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Saturday, April 18, 2020

Artistry In Rhythm - Stan Kenton

Artistry In Bolero
Artistry In Rhythm
Stan Kenton
Capitol Records T167

Come Back To Sorrento - Arranged by Pete Rugolo

Scored with unusual ingenuity, this lovely Italian folk melody is presented as a showcase for Vido Musso and his big-toned tenor sax. Mood-provoking throughout, "Sorrento" is distinguished by an out-of-tempo introduction which leads into Musso's soulful solo designs, spectacularly climaxed by a forceful coda which finds him blowing a stirring concert G above high C, a note that any musician will confirm simply "ain't on the horn."

Just A-Sittin' And A-Rockin' - Arranged by Gene Roland

June Christy proves that jazz has room for two rocking' chair ladies. With the Kenton crew sitting right behind her. June opens up on this Ellington-Strayhorn-Gaines standard and sings the lonely story as it should be sung. She and all the boys rock slowly but solidly in the finest-swing tradition.

Fantasy - Arranged by Stan Kenton

Kicked off at bright tempo, this Kenton original is built around a sixteen-measure theme in which whole tones are emphasized; Stan's patent piano paces the proceedings, giving way to unison trumpets, a Musso tenor sax exhibition and an alto sax takeoff by Boots Mussulli, Bassist Sagranski, meanwhile, is plucking rich, resonant figures – and employing double stops – to pace the rhythm section's efforts. "Then it get heavy," Stan says, summing up the final portion, "with the bass screaming and everyone blowing up."

Opus In Pastels - Arranged by Stan Kenton

Composed and arranged by Kenton himself in 1941 when his band was first organized, "Opus In Pastels' is the only side in the album that is reminiscent of the early Kenton "Balboa Beach" style. No brass is employed; five saxophones carry the load throughout. Bob Gioga's deep baritone anchors the section a full two octaves below the sterling lead alto of Al Anthony. This was, originally, is Stan's words, "a sort of exercise for the reed." Richly melodic, its belated conceptions of the leader.

Soothe Me - Arranged by Pete Rugolo

A slow, bluesy Joe Greene composition, featuring June Christy on the vocal. She sings with her usual easy yet authoritative jazz style and the band remains subdued while accompanying her. When she stops for a breath, however, the band jumps in, bright and shinning, making the number a captivating two-tone affair.

Cocktails For Two - Arranged by Pete Rugolo

This popular favorite turns out to be a springboard with plenty of bounce. Stan himself leads off with a tasty piano solo, giving way to a pair of contrasting and well-matched trumpets – Chico Alvarez soaring into outer space with a big, bright tone, and Ray Wetzel dancing around nimbly behind his mute. A searching tenor sax solo by Vido Musso leads into an ensemble ending with the whole group swinging solidly home.

Artistry In Bolero - Arranged by Pete Rugolo

Sagranski's bass and Kenton's pianologies set the mood for an original Rugolo manuscript that is reminiscent of the Ravel "Bolero," On this, the entire orchestra participates with fever and enthusiasm, building to a dramatic finale following tasteful solo contributions by Vido Musso, tenor sax, and Kai Winding, trombone. Composer-arranger Rugolo has interwoven an exciting series of key changes with gradually-increasing dynamics.

Ain't No Misery In Me - Arranged by Gene Roland

Blonde June Christy paradoxically denies she has the blues by singing the blues – not the conventional twelve-bar variety, but a modern, sophisticated blues from the pen of Gene Roland. Winding's trombone and Boot Mussulli's alto sax rate the instrumental spots. A temp change that adds contrast to the indigo vocal introduction. Credit Buddy Childers with leading the powerful five-man trumpet sections on the climatic final chorus.

Safranski (Artistry In Bass) - Arranged by Pete Rugolo

Unquestionably one of the most popular and gifted string bassists, Eddi Safranski takes the solo spotting throughout this impressionistic opus – another of the Rugolo original compositions – blowing and plucking his instrument with a technique and skill that indicates why professional musicians rate him a virtuosos of the first magnitude. In his passages with Kenton at the piano this mastery is clearly evident.

Santa Lucia - Arranged by Pete Rugolo

Tenor sax man Vido Musso rides his reed from start to finish on this one. Beginning with a legit chorus of the old Italian favorite, Musso quickly takes off with some strictly non-Neapolitan noodling. The band is with him the whole way, providing a broad, solid background for his theme and variations.

Willow Weep For Me - Arranged by Pete Rugolo

There is a strong Debussy "feel" to the opening measures of this ballad, which originally attained wide popularity in the early 1930s. Eight measures of Kenton's solo piano, with Safranski's bass evident, have ebbs written by Rugolo in a two-bar train pattern, followed by muted trumpets and then trombones suggesting a doubling of tempo, all, of course, serve as inventive, unusual accompaniment for June Christy's uninhibited projection of the lyrics. Kai Winding's trombone anticipates a change of key and a return to the original piano bass figure.

Artistry In Percussion - Arranged by Pete Rugolo

Shelly Manne takes over on this, a Pete Rugolo original composition, following a Stravinsky-like orchestral introduction in which Rayh Wetzel's trumpet sets the melodic structure and paces a delicately-phrased Kai Winding solo trombone passage. Manne, employing three tom-toms as well as bass and snare drums, pounds a novel pattern, solo, against the intriguing tone colors of the full ensemble

Friday, April 17, 2020

Dance Time - Earl Bostic

Sweet Lorraine
Dance Time
Earl Bostic And His Alto Sax
King 525

From the back cover: Jazz enthusiast everywhere have, for years, hailed the originality for Earl Bostic. As arranger, conductor and performer, Earl's work shows the polish and finesse that is achieved only through years of constant dedication to the profession of Jazz music.

A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Earl Bostic moved, via the showplaces of New Orleans, to New York. Sidewalk with such greats as Don Redman, Cab Calloway and Lionel Hampton schooled Earl in the art of Jazz and deeply enriched his outlook towards the music world. In 1939, eager to front his own group, Earl was booked into Small's Paradise in Harlem – an engagement which was so successful that it lasted for four years. Stints with the late Hot Lips Page and Lionel Hampton followed before he fronted another group.

1945 was the turning point in Earl's career, for it was early in this year that he and his new aggregation swung out with such greats as "845 Stomp" and "That's The Groovy Thing" which established him as a top-flight instrumentalist. Other musicians chancing his writing ability – Few forgot Gene Krupa with "Let Me Off Uptown," or Louis Prima and "Brooklyn Boogie," or Alvino Ray's waxing of "The Major And The Minor."

Throughout the years, Earl Bostic's popularity has been unquestioned. He and his group have been booked in almost every major club in the country and they do a yearly two-week engagement in Alaska, which is evidence of his personal appearance appeal, and his record sales show that the admiration for one Earl Bostic is every growing.

From Billboard - February 23, 1957 (review of King 395-525): Actually, this one is hard to categorize, and there should be sales to R&B, jazz and pop customers, not to mention teen-age rock and rollers. It's Bostic's fourth LP, and most of the 12 sides, if not all, have been cut as singles. Some reflect the alto-man's recent tendency to choke and growl in the best R&R commercial tradition. "Harlem Nocturne," the teen dance fave, gets a polished rundown the deejay's will like. Also includes "Off Shore," "Melancholy Serenade," etc. For all shops.

Harlem Nocturne
Where Or When
Sweet Lorraine
You Go To My Head
Off Shore
The Moon Is Low
Ain't Misbehavin'
The Sheik Of Araby
I Hear A Rhapsody
Roses Of Picardy
Melancholy Serenade

Wild Is The Wind - Nina Simone

Either Way I Lose
Wild Is The Wind
Nina Simone
Produced by Hal Mooney
Philips Hi-Fi Monophonic PHM 200-207

From Billboard - July 2, 1966: The piano-voice blending of Nina Simone is in high stride as she winds her way through some nifty songs material. She sets up an exceptional romantic mood that offers top listening delights.

I Love Your Lovin' Ways
Four Women
What More Can I Say
Lilac Wine From "Dance Me A Song"
That's All I Ask
Break Down And Let It All Out
Why Keep On Breaking My Heart
Wild Is The Wind
Black Is The Color Of My True Love's Hair
If I Should Lose You
Either Way I Lose

Calypso - Lord Foodoos

Back To Back, Belly To Belly
Mister Calypso
Featuring Lord Foodoos
And His Calypso Band
Production Supervisor: Jack Holzman
Cover Design: William S. Harvey
Recorded in Jamaica B.W.I.
Elektra EKL-127

Back To Back, Belly To Belly
Don't Touch Her Tomato
One Little Lover
Stone Cold Dead In The Market
That's How Me Come Over
Lady Trelalay
Drive Her Home
Hold 'Em Joe
Peas And Rice
Lousy Mother-In-Law
Jamaica Farewell

I Concentrate On You - Dinah Washington

I Concentrate On You
Dinah Washington
Mercury Records MG 20604

From the back cover: Author Carl Van Vechten, writing about a meeting with Bessie Smith, noted, "This was no actress; no imitator of a woman's woes; there was no presence. It was the real thing – a women cutting her heart open with a knife until it was exposed for all of us to see, so that we suffered as she suffered, exposed with a rhythmic ferocity, indeed, which could hardly be borne."

There aren't any blues singers like Bessie in our time, but as Alberta Hunter (composer of Down Hearted Blues) has remarked, "No, they don't have blues singers now like they had then, except maybe Dinah Washington."

Just as Bessie Smith was the peerless leader in her time, so has Dinah Washington wholly mastered the blues competition on the contemporary scene. For soulful singing, Dinah can't be surpassed; the pointed definition by Van Vechten could apply to her. Raised in an environment (in Chicago) that emphasized the role of the church, she played piano for her church choir and came to understand the problems of man as only the music of the church can express them. In her years as a singer, she hasn't forgotten her heritage. She sings simply and directly, with an earthly quality that communicates instantly. Her singing is gimmickless, clear and warm.

Crazy Love
Fool That I Am
I Concentrate On You
Lord You Made Us Human
The Song Is Ended
Good Morning Heartache
While We're Young
I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good
Show Me The Way

King Curtis - Live At Small's Paradise

Soul Theme
King Curtis
Live At Small's Paradise
Supervision: Tow Dowd
Recording Engineers: David Braithwaite, Joe Atkinson & Bobby Wright
Cover Photo: Lee Friedlander
Cover Design: Loring Eutermey
ATCO 33-198
Atlantic Recording Company

This album was recorded in its entirety at Small's Paradise in New York. Atlantic Records gratefully acknowledges the kind cooperation of Wilt Chamberlain and Pete McDougal during the recording of this album.

King Curtis: Tenor Sax & Saxello
Willie Bridges: Baritone Sax
Melvin Last: Cornet
Cornell Dupree: Guitar
Charles Rainey: Electric Bass
Ray Lucas: Drums
King Curtis (Road Runner vocal)

Tough Talk
Philly Dog
Blowin' In The Wind
Medley: Peter Gunn / Get Along Cindy
Pots And Pans
The Shadow Of Your Smile
Road Runner
Something On Your Mind
Soul Theme

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Arnold Schonberg - Pierrot Lunaire, Op. 21

Part 1: Poems 1 - 7
Arnold Schoenberg
Pierrot Lunaire
Melodrama for Recitation and Chamber Orchestra, Op. 21
Conducted by Arthur Winograd
Speaker: Alice Howland
Piano: Edward Steuermann
Flute and Piccolo: Lois Schaefer
Clarinet: Donald Lituchy
Bass Clarinet: David Kalina
Violin and Viola: Robert Koff
Cello: Seymour Barab
MGM Records
A High Fidelity Recording E3202

From the back cover: Schoenberg' melodrama Pierrot Lunaire was completed in Berlin in 1912 and can be said to have been composed during that period of his development in which tonality, due to the every-increasing use of chromatic alteration, had ceased to function, but had not yet been replaced by the twelve-tone system. Organization has been achieved by the tying together of musical elements in an atonal composition through the repetition of linear motives.

Some of the pieces have been realized in strict counterpoint: No. 8 (Nacht) is a passacaglia: No 17 (Parodie) contains a double canon; and No. 18 (Mondfleck) is a three-part fugato accompanied by a double retrograde canon (the fugato in the piano extending for the length of the piece while the canon between the piccolo and clarinet turns about at the half-way point and appears backwards, last note to first).

In terms of expressive power, one is made conscious of the fact that each of the twenty-one pieces, adhering to highly specific programmatic illusions, has emerged with its own clearly etched profile, and has been made to function as a seemingly inevitable part of the congruent whole.

The three times seven poems of Albert Giraud, upon which the work is based, were translated into German by Otto Erich Hartleben.

Communication - Nelson Riddle

Uptown Dance
Nelson Riddle
Produced by Willi Fruth and Claus Ogerman
Recorded at Bavaria Tonstudio, Munich
Engineering: H. Kramper
Photos: Hubertus Mall and Dorte Groning
Design: MPS Atelier / Reilly
1972 (disc date) 1973 (jacket date)

Born Happy
A Night Of Love
Uptown Dance
Time And Space
Volcano's Daughter
Romantic Places
It's Your Turn
Greenwich Village

L'Arlesienne - Andre Kostelanetz

Danse Bohémienne 
Andre Kostelanetz and His Orchestra
Columbia Records
CL 739

L'Arlesienne Suite No., 1
L'Arlesienne Suite No. 2
Danse Bohémienne (From "La Jolie Fille de Perth")

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Jazz Dance Session

Beat Drum Beat
Jazz Dance Session
The Alan Swain Orchestra
Orion High Fidelity Records
LP 101

From the back cover: All life is movement to Chicago Choreographer Gus Giordano, whose own life is. He graduated straight from the University of Missouri to Broadway, where summa cum laude is a matter of talent and timing. On Broadway as a featured dancer he shed himself of any ivory-towered conception of the dance. Performances in such hits as Wish You Were Here, Guys And Dolls, and Damn Yankees gave him some raw jolts and exciting ideas. He left the neon embrace of New York to evoke some glitter of his own. With his fine flare for mixing and matching music and movement, the glitter has reached the explosive stage. In three years he has (1) become the leading modern jazz choreographer and teacher in the Middle West, (2) originated a TV jazz-dance series, (3) taught his free-style technique for the National Association of Dance Masters (Chicago), the Texas Association of Dancing Teachers, the Hinote Dance Festival and at dance conventions from Little Rock and Indianapolis to Denver and in-between, (4) found a bailiwick as a choreographer for industrial films, summer musicals in upstate New York and at Music Theatre, Highland Park, Illinois one of the top summer theaters in the U.S. Now, with this album ("there is a basic need for blending the dance and music experience,") Gus Giordano has added a body beat to the hot-cool tree of jazz, one that will set any pulse bouncing.

A drum-led combo led by Bobbie Christian on timpani-timbales and Maurie Laurie on drums and bongos fashioned some new "beat" crystals in this ten-selection album that may cause some reflection in the less-progressive jazz circles. Both Bobbie and Maurie are almost lyricists with percussion instruments and are in constant demand as recording artists. In the filigreed department of the quintet is Alan Swain, well-known Chicago bandleader and jazz pianist who wrote and arranged all of the selections. Trumpet spicing is by Dick Judson, most recently with Les Elgart and Warren Time, staff musician at CBS television who has made the rounds with Ray Anthony. The flute-like sound on several of the numbers is Warren playing his trumpet without a mouthpiece.

Cha-Cha Tropicale
Drums For Hire
Blues For Drums
Jazz Mambo
Drums Allegro
Frankie And Johnny Cha-Cha
Beat Drum Beat
Leap Frog (March)
Lazy Bongos

The Jazzbone's Connected To The Trombone - Bobby Byrne

Wild Bones
The Jazzbone's Connected To The Trombone
Bobby Byrne
Joins With Four Other Great Trombonists
And An All-Star Rhythm Sections
To Present Exciting Jazz Moods
Produced and Originated by Enoch Light
Cover Painting For The Grand Awards Collection by Irwin Rosenhouse
Grand Award Record Company

From the back cover: If any single musician can fill the gap left in the top ranks of trombone virtuosos by the death of Tommy Dorsey, that musician is Bobby Byrne. From the ultra-smooth, singing tone on ballads to the rough, lusty jazz attack, Bobby's playing parallels the remarkable scope of the great T. D. And it is not presumptuous to speak of Bobby Byrne filling Tommy Dorsey's shoes because Bobby has done it before – when Tommy was alive and Bobby was only 17.

It happened in 1935 when young Bobby was a member of the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra. In the Spring of that year came the celebrated argument that broke up the Dorsey Brothers band – when Tommy accused Jimmy of setting the tempos too fast and then stalked off the stand to start a band of his own. Jimmy moved Bobby Byrne into Tommy's chair, gave him all of Tommy's parts to play. And Bobby took over so completely and so well that, instead of being lost in the shadow of the great trombonist he had replaced, he became such a musical personality in his own right that within four years he was able to launch a highly successful band of his own.

Today Bobby Byrne is not only an unusually brilliant and polished trombonist but he is a musician with ideas. In this album he explores the excitingly rich and varied musical sounds that can be drawn from a full trombone ensemble. He has brought together three different groups of top trombonists for these pieces, groups which include Lou McGarity, a master of an exuberant, rough-and-tumble trombone style; Urbie Green, who has ranged from suave to swing with Woody Herman, Benny Goodman and other great bandleaders; Frank Rehak, one of the brightest new jazz trombone stars; Bob Alexander, who followed Bobby Byrne in Jimmy Dorsey's trombone section; and bass trombonists Tommy Mitchell, Dick Leib and Dick Hixon. The Rhythm section that supports the trombone ensembles has been chosen with the same care. It is made up of four remarkably imaginative and flexible musicians – Moe Wechsler, piano, Tony Mottola, Guitar, Jack Lesberg, bass, and Terry Synder, drums – who have worked together so frequently that they contribute to each piece as closely knit unit as well as individual stars.

Speak Low
Sometimes I'm Happy
I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)
After You've Gone
Street Of Dreams
Wild Bones
That Old Black Magic
I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues
I Get A Kick Out Of You
Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea

Love Makes The World Go Round - Anna Maria Alberghetti

Love Make The World Go Round
Love Makes The World Go Around
Anna Maria Alberghetti
Arranged and Conducted by Luther Henderson
Cover Photo: Howell Conant
Recording Engineer: Phil Ramone
Produced by Howard Scott
MGM High Fidelity E 4001

From the back cover: Anna Maria began her flirtation with music on the day she was born. Her father, who had once been a singer, had set his heart on having a boy who would carry on his own career. But when the nurse announced that the newest Alberghetti was very much a girl, he decided then and there "I'll make a singer of her anyhow."

Maestro Alberghetti was as good as his word, Anna Maria made her vocal debut at the advance age of six. The occasion was a hospital benefit in the bomb-shattered island of Rhodes. In the audience sat a high Italian official who was so impressed with the girl's talent that he arranged the family's escape from the war-torn island.

For the rest of the war, the Alberghettis took refuge in the Italian countryside. With the coming of Allied troops, however, Anna Maria emerged from the farm to sing to the GIs. The American went wild over her – as they have ever since.

When Anna Maria was thirteen, the family came to the United States. Anna was already a seasoned veteran of European concert stages and almost the first thing she did upon arrival was to take hard-bitten Carnegie Hall by storm. Then following a dizzying round of appearances in concerts, on television and – inevitably – in motion pictures. She won kudos for her touching film performance in the Gian-Carlo Menotti's spine-chiller, "The Medium."

Since then Anna Maria has set her sights more and more on the world of popular entertainment. She restyled herself from a child prodigy into a sophisticated show-woman. Summers were spent in stock theatre, where she sought out those roles that would let her develop as an actress. Winters were spent in nightclub engagements, where she became the darling of sophisticated ringsiders.

Then, last season, along came "Carnival" – with its ready-made role for her unique gifts as singer and as actress. And the rest is show business history. – Notes by Freda Bright

While We're Young
Where Are You
I Want To Be Happy
Hi-lili Hi-lo
More That You Know
It's A Most Unusual Day
Don't Worry 'Bout Me
I Don't Know Why (I Just Do)
How Long Has This Been Going On
This Can't Be Love
Do It Again "Theme From Carnival!" (Love Makes The World Go Round)

Porgy And Bess - The Original Cast Album

It Takes A Long Pull To Get There
Selections From George Gershwin's Folk Opera
Porgy And Bess
George Gershwin, Du Bose Heyward & Ira Gershwin
The Original Cast Album
Featuring Todd Ducan, Anne Brown, The Eva Jessye Choir, Edward Matthews, Helen Dowdy, William Woolfolk & Avon Long
Decca Symphony Orchestra
Alexander Smallens, Conductor
Decca Records DL 9024

Act 1 – Scene 1
Overture and Summertime (Anna Brown)
A Woman Is A Sometime Thing (Edward Matthews assisted by Harriet Jackson with Eva Jessye Choir)
Introducing Summertime
Act 1 – Scene 2
My Man's Gone Now (Anne Brown with Eva Jessye Choir
Act 2 – Scene 1
It Take A Long Pull To Get There (Edward Matthews)
I Got Plenty O' Nuttin' (Todd Duncan with Eva Jessye Choir)
Buzzard Song (Todd Duncan with Eva Jessye Choir)
Bess You Is My Woman (Todd Duncan and Anne Brown with Eva Jessye Choir)
What You Want Wid Bess? (Anne Brown and Todd Duncan)
Act 2 – Scene 3 (Street Cries)
(a) Strawberry Woman's Call (Helen Dowdy assisted by Gladys Goode)
(b) Crab Man's Call (William Woolfolk assisted by Georgette Harvey)
I Loves You, Porgy (Todd Duncan and Anne Brown)
Act 3 – Scene 1
The Requiem (Eva Jessye Choir)
Act 3 – Scene 2
There's A Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon For New York (Avon Long and Anne Brown)
Act 3 – Scene 3
Porgy's Lament and Finale (Todd Duncan with Eva Jessye Choir)

Monday, April 13, 2020

Percussion Around The World - International Pop All Stars

April In Portugal
Percussion Around The World
International "Pop" All Stars
Phase 4 Stereo SP 44010

The Poor People Of Paris
The Third Man Theme
La Montana
The Children's Marching Song
April In Portugal
Never On Sunday
Japanese Sandman
Cielito Lindo
Auf Wiederseh'n Sweetheart

Sweet Piano Melodies - Jean Paques

Blue Skies
Sweet Piano Melodies
Jean Paques and His Sweet Music
Photo: Murray Laden
Richmond High Fidelity
A Product Of London Records
B 20050

From Billboard - November 16, 1959: Sweet tunes, sweetly played, with the piano of Jean Paques featured, are the strong points of this new album. The tunes include "Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody," "Blue Skies," "Tea For Two," and other standards.

A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody
'S Wonderful
I'm Alone
Broadway Melody
Blue Skies
Tea For Two
For You Only
I Can't Give You Anything But Love
Goodnight, Sweetheart

Sunday, April 12, 2020

The Shadow Of Your Smile - Phil LaPenna

The Nearness Of You
The Shadow Of Your Smile
Phil LaPenna
Director: K. Warriner
Engineer: G. Starr
A Product of Arc Sound LTD., Toronto, Ontario
ARC AS-734

From the back cover: Phil LaPenna is undoubtedly one of the most outstanding organists in Canada today. Equally at home on pipe or theatre organs, he has performed all over Canada in concert, in nightclubs, and has also played many serious recitals. In addition he was featured regularly on CBC network shows. During the last few years he has concentrated on single concerts with an occasional foray into the nightclub field, and has devoted much of his remaining time to teaching and composing.

The music on this album was specially selected to show off his dynamic technique on the Baldwin Theatre organ. Phil's masterly arrangement of Tico-Tico played at a tremendously fast pace, shows to the full what a brilliant musician can accomplish on a really first class instrument. Making full use of the vast musical vocabulary built into the Baldwin Organ, and with the assistance of Keith Chappell on drums, Phil LaPenna switches from the toe-tapping sounds of "Hoedown Holiday" to the soft and subtle "I'll Close My Eyes" with the greatest of ease, and with the tongue in cheek humor, transports the listener to the cobble-stoned street in a Bavarian Village for a real beer-drinking polka. To round out the program, he swings into a driving up-tempo version of "Meditation" and beautifully performed versions of "The Carioca" and "Moon Over Naples" among other selections.

The Shadow Of Your Smile
Hoedown Holiday
Moon Over Naples
Baron Bonschittenhelm's Bavarian Polka
The Mexican Hof
The Carioca
Lara's Theme
I'll Close My Eyes
Brazilian Polka
The Nearness Of You