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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Stereo Action Goes Hollywood - Marty Gold

Stereo Action Goes To Hollywood
Marty Gold And His Orchestra
RCA LSA-2381

I collect the Stereo Action series for the covers first. If you aren't familiar, the heavy cardboard jacket normally has a shape die-cut through the cover on the front. The inside jacket features an abstract image the peeks through the cover.

The series was created to help promote RCA's  stereo engineering. Some LPs in the series, went overboard playing with the right and left channels. The entry isn't out to "ping-pong" you to death, but the vibe also isn't as "atomic" as other Action LPs I've collected.

From Billboard - May 29, 1961: In a brief period of several months, RCA Victor has successfully established its line of Stereo Action albums. It is known that each of the first four packages which were released during February and March sold about 35,000. – The Stereo Action line was RCA Victor's concept of Music In Motion and entails a deliberate effort to move the sound of instruments or voices from speaker to speaker to suspend the sound between speakers, etc. The packaging is deluxe, with detailed notes on studio equipment and a track by track breakdown of the music. – I recently debuted lines based on a concept of sound, it has been customary for the manufacturer to establish a monaural counterpart of the stereo version. RCA Victor has decided not to do this with Stereo Action.

Around The World
The Children's Marching Song
Song Of The Barefoot Contessa
Song From Moulin Rouge
The 3rd Man Theme
Coloney Bogey
Moonglow and Theme From Picnic
The High And The Mighty
Tara's Theme
Baby, It's Cold Outside

Friday, August 17, 2012

Freddie Scott - I Shall Be Released

With A Little Help From My Friends
Freddie Scott
I Shall Be Released
Produced by Freddie Scott and Tommy Kaye
Command/Probe ABC Records

This is a fine soul album with a pop edge which I was going to enjoy, but not blog as I thought the vibe would not work here. The songs are arranged in a unique way to help showcase the Scott's sound. Nice. But when I listened to the trippy track (as posted above) I had to share it. What a great blend of songs and just a fine spaced-out interpretation.

Read about Scott on his wiki page.

The Guitar Ramblers

Malibu Caravan
Happy, Youthful New Sounds Of The Guitar Ramblers
Under the Direction of Jack Marshall
Produced by Jim Harbert
Columbia Special Products
Special Archives Series
CSRP 8867

This is more of a light pop set with touches of "surf sound".

"Jack Marshall" is probably the same Jack Marshall who may have been working on theme and incidental music for the 1960s TV series The Munsters at the time of this release.

There are a lot of twists and turns in the music which help to hold your interest.

Malibu Caravan
El Torito
Alley Cat
After You've Gone
Wildwood Flower
Midnight In Madrid
Surf Beat
Walk Right In
Bugle Call Rag
Pick Now, Pay Later
Mother, Please! Let Me Do It Myself!
It's A Man's World

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Keys And I - Eddie Heywood

Caravan In The Night
The Keys And I
Eddie Heywood
With Joe Reisman And His Orchestra
RCA LPM-1900

This fine album was made after Heywood made a come back from partial paralysis of his hands which affected him in the late 40s.

Eddie Heywood's wiki page.

This is a smart late 50s album. The title plays off the song "The Breeze And I" which was a popular tune to cover at the time. The is a touch of "exotica", "Latin" and "space age" in the mix. The arrangements present twists and turns that help to keep the sound fresh and moving.

Also, I noticed that the bass is right up front in the engineering (sound). I just found that featuring interesting having listened to so many records from this period in which the bass seems more soft or low in volume.

St. Louis Blues
Virgin Isle Vamp
All The Way
Caravan In The Night
The Piccolino
Pom Pom
Land Of Dreams

Strange Interlude - Lew Davis And His Orchestra

Old Devil Moon
Strange Interlude
Lew Davis And His Orchestra
Originated and produced by Enoch Light
Arrangements by Lew Davies
Associate Producer: Julie Klages
Recording Engineer: Robert Fine
Mastering: George Piros
Art Direction by Charles E. Murphy
Cover Art & Design by S. Neil Fujita
Command RS 829 SD
Grand Awards Record Co, Inc.

Bass: Jack Lesberg & Bob Hagars
Reed: Stanley Webb, Phil Bodner, Ezelle Watson & Al Klink
Drums: Phil Kraus & George Devens
Ondioline: Sy Mann
Trombones: Bobby Byrne, Urbie Green & Dick Hixon
French Horn: Tony Miranda & Paul Faulise
Guitar: Tony Mottola
Theremin: Walter Sear & Paul Lippman
Cymbalum: Michael Szittai

Riders In The Sky
Strange Interlude
In A Mist
Gone With The Wind
Wild Goose
Old Devil Moon
Ebb Tide
The Riddle Song
The Witching Hour

On The Beach - Frank Chacksfield

On The Beach
On The Beach
Frank Chacksfield And His Orchestra
London PS-203

Apparently the title song, On The Beach, spent 8 weeks on Billboard's 100 in 1960 peaking at #47.

Great cover art, but set lacks "atomic" punch...

Monday, August 13, 2012

Happy Strings Of Zacharias

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Happy Strings Of (Helmut) Zacharias
Sonderfertigung der Electrola
SHZE 227

Is this album an import? I have no idea. The jacket is make of of that glossy lightweight cardboard like you find on foreign press (Germany, in this case), however, all of the titles are in English.

These Boots Are Made For Walking
Ode To Billie Joe
I Was Kaiser Bills Batman
The Girls In Paris
Release Me
Mexico Calling
Somethin' Stupid
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Spanish Flea
The Last Waltz

Masque d'Afreique

Masque d'Afreique
Del-Fi Records
DFLP 1203

Here's one of the more inventive "exotica" period albums that I've unearthed. I would call this a concept album. Bob Keene composed and directed the music. Keene blended what seems to me to be African and "Voodoo" pop influences that were emerging in music during the late 50s along with jazz, some Yma Sumac sound-alike voices and what I might term a "beat" feel which may account for the repetitive and hypnotic effect of the entire record.

Girl voices, Behana: Elsa Nilsson. Male voice, Wakusi: Earl Burton. Clarinet, Zeneku. Bob Keene. Drums of Africa: Earl Burton.

Generally, I would post only a sample. But this recording needs to be heard in full. There are  additional postings of this album online if you are looking for the album broken down into tracks.

Jorgen Ingmann Plays El Condor Pasa

Regntunga Skyar
Jorgen Ingmann Plays El Condor Pasa
United Artists Records

Here's an interesting album I unearthed the other day made by Danish guitarist, Jorgen Ingmann who recorded Apache in 1961 which charted #2 in the US.

From the back cover: The famous "Ingmann sound"is a specific technique. Jorgen gets the exact sound he wants by playing all guitar parts himself, overdubbing as many as ten different tracks.

The vibe is a space age blend of jazz, easy listening and light pop.

El Condor Pasa
Regntunga Skyar
Opus Five
Wishin' & Hopin'
The Sea Is My Soul
It Might As Well Be Spring
Summer Wind
This Guy's In Love With You
How Can I Be Sure

Maria Elena - Los Quatro Tiajuanas

Maria Elena
Maria Elena
Los Quatro Tiajuanas
Embajador Dicos 6009

This record was apparently pressed by Synthetic Plastics Co., Newark, N.J. for export. The jacket is graphically bold and appealing but I didn't expect much from the tracks. The music, no surprise, seems to have been cobbled together from a variety of sources by the budget label. The cover of Maria Elena is very nice, but the vibe is quite a bit different than the more tradition sound of the rest of the album.

Bongo Cha Cha Cha - Jack Costanzo

Bongo Cha Cha Cha
Jack Costanzo
Golden Tone C4061

When I ran across this album I was sure that I already had it in the collection. I'm pretty good at remember jacket art... or maybe remembering fantastic shirts. The record that I was thinking of was Mr. Bongo Plays In Hi-Fi on Tops which featured this same photo.

While the jacket art was repurposed here, the tracks are different.

From Billboard - October 17, 1960: Here's a clean, crisp, brassy exposition of that favorite of the Latin rhythms, the cha cha. There's a lot of the blaring trumpet and trombone sound here along with some neat percussion effects. Eight offerings are all of an authentic nature and rack men can probably pick up some sales with the set.

Mira Como Los Pollos
Ramo E Mula
Que Dichoso Es
Nana Secre