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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Rome With Love - Jo Basile

Rome With Love
The Italian Accordion Of Jo Basile and his orch.
Audio Fidelity AFLP 1822

Fun, peppy cheesecake cover, completely transitional set.

Luna Rossa
Tango Chitarra Romana
No Dimentica
Marechiari – Funiculi-Funicula
Anima E Core
La Piccinina
Torna A Sorrento
Reginella Campangnola
Santa Lucia – O Sole Mio
Fiore D' Italia
Arrivederci Roma

A Dirty Fighter

I Stepped Out & Opening Response
A Dirty Fighter
Rev. Amos Waller
With special music by Lady Wynester and The Waller Singers
Jewel Records - Shreveport, Louisiana
Jewel LPS 0097

Deep Velvet - George Shearing

Passing By
Deep Velvet
George Shearing with Quintet and Woodwind Choir
Arranged by George Shearing
Orchestrations by Bobby Hammack, Julian Lee and Milt Raskin
Produced by David Cavanaugh
Capitol Records
ST 2143

From Billboard - October 24, 1964: Mr. Shearing has had great success with his other mood musical ventures into the "velvety, silky" and "satiny." This "Deep Velvet" excursion should prove to be just as big a success as its predecessors. This time out George's fine playing is set against a choir of 12 woodwinds. With the Quintet in support. "Sentimental Journey", "Willow Weep For Me," "My Heart Stood Still" and others are refreshing to the ear.

The unmistakable Shearing "Quintet" sound blends perfectly with the woodwind section. What makes the set special is Shearing's excellent arrangements. Each song becomes more than what  you might be expect to hear from his group and the set, as a collection of tunes, is more than just another "Shearing" lounge effort. This effort is more of a concept album.

One of Shearing's better sets.

Here's That Rainy Day
I Used To Be Color Blind
Sentimental Journey
Passing By
Would You Like To Take A Walk
Signing Off
One Love
Willow Weep For Me
Spring Is Here
My Heart Stood Still

Friday, May 8, 2015

Sounds! - Jack Marshall & Shelly Manne

Jack Marshall (Guitar) & Shelly Manne (Percussion)
Capitol Records ST 2610
Produced by David Cavanaugh
Cover photo by George Jerman

Excellent engineering by Hugh Davies put the sound of these two excellent musicians right in the middle of your living room.

Your experience begins with the understated, but sexy and well designed cover art. On disc you'll enjoy an understated spot-on creative minimalist approach to the arrangements. The relaxed nature of the sound is sweet, but if you play music yourself you will appreciate the amazing control the two artist have over their craft.

From the back cover: When an expert dancer performs a routine, it's done with grace and beauty that belies its intricacy. So with Manne and Marshall in this album, for every second of recording was a test in precision and coordination.

Theme From "Lawrence Of Arabia"
Sweet Sue, Just You
All The Things You Are
Am I Blue?
The Rain In Spain
Spanish Dance No. 5
The Girls Of Sao Paulo
A Day In Brazil - Medley

Monday, May 4, 2015

Classical Gas - Hugo Winterhalter

Rosemary's Baby
Classical Gas
Hugo Winterhalter And His Orchestra
Eddie Heywood At The Piano
Musicor MS 3170

From Billboard - October 19, 1968: The winning team of Eddie Heywood and Hugo Winterhalter ("Canadian Sunset") are reunited in a potent sales package. An exceptional mood is created with their treatments of "For Love Of Ivy," "Love Theme From Romeo and Juliet" and "Love Is Blue." Heywood's piano, with solid support of the lush Winterhalter arrangements never sounded better. "Land of Dreams" is a gem with hit singles potential.

I have to disagree with Billboard on this release. Winterhalter has trouble finding the space age mood groove on this set and Heywood's talent seems lost or less than "featured" as advertised on the jacket. There are moments in each song that might grab your late 60s mood sensibilities, but even the sample above seems to give up the drama after the intro.

Classical Gas
For Love Of Ivy
MacAthur Park
Love Theme From Romeo And Juliet
Theme From Elvira Madigan
Glad For You, Sad For Me
Land Of Dreams
Rosemary's Baby
Love Is Blue
Winds In Autumn
Harlem Blues
Theme For Margaret

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Tops In Pops

Hard Headed Woman
Tops In Pops
Halo 50220U

…or if you look on the label itself…

An Hour Of Tops In Pops
Halo 1670S

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Runnin' Wild - Dick Schory

Portrait In Jazz
Runnin' Wild
Dick Schory's Percussion And Brass Ensemble
Stereo Action
The Sound Your Eyes Can Follow
RCA LSA-2306

From the inside sleeve: The stage of Orchestra Hall, which comfortably accommodates the full Chicago Symphony Orchestra, is a jam-packed maze of two truckloads of brass and percussion instruments, 23 musicians, microphones and other recording gear. Conductor Dick Schory is perched high on his podium in full commands of the musical activities. Deep down under the stage, producer Marty Gold works wonders in coordinating musicians, sound men, engineers, stagehands and people running for coffee.

The "Stereo Action" series was RCA's attempt to show-off their stereo engineering. The results were sometimes mixed. Some LPs in the series go uncomfortably "wild" with stereo effects that detract from the music and other sets are presented with more subdued effects and are therefore more enjoyable for us to listen to today. In this case, it seems like Schory probably followed marching orders to assemble a set of tunes to help showcase "stereo sounds" in a variety of ways. The variety leaves us with a set that isn't thematically focused. Some tracks sound almost early 60s Command label "cartoony" and other tracks, like the sample featured above, sound more "serious"or "dramatic". All-in-all, however, a good listen.

The real success for RCA, aside from good (but, thankfully, not in your face) stereo separation, was the overall feat of engineering. The big sound was made bigger by acoustics of the theater in which the set was recorded. The engineers deserve credit for the spectacular job they did capturing the rich sound.

Brass Jockeys
Me And My Shadow
Portrait In Jazz
Mama's Gone, Goodbye
But Not For Me
Love For Sale
Runnin' Wild
Lazy Bones
Down Home Rag
Thou Swell

Red Stars Over Hollywood Vol. 3 - Expose by Myron Fagan

Red Stars Over Hollywood
Expose By Myron Fagan

Monday, April 27, 2015

Feelings - Tony Mottola

Here, There And Everywhere
The Night We Fell In Love (Mottola composition)
Feelings Tony Mottola
Project 3 PR2-8025/6026SD
Total Sound

Two record set that features a seldom seen photo of Mottola (photo by William Sonntag) on the inside front cover of the gatefold.

Mottola breathed new life into this set of easy listening classics. The control of his instrument and the rich sound Mottola produced is amazing and the engineering is excellent.

This Masquerade
I Want To Make It With You
Just Say I Love Her
The Night We Fell In Love
I Love My Wife
Colour My World
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
If He Walked Into My Life
Here's That Rainy Day

Nadia's Theme
Yesterday I Heard The Rain
So Nice
Love Theme From Romeo and Juliet
A Man and A Woman
You Make Me Feel Brand New
What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life
Close To You
Here, There and Everywhere
The Shadow Of You Smile
Our Love Is Here To Stay

Hit Parade Vol. 2

Quand Michel Chante - Isabelle
Hit Parade Vol. 2
EMI Odeon C 062-10228

French language pop tunes with the exception of Cocker's "With A Little Help From My Friends" which is the original English version.