Ace Cannon- Cool ‘n Saxy

This was $1 and had a bunch of songs I like on it.  Ace Cannon has been on this site many times in the past so this should make for a brief post as I have exhausted the subject.  Dare I get caught up with this week’s posts?  We shall see.

This was released by Hi Records in 1977, a bit later in his career as a storied session man.  Pretty decent record.  It has a lot of songs I know and like including “My Elusive Dream”, “Let It Be”, “Everybody’s Talking”, “Lodi”, and “House of the Rising Sun”.

Again the songs are pretty good but not really what I would describe as cool or sexy with the exception of “Rainy Night in Georgia”.  That is why I used it as a sample.

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Good album for a dollar.  Satisfactory.

Dolf van der Linden- Dutch Sax

dscn6186This was one dollar.  I have owned this and have been trying to post this for the last year and a half but for some reason or another, it always gets pulled from the rotation at the last minute.  Well, no time like the present.dscn6449

This record gives me a good transition into talking about my vacation that I took two weeks ago,  Went to Amsterdam.  It had been two years since I went last.  I was kind of on the fence about going and truthfully, I was still questioning the decision two days into my trip.  However, I wanted to stay somewhat familiar with the city and if I did not go, it would be another two years or so for the next trip. By the end of the trip, I was pretty glad I went.dscn6541

Weather was awful but bearable.  Spent a lot of time at old places I like to go to.  I also went to places where I have not been for a while.  Spent many of the days down in Rembrantplein.  Also spent a good amount of time at Vondelpark, Oosterark, Waterlooplein, Rozengratch, Museumplein, and the northeast area by Prins Hendikkade area.  I spent the nights mostly around the Dam City Center.  I went to one art exhibition, the swap meet, and the zoo among other places.dolph

This album is led by Dolf van der Linden, a popular orchestra leader born in Vlaardingen, Netherlands in 1915.  He was well known in his country wit some significant recognition throughout Europe.  Known for his arrangements of popular music, he died in 1999 at the age of 83.  wwwopac

The alto sax solos were performed by Cees Verschoor.  I do not know anything about him and for some reason was less inclined to do much research on the subject today.  As far as the record goes, it is lush orchestration.  Six Duke Ellington songs grace this album. I liked this the first time I listened to it. Not so much the second time.  For some reason, the third time was a bit better. Other than being done by Dutch musicians, there is not much Dutch about this record.  As far as music goes, it is pretty American sounding.dscn6187

For a sample, I was torn between “Passion Flower”, “Passionata” and “All Too Soon”.  For some reason, I went with “Passion Flower”.metropole-orkest-dolf-van-der-linden-002

As far as this record goes, meh.  A bit too slow for my liking.

Clarence Clemons and the Red Bank Rockers- Rescue

dscn5563This was $5.00. A bit pricey.  Most of the records at Cactus were on the high end.  I have not gone back since this first visit. Full on vacation mode makes for a quick post on today’s subject. I am in Amsterdam.  This post was written before I left.76723132_10_wide-54b36816cf7d03883e610e1475f289dfecbcbedb-s900-c85

The Big Guy, Clarence Clemons, was well known for his work with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.  He also worked as a solo artist.  His death from complications from a stroke in 2011 sent shockwaves thru the New Jersey music scene as well as the world of rock and roll.  Today, Clemons’ nephew, Jake fills the void in the E Street band.

This record, released in 1983, was I think the first of three records Clemons would record with the Red Bank Rockers.  Led on vocals by John “JT” Bowen, it is a good collection of sax driven rhythm and blues. A Springsteen penned track, “Savin’ Up” features the Boss himself on rhythm guitar.  Overall, it is a decent enough album which I would have written more on had I not been on vacation this week/month.dscn5564

For a sample, I went with “Resurrection Shuffle”.876e5af80f215c7977da91113d252e1b

Despite being on the high money end, this record is satisfactory enough.

Gerry Mulligan and his Sextet- Mainstream of Jazz

dscn5367This was $3.00.  Despite the worn out cover, the album is actually in good shape.gerry-mulligan-040613

Gerry Mulligan was perhaps the greatest baritone saxophonist ever.  Given this, it is his arranging which perhaps was his greatest skill.  Born in Queens in 1921, Mulligan moved around as a youth before moving back to New York in 1946 and working as an arranger for Gene Krupa’s band. In 1948, Mulligan joined a nine piece formed by Miles Davis.  The recordings done over the years formed the Birth Of Cool album that really defined Cool Jazz. Three of the tunes , “Rocker”, “Venus de Milo” and “Jeru” (named after himself) were written and arranged by Mulligan. From this success, he started recording his own albums in 1951 as well as writing arrangements for Stan Keaton.gerry-mulligan-2-1110x740

During his time with Keaton, Mulligan became acquainted with Chet Baker.  After a few stints with Baker sitting in, Mulligan formed the first piano-less jazz quartet with Baker on trumpet.  The shows and recordings garnered major acclaim,  However, an arrest for heroin possession put the brakes on the quartet.  While Mulligan was serving a six month sentence, Baker really took off on his own.  Thus, when Mulligan tried to reform the quartet after his release, Baker declined.  It should be noted as while both men were junkies, Mulligan successfully kicked the habit while Baker succumbed to his, which eventually led to his death.4109

In contrast to the struggles of Baker, Mulligan continued to have success as both a musician and arranger. He continued to work until his death in 1966 from complications from knee surgery.  He was 68.gerry-mulligan-1960-resize

Mulligan’s webpage which fills in the blanks from above as there are many

This album was released after his jail stint, in 1956. Featuring Zoot Sims on tenor sax, Jon Eardley/Don Ferrara on trumpet, Bobby Brookmeyer on trombone, Bill Crow on bass, and Dave Bailey on drums, the album is a six song collection of West Coast Jazz, although it is the lesser known of the work Mulligan did that year. You don’t really think about it now but at the time, a piano less jazz group must have seemed pretty strange.  All in all, this is a pretty solid jazz album.dscn5368

For a sample, I went with the opening track, “Elevation”.

dd9d12d6074077b689cdeb0de98b1Satisfactory record.

Ace Cannon-Looking Back

DSCN5259 (800x792)It’s Labor Day and the start of another month of the Show O’ Donkey.  How is this month looking?  I mean we have things this month.  Some spots could have been better but overall, I am proud of what we are doing this September.  This was all of one dollar.  I liked the song list.  Possibly the inclusion of “Night Life” cemented this sale but as I bought it over a year ago, it is hard to say with any accuracy.DSCN5314

Speaking of which, despite telling myself I was not going to buy any more records for a while, I went ahead and hit up three Half Price Books during the 20% Labor Day Sale.  I went to the one on Hwy 6 and Veteran’s Memorial because they used to have the most cheap records, the one on FM529 because they have the best records, and the one in Pearland because they have 25 cent records.  At least they all did last year.  Veteran’s Memorial had a bunch of cheap records but they went up from $1 to a $1.49 and $1.99.  Talk about bleeding me dry.  Also there were not as many $1 records in Pearland and no 25 centers.  FM 529 remained consistent with a good selection but mostly high end stuff.  Drats to this economic downturn as I guess it means the end of $1 records at Half Price.

As far as this record goes, this is the third Ace Cannon album I have posted so I kind of exhausted what I can say about him.  This, I think was his second album, released in 1962, a year after his breakout single “Tuff”.  It was recorded on the Hi label and has a pretty good selection of songs.  The title track, “Volare”, “Lazy River”, “My Blue Heaven”, and “September Song” seem to be the tracks I remember liking.  I felt his sax on this album was a bit restrained as compared to other albums I have heard of his.DSCN5260 (800x781)

For a sample, I went with the instrumental standard, “Harlem Noctune”.  Written by Earle Hagen and Dick Rogers in 1939 for the band they were in, the Ray Noble Orchestra, the song has been covered over 500 times.  ace32

As far as this album goes, I will have to say meh.  Do a search for the other two Cannon albums I have posted.  I feel they are better.  Maybe this is unfair.  It was his second effort after all.  Well, I still feel Cannon did much better work so I have to measure thus accordingly.

Ace Cannon- The Misty Sax of Ace Cannon

DSCN4824 (800x784)This was 80 cents.  It had a bunch of good tracks on it. Bunches if you will.280127

Saxophone ace, Ace Cannon has been on this site before.  I want to say that I see his albums often during my searches but if that were true, I would have more of his albums.  I think this is the second one I have posted and the third one I own.

Link to earlier post

This album was released in 1967 and is a pretty good collection of tunes, accented by Cannon’s dirty sax.  The theme of the album is contrasting Cannon’s sax behind a string section. Highlights include two Beatles tracks (“Yesterday” and “Michelle”), two Kaempfert tunes (“Wonderland by Night”** and “Stranger’s in the Night” and Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” among other tracks. Other tunes include “When a Man Loves a Woman” and “As Time Goes By”.  The backing instrumentation is good.  The use of strings really puts a different touch on this album but it is Cannon’s sax that steals the show.DSCN4825 (800x780)

For a sample, I went with my favorite track from the album, George Gershwin’s “Summertime”.  My favorite versions of the song are my Billy Stewart and the Zombies but this version is pretty good as well.  I also decided to go with Rodger and Hammerstein’s classic and perennial Liverpool chant “You’ll Never Walk Alone”.

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Satisfactory record.

** Please note that while Bert Kaempfert did not write “Wonderland By Night”, his version is perhaps the definitive.

Joe Jackson- Body and Soul

DSCN2477This was $2.40 rounding up. I seem to recall quite a few copies at various Half Priced Books s I guess it sold well.  I did not know this until after I posted this but today is the 201st birthday of Adolphe Sax who, you guessed it , invented the saxophone. In turn, he is responsible for both some of the best and worst music known to man kind. Before I knew this fact, I got this to pander but mainly for the cover. I felt it was clever. The cover BTW is an homage to Sonny Rollins, Vol 2.MI0000213180

Joe Jackson was recently in Houston sometime around the last month or so. He is still pretty active, wrapping up a US tour and touring into 2016, mostly in Europe. He also released his first studio album in seven years, Fast Forward.

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Jackson’s Web Page

 

As the cover would then suggest, this is a jazz influenced pop album. Released in 1984 after setting up his home base in New York City, it would be his seventh studio album. It is heavy on Jackson’s horns. In all, it is a prime example of the sophisti-pop or adult contemporary-new wave of the 80’s that I hate. That is just me. The album sold well and was successful. It went to # 20 in the US and # 14 in the UK. I believe the only single for the record was “You Can’t Get What You Want (Til You Know What You Want)”. That charted in the US at #15. You know what, I stand corrected “Happy Ending” and “Be My Number Two” were also released as singles. Jackson would also take a lengthy break after touring behind this album, calling it “the hardest (tour) I ever did”.DSCN2478

After listening to this album, I kind of settled on “Loisaida”, a series of instrumental vignettes featuring piano and horns prominently. I realize you probably want to hear vocals, but tough. If you want to hear them, buy the album off of his webpage. The guy has to eat, too so get over it. Still not happy?  Ok, I will cave and throw you a bone with “Go For It”.JOE-JACKSON2

Meh. I get what he was trying to do, and in all truth, this was probably ahead of the curve in the mid-eighties, but it is not the type of music I like. I prefer Jackson’s 70’s work.

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Boots Randolph- Sax Sational

DSCN2385I think I got this before the labor day sale so it would have been a dollar.  It had a bunch of great instrumental tunes on it.  This is the second sax record I posted this month.  What am I thinking?1961_march_25_hawaii_uss_arizona_benefit_concert_boots_randolphThis is also the second album I posted from Nashville Session SaxMaster, Boots Randolph.  Like I said, above, tunes like “Desafinado”, Tuff”, “You Can’t Sit Down”, and “Tequila” made it worth checking out.  Also, who does not like yet another version of “Danny Boy”.  “Night Train” is also on this but after you hear/ see James Brown’s version, it kind of ruins all others.

This record, released in 1967, may have been his tenth.  It is ok.  Kind of standard interpretations of the songs.  Quite honestly, in the back of my mind, I did not expect anything different.  There is nothing really bad on this album but there is nothing that really jumps up and grabs you either.DSCN2386

For a sample, I went with the before mentioned “Night Train”. Kind of pales in comparison to the video, huh? That is a bit unfair, I know.

**FILE** Boots Randolph performs at The Nashville Tennessean Centennial Park concert, Aug. 2, 1964, in Nashville, Tenn. Randolph, whose spirited saxophone playing on songs like "Yakety Sax" made him one of Nashville's top musicians, died Tuesday, July 3, 2007. He was 80. Randolph suffered a cerebral hemorrhage June 25 and had been hospitalized in a coma. (AP Photo/The Tennessean, Frank Empson, File) **MANDATORY CREDIT**

Meh. I mean he is a talented sax man, but  this does not really do it for me.

 

Ace Cannon- Live

DSCN2357This was a dollar.

This was a novel concept for a live album.  The album features saxophonist Ace Cannon playing live in a 65′ x 50′ x 18′ studio with 100 people hanging around.  So it is a studio album recorded live with an audience.  According to the liner notes, this was the first time this has been done.Johnny_Cannon_-_Fernwood_promo_-_resize

Ace Cannon, born in Grenada, Miss in 1934, was a top session player thru the late 50’s to the early 70’s.  He also scored hits on his own such as “Tuff”. He came out of the Sun Record’s stable and went on to record around 25 or so records.  As of this writing, he is still alive at 81 and performs here and there. Click below for a more detailed bio if you are so inclined.

Ace’s Bio on the Rockabilly Hall of Fame

Ace’s Web Page

This album does have a neat feel to it.  It sounds like an intimate performance.  Ace switches back and forth on the album between the alto and the tenor sax.  There are also a bunch of sax standards such as “Night Train”, “Yakety Sax”, and “You Can’t Sit Down”.  The crowd is really into it and furthermore, the recording is very good since it is done in a studio as opposed to recording in a night club with portable equipment.DSCN2358For a sample, I went with “When the Saints Go Marching In”.  Ace goes with the tenor sax on this number and it really takes off. The solo is pretty kicking.

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Satisfactory record.

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The Sonics- The Witch/Keep a Knocking 45

DSCN1513I had this song in my head and wanted to post it for some time but good luck finding a Sonics Album under $5.00.  Luckily,   I stumbled upon this used copy of a re-issue single for $5.00.

sonics-the-5193ddcc59ac7-1The Sonics are known as one of the premier garage bands from the 60’s.  Formed in 1960 from Tacoma, Washington, they had two albums before going their separate ways.  They have had a resurgence of sorts.  Their cover of “Have Love Will Travel” was used in Guy Ritchie’s Rock-N-Rolla as well as a beer commercial.  Furthermore, they reformed in 2007 to play gigs and festivals.  This year, they released a new album, This is the Sonics.  Kind of an abridged bio so if you want more in depth information, check out their link.

Sonics Web Page

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DSC_0040-001This is my favorite tune, however, their cover of Little Richard’s “Keep a Knockin”.  Originally released as a B side to their 45 “The Witch” in 1964, this was reissued by Norton Records who specialize in garage rock.

Norton Records

Happy Saturday.  Enjoy.