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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Touch Me Softly - George Shearing

Wait For Me
Touch Me Softly
The George Shearing Quintet with String Choir
Arrangements by George Shearing
Conducted by Milton Raskin
Capitol Records ST 1874

From the back cover: With the Shearing piano supplying subtle jazz pulsating, gently gloved in the sound of vibes and guitar, the effect is one of shimmering, sophisticated, luminescent beauty.

From Billboard - May 11, 1963: Shearing has always been a big winner when surrounded with strings and there's no reason why this one should break the pattern. The album is filled with lovely lyricism. There's a bit of a beat (like on Blue Room) and the Quintet and the string choir dovetail beautifully.

Just Imagine
The Blue Room
You're Blasé
Wait For Me
Try A Little Tenderness
Suddenly It's Spring
Be Careful, It's My Heart
Sunday, Monday, Or Always
Lollipops And Roses
Just As Though You Were Here
Touch Me Softly
In A Sentimental Mood

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Dick Stabile At The Statler

Dick Stabile At The Statler
Arranged and Conducted by Dick Stabile
Tops L1590

From the back cover: Dick Stabile is one of the few band leaders who have been able to consistently maintain a favored place in the hearts of America's music lovers. The continuing vast popularity of Dick and his band, together with their superlative music making skill combined to make them the obvious choice of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis when they were seeking a band for their much needed musical accompaniment.

Before Dean and Jerry decided to part company it was Dick Stabile who so expertly provided the music for their many TV shows, personal appearances, as well as movies. Dick became so much a part of their act that it almost appeared as if the billing might have been "Martin & Lewis & Stabile".

Dick's many years in show business have meant great fun for many, many millions of listeners in just about everything from radio, TV and films to many of America's smartest supper clubs.

From Billboard - May 30, 1953: Dick Stabile just signed a seven-year contract to handle musical chores from Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. Dick is committed to do several sides for Capitol which will be released soon.

I'll See You In My Dreams
Gypsy In My Soul
Hong Kong Cha Cha
Cloud Burst
Many Faces
Just You, Just Me
Who's Sorry Now
Don't Blame Me

Something Else - Meg Welles

Another Man Done Gone
Something Else
The Meg Welles Quintet
Songs Of Maids, Knaves and Other Swingers
Produced by John Hammond
Cover Photo: Columbia Records Photo Studio - Henry Parker
Arranged and Conducted by Fred Karlin
Columbia CL 1777

Back cover photo: "Meg Welles with (left to right) Sam Brown, Leroy Parkins, Fred Karlin, Dave Fishberg and Maurice Mark."

Something Else is more "something else" than what you might make from the jacket photo which might suggest "novelty" record. The jacket notes nicely sums up the process Welles' took to create her concept blend of novelty "medieval" and jazz. Although the track, No More Booze, is strictly novelty (humorous), the majority of the album is creatively engaging. Welles vocals, when not pressed to fit the "novelty" side of the concept, are completely fresh and unique.

From the back cover: The Quintet is especially fortunate in having Fred Karlin as arranger-conductor. He is highly respected in the jazz field and has written for Basie, Harry James, Raymond Scott, Kai Winding, Benny Goodman and others. Fred has an impressive gift for bringing seemingly unrelated themes into perfectly natural partnership. He listened to the music I selected for the group, its history, what it meant to me and how I felt each piece should fit into the overall picture. From these hints, Fred shaped the unique and tasteful blend of past and present that is on this album. He has skillfully created a rich instrumental variety and color while keeping the continuity of sound that I had visualized. He also guided us through many a knotty rehearsal as we worked out the balance of musical styles and sounds that we were after.

Starling Duet
Ev'ry Night
We'll Roll The Blues Away
Hymn To St. Magnus
Knaves Will Be Knaves
No More Booze
Another Man Done Gone
Robyn Loves Me
Something Else
A Dialogue
He's Gone Away

Michell Legrand Brian's Song

The Deep Blue C
Michel Legrand
Brian's Song - Themes & Variations
Cover Art: John Zaccheo
Album Design: The Music Agency
Art Direction: Beverly Weinstein
Bell Records BELL 6071 (Canadian release)

Fine early 70s mood/easy set featuring Legrand's jazz influenced piano work.

From the back cover: Michel Jean Legrand is the son of the very well known arranger, conductor and pianist, Raymond Legrand. At the age of eleven, Michel – distinctly a child prodigy – entered the Paris Conservatory and emerged – nine years later – with top honors in composition and as a solo pianist. In the late 1950's, Legrand turned to composing for films, and has thus far composed, conducted and orchestrated the scores of more than fifty motion pictures. Now Michel Legrand is one of the most distinguished names in contemporary music. In 1965, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences accorded him the unique distinction of nominating him for three different awards for his score for the "Umbrellas of Cherbourg." and then followed through in 1968, 1969, and 1970 with nominations for the best song award. "The Windmills Of Your Mind," included in this album, won in 1969. Currently he is candidate for an Academy Award for the score of "Summer of '42," He is the consummate musician-composer-arranger and pianist.

Brian's Song
Theme From "The Go-Between"
The Deep Blue C
What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life
Picasso Summer
Summer Of '42
Withering Heights
Pieces Of Dreams
The Windmills Of Your Mind
I Will Say Goodbye

The Exciting World Of Buddy Merrill

The Exciting World Of Buddy Merrill And His Guitars
Produced by Buddy Merrill and Scott Seely
Chorus direction: Dick Cathcart
Aladdin is featured on cabana and chocalho
Earl Palmer and John Klien are featured on drums
Cover photo was taken in front of the beautiful "Leisure World" community in Laguna Hills, California
Accent AC 5020 - T 91054

An exciting guitar trip around the space age globe.

From the back cover: For his fourth album presentation Buddy Merrill circumnavigates the globe in search of musical treasure. Supported by a superb background of voices, the TV guitar-star endows the memorable music of many lands with his unique virtuosity and warm receptions. Ranging far and wide for repertoire, the moods vary all the way from the majestic Bells of the Russian Cathedral to the romance of gypsy melodies to the swinging sounds of American Jazz.

Also see Land Of A Thousand Guitars

Russian Bells (Kamenoi-Ostrow)
When The World Was Young
Somewhere My Love
Two Guitars
Mack The Knife
Third Man Theme
Summer Samba (So Nice)
Poor People Of ParisGreen Hornet Theme

Monday, January 11, 2016

Cool Sounds

Lullaby Of Birdland
Cool Sounds
Hollywood Records

The material presented in this set sounds like it was collected together from at least three sources.

Moon glow
Get Me To The Church On Time
Sunny side Of The Street
Opus No. 1
I Can't Give You Anything But Love
I Found A New Baby
Lullaby Of Birdland
I Could Have Danced All Night
Wouldn't It Be Lovely
Quiet Please