Search Manic Mark's Blog

Friday, January 1, 2021

Themes From Hit TV Shows - The Pop Singers And Orchestra

Kojak Theme

Good Times

Themes From Hit TV Shows
The Pop Singers And Orchestra
Peter Pan Records 8185

Theme From Welcome Back Kotter
Theme From S.W.A.T.
Happy Days Theme
Rockford Files Theme
Theme From LaVerne & Shirley
Making Our Dreams Come True
Theme From Baretta "Keep You Eye On The Sparrow"
M.A.S.H Main Theme
Chico And The Man
Kojak Theme
Theme From Good Times

But Not For Me - Ahmad Jamal

 

Poinciana

But Not For Me
Ahmad Jamal Trio At The Pershing
Supervision: Phil Chess
Cover: Don Bronstein
Engineer: Malcolm Chisholm
The stereo version of this album has been electronically reprocessed  by Dick Allen and Ron Malo
Argo LP 628
1958

From the back cover: Having worked at the Pershing Lounge at various times for the past six years, the idea developed (during a conversation with Leonard Chess of Argo Records, Sid McCoy, eminent radio personality, and myself) to record our next album there at the Pershing Lounge. This present group of selections is the results. The tapes were made on January 16, 1958, and each set of that night was recorded. I have chosen 8 tracks out of 43 cuts, and sincerely hope that our listeners will derive some degree of enjoyment from them.

Two of the tunes are former recordings of ours we did some years ago, Surrey With The Fringe On Top and But Not For Me. Both tunes are a permanent part of our repertoire and are frequently requested by our audiences. I make mention here of the fact that of all the tunes in our repertoire, But Not Or Me is asked for more than any other selection. I am happy to say that for all who enjoyed our former recording, but could not obtain it, here it is in our present album.

Working with me are two of the finest musicians I have ever known, musically or otherwise, Israel Crosby, our bassist and Vernell Fournier, our drummer. I have had many treasurable moments working with both of these well known musicians, and am looking forward to all of our future performances together. – Ahmad Jamal

But Not For Me
Surrey With The Fringe On Top
Moonlight In Vermont
Music, Music, Music
No Greater Love
Poinciana
Woody'n You
What's New

Shirley Bassey Belts The Best!

 

Once In A Lifetime

Shirley Bassey
Belts The Best!
United Artist UAL 3419
1965

From the back cover: One of the world's foremost entertainers is that dynamic vocalist, Shirley Bassy, a devastatingly beautiful woman who has completely enthralled audiences in her British homeland and all throughout Europe. Miss Bassey can truly boast of a style all her own and there are few singers, if any, who throw themselves so completely into a song. It is not an uncommon sight to see tears rolling down Shirley's lovely face during the performance of a tender ballad, while the reckless abandon which she bestows to an up-tempo selection more often than not creates an electricity which sets audiences tingling with excitement.

Miss Bassey is certainly no stranger to America. She has appeared in many of the better cafes from coast-to-coast, has been on major television programs and even was seen in a memorable recital at New York City's famed Carnegie Hall recently, a concert at which a packed audience rose to their feet as one at the conclusion and cheered Shirley to the rafters for a full ten minutes.

From Billboard - March 27, 1965: Basing the album on her smash single, "Goldfinger," this fine and dramatic vocalist has picked a handful of the best of Broadway musicals. Miss Bassey's versatility is clear as she changes from a pulsating rendition of "Once In A Lifetime" to a soft, sensitive, emotional interpretation of "Something Wonderful."

Goldfinger (from "Goldfinger")
Everything's Coming Up Roses (from "Gypsy"_
The Sweetest Sounds (from "No Strings")
He Loves Me (from "She Loves Me")
I Believe In You (from "How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying")
People (from "Funny Girl"
Once In A Lifetime (from "Stop The World – I Want To Get Off")
Something Wonderful (from "The King And I")
A Lot Of Livin' To Do (from "Bye Bye Birdie")
If Every I Would Leave You (from "Camelot")
Somewhere (from "West Side Story")
I Could Have Danced All Night (from "My Fair Lady")

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Drum Suite - Art Blakey

 

Oscalypos

Drum Suite
Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers
Photo: Arnold Newman
African Art Courtesy of Klejam Gallery
Columbia Records CL 1002
1957

From the back cover: Drum Suite

As preparations for a test run for the Drum Suite began, the air in Columbia's studios was filled with excitement. Jo Jones and Art Blakey moved over to their respective drums, Candido and Sabu picked up their bongos, Ray Bryant sat down at the piano and Oscar Pettiford got set with his bass and 'cello. Meanwhile Charles Wright sat down behind a set of drums with tympani on one side and a gong on the other. All of them had various smaller instruments near at hand. At the end of the test run, everyone sat down to listen to the playback, and that was it. No retakes were needed, except for vocal passages. It took the fellows a little longer to master the Swahili dialect. All the chanting was done by the percussionists. No arrangements were used.

Though the three pieces that comprise the Drum Suite are distinctly individual, there is a surprising amount of cohesion. Blakey's The Sacrifice begins with an authentic Swahili chant, derived from an ancient sacrificial ceremony. "The witch doctor tells of two who will be sacrificed to the crocodiles. The crowd echoes him, and the ceremony builds to a frenzied climax. The witch doctor announces the Mumba (death) of those sacrificed, and a celebration follows." Here is some of the most fantastic drumming ever captured on records. Every conceivable rhythm is used.

Next comes Ray Bryant's finely woven Cubano Chant. This easy-swinging piece, with its medieval modal colorings, is further evidence of the young composers-pianist's talents The hesitating rhythms and lovely melodic lines are all blended into a swinging beauty. After a chorus by Ray, the percussionists take over to offer an engaging section.

From the very beginning of Oscar Pettiford's Oscalypso it is evident that this is going to be wild. Starting with Oscar playing 'cello, the piece expands as Ray enters on piano, then Candido and Sabu on bongos, and gradually the rest of the percussion is added. The lyrical Oscar plays two choruses, Ray Bryant follows for two more, and the percussion takes over fo the kill. Here is all the rhythmical counterpoint and emotional sensitively one could ask for. After the percussion has taken the work to its climax, Pettifor returns to bring the suite to a close as he quietly strums the 'cello.

The Jazz Messengers

The other side of this record presents Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in another example of their impressive dynamic readings. Their imaginative use of harmony and counterpoint gives their work a remarkable freshness, and Blakey has another chance to demonstrate his highly developed ability as accompanist as well as soloist.

Gigi Gryce's Nica's Tempo is another of the series of pieces dedicated to the Baroness Nica Koenigswarter. This 44-bar work seems to be of the type that fascinates the Messengers most, in that it lends itself to endless variation. A gifted newcomer, Bill Harman, is heard on trumpet, his brittle trumpet style adding fire to the driving approach of the Messengers. The ever searching Jackie McLean is heard on alto, offering his creative impression. In D's Dilemma, the group is heard in a more relaxed mood. Free swinging playing, as well as tasty ensemble and solo work, is heard here. The group returns to its customary hard-driving beat in the final selection, Bill Hardman's Just For Marty. The framework of this piece is ideal for the virtuoso performances the Messengers provide. – Cal Lampley

From Billboard - June 24, 1957: A hi-fi novelty packed with percussive power. Aside from the pure sound value, the disk demonstrates the wide range of emotional expression inherent in the drum and simple percussion instruments. As a bonus-though none is needed - there are echo chamber effects that come across most attractively on wide range equipment. The Jazz Messenger side is particularly noteworthy for drum virtuosity.

The Sacrifice
Cubano Chant
Oscalypso
Nica's Tempo
D's Dilemma
Just For Marty

The Red Garter - The Strugglers - The h'all Stars

 

When The Saints Go Marching In

The Red Garter
The Strugglers
The h'All Stars
Recorder & Edited by Reice Hamel
Cover By Don Stivers
Society Bear Records - San Francisco  M670

From the back cover: The Red Garter is a saloon-type bistro serving beer, peanuts, and soft drinks in the heart of the entertainment district by the Golden Gate. The club has the nostalgia of the bygone Barbary Coast Days in its decor and the frivolity and gayety of Old San Francisco in its music. The walls are covered with old gilt-framed pictures of turn-of-the-century calendar art (pre-pin-ups), Teddy Roosevelt, Champion Jim Thorpe, and on and on. The Nicholodeon features only the big names of Ruth Etting, Ted Lewis, Al Jolson and other stars of that era. The gaslights, the gingerbread trim, the old pictures, the nickelodeon and fly fans, and the authentic ladies out-house complete with crescent moon are integrated into a fine old-time decor featuring the pride of the club – a grand 1893 mahogany bar.

Entertainment takes place nightly at the Red Garter with the Struggles Banjo Band and 'Arry 'Iggin's Piccadilly h'All Stars playing the old tunes, featuring several banjos. Credit must be given, too, to the audience itself because their enthusiasm, joviality and singing contribute a great deal to the fun. A group of girls from Dominican College Class of '61, happened to drop in on the eve of this recording, and it is their voices that you hear belting out the lyrics the loudest. Every night is a different show at the Red Garter because the musicians rotate evenings and between bands. Since they are all professional men or students, they schedule their musical nights at least conflict with their vocational responsibilities. The following musicians are on this recording and vary from song to song. Banjos: Jack Dupen (civil engineer), 'Arry 'Iggins (professional musician & rugby player), Bill Wingfield (acoustical engineer), Bill Rutan (student S. F. State), Lee Valencia (piano builder), Joaquina Dupen (physical therapist). Piano: Griff Harries (grain broker), Warren Lubich (chemist), Bill Richards (grad. student U. of Cal). Bass: Dick Lammi (professional musician), Buzz Heffron (student S. F. State), Bob Lualhati (high school coach), Jerry Fredgren (insurance salesman), Drums: Bat Patterson (photographic equipment).

Side one of this disc was recorded at the Red Garter one Saturday evening when the club was going full blast with six musicians. Side two was recorded the next day with the crowed locked out.  "Erin's Sons Will Defend Her," Side 1, features the beguiling art of Lee Valencia on the Irish War Pipes. Notice the delightful wail in "Heartaches" on Side 2. This lovely noise is rendered by Jack Dupen on the musical carpenter's saw. The whistles that open and close side on are proudly effected by the bartenders as they tap the kegs of that tasty beverage made from hops. Bottoms up!

Waiting For The Robert E. Lee
It's A Sin To Tell A Lie
Somebody Stole Me Gal
Erin's Sons Will Defend Her
It's A Grand Old Flag
Waltzing Matilda
Bill Bailey Won't You Please Come Home
Battle Hymn Of The Republic
When The Saints Go Marching In
San Francisco
Colonel Boget
Carolina In The Morning
Deed I Do
China Nights (Shina No Yoru)
Heartaches
Never On Sunday
Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Something Special For Young Lovers - The Ray Charles Singers

 

Quiet Nights

Something Special For Young Lovers
The Ray Charles Singers
Originated and Produced by Enoch Light
Associate Producers: Julie Klages & Robert Fine
Art Director: Charles E Murphy
Recording Chief: Fred Christe
Mastering: George Piros (Stereo) & John Johnson (Monaural)
Command Records RS 33-866
1964

This Could Be The Start Of Something
I Left My Heart In San Francisco
More
There! I've Said It Again
This Is All I Ask
Dominique
Helly, Dolly!
Quiet Nights
Love Me With All Your Heart
Charade
What Kind Of Fool Am I?
Sweet Little Mountain Bird

The Incomparable Connie Francis

 

The Loveliest Night Of The Year

The Incomparable Connie Francis
Director Of Engineering: Val Valentin
Cover Design: David Krieger
Metro Records M-603

From the back cover: The fabulous success of Connie Francis in many different phases of show business is due to a rare combination of ability, personality, showmanship and drive, plus a desire to satisfy her audiences wherever she performs.

In the 10 years since she made her first hit recording of Who's Sorry Now Connie Francis has sold over 35 million records, a figure that places her among the biggest recording artists of all time. Eight of her single records have sold more than a million copies each and she has had at least twice that many top-selling albums.

In 1961 Connie made her movie debut in the Joe Pasternak film, "Where The Boys Are." The picture was a box-office bonanza, helped no end by her smash recording of the title song from the movie. Most important, "Where The Boys Are" helped launch her on a new phase of her already star-studded career when her acting, as well as her singing, drew high praise from film critics. Since "Where The Boys Are," Connie has starred in other high-grossing films for MGM including "Follow The Boys" and "Looking For Love."

The same year that Miss Francis made her movie debut she started another career as a writer with her first book, "For Every Young Heart," published by Prentice-Hall. The book became a best-seller in hardcover and was followed up by a paperback edition that is still selling, six years later.

The number of performers who have successfully managed to be proficient in several areas of endeavor, simultaneously, can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Connie Francis' impact as a singer, night club and concert artist and movie actress is truly remarkable. Perhaps that is why she is called on of the great entertainers of the era.

The recordings contained in this album were previously released in the MGM albums entitled Looking For Love E/SE-4229; Follow The Boys E/SE-4123; Mala Femmena E/SE-4161; My Thanks To You E/SE-3776; A New Kind Of Connie E/SE-4253; More Italian Favorites E/SE-3871

Be My Love
Italian Lullaby
Try A Little Tenderness
When The Clock Strikes Midnight
My Man
Looking For Love
Funiculi Funicula
Tonight's My Night
The Loveliest Night Of The Year

Alpha Beta Presents Tijuana One More Time!

 

Don't Throw Bananas At Me

Alpha Beta Presents Tijuana
One More Time!
Alpha Beta First In Foods
A George Garabedian Production
Mark 56 Records
STEREO Vol. III

From the back cover: This album was recorded especially for our Alpha Beta customers. The most talented musicians in the record industry were employed for this record. Absolutely nothing was spared to make this stereo album the best in current songs, arrangements, performance and sound recording. This is in other words, just another way of trying to pass on to our good customers a very special value at a very low, low price.

Oh, by the way – there are two selections which were created just for this album. One is entitled, Yes Sir, That's My Alpha and Don't Throw Bananas At Me.

Casino Royale
Yer Sir, That's My Alpha!
Sound Of Music
Georgy Girl
Up-Up and Away (My Beautiful Balloon)
I Got Rhythm 
The More I See You
Somewhere My Love (Theme from Doctor Zhivago)
Born Free
Music To Watch Girls By
Don't Throw Bananas At Me

Live From Concord To London - Ernestine Anderson

 

Stormy Morning

Ernestine Anderson Live From Concord To London
Produced by Carl E. Jefferson, Concord Jazz, Inc.
Recording Engineer: Howard Kilgour
Remixed at Coast Recorders, San Francisco, CA
Composite Editing: Dennis Staats
Master at The Mastering Room, San Francisco, CA
Cover Photo: Jim Miller
Cover and Liner Photos: British Airways
Art Direction: DH Studio
Concord Jazz, Inc. CJ-54
1978

From the back cover: The places where Ernestine has been getting around since her sensational 1976 appearance at the Concord (Calif.) Jazz Festival include Japan, Sweden and London, England, where a portion of this album was recorded by Carl Jefferson, president of Concord Jazz, Inc. Then there were sellout crowds in her native Seattle, Wash., over the New Year holidays.

The first side of this, her second albums for Concord Jazz, stems from the memorable August 1, 1976 performance at the Concord Pavilion, where she was backed in the manner to which she deserves to be accustomed by pianist Hank Jones, bassist Ray Brown and drummer Jack Hanna, with the Bill Berry, L.A. Big Band coming in for "a taste" on the last track. The other side was recorded during an October 11, 1977 engagement at Ronnie Scott's famed London jazz club, with a strong British trio of pianist John Horler, bassist Jim Richardson and drummer Roger Sellers providing the accompaniment.

It doesn't matter that Ernestine received excellent support on both occasions. She's such a dominant performer in her sweet-swinging, infectious manner that she could upstage a 50-piece orchestra when she's grooving like she is on these two sides. – Gordon Raddue, Richmond (Calif) Independent-Gazette 

Don't Get Around Much Anymore
Days Of Wine And Roses
Stormy Monday
Am I Blue
That The A Train
My Romance
Ellington Medley
   Solitude
   I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good
   Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me
   Take The A Train
Love For Sale

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

To Duke With Love - Art Farmer

 

It Don't Mean A Thing

To Duke With Love
Art Farmer
Executive Producer: Toshinari Koinuma
Engineer: Ben Taylor
Engineer Remix: Yoshihiro Suzuki
Producers: Yaso
Recorded March 5, 1975
Inner City Records IC 6014
1978 (Jacket Date)
1979 (Disc Label Date)

Personnel 

Art Farmer - Flugelhorn
Cedar Williams - Piano
Same Jones - Bass
Billy Higgins - Drums

In A Sentimental Mood
It Don't Mean A Thing
The Star Crossed Lovers
The Brown Skin Gal In The  Calico Gown
Lush Life
Love You Madly

Roman Holiday - Johnny Kay

 

Siciliani

Roman Holiday
Sing Along With Johnny Kay
Celebrity Records UT 177
A Division Of Premier Albums, Inc.

Volare
Mamma Mia Che Vo Sape
Diciten Cello Vuie
Funiculi Funicula
Serenade Of Roses
Siciliani
Lolita
That's Amore
La CanciĆ³n D'Amors
Chiribiribin
Drigo Serenade
Toselli's Serenade

Big Band Beatles Bag - Lee Castle

 

The Fool On The Hill

Lee Castle & The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra Play The Big Band Beatles Bag!
Arranger: "Bugs" Bower
Producer: Joe Abend
Engineer: Frank Abbey
Pickwick/33 SPC 3174

Personnel

Trumpets: Lee Castle, Johnny Amoroso, Dick Perry, Rusty Dedrick, John Frosk
Trombones: Harry DiVito, Blaise Turi
Saxophones: Carl Janelli, Dick Meldonian, Morty Lewis, Gene Allen
Drums: Gary Chester
Electric Bass: Walter Yost
Guitar: Gene Bertoncini, Carl Lynch
Piano: Sy Mann
Percussion: Shorty Allen

From the back cover: The Dorsey name has always been a synonym for tasteful good music for dancing or listening. Ever since the death of Tommy and Jimmy, Lee Castle (considered the third Dorsey son) has continued in the Dorsey tradition. It is in this tradition that Lee has maintained one of the finest dance bands in the musical world.

Elanor Rigby
Michelle
And I Love Her
Penny Lane
The Yellow Submarine
Yesterday
The Fool On The Hill
Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da
Birthday
Hey, Jude

Monday, December 28, 2020

A Kiss And Other Love Songs - Mario Lanza

 

The Moon Was Yellow

A Kiss and Other Love Songs
Marios Lanza - Tenor
Orchestra conducted by Ray Sinatra
RCA Victor LM-1860 Red Seal
1954

From the back cover: Lanza's is a typical American story. He received a natural musical heritage from his Spanish mother and Italian father, an ex-six-day-bike-racer and disabled World War I veteran who worshipped Caruso and collected his records. Raised in South Philadelphia, the boy went in for football, boxing and weight-lifting during his school days.

But he was passionately fond of music, his interest in singing and grand opera going back to his early boyhood. At 10, he knew the plots and principal arias of 50 operas, and at 15, he could discuss the merits of even relatively obscure operatic works with connoisseurs. He used to sit by the hour outside a neighborhood record shop which played Caruso records over its public address system. These Caruso recordings, he says, were his great inspiration and first teacher. While still in his teens, he began singing lessons, earning the money to pay for them by working for his grandfather who had a trucking business. It was while using one of his grandfather's trucks, incidentally, that he got that first lucky break.

During World War II, Lanza did a tour of duty in the Army, and then was given an opportunity to sing in the special services production On The Beam. This led to an assignment with Moss Hart's Air Force show, Winged Victory, with which the young tenor remained until he was muster out in the summer of 1945. Back in civilian life, Lanza was offered a Red Seal recording contract by RCA Victor, together with $3000 to continue his studies. This was the first time in the company's history that a completely unknown singer had been given such a golden opportunity.

Lanza's first film, That Midnight Kiss, met with huge popular success when it was release. His second film, The Toast Of New Orleans, his RCA Victor recordings and extensive concert tours increased his fame and popularity before an ever widening public.

Higher and higher Lanza's star has soared, until his dream of an ideal, which has always been Caruso, has been transformed into reality on film, with his playing the role of the immortal tenor himself in MGM's movie of his life, The Great Caruso.

This was followed by the MGM technicolor production Because You're Mine and his recording of the sound track for The Student Prince. In each of his motion pictures the voice of Mario Lanza has been heard singing songs that made the best seller lists when they were released on phonograph records. In That Midnight Kiss it was Be My Love. From Because You're Mine the title song of the picture became a national best seller and his albums Toast Of New Orleans and The Student Prince have reached the top of the hit chart.

A Kiss
Begin The Beguine (from Jubilee)
Long Ago (from the Columbia film Cover Girl)
The Night Is Young And You're So Beautiful
My Heart Stood Still (from A Connecticut Yankee)
Sylvia
The Moon Was Yellow
Night And Day (from The Gay Divorcee)
My Romance (from Jumbo)
Siboney
The Thrill Is Gone
Valenica
Beautiful Love
Yesterdays
Besame Mucho
Without A Song

J Is For Jazz - J. J. Johnson

 

Solar

J Is For Jazz
The J. J. Johnson Quintet
Cover Photo: Dan Wynn
Columbia Records CL 935
1956

From the back cover: J. J. Johnson, considered by many to be the originator and leading exponent of the modern jazz trombone style, has until recently been the co-leader, with the extraordinary Kai Winding, of a quintet featuring tow trombones with rhythm section. Their work together on Columbia, with their quintet (CL 742) and with a trombone octet (CL 892), is one of the highlights of the Columbia Jazz catalog, but is also of a kind which has proven popular with the public at large. The same bids fair to be true with the groups they have just formed independently of one another.

The J. J. Johnson Quintet makes one change in instrumentation, but it is an important one. In Kai's old spot, one find Bobby Jaspar, tenor saxophonist and flutist extraordinary. Bobby, while new to the American scene, is well known in Europe. As Belgium's leading jazzman, Bobby won critics' awards and public acclaim all over the continent for his fine contemporary-style playing. Now a permanent resident of the United State, this is his debut before the American public. His appearance in this album is by special arrangement with the company for which he records exclusively – Pathe-Marconi, subsidiary of Electrical and Mechanical Industries, Ltd.

As these recordings were made on the even of J. J.'s launching of his new Quintet, it was impossible to line up the same rhythm section for each session. The changes of personnel are as follows: for Angel Eyes, Overdrive, and Undecided, Hank Jones played piano and Percy Heath played bass. On Tumble Weeds, Solar, Never Let Me Go, and Cube Steak, Wilbur Little replaced Heath. The remaining tunes were made with Tommy Flanagan in place of Hank Jones. The drummer throughout was Elvin Jones, Hank's brother.

All arrangements in this set are by J. J. himself. As usual, he has chosen repertoire which is anything but overdone, and he has also written three originals.

Naptown U.S.A.
It Might As Well Be Spring
Tumbling Tumbleweeds
Angel Eyes
Solar
Overdrive
Undecided
Never Let Me Go
Chasin' The Bird
Cube Steak