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Friday, January 4, 2019

Bongo Bongo Bongo - Preston Epps

Call Of The Jungle (monaural)
Bongo Bongo Bongo
Preston Epps
Original Sound Record Co., Inc.
OSR-LPM-5002 & OSR-LPS-8851

From the back cover: This album employs the work of over 40 musicians, arrangers, singers, engineers, and producers (Not including the animals).

From Billboard - April 25, 1960: Preston Epps has a wild drum item, and he makes the most of it with some sharp bongo work, backed by a rhythm combo. The record has life and a chance for coins.

Bongo In The Congo
Bongo Rock
Jungle Drums
Doin' The Cha Cha Cha
Bongo Bongo Bongo
Bongos In Pastel
Call Of The Jungle

Thursday, January 3, 2019

The Blend & The Beat - The Ames Brothers

Autumn Leaves
The Blend and The Beat
The Ames Brothers
Orchestra and Chorus und the direction of Sid Ramin
Produced by Herman Diaz, Jr.
Recorded in Webster Hall, New York City, Orchestra conducted by Sid Ramin
Vocal Arrangements: Al Semola
Recording Engineer: Ernest Oelrich
RCA Victor LPM-2182

From Billboard - May 30, 1960: The Ames boys continue to turn out an appealing commercial sound as they demonstrate their familiar harmony sound to interesting backings by Sid Ramin. As the title suggests, the accent is on blend and rhythmic beat. All the tunes are of a vintage nature and they include "Autumn Leaves," "Begin the Beguine" and "Night Train."

'S Wonderful
On A Little Street In Singapore
Autumn Leaves
Harbor Lights
September Lights
Begin The Beguine
Is You Is Or Is You Ain't (My Baby)
Too Marvelous For Words
Mood Indigo
So In Love
Night Train

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Batucada - Walter Wanderley

Walter Wanderer
Produced by Creed Taylor
Arranged by Walter Wanderley* and Marcos Valle**
Director of Engineering: Val Valentine
Cover Photo: Irv Elkin
Cover Design: Any R. Lehman
Recording Engineers" Lee Herschberg and Rudy Hill
Director of Engineering: Val Valentine
Recorded May 16, 17, 18, 1967 and June 25, 1967 at Western Recorders, Hollywood, California
Manufactured by MGM Records Division; Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.
Verve V6-8706


Walter Wanderer - Electric Organ and Piano
Sebastian Netto - Bass
Marcos Valle - Guitar
Jose Marina - Bass
Paulinho and Dom Roman - Drums
Lu Lu Ferreira - Percussion
Vocals - Talya Ferro (Wave) & Claudio Miranda and Talya Ferro (She's A Carioca)

Available from online vendors so I will not be posting a sample. Presented here to share the book-fold cover art.

On The South Side Of Chicago
Little Boat
The Beat
It Hurts To Say Goodbye
The Crickets Sing For Anamaria
My Longing
It's Time To Sing
So, What's New?
More Beautiful
She's a Carioca (native of Rio)
Pretty Butterfly

Destination Moon - Ames Brothers

Destination Moon
Ames Brothers
With Sid Rain and His Orchestra
Vocal Arrangements: Al Semola
RCA Victor LSP-1680

Available from online vendors and other media resources so I will not be posting a sample. Presented here to share the cover art.

From the back cover: It may have been Jimmy McHugh (composer of I'm Shooting High and so many other great songs) who observed, "In this album the Ames Brothers are at their best." Which is to say that here is popular music's finest, most musical quartet in a dozen of its most splendid moments. Incidentally, for those of you who may not know, the singing solos are all by Ed Ames. Ed and Joe, Gene and Vic have one thing to say together about this album:

So away we steal
In a space-mobile,
A supersonic honeymoon
Leave your cares below.
Pull the switch, LET'S GO

Destination Moon
Clear Out Of This World
East Of The Sun
Count Every Star
No Moon At All
I'm Shooting High
Music From Out Of Space
Stella By Starlight
It's Only A Paper Moon
The Starlit Hour
Beyond The Blue Horizon

Concierto De Aranjuez - Laurindo Almeida

Concierto De Aranjuez
Laurindo Almeida
Executive Producer Kiyoshi Otoh
Co-producer:Yukio Morisaki
U.S.A. Project Coordinator: Kiki Miyake
Recording Engineer: Don Synder
Re-mixing Engineer: Yoshihiro Suzuki
Master Engineer: Tohru Kotetsu
Album Design: Heyqlow Kobayashi
Cover Photograph: Hajime Sawatan
Recorded March 27, 28, 1978 at Gold Star Studios, Los Angeles, California
Inner City Records IC 6031

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

From Billboard - April 28, 1979: The classical Rodrigo work in the LP title runs almost 10 minutes. Almeida follows it with eight additional cuts, all pops, including a couple of superior medleys. A brilliant virtuoso of the guitar when he came out of Brazil to join Stan Kenton, Almeida's delicate artistry here indicates he is even more skillful 30-plus years later. Best cuts: "Concierto De Aranjuez," "Gershwin Medley" and "The Summer Knows."

Concierto De Aranjuez
The Summer Knows
Star Dust
How Insensitive
Songs From "Black Orpheus"
(Manha De Carnival / Felicidade / Samba De Orfeu)
Fly Me To The Moon
Cool Cat Keeps Coat On
Holiday For Strings
Gershwin Medley
(It Ain't Necessarily So / I Got Rhythm / Summertime / Prelude No. 2)

Monday, December 31, 2018

My Fair Lady Loves Jazz - Billy Taylor Trio

My Fair Lady Loves Jazz
Billy Taylor Trio
With Quincy Jones
Featuring Gerry Mulligan, Jimmy Cleveland & Ed Thigpen
Produced by Creed Taylor
Engineer: Irv Greenbaum
Recording and Masters: Bob Thiele and Rudy Van Gelder
Cover Design: Robert Flynn/Viceroy
Cover Photography: Jules Maidoff
Liner Notes: Joe Lebow
A Product of ABC-Paramount Records, Inc.

Formerly released on ABC Paramount Records
Technically Augmented Mono A-72
Recorded February, 1957

Available from online vendors so I will not be posting a sample. Presented here to share the cover art and liner note excerpts.


Billy Taylor, piano
Earl May, bass
Ed Thigpen, drums
Don Elliott, vibes, bongo, mellophone and trumpet
Gerry Mulligan, baritone sax
Charlie Fowlkes, baritone sax and bass clarinet (on "Accustomed," "Street," and "Loverly")
Anthony Ortega, tenor and alto sax
Ernie Royal, trumpet
Jimmy Cleveland, trombone
Jay McAllister, tuba
Don Butterfield, tuba (on "Accustomed")

From the inside cover: This set, My Fair Lady Love Jazz, was recorded in February 1957, and was introduced at an all-cast party celebrating the show's first year on Broadway. Everyone liked it and praised both Taylor and Jone for their conceptions.

It is well to point out at this time that the Billy Taylor Trio of 1957, made up of bassist Earl May and drummer Ed Thigpen, was one of the finest small groups in jazz – each member was a consummate artist on his instrument and they worked wonderfully together as a cohesive unit. Pianist Taylor wrote some years later, "There was never a night with them (May and Thigpen) that I didn't feel like playing. Not all good musicians feel like giving fine performances, you know. But with Thigpen and May there was always some spark. If one of us didn't have it, another did, and we could always feel each other. They are part of the most memorable years of my career."

Quincy Jones selected a medium-size ensemble of top instrumentalists to achieve a variety of tonal colors and unexpected voicings in his arrangements. There are short solos by the members of the ensemble, sensitive and dynamically phrased ensembles; but most of the emphasis is on Taylor's piano.

The arranger's intention was to retain the character of the score while making use of various elements of the jazz language. With the fine musicianship available, collectively and individually, and intelligent writing, Jones has succeeded in presenting an imaginative album that should please all the numerous fans of My Fair Lady.

Original Billboard ABC 177 review - April 13, 1957: This compelling score lends itself very well to a second styling of jazz harmonies and tempos. This interpretation combines Taylor's clean precise, but sensitive piano with tasteful, modern ork support from Jones. With the show continuing to play to capacity houses and the music as popular as ever, there's a good possibility that this excellent package will be able to make it – even tho it arrives well after a previous hit jazz version by Shelly Manne with Audre Previn. Taylors many fans will find this one of his finest efforts. – George Hoefer - Associate Editor, Jazz Magazine

Show Me
I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face
With A Little Bit Of Luck
The Rain In Spain
Get Me To The Church On Time
Wouldn't It Be Lovely?
I Could Have Dance All Night
On The Street Where You Live

Portrait Of Shorty - Shorty Rogers

Portrait Of Shorty
Shorty Rogers And His Giants
RCA Victor LPm-1561

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

Cover: The painting of Shorty Rogers is the work of Sergei Bongart, who, in his own words, did the portrait "as an artist inspired by an artist." The picture was loaned to RCA Victor through the courtesy of Anne Kendall.

Personnel and Solo (in bars)

Shorty Rogers, leader, arranger, trumpet and flugelhorn

Saxophones: Herb Geller, alto and tenor; Bill Holman, tenor; Richie Kamuca, tenor; Jack Montrose, tenor; Pepper Adams, baritone

Trombones: Frank Rosolino, Bob Eneoldsen, Harry Betts, George Roberts

Trumpets: Al Porchino, Conrad Gozzo, Don Fagerquist, Conte Candoli, Pete Candoli

Rhythm Section: Lou Levy, piano; Monte Budwig, bass; Stan Levey, drums

Saturnian Sleigh Ride
Rogers (16)
Rogers (8)
Montrose (8)
Enevoldsen (4)
Rosolino (4)
Levy (16)
Budwig (8)

Play! Boy
Montrose (20)
Roger (12)
Geller (12)
Rosolino (12)
Levy (16 & 8)
Budwig (8)

A Geophysical Ear
Rogers (12)
Adams (12)
Kamuca (3)
Holman (3)
Kamuca (3)
Holman (3)
Rosolino (12)
Levy (6)

The Line Backer
Rogers (16)
Geller (12)
Kamuca (16)
Enevioldsen (8)
Budwig (8)

Martian's Lullaby
Rogers (24)
Rosoline (24)
Adams (24)
Kamuca (24)
Levy (24)

Rogers (24)
Enevoldsen (24)
Holman (24)
Adams (4)
Geller (4)
Adams (4)
Geller (4)
Levy (24)

Grand Slam
Rogers (16)
Geller (8)
Holman (8)
Enevoldsen (8)
Conte Candoli (8)
Budwig (8)

Red Dog Play
Rogers (16)
Montrose (8)
Geller (8)
Adams (8)
Rosolino (8)
Levy (8)
Budwig (8)

From the back cover: After more than ten years as a major jazz trumpeter, Shorty Rogers would still rather create charts for large groups to navigate by than do almost anything else. No matter how busy he is in fulfilling his endless commitments, he is never imposed upon if asked to arrange – especially if it involves a big band. In connection with the project that produced this album, Rogers said: "I wanted to create a musical portrait of myself." This would seem to present a rather presumptuous attitude – unless you have spoken to him, or perhaps been fortunate enough to have known him. For all the idolatry that has been heaped upon him, he is shy; for all the important business ventures he has been a party to, he is naive. Shorty Rogers is one of the most successful men ever to have been associated with jazz, yet possesses the demeanor of a small town Mr. Fixit. When he stated that he wanted to create a musical portrait of himself it was in the tone and manner of a man excusing himself from the table – no pronouncements, no dramatics. He simply expressed a sincere desire to produce an album that would, as much as possible, reflect his own musical visage. – Woody Woodward, Author of Jazz Americans
From Billboard - March 10, 1958: Excellent big band of West Coast jazz. All of the themes were written by Shorty Rodgers Several of the top Coast musicians are included in the band. Fluent solos are sparked and complemented by Rogers' distinctive contrapuntal moving chords. Rogers is heard on both trumpet and flugelhorn. Choice for those and flugelhorn. Choice for those who like the West Coast Sound. A "Save on Records" selection for March.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Jumping With Ventura

Lonely Woman
Jumping With Ventura
Charlie Ventura
EmArcy Records MG36015

Featuring: Neal Hefti, Charlie Shavers, Buck Clayton, Bennie Green, Bill Harris, Kai Winding, Tony Scott, Jackie Cain and Buddy Stewart

From the back cover: The title Ventura's Ventures was not assigned to this LP simply for the sake of the play on words involved. The fact is that Charlie Ventura was indeed, during the late 1940s, one of the most venturesome figures in the field of modern jazz. He was a man who tried his hand at leading outfits of various shapes and sizes, and who in the course of these varied ventures helped to uncover a flock of new performers whose importance to jazz has been proved by their subsequent acceptance as stars in their own right.

Charlie's own biographical background was sketched in a previous EmArcy collation dedicated to him (F.Y.I., on EmArcy MG26028), so these notes will be dedicated to a specific discussion of the particular sides made available on this second release.

How High The Moon, Misirlou, Annie Annie Over and Moon Nocturne are all played by Neal Hefti (Annie is his own composition) and the last was scored by Stanely Baum. The soloists are Charlie on tenor saxophone, Tony Scott on clarinet, Neal Hefti on trumpet, Bob Ascher on trombone and Tony Aless at the piano. The rhythm section, in addition to Tony, included Billy Bauer on guitar, Clyde Lombardi on bass and Stan Levey on drums.

The orchestrations reflect several of the influences the big band jazz of that day was undergoing, from the boppish unison ensemble of How High The Moon to the Stravinsky-like impression of Misirlou.

Shortly after giving up his big band, Charlie began to record with the first of a series of remarkable small combos that were to earn him his greatest popularity. Already the winner of a Down Beat plaque for his victory in the tenor sax division of that publication's annual poll in 1945, he added to his laurels with a "Best Small Combo" nomination in 1948.

On Baby, Baby All The Time and Eleven Sixty (the first a slow vocal blues written by Bobby Group, the latter a jump instrumental blues by Charlie) the sextet comprises Ventura, Kai Winding on trombone, Lou Stein on piano, Shelly Manne on drums, Gus Cole on bass and the late Buddy Stewart on vocals.

Blue Champagne was recorded a little later, with trumpeter Charlie Shavers added to the line-up Charlie was fronting at that time (1947). With the exception of guitarist Bill DaArange, the remaining sidemen were all former Woody Herman stars: Bill Harris on trombone, Ralph Burns on piano, Chubby Jackson on bass and the late Dave Tough on drums.

Lady Be Good, Sweet Georgia Brown and Lonely Woman are all previously unreleased sides. They were recorded in 1949, after three important new personalities had joined the Ventura ensemble: trombonist Benny Green, pianist-arranger Roy Kral, and singer Jackie Cain. Jackie and Roy, who were married shortly after leaving Charlie and have risen to stardom as a unique vocal and instrumental night club and recording team, were among the most important of the many Ventura talent discoveries. Lady be Good and Sweet Georgia Brown both have fine solo work by Charlie, Roy and Benny.

Lonely Woman, written almost twenty years ago by Benny Carter while he was in England, has lyrics by a British music magazine editor, Ray Sonin. This great composition, all too seldom performed, makes a wonderful vehicle for Jackie's voice.

Let's Jump For Rita dates back to an earlier period in Charlie's history, when he was still working as a sideman in Gene Krupa's band and recording with specially assembled groups in his spare time. Heard with him on this number, recorded October 17, 1945, are Buck Clayton, trumpet; Bill Rowland, piano; Eddie Dance, guitar; Al Hall, bass; Specs Powell, drums.

How High The Moon
Annie Annie Over
Moon Nocturne
Baby, Baby All The Time
Eleven Sixty
Blue Champagne
Oh Lady Be Good
Sweet Georgia Brown
Lonely Woman
Let's Jump For Rita