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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Bossa Nova Guitar - Paulinho Nogueira

Joao Valentao
Bossa Nova Guitar
Paulinho Hogueira
Hamilton - Division of Dot HLP 12157

Paulinho Nogueira was a virtuosic musician who adapted a Brazilian feel to sophisticated acoustic guitar (violão) playing. He is distinctive for not having been influenced by jazz, as most popular Brazilian virtuosos have been. His playing was often reckless during his samba renditions, but he had a special bent on the ancient Brazilian musical tradition of doleful, tender, delicate interpretations, in which altered chords don't play a significant role. He recorded 27 solo albums and toured throughout the world, playing his violão for 50 years. Read more on Nogueira's Billboard page.

Several tracks have bits of vocal chorus inserted as accents and there are other 60s flourishes that help anchor the record in space age sound. The engineering is very good for a budget label.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Brazilian Jazz - Bossa Nova - Marco Rizo

One Note Samba
Brazilian Jazz
Bossa Nova
Sonido de Marco Rizo
Somerset SF-18800

Somerset is known for budget records even though the label did manage to release a number of great recordings including this one.

From the back cover: Rizo... "was arranger/conductor for the "I Love Lucy" show."

There is a decent amount of material online about Rizo. Visit his wiki page or which, I believe, is a site maintained by his sister Vilma. The link is to a page on which CDs by Rizo are available for purchase.

Supercussion - Dick Schory's Percussion Pops Orchestra

Dick Schory's Percussion Pops Orchestra
RCA Victor LSP-2613

This is the third RCA LP that I've found that was apparently created by RCA to promote "Dynagroove" technology. I'm unsure if the promotion did much to promote Dynagroove because the music, although "nice"... seemed dated for the time and that RCA's attempt to show off the engineering, by forcing the high and low end of the audio, made the music seem unnatural.

However this record in the promotion is not like the other albums. While RCA, again presses the dynamic envelope, the percussion approach on this project totally works. In fact, it all works. The cool music is a blend of percussion, swing jazz, easy listening and space age sound. Dynagroove done right!

Hot Line For Sound

Taste Of Honey
Hot Line For Sound
Musical Explorations In Beats... Bongos... Boffs
Bob & Phil And The Orchestra
Enoch Light Presents
Project 3 Total Sound PR5002SD

I'm not sure what definition of "Boff" Light had in mind... "blow, punch"?

Out of all the Light records I've blogged so far, this may be the coolest 60's cheese filled entry. The project may actually lack the beats, bongos and boffs as advertised, but there are lots of ping pongs to go around. Side two features a few smooth and jazzy tracks.

There is a cover of Michelle (J. Lennon, P. McCartney) on this album that is good fun. It was hard to choose a sample for you. I had to go with Taste Of Honey, (R. Marlow, B. Scott). The twisted organ notes featured on the track are pretty cool. From the jacket notes: This instrument played is a Lowery Organ – an unusual new instrument that permits glissandi and bent notes. In the second chorus Tony Mottola is heard on guitar, playing intervals musicians refer to as Oriental fifths, supported by what arranger Lew Davies evocatively describes as "stabs" from the organ on the right.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Suddenly It's The Hi Lo's

Suddenly It's The Hi Lo's
Orchestra Under The Direction Of Frank Comstock
Columbia CL 952

I'm not much for group harmony, but The Hi Lo's stuff seems forward looking and may possibly have had some influenced on The Manhattan Transfer.

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
Life Is Just A Bowl Of Cherries
Deep Purple
My Sugar Is So Refined
Brahms' Lullaby
The Desert Song
Stormy Weather
I Married An Angel
The Old Ox Road
Love Walked In
Basin Street Blues

Moon River Revisited - Lee Erwin - Emery Theater

Moon River Revisted
Lee Erwin At The Mighty Wurlitzer
Audiocraft Recording Co., Cincinnati, Ohio OVC-ATOS LP-100

Moon River was a "dreamy music" radio show first aired on WLW in 1930 when Powell Crosley Jr. decided that quite music was needed to end the broadcast day. The segment enjoyed the longest run of any musical program in the history of radio, always a sustaining (unsponsored) broadcast. Lee Erwin played organ on the program for over ten years.

The organ featured at The Emery was played by Erwin for three years at The RKO Albee Theatre that was located in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. This amazing theater that was torn down in 1977 (such a shame). I'm lucky enough to own box seats from The Albee.

The organ from The Albee was moved to The Emery sometime in the late 60s. After an eight year program of restoration the organ was dedicated in 1977.

For a time in the late 80s the caretakers of The Emery Theater (The Ohio Valley Chapter American Theatre Organ Society?) made a great effort to keep the theater open to the public on a limited basis. I saw a number of movies there, including The Marx Brothers At The Circus, It's A Mad Mad Mad World and a spectacular treat, Spartacus, a technicolor movie which required, as I remember it, some special screen extensions to accommodate the particular print shown. The image was almost 3D-like. I wish that I could something online about this version of Spartacus, but I can't.

And the CATOS made an effort to recreate the movie going experience of times gone by. Of course, they featured the Wurlitzer during intermissions. That was a special time for entertainment in Cincinnati.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Exciting Sound Of Acquaviva And His Orchestra

I Found A Rainbow (stereo)
The Exciting Sound Of Acquaviva And His Orchestra
Decca DL 74465

From the back cover: Acquaviva does have a first name, by the way (his parents christened him Anthony, back in Beacon, New York). He wasted no time showing his natural bent or music, starting at the tender age of four. The clarinet was his first love. Even in his early training he looked to broader horizons – horizons that would see him study conducting under such masters as Albert Stoessel and the great Serge Koussevitzky at Tranglewood in the Berkshires.

World War II found young Acquaviva a member of the U. S. Military Academy Cadet Band at West Point.

When the war was over, he quietly formed his own band and toured with a small jazz group. Over the years he has steadily built an almost legendary reputation for musical versatility as conductor of the famed Symphony of the Air orchestra in concert at Carnegie Hall, and as organizer and conductor of the famed New York "Pops" Symphony Orchestra.

Green Valley
Open Your Eyes
Hills Of Rome
Dancing Notes
Autumn Again
Yesterday's Love
A New Shade Of Blue
One Look At You
I Found A Rainbow
A Fool Was I
C'est La Vie
After A Dream

Afro Percussion - Olatunji And His Drums Of Passion

Masque Dance
Afro Percussion
(Babatunde) Olatunji And His Percussion, Brass, Woodwind, And Choir
Arranged by Rayburn Wright
Columbia CL 1634

Terrific blend of Afro Percussion and western influences.

Olatunji's 1959 (wiki reference) Drums Of Passion is his first and most popular recording and can be found online. This record seems more obscure and isn't to be found online.

Drums Of Passion
Columbia CS 8210
1960 (Billboard reference)

Babatunde Olatunji first U.S. release. The album is available on CD and by download. Not influenced by jazz to the extent of Zungo!, however, the inviting arrangements seem westernized to me. Exciting stuff for the 1960s listener and still a treat today!

Below is a live performance of Akiwowo with a smaller group opening for The Grateful Dead, New Years Eve, 1986.

African Waltz
High Life
Olatunji And His Drums Of Passion
Columbia CS 8796

Music From Latin America

Music From Latin America
Decca Records DL 38078

Compilation album featuring diverse "Latin" sounds from the likes of Toni Arden, Russ Morgan, Stan Kenton, Jose Albeniz, Les Brown, Pepe Gonzales, and Beacham Coakley.

This is an obscure album with a terrific cover that I can find no mention of online.

The record label features an interesting copy line: Prepared especially for Colonial Stores. The Colonial Stores, Inc, was for much of the 20th Century one of the nations largest supermarket operators. In June 1955 Albers Super Markets, based in Cincinnati, OH, was purchased by and merged into Colonial Stores. This may or may not be why I found this record in the Cincinnati area. Apparently Colonial had the buying power to purchase what must have been it's own "budget" records pressed just for their outlets.

The Modern Five

I'L Contadino
La Bambola
The Modern Five
Discos Rex RR 8005

We feature an Italian group with an English name. I can't find any mention of the group online. I can translate enough of one paragraph from the back cover to note that the group appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show.

The material is not dated. Back cover signed by Adriana (bajo), Gianni (Dir-Bateria) along with maybe another signature or two and some other writing.

The music matches the whacky cover art. 60s Italian pop with one English cover of Sam & Dave Hold On I'm Coming.

Great fun!

Monday, February 28, 2011


Design Records (Pickwick) DLP-260

Ouch... talk about budget. The first track is some weird lounge-like number followed by material found that Design found in the dumpster of another budget label. Fortunately, for me... the title track is catchy, in a weird way. Maybe you gotta be me to appreciate stuff like this...

The Eloise Trio

Shake, Shake, Senora
The Eloise Trio
Decca Records DL 78983

From the April 25, 1960 Billboard: The Eloise Trio is the trio responsible for the sound that is getting plenty of air plays, Chi Chi Merengue. This time included in the Decca album which bears their name, and also includes a variety of tunes with a calypso flavor. Eloise Lewis, featuring singer of the group, sang before her first real audience at an amateur show in the Bahanes, when she was 11. In 1957, she opened at Blackbreads with her two partners (Bucky and Bert), and opening that marked the official birth of the Eloise Trio.

This is a terrific album featuring the wild and exotic vocals of Eloise Lewis. The vocal stylings are rich and complicated. The band is super tight and Decca did a great job engineering the LP.

Here's a blog with a little more information on Eloise.

All but one track, as far as I can tell, are downloadable from the typical online sources. Zombie Jamboree is a good tune to start with. Blackbeard's Cha Cha, credited by Lewis is also cool featuring a twangy electric guitar. Shake, Shake, Senora is the one tune that I could not find online.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Organ & Bongos

Baldwin Organ & Bongos
Fabulous Eddie Osborn
Audio Fidelity AFSD 5974

This is the second "organ and bongos" album I've run across by Osborn. The first being titled Baldwin Organ and Bongs Bongs Bongs (1960). If I had a better filing system for my records... I'd go pull the other album and see if this isn't a reissue. I almost positive it is the same album but with better cover art.

Your Number Please - Julie London

It's A Blue World
Julie London
Your number please...
Music Arranged and Conducted by Andre Previn
Producer: Bobby Troup
Engineers: Bill Putman and Ted Keep
Cover Design: Pate/Francis & Assoc.
Color Photograph: Garrett-Howard
Liberty Records LST 7130

From Billboard - December 7, 1959: One of the finest offerings sound-wise, of the many by the thrush now available. Here, she sings a flock of great tunes, written by or associated with such "boy friend" as Frank ("Learnin' The Blues"), Gene ("Love Is Here To Stay") and Mel ("Stranger In Town"), the gentlemen in question here being Sinatra, Kelly and Torme. The stereo is some of the very best in the solo vocal line heard recently with unusually tasty arrangements by Andre Previn. Cover photo, as usual, is designed for knockout eye appeal.

Frank: Learnin The Blues
Johnny: One For My Baby
Freshmen: It's A Blue World
Nat: When I Fall In Love
Fred: They Can't Take That Away From Me
Gene: Love Is Here To Stay
Dick: The More I See You
Bing: It Could Happen To You
Mel: A Stranger In Town
Eddie: Makin' Whoopee
Bob: Two Sleepy People
Matt: Angel Eyes

Italian Guitars - Al Caiola

Only Love Me
Italian Guitars
Arranged and Conducted by Al Caiola
Artist & Repertoire: Bob Shad
Original Recording Engineers: Bob Arnold & John Cue
Re-Recording Engineer: John Cue
Mastering: Hal Diepold
Liner Notes: Mark Reilly
Album Coordination: Arpena Spargo
Album Design: Murray Stein
Typography: The Composing Room, Inc.
Series 2000
TIME Records s/2023

February 27, 1961 Billboard: The alternately swinging and exotic sound of guitars, mandolins and accordion fill the stereo air of this new sound-type LP. Besides accordion and rhythm, four electric guitars, four Spanish guitars, and eight mandolins give a large and fulsome sound that's very effectively carried through the stereo speaker set-up. Tunes are varied to include the likes of "The Woodpecker Song," "Volare," "Torero," "Only Love Me," and "Arrivederci Roma."

Tango Delle Rose
The Woodpecker Song
Torna A Surriento
Only Love Me
Arrivederci Roma
Come Prima
Chitarra Romana
Sicillian Tarantella
Nights Of Splendor


Avevamo la stessa eta
Marino Marini Quartet
Columbia W 168

Marini was an innovative musician who used an echo chamber of his own design and is said to have been the first European performer to use sound mixing on stage, anticipating techniques used by rock musicians in the 1960s. He also combined Neapolitan with various musical styles and reinterpreted America standards.

This record is loaded with style blends, twangy guitar and other assort 60s light pop touches which makes for a fun listen.

Songs lyrics get basic translation on the back cover (sample): Avevamo La stessa eta - You were the smartest one in geography. I remember, and I still have the flower you gave me the day I failed my exam. I used to help you with your arithmetic in exchange for candy. We were the same age, no one knows it now, but now you are ten years younger than I. I don't understand it, but time passed only for me. We were the same age, only my heart knows it now, the same age.

Read the full bio on Marini's wiki page.

Goldie Hill

Living Alone
Goldie Hill
Decca Records DL 74034

August 1, 1960 Billboard gave this album "very strong sales potential". The Golden Hillbillie has a powerful package of weepers, rhythm songs and other country material. Album is well-recorded and should do extremely well in its field.

I normally don't buy vintage country, but I liked the cover photo on this one.

Hill was one of the first women in country music to reach the top of the country music charts. She had success and turned it down to when she married country singer Carl Smith and retired to living on their horse farm.

This is Hill's first of four albums on Decca released in the early 60s before she retired (or while she was making the decision to retire). Even the jacket notes hint that she is "retired". When you play this album you will be glad Goldie is happy in her homemaker's humming, but you will hope she will return to the studio for more recording soon.

See her wiki page for Hill's complete bio.