Search Manic Mark's Blog

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Meet In Jamaica - Fabulous Island Of Calypsos

Wide Screen
Meet Me In Jamaica
Fabulous Island Of Calypsos
Monogram Records Inc. 852

The cover model, Vera Francis, receives a small credit on the back cover.

Nice vintage island record. No credit given to the artist.

Man Smart, Woman Smarter
Jamaica Medley #2
Wide Screen
Mary Ann & Brown Skin Gal
Doctor
Jamaica Medley #5
Limbo
Talking Parrot
Island Gal Sally
Night Food
Green Guava
Mama Look Tea

The Latin Way - Ray McVay

Eso Es El Amor, Cha Cha
The Latin Way
Ray McVay And His Orchestra
Telemark S 6407
1974

Obscure record featuring Ken Sloan and Sheila Webber-Sire on the cover. From the back cover: Ken and Sheila opened their own studio - 5,000 square feet of maple floor in March 1971 in Hollywood, where they have taught some of the top amateur and junior champions.

The Shadow Of Your Smile
This Is My Song
Kiss Me Honey Honey
Cha Cha Italiano Cha Cha
So What's New
Twelfth Street Rag
Spanish Gypsy Dance
Eso Es El Amor, Cha Cha
Mexican Cha Cha
Carnival
Till
Freedom
Samba
Cielito Lindo
El Gato Montes

Swingin' Easy With Bill Doggett

Blue Prelude
Blue Skies
Swingin' Easy With Bill Doggett
King Records 582
1959

This is one of those albums  whose theme is built on a "color", in this case, "blue". However, for some reason... King did not carry through the title concept to the cover material.

More curiously, King tries to explain away the front cover... on the back cover: In these days of tricky titles, employed to attract attention and create curiosity so that the record shopper will select a particular album, we have simply titled this offering "Swinging Easy" which, we hope, expresses the exact meaning of the album.

This record has a smooth and intimate lounge sound and there is enough arrangement creativity to keep the tracks moving along nicely.

Under A Blanket Of Blue
Blue And Sentimental
Blue Champagne
Blue Prelude
In The Blue Of The Evening
Blue Velvet
Blue Skies
Blue Moon
Am I Blue
Blue Lou
Blue Room
By Blue Heaven

The Sleepwalk Guitars Of Dan And Dale

Laredo
The Sleepwalk Guitars Of Dale And Dale
Diplomat 2351

I've got samples from six other Dan and Dale LPs posted. The mysterious duo made a good number of records, all based on the same formula. The covers tend to look "normal"... this one particularly screams "budget". The content is more, or less what you might expect from a budget album. But the guys always seem to cough up at least several interesting tunes. Some of their albums are more interesting, or quirky, then others in the series. This one is pure budget and sounds as if the tunes could be left-over from other sessions or recycled from other LPs.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Latin Heat Cha Cha Cha - Francis Bay

You Came A Long Way From St. Louis
Latin Heat
Cha Cha Cha
Francis Bay And His Orchestra
Omega Records OSL-44
1959

From the back cover: In Latin Heat the Francis Bay Orchestra has invested the greatest care in making a danceable, jazz-flavored, fresh, latin album. The brilliant piano of John Evans punctuates nearly every number. The crisp sax section is led by Benny Couroyer on tenor. The soaring trumpet belongs to Charlie Knegtel but the driving force that makes the Bay band function as a musical unit is Bay himself. He already has a large following of personal fans in Europe who know him affectionately as "Francis" and have come to appreciate his music for its most distinctive element... perfection.

For Omega, a budget label, this is a decent effort in space age cha cha.

Omega also press a collection of Duke Ellington covers by Francis Bay (1960).

Sweet Sue
Night And Day
I Found A Million Dollar Baby
On The Atchison, Topeka And Santa Fe
Will You Still Be Mine
On The Trail
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
Around The World In Eighty Days
It Ain't Necessarily So
Chattanooga Choo Choo
All I Do Is Dream Of You
You Came A Long Way From St. Louis

Green Eyes - Helen O'Connell

Brazil
Green Eyes
Helen O'Connell
With Marion Evans And His Orchestra
VIK LX-1093
1957

From the back cover: This album then, is a medley of the past with the accent on the present – a reverent bow to the band age and the pretty little girls in evening frocks who sat in front of the reed section. For such a girl was Helen O'Connell and such a band was Jimmy Dorsey's with which she soared to fame.

The recording was also apparently reissued in 1959 on RCA Camden CAL 529.

Star Eyes
Not Mine
Tangerine
Green Eyes
Yours
When The Sun Comes Out
All Of Me
Jim
Amapola
Time Was
Embraceable You
Brazil

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Living Strings Play Henry Mancini

Experiment In Terror
Living Strings Play Henry Mancini
Arranged And Conducted By Johnny Douglas
RCA Camden CAL/CAS-736
1963

I'd rather buy an actual Mancini album. But, for 50¢ at the thrift... this isn't a bad lounge LP.

Days Of Whine And Rosese
Baby Elephant Walk
The Soft Touch
Peter Gunn
Theme From Hatari!
Blue Satin
Timothy
Breakfast At Tiffany's
Mr. Lucky
Experiment In Terror
Moon River

Beatles, Bach & Bacharach - Ted Heath

Let It Be
Beatles, Bach & Bacharach
The Ted Heath Orchestra
Arrangements John Keating
Phase 4 Stereo
London SP 44148
1970

John Keating had his hand in arranging many space age albums, including Temptation and Percussive Moods on London Phase 4 Stereo.

The arrangements on this album are a curious blend. Most tracks play through as you would expect them to (light pop), a few others are better... different and interesting, but the Beatles covers are an animal of their own.

Norwegian Wood
I'll Never Fall In Love Again
Minuet In G
This Guy's In Love With You
Hey Jude
You'll Never Get To Heaven
Let It Be
Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head
Air On The G String
B, B & B

Monday, January 28, 2013

Al Hirt Now!

Scarborough Fair
Al Hirt Now!
RCA LSP-4101

The album kicks off with some good "Now!" but subsequent tracks are rather more yesterday. Not to say the light pop isn't enjoyable, but the audio vibe strays from the theme the cover image establishes.

Scarborough Fair/Canticle
American Boys
Les Bicyclettes de Beisize
For Once In My Life
Wichita Lineman
Zorba Theme
From Both Sides Now
The Straight Life
Abraham, Martin And John
I Love How You Love Me
Promises, Promises

Swinging And Singing - Doc Severinsen

Bye Bye Blackbird
Swinging And Singing
Doc Severinsen And Friends
Arrangements by Dick Hyman
Originated and Produced by Loren Becker and Robert Byrne
Command Records RS 909 SD
1967

Severinsen horn is out front on this release. The Command light pop sound is very nice. One unique arrangement, the sample above titled Bye Bye Blackbird, is the standout tune.

Mas Que Nada
Love Theme from Is Paris Burning
It's Not Unusual
Un Poco Rio
Summer Wind
Don't Go Breaking My Heart
Walk On By
So Nice
Love
Bye Bye Blackbird
Goin' Out Of My Head
Guantanamera

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Bach's Greatest Hits - The Swingle Singers

Sinfonia
Bach's Greatest Hits
A Unique Jazz Vocal Treatment Of Johann Sebastian Bach
By The Creative Swingle Singers
Phipips PHS 600-097
1964

This record was passed over at the thrift probably because the pop music pickers thought they were passing by a classical music album. Well... yes, but a classical album featuring The Swingle Singers special 60s light pop vocals. Yeah... I guess those are two reasons for the pop music pickers to avoid this one...

On the other hand, due to their oversight, I got to enjoy some very interesting sounds. The back cover notes go on to state that the compositions are original and only adjusted to add "bass and drums to set the fugues, preludes, and other compositions into 4/4 time". And "in two instances keys were changed to accommodate the limits of the human voice".

Basically, the producers wanted buyers to know that little was changed from the original and that Bach rocks!

Even though the vibe of each track doesn't subtaintially "vary"... in how the oohs, ahhs and dooby-dos are presented... The Swingles manage the pacing from track to track nicely which helps holds the interest held.

A unique listen!

Fugue In D Minor
Prelude In F Major
Bourree
Fugue In C Minor
Prelude No. 9
Sinfonia
Prelude In C Major
Canon
Invention In C Major
Fugue In D Major

Solid Brass - Don Marsh

I Feel Good
Solid Brass
The Don Marsh Orchestra
Impact Records R3466
1977

This LP is actually a gospel album, on a gospel label. Normally, I feature gospel albums on my blog, The Good Bad And Ugly Gospel Barn. However, this record doesn't fit the Southern Gospel mold I've established on that blog. While I've been collecting, I haven't found but one or two brass based Gospel albums. So I thought the record would be more appreciated here.

Aside from the song titles, you can't tell this record apart from other better budget vintage 70s brass albums. The quality is very good. You still have to appreciate that 70s light pop brass vibe to get into the sound.

Jesus Got Ahold O' My Life
Give Them All To Jesus
All In The Name Of Jesus
I Feel Good
Little Flowers
More Each Day
Learning To Lean
Lift Him Up
The Son Is Shining