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Saturday, June 20, 2020

Ellington At Newport

Blues To Be There
Ellington At Newport
Newport Jazz Festival
Recorded in performance at the American Jazz Festival at Newport, R.I., on July 7, 1956
Columbia CL 934

From Billboard - December 29, 1956: Herein is the Ellington performance that stampeded last summer's Jazz Festival and brought the Duke back into the jazz picture, but good. The number that blew things apart was "Diminuendo" and Crescendo in Blue," with its 27 consecutive tenor sax choruses by Paul Gonsalves. One can hear and feel the crowd and then the band catch fire. Unfortunately, Gonsalves was off the recording mike throat, or this package could be a runaway. As is, it will only be a hit. Rounding it out is the fine new "Newport Jazz Festival Suite" and a remake of "Jeep's Blues," featuring the wonderful Johnny Hodges.

Festival Junction
Blues To Be There
Newport Up
Jeep's Blues
Diminuendo And Crescendo In Blue

The Children's Bible

The Creation Of The World
The Children's Bible
Best Loved Stories
A Peter Pan (32 page) Book And (2 disc) Record Set
Audio Production, Arrangement and Direction: Marty Gold
Text Adaptation: Stanley Silverstein
Editing, Cover and Interior Art and Design: Arvid Krudsen and Associates
Danmar International

I'm A Woman - Peggy Lee

Come Rain Or Come Shine
I'm A Woman
Peggy Lee
Produced by Dave Cavanaugh
Cover Photo: John Engstead
Capitol Records ST 1857

From the back cover: Benny Carter conducts on "I'm A Woman" and "I'll Get By." Dick Hazard on all the rest. The instrumentalist include such topflight jazz musicians as trumpeter Manny Klein, drummer Stan Levey, pianist Mike Malvoin, bassist Max Bennett, guitarists John Pisano and Al Hendrickson, and others equally distinguished, who play with skill and subtlety that provide Peggy Lee with plenty of room in which to swing!

From Billboard - February 23, 1963: This is one of Peggy's most entrancing albums. The thrush tackles a collection of current pop hits and shows how they should sound in the hands of a finished singer like Miss Lee. Here are songs like "The Alley Cat Song," "One Note Samba," "There Ain't No Sweet Man That's Worth The Salt Of My Tears" and "I'm Walking'," plus the title tune. A lovely set.

The Alley Cat Song
Mama's Gone, Goodbye
I'm Walkin'
Come Rain Or Come Shine
There Ain't No Sweet Man That's Worth The Salt Of My Tears
I'm A Woman
Mack The Knife
You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You
I'll Get By
I Left My Heart In San Francisco
A Taste Of Honey
One Note Samba

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Danke Schön - Eddie Cano

Mr. Lucky
Danke Schön
Eddie Cano
Reprise R9 - 6105
Essex Productions, Inc.

Eddie Cano - Piano
Fred Aguirre - Drums
Leon Cardenas - Bass
Carlos Mejia - Conga

Cano's fourth album for Reprise.

Danke Schön
Days Of Wine And Roses
Baby Elephant Walk
Teach Me Tonight
Theme From "Dime With A Halo"
Hello, Young Lovers
Our Day Will Come
Moon River
A Taste Of Honey
Mr. Lucky
What Kind Of Fool Am I

Tuxedo Junction - A Tribute To Glenn Miller

Tuxedo Junction
Tuxedo Junction
A Tribute To Glenn Miller
Promenade Records Long Play Hi-Fi 2050

Moonlight Serenade
American Patrol
Poor Butterfly
Little Brown Jug
In The Mood
Pennsylvania 6-5000
Tuxedo Junction
St. Louis Blues
I Understand
String Of Pearls
Love Theme

Jack Fina Plays Boogie Boogie

After Hours
Jack Fina Plays Boogie Woogie
Dot Ultra High Fidelity DLP 3243

From the back cover: The velocity and dexterity of Jack Fina's digital extremities at the pianoforte are virtually incalculable. Which is just another way of saying: Man, like he plays a whole bunch of piano! The truth of this statement will become readily apparent to anyone sampling the selections which are etched in these grooves.

For his first Dot album, Jack has chosen a group of songs which are not usually considered "boogie-woogie-type." Here he has lent his patented boogie woogie treatment to such tunes as Deep Purple, Temptation, Kitten On The Keys, Swanee River, the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto, Flight of the Bumblebee and others.

The later selection, known as Bumble Boogie, had a lot to do with establishing Fina as one of the country's leading piano stylists. Some fifteen years ago, Jack performed the arrangement for a hit recording with the Freddy Martin Orchestra. In addition, he was the pianist on such famous Martin recordings as Warsaw Concerto, Tonight We Love, the Rachmaninoff Concerto and the Grieg Concerto.

Following these triumphs with the Martin Ork, Fina formed hi own orchestra and began playing the nation's better hotels. He continued with this orchestra until early in 1959, at which time he disbanded and formed a trio. He is currently playing an indefinite engagement at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles. It is this trio of Jack, Tiny Magardo on drums and Herb Lessner on bass, which performs on this album.

Born in Clifton, New Jersey, Jack began taking piano lessons at the age of seven. He earned a teaching degree at New York College of Music, while organizing and playing with dance bands around town. Prior to joining the Freddy Martin Ork, Jack was staff pianist at Radio Station WOR in New York and also toured with the Clyde McCoy band.

So here, once again, are the fabulous pianistics of Jack Fina. He displays the same sparkle and pyrotechnic
al ability which skyrocketed him to national prominence. Like, man he's the most – at least!

From Billboard: January 4, 1960: Jack Fina, who used to perform on wax with the Freddy Martin crew, turns in a bright group of readings here of a collection of standards, played in clever boogie-woogie style. Selections include "Kitten on the Keys," "Ballin' the Jack," "Begin the Beguine" and "Honky Tonk Train."

X-Temporaneous Boogie
Deep Purple Boogie
Kitten On The Keys Boogie
Temptation Boogie
Boogie Woogie
Bumble Boogie
Swanee River Boogie
Concerto Boogie
Ballin' The Jack
After Hours
Honky Tonk Train
Begin The Beguine Boogie

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Dancing At The Tavern-On-The-Green - Milt Saunders

Caravan / Who's Sorry Now / Hey, Mr. Banjo
Dancing At The Tavern-On-The-Green
To Milt Saunders and His Orchestra
Seeco Records, Inc.
Celebrity Series Hi-Fi CELP 408

I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me
Sweet Lorraine
Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea
For Me And My Gal
I Can't Give You Anything But Love
Mademoiselle De Paree
Merry Widow
Tales From The Vienna Woods
Take Me In Your Arms
Serenade In The Night
All My Love
Sophisticated Lady
Mood Indigo
Smoke Rings
It Must Be True
Cha Cha Cha In The Park
Stars Fell On Alabama
I Don't Stand A Ghost Of A Chance With You
I Surrender Dear
O Sole Mio
Tango In The Park
That's My Desire
I've Got The World On A String
Blue Lou
Who's Sorry Now
Hey, Mr. Banjo
Girl Of My Dreams

Sing Me A Sad Song - George Hamilton IV

Your Cheatin' Heart
Sing Me A Sad Song
A Tribute To Hank Williams
George Hamilton IV
Arranged and Produced by Don Costa
Orchestra Conducted by Nick Perito
Design: F. Scott & F. Schutz
Photo: Black Star
ABC Paramount Hi- Fidelity ABC-251
A Product Of Am-Par Record Corp.

House Of Gold
I Can't Help It
How Can You Refuse Him Now
I Could Never Be Ashamed Of You
Half As Much
(I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle
Your Cheatin' Heart
I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
Take These Chains From My Heart
Wedding Bells
Cold Cold Heart
You Win Again

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

New Sounds On Broadway - Edmundo Ros

Gonna Be Another Hot Day

New Sounds On Broadway
Edmundo Ros And His Orchestra
Arrangements by Roland Shaw
London LL 3352

The Cutty Wren
High Is Better Than Low
Gonna Be Another Hot Day
Waiting' For The Evening Train
My Wish
Here And Now
That Man Over There
I'll Remember Her
Is It Really Me
London (Is A Little Bit Of All Right)
You Don't Know
Where Are You

Monday, June 15, 2020

An Evening With Eddie Heywood And Billie Holiday

Lover Man
An Evening With Eddie Heywood And Billie Holiday
Cover Photo: Chuck Stewart
Commodore FL 30001

Eddie Heywood- Piano
Doc Cheatham - Trumpet
Lem Davis - Alto Saxophone
Vic Dickenson - Trombone
Al Lucas & John Simmons - Bass
Jack Parker & Big Sid Catlett

From the back cover: This further restoration of Jazz from the Commodore catalogue combines eight performances by an Eddie Heywood combo with four more or the best Billie Holidays ever made. (Another twelve are now available on Commodore FL 30,008)

The Heywood band was working at Cafe Society Downtown when these sessions were made. Eddie had been born in Atlanta, Georgia, December 4, 1915. His father was a prominent pianist and leader. Garvin Bushell, a charter member of the Fletcher Henderson band, describes the senior Heywood as "the greatest pianist of his day in that area. And they used to tell me young Eddie played like his father. The father was considered quite modern for his time."

Eddie studied with his father, and had made a professional appearance by the time he was five. He became known on the jazz scene through his work with Benny Carter in 1939 - 40, and then he played rooms like The Village Vanguard in New York. His record of Begin The Beguine – contained in this album – made him into a pop music personality of a kind in the next few years, but he had to stop playing between 1947 and 1951 because of partial paralysis on his hands. He's worked the club circuit in recent years. Once again, through an even more commercial recording, Canadian Sunset, Eddie's career has been reinvigorated in the past couple of years.

On these 1944 sessions, Eddie did all the writing, and by and large, the band was intended to complement him as the primary soloist. As a soloist, Eddie was most noted, Doc Cheatham recalls, for his left hand, for the fact that his bass lines were usually very skillful and inventive. Dic himself is a trumpet player of consistent taste who has never received much of the recognition due him. In recent years, he has been mostly working with Machete and on occasion with the Wilbur DeParis and with which he traveled to Africa on a State Department-sponsored tour in 1957, Doc's work is characterized by clarity and economy – and a singing line.

Vic Dickenson is thoroughly unique – a trombonist with wit, warmth and "shaggy dog" tone (as one of the younger players put it) who is always personal and yet can fit easily into nearly any kind of band from Dixieland to at least early modern. His uniqueness is in his conception which communicates a wry, perceptive spirit that has known scuffling but hasn't let the struggle embitter or enervate him. Lem Davis, an alto player who could and should have become more prominent, played as Doc remembers, "with more subtle harmonic sense than most of us had then and with much delicacy. He was a little ahead of the time. So was Jack Parker, the drummer." Bassist Al Lucas was a familiar participant in the New York jazz scene of the forties, and more recently, worked for a time with Teddy Wilson.

Begin The Beguine surprised everybody that year. Comodore had had a "hit" of some proportions in Billie Holiday's Fine And Mellow in 1939, but Heywood's Begin The Beguine was something else. Jack Crystal, a vital sustaining force at Commodore for many years, remembers bringing one of the first copies of the record to the widely listened to ABC network show Alan Kent and Ginger Johnson handled late at night during that era. "I knew something was going to happen with the record," says Jack, "when calls began to come in from network personnel all over the country." It also, as I remember, started a lot of imitations.

The four Billie Holiday performances are as important as the previous dozen already reissued. Of that first twelve (Commodore FL 30,008), Glenn Coulter wrote in The Jazz Review: "... it would be fruitless to invent fresh ways of commending performances which Commodore rightly calls classic... A jazz collection without these performances would be a poor things indeed."

Coulter, who has written more illuminatively about Billie's style then anyone else, also said in that review: "Billie's superiority... has always rested in transcending her materials: hacking off melodic excess, and attacking the words with, alternately, deeper conviction and greater contempt. The ambiguity is, in her best performances, elusive and unpredictable, gives even rather foolish songs a startling resemblance to real existence, and, since the process is just as musical as it is verbal and operates like opposing mirrors, results in fascination rather than monotony... Billie Holiday's desire to phrase like a horn, not just to sing, enhances words as well as music. It is a vocal approximation of th instrumentalists bowing or plucking or whatever it is, and stifling the voice's natural vibrato in favor of one that is rare and eccentrically placed. These characteristic of her style mean that each syllable seems unnaturally distinct, as if each were a stone plopped into a pool of still water..."

Miles Davis talks about her rhythm: "She sings way behind the beat and then she brings it up – hitting the right on the beat. You can play behind the beat, but every once in a while you have to cut into the rhythm section on the beat and that keeps everybody together... What I like about Billie is that she sings it just the way she hears it..."

Billie talked about the first jazz she heard during a conversation a few months ago. In describing it, she also verbalized how her own singing effects those of us who feel she has always been – and still is – nonpareil. She was talking about Louis Armstrong's horn: " He didn't say any words but somehow it just moved me so. It sounded so sad and so sweet all at the same time. It sounded like he was making love to me. That's how I wanted to sing." – Nat Hentoff, Co-Editor, The Jazz Review

Begin The Beguine
Embraceable You (Holiday)
Carry Me Back To Old Virginia
Save Your Sorrow
I Love My Man (Holiday)
I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me
I Cover The Waterfront
As Time Goes By (Holiday)
Lover Man
Love Me Or Leave Me
I'm Yours (Holiday)
Blue You

Carmen Operatic Highlights

Operatic Highlights
French Opera Company
Recorded In Europe
Plymouth Merit P 10-29 LONG PLAY

Duet Of Don Jose And Micaela
Prelude To Act II
Toreador's Song
Prelude To Act III
Card Scene
Prelude To Act IV

More Of Other Worlds, Other Sounds - Esquivel

Street Of Dreams
More Of Other World, Other Sounds
Esquivel - His Piano and His Orchestra
Produced by Albums, Inc.
Cover: Norman Gollin
Art Directions; Merle Shore
Reprise Records R-6046

From the back cover: For those of you who not speak Spanish, I could tell you that the name Esquivel, translated into English, means "exciting," or "enchanting," or "exotic," "effervescent," "ebullient," or even "electric," and any one of these words might be true. As a matter of fact, they are all true when we speak about Juan Garcia Esquivel in any or all of his roles as composer, arrangers, pianist, conductor, or in his complete personality as a man.

This album is the total effort of many talented people: musicians, singers, recording engineers, and technicians, but the driving force comes from lonely the vivid musical imagination of Juan himself. It is the culmination of years of experimenting to find orchestral colors and rhythms that would affect the listener in the same manner as he would be affected by meeting this artist in person, because Juan and his music are the same, vital and stimulating.

I have been the musical director of Revue Studios for eight years and I have always been interested in finding new talent to write the musical scores for the programs that are seen and heard each week by people all over the world. About five years ago I was introduced to Esquivel through one of his early albums, recorded in Mexico. I felt at the time the here was one of the freshest, most exciting interpreters of contemporary music that I head heard. This feeling became even more intensified when I heard his album Other Worlds, Other Sounds, recorded by RCA Victor, in which his ideas and experimentanitions had reached the vertex in achievement. I decided that if Juan ever got near Hollywood I would throw a rope around him and keep him here. He did come eventually, and I found that I did not need a rope, since one of his main interests was to write dramatic music for motions pictures and television. Again, in this field of music, I found Juan to be most inventive, sensitive, and understanding. Millions of television viewers have heard his humor, warmth, and his great dramatic feeling in the background music of "The Tall Man," Markham," and "The Bob Cummings Show." The public's reaction has been most gratifying to me; the mail has told me what an important contribution Juan has already made to contemporary music. And I am now even more convinced that great things are still to come from him in the field of motion picture and television. – Stanley Wilson

The Breeze And I (Andalucia)
Chant Of The Night
Canadian Sunset
Street Scene
I Get A Kick Out Of You
Street Of Dreams
La Mantilla
One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)
Dancing In The Dark

Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben Webster

Chelsea Bridge (mono)

Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben Webster
Cover: Gene Grant
Art Direction: Merle Shore
Verve Records MG V-8343

Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben Webster
Cover Photo: Bill Claxton
Verve STEREO MF VS-68343

Gerry Mulligan - Bariton Saxophone
Ben Webster - Tenor Saxophone
Jimmy Rowles - Piano
Mel Lewis - Drums
Leroy Vinnegar - Bass

From the back cover: "In listening to Gerry Mulligan," Dave Brubeck once said, "you feel as if you're listening to the past, present, and future jazz, all in one tune, and yet it's done with such taste and respect that you're not even award of a change in idiom." Composer George Russell has called Gerry "Mr. Mainstream," and Mulligan himself has always made it clear that his tastes in jazz are far from limited to the modernists. "A musician," has has pointed out in Down Beat, "has to know not only why he's blowing but the history of the language he's using."

For some years Mulligan has expressed deep interest in recording with older players, and this meeting with Ben Webster is one of a series of such encounters planned by Norman Granz that also includes Mulligan sessions with "mainstream" modernist Stan Getz. I remember a pervious occasion in December, 1957 on which Gerry and Ben were in the same group – the CBS-TV hour of "The Sound Of Jazz." Gerry was the only younger player in a reed section that consisted of Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, and Earl Warren, part of a big band assembled for that program and led by Count Basie. Gerry was selected for that company because by musical temperament and adaptability, he fitted in naturally.

The rhythm section for this date is uncommonly right for the Webster-Mulligan meeting. Rowles, Lewis and Vinneagar all base their playing on a knowledge of "the history of the language" they're using, and all three have secure, relaxed time. Furthermore, all three get solid, rounded sounds from their instruments. Rowles, a particular favorite of Webster, is one of the more unheralded full-bodied swingers in jazz. His playing in ingratiatingly personal, and is marked by remarkably unerring taste in choice of notes and avoidance of superfluity. Vinegar has one of the biggest tones of any jazz bassist and is strongly dependable foundation. Lewis is as in context with a big band as he is with a small combo.

One of Ben Webster's more definitive solos while Duke Ellington as in Billy Strayhorn's Chelsea Bridge. He begins this version in much the same tenderly retrospective mood with Mulligan providing a wave-like background. I doubt if any contemporary tenor saxophonist of any jazz "style" can match the largeness of Ben's tone and feeling on ballads. Mulligan's baritone solo sustains the original mood as Gerry makes that unusually rough-voiced horn sing with a mellowness of tone and a flowing phrasing that are impressively moving. His conception as a whole is as clear and fully formed as that of the better of the older "mainstreamers," Ben ends the Bridge with another beautifully constructed and swelling sensitive set of variations of past passion passionately remembered. – Nat Hentoff

From Billboard - March 14, 1960 (VERVE MGVS 6104 STEREO): The great baritone sax artist and the great tenor sax man team forces for a six-track set that get better with each new band, ending with a fine outing on "Sunday," the oldie. Set is especially effective in stereo. Both the artists blow up a storm, and buffs should flock to the set. Accompanying are Jimmy Rowles, piano; Mel Lewis, drums and Leroy Vinnegar on bass.

Chelsea Bridge
The Cat Walk
Who's Got Rhythm
Tell Me When
Go Home