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.

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

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.

The Dave Brubeck Quartet- Time Further Out

Here is some jazz from one of the American masters, Dave Brubeck and his Quartet.  This was $1.  I have gotten quite ahead of myself writing posts and all.  You may have noticed this last month when I was writing about Hurricane Harvey in Mid- October.

Well, as of the time you read this, it is Halloween, despite it not being during the time of writing.  If I can remember to get back here to update, here was my costume over the weekend. If you are unsure who it is, the answer is at the end of the post.

This record, released in 1961, is a follow up to his earlier Time Out,  from 1959 which explored the use of odd time signatures.  This earlier efforts produced what I have noted on this blog as one of the cornerstones of not only West Coast Jazz but American song writing in general, “Take Five” . I could say that this piece is our equivalent of Bach or Mozart but I digress.  His is this record by his Quartet which featured Paul Desmond on sax, Eugene Wright on bass, Joe Morello on drums, and Brubeck on piano, the same lineup as the earlier record.

Brubeck arranged the songs on the record in order of beats, starting with 3/4 time and ending with 9/8.  9 songs.  All pretty good.  Granted none as great as “Take Five” but why should this diminish from this effort?  The album still was successful, peaking at #8 on the Billboard chart.

For a sample, I was torn between “Blue Shaddow In the Night” in 9/8 time and “Far More Drums” in 5/4.  I decided to go with the latter, mainly because I like drum solos.

Satisfactory record.  For the record, I went as Jared Kushner, the President’s son in law for Halloween on Saturday.

Sergio Mendes & Brazil ’66- Herb Alpert Presents…….

This was only a dollar.  Probably got a discount on it, bringing it down to 80 cents.  For shame.  Such a great little album.  You may have noticed that I have been starting the month with artists who have frequently graced this blog.  This is not by accident.

This was the first album from keyboardist Sergio Mendes and his ensemble, Brazil ’66.  Released in 1966, it featured smash hit “Mas Que Nada” which in all probability was the first Portuguese song to hit it big in America.  Good little album with a bunch of real good tunes including “Going Out Of My Head” and the Beatles “Day Tripper” which I believe I posted on an earlier blog entry.

I was really surprised how big a sound Mendes got from such a small ensemble which also featured Lani Hall on vocals, Bibi Vogel on backup vocals, Bob Mathews on bass, Jose Soares on percussion, and Joao Palma on drums.

I could have gone many directions with this but decided to go with “O Pato”.

Great little album.  Satisfactory.

Pete Fountain- I Love Paris

Here is a record for $1.00 that had a bunch of songs that I regularly post on this page.

From Pete Fountain, that purveyor of Dixie Land Jazz, a record of French songs, proper.  Recorded for Coral Records and released in 1962, this one contains all the big French standards, ” Autumn Leaves”, “La Vie En Rose”, “April In Paris”, “C’est So Bon” , and the title track.  Pretty good stuff.

Fountain is backed up by Jack Sperling on drums, Stanley Wrightman on piano, Morty Cobb on bass, and Godfrey Hirsch on the occasional vibe.  Fountain is also backed by horns and strings conducted and arranged by Charles Bud Dant.

For a sample, I was really hard not to post any of the songs above as they seem to make their way on this blog more times than not.  Well, I was really drawn towards “Frere Jazz”, a Dixie Land interpretation of the kids song, “Frere Jacques”.

Anyway, in spite of keeping this post short today, this is a great little album. Satisfactory.

The Frankie Capp Percussion Group- Percussion in a Tribute to Henry Mancini

This was $2.  I like Mancini and percussion albums so this seemed like a perfect marriage of the two. Plus the Stereo in Motion Graphics are pretty cool.

Frankie Capp, born in Worcester, Mass in 1931, is a jazz drummer who played in big bands before switching to session work, playing on many rock and roll recordings.  Although not the main drummer of the group, he is associated with the group of session artists referred to as”The Wrecking Crew”.  Capp, played with such diverse folks as Chet Baker, Stan Kenton, Mike Nesmith, Sonny and Cher, and Andre Previn. He would also later form his own big band with Nat Pierce.

Capp’s Space Age Pop Page

On this record, released by Kimberly Records in 1961, features Capp and his crew, (featuring fellow Wrecking Crew member Tom Tedesco on guitar), tackling the work of Henry Mancini.  Apparently, Kimberly and Capp made a dozen or so of these records, translating hits from other band leaders into modern percussion driven interpretations . Pretty good little album.  The arrangements are interesting enough.  Good percussion on this as the title would suggest. It is driven not only by Capp’s wonderful drums but also augmented by the vibraphone of Emil Richards.

For a sample, I went with “Peter Gunn” which I felt that although the original and subsequent covers are quite played out and over rated, this arrangement brought new life to the piece.  I also went with “Session At Pete’s Pad” which by some accident of me not paying attention, features an “Inna-gadda-da-vida”-esque extended bongo solo, mainly because there was a skip and I was not paying attention while recording.

Good little record all the way around.  Satisfactory.

Julie London- Julie Is Her Name

This was $1.00 Probably the red hair against the green back drop drew me towards this purchase which was more than likely made at Sig’s Lagoon.  Ah, poor Sig’s.  I used to go there once a month but since I have to many records as it is and I usually walked away from Sig’s with 30 or so per trip, I have stopped going.  Some of the best cheap records were procured there (* they also have a great selection of regular priced records as well).  Someday I will return Sig’s, some day.

Anyway, here is this from Julie London.  London, born in Santa Rosa, CA in 1926, was a singer, turned film actress, turned tv star.  She is best known for the 32 pop/jazz records she put out mostly during the 50’s and 60’s but she did some film work of note as well as time on the small screen with a 6 year run as nurse Dixie McCall on the show Emergency!.

It should be noted that she started with her husband at the time, Bobby Troup while the show was produced by her ex-husband, Dragnet’s Jack Webb.  So much for keeping your family life away from your work life.  Anyway, London, who was a chain smoker since age 16, suffered a stroke in 1995 and passed on in 2000, at age 74.

This was London’s first record, released by Liberty records in 1955.  It went to #2 on the US charts, driven by the strength of what would become her signature song, “Cry Me A River”.  Pretty decent album of 50’s jazz type numbers.  

Barney Kessel lends his guitar to the album along with bass from Ray Leatherwood. The sparce instrumentation   makes for a good effect.  Most of the songs if not all are love ballads and are pretty slow.

For a sample, I went with the one up tempo song on the album, the b-side to “Cry”, “S’Wonderful”.

Not exactly my cup of tea, but not a bad record either.  Satisfactory.

Stan Kenton- In Hi Fi

Welcome to another month of Donkey Show, which already has surpassed 2016 in terms of viewership.  When I was picking out records, I put an emphasis on ones that I have previously listened to, thus lessening my listening burden for the month.  At first I was really jazzed about this month.  After choosing the songs, I am slightly less so.  I could have diversified it a bit more.  Two brass band albums in one month is crazy.  Anyway, here is an interesting month of albums starting with this one I got for $3 which I bought for no better reason that the two tone cover.

Stan Kenton, born in Wichita, Kansas in 1911, was a pianist and band leader of in the same class as Herman, Basie and Ellington. He had several big band hits in the 1940’s.  However, to keep with trends of the time as well as to stay economically viable, Kenton paired down his band to an ensemble of 19.  This band’s swinging sound was cemented with the addition of drummer Mel Lewis in 1954.  This new incarnation had success up until the 60’s where Rock and Roll all but decimated this style of music.  Kenton, did remain active and still had a good deal of success in this period although he was somewhat curtailed by two accidental falls towards the end of his life.  Kenton died from complications from a stroke in 1979 at age 67.’

Released and recorded in 1956, this album takes some of Stan Kenton’s more popular big band songs from the 1940’s and translates with this smaller jazz ensemble.  Along with the help, from arranger Peter Rugolo, Kenton’s band tears thru these 13 tracks with a swinging horn section.  There are no strings on this record listed, nor can I remember them.  Overall, it is a pretty good little record. I think I picked about six songs of it as candidates for samples. According to some reviews, this was one of Kenton’s more popular albums as well as a good seller. 

For a sample, I was really drawn “The Concerto To End All Concertos”, being a fan of hyperbole and all .  However, upon listening, I did not feel that all concertos were on the verge of ending, as the title would suggest.  But for sake of this article here it is, along with a favorite of mine, “The Peanut Vendor”.

 

Good little album.  Satisfactory.