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Thursday, October 25, 2018

Themes From The Hip - Bud Wattles

Wanted Dead Or Alive
Themes From The Hip
Bud Wattles and His Orchestra
Produced by Bob Ancell
Roulette R 25073

From the back cover: The brilliant arranger is Bud Wattles, a young man with whom I worked for the past year in Cleveland, Ohio. Bud is now musical director for radio station WERE. The 24 year old vibist was formerly arranger for Calvin Jackson on the coast. He has also scored many motion pictures and television shows. Notable was "The Helen Morgan Story." Bud has corralled a group of fine western (mid, that is) musicians who not only love horse operas, but who have peeked in on Peter Gunn, played with top jazz groups and made those wild sounds in many of the smoke filled, dark places, known as night clubs. Solo work features Knobby Lee with a soaring trumpet on Lawman. Herb Summers works around his trombone as easily as Matt Dillon rides a horse. Chuck Campbell approaches the bass trombone like a cowpoke approaches a rodeo. The driving clarinet solo on Black Saddle and the tenor work on Wanted – Dead Or Alive is interwoven by Bobby Jone. Other tenor solos and flute (that's right, partner, flute), Bob Sikora ridin' herd on bass and Vince Bilardo taking aim on drums and you've got yourself some might unusual listening. – Bob Ancell - Radio Station WGBS Miami, Florida

The Ballad Of Paladin
Black Saddle
Colt .45
Wagon Train
Wanted - Dead Or Alive
Bat Masterson Theme
The Legend Of Wyatt Earp
Lone Ranger
The Restless Gun

I Could Have Danced All Night - Allen Roth and Ted Dale

Isla Verde
I Could Have Danced All Night
A Complete Dance Party
Featuring Vic Damone and Lanny Ross
With Allen Roth and His Orchestra and Ted Dale's Orchestra
Hollywood Records LPH-121
A Blue Ribbon Product

Boogie Woogie
Dancing In The Dark
Tea For Two Cha Cha
Missouri Waltz
Helena Polka
Opus No. 1
Begin The Beguin
La Cruz
Rock Around The Clock
Talked From The Vienna Woods
Isla Verde

A Salute To Ellington - Bill Doggett

C Jam Blues
A Salute To Ellington By Bill Doggett
King Records 533

From the back cover: His real name is William Ballard Doggett. Born in February 16, 1916 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At an early age, Bill developed "an ear" for music and believe it or not, it wasn't for the organ. At the ripe old age of nine, the little fellow's ambition was to become a trumpet player. His family was not financially able to fulfill his desire, so the family's permanent household fixture, the piano, became his choice.

That was how it all began...

His first job with Jimmy Gorman's Orchestra paid eighteen bucks. That was a lot of money in those days, so he stuck with it. He worked as a sideman for a number of top bandleaders. Bill became a well-seasoned musician in time. It wasn't long before he organized his own band. That was in 1938.

After a few months of playing engagements in the top theaters and at a number of the leading night clubs, Bill sold the entire band to Lucky Millinder. What a deal that was! Lucky and Bill often talk about it when they meet... Bill said "I'll settle for a coke," and a coke it was. Lucky said, "I got a better deal that when the Indians sold the Island of Manhattan." But seriously, Bill wanted to devote his time to writing and arranging then. He continued with the band as pianist-arranger, and did an awful lot of writing. It was one of his arrangements that made Millinder's first hit record, a song called "Trouble In Mind."

In 1940 Bill joined Jimmy Mundy's band. Later in October of the same year, he rejoined Lucky Millinder. This association lasted for two years and during this time, Bill married Angeles Farlington. They are still happily married, both share Bill's blueprint for the future which is moving along smoothly.

Bill became the pianist and arranger for the original Ink Spots in 1942 and remained until 1944. During this time he was the instigator of many of their long to be remembered hit records.

Most of Bill's friends, personal and professional, invariably inquire as to why a person who was enjoying so much success as a pianist would suddenly switch to the Hammond organ. To explain this we must go back to the year 1947.

Bill was flown from New York to Los Angeles, California to be the chief arranger for the Lionel Hampton Orchestra. The Hampton band had been playing one-night stands in the Frisco-Oakland area and had just returned to Los Angeles to record. When Bill arrived in Los Angeles, he was informed by a friend that Louis Jordan was looking for a pianist and arranger and if he was interested in the position to contact Jordan at Billy Berg's Club, where the band was doing an engagement. This Bill did. He and Louis had met several years before, when they both were playing around Philly. After a brief chat with Jordan, Bill was informed the job was his. Little did he know that the young man he was replacing with the Jordan crew was to be the great influence in his musical career.

For the first time, Bill Doggett met Bill Davis who was leaving the band because he had an idea about the Hammond organ as an instrument of jazz, and wanted to devote his time to experimenting with the idea. The two Bill's struck up an immediate honest and sincere friendship.

Several months passed before the two Bill's met again. By the Davis was the rage of the Hammond organ, the newest thing in the world of swingdom. To climax the whole thing, Louis Jordan hired Bill Davis to go on his tour of theater dates at three times the salary that he was paying Bill Doggett for arranging and as the pianist with the band. As Bill put it, "that was the bitter end."

One year later, Bill left the Jordan outfit to study the Hammond organ. In August 1951, after studying vigorously on the organ, Bill had a phone call from Bill Davis. It seems that Ella Fitzgerald had a recording date and wanted an organist. Davis was under contract to another record company and couldn't record, so he gave the date to Doggett.

This was his first time to play the organ outside of the house, but luck and talent paid off. The first record that he made with Ella, "Smooth Sailing" was a tremendous hit and rave notices poured in on that wonderful organ background. that was supplied by Bill Doggett. After that the going was easy; with Ella, two more hit were rolled off – "Rough Riding" and "Air Mail Special." Bill's popularity soared and club owners were after his talents. Doggett's first date was as a swing organist at the K.C. Tavern in Brooklyn and then to Copa City in Jamaica, Long Island.

In June 1952, Bill was prevailed upon to organize his own combo. Bill like the idea and on June 6, The Bill Doggett Combo played their first date.

Bill created quite a stir in swing circles on his first professional engagement at New York's famous Baby Grand Club, and since that time has annexed many honors.

She Shepherd, drums; Billy Butler, guitar and Clifford Scott, saxophone are the three other musicians who make up the group. She has been with Doggett almost since the formation of his group. Born in Central America, She moved to Philadelphia when he was very young and had been playing around the East coast for some time. Because of the long association with Doggett and because of his natural feel for the beat, She has proved himself a standout performer with the group. Billy Butler, another native Philadelphian joined the group in January 1955. Since that time he has written several excellent instrumentals as well as giving the group a tremendous lift with his intricate and driving guitar work. Clifford Scott, the youngest and newest member of the group hails from San Antonio. His imaginative sax work on such tunes as "Honky Tonk," "Slow Walk" and "Ram-Bunk-Shus" has won him wide acclaim. On tunes "Caravan" and "C Jam Blues" in this album Clifford is featured playing the flute.

From Billboard - April 27, 1957: Sock instrumental wax which should move in the R&B and also pop markets. Doggett's solid organ solos and Clifford Scott's sensuous tenor sax work are highlighted on this collection of great Duke Ellington compositions – "I've Got It Bad And That Ain't Good," "Caravan," etc. Should appeal to an unusually wide market, with particularly strong spin potential among the hipper mike men.

Prelude To A Kiss
I'm Just A Luck So And So
I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart
Don't Get Around Much Anymore
I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good
Don't You Know I Care
C Jam Blues
Sophisticated Lady
Satin Doll

Guitars Pure And Honest - George Barnes and Bucky Pizzarelli

Blue Skies
Pure And Honest
George Barnes & Bucky Pizzarelli
A Manny Kellem Production
Art Direction: Sid Maurer
Album Design: Michael Mendel
Cover Photographs: Don Hunstein
A&R Records 7100/007

From the back cover: I've (John S. Wilson) followed George and Bucky step by step since I first heard them together at an outdoor concert in Central Park in the summer of 1970 when Chris Conner generously gave them a spot on her show. I was delighted by them that night but a few weeks later, when they played between sets by the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis band on a Monday night at the Village Vanguard, they were even better. By the time they began their first regular engagement in October – appropriately, in a room called The Guitar – the interplay had become so dazzling that those earlier appearances began to seem like what they actually were – warm ups. And then they moved to the Upstairs at the Downstairs where they played all through the winter of 1970-71, polishing, refining and heightening the amazingly close rapport that they had already established.

By the time they made this record, after several months at the Upstairs, their collaborative talents bad reached a peak. You don't develop the kind of joyous, jostling exchanges they get into on "Blue Skies" or "Honeysuckle Rose" overnight. And, by contrasting the sot, dark sound of extra bass string (seven strings instead of six) against George's high, tight, darting phrases (and then exchanging roles), they find things in recent tunes such as "Spinning Wheel" that are a very special result of their kind of musicianship.

Oddly enough, the chronological development of jazz guitar duos, though very limited, is very direct. Before George and Bucky teamed up, such duos came together in casual jam sessions or in recording studios. The first jazz guitar duo of record (but not on record) was Lonnie Johnson and Lazy Harris. On Saturday, April 30, 1927, in St. Louis they played an unaccompanied guitar duet called "Four Hands Are Better Than One" for Okeh records but it has never been issued. A year and a half later, on Nov. 17, 1928, Johnson, a black blue singer and guitarist who was still performing regularly when he died in 1970 at the age of 70, recorded the first jazz guitar duet that were released. His team-mate was "Blind Willie Dunn." "Blind Willie" was actually Eddie Lang, the pioneer jazz guitar virtuoso of the Twenties, who was white, a fact that was recognized in the title of one of the two tunes they cut, "Two Tone Stomp."

Johnson and Lang (still billed as "Blind Willie Dunn") recorded several more duets in 1929. Then Lang, using his own name, teamed with Carl Dress for some sides in January 1932. After Lang's death in 1933 at the age of 29, Kress carried on the tradition by recording two duets with Dick McDonough in 1934 and three more in 1937. McDonough died shortly after this last session and that seemed to be the end of the two-guitar tradition. From that time until the early 1960s, a period of 25 years the unaccompanied guitar duet disappeared completely except for a single side made in 1945 by Kress with Tony Mottla, "Jazz In G."

Then Kiss got together with George Barnes to form the first guitar duo that used electric guitars. For five years Barnes and Kress played from time to time as a team on club dates, at a couple of concerts at Town Hall in New York and, fortunately, on a memorable LP. Again a death, this time Kress', seemed to put a stop to the line of guitar duos. But after a few years Barnes once again picked up the tradition that went directly back to Lonnie Johnson in 1927, a tradition handed down from Johnson to Lang to Dress to Barnes. Unlike all those other teams, however, the pairing of Barnes and Pizzarelli has had the time and the opportunity to develop to an extent that none of the other duos reached. – John S. Wilson

Honey Suckle Rose
Theme From "Love Story"
Bobby's Tune
Spinning Wheel
Love Theme From Romeo & Juliet
Guitar Boogie
We've Only Just Begun
Blue Skies
Romantic Melody
Rose Room
Slow Street

Gypsy Love Songs - Thousand Strings

Gypsy Love Song
Gypsy Love Songs
Sounds Of A Thousand Strings
Photographer: Joseph Tauber
Cover Design: Hobo Arts
Crown Records
CST 202

From the back cover: The "Sounds Of 1000 Strings," under the inspired baton of Hungarian violinist-composer Nicolai Zykor, are in splendid form and give new meaning to these hot-blooded compositions.

Gypsy Love Song
Hora Staccato
Two Guitars
Play Gypsies
Gypsy Heart
Cry Gypsy Cry
Gypsy Life

Jimmy McHugh Goes Latin - Carlos Ramirez C.

Cuban Love Song
Jimmy McHugh Goes Latin
Carlos Ramirez C. and His Orchestra
Arranger: Lino Rodrquez
Music Coordinator: Norma Kadich
Recording Engineer: Ted Kloba
Studio: Neophon Recording Corporation

From the back cover: The music of Jimmyu McHugh will never be forgotten. He is a composer whose melodies are written so that they will be as popular twenty-five year from now as they are today. No one could ever mention their own favorite list of songs without including a few that were written by this gifted composer. Jimmy McHugh's catalog reads like an outline of a book about Tin Pan Alley. He has been writing hit after hit for the last forty years. This album is but a mere sample of the hits that this prolific composer has given the world.

Carlos Ramirez C. was born in Delicias, Mexico. He began studying music at the age of five. By the age of fourteen, he had mastered four instruments. His musical career actually started at this time. He was the leader of an orchestra that eventually brought him popularity throughout Mexico. Carlos decided to come to Southern California a few years ago. At the present time, he is playing dance and club dates throughout the southland. This is his second album. An earlier release "Cha Cha Cha For Rhythm Lovers" has proved to be very popular with lovers of Latin America Rhythms. – Jay S. Lowe

Comin' In On A Wing And A Prayer
I'm Shooting High
My Dancing Lady
Chico, Chico (From Porto Rico)
I'm In The Mood For Love
Cuban Love Song
You're A Sweetheart
Don't Blame Me
The Music Stopped
Too Young To Go Steady
My Own

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Dual Harp - Edward and Joesph Vito

Porgy & Bess - Summertime - Rhapsody In Blue
Dual Harp
Edward Vito and Joseph Vito
All arrangements by Edward Vito
Cook Sounds Of Our Times
Cook Laboratories 1031 (10-inch disc)

From the back cover: The performance here can not be as a "recital" of the usual type found on records at all. Actually, it is a condensed version of what happened when two famous brother-harpists of our day got together for a family wedding and our microphone dropped in by accident one Sunday afternoon. Starting from a chance remark by Ed Vito, for three years it looked as if this record would never be made. It was that long before busy Joe Vito's Chicago Symphony concerts and busy Ed Vito's Toscanini schedule allowed them any free time together.

We set up our recording equipment in the living room of Ed's home in Greenwich, Conn. Along with the playing came reminiscences – unconnected fragments from a unique story of events which helped shape the careers of two of this country's leading harpists. In the days before our many highly developed symphonic organizations when harp playing could hardly be considered a "profession," the brothers Vito were busy studying and practicing on the one family harp they all shared. (Including farther Vito and Ed's daughter, the Vito clan boasts three generations of experts harpists). Joe being the eldest assumed the role of passing on what he had learned at lessons to the others and even today Ed refers to him as his teacher.

Edward Vito played all sorts of engagements, even in gin mills, and a triumph of sorts was the day 14 year old Ed was given a spot with a touring vaudeville show. A youngster playing such an improbable instrument was a big hit – and also gave the barber shop quartet time for a fast change of costume and scenery before the sword-swallower came on. Joe remembers mostly the salary – $7 a week and considerably less than "all you can eat." Those days it was a case of knuckles-to-the-bone and starving as well; artistry was nourished later in the frugal comfort of conservatories and with symphony orchestras – Joe again acting as trail-blazer. (First symphonic post 1915 with Henry Hadley).

Jesu Joy Of Man's Desiring
Haydn Minuet
Tournier Prelude & Danse
Porgy & Bess
Rhapsody In Blue

The Latin Set - Bill Knaus

The Latin Set
Bill Knaus - Pipe Organ
Replica Records - 500

From the back cover: Mr. Knaus has a way with the organ that captivates and holds the attention. His unpretentious style has universal appeal. How he easily masters 13 sets of pipes, 21 percussions, 3 keyboards plus all the foot pedals wouldn't be hard to understand if he had more that two hands and feet. His musical background is prodigious. He received his M.A. from the American Conservatory of Music, is an Associate of the American Guild of Organists and was recently appointed a Fellow of Trinity College, London. And his large following has been building up ever since he began playing professionally at 15 years. This record is his debut in hi-fi, where he undoubtably will take his proper place among the greats of the popular organists. – Robert Lucius

From Billboard - September 27, 1954: Here's an interesting set by the new label that may intrigue pop hi-fi fans. It features organist Bill Knaus, a good musician, playing a collection of Latin tunes on a theater pipe organ. The selections include "Siboney," "El Chocio," "Brazil," "Orchids in the Moonlight" and "Tico Zico." Organist Knaus has a lot of opportunity to show off the many different tonal combinations and percussion sounds available on the theater organ and he makes the most of it. The recording is excellent and the record has a true organ sound. If exposed, this set could interest many hi-fi fans as well as organ collectors.

Lady Of Madrid
Orchids In The Moonlight
El Choclo

Herman Stachow Plays The Zither

3rd Man Theme
Herman Stachow
Plays The Zither
Mercury Records
MG 25041 (10-inch disc)

Under The Linden Tree
Cafe Mozart Waltz
3rd Man Theme
The Old Refrain
Dream Pictures
Vienna City Of My Dreams

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Jazzpickers For Moderns Only

The Jazzpickers
For Moderns Only
Mercury Records
SR 80013

From the back cover: Down Beat's west coast correspondent, John Tynan, recently went out on a limb in an enthusiastic review of what was then a brand-new combo, playing a series of Monday evening concerts at the Purple Onion Jazz Informals, sponsored by the Hollywood Jazz Society. The sound of the group as a whole, and the invaluable work of the soloists, came in for unqualified responsive, "and the group's commercial potential was assessed as follows; "The Jazzpickers should go well in the smaller, more intimate jazz rooms. There's musical interest aplenty here... The leader's attitude and its expert application should help put his combo over with jazz lovers on the lookout for 'something different'."

The leader in question, whom you can now meet in the record debut of this unusual new combo, is Harry Babasin, the founding father of jazz cello, whose first pizzicato sounds on this instrument were recorded a decade ago on a long-forgotten date with Dod Marmarosa. Born in 1921 in Dallas and raised in Vernon, Texas, Babasin, like Jimmy Giuffre, Herb Ellis and other jazz stars, claims North Texas State College as his alma mater. After touring with midwestern bands he came to New York as a bassist with Gene Krupa, later working in California with Boyd Raeburn. In the next few years he was heard with Charlie Barnet, Benny Goodman, and in 1948 with Woody Herman, playing all these jobs on bass. During most of the past decade, however, he has remained in Hollywood as a much-in-demand free-lance musician around the TV and recording studios.

An important adjunct to the group is Buddy Collette, the native Los Angeleno who worked with many name bands during the 1940s (among them the Treniers, Louis Jordan, and Benny Carter) and for the past several years has been on TV regularly as a member of the Jerry Fielding orchestra on the Groucho Marx show. Buddy was named in the Encyclopedia of Jazz as "one of the most talented of the west coast musicians and among the two or three top flutists in jazz."

Bob Harrington, another important associate of the Jazzpickers, has had a triple career as pianist, vibraphonist and drummer. Born in 1912 in Marshfield, Wis., he worked on drums in the 1940s with Red Nichols and Bud Freeman. During the '50s his credits have included three years as a pianist with Charlie Barnet and, since 1955, jobs with George Auld, Buddy DeFranco and Maynard Ferguson. Bob's influence quiet evidently is Red Norvo, whose gentle, legato style he recalls in his vibes solos here. On the numbers where no vibes work was called for, Bob played drums; on the vibes titles the drummer was Bill Douglas.

Don Overberg, the guitar soloist, is a promising newcomer who has worked around Los Angeles with Ronnie Ball, Warne Marsh, and other resident combo musicians. Don Payne, the bassist, is another fast-rising figure new to the jazz recording field.

Of the several original compositions introduced on these sides, two were written by Bob Harrington; the gently rhythmic R. H. Factor and the melodically simple but highly attractive When You Love Someone. Easy Pickin's, Rap-Scallion, Monti-Cello and Influtration are all from the pen of Babasin. 

– Leonard Feather
Author, The Book Of Jazz

When You Love Someone
I'll Remember April
I Married An Angel
Yardbird Suite
R. H. Factor
Easy Pickin's
Don't Worry About Me
Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie