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Saturday, October 20, 2018

The Romantic Approach - Stan Kenton

Sweet And Lovely
From The Creative World Of Stan Kenton Comes...
The Romantic Approach
In The Ballad Style Of Stan Kenton
Produced by Lee Gillette and Kent Larsen
Capitol Records T 1533


Trumpets: Ernie Bernhardt, Larry McGuire, Bob Rolfe, Sanford Skinner and Dalton Smith

Trombones: Jim Amlotte, Bob Fitzpatrick, Paul Heydorff, Dave Wheeler

Mellophoniums: Dwight Carver, Gordon Davison, Keith Lamotte and Gene Roland

Saxophones: Gabe Baltazar, Sam Donahue, Wayne Dunstan, Marvin Holladay and Paul Renzi

Drums: Jerry McKenzie

Tuba: Clive Acker

Latin Drums: George Acker

Bass: Peter Chivily

When Your Lover Has Gone
All The Things You Are
I'm Glad There Is You
Say It Isn't So
Sweet And Lovely
Fools Rush In
You're Mine, You!
Once In A While
Moonlight In Vermont
I Understand
Oh! You Crazy Moon

Friday, October 19, 2018

Dance To Swingin' Things From Cole Porter's Can Can - Skip Martin

Just One Of Those Things
Dance To Swingin' Things From Cole Porter's Can Can
Skip Martin and The Video All-Stars
Recorded in Hollywood under the direction of D. L. Miller
Audio Mix: Bill Putnam
Cover Photo: George Pickow
Cover Art: Will Dressler
Somerset SF-12400

From the back cover: Skip Martin is one of the busiest conductor-arrangers on the west coast today. But unlike many of his busy contemporaries, his scores never have that "overworked" feeling... they are fresh – above all – they swing! Skip's writing and conducting have every player on his recording sessions blowing for sheer swingin' pleasure.

At the age of 17 he played clarinet in the Indianapolis Symphony. However, as with many of our best modern musicians, the love of jazz was too strong for him to remain with the Symphony. Before heading to the west coast, Skip played sax with Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman and Charlie Barnett. His first arranging jobs were for Count Basie. After an NBC staff berth in New York, he moved to Hollywood where he has worked on several important films and TV shows.

From Billboard - April 18, 1960: The Skip Martin crew presents thoroly entertaining treatments of the Cole Porter score from "Can-Can." The settings really move. The score has been augmented to include several Porter tunes not in the original Broadway score. Set can prove a strong rack item.

I Love Paris
You Do Something To Me
Come Along With Me
Just One Of Those Things
C'est Magnifique
I Am In Love
It's All Right With Me
Let's Do It

Waltzes - Jan Garber

Jan Garber and His Orchestra
Decca Records
DL 8824

From the back cover: Once a featured violinist with the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra and an expert on the marches of John Philip Sousa (Garber led a 50-piece brass band in the army), Jan Garber has been playing his very special brand of music for packed dance floors ever since he organized his first "hotcha" band, and developed the now-famous quality that is characteristic of all his work. Mr. Garber is currently featured at the well-known "Blue Room" in New Orleans' Roosevelt Hotel.

From Billboard - March 16, 1959: A fine album of popular waltzes by the noted ork of the hotel rooms. The smooth sounding LP contains such favorites as "When I Grow Too Old To Dream," "Meet Me Tonight In Dreamland," "Skaters Waltz" and "It Happened In Monterey." Wide appeal.

A Beautiful Lady In Blue
When I Grow Too Old To Dream
Petite Waltz
Meet Me Tonight In Dreamland
Skaters Waltz
Beautiful Love
You Are Forever
It Happened In Monterey
Silver Moon
Stars In My Eyes
La Golondrina

Our Love - Jose Melis

Our Love
Jose Melis
His Piano And Orchestra
Produced by Mort Hillman
Cover: Barry Blum & Harry Farmlett
Seeco CELP-471

Our Love
Story Of A Starry Night
More Than Anything
The Things I Love
You And Your Love
Always You
Tonight We Love
Isle Of May
March Of The Flowers

The Art Of Jazz - Zoot Sims

Ghost Of A Chance
Zoot Sims
The Art Of Jazz
Celebrity Jazz Series
Cover: Harry Farmlett & Barry Blum
Seeco CELP-4520

From the back cover: I was an 18-year-old drummer with Joe Sander's band at the Hotel Syracuse that fall of '43. Ells Rishell, the journeyman alto-man, was raving about a kid with whom he had played in the swinging Bob Astor band out west. Astor never quite made it, but Ells said something like, "Man, that Jackie Sims with Bob's band really blows! What a tenor! All he ever talked about was getting with Goodman. That was his dream." Well, the dream came true, because not two weeks later I was watching Benny Goodman at the Hotel New Yorker where Krupa had just rejoined after a hassle out west. Punching out section work and spitting occasional solos was a narrow, baby-faced blond about 19, then known as "Jackie" Sims.

Three years later he was back with Benny at the NBC Studios in Hollywood backstopping the Victor Borge Show. This was a pretty sharp BG mob with Bellson drumming and Dick Mains on trumpet. Sims had grown up, physically and musically, but was essentially still a big-band, gutsy blower. (Oh yeah, by now they had hung the "Soot" on him for keeps).

The next time I heard him was with Woody from the Palladium in early '48. I missed him with his other name credit, Bobby Sherwood, but I guess he must've been in and out of Benny's band four times in all, about the same with Herman.

But he grew. He piled his trade, progressed and finally slipped into the modern field where he became a solid exponent with that fresh, reaching imagination. You'll hear a lot of it on these sides. I'm not going to pinpoint choruses or titles; you'll do it anyway. But Zoot fools you. Sure, he's modern jazz, but now and then you'll hear him with that soaring, liquid flow much like his old mentor, Goodman. Often you'll be aware of the electric, erratic Parker-influence. Occasionally – with his highs – he'll even remind you of Ted Nash and "Early Les." Always though, if you know Zoot's allegiance, you'll be aware – as he is – of his devotion to our late "President," Lester Young.

Zoot's in and out of small groups now; Gerry Mulligan's, Woody Herman's, his own. I caught him just a few months ago with Woody's bunch at the Metropole. Zoot was heavier, more confident and I think even more exciting in his maturity and the freedom of the combo idiom, which is how you'll appreciate him here. Meshing well with him is valve-trombonist Bob Brookmeyer, who – though he slid with Stan Getz and Mulligan – worked mostly on piano with McKinley, Prima, Wald and Herman. Flanking the pair is John (ex-Getz) Williams, old pro bassist Milt Hinton and former Basie-drummer, Gus Johnson. – Jack Denton

Jack Denton, musician, (drummer – name bands 1942-1945), writer, (Red Skelton and Milton Berle shows), disc-jockey, (Cleveland, Milwaukee, Hollywood), comedian, (NBC & ABC network), was kind enough to take time to write the above notes. His background as a jazz disc-jocks, musician and newspaper columnist certainly give him the qualifications to write, as above.
From Billboard - April 8, 1960: The indomitable tenor man works with a quartet of supporters here, including Bob Brookmeyer on valve trombone. Milt Hinton, Gus Johnson and John Williams are also heard in support. This is a helping of bold, brash, gutsy modern blowing with both Sims and Brookmeyer engaging in extensive soloing. Eight number include three Sims originals. Good cover and fine recording.

September In The Rain
Down At The Loft
Ghost Of A Chance
Not So Deep
Them There Eyes
Our Pad
Dark Clouds
One To Blow On

Holiday In Europe - National Concert Orchestra

Holiday In Europe
National Concert Orchestra
Halo 5038

Super budget classical music compilation featuring a crazy fun cover.

A Night In Venice
Sabre Dance
Roman Carnival
Torna A Surriento
Hora Staccato
Danube Waves
Zampa Overture

F# Where There Is Music - Ernest Maxin

The Very Thought Of You
F# Where There Is Music
Ernest Maxin and His Orchestra
Top Rank

Unique book-fold jacket design features white ink printed on a black "velveteen" or "flocked" material. The front cover, right hand side, is die-cut to reveal the "key board" which is printed on the inside. There is nothing printed on the back jacket which is also covered with the black material.

From the inside cover: Maestro Maxin, at 34 is acknowledged to be among England's most gifted conductors. He is a producer for BBC-TV and has been instrumental in shaping the careers of such British stars as Dave King, Max Bygraves and Tommy Steele. But famed as he is, he still had some tall explaining to do before the lady in his life believed his tale of just-another-record-session. – Atra Baer

From Billboard - November 30, 1959: If The Billboard smells sweet this week – there's a reason for it. The reason is an ad on the back of Audition in this issue for a Top Rank album titled F Sharp... Where There Is Music," with the Ernest Maxin Ork. The printing ink used in this ad has been impregnated with a new perfume manufactured by Faberge of Paris and called (naturally) "F Sharp." The ad ties in with the Top Rank album which also has a sweet smell, since the flocked covers have been lavishly sprinkled with the perfume, even tho – as the liner notes say – the perfume lists for $27 per ounce.

Norm Weinstroer, sales chief at Top Rank, who is all hipped up with enthusiasm for the scented release, believes that the "F Sharp" LP is the history of the record business. The ad for the album in Audition is the first perfumed advertisement in the history of Billboard, which has had many firsts over the years. The Top Rank perfumed album appears to be part of a new entertainment idea, to please the nose as well as the eyes and ears. Right now the Hollywood folk are working on new odorful movie techniques called Aroma-rama and Smellovision. Weinstroer expects the music to sell the album, with the perfume working as an attention getter. But Faberge quietly hopes that the album will help them move a lot of "F Sharp" perfume during the holiday season.

Yes... even well over a half a century later... my nose can still detect a hint of "F Sharp" perfume on the cover.

As Time Goes By
Moonlight Becomes You
My Melancholy Baby
You'll Never Know
The Very Thought Of You
You Made My Love You
Over The Rainbow
That Old Feeling
My Foolish Heart

Larry Adler

Love For Sale
Larry Adler
A Study In High Fidelity Sound
Harmonica Virtuoso with Piano, Trumpet, Bass, Guitar and Drums
Audio Fidelity
AFLP 1916

From the back cover: I am not now, nor have I ever been a jazz musician. This does not disbar me, happily, either from liking jazz or from the pleasure of making music with jazz musicians.

Which immediately reminds me of a story. In 1934 I was engaged to play a solo in a film called "Many Happy Returns" for Paramount. My fee for the solo was to be $300 and even in 1934 that kind of money for a movie salary was hardly considered princely.

When I reported to the 2nd assistant director, which was all that my $300 rated, he told me that my scene would take place in a radio studio – my, my, that does date me, doesn't it – and that my solo would be accompanied by Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians.

I said that I didn't happen to like the music of Mr. Lombardo.

The 2nd assistant director said he was not asking for my likes or dislikes, he was telling me what I was going to do.

That, to use a British idiom, put my back up and I flatly refused. I was then ushered into the Presence, which is to say the director, to whom my fracas with 2nd assistant director was reported. The director told me to stop being a damned fool and to do as I was told. I still refused and so I was fired.

The next day I heard from the producer who summoned me to the studio for a talk. He was very patient with me and pointed out the opportunity that was being handed to me, an unknown, in giving me a chance to play a solo in a major film accompanied by a name orchestra. I agreed, but said that I didn't want to play with this particular name orchestra. The producer looked pained by his first encounter with juvenile delinquency (I was 18) and my status as a fired person, remained quo.

Later that week I heard from the secretary of Mr. William LeBaron, then head of Paramount. He wanted me in the office at 9:30 the next morning.

I still do not understand, and I'm not fishing, why so much trouble take over a comparatively insignificant item. Mr. LeBarron was kind and friendly and tried to get me to reconsider. He told me that Mr. L. was getting $40,000 as against my $300 but I remained unimpressed.

"You know who I like," I said, though no one asked me, "I like Duke Ellington."

"So do I, Larry," replied Mr. LeBarron, "but we can't just go hiring orchestras on your say-so."

I agreed but mention that the Duke was already on the lot, making a film with Mae West, so it shouldn't be too difficult to get him for one day's shooting. Mr. LeBaron suggested that I leave the running of the studio to him. He gave me one more chance to repent my iniquitous ways but I wouldn't do so home I went, no less fired than before.

At midnight the director phoned me.

"Well, you little bastard," he said, "we've got Ellington for you."

They had too. They paid him $5000 for the day to accompany my $300. He wasn't photographed because the whole thing had to be kept secret from Mr. Lambardo. The public never did know that Duke Ellington played my accompaniment but for the kick, for me, remains the same.

Almost everything on this alum is improvisation I say almost everything because we did tend to form a set pattern on "Summertime," say, or "Funny Valentine." But we play "How High The Moon" differently each time and while the pianist is consistently good I am less predictable.

No two takes of any title were very much the same, even on "Summertime" and even on my own composition, "Genievieve." The latter is the title waltz in the film, "Genevieve," for which I wrote the score. Bragging is permitted when a soloist writes his own sleeve notes so I will tell you that my music for "Genevieve" was nominated for an Academy Award award. It was beaten out by the score of "The High And The Mighty" by Dmitri Tiomkin and I don't believe there's any such person as Dmitri Tiomkin. The whole thing was fixed, that's what I think.

Let me call "Le Grisbi" to your attention. This too, is film music, from a French gangster film called "Touchez Pas au Grisbi." Even if you got straight A's in French you are liable no to know what that means. It is Montmartre argot and means, in effect, "Lay off the dough." My first record of "Grisbi," in 1953, won the Grand Prix du Disque, making me the first American artist to get this prize. The melody is by Jean Wiener, who was once half of a famous piano team called Wiener and Doucet and who claims to have introduced American jazz to Europe after the 1st World War. His "Grisbi" is, to me, one of the best blues since that "St. Louis" one.

You will notice that the tunes, except for "Genevieve" and "Grisbi" date from the 30s and 40s. Few musicians today are attracted by the meretricious product that passes for music in this Age of the Gimmick. For full details consult your local Hit Parade.

So, on this one album, Rodgers and Hart are represented four times with "The Girl Friend," "My Funny Valentine," (we play the verse twice – once as a piano and once, to end the melody, on unaccompanied harmonica.) "This Can't Be Love," and "Little Girl Blue," Les Freres Gershwin with tow melodies from "Porgy and Bess," "Summertime" and the wonderfully evil seduction them of "There's A Boat Leavin' For New York.' Cole Porter also twice with "Love For Sale" and "Begin The Beguine," Arlen and Ellington with one each, "Blues In The Night" and "Sophisticated Lady."

Every one of the songs just mentioned have lyrics fashioned by men who respected the English language and I wish that I could sing them on my harmonica. I think that the harmonica is, in fact, a singing instrument but it does tend to mess up its consonants.

One last bit of memory. The first time that I ever played the "Porgy And Bess" melodies was at a party in Beverly Hill. The hostess sang "Summertime" in a lovely delicate soprano. I played obligates and at the piano we had George Gershwin.

I should mention that Mr. Gershwin and I were in hot competition for the attention of the soprano. She, not unaware of this, had purposely invited us both and had thoughtfully installed a recording machine by the piano. She recorded the whole evening and I must say I'd like to hear those records again. You, on the other hand, (where I have a blister) want to know how that competition come out, don't you?

Gershwin won. – Larry Adler

From Billboard - November 9, 1959: Larry Adler, certainly one of the finest and most versatile of harmonica player, has a set of standards styled in quality renditions. He also includes some of his own material. They are played soulfully over excellent piano, trumpet, bass and drum support. It's a highly programmable item. Tunes include "My Funny Valentin," "Little Girl Blue" and "Grisbi." His wide range of expression includes overtones of jazz, pop and classical influences.

How High The Moon
Blues In The Night
Girl Friend
Love For Sale
My Funny Valentin
This Can't Be Love
Summer Time
There's A Boat Leaving
Sophisticated Lady
Little Girl Blue
Begin The Beguine

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Machito Dances And Other Latin Dance Favorites

Lucky Mambo
Machito Dances
And Other Latin Dance Favorites
Design: Alleen Hunt
Photo: B & J Kerr
Buckingham Records - New York City
PST 725

Apparently there is at least one or two tracks on this set that can be attributed to Machito. The remaining tracks are credited to Pepito Pavon & his Orchestra (credit on disc label). However, it sounds like there are three or four possible artists featured on this LP. Generally speaking for a budget Palace release, this isn't a bad set.

(Machito & his Afro Cubana)
Crazy Cha Cha
Mexican Hat Dance
Rainbow Cha Cha
Lucky Mambo
Glow Worm Cha Cha
Palm Tree Cha Cha
So Long Fellow Tango
Isla Verde Cha Cha
Cha Cha Amorosa
Good Times Meringue

Peter Duchin At The St. Regis

Something Gotta Give
Peter Duchin
His Piano and Orchestra
At The St. Regis
Decca Records
DL 74373

From the back cover: "It was the biggest Maisonette opening I've attended in years," said Gene Knight, New York Journal-American critic, of Peter Duchin's fabulous first night at the plush room in New York's swank St. Regis Hotel. "He is something special as a pianist," the noted critic went on to say, and "who could help but dance to this new band with the exuberance of youth?"

I Left My Heart In San Francisco
This Could Be The Start Of Something
A Fine Romance
I Concentrate On You
Something Gotta Give
It Had To Be You
The Second Time Around
The Way You Look Tonight
What Kind Of Fool Am I? (From the Musical Production "Stop The World - I Want To Get Off")
From This Moment On

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Guitars Play The Sound Of Ray Charles - Tom & Jerry

Unchain My Heart
Guitars Play The Sound Of Ray Charles
Tom & Jerry
With The Merry Melody Singers
Mercury Records
MG 20671

From the back cover: Tom Tomlinson has been playing guitar since he was four. Born in Minden, Louisiana in 1928, he began plucking a Sears Roebuck guitar as a toddler and had mastered the instrument, without the benefit of formal training, by the time he was eight. During his high school years, he fronted his own band. After a stint in Korea as a U. S. Marine, he returned to music, to serve as lead guitarist for Johnny Horton, contributing his valuable sound to such Horton hits as Battle of New Orleans, Sink the Bismarck and North to Alaska. Injured in the same auto crash that took Horton's life, Tom spent months recuperating, then teamed with Jerry Kennedy in recording a hit Mercury single, Golden Wildwood Flower, which began the partnership that's still flourishing.

Jerry is from Shreveport, Louisiana. Like Tom, he flashed signs of musical talent at an early age age. He began studying the guitar at at the age of eight; by the time he was turned to the guitar, recording with Horton, Rusty Draper, June Valli Patti Page, George Jones and others. His present work with Tom indicates that he's taken advantage of that experience to become a mature musician.

Unchain My Heart
I Got A Woman
Hit The Road Jack
What'd I Say
Hallelujah I Love Her So
This Little Girl Of Mine
One Mint Julep
I'll Drown In My Own Tears
The Right Time
Swanee River Rock
Lonely Avenue
Leave My Woman Alone

Monday, October 15, 2018

Mod Mod Brass - The Brass Breed

Wade In The Water
Mod Mod Brass
The Brass Breed
Wyncote W9200
A Product of Cameo Parkway Records

There are only a few numbers on this typical Wyncote budget set, that may have been produced by a single studio group (The Brass Breed), that sound "mod."  Otherwise, the majority of the tracks are pretty drab sounding Latin filler material.

Wade In The Water
Sugar Town
March Of The Trumpets
Brass Theme
La Entrado
Opera Flamenco
Tequilla & The Bull

The Wizard Of Oz And Other Harold Arlen Songs - Shorty Rogers

If I Only Had A Brain
The Wizard Of Oz & Other Harold Arlen Songs
Shorty Rogers And His Orchestra
Featuring The Giants
Arranged and Conducted by Shorty Rogers
Produced by Dick Peirce
Cover Photo: Jerome Kuhl - Garrett Howard
RCA Victor LPM-1997
Recorded in Hollywood, California, February 3, 5 and 10, 1959

From the back cover: Heard throughout in solo spots on trumpet and flugelhorn is the effervescent Shorty constantly chased by the horns of Jimmy Giuffre (clarinet and tenor), Barney Kessel (guitar), Bob Enevoldsen (valve-trombone), Herb Gelder (tenor), Bud Shank (alto and tenor), Larry Bunker (vibes), Don Fagerquist (trumpet in the small group) and Frank Rosolino, whose gymnastic solo trombone is heard only in The Merry Old Land Of Oz. Joe Mondragon is responsible for the occasional bass interludes, and his rhythm mate, Mel "The Tailor" Lewis, sews up the time with relentless imaginative drive. Pete Jolly, whose piano is an unfailing asset both in rhythm section and solo, takes charge on Over The Rainbow which here takes the for of a miniature concerto for Pete's considerable talent. – John Tynan - Associate Editor, West Coast Down Beat

From Billboard - August 24, 1959: A very imaginative set of arrangements, bringing a modern jazz quality to some great material including "We're Off To See The Wizard," "In The Merry Land Of Oz," "Get Happy," and "That Old Black Magic." Performances range from slightly more than one minute, to five and one-half minutes – in brief, these are not cut and dried orchestrations. For smart programming.

We're Off To See The Wizard
Over The Rainbow
The Jitterbug
The Merry Old Land Of Oz
If I Only Had A Brain
Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead
My Shining Hour
Get Happy Blues In The Night
Let's Fall In Love
That Old Black Magic