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Saturday, March 23, 2019

A Tribute To Eddie Duchin - Al Lerner

Besame Mucho
A Tribute To Eddie Duncan
Played By Al Lerner
Tyrone Power and Kim Noval
As Seen In The Columbia Picture "The Eddie Duncan Story"
Cover Credit: Photograph furnished by Columbia Pictures
Jacket fabricated by Globe Albums, New York, N.Y.
Tops L1540

From the back cover: If the thirties represented the golden age of the Dance Band, then Eddie Duchin perhaps more than any other maestro, was the Golden Boy of that era. Seated at his piano, whether at New York's Casino-in-the-Park or the old Waldorf-Astoria, flashing his engaging smile, he was indeed the debutante's delight. The music he played came out light, gay, sophisticated, and appealing. But his popularity did not stop with New York's smart set. He had a universal appeal, evoking widespread acclaim wherever he appeared, in motion pictures, on radio, or in night clubs all over the country.

Edwin Frank Duchin was born in Cambridge, Mass, on April 10, 1910. Inspired by his mother's determination, he began his piano instruction at the early age of five. At the insistence of his druggist father, Eddie enrolled at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, graduating in 1929. When Leo Reisman, the band leader, heard Eddie play he offered him a job with his band which was then at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York, and Eddie accepted, having made up hi mind to follow music as his career. Two years later, he organized his own group, opening at New York's Casino-in-the-Park. He was an immediate hit on his way to becoming one of New York's most famous sights and sounds.

In 1942, he enlisted in the Navy, was assigned to a destroyer, and took part in the Normandie invasion on "D" Day. Discharged in 1945, with the rank of Lieutenant-Commander, he went back to playing, wrote books on piano technique, and founded a school to teach it. On February 9, 1951, Eddie Duchin died of leukemia – only 24 hour after he had received a citation from the Navy for meritorious service in the war.

To Eddie Duchin, the man, as well as to Eddie Duchin, the musical, this album is proudly dedicated.

About The Artist - Mr. Al Lerner who is featured on piano is a native of Cleveland. He attended the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying harmony and theory along with piano. He joined the Harry James organization in 1940, playing with the James band until 1944. From there he went on to play with Tommy Dorsey, Charlie Barnett, and did a number of recording with his own group. Subsequently, he was pianist in the Perry Como Chesterfield Radio Show, The Carnation Show with Victor Young, etc. He joined Dick Haymes as his accompanist and musical director, remaining with Haymes through 1953; shortly thereafter he associated himself with Frankie Lane, in the same capacity, and has been with him ever since. An exceptional pianist and a fine musician, Mr. Lerner's renditions capture the essence of the Duchin style, het have a distinctive, captivating quality of their own.

Nocturne In E Flat
You're My Everything
Body And Soul
Harvest Moon
My Heart Belongs To Daddy
It Must Be True
I Can't Give You Anything But Love
Besame Mucho
Love Walked In

Tangos Selectos - Elvira De Grey

Por La Vuelta
Tangos Selectos Con Elvira De Grey's
Orquesta: Martin Darre, Victor Buchino y Horacio Malvicino
Peerless M/S 2107

Por La Vuelta
Rosa De Tango
La Cumparsita
Cuando El Amor Muere
La Canción De Buenos Aires
El Choclo

Carlos Lombardi

Carlos Lombardi
Vol. 7
La Cumparsita (Declamado)
Copacabana COELP 41148
Made In Brazil

Cuartito Azul
Al Compas Del Corazon
La Cumparsita
La Canción De Buenos Aires
Tiempos Viejos
Volvo Una Noche
Claval Del Aire
Toda Mi Vida
Te Fuiste Ja! Ja!

Pepe Guizar

Damelo Luego
Pepe Guizar
Orfeon LP-16H-5089

Damelo Luego
Noches Inolvidables
No Quiero Nada La Fuerza
Caray Caramnba
Portales De Veracruz
Tarjeta De Navidad
Hoy Somos Cada Quien
Asi No Es El Amor
Vuelve Mi Amor
Le Hago Le Hago La Lucha
Cinco Minutos De Mariachi

Palabras De Mujer - Agustin Lara

Palabras De Mujer!
Augustin Lara Vol. III
Su Piano Y Conjunto
RCA Victor MKL-1333

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

Cada Noche Un Amor
Piensalo Bien
Arrancame La Vida
Copla Guajira
Solo Tu
Palabras De Mujer
Lamento Jarocho
Pobrecita De Mi Alma

Caminito De La Sierra - Los Pamperos

Caminito De La Sierra
Caminito De La Sierra
Los Pamperos
1979 Discos Fuentes
STEREO 20218

Caminito De La Sierra - Zamba
Mañana Es Tarde - Bolero
Tu Rebeldia - Ranchera
Te Acordarase De Mi - Bolero
Te Llevare Al Altar - Vals
Madrecita Del Alma - Bolero
Para Que Se Vive - Bolero Ranchero
Cautiverio - Bolero
Adorandote Vivo - Criolla
Me Enamore De Ti - Ranchera
Penitente - Bolero
Muerto En Vida - Pasillo


Eres Orgullosa
Y Otras Canciones De Siempre
Discos Fuentes - Columbia Sur America
Delujo L.P. 400090

Muriendo De Tedio - Los Gondoleros
Amor Fingido - Los Chamaquitos
Eres Orgullosa - Benjamin Hernández Con Guitarras
Engano Y Falsia - Lucha Lopez Con Mariachi
Sabes Que Sufro - Los Gondoleros
Desagradeciada - Los Chamaquitos
Corazon No Me Quieras - Los Gondoleros
Perpetua Condena - Benjamin Hernández Con Guitarras
No Te Ruego - Los Chamaquitos
Sin Ninguna Ilusión - Los Gondoleros

Mi Deseo Amor Sincero - John Harvey

Amor Sincero
John Harvey
Mi Deseo Amor Sincero
El Musico Que Solo Es Un Conjunto
John Harvy Productions
Chachalaca Records CHLP-1001

Mi Deseo
As Regresado
Me Jurastes
Mi Prefedida
Corazon Atormentado
Las Palavras De Mi Hijo
Amor Sincero
Fue Una Ilusión
Mis Recuerdos
Por Ultima Vez
Mis Amigos En Vietnam

Juan Lopez Monterrosas - Roman Palomar

Te Puedes Ir
Jaun Lopez Monterrosas
La Voz Provinciana
Con Roman Palomar y su mini mariachi
Discos Giralo LPGR-1001

Te Puedes Ir
Tu Debes Perdonarme
Voy A Tirarme A Los Vicios
La Chica Alegre
Le Pido A Dios
Me Voy A Garibaldi
Amor Interesado
Cumbres De Maltrata
El Tempo Que Va Pasando
La Tristeza Del Porre

Friday, March 22, 2019

Luz De Luna - Hnitas. Nunez

Cuando Te Vuelva A Ver
Luz De Luna
Hnitas. Nunez

Luz De Luna
Y Es Verdad
Cuando Te Vuelva A Ver
Estrellita Del Sur
Sera Posible
Savra Dios
El Plebeyo
El Plebeyo
Mil Noches De Soledad
Una Lagrima

A Tribute To Mario Ruiz Armengol

Porque Tevas
Homenaje A Mario Ruiz Armengol
A Tribute To Mario Ruiz Armengol
Direccion y arreglos de Mario Patron
Canta Carlos Moreno
Maya LY-70048

From the back cover: The name Mario Ruiz Armengol, noted composer director from the State of Veracruz Mexico, represents in today's all around musician. His best noted work is Muchachita (made popular in the English version by an also outstanding Orfeon Dimsa Artist, Andy Russell) also known of this well known repertoire: Estoy Enamorado, Porque Te Vas, Amada Mia, Del Brazo Y Pro La Calle and many others all of which have passed to become well known standards!

The idea of an LP with the compositions of the maestro was well received and the Dimsa A&R people decided on an item of Mario Ruiz Armengol.

Some of Mexico's outstanding arrangers participated in the pre-recording with of this LP among which Mario Patron and Carlos Moreno, popular vocalist who has specialized in the Music of Mario Ruiz are outstanding. We know you will enjoy the music presented for your listening delight.

Porque Llorar
Estoy Enamorado
Amada Mia
Porque Tevas
Del Brazo Y Por La Calle
Aunque Tu No Me Quieras
Los Anos

Noche De Ronda - Elvira Rios

Noche De Luna
Noche De Ronda
Elvira Rios
y Orq. Chucho Zarzo sa
RCA Victor MKL-1074 (original 1957 release)
Reissue (Post 1968 orange disc label)

Noche De Ronda
Una Mujer
Ya No Me Quieres
Canciones De Guay Cardenas
Me Acuerdo De Ti
Mi Carta
Calla Tristeza
Noche De Luna

Te Lo Dije Pesares - Manolo Munoz

Noche No Te Vayas
Te Lo Dije Pesares
Manolo Munoz
Direccion Artistica Sr. Guilliermo Acosta
Arreglos: Poncho Perez (1) Moises Ortega (2)
Discos Gas, S. A.
GAS 4100

Te Lo Dije (1)
Ya No Te Tengo (2)
Entre Cadenas (2)
Psicosis (2)
Noche No Te Vayas (1)
Pesares (2)
Enamorado Como Yo (1)
No Es Que Me Aprepienta (2)
Esta Es Mi Musica (1)
Amores De Un Dia (2)

The Drum Suite - Manny Albam and Ernie Wilkins

Chant Of Witch Doctors
The Drum Suite
A Musical Portrait Of Eight Arms From Six Angles
Manny Albam - Ernie Wilkins and Their Orchestra
RCA Victor LPM-1279

From the back cover: There has never before been anything like The Drum Suite. It is a composition written for four jazz drummers.

The key word is "written." This is no extended extemporaneous assault on the battery by four exhibitionistic virtuosi trying to out-frantic each other. It is, instead, a series of melodic, swinging, carefully constructed sketches in which the drums share with – but rarely supersede – the horns and reeds in carrying out the development of the composers' ideas. None of the four drummers has a solo lasting longer than eight bars.

The idea of trying to involve four drummers in a composition that is, first and last musical, originated with RCA Victor's Jack Lewis, who had been brooding about the use of drums ever since RCA Victor released Voodoo Suite with Perez Prado and Shorty Rodgers (RCA Victor LPM-1101) last year. He took rough sketches of his idea to Manny Albam and Ernie Wilkins, both outstanding composers and arrangers. Albam, a reformed baritone saxophonist, has written for Charlie Barnet, Count Basie, Stan Kenton and Woody Herman. Wilkins, until recently an adornment of Count Basie's saxophone section, has contributed numerous arrangements to the current Basie book.

One of their first decisions was that all the drum parts had to be completely written out. This was the first time that anyone had attempted to integrate four drummers in a jazz composition and both Albam and Wilkins were convinced that they couldn't let them loose on their own without creating hopeless confusion.

This meant that the drummers who performed the Suite had to be much more than simply good jazz men. They had to combine superior reading ability with a fully developed jazz feeling. Even their personalities were an important element, for they had to work together as a section where no personality conflicts could be tolerated.

The drummers picked for this demanding assignment were – inevitably – four of the top stick men working today: Osie Johnson, Gus Johnson, Teddy Sommer and Don Lamond. Osie Johnson, an arranger and singer as well as a drummer, has played with Earl Hines and Illinois Jacquet and is one of the most widely recorded drummers in the East. He was assigned the first drum chair. Gus Johnson (no relation) was in the Jay McShann band that included Charlie Parker, and is best known for his work with Basie during the early Fifties. Teddy Sommer, an impressive newcomer, has been heard with Les Elgart and Neal Hefti. Don Lamond was one of the stars of the greatest of Woody Herman's Herds and has been consistently in demand as a free-lance since 1949.

During the course of The Drum Suite one drummer is always keeping time (usually Gus Johnson) while the other three give him a back beat on sock cymbals unless they are taking solos. Only rarely do all four drummers play patterns together – usually very brief at the opening or closing of a moment.

The six movements are designed to show the drummers in six different contexts, to spotlight the virtuosity of the drums within a variety of musical frameworks. 

The first movement, Dancers On Drums, brings the drummers on stage one at a time, stepping out solo and ensemble patterns between passages by the band. After a pickup in tempo, the dancing drummers are spelled by swinging solos by Hal McKusick on alto sax and Joe Newman on trumpets.

They switch to brushes on the second movement, Bristling, which features a quartet made up of Joe Newman, trumpet, Hal McKisick, alto sax, Al Cohn, tenor sax, and Jimmy O'Heigho, trombone. The drummers do most of their brushing technique behind the quartet's solos unto all eight – four drums, four horns – bite into a series of short, responsive solos.

For Chant Of The Witch Doctor, the third movement, and Cymbalisms, the fifth, Albam and Wilkins have created some fascinating tonal colors (Albam wrote Witch Doctors, Wilkins did Cymbalisms). Witch Doctors had been planned as an exercise for mallets but when the drummers tried it out in the studio they found that they got a better effect by using the backs of their sticks. Over two-bar patterns played in this manner, the woodwinds – introduced by Al Epstein's English horn – set the mood that is carried along later by the jungle cries of Conte Candoli and Joe Newman in a tight, squawling trumpet exchange. The movement reaches a climax when Ray Beckenstein's wild piccolo comes soaring out of a mad, churning passage by the full band.

Wilkins also uses woodwinds, along with French horns, to get many of his effects on Cymbalisms, aa gentle, bouncing movement in which Buddy Jones' strong walking bass plays an important propulsive role.

Skinning The Values, the fourth movement, juxtaposes the drums and the trumpets with each man in both sections getting solo space.

The finale, The Octopus, brings the drummers together in a more traditional format which is made untraditional by the multiplication of four of what is normally a single drummer role.

Coda: When the studio was being swept out after The Drum Suite had been recorded a significant object was found on the floor in a far corner – a broken drum stick, gashed with teeth marks.

– John S. Wilson

From Billboard - September 29, 1956: An interesting experiment in this composition for four drums and big band. Osie Johnson, Don Lamond, Teddy Sommer and Gus Johnson are the soloists, and they give an impressive display of drum technique. It is, actually, a series of melodic, swinging sketches in which each drum's part is completely written out, and contributes solidly to the work of horns and reeds. This is a real tour de force for composers Albam and Wilkins – and jazz customers ought to respond with little prodding.

First Movement: Dancers On Drums
Second Movement: Bristling
Third Movement: Chant Of The Witch Doctors
Fourth Movement: Skinning The Valves
Fifth Movement: Cymbalisms
Sixth Movement: The Octopus

Big Band Guitar - Buddy Morrow

Big Band Guitar
Buddy Morrow
And His "Night Train" Orchestra
Produced by Lee Schapiro
Recorded in Webster Hall, New York City
February 24 and March 3, 1959
Recording Engineer: Bob Simpson
RCA Victor LSP-2018

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

From the back cover: Buddy Morrow first discovered the "scraunchy" beat a few months back while playing a college prom with his big band. Buddy, who's the kind of guy who can never stand still musically, thought he'd try out a new idea. The idea was this... Take the guitar out of his usual slot in the rhythm section; turn the guitar sound way, way up and then – let the man GO! For extra emphasis, add the famous Morrow trombone, backing up the guitar line. What Buddy was trying to get was the driving beat of the now familiar small combo, set in the frame of a big band.

From Billboard - August 24, 1959: The big, swingin' Buddy Morrow band has a rocking set which should appeal strongly to the juvenile terper trade. The big band sound is fronted by a good gutty rock and roll guitar lead on most of the numbers. There is good rhythmic pacing too, as for example the contrasting rocking "Scraunchy," and the smooth "I Cried For You." Fine sound here with a lot of spinnable items of jocks. "Scraunchy" has just been released as a single.

I Cried For You
Isle Of Capri
The 3rd Man Theme
I'll Get By
Don't Fret
Deep Purple
The Very Thought Of You
Hong Kong Blues
Camp Meetin'

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Wild Percussion - Dick Schory

Chime, I'm Sure
Wild Percussion And Horn's A'Plenty
Dick Schory's New Percussion Ensemble
Produced by Bob Bollard
Recorded in Orchestra Hall, Chicago
Recording Engineer: Bob Simpson
Two truckloads of instruments courtesy of Ludwig Drum Co., Musser Marimba Co. and J. C. Deagan. Brass instruments by the Frank Holton Co. Auto horns by Frank Arsenault.
RCA Victor LSP-2289

From the back cover:

This is stereo-er stereo!

No other percussion album quite like this one has ever been recorded before. We absolutely will not be responsible for any overstimulation of your playback equipment – or for the friends and freeloaders who are encouraged to hang around for another playing.

Your stereo set never had it so good. In fact, it may never be the same. There are many fine percussion albums available... but where else can you find one with:

A real live moving tap dancer (Lou Wills, Jr.) in Dancing On The Ceiling.

13 assorted cymbals simulating moving waves in Beyond The Sea

A 50-yard run for a bass drum (Impossible to explain but hear end of Stumbling).

7 percussion virtuosos who would just as soon hit an instrument as look at it (121 separate instruments, to be exact).

A brass corps playing stereo hide-and-seek in the vast corners of Chicago's Orchestra Hall. Our motto: "Every trumpeter a Peanut Vendor."

A phony musical traffic jam (Lullaby Of Broadway) which would have delight Cecil B. DeMille. (Auto-mobile horns courtesy of a dozen South Rampart Street used car lots.)

The fattest solo trumpet sound ever put on microgroove (Bill Hanley in My Funny Valentine).

Music, too. In spite of all this sound stuff, this is music you can dance, read, drink, relax or eat to.

It has come to be considered good form on percussion albums to document with sincere-type notes "how it was done." We'd just as soon not go into that.

Dick Schory has mad these albums. The first. Music For Bang Baa-Room And Harp (LSP-1866), already has made history – on the sales charts, at audio shows – and a few enemies among landlords. The second Percussion! Music To Break Any Moon (LSP-2125), features the now-famous mammoth gong; the sound is kind of a cross between the roar of Niagara Falls and an A-Bomb.

This third album was by all odds the most chaotic to make. Maybe it was the addition of brass players to his usual battery of percussionists. Maybe we were over-eager.

As in the first two albums, there was no set 'orchestra' or pat floor plan. We swapped efficiency and common sense for freedom. Each of the twelve selections has completely different instruments, different microphoning, different position and balances, in an attempt to bring out the most in each arrangement. In an era when it is "commercial" to jam close microphones down the throats of the slide trombones and up timpani, we deliberately chose what might be called an open microphone play – wide open. We gave each instrument its own envelope of space to speak in... and let the sound wallow around in the gorgeous acoustics of Orchestra Hall before sending it downstairs to our three track tape machines.

Actually, our "how it was done" list is extremely short and powerful... Bob Simpson.

Bob can be safely called the industry's best engineer, at least when he made this album. He holds this year's Grammy Award for the best engineered pop album: Belafonte At Carnegie Hall (LSO-6006).

We were also lucky enough to challenge the arranging services of Sid Ramin and Irv Kostal, the talented duo who, with Leonard Bernstein, wrote Broadway's sparkling "West Side Story" arrangements. It would be presumptuous to say that this album is their first collaboration after "West Side Story" – but it happens to be true. Each has been busy elsewhere: Irv on "The Garry Moore Show," Side with his own RCA albums. One of the irresistible persuasions which encouraged Kostal and Ramin to lend us their talents was the opportunity and requirement for the approach to be creatively unrestricted. It was. Whoever heard of doing The Continental with a tuba?

Two of Chicago's brightest arranger-composers, Willis Charkovsky and Bobby Christian represented the swinging Midwest, Dick Schory, of course, kept his talented hand on all ingredients... at the same time touring, appearing on TV, directing radio and TV commercials, acting as advertising manager for Ludwig Drum Co. and playing with the Chicago Symphony. In an age of hyper-striking instruments. When invited to a party he is one of the few asked to bring his drum.

Technical notes these days are getting to be more common than pretty girls on album covers. Briefly, we used the same top equipment everyone else uses. Not many use it in this manner, to be sure. One thing we can guarantee – this sound has not been homogenized. We threw out the traditional array of equalizers, limiters, echo chambers, compresses, filters, pitch generators and dirty ash trays. It is not that we wish to attach any moral virtue to purity. It is just that these are the real sounds as they happened for two days and two nights in the fabulous Orchestra Hall acoustics... and we're glad. We hope you and your equipment will be, too. – Bob Bollad.

From Billboard - October 10, 1960: An unusually well-engineered package whereby you can show off your stereo equipment. The arrangements are by Sid Ramin and Irv Kostal, who arranged (with Leonard Bernstein) "West Side Story," "Material includes "Lullaby Of Broadway," "Misirlou" and "The Peanut Vendor." Some real novelty touches are here, and yet it's good music.

Lullaby Of Broadway
Dancing On The Ceiling
Till There Was You
Chimed, I'm Sure
My Funny Valentine
The Peanut Vendor
The Continental
The Thunderer
Beyond The Sea

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Candy's Theme And Other Sweets - Hugo Montenegro

Candy's Theme And Other Sweets
Hugo Montenegro and His Orchestra
Produced by Al Schmitt
Recorded in RCA Victor's Music Center of the World, Hollywood, California
Recording Engineer: Jim Malloy
RCA Victor LPM-3332

From Billboard - March 20, 1965: Beautiful interpretative music by Montenegro. The instrumentation is posh and elegant with ethereal voices sweeping in and out. Montenegro give a musical insight and his impressions of some meaningful first names as "Jean" (Harlow), "Suzie" (Wong), "Polly" (Adler), "Lady" (Chatterly).

Candy's Theme
Theme For Irma
Little Lo'
Fanny's Theme
Darlin' Jill

Great Scott! - Shirley Scott

Great Scott!
The Shirley Scott Trio
Notes by Ira Gitler
Recording by Van Gelder
Prestige 7143

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

From the back cover: When Jimmy Smith came on the scene in the mid-Fifties, the organ had its first modern champion and many jazz listeners began paying attention to its many "stops" (and starts). Now there is a new star on the organ. She combines the "modern" with the blues feeling and presents a high, wide and wailing sound on the Hammond. Her name is Shirley Scott.

"She plays good – for a girl." This statements has been heard many times in jazz circles. Overlooking the bad grammar, it has been true more often than not. There have been some notable exceptions (fill in your own choices) but, in the main, female jazz players have lacked, among other things, the swing and authentic drive which mark the bonafide jazz musician.

It doesn't take long to realize that a genuine jazz feeling is embodied in the playing of Shirley Scott. She is only a slip of a girl but she makes that Hammond roar when she wants to. I might add, that she chooses the times when she wants to, very astutely.

Scottie, as she is affectionately called was born in Philadelphia on March 14, 1934. She started her musical education on the piano at the age of six and later continued her studies at the Germantown Settlement House and the Ornstein School Of Music. In 1955, she took up the organ and joined forces with tenor man Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis; the association has stayed intact for almost four years now, excepting the time that Eddie rejoined Count Basie for a few months in late 1957.

Davis felt that the organ was not a novelty instrument and, when in the right hands, it could be successfully utilized in jazz. Shirley has helped him to prove this. Together they have appeared at theaters like the Apollo in New York and the Howard in Washington; clubs in many Eastern cities including Birdland and Count Basie's in New York. It is at the latter, that they have had their longest periods of residence.

Scottie's favorite organists are Jimmy Smith and Jackie Davis. She also has evinced a liking for the playing of pianists Erroll Garner, Red Garland and Thelonious Monk

Although she plays the bass line with her feet when playing with the Davis group in person, Shirley has chosen to record with a bassist.

George Duvivier, who also appeared with Shirley in The Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis Cookbook (Prestige 7141), is a musicians' musician and a talented arranger. He studied violin first at the Conservatory of Music and Art in his native New York; composing and arranging at New York University. In the Forties he worked with Coleman Hawkins and Lucky Millinder. From 1942 - 45 he was in the Army and thereafter arranged for Jimmy Lunceford for a couple of years. George has been in the accompanying units for many singers in the Fifties including Nellie Lutcher, Lean Horne, Pearl Bailey and Billy Eckstine. He has also worked with the groups of Bud Powell and Chuck Wayne among others. Duvivier has expressed a liking for the playing of Jimmy Blanton and Ray Brown. His precise, yet powerful, work gives credence to this line of thought.

Arthur Edgehill, a regular member of the Davis group, is from Brooklyn, born there on July 21, 1936.

He began studying drums in 1948 at the Parkway Music Institute, taking time out to go on the road with Mercer Ellington in the summer of 1949 before returning to New York to do further studying at Parkway (until 1952) and gig around. In 1953, Arthur was with Ben Webster at the Blue Flame. 1954 found him with Horace Silver at Minton's' he split 1956 between Kenny Dorham's Jazz Prophets and the Jazz Lab group of Gigi Gryce. In November of 1957 he joined Dinah Washington and remained with her until becoming a part of the Eddie Davis-Shirley Scott Trio in January of 1958. Stylistically, Arthur is descendant from the Clarke-Roach-Blakey mold. He names these three and Philly Joe Jones as his favorites.

Duvivier and Edgehill play strictly supporting roles in this set and play them well. It is Shirley's album and she doesn't let interest lag during her long exposure to the center spotlight. From the opening blues cooker, The Scott to the closing Brazil, treated both as a samba and in swinging 4/4, she covers a variety of tunes and moods. All Of You grooves happily along; Cherokee is an up-tempo flight with a walking solo by Duvivier; Four indicates her easy familiarity with modern jazz originals; Goodbye is a sensitive ballad reading; Nothing Ever Changes My Love is a seldom-done number which receives a Latin feel in its melody statement.

Shirley Scott is a girl. At the organ, she does a man-sized job.

From Billboard - December 22, 1958: Miss Scott who showed great promise in support of Eddie Davis in "The Eddie (Lockjaw) Davis Cookbook" comes into her own with this effort. She's inventive and imaginative with an original approach. She knows her way around the organ and is equally acceptable on the swingers and ballads. She is nicely paced in this set by G. Duvivier on bass and A. Edgehill on drums. Tunes include "All Of You," "Nothing Ever Changed My Love" and "Brazil." She's definitely a comer.

The Scott
All Of You
Nothing Ever Changes My Love

Listen To The Ahmad Jamal Quintet

Listen To The Ahmad Jamal Quintet
Arrangements by Joe Kennedy
Cover: Don Bronstein
Engineer: Ron Malto
Supervision: Jack Tracy
Argo LP 673
Chess Producing Corp. - Chicago, Illinois

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

From the back cover: Ahman has sold a schmillion LPs as the head man of a trio that long has included Israel Crosby on bass and Vernell Fournier on drums. Why, then, add violin and guitar strings to what has been an essentially percussive and artistically and financial successful combination?

For the ample reason that there is more than one way to say a thing, more than one volume or tone of voice. Everyone knows Ahmad Jamal has something to say musically. Herewith he embellishes his message without losing the simplicity and sense of understatement that zoomed him up the ladder at an amazing rate of speed.

Ahmad's piano, Israel's bass and Vernell's drums greet the violin or Joe Kennedy and the guitar of Ray Crawford, and you can hear them assert (in naval parlance): "Happy to have you aboard!"

The newcomers to the ensemble (and please let's not start calling it the Ahmad Jamal trio plus two) join the same group gracefully. They are not obtrusive and they aren't bashful either. You'll hear them lurking in the background much of the time. When it's their turn to take the tiller, they step into poised if momentary command.

Jamal devotees many find Ahmad has put more impact and a richer flavor than usual into this first record session with a five some, and they're likely to agree that the added strings are a worthwhile experiment. The youthful veteran continues to be a musician who speaks softy but carries a subtle wallop.

These are not just many tunes in one mood, with a few at different tempo stuck in for contrast. They're a package filled with variety – bright or brooding; racy or reflective, carefree or cautious.

From Billboard - May 6, 1961: Ahmad Jamal has had much success in the past in breaking through the pop barrier, with singles and even LPs, this one is much more on a moody, reflective jazz kick. Beyond that, the normal Jamal Trio has been neatly augmented by the addition of violin and guitar (Joe Kennedy and Ray Crawford respectively). These lads add much in the way of harmony and ensemble sound as well as confident soloing and contribute to the breath of the jazz feeling. There's a Jamal original, plus things like "Baia," "Lover Man," "Hallelujah," etc. Good variety well played.

Ahmad's Waltz
Tempo For Two
It's A Wonderful World
You Came A Long Way From St. Louis
Lover Man
Who Cares

Instrumental Sounds Of Love - Bobby Vinton

Instrumental Sounds Of Love
Bobby Vinton On Saxophone
Featuring Chuck Cochran - Piano
Sound Supervision - Warren Vincent
Engineering: Frank Laico and Stan Weiss
Front Cover Photo: Peter Basch
Back Cover Photo: Suzanne Szasz
Manufactured by Epic Records - CBS Inc.
Epic BN 26542

Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head
Call Me
I Will Wait For You
Sweet Maria
A Taste Of Honey
I'll Never Fall In Love Again
Somewhere, My Love
Now I Know
Oh, Lonesome Me

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Pres - Lester Young

I Cover The Waterfront
Lester Young
Design: Reiss Art Studio
Charlie Parker Records PLP-402
Manufactured by Apex Records Corporations - Hollywood, California

From the back cover: Jazz is full of half-stars, that is musicians whose personal contribution has been just one particular aspect of their playing, some because of their 'sound', others because of some harmonic device that they use as a basis for their whole approach and it often follows that after a short time, having carved their niche because of a mannerism, they clutch on to this and continue to play exactly the same way for year after year.

This certainly cannot be said of Lester Young. His playing changed, in a lot of ways not for the better, but it confirmed that his personal feelings were very much involved in his music. However, the main reason that the finger cannot be pointed at Res, is that even on his recording debut his solos indicated that he had everything. Originality, of course, but also a beautiful clear sound, complete control of his horn which he played with a joyous expansive feeling.

This was in 1936, he was twenty-seven and the occasion was a small band session with other members of the Count Basie orchestra, including Basie himself. The titles recorded included "Lady Be Good" and "Shoe Shine Swing" and if you, the reader, are not familiar with these recordings or any of the others mentioned in these notes, then it is essential you listen to them, for these form the foundation for the bulk of post war modern jazz.

Following that session, Lester spent several years as a sideman with Basie, and with the band he made many recordings. At first, he was one of several soloist, including Buck Clayton, Dickie Wells, Harry Edison, Hershal Evans, but by the time he left the band, he had become the star soloist.

It is difficult to pick one or two of the countless tracks that featured Pres with Basie, but the famous side include "Tickle Toe" (his own composition) "Broadway" (his last record with the band) "Clap Hands Here Comes Charlie", "Pound Cake" and "Easy Dose It" (which demonstrates his ease with the sound all over the instrument).

Of course he made other recordings during the period he was in the Basie band and all should be heard. There were other small band sessions with Basie members, "Lester Leaps In" (probably the record that gave him most fame) "Dickies Dream", "Way Down Yonder In New Orleans" and "Them There Eyes" (playing with a sound that later Stan Getz was to adopt), the last two titles with a group that made several sessions over later years under the name "Kansas City Five" Six... or Seven, according to the number of musicians involved.

Still in the Basie period were many recording with Billie Holiday, and many people refer to Billie and Pres as the greatest partnership in Jazz. I don't feel that is too much of an exaggeration as the record show a tremendous rapport, especially "Sailboat In The Moonlight", "I Can't Get Started" and "The Man I Love", just to mention three.

Prior to joining Count Basie, Lester had worked extensively in the Mid-West, having had an upbringing with a musical family. His first instrument was drums and obviously this laid a strong foundation for his immaculate time feeling. After several years at this, he switched first to alto saxophone, which, together with his admitted admiration for Frankie Trumbauer, who played the C Melody saxophone (which is pitched between the tenor and alto horns), must have influenced his later sound on tenor. Baritone followed the alto saxophone and then Pres finally turned to tenor.

Before Basie, he was associated with the King Oliv er (!), Benny Moten, Walter Page (who later played bass with Count Basie and was present on many of the later Young recordings). Just how much of an influence he was on the head arrangements of Basie's band has never been classified, but on various small band recordings where he was the only saxophonist present, he would play figures that had distinct similarity to the saxophone sections work on many big band sides.

It appears that in spite of his ability, recognition did not really come from the Jazz Scene in general until the forties, understandable maybe in light of the fact that almost all saxophonists played with a thick vibrato filled sound, whereas Pres had a light, clear sound.

He left Basie in 1941 and tried to make a go of being a leader and remained so until the time of his death (except for a very short period in 1944, when he rejoined Basie). Whether or not the responsibility of being the leader caused the change in his playing will never be known. Some say it was the Army. However, recordings made prior to his Army career do show distinct changes. One session in Los Angeles with Nat King Cole in 1942, produced some very melodic solos, but there was a change in intensity and although he continued to make many outstanding recordings until his death, the majority were mid tempo or ballad tunes.

The forties saw Lester recording with many different groups, outstanding are "These Foolish Things", "You're Driving Me Crazy" and "Indiana". There were appearances with Jazz At The Philharmonic, and the effect of so much applause for so little music must have caused Pres a certain amount of chagrin. However, there were some good moments, especially the ballads, listen to "I Can't Get Started", "The Man I Love", "Slow Drag". By being selective one can find beautiful music from Lester Young right up until his death, even if it is one chorus out of four, or a bridge passage here or there, when you find them they are gems.

Probably, the saddest loss, was the vital sound he had earlier in his career. It was replaced by a sad, wistful feeling and at times, uncertain intonation and doubt especially at the top and bottom of his horn. But, in spite of all this, all his solos have tremendous 'presence', often akin to a human voice, a consistency of feeling throughout all his phrases, a virtue that was probably present more in the earlier and simpler forms of Jazz than today, due no doubt, to the pre-occupation of many modern jazzmen with harmony.

There are young jazzmen who have acknowledged the importance of Lester Young's melodic approach, Stan Getz, Zoot Sims, Allan Eager and countless others of the 'Brothers' school and also he plays an important part to any musicians who have studied at any time with Lennie Trsitano, for example Lee Konitz, Warne Marsh, Ted Brown and others. And also let us not forget that the early records of Charlie Parker reveal certain Pres-like ideas, not to mention the influence of Charlie Parker.

It is obvious from all his recordings that Pres loved to play, and it was this quality that enabled him to play beautifully despite whatever ghastly sounds surrounded him, for example, certain recordings he made in the early forties with a Hammond Organ player (who shall be nameless) on paper at least, should have been musical disasters, turn out to have very enthusiastic and vital sounding Lester.

European tours followed with JATP. I witnessed his first appearance in England. He walked almost hunched up and looked incredibly shy. On one up tempo tune, I remember him standing at the microphone, his eyes staring into the spotlight and just one finger moving up and down, producing just one of many trick fingerings that produced that 'OOH WAA' sound, which apparently has so much commercial value, whilst the rest of the troupe performed behind him. You could tell his love for playing in the ballad medley, and his "These Foolish Thing" and "I Cover The Waterfront" were very moving and seemed so personal and out of place in such a businesslike situation.

That is really the bulk of the Lester Young Story, luckily we still have the recordings and in Pres' case there are many, unlike others such as Charlie Christian and Roy Eldridge who didn't get to make enough records in the late thirties.

And we do have some collectors who have either carried a tape machine to parties or taped broadcasts, and from this source the enclosed album is derived.

With an album such as this, there have to be reservations, recorded on a home recorder, the sound has to be less than high fidelity, but if you approach purely for musical reasons and not electronically, there is somewhere on this record something about Pres that you love and when you find it, forget the parts you dislike, its the best way to approach most things anyway.

This recording is somewhat unique in that it is the first commercially issued collection of his "in person" performances (barring concert recordings). Unfortunately, no information is available concerning the identity of the accompanying musicians.

Many of the compositions included were featured and recorded by Lester Young consistency throughout his career. However, these performance differ substantially from previous versions. Happily, the majority are either medium or slow, highlights being "Destination Moon" and "I Cover The Waterfront". – John McKellen

From Billboard - June 12, 1961: As in the case of the Charlie Parker record reviewed elsewhere in this issue, Charlie Parker Records in conjunction with their selling agent, Carlton, have done an exceptional job of tape editing to bring the sound of Lester Young clearly and succinctly out of a tape that was made on a home machine. The tenor sax sound of the late and inimitable "Pres" comes through in previously unreleased performances of tunes like "Lester Leaps In," and "Sunday." He is accompanied by rhythm and trumpet. A solid item for the collector who must have everything.

I Cover The Waterfront
These Foolish Things
Lester Leaps In
Destination Moon

Hats Off - The Mariachi Brass!

Hats Off
The Mariachi Brass!
Featuring Chet Baker
Arrangers: George Tipton & Jack Nitzsche*
Art Direction: Woody Woodward
Cover Photography: Peter Whorf
Engineer: Bruce Botnick
World Pacific WP-1842
A Product Of Liberty Records

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

From the back cover: "I'm going to put the jazz into the Brass."

"When?" I asked.


"When's eventually?"

"One of these days," he said, slightly bugged.

Talking was Herb Albert, leader of the Tijuana Brass. It was 1964, when the sound was new and just catching on. I was doing a piece for Variety.

Now it's 1966... same Hollywood saloon... another Variety interview.

"Remember what you said about jazz, Herb?" I asked.

"No, what'd I say?"

I refreshed his memory.

He studied his martini a moment. Then he looked up. "Does it look like I'm out of my mind?"

Of course he's not. And of course, he'd have to be if he were to tamper with what he's got.

But, there's no copywriter on an idea. At just about the same time (1964) another young man with a horn, then blowing up a storm in Europe, had the very same thought – get jazz into the contemporary frame, where it'll reach the most ears. His name is Chet Baker. He'd do it when he got back home.

But then, immediately upon his return, bang, he's back in the spotlight with the smash World Pacific album, "Michelle." Baker is 50-50 billed with saxist Bud Shank. The platter takes off and hits the charts big. It's a gas of a disc, but it's not "the sound" he was after.

More delay. The idea is now almost three years old and it's seething within him. He's perking again. Jazz buffs who remembered him "when" came pouring into Shelly Manne's Manne-Hole in Hollywood, where he kicked off his first engagement in the U.S. in many years. The SRO houses were also comprised of new, younger fans who'd never heard of him before "Michelle."

On the heels of his last night at the Manne-Hole, Baker decided the time was now. He welded the Mariachi Brass – 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, 2 marimbas, 1 vibe, 1 drummer (Frank Capp), sundry miscellaneous percussion instruments and himself on the trumpet's big brother, the flugelhorn. He was ready. And so was the disc public. The first Mariachi Brass album, "A Taste Of Tequila," hit and hit hard. The people listened to Chet Baker and cried for more.

A jazzman from the word "go" (one-fourth of the Gerry Mulligan Quartet in the early 50's) Baker knew all about jazz's elusive nature – that exasperating habit it has of playing dead for seasons at a stretch. So he's got to be careful – don't shovel it, use a thimble if necessary, but get it in.

And get it in, he does. Dig the way he weaves, softly, intricately in and out of the chart-tied horns behind him in "Armen's Theme" and in the following cut, "Spanish Harlem." The solo turn, so long muted in today's pop music, is very definitely back! The old-time screech is out and it's a more refined sound, perhaps, but it's back, man and Baker put it there.

Everything is here from the groovy film lilt, "Phoenix Love Theme" (from the film "Flight Of The Phoenix") to the straight show tune, "On The Street Where You Live." Varied enough?

Ever get the feeling, after a listen to Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'" that the instrumental tag at the end should have been extended? Well, Baker and the Mariachis pick up precisely where they left off. They erase the words, heighten the beat and take you on a three-minute "hike" you won't soon forget.

Jack Nietzsche arranged "Boots," "You Baby" and Chiquita Banana." All the rest were charted by George Tipton, the cat gone legit. "Happiness Is"? From the opening notes right to the final "kickoff" tag, you can smell the smoke in it – and if you're not careful, it'll choke you. "Hats Off" to Chet Baker and the Mariachi Bass? You Betcha! – Joe X. Price, Daily Variety.
From Billboard - May 28, 1966: Chet Baker's brilliant trumpet brightens the Mariachi Brass to just the right combination of pop and jazz. Arranges George Tipton and Jack Nitzsche provide superb settings for the Brass on "Happiness Is," "Bang Bang" and "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'."

Happiness Is
Sure Gonna Miss Her
Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)
The Phoenix Love Theme (Senza Fine - From the 20th Century-Fox film "The Flight Of The Phoenix)
These Boots Are Made For Walkin'
On The Street Where You Live
Armen's Theme
Spanish Harlem
Chiquita Banana
When The Day Is All Done (Foyo - From the Musical Entertainment "Wait A Mimim")
You Baby
It's Too Late

Soul Message - Richard Groove Holmes

Soul Message
Richard "Groove" Holmes
Produced by Cal Lampley
Recording: Rudy Van Gelder
Notes: Christopher Peters (October 1, 1965)
Prestige 7435

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

From the back cover: "Groove" Holmes first attacked the organ in Camden, New Jersey, and his first influence was from Red Bank neighbor, Count Basie. It is important to note that Holmes found his groove early, for he is not a converted pianist, and his own expression is not limited by the technique of the pianist-turned-organist. He has satisfied the demands of his instrument simply by dedication to it over the most important years of any musician's development – the initial years of study when one develops the good and bad habits of physical dexterity which serve as the basis for the execution of mature ideas. The point is that "Groove" is an organist initially, primarily, and finally. It is small wonder that he has come to receive attention from recordings with Les McCann and Gerald Wilson, and he even found a niche on the popularity charts with his own album with tenor saxophonist Gene Ammons. A favorite album in my collection is a set "Groove" did with guitarist Joe Pass. All of these excursions come with a west coast post mark, and each one indicated that there was a "comer" on the coast. He has now come east and it is Prestige's great pride that Richard "Groove" Holmes has signed an exclusive contract with the company.

Groove's Groove
Song For My Father
The Things We Did Last Summer
Soul Message

Monday, March 18, 2019

You Started My Dreaming - Tommy Edwards

Lost In The Desert Of Love
You Started My Dreaming
Tommy Edwards
Orchestra Conducted by Leroy Holmes
Cover Photograph by Larry Gordon Studios
MGM Records E3805
A Division of Lowes Incorporated

From the back cover: A lonely night in some out-of-the-way locale... a dark, dank site that some inordinate yearning prompts him to seek out... a pensive, secretive mood of his desires to be with that someone who has long gone out of his physical life... an unresolved melancholia from his unfulfilled yearning, yet, with the still burning hope of finding that lost love that started him dreaming; that is the dilemma of Tommy Edwards in embarking on this recorded peregrination. Will he find what he is looking for, this modern-day Ulysses, on his twelve-tracked-trek into his very personal Odyssey? Ulysses took ten years to seek home and hearth – Tommy Edwards finds it in a much shorter span of time in this album of beautiful ballads.

Stars twice-fell on Tommy through the medium of one song. After a brief span as a successful tunesmith with several hit songs to his credit, recorded by other artists, Tommy entered into a short period of financial fallow, forcing him to personally record a demonstration platter to help sell a new tune of his to the music moguls along Tin Pan Alley. Rather than hire a "professional" singer as had been his fashion, Tommy thriftily cut his own "demo" and made the rounds. One of his first "stops" was at MGM Records when he went in as a songwriter and waled out with a recording contract as a singer – oh yes, MGM liked the song "All Over Again" enough to include it on Tommy's first recording session – financial famine accidentally caused a "new sound" to be discovered... the voice of Tommy Edwards. In rapid succession hit after hit was recorded by Tommy on MGM Records. One of these was a vocal rendition of a little known melody written, surprisingly enough, by a former Vice-President of the United States – "Melody In A" written by Charles Dawes, Vice-President during the Coolidge administration – better known to Tommy Edwards' fans as "It's All In The Game." This was his first million seller; more such "The Morningside Of The Mountain" and "You Win Again" followed soon afterwards. At this point you may ask, "How could stars twice fall on Tommy, didn't he remain on top?" Well, no, not exactly. Relative inactivity brought on by the ROCK 'N ROLL craze forced fine singers like Tommy Edwards to be less in demand. However, a gradual merging of "the big beat" with the more traditional, less ephemeral music patterns eventually occurred, brining back "good" voices and Tommy was re-discovered. Therefore, Tommy Edwards became twice-blessed when he recorded a rhythmical remake of his earliest hit "It's All In The Game." Tommy struck gold twice in the same lode; if anything profound should be said on this matter, one can safely state that Tommy Edwards has now become a permanent star; a shinning star in a galaxy of the entertainment greats of our time. Here again is a recored testimonial of the magic combination of the talent and emotion appeal of Tommy Edwards in, You Started Me Dreaming.

From Billboard - February 22, 1960: Tommy Edwards' soft-voiced delivery is applied to a group of sentimental ballads with much of the effectiveness that made a hit of "It's All In The Game," his big single. The orchestral backing again is effective with a light triplet beat. Contents include "You're A Sweetheart," "Always" and "Stars Fell On Alabama." Adults as well as teens are potential buyers.

Indian Summer
Stars Fell On Alabama
I'm Building Castles Again
Lost In The Desert Of Love
You're A Heavenly Thing
(It Will Have To Do) Until The Real Things Come Along
You're A Sweetheart
You Started Me Dreaming
My Love Is A Sparrow
All Over Again

Bashin' - The Unpredictable Jimmy Smith

The Unpredictable Jimmy Smith
Arrangements by Oliver Nelson
Produced by Creed Taylor
Cover and Liner Photographs: Chuck Stewart
Recorded in New York, March 26 & 28, 1962
Recording Engineer: Rudy Van Gelder
Verve V6-8474


Side One – The Big Band:

Organ - Jimmy Smith
Trumpets - Joe Newman, Doc Severinsen, Joe Wilder and Ernie Royal
Trombones - Tommy Mitchell, Jimmy Cleveland, Urbie Green and Britt Woodman
Saxes - Babe Clarke, Robert Ashton, Gerry Dodgion, Phil Woods and George Barrow
Bass - Barry Duvivier
Guitar - Barry Galbraith
Drums - Ed Shaughnessy

Side Two – The Trio:

Organ - Jimmy Smith
Guitar - Jimmy Warren
Drums - Don Bailey

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

From the inside cover: The year 1962 will be remembered by most Americans as the year Lt. Colonel John Glenn, the American astronaut, orbited the earth and placed America on the road to closing the gap in the race for space.

Throughout the world, jazz fans will remember 1962, as the year James Oscar Smith, World's Number One Jazz Organist, orbited the field of soulful swinging jazz and gained acceptance and approval of the organ as a legitimate instrument of jazz.

As Colonel Glenn offered the observation, during his press conference, "we have only scratched the surface in exploring outer space" – Jimmy Smith here offers samples of greater things to come.

In his restless drive to challenge the ability of the cumbersome organ to produce the sounds he hears and to reproduce the feelings of his music, Jimmy Smith remains uncompromising. The unlimited number of sounds the organ can produce offers him an infinite number of ways to express his jazz soul

Jimmy Smith has long paid his dues and respect to Thomas "Fats" Waller and to William S. "Wild Bill" Davis, the two figures who brought prominence to the organ as a jazz instrument.

However, Jimmy has not been content to sit in the shadow of their influence. His fantastic technique, his increasing mastery of the instrument, and his ability to improvise has gained for him a high degree of respect from fellow musicians.

Since he burst on the jazz scene some seven years ago, a whole new school of jazz organists has sprung up. The number of pianists who have thrown away their keyboards to rush to the organ shows the astonishing degree of Jimmy Smith influence.

A prominent jazz musician reflecting over the death of Charlie Parker stated, "Charlie Parker could sue every alto saxophonist for plagiarism." If this was so in Bird's case, could not the incredible Jimmy Smith do likewise?

In greatness there is humility. And Jimmy has displayed great humility and patience when approached by other organists seeking to find the answers to the mastery of the instrument. And he has helped them willingly!

Time does not stand still. And Jimmy Smith has been racing time in his desire to speak eloquently, truthfully and powerfully through his organ. No other jazz organist has recorded in so many settings nor with so many top flight jazz musicians. Each setting has revealed a new side of Jimmy as a soloist, accompanist and catalyst.

A review of some of the musicians he has recored with reads like a jazz popularity poll. Donald Byrd, Lou Donaldson, Hank Mobley, Eddie McFadden, Art Blakey, Percy France, Lee Morgan, George Coleman, Tina Brooks, Curtis Fuller, Stanley Turrentine, his present guitarist, Jimmy Warren and his long time drummer, Donald Bailey, have shared recording dates with Jimmy.

Most of he previous recording have been in a trio setting (organ, guitar and drums). Until this album he had never recorded with a bass player. His extraordinary ability to produce varied shadings from the large orchestral sound to a tightly disciplined trio or from the heavy Basie sound to the feathery touch of Miles Davis, is unbelievable.

Jimmy Smith's treatment of a ballad reveals an exacting consciousness of the meaning of the lyrics. He displays the glowing warmth of a passionate musical poet at work as he caresses the ballad tenderly with deep feeling.

Switching to the uptempo numbers, he becomes the artist. He paints his musical canvas with a liberal hue of the blues.

Shaping a musical picture to be heard is only the framework for Jimmy. He fills his picture by making you feel his music – compelling you to absorb his power. You cannot restrain yourself as you respond physically and emotionally to his music. – Del Shields - WDAS FM, Philadelphia, Pa.

From Billboard - May 5, 1962: Jazz organist Jimmy Smith's latest single "Walk On The Wild Side" leads off this LP. The album features Smith backed by a big band for the first time. The ork is arranged for and conducted by Oliver Nelson. There's some potent swinging stuff on this set besides "Wild Side." "Ol Man River" and "In A Millstone" are also top tracks with the big ork. The flip has Smith in his familiar trio groove for more top-flight blowing.

Walk On The Wild Side
Ol' Man River
In A Millstone
Step Right Up
Beggar For The Blues
I'm An Old Cowhand (From The Rio Grande)

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Goin' To Chicago - Jimmy Rushing

Goin' To Chicago
Goin' To Chicago
Jimmy Rushing - Blues Singer
With Sam Price - Piano
Pat Jenkins - Trumpet
Henderson Chambers - Trombone
Ben Richardson - Alto and Clarinet
Buddy Tate - Tenor Sax
Walter Page - Bass
Jo Jones - Drums
Vanguard Jazz Showcase
Vanguard Recording Society VRS-8518

From the back cover: When Bessie Smith died in 1937, an era came to an end in the history of the blues. The years of depression had affected both live music and recording. Of the great blues shouters like Ma Rainey, Ida Cox, Blind Lemon Jefferson and Big Bill Broonzy, some were dead and others had vanished into obscurity. These names were not even known to the general nation wide public for popular music. They were known to Negros in city and countryside who made up the main audience for the blues, and to a comparatively few connoisseur collectors of the blues and jazz music.

But also, during the late 'thirties, a new era began in the popularization of the blues, largely through the agency of Count Basie and the voice of Jimmy Rushing. Working with remarkable integrity in an atmosphere beset with commercial pressures, Basie succeeded in making record after record which broke with the formulas of song arrangement and song plugging, and were from beginning to end infused with the spirit of the blues. Starring on these records was Jimmy Rushing, whose powerful voice made juke box favorites out of such material as Boogie Woogie, Sent For You Yesterday, Good Mornin' Blues and Goin' To Chicago. Something of the authentic blues idiot became absorbed in the mainstream of popular music. It is undeniable, however, that in making the records, preparing arrangements and meeting time limitations, some concessions had to be made to commercial demands.

It is no detraction from the esteem deservedly earned by these old Basie records, to say that with this album Jimmy Rushing has achieved new stature as an artist. This is due to the new possibilities opened up by long-playing records. There are no written arrangements to serve as a brake on his exuberance, and no confining time limits to his numbers. Although the accompanying band has its share of stars, whose influence is subtly felt throughout the performances, they subordinate themselves to the vocalist in much the same way that Bessie Smith's accompanists did int the 'twenties. And this is but one of many parallels to the greatest of all blues recordings, those made by Bessie Smith.

Jimmy Rushing was born in 1902 in Oklahoma City. He started his professional career as a pianist with Walter Page in a trio in 1919, and went on to become a singer with Page's Blue Devils. His first recording was in 1928, a literally priceless Vocalion disc of Blue Devil Blues, in which he did not even receive credit. After that came hundreds of discs with Bennie Moten and Count Basie. For the last five years Jimmy has been a star in his own right, appearing in theaters, ballrooms and concerts throughout the country and making occasional juke box records.

In the band are two veterans of the Basie rhythm section, Jo Jone and Walter Page. Sam Price, one of the few authentic blue pianists extant, is sensitive and imaginative, both at the keyboard and as co-writer of two of the tunes, Leave Me and How You Want Your Lovin' Done. Another Texan, Buddy Pat Jenkins and Ben Richardson, are on trumpet and alto. Henderson Chambers is the trombonist. All of them feel at home with the blues.

Count Basie has called this disc the greatest of Rushing's career, and the recording nothing less than perfection. Boogie Woogie, Goin' To Chicago, I Want A Little Girl, and Sent For You Yesterday are all numbers Rushing featured while with Basie. How Long is one of the great blues by Leroy Carr, and Jimmy dedicates his performance of it on this disc to the memory of his friend. Lips Page. It is one of the most moving performances on records today. – John Hammond

Also from the back cover: This Vanguard Jazz Showcase record was produced under the supervision of the distinguished jazz critic and commentator, John Hammond. The Vanguard Jazz Showcase was instituted in cooperation with the noted magazine, Down Beat, to record creative jazz for the first time with wide range high fidelity reproduction. Its aim is also to give full range to the musical ideas of the best contemporary jazz performers, and to win public attention for previously unrecognized talent.

From Billboard - June 17, 1972: Rushing, Jazz Singer, Dead - Jazz singer Jimmy Rushing died here Thursday (8) after a brief illness. He was 68. He started his singing career in California in 1925 before returning to his hometown, Oklahoma City, to join Walter Page's Blue Devils. With Page he met up with the band's pianist. Count Basie and (after a brief period with Bennie Moten) became singer with Basie's first band in 1935 in Kansas City. He remained with Basie until 1950, led his own seven-piece band at the Savoy Ballroom in New York for two years, then worked as a single.

Rushing's hard-driving singing touched with much blues, was recorded by Decca, Columbia, Vanguard, Colpix, Master Jazz, Impluse Bluesway and RCA. His last album earlier this year by RCA. Material closely associated with Rushing – "Mr. Five by Five" was his nickname – included the classic "Sent For You Yesterday" and "Goin' To Chicago.

Goin' To Chicago
I Want A Little Girl
Leave Me
Sent For You Yesterday
How Long
Boogie Woogie
How You Want Your Lovin' Done

At The Movies With The Ray Charles Singers

The Gentle Rain
At The Movies With The Ray Charles Singers
Originated and Produced by Loren Becker and Robert Byrne
Musical Arrangements: Ray Charles
Recording Engineer: C. R. Fine and George Piros
Stereo and Monaural Mastering: George Piros
Art Director: Daniel Pezza
Command ABC Records RS 923 SD

From Billboard - November 25, 1967: The Ray Charles Singers swing subtly and enthusiastically through today's popular movie music, featuring "Born Free," "This Is My Song," "Thoroughly Modern Millie" and more of the tunes everyone wants to hear and hum and attach warmly to the memory of his favorite movie.

My Friend The Doctor (From "Doctor Dolittle")
The Gentle Rain (From "The Gentle Rain")
Thoroughly Modern Millie (From "Thoroughly Modern Millie")
All (From "Run For Your Wife")
Mon Amour... Mon Amour (From "Mon Amour, Mon Amour)
Rosie (From "Rosie)
Fortuosity (From "The Happiest Millionaire")
My Own True Love (From "Gone With The Wind")
Where Are The Words (From "Doctor Dolittle")
Born Free (From "Born Free")
If Ever I Would Leave You (From "Camelot")
This Is My Song (From "A Countess From Hong Kong")