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Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Come On-A Stan's Houser


September Song

Come On-A Stan's House
He Give-A You Harpsichord
Stan Freeman at The Harpsichord
Al Caiola - Guitar
Frank Carroll - Bass
Terry Synder - Drums
Columbia Record CL 6193 (10-inch disc)

From the back cover: The harpsichord being what it is – something we come to in a moment – there has always been a stodgy body of opinion that its curiously agreeable sound should be reserved for something of the noble stature of, say, the Goldberg Variations, or at most in moments of wild (and rather precious) abandon a daintily syncopated presentation of a refined popular song.

Alec Wilder, of course, used the harpsichord prominently in his arrangements for his Octet and two or three years ago, in an entertaining mystery called Blue Harpsichord, David Keith envisioned a time when a lady harpsichordist would attain an enviable degree of success in night-clubs, but no one appears to have thought, until recently, of the wonderful things that could happen when Stan Freeman brought some fine, low-down thought to his playing and momentarily left his famous piano for the plucking of the harpsichord.

All this happened in the Spring of 1951 when, under the directions of Mitch Miller, Rosemary Clooney applied a spurious Armenian accent to an earthy fancy by William Saroyan and Ross Bagdasarian, with an accompaniment consisting  of guitar, bass, drums and harpsichord. This mixture turned out to be the fabulous successful Come On-A My House, which put Miss Clooney securely in the stellar bracket where everyone had long felt she belonged, and focused attention on her fascinating sounds that Mr. Freeman coaxed out his eighteen-century music box. As a result, this collection has been recorded further to show what the harpsichord, in the right hands, can do for popular music, and to show what Stan Freeman can do with any instrument that has a keyboard.

Also from the back cover: Since he (Freeman) arrived on the New York musical scene, his piano work has consistently evoked the most laudatory comments from the critics, his fellow musicians and the public, a parlay not often achieved. Born in Waterbury, Conn., in 1920, he studies piano from the age of eight, and earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Julius Hartt School of Music. He has also studied with Harold Bauer and Moshe Paranov, and in 1941 won the Mac Dowell Club Award as the outstanding young American pianist of that year. Once in New York, he allowed the popular idiom to take precedence over his classical studies, and in no time at all had a solid reputation in recording studios, in radio studios and in night clubs. After three years in the AAF, he returned to re-establish himself swift as one of the most imaginative young pianists in town, and appearances with the Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra Of New York, the Buffalo Symphony Orchestra and the Hartford Symphony added to his reputation.

From Billboard - November 17, 195: As of the moment with "Come On-A My House" still fresh in the minds of disk customers, there should be a fairly good market for this collection or eight instrumentals played by Stan Freeman on harpsichord with rhythm accompaniment. Freeman's barrel house keyboard playing is most effective on the up tempo tunes; his musically style on the slower ditties will have limited appeal. Several items sound like good bets as singles; the title song "Jeeper's Creeper," "St. Louis Blues," "Peridio" and"Just One Of Those Things,"

Come On-A My House
Who Can I Turn To?
Jeepers Creepers
The St. Louis Blues
Just One Of Those Things
September Song
The Blue Room (with a Bow to Scarlatti)

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