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Sunday, July 12, 2020

Among The Stars - Renee Raff

Among The Stars
Among The Stars
Renee Raff
Arranged and Conducted by Billy Byers
Executive Producer: Herman D. Gimbel
Produced by Barry D. Oslander
Engineer: Phil Macy
Re-Mixing Engineer: William Hamilton
Cover Art: Charles Blodgett
Liner Notes: Sara Cassey
Audio Fidelity Stereodisc AFSD 6142

Jacket cover photographed in front of the Al Hirshfeld mural at the Fifth Avenue Cinema, N.Y.C.

Audio Fidelity Records produced and released the world's first Stereophonic High Fidelity record (Stereodisc) in November 1957.

From the back cover: "There are lots of girl singers, but very few who sing." Renee Raff is a girl who sings, and sings very well indeed.

Although this is her initial album, there is a wealth of music to suit the desires of those who search after singing riches, and one important reason why is the innate sense of musicianship which Miss Raff displays throughout. Unquestionably, this is due in part to her academic background - first piano lessons at age seven; piano and voice training... Royal College of Music, London; jazz piano, Julliard School of Music with John Mehegan.

If some selections hare are refreshingly new to you, it was a deliberate plot. In the album's planning stages, it was first decided to use six standard and six originals, but the original material submitted was so perfect for Miss Raff's talents, that eight were used (Several others were turned down, reluctantly.) The Material covers a wide range, from sophisticated Noel Coward, to jazzman Gerry Mulligan with lyrics, to Jan Piereweit, a South African (Miss Raff's home) folk song.

Arranger Billy Byers has made subtle use of the fact that Miss Raff is an obviously jazz-oriented performer. His inventive arrangements have left ample room for delivery while sustaining the mood of each tune, whether soft ballad, or swinging up-tempo. The musicians, too, provide the framework to enhance this feeling; consider the solid support of Ossie Johnson and Milt Hinto, the flawless piano of Hank Jones (Starting Tomorrow) or the shining flute obligatos of Jerome Richardson (Let There Be Love). A splendid voice in a splendid setting.

Starting Tomorrow
Let There Be Love
In The Interim
Willow Weep For Me
Jan Pierewiet
Please Don't Leave Me
Among The Stars
He Lied
Mad About The Boy
April's Fool
Little Girl Blue
Butterfly With Hiccups

Swedish Modern Jazz - Arne Domnerus

Round About Midnight
Swedish Modern Jazz
Arne Domnerus and His Group
Recorded in Sweden
RCA Camden CAL-417

From the back cover: When the jazz world's attention was directed toward Sweden by Hasselgard's talent, one of the first major figures it encountered was Arne Domnerus who has maintained his position throughout the Fifties as one of the top three jazzmen in a country brimming with able jazz musicians. Domnerus began playing alto saxophone when he was a teenager (he was born in Stockholm in 1924) and one of his earliest experiences was in a young amateur band which included Rolf Ericson, a trumpeter, who has played with Woody Herman and Charlie Barnet; Simon Brehm, who became a pioneer Swedish bass star; and pianist Gosta Theselius (who arranged the two full band selections in this collection). By the time he was seventeen, Domnerus was leading a band in a restaurant in a small town in Laland, possibly the most frigid apprenticeship that any potential jazz star has undergone.

For the next ten years he was heard in various Swedish bands playing both alto and clarinet. When he formed his own band in 1951, one of his sidemen was old colleague Ericson; another was baritone saxophonist Lars Gullin who has since become, with Domnerus and pianist Bengt Hallberg, one of the most widely hailed Swedish jazzmen. Despite a rising tide of able young Swedish jazz musicians, Domnerus has held his place as the country's finest alto saxophonist, attested by the fact that for seven successive years he has been the winer on that instrument in the annual poll for the Swedish All Stars.

In these selections, Donmnerus is heard on alto saxophone in all but three instances (Relax, Lady Be Good and Creole Love Call on which he plays the clarinet). In his early days, when the alto was his only instrument, his style was patterned on the smooth, sweeping flow of Benny Carter. Later he fell strongly under the influence of Charlie Parker but now, as these performances show (the first side was made in 1957, the second in 1956), he has evolved an extremely effective fusion of Parker and Carter which is thoroughly in the vein of the general swing-cum-modern feeling of Swedish jazz as a whole.

From Billboard - April 28, 1958: Domnerus displays his talented way with alto sax, augmenting the quartet of Side 1 to a provocative septet on Side 2. "Frenesi," "Blue Moon" and "Gone With The Wind" stand out, with $1.98 tag a lure. Recorded in Sweden, sound is excellent.

Topsy Theme
For Dave
Lady Be Good
Round About Midnight
Blue Moon
I Got Rhythm
Didn't You Know I Care
Gone With The Wind
Take The "A" Train
Creole Love Call

Sentimental Journey - Florrie Parrish & John Louis Kell

Sentimental Journey
Sentimental Journey
Florrie Parrish & John Louis Kell
Cover Artist: Wally Metts
Engineer: Grover Dunn
Sonora Records LP-SR-132-1170
Sonora Sound Productions - Chattanooga, Tennessee

Organist ("Jail Story"): Betty Mosley
Guitarist: Dewell Everett
Pianist ("Sentimental Journey"): Betty Mosley

Vocal Background on "Ninety and Nine":
Mrs. Betty Jones
JoAnn Ezell
Irene Day
David Knight
John Louis Kell

Organ: Maner Music Co.

From the back cover: On this album, all the unwritten rules that have apparently governed the success of long-play albums have been broken. We have mixed religious, country, popular and patriotic songs together. The selections are longer than usual and are unedited. On Side A you will hear what has kept an old lady whose head has been busted five different times and who has has very little hair on her head, who has missed five funerals in her immediate family, still smiling. If you listen closer, I am sure that you will discover Florrie's favoritisms song. It is worth the price of this album.

Introduction - John Kell
Sentimental Journey
Amazing Grace
Jail Story
Scarlet Ribbons
There'll Always Be An Englan
Ball Game
Prayer Meeting
Ninety And Nine
Evening Prayer

Sleepy People - Claude Thornhill

Sleepy Serenade
Claude Thornhill and His Orchestra
Cover Photo: Milton H. Greene
Design Records DLP 50

From the back cover: The era of the "big bands" in America developed many fine young bandleaders and many original musical styles. None was easier to dance to, more pleasant to listen to and in better taste than the music of Claude Thronhill. Word that Claude's band was at the Glen Island Casion in New Rockelle, New York, then the cradle of the most popular bands in America, was enough to draw teen agers and older folks alike from as far away as Philadelphia to the smart rendezvous. Unlike so many other orchestras of that day, Thornhill had developed a style that was completely unique. It was the practice of many new musical organizations to pattern their style after that of the then "king" of popular dance music, Glenn Miller. Thornhill dared to be different. In doing so, he developed a style and sound that became known throughout the nation as "one finger piano." His smooth blending of reeds and mellow trombones modulated against the mildly etherial tinkle of an almost muted piano presented a sound that was once described as "musical Aphrodisiac." Thousand of dancers came to dance and fall in love to the siren call of the melliferous tones wafted from the bandstand. Claude, a brilliant arranger in his own right, also staffed men like the highly versatile and talented Jack Olsen to produce the sound that captured the heart of dancing America. We have attempted, in this album, to offer the very best of the Thornhill melodies. "Snowfall" a Thornhill composition, is also his theme song. Many consider it the most beautiful of all orchestra themes. – Roy Freeman

Sleep Serenade
Night And Day
Love Tales
Where Or When
Polka Dots And Moonbeams
Early Autumn
Lover Man

Friday, July 10, 2020

Spanish Eyes - Xavier Cugat

Bang Bang
Spanish Eyes
Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra
Photography: Hal Buksbaum
Vocalion, A Product of Decca Records
A Division of MCA Inc.
VL 73910

Spanish Eyes
Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars (Corcovado)
Theme from "Zorba The Greek"
Love Me With All Your Heart (Cuando Calienta El Sol)
La Playa (Aruba) (La Plage)
Cu-Cu-Rru-Cu-Cu Palmoa
Bang Bang

Gay Gordons - Jim Cameron

2nd Gay Gordons
Gay Gordons
Jim Cameron and His Scottish Country Dance Band
London Records TW 91213

2nd Gay Gordons
Scottish Waltz
Ladies' Fancy
Canadian Three-Step
BlueBell Polka
Waltz Country Dance
Grand March
Irish Whispers
Boston Two-Step
Green Grow The Rushes
The Punch Bowl

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

From Natchez To Mobile - River Boat Five

St. Louis Blues
From Natchez To Mobile
River Boat Five
Mercury Records
Custom High Fidelity
MG 20378


Ed Reed - Clarinet
Wray Thomas - Trombone
Jim Lunsford - Drums
Ed Tedder - Tuba
Ted Butterman - Cornet
Dargan Fitch - Banjo
Keller Merck - Piano

The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise
Yellow Dog Blues
Twelfth Street Rag
St. Louis Blues
Sing Sing Sing (With A Swing)
Colonel Bogey
Lazy River

Monday, June 29, 2020

Instant Brubeck - Dave Brubeck

Brother, Can You Spare A Dime
Instant Brubeck
Dave Brubeck
Formerly titled "Brubeck Time" (CL 622)
Cover Art: Nick Fascianto
Cover Photo: Sandy Speiser
Manufactured by Columbia Records, Inc.
Harmony HS 11253

Jeepers Creepers
Pennies From Heaven
Why Do I Love You
Stompin' For Mili
Keepin' Out Of Mischief
A Fine Romance
Brother, Can You Spare A Dime

Espana Vol. II - Ataulfo Aurenta

First Movement - Pastorella (Allegro)
The Music Of Spain
Espana Vol. II
Ernesto Halffter
Ataulfo Argenta
Orquesta Nacional De Espana
London Records CM 9233

The original catalog numbers were obscured by overprinting on both the front and back of the jacket.

From the back cover: Halffer's "Minor Symphony" is the last recording conducted by Ataulfo Argenta. For this reason this record gains a new and valuable meaning. The Spanish conductor, one of the central figures amongst contemporary musicians, has a meteoric rise to fame which spread all over Europe. The principle European Orchestras knew the genius and standards of the master who disappeared while still in his youth when a future of the greatest brilliance awaited him. Rarely has such unanimous regret been felt at the loss of not just a musician, but of a person who combined minute detour with popular enthusiasm. The history of conducting in Spain closes one of the most beautiful chapters with Argenta's death, certainly that with the most world-wide resonancy in the field of recording. God has wished that this final chapter has Spanish tones of morning freshness. When the "Minor Symphony" was presented for the first time the critics in Spain and outside could not find better praises for this music so full of light and hope than the poetic and classical "Spring". – Enrique Franco

Canzoni Americane Cantate In Italiano - Nora Orlandi

Il Vento Sa - The Breeze And I
Canzoni Americane Cantate In Italiano
Nora Orlandi & Her Ensemble
American Hits Sung In Italian
Recorded under the direction of D. L. Miller
Audio Mix: Dr. Eric Beurmann
Cover Design: Chic Laganella
An Alshire Production
Manufactured by Budget Sound, Inc.
Audio Spectrum AS-1011

Colazine Da Tiffany - Moon River
Polvere Di Stelle - Stardust
Nel Blu, Di Pinto Di Blu - Volare
Il Vento Sa - The Breeze And I
Se Tu Dovrai Lasciarmi - Bill Bailey
Arcobaleno - Over The Rainbow
Manhattan - Manhattan
Vorrei Danzar Con Te - I Could Have Danced All Night
Uno A Te, Uno A Me - Never On Sunday
L'Amore E Una Cosa Meravigliosa - Love Is A Many Splendored Thing
Insieme A Te - When The Saints Go Marching In
Illusione - Deep Purple

Some Like It Hot - Jack Lemmon

Try A Little Tenderness
Jack Lemmon Sings And Plays Music From "Some Like It Hot"
Music Arranged and Conducted by Marion Evans
Epic LN 3559

Sweet Georgia Brown
Try A Little Tenderness
Down Among The Sheltering Palms
I'm Thru With Love
Black Bottom
Stairway To The Stars
Button Up Your Overcoat
It's Anybody's Spring
Sweet Sue – Just You
Georgia On My Mind
I Wanna Be Loved By You
Come In Out Of The Rain

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Broadway My Way - Nancy Wilson

I Believe In You
Broadway - My Way
Nancy Wilson
Arranged and Conducted by Jimmy Jones
Produced by Tom Morgan
Cover Photo: Sherman Weisburd
Capitol Records ST 1828

From the back cover: Nancy Wilson sings twelve Broadway hits that, sung almost anybody's way, would be a delight to hear. Sung Nancy's way, with the warm and lilting style, the sensitive jazz intuition, the fine gift for voicing a lyric in terms of blues emotion, they're cause for general celebrating in the streets.

Down Beat readers, in the magazine's recent 27th annual poll, voted Nancy second place in the favorite Female Vocalist category – second only to the virtually undislodgable "First Lady" of many years Ella Fitzgerald. Nancy ascended to this lofty spot, moreover, in a short twelve months from the thirteen place she had occupied as a relatively little known new singer the previous year.

In this album she sings a full complement of blockbuster hits from bumper Broadway sessions: "Tonight" from West Side Story, "I Believe In You" from How To Succeed In Business, "As Long As He Needs Me" from Oliver! She sings "The Sweetest Sounds" from No Strings as a gently propulsive bossa nova. And she invokes a finely shaded version of "You Can Have Him" from Miss Liberty that, for style and feeling, may well be the finest thing she's ever done.

But one is tempted to make superlative comment about every vocal in the album. Nancy is backed by a creative jazz group conducted by Jimmy Jones, and featuring such illustrious jazz names as pianist Lou Levy, saxophonist Bill Perkins, guitarist John Gray, trombonist Lew McCreary, trumpeter Don Fagerquist, drummer Kenny Dennis, and many more. Jimmy Jones contributed the custom arrangements, which permit Nancy to sing in a challenging variety of moods and tempos, all in the tasteful, sparkling and wonderful Wilson way!

A Lot Of Livin' To Do from Bye-Bye Birdie
You Can Have Him from Miss Liberty
Tonight from West Side Story
Make Someone Happy from Do-Re-Mi
I Believe In You from How To Succeed In Business
As Long As He Needs Me from Oliver!
Getting To Know You from The King And I
My Ship from Lady In The Dark
The Sweetest Sounds - from No Strings
Joey, Joey, Joey from The Most Happy Fella
Loads Of Love from No Strings
I'll Know from Guy And Dolls

Salute Benny Goodman

Jumpin' At The Woodside
Members Of Benny Goodman Orchestra & Brussels World's Fair Orchestra
Salute Benny Goodman
Cover Design: Hobo Arts
Crown Records CLP 5090


Mahlon Clark - Clarinet
Babe Russin & Dave Harris -Tenor
Heinie Beau & Les Robinson - Alto
Irving Goodman, Zeke Zarchy, Mickey Mangano & Don Fagerquist - Trumpet
Murry McEachern, Hoyt Bohannan & Tommy Pederson - Trombone
Jess Stacy & Jimmy Rowles - Piano
Sis Weiss & Curtice Counce - Bass
Allan Reuss & Al Hendrickson - Guitar
Nick Fatool & Ralph Collier - Drums
Red Norvo - Vibes

Sing Sing Sing
Jumping' At The Woodside
In The Shade Of The Old Apple Tree
Bugle Call Rag
King Porter Stomp
School Days
Loch Lomond
East Side West Side

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Lover Man! - Art Van Damme

Hawaiian War Chant
Lover Man!
Art Van Damme
Pickwick /33 Records
PC 3009
A Product Of Pickwick International, Inc.

From the back cover: Art Van Damme is a wizard of the accordion. In his hands, the accordion seems to generate as much tonal color and dynamics as a full-sized pipe organ. But that's only an illusion created by his superlative technique and imaginative conceptions.

Born in Norway, Michigan, Van Damme has been entertaining audiences since the age of 10 when he made his first combination and since that time has been a top professional in his field. – Herman Schoenfeld, Music Editor or Variety

The Breeze & I
After You've Gone
Dark Eyes
Should I
Hawaiian War Chant

Time For Cha Cha Cha - Eddie Cano

Cam's Cha Cha
Time For Cha Cha Cha
Eddie Cano, His Piano and Orchestra
RCA Victor LPM-1672

Cam's Cha Cha
Eddie's Delight
Cuban Love Song
On The Street Where You Live
The Chi-Chi Cha Cha Cha
I Could Have Danced All Night
Linda Mujer
Bofa Gondolero
There Must Be A Way
Mi Rival
I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face

Love Walked In! - George Shearing & The Montgomery Brothers

Stranger In Paradise
Love Walked In!
George Shearing and The Montgomery Brothers
Produced by Orrin Keepnews
Recording Engineer: Wally Heider (Limited Sound Studios)
Mastered by Plaza Sound Studios
Album Design: Ken Deardroff
Photographs by William Claxton
Recorded in Los Angeles
October 9 and 10, 1961
Jazzland Stereo 955

George Shearing - Piano
Wes Montgomery - Guitar
Buddy Montgomery - Vibes
Monk Montgomery - Bass
Walter Perkins - Drums
On Stranger In Paradise, The Lamp Is Low and Mambo In Chimes: add Armando Peraza - Congas and Bongos
(Perkins does not play on the last two of these selections)

George Shearing appears through the courtesy of Capitol Records.
Buddy and Monk Montgomery courtesy of Fantasy Records

From the back cover: With Shearing on piano, Buddy Montgomery, highly regarded both as a pianist and a vibraharpist, stays strictly on vibes. To round out the group, there is Walter Perkins, an impressive young drummer from Chicago who has led his own "MJT Plus Three" and has more recently worked with Carmen McRae. On three numbers with a decided Latin tinge, there's a two-man Latin percussion section headed by Armando Peraza, whose conga drumming has been featured with Shearings' regular group for some eight years now.

Love Walked In
Love For Sale
No Hard Feelings
Stranger In Paradise
The Lamp Is Low
Double Deal
And Then I Wrote
Darn That Dream
Lois Ann
Mambo In Chimes

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The Exciting Lena Horne

Blue Prelude
The Exciting Lena Horne
Orchestra Conducted by Phil Moore
Craftsmen C 8018

From the back cover: Her (Lena Horne) rise to fame was meteoric, indeed. At 16, she came from her Brooklyn home to her first job in the famed Cotton Club's chorus. Noble Sissle, appearing there at the time, heard her sing and immediately signed her as featured vocalist with his band. After touring with Sissle for two years, she auditioned for the vocalist's spot with the great Charlie Barnet aggregation by appearing without rehearsal on stage in front of an audience at New York's Apollo Theater. So pleased was he with the way she sang and was received, he signed her on the spot. She stayed with Barnet for a year, and then decided to try her luck in Hollywood.

While singing at Hollywood's Little Troc, she caught the eye and ear of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's Louis B. Mayer. He was so impressed by her talent, that he signed her for a part in MGM's "Panama Hattie." Featured roles soon followed in "Cabin In The Sky," "Ziegfeld Follies," and numerous other movie successes.

Today, she is one of the few entertainers who enjoys equal prominence in all facets of show business – screen, nightclubs, TV, recordings and the stage. Her most recent success has been as star in the Broadway smash "Jamaica."

Just Squeeze Me
More Than Than You Know
At Long Last Love
Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child
Nobody Knows The Troubles I've Seen
Blue Prelude
Little Girl Blue
It's A Rainy Day
Glad To Be Unhappy
Frankie And Johnny

Carmen Jones

Dere's A Cafe on de Corner
From the Original Sound Track of The Cinemascope Film
Otto Preminger Presents...
Oscar Hammerstein II's
Carmen Jones
Music by Georges Bizet
Conducted by Herschel B. Gilbert
RCA Victor "Red Seal" LM-1881

Starring Harry Belafonte, Dorothy Dandridge, Pearl Bailey, Olga James, Joe Adams

With the voices of Marilynn Horne, LeVern Hutcherson, Marvin Hayes, Bernice Peterson, Broc Peters and Joe Crawford are heard in the singing roles of Carmen, Joe, Husky, Myrt, Rum and Dink, respectively.

Opening Medley
"Dat's Love" (Habanera)
You Talk Jus' Like My Maw
Dere's A Cafe on de Corner
Dis Flower
Beat Out Dat Rhythm on a Drum
Stan' Up An' Fight
Quintet: Whizzin' Away Along de Track
Card Song
My Joe
Duet And Finale

Vocal Highlights From Gigi - Fontanna

Vocal Highlights From Gigi
Music From The MGM Production "Gigi"
Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Music by Frederick Loewe
Fontanna and His Orchestra and Chorus
Masterseal Records MS-71

I'm Glad I'm Not Young Anymore
I Remember It Well
The Night They Invented Champagne
Waltz At Maxim's
Say A Prayer For Me Tonight
Thank Heaven For Little Girls
It's A Bore

String Along With Me - The Stradivari Strings

Hymn To The Suns
String Along With Me
The Stradivari Strings Play Your Favorites
Cover Model: Jayne Mansfield
Spinorama Records M 90
A Product Of Premier Albums, Inc.

From the back cover: In 1951 Al Goodman was selected by Earl Carroll to accompany him to California as arranger and conductor. That was Goodman's official entry into show business... the start of an illustrious musical career which brought him into personal contact with the all-time greats as the conductor of many show and musical productions whose successes were due in great measure to his outstanding ability. Here are the perfect ingredients for perfect musical entertainment... "String Along With Me."

Hymn To The Suns
Chopin Fantasie
Meet Me Tonight In Dreamland
La Paloma
My Wild Irish Rose
Love Old Sweet Song
Melody Of Love
Kiss Me Again

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Ellington At Newport

Blues To Be There
Ellington At Newport
Newport Jazz Festival
Recorded in performance at the American Jazz Festival at Newport, R.I., on July 7, 1956
Columbia CL 934

From Billboard - December 29, 1956: Herein is the Ellington performance that stampeded last summer's Jazz Festival and brought the Duke back into the jazz picture, but good. The number that blew things apart was "Diminuendo" and Crescendo in Blue," with its 27 consecutive tenor sax choruses by Paul Gonsalves. One can hear and feel the crowd and then the band catch fire. Unfortunately, Gonsalves was off the recording mike throat, or this package could be a runaway. As is, it will only be a hit. Rounding it out is the fine new "Newport Jazz Festival Suite" and a remake of "Jeep's Blues," featuring the wonderful Johnny Hodges.

Festival Junction
Blues To Be There
Newport Up
Jeep's Blues
Diminuendo And Crescendo In Blue

The Children's Bible

The Creation Of The World
The Children's Bible
Best Loved Stories
A Peter Pan (32 page) Book And (2 disc) Record Set
Audio Production, Arrangement and Direction: Marty Gold
Text Adaptation: Stanley Silverstein
Editing, Cover and Interior Art and Design: Arvid Krudsen and Associates
Danmar International

I'm A Woman - Peggy Lee

Come Rain Or Come Shine
I'm A Woman
Peggy Lee
Produced by Dave Cavanaugh
Cover Photo: John Engstead
Capitol Records ST 1857

From the back cover: Benny Carter conducts on "I'm A Woman" and "I'll Get By." Dick Hazard on all the rest. The instrumentalist include such topflight jazz musicians as trumpeter Manny Klein, drummer Stan Levey, pianist Mike Malvoin, bassist Max Bennett, guitarists John Pisano and Al Hendrickson, and others equally distinguished, who play with skill and subtlety that provide Peggy Lee with plenty of room in which to swing!

From Billboard - February 23, 1963: This is one of Peggy's most entrancing albums. The thrush tackles a collection of current pop hits and shows how they should sound in the hands of a finished singer like Miss Lee. Here are songs like "The Alley Cat Song," "One Note Samba," "There Ain't No Sweet Man That's Worth The Salt Of My Tears" and "I'm Walking'," plus the title tune. A lovely set.

The Alley Cat Song
Mama's Gone, Goodbye
I'm Walkin'
Come Rain Or Come Shine
There Ain't No Sweet Man That's Worth The Salt Of My Tears
I'm A Woman
Mack The Knife
You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You
I'll Get By
I Left My Heart In San Francisco
A Taste Of Honey
One Note Samba

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Danke Schön - Eddie Cano

Mr. Lucky
Danke Schön
Eddie Cano
Reprise R9 - 6105
Essex Productions, Inc.

Eddie Cano - Piano
Fred Aguirre - Drums
Leon Cardenas - Bass
Carlos Mejia - Conga

Cano's fourth album for Reprise.

Danke Schön
Days Of Wine And Roses
Baby Elephant Walk
Teach Me Tonight
Theme From "Dime With A Halo"
Hello, Young Lovers
Our Day Will Come
Moon River
A Taste Of Honey
Mr. Lucky
What Kind Of Fool Am I

Tuxedo Junction - A Tribute To Glenn Miller

Tuxedo Junction
Tuxedo Junction
A Tribute To Glenn Miller
Promenade Records Long Play Hi-Fi 2050

Moonlight Serenade
American Patrol
Poor Butterfly
Little Brown Jug
In The Mood
Pennsylvania 6-5000
Tuxedo Junction
St. Louis Blues
I Understand
String Of Pearls
Love Theme

Jack Fina Plays Boogie Boogie

After Hours
Jack Fina Plays Boogie Woogie
Dot Ultra High Fidelity DLP 3243

From the back cover: The velocity and dexterity of Jack Fina's digital extremities at the pianoforte are virtually incalculable. Which is just another way of saying: Man, like he plays a whole bunch of piano! The truth of this statement will become readily apparent to anyone sampling the selections which are etched in these grooves.

For his first Dot album, Jack has chosen a group of songs which are not usually considered "boogie-woogie-type." Here he has lent his patented boogie woogie treatment to such tunes as Deep Purple, Temptation, Kitten On The Keys, Swanee River, the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto, Flight of the Bumblebee and others.

The later selection, known as Bumble Boogie, had a lot to do with establishing Fina as one of the country's leading piano stylists. Some fifteen years ago, Jack performed the arrangement for a hit recording with the Freddy Martin Orchestra. In addition, he was the pianist on such famous Martin recordings as Warsaw Concerto, Tonight We Love, the Rachmaninoff Concerto and the Grieg Concerto.

Following these triumphs with the Martin Ork, Fina formed hi own orchestra and began playing the nation's better hotels. He continued with this orchestra until early in 1959, at which time he disbanded and formed a trio. He is currently playing an indefinite engagement at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles. It is this trio of Jack, Tiny Magardo on drums and Herb Lessner on bass, which performs on this album.

Born in Clifton, New Jersey, Jack began taking piano lessons at the age of seven. He earned a teaching degree at New York College of Music, while organizing and playing with dance bands around town. Prior to joining the Freddy Martin Ork, Jack was staff pianist at Radio Station WOR in New York and also toured with the Clyde McCoy band.

So here, once again, are the fabulous pianistics of Jack Fina. He displays the same sparkle and pyrotechnic
al ability which skyrocketed him to national prominence. Like, man he's the most – at least!

From Billboard: January 4, 1960: Jack Fina, who used to perform on wax with the Freddy Martin crew, turns in a bright group of readings here of a collection of standards, played in clever boogie-woogie style. Selections include "Kitten on the Keys," "Ballin' the Jack," "Begin the Beguine" and "Honky Tonk Train."

X-Temporaneous Boogie
Deep Purple Boogie
Kitten On The Keys Boogie
Temptation Boogie
Boogie Woogie
Bumble Boogie
Swanee River Boogie
Concerto Boogie
Ballin' The Jack
After Hours
Honky Tonk Train
Begin The Beguine Boogie

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Dancing At The Tavern-On-The-Green - Milt Saunders

Caravan / Who's Sorry Now / Hey, Mr. Banjo
Dancing At The Tavern-On-The-Green
To Milt Saunders and His Orchestra
Seeco Records, Inc.
Celebrity Series Hi-Fi CELP 408

I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me
Sweet Lorraine
Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea
For Me And My Gal
I Can't Give You Anything But Love
Mademoiselle De Paree
Merry Widow
Tales From The Vienna Woods
Take Me In Your Arms
Serenade In The Night
All My Love
Sophisticated Lady
Mood Indigo
Smoke Rings
It Must Be True
Cha Cha Cha In The Park
Stars Fell On Alabama
I Don't Stand A Ghost Of A Chance With You
I Surrender Dear
O Sole Mio
Tango In The Park
That's My Desire
I've Got The World On A String
Blue Lou
Who's Sorry Now
Hey, Mr. Banjo
Girl Of My Dreams

Sing Me A Sad Song - George Hamilton IV

Your Cheatin' Heart
Sing Me A Sad Song
A Tribute To Hank Williams
George Hamilton IV
Arranged and Produced by Don Costa
Orchestra Conducted by Nick Perito
Design: F. Scott & F. Schutz
Photo: Black Star
ABC Paramount Hi- Fidelity ABC-251
A Product Of Am-Par Record Corp.

House Of Gold
I Can't Help It
How Can You Refuse Him Now
I Could Never Be Ashamed Of You
Half As Much
(I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle
Your Cheatin' Heart
I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
Take These Chains From My Heart
Wedding Bells
Cold Cold Heart
You Win Again

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

New Sounds On Broadway - Edmundo Ros

Gonna Be Another Hot Day
New Sounds On Broadway
Edmundo Ros And His Orchestra
Arrangements by Roland Shaw
London LL 3352

The Cutty Wren
High Is Better Than Low
Gonna Be Another Hot Day
Waiting' For The Evening Train
My Wish
Here And Now
That Man Over There
I'll Remember Her
Is It Really Me
London (Is A Little Bit Of All Right)
You Don't Know
Where Are You

Monday, June 15, 2020

An Evening With Eddie Heywood And Billie Holiday

Lover Man
An Evening With Eddie Heywood And Billie Holiday
Cover Photo: Chuck Stewart
Commodore FL 30001

Eddie Heywood- Piano
Doc Cheatham - Trumpet
Lem Davis - Alto Saxophone
Vic Dickenson - Trombone
Al Lucas & John Simmons - Bass
Jack Parker & Big Sid Catlett

From the back cover: This further restoration of Jazz from the Commodore catalogue combines eight performances by an Eddie Heywood combo with four more or the best Billie Holidays ever made. (Another twelve are now available on Commodore FL 30,008)

The Heywood band was working at Cafe Society Downtown when these sessions were made. Eddie had been born in Atlanta, Georgia, December 4, 1915. His father was a prominent pianist and leader. Garvin Bushell, a charter member of the Fletcher Henderson band, describes the senior Heywood as "the greatest pianist of his day in that area. And they used to tell me young Eddie played like his father. The father was considered quite modern for his time."

Eddie studied with his father, and had made a professional appearance by the time he was five. He became known on the jazz scene through his work with Benny Carter in 1939 - 40, and then he played rooms like The Village Vanguard in New York. His record of Begin The Beguine – contained in this album – made him into a pop music personality of a kind in the next few years, but he had to stop playing between 1947 and 1951 because of partial paralysis on his hands. He's worked the club circuit in recent years. Once again, through an even more commercial recording, Canadian Sunset, Eddie's career has been reinvigorated in the past couple of years.

On these 1944 sessions, Eddie did all the writing, and by and large, the band was intended to complement him as the primary soloist. As a soloist, Eddie was most noted, Doc Cheatham recalls, for his left hand, for the fact that his bass lines were usually very skillful and inventive. Dic himself is a trumpet player of consistent taste who has never received much of the recognition due him. In recent years, he has been mostly working with Machete and on occasion with the Wilbur DeParis and with which he traveled to Africa on a State Department-sponsored tour in 1957, Doc's work is characterized by clarity and economy – and a singing line.

Vic Dickenson is thoroughly unique – a trombonist with wit, warmth and "shaggy dog" tone (as one of the younger players put it) who is always personal and yet can fit easily into nearly any kind of band from Dixieland to at least early modern. His uniqueness is in his conception which communicates a wry, perceptive spirit that has known scuffling but hasn't let the struggle embitter or enervate him. Lem Davis, an alto player who could and should have become more prominent, played as Doc remembers, "with more subtle harmonic sense than most of us had then and with much delicacy. He was a little ahead of the time. So was Jack Parker, the drummer." Bassist Al Lucas was a familiar participant in the New York jazz scene of the forties, and more recently, worked for a time with Teddy Wilson.

Begin The Beguine surprised everybody that year. Comodore had had a "hit" of some proportions in Billie Holiday's Fine And Mellow in 1939, but Heywood's Begin The Beguine was something else. Jack Crystal, a vital sustaining force at Commodore for many years, remembers bringing one of the first copies of the record to the widely listened to ABC network show Alan Kent and Ginger Johnson handled late at night during that era. "I knew something was going to happen with the record," says Jack, "when calls began to come in from network personnel all over the country." It also, as I remember, started a lot of imitations.

The four Billie Holiday performances are as important as the previous dozen already reissued. Of that first twelve (Commodore FL 30,008), Glenn Coulter wrote in The Jazz Review: "... it would be fruitless to invent fresh ways of commending performances which Commodore rightly calls classic... A jazz collection without these performances would be a poor things indeed."

Coulter, who has written more illuminatively about Billie's style then anyone else, also said in that review: "Billie's superiority... has always rested in transcending her materials: hacking off melodic excess, and attacking the words with, alternately, deeper conviction and greater contempt. The ambiguity is, in her best performances, elusive and unpredictable, gives even rather foolish songs a startling resemblance to real existence, and, since the process is just as musical as it is verbal and operates like opposing mirrors, results in fascination rather than monotony... Billie Holiday's desire to phrase like a horn, not just to sing, enhances words as well as music. It is a vocal approximation of th instrumentalists bowing or plucking or whatever it is, and stifling the voice's natural vibrato in favor of one that is rare and eccentrically placed. These characteristic of her style mean that each syllable seems unnaturally distinct, as if each were a stone plopped into a pool of still water..."

Miles Davis talks about her rhythm: "She sings way behind the beat and then she brings it up – hitting the right on the beat. You can play behind the beat, but every once in a while you have to cut into the rhythm section on the beat and that keeps everybody together... What I like about Billie is that she sings it just the way she hears it..."

Billie talked about the first jazz she heard during a conversation a few months ago. In describing it, she also verbalized how her own singing effects those of us who feel she has always been – and still is – nonpareil. She was talking about Louis Armstrong's horn: " He didn't say any words but somehow it just moved me so. It sounded so sad and so sweet all at the same time. It sounded like he was making love to me. That's how I wanted to sing." – Nat Hentoff, Co-Editor, The Jazz Review

Begin The Beguine
Embraceable You (Holiday)
Carry Me Back To Old Virginia
Save Your Sorrow
I Love My Man (Holiday)
I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me
I Cover The Waterfront
As Time Goes By (Holiday)
Lover Man
Love Me Or Leave Me
I'm Yours (Holiday)
Blue You

Carmen Operatic Highlights

Operatic Highlights
French Opera Company
Recorded In Europe
Plymouth Merit P 10-29 LONG PLAY

Duet Of Don Jose And Micaela
Prelude To Act II
Toreador's Song
Prelude To Act III
Card Scene
Prelude To Act IV

More Of Other Worlds, Other Sounds - Esquivel

Street Of Dreams
More Of Other World, Other Sounds
Esquivel - His Piano and His Orchestra
Produced by Albums, Inc.
Cover: Norman Gollin
Art Directions; Merle Shore
Reprise Records R-6046

From the back cover: For those of you who not speak Spanish, I could tell you that the name Esquivel, translated into English, means "exciting," or "enchanting," or "exotic," "effervescent," "ebullient," or even "electric," and any one of these words might be true. As a matter of fact, they are all true when we speak about Juan Garcia Esquivel in any or all of his roles as composer, arrangers, pianist, conductor, or in his complete personality as a man.

This album is the total effort of many talented people: musicians, singers, recording engineers, and technicians, but the driving force comes from lonely the vivid musical imagination of Juan himself. It is the culmination of years of experimenting to find orchestral colors and rhythms that would affect the listener in the same manner as he would be affected by meeting this artist in person, because Juan and his music are the same, vital and stimulating.

I have been the musical director of Revue Studios for eight years and I have always been interested in finding new talent to write the musical scores for the programs that are seen and heard each week by people all over the world. About five years ago I was introduced to Esquivel through one of his early albums, recorded in Mexico. I felt at the time the here was one of the freshest, most exciting interpreters of contemporary music that I head heard. This feeling became even more intensified when I heard his album Other Worlds, Other Sounds, recorded by RCA Victor, in which his ideas and experimentanitions had reached the vertex in achievement. I decided that if Juan ever got near Hollywood I would throw a rope around him and keep him here. He did come eventually, and I found that I did not need a rope, since one of his main interests was to write dramatic music for motions pictures and television. Again, in this field of music, I found Juan to be most inventive, sensitive, and understanding. Millions of television viewers have heard his humor, warmth, and his great dramatic feeling in the background music of "The Tall Man," Markham," and "The Bob Cummings Show." The public's reaction has been most gratifying to me; the mail has told me what an important contribution Juan has already made to contemporary music. And I am now even more convinced that great things are still to come from him in the field of motion picture and television. – Stanley Wilson

The Breeze And I (Andalucia)
Chant Of The Night
Canadian Sunset
Street Scene
I Get A Kick Out Of You
Street Of Dreams
La Mantilla
One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)
Dancing In The Dark

Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben Webster

Chelsea Bridge
Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben Webster
Cover: Gene Grant
Art Direction: Merle Shore
Verve Records MG V-8343

Gerry Mulligan - Bariton Saxophone
Ben Webster - Tenor Saxophone
Jimmy Rowles - Piano
Mel Lewis - Drums
Leroy Vinnegar - Bass

From the back cover: "In listening to Gerry Mulligan," Dave Brubeck once said, "you feel as if you're listening to the past, present, and future jazz, all in one tune, and yet it's done with such taste and respect that you're not even award of a change in idiom." Composer George Russell has called Gerry "Mr. Mainstream," and Mulligan himself has always made it clear that his tastes in jazz are far from limited to the modernists. "A musician," has has pointed out in Down Beat, "has to know not only why he's blowing but the history of the language he's using."

For some years Mulligan has expressed deep interest in recording with older players, and this meeting with Ben Webster is one of a series of such encounters planned by Norman Granz that also includes Mulligan sessions with "mainstream" modernist Stan Getz. I remember a pervious occasion in December, 1957 on which Gerry and Ben were in the same group – the CBS-TV hour of "The Sound Of Jazz." Gerry was the only younger player in a reed section that consisted of Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, and Earl Warren, part of a big band assembled for that program and led by Count Basie. Gerry was selected for that company because by musical temperament and adaptability, he fitted in naturally.

The rhythm section for this date is uncommonly right for the Webster-Mulligan meeting. Rowles, Lewis and Vinneagar all base their playing on a knowledge of "the history of the language" they're using, and all three have secure, relaxed time. Furthermore, all three get solid, rounded sounds from their instruments. Rowles, a particular favorite of Webster, is one of the more unheralded full-bodied swingers in jazz. His playing in ingratiatingly personal, and is marked by remarkably unerring taste in choice of notes and avoidance of superfluity. Vinegar has one of the biggest tones of any jazz bassist and is strongly dependable foundation. Lewis is as in context with a big band as he is with a small combo.

One of Ben Webster's more definitive solos while Duke Ellington as in Billy Strayhorn's Chelsea Bridge. He begins this version in much the same tenderly retrospective mood with Mulligan providing a wave-like background. I doubt if any contemporary tenor saxophonist of any jazz "style" can match the largeness of Ben's tone and feeling on ballads. Mulligan's baritone solo sustains the original mood as Gerry makes that unusually rough-voiced horn sing with a mellowness of tone and a flowing phrasing that are impressively moving. His conception as a whole is as clear and fully formed as that of the better of the older "mainstreamers," Ben ends the Bridge with another beautifully constructed and swelling sensitive set of variations of past passion passionately remembered. – Nat Hentoff

From Billboard - March 14, 1960 (VERVE MGVS 6104 STEREO): The great baritone sax artist and the great tenor sax man team forces for a six-track set that get better with each new band, ending with a fine outing on "Sunday," the oldie. Set is especially effective in stereo. Both the artists blow up a storm, and buffs should flock to the set. Accompanying are Jimmy Rowles, piano; Mel Lewis, drums and Leroy Vinnegar on bass.

Chelsea Bridge
The Cat Walk
Who's Got Rhythm
Tell Me When
Go Home

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Folk Rock Hits - Billy Strange

Eve Of Destruction
Folk Rock Hits
The Big Sound Of Billy Strange And His Guitar
Produced by Gene Norman
Engineering: Dave Hassinger
Album Design: Peter Whorf Graphics
GNP Crescendo
GNP 2016


Guitars: Glen Campbell, Tommy Tedesco, Jerry Cole
Bass Guitar: Carol Kaye
Percussion: Julius Wechter
Piano, Organ & Harpsicord: Al De Lory
Harmonica: Ben Benay
Drums: Hal Blaine

From Billboard - October 30, 1965: Billy Strange's funky guitar work is admirably suited for the repertoire, the new folk-rock songs. Of course, there's Eve Of Destruction," and Bob Dylan and Donovan entries. "Later On" and "Let Your Love Hang Down," two of Strange's compositions are in the same groove.

Eve Of Destruction
You've Got Your Troubles
Summer Nights
It Ain't Me Babe
Do You Believe In Magic
Later On
Like A Rolling Stone
You Were On My Mind
All I Really Want To Do
The Bells Of Rhymney
Let Your Love Hang Down

The Music Of Jerome Kern - The Melachrino Strings

The Music Of Jerome Kern
The Melachrino Strings and Orchestra
Cover Photo: Carl Fischer
RCA Victor STERO LSP-2283

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
The Last Time I Saw Paris
The Night Was Made For Love
The Song Is You
All The Things You Are
Lovely To Look At
Long Ago And Far Away
The Touch Of Your Hand
I've Told Every Little Star
They Didn't Believe Me
The Way You Look Tonight