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Friday, December 13, 2013

Frankly Percussion - Frank Loesser

If I Were A Bell
Frankly Percussion
Music By Frank Loesser
The Frankie Capp Percussionists
Album Production: Dave Pell
Kimberly 11001

The sound is after early 60s "Command" label big band/ping pong LPs. No chances were taken on the arrangements, but the session is strong and the engineering quality is high.

Percussion: Frankie Capp, Gene Estes, Roy Harte, Emil Richards, Ralph Hansel, Frank Hansel and Frank Guerrero. Trumpet: Ray Linn. Trombone: Herbie Harper. Bass Trombone: Gail Martin and Ken Shroyer. French Horn: Arthur Maebe. Piano: Bob Florence. Organ-Celeste: Donn Trenner. Bass-Tuba: Red Callender. Guitar: Tom Tedesco. Woodwinds: Marty Berman, Bob Drasnin and Bud Shank.

From the back cover: On quality alone Frank Loesser could compete for the title of America's Number One Songwriter. Over 1500 songs with words and/or music by Loesser have been sung, played, whistled and danced to by a grateful nation. About fifty of them have been Hit Parade hits. Over a hundred motion pictures scores have included his songs. And he has four big Broadway shows to his credit.

Also from the back cover: Frankie Capp is not a newcomer to the percussion world. He is one of the top men in the jazz field today benign featured as the third man in the Andre Previn trio and as featured soloist with the Dave Pell octet. He has also been with such aggregations as Neal Hefti, Billy May, Harry James, Shorty Rodgers and Stan Getz. He has at various times worked with Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald and David Rose. At present he is one of the busiest studio musicians in Hollywood and we are very happy to present him on his first album as a bandleader in his own right.

If I Were A Bell
Baby It's Cold Outside
Sit Down You're Rocking The Boat
Standing On The Corner
A Bushel And A Peck
Fugue For Tin Horns
The New Ashmolean Marching Society And Students Conservatory Band
My Darling, My Darling
The Moon Of Manakoora
Luck Be A Lady Tonight
I've Never Been In Love Before
On A Slow Boat To China

Bach For Percussion - John Klein

Bach For Percussion
John Klein
The New York Percussion Ensemble
Audio Fidelity AFLP 1812

Toccata and Fugue in D Minor
Fugue in G Minor ("The Great") – Toccata in F Major – Fugue in C Major
Transcribed for Precussion Ensemble by John Klein
The New York Percussion Ensemble (Saul Goodman, Elden Bailey, Walter Rosenberger, Morris Lang, Gilbert Breines)
Harold Glick, Conductor

From the back cover: Mr. Klein has composed music for no less than 137 dramas for the United States Trasury Department NBC Transcription Series, for which he received the Distinguished Service Citation and the Treasury Silver Medal Award, an honor bestowed for "extraordinary assistance and distinguished service." He has arranged music for top radio and television shows, including "The Hit Parade," "Stop the Music," and other equally popular programs; also for a number of Broadway shows. His published compositions number in the hundreds, and include works for piano, organ, chamber ensembles, choral groups, a violin concerto, orchestral music and pieces for symphonic band. In addition, he has composed music for films.

One of his major achievements is a monumental, widely-used two-volume work entitled "The First Four Centuries of Music" (New York, 1948), which contains examples of early music and explanatory text covering the period of from 1350 to 1750.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

In Motion - The Quartette Tres Bien

Master Charles
"In" Motion
The Exciting Piano And Rhythms Of The Quartette Tres Bien
Produced by Milt Gabler
Decca DL 74791
Decca "white label" promotional

Personnel: Jeter Thompson, Piano - Richard Simmons, Bass - Albert St. James, Drums and Percy James, Bongos and Congas.

Terrific Space Age Jazz Set featuring some of the most striking piano work I've heard. Some credit has to go to Decca for excellent engineering. The instrument/sound separation is excellent

From the back cover: When reviewing the Quartette's last album in "Down Beat," pianist Marian McPartland remarked that "the use of conga drum and bongos seems to point up every little nuance from the piano, and they are played delicately and with a fine-honed touch by James." This masterly touch is well in evidence on Master Charles, a Percy James original, on which Mr. Charles, Jr., takes off sedately. The other James, Albert, comes to the fore in Saint Sylvester, which serves as a reminder that he, too, is an accomplished percussionist, Jeter Thompson, not to be outdone, has created a striking vehicle for his piano in Bad People, a three-part lament. This receives by far the most original interpretation in the set, the cortege section being particularly evocative. Sorrow, drama and relief, as expressed in this performance, should not obscure the fact that the meaning of "bad" is often reversed in jazz, where the baddest people are often the best.

It Ain't Necessarily So
Master Charles
Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars
For Heaven's Sake
Saint Sylvester
Love Theme From Madame X
It Could Happen To You
Bad People
Brother Percy

Make Mine Mambo - Joe Loco

Make Mine Mambo (And Cha Cha Cha)
Joe Loco
TICO LP-1008

Make Mine Mambo
Joe Loco & His Quintet
Cover Photo: Jerry Dantzic
Tico Records LP-1008

How High The Moon
Stompin' At The Savoy
Happy Mambo
These Foolish Things
Tremedo Cha Cha Cha
Sadie Thompson Song
Cha Cha Cha #5
Matty Singer Mambo
The High And The Mighty

Way Out Mae West

Way Out Mae West
Come On Up And Rock With Me
Tower ST 5028
Produced By David Mallet
Arranged By David Mallet, Jim Horn and David Allen

This gem can be found for purchase/download at the usual sites, so I won't be posting a sample here. At least one track can be found on YT.

The record comes with a 4 page insert with color cover art as seen in the second image. The insert copy is PR that covers West's career as written by Rory Guy, Associate Editor, CINEMA Magazine.

There seem to be plenty of copies floating around, including one I found on ebay today for about $5. I thought that this would be a popular "oddball" record on the blogs, but I didn't find any reviews on the first few pages of my search. And only one short review on Amazon.

I'm fond of "aging" stars who thought well enough of their talent to give "youth music" a try. Most of these "vanity albums", at the time they were released… would literally drive any kid who happened to have heard them crazy with laughter. Even the most well known pro vocalists, let alone Mae West, should have stayed far away from making "rock/pop" covers LPs.

However, "oddball" this recording was and still is… West somehow manages to deliver the "goods". The approach is engaging and almost "punk" at times. The fuzz guitar bridges help sell the sound.

A matter of "taste", as every piece of art is… you decide… But up here in The Atomic Attic… we had a good time listening to this one!

Treat Him Right
When A Man Loves A Woman
You Turn Me On
Shakin' All Over
If You Gotta Go
Lover Please Don't Fight
Day Tripper Nervous
Twist And Shout
Boom Boom
Mae Day

Monday, December 9, 2013

King Of Organ With A Beat - Don Johnson

The Breeze And I
Don Johnson
King Of Organ With A Beat
Souped-Up Organ, Vibes, Piano, Accordion Rhythm & Bones
Volume 3
Kandy Records SLK 144

From the back cover: At age 6, Don tinkered with a make-shift drum set along-side the radio. At age 8, he envied a childhood playmate who could play "Nola" on the piano so he studied until he too, could play as well. Observing a vaudeville drummer winning more applause than a whole orchestra or any of the acts from his clowning, artistry and sound gimmicks, Don influenced his 12th year birthday present: a brand new set of drums complete with whistles and gadgets galore. His drumming talent won him a place in the senior high school band years ahead of schedule, his own dance bands and prizes from talent contests. Intending music to remain a hobby, Don studied classical piano, played percussion in high school orchestra and, later French and Baritone horns in the band. His piano playing put him through three years of college training in Engineering until called to military duty, World War II.

With papers in hand for re-entering University of Michigan's school of Engineering after four years in the military, Don waited for a plane to fly him from Seattle, Washington to his home town, Muskegon, Michigan. The plane was three hours late and Don whiled away the time on an electric organ at the airport dining room. The reactions from those who heard him that day, the post-war demand for this "new" electric organ in booming night clubs, plus his passion for music – all suddenly influenced Don, age 24, to become a full-time traveling organist. A well-rounded musical background, two solid years of concentrated organ study and ten successful years of night club performances – all helped to qualify Don Johnson's genius in producing these tremendous albums...

Sweet Georgia Brown
Tea For Two
Moonglow And Theme From Picnic
Bye Bye Blues
Five Foot Two Eyes Of Blue
Brazil The Breeze And I
Happy Organ
The Shiek Of Araby
Mighty Low