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.
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.
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”.
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”.
Already so over this month but we are so close to being finished. Here we are with the Velvet Fog. This record was $2. This is the second album I posted this month in which I bought because it had a Beatles song on it, namely “She’s Leaving Home”. But since this is underwhelming Beatles track, this is the second time this month I have passed on this song as a sample. Normally, I will post any Beatles’ cover.
Well, here we have this from the late Mel Torme. Released in 1969, the title track is the theme from Romeo and Juliet. Decent enough record. Pretty good song selection on it Man, am I lazy today. I am going to limit this to this paragraph.
For samples, I went with “Games People Play'” which has a great opening bass line as well as “Happy Together”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This record was $1. Lyman’s reputation in the field of exotica makes it hard to pass up his records. Since I have posted several of his records in the past, there is not much more to say on the subject. I chose this by design since it made for an easy post to write.
I believe this effort was Lyman’s third album under his own moniker. Released in 1958, the songs all have a Hawaiian connotation as the title would suggest. Good stuff. I mean, it is consistent with Lyman’s other works.
For a sample, I went with what is one of my favorite songs, “Hawaiian War Chant”. Written by Prince Leleiohoko in the 1860’s, the song has become sort of a jazz standard being covered by jazz bands of the 30’s and 40’s as well as its inclusion in the Tex Avery 1952 cartoon, “Magical Maestro” . Oddly enough, the original song is not a war chant but a clandestine meeting between two lovers.
Here is what I believe is the 6th record from A&M stablemates, the Baja Marimba Band. It was $3.00. It had a bunch of songs that I like on it. Well, maybe a bunch is stretching it. It had some songs I like.
As the BMB have been on this site a couple of times, I have exhausted most of the information about Julius Wechtner’s compliment to his label mates the Tijuana Brass. Not much really more to say about them at this time. I find their albums are a bit hit or miss. This one is about half hit and half miss. It was released in 1967. “Along Comes Mary”, originally by the Association was the highest charting single. The title track was also released as a single but did not chart.