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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Page Full Of Hits - Larry Page Orchestra

Light My Fire
Scarborough Fair
Page Full Of Hits
The Larry Page Orchestra
Produced by Larry Page
Page One Records
Distributed by Bell Records, Inc.

Obscure promotional copy of a generally well done "light pop" covers set down by the "The Teenage Rage" and producer of The Kinks and The Troggs, Larry Page.

Witchita Lineman
Promises, Promises
Light My Fire
My Special Angel
I Say A Little Prayer
Les Bicyclettes De Belsize
Those Were The Days
Scarborough Fair
Hey Jude
Little Green Apples

Movie Hits - Enoch Light

Title Music And Themes From The French Connection
Movie Hits
Enoch Light & The Light Brigade
Arrangements by Dick Hyman
Associate Producers: Tony Mottola and Jeff Hest
Project 3 PR 5063SD

A grab bag of conservative sounding orchestral covers with a few "space age hip Light/Command" flavored interpretations which include the sample above, Shaft and Diamonds Are Forever.

From March 25, 1972 Billboard: Enoch Light, his Light Brigade, Dick Hyman, Tony Mottola and Jeff Hest have blended their musical talents and produced, arranged and performed on this splendid package. It is a programmer's dream with the music from movies like "The Godfather," "The Summer Of '42," " Mary, Queen of Scots" and "Fiddler".

Title Music And Themes From The French Connection
The Godfather Waltz
The Summer Knows
Title Music And Theme From Clockwork Orange
This Way Mary
Theme From Shaft
Diamonds Are Forever
Fiddler On The Roof
To Be The One You Love
Long Ago Tomorrow
I Still See You

The Don Costa Concept

Hey Jude

The Don Costa Concept
Mercury SR 61216

From the back cover: Two sides of a recording aren't enough for the many sides of Don Costa. Recording artist, conductor, composer, arranger, musical director – he can move in and out of these roles as easily as he can do the background music for films, yes, he does that too. "Rough Night At Jericho", "Madigan". "The Impossible Years". Yet he always emerges Don Costa, and that's what a concept is all about.

From May 3, 1969 Billboard: Don Costa has come up with a delightful and diversified collection of recent pop hits that will immediately win favor among middle-of-the-road programmers. His sensitive guitar treatments are complimented by the lush string arrangements, and he adds sparkle to such favorites…

What was the Mercury art department thinking when they designed the cover? The pastels that frame the heavily manipulated and badly cropped photo of Costa entertaining his friends, a photo that seems to include a guy sitting on a rock (front, center) who looks as though he is tying his shoes... is pretty amazing.

Hey Jude
Soulful Strut
On The South Of Chicago
Goodbye Sadness
Love So Fine
From Both Sides Now
I'm Gonna Make You Love Me
If I Only Had Time
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

Friday, November 14, 2014

Let It Be - Bud Shank

Long Time Gone
Let It Be
Bud Shank With The Bob Alcivar Singers
Produced by Richard Bock
Arranged and Conducted by Bob Alcivar
World Pacific Jazz Records

Bud Shank - Alto Sax
Roger Kellaway - Piano
Dennis Budmir - guitar
Carol Kaye - Bass
John Guerin - drums
Howard Roberts - guitar
Michael Anthony - guitar
Larry Knechtel - organ and electric piano
Michael Lang - organ and electric piano

Vocalists: John Bahler, Loren Farber, Ronald Hicklin, Gordon Mitchell, Louis Morford, Ian Freebairn-Smith, Sally Stevens, Susan Tallman and Jackie Ward.

Pictured on the back cover is Bud Shank (right) and Bob Alcivar, vocal arranger for The Fifth Dimension and The Carnival.

On this set, Shank covers three Beatles tunes in addition to a number of other well known period pop tunes. Shank's horn work and Alcivar's choral treatments, I was sure, would turn these well known songs into nothing more than "what-were-they-thinking" head shakers. From the first note of this blend of "group vocal/light pop/light jazz" I wanted to dismiss the sound as failed novelty. However, as much as I wanted to, I couldn't help but like this set. The sound never slides into "just a vocal/horn/pop gimmick". Alcivar manages to arrange all these tunes on a nice bass groove and just as you think you can't stand the vocal treatment, Shank pushes that treatment to the back with his horn, or a light pop moment takes center stage.  Good stuff.

Billboard gave the album "4 Stars".

Let It Be
Games People Play
Long Time Gone
Both Sides Now
Love's Been Good To Me
A Famous Myth
Didn't We
Long And Winding Road
For Once In My Life

Slim Gaillard with Dizzie Gillespie

Slim Gaillard with Dizzie Gillespie and Orchestra
Halo 50273

Outstandingly strange Halo cover art and outstanding set. Terrific fun!

Shared here, sadly, without a sample because the set seems to be available on CD, but tracks are also sold individually online, not anywhere as a group... that I can tell… but one or two songs here and there from a variety of vendors.

The only mention of Gaillard and Gillespie that I could find that might help date this album was from a 1953 issue of Billboard : Gaillard, Gillespie toured (Cavalcade Of Jazz) with The Stan Kenton Orchestra (along with June Christy and Stan Getz) in 1953 for The Gale Agency. The tour sold out in nearly half of the cities it played.

Wini Beatty sings a wicked solo on That Ain't Right.

Flat Foot Floogie
Dizzie Boogie
Popity Pop
Riff City
Mean Mama Blues
Slim's Jam
Santa Monica Jump
That Ain't Right
Early Morning Boogie
Chicken Rhythm
Mean Pretty Mama
School Kids Jump

The Songs Of Will Hudson & Eddie De Lange - Johnny Guarnieri

The Songs Of Will Hudson & Eddie De Lange
Johnny Guarnieri
Coral Records CRL 57085

Arnold Fishkind, bass
Mundell Lowe, guitar
Denzil De Costa, drums
Barry Gailbraith, guitar
Eddie Safranski, bass
Donald Lamond, drums

From Feb. 9, 1957 Billboard: Even the Guarnieri fans could be disappointed by this set. Few of the tunes by this writer team can claim to be "immortal," and Hudson's several swing band novelties such as…

Unfortunately, Billboard's pasteup department failed to flow, or ran out of space because of an ad and simply did not flow the rest of the copy so we will never know why they, somewhat uncharacteristically, seem to trash this set.

This is a fine LP based on my experience with mid-50s period small combo jazz albums. There is a soft timeless bluesy groove to enjoy. The artist's craft is excellent and to top it off, Coral's engineering is excellent featuring rich bass and sparkling piano/guitar passages.

The period over the first "i" in Guarnieri's name is missing on the front cover. None-the-less… this is a fine example of mid-50s cover design.

Organ Grinders Swing
Don't Kiss Me Again
By The Great Horn Spoon
White Heat
Hobo On Park Avenue
Sophisticated Swing
With All My Heart And Soul
Midnight At The Onyx
The Least Little Thing You Do

My Foolish Heart - Betty Smith

My Foolish Heart
The Betty Smith Group
Accompaniment Directed by Malcolm Lockyer
London ffss PS 136

Obituary excerpt: Her trip to the States had whet her appetite and she returned with the quintet, touring on the same programme as Bill Haley's Comets. Her record of "Bewitched" reached the American hit parade. She proved skilled at finding work and the quintet played summer seasons in Guernsey and other places. The group had a residency on the liner Franconia and she played and sang – for she was a good vocalist – with the Ted Heath Orchestra. She did a lot of radio and television work and for a while had her own radio programme on Radio Luxembourg.

My Foolish Heart
Down Among The Sheltering Palms
Sleepy Lagoon
The Faithful Hussar
Autumn Nights
Maria, My Own
Indian Summer
Song Of The Boulevards
Galway Blues
Blue Blues
Forgotten Dreams

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Never On Sunday

Never On Sunday
Never On Sunday
And Other Romantic Themes
Palace M-682

Total budget conservative organ music set performed by Bill Martin (a credit noted only on the record label). Unfortunately, the title track is the only song that features a cheesy hint of small combo lounge. The cover features a photo that Palace, I guess, must have thought "related" to the movie "Never On Sunday".

"All ORGAN" is scrawled on the cover as if written by the first person who purchased the album as a warning.

Never On Sunday
Beautiful Dreamer
I Love You
Carry Me Back To Old Virginny
La Cumparsita
Theme From Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto
Bird In A Gilded Cage
Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes
I Dream Of Jeanie
My Heart At Thy Sweet Voice
I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Music To Turn You On - Pete Fountain

Music To Watch Girls By
Music To Turn You On
Pete Fountain
Arranged and Produced by Charles "Bud" Dant
Coral CRL 757496

From the back cover: The simple, and simply delightful, fact about today's pop music scene is that there are any number of ways to turn one on. There are many ways, yes, but only a small fraction of talent on the contemporary music scene possesses the means to do so. Maybe the secret is not to let musical fads and fancies slip you by, for even the most seemingly harmless of new pop music approaches may hold the seed buds of greatness. The past decade or so has revealed as much, time and time again.

Pete Fountain, as this happy and romantic album bears out, is soundly tuned in to what is surely the most sophisticated pop music generation ever.

Throughly Modern Millie
The Eyes Of Love
Music To Turn You On
This Is My Song
Casino Royale
Tiger Rag
Somethin' Stupid
Music To Watch Girls By
Bourbon Street Parade

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Claude Bolling - Big Piano

Georgia On My Mind
Claude Bolling
Big Piano
Sax solo: Gerard Badini
Joue les succès de Ray Charles
Philips P 77.152 L

This somewhat obscure Bolling album seemed to be marketed to capitalize on the "twist" craze. The set is actually more small combo light pop lounge. Some tracks are helped along by Badini's sax work.

What'd I Say
Fich' Le Camp Jack! Hit The Road Jack
You Be My Baby
Yes Indeed
Unchain My Heart
Tell All The World About You
Preachin' Charles
I'm Movin' On
Tell Me How Do You Feel
That's Enough
One Mint Julep
Tell The Truth
Georgia On My Mind

Monday, November 10, 2014

Dream Awhile - Bobby Hackett

Stardust (Mono)

Dream Awhile
Bobby Hackett
With Johnny Seng on the Wurlitzer Pipe Organ
Arrangements by Glenn Osser
Cover Photo: Gary Gladstone
Columbia CL & CS 1602

From the back cover: The organ played by Gleen Osser and Johnny Seng is the four-manual Wurlitzer Pipe Organ, formerly the famous Paramount Theatre Studio organ. It is presently installed in the studio of Richard Loderhose. Mr. Seng, a demonstrator for the Wurlitzer company, provides a rich backdrop for the persuasive Hackett sound.

From March 6, 1961 Billboard: Bobby Hackett moved out of the jazz scene several years back to join the Jackie Gleason crew in some successful mood albums, and this new one featuring the fine, clean - Hackett trumpet tones against a mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ… The organ essays, the sound of an ork or band – it's that big, and Hackett moves in to take his pleasant solos.

Stairway To The Stars
The Boy Next Door
These Foolish Things
Fools Rush In
Sweet And Lovely
I Couldn't Sleep A Wink Last Night
It's Been A Long, Long Time
That Old Feeling

A Today Kind Of Thing - The Four Freshmen

A Today Kind Of Thing
The Four Freshmen
Liberty Records LST-7542

From the back cover: Wow, music has come a long way! I mean remember the yesterday kind of thing that lulled you into warm romantic trances? The kind of thing that still retained the lush hum of Glenn Miller but said something personal to you and your girl. The kind of "Love Lost-Laura" sound that captured an atmosphere so vividly that you are still transported on waves of warmth when you hear it. Remember?

Yeah, we all remember, and that music still has its moments late in the seductive hours of our evenings. But what do the Four Freshmen have to do with the Doors, the Grateful Dead, the Beatles, the Turtles, or Simon & Garfunkel? Where do they fit in now?

This album is the answer. Here are the Freshmen singing "A Today Kind Of Thing."

What would a tribute to the lyrical beauty of the "Today Kind Of Thing" be without recognition of the marvelous musical contributions of the Beatles? On both "Michelle" and "She's Leaving Home" the Freshmen demonstrate a remarkable affinity for the Lennon-McCartney sensitivity to youth and harmonic innovations. This is natural, in a sense, for the Freshmen are a talented group of singer-musicians whose impact on an earlier generation was immediate and exciting.

The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)
Happy Together
Never My Love
The Wonderful World Of Color
Glad To Be Happy
Byrd Avenue
She's Leaving Home
California My Way
Love Is A Happy Thing
Homeward Bound

Dancing And Dreaming - Jean-Michel DeFaye

Pourquoi Pas Moi
Dancing And Dreaming
Jean-Michel DeFaye
Philips PHM 200-023

From the back cover: Here are the musically romantic efforts of a twenty-seven-year-old Frenchman, Jean-Michel DeFaye, and a Gallic galaxy of half-a-hundred expert musicians. Maestro DeFaye's studies at the Paris Conservatory have led to a host of international awards (the Grand Prix of Rome, among them), and recognition as a serious composer of note. Jean-Michel, despite his classical training, had no trouble shifting to the other end of the musical spectrum, becoming a much-in-demand arranger for such popular theater and movie "names" as Zizi Jeanmaire.

This recording marks, auspiciously, the vinyl debut of the Defaye orchestra, richly fabricated aggregation whose principal component is a lush violin section that creates a many-mood panorama of melody.

Above average "lush strings" set featuring plenty of space age touches.

Guitar Tango
Reve Mon Reve
Nuit D'Espagne
In A Little Spanish Town
Le Voyageur Sans Etoile
Ton Adieu
Pourquoi Pas Moi
Oui Devant Dieu
I'm In The Mood For Love
Pizzicati Pizzicato
Moon River
Cristal Tango
Et Maintenant
C'est Joli La Mer