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Saturday, July 1, 2017

In Love Again! - Henri Rene

Street Of Shadows (saxophone solo: Alvy West)
In Love Again!
Henri Rene And His Orchestra
Mood Music / One Of A Series
RCA Camben CAL-312

From Billboard - September 29, 1956: Rene features a reissue selection of lush orkings which make happy accompaniment for romantic jockey sets, a candlelit meal or simply for hand holding. The spotlight's on love and the work weaves the proper spell with such offerings as "You Are The One," "Wunderbar," "Intermezzo," "Song From Moulin Rouge" and "Moonlight Sonata." As attractive entry in the label's "Mood Music" series, especially at $1.98.

You Are The One
Were Thin That Special Face
Destiny Waltz
The Song From Moulin Rouge
Valse Viennoise
Street Of Shadows
Moonlight Sonata
Valse Vanite

15 Hits - Don Costa

Bolero Rock
Don Costa Conducting His 15 Hits
Cover Design: Viceroy
Cover Photo: Jules Alexander
A Product Of Am-Par Record Corp.
ABC Paramount ABC-362

Flamenco Love
Around The World
Bella Nunziata
Love Song From Houseboat
Congo Mombo
Strolling Strings
Tennessee Tulip
C'est Ca!
Heart Of Paris
Everybody Love Pierre
Bing, Bang, Bong
The Other Side
By The Fireside
Bolero Rock

Swingin' In Dixie - The Coney Island Crackerjacks

At The Jazz Band Ball
Swingin' In Dixie
The Coney Island Crackerjacks
Hollywood Records LPH-38
A Blue Ribbon Product

Washington And Lee Swing
At The Jazz Band Ball
Fidgety Feet
Cut'em Out
Basin Street Blues
That's A Plenty
Tidler's Blues
The Sheik
Dell's Dilema
Up A Lazy River
Muskrat Ramble

Friday, June 30, 2017

Kitty's Choice - Kitty Wells

Kitty's Choice
Kitty Wells
Decca Records DL 8979

Available from online vendors, but possibly found without the sweet color art of Wells holding a puppy.

From the back cover: It was stated earlier in these notes that Kitty, like a diamond, was forever. Nothing transient or ephemeral. It is significant and gratifying that Decca Records became aware of her timeless appeal and recently signed her to a lifetime contract – a milestone in the record business.

The signer joined Decca on May 3, 1952 and had an exceptionally rapid rise. Her first single, "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels," was released June 23, 1952, and became a "smash." This recording was the first of some 30 singles, all of which made the best selling country charts. In addition to her singles, Kitty has to her credit 10 Extended Play sets and such notable albums as "After Dark," "Kitty Wells Country Hit Parade," "Winner Of Your Heart," "Dust On The Bible," and "Lonely Street."

In the tradition of the great performers, Kitty Wells maintains a heavy schedule of concert, auditorium and theater appearances; and she had just completed a tour of Canada prior to recently signing her Decca Lifetime contract in New York. Literally hundreds of thousands have heard her poignant performances of such hit sides as "Release Me," "Cheatin' A Sin," "Paying For That Back Street Affair," etc.

The thrush, who in 1954 received a citation from Tennessee Governor Frank G. Clement as a "Outstanding citizen reflecting great credit on our state," was born in Nashville in 1919. Kitty's father, Charlie Carey Deason, a railroad man and balladeer, taught her the elements of folk balladry. In 1937, she began to broadcast over WSIX, Nashville, later appearing on many stations throughout the South. For years she was soloist on the "Louisiana Hayride" over KWKH, Shreveport; and thence to WSM's "Grand Ole Opry" in Nashville. During the 40's and 50's she was always associated in the public mind with that select group of artists representing the cream of the field - Ernest Tubb, Red Foley, the late Hank Williams, etc. In brief, her inspiration derives from the fount of Musical Ameraicana. – Paul Ackerman

Dark Moon
Your Cheatin' Heart
Beautiful Brown Eyes
Seven Lonely Days
Half As Much
Jealous Heart
When The Moon Comes Over The Mountain
Bonaparte's Waltz
My Happiness

Dear Heart And Other Favorites - Living Jazz

Serenade In Blue
Dear Heart And Other Favorites
Living Jazz
Arranged and Conducted by Phil Bodner
Produced by Ethel Gabriel
Recorded in RCA Victor's Studio A, New York City
Recording Engineer: Bob Simpson
RCA Camden CAS-878


Philip Bodner - sax, flute
Mel Davis - trumpet, flugelhorn
Walter Levinsky - sax
Paul Faulize - bass trombone
Dick Hyman - organ, piano
John (Bucky) Pizzarelli - guitar
Bobby Haggart - bass
George Duvivier - bass
Phil Kraus - Percussion
Bobby Rosengarden - drums

One of many surprisingly good "Living" sets produced by Ethel Gabriel for this RCA Camden series of musical theme packages that feature bright arrangements performed by a number of name studio musicians.

Dear Heart
I Will Wait For You
Red Roses For A Blue Lady
St. Thomas
Up A Lazy River
Bossa Nova 1 A. M.
Serenade In Blue
Never On Sunday
The High Life
Paris Original

Soul Of Brazil - Living Jazz

How Insensitive
Soul Of Brazil
Living Jazz
Arranged and Conducted by Phil Bodner
Produced by Ethel Gabriel
Recorded in Webster Hall, New York City
Recording Engineer: Bob Simpson
RCA Camden CAS-2135


Phil Bodner - flute, sax, piccolo
Bernie Glow - trumpet, flugelhorn
Mel Davis - trumpet, flugelhorn
Buddy Morrow - trombone
Paul Faulise - bass trombone
John Pizzarelli - gut strings and combination guitar
Derek Smith - piano, organ
George Duvivier - bass
Phil Kraus - percussion
Bobby Rosengarden - drums

One of many surprisingly good "Living" sets produced by Ethel Gabriel for this RCA Camden series of musical theme packages that feature bright arrangements performed by a number of name studio musicians.

A Man And A Woman
A Day In The Life Of A Fool
Mas Que Nada
How Insensitive
The Soul Of Brazil
I Want My Mama
Sumer Samba
Stay Awhile

Quiet Nights - Living Jazz

Like Young
Quiet Nights
Living Jazz
Arranged and Conducted by Phil Bodner
Produced by Ethel Gabriel
Recorded at RCA Victors Studio A, New York City
Recording Engineer: Bob Simpson
RCA Camden CAL-914


Phil Bodner - tenor sax, piccole
Mel Davis - trumpet, flugelhorn
Walt Levinsky - alto sax, flute
Buddy Morrow - trombone
Paul Faulise - bass, trombone
Dick Hyman - organ, piano
Bucky Pizzarelli - guitar
Bobby Haggart - bass
Phil Kraus - percussion
Bobby Rosengarden - drums

One of many surprisingly good "Living" sets produced by Ethel Gabriel for this RCA Camden series of musical theme packages that feature bright arrangements performed by a number of name studio musicians.

Quiet Nights
A Taste Of Honey
Mister Sandman
Flying Home
Honeysuckle Rose
In The Still Of The Night
Like Young
Moon Mist
A Quiet Thing

Music For Lonely Lovers - Mark Andrews

Music For Lonely Lovers
Mark Andrews And His Orchestra
Promenade Records 2051

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

The sensual and colorful cover art temped record buyers, me included, to purchase this budget sounding big band dance set.

The Touch Of Your Lips
That Old Feeling
I'll Get By
More Than You Know
Fools Rush In
Slaughter on 10th Avenue
The Man That Got Away
From Here To Eternity
Where Or When

Music For The Weaker Sex - Henri Rene

Music For The Weaker Sex
Henri Rene And His Orchestra
Benny Cater - Solo Saxophone
Produced by Dennis Farnon
Cover Lingerie by Vanity Fair Mills
RCA Victor LSP-1563

From the back cover: Ardent feminists may dispute the validity of this album's title – Music For The Weaker Sex, Ashley Montague's best-seller, for instance, was tagged The Natural Superiority Of Women. However, almost any woman will admit to a strong weakness for one particular type of man. – June Bundy

Creative mood arrangements in which Rene showcases emerging period pop sounds from instruments such as the harpsichord and the electric guitar, not-to-mention Carter's sax solos.


Space Escapade - Les Baxter

Space Escapade
Les Baxter
Capitol Records T968

Available from online vendors so I will not be posting a sample. Also well documented due to the collectible nature of the cover art. Presented here to add scans of the original sleeve that came with the copy I found

Non-experimental or spacey sounding, none-the-less this is another stylistically typical well arranged, nicely turned out orchestrated Baxter mood package. I heard a few piano touches that may have been influenced by Ferrante & Teicher's experimental period that included the release of Soundblast Westminster WP 6041 released in 1956.

Shooting Star
Mr. Robot
The City
A Distant Star
The Commuter
Winds Of Sirius
The Other Side Of The Moon
Somewhere In Space
Earth Light
The Lady Is Blue
Saturday Night On Saturn

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Maynard Ferguson Plays Jazz For Dancing

Maynard Ferguson Plays Jazz For Dancing
Forum SF 9035
A Division of Roulette Records

Also released, in same jacket, as Roulette, R 52038.

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

Excellent late 50s jazz flavored big band set.

Hey There
Where's Teddy
If I Should Lose You
I'll Be Seeing You
'Tis Autumn
Secret Love
I'm Beginning To See The Light
It Might As Well Be Spring
Stompin' At The Savoy
'Round About Midnight
Soft Winds

Monday, June 26, 2017

East Of India - Werner Muller

Lotus And Chrysanthemum
East Of India
Werner Muller And His Orchestra
Recored by Deutsche Grammophon Polydor Series
Decca Records DL 8880

The covers suggests that this album may feature a good amount of exotic instrumentation. The set, however, is more of a Les Baxter-styled "exotica" interpretation which is to say, that once you allow for the more straight forward orchestrated approach, I think that you will find the disc enjoyable all the way through. Excellent late 50s product when compared to similar offerings from the period.

From Billboard - May 18, 1959: The German orkster serves up an exotic set of lushly arranged tunes all of which have titles dealing with Eastern places of themes. It's an interesting and listenable item that provides a good programming set. The arrangements are colorful and tasteful. Cover will help attract sales.

The Banquet
The Raftsman's Ballad
Bazaar Melody
Ferry Boat Serenade
Lotus And Chrysanthemum
Ritual Dance
On The Kyushu Island
Merry Geishas
Chinese Tittle-Tattle
Moon Over The Pagoda
Sampans On The River

The Primitive And The Passionate - Les Baxter

The Primitive And The Passionate
Les Baxter And His Orchestra
Produced by Chuck Eagle
Cover: George Jerman
Art Direction: Merle Shore
Reprise Records R-6048

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

Posted here to share the minty cover and original sleeve that came with the copy I found.

Excellent Baxter set that plays through as fresh sounding to day as it must have sounded to vinyl buyers in 1961

From Billboard - September 1, 1962: Exotic arrangements of a group of sophisticated tunes composed by Les Baxter make this album of more than usual interest. The Baxter ork performs the tunes with care, sparked by the stylish use of instruments and unusual and ear-catching sounds. Of the eight songs in the set by Baxter, "Bird Of Paradise," "Fiesta Brava" and "Manchurian Melody" gran a lot of air exposure. One of the four new Reprise "sound special" albums.

Fiesta Brava
Peking Tiger
A Night With Cleopatra
Via Veneto
Bird Of Paradise
Slave Ship
Manchurian Melody
A Taste Of Honey
Little Girl Blue

Modern Jazz Hall Of Fame

Extrasensory Perception
Modern Jazz Hall Of Fame
Cover Photo by Philip Lustig
Design DLP 29
Division Of Pickwick Sales

From Billboard - October 7, 1957: An excellent cross-section of modern jazz, mainstream to avant-garde. Set includes excerpts from Massey Hall concerts in Toronto, Canada featuring Parker-Gillespie group, Bud Powell Trio and recordings by Kai Winding with Four Trombones, Thad Jones with Strings, Mingus and Lee Konitz, Max Roach group, etc. These recordings, originally released on Debut are all the more salable now at bargain price of $1.49.

From the back cover: Here assembled for the first time Design Records presents one of the greatest assemblages of modern jazz talent ever recorded. Starring with Perdido recorded by Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Charlie Mingus, Max Roach and "Charlie Chan" on sax is a true jazz classic. The recording was made in Massey Hall in Toronto, Canada, under the sponsorship of the New Jazz Society of Toronto. Comment by Nat Hentoff of Downbeat, the bible of the music world was... "This is what records are for. It would be a shame to lose this after only one performance." Perdido is a jazz classic in itself and is played or sung by nearly every great jazz artist as a show piece in their repertoire. Following are Max Roach, Gigi Gryce, Hank Mobley, Idrees Sulieman, Leon Comegys, Walter Davis II, and Franklin Skeete playing Mobley's "Orientation", a mood piece of depth and with a strange moving fever. Next on the "A" side of the album we present the great alto sax of Lee Konitz, one of the greatest in the business. Lee plays "Extrasensory Perception" with Charlie Mingus, one of the day's finest bass players, George Kourzen on Cello, Phyllis Pinkerton on Piano, and Al Levitt on the drums. The last piece on this side is Sam Most's Quartet playing "Notes To You". Sam has been voted the "New Star On Clarinet" in a nationwide poll and here is one of the reasons why. With him are Bob Dorough on piano, Percy Heath on bass and the great Louie Bellson on drums... The flip side of the disc... or as those of us who are not "hep" might say... The reverse side of the record leads off with four of the finest jazz trombonists in American today. J. and Kia... The fabulous J.J. Johnson and Kai Winding along with Bennie Green and Willie Dennis play mush trombone in a piece written for trombone by Winding. Joining them are John Lewis on piano, Charles Mingus on bass and Arthur Taylor on drums. Folloing the tribune piece we have two more cuts made at Massey Hall. The first by the Bud Powell Trio, "I've Got You Under My Skin" played by Bud on his amazing piano, Charlie Mingus on Bass and Max Roach with a real driving beat on the drums. Max really shines on the third track when he plays a drum solo titles "Drum Conversation"... One of the finest recordings of this type ever made. The clicking noises you hear in the background are Mingus clicking his heels to the tempo. Following this pair we close with "Portrait" a moody, semi-classical tone poem composed by Charles Mingus and played by the amazing Thad Jones on trumpet, Billy Taylor on piano, John LaPorta on alto sax, Jackson Wiley on cello, Smilin' Milt Hinton on bass and Joe Morello on drums. This piece in itself shows how deep the thought that goes into progressive jazz can be... – Roy Freeman

Extrasensory Perception
Notes To You
Kai's Day
Got You Under My Skin
Drum Conversation

Lionel Hampton

Lionel Hampton and His Orchestra
Lion L70064
A product of MGM Records - A Division of Lowe's Incorporated

Great Hampton compilation set available from online vendors under the title "Air Mail Special".

From the back cover: Lionel Hampton was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but grew up in Chicago, where his musical family moved when he was seven. There, he received his early musical training. He left school at the age of sixteen to find work as a professional musician, but his age was a handicap and jobs were few and far between. Eventually, he found himself in Los Angeles. Here, he got his real start, first as a drummer with a jazz combo headed by Paul Howard, lager with Les Hite's Band. Then, he drew the attention of Louis Armstrong. It was during service with "Satchmo" that he switched from drums to vibes and found the first nation-wide recognition of his name and talent. His unique artistry brought him immediate acclaim in movies, public appearances and on records. When Armstrong set out for the East, "Hamp" decided to remain on the coast. It was at this point that Benny Goodman offered him a spot with what was then the greatest band in the world. "Camp" began making musical monuments with the all-time greats: players like Teddy Wilson, Gene Krupa, Harry James, Ziggy Elman, and B. G. himself. That was in 1936, a year, incidentally, when Down Beat Magazine accorded "Hamp" an award in honor of his selection by popularity poll as "the most exciting artist of the year". When Goodman dissolved his band, "Hamp" organized his own orchestra and, in less than a year, it became one of the biggest "name" attractions in the country. The rest is history.

Air Mail Special
Cool Train
Jumpin' With G. H.
Gates Steps Out
Don't Flee The Scene Salty
Oh, Rock
Gabby's Gabbin'
Samson's Boogie

Essence Of Romance - Spencer-Hagen

Essence Of Romance
Spencer-Hagen Orchestra
Cover Printing: Western Lithograph Co., Los Angeles, Calif.
Liberty LST 7015

From Billboard - September 30, 1957: This set is keyed even closer to the romance angle than the average period act, with a lush Polynesian type admiring herself in the mirror on the cover and material inside under such titles as "White Shoulders," "Surrender," "Night of Delight," to whet the appetite. Notes go a little far in setting the mood but the work itself has a rich, clean, well-arranged and recorded sound with makes the group of original tunes quite salable. Nick jock bands here, too.

White Shoulders
After Nightfall
Night Of Delight
Bubble Bath