(Tender, That Is)
Elliot Lawrence And His Orchestra
Top Rank RM304
I collected this album for the cover art and was happy to discover an excellent late 50s mood package on disc.
From the back cover: Enter now, the gifted young conductor-arranger, Elliot Lawrence, who has fashioned his own delightful recipe of music for romantic hunters on the chase. Here is a warm and appealing music for a mood, music with a classical foundation of massed strings, over which Lawrence has spread a creamy frosting of fine jazz-styled solos.
This is entirely in keeping with maestro Lawrence's own deep interest in classical music (he studied composition with Harl McDonald at the University of Pennsylvania and with Pierre Monteaux and Leon Brazin) and in Jazz.
It was Elliot Lawerence, musical director at WCAU Radio in Philadelphia, a few years back, who developed a handsome new style of dance music. Such classically-associated instruments as the oboe, English horn, bassoon and French horn were used freely in his exciting dance arrangements. The success of this new sound eventually took Lawrence on the road for seven years with a band that became one of the top dance groups of its era.
Later, Lawrence was music director for such radio and television programs as the Red Buttons Show, the Jim Backus Show, and Jazz Is My Beat with Jim Lowe. In the summer of 1959 Lawrence went to Moscow to direct an orchestra of 50 Russian musicians for a show being taped there by Ed Sullivan.
On this Top Rank high fidelity album, the imaginative Elliot Lawrence arrangements again shine through to titillate lovers and just plain listeners alike. Here a group of top-flight jazz soloists come front and center to perform against a background of classically trained strings. You will hear such notables as Hal McKusick on alto saxophone; english hornist, Stan Webb; Andy Fitzgerald with his clarinet; Tenor saxist Zoot Sims; Urbie Green on trombone and the eminent flutist, Al Howard. On another occasion Stan Web and Andy Fitzgerald lay down their other instruments to join Howard in a flute trio. – Red Grevatt
From Billboard - November 9, 1959: Here's a smooth, tender album of standard featuring warm, lush arrangements that should please many. It spotlights the Elliot Lawrence Oak performing such tunes as "Shrine Of St. Cecilia," "So Little Time," and "None But The Lonely Heart," as well as attractive originals, with strings backing top jazz soloists including Zoot Sims, Urbie Green and Hal McKusick. Mighty god listening and excellent sound too, not to mention a mighty cute cover idea.
Wind On Velvet (Pada Cichy Deszca)
You're Here Again
Gypsy Love Song
Design For Autumn
None But The Lonely Heart
So Little Time
Shrine Of St. Cecelia
Macumba (Niezwykly Sen)