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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Noviembre 32 - Orgullosa Maria

La balada de John y Yoko
Sentado en el muelle de la bahia
Noviembre 32
Orgullosa Maria
Son-Art D-293

La balada de John y Yoko
En una playa junto al mar
Orgullosa Maria
Lisa de los ojos azules
Caminando por el centro
Campos Eliseos
Sentado en el muelle de la bahia
Maria Isabel
Azucar, azucar
Tu nombre me sabe a hierba
Te regalo mis ojos
Estoy loca por ti
Hace frio ya
En el ano 2525

Fernando Valades - Voll. II

Tal Ves Mi Despedida
La Inspiracion De Frenando Valades
Su Piano Y Ritmos
Vol. II
RCA Victor MKL - 1405

Pleasant lounge set with all tunes, apparently, written by Valades.

Regalo Del Cielo
Cantale Mar
No Me Niegues
Tu Sabras Si Te Vas
Tal Vez Mi Despedida
No Mas
Nada Mas Una Noche Te Pido
La Vida O La Razon
Espera Que Te De Mi Amor
Por Que No He De Llorar
El Diccionario

Friday, December 11, 2015

Presenting Margarita Sierra

Cuando Vuelva A Tu Lado
Presenting Margarita Sierra
The Sparkling SeƱorita From Spain
Accompanied by Silvo Masciarelli and His Orchestra and Frenando Sirvent at the Guitar
Seeco CELP - 407

This excellent set is split between more traditional "Flamenco" numbers and more period "light-pop"flavored tracks.

Sierra appeared in an early 60s American television series, Surfside 6 as nightclub singer Cha Cha O'Brien. She died in Hollywood, California in 1963 at the age of 27 from complications following heart surgery.

There is a 1961 listing in Billboard for another album she made: Margarita (Cha Cha) Sierra (Warner Bros. 4248).

From the back cover: The current rage in American nightclubs is foreign chanteuses, and one columnist was heard to remark that there were more of them here than in Europe. Perhaps the most exciting young lady of them all is a singing flamenco beauty from Seville, Margarita Sierra.

Born in Madrid, Spain, this dark-haired, flashing-eyed beauty was a sensation on the continent and in Havana, Mexico City, and Caracas before making her American debut at the Nautilus Hotel in Miami Beach. It was while she was appearing at the Nacional Hotel in Havana that she was tapped for her Florida engagement, which proved as equally successful.

Miss Sierra was immediately brought to New York by Angel Lopez to star in his Latin-Amercian cabaret in the East. This was followed by engagements at the Viennese Lantern and the Maisonette Room of the St. Regis Hotel.

Miss Sierra speaks little English and sings but little more, but she nevertheless generates a sizzling rapport with her audience. She has an exceptionally well-developed voice and a repertoire stacked with the familiars that rate her the windfall applause, including "Malaeguena", "Lisbon Antigua", a Mexican medley and "Noche de Ronde". Her rendition of "Who'll But My Violets" is reported to be the best since Lupe Velez introduced it many years ago at the Rialto in New York City.

Wherever this sultry Miss has appeared in top-ranking supper clubs and hotels throughout the world, the wall have echoed with thunderous "Bravos" for her fine performances. At each engagement she captures the audience in the same "tender trap". She sings with a surefire charm that weaves a spell over breathless swains at ringside. With her fine contralto voice and stylized treatment, the Spanish lyrics take on lucid meaning.

One of the most striking assets in Miss Sierra's favor is her gorgeous wardrobe, which consists of fabulous gowns – all originals – designed by Spain's leading couturiers; Raffran of Barcelona, Vianor of Barcelona, and Marbel of Madrid. While appearing in Miami she was requested to display them at a special fashion show at one of the Florida resort's more exclusive shops.

Ole Flamenco
Libon Antigua
Romancero Gitano
Te Quiero Dijiste
Sortija De Oro
El Botijero
Cuando Vuelva A Tu Lado
A La Vera Del Agua
Latin Potpourri (Ay, Ay, Ay - La Paloma - Cielito Lindo - Mexican Hat Dance)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Lady Fingers - Ethel Smith

Cat On A Hot Hammond
Lady Fingers
Ethel Smith At The Organ
Decca Records DL 8744

From the back cover: Listen now, as Ethel Smith paints a series of colorful pictures… Join her on a Louisiana Hayride; as she depicts a Cat On A Hot Hammond – with an ad-lib organ chorus in a "Birdland" jazz idiom; or as she improvises a Hot Prelude over a pedal pattern which accentuates the humor and excitement of her unusual technique.

Kitten On The Keys
I Feel Pretty
Louisiana Hayride
Hey Hey
Hot Prelude
Rockin' The Scale
Seventy Six Trombones
Lady Fingers
In An Eighteenth Century Drawing Room
Cat On A Hot Hammond

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Land Of A Thousand Gutiars - Buddy Merrill

Escondido - George Gates (Welk's Musical Director)
Land Of A Thousand Guitars
Buddy Merrill
Produced by Buddy Merrill and Scott Seely
Accent Records ACS 5026

A fine space-age set by Buddy Merrill, one of Lawernce Welk's guitarists (1955-1974). Merrill was also a highly-sought after studio musician. The set was produced using 14 guitars. Arrangements are bright light pop with a touch of fuzz effect to help spice up a few tracks.

The second image is a full page photo of Merrill found inside the book-fold cover.

Do You Know The Way To San Jose? - Bacharach - David
Escondido - George Cates
Love Is Blue - P. Mauriat
The Worm Turns - Buddy Merrill
Ode To Billy Joe - Bobbie Gentry
The Saints Go Marching In - Arranged and Adapted by Buddy Merrill
Mac Arthur Park - Jim Webb
Hushabye Mountain - Sherman-Sherman
Impossible Dream - Darion - Leigh
Gentle On My Mind - John Hartford
Crack Up - Merrill - Scott
Street Corner - Frank Scott

Perfect For Dancing Rumbas

Say Si Si - Miguelito Valdes and His Orchestra
Perfect For Dancing
Produced and prepared under the direction of the Fred Astaire Dance Studios
Cover Photo by David Hecht
RCA Victor LPM-1069

This is an excellent mid-50s Latin compilation album that features a variety of approaches and vocals including Tito Rodriguez's Ya Lo Puedes Decir which is available from your online vendors.

Rumba Rumbero - Jose Curbelo and His Orchestra
Mary Ann Calypso - Jose Curbelo and His Orchestra
Dream Mist - Jose Curbelo and His Orchestra
Tru-Cu Tu-Son - Jose Curbelo and His Orchestra
Arinanara - Tito Puente and His Orchestra
Lagrimas Negras - Tito Puente and His Orchestra
Jungle Drums - Miguelito Valdes and His Orchestra
Always In My Heart - Miguelito Valdes and His Orchestra
La Comparsa - Miguelito Valdes and His Orchestra
Say Si Si - Miguelito Valdes and His Orchestra
The Breeze And I - Miguelito Valdes and His Orchestra
Ya Lo Puedes Decir - Tito Rodriquez and His Orchestra

Swingin' Hi-Fi - Al Anthony

Ebb Tide
Swingin' Hi-Fi
Al Anthony
Wizard Of The Organ
Producer and Engineer: Ted Keep
Cover Art: Bill Pate
Liberty LST 7021

If Bill Pate is still around, perhaps he could leave a comment that explains the cartoon on the cover.

Ebb Tide is referred to, on the back cover as "a rockin' arrangement..."

From Billboard - December 22, 1958: Multi-track enables Anthony to provide tasteful, swingy organ solo work, plus his own backing (on harpsichord, vibraphone and piano) in this pleasant collection of instrumentals.

The back cover credits additional musicians "…fill with musical enthusiasm and closely integrated with Howard Roberts' guitar, Mel Lewis' drums and Buddy Clark's bass." 

The backup musicians are engineered into the mix at such low levels that you hardly hear them working or think that their production could be organ effects.

From the back cover: Al started playing the organ in a Waukegan, Illinois church at the age of twelve. After graduating from high school, he attended college in Minneapolis, studying music and playing football. Deciding his future lay in the music field, he left college and formed a trio which won him popularity in supper clubs in Chicago, New York, Las Vega and eventually the West Coast.

Al spent the entire 1956 winter season playing at the Hotel La Paz in Palm Springs, California, where he won the title of "Palm Springs' Most Popular Entertainer"… and summer seasons of '56 and '57 gaining new fans in Paris, Copenhagen, Rome and other European resorts. Guest appearances on Hollywood television shows followed and led to his own West Coast TV show, motion pictures, a recording contract and now, his first and very exciting Liberty album.

I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me
Camptown Races
Tropical Merengue
Sabre Dance
You're Driving Me Crazy
Ebb Tide
Ev'rything I've Got (Belongs To You)
Swingin' Hi

Brass Impact Goin' Someplace - Warren Kime

Bei Mir Bist Du Schon
Brass Impact
Goin' Someplace
Warren Kime & His Brass Impact
Originated and Produced by Loren Becker and Robert Byrne
Arrangements by Jack Andrews
Engineering and Stereo Mastering by George Piros
Art Director: Daniel Pezza
Command/ABC RS 935 SD

Pow! Third in a series of excellent Kime space age brass albums that include Brass Impact and Explosive Brass Impact. The package features dynamic cover art and Command's typical excellent sound/engineering.

Song Of India
The Japanese Sandman
Bei Mir Bist Du Schon
Goin' Someplace
It's A Big Wide Wonderful World
On My Mind
Let's Get Away From It All
Cielito Lindo

Lo Mejor Para Bailar - Orquesta Romanticos De Cuba Vol. II

Lo Mejor Para Bailar
Orquesta Romanticos De Cuba
Hi-Fi Musidisc Masterpiece Series
Disca SP-118

Our cover model is studying exotica instruments, deciding if she would rather hear a fiery Latin percussion based set or a pleasant, but not-so-sexy, lush strings set. She chooses lush strings.

Anema E Cuore
Non Dimenticar
Cercavo Una Donna
Nostalgia De Roma
Tu Me Acostumbraste
Begin The Beguine
Tres Palabras
Solamente Una Vez

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Contrasting Colors - Kenyon Hopkins

Cool Village
Contrasting Colors
Kenyon Hopkins
Produced By Andy Wiswell
Capitol Records T 1158

From the back cover: Keyon Hopkins has received widespread acclaim as one of Hollywood and New York's most popular composers and arranger-conductors. He has scored such motion-pictures as Baby Doll, Twelve Angry Men and The Strange One, and has written fine arrangements for Capitol albums by Joe Bushkin, among them Blue Angels and I Get A Kick Out Of Porter. Here, Kenyon debuts as a recording star in his own right with "Contrasting Colors" – unusual and exciting arrangements that are a tribute to his powerful talent.

From Billboard - March 16, 1959: A striking cover, featuring contrasting-type beauties in provacative poses gives this package sock display value. Hopkins provides tasteful, licensable instrumental treatments of standards in contrasting moods-lighthearted arrangement of "Get Happy," quiet, haunting "September Song," etc.

Hopkins created an amazing big band concept debut album. The jacket notes hit the mark whereas Billboard spends too much word count on the cover images. It seems as though the reviewer failed to read the jacket notes that explain that "They (the arrangements) feature two separate orchestras: one of nine brass, the other of six reeds, each with rhythm plus such unusual instruments as orchestra bells and harpsichord. And these two well-woven groups match sounds in bright interplay – choruses by the reeds fitting perfectly with, but in sharp contrast to, deep-throated brass passages."

So, if I read the notes correctly, the "contrasts" are more than "mood" shifts between songs.

The recording also features excellent engineering.

Get Happy
Am I Blue
At Sundown
September Song
Spring Is Here
Autumn In New York
April In Paris

Happy-Go-Loco - Joe Loco

Let's Go Loco
Joe Loco And His Orchestra
Imperial LP 9073

From the back cover: Such has been the case with Latin-American music, especially in the hands of its leading exponent, Joe Loco, who was the first man to introduce both the mambo and cha cha cha to this country. His mambo of "Tenderly," the first mambo record ever released in 1951, was not only one of the biggest selling records of the day (and is still selling), but was a forerunner to adapting Latin rhythms to American pop tunes. Along with the Latin and pop tunes, Loco added another most important ingredient – jazz. This gave his music that extra bit of seasoning that made it distinctive and universally accepted. It appealed to the jazz buff, the melody lover, and the dancer. Two years later, in 1953, when Loco introduced cha cha cha, he handle it the same way for the same mass appeal.

Joe Loco is one of the most talented and versatile musicians in the business. He is a graduate of Juilliard and plays every instrument in the band. He is a fluent writer and excellent arranger. Following four years at Juilliard, Loco took post-graduate work at New York University and then studied the complicated Schlinger system of music under Richard Bender. He was playing piano professionally at sixteen years of age and before that was a hoofer. At seventeen he was playing trombone with Count Basie's band when Basie brought his first band to New York from Kansas City. He has played with dozens of the biggest bands, including Will Bradley, Joe Reisman, and Xavier Cugat, to name a few.

From Billboard - February 1, 1960: Loco is an artist at setting pop standards into Latin rhythms. He does it here with "Glow Worm," "Autumn Leaves," "Sometimes I'm Happy," etc. Inviting instrumental material, good for dancing, and with a jazz feeling.

Also see: Make Mine Mambo

Glow Worm
La Noche De Anoche
Lonnie's Joco
Autumn Leaves
Ja Da Cha Cha Cha
Meet Me In Cisco's
Manhattan Spiritual
Let's Go Loco
Tip Toe Through The Tulips With Me
Sometimes I'm Happy
What Is Thing Called Love

Music For Listening - Al Sack

Pagan Love Song
Music For Listening
The Al Sack Concert Orchestra
Tops L1505-149

If you find that you can't listen to the music… you can still enjoy the cover art.

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
April In Paris
Dancing In The Dark
Hora Staccato
Orchids In The Moonlight
I Can't Give You Anything But Love
I Don't Know What Time It Was
Adios Muchachos
La Cucaracha
Pagan Love Song

Georgie Auld Play For Melancholy Babies

Georgie Auld
Plays For Melancholy Babies
Produced By Don Costa
ABCS 287

Available from online vendors so I will not be posting a sample.

From Billboard - September 7, 1959: Backed mainly by a swingy organ, Auld provides his usual sock sax solo work on a group of standards ranging in mood from the bouncy "The Dark Town Strutters Ball" to the tender "If I Had My Way." Fine Jockey Wax.

From the back cover: Georgie Auld talks through his sax: and he's an eloquent speaker, indeed! The tenor saxophone becomes one of the most expressive instruments anywhere in the sympathetic fingers of the world-famous musician. Every emotion flows through the golden horn at the Auld touch, perhaps with a more personal meaning than even words could convey. Coming to the United States from his native Canada, Georgie was first inspired by Coleman Hawkins. His job with the late Bunny Berigan's band in the thirties was the first of a chain of great name band associations – Artie Shaw, Jan Savitt and Benny Goodman. Fronting a band of his own, Georgie kept abreast of the times, adapting his style to the newest musical trends, sometimes even before the trend was established. In recent years, his singular talent soaring about band affiliations, Georgie's reputation as a soloist has reached the heights. When a top-flight tenor sax is needed for a recording, jazz concert or TV show, the cry invariably goes up, "Call Georgie!"

My Melancholy Baby
Down By The Old Mill Stream
Shine On Harvest Moon
For Me And My Gal
In A Little Spanish Town
Music Goes Round And Round
If I Could Be With You
My Gal Sal
If I Had My Way
The Darktown Strutters Ball
Goodnight Sweetheart

For Jazz Lovers

For Jazz Lovers
Emarcy/Mercury Records
MG 36086

Compilation featuring a set of tunes that play well together. My favorite tracks would be Helen Merrill's End Of A Love Affair and Lilac Wine.

Most, if not all, tracks are available from online digital vendors.

Lonely Dreams - Julian "Cannonball" Adderley
It Shouldn't Happen To A Dream - Sarah Vaughan
The Masquerade Is Over - Julian "Cannonball" Adderley
Over The Rainbow - Sarah Vaughan
Autumn Nocturne - Terry Gibbs
Goodbye - Dinah Washington
What's New - Clifford Brown
More Than You Know - Dinah Washington
Young At Heart - Eddie Heywood
End Of A Love Affair - Helen Merrill
Misty - Errol Garner
Lilac Wine - Helen Merrill

Guitar Boogie

Heaven Is High
Guitar Boogie
Sutton SU 252

Raw and engaging small combo set preformed by uncredited artists on budget label, Sutton.

The Village At 4:00 A.M.
Milt's The Man
Run, Rock And Roll
Ice And Snow
Heaven Is High
Dan And Doreen
Theme To A Theme
Dig Ye Deep
Mother's Not Home

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Accordion In Hi-Fi - Jo Ann Castle

Accordion In Hi-Fi
Jo Ann Castle
Cover Photo: Lester Krauss
Forum SF 9007

From the back cover: Her musical talent has won her appearances on television with Ina Ray Hutton, Spike Jones and Arthur Godfrey. On the night club circuit, she has starred in such important showplaces as Ciro's and the Plymouth House in Los Angeles and at the Fremont Hotel in Las Vagas where she was backed by her own rhythm group of guitar, bass and drums. In addition to that, she composes many of her own tunes and arranges everything she plays. All this musical versatility, for those who are interested in this kind of information, is wrapped up in a tall, beautiful, blue-eyed blonde. What more could anyone ask.

Sparkling space age accordion set made notable by the clean, simple small combo arrangements which nicely blend Castle's playing with her session musicians efforts to create a complete group effort.

Tico Tico
Harbor Lights
The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise
September SOng
Bumble Boogie
The Breeze And I
After You've Gone

Appearing Nightly - Mitchell-Ruff Duo

Appearing Nightly
Mitchell-Ruff Duo
Forum F 9074

Available from at least one online vendor as "Mitchell-Ruff Duo" but featured without the cover art/information. I'm not sure why Forum decided to market the album by featuring the "cartoon" on the cover. The set is adult, subtle, smooth and inventive and seems as though it would have benefited from a more sophisticated illustrative jacket design. Cover art aside, this is an excellent late 50s jazz set all the way through.

From the back cover: Pianist Dwike Mitchell, a Floridian, studied at the Philadelphia Academy of Music under the Hungarian pianist, Agi Jamboor. It was while he was one of Miss Jamboor's outstanding students in 1953 that he played Bartok with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Eugene Ormandy. For the next two years he moved, in effect, to the opposite end of the musical planet by touring the United States and Europe with Lionel Hampton's boisterous and peripatetic band.

In the last months with Hampton, Mitchell's rhythm-section mate was bassist Willie Ruff. This was a reunion for them. They first met, several years earlier when they were in military service and it was then that they tried teaming their talents. Ruff, who plays both bass and French Horn, comes from Alabama and, after his service term, he studied at Yale University under Paul Hinemith, (pianist Mell Powell had been an earlier pupil of Hindemith's at Yale) and played some gigs with Benny Goodman. Ruff came away from Yale with two degrees tacked onto his name (Bachelor of Music in 1953, Master of Music in '54). He played at various times under the baton of Daniel Saidenburg, Jonel Perlea and Andre Kostelanetz. Then he joined his old friend and partner, Mitchell, in the Hampton band in the Spring of 1955 and played the first French horn ever to sprout in Hampton's hard driving band.

In the Fall of 1955, the pair set out on their own, at first alarming people by their choice of instruments but almost invariably winning both respect and interest by the musicianly use to which they put them and the wide-ranging variety of their personal musical interests.

Angel Eyes
Thou Swell
Nearness Of You
Gone With The Wind
Fugue For Lulu
When I Fall In Love
Time After Time
My Reverie
That's All