Leo Addeo & His Orchestra – A Sound Spectucular In Total Dynamics (1968)

frontcover1Addeo was one of RCA’s key house arrangers for most of the 1950s and 1960s. An Italian American from Brooklyn, Addeo’s specialty was Hawaiian music. He studied violin as a child, but switched to clarinet and saxophone in his teens when he noticed these instruments were in greater demand for local dance bands. He gradually moved from performing to arranging, working with Gene Krupa, Larry Clinton, and Frankie Carle.

Hugo Winterhalter hired Addeo as an orchestrator and brought him along when he moved to RCA in the early 1950s. Addeo was a steady producer for RCA, backing vocalists such as Vaughan Monroe and Don Cherry, arranging and conducting on numerous credited and uncredited instrumentals, and writing an occasional song. Addeo held down the marimba band corner for RCA’s “Living” series, producing a respectable knock-off of Julius Wechter’s Baja Marimba Band. (by spaceagepop.com)

“The best sound around…the excitement of sound in motion” is what the album promises. It’s half a decade after the RCA Stereo Action series, and Leo Addeo is still going strong. With only ten tunes, A Sound Spectacular in Total Dynamics is a little light, but Addeo fans will not be disappointed. All tracks are at least good, and “Ain’t We Got Fun” is remarkable. While it must have been hopelessly square in 1968, there is a timelessness to these old standards. Freshness in the arrangements must be entirely the product of Addeo’s “space-age” enthusiasm. The barrels roll in “Beer Barrel Polka,” and “The Old Gray Mare” makes horsey sounds. Unnecessary as it may be to return to the Stereo Action experience, A Sound Spectacular in Total Dynamics is passable, at least if you like Leo Addeo. (by Tony Wilds)


Leo Addeo

Leo Addeo & His Orchestra


01. Beer Barrel Polka (Brown/Vejvoda) 2.12
02. Doodle Doo Doo (Kassel/Stitzel) 2.33
03. Gimme A Little Kiss (Will Ya, Huh?)  (Smith/Turk/Pinkard) 2.34
04. Ain’t We Got Fun (Kahn/Egan/Whiting) 2.26
05. Side By Side (Woods) 3.10
06. (Put Another Nickel In) Music! Music! Music! (Weiss/Baum) 2.19
07. Makin’ Whoopee! (Kahn/Donaldson) 3.12
08. Action Speaks Louder Than Words (Addeo) 2.34
09. The Old Gray Mare (Traditional) 2.55
10. Show Me tha Way To Go Home (King) 2.27