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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Seven Golden Men - Armando Trovajoli

Thunder Bolt
Seven Golden Men
Music By Armando Trovajoli
United Artists UAS 5193

This is a French film that premiered in New York in 1969 (which is how I dated the album release). The film was distributed by Warner Bros – Seven Arts. However, sources list the actual release date as 1964 (original foreign release).

I haven't seen the movie, but apparently the movie is a "James Bond" styled heist caper.

The music is a blend of spy/secret agent whackiand light 60s pop.  It has a distinct "European" sound. The LP audio is simulated stereo. The recording plays a lot more like a straight album then a sound track. The record is a hell of a lot of fun.

I could only find several CDs (import) copies available online. They are hard to find. There were a number of vinyl copies on ebay when I searched today.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Fortune Tellers - Song Of The Nairobi Trio

Jungle Twist
The Fortune Tellers
Song Of The Nairobio Trio
Kapp Medallion ML-7534

Here's a terrific space age LP. The music reminds me a touch of The Three Suns but with a big helping of light pop humor.

The main character behind The Fortune Tellers is Robert Maxwell. He wrote many of the tunes found on this album, including the sample I've posted above and the Song Of The Nairobi Trio that Ernie Kovacs used as the theme for his television show.

He may be best known as an innovative harpist. I've blogged a number of his albums here in The Atomic Attic. He used some of the same experimental techniques pioneered by Ferrante and Teicher in their early work. At least one song on this album reflects that sound. For his nightclub act, in the late 50s, Maxwell wired his harp to a light display that changed in synchronization with his playing.

There are some great tunes on this LP!

Midnight Mood Music

Swamp Fire
Midnight Mood Music
Allegro Royale

Allegro Royale was a total budget label. Allegro pressed whatever they could beg, barrow or steal. The quality of the recordings and pressings are usually pretty awful. However... I couldn't pass up the chance that the cover of Swamp Fire might be interesting.

This is probably the most decent Allegro album I've stumbled across. As you can tell for the sample, there is some life found in the track(s) even though the small band isn't razor sharp.

Side two… however, sounds like complete filler and not good filler. And, keep the tradition alive, the pressing leaves something to be desired.

Love On The Rocks - Julie London

Julie London
Love On The Rocks
Liberty Records LRP-3249

The album features a "bad habits" cover image of London. That's my term for smoking and drinking cover images. I don't know if and or for how long London smoked or if smoking attributed to her sound.

As I've said before, you can't go wrong with London. If you are having a rough day, listen to a London album. Her vocal treatments are intimate and soothing.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Seven Dreams - Gordon Jenkins

Seven Dreams
Gordon Jenkins
Decca Records DL 9011

From the back cover: About Gordon Jenkins. Born in Webster Groves, Missouri, Gordon Jenkins is famous in the triple role of bandleader, arranger, and composer. In 1950 he moved into the list of the nation's top ten best-sellers with five of his records at once. Because Jenkins had learned to play practically every instrument, he was a master of orchestration, his works having been used with great effect by such leaders as Whiteman, Goodman, and Kostelanetz. As a composer he is known not only for the celebrated "Manhattan Tower," but for the almost equally colorful "California," "Blue Prelude," "San Fernando Valley," among others. There is no question, however, that, to date, "Seven Dreams" is Jenkins' most ambitious as well as his most accomplished work.

From Billboard - October 31, 1953: Tho Decca is mapping a strong promotion campaign behind the new Gordon Jenkins album, "Seven Dreams," the strategy is to restrict air play of the extended work and thus eke out maximum impact during occasional authorized spins. The same technique was used successfully with Jenkins' "Manhattan Tower" of several years back, which only recently has been removed from the restricted list.

The work, a blend of symphony and modern cantata, using soloists, chorus, narrator and large ork, runs for 51 minuets. Decca branches and distributors have been authorized to solicit only a single, complete performance in their respective territories. Any subsequent plays must be cleared with Decca headquarters.

The opus is held in Gordon Jenkins, Inc., affiliated with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. The restriction, of course, does not apply to the Jenkins single waxing of the "Seven Dreams Theme" already released.

The album moves out to the field next week, with its debut supported by extensive trade and consumer advertising. Elaborate display aids are being provided to dealers via distributors.

The Professor
The Conductor
The Caretaker
The Cocktail Party
The Pink House Boat
The Nightmare
The Girl On The Rock

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. - Hugo Montenegro

The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Arranged And Conducted By Hugo Montenegro
RCA Victor LSP-3475

This is another outstanding space age recording from one of my favorite arrangers, Hugo Montenegro. Montenegro understood the sound that made the 60s campy, fun and cool. Solo On A Raft is a particularly haunting track found on side one.

Ironically, Montenegro never worked on the series. Jerry Goldsmith, Walter Scharf, Lalo Schifrin, Gerald Fried, Robert Drasnin, Nelson Riddle and Richard Shores did the actual work on the series which lasted for three seasons.

The album is available on CD so I will not be posting a sample.

Go Latin! - Caterina Valente and Silvio Francesco

Go Latin!
Caterina Valente and Silvio Francesco
London LL 3471

This album is available on CD, so I won't be posting a sample.

Good stuff from a sister/brother act. Valente made an absolute pile of records, releasing albums in many countries. For exotica fans there is a nice cover of Brasil (that is how it is spelled on the back cover).

The songs are performed in Spanish and Portuguese. The overall vibe is a nice loose almost lounge feel with a touch of 60s light pop. A nice addition to the Atomic Attic Collection.

De Mi Cosecha - Gabriel Uribe

De Mi Cosecha
Gabriel Uribe
Sonolux LP 12-481
Industria Electro-Sonora LTDA. Medellin-Colombia

Here's one of those albums you find occasionally that you buy just for the cover art. In this case... a hot model who appears to be happy with her coffee bean harvest.

I know... I don't get it either. Maybe the jacket notes would clarify the concept... but I can't read them.

The album looks like a product of the early 60s.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Music For Instruments & Electronic Sounds - Donald Erb

Music For Instruments & Electronic Sounds
Reconnaissance / In No Strange Land
Conducted by Donald Erb
Coordinator – Teresa Stone
Art Direction [Art Director] – William S. Harvey
Cover Design: Hess and/or Antupit
Nonesuch Records H 71223

Terrific electronic album that does an excellent job of blending real instruments with the synthetically generated sounds.

If you sit back and close your eyes the music could create a movie in your mind. Reconnaissance is one continuous track that could help you visit a fantastic planet while sitting in your easy chair.

Side two features In No Strange Land which continues the journey in 4 movements. This trip is a bit more "fractured" than side one.

Producer: Bernard L. Krause
Conductor – Donald Erb
Double Bass – Rand Forbes
Percussion – Kenneth Watson
Piano – Ralph Grierson
Synthesizer (Moog Polyphonic Instrument) – Leonard Stein
Synthesizer (Moog) – Michael Tilson Thomas
Technical Assistant – Paul Beaver
Violin – Bonnie Douglas
Engineer (Recording): John Haeny

In No Strange Land
Double Bass – Bertram Turetzky
Engineer (Recording) – James Campbell 
Technician (Technical Assistants) – Reynold Weidenaar, Rudolph Bubalo, William Hemsath
Trombone – Stuart Dempster

Come On Everybody Let's Twist!

Come On Everybody Let's Twist!
Steven Garrick And His Party Twisters
Golden Tone C 4092

Terrific low budget record. Rudimentary recording bubbling over with energy.

Songs are credited to Sanford Bellini. Steven Garrick is credited for piano, organ, celeste, vibraphone and conducting and arranging. Seymour Salzberg is credited for drums and percussion. Louis Messana for solo guitar. Larry Lucie for rhythm guitar. Abie Baker for bass and Paul Gaglio for saxaphone.

I can only comment on side one... because the pressing on side two was so awful... that the needle simply slides across the record half way through the first track. I've never seen anything like it… Basically, the grooves on side two aren't deep enough to hold the needle! LOL!

Looks like I need to find another copy!

Cha Cha Cha - Jose And His San Paulo Orchestra

Cha Cha Margot
Cha Cha Cha
Jose And His San Paulo Orchestra
Evon 308

Budget Cha Cha album from obscure group. Pleasant but no fireworks. The last track (sample above) is way more creative and peppy than the rest of the set. Nice cover image.

Provocative Piano - Dick Hyman

Provocative Piano
Dick Hyman
Produced and Directed by Enoch Light
Associate Producer: Julie Klages
Art Director: Charles E. Murphy
Cover Art by S. Neil Fujita
Recording Chief" Robert Fine
Mastering: George Piros
Command RS 811 SD
1960 Grand Award Record Co. Inc.

From Billboard - August 29, 1960: Dick Hyman's first Command album should be a strong sales item in the stereo sound field. His flashy, imaginative piano solo work is featured on such outstanding piano numbers as "Cumana," "Warsaw Concerto," "Chopin Nocturne," etc. Ork backing is highly effective and sound is up to Command's excellent standards.

Near You
Autumn Leaves
Tschaikowsky's Piano Concerto
Canadian Sunset
Warsaw Concerto
Sunrise Serenade
Chopin Nocturne
Autumn Nocturne

Jazz In The Space Age - George Russell - Bill Evans

Jazz In The Space Age
George Russell And His Orchestra
Featuring Bill Evans At The Piano
Composed by George Russell
Graphic Design: Kevin Gaor
Art Direction: Hollis King
Recorded May (tracks 1, 3, 4, 6) and August 1 (tracks 2, 5), 1960, New York
Decca Records DL 9219

Alto Saxophone: Hal McKusick (tracks: 2, 5), Walt Levinsky (tracks: 1, 3, 4, 6)
Baritone Saxophone: Sol Schlinger (tracks: 1, 3, 4, 6)
Bass: Milt Hinton
Drums: Charlie Persip (tracks: 2, 5), Don Lamond (tracks: 1, 3, 4, 6)
French Horn: Jimmy Buffington (tracks: 1, 3, 4, 6)
Guitar: Barry Galbraith (tracks: 1, 3, 4, 6), Howard Collins (tracks: 1, 3, 4, 6)
Piano: Bill Evans, Paul Bley (tracks: 1, 3, 4, 6)
Tenor Saxophone: David Young (4) (tracks: 1, 3, 4, 6)
Trombone: Bob Brookmeyer (tracks: 2, 5), Dave Baker (tracks: 1, 3, 4, 6), Frank Rehak (tracks: 1, 3, 4, 6)
Trumpet: Alan Kieger (tracks: 1, 3, 4, 6), Ernie Royal (tracks: 1, 3, 4, 6), Mark "Marky" Markowitz* (tracks: 2, 5)

Available from online vendor so I will not be posting a sample. Presented here to share the cover art.

This could be one recording that I would consider purchasing on CD or by download iff only because vinyl copies are so expensive and with good reason. The original recording is fabulous, historically influential and therefore, collectible.

From Billboard - August 8, 1960: This could be called a jazz-symphonic poem. It is a collection of four related tone poems, all dedicated to the new jazz of the 1960s, with all four works composed by George Russell. It's modern jazz with an added flavor, what Russell himself calls pan-tonality. And it features pianist Bill Evans, as well as a group of top-flight modern jazzmen. However, the compositions seem to restrict the soloists, including Evans, altho the rhythmic backing carries a sense of urgency. "Chromatic Universe," Part 1, 2 and 3, and "The Lydiot" are the best tracks.

Chromatic Universe - Part
Chromatic Universe - Part 2
The Lydiot
Waltz From Outer Space
Chromatic Universe - Part 3