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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Great Swinging Sounds - The Gramercy Six

Great Swinging Sounds
The Gramercy Six
Edison International SDP 502

From the back cover: Al Hendrickson on guitar, Nick Fatool on drums and the bass of Jud DeNaut comprise the original (Artie) Shaw group. Add the tremendous talents of Ray Sherman on harpsichord, Shorty Sherock on trumpet and a gentleman of music you may not know yet, but one who'll be 'large' with you after this introduction – Eddie Rosa on clarinet – and the result is GREAT SWINGIN' SOUNDS!

What stood out to me on this album was the early use of the harpsichord to give the sound a light pop vibe. I have to wonder where the 60s "harpsichord trend" originated from?

Special Delivery Stomp
Cross Your Heart
Mullholland Drive
Keepin' Myself For You
Steppin' Out
Summit Ridge Drive
My Blue Heaven
Board Meeting
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
Launching Pad

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Kasongo! - Modern Music Of The Belgian Congo

Tika Koseka (Rumba)
Maboka Marie (Rumba)
Modern Music Of The Belgian Congo
Capitol T10005

From the back cover: Popular music of the Belgian Congo no longer is restricted to the monotony of thumping conga drums. The contemporary trend is to more and more "civilized" instruments, including the string bass, guitars, the violin – and these recent innovations are now combined with ages-old, traditional and simple instruments such as the likembe to give the modern "sound" an odd combination of old and new.

Ntango N'Akomi Likolo (Embonga)
Bino Botuna Bosele (Sebene)
Marie (Biguine)
Tika Koseka (Rumba)
Keba Mama, Keba! (Enbonga)
Eyebo (Rumba)
Etoiles Des Neiges (Rumba)
Helene (Rhumba)
Kobota Malamu (Rumba)
Tembele Tembele (Sebene)
Maboka Marie (Rumba)
Moni Moni Non Dey (Sebene)

Escaped In Sound - Al Nevins

Old Devil Moon
Escaped In Sound
Al Nevins And His Orchestra
RCA LPM 1166

I bought this one because I collect what I call "bad habits" covers (smoking and drinking). I didn't expect much from the music, but this is a great album. The songs tie into and seem to support one another like a soundtrack or a concept album. There is a high level of sophistication to the arrangements.

From the back cover: All too often an album is little more than a collection of songs, banded together with no rhyme or reason, and all seemingly pulled from the same ball of yarn. When Al Nevins – he started out in Washington in classical music and has hence learned to play every instrument well – put aside his guitar and his famous role as one of the original members of The Three Suns to turn producer and musical director for this stunning album, he thought immediately in terms of an over-all production. Escape in Sound was to be no rambling trip down the cobblestones of Tin Pan Alley. This initial big enterprise was to have a theme – it was to tell a story in music.

Top Hat, White Tie And Tails
Moonlight Cocktail
Cocktails From Two
Old Devil Moon
Mad About The Boy
Let's Get Away From It All
Love For Sale
You're Driving Me Crazy
In The Still Of The Night
Anything Goes
Let's Put On The Lights

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

West Meets East - Dig? - The Seven Players

The Mirage
West Meets East - Dig?
The Seven Players
Arranged and Conducted by Irv Spice
Produced by Eddie Newmark
Audio Fidelity AFLP 2166

I listen to a ton of records. Many are great fun, but every now and then one stands out. This is one of those perky space age efforts that I think you'll enjoy as much as you might enjoy Neal Hefti's Hefti In Gotham City. This album has that type of space age sparkle.

It also sounds as if this album may have been sampled for Science Fiction Dance Party or Dracula's Music Cabinet. These are two "modern" day assemblages of space age material that I find great fun. At least this record reminds me of those two CD imports.

And of course... the cover is amazing. The woman is feeding the man a grape... however she is holding a hot dog in her hand. Apparently our West/East couple is interfacing with strange foods. Dig?

The Carefree Camel
Zobra The Greek
The Mirage
The Nomad
Asia Minor
The Bazaar
The Sultan's Dream
Sahara Sunrise

Love Country - Hypnotic Harps

Hey Jude
Love Country
Hypnotic Harps
Soloist - Gayle Levant
GRT Records GRT-10001

One treat for me in life is to find 60s or 70s light pop albums because you never know to what lengths artists and record companies will go to cover "the hits of the day".

In this case, the last idea on the pile must have been to do up songs on the harp. OK... the last idea may have been to use a kazoo. Which reminds me... I think that has also been done, but I have yet to find that album.

The harpist struggles with some of the arrangements because... well... she is playing the harp. Terrific extra fluffy light pop stuff really.

Time For Us
Hey Jude
Little Green Apples
Will You Be Staying After Sunday
Love Country
Windmills Of Your Mind
By The Time I Get To Phoenix
Born To Be With You
Wichita Lineman
More Today Than Yesterday
Love Country Reprise

Love Songs Mexico / S.A. - Tony Mottola

The Girl From Ipanema
Love Songs Mexico / S.A.
Tony Mottola
Arrangements by Lew Davis and Tony Mottola
Originated and Produced By Enoch Light
Associate Producers: Julie Klages and Robert Byrne
Recording Chief: Fred Christie
Mastering George Piros (Stereo) & John Johnson (Monaural)
Art Director" Charles E. Murphy
Command Records SMAS-90605
This album features a number of lush understated guitar pieces, a few light pop tracks (like the sample above) and several brassy traditional sounding tunes that seem as though they were included as filler.

From Billboard - November 13, 1965: Command Records will attempt to cash in on the selection of Tony Mottola's "Love Songs Mexico / S. A." album as the feature album of the week on the Jim Ameche Organization's syndicated radio show for the week of Nov. 29. The show reportedly reaches some 300 million listeners throughout the world.

Command has ordered several thousand extra streamers, dividers and easel backs to promote the album, and the label has rushed a single from the album to disk jockeys for air play.

Loren Becker, Command general manager said the Mottola album will probably be the label's best seller of 1965.

Theme From Black Orpheus
Mexican Hat Dance
The Girl From Ipanema
Mexica Medley
Besame Mucho
Maria Elena
Piel Canela
La Bamba

101 Strings Orchestra Play Jim Webb And Other Original Songs

Run Alice Run
101 Strings Orchestra Play Jim Webb And Other Original Songs
Alshire S-5338

It took me a moment to connect this dull and uninviting cover graphic to the first track, Up Up And Away (in my beautiful balloon).

What was Alshire thinking? Anywhoo... there is no Victorian ballroom music on the LP. Surprisingly, the vinyl features some decent light pop fare.

Up Up And Away
MacArthur Park
A Great Day
By The Time I Get To Phoenix
Wichita Lineman
Run Alice Run

Lonely Harpsichord Rainy Night In Shangri-la

Quiet Village
Lonely Harpsichord Rainy Night In Shangri-la
Jonathan Knight
Produced and Arranged by Al Capps
Cover Design & Photo: Studio Five, Inc.
Plants by Geller Originals
A Snuff Garrett Production
Distributed Nationally by Dot Records
VIVA V36011

Stranger On The Shore
Cast Your Fate To The Wind
Pagan Love Song
Yellow Bird
Quite Village
Bali Ha'i
Tiki Waterfall
Dream Theme
Midnight Hideaway
Soft Sands

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Rhumba Rhythms & Dances

Besos Ardiente
Rhythms & Dances
Palace PST 693

Budget collection of tracks that Palace cobbled together.  The sample tune is surprisingly nice.

Let's Rhumba
Besos Ardiente
Rhumba Rhapsody
Rhumba Serenade
Let's Rhumba
False Love
Cielito Lindo
Bongo Man
La Paloma
Mi Passion
Blue Rhumba