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Saturday, December 28, 2013

New Sounds - Pete Rugolo

Come Back Little Rocket (Rugolo)
New Sounds By Pete Rugolo
Harmony HL 7003
1957

A nice collection of swing/pop/jazz tunes that mirror a variety of period musical trends (New Sounds).

Shave And A Haircut
Latin Nocturne
The Shrike
Poincianna
Manhattan Mambo
Quiet Village
When Your Lover Has Gone
When You're Smiling
Come Back Little Rocket
You Stepped Out Of A Dream

Friday, December 27, 2013

Reeds In Hi-Fi - Pete Rugolo

Igor Beaver
Reeds In Hi-Fi
An Adventure In Sound
Pete Rugolo And His Orchestra
1956

From the back cover: "The idea of this album," says Pete Rugolo, "was to present a set of performances that could really live up to the title. We weren't aiming at a jazz album as such. We had ten musicians playing reed instruments, backed by a rhythm section, and we sued the ten men in just about every possible combination to make a broad variety of tone colors, so that it would be interesting to people who are concerned with the hi-fi range of frequencies as well as to others who just want to hear some interesting and colorful music.

On Igor Beaver, says Pete, "we used all the so-called Stravinsky cliches, the Firebird effects, etc.; flute and tenor sax in three keys, with the rhythm section adding punctuations."


Interesting and colorful music. This is a terrific album. There is a board spectrum of approaches to be heard on the record. The album, however, is more than just a collection of songs. The tracks support each other and the flow creates a dramatic and engaging blend of sound as if Rugolo intended to create a concept album.

Igor Beaver
If You Could See Me Now
Yardbird Suite
Impressionism
Walking Shoes
Theme For Alto
Our Waltz
Spring Is Here
Polytonal Blues
Collaboration
Interlude

Goin' Places - Margaret Whiting

Runnin' Wild (Rugolo)
Margaret Whiting
Goin' Places
Dot DLP 25072
1957

Working on this album with Whiting are a few Atomic Age heavy weights including: Frank Comstock, Pete King, Jonny Mandel, Skip Martin, Marty Paich and Pete Rugolo. The creative styles mesh well from track to track.

The Dot "Sterophonic" label on this album cover is a fluorescent orange sticker (my scanner doesn't scan fluorescents).

From the back cover: You can attribute Maggie's fine musicianship to the influence of her famed composer-father, the late Richard Whiting; or to the inimitable touch of her first employer and professional colleague, Johnny Mercer.

The Gypsy In My Soul
Sentimental Journey
Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home
I'm Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town
Gone With The Wind
Runnin' Wild
Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea
Over The Rainbow
Hit The Road To Dreamland
East Of The Sun
Song Of The Wanderer
Home

Starlit Hour - Ambose

Autumn Serenade
Starlit Hour
The Music Of Peter DeRose
Ambrose And His Orchestra
MGM Records
E3350

Classy cover art and decent mood set featuring just a touch of the space age groove.

From the back cover: Born in London, Ambrose really got his start in America as violinist in a band led by fellow-Londoner Emil Coleman. He was fifteen at the time. From that band he passed on to the legendary Palais Royal, the forerunner of the latter-day Latin Quarter. Here, although only sixth violin, he caught the eye of producer John Murray Anderson, who then was fare from his later Broadway career, still dancing (although producing nightery shows) with his partner, the well-remembered Cynthia Perrot. It was Anderson who promoted Ambrose from his violin desk when the orchestra's usual conductor fell suddenly ill. The proprietor of the cafe liked the young man's work and, upon the production of a new revue, hired him as chief conductor, even putting the newcomer's name – Then Bertram Ambrose – into lights. Soon, through successive engagements, Ambrose was, according to columnist Cholly Knickerbocker, "setting the fashion in American dance music." Suddenly, Ambrose decided to try his luck back in his own country. It was Cynthia Perrot, than a great success in London, who helped him find his first London engagement: at the city's great Embassy Club. His fame soon spread and he became the favorite of both Londoner commoners and royalty alike. Soon, Ambrose had repeated at home his initial American success – and then some!

Cloud Lucky Seven
Let's Dream Together
Music Box In Blue
Grass Window's Lament
Lilacs In The Rain
Moonlight Mood
Starlit Hour
The American Waltz
Blue September
Autumn Serenade
White Orchids
Deep Purple

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Guitar Music Of Spain - Laurindo Almedia

Segovia: Neblina (Fog)
Guitar Music Of Spain
Laurindo Almeida
Capitol Records P8295
1954

Almeida’s classical solo recording career on Capitol Records began in 1954 with The Guitar Music of Spain. – wikipedia

A set that anyone who likes Atomic Attic Age mood/jazz can get into. Excellent sound/engineering.

From the back cover: Laurindo Almeida has achieved fame in widely diversified fields of music by creating beautiful and serious compositions for guitar, by performing brilliantly as solo guitarist with some of the nation's most distinguished jazz bands, and by playing with equal brilliance on the classical concert stage. His appearances at such places as Carnegie Hall, Chicago's and San Francisco's Civi Opera Houses, and the Hollywood Bowl, have been marked by enthusiastic acclaim of his inspired artistry.

Albeniz: Leyenda (Legend)
Albeniz: Oriental
Falla: El Circulo magico - Romance del pescador (The Magic Circle – Tale of the Fisherman)
Falla: Cancion del fuego fatuo (Song of the Will-o'-the-wisp)
Segovia: Anecdote 2
Segovia: Neblina (Fog)
Torroba: Serenata burlesca (Burlesque Serenade)
Sor: Estudio XII ( Study No. 12)
Terrega: Recuerdos de la Alhambra (Recollections of the Alhambra)
Tarrega: Capricho Arabe (Arabian Caprice)
Turnia: Garrotin
Turina: Soleares
Albeniz: Sevilla (Seville)

Rare Form! - The George Shearing Quintet

Over The Rainbow
Rare Form!
The George Shearing Quintet
Superb Shearing Performances Recorded "Live" in San Francisco
Capitol Records 7 2447
1966

From the back cover: This 1966 album was taped on Friday and Saturday nights, July 5th and 6th, 1963. The Quintet was appearing in San Francisco, at the fabulous Black Hawk Club. It was appearing there for the last time, for the club had announced plans to close its doors; and each evening was rich in sentiment and warmed by appreciative audiences who nightly packed the house. George decided to commemorate the occasion by recording this album. Release dates were set, and then several times postponed to make room instead for the very popular Shearing orchestral albums that contained current in-demand, hit tunes. But these performances are far too fine to stay under wraps any longer.

So here, finally, is George Shearing, with the top-flight Quintet that appeared during that last engagement at the Black Hawk, consisting of Vernel Fournier, drums; Gary Burton, vibes; Gene Cherico, bass; Ronald Anthony, guitar; and Armando Peraza, Latin percussion.


The Sweetest Thing
Look No Further
Hallucinations
Sunny
They All Laughed
Station Break
Over The Rainbow
Why Not?
I'll Never Smile Again
Bop, Look And Listen

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Pal Joey - Andre Previn

I'm Talking With My Pal
Modern Jazz Performances Of Songs From Pal Joey
Andre Previn & His Pals
Shelly Manne and Red Mitchell
Contemporary Records C3543
1957

Here's a nice mellow track gifted from this fine jazz album that seems perfect for this Christmas Eve Day.

From the back cover: Andre Previn is one of the most unusual musical talents, equally at home as a composer, conductor and pianist in jazz, classical and popular music. Three-time Academy Award nominee for film scores (he's currently composing and conducting for his 29th picture, Gigi). Andre also places high in the jazz popularity polls. Results of the 1957 balloting indicate he's considered on of the handful of truly great pianists in jazz today. Born in Berlin, Germany, April 6, 1929, he came to the U.S. in 1939, and while still in his teens had established an enviable reputation as a film composer and conductor, and as a popular pianist. 1957 was a busy year: he completed his 1st Symphony; recorded extensively for Contemporary; played engagements at Chicago's London House and San Francisco's Black Hawk with his jazz trio; conducted at the Hollywood Bowl; and gave a recital of 20th Century Classical music in Paris – all in addition to his work at M-G-M. The cover shot seemed appropriate for the first Previn and Pals album, for if ever there was a piano's friend, it is Andre. He talks their language, and brings out the best in them.

Winning popularity polls is no novelty for Shelly Manne, the nation's favorite drummer. In 1956 and '57, he made a clean sweep of 1st place in the three major magazine contests: Playboy, Down Beat and Metronome. Born in New York City June 11, 1920, Shelly has been playing professionally since he was 18 with many famous groups including a long stint with Stan Keton's orchestra. Since 1955 he has had his own five-peice group, Shelly Manne & His Men, considered by critics and fans to be one of the top jazz combinations of the mid-'50s.

Red Mitchell is new to the company of Friends/Pals, making his first appearance with Andre and Shelly in this album, but he has worked with each of them on many occasions over the past few years in Los Angeles. Red, generally regarded as one of the top bassists of contemporary jazz, has appeared on many Contemporary records, as an internal part of the Hampton Hawes Trio, on various Barney Kessel albums, with Red Norvo and as the leader of his own quartet in a new album, C3538, Presenting Red Mitchell. He was born in New York City September 20, 1927, and worked with many of the top stars, including Chubby Jackson, Woody Herman, Red Norvo and Gerry Mulligan prior to joining Hawes in 1954. He formed his own group in 1957. He is particularly noted for his melodic solos; a first-rate example may be heard on I Could Write A Book.

– Lester Koenig
November 20, 1957


I Could Write A Book
That Terrific Rainbow
Bewitched
Take Him
It's A Great Big Town
What Is A Man?
I'm Talking' With My Pal
Do It The Hard Way

Monday, December 23, 2013

Lush Interlude - Stan Kenton

Artistry In Bolero
Lush Interlude
The Music Of Stan Kenton
Capitol Records ST 1130
Recorded August, 1958, in Hollywood, California

Smooth "Gleason-like" orchestrated mood album with tunes assembled into a set that plays through with excellent pacing.

From the back cover: The theme of the Kenton orchestra, Artistry In Rhythm, was composed by Stan in 1941, when he was engaged in organizing his original orchestra. He followed in with Opus in Pastels, which was originally designed as a saxophone showpiece, and his exciting, dramatic Concerto to End All Concertos. Then the combined efforts of Kenton and Pete Rugolo produced Theme to the West and Collaboration, both standards in the Kenton library.

On his own, Pete Rugolo composed Artistry in Bolero for the early orchestra and followed it with the soulful Interlude. Two other well-remembered Kenton standards featured in this album are Machito, a brilliant Afro-Cuban composition, and A Theme for My Lady, also by Pete Rugolo. Lush Waltz, composed expressly for this album, is a haunting, beautiful theme, and again confirms Rugolo's vast talent for both composition and orchestration.


Piano and leader: Stan Kenton / trombones: Milt Bernhart, Kent Larsen, Jim Amlotte, Bob Fitzpatrick, Kenny Shroyer / flute: George Spelvin / guitar: Laurindo Almeida / bass: Red Mitchell, Joe Mondragon, Don Bagley / percussion: Shelly Manne alternating with Larry Bunker, Frank Flynn / and a full complement of strings.

Produced by Lee Gillette
Shelly Manne appears by arrangement with Contemporary Records
Cover photo by Phil Fahs

Interlude
Collaboration
Opus In Pastels
A Theme From My Lady
Artistry In Bolero
Concerto To End All Concertos
Machito
Theme To The West
Lush Waltz
Artistry In Rhythm