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Friday, November 14, 2014

Let It Be - Bud Shank

Long Time Gone
Let It Be
Bud Shank With The Bob Alcivar Singers
Produced by Richard Bock
Arranged and Conducted by Bob Alcivar
World Pacific Jazz Records
ST-20270
1970

Bud Shank - Alto Sax
Roger Kellaway - Piano
Dennis Budmir - guitar
Carol Kaye - Bass
John Guerin - drums
Howard Roberts - guitar
Michael Anthony - guitar
Larry Knechtel - organ and electric piano
Michael Lang - organ and electric piano

Vocalists: John Bahler, Loren Farber, Ronald Hicklin, Gordon Mitchell, Louis Morford, Ian Freebairn-Smith, Sally Stevens, Susan Tallman and Jackie Ward.

Pictured on the back cover is Bud Shank (right) and Bob Alcivar, vocal arranger for The Fifth Dimension and The Carnival.

On this set, Shank covers three Beatles tunes in addition to a number of other well known period pop tunes. Shank's horn work and Alcivar's choral treatments, I was sure, would turn these well known songs into nothing more than "what-were-they-thinking" head shakers. From the first note of this blend of "group vocal/light pop/light jazz" I wanted to dismiss the sound as failed novelty. However, as much as I wanted to, I couldn't help but like this set. The sound never slides into "just a vocal/horn/pop gimmick". Alcivar manages to arrange all these tunes on a nice bass groove and just as you think you can't stand the vocal treatment, Shank pushes that treatment to the back with his horn, or a light pop moment takes center stage.  Good stuff.

Billboard gave the album "4 Stars".

I selected the sample track over a Beatle cover because I enjoyed the "psych" guitar passages.

Let It Be
Games People Play
Something
Long Time Gone
Both Sides Now
Love's Been Good To Me
A Famous Myth
Didn't We
Long And Winding Road
For Once In My Life

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