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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Seven Golden Men - Armando Trovajoli

Thunder Bolt
Seven Golden Men
Music By Armando Trovajoli
United Artists UAS 5193
1969

This is a French film that premiered in New York in 1969 (which is how I dated the album release). The film was distributed by Warner Bros – Seven Arts. However, sources list the actual release date as 1964 (original foreign release).

I haven't seen the movie, but apparently the movie is a "James Bond" styled heist caper.

The music is a blend of spy/secret agent whackiand light 60s pop.  It has a distinct "European" sound. The LP audio is simulated stereo. The recording plays a lot more like a straight album then a sound track. The record is a hell of a lot of fun.

I could only find several CDs (import) copies available online. They are hard to find. There were a number of vinyl copies on ebay when I searched today.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Fortune Tellers - Song Of The Nairobi Trio

Jungle Twist
The Fortune Tellers
Song Of The Nairobio Trio
Kapp Medallion ML-7534
1962

Here's a terrific space age LP. The music reminds me a touch of The Three Suns but with a big helping of light pop humor.

The main character behind The Fortune Tellers is Robert Maxwell. He wrote many of the tunes found on this album, including the sample I've posted above and the Song Of The Nairobi Trio that Ernie Kovacs used as the theme for his television show.

He may be best known as an innovative harpist. I've blogged a number of his albums here in The Atomic Attic. He used some of the same experimental techniques pioneered by Ferrante and Teicher in their early work. At least one song on this album reflects that sound. For his nightclub act, in the late 50s, Maxwell wired his harp to a light display that changed in synchronization with his playing.

There are some great tunes on this LP!

Midnight Mood Music

Swamp Fire
Midnight Mood Music
Allegro Royale
1570

Allegro Royale was a total budget label. Allegro pressed whatever they could beg, barrow or steal. The quality of the recordings and pressings are usually pretty awful. However... I couldn't pass up the chance that the cover of Swamp Fire might be interesting.

This is probably the most decent Allegro album I've stumbled across. As you can tell for the sample, there is some life found in the track(s) even though the small band isn't razor sharp.

Side two… however, sounds like complete filler and not good filler. And, keep the tradition alive, the pressing leaves something to be desired.

Love On The Rocks - Julie London

Julie London
Love On The Rocks
Liberty Records LRP-3249
1962

The album features a "bad habits" cover image of London. That's my term for smoking and drinking cover images. I don't know if and or for how long London smoked or if smoking attributed to her sound.

As I've said before, you can't go wrong with London. If you are having a rough day, listen to a London album. Her vocal treatments are intimate and soothing.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Seven Dreams - Gordon Jenkins

Seven Dreams
Gordon Jenkins
Decca Records DL 9011
1953

Concept album featuring seven dreams that are presented like a broadway musical.

The cover features a terrific (and unusual for an album cover) expressionist painting by Pledra Blanca. I could not find any information on this artist.

Available on CD, so I will not be posting a sample.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. - Hugo Montenegro

The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Arranged And Conducted By Hugo Montenegro
RCA Victor LSP-3475
1965

This is another outstanding space age recording from one of my favorite arrangers, Hugo Montenegro. Montenegro understood the sound that made the 60s campy, fun and cool. Solo On A Raft is a particularly haunting track found on side one.

Ironically, Montenegro never worked on the series. Jerry Goldsmith, Walter Scharf, Lalo Schifrin, Gerald Fried, Robert Drasnin, Nelson Riddle and Richard Shores did the actual work on the series which lasted for three seasons.

The album is available on CD so I will not be posting a sample.

Go Latin! - Caterina Valente and Silvio Francesco

Go Latin!
Caterina Valente and Silvio Francesco
London LL 3471
1966

This album is available on CD, so I won't be posting a sample.

Good stuff from a sister/brother act. Valente made an absolute pile of records, releasing albums in many countries. For exotica fans there is a nice cover of Brasil (that is how it is spelled on the back cover).

The songs are performed in Spanish and Portuguese. The overall vibe is a nice loose almost lounge feel with a touch of 60s light pop. A nice addition to the Atomic Attic Collection.

De Mi Cosecha - Gabriel Uribe

Ruego
De Mi Cosecha
Gabriel Uribe
Sonolux LP 12-481
Industria Electro-Sonora LTDA. Medellin-Colombia

Here's one of those albums you find occasionally that you buy just for the cover art. In this case... a hot model who appears to be happy with her coffee bean harvest.

I know... I don't get it either. Maybe the jacket notes would clarify the concept... but I can't read them.

The album looks like a product of the early 60s.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Music For Instruments & Electronic Sounds - Donald Erb

Music For Instruments & Electronic Sounds
Donald Erb
Reconnaissance
In No Strange Land
Nonesuch Records H 71223
1969

Terrific electronic album that does an excellent job of blending real instruments with the synthetically generated sounds.

If you sit back and close your eyes, the music might create a movie in your mind. Reconnaissance is one continuous track that could help you visit a fantastic planet.

Side two, In No Strange Land, continues the journey in 4 movements. The trip is a bit more "fractured" than side one. I'll post a sample from that side, because side two is broken into 4 movements which makes the sample a little easier to post.

Come On Everybody Let's Twist!

Astrotwist
Come On Everybody Let's Twist!
Steven Garrick And His Party Twisters
Golden Tone C 4092
1962

Terrific low budget record. Rudimentary recording bubbling over with energy.

Songs are credited to Sanford Bellini. Steven Garrick is credited for piano, organ, celeste, vibraphone and conducting and arranging. Seymour Salzberg is credited for drums and percussion. Louis Messana for solo guitar. Larry Lucie for rhythm guitar. Abie Baker for bass and Paul Gaglio for saxaphone.

I can only comment on side one... because the pressing on side two was so awful... that the needle simply slides across the record half way through the first track. I've never seen anything like it… Basically, the grooves on side two aren't deep enough to hold the needle! LOL!

Looks like I need to find another copy!

Cha Cha Cha - Jose And His San Paulo Orchestra

Cha Cha Margot
Cha Cha Cha
Jose And His San Paulo Orchestra
Evon 308

Budget Cha Cha album from obscure group. Pleasant but no fireworks. The last track (sample above) is way more creative and peppy than the rest of the set. Nice cover image.

Provocative Piano - Dick Hyman

Cumana
Provocative Piano
Dick Hyman
Command RS 811 SD
1960

Nice Charles E. Murphy/S. Neil Fujita cover.

This is a pretty straight forward Command release for 1960. The album is a mix of Enoch Light's brand of "light pop" and surprisingly conventional approaches. Rare uneven approach to content from Command.

The engineering is excellent as usual.

Jazz In The Space Age - George Russell - Bill Evans

Jazz In The Space Age
George Russell And His Orchestra
Featuring Bill Evans At The Piano
Decca Records DL 9219
1960

This could be one recording that I would consider purchasing on CD. If only because vinyl copies are so expensive and with good reason. The original recording is fabulous, historically influential and therefore, collectible.

Hey, I'm no jazz buff. I admit that I bought this album for the "space age" look of the cover. There are more insightful reviews to be found online. I can say this album sounds timeless to me. And that you will be instantly hooked and stay in the groove from the beginning of your trip through space until the last moment of the fantastic journey Russell leads you on.