but better known as Chano Pozo, to his big band. And the Cuban composer-arranger Chico O'Farrill became an important figure in the movement with his writing for various bands, including both Kenton's and Gillespie's.

Herbie Mann formed his first Latin-influenced group in 1959, and has been at it ever since. It has, in fact, become his primary groove, though of late he has been incorporating rhythm and blues influences into his work. Herbie was one of the first to be caught by the subtle fascination of the modern Brazilian samba, and he went so far as to hie himself to Brazil to record at one point.

This album covers a board range of Herbie's Latin interests, and at the same time it shows how other American musicians have been influenced by it. All but two of the melodies were written by norte americano – Ave Maria Morena is a well known Cuban song, and Easy Morales wrote Jungle Fantasy. Manteca might be considered one-third Latin in origin: Chano Pozo wrote it in collaboration with Dizzy Gillespie and Gil Fuller. But Jive Samba is by Nat Adderley, Watermelon Man by pianist Herbie Hancock, Señor Blues by pianist Horace Silver, What'd I Say by Ray Charles. Pete Rugolo write Interlude for the Stan Kenton band, and Ralph Burns wrote Bijou for the Woody Herman band. Let's Boom Chitty Boom is by Herbie Mann.

Herbie has always used excellent sidemen, and this is true in this album. The arrangements are by the gifted Oliver Nelson, now emerging as an important film composer. The Latin percussion section includes some of the best men in the field in New York City. The soloists include pianist Which Corea, vibraharpist Dave Pike, tenor saxophonist Jimmy Heath, and trumpeter Carmell Jones.

A few years ago, musicians talked of Afro-Cuban jazz. But with a Brazilian influence now added to it, perhaps it should simply be known as Latin Jazz. And this album explores many facets of this lush and propulsive kind of music. – Gene Lees, Contributing Editor, High Fidelity


From Billboard - September 5, 1970: Mann shows another side of his musical character with this album, focusing on improvisation with a Latin rhythm with tunes such as "Señor Blues," "The Jive Samba," and "Manteca," while stylizing such standards as "Watermelon Man," and "What'd I Say." With a Latin percussion section and such notable soloists as Chick Corea on piano and saxophonist Jimmy Heath, Mann has a sound that will create some nostalgia and many new friends.

Let's Boom Chitty Boom
What'd I Say
Senor Blues
Bijou
Jungle Fantasy
Watermelon Man
Interlude
The Jive Samba
Ave Maria Morena
Manteca

Monday, April 15, 2019

Jonah Jones At The Embers

Tin Roof Blues
The Jonah Jones Quartet
At The Embers
RCA Victor LPM-2004
1959

From the back cover: Jonah Jones and his trumpet have been a phenomenon on the New York music scene at the famed jazz emporium, The Embers, where he and his group have been featured for a record-breaking run. The group went into The Embers on an off-day engagement. They ended up playing nightly for fourteen weeks in a row, with return engagements scheduled for the next five years.

In several ways Jonah's career corresponds to others of our most seasoned jazz musicians. He first played horn when he was twelve, in the Louisville, Kentucky, Booker T. Washington Community Center Band. This band was composed of a large group of youngsters brought together by a local philanthropist in an effort to keep children off the streets.

Jonah wanted to play trombone because he had noticed that it always led the band at picnic outings or funeral processions. But he ended up with the alto horn – the only free instrument available – on which he performed for his first seasons. Later he graduated to trumpet. There were seventeen other trumpeters in the band, but in a short time he moved up to first trumpet and his career began in earnest.

Jonah's first professional assignment came in his early teens on a pleasure boat named the "Island Queen," which plied between Kentucky and Ohio. As trumpeter with the fifteen piece orchestra, Jonah played popular dance music. Once he had gained a firm musical foundation from this experience, he furthered his career as sideman with various bands, commencing with Horace Henderson, Fletcher's brother.

During the subsequent years Jones was featured on trumpet with Jimmie Lunceford, Lil Armstrong and McKinney's Cotton Pickers. In 1936, in Buffalo, he formed a six-piece group with Stuff Smith. This group was booked into the Onyx Club in New York for an eventful eight-month flurry into musical history, the highlight of which was Jones' collaboration both in composing and performing that bright novelty sensation of the Thirties, I'se A-Muggin'.

The list of bands to which Jonah's trumpet has contributed its sleek stylings includes such variegated groups as Ben Bernie's and Dick Stabile's. Later he graduated at the more rarefied atmosphere of Teddy Wilson, Benny Carter and the accompaniments to some of Billie Holiday's most famous early recordings.

Jonah was with Cab Calloway for eleven years and then was brought to Paris by Charles Delaunay, noted French jazz authority. He was an immediate sensation. While in France, he was featured at a jazz festival in the Salle Pleyel to tumultuous acclaim, made many records, played the Olympia Music Hall, and appeared on innumerable broadcasts as well as in film.

One of Jonah's many musical attributes has been his versatility. This was evidenced upon his return from Paris, when he performed awhile with Park Avenue maestros Lester Lanin and Meyer Davis at society "gigs" – to use Jonah's own terminology.

Also at this time, through Cab Calloway's influence, Jonah began an engagement with the musical production of George Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess," in which Calloway was portraying the role of Sportin' Life. Jones both performed in the pit under the direction of Alexander Smallens and appeared briefly in a musical sequence on stage.

All this diversified experience, which has ranged from New Orleans jazz to its 52nd Street counterpart in the Thirties, through solid commercial dance stints to the ersatz society variety, has tempered Jonah's style to the razor-fine, "middle-ground" type of technique and tone which electrified the audiences at The Embers.

In addition to Jones himself, the soft-swinging Jonah Jones Quartet consists of George Rhodes, piano; John Browne, bass; and Harold Austin, drums.

Jonah prefers performing with a small group to anything he has ever done. It gives him a chance to swing, to play the subtle, sophisticated medleys and rousing jump style tunes in the way that he likes best. After more than two decades of seasoning, Jonah's diversified background now has crystallized into the finely mellow and subtly shaded musical expression contained in this album, Jonah Jones At The Embers – Bob Kemper


From Billboard - April 6, 1959: Jonah Jones' trumpet traces elaborate figures around such standard melodies as "Lullaby Of Birdland," "High Society" and "All Of You," to name a few. Quartet is bright and bouncy and highly inventive thruout. Jones adds new fans every day and this disk, cut when he started at the Embers in 1956 will enhance his reputation. For all lovers of small combo jazz.

It's All Right With Me
From This Moment On
Learnin' The Blues
Something's Gotta Give
All Of You
Lullaby Of Birdland
Basin Street Blues
High Society
Tin Roof Blues
Muskrat Ramble
At Sundown