Caterina Valente – A Date With Caterina Valente (1955)

FrontCover1Caterina Valente (born 14 January 1931, Paris, France) is an Italian singer, guitarist, dancer, and actress. She was born into an Italian artist family. Her father, Giuseppe, was a well-known accordion player; her mother, Maria, a musical clown. She had three siblings, one of whom, Silvio (as Silvio Francesco), was also active in show business.

In 1953, she made her first recordings with Kurt Edelhagen. Soon afterwards she achieved success with songs such as “Malagueña”, “The Breeze and I” (a global million-seller), and “Dreh dich nicht um” with the Werner Müller orchestra. In 1955, she was featured on The Colgate Comedy Hour with Gordon MacRae. In the mid 1960s, Valente worked with Claus Ogerman and recorded material in both Italian and English that he arranged/conducted and/or composed on the Decca  and London labels. She was a favorite of singer Perry Como making eight guest appearances on his NBC Kraft Music Hall television program from 1961 to 1966. Between 1966 and 1972 she was also a frequent guest on the Dean Martin Show.

In Germany she was a major performer of Schlager music. There she recorded Cole Porter’s I Love Paris under the German title Ganz Paris träumt von der Liebe, which sold more than 900,000 copies in 1954. Over the years, she has recorded or performed with many international stars, including Louis Armstrong, Chet Baker, Perry Como, Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, Claus Ogerman, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, Sy Oliver, Buddy Rich and Edmundo Ros.

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In 1959, she was nominated for a Grammy Award. Valente was a principal, along with Carol Burnett and Bob Newhart, on the short-lived CBS variety series The Entertainers (1964–65). A briglia sciolta, the Italian jazz CD recorded in 1989 and re-released in later years under the titles Fantastica and Platinum deluxe, was her best-selling CD worldwide. In 2001, she released a new album, Girltalk, with harpist Catherine Michel. (by wikipedia)

 

This is one of her many recordings from the 50´s and it´s a nice one … the early Valente recorded in the same year I was born … *smile* …

But this is not only “Schlager” music … sometimes it´s world music !

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Personnel:
Caterina Valente (vocals)
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Werner Müller & His Orchestra
Monaco Ball Orchestra
Paul Durand & His Orchestra

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Tracklist:
01. Temptation (Freed/Brown) 3.22
02. If Hearts Could Talk (Wise/Auric/Twomey) 3.13
03. The Breeze And I (Andalucia) (Stillman/Lecuona) 3.24
04. Malagueña (Lecuona) 3.06
05. My Lonely Lover (Gietz/Goell) 2.47
06. Fiesta Cubana (Gietz/Goell) 2.21
07. This Must Be Wrong (Gietz/Goell) 2.37
08. The Way You Love Me (Gietz/Goell) 2.47

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Miles Davis – `Round About Midnight (1957)

frontcover1‘Round About Midnight is an album by jazz musician Miles Davis. It was his debut on Columbia Records, and was originally released in March 1957 (CL 949). The album took its name from the Thelonious Monk song “‘Round Midnight”. Recording sessions took place at Columbia Studio D on October 26, 1955, and at Columbia’s 30th Street Studio on June 5 and September 10, 1956.

Although it had a lukewarm reception upon its release, ‘Round About Midnight has since been regarded by critics as a masterpiece of the hard bop genre and one of the greatest jazz albums of all time.

At the Newport Jazz Festival in 1955, Davis performed the song “‘Round Midnight” as part of an all-star jam session, with the song’s composer Thelonious Monk, along with Connie Kay and Percy Heath of the Modern Jazz Quartet, Zoot Sims, and Gerry Mulligan. Davis’s solo received an extremely positive reception from many jazz fans, and critics. It was viewed as a significant comeback and indication of a healthy, drug-free Davis (he had in fact been free from heroin addiction for well over a year). Davis’ response to this performance was typically laconic: “What are they talking about? I just played the way I always play.”[5] George Avakian of Columbia Records was in the audience, and his brother Aram persuaded him that he ought to sign Davis to the label.[6] Davis was eventually signed to Columbia Records, and was able to form his famous “first great quintet” with John Coltrane on saxophone. ‘Round About Midnight was to be his first album for his new label.

Davis was still under contract to Prestige Records, but had an agreement that he could record material for Columbia to release after the expiration of his Prestige contract. The recording dates for the album were at Columbia Records’ studios; the first session was on October 26, 1955, at Studio D, during which the track “Ah-Leu-Cha” was recorded along with three other numbers that did not appear on the album. This is the first studio recording of the quintet. The remainder of the album was recorded during sessions on June 5, 1956 (“Dear Old Stockholm”, “Bye Bye Blackbird” and “Tadd’s Delight”) and September 10, 1956 (“All of You” and the titular “‘Round Midnight”) at Columbia’s 30th Street Studio. During the same period, the Miles Davis Quintet was also recording sessions to fulfill its contract with Prestige. (by wikipedia)

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Given that ‘Round About Midnight was Miles Davis’ debut Columbia recording, it was both a beginning and an ending. Certainly the beginning of his recording career with the label that issued most if not all of his important recordings; and the recording debut of an exciting new band that had within its ranks Philly Joe Jones, Paul Chambers, pianist Red Garland, and an all but unknown tenor player named John Coltrane. The title track was chosen because of its unique rendition with a muted trumpet, and debuted at the Newport Jazz Festival the summer before to a thunderous reception. The date was also an ending of sorts because by the time of the album’s release, Davis had already broken up the band, which re-formed with Cannonball Adderley a year later as a sextet, but it was a tense year.

Musically, this sound is as unusual and as beautiful as it was when issued in 1956. Davis had already led the charge through two changes in jazz — both cool jazz and hard bop — and was beginning to move in another direction here that wouldn’t be defined for another two years. Besides the obvious lyrical and harmonic beauty of “Round About Midnight” that is arguably its definitive version even over Monk’s own, there are the edges of Charlie Parker’s “Au Leu-Cha” with its Bluesology leaping from every chord change in Red Garland’s left hand. Coltrane’s solo here too is notable for its stark contrast to Davis’ own: he chooses an angular tack where he finds the heart of the mode and plays a melody in harmonic counterpoint to the changes but never sounds outside. Cole Porter’s “All of You” has Davis quoting from Louis Armstrong’s “Basin Street Blues” in his solo that takes out the tune, and Coltrane has never respected a melody so much.

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But it’s in “Bye-Bye Blackbird” that we get to hear the band gel as a unit, beginning with Davis playing through the melody, muted and sweet, slightly flatted out until he reaches the harmony on the refrain and begins his solo on a high note. Garland is doing more than comping in the background; he’s slipping chord shapes into those interval cracks and shifting them as the rhythm section keeps “soft time.” When Coltrane moves in for his break, rather than Davis’ spare method, he smatters notes quickly all though the melodic body of the tune and Garland has to compensate harmonically, moving the mode and tempo up a notch until his own solo can bring it back down again. Which he does with a gorgeous all-blues read of the tune utilizing first one hand and then both hands to create fat harmonic chords to bring Davis back in to close it out. It’s breathtaking how seamless it all is. There’s little else to say except that ‘Round About Midnight is among the most essential of Davis’ Columbia recordings. (by Thom Jurek)

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Miles Davis with french actress Jeanne Moreau in 1957

Personnel:
Paul Chambers (bass)
John Coltrane (saxophone)
Miles Davis (trumpet)
Red Garland (piano)
Philly Joe Jones (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. ‘Round Midnight (Monk/Hanighen/Williams) 5.58
02. Ah-Leu-Cha (Parker) 5.53
03. All Of You (Porter) 7.03
04. Bye Bye Blackbird (Dixon/Henderson) 7.57
05. Tadd’s Delight (Dameron) 4.29
06. Dear Old Stockholm (Traditional/Getz) 7.52
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07. Two Bass Hit (Lewis/Gillespie) 3.45
08. Little Melonae (McLean) 7.22
09. Budo (Powell/Davis) 4.17
10. Sweet Sue, Just You (Harris/Young) 3.40

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Big Bill Broonzy – 1955 London Sessions (1990)

FrontCover1There’s no shortage of late-era Big Bill Broonzy recordings, as the blues legend appeared throughout Europe and cut numerous sessions during the final five years of his life. The ten songs assembled here — taken from various Pye/Nixa EPs and 10″ LPs cut during October of 1955 — are unusual in that they’re more diverse and intense than much of what Broonzy cut in America. “When Do I Get to Be Called a Man,” which is practically a sung demand for civil rights, opens the CD on a dignified but impassioned note. “St. Louis Blues” is done by Broonzy as a solo guitar instrumental, and benefits from his dazzling (and often underrated) dexterity on the guitar. “Southbound Train” finds him playing in front of a band (including Phil Seaman on drums) that lends a slow, “Chattanooga Choo-Choo”-style accompaniment to his singing and playing. “It Feels So Good” is another band number, this time with saxmen Bruce Turner (alto) and Kenny Graham (tenor) and trumpeter Leslie Hutchinson given more room to stretch out. The performances are first-rate, as is the recording, the cutting of which was assisted by a young (and not yet famous) Joe Meek. One of Broonzy’s more interesting and diverse later recordings. (by Bruce Eder)

BigBillBroonzyPersonnel:
Big Bill Broonzy (guitar, vocals)
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Jack Fallon (bass)
Kenny Graham (saxophone)
Benny Green (saxophone)
Leslie Hutchinson (trumpet)
Dill Jones (piano)
Phil Seamen (drums)
Bruce Turner (saxophone)

BackCoverTracklist:
01. It Feels So Good (Broonzy) 2.44
02. Southbound Train (Broonzy) 3.17
03. Southern Saga (inc. Joe Turner Blues) 8.11
04. When the Sun Goes Down, Going Down This Road Feeling Bad (Broonzy/Carr) 7.31
05. Saturday Evening (Broonzy) 3.29
06. Glory Of Love (Hill) 2.41
07. St. Louis Blues (Handy) 2.38
08. Mindin’ My Own Business (Broonzy) 2.53
09. When Do I Get To Be Called A Man (Broonzy) 3.20
10. Partnership Woman (Broonzy) 2.44

GraveThe grave of Big Bill  Broonzy

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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 economist.com)

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

Amalia04Personnel:
Amalia Rodrigues (vocals)
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various orchestras and musicians

Booklet03ATitel:
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

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René Urtréger – Jou Bud Powell (1955)

FrontCover1René Urtreger (born July 6, 1934) is a French bebop pianist.

Urtreger was born in Paris and began his piano studies at the age of four, studying privately first, and then at the Conservatory. He studied with an orientation toward jazz, playing in a small Parisian club, the “Sully d’ Auteil.” Conducted by Hubert Damisch, the Sully boasted an orchestra of talented students including Sacha Distel and Louis Viale.

In 1953, he won first prize in a piano contest for amateurs, and from that moment decided to be a professional musician. In 1954, he accompanied in a Parisian concert two great American expatriates: saxophonist Don Byas and trumpeter Buck Clayton. Their collaboration in the “Salon du Jazz” became one of the most highly-requested French performances by the American musicians that toured the French capital.

After serving in the military from 1955 to 1957, Urtreger would play in a club on the left bank of the Seine, the famous Club Saint-Germain. Again he collaborated with two jazz masters: Miles Davis and Lester Young. His work so impressed the latter that Urteger accompanied Young for a short tour of Europe in 1956. In December 1957, he was part of Davis’s group which recorded the soundtrack to the film Ascenseur pour l’échafaud (Elevator to the Gallows).

In the late 1950s he worked with the likes of Lionel Hampton, Stan Getz, Chet Baker, Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins and Ben Webster among others. Shortly thereafter, he broadened his focus to accompany other artists of other genres, largely due to financial necessity. His canon of jazz work is still widely regarded as sensitive with a full, dense sound of swing. The Academie du Jazz of France formally recognized his accomplishments in 1961 with the Django Reinhardt prize for outstanding jazz artist of the year.

He subsequently provided soundtracks for films by Claude Berri among others.

In 1977, he reappeared on the Paris jazz scene with the intention to resume his career. His renaissance was as a small-ensemble accompanist, with Lee Konitz, Aldo Romano or Barney Wilen. His 1980 performance at the Antibes Jazz Festival was an important performance of his later career. He was also featured at “Le Jazz Cool, Le Jazz Hot: A Celebration of Modern Jazz in Los Angeles and France” at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles (November 2007).

In an interview, Urtreger said “Jazz is supposed to be a music of improvisation, of madness”. (by wikipedia).

This is his debut album: René Urtréger recorded his own tributes to jazz pianist Bud Powell in February 1955 in Paris. The tracks first appeared on Urtréger’s 10-inch album for the Barclay label entitled Joue Bud Powell (“Plays Bud Powell”). And it´s really a great album, recorded in the spirit of Bud Powell !

CoverIllustrationPersonnel:
Benoit Quersin (bass)
René Urtreger (piano)
Jean-Louis Viale (drums)

01. Dance Of The Infidels (Powell) 3.08
02. Budo (Powell) 3.17
03. Parisian Thoroughfare (Powell) 3.37
04. So Sorry Please (Powell) 3.07
05. Bouncing With Bud (Powell) 2.45
06. À La Bud (Urtréger) 2.12
07. Mercedes (Urtréger)  3.04
08. Celia (Powell) 2.56

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