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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Percussion Front Row Center - The Randy Heller Percussionists

In The Still Of The Night
Percussion Front Row Center
The Randy Heller Percussionists
PRI Records

This LP appears to be one of Heller's more obscure sets. Pressed on colorful yellow vinyl the set features a colorful Latin/Jazz vibe and that early Command label "ping-pong" bongo sound. The arrangement of In the Still Of The Night is just crazy.

From the back cover: When Randy Heller was in college, studying to be an ophthalmologist, his favorite pastime was sitting in his dormitory room in front of his record player, listening to original cast albums of Broadway shows, and accompanying the performances on the bongos. But instead of turning out to be the best bongo playing ophthalmologist in Beverly Hills, he wound up being perhaps the only bongo player in Hollywood who could spell ophthalmologist.

Randy Heller is kept might busy nowadays, however, arranging, playing and conducting albums that feature his "Percussionists." "Fortunately," says Randy, "I've been able to do a lot of what I like best – the great Broadway show songs played with all kinds of Latin rhythms and instruments." Randy's not the only fortunate one; the listener and dancer are lucky, too. As record buyers have come to realize, dance packages are often not worth listening to, and many displays of Latin-jazz fireworks defy dancing to. But Randy Heller's Percussionists fall into neither classification. Without compromising in either direction, Randy comes up with tunes, tempos, sounds and ideas that make for equally fascinating dancing and listening. It's what he chooses to call "vertical stereo," the kind of music that appeals to both the top and bottom, the ears and feet, of the human body.


I Love Paris
Be A Clown
A Foggy Day
Easy To Love
Small World
The Jones Boy
My Heart Belongs To Daddy
Manhattan
Always True To You In My Fashion
Malaguena
Just A Little
In The Still Of The Night

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