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Saturday, July 20, 2019

Ambiance - Marian McPartland

Sounds Like Seven
Ambience Or Ambiance
An Encompassing Atmosphere
Recorded July 1970
Cover Design & Collage: Joe Hendrick
Recording Engineer: Hank O'Neal
Halcyon Records HAL 103

The Marian McPartland Trio
Michael Moore: Bass
Jimmy Madison: Drums
Billy Hart: Drums

From the back cover: I imagine you would like to know something about the pieces on this album. All of Michael Moore's compositions – "Hide and Seek with the Bombay Bicycle Club," "Rime," "Sounds Like Seven," and "Wisdom of the Heart" – have been performed in clubs and at concerts we have done together, so they are not new, but the playing of them always is, for we are constantly creating fresh ideas for them.

We all felt very relaxed in the intimate setting of Sherman Fairchild's house. Sherman himself supervised the date in a casual, easy-going way, looking in on us every now and then to see how we were doing, making encouraging observations about the music as he heard the various playbacks.

It was sheer pleasure listening to each other, exchanging ideas, getting outside, and inside each piece – everything we did seemed to come off sell.

My own tune "Ambiance" was written after hearing Herbie Hancock's group while I was on the road last year. Listening to other musicians will often act as a catalyst for me, inspiring me to write music of my own.

Anyone who has been to Aspen, Colorado, can picture the aspen trees, their round, silvery leaves rustling in the soft breeze. Before the date we had just spent a week-end there, and I wanted to recreate the memory of it in the music. I had a certain sound in mind, which Jimmy and Mike captured perfectly with the wind chimes, and I reached into the piano and played on the strings like a harp. The wind chimes are so soft you hardly hear them at first, then Jimmy adds a touch of the brushes on the cymbal, and finally comes a little melodic line on the piano.

On "Rime" and "Hide and Seek" you can hear the ideas mesh, and the subtle changes in tempo. There's humor in the unexpectedness of Jimmy Madison's playing – he's fearless, darting in and out like quicksilver, scattering complex rhythmic patterns all around. The element of surprise is often apparent – Mike Moore suddenly stopped playing in the middle of "What is This Thing Called Love?", leaving Jimmy and me too develop an idea without him. That's what makes working with these musicians so exhilarating. – no matter what one of us might do, the others would be ready to embellish, carry on an idea, or start a fresh one.

"Sound Like Seven" is in 7/4 time – a repeating bass figure through which the drums keep a steady rhythm, a rubato melodic line on piano superimposed over the rhythm, but not in tempo with it – creating a sort of free-floating effect in contrast to the insistent bass figure, low-key, but intense. There is also some humor and occasionally sadness, that can change to excitement in a split second.

To me, playing this freely means discipline, and empathy with the other players, so that no one "takes over." Sometimes I might draw the thread of an idea from Mike, and interweave it into a pattern of my own, relinquishing it to Jimmy when he starts a contrasting rhythmic figure, so that there is constant shift of emphasis and a flowing through if ideas from one to another.

Billy Hart plays drums on only two tunes – "Glimpse' and "Wisdom of the Heart." His style is different from Jimmy Madison's in that it is more taut, more percussive, and his ideas, like Jimmy's are strongly individual, forceful and direct. He develops some interesting effects on "Glimpse" with wood block, bells, cymbal, and a variety of drum-beats that give it form and shape we hadn't planned when we started. As a matter of fact, we hadn't planned anything when we started!

Mike thought that everyone played quite differently on this session. "We were freer and looser than in a club," he said, "and this has never happened to me before on a record date. Everything was relaxed, light, and happy." And it really was. – Marian McPartland

What Is This Thing Called Love
Sounds Like Seven
Three Little Words
Hide And Seek With The Bombay Bicycle Club
Lost One
Why Wisdom Of The Heart

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Trumpet On Tour - Jonah Jones

Sam's Pretty Blues
Trumpet On Tour
Jonan Jones"
Baronet Records Inc.

From the back cover:

About The Musicians

Jonah Jones has been around long enough to know what it takes to win the affection and respect of varied audiences. Although night-clubbing New Yorkers and sophisticated Parisians seem to have taken credit for "discovering" Jonah, the true jazz afficiendo is aware that he is a veteran of just about every jazz organization that you can think of. A genuine and outstanding trumpet stylist in his own right, the great wonder to many, is why the so-called "discovery" took so long.

"Wailing Jonah" was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1909. He played his first job with a local band in 1927 and then went on to work with Horace Henderson, Jimmie Lunceford, Stuff Smith, Lil Armstrong, McKinney's Cotton Pickers, Fletcher Henderson and Cab Calloway. In the past few years he has gained further stature as a soloist with his own groups and as a free-lance recording artist. Aside from the invaluable attribute of nearly faultless technique, Jonah Jones' trumpet work is characterized by exuberance, humor and, when the occasion demands, deeply felt and highly organized musical thought.

Same Price, to those who know, is just about the greatest blues pianist extent. Hailing from Honeygrove, Texas where he was born in 1908, Sam learned his way around the "ivories" by watching and following the keys of the player piano as they stomped out the rhythm intricacies of the ragtime piano rolls made by the forgotten greats... Tom Turpin, James Scott, etc.

Apart from his extensive recording activities, Sam led a band in New York's Cafe Society, worked with Sidney Bechet, Stuff Smith and Hot Lips Page, was a disc jockey on WPEN in Philadelphia, and was the leading participant in the International Jazz Festival held in Nice. This recording offers jazz fans their first opportunity to savor the extraordinary vigor of Sam Price's piano playing in a setting unrestricted by time limitations.

On trombone we have Vic Dickenson, a musician accepted as a master by his colleagues in all schools of jazz. Almost completely self taught, Vic was born in Xenia, Ohio in 1906. His family moved to Columbia where he began to find jobs with local bands as early as 1922. During the Roaring Twenties, Vic toured extensively throughout the Middle West with various now-forgotten bands. In 1931 he joined Blanche Calloway, then worked with Claude Hopkins, Benny Carter, Count Basie, Sidney Bechet, Hot Lips Page, Frankie Newton and Eddie Heywood. In the past few years, Vic has had his own band and has become a fixture in New York and Boston jazz circles, recording extensively and always ranking high in the annual polls of instrumentals run by musicians' trade papers.

We come next to Pete Brown, whose rollicking alto sax made New York's 52nd Street a happier place to visit in the years when jazz flourished there. Pete is from Baltimore, where he studied violin under the guidance of his parents, both professional musicians. After playing the fiddle in a local theater pit orchestra, he switched to alto sax and augmented his income by playing in local bands. Pete moved to Harlem in 1927 and settled down at the Capitol Club, where he doubled on soprano sax and trumpet. From then until now, New York has been Pete's main headquarters – working both uptown and down with dozens of small jumping groups, making scores of records, many of them under his leadership.

On drums we have one of the masters, Cozy Cole. Born in 1909 in East Orange, New Jersey, Cozy did not begin his musical studies until he was eighteen. Later on, incidentally, one of his teachers was Saul Goodman, timpanist with the New York Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra. Cozy began his professional career with Wilbur Sweatman in 1928, his own band shortly afterwards, and then worked with Blanche Calloway. Before retiring from road work and opening his own successful drum school in New York, Cozy toured for several years with Louis Armstrong's All-Stars, holding down the solo and ensemble spotlight with the great Satchmo.

Milt Hinton, who holds down the bass spot on this record, was born in 1910 in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and began his career in Chicago in 1922, first with Eddie South and then with Erskine Tate. He was with Cab Calloway from 1937 to 1942, and since then has been one of the most active and "in demand" bass players in the business, recording with modern, swing, dixieland and what-have-you groups as well as with combos under his directions.

Jumpin' On 57th
Sam's Pretty Blues
If I Could Be With You
Pete's Delta Bound
Jonah Whales Again
Stormy Weather
Walkin' And Shoutin' The Boogie
Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone
Manhattan Blues

The Big Latin Band Of Henry Mancini

Touch Of Evil

The Big Latin Band Of Henry Mancini
Henry Mancini And His Orchestra
Produced by Joe Reisman
All Music Arranged by Mr. Mancini
Recorded in RCA's Music Center of the World Hollywood, California
Recording Engineer: Mickey Crofford
Liner Photo by Ron Joy - Gamma Ltd.
RCA Victor LSP-4049

The Magnificent Seven
Springtime For Hitler
Theme From "A Fistful Of Dollars"
Touch Of Evil
The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
Mission: Impossible Theme
Norma La De Guadalajara
Hang'Em High
Las Cruces

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Xochimilco - Peter Nero

Sound Of Silence
Peter Nero
Arranged by Peter Nero
Produced by Al Schmitt
Recorded in Webster Hall, New York City
Recording Engineer: Mickey Crofford
Piano by Steinway
RCA Victory LSP-3814

"Peter Nero composed the song Xochimilco for the people of Mexico in honor of the 1968 Olympics to be held there."

The Sound Of Silence
Winchester Cathedral
A Man And A Woman
A Walk In The Black Forest
Canadian Sunset
Summer Samba

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Paris Night Life - Tony Murena

Les Mirettes
Paris Nightlife
Tony Murena and His Musette Orchestra
Flag Of France International Series
Mercury Records MGI 201

Tango De L'Arc En Ciel
Comment Voulez-Vous
Je Te Tendrai Les Bras
Joue Papa
Les Mirettes
Le Soleil
Accordeon Argentin
Le Serait Dommage
P'Tit Rhum
La Chanson D'Orphee

Monday, July 15, 2019

Sounds - Anita Kerr

The Beat Goes On
The Anita Kerr Singers
Produced by Anita Kerr
Arranged and Conducted by Anita Kerr
Engineers: Lee Herschberg and Bill Halverson
Art Direction: Ed Thrasher
Warner Bros - Seven Arts Records, Inc.
WS 1750

Anita Kerr: Soprano and Soloist
B. J. Baker: Alto
Gene Merlino: Tenor
Bob Tebow: Bass

From Billboard - May 25, 1968: The Anita Kerr Singers combine pleasant harmonies with a light, refreshing repertoire to come up with another winner. There's a buoyant "Happiness" and a romantic "I'm Falling In Love Again." And there's some good solo work by Miss Kerr.

Wine In The Wind
Say You Do
I'm Falling In Love Again
Long Live Our Love
I Would Love You
The Beat Goes On
The Two Of Us
I've Got Love Going For Me
They Always Ask Me
Swinging On A Star

Hallelujah Hamp - Lionel Hampton

Hallelujah Hamp
Lionel Hampton
Art Director: Sheldon Marks
Verve Clef Series MGV-8226

Personnel on "Tenderly" and "Hallelujah": Lionel Hampton, Vibes; Oscar Peterson, Piano; Ray Brown, Bass and Buddy Rich, Drums

On Hamp's Boogie Boogie", "A Foggy Day", "Honeysuckle Rose", and "Indiana", Herb Ellis is added on Guitar.

From the back cover: It's been many years since 'Hamp' made his first record. (It was with Louis Armstrong in October of 1930.) He's traveled many a mile since then... As I dare-say have you... and I. But with Hamp it's all been good... and it's all been swinging'. Adored all over the world is he. A gentleman... A talent... A musician... But even over all of these... A great heart. And, like the body around it.. Man, it swings!

From Billboard - December 23, 1957: A loose, informal session notable for rapport among the players – B. Rich, O. Peterson, R. Brown, H. Ellis and Hampton. Latter is central and catalytic figure, with pleasing, building continuity in his extended solo stints, pushing his colleagues to better things. Taking lead rom Hamp, set has more of a swing feel than anything else, in spite of presence of modern players. Better sound and balance would have added appeal.

Hamp's Boogie Boogie
A Foggy Day
Honeysuckle Rose

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Music For Your Listening Pleasure - Alfred Newman

Music For Your Listening Pleasure
Alfred Newman and His Hollywood Symphony Orchestra
Mercury Records MG 20038

From the back cover: In his (Newman's) capacity as general musical director of 20th Century-Fox Studios, he has one of the biggest musical responsibilities in the entire entertainment world. He is the possessor of four Academy Awards for his musical scores of "Alexander's Ragtime Band", "Song Of Bernadette", "Tin Pan Alley" and "Mother Wore Tights". Other great dramatical films which have been graced with Newman's musical touch are "Wuthering Heights", "How Green Was My Valley", "Keys Of The Kingdom", "Wilson", "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn", "Leave Her To Heaven," "The Grapes Of Wrath" and many others.

Many critics have likened Mr. Newman's musical insight (the quality of being able to bring out the true meaning of the composer) to that of Toscanini.

Tambourin Chinois
Alt Wein
Hora Staccato
La Rosita
Polka (From Schwanda)
Dance Of The Comedians
Midnight Bells
Minute Waltz - The Bee
Polonaise In A Major

Day In Hollywood - Doris Day

I May Be Right
Day In Hollywood
Doris Day
In Hit Songs From Her Motion Pictures
Photo Courtesy MGM Studios
Columbia CL 749

Tea For Two
Lullaby Of Broadway
Cuddle Up A Little Closer
I May Be Wrong
Makin' Whoopee!
Be My Little Baby Bumble Bee
Secret Love
Till We Meet Again
Ain't We Got Fun?
Just One Of Those Things
It Had to Be You
Love Me Or Leave Me