Search Manic Mark's Blog

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Go, Mongo - Mongo Santamaria

Congo Blue
Go, Mongo
Mongo Santamaria And His Afro-Latin Group
Produced by Bill Grauer
Riverside RLP 9423

Mongo Santamaria, Conga Drums (also bongos on Carmela and Chombolero); Paul Serrano, Trumpet; Pat Patrick, Saxophones and flute; Al Abreu, Tenor Sax and Flute; Armando Corea, Piano; Jose De Paulo, Guitar; Victor Venegas, Bass; Julio Collazo, Timbales; To-Tiko and Jose De Paulo, Latin Percussion. Vocals on Tumba Le Le by Carmen Costa and Chorus; on Country Song by Marcellino Guerra and Elliot Romero; on Hombre by Guerra and chorus.

From the back cover: The material here (much of it written by Mongo himself) reflects the musical qualities and influences of several different countries, although most of the numbers build from an underlying base that is essentially African. These selections feature added voices.

From Billboard - November 3, 1962: This new album shows off some fine percussion work by Mongo Santamaria, who plays both conga drums and bongo on this swinging collection of Afro-Latin works. Most of the tunes in the set were penned by Santamaria and they reflect music of Brazil, Haiti and Cuba. The most exciting side is the wild samba "Tumba Le Le," and the prettiest is the Cuban tune "Country Song." Striking work here by the drummer.

Tumblr Le Le
Happy Now
Country Song
Congo Blue
Not Hardly
African Song

Monday, June 27, 2016

Jumping' At The Executive Suite - Chris Ibenez

This Is Bordeaux
Jumpin' At The Executive Suite
With The Chris Ibenez Trio
Decca DL 74347

Well executed live jazz flavored lounge set from an obscure artist. Ibanez wrote one track on the LP, the sample tune above titled This Is Bordeaux.

From the back cover: In France – whence comes popular jazz pianist Chris Ibenez – they say he does more than play the piano. "True Frenchman that he is," they insist, "he caresses the keys with gentle passion" ...all of which means, quite simply, that this skillful, sensitive and imaginative young instrumentalist plays a whole lot of piano

Chris, who to this day refuses to read music, lost his first piano teacher for that very reason. He trained himself by first imitating, ultimately surpassing, the variety of jazz sounds available to him on radio and recordings. By the time he reached his teens, he was performing professionally at jazz clubs in and around his native Bordeaux.

Making the San Francisco jazz scene via French radio, night clubs, recordings, and motion pictures, Chris later appeared at Las Vegas' Desert Inn and Flamingo, then Lake Tahoe's Nevada Lodge and Wagon Wheel. He returned to San Francisco for the opening of Dave Young's Executive Suite – a "limited" engagement that has to date lasted three years, and if the 'Suite' audiences have their way, will last forever.

Exactly Like You
The Trolley Song
On The Street Where You Live
How High The Moon
But Not For ME
This Is Bordeaux

Sterling Blythe Sings

Love For Gold
Sterling Blythe Sings
Crown CST 203

Cover photo: Joseph Tauber
Cover Designer: Hobco Arts
Recorded in Hollywood, Calif.

From the back cover: Sterling Blythe is a man of many talents

He is a movie actor. He has been featured in "Battle Hymn," "Navy Blue," "Battle of the Bottle," "Walk the Proud Land," and 18 Gene Autry flicks.

Over the TV tube, his starring-stints were with Gary Moore and Red Foley.

His country comes first. He interrupted a flourishing career to serve in the United States Navy from 1941 to 1945.

He is a fast-draw artist.

He is considered one of the top pros in the country and western songwriting field. Eddie Arnold and Red Foley are his biggest boosters. Some of their hottest-hits were penned by Blythe.

He is arranger, orchestrator, conductor, and m.c.

In the glittering, gaudy show capitol of the world – Las Vegas – his name is as familiar as "7-come-11." The fabulous voice of Sterling Blythe has been knockin' them in the aisles at the "Fabulous Showboat" for years. – John Marlo

Ghost Town
Little Town Of St. Marie
Nothing But The Night
Three Miles Out Of Town
Everybody Knows
Love For Gold
Hello Sweet Thing
Gate Post
Cabaret Queen
Our Folks
Picture On The Wall

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Mariano Mores

Cuartito Azul
Mariano Mores
y su Gran Orquesta Lirica Popular
Vol. No. 5
Odeon LDM-874
Industria Argentina

El Firulete
Yo Tengo Un PEcado Nuevo
La Flor De La Canela
El Estrellero
Serenata Orillera
La Calesita
Cuartito Azul
Luces De Mi Ciudad

Wood By The Fire - Gloria Wood

The Wrong Blues
Wood By The Fire
Gloria Wood
Music Arranged And Conducted By Jerry Fielding
Columbia CL 1286

Fielding finely tuned his excellent arrangements to Wood's vocal style as did Columbia's engineering staff. This is one well thought out set.

From Billboard - March 23, 1959: The steamy-voiced canary serves up a batch of memorable standards in a rich, warmly romantic style. Spinable jockey wax.

From the back cover: This kind of mastery has been Gloria Wood's for some time now, for despite her youth she has been swinging for more than a decade. In the very beginning, she lied about her age to enter a Horace Heidt competition, and won the contest handily. Thereafter she sang with bands like those of Frank DeVol, Lex Baxter, Hal McIntyre and Kay Kyser, and, believe it or not, it was her voice on the multi-million Kyser recording of Woody Woodpecker. She has also sung with Jud Conlon's Rhythmaries, and in Hollywood has been the singing voice of Marilyn Monroe, Vera-Ellen and Betty Grable. In addition, she has done countless commercials for radio and television. With such a background it is not surprising that she can inflect her songs so accurately; it is only surprising that she remained relatively unknown.

This was taken care of when she made a record with jazz trumpeter Pete Condole, called Hey, Bellboy. In this record, she used her range and warmth to echo the trumpet phrases with extraordinary agility, and found herself widely-known almost overnight. That same vocal technique is put to use here on less pyrotechnic material, but with perhaps even more exciting results. There is more than a touch of jazz in her work, a quiet humor and a genuinely engaging personality. It has been remarked that listening to her is a little like having one's temples rubbed...

Painting The Town With The Blues
It's Monday Every Day
A Stranger In Town
It's The Talk Of The Town
But Not For Me
In A Sentimental Mood
Penny Dream Blues
Mean To Me
I Got It Bad
I Don't Want To Cry Anymore
The Wrong Blue

Bass Vibes Drums - Frankie Brown

Bass Vibes Drums
The Swinging Frankie Brown Trio
Musicor Records MM 2000

Although the disc kicks off with the driving tune "Downbeat", written by Brown and McCoy, the majority of the set delievers more of a sweet, slow funky groove. Good stuff.

From Billboard - May 15, 1961: A neatly paced debut set for drummer Frankie Brown who is teamed neatly with basset Marty Rivera and Fred McCoy on vibes. It's a good combine with the vibes carrying the melodies but sharing them occasionally with a bowed bass. Each man gets his chance to shine on the varied tempos. Good for background jazz and some tracks are danceable, too.

Downbeat (F. Brown - F. McCoy)
Autumn Leaves
Round About Midnight
Willow Weep For Me
B.V.D. (F. Brown - F. McCoy)
Blue At Twilight
Pow (F. Brown - F. McCoy)
Well You Needn't

Flirtation Walk - Walter Schumann

Small Hotel
Flirtation Walk
The Voices Of Walter Schumann
RCA Victor LPM 1202

From Billboard - March 24, 1956: Here's one of the most stylish vocal sets to come on the package scene. The Schumann voices have turned out good things aplenty before this and the current offering is right up to par. Here's the story of courtship "Flirtation Walk" thru the honeymoon "Small Hotel" and down life's highway "Love Old Sweet Song" with the wonderful blend of the 32-voice mixed chorus and some fresh and exciting work sounds showcased. An attractive cover will help move copies as will the numerous jockey plays that are bound to result.

From the back cover: Walter Schumann, who, as you can well imagine, is a very nifty guy, slipped into the music business through a side door. While working his way through the University of Southern California Law School, he organized a dance band. He first entered choral work when a small radio station couldn't afford to pay the musicians scale, and so the band sang. Organized in 1948, while Walt was working as musical director at RKO Pictures, The Voices were a professional group singing at first for pleasure. In their years under Schumann's expert leadership, The Voices have achieved a versatility and a blend that are remarkable. What's more, theirs is an individual style and a marvelous warmth.

Flirtation Walk
My Buddy
Small Hotel
Paddlin' Madelin' Home
I'll Remember
I Only Have Eyes For You
Let Me Hear You Whisper
It's Dark On Observatory Hill
One Night Of Love
Love's Old Sweet Song
The Goodnight Waltz