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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Pal Joey - Andre Previn

I'm Talking With My Pal
Modern Jazz Performances Of Songs From Pal Joey
Andre Previn & His Pals
Shelly Manne and Red Mitchell
Contemporary Records C3543

Here's a nice mellow track gifted from this fine jazz album that seems perfect for this Christmas Eve Day.

From the back cover: Andre Previn is one of the most unusual musical talents, equally at home as a composer, conductor and pianist in jazz, classical and popular music. Three-time Academy Award nominee for film scores (he's currently composing and conducting for his 29th picture, Gigi). Andre also places high in the jazz popularity polls. Results of the 1957 balloting indicate he's considered on of the handful of truly great pianists in jazz today. Born in Berlin, Germany, April 6, 1929, he came to the U.S. in 1939, and while still in his teens had established an enviable reputation as a film composer and conductor, and as a popular pianist. 1957 was a busy year: he completed his 1st Symphony; recorded extensively for Contemporary; played engagements at Chicago's London House and San Francisco's Black Hawk with his jazz trio; conducted at the Hollywood Bowl; and gave a recital of 20th Century Classical music in Paris – all in addition to his work at M-G-M. The cover shot seemed appropriate for the first Previn and Pals album, for if ever there was a piano's friend, it is Andre. He talks their language, and brings out the best in them.

Winning popularity polls is no novelty for Shelly Manne, the nation's favorite drummer. In 1956 and '57, he made a clean sweep of 1st place in the three major magazine contests: Playboy, Down Beat and Metronome. Born in New York City June 11, 1920, Shelly has been playing professionally since he was 18 with many famous groups including a long stint with Stan Keton's orchestra. Since 1955 he has had his own five-peice group, Shelly Manne & His Men, considered by critics and fans to be one of the top jazz combinations of the mid-'50s.

Red Mitchell is new to the company of Friends/Pals, making his first appearance with Andre and Shelly in this album, but he has worked with each of them on many occasions over the past few years in Los Angeles. Red, generally regarded as one of the top bassists of contemporary jazz, has appeared on many Contemporary records, as an internal part of the Hampton Hawes Trio, on various Barney Kessel albums, with Red Norvo and as the leader of his own quartet in a new album, C3538, Presenting Red Mitchell. He was born in New York City September 20, 1927, and worked with many of the top stars, including Chubby Jackson, Woody Herman, Red Norvo and Gerry Mulligan prior to joining Hawes in 1954. He formed his own group in 1957. He is particularly noted for his melodic solos; a first-rate example may be heard on I Could Write A Book.

– Lester Koenig
November 20, 1957

I Could Write A Book
That Terrific Rainbow
Take Him
It's A Great Big Town
What Is A Man?
I'm Talking' With My Pal
Do It The Hard Way

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