Search Manic Mark's Blog

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Cool Variations - The Bobby Richards Sextette

Sticks And Stones
Cool Variations
The Bobby Richards Sextette
Cover Design: Burt Portnoy
MVM Mount Vernon Music MVS133

A bit of the "matrix" information on the disc was intentionally obscured. Hand written, but not necessarily meant to take the place of the obscured information, is TLPS- 939A & TLPS-1939B as well as one "impressed or stamped" number TLPS-1939B. Also, from the disk information, the pressing date may be 1961. Seems as though there was some type of issue with this release.

From the back cover: The Bobby Richards Sextette is a group of musicians which have gotten together for the purpose of performing cool music; dance, jazz, Dixieland, smooth or any type of music you care to name. Their repertory is practically limitless and the amazing fact is that all arrangements and music are filed away in their heads; therefore they never use sheet music in a performance. Many, many times they start out on a planned set and end up with a spontaneous, set, for they feel the pulse of the audience and take it from there, performing cool variations.

The arrangements or "spontaneous" nature of the songs do smack of variations or blends of "style" as mentioned in the notes. The fantastic cover design and decent jazz set make for a nice package. MVM is a budget label and my copy, I think sounds less than very good or lacks groove depth which I now associate with cheap production rather than dust or over-play.

Red, White And The Blues
The O S
Sticks And Stones
To A Wild Rose Adelita

Friday, August 5, 2016

Latin Dance Date - Irving Fields

Latin Dance Date
Designed For Dancing - One Of A Series
Irving Fields And His Group
RCA Camden CAL 350

Apparently RCA released this title/catalog number featuring several cover designs, both of which seem somewhat obscure.

Not thematically consistent, the set features a few vocal harmony tracks and other instrumental tracks that have, to my ear, little or nothing to do with a "Latin" beat. RCA seems to have "designed" this set in a rush. None-the-less, the cover art is well designed and tracks like Brazil, save the day.

Cuban Boogie
Lingering Down The Lane
St. Louis Blues
Adios, Mariquita Linda Oye, Negra
Noche De Ronda
Donkey Serenade
Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers
Por Que?
The Wedding Samba

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

New Beat Bossa Nova Vol. 2 - Zoot Sims

New Beat Bossa Nova Vol. 2
Means The Samba Swings
Zoot Sims And His Orchestra
Produced by Jack Lewis
Colpix Records SCP 437

Available from various vendors so I will not be posting a sample.

Strong jazz flavored Space Age jazz Bossa set.

From the back cover: In "New Beat Bossa Nova, Vol. 2" Sims is again supported by a "Who's Who" roster of musicians. Heard on flute are Spence Sinatra, Ron Odrich, Jerry Sandino and Phil Bodner. Sol Schlinger backs him on bass clarinet. Jim Hall and Barry Galbraith are much in evidence on guitar, and Milt Hinton adds his distinctive bass. The percussion section includes Willie Rodriquez, Ted Sommer, Sol Gubin and Tommy Lopez.

Manny Albam and Al Cohn have provided authentic orchestrations of old and new American standards that allow Sims to improvise freely. Over the intricate rhythm patterns of the bossa nova...

From Billboard - March 9, 1963: Bossa nova and Zoot Sims return here for another splendid go. The album contains excellent arrangements from Al Cohn and Manny Albam and smooth and swinging work from tenor saxist Sims. Flutes and guitars with rhythm are in support and the album has distinctive arrangements of "Bernie's Tune," "Lonesome Road" and other standards in the rhythm.

Cancan De Bernardino (Bernie's Tune)
Poquito Cantando
Pies Danzantes (Tickle Toe)
Camino Solitario (Lonesome Road)
Samba Instantanea (Instant Samba)
Llamaron El Viento Maria (They Call The Wind Maria)
Querido Retorna A Mi (Lover Come Back To Me)
Hijo De La Naturaleza (Nature Boy)
Buscando La Luna (Reaching For The Moon)
No Juegues Con El Amor ( Don't Fool With Love)

Monday, August 1, 2016

The George Gershwin Song Book - Buddy De Franco and Oscar Peterson

The George Gershwin Song Book
Buddy De Franco And Oscar Peterson
Cover photo by Phil Stern
Orchestra Conducted By Russell Garcia
Verve MGV 2022

Available from a variety of online sources so I will not be posting a sample.

From Billboard (review of the 1955 Norgren MGN 1016 release) - March 26, 1955: The flashy talents of clarinetist De Franco and pianist Peterson jell neatly here in the well-arranged ork setting. De Franco has won all of the jazz polls for the past nine years, and Peterson usually come close in his department, so these are names to reckon with, The fact that they play Gershwin isn't important, since both men reduce the material at hand into what has become their personal cliches.

Billboard nailed their review. You don't have to like Gershwin to enjoy this set. Gracia's more traditional orchestrations blend with and completely support the jazz passages by De Franco and Peterson. Good stuff.

From the back cover: Concerning the musicians themselves, Boniface "Buddy" DeFranco is the one clarinetist who has assumed the mantle of Benny Goodman's successor. A veteran of such bands as Tommy Dorsey's, Gene Krupa's and Charlie Barnet's, DeFranco is know best for his expressive tone and brilliant technique. He has won any number of magazine polls as the foremost clarinetist of the 1950s. He is a native of Camden, N. J.

Paints Oscar Peterson, a Canadian from Montreal, is another possessed of a dazzling technique and readily identifiable sound. From several years he was featured with the Johnny Holmes band, on of Canada's most popular. Finally, in 1949 Peterson was lured to the United States where he has been heard ever since both on concert tours and with his own trio, comprising Ray Brown, bass, and Herb Ellis, guitar – both of whom are also on this album.

I Wants To Stay Here
I Was Doing All Right
'S Wonderful
Bess, You Is My Woman
Strike Up The Band
They Can't Take That Away From Me
The Man I Love
I Got Rhythm
Someone To Watch Over Me
It Ain't Necessarily So

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Whispering - Luis Arcaraz

Luis Arcaraz And His Orchestra
RCA Victor LPM-1385

Available from online retailers, so I will not be posting a sample.

Back cover notes, by Richard Broderick, are presented in both English and Spanish and feature curious notes about the tunes, rather than offering us any Arcaraz biographical information.  Notes focus, for the most part, on how each song relates to a war.  For instance, this last paragraph: 1947 – and a new word was added to the dictionary of International Polities, "Cold War." The song – Ballerina – and the artist, Vaughn Monroe.

There are no references in the notes that seem to support the "Whispering" cover theme and the arrangements, while pleasant period big band, are not stylistically "soft or quiet" sounding.

April Showers
This Love Of Mine
Sentimental Journey
You'll Never Know
Sunrise Serenade
It's Been A Long, Long Time
Love Letters In The Sand
You Made Me Love You

Great Adventures Emergency

Great Adventures Emergency
Produced by Tom Cupola and Bob Goemann
Wonderland Records WLP 310