Tom Lehrer – Songs & More Songs (1997)

FrontCover1Tom Lehrer was one of comedy’s great paradoxes — a respected Harvard mathematics professor by day, he also ranked among the foremost song satirists of the postwar era, recording vicious, twisted parodies of popular musical trends which proved highly influential on the “sick comedy” revolution of the ’60s. Despite an aversion to the press and a relatively small recorded output, Lehrer became a star, although he remained an enigma to even his most ardent fans; he rarely toured, never allowed his photo to adorn album jackets, and essentially retired from performing in 1965, leaving behind a cult following which only continued to grow in his absence from the limelight.

Lehrer was born April 9, 1928; even as a child, he frequently parodied popular songs of the day, and also learned to play piano. In 1944, he left New York City to study math at Harvard, earning his master’s degree within three years and remaining as a graduate student through 1953. During his student years Lehrer wrote The Physical Revue, a collection of academic song satires staged on campus in January, 1951; an updated performance followed in May of the next year. He also sang his parodies at coffeehouses and student gatherings throughout the Cambridge, MA area; as demand for an album of his songs increased, he spent $15 on studio time to cut Songs by Tom Lehrer, a 10″ record privately pressed in an edition of 400 copies.

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The record sold out its entire run, and as the Harvard student body dispersed across the country for Christmas vacation, the disc spread (“like herpes,” Lehrer joked) far beyond its intended local audience. Soon Lehrer was inundated with requests for copies from across the nation; after several re-pressings, Songs by Tom Lehrer sold an astounding 350,000 copies on the strength of tracks like “I Hold Your Hand in Mine” (about a man who cut off his girlfriend’s hand in order to nibble on her fingertips), “Irish Ballad” (a buoyant romp about a killing spree), and “My Home Town” (concerning a place where murderers teach school and old perverts operate the candy store).

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In 1955, Lehrer was inducted to serve in the Army, and was honorably discharged two years later. Finally, in 1959 he recorded a follow-up, More of Tom Lehrer, featuring “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park” and “The Masochism Tango”; the same collection of songs were also recorded during a live performance at Harvard, and issued simultaneously as An Evening Wasted with Tom Lehrer. A tour of Europe followed, resulting in another concert collection, Tom Lehrer Revisited, which constituted live renditions of the tracks from the debut LP. However, controversial reactions to his “sick” comedy during a series of Australian performances prompted Lehrer to retire, and he returned full-time to his first love, teaching.

In early 1964, he resurfaced as a songwriter for the NBC news satire That Was the Week That Was. After the show’s demise a year later, Lehrer recorded the material written for the program on an LP also titled That Was the Week That Was; the album, which featured his controversial “Vatican Rag,” was the first in his contract with the Reprise label, which also agreed to reissue his earlier, self-released records. After re-recording Songs by Tom Lehrer to improve on the original master’s poor fidelity, he again retired from show business to return to academia; however, his songs were played regularly on the Dr. Demento radio show beginning in the ’70s, and he became the program’s second most requested artist of all time (behind Weird Al Yankovic).

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Lehrer’s subsequent returns to show business were brief — in 1972 he wrote a dozen tunes for the children’s program The Electric Company, updated older material for a 1980 musical stage show dubbed Tomfoolery (produced by Cameron Mackintosh of Cats fame), and some years later, agreed to write occasionally for Garrison Keillor. Lehrer continued to teach mathematics at the University of California at Santa Cruz, and at age 72 witnessed Rhino Records’ 2000 reissue of his complete recorded works in the form of a three-CD box set titled The Remains of Tom Lehrer. (by Jason Ankeny)

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Tom Lehrer recorded rather sporadically starting in the 1950s then abruptly retired in the mid-’60s from his unique solo musical comedy act. He’s a competent pianist with a voice that is perfect for his original material. This compilation combines both of his records that were originally pressed and sold privately on the Lehrer label, which he later re-recorded with improved sound for Reprise as Songs by Tom Lehrer and the live concert An Evening Wasted with Tom Lehrer. While the differences between this CD and the Reprise versions are minimal, other than a little more muffled piano sound on these earlier recordings, it’s fun to hear hilarious works like “The Irish Ballad,” the creative “Oedipus Rex,” and his satire of military life in “It Makes a Fellow Proud to Be a Soldier.” Several favorites, including “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park” and “The Masochism Tango” are heard in orchestrated versions as well as by Lehrer alone. And Lehrer finally got around to recording “I Got It from Agnes,” which implies how venereal disease is spread (in an amusing fashion, if that’s possible) without ever coming out and saying it directly. This CD is a must for Lehrer fanatics. (by Ken Dryden)


Tom Lehrer (vocals, piano)



Songs By Tom Lehrer (1953):
01. Fight Fiercely, Harvard 1.25
02. The Old Dope Peddler 1.27
03. Be Prepared 1.32
04. The Wild West Is Where I Want To Be 2.03
05. I Wanna Go Back To Dixie 1.54
06. Lobachevsky 3.11
07. The Irish Ballad 3.01
08. The Hunting Song 1.19
09. My Home Town 2.39
Three Love Songs:
10. When You Are Old And Gray 1.52
11. I Hold Your Hand In Mine 1.28
12. The Wiener Schnitzel Waltz 1.56

More Of Tom Lehrer (1959)
13. Poisoning Pigeons In The Park 2.13
14. Bright College Days 2.06
15. A Christmas Carol 1.43
16. The Elements 1.26
17. Oedipus Rex 1.40
18. In Old Mexico 4.08
19. Clementine 4.18
20. It Makes A Fellow Proud To Be A Soldier 2.40
21. She’s My Girl 1.49
22. The Masochism Tango 3.03
23. We Will All Go Together When We Go 3.29

Orchestrated Editions (1960):
24. Poisoning Pigeons In The Park 2.08
25. The Masochism Tango 2.55
26. The Hunting Song 1.50
27. We Will All Go Together When We Go (previously unreleased) 2.42

And As If That’s Not Bad Enough:
28 I Got It From Agnes (previously unreleased) (1996) 1.45



More from Tom Lehrer:

Collegium Musicum Krefeld – Music Of The Middle Ages (1953)

OriginalFrontCover1Medieval music encompasses the sacred and secular music of Western Europe during the Middle Ages, from approximately the 6th to 15th centuries. It is the first and longest major era of Western classical music and followed by the Renaissance music; the two eras comprise what musicologists generally term as early music, preceding the common practice period. Following the traditional division of the Middle Ages, medieval music can be divided into Early (500–1150), High (1000–1300), and Late (1300–1400) medieval music.

Medieval music includes liturgical music used for the church, and secular music, non-religious music; solely vocal music, such as Gregorian chant and choral music (music for a group of singers), solely instrumental music, and music that uses both voices and instruments (typically with the instruments accompanying the voices). Gregorian chant was sung by monks during Catholic Mass. The Mass is a reenactment of Christ’s Last Supper, intended to provide a spiritual connection between man and God. Part of this connection was established through music.

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During the medieval period the foundation was laid for the music notation and music theory practices that would shape Western music into the norms that developed during the Common Practice period of shared music writing practices which encompassed the Baroque era (1600–1750), Classical era (1750–1820) and Romantic era (1800–1910). The most significant of these is the development of a comprehensive music notational system which enabled composers to write out their song melodies and instrumental pieces on parchment or paper. Prior to the development of musical notation, songs and pieces had to be learned “by ear”, from one person who knew a song to another person.

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This greatly limited how many people could be taught new music and how wide music could spread to other regions or countries. The development of music notation made it easier to disseminate (spread) songs and musical pieces to a larger number of people and to a wider geographic area. However the theoretical advances, particularly in regard to rhythm—the timing of notes—and polyphony—using multiple, interweaving melodies at the same time—are equally important to the development of Western music. (wikipedia)

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And here´s a pretty album with music from this period … recorded by the Collegium Musicum, Krefeld/Germany.

And I like the instrumentals much more than the songs withvocal …

Enjo this trip in the past !


Collegium Musicum, Krefeld conducted by Robert Haass
Erika Metzger-Ulrich (soprano vocals)
Otto Pingel (tenor vocals)

Alternate edition from 1960:
Alternate Edition


01. Neidhart hat wunnikich entsprossen Drer Mei Hat Mennik Herze So Schön Wir Den Anger Ie Gesehen (v.Reuenthal) 7.17
02. Spielmannstanz (Instrum.) (Anonymous; 13th Century) 2.02
03. We Ich Han Gedacht Loybere Risen (v.Ruegen) 4.34
04. Nu Alrerst Lebe Ich Mir Werde (Palästina Lied) (v.d.Vogelweide) 3.56
05. Der May Mit Lieber Zal (v.Wolkenstein) 3.30

Troubadours And Trouveres:
06. La Quarte Estampie Royale (Instrum.) (Anonymous; 13th Century) 2.05
07. Kalenda Maya (de Vaqueiras) 2.30
08. Lancan Vei La Folha (de Ventadorn) 2.46
09. Saltarello (Anonymous) 1.33
10. Dieu Soit En Cheste Maison (de la Halle) 2.33
11. Lamento Di Tristano (Anonymous; 14th Century) 2.59
12. Chevalier Mult Estez Guariz (Anonymous; 1147) 1.50



Medieval music02

Various Artists – The Memphis Recordings From The Legendary Sun Studios – Vol. 1 (CD 1) (2016)

FrontCover1.jpgAnd now I will start with a collection of 30 CD´s … and I´m  talkin´about the legendary Sun Studos and Records in Memphis:

Sun Studio is a recording studio opened by rock-and-roll pioneer Sam Phillips at 706 Union Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee, on January 3, 1950. It was originally called Memphis Recording Service, sharing the same building with the Sun Records label business. Reputedly the first rock and roll single, Jackie Brenton and his Delta Cats’ “Rocket 88” was recorded there in 1951 with song composer Ike Turner on keyboards, leading the studio to claim status as the birthplace of rock & roll. Blues and R&B artists like Howlin’ Wolf, Junior Parker, Little Milton, B.B. King, James Cotton, Rufus Thomas, and Rosco Gordon recorded there in the early 1950s.

Rock and roll, country music, and rockabilly artists, including Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Charlie Feathers, Ray Harris, Warren Smith, Charlie Rich, and Jerry Lee Lewis, recorded there throughout the mid-to-late 1950s until the studio outgrew its Union Avenue location. Sam Phillips opened the larger Sam C. Phillips Recording Studio, better known as Phillips Recording, in 1959 to replace the older facility. Since Phillips had invested in the Holiday Inn Hotel chain earlier, he also recorded artists starting in 1963 on the label Holiday Inn Records for Kemmons Wilson. In 1957, Bill Justis recorded his Grammy Hall of Fame song “Raunchy” for Sam Phillips and worked as a musical director at Sun Records.


In 1969, Sam Phillips sold the label to Shelby Singleton, and there was no recording-related or label-related activity again in the building until the September 1985 Class of ’55 recording sessions with Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash, produced by Chips Moman.

In 1987, the original building housing the Sun Records label and Memphis Recording Service was reopened, by Gary Hardy as “Sun Studio,” a recording label and tourist attraction that has attracted many notable artists, such as U2, Def Leppard, Bonnie Raitt, and Ringo Starr.




In 2005, Brian Setzer (of Stray Cats fame) released his Rockabilly Riot Vol. 1: A Tribute To Sun Records album. Although not recorded at Sun it did feature various Sun Records recordings including some hits and other more obscure songs. In 2007, Canadian rockabilly band the Kingmakers recorded a selection of originals and classics such as Elvis Presley’s “That’s All Right” at Sun Studio, released as their first CD “Live at SUN Studio”. In May 2009, Canadian blues artist JW-Jones recorded with blues legend Hubert Sumlin, Larry Taylor and Richard Innes for his 2010 release at the studio. In July 2009, John Mellencamp recorded nine songs for his album No Better Than This at the studio. In 2011, Chris Isaak released “Beyond the Sun,” a collection of songs recorded at Sun Studio, most of which are cover versions of songs originally released on Sun Records.


In January 1950, WREC radio engineer Sam Phillips opened the Memphis Recording Service at 706 Union Avenue with his assistant and long-time friend, Marion Keisker. Phillips had dreamed of opening his own recording studio since he was a young man, and now that it was a reality he was overjoyed. However, getting the company off the ground was not an easy task. To create revenue at the beginning, Phillips would record conventions, weddings, choirs, and even funerals. He also held an open door policy, allowing anybody to walk in and, for a small fee, record their own record. Phillips’ slogan for his studio was “We Record Anything, Anywhere, Anytime.”[3] In June, Phillips and a friend, local DJ Dewey Phillips who was no relation, set up their own record label called Phillips Records. The purpose of the label was to record “negro artists of the South” who wanted to make a recording but had no place to do so. The label failed to make an impact and folded after just one release; “Boogie in the Park” by Joe Hill Louis, which sold less than 400 copies.




After the failure of Phillips Records, Phillips began working closely with other record labels such as Chess Records and Modern Records, providing demo recordings for them and recording master tapes for their artists.[5] It was during this time that Phillips recorded what many consider to be the first rock and roll song, Jackie Brenston’s “Rocket 88”.[3] Some biographers have suggested that it was Phillips’ inventive creativeness that led to the song’s unique sound, but others put it down to the fact that the amplifier used on the record was broken, leading to a “fuzzy” sound.[5] The Sun Studio tour lends credence to the latter, with the tour guide saying the amplifier was stuffed with wads of newspaper.


In early 1952, Phillips once again launched his own record label, this time calling it Sun Records. During his first year he recorded several artists who would go on to have successful careers. Among them were B.B. King, Joe Hill Louis, Rufus Thomas, and Howlin’ Wolf. Despite the number of singers who recorded there, Phillips found it increasingly difficult to keep profits up. He reportedly drove over 60,000 miles in one year to promote his artists with radio stations and distributors. To keep costs down, he would pay his artists three percent royalties instead of the usual five percent that was more common at the time. Phillips turned to alcohol when it looked like his label would once again fail, and he was put into a mental hospital at one point, reportedly getting electric shock treatment.



Rufus Thomas’ “Bearcat”, a recording that was similar to “Hound Dog”, was the first real hit for Sun in 1953. Although the song was the label’s first hit, a copyright-infringement suit ensued and nearly bankrupted Phillips’ record label.[6] Despite this, Phillips was able to keep his business afloat by recording several other acts, including the Prisonaires, a black quartet who were given permission to leave prison in June 1953 to record their single, “Just Walkin’ in the Rain”, later a hit for Johnnie Ray in 1956.[7] The song was a big enough hit that the local newspaper took an interest in the story of its recording. A few biographers have said that this article, printed in the Memphis Press-Scimitar on July 15, influenced Elvis Presley to seek out Sun to record a demo record. (by wikipedia)

And on this Volume 1 you can hear – in chronological order – the first nine singles from this legendary label (1952/1953). Discover artists like Johnny London, Handy Jackson or Dusty Brooks. A milestone in the history of Blues and Rock N Roll … and I will present all 30 CD´s , the last CD maybe in the year 2025 …



Johnny London:
01. Drivin’ Slow (London) 3.00
02. Flat Tire (London) 2.30

Handy Jackson:
03. Trouble (Will Bring You Down) (Phillips/Jackson) 3.00
04. Got My Application, Baby (Phillips/Jackson) 3.07

Joe Hill Louis:
05. We All Gotta Go Sometime (Louis) 2.43
06. She May Be Yours (Phillips/Louis) 3.00

Willie Nix:
07. Seems Like A Million Years (Phillips/Nix) 2.42
08. Baker Shop Boogie (Phillips/Nix) 2.44

Jimmy De Berry & Walter Horton:
09. Easy (Walter Horton) (unknown) 3.01
10. Before Long (Jimmy De Berry) (De Berry) 2.59

Rufus Thomas:
11. Bear Cat (Phillips) 2.54
12. Walking In The Rain (Thomas) 2.25

Dusty Brooks:
13. Heaven Or Fire (Brown) 2.42
14. Tears And Wine (Brown) 2.43

D.A. Hunt:
15. Lonesome Old Jail (Hunt) 3.01
16. Greyhound Blues (Hunt) 2.39

Big Memphis Ma Rainey:
17. Call Me Anything, But Call Me (Dubrover) 3.03
18. Baby, No, No (Keisker/Addington) 2.44




Charlie Parker – Complete Jazz At Massey Hall (2003)

FrontCover1.jpgJazz at Massey Hall is a live jazz album featuring a performance by “The Quintet” given on 15 May 1953 at Massey Hall in Toronto. The quintet was composed of several leading ‘modern’ players of the day: Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Charles Mingus, and Max Roach. It was the only time that the five men recorded together as a unit, and it was the last recorded meeting of Parker and Gillespie.

The first pianist considered by the organizers was Lennie Tristano, but he suggested Powell as a more appropriate match for the other musicians. Oscar Pettiford was considered as an alternative to Mingus.

Parker played a Grafton saxophone on this date; he could not be listed on the original album cover for contractual reasons, so was billed as “Charlie Chan”, an allusion to the fictional detective and to Parker’s wife Chan.

The original plan was for the Toronto New Jazz Society and the musicians to share the profits from the recording. However, owing to a boxing prize fight between Rocky Marciano and Jersey Joe Walcott taking place simultaneously, the audience was so small that the Society was unable to pay the musicians’ fees. The musicians were all given NSF checks, and only Parker was able to actually cash his; Gillespie noted that he did not receive his fee “for years and years”.

The record was originally issued on Mingus’s label Debut, from a recording made by the Toronto New Jazz Society (Dick Wattam, Alan Scharf, Roger Feather, Boyd Raeburn and Arthur Granatstein[6][7]). Mingus took the recording to New York where he and Max Roach dubbed in the bass lines, which were under-recorded on most of the tunes, and exchanged Mingus soloing on “All the Things You Are”.

A 2003 reissue, Complete Jazz at Massey Hall, contains the full concert, without the overdubbing. (by wikipedia)


This concert was held at Massey Hall in Toronto, Canada on May 15, 1953, and was recorded by bassist Charles Mingus, who overdubbed some additional bass parts and issued it on his own Debut label as the Quintet’s Jazz at Massey Hall. Charlie Parker (listed on the original album sleeve as “Charlie Chan”) performed on a plastic alto, pianist Bud Powell was stone drunk from the opening bell, and Dizzy Gillespie kept popping offstage to check on the status of the first Rocky Marciano-Jersey Joe Walcott heavyweight championship bout. Subsequent editions of this evening were released as a double-live album (featuring Bud Powell’s magnificent piano trio set with Mingus and Roach), dubbed The Greatest Jazz Concert Ever. The hyperbole is well-deserved, because at the time of this concert, each musician on Jazz at Massey Hall was considered to be the principle instrumental innovator within the bebop movement.


All of these musicians were influenced by Charlie Parker, and their collective rapport is magical. As a result, their fervent solos on the uptempo tunes (“Salt Peanuts” and “Wee”) seem to flow like one uninterrupted idea. “All the Things You Are” redefines Jerome Kern’s classic ballad, with frequent echoes of “Grand Canyon Suite” from Bird and Diz, and a ruminative solo by Powell. And on Gillespie’s classic “Night in Tunisia,” the incomparable swagger of Bird’s opening break is matched by the keening emotional intensity of Gillespie’s daredevil flight. A legendary set, no matter how or when or where it’s issued.(by allmusic)

What a line-up !


Alternate frontcover

Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet)
Charles Mingus (bass)
Charlie Parker (saxophone)
Bud Powell (piano)
Max Roach (drums)

Tracks 5 through 11 are without Parker and Gillespie.

01. Perdido (Tizol) 8.16
02. Salt Peanuts (Gillespie/Clarke) 7.38
03. All the Things You Are (Kern) 7.14
04. 52nd Street Theme (Monk) 0.43
05. Drum Conversation (Roach) 4.38
06. Cherokee (Noble) 4.56
07. Embraceable You (Gershwin) 4.25
08. Hallelujah (Jubilee) (Youmans) 4.01
09. Sure Thing (Powell) 2.13
10. Lullaby of Birdland (Shearing) 2.34
11. I’ve Got You Under My Skin (Porter) 3.02
12. Wee (Allen’s Alley) (Best) 6.47
13. Hot House (Dameron) 9.10
14. A Night in Tunisia (Gillespie/Paparelli) 7.34





Massey Hall, Toronto

Tommy Flanagan – Lonely Town (1959)

frontcover1Known for his flawless and tasteful playing, Tommy Flanagan received long overdue recognition for his talents in the 1980s. He played clarinet when he was six and switched to piano five years later. Flanagan was an important part of the fertile Detroit jazz scene (other than 1951-1953 when he was in the Army) until he moved to New York in 1956. He was used for many recordings after his arrival during that era; cut sessions as a leader for New Jazz, Prestige, Savoy, and Moodsville; and worked regularly with Oscar Pettiford, J.J. Johnson (1956-1958), Harry “Sweets” Edison (1959-1960), and Coleman Hawkins (1961). Flanagan was Ella Fitzgerald’s regular accompanist during 1963-1965 and 1968-1978, which resulted in him being underrated as a soloist. However, starting in 1975, he began leading a series of superior record sessions and since leaving Fitzgerald, Flanagan has been in demand as the head of his own trio, consistently admired for his swinging and creative bop-based style. Among the many labels he has recorded for since 1975 are Pablo, Enja, Denon, Galaxy, Progressive, Uptown, Timeless, and several European and Japanese companies. For Blue Note, he cut Sunset and Mockingbird in 1998, followed a year later by Samba for Felix. Despite a heart condition, Flanagan continued performing until the end of his life, performing two-week stints at the Village Vanguard twice a year, recording and touring. He died on November 16, 2001, in Manhattan from an arterial aneurysm.


Lonely Town is an album by jazz pianist Tommy Flanagan. It is a trio recording, with bassist Joe Benjamin and drummer Elvin Jones.

The album was recorded in New York City on March 10, 1959.

The compositions are by Leonard Bernstein. They are: “America” and “Tonight” from West Side Story; “Lonely Town” and “Lucky to Be Me” from On the Town; “Glitter and Be Gay” and “Make Our Garden Grow” from Candide; and “It’s Love” from Wonderful Town.

This album contains seven Leonard Bernstein compositions that are associated with four musicals that Bernstein scored.


The songs that are associated with Bernstein’s scores (and the associated musicals) are:
Tracks 1 and 3 (America and Tonight) from West Side Story (1957).
Tracks 2 and 5 (Lonely Town and Lucky To Be Me) from On the Town (1944).
Track 4 (It’s Love) from Wonderful Town (1953),
Tracks 6 and 7 (Glitter And Be Gay and Make Our Garden Grow) from Candide (1956).

For me this is one of my favorite Tommy Flanagan albums, and certainly one that showcases his style on both pensive ballads and a few up tempo tracks.

This album was recorded in NYC for Blue Note on March 10, 1959. Flanagan is backed by Joe Benjamin on bass and Elvin Jones on drums. If there ever was a ‘desert island’ Flanagan album this one would be on my personal short list. (by Mike Tarrani)


Alternate frontcover

Joe Benjamin (bass)
Tommy Flanagan (piano)
Elvin Jones (drums)


01. America (Bernstein) 5.55
02. Lonely Town (Bernstein) 7.28
03. Tonight (Bernstein/Sondheim) 3.44
04. It’s Love (Bernstein) 3.45
05. Lucky To Be Me (Bernstein) 4.15
06. Glitter And Be Gay (Bernstein/Wilbur) 4.13
07. Make Our Garden Grow (Bernstein) 3.10



Dave Brubeck & Paul Desmond – At Wilshire Ebell (1953)

FrontCover1Dave Brubeck was a pioneer in the presentation of intimate concerts in colleges and universities and in the better small concert halls. The show at the Wilshire Ebell theatre, in Los Angeles, was one of the later, and probably one of Brubecks biggest personal triumphs to date.

It set high artistic standards mainly thanks to the college students (UCLA) who were aiming to bring good jazz groups to the creative atmosphere of the concert stage.

The event was recorded by Dick Bock. That year 1953, the Brubeck Quartet won both the Down Beat popularity poll, and the Down Beat critics poll. After this, he would soon become the most popular jazz artist since Benny Goodman. (promotion text)

The tune selection is rewarding, and Paul Desmond’s beautifully conceived and played solos are such a treat. Dave’s resoundiing playing and inspiration are wonderful and bass & drums are swingin’!

It’s great to hear this great group ‘live’ especially at this period – a great evening of memorable jazz by such marvelous artists. (by Bill Petersonon)


The red vinyl edition

One of the rarest of all early Dave Brubeck recordings, this Fantasy LP features pianist Brubeck, altoist Paul Desmond, bassist Ron Crotty and drummer Lloyd Davis in top form on six standards.

Although Brubeck would record most of this material again (including “Let’s Fall in Love,” “Stardust” and “All the Things You Are”), these versions are often quite a bit different than the more familiar recordings.

There was plenty of magical interplay to be heard during that era between Brubeck and Desmond, making this set worth an extensive search. (by Scott Yanow)


CD Front+Back Cover

Dave Brubeck (piano)
Ron Crotty (bass)
Lloyd Davis (drums)
Paul Desmond (saxophone)


01. I’ll Never Smile Again (Lowe) 7.55
02. Let’s Fall In Love (Arlen) 4.37
03. Stardust (Carmichael/Parrish) 6.33
04. All The Things You Are (Kern/Hammerstein) 6.54
05. Why Do I Love You (Kern) 2.44
06. Too Marvelous For Words (Whiting) 8.06
07. Blue Moon (Rodgers/Hart) 8.10
08. Let’s Fall In Love (Arlen) 7.13
09. Tea For Two (Youmans) 6.59
10. Jeepers Creepers (Warren) 7.26
11. My Heart Stood Still (Rodgers/Hart) 3.24

Tracks 1 to 6: Wilshire Ebell, Los Angeles, July 20, 1953
Tracks 7 to 10: Surf Club, Los Angeles, February 1953
Track 10: Black Hawk, San Francisco, September 1953
Track 11: Bill Bate’s home studio, Los Angeles, circa December 1953



Musicians Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond

Paul Desmond & Dave Brubeck

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.


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.


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.

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 !


Mantovani And His Orchestra


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


Various Artists – An Easy Christmas (2001)

frontcover1This is just a sampler, full with 20 old and classic christmas songs, performed by many stars in the easy listening style.
You can hear singers like Don McLean, David Bowie, Andy Williams, Nat King Cole, Doris Day, Perry Como and Al Green.

“This is my most favourite christmas album ever-I had to order a second copy as the first had a scratch on. I listen to it all the time. Not your average Christmas album!”(by miss r aughton)

“Great to listen to while wrapping presents” (by Zoe Bell)

And I guess, I will play this album (amongst others) on December 24, 2016 … Enjoy this romantic and sentimental sampler.


01. Andy Williams: Most Wonderful Time Of Year (2001) (Pola/Wyle) 2.34
02. Nat King Cole: Christmas Song (1963) (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) (Tormé/Wells) 3.14
03. Eartha Kitt: Santa Baby (1953) (Javits/Springer) 3.26
04. Dean Martin: Let It Snow Let It Snow Let It Snow (1965) (Cahn/Styne) 1.58
05. Judy Garland: Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (1944) (Martin/Blane) 2.45
06. Harry Belafonte: Mary’s Boy Child (1957) (Hairston) 2.59
07. Bing Crosby: White Christmas (1954) (Berlin) 3.04
08. Al Green: Silent Night (1963) (Gruber/Mohr) 3.19
09. Crystal Gayle: Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer (1996) (Marks) 2.57
10. Anne Murray: Snowbird (1978) (MacLellan) 2.11
11. Don McLean: Winter Wonderland (1991) (Bernard/Smith) 2.54
12. Charles Brown: Please Come Home For Christmas (Christmas Finds Me Oh So Sad) (1961) (Brown/Redd) 3.18
13. Doris Day: I’ll Be Home For Christmas (1964) (Gannon/Kent/Ram) 2.27
14. Andy Williams: Sleigh Ride (live) (2001) (Anderson) 2.22
15. Crystal Gayle: Silver Bells (1996) (Livingston/Evans) 4.09
16. Don McLean: Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town (1991) (Coots/Gillespie) 3.06
17. Perry Como: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (1959)(Traditional) 2.56
18. Al Green: What Christmas Means To Me (1963) (Story/Gaye/ Gordy) 3.44
19. Bing Crosby + David Bowie: Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy (1977) (Fraser/Grossman/Alan Kohan/Simeone/Davis/Onorati) 2.38
20. Michael Ball: Happy New Year (1999) (Andersson/Ulvaeus) 4.18






Amalia Rodrigues – The Queen Of Fado (2011)

FrontCover1When Amalia Rodrigues died October 6th, 1999 (aged 79) the government of Portugal declared three days of national morning. Political activity in the country’s general election campaign came to a halt. The president was the chief mourner at the singer’s state funeral. It was a singular expression of national grief and in some ways a peculiar one.

Entertainers, however famous, rarely, if ever, depart in such ceremony. It did not happen to Maria Callas, perhaps the most celebrated opera singer of recent times, when she died in 1977; or to Frank Sinatra, who died in 1998. There was some sadness, certainly; a lot of reminiscences, of course; but life went on largely uninterrupted in Greece and America. The sanctifying of Amalia Rodrigues may say something about the nature of the Portuguese as well as about what the prime minister called “the voice of the country’s soul”.

Amalia01She was known simply as Amalia. The diminution of her name was itself a reflection of her fame (as was Britain’s Diana, or Di, whose death in 1997 also briefly interrupted the life of her country). Her style of singing is called fado, the Portuguese word for fate. “I have so much sadness in me,” Amalia said. “I am a pessimist, a nihilist. Everything that fado demands in a singer I have in me.” Amalia’s message of fatalism seems to have echoed a mood among her admirers. Portugal is still among the least modern of European countries, though it has been modernising rapidly of late. It expects its economy to grow by about 3% this year, compared with an average of only 1.9% growth for the rest of the euro area. But GDP does not change a country’s sentiment overnight. Portugal was the first European country in modern times to carve out a great trading empire. Go almost anywhere in the world and you find traces of Portuguese architecture, language and genes. Generation by generation, the once-rich Portuguese have seen their empire slowly vanish, and not very gracefully. East Timor is still formally Portuguese. “I sing of tragedy,” Amalia said, “of things past.”

Amalia02Amalia Rodrigues was never sure of her exact birthday. Her grandmother said it was in the cherry season, so she assumed she was born in early summer. Other details of her childhood were also obscure. Some accounts said her father was a shoemaker; others that he was a musician. The story that as a teenager she sold fruit on the docks of Lisbon, capturing the hearts of her customers with her singing, was willingly believed by those who adored her. The adoration was put to the test in 1974 when Portugal emerged from half a century of dictatorship. Amalia’s critics said she had benefited from the patronage of the most enduring of Europe’s fascist regimes.

“I always sang fado without thinking of politics,” Amalia responded angrily. It was a claim impossible to contradict. Yet fado, with its melancholy fatalism, was an appropriate accompaniment to the thinking of the Portuguese leader, António de Oliveira Salazar. Not for him the ruthless urgency of Hitler. Rather, in his corporate state he wanted to preserve Portugal as a rural and religious society where industrialisation and other modernising influences would be excluded. He kept Portugal out of the second world war. It was too wearisome.

Amalia03Fado was the music of Portuguese tradition. If it had any foreign ingredients they were from Africa, but these were acceptable: huge areas of Africa had been Portuguese. And here was Amalia, the queen of fado, clad all in black, her throbbing voice accompanied by two guitarists, her head thrown back, her eyes closed. She was the essence of sadness, bearing the memories of two marriages; both unhappy. When Salazar heard “O Grito” (“The Cry”) he allowed himself a tear.

Unsurprisingly, the Portugal that followed the dictatorship wanted cheering up, as well as modernising. The question of whether Amalia had been a supporter of the old regime became irrelevant. Fado itself fell out of fashion. Rock was the music of democracy.

Amalia, however, had built up other audiences abroad. The Brazilians, whose language is Portuguese, flocked to see her dozen or so films. A six-week tour to Rio and other cities had to be expanded to three months. In the United States record collectors said that her songs, with their four-line stanzas, were like the blues, and she did indeed make some recordings with a jazz saxophonist, Don Byas. Italians claimed to see links between fado and opera. The French said Amalia reminded them of Edith Piaf, who sang nostalgically of the tragedies in her life. A fado song given the English title “April in Portugal” became a hit in several countries.

In Portugal fado and Amalia gradually made a comeback. Amalia showed that she was really a democrat at heart by recording “Grandola Vila Morena”, the song that had swept the country when the dictatorship ended. The socialist government presented her with the country’s highest decoration, the Order of Santiago. She was giving concerts up to a year ago, and every one was sold out. “The sadder the song, the more the Portuguese like it,” she said. In this new time of change, pessimism was back in fashion. For Amalia, it was the happiest of endings.(by

And this is a unique collection of her greatest and most popular songs from a glittering career spanning more than 50 years.

Amalia Rodrigues (vocals)
various orchestras and musicians

01. Barco Negro (1955) (Mourão/Ferreira/Velho) 4.12
02. Nao Digas Mal Dele (1953) (Barbosa/Armandinho) 3.26
03. Uma Casa Portuguesa (1953) (Ferreira/Seqeira/Fonseca) 2.28
04. Novo fado da Severa (1953) (DantasdeFreitas) 3.11
05. Perseguicao (1945) (deSousa/Pereira/da Maia) 2.35
06. Duas luzes (1945) (de Mata/do Amaral) 3.20
07. Faz hoje um ano (1952) (Galhardo/Ferrao) 4.40
08. Passei Por Vocк (1945) (de Brito/Marceneiro) 2.55
09. Fado do ciume (1945) (do Vale/Valério) 2.57
10. Sei finalmente (1945) (Barbosa/Armandinho) 2.53
11. As penas (1945) (Caldeira/Bacalhau) 3.10
12. A tendinha (1945) (Gallhardo/Ferraro) 2.06
13. Fado Amalia (1951) (Gallhardo/Valerio) 3.01


AlternateFrontCoverAlternate frontcover

Pete Seeger – American Folk Songs for Children (1953)

FrontCover1We are sorry to report that Pete Seeger himself passed away yesterday at 94 “after a short illness” (as reported by BBC News). His loss is keenly felt, and our thoughts and prayers are with the Seeger family at this difficult time. Pete was an extraordinary man – singer, songwriter, activist, and far more – but the influence of his life and his music will live on in all of us with whom he shared his gifts. He is well loved and will be sorely missed.

The Pete Seeger Appreciation Page will continue to be hosted in honor and memory of Pete. (taken from the Pete Seeger appreciation website).

The eleven songs on this album were specifically selected from an identically titled book anthology of folk songs for children collected by Seeger’s stepmother, Ruth Crawford Seeger. Pete Seeger renders them plainly and simply, singing and playing and banjo, on a program designed especially (but not solely) for children between three and seven years of age. “Jim Crack Corn,” “Frog Went A-Courting,” and “She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain” are some of the better-known tunes on the record, but not all of them are as overly familiar. It’s been reissued on a single-disc CD that also includes a similar Pete Seeger album, 1962’s American Game and Activity Songs for Children. (by Ritchie Unterberger)


Pete Seeger (banjo, vocals)

AlternateFrontCoversAlternate frontcovers

01. Jim Along Josie 2.06
02. There Was a Man and He Was Mad 1.44
03. Clap Your Hands 2.58
04. She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain 1.54
05. All Around The Kitchen 2.01
06. Billy Barlow 2.35
07. Bought Me A Cat 3.11
08. Jim Crack Corn 2.16
09. Train Is A-Coming 3.08
10. This Old Man 2.37
11. Frog Went A-Courting 4.23

All songs: Traditional

PeteSeeger3Thank you and goodbye Pete Seeger: R.I.P.