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Saturday, May 11, 2019

Let's Dance To Russ Morgan

Arab Dance
Let's Dance To Russ Morgan and His Orchestra
A Product Of Decca Records VL 3601

From Billboard - June 23, 1958: Bright, bouncy wax with a solid ballroom terp beat makes this low-priced ($1.98) Decca subsid package a good commercial bet. Sides, many featuring vocals by Morgan, Betsy Gay, Clyde Rogers and the Morganaires, include "The Poor People Of Paris," "Alabama Bound" and "That's My Weakness Now."

The Poor People Of Paris
Till I Waltz Again With You
Walkin' To Missouri
Arab Dance
Banjo Tango
Alabamy Bound
The Tennessee Wig-Walk
Dancin' With Someone
The Golden Years
None But The Lonely Heart
That's My Weakness Now

Romance 'a la Mood - Pierre Chaille

The Love Nest
Romance 'a la Mood
Pierre Chaille and The Grande Orchestre
ABC-Paramount ABC-280

From the back cover: From the first bright sweeping strains of "A Shine On Your Shoes," you know that here is a recording dressed up in its musical best for that something or someone special: the most delectable of dishes – "Romance a la Mood."

The something special in this case may be attributed to the continental sound of Pierre Chaille and the Grande Orchestre. Long a favorite with European audiences, here is the American debut of this outstanding orchestra. Performed by more than fifty accomplished musicians, the full-bodied Chaille arrangements applied to standard American songs bring a sparkling dynamic sound suited for dancing, dining or relaxed listening. With the liberal use of strings and brass, the gifted conductor has perfected the listening formula.

Since his early years on Paris's famed Left Bank, Pierre Chaille has diligently pursued his first love – music. His own instrument, the violin, afforded him his first job in a tiny Paris club. Often earning only enough to pay for his meals, Chaille natured his ambitions in the company of his Left Bank comrades. Immediately prior to World War II, he organized a small orchestra so successful that when he entered the French armed forces, he continued his musical career as band director. Folling a distinguished military career, he formed the large orchestra that has gained an international reputation. By means of lush arrangements, the maestro compensates for his Left Bank days when he performed with only piano accompaniment in the Paris night spot. His first album for ABC-Paramount is a valuable addition to the American catalog of European artists.

Covering the range of musical expression from the capricious "Dancing Tambourine" to the beautiful "Heaven Can Wait," here is memorable music for your mood. – Rick Ward

From Billboard - August 31, 1959: This album represents the American debut of the ork of 50 musicians. Arrangements are lush, with a continental flavor. Tunes are standards from the archives of Harms, Inc., Remick Music and Witmark, like "I Get A Kick Out Of You," "Heaven Can Wait," "Remember me?"

A Shine On Your Shoes
For You
I Get A Kick Out Of You
Heaven Can Wait
I've Got Rings On My Fingers
The Love Nest
Dancing Tambourine
Remember Me
Breezin' Along With The Breeze
Thou Swell
You Oughta Be In Pictures
Too Marvelous For Words

Getting Romantic - The Swingle Singers

Etude - Op. 10, No. 6 - Chopin
Getting Romantic
The Swingle Singers
The Creative Swingle Singers Freshen-Up The 19th Century Romantic Composers:
Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Moussorgsky, Albeniz and Schubert
All Selections Arranged and Adapted by Ward Swingle
Philips PHS 600-191

Scherzo - Sonate Op. 24 for Violin and Piano - Beethoven
Allegro - Sonate Op. 26 - Beethoven
Etude - Op. 10, No. 6 - Chopin
Etude - Op. 25, No. 2 - Chopin
Valse - Op. 64, No. 2 - Chopin
Petit Prelude Et Fugue - Album a la Jeunesse - R. Schumann
Le Marche De Limoges - Pictures At An Art Exhibition - Moussorgsky
Andante - Quartet, Op. 44, No. 1 - Mendelssohn
Zohtzico - Albeniz
Andante - String Quartet, Op. 29 - Schubert

New Mann At Newport - Herbie Mann

New Mann At Newport
Herbie Mann
Cover Photo: Joe Alper
Album Design: Marvin Israel
Supervision: Nesuhi Ertegun
Recording Engineer: Bill Hanley & Phil Lehle
Atlantic Recording Corporation 1471

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

On Project S, Scratch, She's A Carioca & Summertime, the personnel is Herbie Mann, flutes; Jimmy Owens, trumpet & fluegelhorn; Joe Orange & Jack Hitchcock, trombones; Reggie Workman, bass; Carlos "Palato" Valdes, percussion; Bruno Carr, drums.

On All Blues, the personnel is the same except that Jimmy Knepper, trombone replaces Jack Hitchcock, and Attila Zoller, guitar is added.

Jimmy Heath arranged Project 2 & She's A Carioca. Johnny Carisi arranged All Blues

From the inside (book-fold) cover: Speaking of the occasions he has returned to the scene of the former trump, or reshape the performance of an earlier hit, Duke Ellington once said: "At times like that I'm not competing with Ellington." A similar dictum might be applied in the case of New Mann At Newport: here is Mann competing with Mann.

As anyone can tell you who was there, or who bought the album, Herbie Mann's group destroyed all contenders during a phenomenally emotion-charged set at the 1965 Newport Jazz Festival. The vital, gutty music that reached out and touched the 15,000 fans who packed the field that night was preserved ub Standing Ovation At Newport (Atlantic 1445).

Naturally, in 1966 George Wein wanted Herbie back. And just as naturally, Herbie did it again. Having been present on both occasions, I can testify to the power of Mann, to his unique way of getting to a crowd. Once again the creation was so strong that Wein had difficulty in introducing the following act. It was another night to add to the long list of such events in the career of Mann as a leader.

On New Mann At Newport you will hear a personnel and instrumentation slightly different from that of the 1965 group. In addition to the two trombones there is Jimmy Owens, a trumpeter doubling on fluegelhorn. This youngster attracted attention a couple of seasons back, working with Charles Mingus. Born 22 years ago in New York City, he played in the 1959-60 Newport Youth Band. Herbie says: "I think Jimmy Owens is probably the most important new trumpet and flugelhorn player around."

Project S, composed and arranged by tenor saxophonist Jimmy Heath (brother of the MJQ's Percey) is an orthodox swinger in 4/4, that fast-disappearing meter. Herbie's gift for finding an interesting series of contexts for his flute is well demonstrated as he works with Reggie Hitchcock's vibes and lets Owens sidle in subtly. The trombone soloist is Joe Orange, 25-year-old nephew of the great swing era trombonist J. C. Higginbotham.

Scatch was composed by Wayne Henderson, well known as trombonist with the Jazz Crusaders. Heard in a much briefer version of Our Mann Flute (Atlantic 1464), it has a smoother, lighter beat in this new treatment. A funky, attractive theme with simple blues chords and interesting intervals, it shows Workman double-stopping while Herbie blows, alternating solos by the brass men, and one of those sharp cut-off endings reminiscent of the bebop era.

She's A Carioca is a Jobim tune, arranged for this occasion by Jimmy Heath. "It was something of a challenge for Jimmy," Herbie says, "He usually arranges his own tunes; in fact, he told me this was his first bossa nova arrangement." The trombone soloist is Jack Hitchcock.

All Blues is a ringer in this set, in that it was not recorded at Newport, but shortly before the festival, and with two personnel changes (see listing). The Miles Davis composition is a blues with a triple pulse and a long-meter (i.e. 24-bar) chorus. Owen's is outstanding here; his spare, brooding sound bears out Herbie's enthusiastic endorsement.

An unusual aspect of this track is the presence of a tenor saxophonist in the person of one Herbie Mann. "I hadn't touched the tenor in at least four years." says Herbie. "Then, about four months before this recording was made, I took it up again; so this is my first recorded tenor solo since I resumed doubling." His warm sound and supple handling of the horn would seem likely to presage many more such contributions. Notice the sensitive time feeling, and the sound of surprise in the selection of notes. All Blues, incidentally, was arranged for Mann by Johnny Carisi.

Summertime is another repeat performance. An earlier version was taped in the days before Herbie Mann At The Village Gate, his first hit album, Atlantic 1380. This treatment, however, is a bird of a very different color, and one that flies a little faster.

The long introductory passage by Reggie Workman serves as a reminder of Mann's aptitude for setting moods in some of his more informal performances (this is a head arrangement). It also offers an exceptionally effective illustration of the headway made by the bass fiddle in jazz during the past few years. Workman is heard in a fine big-toned arco, as well as as pizzicato and strumming, before the vibes' preparatory riff enters to pave the way for the exposition of the melody by Herbie. The ad lib flute, backed by the perennial percussion of Carlos "Patato" Valdes, leads to various unpredictable developments, involving changes of meter and tempo, that take the performance far outside of the Gershwin theme. Herbie seems to work his way clear through a fall, winter and spring before Summertime returns. – Leonard Feather

Project S
She's A Carioca
All Blues

Friday, May 10, 2019

Gems By Pearl Bailey

8th Street, Association
Gems By Pearl Bailey
Orchestra Conducted by Don Redman
Vocalion VL 3621
A Product Of Decca Records

From Billboard - October 27, 1958: Some of the older classics performed by Pearl Bailey wherever she goes are included here. "Say Si Si," "World Weary," "As Long As I Live" and "Ciribiribin" are included, with the ork helmet by Don Redman. Some jocks will find this an interesting collection and it can be moved by racks as well.

Say Si Si
I Wouldn't Walk Across The Street
8th Street, Association
As Long As I Live
Hug Me A Hug (Kiss Me A Kiss)
I Love My Argentine
Word Weary
I Heard
Nothin' Nothin' Baby (Without You)
Alla En El Rancho Grande (My Ranch)

The Music Of Quincy Jones - Benny Bailey, Ake Persson & Joe Harris

Jones Beach
The Music Of Quincy Jones
As Played By Benny Bailey, Joe Harris, Ake Persson and The Quincetet
Recorded at Millessalen Recording Studios, Stockholm Sweden
Argo LP 668
Chess Producing Corp. - Chicago

Benny Bailey - Trumpet
Ake Persson - Trombone
Joe Harris - Drums

All members of the original Quincy Jones orchestra that toured Europe in 1960. Other soloist on the various tracks are listed in the accompanying liner notes

From the back cover: Quincy Jones wears many hats. He is an arranger of brilliance. He plays trumpet passably. He leads his own large orchestra, a feat that requires more than conducting, in that a leader also has to be father, mother, wife, and psychiatrist to some 16 musicians. But, most of all, he is a composer who writes with delicate melodic sense and rhythmic vigor.

He is a budding Duke Ellington, and there are many who will tell you that his orchestra will be the band of the 1960s.

He already has given impressive indication of the road he intends to take. The recent trip he made with his band revealed to listeners what his first two albums had led them to suspect – that his orchestra is precise, joyously swinging, and interested in exploring arrangements that show thought in their preparation and are written expressly for the musicians in that band, utilizing their individual capabilities.

One of those individuals created a good deal of attention on his own. That would be Benny Bailey, the trumpeter with huge tone and broad attack who went to Europe in 1953 with Lionel Hampton and stayed there until Quincy called Benny back from Sweden to join him.

Bailey's performances herein show you why Jones was so eager to get him on the band. This LP was cut in Sweden last year in the company of another American, drummer Joe Harris, and the light-quick Swedish trombonist Ake Perrson, another member of the Jones band. Several combinations of Swedish all-stars make up the backing.

The Golden Touch was arranged by pianist Gunnar Svensson and features solos by Persson, followed by Bailey, baritone saxist Lennart Jansson and Svensson.

I'm Gone is a medium blues that spots muted Benny Bailey over an ensemble background. Persson, tenor saxist Bjarne Nerem, and pianist Gosta Theselius who plays marvelously in all his appearances here.

Jones Beach, another easy blues, follows. It's in quintet format, with Bailey and alto saxist Arne Domnerus at the horns. They start with a double-time introduction. Theselius picks up with a funky lead-in to the ensemble and later plays a nicely-built solo.

Quincy's best-known composition to date may well be The Midnight Sun Never Sets. A hauntingly pretty ballad, it has been recorded several times, but never any better than on this album as it becomes a solo vehicle for Persson. Theselius also contributes some lovely piano.

Theselius arranged Meet Benny Bailey, which again shows why Benny is meeting with such approval.

Plenty, Plenty Soul, written by Quincy especially for Milt Jackson, is treated somewhat faster here than Milt did it, and highlights Bailey and Theselius.

Fallen Feathers, Quincy's moving tribute to Charlie Parker, is all Benny Bailey save for a short intro by Theselius.

Count'Em, an easy blues, winds everything up, and the horns of Persson and Nerd take the solo spots.

We think you'll find this combination of Quincy Jones' music and the resounding horns of Benny Bailey and Ake Perrson to be a stirring mixture and one that points out yet one more facet of Quincy's talent. He has an unerring sense of taste when it comes to picking the right chairs. Quincy Delight Jones is something else! – Al Porch

The Golden Touch
I'm Gone
Jones Beach
The Midnight Sun Never Sets
Meet Benny Bailey
Plenty, Plenty Soul
Fallen Feathers

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Satchmo In Style - Louis Armstrong & Gordon Jenkins

Satchmo In Style
Louis Armstrong with Gordon Jenkins
And His Chorus and Orchestra
Decca Records DL 8840

Solo notes:

Trumpeter Billy Butterfield plays behind Armstrong vocal on Blueberry Hill
Charles La Vere is the pianist on Indian Love Call
Romeo Penque is the flutist on Listen To The Mocking Bird

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

From the back cover: In their devotion to a legend, most jazz writers have tended to gloss over or become petulant concerning a basic truth. Louis Armstrong is an entertainer, a jazz entertainer, certainly, but show business all the same.

As George Avakian so aptly put it in his essay about Armstrong in "Jazz Makers" (Rinehart); "He is, within the limitation of his field, a great comedian, and probably could have been a great actor. As it is, he plays in public a part based on his true personality, that of an enthusiastic, happy and elemental jolly-good-fellow, and does it very well indeed."

However, when one reads about Armstrong, one usually finds mention of his omnipresence as a jazz influence-instrumentally and vocally – and rightfully so; comparisons are made with the so-called "purist" Armstrong of old; and then, with bold strokes, the writer inevitably paints the picture of the jazz giant who moves comfortably in the realm of commerciality.

"Such a pity!" they cry. "Pops has come down from Olympus. He's gone square."

I don't believe that this is the case.

Armstrong has gone his own way. One gentlemen of the recording industry who is close to him commented: "Louis has little mind for this romance of aesthetic sacrifice, commerciality versus 'the real jazz', and all that sort of thing. He just plays and sings, and it comes out Armstrong."

Pops' early background in New Orleans emphasized the realities of life. He was an ambitious man determined to make his way. His dedication and artistic ideals were not so much discussed to make his way. His dedication and artistic ideals were not so much discussed as played. A "cat" played music or he didn't; he did the best he could, where he could. There was no grandiose purpose to it all, psychological or otherwise.

Over the years, Armstrong has functioned along these lines. Still a contributor to jazz, vividly colorful and so much the showman, his jazz-based personality bursts through, whatever the context. He is flexible, at home in most musical climes. For Pops, each and everyone of them are "part of the business."

His natural musical instincts in conjunction with a 'well-developed sense for audience contact make him what he is. "Pops is Pops," says trumpeter-commentator Ruby Braff. "Too many people put him down because he is being himself. Lets face it, what other artist has given so much to jazz?

This album is Armstrong, the jazz entertainer. He sings, humors, touches and "wails", gem out of his usual jazz setting, inhabiting lusher environs. The frame for Armstrong makes for an interesting contrast. "Jenkins understands Louis," said our recording gentlemen. "In this program, there is meshing of two worlds and two personalities."

The result is music for a diverse audience, not least of all for the people who savor the Armstrong voice and horn – his brand of entertainment. – Burt Korall

From Billboard - February 9, 1959: An unusual combo of Jenkins ork and chorus and Louis (Satchmo) Armstrong. The former providing the famed "jazz entertainer" with lush background for some of Armstrong's best tunes. The inevitable warm and jolly qualities of the singer comes thru in "Blueberry Hill," "The Boffenpoff Song," "Sleepy Time Down South" and "Bye Bye," a product of collaboration of the two artists. Good DJ programming and attractive cover.

Blueberry Hill
It's All In The Game
Jeannie (I Dream Of Lilac Time)
Chlo-E (Song Of The Swamp)
Indian Love Call
Listen To The Mocking Bird
That Lucky Old Sun (Just Rolls Around Heaven All Day)
The Whiffenpoff Song (Baa Baa Baa) (The Boppenpoof Song)
Bye And Bye
When It's Sleepy Time Down South

Dancing Cheek To Cheek - Ron Bannister & Luis Perez

Ay Cosita Linda
Dancing Cheek To Cheek
Featuring The Society Orchestra of Ron Bannister
And The Latin American Rhythms of Luis Perez
Harmony/Columbia HL 7216

From Billboard - November 16, 1959: Here's a package with strong appeal for those who enjoy nitery-styled society music. Bannister provides bouncy, lighthearted instrumental treatments of 13 memorable standards – "I Wish I Were In Love Again," "Varsity Drag," "Lady Is A Tramp." Perez takes over intermission with equally terpable renditions of catchy Latin ditties.

Ron Bannister

Just In Time
I Wish I Were In Love Again
The Varsity Drag
Puttin' On The Ritz
I Won't Dance
Steppin' Out With My Baby
Cheek To Cheek
A Room With A View
The Lady Is A Tramp
Pick Yourself Up
I've Got My Love To Keep My Warm
Ev'rything I've Got
Bill Bailey, Won't You Please Come Home

Luis Perez

El Satellite
Por Tu Senorio
Ay Cosita Linda

Losers, Weepers - Kay Starr

Gonna Get A Guy
Losers, Weepers
Kay Starr
Produced by Dave Cavanaugh
Capitol Records T1303

From the back cover: Kay, of course, has been famous for her easy, rhythmic style since she first started making Capitol records way back in 1947. She has gone on to become one of the most popular feminine vocalists in the business, with almost more hits that even she can keep track of. Her most recent album, "Movin'!", marked her first performance with the band of arranger-conductor Van Alexander, and here again she sings with Van. But this time, in keeping with the feelingful moods of these tunes, he provides a sympathetic background of strings that form a pleasing contrast to Kay's rhythmic designs. He has created another element of contrast, too, using the strings as a basic background through which glint mellow solo accents by muted trumpet and trombone, guitar, piano, and saxophone.

From Billboard - February 15, 1960: Kay Starr sings the low-down, too-sad-for-tears blues, and the upbeat, rowdy, happy rhythms, and does well by all as evidenced b y the selections in her Capitol album, Losers, Weepers. Single-wise, her newest is You Always Hurt The One You Love b-w Gonna Get A Guy. A confirmed California, the free time which Kay values so greatly is spent sailing a 72-foot sloop and playing a golf game in which she breaks 100 "if I break my back."

You Always Hurt The One You Love
I Should Care
I'm A Fool To Care
Don't Take Your Love From Me
When I Lost You
Only Forever
Gonna Get A Guy
Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone
I Miss You So
A Faded Summer Love
When A Woman
Loves A Man
Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Kay Starr In A Blue Mood

Kay Starr
In A Blue Mood
With Orchestra Conducted by Hal Mooney, Frank De Vol and ave Barbour
Capitol Records T-580

From the back cover: How do you become a blues singer?

Well, it isn't easy.

First, you pick out a day like July 21, 1922 and you say to yourself, This is for me, I'm gonna be born. And you are.

Where? There are a lot of good places, but Dougherty, Oklahoma will do. Especially since that happens to be where your folks are living at the time. Your folks, incidentally, aren't just plain old run-of-the-mill type parents. They've got a little Irish and Cherokee blood mixed up in them. And that never did anyone any harm.

Dougherty being what it is, or, more properly what it isn't, you and the family decided to move. Now, if you're going to wind up singing the blues, Dallas is a good place to start and Memphis is a good place to stop.

As a matter of fact, your first professional stop is WREC in Memphis, while you are still going to high school. A couple of radio fans named Joe Venuti and Bob Crosby hear you singing and decide that if you sound that good, you've just got to look that good. And since you do, they wind up with the perfect answer to what goes well in front of a jazz band.

For the next couple of years you go through your basic training by singing for these gentlemen, their bands, and several million people who either show up in person at the dance halls or catch the broadcasts over the radio. Two more years with Charlie Barnet, another character who knows the true and the blue, and you're ready to step out as a single. Which you do. El Rancho Vegas, Ciro's Mocambo.

Enter a five-year record company called Capitol, which is interested in signing up-and-coming singers to recording contracts. And since no one is more up-and-coming than you, Capitol signs you.

Recording history starts being made. Mama Goes Where Papa Goes, Hoop-De-Doo, Bonaparte's Retreat, Ain't Nobody's Business, I'll Never Be Free, Oh, Babe, Wheel Of Fortune, Kay's Lament, Three Letters, Noah, Side By Side, Fortune In Dreams, Comes A-Long A-Love, I'm The Lonesomest Gal In Town, When My Dreamboat Comes Home, Wabash Cannonball and many others. All of which is jukebox history.

So now you're a great blues singer. It has taken time, effort, heredity, environment, Vitamin B and powerful positive thinking.

Admittedly, this isn't the only way to become a blues singer.

But it's a very good way.

From Billboard - November 5, 1955: Capitol, Kay Starr's former label, has gathered together a dozen items which present the chanters at her bluesy best. Miss Starr, of course, has many fortes; but for purposes of atmosphere and mood this selection of tunes makes sense, and included "I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good," "What Will I Tell My Heart," "A Woman Likes To Be Told," "He's Funny That Way," etc. Hard to tell at this point how Miss Starr's present slow streak in the singles field will affect her as a catalog artist.

After You've Gone
A Woman Likes To Be Told
Maybe You'll Be There
I'm Waiting For Ships That Never Come
What Will I Tell My Heart?
He's Funny That Way
I Got The Spring Fever Blues
Don't Tell Him What's Happened To Me
I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good
Everybody's Somebody's Fool
It Will Have To Do Until The Real Thing

Lerner & Lowe Favorites - The Hollywood Studio Orchestra

Dark Eyes
Lerner & Lowe Favorites
By The Hollywood Studio Orchestra
Photo: George S. Whiteman
Crown Records CLP 5452

Thank Heavens For Little Girls
East Side West Side
Loch Lomond
I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face
I Could Have Danced All Night
Dark Eyes
Come Back To Sorrento
Wade In The Water

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Seven Lonely Days - Jean Shepard

Someone's Heartache
Jean Shepard
Seven Lonely Days
Produced in Nashville by Larry Butler
Capitol Records ST 8-0321

From the back cover: "Seven lonely days one lonely week. Seven lonely nights make one lonely me." As Jean Shepard sings these lyrics, you get the feeling that she's a lady who's been through love more than once. You get the feeling that the song really means something to her – the catch in her voice and the honesty of her phrasing tell it all the way every woman wishes she could.

Oklahoma-born Jean began working on her unbeatable singing style with Noble's Melody Ranch Girls when she was just sixteen. Then, Kay Starr and Hank Thompson were the performers she tried to model herself after as she worked at becoming America's greatest girl entertainer.

A lot of people would say Jean's fulfilled her ambition and got her wish – today she is America's greatest girl entertainer and this album is crammed full of Jean, her great style, and ten chart topping tunes. Nobody can sing the familiar Seven Lonely Days quite the way Jean can, and Sonny Jame's unforgettable hit, Invisible Tears may very well become a hit all over again with the touch of her soft womanly voice.

Charlie Louvin's song, Someone's Heartache and Merle Haggart's Today I Started Loving You Again are both here, performed by Jean as songs she likes to sing because they're meaningful. You could say the same thing for D-I-V-O-R-C-E too. It's a song about what can happen to a real woman interpreted through a real woman's mind – Jean Shepard's of course. And that's why she's the greatest – when artists, whether painters or singers can make their art seem real through the feelings put into it, they're great artists and you can be sure that Jean Shepard's going to be in their company for a long time!

Seven Lonely Days
Today I Started Loving You Again
Only Mama That'll Walk The Line
Invisible Tears
I'm Tied Around Your Finger
Second Place
You're Telling Me Sweet Lies Again
You Know Where You Can Go
Someone's Heartache