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Friday, March 23, 2018


Clair de Lune
Landmarks Of A Distinguished Career
FDS Capitol Records P8399

Toccata And Fugue In D Minor - Bach
Clair De Lune - Debussy
On The Beautiful Blue Danube - Strauss
The Swan Of Tuonela - Sibelius English Horn [Solo] - Robert Bloom
Prelude To The Afternoon Of A Faun - Debussy - Flute [Solo] – Julius Baker
Finlandia - Sibelius

Sarha Vaughn At The Blue Note

Sarah Vaughan At The Blue Note
Orchestra Conducted by Hugo Peretti
Mercury Records MG 20094

From the back cover: In a sense, Sarah Vaughan and the Blue Note grew up together. In the early days, late 1947 and 1948, the Blue Note was another saloon in Chicago's Loop. It's only distinction seemed to be that it was run by a thoroughly inexperienced saloon keeper who seemed to be off his rocker: of all things, he was going to try to keep his place open while offering nothing by jazz music. It just wasn't done. In fact, in recent days in Chicago, it just hadn't been done. Worse than that, as though jazz itself were not far enough off the beaten track, Holzfeind astounded the pundits of the business when he announced, before his place was many weeks old, that he was going to give star status for two weeks to a kid nobody ever heard of, name of Sarah Vaughan. That is, nobody except the handful who dug her at a South Side spot called the Rhumboogie. "You'll lose your shirt at home," Holzfeind wisecracked nervously. "In a year, this girl will help me pay my rent – or if I'm wrong, I'll be broke and I won't have to pay any more rent. So what can I lose?"

The first engagement was not the most startling business success that ever stormed the Windy City. But the few customers who heard Sarah Vaughan herald a whole new era of daringly creative singing, why they just flipped. Dave Garroway was there every night until 11:50 p.m., just in time to make it to NBC studios at midnight where he dreamed up smooth phrases he never even knew he had to describe this former choir girl from Newark. Business kept getting a little better, so that by the end of her two-week engagement, the bartender had to read Down Beat on his own time.

From Billboard - June 9, 1956: This LP spots the "commercial" Sarah Vaughan, with backings like she never uses at the Blue Note - lush strings, etc. It's more for her pop fans than for the jazz clique, featuring such items as her erstwhile smash, "Make Yourself Comfortable," "Paradise" and re-creations of her early successes, "Tenderly" and "It's Magic." The tune selection and those handsome vocals sounds will move this with deejays and dealers, and the striking cover won't hurt either.

The Touch Of Your Lips
It's Magic
Let's Put Out The Lights
I'm In The Mood For Love
I Don't Know Why
Time On My Hands
Gimme A Little Kiss
Make Yourself Comfortable


Producer: William Beasley
Recorder and Compatible Mastering: Columbia
Cover Design: McPherson Studio, Nashville, Tenn.
Modern Sound MS 527

You Cheating Heart
Hello Dolly
Never On A Sunday
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
Follow The Boys
Maria Elena
What'd I Say

Current Hits - Volume No. 26

Speaking Of Broken Hearts
Current Hits - Volume No. 26
Producer: William Beasley
Assistant Producer: Ted Jarrett
Recorder and Compatible Mastering: Columbia Recording Studio, Nashville, Tenn.
Engineer: Tom Sparkman
Cover Design: McPherson Studio, Nashville, Tenn.
Hit Records

Hold What You've Got
My World's A Blue World
My Love Forgive Me
Without You
Speaking Of Broken Hearts
The Wedding
Song Of Love
You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You
I Won't Forget You
Ode To The Little Brown Shack Out Back

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Last Train From Overbrook - James Moody

Last Train From Overbrook
James Moody
Producer: Dave Usher
Photo & Cover Design: Vytas A. Valaitis
Recording Dates: September 13, 14 and 16, 1958
Recording Engineer: Malcomn Chisholm
Argo LP 637

Available from online vendors so I will not be posting a sample. Presented here to share the cover art and biographical info.

From the back cover: Jimmy took his first train to Overbrook in April of this year. In talking to him prior to his voluntary commitment at Overbrook, he sounded almost hopelessly drowned in the juice he was hung up with.

While we waited, Moody was pulling himself back toward his justified position as a great and soulful jazz man of our time. Came the end of August, Jimmy called and said he was straight and could I come to New York and talk about making the session we had discussed some month back.

Moody's voice sounded clear over the phone, and I was on my way to see him at Overbrook. Mrs. Ruby Watters, Jimmy's mother, is in my mind his spiritual force. Her trips to Overbrook on the suburban bus from Newark have given him the warmth in saying "my mom" (as corny as it may sound to some).

J. C. Heard and I went back to talk with Jimmy and Dr. Munoz. The corridor between the main building and Ward 33 is where the three of us sat and The Last Train From Overbrook was assigned its cars and was preparing to depart.

After obtaining the permission of Dr. Munoz the session was originally planned for recording in New York, but the arranger that Moody had wanted to work with, was tied with prior commitments. So after some thought, permission was requested for Moody to come to Chicago and Johnny Pate was asked to write the charts. Moody caught a train from New York on Labor Day and was at the studio on Tuesday morning before I got in from Detroit. He was practicing on a flute he had brought with him. We needed a tenor and alto. Through the aid of Johnny Sippel at the Billboard, the Seller Instrument Company provided Jimmy with the horns he needed.

We were entering our third day of recording schedules. Before that, on Friday, we had completed recording the small group side of the Sandy Mossed date (Argo 639) in Chicago. Friday and Saturday nights we recorded the Ahmad Jamal Trio at the Spotlight Club in Washington (Argo 636).

Malcolm Chisholm and I had just deplaned our Capital flight 1 from Washington at 11:12 a.m., at 11:51 a.m. we arrived at our studios, 12:05 p.m. the musicians assembly had made a reality out of its first arrival. By ten minuets to one, Jimmy ascended the musical platform that Johnny Pate had put together in just five days of writing charts and calling the group for the gig.

The rest is for you to judge, the warmth of Moody and orchestra is here for you to listen to.

Jimmy, thank you! – Dave Usher

From Billboard - January 5, 1959: This album celebrates the return to jazz of James Moody, who for the past six months was a patient at Overbrook. The fact that Moody is out and blowing again should please all jazz fans, and the fact that this is a good album should please them even more. Moody is blowing with a big band again, playing alto, tenor and even flute. Tunes include the title song "Don't Worry About Me," "What's New," "Tico Zico," etc. The band swings and Moody is blowin' again. The liner notes are excellent.

Last Train From Overbrook
Don't Worry About Me
Why Don't You - Johnny Pate
What's New
Tico Tico
There She Goes
All The Things You Are
Brother Yusef
The Moody One - Johnny Pate

Hey! It's James Moody

Hey! It's James Moody
Cover Photo: Chuck Stewart
Cover Design: Don Bronstein
Engineer: Ron Malo
Supervision: Jack Tracy
Argo LP 666
Chess Producing Corp. - Chicago, Illinois

Recorded December 29, 1959, at Tea-Mar Recording Studios, Chicago.

James Moody -Tenor Saxophone and Flute
Johnny Gray - Guitar
Eldee Young - Bass
Clarence Johnson - Drums

Available from online vendors so I will not be posting a sample. Presented here to share the cover art and bio information.

From the back cover: The pattern of Moody's career has been a simple one, composed of three main phases. As the army took him in 1943, when he was 18, and kept him through '46, he got off to a relatively late professional start. The first major phase was his membership in the Dizzy Gillespie band of 1947; the second was a three-year stay in Europe, freelancing mainly in Stockholm and Paris. The third stage, which has lasted up to the present, has found Moody touring the U.S. as leader of his own band. Originally known exclusively as a tenor saxophonist, he began doubling on alto during the second phase and recently, as his Argo LPs eloquently attest, has been concentrating more and more on the flute.

On these sides Moody plays tenor and fate, with the backing of a rhythm section which, except for the two tracks featuring Eddie Jefferson's vocals, is painless. This, however, is not the kind of piano-bereft instrumentation that leaves Moody and his listeners of an unobtrusive but firm guide through the harmonic contours of each track.

The guitarist in question, though not yet a generally familiar name, is greatly respected among fellow-musicians who have heard him in Chicago, Johnny Gray's regular gig is the Don McNeil Breakfast Club show. Aside from his studio chores he occasionally has an opportunity for a jazz record date; he was heard previously with Moody on Last Train From Overbrook (LP 637) Gray's work is reinforced by the sturdy presence of Elder Young, the 24-year-old Chicago-born bassist who, after a long apprenticeship in the rhythm and blues field working for Chuck Willis, T-Bone Walker, et al, found a sui
table niche in the Ramsey Lewis trio, with which he has been heard in clubs and on Argo LPs.

Stella By Starlight
Indian Summer
Don't Blame Me
Last Train From Overbrook
Please Say Yes
Blue Jubilee
Woody'n You
Trouble In De Lowlands
Summer Time

Exodus To Jazz - Eddie Harris

Exodus To Jazz
Eddie Harris
Vee Jay LP-3016


Eddie Harris - Tenor Saxophone
Joseph Diorio - Guitar
William Yancy - Bass
Willie Pickens - Piano
Harold Jones - Drums

Available from online vendors so I will not be posting a sample. Presented here to share the cover art and bio information.

From the back cover: Eddie Harris was born October 20, 1936 in Chicago. He began his musical career as many jazzmen have – in the chruches. He sang with choirs and gospel groups in the Baptist churches throughout Chicago. While singing with these groups his cousin taught him to play the piano, an attribute which he dismisses as insignificant. "Everybody plays the piano, that doesn't mean anything." He says in mild exaggeration. Today it is not uncommon to see him put aside the saxophone and take over the piano chores.

While attending DuSable High School. Harris began playing the vibraharp.

"I didn't last long," he remembers, "there was only one set of vibes in the school and I had to either learn to play another instrument or get put out of the band. My brother bought me a saxophone. I cried so much. We decided to try a clarinet. I got pretty good on that. Then I went back to the tenor saxophone."

But the saxophone prove to be more difficult to manage than Harris had anticipated. He chose to use Gene Ammons as his model. All he got for his efforts was a throat ailment. He was unable to force his own saxophone to give out the Ammons big sound. Finally he met Wardell Gray and Lester Young who encouraged him to find his own way. This was about 1954, and for six years Harris has been perfecting his personal formula – a cool, delicate tone; trumpet-like phrasing; crisp, definite technique and church influenced rhythmic feel – all of which simmered down to a natural Eddie Harris style.

The tunes on this album are indicative of the encompassing, flexible thinking which goes into each Harris performance.

From Billboard - April 3, 1961: Local tenor saxist from Chicago, Eddie Harris, makes his first record here. Unusual material included is a six and on half minute version of "Exodus." "Little Girl Blue" also gets a nice reading. A perky rhythm section accompanies the tenor and who is styled a bit in the Stan Getz mold.

Exodus - E. Gold
Alicia - Eddie Harris
Gone Home - Eddie Harris
A.T.C. - Eddie Harris
A.M. Blues - Willie Pickens
Little Girl Blue - Rodgers-Hart
Velocity - Eddie Harris
W.P. - Willie Pickens

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Samba - Com A Escola De Samba Académicos Do Salgueiro

Com A Escola De Samba Académicos Do Salgueiro
Todamerica Musica Ltda - Rio de Janeiro
Gravações Eletricas Ltda - Sao Paulo - Brazil

10 inch 33 RPM

Brasil Fonte Das Artes
Tudo E Iluso
Novo Dia
Exaltacao A Tijuca
Assim Nao E Legal
Exaltação Ao Salgueiro

Monday, March 19, 2018

Slightly Baroque - The Anita Kerr Singers

Slightly Baroque
The Anita Kerr Singers
Vocal and Orchestral Arrangements by Anita Kerr
Produced by Dick Glasser
Conductor: Dick Marx
Engineer: Eddie Brackett
Art Directions: Ed Thrasher
Warner Bros. Records, Inc. WS 1665

Available from online vendors so I will not be posting a sample. Presented here to share the cover art and the following Billboard article.

From Billboard - December 17, 1976: Anita Kerr's key to success is singing softly. This soft sound is the trademark of the Anita Kerr Singers, the current version working in local studios after blazing a path in Nashville.

A resident of Southern California for the past year, Miss Kerr formed a new singing group in November and recently signed with Warner Bros. Records as an artist.

"It's harder to sing softly because of arrangements, but once you get used to it, it's easier on your voice," she said, "and ballads sound better when you move in on the mike and sing softly."

"With Anita," added her producer Dick Glasser, "you have to instruct everybody to play softer to accommodate the voices. The trick is to keep everything down."

Turns Up Controls

Commenting on the differences between recording in Nashville and L.A., Miss Kerr noted that California singers stand farther back from their microphones. A&R man Glasser says this forces the engineer to turn up the controls on their mikes, allowing instruments to leak into their mikes.

Because she came here with hardly any contacts, Miss Kerr had to seek out the right singers for her quartet. Her current group consists of B. J. Baker, alto; Gene Merlino, tenor, and Bob Tebow, bass-high baritone and the leader, with a vocal mixture of alto-soprano.

Until singing with WB, the Anita Kerr Singers were tied to RCA. "I got a release from the contract," she explained, "so I could do independent arranging. I wanted to work for different groups."

She has worked for Brook Benton, the Living Voices, Lorne Greene, Pete Jolly, Molly Bee and Johnny Sea. She recalls that on some dates, male musicians have given her some trouble. She credits this to their unfamiliarity with female arrangers.

Own Arranger

As vocal group leader, she writes all the arrangements to fit her soft sound. As an independent packager, she came up with the Mexicali Singers which WB releases. This is a large vocal sound, imitating instruments and propelled by a heavier beat than usual for a Kerr Group.

There have been three albums by this group, "The Mexicali Singers," "The Anita Kerr Orchestra" and "Further Adventures of the Mexicali Singers." The first LP promoting the Kerr Singers is the new "Slightly Baroque."

When arranging, Miss Kerr decides on a tempo and then thinks about what she wants the voices to do. "I hear their parts in my head," she explains. She rehearsed the new group three months before recording the baroque LP to establish the correct vocal blend.

Miss Kerr is considering developing a nightclub act for the group. "We've always been thought of as a background group (primarily through her Nashville sessions). But I would like the group to have a fore-ground identity.

From Billboard - November 26, 1966: The touch of baroque set to pop hits combined with the superb blend of the Kerr Singers, adds up to a giant package. Marking the Warner Bros. debut of the group, producer Dick Glasser has made a wise choice of material from "Mona Lisa" to "Just Say Goodbye" and the infectious "One Note Samba."

Mona Lisa
My Prayer
It's Not Unusual
Just Say Goodbye
My Love
Love At Last You Found Me
One Note Samba
How Insensitive
Answer Me My Love
Cast Your Fate To The Wind
If Ever I Would Leave You
Love Lies

Black Talk! - Charles Earland

Black Talk!
Charles Earland
Houston Person, Virgil Jones, Melvin Sparks, Idris Muhammad
Supervisor: Bob Porter
Recording: Rudy Van Gelder
Prestige PR 7758

Charlie Earland, Organ
Virgil Jones, Trumpet
Houston Person, Tenor Sax
Melvin Sparks, Guitar
Idris Muhammad, Drums
Buddy Caldwell, Conga

Available from online vendors so I will not be posting a sample. Presented here to share the cover and bio information.

From the back cover: Charlie Earland has referred to himself as a product of the ghetto. In his particular case, the ghetto referred to is South Philadelphia. Still, Charlie reflects the honesty and vision of modern Black men and there is more pride than resentment when he discusses his upbringing. One gains the impression that he has strong roots in his community and that his music speaks not only for himself but for his home turf. It wasn't by accident that this album was titled Black Talk!

The evolutionary process which led to the making of this album began on May 24, 1941 when Charlie was born. His interest in music started early and by the time he was a teenager he played alto sax with a good deal of proficiency. Soon he picked up on tenor and baritone as well. Among his high school classmates were guitarist Pat Martino and reedman Lew Tabackin and not far from his house in South Philly was the home where the Heath brothers – Percy, Jimmy and Tootie – were brought up. Thus the scene was musically stimulating.

Music proved to be a lure for the young reedman and before he could finish school, he took to the road. His first major gig was as a tenor man in Jimmy McGriff's combo at age 17 and this association lasted until he fronted his first band, about two years later, with Gene Ludwig on organ. Later he worked with Pat Martino, prior to Pat's joining Willis Jackson.

The switch to organ came in 1963 and Charlie credits the late drummer Specs Wright with encouraging him to make the move. When Charlie first started playing, he was a long way from being a polished performer. As he puts it, "I could play the blues and When Johnny Comes Marching Home and that was it."

By 1965, Charlie had a quartet and he still things very highly of this band which had Joe Jefferson on tenor, Jimmy Ponder on guitar and Jesse Kilpatrick on drums. The group lasted for more than a year when lack of work caused the band to break up.

The next association was one which brought Charlie his greatest recognition to date; featured organist with Lou Donaldson. Anyone who caught the Donaldson band during 1968-60 will hardly forget the happy spirit of the group. Pencils and scorecards could not capture the feeling that this band achieved. Charlie was featured on Lou's Blue Note albums – Black and Proud and Hot Dog – and his powerful drive was a contributing factor to the success of those albums. Charlie departed the Donaldson band in December of 1969 to resume leading his own group – a trio – now working in Philadelphia.

Charlie is hardly a newcomer to the recording studio but on this album, he really had a chance to play material which he feels strongly about. Of the performances of his sideman, he was happy with everyone. The album combines the rhythm tandem of Melvin Sparks and Idris Muhammad (nee Leo Morris) who were the Donaldson recording rhythm section and Houston Person and Vigil Jones, who have formed the front line for recent Prestige sets by Sonny Phillips and Don Patterson. – Bob Porter

Black Talk
The Might Burner
Here Comes Charlie
More Today Than Yesterday