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Wednesday, April 1, 2020

The Music Of Lecuona - Stanley Black

Siboney
The Music Of Lecuona
Stanley Black and His Orchestra
Featuring Stanley Black on Piano
London PS 153
1956

From the back cover: Stanley Black was born in London on June 14th, 1913. His musical education began at the Matthay School of Music, where he studied the pianoforte. After this opening skirmish he went on to work, as pianist and arranger, with various dance-bands and light orchestras, gaining invaluable experience and knowledge both of what kind of music pleased the public taste and of how the public liked it served: hot, strong, sweet, or subtle-flavored. In 1938 (as an example of his thoroughness) he paid a visit to South America to obtain first-hand knowledge of Latin-American music. A year later he enlisted in the R.A.F. In April, 1943, he stepped unobtrusively but firmly into the limelight by taking over the conductor's baton of the B.B.C. Dance Orchestra, and during the following years he averaged the astounding total of six programs a week, a physical and mental strain which many dance-band conductors would not care to endure. His orchestra, with his arrangements, (a tremendously important ingredient in the success of a variety show) supplied the music to such top-line programs as the "Much Binding" sagas, "Ray's A Laugh," and scores of others. In 1947 he married vocalist, Edna Kaye.

His "official" broadcasting work reaches a very large volume indeed when measured by the mere statistics of broadcasting-hours and audience-appeal, but is immeasurable in its value as a means of setting consistently high standards for light broadcast music and arrangements. In addition to all this, Stanley Black has also found time to fit in one or town other small achievements which might well have passed for a complete career for an artist less energetic – his work for London, for example, as house conductor and arranger, and composing and directing the musical scores for at least nine British films. All this hard work, far from deadening or stifling his personality, has developed it. The more he does, the better he gets, because he has the invaluable gift of enjoying his work, and what is more he communicates that enjoyment to the listening public. In other word, he entertains.


From Billboard - August 11, 1956: BBC band leader Black should pull extensive deejay coverage here with this lush, string-laden collection of Lecuona's pop-appeal compositions – "Siboney," "Malaguena," "Andalucia," etc. The exotic Latin instrumentals are highly melodic and handled with sufficient respect arrangement-wise so that the album can be moved in the semi-classical market as well as pop. Several of the sides have been released before as part of other Black packages.

Malaguena
Always In My Heart
Andalucia
La Comparsa
High In Sierra
Siboney
Danza Lucumi
Jungle Drums
Gitanarias
Maria, My Own

For You Alone

Rock-A-Bye In Beardland
For You Alone
Limited Edition
Columbia GB-2

The Night They Invented Champagne - Frank De Vol And His Orchestra
Till - Percy Faith And His Orchestra
Devotion - Otto Cesana & His Orch. & Chorus
Libson Antigua (In Old Libson) - Mitch Miller & His Orchestra & Chorus
The Three Bells (The Jimmy Brown Song) - Swing And Sway With Sammy Kaye
Morgen (One More Sunrise) - Richard Maltby With Orchestra And Chorus
Arrivederci, Roma - The Norman Luboff Choir
My Heart In Portugal (Mon Coeur Au Portugal) - Frank De Vol And His Orchestra
Love Theme From "La Strada" - Paul Weston & His Orchestra with The Norman Luboff Choir
What A Differ'rence A Day Made - Andre Kostelanetz And His Orchestra
Rock-A-Bye In Beardland - Mitch Miller And His Oboes
Theme From The Perry Mason Show - Ray Conniff And His Orchestra

Dance To The Songs Everybody Knows - Warren Covington

Green Eyes
Dance To The Songs Everybody Knows
Warren Covington and The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra
Decca Stereo DL 74120
1961

From Billboard - August 24, 1961: Here's a nostalgic, danceable package of oldies, presented with commendable taste by the Covington-Dorsey ork. Selections – all tailored for terp fans and/or jockey segs – include "Cecilia," "Green Eyes," "Whispering," "Maybe" and other great oldies.

Cecilia
Button Up Your Overcoat
Josephine
Tennesse Waltz
Green Eyes (Aquellos Ojos Verdes)
Pennsylvania Polka
Maybe
For Me And My Gal
Beautiful Ohio
Whispering
Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams (And Dream Your Troubles Away)
Indiana (Back Home Again In Indiana)

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

An Hour Of Tchaikovsky

Introduction And Lilac Fairy
An Hour Of Tchaikovsky
The International Philharmonic Orchestra
Tops L1547

Caprice Italien – Part I
Caprice Italien – Part II
Sleeping Beauty Ballet Sequence
Introduction And Lilac Fairy
Silver Fairy
The Rose Adagio
Concerto #1 in B Flat Minor (Tonight We Love)
Part I
Part II

Sentimental Mood - Bill Doggett

Cherry
Sentimental Mood
Bill Doggett
Original A&R Credits: Henry Glover
Research, Production and Liner Notes: Jim Wilson
Audio Research: King Studios
Photography & Album Design: Dan Quest & Associates, Inc.
Cover Model: Doshia Wall (Miss Wall is a member of Union 76's internationally famous Truckstopper-Racestopper Corps and also Miss Country Music USA 1970-71)
King KS-1104
Distributed by Starway-King Records
1971

In A Sentimental Mood
This Love Of Mine
There's No You
Teardrops
For All We Know
Solitude
Eventide
My Foolish Heart
We Found Love
I'll Be Around
Trav'lin' Light
Cherry

The Musical Score Of Gigi - Ira Wright

Thank Heaven For Little Girls
The Musical Score Of Gigi
Ira Wright and His Orchestra
Rondo-lette
Stereophonic SA 48
A product of Rondo Record Corporation

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

Speak Low - Al Goodman

Speak Low
Speak Low
Al Goodman and His Orchestra
One Of A Serieo
Photo by Julius Galiano
RCA Camden CAL-317
A New Orthophonic High Fidelity Recording
1957

My Heart Stood Still
Some Enchanted Evening
Gypsy Love Song
Babes In The Woods
Anniversary Song
Love Nest
High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me)
When Hearts Are Young
Long Ago And Far Away
Speak Low
Absinthe Frappe
Storm Weather

Like Young - Andre Previn & David Rose

Young Man's Lament
Like Young
Secret Songs For Young Lovers
The Piano Magic of Andre Previn
Combined with The Lush Strings of David Rose and His Orchestra
Cover Photo by Lester Krauss
MGM E3716
1959

From Billboard - May 25, 1959: Deejay's have rich spin-material in this package, featuring Andre Previn's artful piano solo work and David Rose's lush backing. In addition to the expressive title theme, the package spotlights three other "young" tunes... all solid jockey wax items – "Younger Than Springtime," "You Make Me Feel So Young" and "Blame It On My Youth."

Blame It On My Youth
Young Man's Lament
You Make Me Feel So Young
Young And Tender
While We're Young
Too Young To Be True
Last Night When We Were Young
Like Young
Younger Than Springtime
A Year Of Youth
Too Young To Go Steady
Love Is For The Very Young

Monday, March 30, 2020

Susan Reed Sings Old Airs

The Boreen's Of Derry
Susan Reed Sings Old Airs
Mis Reed accompanies herself with Irish Harp or Zither
Engineer and Production: Pac Holzman
Electra 126
1957

From the back cover: Susan Reed was born in Columbia, South Carolina, not so very long ago. She began hearing folk songs from her theatrical family, her nurse and from many artistic friends (Irish actors, poets Carl Sandburg and Vachel Lindsay and writers like Harry Bellamann) who visited her home. Susan learned the songs in their natural habitat but with the most artistic respect for the folk tradition.

She has performed in hundreds of concerts across the United States, setting a record of 106 solo concerts in a single season!

In the past few years Miss Reed has extended her career to include acting . She has appeared in Brigadoon, Finnian's Rainbow, Gigi, Our Town and many more. She has also been a regular guest on major television and radio shows and was starred in the Columbia picture, Glamour Girl.

Miss Reed lives in Greenwich Village with her actor-husband, James Karen. Together they run an antique shop devoted to gems of the Americana.


At The Foot Of Yonders Mountain
The Pretty Girl Milking Her Cow
The Leprechaun
The Golden Vanity
He Moved Through The Fair
Bendemeer's Stream
Wraggle Taggle Gypsies
Irish Famine Song
Come Follow
Seventeen Come Sunday
The Foggy Dew
Go Tell Aunt Rhody
I Know My Love
Must I Go Bound
Peter Gray
Wailie, Wailie
Jennie Jenkins
The Boreens Of Derry

The Pair Extraordinaire - Recorded Live

And I Love Her
The Pair Extraordinaire
Recorded Live
Producer: Jerry Capehart
Engineer: Wally Heider
Art Direction: Woody Woodward
Photography: Ivan Nagy
Liberty LST-7440

From the back cover: One evening I decided to visit a club with some friends had recommended, called "The Mecca." They all were enthusiastic about The Pair, who were currently the main attraction. As an active skipper, I don't spend a lot of time in nightclubs, but after hearing such high praises about The Pair, I decided it just might be a good idea.

Needless to say, The Pair was great. Their fresh approach to songs, both old and new, plus their wild humor took me and everyone else in the audience by storm.

The material in this album, recorded live that night at The Mecca, plus the excitement of the audience is self-explanatory. As you listen to the album, I'm sure you'll feel this same excitement which is that special element that only a live performance can give.

I came for one show and stayed for the evening. It was my pleasure and I am sure this album will be yours. "I hope you like us," said The Pair Extraordinaire, I am sure you will agree with me that this talented duo is an example of the finest in entertainment. – Captain Jim Clove – Black Dolphin, Los Angeles, California


I'm An Old Cowhand
Man In The Street
Hang On Sloppy (My Girl Sloopy)
And I Love Her
After The Lights Do Down Low
You Can Run, But You Can't Hide
Please Don't Call Me
Get Up Off It
All The Good Times Are Gone
Donna Lee
You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood

The Most Beautiful Girl In The World - Johnny

Whispering
Johnny Costa Plays For
The Most Beautiful Girl In The World
Piano with Rhythm Accompaniment
Coral Records CRL 57117
1957

From the back cover: Johnny's name, though not yet familiar to many listeners, is one that is increasingly daily in stature. His previous LP, Coral CRL 57020, brought him to the attention of thousands of music lovers outside his regular bailiwick in Pittsburgh, where for the past five years he has been a staff pianist and organist at Westinghouse KDKA-TV, the television arm of America's oldest radio station.

Born January 18, 1922 in Arnold, Pennsylvania, Johnny studied with Martin Miessler, who was Oscar Levant's teacher. During the war years, his studies were interrupted and his professional debut was delayed by a period with the 90th Infantry Division. Two months after taking part in the invasion, he was sent home with rheumatic fever and was unable to play piano for many months.

His formal training was completed by studies at Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, where he was very proud to have as his teacher Nicolai Lopatnicoff, a fine academician who knows Hindemith very well and was able to provide Johnny with all the necessary technical qualifications for his career.

Well-versed in both classical music and jazz, Johnny soon became a local favorite. Visiting celebrities were attracted to jam sessions at his home. The late Tommy Dorsey, in particular, became an ardent Costa rooter. "I remember one wonderful jam session at my house," Johnny recalls, "when Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey and practically the entire Dorsey band stayed up jamming until six a.m., along with Jack Teagarden, Ray Bauduc, Buddy Rich and a whole flock of others. Tommy wanted me to come to New York, but I didn't feel I was ready at the time."

Another immortal musician who spent many hours at sessions with Johnny was the one and only Art Tatum. "While I was in school he came here once and I got to know him well. Later on I learned he was recommending me for jobs. Needless to say, Tatum was my idol and the greatest jazz pianist ever."

On these present recordings, Johnny Costa is in dependable and distinguished company. Gus Johnson, the drummer, born in 1913 in Tyler, Texas, is a graduate of the bands of Jay McShann and Earl Himes; he was featured with Count Basie from 1950 through 1954. William "Buddy" Jones, the bassist, born in 1924 in Hope, Arkansas, has lent his solid sound to the groups of Charlie Ventura, Joe Venuit, Lennie Tristano, Elliot Lawrence and many others. – Leonard Feather


From Billboard - May 6, 1957: Pleasant piano solo work in a gentle vein by Costa on a group of listenable standards – "Night and Day," "The Boy Next Door," etc. Good instrumental wax for jocks in search of soothing mood music wax. Should enjoy moderate sales if given any exposure.

The Most Beautiful Girl In The World
The Boy Next Door
It's All Right With Me
From this Moment On / Who Cares
Cherokee
Coquette
Everything I've Got
Willow Weep For Me
Night And Day
This Can't Be Love
I'll Be Around
Whispering

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

My Own Quiet Way - Johnny Costa

Colorado Waterfall
In My Own Quiet Way
Johnny Costa and His Orchestra
Dot Ultra High Fidelity
DLP 3167
1960

From the back cover: Certain cynical musicians are apt to proffer the suggestion that "if you don't know what to play, at least play loud."

Fortunately Johnny Costa hasn't ever had to follow this advice. He plays the piano, he has a lot to say, and he knows how to say it. In his own quiet way.

Best of all, listeners are getting Johnny's message. He spent something like five years as staff pianist at KDKA and KDKA-TV in Pittsburg, and during that time a large portion of Pennsylvania and the surrounding territory came to regard him as a very superior young performer. More recently he has played engagements at The Embers in New York City and various other spots around the country. Fame, which has its own quiet way of sneaking up on people, is working on Johnny. Wherever he plays, he leaves behind a fervent group of devotees, and this new Dot album will probably spread the word still more widely. Johnny Costa is ready, you might say, to become a famous man.


In My Own Quiet Way
Stairway To The Stars
I'll Never Be The Same
Impossible
The Night We Called It A Day
A Last Good Bye
So Long
Colorado Waterfall
So Much So Very Much
Kiss And Run
Mercedes Bends
Singapore Sling

On The Town With The Sportsmen

When My Sugar Walks Down The Street
On The Town With The Sportsmen
Favorite Quartet Of The Jack Benny Show
Arranged and Conducted by John Rarig and Lew Raymond
Gold Award Records C-8042

Pressed on ruby red vinyl.

I Don't Stand A Ghost Of A Chance
Let's Take The Long Way Home
Mood Indigo
Don't Worry 'Bout Me
Solitude
I'm Getting Sentimental Over You
Red Sails In The Sunset
When My Sugar Walks Down The Street

Monday, March 23, 2020

But Beautiful - The Will Bronson Singers

Memphis In June
But Beautiful
The Will Bronson Singers
Coolpix Records CP 467
1964

From the back cover: Will Bronson is rapidly becoming one of the most-respected choral directors in the music industry. In addition to arranging for his own group, he also does independent writing for other artists. He first conceived the idea for The Will Bronson Singers in 1962, today they maintain a busy schedule of personal appearances and are heard on many of TV's more pleasant commercials.

From Billboard - July 18, 1964: Comfy and cozy vocalizing on 12 stalwart standards. The group offers up tenderly romantic versions of "Easy Street," "Moonlight Becomes You," "That's Love," "But Beautiful," "The Things We Did Last Summer," "Blue Moon" and others.

Easy Street
Moonlight Becomes You
Can't Get Indiana Off My Mind
Memphis In June
The Things We Did Last Summer
By The Bend Of The River
That's Love
But Beautiful
When You're A Long Long Way Form Home
Blue Moon
Where Or When
Spring Is Here

The Helen Morgan Story - Gogi Grant

Someone To Watch Over Me / The One I Love Belongs Someone Else
Warner Bros. Presents
The Helen Morgan Story
In Cinema Scope
Featuring The Voice Of Gogi Grant
Vocal Arrangements: Charles Henderson
Musical Directions by Ray Heindorf
An Original Soundtrack Recording
Cover Photo: Peter Gowland
RCA Victor LOC-1030
1957

Why Was I Born
I Can't Give You Anything But Love
If You Were The Only Girl In The World
Avalon
Do Do Do
Love Nest
Someone To Watch Over Me
The One I Love Belongs To Someone Else
Body And Soul
April In Paris
Speak To Me Of Love
More Than You Know
On The Sunny Side Of The Street
The Man I Love
Just A Memory
Deep Night
Don't Ever Leave Me
I've Got A Crush On You
I'll Get By
Something To Remember You By
My Melancholy Baby
Bill
Can't Help Lovin' That Man

Recital By Oscar Peterson

Pompton Turnpike
Recital By Oscar Peterson
Supervised by Norman Granz
Cover Photo by Herman Leonard
Clef Records MG C-694
1956

From the back cover: We have here, in recital, the piano of Oscar Peterson – and a variety of moods. Literally, of course, recital isn't quite the word since Oscar is not alone but playing in close association with two, and in three sides, three, other first-rate artists. On all except one song on the A side, Oscar is accompanied by Herb Ellis, guitar, and Ray Brown, bass. The one exception is "Willow Weep For Me" in which Oscar is backed by Irving Ashby, guitar, and Ray Brown. The first three songs of the B side feature Louis Bellson on the drums in addition to Oscar, Ray and Herb – it's the trio alone in the final selection, "The Continental."

Peterson, a native of Canada, is barely into his 30s and has established himself as one of the foremost jazz pianists of our time. He has won numerous Down Beat and Metronome polls. Herb Ellis is a Texan, a onetime member of the Glen Gray Casa Loma and the Jimmy Dorsey bands forming the Soft Winds unit and later moving on to join forces with Peterson. A native of Pittsburgh, Ray Brown had early experience with Dizzy Gillespie's small group and big band and then became a member of Jazz at the Philharmonic. Irving Ashby, out of Somerville, Mass., attended New England Conservatory in Boston and has had experience with the Lionel Hampton band and the Nat "King" Cole trio, among others. Drummer Louis Bellson is from Rockford, Ill., and has played with a number of big bands, including Harry James, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey
.

Pompton Turnpike
Cherokee
Willow Weeps For Me
Soft Winds
Alone Together
Simple Life
Singin' In The Rain
Love You Madly
The Continental

Sunday, March 22, 2020

More Music In Motion - Larry Elgart

My Funny Valentine
More Music In Motion
Larry Elgart and His Orchestra
Recording Producer: Grace Elgart
MGM Recording Supervisor: Danny Davis
Recording Engineer: Ray Hall
Assistant Engineer: Don Miller
Mastering Supervisor: Bob Fine
21 Channel Sound
MGM High Fidelity
SE 4080 STEREO
1962

From Billboard - November 3, 1962: The Larry Elgart band is back with another adult dance album in the MGM stereo line. It's composed of the band's distinctive arrangements with bright speaker-hopping and highly danceable tempo tunes. The material is of the standard type with high touches of humor in the arranging. Fine easy listening fare and non-rock and roll programming material. "Peg o' My Heart," Swanee," "My Bonnie" and "After You're Gone" give some indication as to the types of material used.

Old Swanee
Come Rain Or Come Shine
Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams
When Your Lover Has Gone
Do It Again
My Bonnie
In A Little Spanish Town
Peg O' My Heart
Like Someone In Love
In A Sentimental Mood
My Funny Valentine
After You're Gone

Apperception

Appercetion
Appercetion
Jimmy Wisner Trio
Featuring Milt Hinton, Osie Johnson, Dave Levin & Ace Tesone
Produced by Peter DeAngelis
Cover Art by "Chic" Of Chancellor
Cover Photo & Idea by Macey Lipman
Chancellor Jazz Series
Distributed by Am-Par Corp.
STEREO CHJ5-5014
1960

Personnel:

Jimmy Wisner - Piano
Milt Hinton & Ace Tesone - Bass
Osie Johnson & Dave Levin - Drums

One Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child, My Old Flame, Laura, Baby Shoes, Stella By Starlight: Milt Hinton and Osie Johnson

On Love Look Away, Apperception, Timeless, I'll Remember April, The Wing, Dave Levin and Ace Tesone

From the back cover: Apperception, a word which has had a long and somewhat confused history as a psychological and philosophical "term," relates in an illuminating way to the creative process. In one sense, "apperception" has to do with the active "ordering" (by the individual consciousness) of the chaotic, fragmentary sensations of "experience." It is this kind of "ordering" process by which the artist creates an esthetic object. Out of the constant flux of his experience he "forms" an esthetic whole based on this kind of apperception, and expressed in a particular medium – words, colors, tones.

From the jazz musician the problems of creation are highly complex. He is, after all, working to give some sort of esthetic unity, to an improvised performance which exists in a certain period of time, and which can never "exist" again, even on a recording. And there are so many unknowns. In a group improvisation, each musician, although thoroughly aware of the harmonic and formal structure of the piece, must play by means of his own continuous creative sense, always relating his own playing to what is actually going on. His whole range of musical and emotional experiences is involved – what he has heard and felt, what he is hearing and feeling during this performance, this chorus, this instant. And out of his experience, the sensations of the harmonics and structure of the piece, and the awareness of what the other musicians are playing, he must "form" a coherent and "meaningful" improvisation. All of this suggest the importance of "apperception" to the jazzman's art.

I think it may also be illuminating to describe Jimmy Wisner's personality in terms of his "apperception," He is not, first of all, the kind of musician who is totally involved in jazz to the exclusion of all "outside" interests. Although he has been "on the scene" as a jazz musician, his life is fare from one-sided. At 28, Jimmy maintains a variety of interests and activities which seem to give him a mature perspective on his creative work.

Last year, Jimmy graduated from Temple University, where he majored in psychology, and he is planning to do his post-gradate work at the University of Pennsylvania. At school, and through-out his his musical career, his circle of friends has always included creative people – writers, painters and, of course, other musicians. This kind of atmosphere naturally leads to a sharing of interests and information. For instance, a few years ago, there was a series of informal Shakespeare seminars, led by a friend who is an actor and an expert in the history of the drama. It was at that time, Jimmy recalls, that he was booed by a huge audience at a rock 'n' roll concert (where he was playing in the show band) when then M.C. "caught" him reading Richard II between acts Naturally, the rock 'n' rollers expressed their hostility. "It was a source of great amusement," Jimmy says.

Travel has also played a part in adding to Jimmy's over-all perspective. He has made several tours of Europe and the Far East, performing with his own groups and also sitting in with European jazzmen. At clubs like the Jazz Kellar, in Frankfort, Jimmy was quite impressed with the appreciation and understanding of the European audiences. He found them more interested in listening to the music itself than in merely going to jazz clubs to be chic, as some American club audiences unfortunately do. Like John Lewis and several other American musicians, Jimmy has become deeply interested in European culture – not in the sense of looking for direct musical influences, but for an increasingly varied range of experience.

Jimmy has always been interested in composition, and he devotes part of his time to writing popular songs, arranging his jazz compositions for big bands, and also to "serious" works, mostly for piano. His verbal wit, much respected by his friends is paralleled by a keen sense of musical satire, perhaps best illustrated in his Quince Street Stomp, composed for a writer friend who was learning to play piano. Of course, it is for his jazz compositions that Jimmy is best known, and his writing style is well represented on this album by Baby Shoes, Apperception, and the very usual Timeless.

It is the conscious ordering of these many aspects of personality and experience that the term "apperception" may be applied to Jimmy Wisner. He has developed the ability to form a coherent life-pattern from seemingly diverse experiences, much as a good jazzman shapes his improvisation.

Also from the back cover: Inspiration for this cover

Piet Mondrian (Mondriaan) 1872 -1944

The Dutch painter's style underwent many changes before becoming characterized by its simple expression of two straight lines meeting at a right angle. Founder of the school of neoplasticism, which concentrates on horizontal and vertical lines. Piet Mondrian was called the "Destijl Painter," meaning "pure clean lines." Mondrian's conception of abstract art furnished the basis for the cover of this album.


From Billboard - August 1, 1960: Jimmy Wisner is a pianist from Philadelphia who has something to say. His style is interesting and he has the ability to get across his modern jazz message via his own compositions and his solos. Heard here with his trio, Wisner comes thru with creative work that is worth a listen. Tunes include his own "Baby Shoes," "Apperception," and "Timeless," as well as a group of standards.

Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child
Love Look Away
My Old Flame
Laura
Apperception
Baby Shoes
Timeless
I'll Remember April
The Wind
Stella By Starlight

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Mr. Bongo Has Brass - Jack Costanzo

Bei Mir Bist Du Schöen
Mr. Bongo Has Brass
Jack Costanzo
Music Coordinator: Bill Hitchcock
Jacket Design: Thadd Roark / Ken Chapman
Zephyr High Fidelity ZP 12003 G
Zephyr Productions Inc.
1957

From the back cover: The bongos have become the amateur musician's delight. Here at last is an instrument on which he can express the rhythmic inspiration that's been pent up within him for too long... Rumpus-rooms and back yards across the nation are swinging to the enthusiastic bongo beats of the homestyle musicians.

The one man most responsible for the growth of this bongo craze is "Mister Bongo," Jack Costanzo. He was the first bongo drummer to join a jazz orchestra when, in 1947, he became part of the Stan Kenton organization. His musicianship was so unique that Kenton had "Bongo Riff" written to feature Costanzo.

Since leaving the Kenton organization to work as a soloist, Jack Costanzo has been featured with Nat Cole, Peggy Lee, and Francis Faye. He was featured with Buddy Rich in the Betty Garble-Harry James show. He has been seen on such unlikely programs as "Person to Person" with Ed Murrow and Marlon Brando. He has been a constant performer on "Shower of Stars," N.B.C. Spectaculars, the Colgate Comedy Hour, the Red Skelton Show, the Perry Como Show and the Ed Sullivan Show.

As bongos become an accepted, standard rhythm instrument, Jack Constanzo's musicianship and virtuosity places him more firmly in the gallery of contemporary jazz greats.


Diga Diga Doo
Equinox
Bei Mir Bist Du Schöen
Young Man With A Horn
Blue Prelude
Barney Google
Row, Row, Row Your Boat
Street Scene
The Continental
El Diablito
Burlery-Q Bongo
Man With The Golden Arm

A Pell Of A Time - Dave Pell

Jazz Goes To Siwash
A Pell Of A Time
Dave Pell's Jazz Octet
RCA Victor LPM-1542
1957

Personnel:

Leader - Tenor Sax: Dave Pell
Trumpet: Jack Sheldon
Trombone: Bobby Burgess
Baritone Sax: Pepper Adams
Bass: Tom Kelly
Piano: Marty Paich
Guitar: Tommy Tedesco
Drums: Mel Lewis
Supervision: Shorty Rogers

On Suze Blues, G Tune and Cameo substitute Ray Sims from Burgess and Paul Moe for Paich.

From the back cover: Ever since the start of the Octet, I have tried to achieve a certain sound and conception. This formula of sound and conception has been so successful that I have maintained it in all of my recording work up to this time.

Most of the tunes we (the Octet) have played in the past were of relatively short duration. In other words, we never went into a studio, like some jazzmen, and deliberately wailed for forty minutes; that was not our kind of jazz. We have planned every album carefully, and I was always able to get the very top arrangers to create our sound. We had a different product to sell; ours was, as some critics have put it, "Gray Flannel Suit Jazz" and "Mortgage-Paying Jazz." Yes, we have been playing jazz that didn't exactly have that "down-home" type feeling. Ours was the sort that had to have the melody at the beginning and again at the end. We never let one particular soloist get going; sixteen bars, or a release here and there, were all I'd want, because of things in the past were contrived and designed to sound refined or, if I have to say it, commercial. (Ed. note: No apology whatsoever is made for the Pell conception or the superb brand of Pell "Gray Flannel Suit Jazz." You will be hearing more of the same on his following album. It is very much admired.)

This was the formula, then, and by its very adoption it became necessary to hold down the soloists and to hold myself in check as well. In the past year or so, our group has been playing many dances, and the formula has been just right for that kind of performance. However, about forty percent of our work has been in the jazz clubs and in the concert halls. On the concert stage our arrangements were just dandy, but the soloists could never get going because of the shortness of the pieces involved. Yet with a minimum of work I found the most of the tunes could be extended in a certain way so as to give the guys more freedom. Why not, therefore, make an album that still basically sounds like our group but has all the free swinging qualities of a session without the tight arrangements and the confinements they cause. Personally, I've always wanted to play more on a session, but never felt that I should because there were seven other men each of whom, in fairness, has to have his chance to "blow,"

Well, here is our first free-blowing album, and I hope it's"funky" enough to please even the most dyed-in-the-wool fan. Again, nothing should be taken away from the tremendous arrangements done by Marty Paich, Bill Holman, Paul Moe and Jack Montrose. Without these very talented men, the charm of this or any of our other albums would be lost.

Personnel of the Octet was changed quite a bit for this album. When the Octet plays clubs or one-nighters, sometimes my first team, which includes most of the men who were with me when we left the Les Brown band, are not able to work steadily because of studio commitments. However, when the Octet was booked into a long engagement at one of the top nighteries on the Sunset Strip, replacements became necessary. I felt it only fair to make this recording with the new group, and I'm sure you'll agree that all of the newer men are as fine as those who were with me in the past. actually, only three of the guys have recorded with me before: Ray Sims, Tommy Tedesco and, of course, Marty Paich. Joining the Octet for the first time is the biggest talent on trumpet since Fagerquist – Jack Sheldon. Nor can words express my sincere admiration for all the other "newcomers," and that especially goes for Pepper Adams.

I hope you enjoy our first venture into the "funky" world of "down-home" type jazz. It's been fun all the way, and that's how it should be to listen to. – Dave Pell


Jazz Goes To Siwash
Suze Blues
Grey Flannel
Angel Eyes
G Tune
Sandy Shoes
Cameo
Love Me Or Leave Me
Theme There Eyes

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Engine, Engine Number 9 & Other Country Favorites

Engine, Engine Number 9
Engine, Engine Number 9
Crown Records STEREO CST 453

Engine, Engine No. 9
Hilo March
Please Daddy, Let's Go
Walkin' By Myself
Hey Baby
I'm Not Shuckin'
Everybody's Rockin'
It's Too Late For Cryin'
Like The Dickens I Do
O.K. Doll
Lovable One

Album No. 1 - James Darren


Sweet Lorraine
Album No. 1
James Darren
Cover Photo: Bob Coburn
Colpix A Division Of Columbia Pictures Corp.
Packaged by Helm Graphic, New York
CP 406
1959

From the back cover: If it hadn't been for a chance ride in a New York City elevator, James Darren might be lead-footing it these days behind the wheel of a racing sports car instead of being one of the finest rising young motion picture stars and recording artists in America

That first fast rise that resulted in the one he is now enjoying took place in the Brill Building, the caption of New York's Tin Pan Alley, and it was a chance meeting with Miss Joyce Selznick, the Columbia Pictures eastern talent director, on that ride that is responsible for the fact that Jimmy's black hair and brown eyes are exposed for all to see and not covered by a crash helmet and racing goggles.

Jim, who carries a muscular 170 on his 5 foot eleven inch frame, says that his love for sports car racing is so strong that he may have turned to it if he hadn't made it in show business.

But make it in show business he did and in big way.

From his chance meeting with Miss Selznick in the elevator came a contract with Columbia Pictures and a succession of increasingly more important roles, leading up to his starring role in the popular success, "Gidget". It was in "Gidget," too, that an important juncture in Jim's expanding career was reached.

Jonie Taps, who doubles as music executive for Columbia Pictures and general manager of the studio's Colpix Records, remembered that Jimmy had done some semi-pro singing in night clubs around his home town, Philadelphia. So Jimmy was given a song to sing in the film, a number called "There's No Such Thing." The immediate reaction from the music trade, disc jockeys and the public was so favorable that Colpix decided to rush out another Darren side. For this they chose the title song of the film, "Gidget."

"Gidget" took off where the first record left off and Jimmy Darren was now a triple threat star, because not only had he added recording to his acting but now the major television shows were bidding for his services. And as for those most discriminating critics, the fans, well, suffice to say that more than 2000 charters for local James Darren Fan Clubs have been applied for since the release of "Gidget."

Jimmy, who was born June 8, 1936, in Philadelphia and attended Southern High there, went to New York to study drama and had been at it only a few weeks when he was discovered on that fateful elevator ride. Sportscar driving must share some of his leisure time with tennis and Jim also names photography and painting among his favorite pastimes. And ranch life is another thing that ranks high with this city boy who some day hopes to spend a good part of his time on his own ranch. Meanwhile, he is working hard to realize his burins ambition to be recognized as a top actor and a leading singing star.


From Billboard: August 17, 1959: Jimmy Darren, the young chanter who became both a record start and a coming movie star with "Gidget," has turned out a very enjoyable album here, and one that is certain to appeal to his many fans. There is a close resemblance to Sinatra in his style, but it is not hard to take. And the arrangements are first-rate behind him. Songs include "Let's Fall In Love," "Love Among The Young," "Gidget" and "Let There Be Love." Cover is attractive, too.

Let's Fall In Love
Sophisticated Lady
Let There Be Love
The One I Love Belongs To Somebody Else
Sweet Lorraine
There's No Such Thing
Love Among The Young
Emaline
Gidget
Does Your Heart Beat For Me?
Mighty Pretty Territory
Walkin' My Baby Back Home

Pay Joey - Bobby Sherwood

My Funny Valentine
Pal Joey
Bobby Sherwood & His Orchestra
Produced by Morty Palitz
Photo: Charles Varron
Design: Si Leichman/Toback
Jubilee LP 1061
1958

From the back cover: Bobby was born in Indianapolis. And that's enough about Indianapolis. He barnstormed out of there on a musical instrument. His folds were the musical vaudevillians, Bob & Gayle Sherwood & Co. 'Pops" was a singer and trombone player. Mother was an accomplished pianist.

When Bobby was 9, his fiddle-playing grandfather, James McDonald, taught him to play a banjo faster than anyone else in Indiana. Soon the "& C." meant Bobby and his kid sister, Gayle.

The act worked its way to California and settled there. Bobby continued to entertain around the Los Angeles clubs. He's been around the entertainment field ever since. And if there is a more versatile talent, no one has pointed him out.

Bobby has been Bing Crosby's guitar-playing accompanist, a production singer at the Paramount Theatre, a movie actor, a recording star, a featured artist with Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw, a Broadway actor, a TV comic, a writer, a TV panelist, an MC, and a famous bandleader with two records that sold over a million, "The Elk's Parade" and "Sherwood Forest".

Most amazing is the variety of his musical ability. Bobby once recorded an entire album with a 15-piece orchestra. Bobby plays ever single instrument heard in that album.

This album of "Pay Joey" music is pure perfect. All the songs heard are in the new moving picture. The pleasures and thrills of a big-band sound and a danceable beat are here. The authenticity of a movie sound track or an original cast album is here out of the portrayal of Bobby Sherwood feels for the Ned Galvin role. – Mort Goode


There's A Small Hotel
Do It The Hard Way
Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered
You Mustn't Kick It Around
I Could Write A Book
My Funny Valentine
The Lady Is A Tramp
I Didn't Know What Time It Was
That Terrific Rainbow
A Great Big Town

Monday, March 16, 2020

Arthur Murray Modern Waltzes - Les Baxter

The Most Beautiful Girl In The World
Arthur Murray
Modern Waltzes
Les Baxter and His Orchestra
Capitol T548
1954

The Champagne Waltz
Carolina Moon
Vienna Dreams
The Most Beautiful Girl In The World
The Shadow Waltz
Cuban Love Song
Jeannine, I Dream Of Lilac Time
Let Me Call You Sweetheart
Moonlight Madonna
The Arthur Murray Waltz
The Boy Next Door
Dancing With Tears In My Eyes

Serenade To Love - Henri Rene

Love, Your Spell Is Everywhere
Music For Romance
Serenade To Love
Henri Rene and His Orchestra
RCA Victor LPM 3049 (10 inch 33 1/3)
1952

From the back cover: The life of Henri Rene, who conducts the music on this record, is a contradiction of most of the established cliches for building a successful career in music. For example: there are many excellent musicians in this country who were raised and who received their musical education abroad and who then came to this country to work as musicians. On the other hand, there are many native-born American musicians who got their preliminary musical education here, went abroad for the finishing touches, and immediately returned home.

Rene's course was unique. Born in New York City of a father of German, and a mother of French, descent, he was taken to Berlin while still a boy and enrolled in a conservatory, where, over a seven year period, he had a typically thorough German classical education in music. He then immediately returned to this country and stared playing popular music, first as a member of a two-piano teams, later as a member of different dance orchestras. At this point, he was not yet out of his teens; and he was just twenty when he went back to Europe and toured with his own orchestra. Eventually he settled in Berlin as chief arranger for the Eletrola Company, then RCA Victor's German affiliate. A few years later, he became Musical Director for Electrola as well as for UFA (a big German motion picture company) and another picture studio.

In 1936, aged thirty, he once more came home, this time for good; but he spent a year, chiefly in Hollywood, searching for a job. Potential employers were nonplussed, and no wonder. Rene fitted into none of the established grooves. He was an American, thoroughly American, with an American's taste for popular music and jazz – yet he'd grown up in Europe, received a thorough European classical music education, and had spent most of his adult years there. What was he best fitted for?

The right, the perfect solution came along. RCA Victor grabbed him for the post of Musical Director for their international Division, a post which gave ample scope both to Rene's European education and experience and his American tastes.

He held the post (with time out for war service) until a few years ago, when he was appointed Director of Artists and Repertoire for RCA Victor's West Coast Division.


Love, Your Magic Spell Is Evereywhere
A Kiss In The Dark
Serenade
L'amour, Toujours, L'amour
It Had To Be You
I Kiss Your Hand Madame
Love In Bloom
I Love You Truly

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Snoopy And His Friends - The Royal Guardsmen

I Say Love
Snoopy And His Friends
The Royal Guardsmen
The Story Of Snoopy and The Red Baron in Verse and Song
Voice Characterization: Larry Foster
Dialogue Story Written by Dick Holler and Phil Gernhard
Produced by Gernhard Enterprises
Laurie Mastersound Records SLLP 2042
1967

From Billboard - December 9, 1967: Packaged specially for the Christmas season, this "Greatest hits plus" album should remain on the charts long after the season is past. One side of the disk contains the three "Red Baron" hits weaved into one story. The group's "The Airplane Song" is on the flip side, together with other World War I songs, pop and Christmas tunes. An excellently balanced album sure to hit both the Christmas and pop-rock with impact.

The Story Of Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron
Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron
The Story Of The Return Of The Red Baron
The Return Of The Red Baron
The Story Of Snoopy's Christmas
Snoopy's Christmas
I Say Love
Down Behind The Lines
It's Sopwith Camel Time
So Right (To Be In Love)
Airplane Song (My Airplane)
It Kinda Looks Like Christmas

The Best Of Si Zentner - Volume Two

Burke's Law Theme
The Best Of Si Zentner
Volume Two
Produced by Snuff Garrett
Art Direction: Woody Woodward
Liberty Records LRP-7457
1967

From the back cover: He's been called the man who married the beat to the glide of the trombone. He's been credited with bringing new life into the band business. In truth, Si Zentner has played a key role in the revitalization of popular dance bands principally because he was open enough to realize that today's melodic ditty can be fitted into the repertoire of a modern thinking band.

Zentner's roots go deeply into the band business. When he first released "Up A Lazy River" on Liberty in 1962, he was looked upon as a unique creator, turning an old evergreen into a contemporary popular success. What Zentner did then, and what he is done right through this program of power house selections, is to add a sparkle to what are already intriguing songs of the past happy seasons.

It has been the custom of dance bands in the past to perform only those numbers with which they felt safe – the kind of tunes usually associated with fox trots and lindys. (Remember now, this is the period before the twist was born).

Zentner's curiosity and businessman's acumen propelled him to seek fresher material for his band, a decision which gained for him a spot in the hearts of collegians through constant appearances at their dances and balls. So when the haunting melody "Sukiyaki" broke onto the American popularity charts from Japan, Si rushed to record the tune. When "Burke's Law" became a weeknight fascination of American TV viewers (it was murder watching the old captain fighting those beautiful girls off(, Si cut the "Burke's Law Theme."

If one thing can be said of the trombonist, it is that his ears perk up when he hears a song with staying power. And by transforming the dixielandish "Midnight In Moscow" into a showcase for his band and by saluting the "Peter Gunn" TV series and movieland's "Never On Sunday" and "Charade," Zentner plucked songs recorded by other performers and gave them his own zesty, brassy sound.


Sukiyaki
Those Lazy-Hazy Days Of Summer
I'm Movin' On
Burke's Law Theme
Wonderland By Night
Maria
The Third Man Theme
Midnight In Moscow
Stranger On The Shore
Never On Sunday
Charade
Peter Gunn

Straight Up - Harold Vick

Straight Up
Straight Up
Harold Vick
Produced by Brad McCuen
Recorded in RCA Victor's Studio B, New York City
Recording Engineer: Don Miller
RCA Victor LPM-3761
1967

Personnel:

Harold Vick: Leader, Tenor Sax, Soprano Sax & Flute
Virgil Jones: Trumpet
Al Dailey: Piano
Warren Chiasson: Vibes
Everett Barksdale: Guitar (Performs on Like A Breath Of Spring, Lonely Girl and Straight Up
Walter Booker: Bass
Hugh Walker: Drums

From the back cover: When Harold Vick was a young boy his ambition went in two directions. Either he would become a professional basketball player or a professional musician. As he grew up he attained six feet four inches, the height that helps an aspiring basketball player, and he also had talent, evidenced by his winning an award in the sport while at college. At the same time he was developing the skills to be a musician. Again, he had the talent to go with it.

Aptitude must be present, but in the case of some musicians it receives an early chance to show itself. As a child in Rocky Mount, North Carolina (he was born there on April 3, 1936), Vick heard the music of Louis Armstrong and Bing Crosby on his grandmother's Gramophone. By the time he was twelve Harold was trying to stay up late and listen to Symphony Sid, whose program of music beamed pretty strongly from New York on a clear night. At the same age his grandmother also began taking him to the "June Germans," annual dances held in a huge tobacco warehouse. These affairs would last, in Vick's words, "from dusk to dawn" and feature several bands, including names like Basie, Lunceford, Calloway and Millinder. The flash, sound and style attracted Vick. "I always found a spot near the reed section and there I would stay all night," he remembers.

It was no wonder that the twelve-year-old Harold made a $15 down payment on a $90 used clarinet. As he tells it: "The fifteen dollars were my life savings and the payment emptied my piggy bank. My grandparents seeing that my interest in music was genuine, finished buying the clarinet for me."

While still in junior high school Vick became a member of the high school band, playing his first concert at the age of thirteen. He had taken piano lessons for a brief period in his childhood, but it wasn't until he came under the tutelage of Charles Woods, a reed teacher, that he began studying in earnest. Vick says that his greatest influence was a cousin, pianist Thomas Cofield, who taught him "about the construction of songs and about chords." Another shaper of his musical mind was the late Prince Robinson, a star tenor saxophonist-clarinetist with McKinney's Cotton Pickers from 1927 to 1934. Then there was Harold's mother who, when he visited her in New York during summer vacations, played for him the records of Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. When he returned to North Carolina, she would send him records of his favorites, virtually impossible to acquire in Rocky Mount.

When Vick as fifteen he received a tenor saxophone for Christmas, and in seven months he was playing weekend jobs. After high school he entered Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he studied psychology and sociology. Although he knew, after two years, that music was to be his life, he decided to finish his liberal arts education before devoting himself fully to his chosen profession. Until his graduation in 1958. Harold helped support himself by working in the house band at the Howard Theater under former Ellington saxophonist Rick Henderson. There he was able to play with pros and absorb the kind of varied experiences that is invaluable to the young musician.

After graduation Vick began working with a series of bands which used to be called rhythm and blues. First he was with Red Prysock, then Paul Williams, Ruth Brown and Lloyd Price. In 1960 he left Price, came to New York, and gigged with Howard McGhee and Philly Joe Jones. Then he became part of organist Jack McDuff's group for several years. Recently he has appeared with the quartet of pianist Walter Bishop, Jr., and in a big band led by pianist Duke Pearson. Most important, however, has been his emergence as a leader with The Caribbean Suite (RCA Victor, LPM/LSP-3677).

Through the years, some of Vick's preferred saxophonists have been Lester Young, Sonny Stitt, Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon, Gene Ammons and John Coltrane. He credits Miles Davis' former tenorman George Coleman with helping his approach. From this list you can get an idea of Harold's playing attitude. It is modern, but within a tradition that stands for melodic improvisation and that forward thrust known as swing. It has a relaxed, unhurried, unhurried quality that is decidedly very easy listening.

Vick's associates in this album are, like himself, young, accomplished jazzmen who have not made their full mark but are beginning to be heard. Trumpeter Virgil Jones has worked with Lionel Hampton and recorded with Milt Jackson and Roland Kirk. Vibist Warren Chiasson played with George Shearing and also has led his own trio at the Five Spot. Pianist Al Dailey has been a member of Art Farmer's group for the past year or so, as has bassist Walter Booker, who previously worked with Sonny Rollins. Hugh Walker, from Oklahoma, has been free-lancing in New York since coming here in 1966. Guitarist Everett Barksdale, heard on Lonely Girl and Like a Breath of Spring, is the only real veteran present. Once an integral part of the Art Tatum trio, he has been on staff at the American Broadcasting Company for quite a while. – Ira Gitler


If I Should Lose You
Like A Breath Of Spring (Bossa)
Gone With The Wind
Straight Up
We'll Be Together Soon
Lonely Girl
A Rose For Wary (Bossa)
Flamingo
Winter Blossom

Workin' On A Groovy Thing - Mongo Santamaria

We Got Latin Soul
Workin' On A Groovy Thing
Mongo Santamaria
Produced by Billy Jackson
Arranged and Conducted by Marty Sheller
Sound Supervision: Warren Vincent
Engineering: Don Puluse, Stan Weiss & Mark Friedman
Cover Photo: Columbia Records Photo Studio: Don Hunstein & Fred Lombardi
Columbia STEREO CS 9937
1968

Personnel:

Congas and Bongos: Mongo Santamaria -
Trumpet: Louis Gasca & Ray Maldonado
Alto Sax: Sonny Fortune
Tenor Sax: Charlie Owens & Joe Farrell
Baritone Sax: Art Kaplan
Piano: Rodgers Grant
Bass: William Allen
Drums: Bernard "Pretty" Purdie
Latin Percussion: Steve Berrios, Julito Collazo & "Chihuahua" Martinez

Special thanks to Jackie Horowitz and the Columbia Records Secretaries on the first floor of 49 East 52nd Street, featuring Suzanne for special effects on "We Got Latin Soul,"

Workin' On A Groovy Thing
Spinning Wheel
Too Busy Thinking About My Baby
We Got Latin Soul
Getting It Out Of My System
Proud Mary
It's Your Thing
My Cherie Amour
Get Back
Ain't That Peculiar
Twenty-Five Miles

Hawaiian Enchantment - The Hawaiian Islanders

Island Blossom
Hawaiian Enchantment
The Hawaiian Islanders
Wyncote W-9131

Lilac And Spanish Moss
Bird Of Paradise
Hibiscus Blossom
Hawaiian Holiday
Hawaiian Serenade
Mood Hawaiian
Stars Over Hawaii
Island Blossom
Island Mood
Aloha

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Rendezvous In Rome - The Melanchrino Strings

Volare
Rendezvous In Rome
The Melachrino Strings and Orchestra
Musical Travelogue
World Wide Series
Cover Photo: Giuliano R. Somerville
RCA Victor LPM-1955
1959

From Billboard - August 24, 1959: An appealing, restful and for those who know Rome, a nostalgic set. The Melachrino ork with heavy bank of strings featured, plays "Three Coins In The Fountain," "Volare," "Arrivederci," the lovelocks "Castel Saint Angelo" scene from "Tosca," plus less familiar selections, all strongly identified with Rome. A delightful mood album, handsomely recorded.

Rome The City
Volare (Nel blu dipinto di blue)
Scene from "Castel Sant' Angelo" (from "Tosca")
Tesoro Mio
Three Coins In The Fountain
View of the Vatican ("St. Peter's")
Colosseum
Autostrada ("Grand Prix")
Ragazza Romanza (Ladies of Rome)
Vista Roma
Italian Fantasy
Arrivederci Roma