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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Gee, Our 1st Album - The Rock-afire Explosion

Gee, Our 1st Album
The Rock-afire Explosion
Creative Records

I had no idea what the deal was with this album when I found it in the discount bin today. I was living under a rock when the robots pictured on the jacket were singing songs at a pizza place.

If your are interested in the particulars of Rock-afire you can start with the rockafiremovie facebook page.

I love to post a sample, but these guys are not that obscure... so I'll refrain unless one of the actors in the play demands that I do so. Then... which track to pick? That's a tough choice, because so many of the tunes are, like, totally awesome.

If you read my blog you know that I'm a big song-poem fan. The best way that I can describe what is going round and round on this record is that the vibe is a blend of song-poem and private press lounge. None of the tracks come off as kids record boring or even so much as a parody of the covers.

Fun stuff.

Paul McCartney's tune, My Love would be at the top of my list.

Little Sister
The Music Goes Round And Round
Light My Fire
My Love
Satisfaction Medley
Goin' Crazy You May Be Right
Sal's Birthday
Unchained Melody
Too Shy
Beatles Medley

Monday, July 8, 2013

Tuff Guitar Tijuana Style - Al Caiola

The Shadow Of Your Smile
Tuff Guitar Tijuana Style
Al Caiola
Produced by Leroy Holmes
Cover Photo: Frank Gauna
United Artists UAS 6473

From Billboard - July 9, 1966 (copy from an advertisement which apparently ran before the actual track list was set): "Help!," "Yesterday" and "Just A Little Bit Better" are among the dozen tracks that improve in flavor with the tasty Caiola treatment. Al is at his ingenious best throughout, with exciting arrangements that produce solid programming material. Al Caiola on tour, on television or on records, plays an Epiphany Al Caiola model guitar, which he helped design. Epiphone – choice of those who can hear the difference.

El Flicko
The Shadow Of Your Smile
Never On A Sunday
Spanish Harlem
Cuando Calienta El Sol
South Of The Border
Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars
Baubles, Bangles And Bead

Satin Brass - The George Shearing Quintet With Brass Choir

Chelsea Bridge

Satin Brass
The George Shearing Quintet With Brass Choir
Produced by Dave Cavanaugh
Capitol Records ST1326

From the back cover: George points out: "Having worked with just the Quintet for so long, I just felt the desire to have a big-band sound that boots you in the back! I believe that, in presenting this new sound of ours, we have found a fresh and appealing approach, and I'm very pleased with the blend we've managed to develop.

"Hal Rood scored "If I Had You," "Stairway To The Stars", and his own compositions, "Just Plain Bill" and "First Floor Please" (Hal, incidentally, plays trombone with the 'Satin Brass' group). Jimmy Jones arranged Duke Ellington's lovely "Chelsea Bridge," and I arranged the remaining seven numbers.

In the grim days just before World War II the first regular English jam sessions were held at the Orange Tree Pub in the sleepy North London suburb of Friern Barnet. George Shearing was always the star performer. It was there that Shearing was first discovered and acclaimed by the British critics.

Chris Hayes of "Melody Maker" declared at the time, "I predict that George will be the first British musician to give something new to American music." 

History proved Hayes to be right, of course. George not only brought something new to American; he stayed, fell in love with the country, and became a citizen. And now the new sound he presents in this album is further evidence of the creative musician outlook is always Shearing's. – Howard Lucraft

(Howard Lucraft is a long-time friend of George Shearing, having known him since the early Shearing days in England. He is well-known to Los Angeles FM listeners as host of the Jazz International Show on KPRK, and is also a regular contributor to Metronome Music USA, and Melody Maker (Great Britain).

Deep Night
In The Blue Of The Evening
I Could Write You A Book
Sleepy Manhattan
If I had You
Just Plain Bill
First Floor Please
Chelsea Bridge
A Ship Without A Sail
Stairway To The Stars
You Look Like Someone
Night Flight