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Saturday, February 27, 2021

Somebody Up There Digs Me - Louis Jordan


Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying

Somebody Up There Digs Me
Louis Jordan
Mercury Records MG 20242

From the back cover: As anyone who has heard him ad living about his home town can tell you, Louis is a proud product of Brinkley, Arkansas, where, at the age of seven, he began his musical studies with his father in 1915. After playing with a local band in Hot Springs he moved to Philadelphia, joining the Charlie Gaines band there in 1930.

Most of his experience through the 1930's was earned with name bands around New York, including Kaiser Marshall's and Leroy Smith's. It was not until he joined the great band led by the diminutive and fondly-remembered drummer, the late Chick Webb, that he began to emerge as more than just an obscure saxophonist.

With Webb, Louis got a chance to take an occasional vocal. After two years with the band he decided the time had come to strike out on his own; in 1938 he formed a small combo and opened at the Elk's Rendezvous, a small but popular club in Harlem. The band, originally known as the Tympani Five, enjoyed a slow but steady rise to fame as Louis featured himself more and more in vocal blues and novelties. The blues, which he usually played and sang with wry, tongue-in-cheek approach, always remained his forte (no less than seven of the twelve numbers in this collection are based, in whole or in part, on the traditional twelve bar pattern).

What happened to Louis during the 1940's need hardly be repeated here. Climbing from one success to another, he established himself as the creator of hit after hit. His combo, occasionally augmented to full band size to fit the demands of theatre owners, became on of the country's most popular, as well as the most musical unit of its kind. Illness prevented Louis from working on his full-time schedule that could have been his since the early '50's, but as this, his first Mercury album clearly shows, he is now back in full force, personality and enthusiasm unquenched and now brought into clearer focus by brilliant modern recording techniques.

For his Mercury debut, in order to recreate his biggest hits to the fullest advantage, Louis was backed by an all-star band. Ernie Royal, who has worked with everyone from Ellington to Kenton, was on trumpet; Jimmy Cleveland on trombone; Budd Johnson on baritone and tenor; and Sam "The Man" Taylor on tenor sax; Erie Hayes on piano; Mickey Baker on guitar; Wendell Marshall, bass and Charlie Persip on drums. An expert arranger, Quincy Jones, was brought in to recreate and modernize some of the famed Jordan routines.

From Billboard - March 2, 1957: This disk contains some of the best sides by Jordan in a long time. Seven are blues, and tho some marred by an old-fashioned sense of comedy – which perhaps was suitable for stage presentation in years gone by – they, nevertheless, prove that Jordan and his group can deliver a driving, instrumental performance very much in the same groove as some of today's most commercial artists. As a commercial property Jordan must be rebuilt, and this is a good start. Tunes include his old hits, "Is You Is You Ain't Ma Baby," "I'm Gonna Move to The Outskirts Of Town," "Caldonia," etc.

Is You Is Or Is You Ain't Ma Baby
Run Joe
Early In The Morning
Choo Choo Ch Boogie
Knock Me A Kiss
Let The Good Times Roll
Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying
Beware Brother Beware
I'm Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town
Salt Pork West Virginia
Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens

Friday, February 26, 2021

Lollipops And Roses From Hawaii - The Waikikis


A Taste Of Honey

Lollipops And Roses From Hawaii
The Waikikis
KAPP Records KS-3473

Lollipops And Roses
Hawaiian Lollipop
Moon River
One Little Rose
Moonlight And Roses
A Taste Of Honey
Moonlight Serenade
Moonlight And Shadows
Lollipops And Shadows
Lollipops Rag
Red Roses For A Blue Lady

Greatest Hits - The Impression


I'm The One Who Loves You

Greatest Hits
The Impressions
ABC-Paramount ABC 515

From the back cover: Have you noticed how many other groups imitate the sound of The Impressions? If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, as they say, The Impressions are constantly paid tribute as other recording artists go into the studio endeavoring to come up with a record that approaches the fantastically popular sound of The Impressions. This achievement, of course, is impossible, since the distinctive style of The Impressions has been carefully formed, improved upon, and perfected through the years since 1958, when they first began singing as a group.

Curtis Mayfield is leader of The Impressions and writes practically all of their songs. Not only does he also supervise the arrangements, but sings each part to the other two members of the group, Samuel Gooden (bass) and Fred Cash (tenor), until the world-famed sound of The Impressions goes into the recording mike and comes out of your phonograph or radio speaker.

Gypsy Woman
Talking About My Baby
I'm So Proud
Keep On Pushing
Never Let Me Go
It's All Right
You Must Believe Me
Sad, Sad Girl And Boy
I'm The One Who Loves You
Minstrel And Queen
Grow Closer Together

New Sunrise - Brenda Lee


You Are The Sunshine Of My Life

New Sunrise
Brenda Lee
MCA Records MCA-373

From Billboard - November 17, 1973: How does she do it? Every song she sings, every album she puts together surpasses the ones before, and no one can sing quite like Brenda. It is sheer enjoyment, from beginning to end. Her "Sunday Sunrise" is superb; her "Wrong Ideas" is bound to be a hit single. And there are nine others, all great.

Sunday Sunrise
My Love
You Are The Sunshine Of My Life
Must I Believe
Wrong Ideas
We Had It All
Everybody's Had The Blues
Why Me
Slippin' Away
You're My Man Again
Something For A Rainy Day

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Sympathetic Vibrations - Gary McFarland


And I Love Her

Sympathetic Vibrations
Gary McFarland
Produced by Creed Taylor
Director of Engineering: Val Valentine
Art Direction: Sid Maurer
Cover Design: Michael Mendel
This album was formerly released as "Soft Samba" V6-8603
Verve V6-8786


Gar McFarland - Leader, Arranger & Vibes
Jimmy Cleveland - Trombone
Seldon Powell or Spencer Sinatra - Flute
Antonio Carlos Jobin or Kenny Burrell - Guitar
Patty Bowen - Piano
Sol Gubin with Willie Bobo or Arnie Wise - Percussion
Richard Davis - Bass

She Loves You
A Hard Days Night
The Good Life
More (The Theme from the film "Mondo Cane)
And I Love Her
The Love Goddess (Theme from the Paramount picture "The Love Goddess")
I Want To Hold Your Hand
Emily (Theme from the MGM film The Americanization Of Emily)
California Here I Come
La Vie En Rose

Dance To England's Top Orchestra - The Masked Marvels


Somebody Loves Me

Dance To England's Top Orchestra
The Masked Marvels
Wonderful Tunes From My Fair Lady
Phase "60" Series 
Recorded by EMI in London, England
Bethlehem - Cincinnati, Ohio
BX 4007

I Could Have Dance All Night
On The Street Where You Live
Get Me To The Church On Time
With A Little Bit Of Luck
Dancing On The Ceiling 
Somebody Loves Me
Easy To Remember
The Rain In Spain 
 I Forget You
Tuxedo Junction
I Feel Pretty
Old Comrades

Monday, February 22, 2021

Incredible! - Jimmy Smith


Night In Tunisia

Jimmy Smith
Produced by Creed Taylor
Director of Engineering: Val Valentine
Cover Design: David Krieger
Recorded Live in Hamburg, Germany
Metro Records MS-607

From the back cover: Jimmy Smith made a jazz lady of the electric organ

Until he arrived on the scene the Hammond Organ had been confined to use by cocktail music units, rock-n-roll bands, the driving Wild Bill Davis, and sporadically by Count Basie. (Fats Waller played the pipe organ.) But Jimmy, instead of approaching the electric organ as a gimmick, used it as a highly flexible, wide-ranged, electronic extension of himself. The results wowed the fans and indicated new directions for a goodly number of other jazzmen both here and abroad.

A restless probing musician, Smith has developed a flawless technique. As he builds his improvisations on a rock-hard bass line, Jimmy has something else: call it jazz sense or soul if you want, but it's there. His music seems to flow out of someplace way down deep inside him.

Jimmy was born in 1925 in Norristown, Pa., to parents who were both pianists. By the time he was nine, he had won a Major Bowes Amateur Hour Contest, and was appearing regularly as a pianist on radio in Philadelphia.

In 1942 he and his father teamed up as a song-and-dance act. They performed, intermittently, until the outbreak of World War II.

During the war, Jimmy did a hitch in the U.S. Navy. After being discharged, he returned home and played with rhythm and blues outfits in the Philadelphia area until 1953. And then one day ...he heard Will Bill Davis play the organ.

From that day forward it was so long Steinway, hello Hammond! Two years later Jimmy emerged as a jazz organist and tore up the club in Atlantic City, NJ where he made his debut. Next stop, Cafe Bohemia, New York. It didn't take long for Jimmy to build a following; within a matter of weeks the word had spread among musicians that something new was happening with Jimmy Smith on organ.

By 1963 he had set the style for organ groups (usually featuring guitar, saxophone and drums) that was to become widely influential throughout the U.S. and overseas.

Jimmy has made dozens of concert tours of the United States and Europe as well as appearances at every major jazz festival from Newport to Antibes. He has recorded more than twenty albums, many of them with some of the top names in jazz: Stanley Turrentine, Art Blakey, Jimmy Cleveland and Kenny Burrel, to name a few.

Something You've Got
Mack The Knife
Night In Tunisia
Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf

Dance To The City Beat - Kai Winding


Cha Cha Chicago

Dance To The City Beat
The Kai Winding Trombones
Columbia CL 1329

From the back cover: This album was recorded in Columbia's great 30th Street sound studio in Manhattan on the finest in stereophonic recording equipment. Kai's arrangements make full use of the pleasures of stereophonic listening. The high-fidelity monophonic album shares the life-like qualities of these advanced recording techniques. Stereo placement: left – tenor trombones and piano; center – drums; right – bass trombones and string bass.

From Billboard - June 8, 1959: Winding follows his "Swingin' States" best seller with an equally swinging' tribute to several cities. All of the tunes have names of cities in their titles. The arrangements with trombones predominant, of course, are imaginative and inventive. Selections include (Sidewalks of) Manhattan," " Charleston" and "Kalamzoo." Excellent cover.

(Sidewalks of) Manhattan
Lower Boneville
St. Louis Blues
Chattanooga Choo Choo
Moon Over Miami
Shuffle Off To Buffalo
(I've Got A Gal In) Kalamazoo
On The Atchison, Topeka And The Santa Fe
Cha Cha Chicago
I'm A Ding Dong Daddy From Dumas

The Birds And The Bees - Jewel Akens


Love Potion No. 9

The Birds And The Bees
Jewel Akens
Arranged and Conducted by Don Ralke
Photo and Cover Design: J. Barry Herron and Ronald G. Steiner
Album recorded at Gold Star, Hollywood, California
Engineer: Stan Ross
ERA Records 110

From the back cover: The ERA label knew they had signed a great talent when they signed Jewel Akens. He is probably one of the most versatile singers in the record scene today. He can sing anything from R&R, Folk, Gospel, to Pop music.

He has appeared at such famous night clubs as the Statler, Beverly Hilton, the Cocoanut Grove, the Moulin Rouge and Ciros. Jewel, before recording, was primarily a lead singer with various top vocal recording groups. This is his first recording as Jewel Akens, although he has been on many records that have been hits. Then, suddenly, along came "The Birds And The Bees" and Jewel Akens emerged as a mature artist. His warm, rich voice, his unique and highly interpretive style of singing, and the musical reflection of this "bigger love" which is such a real part of his life, all seemed to join in a single recorded expression. What Jewel had been preparing for all his life is now a reality. He is a star, acclaimed and respected, a new voice in America's singing world.

Georgie Porgie
Love Potion No. 9
The Birds And The Bees
So This Is Love
Around The Corner
Dear Heart
Tic Tac Toe
King Of The Road
It's The Only Way To Fly
The Vegetable Love Song

From Broadway With Love - Nancy Wilson


Here's That Rainy Day

From Broadway With Love
Nancy Wilson
Arranged and Conducted by Sid Feller
Produced by David Cavanaugh
Capitol Records T 2433

From Billboard - January 22, 1966: This is a solid follow-up to Nancy Wilson's pervious trip to Broadway. "Like Broadway – My Way," this new set has a strong representation of topflight show song material and she sings them with unusual persuasion which gives added impact to the repertoire.

Hey There
This Dream
I'll Only Miss Him When I Think Of Him
He Loves Me
Here's That Rainy Day
I Had A Ball
Hello, Dolly
Makin' Whoopee
I've Got Your Number
Young And Foolish
You'd Better Love Me

Sunday, February 21, 2021

The Moods Of Taft Jordan


Night Boat

The Moods Of Taft Jordan
His Trumpet And Orchestra
Designed by Emmett McBain
Photo by Jerry White
High Fidelity Custom
Mercury Records MG 20429

The mark "J-22" on the jacket cover is a radio station catalog number.

From the back cover: Jordan is able to transmit so much of himself, only because again he takes the true artist approach. He mastered his horn early. Born in Florence, S. C., Feb. 15, 1915, he made his professional bow at 14 with Ben Jones' orchestra in Norfolk, Va. His greatest early influence was Jones' trumpet man, "Dibu" Keeling, who told him, "Master the low notes and the high ones take care of themselves."

Jordan's first name band experience came with the late Chick Webb's band. While with Webb, Jordan dusted vocally often with Ella Fitzgerald. His one unfulfilled ambition is to  be able to work a tour with Ella again, for when drummer Webb died, Ella fronted his band and Jordan was musical director for several years. When Ella left to do a solo, Duke Ellington put Jordan into a trumpet chair, where he remained for six years. It was only the lure of a steady job in the New York radio studios and the desire to spend more time with his wife, Marcheta, and son, James Taft II, that took him from the royal entourage.

As a New York studio trumpet ace, Jordan has recorded on sessions for over 50 labels and he's appeared consistently on the top radio and TV regs. In 1958, he went to the Brussels' World Fair as lead and jazz trumpet with the Benny Goodman band and returned to the U.S. to work a cross-country tour with BG. The eminent clarinetist, known as a stickler for musical perfection is said to have auditioned 75 trumpet players before settling on Jordan as his brass bulwark. – John Sippel

When Your Lover Has Gone
Night Boat
My Man Cha Cha
Do Anything
September Song
It's The Talk Of The Town
Second Balcony Jump

Daydream - The Johnny Mann Singers


Bye Bye Blues

The Johnny Mann Singers
Producer: Dave Pell
Engineer: Bob Doherty
Art Direction: Woody Woodward
Cover Photography: Ivan Nagy
Cover Model: Barbara Bouchet
Liberty Records LRP-3447

From Billboard - May 21, 1966: The sounds emerging from the Johnny Mann Singers are both soothing and scintillating. Their work here covers a variety of pop moods that are sure to please a wide audience. It's also a good programming bet for the "good music" stations.

What Now My Love (Et Maintenat)
I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
It Was A Very Good Year
Call Me
Love Is All We Need
Crying Time
Husbands And Wives
Spanish Eyes
Think I'll Go Somewhere And Cry Myself To Sleep
Bye Bye Blues

Top Chart Hits Volume 10 - Fish And Chips


Brown Sugar


Top Chart Hits
Volume 10
Vocals by The Fish And Chips
Played And Sung Like The Original Hits!!
Alshire STEREO S-5238

Brown Sugar
Joy To The World
Never Can Say Goodbye
Want Ads
Sweet And Innocent
Put Your Hand In The Hand
Bridge Over Troubled Water
Power To The People

Two Much! - Ann Richards & Stan Kenton


No Moon At All

Two Much!
The Fantastic Voice Of Ann Richards
Backed By The Wailing Big Band Of Stan Kenton
Produced by Ed Yelin
Capitol Records ST1495

From the back cover: Stans Comments - My beliefs and enthusiasm for Ann's talents have been expressed many times. So having her record with the band is a happy realization. Because of her ability and technique, it is possible to do many things with her voice; and here we have given her several ways to go. The tempos are varied, and the arrangements are by no less than five men.

One other important thing makes this album especially exciting: it was recorded with the band right after it returned from a road tour. There is nothing as moving as a band that is playing constantly together.

I hope that as she rises in the world of show business, it will always be possible for Ann to make occasional albums with the band. It seem there is no limit to her ability.

Also from the back cover: Ann tells about the album - As Stan says, when we recorded this album we had just come back from a road tour, and believe me, it was about the most exciting eight weeks I've ever spent. This is a young, enthusiastic group, all musicians who are not the least bit blasé about what they are doing and who really like to be heard.

I felt that if we could turn loose the same amount of energy and excitement in the studio that we had built up to on tour, we would have something really worth hearing. 

I know that I felt really inspired; and Stanley's such a great leader and he was able to draw the same response from these fine guys that live audiences did – maybe even more. You'll have to judge the results, of course, but I know this approach certainly made the sessions a lot of fun for all of us.

From Billboard - January 9, 1961: The Stan Kenton crew has given a number of top jazz singers to the world, including Anita O'Day, June Christy, and Chris Connor. Thrush Ann Richards could join these outstanding thrushes through her remarkable performance on this new album. She shows off an exciting style and a warm manner of handling a tune that is all her own, yet in the jazz tradition, even down to her scat singing. And she is backed solidly by the Kenton crew all the way. Tunes include "It's A Wonderful World," "No Moon At All" and "All Or Nothing At All."

It's A Wonderful World
The Morning After
I Was The Last To Know
My Kinda Love
I Got Rhythm 
No Moon At All
Don't Be That Way
Suddenly I'm Sad
Nobody Like My Baby
All Or Nothing At All