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Tuesday, March 24, 2020

My Own Quiet Way - Johnny Costa

Colorado Waterfall
In My Own Quiet Way
Johnny Costa and His Orchestra
Dot Ultra High Fidelity
DLP 3167

From the back cover: Certain cynical musicians are apt to proffer the suggestion that "if you don't know what to play, at least play loud."

Fortunately Johnny Costa hasn't ever had to follow this advice. He plays the piano, he has a lot to say, and he knows how to say it. In his own quiet way.

Best of all, listeners are getting Johnny's message. He spent something like five years as staff pianist at KDKA and KDKA-TV in Pittsburg, and during that time a large portion of Pennsylvania and the surrounding territory came to regard him as a very superior young performer. More recently he has played engagements at The Embers in New York City and various other spots around the country. Fame, which has its own quiet way of sneaking up on people, is working on Johnny. Wherever he plays, he leaves behind a fervent group of devotees, and this new Dot album will probably spread the word still more widely. Johnny Costa is ready, you might say, to become a famous man.

In My Own Quiet Way
Stairway To The Stars
I'll Never Be The Same
The Night We Called It A Day
A Last Good Bye
So Long
Colorado Waterfall
So Much So Very Much
Kiss And Run
Mercedes Bends
Singapore Sling

On The Town With The Sportsmen

When My Sugar Walks Down The Street
On The Town With The Sportsmen
Favorite Quartet Of The Jack Benny Show
Arranged and Conducted by John Rarig and Lew Raymond
Gold Award Records C-8042

Pressed on ruby red vinyl.

I Don't Stand A Ghost Of A Chance
Let's Take The Long Way Home
Mood Indigo
Don't Worry 'Bout Me
I'm Getting Sentimental Over You
Red Sails In The Sunset
When My Sugar Walks Down The Street

Monday, March 23, 2020

But Beautiful - The Will Bronson Singers

Memphis In June
But Beautiful
The Will Bronson Singers
Coolpix Records CP 467

From the back cover: Will Bronson is rapidly becoming one of the most-respected choral directors in the music industry. In addition to arranging for his own group, he also does independent writing for other artists. He first conceived the idea for The Will Bronson Singers in 1962, today they maintain a busy schedule of personal appearances and are heard on many of TV's more pleasant commercials.

From Billboard - July 18, 1964: Comfy and cozy vocalizing on 12 stalwart standards. The group offers up tenderly romantic versions of "Easy Street," "Moonlight Becomes You," "That's Love," "But Beautiful," "The Things We Did Last Summer," "Blue Moon" and others.

Easy Street
Moonlight Becomes You
Can't Get Indiana Off My Mind
Memphis In June
The Things We Did Last Summer
By The Bend Of The River
That's Love
But Beautiful
When You're A Long Long Way Form Home
Blue Moon
Where Or When
Spring Is Here

The Helen Morgan Story - Gogi Grant

Someone To Watch Over Me / The One I Love Belongs Someone Else
Warner Bros. Presents
The Helen Morgan Story
In Cinema Scope
Featuring The Voice Of Gogi Grant
Vocal Arrangements: Charles Henderson
Musical Directions by Ray Heindorf
An Original Soundtrack Recording
Cover Photo: Peter Gowland
RCA Victor LOC-1030

Why Was I Born
I Can't Give You Anything But Love
If You Were The Only Girl In The World
Do Do Do
Love Nest
Someone To Watch Over Me
The One I Love Belongs To Someone Else
Body And Soul
April In Paris
Speak To Me Of Love
More Than You Know
On The Sunny Side Of The Street
The Man I Love
Just A Memory
Deep Night
Don't Ever Leave Me
I've Got A Crush On You
I'll Get By
Something To Remember You By
My Melancholy Baby
Can't Help Lovin' That Man

Recital By Oscar Peterson

Pompton Turnpike
Recital By Oscar Peterson
Supervised by Norman Granz
Cover Photo by Herman Leonard
Clef Records MG C-694

From the back cover: We have here, in recital, the piano of Oscar Peterson – and a variety of moods. Literally, of course, recital isn't quite the word since Oscar is not alone but playing in close association with two, and in three sides, three, other first-rate artists. On all except one song on the A side, Oscar is accompanied by Herb Ellis, guitar, and Ray Brown, bass. The one exception is "Willow Weep For Me" in which Oscar is backed by Irving Ashby, guitar, and Ray Brown. The first three songs of the B side feature Louis Bellson on the drums in addition to Oscar, Ray and Herb – it's the trio alone in the final selection, "The Continental."

Peterson, a native of Canada, is barely into his 30s and has established himself as one of the foremost jazz pianists of our time. He has won numerous Down Beat and Metronome polls. Herb Ellis is a Texan, a onetime member of the Glen Gray Casa Loma and the Jimmy Dorsey bands forming the Soft Winds unit and later moving on to join forces with Peterson. A native of Pittsburgh, Ray Brown had early experience with Dizzy Gillespie's small group and big band and then became a member of Jazz at the Philharmonic. Irving Ashby, out of Somerville, Mass., attended New England Conservatory in Boston and has had experience with the Lionel Hampton band and the Nat "King" Cole trio, among others. Drummer Louis Bellson is from Rockford, Ill., and has played with a number of big bands, including Harry James, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey

Pompton Turnpike
Willow Weeps For Me
Soft Winds
Alone Together
Simple Life
Singin' In The Rain
Love You Madly
The Continental

Sunday, March 22, 2020

More Music In Motion - Larry Elgart

My Funny Valentine
More Music In Motion
Larry Elgart and His Orchestra
Recording Producer: Grace Elgart
MGM Recording Supervisor: Danny Davis
Recording Engineer: Ray Hall
Assistant Engineer: Don Miller
Mastering Supervisor: Bob Fine
21 Channel Sound
MGM High Fidelity

From Billboard - November 3, 1962: The Larry Elgart band is back with another adult dance album in the MGM stereo line. It's composed of the band's distinctive arrangements with bright speaker-hopping and highly danceable tempo tunes. The material is of the standard type with high touches of humor in the arranging. Fine easy listening fare and non-rock and roll programming material. "Peg o' My Heart," Swanee," "My Bonnie" and "After You're Gone" give some indication as to the types of material used.

Old Swanee
Come Rain Or Come Shine
Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams
When Your Lover Has Gone
Do It Again
My Bonnie
In A Little Spanish Town
Peg O' My Heart
Like Someone In Love
In A Sentimental Mood
My Funny Valentine
After You're Gone


Jimmy Wisner Trio
Featuring Milt Hinton, Osie Johnson, Dave Levin & Ace Tesone
Produced by Peter DeAngelis
Cover Art by "Chic" Of Chancellor
Cover Photo & Idea by Macey Lipman
Chancellor Jazz Series
Distributed by Am-Par Corp.


Jimmy Wisner - Piano
Milt Hinton & Ace Tesone - Bass
Osie Johnson & Dave Levin - Drums

One Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child, My Old Flame, Laura, Baby Shoes, Stella By Starlight: Milt Hinton and Osie Johnson

On Love Look Away, Apperception, Timeless, I'll Remember April, The Wing, Dave Levin and Ace Tesone

From the back cover: Apperception, a word which has had a long and somewhat confused history as a psychological and philosophical "term," relates in an illuminating way to the creative process. In one sense, "apperception" has to do with the active "ordering" (by the individual consciousness) of the chaotic, fragmentary sensations of "experience." It is this kind of "ordering" process by which the artist creates an esthetic object. Out of the constant flux of his experience he "forms" an esthetic whole based on this kind of apperception, and expressed in a particular medium – words, colors, tones.

From the jazz musician the problems of creation are highly complex. He is, after all, working to give some sort of esthetic unity, to an improvised performance which exists in a certain period of time, and which can never "exist" again, even on a recording. And there are so many unknowns. In a group improvisation, each musician, although thoroughly aware of the harmonic and formal structure of the piece, must play by means of his own continuous creative sense, always relating his own playing to what is actually going on. His whole range of musical and emotional experiences is involved – what he has heard and felt, what he is hearing and feeling during this performance, this chorus, this instant. And out of his experience, the sensations of the harmonics and structure of the piece, and the awareness of what the other musicians are playing, he must "form" a coherent and "meaningful" improvisation. All of this suggest the importance of "apperception" to the jazzman's art.

I think it may also be illuminating to describe Jimmy Wisner's personality in terms of his "apperception," He is not, first of all, the kind of musician who is totally involved in jazz to the exclusion of all "outside" interests. Although he has been "on the scene" as a jazz musician, his life is fare from one-sided. At 28, Jimmy maintains a variety of interests and activities which seem to give him a mature perspective on his creative work.

Last year, Jimmy graduated from Temple University, where he majored in psychology, and he is planning to do his post-gradate work at the University of Pennsylvania. At school, and through-out his his musical career, his circle of friends has always included creative people – writers, painters and, of course, other musicians. This kind of atmosphere naturally leads to a sharing of interests and information. For instance, a few years ago, there was a series of informal Shakespeare seminars, led by a friend who is an actor and an expert in the history of the drama. It was at that time, Jimmy recalls, that he was booed by a huge audience at a rock 'n' roll concert (where he was playing in the show band) when then M.C. "caught" him reading Richard II between acts Naturally, the rock 'n' rollers expressed their hostility. "It was a source of great amusement," Jimmy says.

Travel has also played a part in adding to Jimmy's over-all perspective. He has made several tours of Europe and the Far East, performing with his own groups and also sitting in with European jazzmen. At clubs like the Jazz Kellar, in Frankfort, Jimmy was quite impressed with the appreciation and understanding of the European audiences. He found them more interested in listening to the music itself than in merely going to jazz clubs to be chic, as some American club audiences unfortunately do. Like John Lewis and several other American musicians, Jimmy has become deeply interested in European culture – not in the sense of looking for direct musical influences, but for an increasingly varied range of experience.

Jimmy has always been interested in composition, and he devotes part of his time to writing popular songs, arranging his jazz compositions for big bands, and also to "serious" works, mostly for piano. His verbal wit, much respected by his friends is paralleled by a keen sense of musical satire, perhaps best illustrated in his Quince Street Stomp, composed for a writer friend who was learning to play piano. Of course, it is for his jazz compositions that Jimmy is best known, and his writing style is well represented on this album by Baby Shoes, Apperception, and the very usual Timeless.

It is the conscious ordering of these many aspects of personality and experience that the term "apperception" may be applied to Jimmy Wisner. He has developed the ability to form a coherent life-pattern from seemingly diverse experiences, much as a good jazzman shapes his improvisation.

Also from the back cover: Inspiration for this cover

Piet Mondrian (Mondriaan) 1872 -1944

The Dutch painter's style underwent many changes before becoming characterized by its simple expression of two straight lines meeting at a right angle. Founder of the school of neoplasticism, which concentrates on horizontal and vertical lines. Piet Mondrian was called the "Destijl Painter," meaning "pure clean lines." Mondrian's conception of abstract art furnished the basis for the cover of this album.

From Billboard - August 1, 1960: Jimmy Wisner is a pianist from Philadelphia who has something to say. His style is interesting and he has the ability to get across his modern jazz message via his own compositions and his solos. Heard here with his trio, Wisner comes thru with creative work that is worth a listen. Tunes include his own "Baby Shoes," "Apperception," and "Timeless," as well as a group of standards.

Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child
Love Look Away
My Old Flame
Baby Shoes
I'll Remember April
The Wind
Stella By Starlight