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Friday, May 17, 2024

I'm Wild Again - Frances Faye


Love For Sale

I'm Wild Again
Frances Faye
Orchestra Conducted by Russ Garcia
Engineer: Thorne Nogar
Cover Design: Burt Goldblatt
Bethlehem Records BCP-23

Trombone - Herbie Harper, Tommy Pederson and "Two Others"
Piano - Jerry Wiggins
Guitar - Al Hendrickson
Bass - Red Mitchell
Drums - Chico Hamilton

From the back cover: To say that Frances Faye has a distinctively fresh approach to music is to understate the case, as those who have heard her "in person" performances will attest. Yet, for some undetermined reason, this freshness has gone unexplored by the record industry. It remained until now to capture the real Frances Faye on record. Here at last is the fabulous Faye style – light, casual and always entertaining – properly recorded and supported by musicians whose interpretive "know how" provides an excellent balance for her unique delivery. Certainly no novice to the entertainment field (she's been singing for years) that is the first record date which, in her own words, has "made me happy"! The tunes presented here are, for the most part, time tested standards. Yet each rendition has its own appealing twist without loss of the vitality and melodic warmth which have earmarked these tunes for immortality. The highlight of this performance is the "medley" – a collection of fine tunes of varying tempos which Miss Faye serves up in dividend portions, ranging from a complete and heartwarming reading of "Little Girl Blue" to a quick ending three word quote from "Bewitched". To me knowledge this is the first time that such an important part of a club entertainer's repertoire has been so successfully recorded. This is an exact demonstration of Miss Faye's relaxed and intimate club format and might well serve as a standard for subsequent ventures.

The orchestral compositions is unique enough in itself but it's virtually a pioneer framework to showcase vocal talent. Four trombones and a standard rhythm section provide a scintillating backdrop for the over-all impact of this album, as well as some high caliber solo performances that are, in fact, an added bonus to an already stellar attraction. The trombones are in the capable hands of Tommy Pederson, Herbie Harper and "Two Others". Herbie is heard on "These Foolish Things" and "Out Of This World", on both of which he supplies 16 bars of inventive and melodic trombone. "I've Got You Under My Skin" presents variation on the familiar "Dancero" theme and features the distinctive trombone  of one of the "Two Others". On "September In The Rain" they put together a four way trombone break with Herbie taking the first chorus, Tommy the last and the middle sixteen split between the "Two Others".

The rhythm section of Jerry Wiggins' piano, Al Hendrickson's guitar, Red Mitchell's bass and Chico Hamilton's drums is a perfect combination of unity and subtlety – rocking the ensemble throughout, yet equally polite during the vocal passages. While Al and Chico are almost entirely confined to section work, Jerry and Red contribute some tasteful by-play on "Somebody Love Me". 

Special kudos are in order for Russ Garcia who arranged and conducted the entire musical score. His invaluable contribution is readily apparent. 

Toreador: This seldom heard melody by Mary and Norman Kaye is given the full Latin-American treatment with Chico Hamilton from start to finish.

They Can't Take That Away From Me: Here's the Gershwin standard done here in medium tempo with a blues-like obligato by Jerry Wiggins.

All Of A Sudden My Heart Sings: This is Frances Faye "selling" a song in the full use of the term. The trombone choir is perfectly adapted to this tune and the result is unusually dramatic and interesting.

Love For Sale: Once again the Latin-American motif lends itself to this Cole Porter standard. Of all the tunes selected for this date, this is the only one in which Miss Faye sings the infrequently heard verse.

Here, then, is a milestone in vocal recording. This is a happy combination of the ideal vocalist working under ideal circumstances to give us the full benefit of both. Frances Faye is a real trouper in every sense of the word, and it is to her undying credit that in this age of singers of every kind and description, her gimmick-less formula is sturdy enough to warrant this album. Listen to Frances Faye – you'll see what we mean. – Joe Quinn

They Can't Take That Away From Me
He's Funny That Way
I've Got You Under My Skin
All Of The Sudden My Heart Sings
Somebody Loves Me
September In The Rain
These Foolish Things Remind Me Of You
Love For Sale
Merely: Little Girl Blue / Where Or When / Embraceable You / Exactly Like You / I Don't Know Why / My Funny Valentine / Bewitched
Clear Out Of This World

For Cat Dancers Only - Harry Geller


For Cat Dancers Only

For Cat Dancers Only
Harry Geller and His Orchestra
RCA Victor LPM 3228 (10" disk)

From the back cover: If your floor can stand it, start rockin' with the beat; if the rafters are strong enough, start swingin' from 'em – it's a sure bet you'll want to when this music comes jumpin' your way. You can swing, hop, stomp or rock – give it any name you will – but in the midst of these rampaging notes how can you possibly sit quiet and unconcerned? Long hair or crew cut, you gotta move, you just have to feel the rhythm. There's no getting away from it, it'll send you reeling back for more. And man, it's gonna make you feel the craziest, it's gonna turn you into the coolest of cats.

During the past few years in the popular musical work, in the midst of shouters, neurotic balladeers and overstored orchestras, there has been an ever-increasing public acceptance of what is commonly called "rhythm-blues" material – in many ways a throwback to the exciting blasts of the dance bands of the thirties – but basically music with a beat, a swingin', heavily underscored rhythm, more than lightly touched by a real feeling of the blues. It is a combination which is actually hypnotic in its swift-moving insistence; it is dance music such as this country has not heard since the halcyon days when everyone was blowing loud and clear. It is music for cat dancers only – although, needless to say, even the cats who don't dance will welcome these bold, brassy notes. And, on the chance you're not up on your jazz parlance, a cat is anyone who digs the righteous stuff, and a cat dancer, not someone dressed in feline disguise, but a cat who can make his feet move with music.

Up from the South this music came. For, like jazz – of which it is at least a cousin – it is basically of Negro stock. For a good many years this type of music has blanketed the southern reaches of the country where, incidentally, it has long outshone the more common type of pop ballad and lush instrumental. But, in line with the experimentation which has been occupying the popular music field, rhythm-blues material has become increasingly called upon as dance music – it has, in fact, been taken over by such as Buddy Morrow and transformed into popular dance hits. Here, in the the talented hands of Harry Geller, is an entire album of music for cat dancers, an album with an infectious beat, an album that rocks and swings and rocks some more.

In case you haven't been browsing through your Hot Discography lately, it's important to know that Harry Geller has been associated with some of the top swingin' bands of all time. He played first trumpet and arranged for Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw and Glenn Miller, among others, and is now not only an orchestra leader of real distinction but a recording director as well. His downbeat, as is evidenced by the selections in this album, is sure and solid, the kind that can swing the most lethargic of cats. Whether Harry is pounding out Take It All, Rock-O-Joy or Zonk, the cats are movin'. But in reality, this is not restricted merely to cats, for in the midst of this kind of music, everybody's swingin'.

Much to the chagrin of those who have been championing vociferous vocalism, music with a beat is returning. In the teen-age malt shop, in coke bars and hamburger joints – in fact, in every location where there is a phonograph or juke box and the younger set congregates, there is an increasing expenditure of energy and nickels for the kind of music to be heard in this album. And, at that, it's not very surprising. There are no emotional problems to cope with – except one of overpowering hypnosis – nothing to do by abandon oneself to the joys of the moment.

Cats, of course, are not restricted to those of teen-age propensities; anyone can be a cat. All that is required is the outlook of youth, a willingness to stop and listen, a delight in being swung. For, although this is music for cat dancers only, its real secret is that it is equally valid, equally enjoyable as pure listening. And, man, if you can't dance to it, let's see you try to keep your feet still! – Jack Lewis and Bill Zeitung

Please Don't Take
Stacker Lee
The Cats Walk
Ballin' Boogie
Pink Champagne
Take It All

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Something Else - Shirley Bassey


Bridge Over Troubled Water

Shirley Bassey
Something Else
Arranged, Produced & Conducted by Johnny Harris
Executive Producer: Noel Rogers
Engineer: Ed Offord assisted by Alan Hunter
Catered by Pauline Gorman
Miss Bassey's gowns by Douglas Darnel
Encouraged by Segio Novak
Recorded at Admission Studios, London
Sleeve Designed by Art Direction
United Artist Records UAS-6797

From Billboard - July 24, 1971: This strong program of artistic as well as highly commercial performances of some of today's top songs serves as a potent chart topper of her recent "Is Really Something" LP. With super support from the Johnny Harris arrangements, the stylist brings her own unique and exceptional touch to such as "Pieces Of Dreams," "Love Story," "Until It's Time For You To Go," and "Breakfast In Bed."

(Where Do I Begin) Love Story from Paramount pictures "Love Story"
Till Love Touches Your Life (Theme from the motion picture "Madron")
Easy Thing To Do
Until It's Time For You To Go 
It's Impossible (Somos Novas)
What's Done Is Done
Pieces Of Dreams (from the United Artists motion picture "Pieces Of Dreams")
Breakfast In Bed
Excuse Me
Bridge Over Trouble Water
I'm Not There
I'd Like To Hate Myself In The Morning (And Raise A Little Hell Tonight)

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Shirley Bassey Is Really Something


Spinning Wheel

Shirley Bassey Is Really Something
Produced by Johnny Harris & Tony Colton
Executive Producer: Noel Rogers
Art Direction: Frank Gauna
United Artists STEREO UAS 6765

Spinning Wheel
Yesterday I Heard The Rain
Sea And Sand
My Way
What About Today?
You And I
Light My Fire
Easy To  Be Hard
Life Goes On
What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?
Yesterday When I Was Young (Hier Encore)

College Songs - All-American Collegiate Choir


For Boston

College Songs In Hi-Fi
All-American Collegiate Choir
Parade Records SP 314

Notre Dame Victory March
By Cayuga's Water
For Boston
Sweetheart Of Sigma Chi
Little Brown Jug
Old Nassau
Oh Wisconsin
Fair Harvard
Rambling Wreck From Georgia Tech
Gaudeamus Igitur
Landlord Fill The Flowing Bowl

Monday, May 13, 2024

Change Of The Century - Ornette Coleman



Change Of The Century
Ornette Coleman
Recording Engineer: Bones Howe
Cover Photo: Lee Friedlander
Supervision: Nesuhi Ertegun
Atlantic STEREO SD-1327

From the back cover: Some musicians say, if what I'm doing is right, they should never have gone to school.

I say, there is no single right way to play jazz. Some of the comments made about my music make me realize that the modern jazz, once so daring and revolutionary, has become, in many respects, a rather settled and conventional thing. The members of my group and I are now attempting to break-through to a new, freer conception of jazz, one that departs from all that is "standard" and cliché in "modern" jazz.

Perhaps the most important new element in our music is our conception of free group improvisation. The idea of group improvisation, in itself, is not an all new; it played a big role in New Orlean's early bands. The big bands of the swing period changed all that. Today, still, the individual is either swallowed up in a group situation, or else he is out front soloing, with none of the other horns doing anything but calmly waiting their turn for their solos. Even in some of the trios and quartets, which permit quite a bit of group improvisation, the final effect is one that is imposed beforehand by the arranger. One knows pretty much what to expect.

When our group plays, before we start out to play, we do not have any idea what the end result will be. Each player is free to contribute what he feels in the music at any given moment. We do not begin with a preconceived notion as to what kind of effect we will achieve. When we record, sometimes I can hardly believe that what I hear when the tape implied back to me, is the laying of my group. I am so busy and absorbed with I play that I am not aware what I'm doing at the time I'm doing it.

I don't tell the members of my gourd what to do. I want them to play what they hear in the piece of themselves. I let everyone express himself just as he wants to. The musicians have completely freedom, and so, of course, our final results depend entirely on the musicianship, emotional make-up and taste of the individual member. Ours is at all times a group effort and it is only because we have the rapport we do that our music takes on the shape that it does. A strong personality with a star-complex would take way from the effectiveness of our group, no matter how brilliantly he played.

With my music, as in the case with some of my friends who are painters, I often have people come to me and say, "I like it but I don't understand it". Many people apparently don't trust their reaction to art of to music unless there is a verbal explanation for it.

In music, the only thing that matters is whether you feel it or not. You can't intellectualize music; to reduce it analytically often is to reduce it to nothing very important. It is only in terms of emotional response that I can dundee water what we are doing is successful or not. If you are touched in some way, then you are in with me. I love to lay for people, and how they react affects my playing.

A question often asked of me is why I play a plastic alto. I bought it originally because I needed a new horn badly, and I felt I could not afford a new brass instrument. The plastic horn is less expensive, and I said to myself, "Better a new horn that one that leaks". After living with the plastic  horn, I felt it begin to take on my emotion. The tone is breathier than the brass instrument, but I came to like the sound, and I found the flow of music to be more compact. I don't intend ever to buy another brass horn. On this plastic horn I feel as if I am continually creating my own sound.

From Billboard - June 6, 1960: Ornette Coleman, the alto sax man whose style has aroused violent debate, shows on this waxing that he has both imagination and taste, as well as a controversial style. This is the best album he has made to date, and tho there are many pretentious solos, there are also many smart, hip ones that are worth a listen. Coleman has much on the ball when he cares to show it. With The alto man are Don Cherry on trumpet, Charlie Haden on bass and Billy Higgins on drums. Best sides are "Ramblin," and "Una May Bonita."

The Face Of The Bass
Bird Food
Uma Muy Bonita
Change Of The Century

Benny Goodman & Paris Listen To The Magic


Under Paris Skies

Benny Goodman & Paris
Listen To The Magic
Produced by Loren Becker and Robert Byrne
Art Director: Daniel Pezza
Recording Engineer: C. R. Fine
Stereo and Monaural Mastering: George Piros
Command ABC Records STEREO RS 921 SD

From the inside (gatefold) cover: This is Benny Goodman complete. Every nuance of his clarinet technique and of his unique sound is heard with unblemished clarity. At times, the close-up reality of these recordings is almost incredible.

And this is the definitive Benny Goodman – Benny Goodman reorder to his own precise specifications. To achieve this, Command gave Goodman a completely free hand in the recording studio. Command's experienced engineering staff was placed at his disposal. Microphone set-ups, positioning of musicians, balances were all adjusted under Goodman's direction until he heard the sound exactly as he knew it should be.

The group that Benny leads is made up of musicians who are part of an inner core of men on which he draws whenever he puts a combo together. When they recorded these pieces, they were playing at the famous Rainbow Grill on the 65th floor of the RCA Building in New York, a room that looks out over a breathtaking view of Manhattan and the far hills of New Jersey.

Joe Newman, on trumpet, was one of the stars of the big band with which Goodman toured the U.S.S.R. He was in Count Basie's band all through the Nineteen Fifties until he settled in New York in 1961.

Urbie Green, on trombone, was added to Goodman's Rainbow Grill gourd for these recordings. He played with the Goodman band in the film, The Benny Goodman Story, and in 1957 led a touring version of the Goodman band. He earned his big band spurs in the 'Forties and 'Fifties with Gene Group and Woody Herman.

Bernie Leighton played piano in the Goodman band 'way back in 1940 and was also a member of the Goodman sextet then. Since then he has been a very active piano soloist in New York as well as a conductor and accompanist for numerous singer.

Attila Zoller, guitar, was born in Hungary and made a reputation in Europe as a jazz musician before coming the Untied States in 1959. He played for three years with Herbie Mann's group and has also led his own combos.

George Duvivier is acknowledged, but the demands for his services, to be one of the most brilliant bassists playing today. For many years he accompanied Lena Horne but for the past decade he has spent most of his time in New York as  busy freelance musician.

Joe Marshall is a drummer who has built an enviable reputation with several small groups, including Goodman's.

From Billboard - November 4, 1967: Benny Goodman's clarinet work is legendary and Command's sound technique gives it a potent reality. The package is pegged on the rhythm of Paris and Goodman is in his stride as he goes through "April In Paris," "I Love Paris," "Under Paris Skies" and others of equal delight.

How 'Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down On The Farm
Autumn Leaves
I Love Paris (from "Can Can")
A Man And A Woman (from the movie "A Man And A Woman")
C'est Magnifique (from "Can Can")
Petite Fleur (Little Flower)
I Wish You Love
C'est Si Bon
Under Paris Skies
I Will Wait For You I (from the movie "The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg")

Nat Cole At JATP



Nat Cole At JATP
Originally Produced under the Personal Supervision of Norman Granz
Recorded Live at a Jazz At The Philharmonic performance in July, 1944
A&R Research & Coordination: Jack Maher
Remastering Engineer: Dave Green
Director of Engineering: Val Valentin
Cover Art: Jon Henry
Art Direction: Acy Lehman
Design: Don Saffer & Bob Nastasi
VSP Verve VSP-14

Piano - Nat Cole
Tenor Saxophones - Jack McVea & Illinois Jacquet
Trombone - J. J. Johnson
Trumpet - Shorty Sherock
Guitar - Les Paul
Bass - Johnny Miller or Red Callender
Drums - Lee Young

From the back cover: Time will prove Nat King Cole to be one of the most talented and accomplished artists ever to work in the popular music field. His unique vocal talents were acclaimed not only by his many fans, but also by the vast majority of his fellow musicians and performers. But singing was only one of his accomplishments. Long before he devoted himself exclusively to singing, Nat Cole was one of the finest of jazz pianists. In this album you can hear a small sampling of that instrumental ability. The recordings heard in the LP were originally cut in July of 1944. This date coincides closely with the golden days when Nat Cole fronted his own trio and nightly exhibited his unique creativity at the keyboard, as well as his highly individual singing.

Since these recordings were originally cut and issued on 78 r.p.m. discs, their recording quality may not be up to today's standards. Modern electronic techniques, however, have been used to improve the sound and surface quality of this LP.

Tea For Two
Bugle Call Rag

Golden Award Songs - Werner Muller


Moonlight And Shadows

Golden Awards Songs 
Werner Muller and His Orchestra
Recorded by Deutsche Grammophon Polydor Series
Decca Records DL 78887

Memories Of You
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
Deep Purple
Moonlight And Shadows
Sunrise Serenade
Serenade In The Night
My Blue Heaven
Autumn Serenade 
Begin The Beguine
Mexicali Rose
Orchids In The Moonlight

Sunday, May 12, 2024

The Big Bay Band's Latin Beat - Francis Bay


Mambo No. 5

The Big Bay Band's Latin Beat
Featuring Tunes by Perez Prado and Others
Conducted by Francis Bay
Recorded Live at The Brussels World's Fair
Engineering and Artistic Direction by Peter Plum, Elite Musical Productions
Produced by Dave Hubert
Cover Photography by Ray Avery
Product Design by Leon McFadden
Omega Disk OSL 20

Mambo Jambo
Cherry Pink
Mambo No. 5
April In Portugal