Search Manic Mark's Blog

Monday, December 6, 2021

An Evening At The Pump Room - David Le'Winter

 

Un Besito Pa Tu Cachetico

An Evening At The Pump Room
With David Le'Winter and His Pump Room Orchestra
Columbia CL 6195 (10 inch LP)
1951

From the back cover: In Chicago's Hotel Ambassador East is one of the most sumptuous watering-places in the world, the distinguished and colorful Pump Room. Inspired by the fashionable eighteenth-century establishment at Bath, England, the Pump Room closely follows in spirit that notable rendezvous of the beau mode. With its rich, luxurious decor, the brilliantly costumed waiters and the constant flow of flaming viands on swords, the Pump Room creates an atmosphere of glamour and elegance that is hard to match anywhere.

To supply music for dancers and for diners, the Pump Room has engaged David Le'Winter and his Orchestra, who are now in their sixth year at the same spot. Few orchestras manage an engagement of that length at any location, much less at a place where the top names in every field of endeavor congregate. but the Le'Winter is now as much a part of the Pump Room tradition as are the blazing entrees carried by the turbaned waiters. Although his orchestra is small, it is versatile, with almost every member playing two or more instruments in the course of a single number. Moreover, David Le'Winter sees to it that, while his music is aimed primarily at the dancers who crowd the Pump Room's floor, there is plenty to interest non-dancers.

Against a temp that disguises the customary hotel-dance-music, he blends reeds, flutes and brass in a delectable series of arrangements. No orchestration in the books is without its share of arresting figures, strange and charming musical phrases, unexpected colorations. And besides, David Le'Winter knows exactly the sort of music Pump Room patrons prefer – music by Porter, Kern, Rodgers, Gershwin, all the fine show tunes. Interspersed with these number are goops of the famous Le'Winter Latin-American specialties which, in this collection, share equally with the old favorites.

Le'Winter's Latin-American piano runs through the exotic tunes over an irresistible rhythm base, maintaining the danceable tempo without losing the elemental excitement of a mambo or a rhumba.

The varied arrangements that form the Le'Winer style are the product of many years of musical training. As a boy he studied the violin at the age of seven, turning to the piano a year later. Later studies with famous classical masters crystalized his style, and in 1926 he formed his first orchestra for an engagement at the Crystal Ballroom in Chicago. From that time on, he has served in many capacities – as an orchestra leader, as an arranger, as a coach, composer, musical director and soloist. He was assistant musical director for two Kurt Weill shows, Lady In The Dark and One Touch Of Venus, and has appeared with the Boston Pops Orchestra and the NBC Symphony Orchestra. After notable work with entertainment units during the war, he again organized an orchestra and opened at the Pump Room for a brief engagement that has continued through six years and shows no signs of ending.

Love For Sale
All The Things You Are
Just One Of Those Things
You're The Cream In My Coffee
Cuban Mambo
Us Bestio
Pa Tu Cachetico
Mi Prieta
Mambo Negro

Rhapsody In Blue - International Philharmonic Orchestra

 

Rhapsody In Blue

George Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue
And Other Concert Favorites
The International Philharmonic Orchestra
TOPS L1536

Rhapsody In Blue
Grieg Concerto
Selections From Firefly 1 & 2
Flight Of The Bumble Bee
Concert Waltz In D Major
Sospan Fach

Chet Atkins In Hollywood

 

Estrellita

Chet Atkins In Hollywood
With Dennis Farnon and His Orchestra
Produced by Dick Peirce
Recorded in Hollywood, California
RCA Victor LIVING STEREO LSP-1993 RE (Reissue)
1961

From Billboard - June 1, 1959: The fine guitarist give another outstanding display of his talent. Performances are flawless and have the backing of Dennis Farnon and ork. Material, which was cut in Hollywood, includes "Armen's Theme," "Theme From 'Picnic'," "Limelight," "Greensleeves," "Santa Lucia" – which gives an idea of the board range.

Armen's Theme
Let It Be Me
Theme From "Picnic"
Theme From A Dream
Estrellita
Jitterbug Waltz
Little Old Lady
Limelight
The Three Bells
Santa Lucia
Greensleeves
Meet Mr. Callaghan

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Popular Favorites By Stan Kenton

 

Taboo

Popular Favorites By Stan Kenton
Capitol Records T421
1955

September Song
Delicado
Dynaflow
Love For Sale
Beehive
Francesca
Tenderly
Jump For Joy
Harlem Nocture
Taboo
Laura
Stardust

Tangos - Fred Astaire

 

Fuegoes Artificiales

Prefect For Dancing
Tangos
Produced and prepared under the direction of the Fred Astaire Dance Studios
Cover Photo by David Hecht
RCA Victor LPM-1068
1955

Blue Tango - Hugo Winterhalter and His Orchestra
Derecho Viejo - Emil Coleman and His Orchestra
La Cumparsita - Emil Coleman and His Orchestra
Cuando Llora La Milonga - Emil Coleman and His Orchestra
Inspiracion - Emil Coleman and His Orchestra
Nostalgia - Emil Coleman and His Orchestra
Ecstasy Tango - The Three Suns
Caminito - Emil Coleman and His Orchestra
A Media Luz - Emil Coleman and His Orchestra
Adios, Muchachos - Emil Coleman and His Orchestra
Contra Luz - Jaun D'Arienzo and His Orchestra
Fuegoes Artificiales - Jaun D'Arienzo and His Orchestra

Bing Sings Whilst Bergman Swings

 

Nice Work If You Can Get It

Bing Sings Whilst Bergman Swings
Verve Records MGV-2020
1956

From the back cover: By now, more than a quarter of a century has passed since the voice and the face of Harry Lillis "Bing" Crosby eased themselves snugly into the American consciousness. With this voice and face fitting together so agreeably the years have brought Crosby a curious position. He has become, as one critic phrased it, "a member of American royalty." There's a grain of truth in the observation since in our Republic we maintain no royalty  and as a result the more lasting celebrities must serve as crowned heads. In a harrowers sense, however, Crosby is less royalty than he is a kind of jug-eared, mellow-lunged Everyman set to song.

Of the two theories, Crosby himself yields more readily to the latter. In his autobiography, entitled "Call Me Lucky," Crosby expressed it this way: "I think that every man who sees one of my movies or who listens to my records or who hears me on the radio believes firmly that he sings as well as I do, especially when he sings in the bathroom shower. It's no trick for him to believe this because I have none of the mannerisms of a trained singer and I have very little voice. If I've achieved any success as a warbler it's because I've managed to keep the kind of naturalness in my style, my phrasing and my mannerisms which any Joe Doakes possess..."

For All his self-depreciation, Crosby's commoners is an illusion which punctures easily. Imitators of the Crosby sound can be found everywhere but on one yet sounds exactly like him. Joe Doakes – you and me – we have confidence in our bathroom baritones and we imagine we sound like Bing; actually we all sound like Joe Doakes. There is only one Bing Crosby and – the time has come now to face the issue squarely – he happens to be that unique, awesome creature, an artist. That is to say, an artist with no humbling ol' Frog in the Throat, as Billy Rose called him, as many things – genial troubadour, light comedian, glibly learned conferenciar, man about sports, even, in the last decade or so, an actor who can walk off with one Oscar (for "Goin' My Way") and very nearly cop another (for "Country Girl"). The races has been a slow one. Somewhere between the early 1930s (when Bing was singing "Mississippi Mud" with the Rhythm Boys) and the present we began to take this crooner less and less for granted. He does deserve some gratitude for single-handily making the word "crooner" less calculated to peel the skin. But never before, to my knowledge, has Bing Crosby ever won recognition for what he is, an artist. Perhaps we have waited too long.

Still, the word "artist" and Bing Crosby clasp hands only with a suspicious uneasiness. But then, the popular entertainer has been facing this dilemma since Shakespeare's day – when can the popular entertainer claim the mantle of artist" When do we dare cross the bridge? And yet this bridge for popularity with mere talent to popularity with art has been crossed before with no loss to anyone – no loss at all to the entertainer and for the public a gain of deeper awareness and a more profound appreciation of the entertainer's stature. As a parallel to Crosby, in American literature there is the bridge-crossing example of Ring Lardner, who wrote sardonic fables about ballplayers and was immensely popular. Lardner became an artist when the critics, in a flash of awe, suddenly discovered he actually was one – and everybody said then that they knew it all the time. Ring Lardner, Walt Disney, Cantinflas, Fred Astaire, Babe Ruth, Brando – not ordinary men, not merely popular entertainers, but artist.

It may be a little more than coincidence that while Lardner's major influence was Mark Twain, it was Bing's inevitably good fortune to be influenced by Louis Armstrong and Bix Beiderbecke, two of America's more conspicuously vital giants of the trumpet. The coincidence grows more interesting, however, when you remember that the three of them – Mark Twain, Louis, Bix – were all products of the Mississippi River culture, the American heartland. If Larder was, after Twain, the "most American" of our writers the voice of Harry Lillis Crosby is the most American of any singer's. This voice of Bing Crosby reflects America with poignant accuracy to foreigners and Americans alike and one reason might just be the very same Mississippi heartland echoes of Satchmo and Bix (and Mark Twain as well; one imagines Huckleberry Finn on his raft singing and the voice of Bing Crosby floating out over the Mississippi).

Our idolatries, in Whitney Balliett's phase, are often "either presumptuous of too late." There is no presumptuousness in calling Bing Crosby an artist and it is not too late for, after all, haven't we known it all the time?

Now, as for this album, which is Crosby's first on Verve imprint, it is also his first with such a thoroughly modern, swinging orchestra in accompaniment. The songs, moreover, are among those rare few that Bing has never before recorded, Buddy Bregman orchestrated the songs, conducted a hand-picked group of Hollywood's foremost musicians and – most important – conceived the idea in the first place. Although it is quite a musical package – muscular and tender, driving and romantic, pulsating and lyrical. For Bing Crosby, the artist, it is a somewhat different treatment to add to the many already on record and, as you will hear, an ingeniously varied and durable one.

From Billboard - October 20, 1956: This is Bing's first album on Verve, and he draws support from a modern, swinging group of musicians. The package contains a list of great tunes which Bing never recorded before; reason enough to make this attractive to the faithful. Tunes include "Mountain Greenery," "Blue Room," "Have You Met Miss Jones" and other great ones, most dating from the golden age of show music. Bregman orchestrated the songs brightly, and Bing sings them with his casual charm and technical perfection.

The Song Is You
Mountain Greenery
Check To Cheek
'Deed I Do
Heat Wave
The Blue Room
Have You Met Miss Jones?
I've Got Five Dollars
They All Laughed 
Nice Work If You Can Get It
September In The Rain
Jeepers Creepers

Thursday, December 2, 2021

David Rose - In A Mellow Mood - Vol. 1

 

Melody In F (Fontana)

In A Mellow Mood (from the back cover)
Memories Are Made Of These (disc label title)
David Rose - Vol.1
David Rose and His Orchestra - Side 1
Fontana and His Orchestra - Side 2
Palace M-614

I'll Take Romance
What Is There To Say
One Love
I'll Be Seeing You
Brahm's Lullaby
Melody In F
Chant Sana Parole
Songs My Mother Taught Me
Salut d'Amour
Santa Lucia

Gershwin's Porky And Bess - Leontyne Price & William Warfield

 

There's A Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon For New York

Great Scenes From Gershwin's Porgy And Bess
Leontyne Price & William Warfield
Conductor: McHenry Boatwright & Skitch Henderson (Skitch Henderson appears through the courtesy of Columbia Records)
Produced by Richard Mohr
RCA Victor Orchestra and Chorus
Chorus Director: Lenoard de Paur
RCA Victor Red Seal STEREO LSC-2679
1963

From the inside cover: Leontyne Price was gaining recognition as a superb interpreter of contemporary music during the months she was winning acclaim as Bess. The producers of Porgy and Bess arranged schedules to allow her to sing a number of recitals both here and abroad. Finally, in May 1954, she left the company and that fall made her formal New York debut.

Her ascent to the pinnacle of her profession was swift and studded with triumphs in the opera houses of San Francisco, Vienna and Chicago, at La Scala, Covent Garden, Salzburg and finally at the Metropolitan Opera where she made her debut in January 1961. The ultimate seal of success was stamped on her meteoric rise when she opened the Met's 1961-62 season as the star of Puccini's The Girl Of The Golden West.

"...in the rarefied craft of acting with the voice alone, she has few, – if any – equal's wrote a leading magazine.

William Warfield, one of today's great vocal artists, had made a highly successful New York debut, his first tour of Australia, and had been featured as Joe in MGM's Show Boat before starring in Porgy and Bess. His portrayal of the humble cripple was acclaimed in Europe and gain in New York during the 1961 revival. He toured Europe for our State Department again in 1955 as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra on its first Continental tour. The following year he made his third such trip – a recital tour through Africa, the Near East and Western Europe. In 1958 concerts took Warfield around the world twice. In between these tours as a cultural emissary, the baritone has won acclaim in countless concerts and recitals throughout the Americas and Europe, as De Lawd in the television production of Green Pastures, and as featured artist in recent Casals Festivals.

John W. Bubbles, or, as he is known to followers of vaudeville, just plain Bubbles, was Gershwin's choice to create the role of Sportin' Life. "Many people questioned my choice of a vaudeville performer for an operatic role," wrote Gershwin, "but on the opening night they cheered Bubbles," A vaudevillian for more than forty years, he is still active in show business, not only on the vaudeville circuit but also as a frequent guest on TV's "Tonight" show.

McHenry Boatwright was eductated at the New England Conservatory, taking first a degree in piano and then returning to take one in voice. Launched by a command performance for President Eisenhower and an appearance on the Ed Sullivan show, the baritone made his concert debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1958. Since then he was won acclaim not only in this country but also in the Far East and in Europe, which he toured for the first time in 1961.

Skitch Henderson is equally at home in any type of music, be it Gershwin, Brucker or boogie-woogie;  be it for records, concert or television. At present Henderson, who is Music Director of NBC, is in charge of music for the "Tonight"show. He also composes a great deal for other television shows and is active as a guest conductor with leading symphony orchestras throughout the United States and Canada, in England and on the Continent.

Leonard de Paur has won wide recognition in music, notably as a conductor and arranger. He is probably best known as the founder-director of the de Paur Infantry Chorus which, during the years 1946-57, gave more than one thousand concerts in the United States, Canada, Europe, South America and the Orient. He is currently at work on a recorded anthology of America Negro folk music and is organizing a tour with the newly formed de Paur Chorus

From Billboard - September 21, 1963: One of the most exciting albums in Victor's fall release. Price and Warfield are at the top of their powers in an intense realization of this history-making Gershwin score. Supporting roles are dramatically portrayed by John W. Bubbles ("Sportin' Life) and McHenry Boatwright (Crown). Skitch Henderson conducts.

Act I
Introduction
Summertime
A Woman Is Some Thing
Gone, Gone, Gone

Act II
I Got Plenty Of Nuttin'
Bess, You Is My Woman
It Ain't Necessarily So
What You Want Wid Bess?
I Loves You, Porgy

Act III
There's A Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon For New York
Oh Bess, Oh Where's My Bess
Oh Lawn, I'm On My Way

77 Sunset Strip - Warren Barker

 

Caper At The Coffee House

77 Sunset Strip
Music From This Year's Most Popular New TV Show
Musical Direction: Warren Barker in association with Warner Bros. Star Instrumentalists
Produced by Warner Bros. for the ABC-TV Network
Warner Bros. Records W 1289
1959

77 Sunset Strip
Late At Bailey's Pad
I Get A Kick Out Of You
Cleo's Theme
Caper At The Coffee House
You Took Advantage Of Me
77 Sunset Strip Cha Cha
Kookie's Caper
The Stu Bailey Blues
Lover Night On The Strip
If I Could Be With You
Swingin' On The Strip

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Piano Moods - Colortone

 

Valse Oubliee

Piano Mood
16 Of The Best Love Keyboard Treasures
Jeanne Therrien at the Keyboard
Colortone C33-4919

Minuet
Marche Militaire 
La Cinquantanine
Blue Danube
Humoresque
Dancing Doll
Song Of India
The Minute Waltz
Waltz In C-Sharp
Valse Oubliee
Sonata In C Major
Prelude In G Major
Malaguena
Prelude In A Minor
Prelude In D Minor