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Monday, November 9, 2015

Vibe-Rations - Red Norvo

Get Out Of Town
Red Norvo In Hi-Fi
Liberty LHN 6012
Recorded in Hollywood, California, May 21st and 28th, 1956

Red Norvo - Vibes
Jack Montrose - Tenor Sax, Clarinet and Flute
Robert Drasin - Flute
Bill Kosinski - English Horn
Bill Dillard - Guitar
Gene Wright - Bass
Bill Douglass - Drums

From Billboard - December 22, 1956: There's some good Norvo vibes here, but hardly enough. Actually, the set has only 15 minutes to each 12-inch side, which is about half of what some companies are offering. There is some interesting two-flute support, but this becomes stiff when the English horn – a most unswinging instrument – is added. Some good flashes by the late Bill Dillard on guitar, and an excellent cover that will help sales considerably.

Well… what a grumpy Billboard review. Yeah… Norvo and Liberty could have stuffed another track on each side… but I hardly think record buyers would have noticed. I've seen many 12 inch discs from this period that are more short on material than this one. And the remark about the English Horn is awfully picky. The sample above, I believe, features the subtle horn passage. The arrangement sounds good to me as does the entire set.

From the back cover: In the summer of 1956 when I (Richard Gehman) was in Hollywood on some magazine jobs, I went to hear him (Norvo) every night I could make it at Ken Brown's place in Santa Monica. I would sit there marveling as he played "Rhee! Oh Rhee!" (my favorite) and the rest, and between sets we would sit around and talk about the days seven or eight years ago when he was playing at the Embers in New York and after hours hd and I and Eddie Condon would go to a Chinese restaurant where the proprietor would bring us a teapot full of what Condon always called "slant-eyed whisky." After the playing and reminiscing were over – I'm talking about the Hollywood visit again – Red and I would go out somewhere and eat. One night I noticed that he was strangely quite. I didn't want to ask what was wrong. He is sometimes shy, I thought this was one of his shy nights, and he couldn't bring himself to say much (in that Embers period, he often thought of more to say than some of us felt was necessary; but he had not yet gone on the wagon, then) We ate, said good night, and he went over to his house in Santa Monica and I went back to my hotel. The next evening he apologized. He said, "I'm sorry for being so quiet last night. We had to take our little boy to the hospital yesterday. It was sort of serious. I started to tell you about it but then I knew you'd worry and I didn't want to spoil your evening."

That is one side of him. Adjectives may now be filled in at random, and all the noble one will do.

Also, this note from the back cover: Bill Dillard, one of the great new jazz stars, and guitarist on these sessions, lost his life shortly after these recordings were made. The tragedy thus deprived the jazz world of his genius less than a decade after his idol, Charlie Christian, passed into the great beyond. These sides were Bill's last known recordings.

Sweet Georgia Brown
It Could Happen To You
All This And Heaven Too
Fascinating Rhythm
Rhee! Oh Rhee!
Get Out Of Town
Ship Without A Sail

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