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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Melodic Percussion - Frank Barber

Theme From "Mr. Broadway"
Melodic Percussion
Arranged and conducted by England's inventive Frank Barber
Capitol ST 2794

The title might suggest an "easy listening" album. What you'll hear are fine light pop tunes that are throw back to Enoch Light's pop stuff of the early 60s. The vibe of the record is actually "brighter" and more "jangling" than most percussion records I've listened to. The percussion seems more "dense" somehow (probably due to the blending of vibraphone, marimba and xylophone). Some tracks are more dramatic and have more of a  "jazz" sound. Well... all that probably made no sense. The sound is unique compared to all the period percussion recordings that I've listened to. Good, inventive stuff.

Peter Gunn - Henry Mancini

LPM 1956
LPM-1956 RE
LPM 1956 RE2
LSP 1956 RE2
Peter Gunn
Composed and conducted by Henry Mancini
From The NBC Television Series Peter Gunn
Composed and Conducted by Henry Mancini
Produced by Simon Rady
Recorded in Hollywood, August 26 and 31, and September 4 and 29, 1958.
RCA Victor LPM-1956 & LPM-1956 RE (featuring factory applied "The Original" sticker)
LPM 1956 RE2 & LPM 1956 RE2

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

From the back cover: "Hank" Mancini, only thirty-four, had already written for such films as "the Benny Goodman Story," Orson Wells' "Touch Of Evil" and "The Glenn Miller Story." For his contribution to the latter he was nominated, at twenty-eight, for an Academy Award.

Currently the music director of Spartan Productions, Mancini can now claim the distinction of being the first  musician to compose modern jazz for the sound track of a filmed television series.

The music in this album offers an excellent sampling of the sounds you've likely to hear any Monday eve when Peter Gunn swings into action on NBC-TV. The musicians are the same jazzmen who are heard to outstanding advantage in all the programs. Here are some of them:

Drummer Jack Sperling and bassist Rollt Bundock state the show's forceful opening motif, Fallout! The raw-sounding trumpet belongs to Pete Candoli, a veteran of the Woody Herman and Stan Kenton bands. Dreamsville, which might be subtitled "a love refrain for hipsters," features a moving alto sax solo by Ted Nash; his brother Dick can  be heard dusting with fellow trombonist Milt Bernhart on Session At Pete's Pad. Saxist Ronnie Lang, who, in common with most of the musician here, is a graduate of the Les Brown band, wields a bulging baritone on Sorta Blue, Other soloists at Mother's, the nitery where Peter Gunn hangs his Brooks Brothers jacket, are vibist Larry Bunker and pianist Johnny T. Williams. – Blake Edwards

Peter Gunn
Sorta Blue
The Brothers Go To Mother's
Session At Pete's Pad
Soft Sounds
The Floater
Slow And Easy
A Profound Gabs
Brief And Breezy
Not From Dixie

Friday, December 23, 2011

Paradise Islands Song Of Hawaii - The Ray Charles Singers

The Cocoanut Wireless
Paradise Islands Song Of Hawaii
The Ray Charles Singers
Originated and produced by Enoch Light
Art Direction - Charles E. Murphy
Command RS 845 SD

Light and easy pop album featuring another great Command minimalist cover design.

A Man And A Woman (Un Homme Et Une Femme)

A Man And A Woman
Un Homme Et Une Femme
Francis Lai
United Artists SW-91032

Available on CD, so I will not be posting a sample. Sorry!

I put this one on the turn table without the intent of blogging the album. But the vocal tracks on the album really grabbed me. so I thought I'd plug the record.  The vibe is unique and intimate.  The second track, on the B side titled, In Our Shadow, is especially wonderful and mysterious. Good 60s stuff.

Stimulus Progression - Muzak

Baretta's Theme
Stimulus Progression
Specialists In The Physiological And Psychological Applications Of Music

Just in time for last moment holiday shopping. Do you feel the progressive urge to consume? Off to ebay with you!

From the back cover: The result (of the Stimulus Progression) is a sense of forward movement and change, designed to mitigate tension, boredom, melancholy and fatigue.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Modern Jazz Quartet & Orchestra

The Modern Jazz Quartet & Orchestra
Atlantic SD-1359

Available for purchase/download so I will not be posting a sample. Sorry!

Billboard Magazine: Here is a fascinating blend of the classical and jazz schools, a much talked about concept where very little has been accomplished at the recording level. The MJQ, working as a sort of concerto soloist all by itself in front of the distinctively classical ork passages to pick up a similar theme in readily identifiable jazz connotations.

Well... that explanation and the rather subdued cover art would not have perked my interest back in the day (as I'm not a jazz or classical music buff). And I don't normally post jazz stuff here (I mean reasonably straight forward jazz stuff), but this album will be of interest to others who collect the same type of music that you see on my blog.

To me, the sound is better explained (so that I get it) as a bridge between dramatic movie soundtrack passages and small combo jazz. Going out on a limb... the vibe is sort of as if Arthur Lyman did something "heavy", without the bird calls. You may also hear a bit of some early 60s private-eye or detective TV show thing happening.

From the back cover: John Lewis (director MJQ) and this writer (Gunther Schuller) do not claim that these works represent the final and ultimate stage in this particular musical development. On the contrary, we feel they mark only a beginning and it is our hope that the music contained herein will stimulate further interest in works of this nature.

Find yourself a copy! You will enjoy the experience!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dance Discotheque

Hot Pastrami With Mashed Potatoes - Discotheque Orchestra
Dance Discotheque
Recorded under the supervision of Slim Hyatt
Decca DL 74556

From the May 30, 1964 Billboard: The discotheque is spreading from the society saloons and fashionable private clubs to the home phonograph. The do-it-yourself discotheque is being initialed by Decca Records which is hitting the market with a "Dance Discotheque" album this week.

According to Harry Meyerson Decca artists and repertoire producer who conceived the idea of bringing the current Jet Set vogue to the masses, the LP duplicates the recording program played in the discotheques around the country, especially at Shepheards in Drake Hotel here. In fact, Meyerson had Slim Hyatt, the "disquaire" (disk jockey) at Shepeards assist him in programming the album. At the club, Hyatt spins a variety of records that run the gamut from Louis Armstrong's Hello Dolly to Trini Lopez's "If I Had A Hammer."

Crazy Rhythm - Don Lee

Crazy Rhythm
Don Lee
Jubilee 1067

Fun cover art! Songs are available for purchase/download, so sorry I will not be posting a sample.

This is one of the few accordion albums that works for me like a Three Suns LP. A bit spacey and swinging.

From the back cover: In the language of the hipster, "Crazy Rhythm" is 'crazy, man, crazY-y-y-y-!... (English Translation: it's Happy, Hearty and Hear-Marked for a hitherto un-new sound).

Crazy Rhythm
Cordy Boogie
Lady Be Good
Exactly Like You
Echo Echo Echo
After You've Gone
Bells Of St. Mary's

Spectacular Percussion - Roger King Mozian

Spectacular Percussion
Arranged and conducted by Roger King Mozian
MGM SE3845

Swinging album that swings between big band, Latin and a touch of "exotica" percussion. Mozian has a good grasp on late 50s/early 60s groove.

Curiously the producer seemed to be worried that Mozian was too far out. This from the back cover: The selection of tunes leans heavily on the rhythmic and exotic but, remarkable enough, almost every one is danceable, particularly South Of The Border and Caripoca.

Mozian wrote the sample, Repercussion.

Great Movie Hits Of '72 - The Cinema Soundstage Orchestra

Summer Of '42
Great Movie Hits Of '72
The Cinema Soundstage Orchestra
A/S Recording (Alshire)

Here is another budget record most pickers leave behind. But the smart buyer would take noted of the "Theme From Shaft" cover and risk the 50¢.

As budget easy goes, this album isn't whacky or completely lame. The LP features standard easy that includes, on most tracks, a 70s vibe which includes the lead track on the A side, Theme From Shaft. But for some reason, the organ intro featured on the cover of Summer Of '42 grabbed me...

OOPS! The Swinging Sounds Of Bill Doggett

Lady's Choice
The Swinging Sounds Of Bill Doggett And His Combo
Columbia CS 8614

From the back cover: For the past nine years, Bill Doggett and a Hammon Organ have been transported about the country as the major cargo of a six-passenger bus. On at least 250 nights out of each year, the bus has parked outside of a dance hall somewhere between Vancouver and Orlando, Doggett and crew have unloaded and for the next four hours, hundreds of people have danced and smiled, laughed and sung to the accompaniment of the kind of music you hear on this album.

At the age of 22, Philadelphia-born Bill Doggett was a pianist leading his own band. He worked with the Lucky Millinder band in 1940 and was pianist for the Ink Spots from 1942 to 1944. Later, he worked with Louis Jordan, and in 1951 he took up the organ. Bill then worked with Ella Fitzgerald and has written arrangements for one of the vocalist's recent albums.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Walt Disney Songs For The Family - Joe Reisman's Orchestra And Chorus

Alice In Wonderland
Walt Disney Songs For The Family
Joe Reisman's Orchestra And Chorus
RCA Victor LPM-1119

Apparently this is a somewhat obscure album. I picked it up because of the great cover image.

Reisman was a prolific producer working on nearly 1,000 recordings.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Full Spectrum Of Quadraphonic Sound - Realistic Quadraphonic

Aquarius - Percy Faith And His Orchestra & Chorus
The Full Spectrum Of Quadraphonic Sound
Realistic Quadraphonic
Columbia Special Products 50-2023 CQ-10869

Here's another quadraphonic album that was made as a promotion for Realistic (Radio Shack).

Unlike the Popular Science/Enoch Light "Test Record", this album is a straight forward compilation of songs, that may have been recorded in stereo and converted or remastered into quad sound. I don't know. All I can say is the Popular Science LP sounds so much better through my stereo headphones that there is no comparison.

Since these songs are, for the most part, available on CD or by the purchase download, I can't post the album (my apologies to the Quad blogger!). However, the Percy Faith tune seems not to be available, so enjoy the one sample. FYI: The Miles Davis track is killer.

Chase - Open Up Wide
Santana - Oye Come Va
Barbra Streisand - Free The People
Johnny Mathis - You've Got A Friend
Bloomfield, Kooper & Stills - Stop
Miles Davis - Mile Run The Voo Doo Down
Ten Years After - I'd Love To Change The World
Percy Faith, His Orchestra & Chorus - Aquarius
Lynn Anderson - Rose Garden
Sly And The Family Stone - I Want To Take You Higher

Everybody's Favorites - Jose Melis

Clair De Lune
Everybody's Favorites
Jose Melis
Mercury SR 60738

Melis's work is too conservative for me. There are bongos backing up Melis on this album, but the songs never spill over into that space age sound. However, side one sports an excellent and engaging cover of Clair De Lune featuring a guitarist that blends his/her work nicely with Melis's subdued approach.

This version is not the version available for purchase/download (that track appears to be a more fully orchestrated version, from another album).

Exotic Percussion - Milt Raskin

Exotic Percussion
Exotic Sounds Of Milt Raskin
Crown CST 212

Here we have a very nice exotica album from Milt Raskin. This album is available for purchase/download so I will not be posting a sample.

I don't know why Crown didn't spend a few dollars to produce a halfway decent cover for this album. The project was worth a flashy cover to help boost sales.

The title is a misleading. I would not lump this album in with all the percussion albums that hit the market at about this time. Raskin's work here is more of a blend between Arthur Lyman, a touch of Lex Baxter and Raskin's own instrumental sensibilities.

Raskin is also responsible for another fine "exotica" recording on Crown Titled KAPU (Forbidden). Crown did spend some money on that cover.

Percussion For Playboys

Angel Eyes
Percussion For Playboys
Omega OSD 2

This one looks like it was released in... oh, say 1960/61. The LP is a compilation of whatever Omega had on the shelf at the moment... including several weird tracks that include a sound effects track from an automobile race and the track titled A Visit To A Hindu Monastery (that I tacked onto the sample track above)! There are no artist credits and there is precious little "percussion" on the album. Actually this is more of a "jazz" album. Omega slapped the provocative title and cheesecake photo on the cover and they were good to go.

Sports Car Races
Mickey Mouse Theme
Take The "A" Train
Dancing On The Ceiling
Island Of Desire
Coop Salutes
Return To Paradise
Latin Heat
Limehouse Blues
Angel Eyes
It Ain't Necessarily So
A Visit To A Hindu Monastery

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Big Bold And Brassy - Enoch Light And The Light Brigade

American Patrol
Big Bold And Brassy
Enoch Light And The Light Brigade
Percussion In Brass
Originated and Produced by Enoch Light
Art Director Charles E. Murphy
Cover Art by S. Neil Fujita
Command Records RS 818 SD

From Billboard - February 13, 1961: Enoch Light and the Light Brigade are back in another entrancing and exciting stereo album. This time the Light crew features bright, breezy brass percussion instead of bongos, et. al., but it still makes for a mighty tasty musical album and a solid buy for stereo fans. The marches especially, such as "Colonel Bogey," "American Patrol" and "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers" and "Rambling Wreck From Georgia Tech," are a gas. This could be another best seller for the Enoch Light gang.

Great Day
Theme From The Apartment
Rachmaninoff Prelude In C#m
Whiffenpoof Song
Coloney Bogey
No Rest For The Drummer Man
American Patrol
Lullaby Of Broadway
Wabash Blues
Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers
When Yuba Plays The Rhumba On The Tuba
Rambling Wreck From Georgia Tech