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Saturday, December 25, 2021

Wolf At Your Door - Tommy Wolf


Wolf At Your Door

Wolf At Your Door
Tommy Wolf
Cover Design: Burt Goldblatt
Back Cover Photo: John Goldstone
Fraternity Records - Cincinnati, Ohio

From the back cover: To those of you who are several dollars poorer, welcome to a recital of No Coast Jazz. In this case... vocal. If you're searching for musical boundaries this LP was created within the city limits of St. Louis, Missouri, which has been accused of many things but never of being a coastal city; and at least I must assume that this LP will be classified as "JAZZ" along with the other four thousand LPs released this week. For "JAZZ" is now ubiquitous, and has attained such levels of snobbery in our culture I fear we soon shall be smoking jazzarettes, commuting in jaamobiles, living in the jazz burgs, getting our credit on the jazzmen plan, and making weekly visits to our psyjazzitrists. But please don't conclude that I'm against the idea of reaching this state of complete jazziness. The jazzier things are, the better I like them. I'm just apprehensive of some jazzy clerk's inevitable filing of this record in the "Mood Section" of his store, next to "Musical Therapy for Musical Therapists". This would infuriate Harry Carlson, the last of the great Ohio River gamblers, who picked up the tab for Fraternity and who thinks that he's getting his bourbon straight.

If, by this time, you've had your fill of rhetoric, I suggest you stop this reading and dig the LP; but for the rest of us masochists... let's cliche on. Mush!

I was playing background piano music for a horde of stumbling conventioneers at the Jefferson Hotel in St. Louis one cold October evening in 1952, when a group of people wearing European imitations of American clothing entered the Rendezvous to listen to a speech by Adlai Stevenson on the giant-size 7 inch screen. I took them to my heart immediately, because although they also weren't paying any attention to me, at least they had a different reason; and when, during the lull of one of the Democratic commercials, they requested a few tunes that I not only despised but hadn't even heard of to boot, they became my friends for life, and invited me to become Musical Director of a bar they were about to open. Of course I had to play the piano, but the TITLE was costing me only a hundred dollars per week; so I thought... what the hell. That was the beginning of the Crystal Palace, a saloon very difficult to omit from any list of the world's ten best dressed boƮtes, and my association with a fabulous family... the Landesman... Fred and Paula, Jay and Fran. And it was also the beginning of this LP.

I had always dabbled at songwriting so my daughter would have enough special material to support me when she grew up, and occasionally I would perform them at the slightest provocation. My solo venturesomeness ended that last Saturday in January, 1953, when Fran Landesman slipped a lyric into my pocket as I was leaving the bar... a lyric with such freshness, humor and satire that I was forced to set it to music before I could think of sleep. Thus, our first song, "This Little Love Of Ours", was born without the aid of a piano in little more time than it took me to write it down; and it remains my sentimental favorite. I realized immediately, if this was only a sample, that after years of precarious, accident-prone existence I finally had had a happy accident.

This is really Fran's LP, and in a sense I am just the mechanical UNIVAC that will come up with the correct answer after the correct button is pushed. Fran writes everywhere: in taxis, movies, bed, bathrooms and bars. Consequently the lyrics are printed (she attended a progressive school) on whatever paper is handy... which sometimes produces quite astonishing souvenirs. She writes with incredible speed in curious flashes of intense concentration, as a stenographer taking sudden, urgent dictation from a personal, omnipotent muse. When this hysteria is exhausted, she gives battle to the stammers of self-conscious-birthing:; but she reacts to the completed song with the simple excitement of a child. Since she knows nothing whatever about music (except the lyric from every song that was a smash failure), her writing very often cannot be crammed into conversational phrase lengths and patterns; yet her rhythms and accents are so natural and flowing that you are never aware of odd measured periods, phrases and cadences.

The main object in our collaboration is a unity of lyric and music with logical comfortableness. The lyric is paramount and always precedes the music. My job is to give the diamond a purposeful setting, and, in rare instances, to suggest, a different cutting (damn these metaphors). Then, after much anguish, many bruises and more vituperation, we reach some sort of disagreeable agreement that my melody has imprisoned the spirit of her lyric... and our song is ready for complete obscurity.

Our music doesn't hate anyone. It's created specifically to increase your consumption of chuckles and chills, and attempts to prove only that it has nothing important to prove. Many composers demand an "as written" performance of their sanctified works, whatever that many mean, since arrangers are hired to bring out any piano copies to which the public eventually may have access; or if the song is written for the movies or stage, another arranger,  scorer, orchestrator, vocal coach, director and conductor all may have some influence on the final performance. But we have no such delusions. A song is a story to be told with sympathy and understanding, or an experience recalled with vivid perception. It is the "mean" with which an interpreter achieves a valid, emotional "end", and to restrict the interpretation or limit the performer's personal, imaginative horizons is pure folly. After all, we are dealing with AMERICAN Lieder, whose COLLECTIVE musical importance I will defend always, and a style of free-wheeling pulsation that gives the American Lied its peculiar charm. The "right way" to present any particular song and the individual independence of the performer are inseparable... a position which made ironic shambles of the many contemplative hours I was forced to spend to arrive at the "right way" for ME to project my own creations.

Just as Fran furnished the original impetus for this collection, so, too, did Jackie Cain and Roy Kral add the necessary momentum. The many facets of this exciting couple are guaranteed to stimulate the fantasies of any fastidious cult... from a rollicking brand of raillery to a flawless musical and personal strength which rejoices in the fact that Jackie is a woman and Roy is a man. Without their encouragement and publicity, Fran and I would be just a couple of unknowns from St. Louis instead of a couple of unobtrusive paupers... from St. Louis. And I herby acknowledge a great debt of gratitude to Dick Noel, who, with no other motive except perhaps a perverted sense of justice, spent a large part of his spare time seeing that we received the proper number of rejection slips from all sort of publishers (to classify us as "pros") before placing our tunes in the Buckeye catalogs.

Chicago's Universal Recording Studios on February 5th and 6th, 1956, converged the labors of the past three years to an ultimate conclusion, and marked the debut of my voiceless voice (which, according to music critic Jerry Berger, "resounds with all the brassiness of a Velvet Hammer striking a Scotch Mist"). I was extremely fortunate to enjoy the musical empathy of three exceptional musicians who have an early breakfast every morning with Don McNeil on ABC: guitarist Johnny Gray, bassist Jack Shirra and percussionist Tommy Thomas. Their aggregate musical itinerancy puts Rand-McNally to shame, and the roots of their inspiration are traceable puts Rand-McNally to shame, and the roots of their inspiration are traceable to the Paleolithic Age... good reasons why they now should be entitled to the choice security of the studios. Johnny, known to his associates as "Screamy", and rather understates the exciting fireworks of which he is capable, wailed his lusty way through the Dardanelle Trio and the Ray McKinley band to collect his quota of medals. The only leader who was denied the steady, tender warmth of Jack's confident fingers seems to be John Philip Sousa, since Jack has seen action with Hal Kemp, Kay Kyser, Percy Faith, John Scott Trotter, Joe "Fingers" Carr, Red Nichols, Dave Barbour, Ralph Merterie and countless others. Tommy, in addition to earning a national reputation as a teacher, theorist, and show drummer, was the timekeeper for many of the musicians whose names are now legend; and his friends suspect to his groovy funkiness. Inasmuch as musicians similar afflicted with an A.F. of M. card (for whosoever shall be considered hip this week is apt to find himself recategorized completely by next Sunday), I hope I have contribute my little bit to correct this unfortunate condition.

The probability that several tunes will catch on as singing commercial is, of course, a stimulating prospect; but my greatest thrill is my opportunity to join the vast army of unsung heroes who indulge themselves in America's most provocative hobby... writing liner notes. And so with a smile and a cap d'off to the better known writers, let me fearlessly and foolish state, simple, that I am certainly extremely positively delighted, elated, enthused, and ecstatic about the whole durned thing. 

Well, bring on the depression; I'm tired of being lonesome! – Tommy Wolf

It Will Only Hurt A Minute
It Isn't A Secret
This Little Love Of Ours
You Inspire Me
Say Cheese
Season In The Sun
I Love You Real
I'm All Right 'Til You Touch Me
You Can't Go Home Again
There Are Days When I Don't Think Of You At All
Listen Little Girl

Friday, December 24, 2021

Love Letters - Julie London


Come On-A My House

Love Letters
Julie London
Producer: Snuff Garrett
Engineers: Eddie Brackett & Jim Economides
Cover Design: Francis & Monahan, Inc.
Photography: Garrett-Howard, Inc.
Liberty Records LRP 3231

From the back cover: This being Julie's fifteenth LP, liner notes seem superfluous. What more could be said about this sensational personality? Let's just say that this album contains Julie's inimitable performances of twelve superb songs, each of which was recently a big hit.

Now, let's get down to some fine listening.

I Love You Porgy
My Heart Reminds Me
Love Letters
Broken-Hearted Melody
The Second Time Around
What A Diff'rence A Day Made
Never On Sunday
Hey There
All The Way
I Miss You So
Come On-A My House

The Austin-Moro Big Band

Gonna Fly Now

The Austin-Moro Big Band
Executive Producer: Jeffery Parsons
Associate Producers: Emil Moro & Jeff Steinberg
Produced by Lanny Austin
Recording Engineer: Ken Sands
Back Photos: David Bartlett
Recorded "Live" 2-Track: Cloudborn Studios, Grosse Pointe, Michagan
Locust 006041X


Chuck Feger: Flute & Alto Saxophone
Emil Moro: Clarinet & Alto Saxophone
George F. Benson: Clarinet & Tenor Saxophone
Jose Maltar: Flute, Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone (Lead on But Time Will Tell) & Tenor Saxophone
Lanny Austin: Piccolo, Bass Clarinet, Clarinet & Baritone Saxophone
Leo Harrison: Trombone
Al Winters: Trombone
Eldrid Baird: Trombone
Bill Lane: Bass Trombone
Maurice Davis: Lead Trumpet, & Flugelhorn
Mike Skrynski, Jr.: Trumpet (Lead on Gonna Fly Now & But Time Will Tell) & Flugelhorn
David Bartlett: Trumpet & Flugelhorn 
Gary Schunk: Acoustic Piano, Electric Piano & Synthesizer
Robert Troy: Electric Guitar
Don Lewandowski: Electric Bass
Joe Chila: Drums
Leslie David: Percussion
George Trola Jr.: Trombone (Replaces Al Winters on What Are You Doing)

From the back cover: Emil and I formed the Austin-Moro Band in 1968 with the intention of providing a big band that could meet the highest standards of our best Detroit area jazz and studio musicians. (Lord knows Detroit has always produced more than its share!)

We wanted to put together a band in which the personnel would be versatile enough to handle any musical situation. Versatile enough to perform jazz concerts, such as the 1973 Montreux Jazz Festival... versatile enough to entertain football fans (some ten zillion or so while serving as the official Detroit Lions' Band)... versatile enough to play shows and back name artists, from the likes of Pat Boone and Mel Torme to Bill Watrous and Maynard Ferguson... versatile enough to supply music for private parties without flinching at those endless requests: "Can you play a waltz?" "Do you know In The Mood?" "Got anything with a fast beat?"

Through the vast talent, energy and cooperation of the people listed on this album cover, Emil and I have been able to meet our goal of big band musical versatility, and we've had a ball doing it! For that we owe a hearty and well-deserved "Thank You" to these fine musicians and friends for their tireless efforts in our various projects.

Thanks also to those wonderful "Big Band Nuts" who've supported our music as listeners. And a special thanks to those who pestered us into doing this long overdue album. – Lanny

Gonna Fly Now (Theme from "Rocky")
But Time Will Tell
Take The "A" Train
Who Can I Turn To?
Sneaking' Thru The Door
Bad Samba
What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?

George Crumb - Makrokosmos, Volume 1 - David Burge


Part Two

George Crumb
Makrokosmos, Volume 1
Twelve Fantasy-Pieces After The Zodiac For Amplified Piano
David Burge, Piano
Engineer & Musical Supervision: Marc J. Aubort & Joanne Nickrena (Elite Recording, Inc.)
Mastering: Robert C. Ludwig (Sterling Sound, Inc.)
Coordinator: Teresa Sterne
Cover Design: Paula Bisacca
Cover Reproduction of No. 12 Spiral Galaxy (Aquarius) courtesy of the publisher by C. F. Peters Corporation, 1973
Nonesuch H-71293

From the back cover: George Crumb was born in Charleston, West Virginia. His principal teacher in composition was Ross Lee Finney at the University of Michigan. Crumb's Echoes Of Time And The River; Four Processionals For Orchestra, premiered by the Chicago Symphony, was awarded the 1968 Pulitzer Prize in Music. In 1971, his Ancient Voices Of Children (Nonesuch -71255) received both the International Rostrum of Composers (UNESCO) Award and the Koussevitzky International Recording Award. Since 1965, Mr. Crumb has taught composition at the University of Pennsylvania.

David Burge (b. 1930, Evanston, Ill.), one of America's foremost performers of contemporary music, received music degrees from Northwestern University and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree and Artists Diploma from the Eastman School of Music. Active as a composer, pianist and conductor, Burge has been a professor on the music faculty of the University of Colorado, Boulder, since 1962. He founded the University's Festival of Contemporary Music in 1966 and continued as its director for six years, also serving as musical director and conductor of the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, 1965-72. Mr. Burge is a founding member of the American Society of University Composers and has been its Chairman since 1970. In his frequent tours of Europe, the Far East, and the United States, Burge has given premiere performances of a number of contemporary piano works, several of them written for him. He has recorded for Advance, Candide, Fratellie Fabbri, and Mercury; his Advance album New Piano Music, FRG-3, includes George Crumb's Five Pieces For Piano. This recording marks his first appearance on Nonesuch.

Part One
Primeval Sounds (Genesis I) Cancer
Proteus Pisces
Pastorale (from the Kingdom of Atlantis, ca. 10,000 B.C.) Taurus 
Crucifixus Capricorn

Part Two
The Phantom Gondolier Scorpio
Night-Spell I Sagittarius

Music of Shadows (for Aeolian Harp) Libra
The Magic Circle of Infinity (Moto Perpetuo) Leo

Part Three
The Abyss of Time Virgo
Spring-Fire Aries
Dream Images (Love-Death Music) Gemini
Spiral Galaxy Aquarius

Song Without End - Harry Sukman



Song Without End
The Harry Sukman Orchestra Plays Classics
A&R Coordinator: Ed Barsky
Art Director: Woody Woodward
Sunset SUM-1128
A Product Of Liberty Records

Rachmaninoff Concerto
Stella By Starlight
Chopin Waltz
My Consolation
Grieg Concerto
Rachmaninoff Theme
Chopin Nocturne
Brahms Waltz
Song Without End

The Best Of Charlie MacKinnon


Ballad Of A Teenage Tragedy

The Best Of Charlie MacKinnon
Songs Of Cape Breton
Executive Producer: Phil Anderson
Producer: Jack Anderson
Recorded: Bay Studios, Toronto
Photo: Allan Rubin - AAR Associates
Cover Design: Graphic Preparations
ACR Sound Citation Series ACS-5029
Made In Canada

The Caribou Showband
Johnny Burke
Roddy Lee
Bob Lucier
Brain Barron
Robert Cunningham

From the back cover: Charlie MacKinnon and Lillian Crewe Walsh have made a substantial contribution to the folklore of Cape Breton Island by writing many songs and poems that will take their place among the traditional music brought to the Island from Scotland and Ireland by the people who settled there.

On this album Charlie MacKinnon has re-recorded the songs he is most requested to perform on his many tours and appearances throughout the Maritimes and New England States.

Charlie is a native of Cape Breton and as evident in the song My Cape Breton Home as well as other compositions, is very proud of it. He is truly an artist that warrants the gratitude of the people of Cape Breton Island for his major contribution to their music and their culture.

My Cape Breton Home
The Ghost Of Bras d'or
The Ballad Of A Teenage Tragedy
The Legen Of Kelly's Mountain
An Old Haunted Castle In Scotland
Down By The Big Shoal
Free And Easy While Joggin' Along
Donald From Bras d'or
Black Around Their Eyes
Somebody's Waiting For You
The Little Irish Maid

My Best To You! - Connie Francis


Terra Straniera

My Best To You!
Connie Francis
MGM Records 91143

Connie Francis performs 29 glowing songs that display her internationally acclaimed talent.

From the inside cover: Scholar Versus Singer

Connie had already cut several singles. None had really caught fire. On the other hand, she was an honor student and scholarship recipient – ideally suited, it would seem, for the arduous studies required for a medical scholar.

Her father suggested a change of material – an older song with a contemporary beat. So, in November of 1957, Connie recorded a new single, Who's Sorry Now. Soon afterward the record sold over 1,000,000 copies.

Today Connie is a glamorous and sophisticated lady – a truly regal star of the entertainment world. Two reasons for her popularity stand out: outstanding talent and great choice of material. Here on this deluxe two-record set is a wealth of songs exemplifying all of Connies's talents.

An International Star

Recognition of her star status is not limited to this country. She is loved throughout the world. One of her most treasured experiences occurred in July of 1963 when Connie was honored with the request to give a "command performance" before Queen Elizabeth.

Connie's world-wide following is attested to by the fact that she has recorded songs in eight languages, including English, Spanish, Italian, Hebrew and German. She has over 30 albums to her credit and is in constant demand for public appearances.

Even as a child, Connie loved to sing and to entertain. At the age of three, Connie was fascinated by her father's concertina playing. Because of her precocious musical interest, her father brought her an accordion. Soon she was performing at church benefits, hospitals and family gathering, all but hidden by the huge, gleaming instrument. And when she played, she sang.

Connie's First Big Break

At 11, Connie got her first big break – on Arthur Godfrey's annual Christmastime version of his Talent Scout's show. The enthusiastic audience response to that appearance resulted in an audition for a juvenile TV variety show, "Star Time," produced by George Scheck.

"At first," recalls Connie, "Mr. Scheck didn't want to audition me. He had already listened to so many singers that he wasn't interested in hearing any more. Then, my father, who was with me, mentioned that I also played the accordion. That intrigued Mr. Scheck sufficiently to arrange an audition for me the next day." Thus began one of the most successful and enduring relationship in show business. Scheck not only hired Connie for his program, but was so impressed with her that he persuaded her parents to let him become Connie's manager. He was convinced that she had the potential for big-time stardom. His perspicacity was amply rewarded, for to this day Scheck still guides Connie's career.

An Overnight Celebrity

At 17, Connie signed her first recording contract. Following the tremendous success of Who's Sorry Now, Connie found herself an overnight celebrity. She had become a star not only in America, but throughout the entire world. Connie toured the United States, then swept through Australia, New Zeland, South Africa and Europe. The world was at her feet.

As Connie's popularity grew, fans recognized that she was blessed with more than a remarkable voice. It became clear that she was one of the most glamorous female vocalists of her time. Connie's svelte good looks and sophistication were heralded wherever she performed. Critics and audiences alike recognized the fact that Connie Francis was not only a songstress of exceptional talent, but a young woman of striking attractiveness, as well. Night club impresarios across the nation eagerly sought Connie's appearance in such top clubs as New York's famed Copacabana, Las Vegas' exciting Sahara, and Miami's exotic Eden Roc.

Offers From Hollywood

In each club appearance Connie made new conquests among critics as well as audiences. Fan clubs sprang up across the nation as she attracted new fans by the thousands. It was inevitable that Hollywood would begin wooing Connie. In 1961, she agreed to appear in MGM's "Where The Boy's Are." The film quickly became an international hit and a box office bonanza, so a sequel film, "Follow The Boys," was rushed into production. When this motion picture also scored a big success, Connie's fans rejoiced in the fact that their singing idol was now a movie star as well.

This Is You Life

1961 was a momentous year for Connie in many ways. Utilizing the same talent that made her editor of her high school newspaper, Connie wrote her first book. "For Every Young Heart." Public demand was so great that an additional soft cover printing resulted. And during the same year, Ralph Edwards reviewed her life on "This Is Your Life." As if all this were not enough excitement for any single year, the CBS-TV "Person To Person" program visited Connie. Later she starred on her one TV special.

Since that time Connie has acknowledged a cascading torrent of awards and citations. A sampling includes eight gold records signifying sales of 1,000,000 each; the title of "Queen Of Hearts" from the American Heart Association for fund-raising charity work; five citations from the popular "American Bandstand" program naming her "Best Singer Of The Year," certificates from Billboard, Cashbox, Music Vendor and Music Reporter certifying her as "most programmed" female vocalist on disc jockey programs; Playboy's Gold Medal Award as "Best Female Vocalist Of The Year." Radio Luxembourg's Golden Lion Award as "Most Programmed Vocalist" – male or female – on the European continent; a certificate from Japan, in Japanese, naming her "Japan's Favorite American Singer;" announcement by the Custom Clothiers Association of America that Connie is "among the nation's best dressed and most impeccably groomed women" – the list of Connie's plaudits goes on endlessly.

A Glamorous Young Lady

Connie is one-of-a-kind combination of looks, talent and business acumen. A singularly perceptive young lady, she is an astute manager of her own business affairs, in addition to her more artistic accomplishments. IN the fascinating world of show business and internationally famous performers, Connie reigns as one of the most alluring young ladies of the day. She has emerged from her teens into glamorous young womanhood, and her fast paced daily schedule attests to that fact. Connie's life is a dizzying merry-go-round of TV, nightclub and concert appearances as well as foreign tours, rehearsals, costume fitting and – to the delight of her multitudinous fans – recording sessions.

Here, in this two-record set of her most popular hits, Connie celebrates her tenth anniversary with MGM Records. With these unforgettable selections, Connie projects her every mood, from the pensive magic of The Shadow Of Your Smile to the up-beat excitement of Ma (He's Makin' Eyes At Me), from the majestic Somewhere, My Love to the impassioned Forget Domani. Connie is here to entertain you with all her haunting loveliness. So place your phonograph needle into the groove and settle back to listen to the thrilling voice of one of the world's most appealing female vocalists.

Who's Sorry Now
Dance My Trouble Away
Three Coins In The Fountain
It's A Great Day For The Irish
La Violetera
My Happiness
The Second Time Around
April Love
High Noon
Forget Domani
The Shadow Of Your Smile
Three O'Clock In The Morning
Ma (He's Makin' Eyes At Me)
Somewhere My Love
Love Is A Many Splendor Thing
La Bamba
Terra Straniera
So Long, Good-Bye

Thursday, December 23, 2021

The Dixieland Story - Matty Matlock



The Dixieland Story
Matty Matlock and The Paducah Patrol
Volume One
Produced by Lou Bush
Cover Photo by Bert Six
Warner Bros. B 1317

From the back cover: Matty Matlock's music is Dixie, the unvarnished variety. It's the authentic and logical growth of music that started out in old New Orleans.

But Matty Matlock's Dixie is neither traditional nor antique. If an album needs a purpose, Matty has one for "The Dixieland Story." He is determined to take the style back from the collectors, purists, and the Library of Congress. To accomplish his mission Matty has backed his own clarinet with an able platoon: Stan Wrightsman, Piano; Nick Fatool, Drums; George Van Eps, Guitar; Morty Corb, Bass; John Best and Shorty Sherock, Trumpets; Moe Schneider and Abe Lincoln, Trombones; and the great sax star, Eddie Miller, on Baritone.

Also from the back cover: The Dixieland Story was originally issued by Warner Bros. Records in 1958 as a two-record, boxed set (2B 1202). In response to numerous requests, it has been re-issued as two individual albums: the same swinging music in brand new packages.

Wolverine Blues
St. James Infirmary
Royal Garden Blues
High Society
Jazz Me Blues
South Rampart Street Parade
Little Rock Getaway
Washboard Blues
Paducah Parade

The Best Of Sonny James


Young Love

The Best Of Sonny James
The Southern Gentleman
Produced by Ken Nelson & Marvin Hughes
Cover Photo: Capitol Photo Studio / Ken Veeder
Capitol The Star Line ST 2615

From Billboard - November 26, 1966: For the first time, all of the top Sonny James hits under one cover and a sales blockbuster it is. With such hits as "True Love's A Blessing," "Young Love," "Behind The Tear" and "Room In Your Heart" featured this LP can't miss hitting the top of the chart, timed perfectly with Capitol's "Sonny James Month" for November.

Room In Your Heart
Young Love
I'll Keep Holding On (Just To Your Love)
The Minute You're Gone
Behind The Tear
True Love's A Blessing
Take Good Care Of Her
Ask Marie
For Rent
You're The Only World I Know
Going Through The Motions (Of Living)
Till The Last Leaf Shall Fall

Today - Herbie Mann



Herbie Mann
Arranged & Conducted by Oliver Nelson
Supervision: Nesuchi Ertegun
Cover Design: Haig Adishian
Recording Engineer: Tom Dowd
Atlantic 1454


Herbie Mann - Flute or Alto Flute
Jimmy Owens - Trumpet
Jack Hitchcock & Joseph Orange - Tombones
Dave Pike - Vibed
Earl May - Bass
Bruno Carr - Drums
Carlos "Potato" Valdes - Percussion

From the back cover:

Herbie Mann, in addition to being an outstanding jazz musician, is an outspoken man about music. The following interview with Herbie Mann on such varied subjects as pop music, musical tastes, free expression, the Bossa Nova, closed and open minds, and John Lennon and Paul McCartney was made after he had time to reflect on his new album, Today. (Questions are by interviewer Bob Rolontz)>

Q: What is the meaning of the word Today as the title of this album? Do you mean today's music of today's style?

Mann: I mean Herbie Mann today. This is the music I listen to, and this music is exactly my taste at the moment.

Q: Your taste in popular music, jazz music or...

Mann: In music. I don't separate pop, classical, or jazz music. I play everything from a Satie piece to an African tribal chant. For me jazz is improvisation – in any meter, to any form. It's the end result that makes it jazz, whether the source is Israeli of the Beatles or Duke Ellington. It's the player, not the instrument. When I first started everyone said the flute was not a jazz instrument either. If a jazz performer plays it, then it's a jazz instrument; if a classical performer plays it, then it's a classical instrument.

Q: Then you feel that nothing is as important to a jazz musician as improvisation?

Mann: Yes, And every jazz musician chooses, if he has a choice, the material he wants to improvise on. There are no limitations as far as I am concerned. I listen to everything.

Q: Do you think improvisation is possible with all music?

Yes. The easy way is to swing all the music in the American jazz style of swinging. The right way is to improvise in the original context of the music. Otherwise there is no validity to it.

Q: You mean what the Swing Singers do is valid but what the swing bands used to do when they "swung the classics" was invalid?

Mann: Yes. That's why when I play an African tune I try to assimilate the whole feeling and mood of the piece just as if I was one of the original performers. That's probably why the Brazilians say I play Bossa Nova better than any other American musician. When I play Middle Eastern music the same thing happens. I don't really know why, but maybe it's because I try to understand the music I play instead of closing my mind and saying I'm only going to play Charlie Parker.

Q: Your career seems to be marked by a succession of different styles of music which you adopted even though they were ahead of the musical tastes of the time. Why this constant need for change?

Mann: I have to be interested in what I am doing at the time. I do not pre-condition my tastes. I always leave myself completely open to listen to something new. And I have enough confidence in my self to try something new. For example, when I came back from Brazil in 1961, I changed the band that had recorded for the Village Gate LP (Atlantic 1380) and formed a band to play Bossa Nova. I started working with this new band in January of 1962. My fans at the time said they didn't like the subtle changes in my music. The critics asked me why I decided to play Bossa Nova and what I thought would happen to Bossa Nova in the United States.

Q. What did you tell them?

Mann: Naturally I said it would become the next big thing in music. When it did, suddenly I became a prophet.

Q: What are you trying to say on Today?

Mann: I feel I can improvise on current pop music, as well as early Duke Ellington, and make them both equally valid today. Take the Beatles, for instance: John Lennon and Paul McCartney happen to be two of the most interesting writers on the current scene. The fact that they sell millions of albums to supposedly unsophisticated youngsters doesn't take away from the value of their music. Although The Lennon-McCartney lyrics are important now, it's their music of a standard as Jerome Kern's Yesterdays. The same goes for Burt Bacharach and Hal David. By the same token, there is no reason to peg Duke Ellington's music as being ancient.

Q: The Lennon-McCartney songs must have been played millions of times. What have you done to make them listenable all over again?

Mann: Between Oliver Nelson and me, we've uncovered another dimension in these pop hits. We have given them a new character. Sometimes I think– given a wild imagination – that what we have done is the original, and what pop singers have done with these songs is the variation.

From Billboard - March 5, 1966: In a program highlighting the Mann style of "Today," the flute virtuoso presents eight jazz renderings of current pop hits and bossa nova tunes in an exciting package for dealers and programmers. "Yesterday" and "If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody" stand out with the title tune.

Today - Herbie Mann & Oliver Nelson
The Creole Love Call - Duke Ellington
Don't Say I Didn't Tell You So - Hal David & Burt Bacharach
Arrastao - Edu Lobo & Norman Gimbel
The Mooch - Duke Ellington
If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody - Rudy Clark
Yesterday - John Lennon & Paul McCartney
The Night Before - John Lennon & Paul McCartney

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Modern Sounds - Gerry Mulligan & Shorty Rogers


Popo (Rogers)

Simbah (Mulligan)

Gene Norman Presents
Modern Sounds
Gerry Mulligan & His Tentette
Shorty Rogers & His Giants
Capitol Records T691


Side One:
Shorty Rogers - Trumpet
Art Pepper - Alto Saxophone
Jimmy Giuffre - Tenor Sax
Gene England - Tuba
John Graas - French Horn
Hampton Hawes - Piano
Don Bagley - Bass
Shelly Mann - Drums

Side Two:

Gerry Mulligan - Baritone Saxophone
Bud Shank - Alto Saxophone
Don Davidson - Baritone Saxophone
Chet Baker, Pete Condoli - Trumpets
Bob Enevoldsen - Trombone
John Graas - French Horn
Ray Siegal - Tuba
Joe Mondragon - Bass
Chico Hamilton or Larry Bunker - Drums

From the back cover: These were key dates for some of the sidemen as well as for the leaders and general jazz thinking. The men are scattered now; eleven of the eighteen have had their own dates, and an even larger proportion will probably figure in music polls for years to come.

Comparison of the two main figures and their music many reveal similarities, but there is little resemblance in physical appearance. Except that both have worn beards off an on, most every aspect is different. Gerry is tall, lean, and fair, constructed something like a soft-shoe dancer. Shorty is short, dark, and stocky, built along the lines of a diminutive blacksmith. And although both men are known for their humorous sides, Shorty is more the urchin type; Gerry is somewhat wry.

Other personal angles reveal parallels, however; both are easterners, with records of much activity in California jazz – Rogers as a steady settler, and Mulligan starting his historic quartet and recording heavily in Hollywood. Both men have a spare nickname, derived from their better known ones: Shorty's friend sometimes call him Shorts; Gerry is also known as Jeru. And while none would begrudge Jeru salaams for his soloing, nor diminish Shorts stature as a trumpeter, they both enjoy more prestige from their writing than four their blowing. Yet their playing and writing combined don't give the full picture; each has been a hub for an impressive amount of jazz activity. Unquestionably, each deserves the rank of Ace for his service to the Hot wing of American music: they have climbed high to fight off jazz's formidable enemy – stagnation – thus clearing the air for future exploration. - Will MacFarland

Four Mothers 
Sam And The Lady
Over The Rainbow
Apropos recorded October, 1951, in Hollywood

Westwood Walk
Walking Shoes
A Ballad
Taking A Chance On Love recorded January, 1953, in Hollywood

Four Horns And A Lush Life - Russ Garcia


Just One Of Those Things

Four Horns And A Lush Life
Russ Garcia and His Orchestra
Cover Design by Burt Goldblatt
Photography by Stan Levy
Engineer: Val Valentin
Bethlehem Records BCP-46


Conductor - Russ Garcia - 
Trombone - Frank Rosolino, Herbie Harper, Tommy Pederson & Maynard Ferguson (Courtesy Emarcy Records)
Drums - Stan Levey
Bass - Red Mitchell
Piano - Marty Patch
Baritone Saxophon - Dick Houlgate

From the back cover: It is only in recent years that the theory of standard instrumentation for band of vocal has been shattered. Time was when musician and listener alike accepted the prevailing mode as the sacrosanct formula for organizing a successful musical aggregation.

Admittedly, economics were an important factor in forcing this condition on the music business, and even today makes its presence felt in the conventional, non-experimental dance units that dot the scene.

As in any art form, however, there emerges an element that denounces the norms of standard procedure, and suggests an experimental framework on which newer and greater presentations can be fashioned. Thus, in this LP, Bethlehem offers four trombones with support from a rhythm section and a baritone sax that validates the experimental cause.

This orchestral sound was first hear supporting Frances Faye on her initial Bethlehem LP (BCP-23). Then, as now, Russ Gracia was responsible for the distinctive arrangements that characterize this sound. Because it IS a different approach, it was concluded that the four "bones" should have an outing on their own with similar rhythm backing – only the guitar is absent – and a baritone sax added for support.

The trombone playing members of the group are the same men who worked on the Frances Faye date with great success. Slide trombones were in the hands of Herbie Harper, Tommy Pederson and Frank Rosolino, while Maynard Ferguson romped through the proceedings on valve trombone. Each member of this quartet has distinguished himself as an artist in brass, and their blended talents has produced a trombone choir that is unexcelled.

Three of the foremost rhythm men on the west coast were chosen for the date and come again turned in stellar performances. Marty Paich, who divides his musical week between playing and arranging, is heard on piano. Red Mitchell, a veritable giant in his division, is on bass, and the drummer is the every-dependable southpaw, Stan Levey. The baritone parts were neatly executed by Dick Houlgate.

Special mention must be given here to Russ Garcia who arranged and conducted the date. Russ has been in music for most of his working life and actually has sufficient work around the Hollywood movie studios to provide him with an ample income. Possibly the confining aspects of studio work have led him to seek more flexible outlets fo this "spare time" experiments. His first LP for Bethlehem (BCP-1040) which is entitled "Wigville" seems to bear out this point for it contains some compositions and arranging that are completely divorced from the average movie sound track.

Russ also has the happy faculty of giving new life to tunes that seem to be out of the jazz orbit as well as blending his cleanly written harmonics into the ballads selected. – Joe Quinn

I'll Never Forget What's Her Name (The Lo-est_)
But Beautiful
Dancing On The Ceiling
The Boy Next Door
Just One Of Those Things
Limehouse Blues
Lush Life
Lover, Come Back To Me
Someone To Watch Over Me
What Is This Thing Called Love

Holiday In Brazil - Bud Shank


Moon Antiqua

Holiday In Brazil
Bud Shank - Alto Flute
Arrangments by Laurindo Almeida
A Richard Bock Production
Cover Design by Stan Levy
Tapestry by Patty Roberts
Photo of Bud Shank by Richard Bock
Engineered by Dayton Howe
World Pacific Records
A Division of Pacific Enterprises, Inc.
World Pacific WP-1259

From the back cover: Probably the perpetual quest of every jazzman is the search for a sound, for a way to express his personality in music to assert himself as an individual. Sometimes a jazz musician acquires the sound by himself, as a soloist. Sometimes, he achieves identity within a group, as a significant part of a sum total sound. Bud Shank and Laurindo Almeida attain originality of sound in the second way, through the unification of their instruments into ensemble oneness.

That the Shank-Almeida sound succeeds in its immediate appeal is verified by the warm reception and success of their first album (WP-1204), which according to World Pacific president, Richard Bock, has become standard in record stores and in the World Pacific catalogue. Holiday In Brazil reunites the two lucent talents in another album of Bud Shank playing Laurindo Almeida arrangements. In fact, the alto-guitar sound and Brazilian flavor coalesce so effectively that Bud enthusiastically plans a forthcoming tour with the same instrumental setup (substituting amplified guitar for the unamplified instrument played finger-style here).

Holiday in Brazil strives to develop an amalgamation of Brazilian music and jazz. In building compositions around he native music, Laurindo finds the improvisatory freedom of jazz blends readily with written Brazilian themes. The two idioms dovetail early: both are even tempos, both swing. These natural fusion of fold and classical elements whereby the folk music absorbs a "nice" influence from classical music. The sambas in this album, for example, attain a higher level than do those at carnival dances in Brazil because they have some organization and abundance of ideas to be developed.

As the Brazilian folk flavor merges with American jazz, the two musical genres are pointed up in new relief, imbued with new textures and concepts of creativity; each affirms the vitality of the other. "I'm a jazz musician," emphasizes Bud, "and Laurindo is a Brazilian musician and we each play what we are. I'm trying to cook as much as I can in whatever I do."

The synthesis of the the two musics is not without certain problems, "Laurindo must play in keys strange to the alto sax sometimes," explains Bud, "which makes it more difficult fo me, The chord structures differ also. Sometimes there'll be thirteen bar phrases. I have to get used to hearing this and have to think in terms of strange phrases, keys and chords I'm not used to playing."

Most of the time, however, the music evolves quite naturally. There is improvisation. There is writing. In describing preparatory sessions, Bud tells how Laurindo writes out a one-chorus lead sheet (the written melody of a song with symbols indicating necessary harmonic change at appropriate points) for the soloists plus a bass figure for the bass player to follow. "We rehearse at my house two and three times a week and keep playing until we get a format that works – 'head arrangements' I believe they call them! Little Girl Blue is completely written; Rio Rhapsody is more or less written except for my solo."

Bud's composition and arrangement, Mood Antiqua, incorporates the tabla, two small drums played by hand featured in East Indian classical music. Richard Bock introduced Chuck Flores to the instrument through records of Indian drummer Chatter Lal, and suggested Flores could use the tabla to advantage here.

Bud comments on their playing Latin music and rhythms without resorting to "cow-bells, jawbones, timbales, etc. We have a very soft, subtle sound, not loud  and obvious. We try our best to make it swing; we don't hold back like a lot of groups." Certainly the gentle, airy ideas emphatically exchanged by the musicians personal contact with the listener, which are not usually present in larger, more aggressive Latin-flavored organizations.

This ability to work together stems in part from the sincere respect and heartfelt admiration of Bud and Laurindo for each other. Bud proclaims, "I've always been fascinated by Laurindo and I love the sound of his instrument. I've got several of his albums," And Laurindo echoes, "I love the way Bud plays; I admire him tremendously. He's one of my favorites."

Gary Peacock's bass and Chuck Flores' drums round out the group to provide the latticed network of rhythms through which alto and guitar melodies lacily intertwine. - Mimi Clar

Simpaticao by Stanley Wilson
Rio Rhapsody by Almeida & Gnattali
Nocturno by Laurindo Almeida
Little Girl Blue by Rodgers & Hart
Choro In "A" buy Laruindo Almeida
Mood Antiqua by Bud Shank
The Color Of Her Hair by Laurindo & Shank
Lonely by Almeida & Shank
I Didn't Know What Time It Was by Rodgers & Hart
Carioca Hills by Laurindo & Shank

Hey. Let's Twist! - Joey Dee


Blue Twister - Alto Sax Solo by Bill Hammel

Hey, Let's Twist
Original Sound Track
A Paramount Release
Joey Dee & The Starliters
Jo-Ann Campbell
Kay Armen
Album Produced by Henry Glover
Original Score by Henry Glover
Produced by Harry Romm
Roulette R 25168

Hey, Let's Twist - Vocal by Joey Dee & The Starliters
Roll Poly  - Vocal by Joey Dee
I Wanna Twist - Vocal by Kay Armen
Peppermint Twist - Part 1  - Vocal by Joey Dee & The Starliters
Keelee's Twist - Instrumental
It's A Pity To Say Goodnight - Vocal by Teddy Randazzo
Mother Goose Twist - Vocal by Teddy Randazzo
Joey's  Blues - Vocal by Dave & The Starliters
Let Me Do My Twist - Vocal by Jo Ann Campbell
Blue Twister - Alto Sax Solo by Bill Hammel
Shout - Vocal by Joey Dee & The Starliters
Na Voce, 'Na Chitarra E' O Poco - Vocal by Kay Armen