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Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Savage And The Sensuous Bongos - Don Ralke

The Savage And The Sensuous Bongos
Don Ralke
Warner Bros. 1398
1960

A few days ago I stumbled across a very cool Ralke album titled Bongo Madness on Crown (1957). Ralke rockets straight into the space age almost skipping exotica on this album, his follow-up bongo project.

All of the titles read like an "exotica" play list. A few tunes play exotica-like, but for the most part, the vibe is totally space age. Titles include: Head Hunter, Saoco, Ju-Ju Man, The Mystery Of Yambuya, Voodoo Preistess, Face Beside The Fire, Poison Dart, Black Panther, Zulu Magic, Moon Goddess, Ritual Of The Cobra, Sacrifice Of The Maidens, Safradesia and Mombasa.

If forced to choose... I'd pick Bongo Madness over Sensuous Bongos. The vibe on Bongo Madness is unique.

Sadly for me, this one is also available for purchase/download, so I won't be posting a sample. This album is great fun!

Friday, July 15, 2011

At The London Palladium - Ted Heath

Fourth Dimension
At The London Palladium
Volume 1
Ted Heath
London LL 802
1953

This album was a pleasant surprise. I've got one Heath album, his outstanding Phase 4 1962 LP titled Big Band Percussion. Love it! And then I've got a number of other earlier albums that are more reserved in nature including Things To Come, an album that sports an awesome "spaceman" theme cover... but is very light on the space age music.

So, I assumed this early album would be more of the same type of thing Heath was doing for the U.S. market later in the 50s.

But the music is cool and fun big band jazz with touches of exotic or space age/bachelor pad.

This album seems to have a been released on a combo CD about 10 years ago. I found a copy online, but it seems to be a rarity. The same combo release (with the same cover art) also appears to have been pressed on vinyl.

Anyway, I'll take a chance and post a sample because the title almost impossible to find unless you buy a copy of the vinyl. If this is a problem for anyone let me know and I'll remove the sample.

Let the sample Fourth Dimension play a while... the tune is complex with various interesting passages.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

My Musical Coloring Book - Enoch Light And His Orchestra

Golden Earrings
My Musical Coloring Book
Enoch Light And His Orchestra
Command RS848SD
1963

Here's another sparkling Enoch Light "ping-pong" album found in The Atomic Attic.

Light worked to create arrangements that musically reflect the "color" found in the song title. To achieve this aim, there is a lot going on in this album. Light blends big band, jazz and that funky "ping-pong" sound he created. This is a nice space age recording.

And virtually every Command record I've blogged features stellar engineering. This one is no different. The sound is just amazing.

Mrs. Mills Knees-Up Party

Mrs. Mills
Knees-Up Party
mfp Music For Pleasure 50230
1975

Mrs. Mills AKA Gladys Mills was a successful British artist whose repertoire included many "sing-along" or "party" records including this LP.

How can you resist the cover? I assume the folks surrounding her were a part of her club act. I want a suit like that!

Read more on Mills wiki page.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wichita Lineman - Garn Littledyke Sings

Wichita Lineman
Garn Littledyke Sings
Crown Records CST 579

I rarely buy what appears to be a country record unless the the cover has a real vintage look to it. Or... if there is a photo of a hooker on the cover. If you notice... there is a boot in the frame just above her head. I assume that is the Lineman working... while the working girl works.

But the real surprise is the music. Yes, it's a bit country but it can also be a bit folk/psych. The vocalist sounds just a touch like Johnny Cash. The group, for most of the album, is a small three or four piece affair recorded in a simple "lo-fi" way. There is some great guitar work on the LP. The vibe is very cool.

As with most, if not all Crown Records... no matter how obscure... this one is available for purchase/download (what's up with that anyway?). Sorry, I will not be posting a sample! But there doesn't seem to be any examples of the cover art online. So at least I can offer you the visual experience!

The Sweet Sounds Of Tijuana - Hits Of Today By The Border Brass

Aquarius
The Sweet Sounds Of Tijuana
Hits Of Today By The Border Brass
Stereo Gold Award GA-16

Gold Award was a D. L. Miller (Somerset) budget label. You get what you pay for. But you never know... maybe you will find one track that will save you from the rest of the tracks. Aquarius has that budget 60s groove going on and I present it to you for your enjoyment.

Hammond Organ Hits Of 1967 - Ashley Tappin

Music To Watch Girls By
Hammond Organ Hits Of 1967
In The Ken Griffin Style
Ashley Tappin at Piccadilly Gardens in London
Somerset SF-28300

When is a Ken Griffin album not a Ken Griffin album? When Ashley Tappin uses Griffin's name to sell records.

The sample above is as groovy as it gets folks.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Fourth Dimension In Sound

The Fourth Dimension In Sound
A Musical Experiment In The Adaptation Of Instruments To Modern Electronics
Stereo Workshop Series
Exploring Uncharted Patterns Of Sound
Shorty Rogers
Warner Bros. Records 1443
1962

With such a collection of titles displayed on the cover and the "hi-tech" graphic design, printed on gold foil I half expected that I was purchasing some early commercial electronica project.

No whiz-bang electronica here, but a jazz album and a fine one. The album is available by purchase/download. The experiment, if you glance at the double truck, was the recording process.

Although far from coming from another dimension, the music does have a nice space age edge to it. And the engineering is excellent.

Session members include Shelly Manne, Buddy Collette, Bud Shank, Paul Horn, Bill Hood, Pete Jolly, Red Mitchell, Emil Richards, George Roberts, Ken Shroyer and Joe Mondragon.

Warm And Mellow - Al Caiola

Watermelon Man
Al Caiola
Warm And Mellow
Unart S 21003
1967

The album is a compilation of tracks from other Caiola albums. The mix or blend is one of easy listening, jazz, Latin and 60s groove.

Art Van Damme Swings Sweetly

Skylark
Art Van Damme Swings Sweetly
Columbia CL-1794
1962

Van Damme, a jazz accordionist, was a prolific artist with many album titles to his credit. Check out Van Damme wiki page for the list.

Van Damme and The Three Suns, who also featured the accordion, have a way of using the instrument that I like. They had a sweet and interesting way of blending the sound with space age easy listening music.

Fun stuff.

South Of The Border - Stanley Black And His Orchestra

Rumba Rhapsody
South Of The Border
Stanley Black And His Orchestra
Richmond High Fidelity/London Records B200003
1959

Few fireworks, but nice budget record featuring covers of a number of popular "exotica" tunes. Black was a prolific artist recording a ton of records and scoring over 200 films. Check out Black's wiki page.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Latin Carnival - Al Stephano And His Trio

El Cumbanchero
Latin Carnival
Al Stephano And His Trio
Golden Tone 14058
1960

Budget small combo Latin with a few peppy tracks to help hold your interested.

Los Inigualables - Miguelito Valdes and Tito Guizar

Babalu
Los Inigualables (The Unrivaled)
Miguelito Valdes and Tito Guizar
Caliento Disco (Division of Pathe Records) CD 1000

There are Spanish/English note on the back cover of this import(?).

Miguelito Valdes is one of the greatest singers of Afro Cuban music. He is making his debut with Caliente Records in this LONG PLAYING ALBUM. This great singer began his career several years ago as a vocalist with the well known orchestra CASINO DE LA PLAYA. He appeared in a festival given by the famous orchestra leader Xavier Cugat in Hollywood a few years ago. Miguelito Valdes was also accompanied by the Noro Morales Orchestra and one of the greatest Cuban groups, the famous Sonora Matancera.

Tito Guizar, the lovable troubador of Mexico, brings you the best of his reperatory in the Long Playing Album, by Caliente Records. This great Mexican Singer has made many appearances in most of the important night clubs of Latin America and the United States, and many Spanish and American motion pictures.

The music is a curious mix of styles. Guizar's side is more "folk" and almost sounds like the tracks were lifted from a sound track. So I've picked Babalu, a Valdes track for the sample.

The Untouchable Sound Of The Bill Black Combo

The Untouchable Sound Of The Bill Black Combo
Hi Records SHL 32009

Early 60s (1962?) no frills rock combo. The Bill Black Combo, opened for The Beatles (at their request) in 1964 on their historical 13-city tour of America. Black was able to do the Ed Sullivan Show, but could mot make the tour do to ill health. He died on October 21, 1965 during a third operation to remove a brain tumor.

Black's widow sold the rights to use the Bill Black Combo name and the band changed to country when they joined Columbia Records.

Read more about Black on his Wiki page. The album is available on CD as a combo package with Bill Black's Record Hop. But the asking price is pretty stiff. You may be able to find some tunes on other CD packages.

More Solid And Raunchy
Bill Black's Combo
Hi Records SHL 32023
1965

This record has the same vibe as the 1964 Untouchable release above even though it was released the year Black passed away. I can't tell you when it was recorded or how much Black had to do with it.

Both records are very much fun in a "budget" early rock/space age/stripper club hybrid sort of way. The sound is curious and unique to my ears. The first track on the B side titled Come On Home has backing vocals that sound almost like Black hired The Chipmunks to help out. It's not that bad... but it makes you take notice. It's just one of the many quirks that sets these albums apart from the pack.

This one is also available on CD.

Let's Dance Latin - Baile Latino - Sylvio Mazzuca And His Orchestra

Choro Sim
Let's Dance Latin
Baile Latino
Sylvio Mazzuca And His Orchestra
Columbia ES 1784
1964

Obscure Columbia release. The only reference I can find for Mazzuca and this record is an ad that Columbia ran in Billboard promoting their "Latin" line in January, 1964.

This is a nice big band space age Latin record featuring excellent engineering.

There is a credit on the back cover for the cover photo which was shot in the "Columbia Photo Studio" by Henry Parker. Apparently Columbia was doing some design work in-house at the time.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sweet Hawaiian Moonlight - Ray Kinney And His Hawaiians

Pagan Love Song
Sweet Hawaiian Moonlight
Ray Kinney And His Hawaiians
Vocalion VL 3687

Sweet and slow moving Hawaiian music from a vocalist who appeared on the first broadcast of Webley Edward's Hawaii Calls radio show in 1935. His career stretched over nearly forty years making over 598 record sides.