Search Manic Mark's Blog

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Chris Connor Sings Lullabys Of Birdland

Chris Connor
Sings Lullabys Of Birdland
Bethlehem Records BCP-6004

It is possible to find these songs if you look hard enough. CD packages seem to be available. So I will not be posting a sample. One of my favorite tracks from the album is the last one found on side two titled Goodbye.

Check out the cover image... Connor is more of a soft, smoky, bluesy "Julie London" type than a lounge singer belting out songs in a "show tune" style. Anyway... marketing decisions aside, I found my first exposure to Connor to be an excellent experience akin to, as mentioned, my favorite period female vocalist, Julie London.

Connor is backed by the talented Ellis Larkins' Trio, Vinnie Burke's Quartet with Art Mardigan on drums and Sy Oliver's Orchestra. Mixing up the support musicians helps keep the sound fresh throughout the album.

Highly recommended.

Lullaby Of Birdland
What Is There To Say
Try A Little Tenderness
Spring Is Here
Why Shouldn't I
Ask Me
Blue Silhouette
Chiquita From Chi-Wah-Wah
A Cottage For Sale
How Long Has This Been Going On
Stella By Starlight
Gone With The Wind
He's Coming Home
Goodbye

The Franck Pourcel Sound

Bridge Over Trouble Water
Godfather Theme
The Franck Pourcel Sound
EMI Columbia Bovema/EMI - Haarlem - Holland 5C048-12652
1972

More fab early 70s easy from one of the best period mood music composers. Also see Love Is Blue, Day By Day, A Man & A Woman, Our Man In Paris, Beautiful Obsession, and For All We Know.

Mamy blue
L'important c'est rose
Bridge Over Trouble Water
The shadow of your smile
Let it be
Le Lac Majeur
My sweet Lord
Godfather theme
Imagine
Summertime
Toute la pluie tombe sur moi (Raindrops keep fallin' on my head)
Une homme et une femme

Paint Your Wagon - The Ray Bloch Singers

Best Things
Paint Your Wagon
The Ray Bloch Singers
Ambassador S 98087

This one of the series of LPs Bloch made for Ambassador that includes "Hits of 68" , "Hits Of 69" and the amazing "Hair". This album is pretty tame in comparison to several of the other examples I've collected.

I'm On My Way
Wand'rin' Star
Gold Fever
A Million Miles Away Behind The Door
Best Things
There's A Coach Comin' In
I Still See Eliza
The First Thing You Know
I Talk To The Trees
They Call The Wind Maria

Edgar Varese - Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra

Ionisation
Edgar Varese
Arcana, Integrales and Ionisation
Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
Music Director: William Kraft
Conducted By Zubin Mehta
London CS 6752
1972

From the back cover: Ionisation (1931) Because it employs only percussion instruments and sirens, "Ionisation" is one of the most radical of Varese's works. Although, once again, no programmatic content is intended, the piece seems to evoke the sounds and harsh reality of city life, in contrast to the sounds of nature, favoured by Debussy and others. Varese has said: Every age has its characteristic sounds"; in harnessing the sounds around him to musical use he has shown himself to be a composer very much of his time.

Friday, April 26, 2013

18th Century Jazz - The Jack Marshall Sextette

Invitation
18th Century Jazz
The Jack Marshall Sextette
Produced by Dave Cavanaugh
Capitol Records T1109
1959

From Billboard - January 19, 1959: This attempt to combine mid-20th Century cool jazz with 18th Century instruments such as the concert guitar, bass flute, recorder, cello, harpsichord, the current bass and drum, altho an intriguing idea, does not come off. The sounds are interesting but the instruments just don't swing, and even modern jazz has to swing even if it doesn't have to have a beat.

Ouch... I agree with most of these Billboard assessments, but... in my opinion, they got this one wrong. I'm not sure the point of this project was to swing "hard"... but rather to swing in a soft, moody and unusual fashion that stands out in the period space age pack of light pop/jazz. From the cover image to the tracks, the vibe is fresh. The review must have been very disappointing to the musicians that included not only Jack Marshall on concert guitar and lute, but Harry Klee on flute, bass flute and recorder, Edgar Lustgarden on cello, Milt Raskin on harpsichord, Red Mitchell on contrabass and Shelly Manne doing percussive effects.

Have You Met Miss Jones?
I Didn't Know What Time It Was
Star Eyes
It Might As Well Be Spring
I've Told Ev'ry Little Star
Jeepers Creepers
My Heart Belongs To Daddy
Supposin'
Like Someone In Love
Isn't It Romantic
Invitation
Sweet Georgia Brown

Freakout! The Great New Guitar Sounds

Dig Ye Deep
Freakout!
The Great New Guitar Sounds
Spinorama S-190

From the back cover: The guitar should most certainly be acclaimed as the world's most beloved instrument. Guitars are made in many shapes nowadays to facilitate playing in different styles. In its full regalia, a la this rocking group, with all its many knobs, buttons and doo-dads, the electric guitar looks like it might launch a rocket.

Budget, barely together set... but fun freaking out doo-dads and what-nots...

Also... I swear I've heard the sample above on another LP I've blogged...

Ruby Tuesday
There's A Kind Of Hush
Sunrise, Sunset
Theme To A Theme
Down With It
Sun Spots
Mother's Not Home
Playback
Heaven Is High
Dig Ye Deep

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Cha Cha Mambo Merengue - Simon Bolivar

Irma
Cha Cha, Mambo and Merengue
Simon Bolivar And His Orchestra
Mercury MG 20177
1957

This is an somewhat obscure, but very good space age Latin LP. Inventive and swinging big band tracks backed with a deep, driving bass beat engineered into the sound.

From the back cover: So that you may feast on the variety of rhythmic flavors of this music, Bolivar serves up a platter of four Cha Chas, four Mambos and four Merengues. And that's not all by way of variety. Bolivar uses two separate orchestras: a small one consisting of four trumpets, guitar and five rhythm; and a larger one of four saxes, three trumpets, three trombones and five rhythm.

Irma
Love For Sale
Can't I
Merengue Guitar
Day In Day Out
Where Can I Cha Cha Without You
Adelle's Merengue
Mambo Of The Toredores
Janie's Song
Do It Yourself Merengue
Rhapsody El Mambo

Paradise Regained - Leo Addeo

Adventures In Paradise
Paradise Regained
The Exotic Music Of The Pacific
Leo Addeo And His Orchestra
Stereo Action The Sound Your Eyes Can Follow
RCA Victor LSA 2414
1961

From Billboard - October 9, 1961: Subtitled "The Exotic Music of the Pacific," this addition to RCA Victor's Stereo Action sound series features some exceptionally attractive arrangements of a dozen familiar songs of/or the islands. Such instrumentals as bass accordion, forgan harmonica and french horn are blended with the traditional steel guitars, log drums and ukueles. The stereo effect is spectacular.

Decent stereo action mix on this LP that features a soft, but engaging Addeo space age vibe.

Ka-Lu-A
Lovely Hula Hands
A Song Of Old Hawaii
Keep Your Eyes on the Hands
How Is The Hour
Adventures in Paradise
Every Little Movement
Trade Winds
Hello, Aloha! – How Are You?
Beyond the Reef
I'll See You In Hawaii

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Stereo Action Goes Broadway - Dick Schory

Heat Wave
Stereo Action Goes Broadway
Dick Schory's Percussion And Brass Ensemble
Produced by Marty Gold
RCA Victor LSA-2382
1961

From Billboard - July 31, 1961: A group of show tunes engage the attention of Dick Schory and his percussion and brass ensemble on this sparkling new Stereo Action disk. It features the wild ping-pong from speaker to speaker that has been a part of the series, plus bright musicianship and performances.

Huh? Unless one of my speakers has gone dead I don't hear "wild" ping-pong channel hopping on this disk, as compared to some of the other albums found in this series. The stereo on this "Action" entry seems pretty well balanced comparatively speaking. The album features decent (some more "space age" than others) covers of "Broadway" tunes.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Green Hornet - The Mexicali Brass

Theme From The Green Hornet And Other Selections
The Mexicali Brass
Crown CST-546

The tracks can be found online for purchase/download so I won't be posting a sample.

The cheesy Green Hornet Theme is the standout tune on this LP. Generally, the musicians sound off as though they didn't have enough to practice. But the overall 60s budget vibe, as reflected by the goofy cover art, saves the sound and makes for a fun find on vinyl.

Flight Of The Bumble Bee - Green Hornet Theme
Meet Me In St. Louis, Louis
Rovin' Gamble
On A Sunday Afternoon
Hot Rocks
Forty-Five Minutes From Broadway
The Yellow Rose Of Texas
Hide Out
Somebody Stole My Gal
My Desire

Middle East Goes Modern - Eddie Adamis

Nahr Beyrouth
Middle East Goes Modern
Exotic Middle Eastern Music Performed In A Modern Manner
By The Big Eddie Adamis
Philips PHM 200-066
1963

From the back cover: Eddie Adamis comes as no stranger to musical and spiritual contrasts. Born in tradition-filled Beirut, Lebanon, he has spent much of his life in free wheeling Paris, the crossroads of a changing way of life. Through the years, he has become fluent in six different languages (French, English, Greek, Arabic, Italian and Turkish) and more important in a wide variety of exotic music, most of which he has taught himself. He is worldly enough to have composed musical shows for Paris nightclubs every American tourist knows – Moulin Rouge, the Lido, la Nouvelle Eve, le Drap d'Or les Folies Pigalle, and Eve. Still he has maintained hold of his Middle Eastern antecedents by keeping at least one ear attuned to this primitive, yet cosmopolitan part of the globe.

Nice "modernist" cover design featured on this 1963 jacket.

The cover art reflects the vibe of the smooth, clean orchestrated "western influenced" light pop space age music.

Laya Hamed
Souk El Gharb
Ouzzi Away Oul
Ah Ya Zein
Bab Edriss
Baladi Ya Baladi
Al Hinna
El Mouled
Hekayet Hob
Samira
Lour Lebnane
Nahr Beyrouth