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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Zither South Of The Border - Ruth Welcome

Zither South Of The Border
Ruth Welcome
Capitol ST 1397

One of the numerous Welcome albums on Capitol. My favorite will always be Zither Magic. But this project also strikes me as being one of her better projects. The "Latin" selections work nicely as zither arrangements.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Songs Made Famous By The Beatles

Michelle - Ray Martin
Songs Made Famous By The Beatles
RCA Records - CAS 2438

Beatles covers albums are usually a good bet if you are looking for something "not-quite-right" or "oddball". I mean, who can do "The Beatles" and get away with it?

This "compilation" album, however, is really right-on. This is an inventive "space age/light pop" approach. Ray Martin's cover of Michelle is the best I've heard (for this time period). Hey Jude (Living Strings - Arranged and conducted by Johnny Douglas), The Fool On The Hill by Living Jazz (Arranged and conducted by Phil Bodner), The Long and Winding Road by The Living Trio (Arranged and conducted by Al Caiola), Eleanor Rigby by Living Marimbas (Arranged and conducted by Leo Addeo), Yesterday (Ray Martin and his orchestra), Let It Be (Arranged and conducted by Al Caiola) and Ol-la-di, Ob-la-da (The Electric Harmonica with the New Group - Arranged and conducted by Alan Black Schackner) are all pretty damn great!

Even the almost "polka" harmonica cover of Ol-la-di, Ob-la-da, as whacky as it is... is pure fun!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mediterranean In Perspective - Judd Solo and the Italiano Quartetto

 In Old Lisbon
Mediterranean In Perspective
Judd Solo and the Italiano Quartetto
Studio 2 Stereo TWO 108
E.M.I. Records - Hayes - Middlesex - England

This is another example of why I buy records that most people don't look twice at. There is always a chance the you hear something fun regardless of what the jacket suggests.

This set plays like a groovy space age Three Suns album.

From the back cover: Guest soloists: Hugo D'Alton, Kenny Baker, J. E. Buck, Jnr., Ronnie Price, Ernie Shear and Manny Winter.

Also from the back cover: ...This system was used in the making of this record – Judd Solo's second LP for E.M.I. Judd has become well-known through his radio and television work, together with his appearances at the London Hilton Hotel. He sings in no less than eight languages, and plays guitar as well as leading his Italiano Quartetto.

Kenny Baker, listed as the trumpet player on the album.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Gypsy Magic - The Kardos Trio

Gypsy Magic
The Kardos Trio
Harmony Columbia HL 7207

This album could be a reissue from a 10 inch issue to this 12 inch LP? There is a lot of unused space on both sides the disc.

From the back cover: Ernest Cards, leader of this spirited trio, is concert master of the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, and assistant concert master of the Cleveland Orchestra as well. At thirteen he won the the violin contest of the Ohio Federation of Music Clubs, and he joined the Cleveland Orchestra at nineteen as its youngest member. Service with the armed forces interrupted his playing for a few years, but he returned in 1946. In 1947 he also joined the faculty of the Cleveland Music School Settlement. Lucile Cards was director and staff organist of a large radio station in Texas when she married Mr. Kardos. Upon moving to Cleveland with him, she continued her active musical career which included appearances at the Hotel Cleveland. Alice Chalifoux, third member of the trio, studied at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia with Carlos Salzedo, and was later appointed first solo harpist with the Cleveland Orchestra. She also established the Harp Department of the Cleveland Institute of Music.

From Billboard - October 12, 1959: The tunes are for the most part pop selections, but they are done with sobbing violin approach that typifies gypsy music. Sound is good and packaging is attractive enough. It can find a market with economy buyers and on the racks. Tunes include "Autumn Leaves," "Hungarian Dance No. 1" and "Two Guitars."

Autumn Leaves
Hora Staccato
The Gypsy Fiddle Plays No More
Play Gypsies, Dance Gypsies
Two Guitars
When A Gypsy Makes His Violin Cry
Hungarian Dance No. 1 (Brahms)

Sensational! - Mario Said

Mario Said
Orchestra Conducted and Arranged By Tommy Oliver
Producer: Tommy Oliver
Engineer: Woody Woodward
Cover Photography: George Jerman
Liner Photography: John Engstead
Piano Courtesy of Baldwin
Liberty LST-7562

From the back cover: Mario Said can't hide his classical roots. For years he looked across a keyboard at Bach and Brahms, and ended up playing about the best classical piano anyone has heard in Panama, where he was born and raised. He studied at the Conservatory Of Music in Panama for eight years, and performed classical concerts in places like the National Theater (Latin America's answer to Carnegie Hall). – Al Stoffel

Don't Sleep In The Subway
By The Time I Get To Phoenix
Hey Girl
Scarborough Fair
Walk Away Renee
Free Again
We Can Fly
Theme From "Valley Of The Dolls"
Release Me
The Importance Of The Rose

Many Splendored Themes - The Fantastic Strings Of Felix Slatkin

Peter Gunn
Many Splendored Themes
The Fantastic Strings Of Felix Slatkin
Liberty Premier LSS 14011

This album was fun for me to collect if only for the amazing packaging. Both the front and back cover feature fragile die-cuts that allow the colorful inner sleeve to peak through. Terrific graphic design for 1961.

The music is lush orchestrated easy listening with nice space age touches. The cover of Peter Gunn is one of the "funkier" selections from this fine Liberty release.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Exciting Sounds From Romanic Places

Strange Enchantment
Exciting Sounds From Romanic Places
Leo Diamond's Orchestra
Cover Design by Matt Schutz
ABC- Paramount
A Product Of Am-Par Record Corp.

From the back cover: Only a master musician and performer, gifted with the patience and quest for perfections as is Leo Diamond, would and could have attempted the scope of this album. Like many a noted contemporary of his instrument, Mr. Diamond is a graduate of the internationally-famed Borrah Minnevitch and his Harmonica Rascals, and has performed in almost every corner of the world. He is regarded by critics as among the topmost virtuosi of the harmonica, and has, to a great extent, been responsible for the elevation of the mouth organ to a position of prominence in the realm of recognized instruments, as opposed to a mere plaything.

A peerless musician, Mr. Diamond is also esteemed as a composer, having written the score of the beautiful Skin Divers' Suite and the recent musical delight, Off Shore. He has appeared on the concert stage, as guest soloist with leading symphony orchestras, in the world's most exclusive night clubs and in theaters all over the globe, establishing himself as an international favorite.

To add to this formidable alignment of credits, it should be noted that, for this album, Mr. Diamond personally used in the recording, some of which are shown in the photographs at right.
(back cover).

From Billboard - February 16, 1959: Diamond is literally a "one-man ban" on this interesting package, which features the harmonica virtuoso playing all 12 parts, via some effective multi-tracking. By recording the entire album on 35-mm motion picture sound film, the over-all effect is smoothly harmonious mood music. Selections are travel-keyed standards – "La Vie En Rose," "Sleepy Lagoon," "Lili Marlene," etc. Fine jockey wax.

La Vie En Rose
The River Sene
Arriverderci, Roma
Strange Enchantment
Sleepy Lagoon
The Petite Waltz
Lili Marlene
The Girls In Brazil
The Breeze And I
King's Serenade
To You Sweetheart, Aloha

So What's New - Horst Jankowski

Highway At Night
So What's New
Horst Jankowski
Mercury MG 21093

The music is sparkly just like the cover model. Light space age glitter.

Read more about Jankowski on his wiki page.

The Synthesizer - Featuring Dick Hyman at The Moog

The Synthesizer
Featuring Dick Hyman at The Moog
Command ABC Records RSSD 968

This Command/ABC label set features two discs are sandwiched into a standard single jacket rather than a book-fold jacket.

Packaging may have been down scaled because many of the tracks are repacked from earlier Hyman albums including Moog: The Electric Of Dick Hyman (1969) and The Electric Eclectics Of Dick Hyman (1969). And a few tunes, like the one I posted as a sample as best as I can tell, are available only on vinyl.

From the back jacket: "Re-produced for Two-Fer's by Don Thorn".  I'm not sure what that means in terms of what may or may not have been altered from the original release(s).

Reissues or not... great stuff from the early years of the moog.

Topless Dancers Of Corfu
The Legend Of Johnny Pot
The Moog And Me
Tap Dance In The Memory Banks
Four Duets In Odd Meter
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
Give It Up Or Turn It Loose
Green Onions
The Minotaur
Total Bells And Tony
Improvisation In Fourths
Evening Thoughts
Time Is Tight
Both Sides Now

Dancing In The Dark Disco Greats - Enoch Light & The Light Brigade

I'm Your Boogie Man
Dancing In The Dark Disco Greats
Enoch Light & The Light Brigade
Project 3 PR 5098 SD

This is the second "Enoch Light" disco album I found this week. I thought it was the same release (Feelings At The Movies) but featuring different cover art and title. However, all of the song titles are different with the exception of the Theme From Star Wars.

At this point, "Project 3" must have been using Light's name only as he was retired and would pass away in 1978.

Both albums are produced by the Jeff Hest and Tony Mottola. Mottola along with the fabulous Vinne (Vincent) Bell.

Tommy Dorsey And His Orchestra Featuring Frank Sinatra

Tommy Dorsey And His Orchestra Featuring Frank Sinatra
Coronet Records CX 186

This is a budget LP featuring a album title that suggests that Dorsey is backing Sinatra. I have no idea, but the album is a collection of songs culled from various sources. The Sinatra vocal stuff sounds like copies of mono and not very good copies (this album was also released in stereo). The Dorsey tracks, all tunes with the word "Dance" in the title like Arab Dance, sound much better and swing.

Godzilla King Of The Monsters

Godzilla vs. The Alien Invasion
Godzilla King Of The Monsters
Wonderland Records WLP 312

"He's a friendly creature, really. He's just too big for the modern world!"

The Copper Plated Integrated Circuit

Circuit Breaker
The Copper Plated Integrated Circuit
Plugged In Pop
Sear Electronic Music Productions
Studio Engineer: Russ Hamm
Command ABC Records 9455

From the jacket notes: This album was recorded in the studios of Sear Electronic Music Productions, Inc., in New York City. The Studio contains two complete Moog Synthesizers with a total of four keyboards, a modified Baldwin Harpsichord, keyboards, a modified electric piano, a Novachord, and a variety of specially constructed and modified sound-generating equipment.

Cool early moog album that projects that Command "light-pop" feel and the expected excellent Command engineering/sound.