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Saturday, July 21, 2018

Benny In Brussels - Benny Goodman

Gershwin Medley
Benny In Brussels
Benny Goodman and His Orchestra
Featuring Jimmy Rushing as presented at the Brussels Fair 1958 by the Westinghouse Broadcasting Company
Ambassador With A Clarinet
Columbia CS 8076
Vol. II

From the back cover: Featured with the Goodman orchestra was another great name of American jazz whose reputation abroad is as big as his build – "Mr. Five-by-Five" himself, the original Jimmy Rushing. Like BG, Jimmy is a legend in his time, one of the few remaining authentic blues singers, whose career spans the great cities of American jazz – New Orleans, Chicago, Kansas City and New York. He's been up there now for nearly a quarter of a century, and, of course, first established his international reputation with the Count Basie Band, with which he spent fifteen years. His most recent award was his selection as "Best Male Jazz Singer" in the 1958 Down Beat International Critics' Poll.

The Benny Goodman orchestra which scored so big at the Fair, includes some familiar names, some young, some older, but all of them of the familiar BG calibre. Among them are Arvell Shaw on bass; Zoot Sims, tenor sax; Rex Peer, trombone; Roland Hanna, piano. The roster also numbers a veteran of the 1938 Goodman band, trombonist Vernon Brown.

Other members of this outfit are Gene Allen, baritone sax; Billy Bauer, guitar; Al Block, alto sax; Willie Dennis, trombone; John Frosk, trumpet; Billy Hodges, trumpet; Ernie Mauro, alto sax; E. V. Perry, trumpet; Seldon Powell, tenor sax.

As in every Goodman organization, there's a BG discovery; again Benny proves his talent for picking talent in the person of pianist Hanna, twenty-six year old Detroit musician, whose big-time debut this is For Hanna, the tour with Benny represented not only discovery and success but, at the last moment, something of a problem. Seems that Hanna, who is a student of classical music at the Juilliard School, found himself in a dilemma when the week in Brussels reached its end; he was due back in New York Monday morning for his final exams at Juilliard, and because of the tourist rush he couldn't get the plane connections to get him back in time. So Benny made a trans-Atlantic call to the Juilliard dean and talked him into a two-day extension for Hanna. Result: Rollan took his exams, passed high.

Stealin' Apples
Memories Of You
Balkan Mixed Grill
Gershwin Medley: The Man I Love - Oh, Lady Be Good - Somebody Loves Me - I Got Rhythm
St. Louis Blues
Mr. Five-By-Five
March Of The Belgian Paratroops
One O'Clock Jump

William Castle's Ghost Story

The Cathedral Of Evil
William Castle's Ghost Story
Thrilling, Chilling Sounds Of Fright And The Supernatural
Design by Jack Schecterson Assoc. Inc., NYC
Peter Pan Records 8114
Peter Pan Records, a division of Ambassador Record Corporation

The Deadly Dog
The Deadly Orchid
The Dead Do Return
The Deadly Waiter
Lobotomy And The Shock Treatment
The Beast In The Night
The Cathedral Of Evil
Terror From The Tomb

Friday, July 20, 2018

Masquerade - Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66

Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66
Cover Art: Jane Winter
Art Direction: Meredythe Jones Rossi
Remastering Engineer: Bob McNabb
Pickwick International, Inc.
Pickwick Records Division

From the inside jacket: Sergio Mendes grew up in Rio de Janeiro and learned to play piano at an early age. At first it was mainly classical music, but by his late teens he was considered on of Brazil's leading jazz interpreters. Then bossa nova swept his country's popular music scene, and Sergio's fancy followed it. He grasped the style wholeheartedly, but also began to experiment with a few of his own ideas. His work was so successful that he won Brazil's Best Piano Player and Arranger Award three years in a row.

In 1962 The Brazilian government helped finance a trip to New York for Mendes and his group Bossa Rio, where they played Carnegie Hall to universal acclaim. Zealous reception of the Mendes sound prompted considerable touring in ensuing years, as well as continued experimentation. In 1965 Sergio came to California to stay, and with him came a new group at first called Brazil '65, then Brazil '66. – Howard Brinkman

Wichita Lineman
Norwegian Wood
Look Who's Mine
Pretty World
Dois Dias
You Stopped Out Of A Dream
Crystal Illusions (Memorias de Marta Sare)
(Sitting On) The Dock Of The Bay
Viola Enluarda
Song Of No Regrets
Salt Sea
Empty Faces
Easy To Be Hard
Where Are You Coming From?
Sometime Ago
What The World Needs Now

The Most Popular Guitar - Chet Atkins

My Prayer
The Most Popular Guitar
Chet Atkins
Recorded in Nashville, Tennessee
Recording Engineer: Bill Porter
RCA Victor LPM-2346

From the back cover: This is Chet's thirteen album and it goes a long way in explaining the durable Atkins magic. In the background there's a string-drenched orchestra, a warm vocal group and romance-sized arrangements. In the foreground The World's Most Popular Guitar coaxes new beauty from favorites of two continents – tender themes culled from such varied sources as the classics, the cinema and the cradle.

It Ain't Necessarily So
My Dear Little Sweetheart
Stay As Sweet As You Are
Monte Carlo Melody
When Day Is Done
My Prayer
Rock-A-Bye Bay
Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo
East Of The Sun
Goin' Home

Monday, July 16, 2018

White Rabbit - George Benson

White Rabbit
George Benson
Arranged by Don Sebesky
Produced by Creed Taylor
Recorded at Van Gelder Studios
Rudy Van Gelder, Engineer
Recorded November, 1971
Cover Photo by Pete Turner
Album Design by Bob Ciano
CTI Records CTI 6015


George Benson: Guitar
Acoustic Guitar: Jay Berliner and Earl Klugh ("El Mar" only)
Bass: Ron Carter
Electric Piano: Herbie Hancock (courtesy Warner Bros. Records)
Drums: Bill Cobham (courtesy Columbia Records)
Percussion and Vocal: Airto Moreira
Vibes and Percussion: Phil Kraus
Harp: Gloria Agostini

Phil Bodner: Flute, Alto Flute, Oboe and English Horn
Hubert Laws: Alto Flute, Piccolo (Flute solo on "White Rabbit")
George Marge: Flute, Alto Flute, Clarinet, Oboe and English Horn)
Romeo Pence: English Horn, Oboe, Alto Flute, Clarinet and Bass Clarinet
Jane Taylor: Basson

Wayne Andre: Trombone and Baritone Horn
Jim Buffington: French Horn
John Frosk: Trumpet, Flugelhorn (Trumpet Solo on "White Rabbit" and "El Mar")
Alan Rubin: Trumpet and Flugelhorn

Available from a variety of online resources so I will not be posting a sample. Presented here to share the cover art and Billboard review.

From Billboard - May 6, 1972: A dynamic, pop-packed jazz LP with two extraordinary works – "California Dreaming" and "White Rabbit." The forceful guitar of George Benson is backed by such artists as Hubert Laws on flute and piccolo and Herbie Hancock on piano. Creed Taylor produced.

White Rabbit
Theme From Summer Of '42
Little Train
California Dreaming
El Mar

The Rockin' 50's - Tommy Oliver

The Rockin' 50's
Tommy Oliver And His Orchestra
Cover Photo by Tom Tucker/Tommy Mitchell Studio
Warner Bros. Records 1220

Available from online vendors so I will not be posting a sample. Presented here to share the original cover art and notes excerpt.

From the back cover: Tommy started his musical career early in his teens and had his own bands both in high school and college. As a piano player, arranger, composer and band leader, Tommy is well known to the Southern California younger set.

The band still includes a large nucleus of the original U.C.L.A. group, and is composed of three trumpets, three trombones, four saxes, bass, drums, two guitars, bongos and Tommy's piano. In addition, the band is sparked by the swinging vocals of Kelly Gordon and the rocking' group sounds of The Pages.

From Billboard - November 3, 1958: Tommy Oliver's big, swinging crew – formed only a couple of years ago on the UCLA campus – deliver a rock-and-roll-flavored "debut" album. His treatment of recent "oldies" like "Rock Around The Clock," "Witch Doctor" and "Chanson d'Amour" reveal a fresh, original album talent and one that's likely to build quickly with the college-age crowd. Semi-abstract cover matches nicely with the contents, and is eye-catching.

Rock Around The Clock
One Mint Julep
Night Train
Witch Doctor
Honky Tonk
Thirteen Women
Shake, Rattle And Roll
Chanson d'Amour
Green Door
Flip, Flop, And Fly

Just One More Dance - Les Elgart

Just One More Dance
Les Elgart And His Orchestra
America's Porm Favorite
Columbia Records CL 594

Available from online vendors so I will not be posting a sample. Presented here to share the original cover and jacket notes excerpt.

From the back cover: Trumpeter Les Elgart was born in New Haven, Conn. He and his brother Larry received musical training early in life, thanks to the influence of their mother, a former concert pianist. When he was still in his teens, Les auditioned for and won a job with the late, great Bunny Berigan. After a war-time hitch in the Navy, he joined Woody Herman's orchestra, and then moved over to the musical staff of the Columbia Broadcasting System. Then, with the idea of a dance orchestra whirling around his head, he resigned and organized his present group, with the idea of contributing to the revitalization of dance music, a difficult chore but one to which the band has contributed more than its share of assistance.

The idea for this collection has been germinating for a long time, and did not spring into bloom until tests of the previous Elgart collection had been heard. It began some time ago when George Avakian and Tom Ford were undergraduates at Yale University, and vitally interested in records. One surprising omission they discovered was the complete lack of the kind of music that dance bands played when the lights were being dimmed, the prom was over, and only a few couples were left on the floor, stretching out the last pleasant moments as long as possible, perhaps with their coats already on. Then, like many other good ideas, it settled back into obscurity until, in 1953, Avakian played the first Elgart records for his friends, who promptly reminded him of the "last dance" idea. The result is this music by Les Elgart and his orchestra, danceable, sentimental, and keyed to those last memorable moments of a dance date.

Meet Me Tonight In Dreamland
Cuddle Up A Little Closer
I Don't Know Wy
Darn That Dream
When Day Is Done
I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire - Goodnight, Sweetheart
Night And Day
I'll Be Seeing You
For Me And My Gal
I'll See You In My Dream