quarta-feira, 27 de julho de 2011

Ray Conniff - Live In Rio

  1. New York, New York
  2. Love Is A Many Splendored Thing
  3. Memory
  4. One
  5. Somewhere My Love
  6. Blowin' In The Wind
  7. El Dia Que Me Quieras
  8. Besame Mucho
  9. El Mar (Beyond The Sea)
  10. Tico-Tico No Fubá (Tico Tico)
  11. Aquarela Do Brasil (Brazil)
  12. Cidade Maravilhosa
Live in Rio


Fran Logan, first soprano
Peggy Ryan, second soprano
Lynn Rose, first alto
Kathy Mann, second alto
Troy Kennedy, first tenor
Robert Townsend, second tenor
Dave Theriault, first baritone (tour manager)
Jeff Dolan, baritone bass


Zeke Zarchy, first trumpet
Jack Laubach, second trumpet
Jerry Kadovitz, third trumpet
Jack Redmond, first trombone
Wendell Kelly, second trombone
Ernie Tack, bass trombone
Fred Cooper, first alto sax
John Bambridge, second alto sax
Brian Scanlon, first tenor sax
Lou Ciotti, second tenor sax
Lee Callet, baritone sax
Ted Hughart, bass
Jerry White, drums
Greg Turner, rhythm guitar
Steve Cardenas, first guitar
Perry La Marca, keyboards (piano, electric piano)
Stephanie Bennett, harp
Wally Snow, percussion

Recorded in Rio 1997

segunda-feira, 25 de julho de 2011

Laurindo Almeida - Outra Vez (Once Again)

  1. Outra Vez (Once Again)
  2. The Jolly Crow
  3. Danza Five
  4. Blue Skies
  5. Goin' Home (From New World Symphony) (A. Dvorak)
  6. Samba De Break
  7. Beethoven & Monk (Moonlight Sonata & 'Round Midnight)
  8. Escadoo
  9. Um A Zero (One To Nothing)
  10. Carinhoso (Affectionate)
  11. Jobim Medley: Corcovado (Quiet Nights) / The Girl From Ipanema / Desafinado
Outra Vez

"Here contemporary jazz at its best meets not only the Latin classics of the Garoto period, but the classics of Western music in general... To Laurindo, there aren't any musical boundaries worth mentioning..."
(George Warren)

Laurindo Almeida, guitar
Bob Magnusson, bass
Jim Plank, percussion

Recorded live at The Jazz Note, Pacific Beach, CA, October 5, 1991.

He's played classical concerts in some of the world's most prestigious halls. He's toured and recorded with the Modern Jazz Quartet and worked as featured solist and composer-arranger with the equally famous Stan Kenton orchestra. (Coincidentally, Almeida tours with the MJQ in Japan in May 1992, and performs with fellow alumni of the Stan Kenton orchestra the following month).

You want more? He brought jazz into Brazilian music into jazz. Over the past 40 years five-time Grammy winner Laurindo Almeida has worn more different hats with distinction than any other guitarist in the business.

All that time he's stayed a bit ahead of the pack. During his classical-music career, for instance, he did more first recordings of major works (including the important Villa-Lobos Guitar Concerto) than any other guitarist but Segovia.

Now, in his mellow 70s, concertizing with the trio he organized during the past decade, he finds himself as usual on the cutting edge, this time of a major renaissance of interest in Brazilian crossover jazz.

Today's fusion-minded jazz world, it appears, is rediscovering the half-forgotten, but delightful, Brazilian acoustic music of the 40s, when Rio studio musicians like "Garoto" (A.A. Sardinha) and Laurindo were mixing lush, sophisticated jazz harmonies with the subtly catchy rhythms associated with such guitar masters as Joao Pernambuco and Dilermando Reis, and making magic with the results.

But for most working musicians of today, including Brazilian ones, working this rich vein requires a bit of retraining if it's to come out sounding right. Not so with Laurindo. He is, in fact, the last surviving great master from that period. He worked with all of the above, and extended Garoto's already powerful ideas into the next level of harmonic and rhythmic complexity.

The result, blended with his natural leanings toward healthy and good-humored eclecticism, is the present recording. Here contemporary jazz at its best meets not only the Latin classics of the Garoto period, but the classics of Western music in general.

Thus we find not only new works (his own Escadoo and Samba de Break), but other surprises as well, as Laurindo pays return visits to such Antonio Carlos Jobim standards as Outra Vez (which he last recorded nearly 30 years ago with Stan Getz) and revives deliciously fresh works by his old colleague Alfredo Vianna ("Pixinguinha").

Here again he's on legendary turf: his 1954 recording, with Bud Shank, of Pixinguinha's great tune Carinhoso presaged the whole bossa movement. Granado's Danza Five, too, is a re-run of sorts: Laurindo recorded this item - a piano piece that plays like a guitar original - years ago, and he revisits it here with an impish smile on his face.

But the most striking moment on the album has him playing the first movement of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, straight and unchanged, while bassist Bob Magnusson plays, as counterpoint, Thelonious Monk's lovely standard 'Round Midnight. Only a complete musician like Laurindo, adventurous and endlessly inventive, would have noticed that the two tunes go together.

But there you are. To Laurindo, there aren't any musical boundaries worth mentioning, and it'd be boring to be stuck in only one idiom the rest of your life. "It's all music," he says amiably. "We're meant to have a good time with it". And he's a god bet to keep right  right on doing just that.

(George Warren, from the original liner notes)

sexta-feira, 22 de julho de 2011

101 Strings Orchestra - The Soul Of Greece

  1. Athens By Night
  2. A Bed For Two
  3. Hassaposer Vico
  4. Mykonos Sunset
  5. Never On Sunday
  6. Aharisti
  7. Sirtaki (Theme From "Zorba The Greek")
  8. Sorrow In Every Port
  9. Daybreak
  10. Hellena
  11. Departure
The Soul Of Greece

quarta-feira, 20 de julho de 2011

Teenage Triangle - with James Darren, Shelly Fabares and Paul Peterson

  1. Goodbye Cruel World - James Darren
  2. Johnny Angel - Shelly Fabares
  3. She Can't Find Her Keys - Paul Peterson
  4. Her Royal Majesty - James Darren
  5. Johnny Loves Me - Shelly Fabares
  6. Keep Your Love Locked - Paul Peterson
  7. Gidget - James Darren
  8. The Things We Did Last Summer - Shelly Fabares
  9. Lollipops And Roses - Paul Peterson
  10. Conscience - James Darren
  11. I'm Growing Up - Shelly Fabares
  12. Little Boy Sad - Paul Peterson

Thank You Mike for your collaboration!

Even more than the typical teen idol, James Darren's roots in authentic rock & roll were tenuous. Darren began recording for Colpix in the late '50s at the beginning of a screen career that saw him star in numerous films, most notably Gidget. More at home with standard MOR, show tune-like material than rock, and not much of a singer in any case, Darren was nonetheless marketed as a pop/rock performer to his predominantly young female constituency. He ran off quite a few novelty-tinged hit singles in the early '60s, of which "Goodbye Cruel World," which made number three, was the biggest and best. Top Brill Building pop songwriters -- including the Goffin-King, Mann-Weil, and Pomus-Shuman teams, as well as Bob Crewe, Gloria Shayne, and Howard Greenfield -- gave Darren material, albeit material that was well below their usual standards. He recorded quite a bit after his early-'60s heyday, reaching the Top 40 in 1967 with "All" and charting as late as 1977 with "You Take My Heart Away." During the '90s, Darren co-starred on the Star Trek spin-off Deep Space Nine as hologram crooner Vic Fontaine, reprising songs from the series on the 1999 album This One's From the Heart. 

(by Richie Unterberger from allmusic.com)

Shelley Fabares is one -- and maybe the best -- of a handful of young actresses/singers who emerged from the end of the 1950s through the mid-'60s, in an attempt to extend television stardom into action on the pop charts. Most didn't last, and none made the impact of their rivals, the singers who tried acting (Connie Francis, Sandy Stewart, Lulu, etc.), but Fabares did score a huge hit with "Johnny Angel."

Shelley Fabares was born on January 19, 1944 in California, to a family that already had a background performing (her aunt is Nanette Fabray, the actress best remembered for movies such as The Band Wagon), and she began working as a dancer and model while still a child. By the mid-'50s, she had appeared in such movies as Never Say Goodbye and Summer Love. In 1958, Fabares won the role of Mary Stone in the ABC television series The Donna Reed Show -- the show was a hit, and over the next five years, in tandem with former Mouseketeer Paul Petersen, who played her brother Jeff on the show, Fabares was one of the most visible and popular young performers on television, and the quintessential TV "daughter."

The series was produced by Columbia Pictures Television, and the two young performers were asked to try working with the studio's label, Colpix Records. Although the demos failed to impress the label's executives, Donna Reed Show producer Tony Owen (Reed's husband) insisted that they try and make a proper record, and even financed the recording session himself with producer Stu Phillips (The Monkees, Battlestar Galactica) at the helm.

Fabares' debut release, "Johnny Angel," reached number one on the charts in early 1962, and is regarded today as a quintessential "girl group" record. None of her subsequent records ever came close to that exalted level, but Fabares recorded for the next three years, in between acting assignments that included movies with Elvis Presley (Girl Happy, Spinout, Clambake), releasing three modestly successful singles ("Johnny Loves Me," "The Things We Did Last Summer," "Ronnie, Call Me When You Get a Chance") and a pair of albums (Shelley, The Things We Did Last Summer). To Fabares, who never conceived of a singing career for herself and wasn't entirely comfortable in that role, these recordings were all a lark, but they constituted little more than a footnote to her early career.

Despite her indifference to recording, Fabares' first husband was producer Lou Adler. She didn't remain in the music business, and even her acting career had stalled at the end of the '60s. During the '70s, she resumed her career as an adult performer, appearing as a regular on series such as Forever Fornwood and One Day at a Time. She later married actor Mike Farrell (M*A*S*H) and has since emerged as a major television star again, as Craig T. Nelson's wife in the hit series Coach. She and Farrell have also been very visible as activists, raising money and the public's consciousness on behalf of numerous causes, most notably Alzheimer's disease. 

(by Bruce Eder from allmusic.com)

Paul Petersen (born September 23, 1945) is an American movie actor, singer, novelist, and activist. Primarily known for his character-type roles in the 1960s and 1970s, as an adult Petersen established the organization A Minor Consideration to support child stars and other child laborers through legislation, family education, and personal intervention and counseling for those in crisis.

Petersen achieved fame in the 1960s playing Donna Reed's son, Jeff Stone, on The Donna Reed Show. In the early 1980s, he also had a recurring role as a police officer on Matt Houston, and in the late 1990s, he played the author Paul Conway in the film Mommy's Day.

Petersen began his show business career at the age of ten as a Mouseketeer on the Mickey Mouse Club. He appeared in the 1958 movie Houseboat with Sophia Loren and Cary Grant, but achieved stardom playing teenager Jeff Stone from 1958 to 1966 in the ABC family television sitcom The Donna Reed Show. Petersen had a modest recording success with the sentimental teen pop song "My Dad", which was introduced on the Reed show in 1962. Petersen sang the tune to his screen father, actor Carl Betz.

Peterson had a small role as Tony Biddle in the 1967 musical film The Happiest Millionaire. He appeared in many guest roles, including one as a military officer in the short-lived 1967 ABC western series Custer, with Wayne Maunder in the title role.

Petersen's fame brought recording offers and although his singing voice was limited, he had hit record singles with songs "She Can't Find Her Keys", "Amy", and "Lollipops and Roses", as well as "My Dad" that made #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. He also recorded during the 1960s for Motown, including the singles "Chained" and "A Little Bit For Sandy."

(from answers.com)

James Last - The Classical Collection - Disc Two

  1. Winter (From "The Four Seasons") (Vivaldi)
  2. Mattinata (Leoncavallo)
  3. Bolero (Ravel)
  4. Träumerei (Schumann)
  5. Mozart 40 (Mozart)
  6. Notturno (Borodin)
  7. Radetzky March (Strauss)
  8. Chorus Of The Hebrew Slaves (From "Nabucco") (Verdi)
  9. Nocturne Op. 26 No 2 (Chopin)
  10. Romeo And Juliet (Tchaikovsky)
  11. Adagio From Violin Concerto In G Minor (Bruch)
  12. A Springtime Dream (Vivaldi)
  13. Theme From Elvira Madigan (From "Piano Concerto No 21") (Mozart)
  14. Romance For Violin & Orchestra In F Op. 50 (Beethoven)
  15. Lieberstraum (Liszt)
  16. Waltz In A Flat Op. 39 No 15 (Brahms)
  17. Largo (Corelli)
  18. Ballet Music (From "Prince Igor") (Borodin)
  19. In A Persian Market (Ketelby)
  20. The Blue Danube (Strauss)
Classical Collection 2

segunda-feira, 18 de julho de 2011

James Last - The Classical Collection - Disc One

  1. Eine Kleine Nachtmusic (Mozart)
  2. Adagio (Albinoni)
  3. Concierto De Aranjuez - Andante (Rodrigo)
  4. Ballade Pour Adeline (Seneville - Toussaint)
  5. Spring (From "The Four Seasons") (Vivaldi)
  6. Ave Maria (Bach - Gounod)
  7. Intermezzo (From "Cavalleria Rusticana") (Mascagni)
  8. Pictures At An Exhibition (Mussorgsky)
  9. Für Elise (Beethoven)
  10. Second Waltz (Shostakovitch)
  11. Air On A G String (Bach)
  12. March Of The Toreadors (From "Carmen") (Bizet)
  13. Barcarolle (From "The Tales Of Hoffman") (Offenbach)
  14. Humming Chorus (From "Madame Butterfly") (Puccini)
  15. Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini (Rachmaninoff)
  16. Moonlight Sonata (Beethoven)
  17. Going Home (Largo From "The New World Symphony") (Dvorak)
  18. In The Hall Of The Mountain King (From "Peer Gynt Suite") (Grieg)
  19. Roses From The South (Strauss)
  20. Ritual Fire Dance (Falla)
Classical Collection 1

sábado, 16 de julho de 2011

Larry Elgart and His Hooked On Swing Orchestra - Hooked On Swing - Vol. 3

  1. La Cage Aux Follies
  2. Caravan
  3. The Best Of Times (from "La Cage Aux Follies")
  4. Harlem Nocturne (alto saxophone solo: Larry Elbert)
  5. Bandstand Boogie
  6. Puttin' On The Ritz
  7. Boogie Woogie
  8. Satin Doll
  9. Tuxedo Junction
  10. Chameleon Days (from the movie "Zelig")
  11. La Cage Aux Follies (Reprise)
Hooked on Swing 3

sexta-feira, 15 de julho de 2011

Larry Elgart and His Manhattan Swing Orchestra - Hooked On Swing - Vol. 2

  1. Hooked On Dixie
  2. Hooked On Swing 2
  3. Save The Last Dance For Me
  4. Hooked On The Roaring '20's
  5. Swingin' The Classics
  6. Swing With Bing
Hooked on Swing 2

quinta-feira, 14 de julho de 2011

Larry Elgart and His Manhattan Swing Orchestra - Hooked On Swing - Vol. 1

  1. Hooked On Swing
  2. Hooked On Big Bands
  3. Hooked On A Star
  4. Hooked On Astaire
  5. Hooked On The Blues
  6. Hooked On Broadway
Hooked on Swing 1

Larry Elgart appears to be something of an unstoppable force in dance band and big-band music, bordering on jazz mostly through the appropriation of various swingy instrumentalists to fill section ranks. The Elgart name itself is legendary in this kind of music; brother Les Elgart also fronts his own, similar orchestra and the siblings collaborated on the Les & Larry Elgart Band from the mid-'40s through much of the '50s. The boys' mother was a concert pianist but it was perhaps a Connecticut musician named Hymie Shertzer who had the most influence early on, successfully pushing a still teenage Larry Elgart for the spot of lead alto saxophone in the Charlie Spivak ensemble.

When Les Elgart headed for the West Coast near the end of the '50s his brother took on major control of the band they had formerly shared, guiding the shifting lineup of hired hands through a series of fine recordings for labels such as RCA Victor and Decca. Some four decades later, Les Elgart was merrily and energetically announcing that his band was still going strong and on the verge of conquering new frontiers, in this case an Australian tour. Exotica fans are obsessed with an earlier Elgart exploration, the 1953 10" entitled Impressions of Outer Space, in which Sun Ra is given a run for his intergalactic money. A more recent Elgart recording is the 2003 Bandstand Boogie

(by Eugene Chadbourne from allmusic.com)

quarta-feira, 13 de julho de 2011

Jackie Gleason - Doublin' In Brass

  1. Love (Your Magic Spell Is Everywhere)
  2. Wilkommen
  3. My Kind Of Town
  4. A Man And A Woman
  5. Ti-Pi-Tin
  6. So What's New
  7. Tollgate Treat
  8. Paddlin' Home
  9. Cabaret
  10. What Now My Love
  11. Here, There And Everywhere
Doublin' in Brass

Not only was he one of the finest comedians America has ever produced, Jackie Gleason applied his prodigious talents to music as well. With a strong jazz roots background (leaning to mesmerized idolatry when dealing with good trumpet players), Gleason developed a chart-topping series of mood music albums in the '50s, citing his reason for their existence: "Every time I ever watched Clark Gable do a love scene in the movies, I'd hear this really pretty music, real romantic, come up behind him and help set the mood. So I'm figuring that if Clark Gable needs that kinda help, then a guy in Canarsie has gotta be dyin' for somethin' like this!"

Gleason began making films in the '40s, but he rose to stardom in the early '50s, thanks to the late '40s/early '50s television series The Life of Riley and Cavalcade of Stars. His television stardom led to a contract with Capitol Records, who released his first album, Music for Lovers Only, in 1953. As a musician, Gleason favored lush, dramatically orchestrated instrumentals, patterned after the mood music of Paul Weston. Gleason wasn't a trained musician, but he was responsible for the musical direction of his records; when he did write a piece, he would dictate to someone who could read and write music.

Music for Lovers Only was a surprise hit, selling over 500,000 copies. Every subsequent Gleason album was a major hit, reaching the Top Ten and selling a large number of copies. Gleason continued to release albums into the '60s, but his popularity dipped dramatically after 1957. After that year, he no longer was able to make it into the Top 15, even though his records continued to appear in the lower regions of the charts. Gleason's records have continued to be popular cult items and they have come to be regarded as definitive mood music albums. 

(by Cub Koda & Stephen Thomas Erlewin from allmusic.com)

terça-feira, 12 de julho de 2011

Bing Crosby - Seasons

  1. Seasons (Le Bain De Minuit)
  2. On The Very First Day Of The Year
  3. June In January
  4. Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year
  5. April Showers
  6. June Is Bustin' Out All Over
  7. In The Good Old Summertime
  8. Summer Wind
  9. Autumn In New York
  10. September Song
  11. Sleigh Ride
  12. Yesterday When I Was Young
It was appropriate for Bing Crosby to make a record of reflective material in late 1977. Earlier in the year, he had celebrated his 50th anniversary in music with a special taped for CBS, then undergone an extended stay in the hospital after falling off a stage at the same show. And, ironically, these September sessions in London also proved to be his last -- he collapsed on a golf course just one month later. Crosby had recorded several albums in England during his late-career renaissance of the mid-'70s. Arranged as usual by Ken Barnes, Bing relaxes over a conceptual set of seasonal songs, including mostly age-old standards ("June in January," "In the Good Old Summertime") as well as a new one, "Seasons," a French song by Gilbert Bécaud given English lyrics especially for Bing. The arrangements and production are typical of the period, given a high gloss anchored by electric bass but otherwise incorporating all the hallmarks of vocal pop from the previous three or four decades. Bing's voice is hardy and strong for a 74-year old, but it's clear he doesn't possess the same strength and gravitas of even his recordings of the '60s. For every late-period gem like "Summer Wind," there's a "June Is Bustin' Out All Over," which is anchored by a saccharine studio vocal group similar to the Singers Unlimited.  

(by John Bush from allmusic.com)

Bing Crosby was, without doubt, the most popular and influential media star of the first half of the 20th century. The undisputed best-selling artist until well into the rock era (with over half a billion records in circulation), the most popular radio star of all time, and the biggest box-office draw of the 1940s, Crosby dominated the entertainment world from the Depression until the mid-'50s, and proved just as influential as he was popular. Unlike the many vocal artists before him, Crosby grew up with radio, and his intimate bedside manner was a style perfectly suited to emphasize the strengths of a medium transmitted directly into the home. He was also helped by the emerging microphone technology: scientists had perfected the electrically amplified recording process scant months before Crosby debuted on record, and in contrast to earlier vocalists, who were forced to strain their voices into the upper register to make an impression on mechanically recorded tracks, Crosby's warm, manly baritone crooned contentedly without a thought of excess.

Not to be forgotten in charting Bing Crosby's influence is the music itself. His song knowledge and sense of laid-back swing was learned from early jazz music, far less formal than the European-influenced classical and popular music used for inspiration by the vocalists of the 1910s and '20s. Jazz was by no means his main concentration, though, especially after the 1930s; Crosby instead blended contemporary pop hits with the best songs from a wide range of material (occasionally recording theme-oriented songs written by non-specialists as well, such as Cole Porter's notoriously un-Western "Don't Fence Me In"). His wide repertoire covered show tunes, film music, country & western songs, patriotic standards, religious hymns, holiday favorites, and ethnic ballads (most notably Irish and Hawaiian). The breadth of material wasn't threatening to audiences because Crosby put his own indelible stamp on each song he recorded, appealing to many different audiences while still not endangering his own fan base. Bing Crosby was among the first to actually read songs, making them his own by interpreting the lyrics and emphasizing words or phrases to emphasize what he thought best.

His influence and importance in terms of vocal ability and knowledge of American popular music are immense, but what made Bing Crosby more than anything else was his persona -- whether it was an artificial creation or something utterly natural to his own personality. Crosby represented the American everyman -- strong and stern to a point yet easygoing and affable, tolerant of other viewpoints but quick to defend God and the American way -- during the hard times of the Depression and World War II, when Americans most needed a symbol of what their country was all about.

Bing Crosby was born Harry Lillis Crosby in Tacoma, WA, on May 3, 1903. (Bingo was a childhood nickname from one of his favorite comic strips.) The fourth of seven children in a poverty-level family who loved to sing, he was briefly sent to vocal lessons early on by his mother, until he grew tired of the training. An early admirer of Al Jolson, Crosby saw his hero perform in 1917. Crosby sang in a high-school jazz band, and when he began attending nearby Gonzaga College (he had grown up practically in the middle of the campus), he ordered a drum set through the mail and practiced on the set. Introduced to a local bandleader named Al Rinker, he was invited to join Rinker's group, the Musicaladers, singing and playing drums with the group throughout college.

Though the Musicaladers broke up soon after his graduation in 1925, Bing Crosby was ready to stick with the music business. Crosby had made quite a bit of money during the band's career, and he and Rinker -- who was the brother of Mildred Bailey -- were confident they could make it in California. They packed up their belongings and headed out for Los Angeles, finding good money working in vaudeville until they were hired by Paul Whiteman, leader of the most popular jazz band in the country (and known as the "King of Jazz" in an era when black pioneers were mostly ignored since they were unmarketable). For a few songs during Whiteman's shows, Rinker and Crosby sang as the Rhythm Boys with Harry Barris (a pianist, arranger, vocal effects artist, and songwriter later renowned for "I Surrender Dear" and "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams"). With their clever songwriting and stage routines, the trio soon became one of the Paul Whiteman Orchestra's most popular attractions, and Crosby took a vocal on one of Whiteman's biggest hits of 1927-1928, "Ol' Man River." Besides appearing on record with Whiteman's orchestra, the Rhythm Boys also recorded on their own, though an opportunity for Crosby to enlarge his part in the 1930 film King of Jazz with a solo song went unrealized, as he sat in the clink for a drunk-driving altercation.

When Whiteman again hit the road in 1930, the Rhythm Boys stayed behind on the West Coast. After Crosby hired his big brother Everett as a manager, he began recording consistently as a solo act with Brunswick Records in early 1931, and by year's end had chalked up several of the year's biggest hits, including "Out of Nowhere," "Just One More Chance," "I Found a Million-Dollar Baby," and "At Your Command." He appeared in three films that year, and in September began a popular CBS radio series. Its success was similarly unprecedented; in less than a year, the show was among the nation's most popular and earned Crosby a starring role in 1932's The Big Broadcast, which brought radio stars like Burns & Allen to the screen. By the midpoint of the decade, Crosby was among the top ten most popular film stars. His musical success had, if anything, gained momentum during the same time, producing some of the biggest hits of 1932-1934: "Please," "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?," "You're Getting to Be a Habit With Me," "Little Dutch Mill," "Love in Bloom," and "June in January."

"June in January," itself the biggest hit at that point in Crosby's young career, signaled a turn in his career. Brunswick executive Jack Kapp had just struck out on his own with an American subsidiary of the British Decca Records, and Crosby was lured over with the promise of higher royalty rates. Though his initial releases on Decca were recordings from his films of the year -- "June in January" was taken from Here Is My Heart -- Crosby began stretching out with religious material (such as "Silent Night, Holy Night," which became one of his biggest sellers, estimated at up to ten million). Late in 1935, he signed a contract for a radio show with NBC called Kraft Music Hall, an association that lasted into the mid-'40s. After his first musical director, Jimmy Dorsey, left, Crosby's songwriter friend Johnny Burke recommended John Scott Trotter (previously with the Hal Kemp Orchestra) as a replacement. Trotter quickly cinched the job when his arrangements for the 1936 film Pennies from Heaven produced the biggest hit of the year in its title song. (He would continue as Bing's orchestra arranger and bandleader into the mid-'50s.)

After the biggest hit of 1936, Bing Crosby followed up with -- what else? -- the biggest of 1937, just months later. "Sweet Leilani," from the similarly Hawaiian film Waikiki Wedding, showed Bing the direction his career could take over the course of the 1940s and '50s. Though he had recorded several cowboy songs earlier in the 1930s as well as the occasional song of inspiration, Crosby began covering everything under the sun, the popular hits of every genre of contemporary music. These weren't castoffs, either; many of his 1940s country & western covers were hits, such as "New San Antonio Rose," "You Are My Sunshine," "Deep in the Heart of Texas," "Pistol-Packin' Mama," "San Fernando Valley," and "Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy."

With the advent of American involvement in World War II, Bing Crosby entered the peak of his career. Arriving in 1940 was the first of his popular "Road" movies with old friend Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour, along with three of the biggest hits of the year ("Sierra Sue," "Trade Winds," "Only Forever"). Crosby and Hope had first met in 1932, when the two both performed at the Capitol Theater in New York. They reunited later in the '30s to open a racetrack, and after reprising some old vaudeville routines, a Paramount Pictures producer decided to find a vehicle for the pair and came up with The Road to Singapore.

More popular success followed in 1941 with the introduction of the biggest hit of Papa Bing's career, "White Christmas." Written by Irving Berlin for 1942's Holiday Inn (a film that featured a Berlin song for each major holiday of the year), the single was debuted on Bing's radio show on Christmas Day, 1941. Recorded the following May and released in October, "White Christmas" stayed at number one for the rest of 1942. Reissued near Christmas for each of the next 20 years, it became the best-selling single of all time, with totals of over 30 million copies. It was a favorite for soldiers on the various USO tours Crosby attended during the war years, as was another holiday song, "I'll Be Home for Christmas." Crosby's popular success continued after the end of the war, and he remained the top box-office draw until 1948 (his fifth consecutive year at number one).

As with all the jazz-oriented stars of the first half of the 20th century, Crosby's chart popularity was obviously affected by the rise of rock & roll in the mid-'50s. Though 1948's "Now Is the Hour" proved his last number one hit, the lack of chart success proved to be a boon: Crosby now had the time to concentrate on album-oriented projects and collaborations with other vocalists and name bands, definitely a more enjoyable venture than singing pop hits of the day on his radio show, ad nauseam. Inspired by the '50s adult-oriented album concepts of Frank Sinatra (who had no doubt been inspired by Bing in no small way), Crosby began to record his most well-received records in ages, as Bing Sings Whilst Bregman Swings (1956) and Bing With a Beat (1957) returned him to the hot jazz he had loved and performed back in the 1930s. His recording and film schedule began to slow in the 1960s, though he recorded several LPs for United Artists during the mid-'70s (one with Fred Astaire) and returned to active performance during 1976-1977. While golfing in Spain on October 14, 1977, Bing Crosby collapsed and died of a heart attack. 

(by John Bush from allmusic.com)

segunda-feira, 11 de julho de 2011

Bobby Hackett - A String Of Pearls

  1. Perfidia
  2. Adios
  3. Blue Moon
  4. Georgia On My Mind
  5. Tuxedo Junction
  6. Jersey Bounce
  7. Poor Butterfly
  8. Rhapsody In Blue
  9. A String Of Pearls
  10. Moonlight Serenade
  11. Stompin' At The Savoy
  12. In The Mood
Bobby Hackett was in Glenn Miller's band for a little over a year in 1941-1942, and he had a memorable solo on "A String of Pearls." This collection, recorded more than 20 years later, recalls Hackett's tenure with Miller, but in a noticeably different style. "And Other Great Songs Made Famous by the Glenn Miller Orchestra" is the subtitle, but the contents do not live up to that claim. "Blue Moon," "Georgia on My Mind," and "Rhapsody in Blue" were famous long before Miller ever organized a band, and "Jersey Bounce," "Poor Butterfly," and "Stompin' at the Savoy" were not hits for him, but for others. That's half the tracks that don't conform to the album's concept. Hackett is accompanied by what the liner notes call "Wall-to-Wall Strings and Brass," a large ensemble, in new arrangements by Miller alumnus George Williams. This is really an attempt to update Miller in a style more reminiscent of Lawrence Welk or Jackie Gleason. As he did with Gleason, Hackett gives the music some jazz credibility, playing distinctively when he gets in front of the microphone. But the result is still closer to easy listening music than swing.  

(by William Ruhlmann from allmusic.com)

Epic LN 24174

Bobby Hackett's mellow tone and melodic style offered a contrast to the brasher Dixieland-oriented trumpeters. Emphasizing his middle-register and lyricism, Hackett was a flexible soloist who actually sounded little like his main inspiration, Louis Armstrong.

When Hackett first came up he was briefly known as "the new Bix" because of the similarity in his approach to that of Bix Beiderbecke, but very soon he developed his own distinctive sound. Originally a guitarist (which he doubled on until the mid-'40s), Hackett performed in local bands, and by 1936 was leading his own group. He moved to New York in 1937, played with Joe Marsala, appeared at Benny Goodman's 1938 Carnegie Hall concert (recreating Beiderbecke's solo on "I'm Coming Virginia"), recorded with Eddie Condon, and by 1939 had a short-lived big band. Hackett played briefly with Horace Heidt, and during 1941-1942 was with Glenn Miller's Orchestra, taking a famous solo on "String of Pearls." Next up was a stint with the Casa Loma Orchestra, and then he became a studio musician while still appearing with jazz groups. Hackett was a major asset at Louis Armstrong's 1947 Town Hall Concert, in the 1950s he was a star on Jackie Gleason's commercial but jazz-flavored mood music albums, and he recorded several times with Eddie Condon and Jack Teagarden. During 1956-1957, Hackett led an unusual group that sought to modernize Dixieland (using Dick Cary's arrangements and an unusual instrumentation), but that band did not catch on. Hackett recorded some commercial dates during 1959-1960 (including one set of Hawaiian songs and another in which he was backed by pipe organ), he worked with Benny Goodman (1962-1963); backed Tony Bennett in the mid-'60s; co-led a well-recorded quintet with Vic Dickenson (1968-1970); and made sessions with Jim Cullum, the World's Greatest Jazz Band, and even Dizzy Gillespie and Mary Lou Williams, remaining active up until his death. Among the many labels Bobby Hackett recorded for as a leader were Okeh (reissued by Epic), Commodore, Columbia, Epic, Capitol, Sesac, Verve, Project 3, Chiaroscuro, Flying Dutchman, and Honey Dew. 

(by Scott Yanow from allmusic.com)

sábado, 9 de julho de 2011

Frank Chacksfield and His Orchestra - Foreign Film Festival

  1. Theme From "The Good, The Bad And The Ugly"
  2. Theme From "Elvira Madigan"
  3. Lara's Theme From "Dr. Zhivago"
  4. Theme From "The Dark Of The Sun"
  5. This Is My Song From "A Countess Of Hong Kong"
  6. Zorba's Dance From "Zorba The Greek"
  7. Alfie
  8. I Will Wait For You From "The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg"
  9. Irina From "Shalako"
  10. The James Bond Theme
  11. Rose Of Saigon From "Tell Me No Lies"
  12. A Man And A Woman
Foreign Film Festival

sexta-feira, 8 de julho de 2011

Joe Williams - A Man Ain't Supposed To Cry

  1. What's New
  2. It's The Talk Of The Town
  3. I'll Never Smile Again
  4. I'm Through With Love
  5. Where Are You
  6. I've Only Myself To Blame
  7. Say It Isn't So
  8. What Will I Tell My Heart
  9. You've Got Me Crying Again
  10. Can't We Talk It Over
  11. I Laugh To Keep From Cryin'
  12. A Man Ain't Supposed To Cry
During the mid-'50s, Joe Williams was one of the hottest properties in vocal jazz thanks to a big hit recorded with the Count Basie Orchestra ("Every Day I Have the Blues"). But when he moved from Verve to Roulette a few years later, he modified his version of the big-band blues for his first album with the label. Roulette owner Morris Levy was interested in crossover potential -- he had recently hit number one in 1957 with the folk-pop singer Jimmie Rodgers -- and he had Williams record an album of lush ballads with strings arranged by swing veteran Jimmy Mundy. (Vocal fans thinking of Frank Sinatra as arranged by Gordon Jenkins instead of Billy May will be well on their way to imagining the sound of A Man Ain't Supposed to Cry.) Although Williams, like Sinatra, was a fabulous swing vocalist, he was also an excellent balladeer with a rich vibrato and the confidence to let a straight reading speak for itself. Torch songs comprise most of the song list, and include "What's New?," "It's the Talk of the Town," "Where Are You," and Irving Berlin's "Say It Isn't So."  

(by John Bush from allmusic.com)

Roulette 150211

quinta-feira, 7 de julho de 2011

Gordon Jenkins and His Orchestra and Chorus - In A Tender Mood - For Listening and Dancing...

  1. I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles
  2. Just One Of Those Things
  3. Gone With The Wind
  4. When Your Lover Has Gone
  5. And The Angels Sing
  6. Blues For Beverly
  7. Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo
  8. Begin The Beguine
  9. Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise
  10. I'll Remember April
  11. Paradise
  12. Stella By Starlight
In A Tender Mood

Ideal as sheer listening pleasure, perfect for dancing, IN A TENDER MOOD displays conductor-composer-arranger Gordon Jenkins' deft, distinctive touch as its very finest. Under his skilled leadership, the orchestra and chorus (comprising some of the West Coast's best musicians and singers) respond sensitively to the mood of each of these popular classics. Swirling strands of orchestral and choral sounds make such favorites as the carefree Just One of Those Things, scorchy, torchy When Your Lover Has Gone, bittersweetly sentimental Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo, sizzling Paradise and the delicate Stella by Starlight sound spring-fresh once again.

In addition to being the first conductor-arranger to mingle instruments and voices successfully, Gordon was the first to demonstrate that the orchestra of a Broadway musical need not simply line out the melody being sung on stage. Though a native of Webster Groves, Missouri, he is composer of music and lyrics for what has come to be considered the ne plus ultra of musical portraits of New York, "Manhattan Towers", as well as prolific writer of such hits as "San Fernando Valley", "P.S. I Love You" and "Blue Prelude". The present album's delightful Blues for Beverly is further testament of his composing gifts.

When you enter the world of Gordon Jenkins, you explore an exciting realm of musical splendor. Listen...Dance...IN A TENDER MOOD...

(From the original liner notes)

quarta-feira, 6 de julho de 2011

Frank Chacksfield and His Orchestra - The Great TV Themes

  1. Route 66
  2. Peyton Place
  3. Rawhide
  4. The Dick Van Dyke Show
  5. The Alfred Hitchcock Theme
  6. Dragnet
  7. Peter Gunn
  8. Doctor Kildare
  9. Bonanza
  10. The Syncopated Clock (Late Late Show)
  11. The Jackie Gleason Show
  12. The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
TV Themes

terça-feira, 5 de julho de 2011

David Rose and His Orchestra - Holiday For Strings

  1. Holiday For Strings
  2. The Stripper
  3. Waltz Of The Bubbles
  4. Four Twenty AM
  5. California Melodies
  6. Like Young
  7. Dance Of The Spanish Onion
  8. Taco Holiday
  9. The Tiny Ballerina
  10. Rose Of Bel-Air
  11. Gay Spirits
  12. Wig-Wam
Holiday for Strings

segunda-feira, 4 de julho de 2011

Brazen Brass - New Sounds In Folk Music - Henry Jerome and His Orchestra

  1. Tom Dooley
  2. The Lion Sleeps Tonight
  3. Across The Wild Missouri
  4. Kisses Sweeter Than Wine
  5. Green Fields
  6. Red River Valley
  7. The Blue Tail Fly
  8. Goodnight, Irene
  9. On Top Of Old Smokey
  10. Michael
  11. Careless Love
  12. Marianne
Brunswick STA 8526

sexta-feira, 1 de julho de 2011

Frank Sinatra - The Columbia Years 1943 - 1952 - The Complete Recordings - Vol. 12

  1. Faithful
  2. You're The One
  3. There's Something Missing
  4. Hello, Young Lovers
  5. We Kiss In A Shadow
  6. I Whistle A Happy Tune
  7. I'm A Fool To Want You
  8. Love Me
  9. Mama Will Bark
  10. It's A Long Way (From Your House To My House)
  11. Castle Rock
  12. Farewell, Farewell To Love
  13. Deep Night
  14. A Good Man Is Hard To Find
  15. I Could Write A Book
  16. I Hear A Rhapsody
  17. Walking In The Sunshine
  18. My Girl
  19. Feet Of Clay
  20. Don't Ever Be Afraid To Go Home
  21. Luna Rossa (Blushing Moon)
  22. The Birth Of The Blues
  23. Azure-Te (Paris Blues)
  24. Tennessee Newsboy (The Newsboy Blues)
  25. Bim Bam Baby
  26. Why Try To Change Me Now
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