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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Big Band Beatles Songs - Bob Leaper

All My Loving
Big Band Beatles Songs
Arranged And Directed By Bob Leaper
London LL 3391

This album was reissued in 1968 on Decca/Phase 4. There is a rare and pricey import CD out there apparently remastered from the original recording.

Most Beatles covers albums turn out to be cheesy fun or just not so good... I mean... who can really cover The Beatles? However this album, the first for London by Leaper, features unique arrangements and rocks out The Beatles in big band fashion.

This promotional copy has a solid white label also imprinted with "Not For Sale".  "Happy Radio Gets Results - WWIL" is stamped on the back.

Some Other Street - Johnny Hamlin Quintet

On A Little Street In Singapore
A Hip Trip Down Some Other Street
Johnny Hamlin Quintet
Philips PHS 600-060

From the back cover: The Hamlin Quintet has become an established regular on the nightclub circuit from Las Vegas to Chicago. The group has appeared frequently in the last few years in the lounge of the Riviera Hotel and the Wagon Wheel in Reno. Though such locations as these do not usually allow for much of a jazz presentation to be highlighted, one might say Hamlin's unit has incorporated a jazz feeling into their work in spite of their audiences.

The Theme Scene - Henry Mancini

NBC Nightly News Theme
The Theme Scene
Henry Mancini

Here's a Mancini album that you can only find on vinyl. The music is a curious blend of the traditional Mancini sound to include disco and easy. But somehow, even when faced with updating his sound to include disco and arranging 70s TV theme music, Mancini still manages to make an album with great moments.

Works For Chamber Orchestra - Conducted By Bruno Maderna & Luciano Berio

Works For Chamber Orchestra
Conducted By Bruno Maderna & Luciano Berio
Mainstream MS 5004

I believe this is a 1970 reissue of a TIME Records (58002/mono). Both albums features the exact same cover (book-fold) design. Available from online vendors so I will not be posting a sample.

From the inside cover: Differences, (1958)-(1960) by Luciano Berio, demands the most from the listener and promises him the greatest rewards in return; not only because of the scope of its proportions but also through the abundance, diversity, and unusual character of the elements set into motion. The work makes use of multi-channel tape and five instruments – flute, clarinet, harp, viola and cello (which, recorded directly on the central loudspeaker, provides a line of direction for the work's development). More or less elaborate sound materials, played by all the instruments, are recorded to provide the substance of the accompanying tape, where they appear either in their original form or more or less altered by electro-acoustical means. In this recorded version the tape sounds are placed left and right of the "living" instruments and also at the center behind them (to give a recorded "optical illusion").

Love Is A Hurtin' Thing - Leo Addeo And His Orchestra

Love Is A Hurtin' Thing
Love Is A Hurtin' Thing
Leo Addeo And His Orchestra
RCA Camden CAL 2134

Bahia - The Arthur Lyman Group

The Arthur Lyman Group
HIFI Record R815

Available through all the usual outlets, so sorry, I will not be posting a sample. I thought some folks might like to see a nice scan of the covers.

Lyman's 4th release according to his wiki page. Another in a series of fine Lyman exotic albums filled with all the good stuff! All of Lyman's albums were recorded live without overdubbing.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Don't Look Back - The Johnny Mann Singers

Land Of Love
Don't Look Back
The Johnny Mann Singers
Liberty Records LRP-3535

Looking for the groovy easy listening land of love? Look no further!

Solo Encores - David Carroll And His Orchestra

Big Ben Boogie - Chimes Solo By Frank Rullo
Solo Encores
David Carroll And His Orchestra
Mercury Records SR 60180

Here we have another good David Carroll set. What makes this album interesting is that Carroll allowed each artist featured on the LP to solo on a track, supported by the orchestra under Carroll's direction.

Strings For Young Lovers

Exotic Night
Strings For Young Lovers
Somerset SF-31000

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Best Of '64 - Hugo Winterhalter

The Best Of '64
Hugo Winterhalter And His Orchestra
KAPP KS-3407

Here's another Winterhalter album that is frequently left behind at the thrift. The reason could be lackluster cover art or just Winterhalter's typical sedate brand of easy listening. However, Winterhalter's mid-60s stuff can be fun so I was willing to risk my 50¢. There is nothing outrageous to report, but if you like 60s light pop, you should get along fine with this music.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Musical Body With JoAnn

The Musical Body With JoAnn
Music By Bill Hampton

Today's Top Hits! - David Carroll

Today's Top Hits!
David Carroll
Mercury Records 135 304 MCY

Carroll made several albums, such as Percussion Orientale and Percussion in Hi-Fi, which are noted as his standout projects.

Hidden inside this lame cover are a few pop gems. The album turned out to be a nice light pop space age album. Aside from one "traditional" sounding track on side two (a song that seems out-of-place), the album was a great listen.

Lovely Hula Hands

Nani - Alice Namakelua
Lovely Hula Hands
Waikiki Records

This is an obscure compilation set pressed on red vinyl.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mambo Happy! - Perez Prado

Broadway Mambo
Mambo Happy!
Perez Prado
Designed For Dancing
One Of A Series
Photo: David B. Hecht
RCA Camden CAL 409

From Billboard - March 31, 1958: Time product of its type, with attractive packing. Sound and performance are in keeping with the top reputation of the King of the Mambo. Great for dancing groups, etc.

Go Go Mambo
Syncopated Clock Mambo
Wild Mambo
Broadway Mambo
Kuba Mambo
Rica Mambo
Kon Toma
Memoria a Chano
Timba Timba
Que es Amor?
No Me Quieras Tanto

Haunani The Voice Of Hawaii

Haunani The Voice Of Hawaii
Decca DL 4561

Obscure Hawaiian album.

From the back cover: Already hailed as "The Voice of Hawaii", Haunani headlines the show in the appropriately entitled Monarch Room of the famed Royal Hawaiian Hotel on Waikiki Beach.

At times, her back up band sounds like they've been hanging with Martin Denny. Denny was hired in 1970 by Sheraton as entertainment director for the Monarch Room. At that time the policy was changed to book big name acts and to move away from "Hawaiian" music. Certainly all the artists who lived on the island knew Denny and he knew them.

Holiday For Swingin' Trumpet - Jabbo Williams

Blue Moon
Holiday For Swingin' Trumpet
Jabbo Williams And His Quartet
Shoes by Capezio
Harmony - Columbia HS 11019

From Billboard - January 11, 1960: Lightly swinging instrumental treatments of 10 nostalgic standards – "Blue Moon," "Exactly Like You," "All Of Me," etc. Standout trumpet and piano work. Nice mood wax for jocks with hip dialers.

Exactly Like You
My Blue Heaven
I Cried For You
Rockin' Chair
Blue Moon
Besame Mucho
You Made Me Love You
Cocktails For Two
All Of Me

Paul Griffin Swings With 101 Strings

Love For Sale
Paul Griffin Swings With 101 Strings
Audio Spectrum SAS-605

101 Strings
Swing With Hammond Organ
Featuring Paul Griffin
Recorded Under the Direction of D. L. Miller
Alshire Production S-5116
Manufactured by Budget Sound

Spectrum released four "Griffin" LPs. Each release featured similar cover photos.

The album is an interesting hybrid of Griffin's Hammond Organ and the 101 Strings. A number of arrangers were apparently involved on this project and some of them weren't sure how to effectively blend the funky organ sound with strings. Love For Sale has that swinging Monty Kelly touch.

Close Your Eyes
Satin Doll
Pebbles In The Sand
Definitely Blue
Blues In The Night
Love For Sale
Body And Soul
Add Strings

Monday, November 21, 2011

Mac Arthur Park - The Ray Charles Singers

Mac Arthur Park
The Ray Charles Singers
Command ABC Records RS 936 SD

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

This album, produced several years after Enoch Light sold his label to ABC, is still packaged in same book-fold jacket, although the inside presentation differs from the Light format. The engineering, while very good, doesn't seem to be as crisp or deep as under Light's direction.

None-the-less, this is a fun light pop album to include in your collection.

From Billboard - June 1, 1968: Ray Charles has a sound and style that brings exciting new images to current pop hits. In this set, he does it to "MacArthur Park," "Do You Know The Way To San Jose," "Honey," "Valley Of The Dolls" and "Love Is Blue," among others with that special Charles treatment.

MacArthur Park
Gregory's Chant
Love Is Blue (L'Amour Est Bleu)
I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free
Do You Know The Way To San Jose
Theme From "Valley Of The Dolls"
Don't Just Stand There
Sometimes I Remember (E La Chiamono Estate)
Little Green Apples
Let's Go! (Canto De Ossanha)

The Blues And The Beat - Henry Mancini

The Blues
The Blues And The Beat
Henry Mancini
Produced by Dick Pierce
Recording Engineer: Al Schmitt
Recorded at RCA Victor's Music Center of the World, Hollywood, California on February 22, 26 and 29, 1960
Back cover photo: Bobby Helfer
Two Moods
RCA Victor LSP-2147


Woodwinds - Ted Nash, Ronny Lang, Gene Cipriano - Harry Klee - Wilbur Schwartz
Trumpets - Conrad Gozzo, Pete Candoli, Frank Beach, Graham Young
French Horns - Vincent DeRossa, Sinclair Lott, John Graas, Richard Perissi, George Price, Herman Lebow
Piano - Johnny Williams
Guitar - Bob Bain
Bass - Roland Bundock
Drums - Jack Sperling
Vibes and Marimba - Victor Feldman
Vibes - Larry Bunker

From Billboard - August 1, 1960: Mancini and a group of first-class musicians are featured on a group of moody blues themes on one side and excitingly original jazz treatments on the flip. Unusual instrumentation make package particularly effective with appeal for jazz fans as well as the pop market. This album doesn't hav the assist of a big TV show (a la Mancini's "Peter Gunn" and "Mr. Lucky" best sellers) but quality-wise it's first rate.

The Blues
Smoke Rings
Blue Flame
After Hours
Mood Indigo
The Beat
Big Noise From Winnetka
Alright, Okay, You Win
Tippin' In
How Could You Do A Thing Like That To Me
Sing, Sing, Sing

Folks Songs - Tony Mottola

Wayfaring Stranger
Careless Love
Folks Songs
Tony Mottola
Originated And Produced By Enoch Light
Art Direction By Charles E. Murphy
Command Records RS 823 SD

I wonder how this album sold for Command? When I spied the cover in the bin my first thought was that the record was an early 80s release because the cover graphic looked so "modern". Then seeing that it was a Command/Mottola project, from 1961, no less, I wondered if I should even bother because of the "folk" and "banjo" references on the cover. I wasn't keen on spending money on a "folk" album.  Of course, I took the chance on Mottola.

A buyer in the early 60s may have wondered about the cover/contents just as I had. The album is filled with period Command light pop approaches (almost cartoon-like music... not to say that approach isn't fun) and more subtle, but Command updated covers of traditional folk tunes.

You get all that for better or worse along with the typical superb Command engineering.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Jose Melis In Movieland

Jose Melis In Movieland
Mercury Records MG 20648

Melis stuff is generally too conservative for me. However, this LP kicks off with a nice space age groove.

Jankowski Plays Jankowski

Little Old Town
Jankowski Plays Jankowski
Mercury SR 61219

Groovy and inventive light pop with a brass edge. On some tunes Jankowski's piano becomes more of an accent instrument. In the sample... it sounds like he is playing a child's toy piano. Janjowski's playing becomes more a part of the song, rather than the "featured instrument".

The engineering is excellent.

Paradise Moods - Martin Denny

Clair De Lune
Paradise Moods
Martin Denny
A&R Coordinator: Ed Barsky
Art Directions: Woody Woodward
Cover Photo: Ken Kim
Sunset SUS-5102

Blue Paradise
Love At Sight
Jungle Madness
Aloha, I Love You
Day Delight (Banana Boat Song)
Singin' In The Rain
Clair De Lune
My Reverie

House Of Terror

Ghost Story
House Of Terror!
Parade Records PA 103

I've listened to a number of "Halloween" records since I've been collecting. I have to say, this is one of the best I've stumbled across. This is a 2 record set. There is also a nice comic book included (stapled to the spine). There are a few online references that suggest Neal Adams was the illustrator. Audio stories accompany the comic book.

Parade went the distance to create a great package by hiring good professional voiceover actors, writers and sound engineer(s) to create a fun recording. There are also a few musical numbers on one side. One of which starts out as a story and then morphs into a song (the sample above).

Soft And Sweet - The Three Suns

Soft And Sweet
The Three Suns with String Orchestra
Conducted by Marty Gold and Sid Ramin
Recording made in Webster Hall, New York City
RCA Victor LPM-1041

There Is No Greater Love
A Sinner Kissed An Angel
Moonlight In Vermont
The Rive Seine
Stars Fell On Alabama
The Touch Of Your Lips

Ten For Cocktails

Ten For Cocktails
Mr. Boston
Columbia Special Products

This album was created as an advertising vehicle for Mr. Boston Distiller, Boston, Massachusetts.

It Must Be Him - Al Caiola

Live For Life
It Must Be Him
Al Caiola
United Artists UAS 6637

From the February 24, 1968 Billboard Magazine: Guitarist Al Caiola has supplied his own arrangements for this roundup of songs that take easily to his lush, rhythmic and ballad virtuosity.

A few tracks off this album can be found as purchase/downloads including the fab High Chaparral (theme from the TV show). I've posted a sample that is available only on vinyl as far as I can tell.

You Don't Have To Say You Love Me - Raymond Lefevre

La Passionnata (KS-3510)
You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
Raymond Lefevre And His Orchestra
A Riviera Recording
Recorded in France
KAPP Records KL-1510 & KS-3510

"Spanish Eyes" is a sticker fixed to the cover.

From the back cover: He (Lefevre) was born in Calais in 1929 and began his musical studies at a very early age with piano lessons and sight-singing under direction of his father. Soon he added flute and more formal piano studies at a Calais music school. By the time he was 17, Raymond had outgrown Calais musically, and went to the Paris Conservatory where he continued studying piano and flute, and added harmony and advanced composition. It was during this period that he became interested in popular music.

In the late 1940's through the early '50's, he toured Europe and South America with top-name orchestras.

On his return to France, Raymond became active in TV as director of his own orchestra. These days, his trim Van Dyke beard and his boyish smile, not to mention his lovely orchestral music, are highlights of the French musical scene. He records single records and albums that are popular all over the world, and he appears with his orchestra on several TV programs. His leisure time, what little remains, is spent with his wife and their two sons in their Parisian town house. – Dom Cerulli

You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
I Love
Love Is All Around
Palmares Des Chansons
La Passionate
Spanish Eyes
A Little Rain Is Necessary
La Boheme
Stars Of The Way
Tears Come

Ridin' High - Frankie Carle

Ridin' High
Ridin' High
Frankie Carle At The Piano
Vocalion VL 3622

From the October 27, 1958 issue of Billboard: "Will appeal to many who don't cotton to the rock and roll groove."

More, More Piano - Winfred Atwell

More, More Piano
Winfred Atwell
London Records B 20040

Here's an album that features a great cover and the music is better, or more "peppy" than the cover suggests.

Winfred Atwell was extremely popular in Europe and Australia in the 50s. She was making about $5,000 a week during her 1955 Australian tour. Read about Atwell on her wiki page.

Ballet HI-FI - Mishel Piastro And His Concert Orchestra

Ballet HI-FI
Mishel Piastro And His Concert Orchestra
Decca Records DL 8777

I was drawn to the album by the quirky cover.  I wish the music had lived up to the quirky cover photo.