Search Manic Mark's Blog

Friday, June 18, 2021

Deuces Wild - Frankie Laine

Gamblin' Woman

Deuces Wild
Frankie Laine
Produced by Irving Townsend
Cover Photo: Leigh Wiener
Columbia Records CL 1696
1962

The Hard Way
Campton Races
Luck  Be A Lady
Get Rich Quick
Horses And Women
Moonlight Gambler
Ace In The Hole
The Man Who Broke The Bank At Monte Carlo
Dead Man's Hand
The Roving Gambler
Deuces Wild
Gamblin' Woman

Mood For Love - The Four Aces

 

Pennies From Heaven

Mood For Love
By The Four Aces
Featuring Al Alberts
Vocal With Orchestra Directed By Jack Pleis
Decca Records DL 8122
1955

From the back cover: Although The Four Aces were organized only a few years ago, they have become one of the most prominent groups of singers in the country. They are, as the name indicates, a quartet – a quartet whose manner is unique and whose production is amazing.

The story of how they came together is something of a legend. Al Alberts was finishing a thirty-eight month hitch in the Navy when he met Dave Malhoney in – of all places – Argentia, Newfoundland, where Dave, a skilled musician, was stationed with a Navy band. Before the war Al had sung with Elliot Lawrence and Jan Savitt. He had decided on a career in journalism and was attending Temple University, although Uncle Sam had turned him into a radio operator. His ship put into Argentia for supplies; Al found himself transferred to the Newfoundland base; on his off-time he sang with the band – and there he met Dave. This meeting in far-off Newfoundland was a strange geographical twist, for both boys came from neighboring towns in Pennsylvania.

After being discharged in 1946 Al and Dave decided to concentrate on a combined singing career. Dave was good man on trumpet and sax and, when they decided to form an instrumental group, they added Sod Voccaro on trumpet and Lou Silvestri on drums. It was a pleasant coincidence that Sod and Lou were also local boys – in fact all four grew up and went through school in Pennsylvania.

They began by playing only on a part-time basis – all of them held jobs during this period. Soon, however, there was a great demand for their vocal services. After they made their first great hit with a song called "Sin", they were booked into night clubs and theaters throughout the land. With Decca they produced hit after hit – their first Decca record, "Tell Me Why," reached the million mark.

From Billboard - June 4, 1955: It makes commercial sense to package 12 tunes by the popular group. The disk has the typical Four Aces style and infectious beat. Included are "I'm In The Mood For Love," "Melody Of Love," "Strangers In Paradise," "Let's Fall In Love," "There Goes My Heart," etc. The Album could quickly take its place among the best selling pop packages.

I'm In The Mood For Love
What A Difference A Day Made
Stars Fell On Alabama
There Goes My Heart
Melody Of Love
Pennies From Heaven
Let's Fall In Love
Don't Take You Love From Me
It's The Talk Of The Town
Three Coins In The Fountain 
Stranger In Paradise
I'm Sitting On Top Of The World

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Pianorama - Teddy Wilson & Eddie Heywood

 

Cheek To Cheek

Pianorama
Teddy Wilson & Eddie Heywood
MGM Records E3093
1954

Teddy Wilson

Strange Interlude
All Of Me
Long Ago (And Far Away)
Why Shouldn't I?
Sunny Morning
Hallelujah!

Eddie Heywood

Perdido (Lost)
It's So Easy To Remember
Stormy Weather
Memories Of You
Chol-e
Cheek To Cheek

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Standards ...With A Latin Beat - Miguelito

 

Petite Fleur 

Standard ...With A Latin Beat
Miguelito and His Piano Rhythms
Cover Design: Harry Farmlett
Richmond Percussive Stereo Series RPS 39001
A Product Of London Records

Mack The Knife
Petite Fleur 
Theme From Limelight
Memories Are Made Of This
No Other Love
Mr. Wonderful
On The Street Where You Live
When I Fall In Love
The Poor People Of Paris
When The Saints Go Marching In

Two Of A Mind - Desmond & Mulligan

 

Blight Of The Fumble Bee

Two Of A Mind
Paul Desmond & Gerry Mulligan
Produced by Bob Prince and George Avakian
Recorded in RCA Victor's Studio A, New York City
Recording Engineers: Ray Hall, Bob Simpson, Mickey Crofford
RCA Victor LPM-2624
1962

From the back cover: Two of the finest talents to emerge in the post-war jazz generation are brought together here for a happy, informal, yet earnest session of music-making. Individually, Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan can each look back at a decade of winning jazz polls – Paul as the alto saxophonist of the Dave Brubeck Quartet, and Gerry as a baritone saxophonist who has led his own groups for many years, ranging from a quartet to a full-sized band.

In this era when television ratings, trade publication charts, and popularity polls have become impossible to ignore if one earns a livelihood in the light arts, it is rare to find such camaraderie between two star performers as this collaborative album exudes. Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan are not only old friends who came up at about the same time on the big-band jazz scene, but their strong feelings about the role of ensemble playing in jazz makes them ideal partners for a get-together such as this. There is never the slightest hint a a "cutting" session; always they work together toward the same ensemble conception, even though each is also one of the greatest soloists in jazz today.

Also from the back cover: The rhythm section in these performances varied from session to session because the recordings had to be made in sessions several weeks apart during the summer of 1962; as Paul and Gerry traveled in and out of town for their respective engagements, so did the other musicians, so that is was never possible to get the same men together at the same time. In fact, the dates always seemed to take place as one principal was unpacking a suitcase and the other one was about to catch a plane. Wendell Marshall and Connie Kay play bass and drums respectively in All The Things You Are; they are replaced by Joe Benjamin and Mel Lewis for Stardust, Two Of A Mind and Out Of Nowhere; John Beal and Connie Kay are heard in Blight Of The Fumble Bee and The Way You Look Tonight.

From Billboard - November 10, 1962: Modern jazz listeners should welcome this one with open arms. It spotlights two of the most eloquent witty and swinging jazz musicians in jazz today playing together. Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan, on alto and tenor sax respectively, have a soft, breezy and yet thoughtful album here six tracks long. They are accompanied only by drums and bass both are given to easy, relaxed improvisations on standards and originals. "Stardust" and "All The Things You Are" are representative of the first, with "Blight Of The Fumble Bee" indicative of the latter.

All The Things You Are
Stardust
Two Of A Ming
Blight Of The Fumble Bee
The Way You Look Tonight
Out Of Nowhere

Guitar Tapestry - 16 Of The World's Greatest Guitarists

 

I Love You

Paganini's 24th Caper

Guitar Tapestry
Sensational Recordings By 16 Of The World's Greatest Guitarists 
Produced by Enoch Light
Associate Producers: Tony Mottola & Jeff Hest
Engineers: Steve Friedman, Phil Ramone & Don Hahn
Mastering: Al Brown
2-Record Set
Project 3 Total Sound PR2-6019/6020SD
1975

I Love You - Joe Pass
Steeplechase Lane - Chet Atkins
Solo Flight - Charlie Christian
Yesterdays/Yesterday - Tony Mottola
Tequila - Jay Berliner (fuzz guitar solo) with the Guitar Factory
Sunny - Wes Montgomery
Lover - Les Paul
Bewitched - Tony Mottola
You Showed Me - Vinnie Bell with The Glittering Guitars
Stagefright - Tony Mottola and The Quad Guitars (Al Caiola, Done Arnone, Vinnie Bell, Al Casamenti)

Paganini's 24 Caper - Tony Mottola and The Quad Guitars (Al Caiola, Done Arnone, Vinnie Bell, Al Casamenti)
Moonlight In Vermont - Johnny Smith
Lush Life - Bucky Pizzarelli
Yellow Rose Of Texas - Eric Weissberg, 5 string banjo; Bucky Pizzarelli, guitar; Tony Mottola, tenor banjo; Vinnie Bell, dobro and The Nashville Jets
Where The Grass Is Green - Tony Mottola and Tip Of The Iceberg
Satin Doll - Tony Mottola and Bucky Pizzarelli
"Danza" and "A Jig" - Joseph Iadone (lute)
Your  Cheating Heart - Eric Weissberg (pedal steel guitar), Vinnie Bell (electric guitar) and The Nashville Jets
Squawk Talk - Don Young (Albano) with Tip Of The Iceberg
Chicken-A-La Swing - Tony Mottola and The Quad Guitars (Al Caiola, Done Arnone, Vinnie Bell, Al Casamenti)

Jazz Festival In Stereo - Near In And Far Out

 

Yet Nevertheless


Jazz Festival In Stereo
Near In And Far Out
Cover Photo: George Pickow / Three Lions, Inc.
Warner Bros. Records 1281
1959

Under The Paris Skies
The Chico Hamilton Quintet
Gongs East

I've Found A New Baby
The Trombones, Inc.
The Trombones, Inc.

Bidin' My Time - But Not For Me - Embraceable You
Ruby Braff and The Shubert Cats
Ruby Braff Goes "Girl Crazy"

Anything Goes
The First Jazz Piano Quartet
The First Jazz Piano Quartet

Candlelights
Dick Cathcart, His Trumpet and Orchestra under the direction of Warren Baker
Bix Mcmlix

Five Foot Two, Eyes Of Blue
Marty Matlock and The Paducah Patrol
Four Button Dixie

Yet Nevertheless
The Fred Katz Orchestra
Folk Songs For Far Out Folk

Here's A How-Dee-Do
Jim Timmens and His Jazz All-Stars
Gilbert And Sullivan Revisited 

Blue Ribbon Charleston
The Bob Prince Tentette
Charleston 1970

You're Devastating 
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
The Morris Nanton Trio
The Original Jazz Performance Of Roberta

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Hugo In Wonderland - Hugo Montenegro

 

Too High

Hugo In Wonderland
Hugo Montenegro
Interprets The Genius Of Stevie Wonder
Arranged and Conducted by Hugo Montenegro
Produced by Dave Blume for Red River Productions, Inc.
Featured Vocalist: Larry Muhoberac
Arp Synthesizers programmed by John Montenegro 
Moog Synthesizer programmed by Dick Hamilton
Remixed by Rick Ruggieri
*Recorded by Rick Ruggieri
**Recorded by Brain Christian and Micky Crofford
Recording Technician: Steve Francisco
Art Direction: Frank Mulvey
Illustration: David Jarvis
RCA APL 1-0413
1974

From Billboard - July 15, 1974: Artistic brilliance emanating from Montenegro's painstaking desire to create a new sound, a new image for Stevie Wonder's music highlights this totally spine-tingling project. Totally new and fresh and wholly commercial, the LP used five synthesizers in a refreshing new fashion. All the arrangements for the 10 Wonder hits are the result of Montenegro's nine months of research into Wonder's music, the key elements in soul and jazz music plus a hardline attitude toward challenging the ability of synthesizer musicians to come up with enervating new sounds. The 10 cuts are masterpieces of blending the melodic strength of Wonder's material with the superb instrumental arranging skills of Mr. Montenegro, whose new sounds are alive and vitally contemporary. Playing Hugo's charts are such key players as Larry Muhoberac, Tom Scott, Hal Blaine, Larry Clinton, Wilton Felder, John Montenegro and Carol Kaye.

Best cuts: "Living For The City," "Higher Ground," "Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing," "All In Love Is Fair," "Shoo-Bee-Doo-Bee-Doo-Da-Day"

Dealers: This stereo version will make a superb demo in-store disk; the quadrasonic version due shortly is spectacular in terms of 4-channel effects

** Living For The City
Bass: Chuck Berghofer
Drums: Ron Tuft
Guitar: Larry Carlton
Keyboards: Larry Muhoberac, Dick Hamilton, Clare Fischer
Percussion: Bobby Hall

* Too High
Bass: Carol Kaye
Drums: Hal Blaine
Guitar: Larry Carlton
Keyboards: Larry Muhoberac
Percussion: Bobbye Hall
Woodwinds: Tom Scott
Trumpet: Chuck Fndley

* Superstition
(Same personnel as "Too High")

* You Are The Sunshine Of My Life
(Same personnel as "Too High")

* My Cherie Amour
Bass: Wilton Felder
Drums: Hal Blaine
Guitar: Larry Clinton
Keyboards: Larry Muhoberac
Woodwinds: Tom Scoot
Fleugel Horn: Gary Barone

** Higher Ground
Bass: Larry Clinton
Drums: Hal Blaine
Guitar: Larry Clinton
Keyboards: Larry Muhoberac, Dick Hamilton
Percussion: Bobbye Hall

* Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing
(Same personnel as "Too High")

* Shoo-Bee-Doo-Bee-Doo-Da-Day
(Same personnel as "Too High")

* You've Got It Bad, Girl
Bass: Wilton Felder
Drums: Hal Blaine
Guitar: Larry Clinton
Keyboards: Larry Muhoberac
Percussion: Bobbye Hall
Woodwinds: Tom Scott
Fleugel Horn: Gary Barone

* All In Love Is Fair
(Same personnel as "You've Got It Bad, Girl)

Radio Jingles - 1961

 

Radio The Best Sound Around

Keep In Touch

Radio The Best Sound Around
Jingles
A NAB Public Relations Aid
Produced by Faillace Productions, Inc., New York
Cover Design: Sanders & Noe
Recorded at Bell Sound Studios, New York, Feb. 17, 1961
Pressed through the facilities of the Am-Par Record Corp.

The Vocalists: Darlene Zito, Jimmy Brown, Marilyn Palmer, Mac Perrin and Little Ryan

The Musicians: Bob Haggart, Bass; Nick Tagg, Piano; Stan Webb, Baritone Sax; Ed Shaughnessy, Drums; Tony Mattola, Guitar; Urbie Green, Trombone; Toots Mondello, Alto Sax; Denny Perri, Bass; Al Mattalinao, Trumpet; Sylvan Shulman, Violin; Julie Shacter, Violin; Harry Melnicoff, Violin and Felix Orlewitz, Violin

Imported Carr - American Gas! - Carole Carr

 

Smoky Morning

Imported Carr
American Gas!
Carole Carr, British TV Singing Sensation
The Pure Cashmere Voice Of British Vocalist Carole Carr In Her First Album
Arranged and Conducted by Warren Baker and Pete King
Produced blu Bill Stewart
Cover Photo by Gene Kornmann
Recorded in Hollywood
Warner Bros. High Fidelity WS 1316
1959

From the back cover: For those who haven't heard the voice of Carole Carr, words are going to have a tough time describing it. Even though her vocalizing has been the subject of some of the most enthusiastic accolades ever accoladed, none of them seems to do justice. Jimmy Van Heusen, a top song writer in anybody's book, put it simply. He said, "This is one of the best girl singers I've ever heard ever." Other comments were not quite so reserved.

This couldn't have happened if Carole had not had the sound background she's acquired. It all started at her first public appearance at the age of three. Much against the wishes of her grandfather (a "Golden Voiced Tenor" in an English variety act called the Alabama Minstrels), Carole stood atop a piano and sang "I Don't Know What I Love You Like I Do." Unfortunately she hadn't learned the end of the song and was forced to repeat the chorus three times. She was carried off the stage still singing. She has never stopped.

Carole has gone on to become one of the top popular singers of the British Isles and the Continent. She has toured the war fronts from London to Korea, has had her voice beamed to troops around the world; has sung with such will-known English bands as Jack Payne and Geraldo, and is consistency heard on radio and seen on television in innumerable series.

They Can't Take That Away From Me
To Love And Be Loved
You Bring Out The Lover In Me
He's My Guy
Come Runnin'
I'll Build A Stairway To Paradise
Regular Man
He's A Tramp
As I See It
I Poured My Heart Into A Song
Smoky Morning
I Am Loved

Lab '67 - North Texas State University Lab Band

 

Anadge

Lab '67!
The North Texas State University Lab Band
Leon Breeden, Director
Century Custom Recording

From the back cover: These are some of the highlights of our Spring Semester of 1967! In addition to all of the musical engagements mentioned we should include as one of the year's highlights the reception given the Lab Band by President and Mrs. Johnson at the White House – this was certainly a memorable occasion for our band!

It is our hope that this will be the first of annual albums which will highlight the work of our writers and performers during each school year – watch for "LAB '68!" – Lou Breeden, Director - North Texas Lab Bands

Also from the back cover: Anadge was written specifically for the North Texas Lab Band. The piece is in two movements, the movement to be performed without interruption. The first movement is slow and is based on one long through-composed theme. After an introduction this theme is presented in its entirely by the alto sax with occasional interruptions by other instruments. After the theme is complete the band builds to an extremely loud climax, with the alto soaring into his upper harmonics. As the tension relaxes the theme begins again (sax soli) but is suddenly interrupted by the second movement.

The second movement is fast, and is jazz-oriented in every respect. It is based on one 8-bar through-composed theme which first appears in the trumpets and tenors. Though the first movement contains no improvisation, the second features two tenor saxophones improvising first alone, then simultaneously. The movement is suddenly interrupted by the re-appearance of the climax from the first movement. After the tension relaxes, the tenors are free to improvise on ending the piece. – Bob Morgan

Concertino
Falling In Love With Love
Anadge
Clams, Anyone?
Goodbye, Pork Pie Hat
Swag's Groove
Nature Boy
Easy To Love

Polynesia! - Native Songs And Dances Of The South Seas

 

Vahine Anamite

Polynesia!
Native Songs And Dances Of The South Seas
Capitol Records
T483
1954

From the back cover: Charles Mauu who is featured with the "Royal Polynesians" in most of these songs, is an actual Tahitian Chief, administrator and judge of 1300 of his people. As with most Polynesians, music and singing have been part of his background from childhood, and his participation in these recordings, made during a visit to America, helps give them complete authenticity. His words of salutation mark the opening and close of the album.

Tamure
Tiare
Vana Vana
Tango Tika
Tau Here
Vahine Anamite
Minoi Minoi
Manu Rere
Papio
Mareva
Cafe Au Lait
MaruruA Vou (Farewell For Just Awhile)

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Patti Bown Plays Big Piano

 

Waltz De Funk

Patti Bown Plays Big Piano
With Joe Benjamin, Bass & Ed Shaughnessy, Drums
Columbia CL 1379
1959

From the back cover: One of the most vocal and enthusiastic heralds of this new talent was arranger Quincy Jones, also from Seattle. It was Quincy, given the opportunity of assembling his own band for the Harold Arlen Show, Free And Easy, who finally brought Patti to New York late in 1959 to work as pianist with his band. It was, however, a discerning man about records named George Painkin who brought an acetate test record of Patti's playing to Columbia. The impact on one hearing was powerful and convincing. She was signed on the spot.

Born in Seattle on July 26, 1931, Patti Bown began playing by ear before she was three years old. Neither of her parents had musical training although her mother was able to play simple blues and children's songs at family gatherings. Amazingly enough, Patti and her four sisters were all born with perfect pitch.

Augustus Bown, Patti's father, was a longshoreman and her mother, Edith Cahill Bown, a hairdresser. Both were determined that their children should receive the very best education possible, and their history was one of continual poverty, the five Brown girls and their one brother were denied nothing in the way of cultural opportunities.

Patti's first formal music lessons began when she was six – on a second hand upright bought by her father for all of ten dollars. Her studies were continued in elementary and high schools and then, with the aid of music scholarships at Seattle University, the University of Washington and the Cornish School of Fine Arts. In addition, a great deal of study with books on harmony and composition was patiently undertaken.

The concert stage was the goal, not only for Patti, but for her sister Edith, also an accomplished musician. The sisters, in fact, had dreams of working together as duo-pianists.

Patti's contacts with jazz were the usual ones that any urban Negro youngster might have had. She heard her share of gospel songs and blues as a child, and then, with her contemporaries, grew up with the music of Basie, Ellington and, in the Forties, of Parker, Gillespie and the other modernists on the radio and the phonograph. A closer alliance to jazz came with her sister Edith's marriage to Jerry Valentine, an arranger who has written for Miles Davis, Art Blakey and other prominent bands and vocalists.

Opportunities of launching a concert career are limited, and Patti engaged in several non-musical jobs while waiting for her chance, among them washing windows, typing  and working as a stock clerk in a department store.

All the while, however, she was also playing jazz and developing her own approach to the piano – and "going to bed and walking up thinking about music." Patti sees the piano as a lifetime challenge and has some very definite ideas about herself and her playing. She believes in using the whole piano and being, both in personality and appearance, positive, individual and strong. Her playing has a definiteness, assurance, and strength that accurately reflect who and what she is.

Patti has what jazz magician call "time." The beat is always there – not vaguely implied, it's explicitly there to be heard and felt. And the listener will hear and feel that beat on every track of this record, in the ballads, and especially in the four Brown original blues and gospel-based compositions.

One of those compositions is called "Head-Shakin'", a pretty descriptive title not only for the piece itself,  but for this entire collection. Only it doesn't quite go far enough. This record not only contains head-shaking' music but foot-tapping', finger-snappin', happy, melodic jazz as well.

Nothin' But The Truth
It Might As Well Be Spring
Waltz De Funk
I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair
Head Shakin'
G'won Train
Sunshine Cake
Give Me The Simple Life
I Didn't Know What Time It Was
Always True To You In My Fashion

Impressions Of The Middle East - Herbie Mann

 

Incense

Impression Of The Middle East 
Herbie Mann
Recording Engineers: Tom Dowd, Phil Iehile & Bruce Vergessen
Album Design: Marvin Israel
Supervision: Nesuhi Ertegun & Arif Mardin
Atlantic Recording Corporation
Atlantic 1475
1967

Atlantic Records extends its thanks to the Turkish Tourism and Information Office in New York City for its cooperation in supplying the pictures for the covers of this album.

On Turkish Coffee & Odalisque, the personnel is Herbie Mann, flute; Chick Ganimian, our; Roy Ayers, vibes; Reggie Workman, bass; Bruno Carr, drums; Carlos "Potato" Valdes, conga drums, Hachig Thomas Kazarlan & Geraldien Swee, percussion.

On Incense, the personnel is the same, except that Herbie Mann plays the alto flute.

On Do Wah Diddy Diddy & The Oud And The Pussycat, the personnel is: Herbie Mann, flute; Chuck Ganimian, our; Jimmy Owens, trumpet; Julian Priester & Joe Orange, trombone; Hachig Thomas Kazarlan, clarinet; Reggie Workman, bass; Mohamed Elakkad, zither; Attila Zoller, guitar; Bruno Carr, drums; Moulay Ali Hafid, Robert Marashlian & Carlos "Patato" Valdes, percussion.

On Uskudar, Yavuz & Dance Of The Semites, the personnel is: Herbie Mann, flute, Chick Ganimian, our; Jimmy Owens, trumpet & fluegelhorn; Hachig Thomas Kazarlan, clarinet; Mohamed Elakkad, zither; Reggie Workman, bass; Bruno Carr, drums; Robert Marashilan & Moulay Ali Hafid, percussion.

On Eli Eli, the personnel is: Herbie Mann, flute; Richard Davis, bass; Gloria Agostino, harp; David Nadien, Anahid Ajemian, Al Brown, Bernard Elchen, Leo Kahn, Leo Kruczek, Charles Libove, Dave Mankowitz, Charles McCracken, Marvin Morgenstern, George Ockner, Raoul Poliakin, Max Pollikoff, George Ricci, Aaron Rosand, Tosha Samaroff, Al Schulman, Sylvan Schulman, Karen Tuttle, Emanuel Vardi & Jack Zayde, strings.

Turkish Coffee
Incense
Odalisque
Do Wah Diddy Diddy
Uskudar
The Old And The Pussycat
Yavuz
Dance Of The Semites
Eli Eli

Best Coast Jazz - Clifford Brown With All Stars

 

Coronado

Best Coast Jazz
EmArcy Custom MG 36039
A Product of Mercury Records Corporation
1954

All Stars

Clifford Brown - Trumpet
Herb Geller - Alto Sax
Max Roach - Drums
Joe Manini, Jr. - Sax
Walter Benton - Tenor Sax
Kenny Drew - Piano 
Curtis Counce - Bass

Photo (Left to Right): Max Roach, Herb Geller, Walter Bention, Joe Mani and Clifford Brown

From the back cover: The personnel on this date represented an amalgamation, for the first time, of a pair of important EmArcy attractions, both of whom have made individual reputations through various LP's on which they have appeared either as leaders or as sidemen on this label during the past year. They are Herb Geller and that two-headed combo-leading team of Clifford Brown and Max Roach.

Clifford and Max, as you should certainly know by now, are currently leading a highly successful quintet. Clifford's trumpet work and Max's fantastic drumming won them a couple of Down Beat awards and, even more important, the respect and adulation of a flock of other musicians from coast (California) to coast (English channel and points east)>

Herb Geller, an unorthodox west coast jazzman, inasmuch as he was born and raised in Los Angeles, is a graduate of the bands of Joe Venuti, Claude Thornhill, Jerry Wald and Lucky Millinder, and has worked with numerous California outfits, including those of Shorty Rogers, Billy May, Maynard Ferguson, Howard Rumsey and Chet Baker. He has been heard with his own quartet as well as in jam sessions and other dates on EmArcy.

Herb has some competition on this session, in the persons of two lesser known but highly promising saxophonists, Joseph Maini, Jr., alto and tenor saxophonist, claims the unusual distinction of having been presented with a tenor saxophone by the great Charles "Yardbird" Parker himself. Now 25  years old, he has worked with Alvino Rey, Noro Morales, Claude Thornhill and other name bands; during a couple of years he spent in New York he became friendly with the immortal Bird, as you may well deduce from these sides. Usually his work and Geller's are easily distinguishable by Maini's more biting tone; in case you are ever in doubt, a helpful hint is the fact that the last solo and closing cadenza on Autumn In New York are by Herb.

Walter Benton, the tenor saxophonist on these performances, is also comparatively new to records, though he has been heard on a few sides with Kenny Clarke. Only 22 years old, he is from Los Angeles and was only recently discharged from the Army. He has been working with small combos around Seattle.

In addition to the formidable Max Roach, the rhythm section here includes two distinguished young gentlemen, both well known to followers of the new jazz. Kenny Drew, the pianist, made his professional debut as accompanist at the Pearl Primus dance school. He has been heard in night clubs and recordings with Coleman Hawkins, Stan Getz, Lester Young and from 1952 until late '53 was on tour with Buddy de Franco.

Curits Counce, the bassist was born in Kansas City in 1926 and made his bow at the age of 15 with Nat Towles' orchestra. Settling in Los Angeles some ten years ago, he worked for four years with Edgar Hayes' combo and was also heard frequently with Benny Carter, Wardell Gray and Billy Eckstine. Until a few months ago he was a regular member, for almost two years, of Shorty Rogers' outfit in Hollywood. An admirer of the immortal Jimmy Blanton, he is considered to be the outstanding batsman on the west coast.

These two king sized performances – the jumping riff blues tune Coronado and You Go To My Head – were recorded in Los Angeles on August 10, 1954. Since more than a quarter of an hour is devoted to each tune, it will come as no surprise to you that every member of this wonderful group is given ample opportunity to express his ad lib feelings with no holds barred and no restrictions of any kind We feel that the results certainly justify the appropriate description of these sides as "Best Coast Jazz."

Coronado 
You Go To My Head

Concert Jazz - Sauter - Finegan

 

The Land Between

Concert Jazz
The Sauter-Finegan Orchestra
Ed Sauter & Bill Finegan
RCA Victor LPM-1051
1955

From the back cover: Pictures From Sauter-Finegan Land – An Orchestra such as ours, when it isn't actually playing spends the greater part of its time speeding from one end of the country to the other – from the austere roundness of green New England hills where each town boasts its dingy, streamside factory and white-spired clapboard church – to the brown, angular wilderness of the Southwest. In all, some 200,000 miles of Americana have rolled by, mostly by bus.

In spite of the transient nature of our existence, there are moments when we feel at one with where we are. In this piece we've tried to capture some of those feelings. The bustling, busy highways we know so well are represented by the main theme. Variations of this theme connect the different sections: A snowfall in Vermont – the steel towns of Pennsylvania and Ohio – a prairie schooner in the Southwest – a camp meeting in the Ozarks – a prairie night, the powerful Rockies the seem to rise out of the West like the waves of some ancient angry sea, and, being stopped in their course as if by a Giant Hand, hang poised, threatening to inundate the praises to the East.

Any Roberts reads the poetry that is so essential to this piece. You hear also the oboe and English horn of Ray Shiner and the voice of Anita Darian.

We sincerely hope the pleasure we experience creating the album will be shared by you – Ed Sauter and Bill Finegan

The Loop - Chicago has been called the crossroads of America – In this piece one might find an amalgamation of fragments of attitudes, from the great bands of the past - Novo - Basie - Ellington - Herman - Goodman - McKinley - Solos by Nick Travis - Gene Allen - Joe Venuto

Concerto In F - A paraphrase by Bill Finegan on the second movement of Gershwin's famous Concerto.

The Land Between - Nick Travis, deeply meditative, hanging suspended in a swirling dream world.

Madame X - From a painting by Roualt. The eternal mystery.

Where Or When - Our first love, Sally Sweetland. We hope you appreciate her as we do.

Sadie Thompson  - There's some life in this old girl. A bawdy blues with overtones of Tahiti and Rampart Street.

John Henry - Andy Roberts discourses on the tragedy of one man and his battle with "The Machine".

Solo For Joe - Joe Venuto in a nostalgia flight of fancy. And Wiedersehen.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Connie Haines Sings

 

Stormy Weather

Connie Haines Sings
Accompanied by Ray Bloch and His Orchestra
Recorded under the supervision of Bob Thiele
Coral Records CRL 56055 (10 inch LP)
1952

From the back cover: About Connie Haines

The glamorous Connie Haines had an even more glamorous name to start with. She was born Yvonne Jamis in Savannah, Georgia, a captivating mixture of French and Irish ancestry. She broke into radio at the age of four. At ten she won an audition for singers on an NBC affiliate, WJAX, in Jacksonville, Florida, and was rewarded with a commercial show which billed her as "The Little Princess Of The Air." At fourteen she became the youngest star ever to grace the Roxy Theatre in New York.

She then went on an extended year's tour of Eastern niteries. While at the Colonial Inn in New Jersey, she was heard and hired  by Harry James who had just left Benny Goodman to form his own band. James changed her name to Connie Haines. After three months with the band, she switched to Tommy Dorsey's orchestra and gained further distinction as one of the nation's most popular band singers. With the Dorsey menage at the time were Jo Stafford, the Pied Pipers and a promising lad named Frank Sinatra.

After a long stay, the Savannah thrush left Dorsey and headed for Hollywood. She made several pictures there including "A Wave, A Wac And A Marine," "Moonlight Over Las Vegas" and "Twilight On The Prairie." She also appeared as the featured on such radio shows as Fibber McGee And Molly, Abbott And Costello, Edgar Bergens, Old Gold Show," Chesterfield Supper Club and many others.

While on the Coast, her appearance at the well-known Ciro's drew attention from all sides and gained her an invitation to appear on the famous radio program beamed to the fighting men abroad, "Command Performance," her greatest thrill. In the fall of '47, Connie came East for the first time in years and went into the featured spot at the famed Paramount Theatre in New York. She appeared subsequently at the famous Harem night club in New York; the Chez Paree in Chicago; the Copa in Pittsburgh and the Bowery in Detroit. Connie wound up the year (1948) with her second Paramount Theatre date.

The Savannah songbird went on to television. She made guest shots on Ed Sullivan's video show, Jack Eigen's and opened a month-long stand at the Copacabana in New York. In 1949 she began another chapter in her colorful career. She signed a contract with Coral Records and immediately registered two smash hits: "How It Lies, How It Lies, How It Lies," and "You Told A Lie."

About Ray Bloch

Diminutive, bespectacled Ray Bloch, conductor of Ed Sullivan's CBS-TV "Toast Of The Town," Steve Allen's "Songs For Sale" and CBS-Radio "Big Time," NBC-TV's "Kate Smith Evening Hour," is a tireless working who seems never the least upset by the pressure of combined radio and video chores.

When still quite young, Bloch was brought to America from Alsace-Lorraine, where he was born August 3, 1902. In The United States, his father, a chef, encouraged his musical ambitions making sacrifices in order to pay for lessons. At the age of eight, the Bloch childish soprano could be heard in neighborhood choirs. Singing in choirs didn't appeal to him, but directing them did. So when he was 12, he conducted his first chorus at a Christmas festival. He has been leading choral groups ever since.

Ray Bloch was first employed as office boy at $6.00 a week for the New York French language newspaper, Courier de Etats-Unis. His first job of any importance was a piano player for a leading music publisher. He turned from this to play piano with ballroom bands in the city. During these formative days in the early 1920's he also played with an orchestra quintet which was billed opposite the famed original Dixieland Jazz Band, a fact which gave him the greatest emotional boost of his young professional life.

Bloch's initial experience as a maestro came when his organized a jazz quintet which toured from New York To California. In the late 1920's he switched to radio, as pianist at various stations. In 1931, he acme arranger-accompanist for the popular quartet of the day, the Eton Boys. Following a long stay with this foursome, he became leader of several choral groups, the most notable of which was the Swing Fourteen. His advent into conducting cam through a CBS sustaining series and a prominent sponsored show, "Johnny Presents," which had been fronted by such toppers as Ferde Grofe, Leo Reisman, Russ Morgan and Johnny Green. Early in this series, Bloch had charge of the choral group. Later, he was promoted to orchestra leader. This was the turning point of his career – he launched into an energetic schedule of conducting, coaching, orchestrating and choral directing that gained tempo and laurels with the passing years.

As a vocal coach, one of his proudest achievements was the development of soloists from his vocal groups, a few of which are Jack Smith, Gordon MacRae, Genevieve Rowe, Benay Venuta, Alan Dale, Sally Sweetland and others too numerous to mention. His baton has directed the music of many major shows during the last decade or more.

You Made Me Love You
Darktown Strutters Ball (with Alan Dale)
Stormy Weather
Will You Still Be Mine
My Man
But What Are These
What Has Happened To Joe
Silly No – Silly Yes

Call Of The Wild - Frankie Laine

 

The Swamp Girl

Call Of The Wild
Frankie Laine
Produced by Irving Townsend
Cover Photo: Leigh Weiner
Columbia CL 1829

From the back cover: Johnny Williams, brilliant young California conductor-arranger, provides Frankie with apposite orchestral and choral support. What Frankie provides in all the ballads in this album is akin to his vocal appearances in nightclubs and on television, through music.

Song Of The Open Road
North To Alaska
The Swamp Girl
Beyond The Blue Horizon
Call Of The Wild
On The Trail 
The Wayfaring Stanger
Tumbling Tumbleweeds
The High Road
Rolling Stone
The New Frontier 
The Girl In The Wood

Muted Memories - Carl Stevens

 

Harlem Nocturne

Muted Memories
Carl Stevens
His Trumpet and His Orchestra
Mercury Wing MGW 12138
1959

From the back cover: Versatile arranger-trumpeter Carl Stevens leads a group of Mercury All-Stars through this delightful session. Tympanist-Percussionist Bobby Christian has his own LP, MR Percussion (MG 20335 and SR 60015). Guitarist here, but also top vocalist on his own LP (MG 20418 and SR 60064), is Frank D'Rone. Bassist John Frigo switched to fiddle for his own Mercury 12-inch package (I Love John Frigo – He Swings MG 20285). And we can't overlook talented 88-er Dick Marx whose LP's are available under his own name on several other labels.

With trumpet gaining in popularity continually, Carl Stevens, Aurora, Illinois' gift to the valve and mouthpiece coterie, has carved a most unique approach to the rocky up-hill success climb.

While other trumpeters play routine standards in a style that dates back to 1930's, Stevens has a brand new approach. Utilizing all-star rhythm section, Stevens has actually written the musical backdrop for his rendition of the evergreens herein.

On previous trumpet efforts, the headlined horn has played against the tight rhythm section which Benny Goodman introduced. Stevens believes in variety. Not only does he switch the spotlight to his four cohorts for solos, but his own work is backed by a rhythm section that is conspicuous by its musical presence.

Michel LeGrand, writing in Down Beat recently, said modern recording technique is forcing arrangers to score differently!

Stevens, a long way from LeGrand's hometown, Paris, France, proves it with the dashes of tympani, percussion, music-box piano effects and guitar patterns.

And, as to mutes, Stevens raided four music stores of everything in the way of a plunger to the vastest audio-sensation mutes, to gain the fiery effects and the completely restful gimmicks you'll dig herein.

I Concentrate On You
Jeepers Creepers
Witchcraft
A Handful Of Stars
Satin Doll
The Song Is You
That Old Feeling
Harlem Nocturne
You Belong To Me
Out Of This World
Younger Than Springtime
What's New

Dorothy's Harp - Dorothy Ashby

Toronado

Dorothy's Harp
Dorothy Ashsby
Produced by Richard Evans
Engineer: Stu Black
Album Design: Randy Harter
Photographs: Jeff Lowenthal
Cadet Records
Stereo LPS-825
1969

From the back cover: Dorothy's Harp is a magical experience, indeed! It shimmers, glimmers and soars! It's funky, baroque and beautiful. Soulful, haunting, melodic. And besides that, it sounds good. An unbelievably versatile instrument, it offers the simple directness of the guitar, the fluidity and grace of the piano, the Old World delicacy and charm of the harpsichord. Not surprising, really, since all of these instruments evolved from the harp.

What is surprising is that, until Dorothy Ashby, the harp has been consistently #1 in Downbeat's Category of "Most Forgotten Miscellaneous Instrument," easily edging such contenders as the theremin and seraphim. Yet, with all the versatility and beauty the harp has offered through the ages, most folks can name only two harpists, and they're remembered for skills other than their harping. David, who played head harp in King Saul's Army Band, achieved his fame first by bonking Goliath in the Super-Philistine, and later by becoming King of the Israelites. What' more, he looked like Gregory Peck. And finally, his harping wasn't that good. Like President Nixon on piano, he played everything in "G"."

Harpo Marx was an incredible harpist who could have done much to popularize the instrument,  but he's remembered primarily for inventing the hydrogen bomb, which he kept in his pocket... next to the telephone, which was invented by Don Ameche. 

So much for history. The fact is the harp has needed a champion for aeons, and  it finally has one in Dorothy Ashby, as one hearing of Dorothy's Harp will reveal.

If you're a professional musician or jazz fan, chances are you're already aware of just how great Dorothy is; if this is your first exposure, you're in for a great treat that'll make you glad to have ears.

Producer Richard Evans' arrangements showcase Dorothy's Harp to perfection and reflect everything that is tasteful and exciting in today's popular music. In addition to the six recent standards, you'll be delighted by two Evan's originals "Tarth Spoken Here" and Toronado" and two Asby originals "Cause I Need It" and "Just Had To Tell Somebody".

The fender piano work of Odell Brown is also first rate, as are the flute and oboe solos by Lennie Druss.

This is the kind of album I'm happy to share with an audience. 

Fitz Peerenboom
WBNS Radio
Columbus, Ohio

By The Time I Get To Phoenix
Canto De Ossanha
Love Is Blue
Reza
This Girl's In Love With You
Truth Is Spoken Here
Toronado
The Windmills Of Your Mind
Cause I Need It
Just Had To Tell Somebody
Fool On The Hill