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Saturday, April 4, 2015

Witchcraft! - Ray Martin

Old Devil Moon
Ray Martin and His Orchestra
Produced by Morty Palitz
Cover Design by Si Leichman
Photograph by Charles Varon
Jubilee Records JGM 1005

Delightful mood set with just enough "witchcraft" to keep you "spellbound".

From the back cover: The spellbinder conducting the 'assembly' of sweetly relaxing illusions is Ray Martin, who was born in Vienna, Austria in 1918 and lived there for 20 years. He studied there at the Vienna State Academy for Music and Fine Arts from 1933 to 1938.

In 1938, Ray went to England and toured the Music Halls as a solo violin act. When war broke out in 1939, he monitored U-boat short-wave for the British Armed Services, enlisted in the British Army in 1940. Ray served with their Intelligence Corps until hostilities ceased in '45. He was naturalize as a British subject in 1946.

Then began a long career, broadcasting for B.B.C. There were weekly series, variety shows, music for plays and features. His associations with the B.B.C. ran through Radio and TV, from 1946 to 1957. In 1949, Ray cut some sides in England. His 'Blue Tango' was Number One in Europe, since then he has 9 other records in the Top Ten.

Besides conducting and arranging (for such as Stanley Black, Billy Ternant, Geraldo, Montovani), Ray Martin has written more than 1200 compositions, instrumentals and songs. 7 songs and 2 instrumentals hit the English 'lists'. Best known in the U.S. were "Blue Violins" with Hugo Winterhalter, Nat Cole's "You Are My First Love", "The Book" with David Whitfield and Dick Lee, and "Celeste" with Richard Hayman.

In 1957, Ray received the Ivor Novello Award from the best British song of the year, "You Are My First Love".

Old Devil Moon
The Witch
It's Magic
Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
That Old Black Magic
Kiss Of Fire
I Wished On The Moon
In The Still Of The Night
The Gypsy
Make Believe
The Night Has A Thousand Eyes

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Jazz Concert

I Got Rhythm
Jazz Concert
Jazztone Society Classic

Red Norvo and His All Stars:
Red Norvo, vibraphone
Teddy Wilson, piano
Flip Phillips, tenor saxophone
Shorty Rogers, trumpet
Eddie Bert, trombone
Aaron Sachs, clarient
Remo Palmieri, guitar
Slam Stewart, bass
Specs Powell, drums

The Kruppa-Ventura Trio
Gene Krupa, drums
Charlie Ventura, tenor saxophone
Georgie Walthers, piano

Teddy Wilson Quintet
Teddy Wilson, piano
Bon Byas, tenor saxophone
Remo Palmieri, guitar
Slam Stewart, bass
Specs Powell, drums

Seven Come Eleven
The Man I Love
One Note Jive
One, Two, Three, Jump
I Don't Stand A Ghost Of A Chance
Body And Soul
Stompin' At The Savoy
I Got Rhythm

From the back cover: The music heard on this recording was played before an audience at Town Hall in New York during June, 1945. The musicians were a mixed group, some of whom even then ranked high on anyone's list of jazz "greats," and others who were new-comers at the time but would become the most influential instrumentalists of the next decade.

An article found in the March 17 issue of Billboard suggests that the "jazz concert" title was taken from an idea for a "gimmick" introduced by Bill Randle who promoted the "jazz concert" idea at Detroit's WJLB. Plans are to expand the jazz concert idea all over the Middle West with the possibility of bringing in to New England too. If latter develops, a lot of top musikers (jazz groups) now on the Stem will be able to use their days off to take a couple of hours run and collect some nice dough for their trouble

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

That's My Desire - Frankie Laine

That's My Desire
Frankie Laine
Mercury Records
MG 20080

This is a compilation set of (from the back cover) "his most successful early single records". Great cover art and an equally great introduction to Laine's jazzy vocal treatments. The engineering is very good making all of the tracks sound as though they had be recorded just for this release.

Most, if not all tracks, can be found at your usual digital download outlets. I might suggest giving "Black And Blue" or "We Will Be Together Again" a spin.

September In The Rain
I'm In The Mood For Love
Exactly Like You
Till We Meet Again
That's My Desire
By The River St. Marie
Georgia On My Mind
Black And Blue
You're Wonderful
Cherie, I Love You
We Will Be Together Again

Sea Drift - Mort Garson

Sea Drift
Dusk 'Til Dawn Orchestra
Wedded To The Sounds Of The Sea
Composed, Arranged and Conducted by Mort Garson
Produced by Alex Hassilev
Elektra Records

From Billboard July 1, 1967 - The company has a four-LP deal with Elektra and has already released Mort Garson and his Duk 'Til Dawn Orchestra with the mood package, "Sea Drift." Another mood LP to spotlight sounds of the city and an additional electronic LP are planned.

The producers have under contract pianist Fred Ramirez, who will be cut by Garson for Warner Bros.

Sparkling concept album featuring compositions that include, on a few tracks, a touch of "Mystic Moods-styled" environmental sound overlay.

Sea Drift
Sand Castles
The Lonely Surfer
The Sea Of Love
Sea Cricket
Big Sur
Our Secret Cave
Underwater Fantasy
The Pink Seagull
Across The Sea And Far Away

Monday, March 30, 2015

Organ Favorites - The Dream Dusters

Song Of India
Organ Favorites
The Dream Dusters Featuring Kenny at the Hammond
Valiant V-4909

Who are The Dream Dusters and who is the mysterious "Kenny"?

Maybe the Dream Dusters are the ladies that hang out as Kenny plays his organ.

El Choclo
La Paloma
Celito Lindo
American Patrol
I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen
Ida, Sweet As Apple Cider
Song Of India
Frankie And Johnnie
In The Evening By The Moonlight
La Golidrina

Born Free - Cheltenham Orchestra

The Lion Hunt
Jungle Jazz
Blues For Elsa
Kuianga Kill
Born Free
The Cheltenham Orchestra

The orchestra is a small combo affair (Jungle Jazz and Blues For Elsa) or a stock track or two (The Lion Hunt and Kuianga Kill) Wyncote added to help fill the LP. I swear that I've heard this budget set before.

Regardless of where the material came from, and as you can hear for yourself, not a bad play through.

Born Free
Grass Grows Free
Cast Your Fate To The Wind
The Lion Hunt
Jungle Jazz
Blues For Elsa
Kuianga Kill
Lioness Beat
Beyond The Trees
Five O'Clock High

Accordion de Paris - Jo Basile

Mom Homme
Accordion de Paris
Jo Basile, his Accordion and Orchestra
Audio Fidelity
AFLP 1815

Sometimes I don't care what the set sounds like. It's enough that I've found a great looking jacket. In this case, the cover features another example of an accordion player and lady of the evening enjoying their bad habits. There must be a reason why this type of image is frequently associated with Paris and accordion players. The back cover is literally filled with 9pt. copy fluff that attempts to illustrate what Paris sidewalk cafes are all about. But there is no mention as to why the cafes are over run with street walkers and badass accordion players.

The set is traditional and the engineering, excellent

Comme Ci Comme Ca – Tout Ca
Fleur De Paris
April In Paris – I Love Paris
Boum Musette
Ballade De Rabouine
Piano De Pauvre
Mademoiselle De Pairs
L'ame Des Poetes
Mon Homme
Raiion De Musette
Le Denicheur
Pigalle-Le Seine

Play Bach - The Jacques Loussier Trio

Play Bach
The Jacques Loussier Trio
London Records
LL 3144

I believe this release is available at your usual digital download sites so I will not be posting a sample. I decided to present the London (rather than the similar Decca cover) front and back cover for those of you that are interested in collecting a copy. The back cover on this release offers us photos of the trio members, Jacques Loussier, Pierre Michelot and Christian Garros in the studio.

From the back cover: "I had no wish to arrange Bach, nor disarrange him; while presenting him differently, I have not changed him." – Jacques Loussier

From a 1964 Billboard Jazz Merit note on Play Bach London LL 3454: Exciting interpretations of Bach's Preludes No. 1, 2 and 12 in an idiom that straddles the jazz and classical fields. Loussier's free-flowing arrangements complement the master's melodic line in a performance that treats the classics with swinging respect. Should garner fans from both fields.

Beat Tropicale

Beat Tropicale
Latin Rhythms by Jose Bethancourt and His Orchestra
Saveage Drum Fantasy featuring Richard Campbell and Harry H. Coon

Available at your usual pay-for-download sources, so I will not be posting a sample.

Today we feature this feisty color cover art that advertised a tasty "tropical" set that was released to compete for a piece of the hot period "exotica" market. A split set left me favoring side two, which is the more "experimental", or more adventurously arranged side.

From the back cover: A note on personnel: Richard Campbell was winner of the famous Gene Kuppa drum contest, back in the '40s; his active career has included a U.S.O. tour through South America and Africa, where he studied authentic native rhythms such as are used on this tape. Harry H. Coon toured with the great Ben Bernie band, winning wide acclaim from musicians as well as the public from his sensational drumming. In composing this tape, Messer, Campbell and Coon worked closely with engineer James Cunningham, himself a musician, to achieve new and unusual effects.

Inspiraion - N. E. Paulos
Cha-Cha-Cha - Mario de Jesus
Cactus Polka
La Cumparsa - E. Lecunona
Jungle Flute - Jose Bethancourt

Savage Drum Fantasy

Watusi A. P. B.
Masai Rumble
Tumbatu Tintintambula
Tombs Of Cameroon
Bantu Bonce
Kikuyu Strut
Mombassa Bombilation
Nairobi Mambo
Ubangi Boom
Breezy Zambezi
Specter of the Zulu Goddess
Sumbawanga Rattatto

Sunday, March 29, 2015

One Billion Dollars In Progress

One Billion Dollars In Progress
The Sounds Of Steelmaking (Produced by Hardman Associates, Inc.

Lavish, artfully produced 72 page full color 12 x 12 hardbound coffee table-style promotional book that included an LP titled The Sounds Of Steelmaking. The sleeve was glued to inside of the back cover.

The promotion contains a number of one, as well as two page color images.

Everything Is Beautiful - Mountain Dew Brass

Everything Is Beautiful
Mountain Dew Brass

Sugar Sugar
Everything Is Beautiful
Hey, Mr. Bluebird
He Loves Me All The Way
Roomful Of Roses
My Love
A Heart Full Of Love
El Paso

What's Next? - Foster Edwards' Orch.

Mona Y Coleta
What's Next?
Foster Edwards' Orchestra
Rondo Records LPM IN-100
Recording Session: September 15, October 1, 10, 1964

Music composed, orchestrated, arranged and conducted by Foster S. Edwards I
Produced and directed by Foster S. Edwards I
Album design, layout and editing by J. J. Edwards
Photography by Bob Fairer

Saxophones: John Peirce, Dick Mordenti, Babe Moore, Gordon Anderen and Orvie Fleming
Trumpets: Dickie Mills, John Chech, Buzzy Mills and George Graham
Trombones: Roger White, Hub Houtz and Gene Isaeff
Piano: Mario Talucci
Bass: Frank Exposito
Drums: Russ Patrick

Book-fold designed jacket feature inside pages.

The cover: Bertha and Tina, the Circus Room elephants, and their trainer Jenda Smaha were photographed through the courtesy of John Ascuga's Sparks Nugget, East Reno, Nevada. Photo by Bob Fairer.

From the inside copy: As one can see, The Sparks Nugget has spared no cost in the sound equipment it uses in the Circus Room. All of the acts who have entertained in John Ascuaga's theater-restaurant agree that the Circus Room has the best sound equipment of all the clubs, showrooms, theaters, and lounges they have played. Not only does the Nugget have the best sound equipment, but it has the best electronics engineer to operate it.

Referring to the sample above: Mona Y Coleta - This is a jazz suite, portraying the Spanish matador. The hairpiece worn by the professional matador is referred to as the "coleta." Mona Y Coleta is written in several movements, all of which depict the different moods that a bull fighter experiences on those Sunday afternoons. Rather than explain what the different moods of the music mean to me, I would prefer to have you use your own imagination and create your own image.

My inspiration for writing this suite was my daughter, Cheri, who is very fond of the Spanish mode of music. In 1962 Cheri was severely injured in a tragic accident that nearly took her life. During the five weeks that she was unconscious, I decided that if she were ever regain consciousness I would orchestrate Mona Y Coleta so she might hear it as a tribute to her. She lived, and Mona Y Coleta was born. To you, Cheri, I dedicate Mona Y Coleta.

Also from the inside, how Foster ended up at The Nugget: In 1961 it was announced that The Sparks Nugget was going to build a show room. After continuously "buggin'" Carl Ravazza and Lee Frankovich at the Nevada Entertainment Agency (they were the booking agents for the room; Carl is still the booking agent, but Lee Frankovich has been the General Manager of The Sparks Nugget since the Fall of 1962), Foster was finally asked to have lunch with John Ascuaga to discuss the orchestra at the Nugget. "After a very nice and relaxing luncheon," Foster recalls, "John Ascuaga asked me but one question, 'Can you play elephant music?" Foster answered that he had "played for dogs, chimpanzees, monkeys, and ponies. I don't see why I can't play for elephants."

In June of 1962 Foster took his orchestra into The Nugget Circus Room and has been pleasing the people and the acts ever since. It might be interesting to note that Bertha and Tina, the Circus Room elephants, are the only elephants in the world that have their own conductor, composer, and arranger. So you see, not only the acts and the audiences pleased, so are the elephants!