Billy Vaughn and his Orchestra- Blue Hawaii

This puppy was a buck.  Got it for the songs, most of which I like.  What is going on this week, other than zipping thru posts?  Well, nothing as much to make note of but still too much to dedicate too much time to writing this.

On that note, Billy Vaughn has always been hit or miss with me.  Well this album from Dot Records, released in 1959, is pretty much a miss.  I found the arrangements to be a tad slow and boring and not really in the whole tropical vein.  Of course, exotica was never really Vaughn’s bag and perhaps this is not fair, but what do you expect me to do about it today?

Well, for a sample, I went with one of my faves, “Hawaiian War Chant”.

Meh. Sorry Billy.  I’ll get you the next time around.

 

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.

Bert Kaempfert- Love That Bert Kaempfert

Here is a nice easy piece to blog about since I have done several posts on Bert Kaempfert.  This was $1.00.  It had a bunch of songs that I like.

This came out in 1968 on Decca in the US. (Polydor in the UK).  About half original compositions. half covers.  Pretty good stuff in line with the rest of his work. I believe it sold quite well.

For a sample, I went with his version of Duke Ellington’s jazz standard, “Caravan”. It has a nice use of fuzz on it.

Keepin’ it real brief today, son.  Satisfactory.

Los Norte Americanos- Galveston, I Saw The Light, and Other Hits In The Tijuana Sound

I paid $4 for this?  God knows why?  I remember I had a good reason why when I bought it but for some reason, it escapes me now.  Egads, $4 I paid for this steamer.

I guess I should take a second to point out that I am okay and have weathered the floods in Houston associated with Hurricane Harvey.  As I am on the 20th floor, I was really never concerned.

I was the only one able to make it to the office today (after some re-routing) and it looks like we only took minimal water and will only need to replace some carpet ( we elevated all our inventory off the ground prior to the storm and used my idea to use folding tables to do so).  And it looks like I will get a paycheck this Friday.  Plus gasoline was not too terribly gauge-y yet.

But I must acknowledge that I am one of the lucky ones and this storm did cause a lot of devastation.  I did spent a lot of my time holed up working on this blog so when you read about me preparing for Harvey in October, that is why.

The record states this is by Los Norte Americanos but in all reality, this was probably done by one of the many sessions bands for Somerset/ Allshire Records, more than likely outside of the US.  Made, no doubt very hastily in a bid to compete with the Latin explosion of the time, coming mainly for A&M Records (Herb Alpert, Sergio Mendez, etc), I believe this came out around 1969.

The first time I listened to this, there was something I liked about it.  Well what ever that was, it has escaped me the second time around.  I found this record to be pretty insipid and generally uninspiring.

But we do need a sample, so I went with the song I liked best, the Jim Webb penned anti-war song which Glen Campbell made into a hit (downplaying most of Webb’s sentiment), “Galveston”.

Meh. Got taken to the cleaners with this record.

Buddy Morrow and his Orchestra- Night Train

This gem was $1.50.  Maybe something about the cover caught my eye, or maybe it was the version of “Night Train” which despite never being able to find a version that even comes close to James Brown’s, does not discourage me from trying.  This record once belonged to one Jimmy Blarbsher, I believe.

Buddy Morrow was a tromboner whom New Haven, Conn.  Born in 1919, he gained fame with big bands led by Eddie Duchin, Artie Shaw, and Tommy Dorsey among others before leading his own band.  He also was in the Tonight Show Orchestra, although for Jack Paar or Johnny Carson, I am unsure (98% sure it was Carson but too lazy to confirm).  Known for his skill in the upper range, Morrow died in 2010.

Morrow’s Spage Age Pop Page

 

“Night Train” was Morrow’s first hit as a band leader and is probably the most third most famous performer of this song after Brown and the original performer, Jimmy Forrest.  Morrow’s blended big-band/R&B version, released in 1952, went to #27 on the charts.  This record, released on Mercury Records in 1959, seems to capitalize on the success of this single. It has a pretty good collection of songs which seem to continue to wander slightly into R&B territory without leaving the big band sound.

For a sample, I went with “One Mint Julep”.

I am in a decent mood this week so satisfactory record although it was slow at times for my tastes.

 

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.

The Four Freshmen- Voices In Latin

This was $3.  I got it for my favorite song “Brazil” which undoubtedly will be posted here.  If you have been reading this blog and did not expect that, I worry for you.

The Four Freshmen were and still are a vocal group who had hits in the 1950s. Formed in 1948 from other vocal groups in Indiana, they were discovered by Monday’s post subject, Stan Kenton. The group put out around 30+ records.  The last original member retired in 1993, but an incarnation still exists and tours.

Current Incarnation Web Page

This album, released by Capitol Records in 1958, features original members Bob Flanigan, Ross and Don Barbour along with Ken Albers.  As the title would suggest, this is a collection of latin flavored songs.  Arranged and conducted by Kenton associate Pete Rugolo, this is a pretty decent collection of songs.  The vocals are good but the music is pretty swinging as well, at least for a vocal group.  This record also features the flute of Herbie Mann.

Lot of choices to chose from. I liked “Frenesi”,  “Tangerine”, “Granada”, and “Chelsea Bridge”.  But ultimately I went with “The Breeze and I”.  Of course as mentioned above, I am also posting “Brazil” which is one of the few vocal versions I have put up on this site.  It is interesting to note that both songs feature trombone solos from vocalist Flanigan. Flanigan would pass on in 2011.

Pretty decent album.  It kind of grew on me so 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.

Mantovani- Latin Rendezvous

This was $4.00.  It had a lot of songs that I like on it. 

This record, released by London Records, was pretty novel.  A competition was held to chose 12 songs with a format or title theme for Mantovani’s next album.  The winner would be flown to England for sightseeing plus viewing of the recording of the chosen songs. Pretty cool idea.

The winner of the contest was one Angeleo Ruggiero from Milford, New Jersey.   Hope he was not trying to get to the beach two weekends ago.  Anyway, Angeleo and his wife were flown to London, had dinner with Mantovani, and watched him put this album together.  I wondered at the time of this writing if Angeleo was any relation to Lefty Ruggiero of Donnie Brasco fame or the any other crime family members.

According to the entry form, Angeleo nailed this record but I find it kind of amazing that Mantovani had not recorded these songs before.  They are latin standards including such works as “Granada”, “Malaguena”, “Perfidia”, and “Siboney”.  But regardless, here they are.  A pretty good album.  It is one of his more lively efforts.  It also came out in 1963.

For a sample, I went with “Andalucia” or better known as ” The Breeze and I”.  Poor little “Perfidia”, though.  That is two albums this month that I passed on this song.

Anyway, this is a much better Mantovani album that some of them I have posted in the past.  Satisfactory.

The Stereo Brass Choir- Stereo Dialogue for Brass

This gem was only 50 cents.  A lot of songs I like on this.  When I wrote yesterday’s post, I was somewhat unsure how this month would play out.  However, between now and then, I took a trip down memory lane and looked at some for the older posts.  Some of it was pretty painful, going back to when I could not get the pictures straight, did not know how to display links, or properly record songs.  But overall, I felt that the output nowadays is more diverse than in the past and as I have always tried to make diversity a point of this blog, this is saying something. Anyway, Happy Fourth of July.  Nothing more patriotic than a bit of brass.

Well, there is this, which bills itself as “the most enjoyable musical event in stereo history”.  It is a collection of show tunes and standards in stereo with trombones on one side and trumpets on the other. It was the brainchild of Lew Davies (1911-1968) who besides arranging for Perry Como, Lena Horne, and Lawrence Welk, also worked closely with fellow audiophile Enoch Light and Command Records.

Davies’ Space Age Pop Page

The songs, by such luminaries as Rodgers, Porter, Loesser and Lowe, and Berlin, contain back and forth sections between the competing brass sections. As the title would suggest, this showcases the “dialogue” between groups.  Good arrangements.  Nice song selection.  As this was on Columbia records and released in 1960, you know this is a serious effort.  Besides the brass, the vibes/xylophone and other percussion make for a good effect.

For a sample, I decided to go with Irving Berlin’s staple “Anything You Can Do”.  

Good album.  Satisfactory.