101 Strings Orchestra – The Soul Of Greece (1972)

FrontCover1101 Strings Orchestra was a brand for a highly successful easy listening symphonic music organization, with a discography exceeding 150 albums and a creative lifetime of around 30 years beginning in 1957. 101 Strings had a trademark sound, focusing on melody with a laid-back ambiance most often featuring strings. Their LPs were individualized by the slogan “The Sound of Magnificence”, a puffy cloud logo and sepia-toned photo of the orchestra. The 101 Strings orchestra included 124 string instruments, and was conducted by Wilhelm Stephan. The orchestra’s famous official photograph was taken in the Musikhalle Hamburg.

Record label mogul David L. Miller came to prominence by releasing the first Bill Haley & His Comets’ records in 1952–1953 on his own Essex label (followed by Trans-World, then Somerset Records). In this capacity, Miller played a role in the creation of rock and roll.

Following the rise of mood music (practitioners Mantovani and Jackie Gleason Presents), Miller subcontracted the Orchester des Nordwestdeutschen Rundfunks Hamburg (the Northwest German Radio Orchestra of Hamburg) conducted by Wilhelm Stephan to play in-house arrangements of popular standards.[3] The first three 101 Strings albums were released in November 1957, and twelve more titles were released in 1958 (many of which featured recycled material from earlier albums attributed to the New World Orchestra, Rio Carnival Orchestra, and other light music orchestras). These records were pressed by Miller’s own plants and released through his own distribution channels (such as grocery stores).

Miller1970

His core staff arrangers were Monty Kelly, Joseph Francis Kuhn, and Robert Lowden. All three proved adept at writing original compositions that were stylistically consistent both with contemporary hit songs and each other. Miller placed these on 101 Strings albums to provide additional publishing revenues.

Kelly’s earliest successes were Latin and Spanish travelogues (such as the “Soul of Spain” series), although he became 101 Strings’ “Now Sound” specialist following the British Invasion. Kuhn concentrated on radio-friendly numbers in the “Pops”‘s orchestral manner (“Blues Pizzicato”, etc.) which provided Somerset its initial catalog of originals. Lowden composed lounge ballads (such as “Blue Twilight”). Their body of early 1960s work was recycled via re-release throughout the next twenty years.

In 1964, Miller sold the franchise to Al Sherman, a successful record label distributor, who renamed the label Alshire (based in Los Angeles) and moved recording to London. Sherman retained Miller as a partner to oversee production and A&R. The Alshire era is characterized by large-scale expansion of product, attempts to branch out to younger markets and beginning in 1969, eventual stagnation (although late efforts by Les Baxter and Nelson Riddle were released under the 101 name in 1970). Output decreased from 1974 on. A tribute to John Lennon (composed of earlier Beatle tribute material – 101 Strings play Hits written by The Beatles) in January 1981 marked the final 101 Strings effort.

Al Sherman

Many 101 Strings albums are simply orchestrated versions of pop hits and show tunes, although the early Somerset material contains many examples of the exotica and lounge genres. Songs of the Seasons in Japan, Hawaiian Paradise, and East of Suez are three such albums. 101 Strings Play the Blues and Back Beat Symphony were early experiments in symphonic-pop hybridization, while Fly Me To The Moon contains five noir-ish originals. Alshire releases include ‘Now Sound’ albums such as Jet Set, Sounds of Today, and Astro-Sounds from Beyond the Year 2000, the last of which has been frequently sampled by electronic music artists of the 1990s and 2000s (decade).
Sims and the New 101 Strings Orchestra

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The Alshire catalog was sold to Madacy, Inc. in the 1990s and, under the direction of Greg Sims, a “New 101 Strings Orchestra” began releasing a series of CDs (including a two-volume Beatles set). 101 Strings compilations were reissued on CD during the “lounge revival” of the 1990s. Few 101 Strings LPs have been re-released in their original form.

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The cover of the first album, 1957

If one goes to the Madacy site to view their 101 Strings collection, exactly the same description that was used on the Bel Canto’s ST- 76 two track stereo release about the 101 Strings sound is reprinted. The 50 Hz hum heard on many of those tape recordings was due to the Ampex 350’s filtering which was not well suited for European 50 Hz power. The “My Fair Lady” and “King and I” releases have what appears to be the sound of dirty mixing pots used on the fly during those sessions. There were a number of tape releases that sounded like tape copies of pristine Stereo Fidelity vinyl which actually, were not all that pristine. Stereo recordings were made with a triangular cutting stylus. This resulted at times in pinch distortion which early conical styli did not handle well. Inner grooves especially, due to the increased density of the recorded information due to the slower relative movement of the track under the stylus, were more susceptible to distortion with conical styli in use at the time this record was released. The later development of elliptical styli allowed more precise tracking of the track and greatly reduced inner-track distortion.

In the 10 years and 2 months of their existence, 101 Strings sold over 50,000,000 records worldwide. (by wikipedia)

And here´s one of the many albums by the 101 Strings Orchestra:

The music on this CD is nicely arranged and played, but it sounds too orchestrated! To be fair, it is performed by the 101 Strings Orchestra and it wasn’t misrepresented in the write-up. But I was looking for music with a folksy feel like you might hear at a cafe in Greece, and this is not it. (by an amazon customer)

If you’re looking for string orchestrated, romanticized versions of popular Greek songs, this is a good album. This version of “Never on Sunday” beats Percy Faith’s overly cute, string orchestrated version on his “Tara’s Theme” album (1961), since this version has real bouzoukis in it and also the full intro. Most of these songs do have bouzoukis, without which they wouldn’t sound very Greek. A few songs here like “Athens By Night” have vocals, but most are instrumental. Many of these melodies will be recognizable to anyone who collects American pop Greek song albums, especially “Hassaposer Vico” and all the songs on the last half of the CD. I’m not sure how many of these songs are authentic Greek songs; “Zorba the Greek” and “Never On Sunday” of course are modern American pop songs from movie soundtracks, written in a Greek style. (by another amazon customer)

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Personnel:
101 Strings Orchestra

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Tracklist:
01. Athens By Night (Lavranos/Mastorakis) 3.23
02. A Bed For Two (Theodorakis/Kampanelis) 3.14
03. Hassaposerviko (Gagaris) 2.45
04. Mykonos Sunset (Lowden) 3.13
05. Never On Sunday (Hadjidakis) 3.29
06. Aharisti (Tsitsanis) 3.07
07. Sirtaki (from “Zorba The Greek”) (Theodorakis) 4.12
08. Sorrow In Every Port (Katsaros/Pythagoras) 3.45
09. Daybreak (Lavranos/Pythagoras) 3.05
10. Hellena (Lowden) 1.35
11. Departure (Zambetas) 4.17

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Alternate frontcovers

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Jerry Murad’s Fabulous Harmonicats – Sentimental Serenade (1962)

FrontCover1Jerry Murad’s Harmonicats were an American harmonica-based group. The band was founded in 1947; by 2009, it was no longer performing. Originally they were named The Harmonica Madcaps and the group consisted of Jerry Murad (chromatic lead harmonica), Bob Hadamik (bass harmonica), Pete Pedersen (chromatic harmonica), and Al Fiore, (chord harmonica). They reformed later as a trio with Murad, Fiore, and bass harmonica player Don Les.

Pedersen and Gail Wallace remained contributors to the group throughout its existence, working on arrangements and occasionally recording.
Jerry Murad
Jerry Murad (chromatic harmonica), was an Armenian born in Istanbul, Turkey who moved to America at the age of 2. He played diatonic harmonicas at first, and took up chromatic soon after. Murad played Hohner 270s and 64s, as well as the Musette, a harmonica made especially for him that replicates the sound qualities of a French accordion. It is featured on their 1960s recording of “Parisienne Fantasy”. Murad also played the Hohner Polyphonia (a type of orchestral melodic harmonica).

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Don Les
Don Les (bass harmonica) was born in Chicago, and was blind at birth. He was able to see again at the age of twelve after a successful surgery. At one point, he formed his own version of the Harmonicats. The Don Les Harmonicats, which featured Mildred Mulcay (of the harmonica duo the Mulcays) and Lenny Leavitt. They released a Christmas album entitled Christmas with the Don Les Harmonicats.

Al Fiore
Al Fiore (chord harmonica), was born in Chicago and started experimenting with chord harmonicas at the age of 13. Fiore played the rare pre-war Hohner Chord harmonica. He recorded the band’s No. 1 hit, Peg o’ My Heart on this harmonica. (by wikipedia)

Or, in their own words:

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Ok, this is Easy Listening music but witha real unique sound.

Just listen to the legendary magic of Jerry Murad and his fabulous Harmonicats – you won’t have heard anything like it!

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Personnel:
Al Fiore (harmonica 24″ chord)
Don Les (bass harmonica)
Jerry Murad (harmonica)
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unknown bass player and drummer

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Tracklist:
01. Who’s Sorry Now? (Kalmar/Ruby/Snyder) 2.09
02. Moonlight Cocktail (Roberts/Gannon) 2.33
03. Sentimental Journey (Homer/Green/Brown) 2.15
04. Blue Champagne  (Ryerson/Watts) 2,36
05. My One And Only Love (Wood/Mellin) 2.29
06. Ebb Tide (Sigman/Maxwell) 2.21
07. September Song (Weill/Anderson) 2.18
08. On Green Dolphin Street (Kaper/Washington) 2.00
09. Nora’s Theme (Lynn) 2.12
10. There Goes My Heart (Silver/Davis) 2.39
11. Shangri-La (Malneck/Maxwell) 2.11
12. Sunrise Serenade (Carle/Lawrence) 2.45

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Buddy Cole – Swing Fever (1960)

FrontCover1Edwin LeMar “Buddy” Cole (December 15, 1916 – November 5, 1964), was a jazz pianist and orchestra leader. He played behind a number of pop singers, including Rosemary Clooney, Jill Corey, Johnnie Ray and The Four Lads, who recorded for Columbia Records. As “Buddy Cole and his Trio” he recorded the albums Some Fine Old Chestnuts and New Tricks with Bing Crosby.

 

Buddy Cole was born in Irving, Illinois, and started his musical career in the theater playing between movies. He moved to Hollywood and played with a couple of bands, most notably the Alvino Rey big band, before becoming a studio musician. Joining the John Scott Trotter orchestra as a pianist in 1947, he worked closely with Bing Crosby for a number of years and in 1954 he began a daily radio show with Crosby supported by a trio comprising Vince Terri on guitar, banjo etc., Don Whittaker on bass and Nick Fatool on drums. Cole played piano and electric organ. He and Crosby built up a large library of songs which could then be inserted into the show. Cole also recorded a similar library of songs with Rosemary Clooney (with whom he had previously toured) and these songs together with those of Crosby’s were employed in The Bing Crosby – Rosemary Clooney Show (1960-1962). Albums with his combo were recorded on piano and Hammond organ.

BuddyCole01Cole recorded for Capitol Records as both Buddy Cole and Eddie LaMar and His Orchestra. He did both commercial and transcription recordings for Capitol.

Although primarily known as a pianist, he had an abiding love for the organ, both Hammond and theatre organ. In his capacity as a studio musician, he worked extensively with Henry Mancini, who used his distinctive Hammond organ sound for the sound track to the TV series “Mr. Lucky”. He also recorded several albums for Warner Brothers on piano, Hammond organ and theatre pipe organ.

The theatre organ heard on these albums was the 17-rank Wurlitzer organ from the United Artists theatre plus nine ranks from a one-time radio studio Robert Morton theatre organ which he installed in the garage of a former residence in North Hollywood and on which he recorded three albums for the Columbia and Capitol labels. The combined ranks were installed in a specially built studio next to his home.

Two albums – Modern Pipe Organ and Autumn Nocturne – were recorded for Warner Brothers, as well as two albums done in conjunction with arranger Monty Kelly, one of which contained an arrangement of Richard Rodgers’ Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, and the other of which contained transcriptions of big band arrangements with spaces for the organ. These two albums – for the Alshire label – were Cole’s last disc recordings.

BuddyCole02

He married Yvonne King on 17 August 1940, member of the King Sisters, and with her had two daughters, actress Tina Cole and Cathy Cole Green. They divorced in 1953.

He married Clare Foley Woodruff on 12 November 1957, who already had two children, Jay and Jeffrey Woodruff, the latter of whom would often assist him in organ tuning. The marriage lasted until Cole’s death.

Cole had been suffering from an advanced case of heart disease for a number of years, and beginning as early as 1959, suffered a series of heart attacks as a result. On November 4, 1964, Cole was contracted to record some organ pieces featured in 20th Century Fox’s blockbuster hit The Sound of Music including sections of the “End Titles”, the reprise of “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” and “Processional” and “Maria”. In the early hours of November 5, after the marathon six-hour recording session had been completed for the evening, Cole headed home, went to bed and died in his sleep of a heart attack, being found the following morning by a staff member (by wikipedia)

And here´s one of his countless albums … this is not a real jazz-album but a Easy Listening album … with lot´s of all these swinging organ sounds from that period.

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Personnel:
Red Callender (bass)
Buddy Cole (organ)
Vince Terry (guitar)
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percussion:
Jack Costanzo – Al Stoller – Lou Singer – Milt Holland

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Tracklist:
01. Pagan Love Song (Brown/Freed) 1.36
02. Brazil (Barroso/Russell) 2.09
03. The Hour Of Parting (Khan/Spolianski) 2.15
04. The Peanut Vendor (Sunshine/Simons/Gilbert) 2.12
05. Solftly, As In The Morning Sunrise (Hammerstein/Romberg) 3.13
06. Old Devil Moon (Lane) 2.51
07. Heat Wave (Berlin) 2.07
08. La Rosita (Dupont/Stewart) 2.52
09. Frenesi (Charles/Russell/Dominguez) 2.19
10. The Moon Was Yellow (Leslie/Ahlert) 3.08
11. Poinciana (Bernier/Simon) 3.25
12, Crazy Rhythm (Caesar/Kahn/Meyer) 1,50

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Andre Kostelanetz And His Orchestra – Music Of Jerome Kern (1955)

FrontCover1Andre Kostelanetz (Russian: Абрам Наумович Костелянец, December 22, 1901 – January 13, 1980) was a Russian-born American popular orchestral music conductor and arranger who was one of the major exponents of popular orchestra music.Andre Kostelanetz (Russian: Абрам Наумович Костелянец, December 22, 1901 – January 13, 1980) was a Russian-born American popular orchestral music conductor and arranger who was one of the major exponents of popular orchestra music.

Biography This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (October 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Abram Naumovich Kostelyanetz was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia to a prominent Jewish family. He was a cousin of physicist Lew Kowarski. His father, Nachman Yokhelevich (Naum Ignatyevich) Kostelyanetz was active on St. Petersburg stock exchange; his maternal grandfather, Aizik Yevelevich Dymshitz, was a wealthy merchant and industrialist, engaged in timber production. Kostelanetz escaped in 1922 after the Russian Revolution.

Andre Kostelanetz

He arrived in the United States that year, and in the 1920s, conducted concerts for radio. In the 1930s, he began his own weekly show on CBS, Andre Kostelanetz Presents. Kostelanetz was known for arranging and recording light classical music pieces for mass audiences, as well as orchestral versions of songs and Broadway show tunes. He made numerous recordings over the course of his career, which had sales of over 50 million and became staples of beautiful music radio stations. For many years, he conducted the New York Philharmonic in pops concerts and recordings, in which they were billed as Andre Kostelanetz and His Orchestra.
Andre Kostelanetz may be best known to modern audiences for a series of easy listening instrumental albums on Columbia Records from the 1940s until 1980. Kostelanetz actually started making this music before there was a genre called “easy listening”. He continued until after some of his contemporaries, including Mantovani, had stopped recording.

Andre Kostelanetz3

Outside the United States, one of his best known works was an orchestral arrangement of the tune “With a Song in my Heart”, which was the signature tune of a long-running BBC radio program, at first called Forces Favourites, then Family Favourites, and finally Two Way Family Favourites.
He commissioned many works, including Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait, Jerome Kern’s Portrait of Mark Twain, William Schuman’s New England Triptych, Paul Creston’s Frontiers, Ferde Grofé’s Hudson River Suite, Virgil Thomson’s musical portraits of Fiorello La Guardia and Dorothy Thompson, Alan Hovhaness’s Floating World, and Ezra Laderman’s Magic Prison. William Walton dedicated his Capriccio burlesco to Kostelanetz, who conducted the first performance and made the first recording, both with the New York Philharmonic.
His last concert was A Night in Old Vienna with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra at that city’s War Memorial Opera House on December 31, 1979.

His first wife was actress/singer Sarah Loy; they were married from 1923 to 1937, when the marriage was dissolved. He was then married to soprano Lily Pons from 1938 to 1958, when the marriage was dissolved. They owned a home in Palm Springs, California which was built in 1955. In 1960 he married Sara Gene Orcutt; the marriage lasted several years.
His brother Boris Kostelanetz (1911–2006) was a prominent tax defense lawyer.

Kostelanetz died of pneumonia in Haiti on January 13, 1980, at the age of 78. (by wikipedia)

Andre Kostelanetz2

And here we can hear him with many compositions by Jerome Kern:

Jerome David Kern (January 27, 1885 – November 11, 1945) was an American composer of musical theatre and popular music. One of the most important American theatre composers of the early 20th century, he wrote more than 700 songs, used in over 100 stage works, including such classics as “Ol’ Man River”, “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man”, “A Fine Romance”, “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”, “All the Things You Are”, “The Way You Look Tonight”, “Long Ago (and Far Away)” and “Who?”. He collaborated with many of the leading librettists and lyricists of his era, including George Grossmith Jr., Guy Bolton, P. G. Wodehouse, Otto Harbach, Oscar Hammerstein II, Dorothy Fields, Johnny Mercer, Ira Gershwin and E. Y. Harburg.

Jerome Kern

A native New Yorker, Kern created dozens of Broadway musicals and Hollywood films in a career that lasted for more than four decades. His musical innovations, such as 4/4 dance rhythms and the employment of syncopation and jazz progressions, built on, rather than rejected, earlier musical theatre tradition. He and his collaborators also employed his melodies to further the action or develop characterization to a greater extent than in the other musicals of his day, creating the model for later musicals. Although dozens of Kern’s musicals and musical films were hits, only Show Boat is now regularly revived. Songs from his other shows, however, are still frequently performed and adapted. Many of Kern’s songs have been adapted by jazz musicians to become standard tunes. (by wikipedia)

First release on 78 rpm in 1946 (four shellac records)

Jerome Kern2

Personnel:
Andre Kostelanetz And His Orchestra

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Tracklist:
01 Smoke Gets In Your Eyes 4.38

Medley 1 (4.45):
02.1. Yesterdays
02.2.  I’ve Told Ev’ry Little Star
02.3.  The Song Is You

Medley 2 (4.14):
03.1. The Night Was Made For Love
03.2.  She Didn’t Say Yes
03.3.  All The Things You Are

Medley 3 (4.25):
04.1. Look For The Silver Lining
04.2. They Didn’t Believe Me
04.3. Long Ago (And Far Away)

Medley 4 (4.47):
05.1. I Dream Too Much
05.2. The Jockey On The Carousel

Medley 5 (4.47):
06.1. Why Was I Born?
06.2. The Way You Look Tonight
06.3. Who?

Medley 6 (4.18):
07.1. Only Make Believe
07.2. Bill

Medley 7 (4.34):
08.1. Why Do I Love You?
08.2. You Are Love
08.3.Ol’ Man River

List of the musicals from which the tracks were taken from:

1: “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” and “Yesterdays” taken from “Roberta” (1933).
2: “I’ve Told Ev’ry Little Star” and “The Song Is You” from “Music In The Air” (1932)
3: “The Night Was Made For Love” and “She Didn’t Say Yes” taken from “The Cat And The Fiddle” (1931). “All The Things You Are” taken from “Very Warm For May” (1939)
4: “Look For The Silver Lining” taken from “Sally” (1920). “They Didn’t Believe Me” taken from “The Girl From Utah” (1913). “Long Ago (And Far Away)” taken from the movie “Cover Girl” directed by Charles Vidor (1944).
5: “I Dream Too Much” and “The Jockey On The Carousel” taken from the movie “I Dream Too Much” directed by John Cromwell (1935).
6: “Why Was I Born?” taken from “Sweet Adeline” (1929). “The Way You Look Tonight” taken from the movie “Swing Time” directed by George Stevens (1936). “Who?” taken from “Sunny” (1925).
7 & 8: “Only Make Believe”, “Bill”, “Why Do I Love You?”, “You Are Love” and “Ol’ Man River” taken from “Show Boat” (1927).Recorded in March-April 1946, except tracks 7 and 8 recorded in December 1945.

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Original front + backcover from 1946:

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Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass – Por El Camino De Mexico (South Of The Border) (1964)

FrontCover1South of the Border is the third album by American easy listening brass band Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, originally released in 1964. The name of the group, for this album, is “Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass”.South of the Border is the third album by American easy listening brass band Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, originally released in 1964. The name of the group, for this album, is “Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass”.
Alpert’s first top ten hit, and fifth gold record, the album continued the progression of the Tijuana Brass from its mostly-Mexican sound to a more easy-listening style, with a collection of cover versions of popular songs. Included were “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face”, originally featured in the Broadway musical My Fair Lady and The Beatles’ 1963 hit “All My Loving”. It also featured an instrumental cover of its title song, “South of the Border”, which was most famously done as a vocal by Frank Sinatra.
“Hello, Dolly!” had the band singing a couple of lines of the mostly-instrumental rendition, in what might now be considered stereotyping, using mock-Mexican accents. Alpert’s distinctive singing voice was not discernible in that portion. Also, in some versions, he can be heard whispering “Número Cinco”, effecting a Mexican accent, at the start of that song’s track.

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One number, a Sol Lake tune called “The Mexican Shuffle”, was reworked for a TV ad for a brand of chewing gum, and styled “The Teaberry Shuffle”. Bert Kaempfert, author of several songs covered by the Brass, returned the favor by issuing a cover of “The Mexican Shuffle”. The number called “El Presidente”, was a reorchestration of Sol Lake’s “Winds of Barcelona”, which had appeared on Volume 2.
The cover features Alpert and perennial HATB model Sandra Moss at the Patio del Moro apartment complex in West Hollywood.

HerbAlpert02

Herb Alpert was still using an array of SoCal studio all-stars as his Tijuana Brass when South of the Border (1964) began to restore the combo’s good name after the modest Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass, Vol. 2 (1963) failed to ignite a fire in listener’s ears. Alpert later commented that the Sol Lake composition “Mexican Shuffle” “opened a new door for me.” That passageway meant the loss of the Tijuana Brass’ practically forced mariachi style and the rise of Alpert’s approach in arranging familiar melodies in fresh, creative settings. Nowhere would this stylistic progression be as pronounced as in the horn-driven updates of several then-concurrent chart hits. For instance, the mod sonic wrinkle in “Girl from Ipanema” emits a darkness veiled in mystery, directly contrasting the light buoyancy of “Hello! Dolly” or the footloose feel of the Beatles’ “All My Loving.” They seamlessly fit in with Sol Lake’s “Salud, Amor y Dinero” and a cover of Julius Wechter’s playful, midtempo “Up Cherry Street” — which Wechter’s own Baja Marimba Band had just recorded for their 1964 self-titled debut.

The ballads “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face,” “Angelito,” and “Adios, Mi Corazon” provide contrasts with Alpert’s sensitive scores never seeming maudlin or unnecessarily over the top. If the regal “El Presidente” sounds particularly familiar, it may well be due to Alpert’s slight renovation of the “Winds of Barcelona” from the Tijuana Brass’ previous effort, the less than impressive Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass, Vol. 2. It was renamed “El Presidente,” presumably to honor the then-recent memory of the slain U.S. leader John Fitzgerald Kennedy. (by Lindsay Planer)

In other word: Another pretty good album by Herb Alpert ! My copy was especially produced for the Spanisch record market …

The EP:

EP1964

Personnel:
Herb Alpert (trumpet, vovals)
Nick Ceroli (drums)
Bob Edmondson (trombone)
Tonni Kalash (trumpet)
Lou Pagani (piano)
John Pisano (guitar)
Pat Senatore (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Al Sur De La Frontera (South Of The Border) (Kennedy/Carr) 2.07
02. La Chica De Ipanema (The Girl from Ipanema) (Gimbel/Jobim)de Moraes) 2.39
03. Hello, Dolly! (Herman) 1.57
04. Me Acostumbre A Ti (‘ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face (Lerner/Loewe) 2.27
05. En La Calle Del Cerezo (Up Cherry Street) (Wechter) 2.19
06. Mexican Shuffle (Lake) 2.10
07. El Presidente (Lake) 2.40
08. Todo Mi Amor (All My Loving) (Lennon/McCartney) 1.57
09. Angelito (Herrera/Ornelas) 2.23
10. Salud, Amor y Dinero (Health, Love and Money) (Lake) 2.06
11. Número Cinco (Number Five) (Coleman) 2.18
12. Adiós, Mi Corazón (Goodbye, My Heart) (Lake) 2.40

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The original US front cover:

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Rick Wakeman – Piano Vibrations (1971)

FrontCover1A real strange album !

Piano Vibrations, though promoted in its re-release as the first studio album by English progressive rock keyboardist Rick Wakeman, is not considered a Wakeman album, even by himself. His contributions were limited to performing as a session musician and he did not compose any of the tracks. The album was released in 1971 on Polydor, after Wakeman had signed on to A&M Records. The album developed from Wakeman’s time as a session musician. A&M Records had signed Wakeman on as the Strawbs’ keyboardist at the time of the release.

Piano Vibrations, when it has been reviewed, has been described as “slightly cheesy”,[2] especially in light of Wakeman’s later involvement in progressive rock, but still listenable. (by wikipedia)

This is called Piano Vibrations because it’s part of a series – the ‘Vibrations’ series, put out by a British collective called John Schroeder Productions. Schroeder is only the man who fronts up the money though.

RickWakeman1971

Rick Wakeman about this album:

“This was never meant to be a solo album and to be honest I certainly don’t count it as a solo album in any respect. True it is a piece of history, but not one I’m proud of.

I was actually booked to play piano on a session at Pye Studios in London’s Marble Arch and it was to play on some backtracks for an unknown singer who was due in later that week to put his vocals on.

John SchroederShortly afterwards I started having some success with Strawbs and the next thing we knew was that the album was being put out by PYE Records as Piano Vibrations with no vocalist and with a picture of me on the back.

I was unhappy and A&M Records, who had Strawbs and myself signed, were furious.

I received £9 for my trouble.”

Nothing more to be said.

OUCH… unbeliveable… a chance he played for YES, probably like that he learned to write songs lol… On several songs, he seems to search the notes… The last one, Classical Gas, is probably the best, and note that Steve Howe played that song in the beginning of the 90’s. It’s aviable on “Not necessarily accoustic”… and a classical guitar is well heardable on the Wakeman’s version. Was Steve Howe there? For collectors only … (by spide)

If you like to hear easy listening versions of songs from Elton John, Leon Russell or James Taylor …

Alternate front+ back cover:
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Personnel:
Rick Wakeman (piano)
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a bunch of unknown studio musicians

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Tracklist:
01. Take Me To The Pilot (John/Taupin) 2.56
02. Yellow Man (Newman) 2.27
03 Cast Your Fate To The Wind (Guaraldi/Werber) 2.34
04. Gloria, Gloria (Schroeder/King) 3.04
05. Your Song (John/Taupin) 3.47
06. Delta Lady (Russell) 3.24
07. A Picture Of You (Schroeder/King) 3.56
08. Home Sweet Oklahoma (Russell) 3.21
09. Fire And Rain (Taylor) 3.26
10. Classical Gas (Williams) 2.57

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CD front + back cover … no comment necessary … one of the ugliest covers I´ve ever seen

CDFront+BackCover

Mantovani And His Orchestra – Latin Rendezvous (1963)

FrontCover1Annunzio Paolo Mantovani  (15 November 1905 – 29 March 1980), known as Mantovani, was an Anglo-Italian conductor, composer and light orchestra-styled entertainer with a cascading strings musical signature. The book British Hit Singles & Albums states that he was “Britain’s most successful album act before the Beatles…the first act to sell over one million stereo albums and [have] six albums simultaneously in the US Top 30 in 1959”.

Mantovani was born in Venice, Italy, into a musical family. His father, Bismarck, served as the concertmaster of La Scala opera house’s orchestra in Milan, under the baton of Arturo Toscanini. The family moved to England in 1912, where young Annunzio studied at Trinity College of Music in London. After graduation, he formed his own orchestra, which played in and around Birmingham. He married Winifred Moss in 1934, and they had two children: Kenneth (born 12 July 1935) and Paula Irene (born 11 April 1939). By the time World War II broke out, his orchestra was one of the most popular British dance bands, both on BBC radio broadcasts and in live performances.

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He was also musical director for a large number of musicals and other plays, including Noël Coward’s Pacific 1860 (1946) and Vivian Ellis’s musical setting of J. B. Fagan’s And So to Bed (1951).[4] After the war, he concentrated on recording, and eventually gave up live performance altogether. He worked with arranger and composer Ronald “Ronnie” Binge, who developed the “cascading strings” effect (also known as the “Mantovani sound”).[5] His records were regularly used for demonstration purposes in stores selling hi-fi stereo equipment, as they were produced and arranged for stereo reproduction. He became the first person to sell a million stereophonic records. In 1952, Binge ceased to arrange for Mantovani but the distinctive sound of the orchestra remained.

Mantovani recorded for Decca until the mid-1950s, and then for London Records. He recorded in excess of 50 albums on that label, many of which were Top 40 hits. His single tracks included “The Song from Moulin Rouge”, which reached Number One in the UK Singles Chart in 1953;[2] “Cara Mia” (with him and his orchestra backing David Whitfield) in 1954; “Around the World” in 1957; and “Main Theme from Exodus (Ari’s Theme)” in 1960. In the United States, between 1955 and 1972, he released more than 40 albums with 27 reaching the “Top 40”, and 11 in the “Top Ten”. His biggest success came with the album Film Encores, which attained Number One in 1957.

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Similarly, Mantovani Plays Music From ‘Exodus’ and Other Great Themes made it to the Top Ten in 1961, with over one million albums sold.

In 1958, Mantovani and his family bought a holiday home in Bournemouth in Durley Chine Road, and then in 1961 acquired a new property in Burton Road (now part of Poole). He moved, finally, to a new home in Martello Road in Poole.

Mantovani starred in his own syndicated television series, Mantovani, which was produced in England and which aired in the United States in 1959. Thirty-nine episodes were filmed.[7] Mantovani made his last recordings in the mid-1970s.

He died at a care home in Royal Tunbridge Wells Kent. His funeral was held at the Kent and Sussex Crematorium and Cemetery on 8 April 1980.

Annunzio Paolo Mantovani (1970)

The cascading strings technique developed by Binge became Mantovani’s hallmark in such hits arranged by Binge as “Charmaine”. Binge developed this technique to replicate the echo experienced in venues such as cathedrals and he achieved this goal through arranging skill alone.

Author Joseph Lanza describes Mantovani’s string arrangements as the most “rich and mellifluous” of the emerging light music style during the early 1950s. He stated that Mantovani was a leader in the use of new studio technologies to “create sound tapestries with innumerable strings”, and that “the sustained hum of Mantovani’s reverberated violins produced a sonic vaporizer foreshadowing the synthesizer harmonics of space music.” His style survived through an ever-changing variety of musical styles prompting Variety to call him “the biggest musical phenomenon of the twentieth century”.

From 1961 to 1971 David McCallum Sr was leader of Mantovani’s orchestra. At this time, his son David McCallum Jr was at the height of his fame, prompting Mantovani to introduce his leader to audiences with the quip, “We can afford the father but not the son!”

Mantovani is referred to by name in The Kinks song “Prince of the Punks”. He also had a big influence on Brian May, Queen guitarist.

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He is also mentioned in the song “Paradise Place” by Siouxsie and the Banshees and in the song “Nainen tanssii tangoa” by the Finnish rock band CMX.

During his lifetime, Mantovani did not always get respect from his fellow musicians. When George Martin first suggested overdubbing Paul McCartney’s recording of Yesterday with strings, McCartney’s initial reaction, according to Martin, was that he didn’t want it sounding like Mantovani. Martin therefore used a more classical sound, employing a string quartet.

Much of his catalogue has reappeared on CD. There are also many compilations. A large number of CDs are available containing unauthorised recordings, billed as Mantovani or Mantovani Orchestra, for example the CD titled “The Mantovani Orchestra” released in 1997 contained a track from the 1980s Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “Cats”, which would have required posthumous conducting on the part of Mantovani. There have also been CDs released under the Mantovani name of recordings made by others while Mantovani was still alive.

Following Mantovani’s death in 1980, the Mantovani Estate continues to authorise numerous concerts worldwide and recordings using original and newly commissioned arrangements. (by wikipedia)

And here is one of his countless albums … I guess he was a music maniac like James Last-

Enjoy the beautiful sound of Mantovani  & his Orchestra !

Linernotes

Personnel:
Mantovani And His Orchestra

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Tracklist:
01. Malaguena (Lecuona/Banks/Hansen) 3.52
02. Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps (Farres/Davis) 2.41
03. Be Mine Tonight (Lara/Skylar) 3.16
04. Cielito Linda (Santos) 1.54
05. La Paloma (Yradier) 2.47
06. Siboney (Morse/Lecuona) 3.20
07. A Garden In Granada (Baer/Vasilescu/Lewis) 3.40
08. Perfidia (Tonight) (Dominguez/Leeds) 2.59
09. Andalucia (The Breeze And I) (Stillman/Lecuona) 2.33
10. La Golondrina (Serradell) 3.51
11. Maria Elena (Barcelata/Russell) 2.44
12. España (Chabrier) 2.36

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