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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Shufflin' Along - The Four Aces

It's No Sin
Shufflin' Along With The Four Aces
Featuring Al Alberts
Orchestra Directed by Jack Pleis
Decca Records DL 8567
1957

My copy of this LP came with a single sheet marketing insert (images above).

From the back cover: This album will obviously be a favorite. It is a natural successor to such previous albums by The Four Aces as "Mood Fo Love" (CL 8122), ""Sentimental Souvenirs" (DL 8227), and "Heart And Soul (DL 8228).

Also from the back cover: Everybody who knows The Four Aces is aware of the fact that the boys just seemed to find themselves – Al Alberts was completing a three year hitch in the Navy when he met Dave Mahoney and, after being discharged in 1946, Al and Dave began a combined singing career. A little later they added Sod Voccaro on trumpet and Lou Silvestri on drums. It is a pleasant coincidence that all four grew up and went through school in the same state: Pennsylvania.

Have You Been Lonely
Girl Of My Dreams
Miss You
Peg O' My Heart
Somebody Else Is Taking My Place
Heartaches
It's No Sin
Lonely Wine
Day By Day
My Reverie
Don't Worry 'Bout Me
There I've Said It Again

The Faraway Part Of Town - Andre Previn

Trav'lin Light
The Faraway Part Of Town
Andre Previn
His Piano and Orchestra
Produced by Irving Townsend
Cover Photo: Horst
Columbia Records CL 1786
1962

Winning lush string mood arrangements back Previn's smooth jazz inspired piano passages.

From the back cover: When Andre Previn was a little boy in Berlin, where his father was a lawyer and amateur pianist, he would sit under the piano at family musicales while his father and friends played for their own amusement. "I was involved unconsciously with music as far back as I can remember." The father left Germany to get out of the way of the Nazis and took his family to California, where Andre was unceremoniously deposited in a public school without possessing a single word of English. He felt terribly embarrassed and awkward; it must have been a traumatic experience. Yet, to compensate for what he felt, he turned to music as a means to showing his worth. In his early teens he began hanging around radio stations, playing piano and, when he was allowed to, arranging for house bands. (The conductors allowed him to do this free. "I didn't have to pay them for the experience," Andre says, ironically.) Presently someone at MGM heard of "that kid" and sent for him to do some arrangements for Jose Iturbi, who was to play jazz piano in a picture but hadn't the slightest notion of how to do it. That assignment led to his doing the scores for about thirty films, including Three Little Words, It's Always Fair Weather, Invitation To The Dance, Gigi, Porgy And Bess, Bad Day At Black Rock, Elmer Gantry, and most recently, One, Two, Three and The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse. Scoring for films is only one of his many activities. He conducts and appears as piano soloist with symphony orchestras across the country, he leads a jazz combo in nightclubs and in concert appearances, he composes "heavy' music as well as popular, and he and his wife are working on a musical comedy. It is my suspicion that somewhere in his busy schedule he also finds time to make his own music. – Richard Gehman

From Billboard - August 18, 1962: Moody, wistful and introspective piano solos by Andre Previn, backed by a lush string ork, makes this a solid item for the market. The pianist turns in expressive and winning performances on a flock of standards, including "Where Are You," "Gone With The Wind," "Over The Rainbow" and "When Your Lover Has Gone." A tasteful and nostalgic set that should score throughout the fall.

Where Are You
Strangers When We Meet
A Place In The Sun
Trav'lin Light
Gone With The Wind
Lost In The Stars
Over The Rainbow
When Your Lover Has Gone
Where, I Wonder
Near To No One (Theme from "The Scapegoat")
Meet Me Halfway
The Faraway Part Of Town (From the Columbia Picture "Pepe")

Friday, July 14, 2017

Soul Of Hawaii - The Hawaiian Islanders

Beyond The Reef
Soul Of Hawaii
By The Hawaiian Islanders
4:35 Channels (MMF Millimeter Film)
Cover Design by Al Can and Miller, Bodden & Rich, Inc.
Photographed by Robert Wenkam
Courtesy of Hawaii Visitor's Bureau
Liner Notes by Herman Kaplan
Cameo C 4002
1963

Song Of The Islands
The Hukilau Song
Beyond The Reef
My Little Grass Shack
Lovely Hula Hands
Papio
Hawaiian Wedding Song
Little Brown Gal
Kalua
Sophisticated Hula
Hawaiian War Chant
Aloha De

An Ode To Young Lovers - Living Jazz

The Frog
An Ode To Young Lovers
Living Jazz
Arranged and Conducted by Phil Bodner
Produced by Ethel Gabriel
Recorded in Webster Hall, New York City
Recoding Engineer - Bob Simpson
RCA Camden CAS-2196
1968

Personnel:
Phil Bodner - Leader, Sax, Flute
Irvin Markowitz, Mel Davis, Bernie Glow - Trumpets and Flugelhorns
Buddy Morrow, Alan Raph - Trombones
Dick Hyman - Organ and Harpsichord
John Pizzarelli - Gut String and Combo Guitars
Tony Mottola - Electric and Gut String Guitars
Russell A. Savakus - Fender Bass
Phil Kraus - Vibes, Tambourine and Bongos
Bobby Rosengarde - Drums

An Ode To Young Lovers
Gone With The Wind
The Frog
To Sir, With Love
Lush Life
Hello, Young Lovers
For Once In My Life
The Last Waltz
Serenata
More Than A Miracle

Enchantment - Russ Garcia

Caress
Enchantment
Russ Garcia And His Orchestra
Play The Music Of Joe Greene (rear cover photo by Stan Lewey)
Liberty Records LRP 3062
1958

Beautifully arranged lush string mood set.

All About Ronnie
Make Me A Present Of You
The Tender Thirds
See
Run
Caress
Whispered Love
Dusky January
Some Women I've Known
Lost Kisses
Let's Have A Talk
Read My Lops

Thursday, July 13, 2017

88 a la carte - Willard McDaniel

I'll Remember April
'88' a la carte
With Willie McDaniel
Crown Records
CLP 5024
1957

From the back cover: He (McDaniel) started playing the piano as a youngster and has been busy at it ever since. Living in the Los Angeles area for the last twenty years, Willard has played with a number of local bands, among them Roy Milton's famous group. He's done studio work on films like "Young Man With A Horn," "Panic In The Streets," "The World in His Arms" and "Family Secret." He's also written a number of tunes "Blues on the Delta," Blues for Mimi" and "Three A.M. Boogie," "Moon Tide" and others.

The album here is a wonderful balance of Willard's piano and 88 A LA CARTE presents Willard as you might hear him in a Hollywood night spot for music lovers where he's played for the past six years.


From Billboard - April 13, 1957: One of the better West Coast pianists, Willard McDaniel unfortunately hasn't had too much exposure. It's hoped this $1.98 package will correct that, for his is an excellent style, reminiscent in spots of the late Fats Waller. He's energetic, imaginative and refreshingly smooth on all selections. Tunes are all standards, with "I'll Remember April" a particular standout, for bargain-disk vendors.

Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall
Lover Man
The Gypsy
I'll Never Smile Again
Sugar Blues
All Or Nothing
Along The Navaho Trail
Under Paris Skies
A Sunday Kind Of Love
You Always Hurt The One You Love
I'll Remember April
I Love You For Sentimental Reasons

Sunday, July 9, 2017

The Girl From Ipanema - Jimmy Davis & Norma Lee

Way Beyond Today
Astrud
The Girl From Ipanema
By Jimmy Davis & Norma Lee
Wyncote SW 9028
1964 Cameo-Parkway Records

From the back cover: All the songs in this album feature the sweet saxophone of Jimmy Davis. You will especially enjoy the vocal renditions of Norma Lee on the songs "The Girl From Ipanema," "Bossa Nova, It's The Things," "Way Beyond Today," "One Note Samba," and "Somewhere".

Budget collection of jazzy tracks which, in fact, seem to feature Jimmy Davis and the light bouncing vocals of Norma Lee on side one only. Tracks from side two were apparently collected together from a completely different, but pretty hip, recording session.

The Girl From Ipanema
Bossa Nova, It's The Thing
Way Beyond Today
Somewhere
One Note Samba
Jasmine
Five To Four
Astrud
Spanish Flea
Blues For Bill

This Modern World - Stan Kenton

Stan Kenton Conducts This Modern World
Composed By Bob Graettinger
Capitol Records H 460
1953

10 inch LP. 

Terrific stuff from Kenton's experimental period that can be download from online vendors as a part of City Of Glass.

From the back cover: Graettinger's writing methods and style are most unusual. He uses mathematical computations in his work, like an architect calculating the necessary physical support for his artistic conception. In making notations he employs a striking system of color charts and graphs (their interesting visual patterns have been adapted for this album's cover).

He has spent over a year on this composition, his first to be recorded since the controversial City Of Glass. Like the work of any sincere modernist, it is not designed for easy acceptance; but the open-minded listener will find in it a creative imagination that is exciting, dramatic, and greatly rewarding.


Graettinger died of lung cancer in 1957. He was 33 years old.

A Horn
Some Saxophones
A Cello
A Thought
A Trumpet
An Orchestra

Rumbas - Xavier Cugat

Siboney
Rumbas
Xavier Cugat And His Orchestra
From The Treasury Of Immortal Performances
Popular Collector's Issue
RCA Victor LPT 8

10 LP originally issued in 1941 as a 4 disc 78 set (P67).

From the back cover: Watching Xavier Cugat standing before his orchestra, grinning happily and energetically shaking maracas while his men pound out a savagely rhythmic rumba behind him, it is hard to picture the same man soulfully playing a violin accompaniment while the world's greatest tenor sings a concert aria. And yet that is how Cugat, America's Rumba King, began his career – as accompanying artist to Enrico Caruso.

It began quite a number of years ago in Cugat's native Barcelona, Spain, where he was born in 1900, of a noble Spanish family. After receiving his musical education in some of the finest conservatories in Europe, Cugat was playing the violin in Barcelona when Caruso happened to hear him. The result was an invitation to come to America and tour with the great singer.

The arrangement lasted for five years, during which time Cugat toured the whole country with Caruso. During the many hours they spent on trains, between concert engagements, they discovered they shared a love of sketching and an uncommon talent for it. Caruso's impromptu caricatures of friends and celebrities, dashed off on odd scraps of paper in rare intervals of relaxation are famous. Today, the cartoons of his "pupil" Xavier Cugat, are even more famous. Cugat's first completed sketch, a merciless caricature of Caruso, amused the singer mightily.

So it was natural that when Caruso's untimely death ended the association, the young Cugat took to cartooning, on the staff of the Los Angeles Times. Unfortunately, as "Cugie" himself points out:

"When the Los Angeles Times tell you to be funny by tomorrow morning 10:30, I can't do it, so I quit cartooning and start this little band of seex man only. I haf never been in dance hall before and we play only the roomba from Cuba. Lopez, Coleman and other had played the roomba but dat was way too soon. Den you had to throw your partner in the zeiling and get a bandanna. When we start, years ago, they all look at us like we are a bunch of wild animals. They only let us play relief to those bees name band."

But not for long. The suave, continental Cugat tamed the jungle exuberance of the rumba to something Americans could and would dance. Beginning at Los Angeles' famed Cocoanut Grove, the Cugat band was soon being booked at the nation's most distinguished hotels and night spots, where it proceeded to break attendance records and be invited back year after year by delighted managements. Cugat returns yearly to New York's swank Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, and there is no record of any dancer being inspired by his music to throw his partner "in" the "zeiling" – with of without a bandanna.


My Shawl
Recorded April 15, 1935

The Lady In Red
Vocal refrain by Don Reid and Chorus. Recorded April 1, 1935

Green Eyes
Vocal refrain by Chorus. Recorded September 6, 1940

Siboney
Recorded February 19, 1940

Havana's Calling Me
Vocal refrain by Chorus. Recorded April 5, 1937

Perdon
Vocal refrain by Chacha Aguilar and Carmen Castillo. Recorded April 8, 1938

Estrellita
Recorded December 9, 1937

La Bomba
Vocal refrain by Dorothy Miller. Recorded August 7, 1936

Friday, July 7, 2017

Reap The Wild Winds - Stuart McKay

Reap The Wild Winds
Stuart McKay And His Woods
These recordings were made July, 22, 23, Aug. 3, 1954
Photos: David Hecht
Notes: Bill Zeitung
RCA Victor LJM-1021
1955

Available from online vendors so I will not be posting a sample. Posted here to add scans of the gatefold cover.

Great fun. A joyful "progressive" mix of big band swing, jazz, woodwinds and a sense of humor.

From the liner notes: Much too often – and especially since the advent of the "progressive" trend – jazz has become associated in the public mind with a deadly serious art, one much too cerebral and complex for comprehension by anyone except musicians who play it. There is certainly a good case for that view – especially since some artists have done their best to make it appear this way – but jazz, for all its seriousness, is, after all, wonderful fun. That particular fun – its swinging humor, its broad appeal, and the obvious enjoyment of the participating musicians – has probably never been demonstrated to such vivid effect as in these recordings by Stuart McKay and one of the most phenomenal-sounding bands ever assembled for the purpose of blowing jazz. "Wild winds" is some of the wildest music yet waxed!

Personnel:
Saxes, Bassoon, Oboe, English Horn, Flute: Stuart McKay, Ernest Victor Mauro, Jerry Sanfino, Tom Mace
French Horn: Albert Richman or John Barrows
Piano: John Saunders
Guitar: John Porcello
Bass: Bill Halfacre
Drums: Red Paskett
Voice: Suzanne Lovell