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Monday, July 16, 2018

White Rabbit - George Benson

White Rabbit
George Benson
Arranged by Don Sebesky
Produced by Creed Taylor
Recorded at Van Gelder Studios
Rudy Van Gelder, Engineer
Recorded November, 1971
Cover Photo by Pete Turner
Album Design by Bob Ciano
CTI Records CTI 6015


George Benson: Guitar
Acoustic Guitar: Jay Berliner and Earl Klugh ("El Mar" only)
Bass: Ron Carter
Electric Piano: Herbie Hancock (courtesy Warner Bros. Records)
Drums: Bill Cobham (courtesy Columbia Records)
Percussion and Vocal: Airto Moreira
Vibes and Percussion: Phil Kraus
Harp: Gloria Agostini

Phil Bodner: Flute, Alto Flute, Oboe and English Horn
Hubert Laws: Alto Flute, Piccolo (Flute solo on "White Rabbit")
George Marge: Flute, Alto Flute, Clarinet, Oboe and English Horn)
Romeo Pence: English Horn, Oboe, Alto Flute, Clarinet and Bass Clarinet
Jane Taylor: Basson

Wayne Andre: Trombone and Baritone Horn
Jim Buffington: French Horn
John Frosk: Trumpet, Flugelhorn (Trumpet Solo on "White Rabbit" and "El Mar")
Alan Rubin: Trumpet and Flugelhorn

Available from a variety of online resources so I will not be posting a sample. Presented here to share the cover art and Billboard review.

From Billboard - May 6, 1972: A dynamic, pop-packed jazz LP with two extraordinary works – "California Dreaming" and "White Rabbit." The forceful guitar of George Benson is backed by such artists as Hubert Laws on flute and piccolo and Herbie Hancock on piano. Creed Taylor produced.

White Rabbit
Theme From Summer Of '42
Little Train
California Dreaming
El Mar

The Rockin' 50's - Tommy Oliver

The Rockin' 50's
Tommy Oliver And His Orchestra
Cover Photo by Tom Tucker/Tommy Mitchell Studio
Warner Bros. Records 1220

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

From the back cover: Tommy started his musical career early in his teens and had his own bands both in high school and college. As a piano player, arranger, composer and band leader, Tommy is well known to the Southern California younger set.

The band still includes a large nucleus of the original U.C.L.A. group, and is composed of three trumpets, three trombones, four saxes, bass, drums, two guitars, bongos and Tommy's piano. In addition, the band is sparked by the swinging vocals of Kelly Gordon and the rocking' group sounds of The Pages.

From Billboard - November 3, 1958: Tommy Oliver's big, swinging crew – formed only a couple of years ago on the UCLA campus – deliver a rock-and-roll-flavored "debut" album. His treatment of recent "oldies" like "Rock Around The Clock," "Witch Doctor" and "Chanson d'Amour" reveal a fresh, original album talent and one that's likely to build quickly with the college-age crowd. Semi-abstract cover matches nicely with the contents, and is eye-catching.

Rock Around The Clock
One Mint Julep
Night Train
Witch Doctor
Honky Tonk
Thirteen Women
Shake, Rattle And Roll
Chanson d'Amour
Green Door
Flip, Flop, And Fly

Just One More Dance - Les Elgart

Just One More Dance
Les Elgart And His Orchestra
America's Porm Favorite
Columbia Records CL 594

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

From the back cover: Trumpeter Les Elgart was born in New Haven, Conn. He and his brother Larry received musical training early in life, thanks to the influence of their mother, a former concert pianist. When he was still in his teens, Les auditioned for and won a job with the late, great Bunny Berigan. After a war-time hitch in the Navy, he joined Woody Herman's orchestra, and then moved over to the musical staff of the Columbia Broadcasting System. Then, with the idea of a dance orchestra whirling around his head, he resigned and organized his present group, with the idea of contributing to the revitalization of dance music, a difficult chore but one to which the band has contributed more than its share of assistance.

The idea for this collection has been germinating for a long time, and did not spring into bloom until tests of the previous Elgart collection had been heard. It began some time ago when George Avakian and Tom Ford were undergraduates at Yale University, and vitally interested in records. One surprising omission they discovered was the complete lack of the kind of music that dance bands played when the lights were being dimmed, the prom was over, and only a few couples were left on the floor, stretching out the last pleasant moments as long as possible, perhaps with their coats already on. Then, like many other good ideas, it settled back into obscurity until, in 1953, Avakian played the first Elgart records for his friends, who promptly reminded him of the "last dance" idea. The result is this music by Les Elgart and his orchestra, danceable, sentimental, and keyed to those last memorable moments of a dance date.

Meet Me Tonight In Dreamland
Cuddle Up A Little Closer
I Don't Know Wy
Darn That Dream
When Day Is Done
I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire - Goodnight, Sweetheart
Night And Day
I'll Be Seeing You
For Me And My Gal
I'll See You In My Dream

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Concerto For Jazz Band And Symphony Orchestra

Concerto For Jazz Band And Symphony Orchestra
Fritz Reiner - Chicago Symphony Orchestra
The Sauter-Finegan Orchestra
Richard Strauss
Don Juan
RCA Victor LM-1888
Red Seal

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

From the back cover: Chicago, Nov. 19 (UPI) – Orchestra Hall rocked last night when long hairs and short hairs harmoniously "blew their brains out" before a flabbergasted but appreciative public.

The occasion was the musical union, possibly for the first time in this country, of a jazz band and a symphony orchestra.

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Fritz Reiner, and the Sauter-Finegan Band, a modern jazz group, combined to give a rendition of Rolf Liebermann's Concerto for Jazz Band and Symphony Orchestra."

A mixed crowd of "hepcats" and classicists heard the cacophonous exposition and voiced their approval by giving conductor Reiner and his orchestra one of the longest ovations ever to be heard on "Symphony Night" in Orchestra Hall.

The Sauter-Finegan group was easily distinguishable from the rest of the orchestra by the bright red band jackets they sported.

Throughout the piece Reiner swayed to and fro on the podium and gave the impression of enjoying himself tremendously. After the performance, he said he saw a great future for this new type of music.

"For the last 150 years," he said, "dance music and classical music have gone their own ways. Tonight I have tried to explain that both kinds of music have a close connection."

Reiner added he felt this amalgamation would do a great deal to unite both "long hairs and short hairs" and would in the long run do much to raise the public level of musical appreciation.

Also from the back cover: The Suatre-Finegan Orchestra is the standard-bearer of an avant-grade and intellectual form of jazz which has gone far beyond the jazz forms known as "New Orleans," "Kansas City," "Chicago" and "bebop".

Sauter and Finegan formed their band in 1952 and signed to record for RCA Victor. Brooklyn-born Ed Sautre, who began working as a bandana at the age of 17, had written arrangements for the legendary songstress Mildred Bailey and bandleaders Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Artie Shaw and Woody Herman. Bill Finegan, a New Jersey native, had arranged for Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey.
From Billboard - February 19, 1955: It is seldom that a contemporary work stirs up a hornet's nest of critical controversy – or inspires the public interest – that Lieberman's concerto has. The introduction of the 'jump.' the 'blues' and the 'boogie boogie' into a serious symphonic creation was a radical innovation for which few longhairs were prepared. However, both at the premiere in Germany and at the first American performance of the concerto last November, this work was unquestionably a popular success, and public curiosity should induce healthy sales of this unusual disk. An added sales spur is the superb reading of "Don Jaun" on the reverse side. Sound in both cases is magnificent.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Bells Are Ringing - Manne - Previn - Mitchell

Bells Are Ringing
Shelly Manne & His Friends
Andre Previn & Red Mitchell
Modern Jazz Performances Of Song From Bells Are Ringing
Produced by Lester Koenig
Recorded April 15 and July 22, 1958 at Contemporary's studios in Los Angeles by Roy DuNann & Howard Holzer.
Contemporary S 7559

Shelly Manne: Drums
Andre Previn: Piano
Red Mitchell: Bass

From the back cover: Shelly Manne, in recent years, has been hailed as the outstanding jazz drummer of the modern era. Although he has been winning or placing high in the various popularity polls conducted by the jazz magazines since the late 1940s, his current popularity is reflected in the fact that he made a clean sweep of all the major polls – Down Beat, Metronome and Playboy – for three successive years: 1956, 1957 & 1958.

In many ways Shelly is representative of the "new jazzman." An inheritor of the tradition (he got his musical start in New York in the late 1930s when 52nd Street was the crossroads of the jazz world and he was able to meet and jam with the top players of the time), Shelly is constantly searching for new ways in which to make his drums more expressive and musically meaningful. He encourages experimental writing, and has commissioned a number of extended jazz works for the group he organized in 1955, Shelly Manne & His Men. His expert technique is in great demand for motion picture and TV background scores. He has appeared in front of the cameras as well, both as musician and actor. His schedule is a busy one, with personal appearances, recording sessions, concerts, night club engagements, and coast-to-coast TV shows.

Yet he has never lost any of the enthusiasm and joy in playing he had as a teen-ager when he haunted 52nd Street for a chance to hear his idols. This delight is clearly apparent in the light-hearted, swinging collaboration with Andre Previn which began with their first Friends album, recorded in February 1956. They plan to continue doing Broadway shows and movies in jazz, alternating as leaders: Shelly's albums will be with "Friends," Andre with the "Pals."

Red Mitchell, who has become a fixture in the series (he appears on Pal Joey & Gigi), was a member of Andre's Trio on the road during the latter part of 1958. He is one of the most prominent of today's jazz bassists, has played with leading groups (Gerry Mulligan, Red Norvo, Hampton Hates, etc.) as well as his own Quartet. In recent years he has settled in Los Angeles where in addition to his jazz appearances he is in great demand in the motion picture, TV and recording studios.

Andre Previn's interest in jazz led him to take a trio in the road (Chicago, Washington, New York, etc.) for three months in 1958; he placed high in all the recent jazz popularity polls; his records are best-sellers at home and abroad; he makes numerous TV and concert appearances. All this in addition to his work as a motion picture composer, and director of Gigi (for which he won an Academy Award) and of the forthcoming Porgy and Bess. He also finds time, somehow, for concertizing. Of his performance of Beethoven's Archduke Trio, the Los Angeles Examiner said (February 26, 1959): "We hear young Previn on such conspicuous occasions as the exponent of modern music in the popular view that sometimes we forget the intuition and the dignity that he can bring to the standard literature of the piano... Throughout the work... Previn coupled technical mastery with beautifully graduated dynamics, appropriate color and an unerring sense of adjustment with the other instruments." It is not a coincidence that jazz critics have been able to say the same sort of thing about Previn's performances in the Friends/Pals series – for Andre is a consistent musician who brings the wealth of his talent to whatever he does in music, whether it be film scoring, jazz or Beethoven. – Lester Koenig - April 7, 1959

I Met A Girl
Just In Time
The Party's Over
It's A Prefect Relationship
Is It A Crime?
Better Than A Dream
Long Before I Knew You
The Party's Over (Up Tempo Version)

Friday, July 6, 2018

What Aloha - Eddie Spencer And The Kings Of Hawaii

Moonlight And Shadows
Wahi Aloha
Eddie Spencer And The Kings Of Hawaii
Producer: George Alama, Jr.
Arranger: Danny Spencer
Engineer: Frank Rodon & Ken Hiller
Designer & Scribe: Lori Ryan Kamae
Photos: Walt Pollack
Recorded in Hawaii
Lei Records, Inc. - Honolulu, Hawaii
Processed in Japan

My Hawaiian Song Of Love
Lei Aloha Lei Makamae
Moonlight And Shadows
Hawaiian Hula Eyes
The One Rose
My Little Grass Shack
Jungle Rain
Two Shadows On The Sand
Lei Mana
Hula Blues

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Mambo On Broadway - Tito Puente

Swinging The Mambo
Mambo On Broadway
Tito Puente And His Orchestra
RCA Victor LPM-1354

From the back cover: These are driving, moving arrangements played the way Tito and his exciting orchestra have been playing them for the past several years at the famed Palladium Ballroom in New York City. Tito and his band have become synonymous with the Palladium where dancers both young and old have flocked to see him and his boys in action.

This is a versatile young man, this Tito Puente. Amazing might be a better word because he plays all kinds of music and just about every instrument in the orchestra. Considered by many in the music business as one of the finest drummers around, Tito also plays the piano, saxophone, vibraphone and bongos equally well. And anyone who has heard his great Puente Goes Jazz (LPM-1312) album can vouch for his exceptional ability to interpret music other than that strictly in the Latin-American vein.

Although he is one of the youngest bandleaders in the business, Tito Puente has been around for quite awhile, starting in the music field back in his teens. His career was interrupted by a Navy hitch during World War II, Tito gained experience working with leading Latin-American bands in and around New York. Forming his own band several years later, his star has been in ascendancy every since.

Tuxedo Junction
Donde Estabas Tu? (Where Were You?)
El Baile Del Pinguino (Dance Of The Penguin)
Swinging The Mambo
Lare Lare
Cao-Cao Mani Picao
Tito Timbero (Tito The Drummer)
Picadillo (Hash)
Mi Chiquita Quiere Guarachar (My Girl Wants To Go Dancing)
Por Ty Amor (Everlasting Love)
Vibe Cha-Cha

Guitar a la Carte - Ladi Geisler

Guitar a la Carte
Lady Geisler
Polydor 249 202

Excerpt from Geisler's Wiki page: As a child, Geisler received violin lessons and soon learned the trumpet, he first worked as an engineer in the electric company where his father was as a director. In the last phase of World War II, Geisler was drafted into the German Air Force, where he worked on the combat aircraft Heinkel He 162. While on a mission, he was captured by the British and was interned in a Danish POW camp, with the help of a fellow prisoner, Geisler built an electric guitar and learned as a self-taught player. His role model was Oscar Moore, guitarist of singer Nat King Cole; in the camp he also made the acquaintance of the German musician Horst Wende, who brought him after discharge to Germany and made him a guitarist of his "Horst Wende Trio.

Ve Se Gostas
Spanish Flea
Latin Lady
Maria Elena
Baiao Cacula

Morton Gould Makes The Scene

Eleanor Rigby
Morton Gould Makes The Scene
Recorded in Webster Hall, New York City
Produced by Howard Scott
Recording Engineer: Mickey Crofford
RCA Victor LSP-3771

From Billboard - May 6, 1967: Classical composer-conductor is in a complete change of pace here that shows he's with the "Now" generation. His arrangements of "Georgy Girl," "Darling Be Home Soon" and "I'm A Believer" are groovy and bouncy. Should go on the charts quickly.

Strangers In The Night
Georgy Girl
My Cup Runneth Over
Winchester Cathedral
Eleanor Rigby
Darling Be Home Soon
I'm A Believer
Tell It Like It Is
No Milk Today

I Gave My Love A Flower - Norman Newell

I Gave My Love A Flower
The Norman Newell Orchestra
Produced by Norma Newell
Cover Photo: Frank Lerner
Cover Design: Dick Smith
Epic LN 24323

More (Theme From Mondo Cane)
Theme From "Peyton Place" (The Wonderful Season Of Love)
Portrait Of My Love
Who Can Say (From the Motion Picture "Africa Addio")
The Shadow Of Your Smile (Love Theme from "The Sandpiper)
Somewhere (From the Musical Production "West Side Story")
Somewhere My Love (Lara's Theme from "Dr. Zhivago")
Amanda (From the Motion Picture "The Alphabet Murders")
Tara's Theme (My Own True Love)
Strangers In The Night
If Ever I Would Leave You (From the Musical Production "Camelot")
The Sound Of Music (From the Musical Production "The Sound of Music")