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Saturday, January 9, 2021

Good 'N' Country - Jim Reeves


Little Old Dime

Good 'N' Country
Jim Reeves
Recorded in RCA Victor's "Nashville Sound" Studio, Nashville, Tennessee 
Recording Engineer: Tommy Strong
RCA Camden CAS 784

From Billboard - December 28, 1963: Gentlemen Jim turns here to a pleasant group of tunes, most of which have been hits for other artists rather than himself. Reeves fans, however, will still enjoy this bargain-priced set which offers "Don't Let Me Cross Over," "There's A Heartache Following Me," "Bottle Take Effect," "Little Ole Dime" and "The World You Left Behind."

Don't Let Me Cross Over
There's A Heartache Following Me
The Talking Walls
Little Old Dime
The World You Left Behind
I've Enjoyed As Much Of This As I Can Stand
Lonely Music
Bottle, Take Effect
You Kept Me Awake Last Night
Before I Died

The Magic Violins - A Night At The Villa Fontana


La Vida en Rosa

A Night At The Villa Fontana
The Magic Violins
Cover Gown: Ceil Chapman
Photo: Wendy Hilty
RCA Victor LPM-1498

From the back cover: Every major city in the world has it's "must visit" night clubs, New York has its Copacabana and Latin Quarter, Miami its Fontainebleau Hotel, Paris its Bol Tabarin and Mexico City its Villa Fontana.

The Villa Fontana, nestled on Avenida Reforma, a few blocks distant from the Hotel Reforma, is sophisticated Spanish-American charm at its best. The visitor enters the dining room through a mirror-paneled hallway. The room itself is not large, lending itself to the intimacy of the music that is played. As the visitor begins his meal it seems that the walls themselves sparkly with a shimmering musical background.

These are the famous magic violins of Villa Fontana. From eight to fourteen violinists stroll through the room, drawing from their dancing strings a delectable repast of dinner music. Separated by tables and people, the violins seem to play to the artistry of one master player, as each violinist harmonizes perfectly with his partner. From Strauss waltzes to American favorites, the violins play as one instrument... never intruding... but always delightfully present.

In this album, the second by the Magic Violins (LPM-1291) was released in 1956), the group is captured in enchanting high fidelity tones. Recorded in the studios of RCA Victor Mexicana, this album is further proof of the musical charm of Mexico. – Robert L. Broderick

La Vida en Rosa
Vales Americanos / Always / Charmaine / Shadow Waltz / Wonderful One
Dos Arbolitos (Two Trees)
Potpourri Vales
Fantasia Italiana / Torna a Surriento / Oh Marie / Funiculi Funicula
Villa Fontana
Potpourri Americano / I'll Be Seeing You / There's A Small Hotel / Yesterdays
Condesa Maritza (Countess Maritza)
Jalisco de Mis Amores (My Beloved Jalisco)

Cowboy Songs For Children

Git Along Little Dogies

Cowboy Songs For Children
Harmony Columbia Records HL 9512

Ballad Of Davy Crockett
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Home On The Range
Git Along Little Dogies
Doney Gal
The Blue Tail Fly
Hey, Mr. Banjo
Skip To My Lou
Buffalo Gal
Turkey In The Straw
Arkansas Traveller
Indian Buffalo Dance / Yankee Doodle Square Dance
Do A Little Square Dance / Two By Two / Looby Loo
Pecos Bill

The Magic Of Earl Grant


My Dream Is Yours

The Magic Of Earl Grant
Decca Records DL 4044

It's Magic - Orchestra Directed by Jack Pleis
Not One Minute More - Orchestra Directed by Jack Pleis
Unforgettable - Orchestra Directed by Jack Pleis
My Dream Is Yours - Orchestra Directed by Jack Pleis
Teach Me Tonight
Building - Orchestra Directed by Charles Bud Dant
Fascination - Orchestra Directed by Jack Pleis
Try A Little Tenderness - Orchestra Directed by Jack Pleis
Evening Rain - Orchestra Directed by Charles Bud Dant
The Folks Who Live On The Hill - Orchestra Directed by Jack Pleis
No Other Love - Orchestra Directed by Jack Pleis
Wish - Orchestra Directed by Charles Bud Dant

Jackie Gleason Plays Romantic Jazz

My Blue Heaven

Jackie Gleason Plays Romantic Jazz
Capitol Records W568

There'll Be Some Changed Made
How About You?
Crazy Rhythm
The Petite Waltz
Don't Blame Me
You Can't Pull The Wool Over My Eyes
My Blue Heaven
The Lady Is A Tramp
The Most Beautiful Girl In The World
Who Cares
I've Got My Eyes On You
The Best Thing In Life Are Free
I Never Knew
The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise

Two Tickets To Paris - Richard Hayman


April In Paris

Two Tickets To Paris
Richard Hayman and His Orchestra
Cover Photo: Eiffel Tower and Seine River, Paris
Mercury Record Corporation - MG 20220

From Billboard - March 16, 1957: Quite a lot of maestros have been using Parisian mood magic for an arrangement springboard, with varying results. This is a package to march in the front rank of such. Hayman has culled a dozen of the best French standards, arranged them for real Right and Left Bank flavor (most of them accordion-led in a languorous, danceable beat), for a result that is over-all beguiling. Cover art is tasteful and set should snare solid appeal.

I Love Paris
The River Seine
Darling Je Vous Aime Beaucoup
Under The Roofs Of Paris
When You're Away
The Song From Moulin Rouge
April In Paris
The Poor People Of Paris
La Vie En Rose
Autumn Leaves

Friday, January 8, 2021

Scrapbook - Walter Schumann


He's Gone Away

The Voices Of Walter Schumann
Photo by Irving Elkin
RCA Victor LPM-1465

From the back cover: The collector of this Scrapbook, Walter Schumann, has been diverting music fanciers with his choral organization, the Voices of Walter Schumann, since 1949. A couple of years ago, he and his "Voices" toured the country in a sparkling revue called "Three For Tonight." Another notable Schumann achievement: composition of the famed Dum Dee Dum Dum theme from Jack Webb's "Dragnet."

From Billboard - July 8, 1957: Here's a potpourri of types of material high-lighted in various past albums by the Schumann group, and it again emphasizes the unique versatility of the singers. Here are folk songs, operatic adaptations and songs of the heart, all done with equally handsome mixed choral effects. A welcome change from the all-too-familiar packages of one mood or one approach, which usually are lacking in pacing. Cover shot of old-fashioned scrapbook and paste pot is artful and displayable. A top-notch job that will get on-the-air action as well as counter demand.

All You Need Is A Song
Autumn Nocturne
Scherzo (from Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony)
Have You Ever Been Lonely
He's Gone Away
Choir Blues
When You're Away
Elijah Rock
I'll Remember April
Hospodi Pomilui (Lord Have Mercy)
Surrey With The Fringe On Top
Blue Moon
Chanson Epique (from "Don Quichotte")
Bells Of St. Mary's

Take Me - Larry Butler


Husbands And Wives

Take Me
The Orchestra & Voices of Larry Butler
Producer: John Capps, Scott Turner
Arrangers: Larry Butler, Scott Turner
Art Direction: Woody Woodward
Recorded at Bradley's Barn Studios - Nashville
Imperial STEREO LP-12354

Husbands And Wives
Here Comes My Baby Back Again
How's My Ex Treating You
Livin' In A House Full Of Love
Tabasco Road
Kiss Away
Take Me
Sugar Lips
Ride Away

Cha Cha Chas And Mambos - Socarras

Nervous Gavotte Mambo

Cha Cha Chas And Mambos
Socarras and His Orchestra
Decca Records DL 8836

From the back cover: Each selection is the result of a unique approach, distinctive imagination, and skillful execution on the part of Alberto Socarras – a most unusual man. Socarras is referred to  as a "musicians musician," a title which places him high in the hierarchy of the musical world.

For many years, Alberto – who left his native Cuba for this country in the forties – has been considered one of the finest flutists in the world – a flexible virtuosity to Latin dance music and jazz.

From Billboard - January 19, 1959: A fine, terp package of Latin rhythms. It's a well-orchestrated and executed album with Cha Cha and Mambo stylings applied to several originals and international standards. Set can appeal to both teens and adults. Selections include "Tea For Two Cha Cha," "Waltz In Cha Cha," based on a melody by Chopin and "Torero." Good prospects. Stereo effect is inconsistent.

Tea For Two Cha Cha
Sixty Second Mambo
"A" – You're Adorable (The Alphabet Song)
Nervous Gavotte Mambo
Par La Noche
Buck Dance
Waltz In Cha Cha
Rose Room
Hal's Cha Cha Cha
Mambo Impromptu 
Algun Dia

Don Shirley Plays Gershwin


The Man I Love

Don Shirley Plays Gershwin
Cadence High Fidelity Recording CLP 3032

From the back cover: It is impossible to describe Don Shirley's music without analyzing Don himself; and in analyzing, we tend to categorize because we then have a ready frame of reference. Although out age many not have produced the Renaissance Man, Don Shirley probably comes as close as any other human being in our time to that ideal. His musical talents could almost be over-looked from an academic standpoint if one realizes that, in addition to his Doctorate in Music, he is the holder of Doctorates in Psychology and Liturgical Arts, speaks eight languages fluently, and is considered an expert painter as well. 

Like most musicians who are true innovators, Don Shirley the arranger-composer has always been classified in various pigeonholes such as "Jazz," "Classical," "Jazz-oriented Classical" or "Classically-oriented Jazz," but always half-heartedly and with many reservations. His work cannot be catalogued in a particular school of musical composition. Each song is more than just a new arrangement; it is a composition in itself, using the familiar song melody as part of its framework. Though the melodic and harmonic structure of a song by Jimmy McHugh may suggest to Don Nineteeth Century romanticism and not Twentieth Century Hollywood, the melody is always there forming the basic fabric of his arrangement, at the same time inspiring  counter-melodies.

Don's piano style reflects many different influences, yet these are all governed by his own inscrutable and unyielding individuality. He may suddenly quote the familiar style of Garner or Ellington or Shearing. Still these polite tributes are never more than just that, for this is one more device of Don's using his music to create the atmosphere he chooses. "There are three ways to enjoy or to interpret music,  from a listening point of view: emotionally, intellectually, and a combination of the two. I have tried to utilize all three, contingent upon the quality of the tune choose." His choice of using the piano as a stringed rather than as a percussion instrument gives him a flexible and marvelous expressive voice to combine emotion and intellect in the subtlest way.

The extent of Don's formal training is clearly revealed in his fabulous technic. He began playing piano at the age of 2 1/2, and by the time he was 9 he had been invited to study at the Leningrad Conservatory,  where he was to spend a great part of his youth. And yet he was to abandon the piano while still young.

It was while in Chicago as a psychologist that Don "tripped" back into a musical career. He was given a grant to study the relationship, if any, between music and a juvenile crime wave which had suddenly broken out in the early 1950s. Working in a small club there, he used his knowledge and skill to perform experiments in sound, whereby he proved that certain tonal combinations affected the audience's reactions. No one in the audience know of his experiment, or that students had been planted among them to gauge their reactions.

But Don Shirley the pianist became a sensation. Appearing in New York followed, notably at the Basin Street, where Duke Ellington first heard him. Here started their warm friendship which was highlighted by Don's performance in 1955 of the premiere of the Duke's Piano Concerto at Carnegie Hall with the NBC Symphony of the Air. An appearance on the Arthur Godfrey Show launched his career nationwide.

Don has composed three symphonies, two piano concerti, a cello concerto, three string quartets, a one-act opera, works for organ, piano and violin, a symphonic tone poem based on "Finnegan's Wake" and a set of "Variations" on the legend of Orpheus in the Underworld.

All indications seem to be that Don Shirley's favorite career is that of musician, and his material that of our country, our time, and the richness of a many-faceted personality.

Porgy & Bess Suite
Recorded at Capitol Studios, New York - October 21, 1957
Basses: Jim Bond and Kenneth Fricker

Love Is Here To Stay
Recorded at Webster Hall, New York - May 7, 1955
Bass: Richard Davis

But Not For Me
Recorded at Bob Blake Studios, New York - July 19, 1956
Bass: Richard Davis

The Man I Love
Recorded at Webster Hall, New York - May 7, 1955
Bass: Richard Davis

Someone To Watch Over Me
Recorded at Webster Hall, New York - December 20, 1955
Bass: Richard Davis

They Can't Take That Away From Me
Recorded at Webster Hall, New York - May 7, 1955
Bass: Richard Davis

That Everlovin' Sassy - Sarah Vaughn


My Kind Of Love

That Everlovin' Sassy
Sarah Vaughn
Vernon Records 504
Mount Vernon Music - Mount Vernon, N.Y.

Vaughan is misspelled, not only on the front cover, but also on the back cover and the disc label.

From the back cover: If Sarah disappointed her jazz fans when she recorded "The Lord's Prayer," she received in return one of her most treasured mentos – a congratulatory telegram from her idol, Marian Anderson. With surprising sales in excess of a million copies, Sarah was urged by her recording bosses to study Latin, as most great religious songs are in that language. Sarah gave it a try, but when a musician friend heard her reading from a Latin text, she dropped the project. "Honey," he remarked, "Thats the hippest jive talk I ever dug!"

No stranger to success, love entered Sarah's life with a force that can only propel her career to even greater heights. Handsome, successful Clyde Atkins, former pro-football star, has made Sarah his bride. He seems destine to bring supreme contentment and happiness into the demanding world of this great artist.

I Can't Get Started With You
I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter
The Man I Love
I'm Glad There Is You
Love Me Of Leave Me
I Don't Stand A Ghost Of A Chance With You
My Kind Of Love
The Lord's Prayer

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Ella Swings Brightly With Nelson - Fitzgerald & Riddle


Love Me Or Leave Me

Ella Swings Brightly With Nelson
Fitzgerald - Riddle
Arranged and Conducted by Nelson Riddle
Produced under personal supervision of Norman Granz
Verver V-4054

From Billboard - March 24, 1962: It's Ella Fitzgerald singing against the swinging arrangements of Nelson Riddle on this album. The twosome find hand-in-glove rapport on 12 tracks taken in the finger-snapping medium tempo at which both shine. The brass in the Riddle band has bite and strings sweep and swing. Ella is in fine voice singing a repertoire of standards. "The Gentleman Is A Dope," "I Only Have Eyes For You," "Mean To Me" and "Gonna Go Fishin'" are all top-flight tracks.

When Your Lover Has Gone
Don't Be That Way
Love Me Or Leave Me
I Hear Music
What Am I Here For
I'm Gonna Go Fishing
I Won't Dance
I Only Have Eyes For You
The Gentleman Is A Dope
Mean To Me
Alone Together
Pick Yourself Up

I've Gotta Be Me - Sammy Davis Jr.


Here I'll Stay

I've Gotta Be Me
Sammy Davis Jr.
Produced by Jimmy Bowen
Arranged by Richard Wess, H.B. Barnum and J. J. Johnson
Cover Photo: Ron Joy
Art Director: Ed Thrasher
Reprise STEREO 6324
Manufactured by M.B.D. Records

I've Gotta Be Me
My Personal Property
I'm Glad There Is You
Here I'll Stay
I'm A Brass Band
If My Friends Could See Me Now
I've Got You Under My Skin
She Believes In Me
Sweet November

Love Themes From Hollywood - Victor Young



Love Themes From Hollywood
Victor Young and His Orchestra
Decca Records DL 8364

From the back cover: Victor Young was born in 1900 in Chicago. He inherited his musical talents from his father, an accomplished musician and singer. At four he was plucking the strings of a violin given to him by his grandfather, and at six he was playing recognizable melodies on the same instrument.

When Victor Young was ten he was sent to live with his grandfather in Warsaw. Here he aroused the interest of the director of the Imperial Conservatory and worked hard to justify this dignified attention. He later graduated from the Conservatory and received a Guarnerius Violin from a Polish banker.

After the signing of the Armistice of World War I he returned to America and married his Polish sweetheart in California. National interest followed, and soon Young was back in his home town in Chicago, where he conducted large orchestras in plush movie palaces. He was able now to compose and arrange his own music. Striking a compromise with the jazz mood of the day, he became one of the first true exponents of that great type of American music.

Riding the rising tide of his fortune, he was made musical director for Balaban and Katz. In this era of the twenties the whole nation was singing his "Sweet Sue" and now in the fifties, they are still singing it.

A roll call of his popular tunes would fill many pages, but a few of his top hits of the roaring twenties include "A Ghost Of A Chance," "Street Of Dream," "Can't We Talk It Over," "Love Me Tonight," "Lawd You Made The Night Too Long," "A Hundred Years From Today," "Let Me Be Born Again," "Beautiful Love," "Sweet Madness," "Give Me A Heart To Sing To," "Old Man Of The Mountain," "Je Vous Adore,"

Today's youngsters cannot only sing his "Sweet Sue" but a flock of other Victor Young tunes, ranging from other hits still popular to the recent song hit, "My Foolish Heart,"

Victor Young' sensitive scores mad him the objective of Hollywood music talent scouts and he came to Paramount Studios in 1935. Examples of his talent are shown in many pictures, the complete list numbering around two hundred. Some of them are: "For Whom The Bell Tolls," "Love Letters," "Golden Earrings," September Affari," "Ridin' High," "Samson And Delilah," "Something To Live For," "The Greatest Show On Earth," all for Paramount and, in the freelance field, "My Foolish Heart," "The Quiet Man," "Sands Of Iwo Jima," "The Korean Story," etc.

Victor Young has been etching for Decca Records since the waxery's inception in 1934. He has recorded for them his most important motion picture scores in album form, "For Whom The Bell Tolls," "Love Letters," Golden Earrings," "Samson And Delilah," "The Quiet Man," and others.

In the realm of serious music, several large orchestral compositions of his are "Pearls On Velvet," "Arizona Sketches, ""Leaves Of Grass," "Stella By Starlight," "Manhattan Concerto," all of which have been performed during past seasons by the San Francisco Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestras.

From Billboard - May 3, 1958: The late movie composer's romantic settings of themes from films make up an attractive item. Prime appeal will  be to the movie-goer. Themes include "Spellbound," "My Foolish Heart" and "You My Love."

A Place In The Sund
Tara's Theme
Elizabeth And Essex
The Best Years Of Our Lives
My Foolish Heart
Tall Men
Theme from "East Of Eden"
The World Is Mine 
You, My Love

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

The Fantastic Carmela


Colombia: Siverio

The Fantastic Carmela
Sings Latin American Folklore
With Paco Ibanez and His Orchestra
Fontana STEREO SRF 67527
A Division of Mercury Records

From the back cover: Carmela is of Spanish origin, fair, pale and delicate, and though she looks so fragile it is astonishing to hear her ardent and powerful voice. She is the daughter of traveling musicians and is devoted to South American rhythms. Ten years ago, at 18, she came to Paris and soon became a popular singer in several cabarets "typifies," such as La Mouche, La Venta and Granada. She appeared for the first time on the Parisian stage in February 1960 at "Les Trois Baudets," accompanying her songs with a native drum. Her first recording was released soon after. She became famous throughout Europe and Latin America for her expertly performed and fervid interpretations of Spanish music.

Venezuela: El Macan
Peru: De Terciopelo Negro
Peru: Que Nadie Sepa Mi Sufrir
Venezuela: La Chipola
Peru: Estrellita Del Sur
Mexico: Flor Silvestre
Colombia: Siverio
Venezuela: Madrugada Llanera
Ecuador: Hojas Que Lleva El Viento
Venezuela: Partida
Bolivia: Naranjita
Venezuela: Brumas Del Mar
Argentina: Zambia Arrivena
Venezuela: Guerra De Los Vargas

Changes - Jackie & Roy


Norwegian Wood

Jackie & Roy
Produced by Creed Taylor, Monte Kay, Jack Lewis
Director of Engineering: Val Valentin
Cover Design: Acy Lehman
Cover Photo: Bob Campbell
Verve V/V6-8668

From the back cover: Jackie and Roy have the rarest and most vital of all performer's gifts – the ability to communicate.

They communicate with each other and with their listeners.

If you knew nothing at all about them, you would probably be able to guess that they're happily married – to each other and to their work. Happiness combined with skilled musicianship is very contagious.

Jacqueline Cain Kral and Roy Kral (who is also a fine jazz pianist) sing the sounds of good popular music and the sounds they sing seem improvised. But, Jackie and Roy rarely improvise. They spend long hours working on arrangements and they will not perform or record a selection until they feel it is right.

From Billboard - December 3, 1966: In their debut disk for Verve, Jackie and Roy put there jazz background to good use. Whether employing their usual blended-voice style as in "Dedicated To Love" and "The Word," vocalize as in "Norwegian Wood," or in fine Jackie solo of "Yesterday," the couple produces good sound. If quality still counts, this disk could do something.

Dedicated To Love (Arranged  by Claus Ogerman)
Yesterday (Arranged by Charles Calello)
Didn't Want To Have To Do It (Arranged by Oliver Nelson)
In My Life (Arranged by Charles Calello)
Bye Bye (Arranged by Oliver Nelson)
Counting (Arranged by Oliver Nelson)
Changes (Arranged by Charles Calello)
The Word (Arranged by Charles Calello)
Norwegian Wood - This Bird Has Flown (Arranged by Charles Calello)
Can't Buy Me Love (Arranged by Charles Calello)

Love Lost - The Four Freshmen


Little Girl Blue

Love Lost
The Four Freshmen
Vocal Arrangements by Dick Reynolds and Ken Albers
Music Arrangements by Dick Reynolds
Produced by Voyle Gilmore
Cover Photo: George Jerman / Photography Two
Capitol Records T1189

From Billboard - May 18, 1959: The Freshmen turn to a group of ballads with love lost. It's a fine mood set, and one of the better examples of vocal stereo with neither channel favored. Lush orking complements. Their jazz and pop fans will find this another gem. Tunes include "The Gal That Got Away," "I Could Have Told You" and the album title tune.

Love Lost
Spring Is Here
I'm A Fool To Want You
I Should Care
I Could Have Told You
If I Ever Love Again
The Gal That Got Away
When Your Lover Has Gone
I Wish I Didn't Love You So
I Wish I Knew
I'll Never Smile Again
Little Girl Blue

Crazy Words Crazy Tunes - The Saloonatics


If My Baby Cooks As Good As She Looks

Crazy Words
Crazy Tunes
The Saloonatics
1929 Cadillac Dual Cowl Phaeton from the collection of Dr. T. C. McDaniel
Bethlehem STEREO BS-10,001
Distributed by Starday-King Records Inc. - Cincinnati, Ohio

From the back cover: The story behind the Saloonatics, and this album goes much further. This recording is the accomplishment of an ambition for two men who have been in all phases of the music industry for many years.

Saul Striks plays piano and sings; Ralph Guenther plays bass and banjo and also sings. They are the nucleus of the group presented here. Saul was with a group called "Somethin' Smith and the Redheads" from 1947 to 1960 and was on all the hit records produced by that group during those years. Ralph was a recording musician for King Records in Cincinnati for many years, and participated in the recording of many hits.

Saul And Ralph knew each other, but never worked together. After a severe injury to Saul, which forced him to stop traveling, friends brought Saul and Ralph together again, and insisted that they should work together. The group, which began as an experiment, soon became an outstanding attraction in Cincinnati.

The next stop was recording, the reason behind this was that Saul and Ralph had been on hit records before, but had never received credit for what they did on the records. They were anonymous.

Here are two experienced professionals who are finally getting the recognition they deserve. The musicianship obvious in the piano and banjo playing, is enhanced by the unique singing of both men. Saul plays the piano and Ralph plays the banjo. Saul sings "Me And My Shadow," "Rock-A-Bye Your Baby" and "Red Silk Stocking." Ralph sings "Vo-Do-Dee-O-Do," "I Get The Blues When It Rains," "Just Because," "Lock My Heart," "San Francisco Bay Blue," "Columbus Stockade Blues," and the original song with the improbable title, "If My Baby Cooks As Good As She Look, I'll Be Hungry All The Time."

To this combination of happy musicians, another element was added O. B. Masingill, a great arranger with many hits to his credit, was brought in to build the musical framework in which the talents of Saul Striks and Ralph Guenther could best be shown. O.B. added a band of all-star recording musicians, and conducted the sessions as well as writing the arrangements.

Crazy Words Crazy Tunes
Red Silk Stocking And Green Perfume
I Get The Blues When It Rains
Sweet Georgia Brown
Rock-A-Bye Your Baby
Just Because
If My Baby Cooks As Good As She Looks
Me And My Shadow
San Francisco Bay Blues
The Columbus Stockade Blues
I'm Gonna Lock My Heart And Throw Away The Key

Monday, January 4, 2021

Chet Atkins In 3 Dimensions

Blues In The Night

Chet Atkins In 3 Dimensions
RCA Victor LPM-1197

From the back cover: If experience with his previous albums hasn't told you so – Chet Atkins is a split personality!

First, there's the popular Chet Atkins, who has a suave, sophisticated way with a pretty tune. Then there's the country boy whose musical roots go deep in the folk heritage. And now there emerges a new Mr. Atkins reaching out in the formidable world of classical guitar.

The East Tennessee mountain region where Chet Atkins was born has been the birthplace of many country singers and instrumentalists. But, though Chet was raised in this tradition and comes from a family that has fold music in its blood, he has broken with almost all the customs native to the area. There has always been within him a quiet, powerful searching for musical perfection, broader vision, greater dimension.

Not long after Chet left the farm, he started winning his spurs as a country star. But at the very same time, he began branching out into the wider classical and popular fields. During the long years he spent "picking" for country singers on radio stations throughout the South and Midwest, he snatched every available moment to grow with his guitar. Chet would play before and after the show, practice in breaks at recording sessions, experiment in the backstage bustle of a theater or in the quiet of a Souther boardinghouse.

Today no other guitarist can match the virtuosity that has become the Atkins trademark. In this album, three facets of Chet's career come together for a graphic demonstration on just how far his quest for new horizons has taken him.

Arkansaw Traveler
Londonberry Air
Ochi Chornya (Dark Eyes)
La Golondrina
Blues In The Night
Little Rock Getaway
Tip-Toe Through The Tulips With Me
Minuet (from the French Harpsichord Suite)
Prelude (from Six Short Preludes)
Schon Rosmarin
Minute Waltz

3 Little Words - Patti Page


My Prayer

3 (Three) Little Words
Miss Patti Page
Mercury Records SR 60037

Why Don't You Do Right
To Know You Is To Love You
I Still Get A Thrill Thinking Of You
My Prayer
Will You Still Be Mine
Whatever Lola Wants
We Three (My Echo My Shadow And Me)
I'm Just Wild About Harry
Three Little Words
I Get A Kick Out Of You

For Young Lovers - Tommy Edwards


I Looked At Heaven

For Young Lovers
Tommy Edwards
Orchestra Conducted by Leroy Holmes
Cover Photograph by Arnold Rosebery
MGM Records E3760

From the back cover: Tommy Edwards ranks among the most popular song stylists of our day. His light, lilting voice and his intensely musical way with any sort of song is completely personal – completely Edwards! He's a lad of many talents... singer... composer... lyricist. For example, songs like "I Looked At Heaven" and "Up A Cloud," included in this album, are products of his own tunesmithing pen. Songs he had written accidentally opened up Tommy's singing career. A few year, he penned a number called "That Chick's Too Young To Fry". It became quite a hit, if one that passed by quickly after racking up a great sale. Encouraged, Tommy left his native Virginia for New York, an impressive sheaf of his musical brain-children under his arm. There, a bit pinched for money, he decided to save on hiring a professional singer to record demonstrations of his songs for publishers and record companies by singing them himself. One of these recordings, passed to MGM Records, drew more response for the voice than the song. Officials of MGM immediately signed Tommy to a recording contract as a singer – to his own amazement. Soon, he had a string of big hits in such million-sellers as "It's All In The Game," "The Morningside Of The Mountain," and "You Win Again". Several of his own originals songs meanwhile made the "Hit Parade" grade neatly. Then, as "rock-n-roll" came in, Tommy, like many other fine artists, was momentarily swept out of the limelight. But, as the "big beat" settles into comparative quietness again, he "came back" in resoundingly successful fashion. A remake of "It's All In The Game" catapulted him into fame again – and hit after hit recording followed. Today, Tommy Edwards is solidly established as one of America's favorite ballad specialists – a singer with unique talents and unique appeal. All of those talents and that appeal combine in this album to provide a listening experience you'll thrill to again and again.

From Billboard- August 17, 1959: A stylish set of ballad readings by the popular artist in his second MGM album. LeRoy Holmes lends nice, flowing backings in the gentle triplet groove for tunes like "She Sends Her Regards," "My Melancholy Baby," "I Looked At Heaven," and "Music Maestro, Please," the latter of which figures as a logical and strong choice for a single. Good, programmable wax that should do well sales-wise.

My Melancholy Baby
A Teardrop On A Rose
I Looked A Heaven
She Sends Her Regards
It All Belongs To You
Music, Maestro, Please
Take These Chains From My Heart
Once There Lived A Fool
Up In A Cloud
It's Only The Good Times
Welcome Me

Aware Of Love - Jerry Butler


I'm A Telling You

Aware Of Love
Jerry Butler
Vee Jay LP-1038

From the back cover: Jerry Butler has the most unique position of being one of the best liked artists in the recording business. Always in high demand for Television Shows, Night Clubs and Theaters because of his success in the record business and still a nice guy admired by his legion of fans from coast to coast. Jerry has never forgotten that it was the fans that our him on top and he is dedicated to serving his fans, always conscious of what they want to hear and directing his song just to them. For a young man, Jerry has an impressive record of hits to his credit such as "For Your Precious Love," "Find Yourself Another Girl," "He Will Break Your Heart" just to name a few. It might of interest to note that many of the songs in Jerry's albums are songs which he himself has written, which in this day and age is a great feat. In writing much of his own material, Jerry has tried to give a special message to his fans, weaving stories in music of the trails and tribulations of just growing up. A good example is the title song in this album "Aware Of Love" which tells the story of a Teenager whose parents call his love for a girl just "Puppy Love." The word "Soul" has been overworked in the Jazz field of music and it would be unfair to use this term when describing Jerry's music. I would much prefer to use the word heart, as this is where his music comes from. A simple comparison would liken Jerry to the true Folk Singer who traveled around the country telling stories of what he saw and what he felt in song. Jerry Butler is today's Teenage Folk Singer who is very much "Aware Of Love" and tells its story in song.

From Billboard - September 25, 1961: Jerry Butler has had a string of singles successes and he can do as well with this solid selection of tunes, some of which qualify as logical single bets. The chanter sings his most recent hit, "I'm A Telling You," and 11 other others in great style and he get fine arrangements. This one can stir a lot of action.

Where Do I Turn
Aware Of Love
When Trouble Calls
Without You Love
Couldn't Go To Sleep
I'm A Telling You
The Wicked Man
I See A Fool
Love Me
One By One
Is This True Love
Find Another Girl

Sunday, January 3, 2021

POW! - Sonny Stitt



Sonny Stitt...
Prestige PR 7459

Sonny Stitt - Alto Sax
Benny Green - Trombone
Kirk Lightsey - Piano
Herman Wright - Bass
Roy Brooks - Drums

From the back cover: Sonny Stitt (did you know his given name is Edward?) has probably made more albums than any other jazz alto saxophonist, and through he never plays badly, such a prodigious output of necessity includes a percentage of rather routine effects.

But there is nothing routine about his performance here. In fact, I would go so far as to say that this is the best record Stitt has made in years. He sounds strong, happy, full of life and really involved in what he is playing. No need, really, to add that he swings – Sonny always does that.

Though he is proficient, to say the least, on tenor, Sonny plays alto exclusively here. And it was as an alto saxophonist, of course, that Sonny first made his impact on the jazz scene. It's kind of hard to believe, now, that it has been more than twenty years since the days when Sonny first made his impact on the jazz scene. It's kind of hard to believe, now, that it has been more than twenty years since the days when Stitt first began to attract attention, primarily through his records with Dizzy Gillespie; the days when there were people who would insist that it was Charlie Parker, not Sonny, who took the alto solos on That's Earl, Brother and Pop-Bop-Sh'-Bam.

In those days, Benny Green was an up-and-coming trombone player, one who had gotten the message from Dizzy and Bird when they were among his team-mates in that legendary Earl Hines big band which never recorded. Benny has a checkered career, with many ups and downs; if not for quirks of fate, his would be a household name in jazz today. But as his playing on this album indicates beyond dispute, Benny is still one of the great trombone voices; his rich, warm sound, relaxed swing, and fluent ideas are a delight.

Stitt and Green speak the same language, and when they get together, there are no problems of communication. The music they make here is, is you must have a label, solid mainstream jazz in the best sense of the term. Nobody tries to prove anything, except that playing jazz can be a pleasurable and pleasure-giving pursuit. This is comfortable music – which does not by any means imply that it is uninspired or unexciting.

On the contrary, music like this proves that while experimentation may be of certain value, it is not by a long stretch the only valid approach. In fact, the old saying about throwing the baby out with the bathwater is very much applicable to the contemporary jazz scene. When novelty (always called "innovation" by its adherents) becomes the sole criterion, the discoveries of generations of artists are cheerfully (or rather, angrily) abandoned without consideration of their possible permanent value.

Personally, I'd gladly trade you the agonized and agonizing groans and shrieks of a whole flock of new thingers for a few choruses of Sonny Stitt's masterful, relaxed, and always swinging music. You pays your money and you takes your choice.

Though Sonny's hair is turning gray (and he does not choose to hide the fact) he plays with the spirit of youth – seasoned with experience. And while he ask Benny Green have paid many more dues than the youngsters who will make speeches about what society has done to them at the drop of a microphone or journalist's pen, their music is an affirmation of the positive side of life. It has a message of overcoming adversity rather than self-indulgence, and it is not very mystifying that this music should have found and still is finding an audience, while the "new" music, in spite of all propaganda efforts on its behalf, is still searching for enough listeners to subsidize its makers.

Not that the music on this album is all on one level. Listen to Pride And Passion for a mood the that is anything but gay – yet never strident or self-pitying. Besides, it is wrong to think that happy music is soporific and superficial – it is a tonic that can help you no end in facing the problems of existence.

The success of this album is to no small degree due to the excellence of the rhythm sections an all-Detroit team. Drummer Roy Brooks is well known for his long tenure with the Horace Silver Quintet, and not surprisingly, he knows how to play for the group.

Bassist Herman Wright, the bearded one, is perhaps not as well known among the fans as he should be; musicians known his worth. He has played with, among others, George Shearing, Terry Gibbs, Yusef Lateef and Charlie Mingus, and he knows where it's at.

Pianist Kirk Lightsey hasn't had much opportunity to show his gifts as a jazz soloist, since he has been active mainly as an accompanist to singers. His current boss-lady is Damita Jo; prior to that, he was with Sarah Vaughan. His work here should open a few ears; he, Wright, and Brooks can also be heard of Chet Baker's vastest albums (Smokin' With The Chet Baker Quintet (Prestige 7460).

I Want To Be Happy
Love On The Rocks
Blue Lights
Up And Over
Pride And Passion
"Nuff Guff