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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Something Else - Meg Welles

Another Man Done Gone
Something Else
The Meg Welles Quintet
Songs Of Maids, Knaves and Other Swingers
Produced by John Hammond
Cover Photo: Columbia Records Photo Studio - Henry Parker
Arranged and Conducted by Fred Karlin
Columbia CL 1777
1962

Back cover photo: "Meg Welles with (left to right) Sam Brown, Leroy Parkins, Fred Karlin, Dave Fishberg and Maurice Mark."

Something Else is more "something else" than what you might make from the jacket photo which might suggest "novelty" record. The jacket notes nicely sums up the process Welles' took to create her concept blend of novelty "medieval" and jazz. Although the track, No More Booze, is strictly novelty (humorous), the majority of the album is creatively engaging. Welles vocals, when not pressed to fit the "novelty" side of the concept, are completely fresh and unique.

From the back cover: The Quintet is especially fortunate in having Fred Karlin as arranger-conductor. He is highly respected in the jazz field and has written for Basie, Harry James, Raymond Scott, Kai Winding, Benny Goodman and others. Fred has an impressive gift for bringing seemingly unrelated themes into perfectly natural partnership. He listened to the music I selected for the group, its history, what it meant to me and how I felt each piece should fit into the overall picture. From these hints, Fred shaped the unique and tasteful blend of past and present that is on this album. He has skillfully created a rich instrumental variety and color while keeping the continuity of sound that I had visualized. He also guided us through many a knotty rehearsal as we worked out the balance of musical styles and sounds that we were after.

Starling Duet
Ev'ry Night
We'll Roll The Blues Away
Hymn To St. Magnus
Knaves Will Be Knaves
No More Booze
Another Man Done Gone
Robyn Loves Me
Something Else
A Dialogue
He's Gone Away
Flight

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