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Saturday, November 7, 2015

Music For Romancing

Music For Romancing
Cha Cha Cha's Rhumba's Merengue's Mambo's Tango's Samba's
Tico LP 1009

Fab cheesecake cover art and set that is more peppy sounding than the title and art would lead you to believe. Various artists appear on disc. The set is padded with a few ridiculous filler tracks. The featured artist and star, however, would be Tito Puente whose work makes collecting this album worthwhile.

Digital download of his music are available from your usual vendors so I will not be posting a sample.

The Fence (Tito Puente)
Cha-Cha-Cha Bounce (Tito Puente)
Long Gone
Make A Box
Tito's Merengue (Tito Puente)
Baila Mi Cha-Cha-Cha (Tito Puente)
Mambo No. 5
La Comparsita
Coca Roca
Temptation (Tito Puente)

Toragee - The Romantic Music Of Asia

The Romantic Music Of Asia
Epic LF 18042

From the the back cover: Recorded in the Philippines under the baton of arranger-conductor Leopoldo Silos.

Promising cover… pretty bland orchestral set for a 1966 release.

Philippine Airs
Mak Inang
Boating On The Lake
Farmers Folk Dance
Songs Of The Ruined Castle
Song Of The Great Wall
Prima Donna Sri Nuan

Latin And American Piano Rhythms - Barclay Allen

It Happened In Havana
Latin And American Piano Rhythms
Barclay Allen
Tops L-1597

From the back cover: Handsome, debonair, charming and gifted enough to be a sensation in any phase of the entertainment contest, for over 15 years Barclay Allen has been recognized as one of America's foremost piano virtuosos. Before forming his own highly successful orchestra early in 1948, Allen was a mainstay of the Freddy Martin band, having contributed to its recorded hits such Allenuggets as Cumana, Sabre Dance Boogie and many other valuable tokens of his versatility and technical brilliance. Matter of fact, Barclay Allen has the rare distinction of being featured on over 3,000,000 records before he even decided to organize his own orchestra. He was starred with the Martin aggregation on more that 40 sides; the rest were recorded with his own Rhythm Four for a west coast independent label of the late 1940's. The original Rhythm Four consisted of Barclay on piano; Stan Black, guitar; Sid Fridkin, bass; and Merle Mahone on drums. When the Barclay Allen orchestra was formed, the leader maintained his small group as an integral band-within-a-band and utilized it as backing for a further series of hit records – St. Louis Blues, It Began In Havana, Barclay's Boogie, Nola, Tea For Two, Loch Lomond and others.

As composer also, Barclay Allen, has enriched modern music with dozens of tunes, same of which became hits. Cumana and It Happened In Havana are but two of the better known melodies from his prodigious pen.

While still of pre-school age, Barclay, under the tutelage of his mother, a well known Denver, Colorado pianist and teacher, was performing with élan at recitals and for friends in the mountain city, his hometown.

In high school he formed his first orchestra. After graduation Barclay entered the commercial music world, joining the staff of Denver radio station KLZ. The culmination of several years of KLZ for Mrs. Allen's son was the position of musical director – at the antiquated age of 22.

While conducting the dance band in Denver's Cosmopolitan Hotel, Barclay acquired further exposure via broadcasts on the NBC network through station KOA. This led him to seek broader fields in music, so in 1946 he made the broadjump from the Rockies to Hollywood where he joined station KLAC as musical director and was featured in his own radio shows with the Rhythm Four.

Before long the sharply attuned ear of maestro Freddy Martin detected something more – much more – than average in the playing of this youth from Denver. So impressed was Martin, in fact, that he signed Barclay to a contract calling for one of the largest salaries ever paid a sideman with a name band. A transcontinental theater tour followed, with Allen gathering critical raves wherever the band played. And, of course, the Martin band's long engagements in Los Angeles' Cocoanut Grove established the featured pianist's reputation with the chic "Hollywood crowd." Such a favorite did he become, moreover, that years later he was again engaged to play solo piano at the Ambassador Hotel, home of the famed Grove.

When the Music Corporation Of America persuaded the young piano virtuosos to form his own orchestra, it was a wise move indeed. The opening engagement at swank Ciro's on the Sunset Strip proved that this new Barclay Allen band could follow with ease such predecessors as Xaviar Cugat, Carmen Cavallero and other top rankers...

It Happened In Havana
September Song
At The Crossroads
Green Eyes
My Adobe Hacienda
The Whole World Is Singing My Song
Old Lamplighter
For Sentimental Reasons
That's My Desire

Friday, November 6, 2015

Cha Cha's In Stereo - Fernando Juarez

Should I Cha Cha
Cha Cha's In Stereo
Authentic Latin Rhythms - Volume 2
Fernando Juarez And His Orchestra
Sparton Of Canada LTD (top image)
Waldorf Music Hall King Size Stereographic
MHK S. D. 1411

Quality budget set featuring peppy big band arrangements and colorful cover art.

Should I Cha Cha
Honey Cha Cha
Stars And Stripes Forever Cha Cha
Why Do I Love You Cha Cha
Nola Cha Cha
Pretty Baby Cha Cha
Blue Skies Cha Cha
Wall To Wall Cha Cha
I Can't Give You Anything But Love Cha Cha
Home Sweet Home Cha Cha
I'm Through With Love Cha Cha
What A Difference A Day Made Cha Cha

Erotiques D'amor

Side 1
Erotiques D'Amor
Recorded live, the sensual sounds of erotic love… set to music
Laff Records A5001

Also released on Montagnard featuring the same title type face treatment but different art.

From the back cover: That carnal carnival, passionate and proud… sacred and profane, most primitive act of man which brings him closest to godlike feelings… here recorded in all of its pulsating sound. Shivering breaths of animal passions mix with the rise and fall of man-sound and drumming gathering forces massing into crescendos of erotic and exotic sounds that fall away into the eddying currents of near quiet desire only to reawaken and blossom again.

The listener is carried as on the waves of the ocean tides from quiet harbors of sibilant sound to the mountainous roaring of the full running gale of human desire and fulfillment. With senses cast about as in a small boat at sea, battered and striving… until finally… cast into the waters and emotionally spent you are tossed up onto a small white sand beach where gentle waves lap at your feet and warm summer sun caresses your face. An almost unbelievable adventure into the world of experimental sound. A must for every collector.

Immortal Music From The Movies - Whittemore & Lowe

Ruby Gentry

Immortal Music From The Movies
Performed By The Brilliant Twin Pianos Of Whittemore & Lowe Against A Rich Background Of Instrumental And Choral Arrangements
Produced by Dick Jones and Andy Wiswell
Capitol Records
ST 1599

From Billboard - August 28, 1961: The twin piano artistry of Arthur Whittemore and Jack Lowe is applied to 12 well-known movie themes on this very lush LP. Each of the themes is a productions in itself filled with soaring strings, and classy choral effects from a huge mixed chorus. Glenn osier, along with the two pianists, is responsible for the arrangements.

Gone With The Wind
How Green Was My Valley
The Bad And The Beautiful
The Uninvited
Love Letters
For Whom The Bell Tolls
Ruby Gentry
The High And The Mighty
Moulin Rouge

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A Little Bit Lonely - Jeanne Black

I Almost Lost My Mind
Jeanne Black
A Little Bit Lonely
Arranged and Conducted by Billy Liebert
Produced by Ken Nelson

From the back cover: I first met Jeanne (and Janie - Jeanne's sister) when the Black Sisters began performing on Cliffie Stone's television show in Los Angeles. It didn't take long for Cliffie to realize that Jeanne was definitely headed for the big time. This idea took form when Cliffie arranged a meeting with Jeanne and Capitol Records' producer Ken Nelso. Ken was struck immediately by this exceptional talent, and Capitol proceeded to sign Jeanne to a long-term recording contract.

From Billboard - October 24, 1960: Jeanne Black, the pretty, red-haired Mount Baldy, Calif., girl who was unknown a few months ago, is the subject of a new Capitol Records album titled A Little Bit Lonely. It's Jeanne's initial album release and includes, of course, her two hits, He'll Have To Stay and the more recent, Lisa.

Jeanne Black was married to guitarist songwriter Billy Strange.

Hello, Mister Misery
He'll Have To Stay
I Almost Lost My Mind
How Many
A Little Bit Lonely
My Baby's Gone
You Win Again
The Loneliest Heart In Town
Beautiful Lies
I Know I Can't Forget
But You Don't Know Me

Monday, November 2, 2015

Hello Hawaii! - Hawaiian Islanders

I Found A Little Grass Skirt
Hello Hawaii!
Hawaiian Islanders
Evon 304

This is a good budget Hawaiian set featuring quality engineering and creative arrangements/variation of approaches for this type of music that will hold your interest.

Hawaiian War Chant
Moana Chimes
I Found A Little Grass Skirt
Malahine Mele
South Sea Moon
Ke Ahi Kuu Ipo
Hilo (Hawaiian March)
Ua Like No A Like
Sacred Hula
On The Beach At Waikiki
Aloha Oe

Drum Magic - George Jenkins

Drum Magic
George Jenkins And His All Stars
Tampa Records TP-29

Artwork - Johnny Miller
Photography - Dave Pell
Model - Shelby Benson

Online sources date this album release as 1955. However, "1956" is mentioned in the album notes.

Digital files are available online so I will not be posting a sample. "Alternative tracks" are also available from this set.

Something I didn't know was that Dave Pell "one of the founding fathers of West Coast jazz" was also a photographer who documented the jazz scene, earning extra cash as he produced cover art to include the cover on this album.

From the back cover: The first album released by George Jenkins entitled "Drum Stuff" created quite a splash wise and was accepted as well with those disc jockeys who specialize in jazz. It was nice to know that George was remembered more than I thought possible. Fans who knew him from the days when he worked with Lionel Hampton were glad to hear that he had recorded again and that there was an album available. Then too, George had a singe entitled "Last Call" and "Caravan" that sold well during the first quarter of 1956. George Jenkins has that particular knack of knowing just what beat to lay down for any type of rhythm needed. This seems to be a sense that is lacking in some drummers. You don't have to write anything for George. He hears it before he looks at the notes.

Bar-B-Que Port Side
It Had To Be You
G.J.'s Drums
Air Mail Special

Sunday, November 1, 2015

There Goes My Harp - Mimi Allen

September Song
There Goes My Harp
Mimi Allen
Decca Records DL 8825

From the back cover: Mimi Allen's background is a varied as her music. As a pianist, she was recognized as a child prodigy. Later fascinated by the harp, and after assiduous study, she was proclaimed in classical circles as the outstanding harpist of her generation. She then began exploring the facets of jazz, and from this has evolved the "delicious artistry of Mimi Allen".

My Blue Heaven
Willow Weep For Me
Spring Is Here
When The Wind Was Green
The Breeze And I
The Continental
September Song
If I Should Lose You
Ain't Misbehavin' (I'm Savin' My Love For You)
Thinking Of You The Peanut Vendor (El Manisero)