Stan Kenton- Hair

You though I was sick of posting Broadway albums after October, right?  Well think again.  Here is this, which I purchased for $1.20.  I think it the time, I was amassing various cover versions of Hair and this one popped up. Still on vacation at the time of you reading this so lets hope it went OK.

Stan Kenton has been on this site before.  Twice I believe.  One good record.  One not so good record.  Well here is this released in 1969, a year after the musical had become a sensation.  Pretty good stuff which by the way is my standard response when I do not want to put much effort into this.  Half the songs have vocals or at least a chorus.  The others do not. Musically, this is a pretty entertaining.  Could have really gone either way as when classical. old school band leaders interpret modern music, the results can be mixed.  Fortunately for Kenton, this record does well.  Key musicians include Bud Shank, Gene Cipriano, Jack Sheldon, Bill Hood, and Gil Falco.

For a sample, I thought “Colored Spade” was really funky.  So here it is.

Satisfactory record.

Los Admiradores- Bongos

Here we are with another week where I still just don’t feel like writing all that much.  Vacation has officially started this week by the time you read this and I should be in Amsterdam.  More on this trip in January.  I hope to get a bit more current with posts in 2018 as opposed to doing them many months in advance which I have been doing for the later half of this year.  This album was one dolla.  Had a decent playlist plus it is Command Records.

Willie Rodriguez

Anyway, here is this effort, as always produced by Enoch Light, for Command Records.  Released in 1959 (and re-released in 1960 as Bongos, Bongos, Bongos), this record is from a group of Command studio musicans led by Willie Rodriguez ( Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Herman) and Don Lamond (Charlie Parker, Benny Goodman) on bongos.  Three albums were recorded under this moniker with this being the first, although I am unsure the lineups on the others.

Anyway, this is a pretty good collection of songs, put together in an interesting fashion, and as always with Command, well executed and produced.  Highlights include “Tenderly”, “All of Me”, “Greensleeves”, “Blue Moon”, and “Unchained Melody”.

For a sample, I went with “You and the Night and the Music”.

Don Lamond

Satisfactory record.

Louis Prima- A Tribute to Louis Prima

This record was $2.00 with discount.  Why not?  Louis Prima was a stud, in many ways.  Still trying to finish out to month and year.  With it technically still being November while I am writing this, I should point out that despite being in the American League, we are still proud of our local baseball team, the Houston Astros for winning the World Series.  Although I am still not happy about them moving out of the National League, there is not a better group of guys in sports than our Astros.  They held the parade a few weeks ago downtown. The rumor I heard in my apartment elevator was that 700,000 people were in attendance.  Either way, it made it tough for me getting home from work with all roads by my apartment jammed.

As noted above, Louis Prima was a stud.  Born in New Orleans in 1911, Prima mixed his Italian roots with New Orleans’ jazz to form something new and original.  His own musical styles also evolved over time, starting with a New Orleans-style jazz band in the 1920’s, a swing combo in the 1930’s, a big band in the 40’s, a jump blues band in the 50’s, and finally a Las Vegas lounge act in the 60’s. Unlike other artists such as Frank Sinatra, Prima openly embraced the new rock and roll which was rising in the 1950’s.  Prima was also married five times, inlcuding a stint to singer Keely Smith, with whom Prima had a successful act.  Prima died of complications from a cerebral hemorrhage in 1978.  He was 67.

This record was a collection of some of his biggest hits, both solo and with Smith, including, “Just A Gigalo”, “Sing, Sing, Sing” and :Felicia No Capricia”.  Pretty good album.,  Really jumping.

For a sample, I had various options but decided to go with the “Bourbon Street Blues” as well as “Hey Boy, Hey Girl” which features the talents of Keely Smith.

Top rated album.

Hal Shutz-Organ and Firelight

December just keeps rolling along with this little record, which I purchased for $3.  At the time, I was on an organ kick. So much so, that around the time of this purchase, I also bought a $40 keyboard.  With 120 sounds, I was really hoping for some decent organ tones, especially a good Hammond sound.  However, I was also realistic due to the fact that this was  $40 keyboard.  I am not going to say I was disappointed as I got what I paid for but the Hammond tone just really is not that great.  But seriously, what do you expect for $40?

Anyway, back to this album, which was released by Columbia in 1956 by one Hal Shutz of San Francisco.  The only thing I could really dig up on Shutz was this clip below from the Lawrence Welk Show, not that I tried very hard to dig.  I believe this was Shutz’s only record. (After reading, the back of the cover, Mr Shutz was born in 1914 in New Freedom, PA, got into radio in 1925, got into Hammond organs in 1936, and moved to San Francisco after getting discharged from the Navy)

The record itself has a good sound as well as pretty decent track selection.  Some good numbers and decent versions of songs that have appeared on here before including “Ghost Riders In The Sky” and ” I Could Have Danced All Night”.

For a sample, I went with “The Ecstasy Tango”.

Satisfactory Record

Pete Fountain and Al Hirt- The New Orleans Scene

I got this at Vinyl Edge in the Heights for $3. I would have bought it for either so having both artists make it a no brainer.  Plus I really bought it for the song that I am going to post.

I have had both Pete Fountain and Al Hirt on this site numerous times, but this is the first time I had them together.  Both men had deep ties to the New Orleans’ jazz scene.  Both men had their own night clubs in the French Quarter, I believe.  Both men also stole members from each others bands as well.  Despite these events, the two remained friendly in competition for the most part.

This record from Coral in 1962 and features four songs from both Fountain and Hirt in a traditional 7 piece dixieland jazz format.  The other four tunes are just Fountain,, backed by a typical West Coast rhythm section.  A fellow blog site dedicated to Fountain describes this album in more detail.  I have been leaning on other’s blogs quite frequently this month.

Blog entry on the record.

For a sample, I decided to highlight something from the two artists and I wanted to use “It’s A Long Way From Tipperary” , being one of my favorite tunes.  The song , made popular in WWI, is sung from an Irishman’s perspective, being in England for training and away from home.

Satisfactory Record

Martin Denny- 20 Golden Hawaiian Hits

Doubling down on the Hawaiian this month with a record from the guy who was mentor to the earlier posted effort (Arthur Lyman), Martin Denny.  This was $2.

This record from Liberty in 1964 is not the stuff out of Denny’s prime (the late 50’s), but it is not bad either.  If I can remember right, there are none of the sound effects heard so prominently on his earlier albums (also missing is the female on the cover), but other than that, this is the classic Denny sound, applied to a series of songs (20 to be exact) related to Hawaii.  I probably mentioned this already but Denny would die in Honolulu in 2005.  His ashes were scattered at sea.

Decent album.  I liked a lot of songs and had quite a few slated as samples, but as always I go back to my favorites which are “Hawaiian War Chant” and “The Cockeyed Mayor of Kaunakakai”.  I already provided some background this month on “War Chant”.  “The Cockeyed Mayor”, on the other hand, dates back to the 1930’s I believe and celebrates the town’s custom of having honorary mayors.  I could recount the story here but I am lazy and will direct you to the link below.

News article on the mayor of Kaunakakai

Good record.  Satisfactory.

The George Shearing Quintet- Latin Escapade

Really killing it with the Latin flavored music this week.  I am not sure why.  I just kind of ended up this way.  Well, this was $2.

I have noted on the last post by George Shearing that he a) was blind and b) played at the ultra-elite Bohemian Groove (which attendee Richard Nixon described as the most gayest thing he had ever seen),  I can’t help but think the two points are strongly related.  Well, world conspiracy theories aside, here is this record  from Capitol Records in 1957.  A pretty good mix of Latin numbers as well as standards done in a Latin way.  I was really surprised how much I liked this album as I normally find Shearing’s work pretty middle of the road.  I think it was one of the more exiting records I listened to this month.

Anyway, for a sample, I went with “Anitra’s Nañigo” as well as “Poodle Mambo”.

Good record that really came out of left field.  Satisfactory.

Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks- Orginal Recordings

Yet another week.  Saints be praised.  Here we are with this little gem by Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks, who I blogged about a couple months back.  I bought this shortly after his death for what I believe was $1 from Sig’s Lagoon, which I no longer go to because I tend to leave there with 30+ records per trip.  No slight against Sig’s and on the contrary, I highly recommend it for a record shop.  Overall, I did well this year in really limiting my purchases but I still have a ways to go before I can really splurge again.  And as previously noted, shopping for records was my favorite part of this blog.

But here we are with the first record from Mr Hicks and his Licks of Hot.  Released in 1969, it features the first line up of the band with Sid Page, Sherry Snow, Christine Gancher, Jamie Leopold, and Jon Weber.  This line up would break up in 1971.

I did not know this but Hicks got his start playing drums in the psychedelic rock band, The Charlatans.  This is most likely the reason why we have the Charlatans UK.  Anyway, towards the end of his tenure, Hicks moved to front the band.

But back to this record, here is the folk, country, swing, jazz combination that made Hicks and his Hot Licks famous.  Pretty good album and it includes one of his more famous songs, “I Scare Myself”.  Overall, real good effort.

For a sample,  I wanted to use the song above but after hearing “Jukie’s Ball” I was drawn to it for no other reason than they name check a Jimmy in the intro, even if it is a wooden dummy.

Great little record.  Satisfactory.

Sandy Nelson- Manhattan Spiritual

This record was all of $1.  It had a bunch of songs I liked on it.  The cover says late 60’s but sound was a bit more 70’s (in actuality, this record came out in 1969).

Sandy Nelson is a drummer from Santa Monica, CA.  Born in 1938, Nelson’s fame grew due to his impressive record of session work in the early days of rock and roll. Nelson cut his teeth recording on such early classics as “To Know Him Is To Love Him” and “Alley Oop”.  In the late 50’s/early 60’s, he would have hits of his own including “Teen Beat” and “Let There Be Drums”.  A motorcycle accident in 1963 cost Nelson his right foot and part of his leg.  However, Nelson continued to release records regularly up into the mid 70’s (including this one).  Today he is sporadically still involved in music I believe.

This record, again released in 1969, is a collection of instrumental standards accented by Nelson’s drum work.  It is ok.  Nelson is a more than competent drummer and his drums do not overpower the songs on the record. Some of the arrangements are not as I would do them, but what can you do?  A lot of songs that I like were on this including one I post all the time, “Caravan”.  On one hand , I did not like this arrangement at all.  On the other hand, though, I respect that Nelson was trying to do something different with this.

For a sample, I went with the song that led me to buy this album, “Big Nose From Winnetka”.  Also, here is the version of “Caravan” which I still have mixed feelings about.

Eh.  I could go either way with this album, but since I paid a dollar for it and I am in a relatively good mood, I will say satisfactory.

Nico Gomez and His Orchestra- Fiesta Braziliana 2

Here is another record that I bought last November when I was in Amsterdam.  It was one Euro. At the time of this writing, I am having a fierce internal debate as to whether I should go back to Amsterdam this year for vacation.  God knows I need it.  Money is tight though.  Well, I am sure by the time you read this, I will have already made up my mind as to if I am going or not.  

This record comes from one Joseph van het Groenewoud, born in Amsterdam in 1925 and resettled in Belgium in 1947.  He was active in the 1950’s thru the 1970’s, mostly in latin flavored jazz.  He recorded a slew of records under the alias Nico Gomez as well as a couple under Peter Loland.  He would pass in 1992 but his son, Raymond, became a famous Belgian musician in his own right.

This record by its title, would imply that this is Brazilian music.  I tend to disagree. The titles and the music would imply more of a Mexican sound.  Perhaps there is not much differentiation in styles when you are in Europe, but in this hemisphere, it is pretty noticeable.  But overall, it is still a good little album. 

For a sample, I went with “La Bamba” which is a Mexican standard.

Decent record.  I was hoping for something more Brazilian in nature, but the price is still right for the music. Satisfactory.