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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Gamelan Music Of Bali

Gamelan Music Of Bali
Lyrichord LLST-7179

I'm not sure when this record was released, but it continues to be available from Lyrichord on CD and by the download although the cover art has changed.

To me the music sounds like many multi-colored glass bottles swirling around in a twister, smashing into one another until they explode into a thousand pieces of light.

For a more intellectual explanation of Gamelan music check out this wiki page.

Legend Of The Sun Virgin - Yma Sumac

Legend Of The Sun Virgin
Yma Sumac
Music By Moises Vivanco
Capitol T 299

Legend Of The Sun Virgin
Yma Sumac
Music By Maises Vivanco
Capitol SM 299

A Capitol ad in the September issue of Billboard, 1952 listed this and Sumac's Virgin Of The Sun God as "Best Selling Popular Albums".

Karibe Taki
Witallia! (Fire In The Andes)
Kon Tiki
No Es Vida
Kuyaway (Inca Love Song)
Suray Surita
Cory Canastitay

Look, I'm Doing The Cha - Cha! - Bobby Madera and his Orchestra

Mambo Inn
Look, I'm Doing THe Cha-Cha!
Bobby Madera and his Orchestra
ABC-Paramount ABC-123

Great space age cover art featuring music that reflects the playfulness of the graphic.

According to the jacket notes, this was "Bobby's first ABC-Paramount album as leader of his own Latin-American Orchestra". Also from the notes, Madera was a trumpeter, arranger and composer who comes from Baltimore, Maryland. I'm assuming that Madera is also doing the hot vocal chores on the album.

Aside from the jacket notes and a few online references to this album, I can't locate any more information on Madera. Madera does a hot cover of Mambo Inn, a tune that became a Latin standard, written in 1952 by Mario Bauza, Grace Samson and Bobby Woodlen.

Sid Feller produced the album. Feller also produced records for Paul Anka, Eydie Gorme and Steve Lawrence on ABC-Paramont.

Tangos For Romance - Carmen Cavallaro

Orchids In The Moonlight
Tangos For Romance
Carmen Cavallaro
Decca Records DL 5407

An eye popping cover graces this early Decca 10 inch 33 RPM. Carmen spent 2 decades with Decca as of 1961 and produced a ton of stuff for the company.

Rhumba Favorites - Al Stefano and his Orchestra

Taboo & Jungle Drums
Rhumba Favorites
Al Stefano and His Orchestra
Golden Tone C4049

Al Stefano was apparently a keyboard player who made at least several albums. There are both piano and organ numbers featured on this LP.

This LP has an interesting sound as if it was recorded in an overly large room with acoustics that created echo.

The organ numbers have a "percussion" somewhat like Korla Pandit's work.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Naked City - Jack Costanzo

African Waltz (Mono)
Theme From A Summer Place (stereo)
Naked City
Jack Costanzo and his Orchestra
Liberty LRP 3195 (monaural)
LST 7195 (stereo)

August 21, 1961 edition of Billboard gave this Costanzo release a 4 star rating calling the album "Fine jockey wax."

Costanzo's nickname, according to his wiki page, is Mr. Bongo. Born 1922, he may still in fact be working as I post this information. He toured with Stan Kenton and played with Nat King Cole.

Terrific, driving Latin beat big band pop covers of some of your favorite period tunes.

Theme From Route 66
Duel In The Sun
Baubles, Bangles & Beads
Mr. Lucky
African Waltz
Naked City Theme
Theme From A Summer Place
The Third Man Theme
Theme From Carnival
Theme From The Untouchables
Peter Gunn

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Guitar Galaxies - George Barnes

La Paloma
Guitar Galaxies
George Barnes
Recording Director: Hal Mooney
Engineer: Phil Ramone of the A&R Recording, Inc., New York, N.Y.
Mercury SR 60956 & PPS 6011


Electric and Straight Guitars: George Barnes, Don Arnone, Allen Hanlon, Everett Barksdale, Al Caiola, Al Cassamenti, Art Ryerson, Barry Galbraith, Carl Kress (played rhythm only)
Bass Guitars: Billy Bauer and John Pizzarelli
Piano and Celeste: Andrew Ackers
Xylophones and Marimbas: Milt Schlesinger and Phil Kraus
String Bass: Cliff Leeman
Bongos: Willie Rodriquez
Tympani on When Yuba Plays The Rhumba On The Tuba: Milt Schlesinger
Chromatic Bongos on When Yuba Plays The Rhumba On The Tuba: Phil Kraus
Baritone Ukuleles on Tequila: Barry Galbraith and John Pizzarelli
Tenor Ukulele on Tequila: Art Ryerson
Timbales, Maracas, Tambourine and Casabas (gourd with beads): Miscellaneous Personnel

The same set appears to have been released featuring two different cover designs, the second example is a substantial book-fold (PPS 6011) which was released in 1961.

From the inside cover: About George Barnes

One of George Barnes' chief aims in life has been to establish the guitar as a solo instrument as acceptable to music listeners as a trumpet, clarinet, or saxophone. This does not mean that he advocates the removal of the instrument from the rhythm section; he would prefer to see musical organizations using a solo guitar and a rhythm guitar. When playing with a group, guitarist Barnes frequently switches back and forth between solo and rhythm work.

Over the years Barnes' life since 1927 when he reached the age of six and was playing the piano. His home town, Chicago Heights, Illinois, was hard hit by the depression in 1931 and his father, who had been teaching him to play, was forced to exchange the piano for groceries. Undaunted, the ten-year-old lad searched his house until he found an old battered guitar his mother had given his father for a Christmas present many years before. Young Barnes was soon supplementing the family income with funds derived from playing at social functions in the neighborhood.

At the tender age of twelve, Barnes joined the musicians union so that he could work professionally with a trio in Hammond, Indiana. He sat strumming his guitar in a cabaret while other kids his age were sleeping. It was not long before a quartet was organized under Barnes' direction known as The Hill Toppers. They took to the road and for four years played the midwest country fair circuit.

It was in 1935 that Barnes learned to play the blues so well he was invited to accompany famous blues singing stars on record dates. His uncredited playing was heard on many of the old 78 rpm discs made by The Yas Was Girl, Blind John Davis, and Memphis Minnie. This activity in the blues field introduced him to the jazz world and in February 1939 he was presented as a guitar soloist at the Off-Beat club in Chicago. He was an immediate sensation on a bill that included some of the biggest names in jazz.

Barnes' ability to play, not only jazz, but any kind of music was soon noticed and in December 1939 he joined the staff of the National Broadcasting Corporation in Chicago. His guitar was a feature of the famous radio show, Plantation Party, for three years.

During the war, Barnes served with the army intelligence unit at the Pentagon, where his trained ear made him proficient in the tricky business of intercepting enemy code messages. He spent his furloughs in New York City sitting-in with any musical group that lacked a guitar and was willing to have one.

When he received his discharge in 1945, he returned to Chicago and found a good job waiting for him at the American Broadcasting Company studios. He organized an octet with an unusual instrumentation that approached symphonic proportions, less the strings. His eight players by doubling had at their disposal the clarinet, bass clarinet, bass saxophone, alto saxophone, English horn, oboe, flute, piccolo, piano, vibraphone, bass, and drums. Barnes, leading the group with his guitar, was responsible for the novel and interesting arrangements of well known melodies. The octet became a regular three times weekly feature over ABC radio until late 1951 when Barnes decided to move to New York City to free lance in the radio, television and recording fields. For the past decade he has been a much-in-demand artist, whose services are frequently called upon in the areas of guitar composition, arranging, and playing.

Barnes' unique organizational talents as evidenced by his Chicago octet make him an ideal leader for Guitar Galaxies. Using Latin tunes and the modern techniques of stereophonic recording, Barnes has produced a startling array of sound combinations. He has artistically and mechanically developed unique effects using a wide variety of percussive instruments to complement the tones derived from the eleven guitars. The familiarity of the standard Latin tunes selected adds melodic shading to the overall percussion sound. – George Hoefer, Associate Editor, Down Beat Magazine

Billboard review for the 1961 release: Another in the new Mercury Perfect Presence sound series, this admittable set features the great guitaring of George Barnes, abetted by an ensemble of melody guitars, with assorted percussion instruments. Things are largely keyed to a Latin beat, which lends an admirable showcasing for the percussion elements. Tunes include "Tequila," "Anna" and "Lady In Red." Excellent sound with an eye-catching, tastefully done cover of three latin dolls. Classy merchandise.

When Yuba Plays The Rumba On The Tuba
Bim Bam Boom
Cuban Pete
Lady In Red
Mama Inez
Linda Mujer
La Paloma
Anna (El Negro Zum Bon)
Orchids In The Moonlight

Let's Dance With Panchito And His Orchestra

Dark Angels
Let's Dance!
Panchito And His Orchestra
Hanf Records, Toledo, Ohio

A small and obscure label located in Toledo, Ohio produced this equally obscure big band Afro-Cuban record.

According to the jacket notes, Panchito worked with Isham Jones, Xavier Cugat and Lang Thompson. Other then the jacket notes, I can't find much information on Panchito.

Also from the back cover: "In the Middle-west he is recognized by the finest dancers as having one of the truly danceable orchestras."

Apparently "Hanf Records" is Mr. and Mrs. Hanf (as pictured on the back cover). They were professional dancers and published this record to cater to folks interesting in Latin dance. I have no idea how they acquired the music or if they had Panchito record for them.

Korla Pandit's - Musical Gems

Korla Pandit's
Musical Gems
Vita Records VLP-12

This is a outstanding Pandit 10 inch 33 RPM LPs. The record kicks off with a fabulous spacey version of The Breeze And I. Great stuff from the magical and mystical Korla Pandit!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Korla Pandit - The Grand Moghul Suite

Selections From Korla Pandit's
The Grand Moghul Suite
Vita Records VLP-10

This is a 10 inch 33 rpm sporting a great jacket. Apparently this release also came in red vinyl.

This is great percussive organ music featuring the magic and mystical Pandit touch.

I Love - Norrie Paramor and his Orchestra

My First Romance
Norrie Paramor And His Orchestra
I Love
Essex Ultraphonic ESLP-102

Here's a great 10 inch 33 album cover from a run of records released by Essex, a label own by the Miller International Company. The unsuccessful label was active from 1951 into 1956. Many covers featured these great cheese cake images.

Apparently Paramor made an interesting album, that I have yet to acquire, titled In London In Love that featured soprano Patricia Clark, singing brief snatches of wordless vocals. He also produced the first British Rock & Roll single, "Teach You To Rock" by Tony Crombie and his Rockets.

I Love - Monty Kelly and his Orchestra and Chorus

Monty Kelly And His Orchestra
I Love
Essex Ultraphonic ESLP-106

Here's a great 10 inch 33 album cover from a run of records released by Essex, a label own by the Miller International Company. The unsuccessful label was active from 1951 into 1956. Many covers sported great cheese cake images.

This release features some great light pop from Kelly, a staff arranger David Miller who was hired to work on 101 Strings.

Some of the better tracks from this album are available online for purchase by download. Crosswinds wasn't one of them, so I post the track as a sample here. I think you'll agree this is a very cool track and the only song on this release to feature a solo vocalist.

I Love - Ray Martin And His Concert Orchestra

Ray Martin And His Orchestra
I Love
Essex Ultraphonic ESLP-105

Here is a great 10 inch album cover from a run of records released by Essex, a label owned by the Miller International Company. The unsuccessful label was active from 1951 into 1956. Many covers sported great cheese cake images.

Ray Martin was noted for light pop arrangements and created a legacy for himself in British popular music during the 1950s. He was a producer on the EMI label. Here is his wiki page.