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Sunday, July 12, 2020

Among The Stars - Renee Raff

Among The Stars
Among The Stars
Renee Raff
Arranged and Conducted by Billy Byers
Executive Producer: Herman D. Gimbel
Produced by Barry D. Oslander
Engineer: Phil Macy
Re-Mixing Engineer: William Hamilton
Cover Art: Charles Blodgett
Liner Notes: Sara Cassey
Audio Fidelity Stereodisc AFSD 6142

Jacket cover photographed in front of the Al Hirshfeld mural at the Fifth Avenue Cinema, N.Y.C.

Audio Fidelity Records produced and released the world's first Stereophonic High Fidelity record (Stereodisc) in November 1957.

From the back cover: "There are lots of girl singers, but very few who sing." Renee Raff is a girl who sings, and sings very well indeed.

Although this is her initial album, there is a wealth of music to suit the desires of those who search after singing riches, and one important reason why is the innate sense of musicianship which Miss Raff displays throughout. Unquestionably, this is due in part to her academic background - first piano lessons at age seven; piano and voice training... Royal College of Music, London; jazz piano, Julliard School of Music with John Mehegan.

If some selections hare are refreshingly new to you, it was a deliberate plot. In the album's planning stages, it was first decided to use six standard and six originals, but the original material submitted was so perfect for Miss Raff's talents, that eight were used (Several others were turned down, reluctantly.) The Material covers a wide range, from sophisticated Noel Coward, to jazzman Gerry Mulligan with lyrics, to Jan Piereweit, a South African (Miss Raff's home) folk song.

Arranger Billy Byers has made subtle use of the fact that Miss Raff is an obviously jazz-oriented performer. His inventive arrangements have left ample room for delivery while sustaining the mood of each tune, whether soft ballad, or swinging up-tempo. The musicians, too, provide the framework to enhance this feeling; consider the solid support of Ossie Johnson and Milt Hinto, the flawless piano of Hank Jones (Starting Tomorrow) or the shining flute obligatos of Jerome Richardson (Let There Be Love). A splendid voice in a splendid setting.

Starting Tomorrow
Let There Be Love
In The Interim
Willow Weep For Me
Jan Pierewiet
Please Don't Leave Me
Among The Stars
He Lied
Mad About The Boy
April's Fool
Little Girl Blue
Butterfly With Hiccups

Swedish Modern Jazz - Arne Domnerus

Round About Midnight
Swedish Modern Jazz
Arne Domnerus and His Group
Recorded in Sweden
RCA Camden CAL-417

From the back cover: When the jazz world's attention was directed toward Sweden by Hasselgard's talent, one of the first major figures it encountered was Arne Domnerus who has maintained his position throughout the Fifties as one of the top three jazzmen in a country brimming with able jazz musicians. Domnerus began playing alto saxophone when he was a teenager (he was born in Stockholm in 1924) and one of his earliest experiences was in a young amateur band which included Rolf Ericson, a trumpeter, who has played with Woody Herman and Charlie Barnet; Simon Brehm, who became a pioneer Swedish bass star; and pianist Gosta Theselius (who arranged the two full band selections in this collection). By the time he was seventeen, Domnerus was leading a band in a restaurant in a small town in Laland, possibly the most frigid apprenticeship that any potential jazz star has undergone.

For the next ten years he was heard in various Swedish bands playing both alto and clarinet. When he formed his own band in 1951, one of his sidemen was old colleague Ericson; another was baritone saxophonist Lars Gullin who has since become, with Domnerus and pianist Bengt Hallberg, one of the most widely hailed Swedish jazzmen. Despite a rising tide of able young Swedish jazz musicians, Domnerus has held his place as the country's finest alto saxophonist, attested by the fact that for seven successive years he has been the winer on that instrument in the annual poll for the Swedish All Stars.

In these selections, Donmnerus is heard on alto saxophone in all but three instances (Relax, Lady Be Good and Creole Love Call on which he plays the clarinet). In his early days, when the alto was his only instrument, his style was patterned on the smooth, sweeping flow of Benny Carter. Later he fell strongly under the influence of Charlie Parker but now, as these performances show (the first side was made in 1957, the second in 1956), he has evolved an extremely effective fusion of Parker and Carter which is thoroughly in the vein of the general swing-cum-modern feeling of Swedish jazz as a whole.

From Billboard - April 28, 1958: Domnerus displays his talented way with alto sax, augmenting the quartet of Side 1 to a provocative septet on Side 2. "Frenesi," "Blue Moon" and "Gone With The Wind" stand out, with $1.98 tag a lure. Recorded in Sweden, sound is excellent.

Topsy Theme
For Dave
Lady Be Good
Round About Midnight
Blue Moon
I Got Rhythm
Didn't You Know I Care
Gone With The Wind
Take The "A" Train
Creole Love Call

Sentimental Journey - Florrie Parrish & John Louis Kell

Sentimental Journey
Sentimental Journey
Florrie Parrish & John Louis Kell
Cover Artist: Wally Metts
Engineer: Grover Dunn
Sonora Records LP-SR-132-1170
Sonora Sound Productions - Chattanooga, Tennessee

Organist ("Jail Story"): Betty Mosley
Guitarist: Dewell Everett
Pianist ("Sentimental Journey"): Betty Mosley

Vocal Background on "Ninety and Nine":
Mrs. Betty Jones
JoAnn Ezell
Irene Day
David Knight
John Louis Kell

Organ: Maner Music Co.

From the back cover: On this album, all the unwritten rules that have apparently governed the success of long-play albums have been broken. We have mixed religious, country, popular and patriotic songs together. The selections are longer than usual and are unedited. On Side A you will hear what has kept an old lady whose head has been busted five different times and who has has very little hair on her head, who has missed five funerals in her immediate family, still smiling. If you listen closer, I am sure that you will discover Florrie's favoritisms song. It is worth the price of this album.

Introduction - John Kell
Sentimental Journey
Amazing Grace
Jail Story
Scarlet Ribbons
There'll Always Be An Englan
Ball Game
Prayer Meeting
Ninety And Nine
Evening Prayer

Sleepy People - Claude Thornhill

Sleepy Serenade
Claude Thornhill and His Orchestra
Cover Photo: Milton H. Greene
Design Records DLP 50

From the back cover: The era of the "big bands" in America developed many fine young bandleaders and many original musical styles. None was easier to dance to, more pleasant to listen to and in better taste than the music of Claude Thronhill. Word that Claude's band was at the Glen Island Casion in New Rockelle, New York, then the cradle of the most popular bands in America, was enough to draw teen agers and older folks alike from as far away as Philadelphia to the smart rendezvous. Unlike so many other orchestras of that day, Thornhill had developed a style that was completely unique. It was the practice of many new musical organizations to pattern their style after that of the then "king" of popular dance music, Glenn Miller. Thornhill dared to be different. In doing so, he developed a style and sound that became known throughout the nation as "one finger piano." His smooth blending of reeds and mellow trombones modulated against the mildly etherial tinkle of an almost muted piano presented a sound that was once described as "musical Aphrodisiac." Thousand of dancers came to dance and fall in love to the siren call of the melliferous tones wafted from the bandstand. Claude, a brilliant arranger in his own right, also staffed men like the highly versatile and talented Jack Olsen to produce the sound that captured the heart of dancing America. We have attempted, in this album, to offer the very best of the Thornhill melodies. "Snowfall" a Thornhill composition, is also his theme song. Many consider it the most beautiful of all orchestra themes. – Roy Freeman

Sleep Serenade
Night And Day
Love Tales
Where Or When
Polka Dots And Moonbeams
Early Autumn
Lover Man

Friday, July 10, 2020

Spanish Eyes - Xavier Cugat

Bang Bang
Spanish Eyes
Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra
Photography: Hal Buksbaum
Vocalion, A Product of Decca Records
A Division of MCA Inc.
VL 73910

Spanish Eyes
Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars (Corcovado)
Theme from "Zorba The Greek"
Love Me With All Your Heart (Cuando Calienta El Sol)
La Playa (Aruba) (La Plage)
Cu-Cu-Rru-Cu-Cu Palmoa
Bang Bang

Gay Gordons - Jim Cameron

2nd Gay Gordons
Gay Gordons
Jim Cameron and His Scottish Country Dance Band
London Records TW 91213

2nd Gay Gordons
Scottish Waltz
Ladies' Fancy
Canadian Three-Step
BlueBell Polka
Waltz Country Dance
Grand March
Irish Whispers
Boston Two-Step
Green Grow The Rushes
The Punch Bowl

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

From Natchez To Mobile - River Boat Five

St. Louis Blues
From Natchez To Mobile
River Boat Five
Mercury Records
Custom High Fidelity
MG 20378


Ed Reed - Clarinet
Wray Thomas - Trombone
Jim Lunsford - Drums
Ed Tedder - Tuba
Ted Butterman - Cornet
Dargan Fitch - Banjo
Keller Merck - Piano

The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise
Yellow Dog Blues
Twelfth Street Rag
St. Louis Blues
Sing Sing Sing (With A Swing)
Colonel Bogey
Lazy River

Monday, June 29, 2020

Instant Brubeck - Dave Brubeck

Brother, Can You Spare A Dime
Instant Brubeck
Dave Brubeck
Formerly titled "Brubeck Time" (CL 622)
Cover Art: Nick Fascianto
Cover Photo: Sandy Speiser
Manufactured by Columbia Records, Inc.
Harmony HS 11253

Jeepers Creepers
Pennies From Heaven
Why Do I Love You
Stompin' For Mili
Keepin' Out Of Mischief
A Fine Romance
Brother, Can You Spare A Dime

Espana Vol. II - Ataulfo Aurenta

First Movement - Pastorella (Allegro)
The Music Of Spain
Espana Vol. II
Ernesto Halffter
Ataulfo Argenta
Orquesta Nacional De Espana
London Records CM 9233

The original catalog numbers were obscured by overprinting on both the front and back of the jacket.

From the back cover: Halffer's "Minor Symphony" is the last recording conducted by Ataulfo Argenta. For this reason this record gains a new and valuable meaning. The Spanish conductor, one of the central figures amongst contemporary musicians, has a meteoric rise to fame which spread all over Europe. The principle European Orchestras knew the genius and standards of the master who disappeared while still in his youth when a future of the greatest brilliance awaited him. Rarely has such unanimous regret been felt at the loss of not just a musician, but of a person who combined minute detour with popular enthusiasm. The history of conducting in Spain closes one of the most beautiful chapters with Argenta's death, certainly that with the most world-wide resonancy in the field of recording. God has wished that this final chapter has Spanish tones of morning freshness. When the "Minor Symphony" was presented for the first time the critics in Spain and outside could not find better praises for this music so full of light and hope than the poetic and classical "Spring". – Enrique Franco

Canzoni Americane Cantate In Italiano - Nora Orlandi

Il Vento Sa - The Breeze And I
Canzoni Americane Cantate In Italiano
Nora Orlandi & Her Ensemble
American Hits Sung In Italian
Recorded under the direction of D. L. Miller
Audio Mix: Dr. Eric Beurmann
Cover Design: Chic Laganella
An Alshire Production
Manufactured by Budget Sound, Inc.
Audio Spectrum AS-1011

Colazine Da Tiffany - Moon River
Polvere Di Stelle - Stardust
Nel Blu, Di Pinto Di Blu - Volare
Il Vento Sa - The Breeze And I
Se Tu Dovrai Lasciarmi - Bill Bailey
Arcobaleno - Over The Rainbow
Manhattan - Manhattan
Vorrei Danzar Con Te - I Could Have Danced All Night
Uno A Te, Uno A Me - Never On Sunday
L'Amore E Una Cosa Meravigliosa - Love Is A Many Splendored Thing
Insieme A Te - When The Saints Go Marching In
Illusione - Deep Purple