Mona Y Coleta
Foster Edwards' Orchestra
Rondo Records LPM IN-100
Recording Session: September 15, October 1, 10, 1964
Music composed, orchestrated, arranged and conducted by Foster S. Edwards I
Produced and directed by Foster S. Edwards I
Album design, layout and editing by J. J. Edwards
Photography by Bob Fairer
Saxophones: John Peirce, Dick Mordenti, Babe Moore, Gordon Anderen and Orvie Fleming
Trumpets: Dickie Mills, John Chech, Buzzy Mills and George Graham
Trombones: Roger White, Hub Houtz and Gene Isaeff
Piano: Mario Talucci
Bass: Frank Exposito
Drums: Russ Patrick
Gatefold designed jacket feature inside pages.
The cover: Bertha and Tina, the Circus Room elephants, and their trainer Jenda Smaha were photographed through the courtesy of John Ascuga's Sparks Nugget, East Reno, Nevada. Photo by Bob Fairer.
From the inside copy: As one can see, The Sparks Nugget has spared no cost in the sound equipment it uses in the Circus Room. All of the acts who have entertained in John Ascuaga's theater-restaurant agree that the Circus Room has the best sound equipment of all the clubs, showrooms, theaters, and lounges they have played. Not only does the Nugget have the best sound equipment, but it has the best electronics engineer to operate it.
Referring to the sample above: Mona Y Coleta - This is a jazz suite, portraying the Spanish matador. The hairpiece worn by the professional matador is referred to as the "coleta." Mona Y Coleta is written in several movements, all of which depict the different moods that a bull fighter experiences on those Sunday afternoons. Rather than explain what the different moods of the music mean to me, I would prefer to have you use your own imagination and create your own image.
My inspiration for writing this suite was my daughter, Cheri, who is very fond of the Spanish mode of music. In 1962 Cheri was severely injured in a tragic accident that nearly took her life. During the five weeks that she was unconscious, I decided that if she were ever regain consciousness I would orchestrate Mona Y Coleta so she might hear it as a tribute to her. She lived, and Mona Y Coleta was born. To you, Cheri, I dedicate Mona Y Coleta.
Also from the inside, how Foster ended up at The Nugget: In 1961 it was announced that The Sparks Nugget was going to build a show room. After continuously "buggin'" Carl Ravazza and Lee Frankovich at the Nevada Entertainment Agency (they were the booking agents for the room; Carl is still the booking agent, but Lee Frankovich has been the General Manager of The Sparks Nugget since the Fall of 1962), Foster was finally asked to have lunch with John Ascuaga to discuss the orchestra at the Nugget. "After a very nice and relaxing luncheon," Foster recalls, "John Ascuaga asked me but one question, 'Can you play elephant music?" Foster answered that he had "played for dogs, chimpanzees, monkeys, and ponies. I don't see why I can't play for elephants."
In June of 1962 Foster took his orchestra into The Nugget Circus Room and has been pleasing the people and the acts ever since. It might be interesting to note that Bertha and Tina, the Circus Room elephants, are the only elephants in the world that have their own conductor, composer, and arranger. So you see, not only the acts and the audiences pleased, so are the elephants!