Chris Barber´s Jazz Band – Petite Fleur + Wild Cat Blues (1957)

FrontCover1Donald Christopher Barber OBE (17 April 1930 – 2 March 2021) was an English jazz musician, best known as a bandleader and trombonist. As well as scoring a UK top twenty trad jazz hit with “Petite Fleur” in 1959, he helped the careers of many musicians. These included the blues singer Ottilie Patterson, who was at one time his wife, and Lonnie Donegan, whose appearances with Barber triggered the skiffle craze of the mid-1950s and who had his first transatlantic hit, “Rock Island Line”, while with Barber’s band. He provided an audience for Donegan and, later, Alexis Korner, and sponsored African-American blues musicians to visit Britain, making Barber a significant figure in launching the British rhythm and blues and “beat boom” of the 1960s.

Chris Barber02

Barber was born in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, on 17 April 1930. His father, Donald Barber, was an insurance statistician who a few years later became secretary of the Socialist League, while his mother was a headmistress. His parents were left-leaning, his father having been taught by John Maynard Keynes, while his mother became, in Barber’s words, “the only socialist mayor of Canterbury”. Barber started learning the violin when he was seven years old. He was educated at Hanley Castle Grammar School, near Malvern, Worcestershire, to the age of 15, and started to develop an interest in jazz. After the end of the war, he attended St Paul’s School in London, and began visiting clubs to hear jazz groups. He then spent three years at the Guildhall School of Music, and started playing music with friends he met there, including Alexis Korner.

In 1950, Barber formed the New Orleans Jazz Band, a non-professional group of up to eight musicians, including Korner on guitar and Barber on double bass, to play both trad jazz and blues tunes. He had trained as an actuary, but decided to leave his job in an insurance office in 1951, and the following year became a professional musician.


Barber and clarinetist Monty Sunshine formed a band in late 1952, with trumpeter Pat Halcox among others, began playing in London clubs, and accepted an offer to play in Denmark in early 1953. Simultaneously, it was found that Halcox would be unable to travel but that Ken Colyer, who had been visiting New Orleans, was available. Colyer joined the band, which then took the name Ken Colyer’s Jazzmen. The group also included Donegan, Jim Bray (bass), Ron Bowden (drums) and Barber on trombone. In April 1953 the band made its debut in Copenhagen, Denmark.

There Chris Albertson recorded several sides for the new Danish Storyville label, including some featuring only Sunshine (clarinet), Donegan (banjo) and Barber (bass) as the Monty Sunshine Trio. The bands played Dixieland jazz, and later ragtime, swing, blues and R&B. Pat Halcox returned on trumpet in 1954 when Colyer moved on after musical and personal differences with both Barber and Donegan, and the band became “The Chris Barber Band”.

Chris Barber01

The band’s first recording session in 1954 produced the LP New Orleans Joys, and included “Rock Island Line”, performed by Donegan. When released as a single under Donegan’s name, it became a hit, launching Donegan’s solo career and the British skiffle boom.[10] The Barber band recorded several In Concert LPs during the 1950s, regarded by critic Richie Unterberger as “captur[ing] the early Barber band in its prime…. [T]here’s a certain crispness and liveliness to both the acoustics and the performances that make this in some ways preferable to their rather starchier studio recordings of the same era.”

In 1959, the band’s October 1956 recording of Sidney Bechet’s “Petite Fleur”, a clarinet solo by Monty Sunshine with Dick Smith on bass, Ron Bowden on drums and Dick Bishop on guitar, spent twenty-four weeks in the UK Singles Charts, making it to No. 3 and selling over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. After 1959, Barber toured the United States several times (where “Petite Fleur” charted at #5).

Chris Barber02

Barber was married four times. His second marriage, to Ottilie Patterson, lasted from 1959 until their divorce in 1983. He subsequently had two children during his third marriage.

Barber died on 2 March 2021. He was 90 and had suffered from dementia (wikipedia)

And are two songs from his very early days … two songs (taken from a German single) that are among his early classics …  and they are still pretty good … till today !

Chris Barber03

Chris Barber (trombone, bass on 02.)
Monty Sunshine (clarinet)
Dick Bishop (guitar on 01.)
Ron Bowden (drums on 01.)
Lonnie Donegan (banjo on 02.)
Dick Smith (bass on 01.)

The US edition:

01. A Petite Fleur (recorded 1956) (Little Flower) (Bechet) 2.44
02. Wild Cat Blues (recorded 1955) (Williams/Waller) 2.58



More from Chris Barber:

Chris Barber01

Kenny Clarke – Same (Telefunken Blues) (1955)

OriginalFrontCover1Kenneth Clarke Spearman (January 9, 1914 – January 26, 1985), nicknamed Klook, was an American jazz drummer and bandleader. A major innovator of the bebop style of drumming, he pioneered the use of the Ride cymbal to keep time rather than the hi-hat, along with the use of the bass drum for irregular accents (“dropping bombs”).

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he was orphaned at the age of about five and began playing the drums when he was eight or nine on the urging of a teacher at his orphanage. Turning professional in 1931 at the age of seventeen, he moved to New York City in 1935 when he began to establish his drumming style and reputation. As the house drummer at Minton’s Playhouse in the early 1940s, he participated in the after-hours jams that led to the birth of bebop. After military service in the US and Europe between 1943 and 1946, he returned to New York, but from 1948 to 1951 he was mostly based in Paris. He stayed in New York between 1951 and 1956, performing with the Modern Jazz Quartet and playing on early Miles Davis recordings. He then moved permanently to Paris, where he performed and recorded with European and visiting American musicians and co-led the Kenny Clarke/Francy Boland Big Band between 1961 and 1972. He continued to perform and record until the month before he died of a heart attack in January 1985.

Telefunken Blues is an album led by jazz drummer Kenny Clarke recorded in late 1954 and early 1955 and first released on the Savoy label. (wikipedia)


Everyone’s in good form on these two sessions from the mid-’50s. The earlier 1954 set, though, is the more interesting. It teams Modern Jazz Quartet alumni Kenny Clarke, Milt Jackson, and Percy Heath with West Coast beboppers Frank Morgan, Walter Benton, and Gerald Wiggins. Jackson’s spirited solos and strong presence in the ensembles make clear he is enjoying a change of pace from the austere formalism of the MJQ. Altoist Frank Morgan, too, comes to play, tempering tart Parker-isms with sounds that Jackie McLean, a Morgan contemporary, was also exploring at this time. Section partner Walter Benton counters with a rich, sonorous Websterian fog, rounding out a horn section that has range, depth, ideas, and chops. Wiggins, a commanding, understated presence, is in a role that would probably have gone to Wynton Kelly or Red Garland if the casting had not been for a West Coaster. Between them, Wiggins, Morgan, and Benton further undermine the artificial and meaningless dichotomy of West Coast cool versus New York City heat.

Alternate frontcover:

The four tracks from the later 1955 date feature a familiar Savoy grouping of Count Basie band members: Frank Wess, Henry Coker, Charlie Fowlkes, and Eddie Jones, with Jackson, and Clarke. In the company of the Count’s men, Clarke and Jackson create a successful hybrid of bop and Basie-style swing. Frank Wess’ tenor and flute playing, both on form, is most at home with the Jackson and Clarke direction. Bassist Jones and Clarke are an effective study in contrasts, with Jones walks his bass unperturbedly as Clarke throws curves and change-ups to his cohorts. Telefunken Blues is recommended for the set with Morgan, Benton, and Wiggins, although the session with the Count’s men does offer several pleasures, notably, the work of the rhythm section, Wess’ flute, and Ernie Wilkins’ arrangements. (by Jim Todd)

Recorded November 1, 1954 in Hollywood, CA (tracks 01-04) & February 7, 1955 at Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ (tracks 05-08)


Walter Benton (saxophone on 01. – 04.)
Kenny Clarke (drums)
Henry Coker (trombone on 05. – 08.)
Charlie Fowlkes (saxophone on 05. – 08.)
Percy Heath (bass on 01. – 04.)
Milt Jackson (vibraphone on 01. – 04., piano on 05 – 08.)
Eddie Jones (bass on 05. – 08.)
Frank Morgan (saxophone on 01. – 04.)
Frank Wess (saxophone, flute on 05. – 08.)
Gerald Wiggins (piano on 01. – 04.)

01. Strollin’ (Clarke) 4.24
02. Sonor (Wiggins/Clarke) 4.51
03. Blue’s Mood (Clarke) 4.19
04. Skoot (Beal/Garner) 3.49
05. Telefunken Blues (Wilkins) 5.51
06. Klook’s Nook (Wilkins) 5.11
07. Baggin’ The Blues (Wilkins) 5.41
08. Inhibitions (Wilkins) 3.53




Kenny Clarke (January 9, 1914 – January 26, 1985)

Don Elliott And Rusty Dedrick – Counterpoint For Six Valves (1959)

FrontCover1.jpgAn extremely popular player in the ’50s, Don Elliott was a fine soloist in the swing mode. He first studied piano and accordion, then played baritone horn and mellophone in his high school band. He switched to trumpet while playing in local dance bands, and as a teen worked with fellow teen Bill Evans. Elliott studied harmony at the Institute of Musical Art in New York in the mid-’40s, then played trumpet in an army band. Following that, he studied arranging and vibes at the University of Miami in 1947. When he returned to New York, Elliott played with George Shearing, Teddy Wilson, and Benny Goodman. He later performed and recorded with Terry Gibbs and Buddy Rich before forming his own band. Elliott took “miscellaneous instrument” honors in Down Beat five straight years in the late ’50s. During the ’60s and ’70s, he did Broadway shows and composed film scores and songs for radio and television commercials. He returned to jazz in 1975, serving as a guest soloist with the New York Jazz Repertory Company at Carnegie Hall. (by Ron Wynn)

Don Elliott1.jpg

Counterpoint for Six Valves is an album by American jazz trumpeters Don Elliott and Rusty Dedrick which was recorded in 1955 for the Riverside label. The album features six tracks that were originally recorded in 1955 and released as the 10-inch LP, Six Valves along with four additional tracks from 1956. This album was also reissued on the Jazzland label as Double Trumpet Doings. (by wikipedia)

And yes … this is another high class Jazz recording from Don Elliott and Rusty Dedrik

Rusty Dedrick (trumpet)
Don Elliott (trumpet)
Dick Hyman (piano)
Don Lamond (drums)
Mundell Lowe (guitar)
Eddie Safranski (bass)

Rusty Dedrick.jpgTracklist:
01. Mine (Gershwin) 3.08
02. Vampire Till Ready (Hyman) 5.04
03. Your Own Iron (Hyman) 5.02
04. It’s Easy To Remember (Hart/Rodgers) 4.56
05. The Bull Speaks (Hyman) 3.21
06. Dominick Seventh (Hyman) 5.09
07. Gargantuan Chant (Hyman) 4.42
08. When Your Lover Has Gone (Swan) 5.07
09. Henry’s Mambo (Hyman) 2.16
10. Theme And Inner Tube (Hyman) 2.00




Jonah Jones + Jack Teagarden – Double Exposue – The Giants Of Dixieland (1962)

FrontCover1Here are two “giants of Dixieland” on a low budget album:

Jonah Jones (born Robert Elliott Jones; December 31, 1909 – April 29, 2000) was a jazz trumpeter who created concise versions of jazz and swing and jazz standards that appealed to a mass audience. In the jazz community, he is known for his work with Stuff Smith. He was sometimes referred to as “King Louis II,” a reference to Louis Armstrong. Jones started playing alto saxophone at the age of 12 in the Booker T. Washington Community Center band in Louisville, Kentucky before quickly transitioning to trumpet, where he excelled.

Jones was born in Louisville, Kentucky. Jones began his career playing on a river boat named Island Queen, which traveled between Kentucky and Ohio. He began in the 1920s playing on Mississippi riverboats and then in 1928 he joined with Horace Henderson. Later he worked with Jimmie Lunceford and had an early collaboration with Stuff Smith in 1932. From 1932 to 1936 he had a successful collaboration with Smith, but in the 1940s JonahJones01he worked in big bands like Benny Carter’s and Fletcher Henderson’s. He would spend most of a decade with Cab Calloway’s band which later became a combo.

Starting in the 1950s, he had his own quartet and began concentrating on a formula which gained him wider appeal for a decade. The quartet consisted of George “River Rider” Rhodes on piano, John “Broken Down” Browne on bass and Harold “Hard Nuts” Austin on drums. The most-mentioned accomplishment of this style is their version of “On The Street Where You Live”, a strong-swinging treatment of the Broadway tune with
a boogie-woogie jump blues feel. This effort succeeded and he began to be known to a wider audience. This led to his quartet performing on An Evening With Fred Astaire in 1958 and an award at the Grammy Awards of 1960, receiving the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album. In 1972 he made a return to more “core” jazz work with JonahJones02.jpgEarl Hines on the Chiaroscuro album Back On The Street. Jones enjoyed especial popularity in France, being featured in a jazz festival in the Salle Pleyel.

A 1996 videotaped interview completed by Dan Del Fiorentino was donated to the NAMM Oral History Program Collection in 2010 to preserve his music for future generations.

Jones performed in the orchestra pit under the direction of Alexander Smallens and briefly in an onstage musical sequence of Porgy and Bess, starring Cab Calloway.

He was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1999 and died the following year in New York City.

Jonah Jones married the trumpeter, clarinetist and hornist Elizabeth Bowles (1910–1993), sister of Russell Bowles. They had four children. (by wikipedia)


And here´s Jack Teagarden:

Weldon Leo “Jack” Teagarden (August 20, 1905 – January 15, 1964) was a jazz trombonist and singer. According to critic Scott Yannow of Allmusic, Teagarden was the preeminent American jazz trombone player before the bebop era of the 1940s and “one of the best jazz singers too”. Teagarden’s early career was as a sideman with the likes of Tommy Dorsey, Paul Whiteman and lifelong friend Louis Armstrong before branching out as a bandleader in 1939 and specializing in New Orleans Jazz-style jazz until his death.

Born in Vernon, Texas, his brothers Charlie and Clois “Cub” and his sister Norma also became professional musicians. His father was an amateur brass band trumpeter and started him on baritone horn; by age seven he had switched to trombone. His first public performances were in movie theaters, where he accompanied his mother, a pianist.

JackTeagarden01Teagarden’s trombone style was largely self-taught, and he developed many unusual alternative positions and novel special effects on the instrument. He is usually considered the most innovative jazz trombone stylist of the pre-bebop era – Pee Wee Russell once called him “the best trombone player in the world”[3] – and did much to expand the role of the instrument beyond the old tailgate style role of the early New Orleans brass bands. Chief among his contributions to the language of jazz trombonists was his ability to interject the blues or merely a “blue feeling” into virtually any piece of music.

By 1920 Teagarden was playing professionally in San Antonio, including with the band of pianist Peck Kelley. In the mid-1920s he started traveling widely around the United States in a quick succession of different bands. In 1927, he went to New York City where he worked with several bands. By 1928 he played for the Ben Pollack band.

Within a year of the commencement of his recording career, he became a regular vocalist, first doing blues material (“Beale Street Blues”, for example), and later doing popular songs. He is often mentioned as one of the best jazz vocalists of the era;[citation needed] his singing style is like his trombone playing, in much the same way that Louis Armstrong sang like he played trumpet. Teagarden’s singing is best remembered for duets with Armstrong and Johnny Mercer.

In the late 1920s he recorded with such bandleaders and sidemen as Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Bix Beiderbecke, Red Nichols, Jimmy McPartland, Mezz Mezzrow, Glenn Miller, and Eddie Condon. Miller and Teagarden collaborated to provide lyrics and a verse to Spencer Williams’ Basin Street Blues, which in that amended form became one of the numbers that Teagarden played until the end of his days.


In the early 1930s Teagarden was based in Chicago, for some time playing with the band of Wingy Manone. He played at the Century of Progress exposition in Chicago.

Teagarden sought financial security during the Great Depression and signed an exclusive contract to play for the Paul Whiteman Orchestra from 1933 through 1938. The contract with Whiteman’s band provided him with financial security but prevented him from playing an active part in the musical advances of the mid-thirties swing era (although Teagarden and Frank Trumbauer recorded a number of small group swing classics throughout his tenure with Whiteman on Brunswick).

Teagarden then started leading his own big band. Glenn Miller wrote the song “I Swung the Election” for him and his band in 1939. In spite of Teagarden’s best efforts, the band was not a commercial success, and he was brought to the brink of bankruptcy.

In 1946 Teagarden joined Louis Armstrong’s All Stars. In late 1951 Teagarden left to again lead his own band, then co-led a band with Earl Hines, then again with a group under his own name with whom he toured Japan in 1958 and 1959.

Teagarden appeared in the movies Birth of the Blues (1941), The Strip (1951), The Glass Wall (1953), and Jazz on a Summer’s Day (1960), the latter a documentary film of the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival. He recorded for RCA Victor, Columbia, Decca, Capitol, and MGM Records.

Early in 1964 Teagarden cut short a performance in New Orleans because of ill health. He briefly visited a hospital, then was found dead in his room at the Prince Conti Motel in New Orleans on January 15. The cause of death was bronchial pneumonia, which had followed a liver ailment. He was buried in Los Angeles.


As a jazz artist he won the 1944 Esquire magazine Gold Award, was highly rated in the Metronome polls of 1937-42 and 1945, and was selected for the Playboy magazine All Star Band, 1957-60. Teagarden was the featured performer at the Newport Jazz Festival of 1957.

In 1969, Jack Teagarden was inducted into the DownBeat Jazz Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1985. Other honors have included induction in the ASCAP Jazz Wall of Fame in 2005 and inclusion in the Houston Institute for Culture’s Texas Music Hall of Fame.

Jack Teagarden’s compositions include “I’ve Got ‘It'” with David Rose, “Shake Your Hips”, “Big T Jump”, “Swingin’ on the Teagarden Gate”, “Blues After Hours”, “A Jam Session at Victor”, “It’s So Good”, “Pickin’ For Patsy” with Allan Reuss, “Texas Tea Party” with Benny Goodman, “I’m Gonna Stomp Mr. Henry Lee” with Eddie Condon, “Big T Blues”, “Dirty Dog”, “Makin’ Friends” with Jimmy McPartland, “That’s a Serious Thing”, and “‘Jack-Armstrong’ Blues” with Louis Armstrong, recorded on December 7, 1944, with the V-Disc All-Stars and released on V-Disc in March, 1945. (by wikipedia)

Enjoy this trip in the past … but you´ll not only hear this good old Dixie music, but real good Jazz music !



Jack Teargarden (recorded 1955):
01. Milenburg Joys (Morton/Rappolo/Mores) 3.20
02. Davenport Blues (Beiderbecke) 3.17
03. One Step (La Rocca) 3.21
04. High Society (Steele/Melrose) 4.21
05. Misery And The Blues (LeVere) 2.44

Jonah Jones Band (recorded 1956):
06. Stars Fell On Alabama (Perkins/Parish) 2.53
07. Wrap The Troubles In Dreams (Moll/Barris/Koehler) 2.05
08. Beale Street Blues (Handy) 3.53
09. Down By The Riverside (Traditional) 2.20
10. The Sheik Of Araby (Wheeler/Smith/Snyder) 3.21



Sophie Tucker – Her Latest And Greatest Spicy Songs (1955)

FrontCover1.JPGSophie Tucker (January 13, 1886– February 9, 1966) was a Ukrainian-born American singer, comedian, actress, and radio personality. Known for her powerful delivery of comical and risqué songs, she was one of the most popular entertainers in America during the first half of the 20th century. She was widely known by the nickname “The Last of the Red Hot Mamas”.

Tucker was born Sofya Kalish (in Russian, Софья «Соня» Калиш) in 1886 to a Jewish family in Tulchyn, Podolia Governorate, Russian Empire, now Vinnytsia Oblast, Ukraine. (“Sonya” is a nickname for “Sofya”, the Yiddish form of the name Sophia.) They arrived in Boston on September 26, 1887. The family adopted the surname Abuza before immigrating, her father fearing repercussions for having deserted the Russian military. The family lived in Boston’s North End for eight years before settling in Hartford, Connecticut, and opening a restaurant.

At a young age, she began singing at her parents’ restaurant for tips. Between taking orders and serving customers, she “would stand up in the narrow space by the door and sing with all the drama I could put into it. At the end of the last chorus, between me and the onions there wasn’t a dry eye in the place”.

In 1903, around the age of 17, Tucker eloped with Louis Tuck, a beer cart driver, from whom she would later derive her professional surname. When she returned home, her parents arranged an Orthodox wedding for the couple. in 1905, she gave birth to a son, Albert. However, shortly after Albert was born, the couple separated and Tucker left the baby with her family to move to New York.

SophieTucker03After she left her husband, Willie Howard gave Tucker a letter of recommendation to Harold Von Tilzer, a composer and theatrical producer in New York. When it failed to bring her work, Tucker found jobs in cafés and beer gardens, singing for food and tips from the customers. She sent most of what she made back home to Connecticut to support her son and family.

In 1907, Tucker made her first theater appearance, singing at an amateur night in a vaudeville establishment. It was here that she was first made to wear blackface during performance, as her producers thought that the crowd would tease her for being “so big and ugly.” By 1908, she had joined a burlesque show in Pittsburgh but was ashamed to tell her family that she was performing in a deep southern accent wearing burnt cork on her face. While touring later that year, luggage including her makeup kit was lost, and Tucker was allowed to go on stage without the blackface.

She then stunned the crowd by saying, “You all can see I’m a white girl. Well, I’ll tell you something more: I’m not Southern. I’m a Jewish girl and I just learned this Southern accent doing a blackface act for two years. And now, Mr. Leader, please play my song.” Tucker also began integrating “fat girl” humor, which became a common thread in her acts. Her songs included “I Don’t Want to Get Thin” and “Nobody Loves a Fat Girl, But Oh How a Fat Girl Can Love.”

In 1909, Tucker performed with the Ziegfeld Follies. Though she was a hit, the other female stars refused to share the spotlight with her, and the company was forced to let SophieTucker04her go. This caught the attention of William Morris, a theater owner and future founder of the William Morris Agency, which would become one of the largest and most powerful talent agencies of the era. Two years later, Tucker released “Some of These Days” on Edison Records, written by Shelton Brooks. The title of the song was later used as the title of Tucker’s 1945 biography.

In 1921, Tucker hired pianist and songwriter Ted Shapiro as her accompanist and musical director, a position he would keep throughout her career. Besides writing a number of songs for her, Shapiro became part of her stage act, playing piano on stage while she sang, and exchanging banter and wisecracks with her in between numbers. Tucker remained a popular singer through the 1920s and became friends with stars such as Mamie Smith and Ethel Waters, who introduced her to jazz. Tucker learned from these talented women and became one of the first performers to introduce jazz to white vaudeville audiences.

In 1925, Jack Yellen wrote one of her most famous songs, “My Yiddishe Momme”. The song was performed in large American cities where there were sizable Jewish audiences. Tucker explained, “Even though I loved the song and it was a sensational hit every time I sang it, I was always careful to use it only when I knew the majority of the house would understand Yiddish. However, you didn’t have to be a Jew to be moved by My Yiddishe Momme.” During the Hitler regime, the song was banned by the German government for evoking Jewish culture.


By the 1920s, Tucker’s success had spread to Europe, and she began a tour of England, performing for King George V and Queen Mary at the London Palladium in 1926. Tucker re-released her hit song “Some of These Days”, backed by Ted Lewis and his band, which stayed at the number 1 position of the charts for five weeks beginning November 23, 1926. It sold over one million copies and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA.

Tucker was strongly affected by the decline of vaudeville. Speaking about performing in the final show at E. F. Albee’s Palace in New York City, she remarked, “Everyone knew the theater was to be closed down, and a landmark in show business would be gone. That feeling got into the acts. The whole place, even the performers, stank of decay. I seemed to smell it. It challenged me. I was determined to give the audience the idea: why brood over yesterday? We have tomorrow. As I sang I could feel the atmosphere change. The gloom began to lift, the spirit which formerly filled the Palace and which made it famous among vaudeville houses the world over came back. That’s what an entertainer can do.”

In 1929, she made her first movie appearance, in the sound picture Honky Tonk. During the 1930s, Tucker brought elements of nostalgia for the early years of 20th century into her show. She was billed as “The Last of the Red Hot Mamas,” as her hearty sexual appetite was a frequent subject of her songs, unusual for female performers of the day after the decline of vaudeville.

SophieTucker05.jpgOn November 4, 1963, Beatle Paul McCartney introduced the song “Till There Was You” as having been recorded “by our favorite American group, Sophie Tucker.”

In 1938, Tucker was elected president of the American Federation of Actors, an early actors’ trade union. Originally formed for vaudeville and circus performers, the union expanded to include nightclub performers and was chartered as a branch of the Associated Actors and Artistes.

In 1939, the union was disbanded by the American Federation of Labor (AFL) for financial mismanagement. However, Tucker was not implicated in the proceedings. The AFL later issued a charter for the succeeding American Guild of Variety Artists, which remains active.

In 1938–1939 she had her own radio show, The Roi Tan Program with Sophie Tucker, broadcast on CBS for 15 minutes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. She made numerous guest appearances on such programs as The Andrews Sisters and The Radio Hall of Fame. In the 1950s and early 1960s Tucker, “The First Lady of Show Business”, made frequent television appearances on many popular variety and talk shows of the day such as The Ed Sullivan Show and The Tonight Show. She remained popular abroad, performing for fanatical crowds in the music halls of London that were even attended by King George V. On April 13, 1963, a Broadway musical called “Sophie”, based on her early life up until 1922, opened with Libi Staiger as the lead. It closed after eight performances.[citation needed]

SophieTucker06Tucker continued to perform for the rest of her life. In 1962, she performed in the Royal Variety Performance, which was also broadcast on the BBC. She appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show on October 3, 1965. For the color broadcast, her last television appearance, she performed “Give My Regards to Broadway”, “Louise”, and her signature song, “Some Of These Days”.

Tucker was married three times. Her first marriage was to Louis Tuck, a beer cart driver, with whom she eloped in 1903. The marriage produced Tucker’s only child, Albert. In 1906 the couple separated, and Tucker left Albert with her family, supporting them with money from her singing jobs in New York. They were divorced in May 1913. Albert was raised by his maternal aunt, Annie. Annie and Sophie had a close relationship and kept in touch with weekly letters.

Her second marriage, to Frank Westphal (1917–20), her accompanist, and her third marriage, to Al Lackey (1928–34), her manager, both ended in divorce and produced no children. She blamed the failure of her marriages on the fact that she had been too adjusted to economic independence, saying, “Once you start carrying your own suitcase, paying your own bills, running your own show, you’ve done something to yourself that makes you one of those women men like to call ‘a pal’ and ‘a good sport,’ the kind of woman they tell their troubles to. But you’ve cut yourself off from the orchids and the diamond bracelets, except those you buy yourself.”

Tucker died of lung cancer and kidney failure on February 9, 1966, aged 80, in New York City. She had continued working until the months before her death, playing shows at the Latin Quarter just weeks before. She is buried in Emanuel Cemetery, in Wethersfield, Connecticut, her home state.

Tucker’s comic and singing styles are credited with influencing later female entertainers including Mae West, Rusty Warren, Carol Channing, Totie Fields, Joan Rivers, Roseanne Barr, Ethel Merman, “Mama” Cass Elliot of The Mamas & the Papas, and most notably Bette Midler, who has included “Soph” as one of her many stage characters. She also influenced Miami-based radio and television host-cum-singer Peppy Fields, sister of noted pianist Irving Fields, whom Variety and Billboard magazines called the “Sophie Tucker of Miami”.


Probably the greatest influence on Sophie’s later song delivery was Clarice Vance (1870–1961). They appeared many times on the same vaudeville bill. Sophie made her first recordings in 1910, and Clarice made her final records in 1909. Clarice had perfected and was known for her subtle narrative talk-singing style that Sophie later used to her advantage when her vocal range became increasingly limited. At the time that Clarice Vance was using the narrative style it was unique to her among women entertainers.[6]

Tucker is briefly mentioned in the lyrics of the song “Roxie” from the musical Chicago (“And Sophie Tucker’ll shit I know/To see her name get billed below/Roxie Hart”) and was cited as the main influence for the character Matron “Mama” Morton.

A popular music revue, Sophie Tucker: The Last of the Red Hot Mamas, developed by Florida Studio Theatre (FST), in Sarasota, celebrates Tucker’s brassy and bawdy behavior, songs, and persona. Developed in-house by artistic director Richard Hopkins in 2000, it has enjoyed several productions across the country, including theatres in New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, and Toronto. Kathy Halenda, who originated the role of Tucker in the production, returned to FST for a limited engagement of “The Last of the Red Hot Mamas” in March 2012.

William Gazecki produced a 2014 film documentary, The Outrageous Sophie Tucker (by wikipedia)

And here´s her bitter-sweet album from 1955 ….it´s aural bio about her life (love and sex of course) … all the victories and all the tragedies …

On side two is another Sophie Tucker specialty. “Mister Siegel” is a telephone lament done partly in Yiddish in which a young lady in “trouble” threatens to cause problems if Siegel “don’t make it legal by me.” …

And yes … she was a real hot red mama … and yes she was a glamour girl … a diva …. in this times.


Alternate frontcover from Canada

Sophie Tucker (vocals)
unknown orchestra


01. It’s Never Too Late (To Have A Little Fun) (Yellen/Daughtery) 2.50
02. Vitamins, Hormones And Pills (Yellen/Daughtery) 3.12
03. Inhibition Papa (Yellen/Daughtery) 3.38
04. (There’s No Business Like) That Certain Business (Yellen/Daughtery) 3.38
05. Sophie Tucker School For Red Hot Mamas (Yellen/Daughtery) 3.22
06. Mister Siegel (Yellen/Daughtery) 3.14
07. Never Let The Same Dog Bite You Twice (Yellen/Fain) 2.47
08. Horseplaying Poppa (Yellen/Fain) 3.51
09. I’m Living Alone And I Like It (Yellen/Daughtery) 2.38
10. Make Him Say Please (Yellen/Daughtery) 5.06



The Weavers – On Tour (1957)

FrontCover1.jpgThe Weavers were an American folk music quartet based in the Greenwich Village area of New York City. They sang traditional folk songs from around the world, as well as blues, gospel music, children’s songs, labor songs, and American ballads, and sold millions of records at the height of their popularity. Their style inspired the commercial “folk boom” that followed them in the 1950s and 1960s, including such performers as The Kingston Trio; Peter, Paul, and Mary; The Rooftop Singers; The Seekers; and Bob Dylan. (by wikipedia)

In April 1957, Vanguard released an album of the Weavers’ December 1955 concert at Carnegie Hall. Since the whole program exceeded the time limit of one vinyl long play record, the company made some choices and picked a total of twenty songs. Good sales suggested that a follow up would be appreciated by their fans, but the problem now was The Weavers01that they didn’t have enough unissued material. The answer was to have the group go into the studio and record some more of their songs which were then mixed with applause and added to the other unissued tracks. The result is another album that has the feel of the first one and offers more of the concert experience. The odd thing about marketing this release is that Vanguard choose to ignore the Carnegie Hall aspect of these recordings on the front cover. The group is pictured outdoors under a tree and it is only as you begin to read the jacket notes that you learn that this is the sequel to “The Weavers At Carnegie Hall”.

The songs are grouped by style (Songs That Never Fade, Tall Tales, History and Geography, Of Peace and Good Will), but I have no idea if that comes close to the way they were originally presented in 1955. Together, the two albums make a great “record” of the Weavers in top form.


The only negative about the CD is the booklet notes are much shorter and do not include a story about each song even though the fine print on the back states “Original liner notes included”. It is fun to have the vinyl album just for the back cover written material. The 1957 album (VRS 9013) was later reissued in 1985 as part of Vanguard’s 73000 mid-line series, but without cutting any songs. This is the release that is now available on CD. It is interesting to note that the cover picture for the CD is a different pose from the same photo session that produced the cover for the L.P. (by Warren S.)


Lee Hays (vocals)
Ronnie Gilbert (vocals)
Fred Hellerman (guitar, vocals)
Pete Seeger (banjo, vocals)



Songs That Never Fade:
01. Tzena, Tzena, Tzena (Myron/Grossman/Parish) 1.12
02. On Top Of Old Smoky (Seger) 2.24
03. Drill Ye Tarriers, Drill (Seeger/Gilbert/Hays/Hellerman) 2.16
04. Fi-li-mi-oo-ree-ay (Seeger/Gilbert/Hays/Hellerman) 2.28
05. Over The Hills (Seger) 1.00
06. Clementine (Traditional) 2.54

Tall Tales:
07. The Frozen Logger (Stevens) 2.10
08. The Boll Weevil (Hays) 2.31
09. Talking Blues (Seeger/Hellerman) 2.24
10. I Don’t Want To Get Adjusted (Hays/Hellerman) 1.29
11. So Long (Guthrie) 2.26

History And Geography:
12. Michael, Row The Boat Ashore (Seeger/Gilbert/Hays/Hellerman) 3.38
13.The Wreck Of The “John B” (Hays) 2.23
14. Two Brothers (The Blue And The Grey) (Gordon) 2.27
15. Ragaputi (Seeger) 2.13
16. Wasn’t That A Time (Hays) 2.09

Of Peace And Good Will:
17. Go Tell It To The Mountain (Traditional) 2.32
18. Poor Little Jesus (Seeger/Gilbert/Hays/Hellerman) 1.41
19. Mi Y’Malel (Seeger/Gilbert/Hays/Hellerman) 1.53
20. Santa Claus Is Coming (It’s Almost Day) (Ledbetter) 1.19
21. We Wish You A Merry Christmas (Traditional)



The Weavers02.jpg

Les Baxter – Kaleidoscope (1955)

FrontCover1Les Baxter (March 14, 1922 – January 15, 1996) was an American musician and composer.

Baxter studied piano at the Detroit Conservatory before moving to Los Angeles for further studies at Pepperdine College. From 1943 on he was playing tenor and baritone saxophone for the Freddie Slack big band. Abandoning a concert career as a pianist, he turned to popular music as a singer. At the age of 23 he joined Mel Tormé’s Mel-Tones, singing on Artie Shaw records such as “What Is This Thing Called Love?”.

Baxter then turned to arranging and conducting for Capitol Records in 1950, and conducted the orchestra of two early Nat King Cole hits, “Mona Lisa” and “Too Young”. In 1953 he scored his first movie, the sailing travelogue Tanga Tika. With his own orchestra, he released a number of hits including “Ruby” (1953), “Unchained Melody” (1955), “The Poor People of Paris” (1956) and is remembered for a version of “Sinner Man” (1956) definitively setting the sound with varying tempos, orchestral flourishes, and wailing background vocals. He also achieved success with concept albums of his own orchestral suites: Le Sacre Du Sauvage, Festival Of The Gnomes, Ports Of Pleasure, and Brazil Now, the first three for Capitol and the fourth on Gene Norman’s Crescendo label. The list of musicians on these recordings includes Plas Johnson and Clare Fischer.[citation needed] Baxter also wrote the “Whistle” theme from the TV show Lassie.

LexBaxter01In the 1960s, he formed the Balladeers, a conservative folk group in suits that at one time featured a young David Crosby. Later he used some of the same singers from that group for a studio project called The Forum. They had a minor hit in 1967 with a rendition of “River is Wide” which implemented the Wall of Sound technique originally developed by Phil Spector. He worked in radio as musical director of The Halls of Ivy and the Bob Hope and Abbott and Costello shows.

Like his counterparts Henry Mancini and Lalo Schifrin, Baxter later worked for the film industry in the 1960s and 1970s. He worked on movie soundtracks for B-movie studio American International Pictures where he composed and conducted scores for Roger Corman’s Edgar Allan Poe films and other horror stories and teenage musicals, including The Pit and the Pendulum, The Comedy of Terrors, Muscle Beach Party, The Dunwich Horror, and Frogs. Howard W. Koch recalled that Baxter composed, orchestrated and recorded the entire score of The Yellow Tomahawk (1954) in a total of three hours for $5,000.

When soundtrack work fell off in the 1980s, he scored music for theme parks such as SeaWorld.

LesBaxter01Baxter, alongside Martin Denny and Arthur Lyman, is celebrated as one of the progenitors of exotica music. In his 1996 appreciation for Wired magazine, writer David Toop wrote that Baxter “offered package tours in sound, selling tickets to sedentary tourists who wanted to stroll around some taboo emotions before lunch, view a pagan ceremony, go wild in the sun or conjure a demon, all without leaving home hi-fi comforts in the white suburbs.”

Baxter was buried at Pacific View Memorial Park, in Corona del Mar, California. He has a motion picture star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6314 Hollywood Blvd. He was survived by his daughter Leslie, she and her father were a “Team”. (by wikipedia)

And here´s an early album:

Kaleidoscope is one of Les Baxter’s earliest 12″ albums, an instrumental platter that contains the hits “Blue Tango,” “Ruby,” “Gigi,” “The High and the Mighty,” and one of his biggest, “April in Portugal.” Even though Baxter’s Tamboo! and “Quiet Village” were yet to come, Kaleidoscope shows his abiding interest in international music and instrumentation that contributed to the exotica craze. Most of the songs are drawn from international sources with the exception of four Hollywood film themes. “Atlantis” foreshadows Baxter’s 1957 album Skins! with its emphasis on percussion, while “Julie” is straight orchestral pop with a wordless chorus. Kaleidoscope lacks the cohesion of his thematic albums because of its wide mixture of styles, but that is not surprising since most of these songs are taken from previously released singles. (by Greg Adams)

Okay, boys and girls … let´s take a trip into the past … another sentimental journey …


Les Baxter Orchestra


01. Tropicana (Wayne) 2.07
02. April In Portugal (Ferrao) 2.44
03. Julie (Tiomkin/Wolcott) 2.55
04. Cornflakes (Norman) 2.38
05. Elaine (Gitane) (Lopez) 2.47
06. Invitation (Kaper) 2.50
07. Blue Tango (Anderson) 2.59
08. Festival Hop (Strauss) 1.49
09. Ruby (Roemheld/Parish) 2.54
10. Gigi (Véran/Thoreau) 2.43
11. Atlantis (Rouzaud/Bourdin) 2.16
12. The High And The Mighty (Tiomkin/Washington) 2.47



Helen Carr – Down In The Depths On The 90th Floor (1955)

FrontCover1.jpgAn overlooked vocalist inspired by Billie Holiday, Helen Carr never had time to make her mark on the history of jazz music during her short-lived career. Before her death at the age of 38 she only recorded two albums. One of the darkest vocal jazz albums of the 50s – packaged with a great title and cover image that features a lone lit window in a New York skyscraper! Helen has incredible backing on the record – a small combo that includes Charlie Mariano on alto sax, Don Fagerquist on trumpet, and Donn Trenner on piano – all gently sliding in behind Carr’s blue vocals in a way that’s similar to some of the Chris Connor work on Bethlehem from the same time. (

She only recorded two albums. She may or may not have died in a car accident. Her year of birth is up for grabs. Who is Helen Carr?

It’s a mystery, or at least a mystery in terms of digging up information about her on the Internet. She was born in Utah in 1924, or perhaps 1922, and once her career took off, she fronted for a number of big bands, including Stan Kenton and Charlie Barnett. Her voice is breathy and distinctive, and while some liken her to Billie Holiday, I think a sharp-toned Blossom Dearie is a much closer match if we’re going for comparisons.

Yet why compare? She has her own sound, one that never quite comes at you directly, but sneaks up on you sideways and around corners. Her first – or was it her second? – LP, 1955’s “Down In The Depths Of The 90th Floor” is also noteworthy because her set, including “Tulip or Turnip” and “I Don’t Want To Cry Anymore” haven’t all been done to death. Everything about it feels fresh.


Adding to the mystery of Helen is the fact that she never reveals her face on her LP covers, including 1955’s (or 1956’s?) “Why Do I Love You” – a Cheerfully Heavenly Helen Exclusive! – which features two models (I’m assuming) making out on the beach. This version’s been remastered, yet what makes it truly stand out, again, are the off-the-beaten-track song selections and Helen’s gorgeous vocals, which can turn hot or cool on a dime.

Helen Carr02

Helen died in 1960, either in a car accident or due to breast cancer, leaving behind her husband, pianist/arranger Donn Trenner (who’s still kinkin’ at age 90). They even wrote a song together, “Memory Of The Rain,” which is featured on “90th Floor.” Treasure these two LPs, because that’s all there is. (

Helen Carr01

Max Bennett (bass)
Helen Carr (vocals)
Don Fagerquist (trumpet)
Stan Levy (drums)
Charlie Mariano (saxophone)
Donn Trenner (piano)


01. Not Mine (Mercer/Schertzinger) 3.01
2. I Don’t Want To Cry Anymore (Schertzinger) 5.15
3. Tulip Or Turnip (George/Ellington) 2.24
4. Memory Of The Rain (Carr/Trenner) 2.48
5. Down In The Depths Of The 90th Floor (Porter) 3.11
6. You’re Driving Me Crazy (Donaldson) 2.58
7. I’m Glad There Is You (Madeira/Dorsey) 3.01
8. Moments Like This (Loesser/Lane) 2.27



Helen Carr03



Glenn Gould – Goldberg Variationen (Bach) (1955 / 2008)

FrontCover1.jpgThe Goldberg Variations, BWV 988, are a work written for harpsichord by Johann Sebastian Bach, consisting of an aria and a set of 30 variations. First published in 1741, the work is considered to be one of the most important examples of variation form. The Variations are named after Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, who may have been the first performer.

Bach: The Goldberg Variations is the 1955 debut album of Canadian classical pianist Glenn Gould. An interpretation of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations (BWV 988), the work launched Gould’s career as a renowned international pianist, and became one of the most well-known piano recordings. Sales were “astonishing” for a classical album: it was reported to have sold 40,000 copies by 1960, and had sold more than 100,000 by the time of Gould’s death in 1982. In 1981, a year before his death, Gould made a new recording of the Goldberg Variations, sales of which exceeded two million by 2000.Bach: The Goldberg Variations is the 1955 debut album of Canadian classical pianist Glenn Gould. An interpretation of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations (BWV 988), the work launched Gould’s career as a renowned international pianist, and became one of the most well-known piano recordings. Sales were “astonishing” for a classical album: it was reported to have sold 40,000 copies by 1960, and had sold more than 100,000 by the time of Gould’s death in 1982.In 1981, a year before his death, Gould made a new recording of the Goldberg Variations, sales of which exceeded two million by 2000.
TitelPageAt the time of the first album’s release, Bach’s Goldberg Variations—a set of 30 contrapuntal variations beginning and ending with an aria—were outside the standard piano repertoire, having been recorded on the instrument only a few times before, either on small labels or unreleased. The work was considered esoteric[4] and technically demanding, requiring awkward hand crossing at times when played on a piano (these passages would be played on two manuals on a harpsichord). Gould’s album both established the Goldberg Variations within the contemporary classical repertoire and made him an internationally famous pianist nearly “overnight”. First played in concert by Gould in 1954, the composition was a staple of Gould’s performances in the years following the recording.

The recordings were made in 1955 at Columbia Records 30th Street studio in Manhattan over four days between June 10 and June 16, a few weeks after Gould signed his contract. Columbia Masterworks Records, the company’s classical music division, released the album in January 1956. Bach: The Goldberg Variations became Columbia’s bestselling classical album and earned Gould an international reputation.

The album gained attention for Gould’s unique pianistic method, which incorporated a finger technique involving great clarity of articulation (a “detached staccatissimo”), even at great speed, and little sustaining pedal. Gould’s piano teacher, Alberto Guerrero, had encouraged Gould to practice “finger tapping”, which required very slowly tapping the fingers of the playing hand with the free hand. According to Guerrero, tapping taught the pianist an economy of muscle movement that would enable precision at high speeds. Gould “tapped” each Goldberg variation before recording it, which took about 32 hours.

Glen Gould01
The extreme tempi of the 1955 performance made for a short record, as did Gould’s decision not to play many of the repeats (each Goldberg variation consists of two parts, traditionally played in an A–A–B–B format). The length of a performance of the Goldberg Variations can therefore vary drastically: Gould’s 1955 recording is 38 minutes 34 seconds long, while his reconsidered, slower 1981 version (see below) is 51:18. By way of contrast, fellow Canadian Angela Hewitt’s 1999 record is 78:32. (by wikipedia)

Glenn Gould’s first recording for Columbia from 1955, The Goldberg Variations is still considered one of the ten most significant and successful classical recordings of all time !


Original front + back cover

Gelnn Gould (piano)


01. Aria 1.55
02. Variatio 1. a 1 Clav. 0.44
03. Variatio 2. a 1 Clav. 0.35
04. Variatio 3. Canone all’Unisono. a 1 Clav. 0.54
05. Variatio 4. a 1 Clav. 0.29
06. Variatio 5. a 1 ô vero 2 Clav. 0.36
07. Variatio 6. Canone alla Seconda. a 1 Clav. 0.32
08. Variatio 7. a 1 ô vero 2 Clav. al tempo di Giga 1.06
09. Variatio 8. a 2 Clav. 0.45
10. Variatio 9. Canone alla Terza. a 1 Clav. 0.37
11. Variatio 10. Fughetta. a 1 Clav. 0.41
12. Variatio 11. a 2 Clav. 0.52
13. Variatio 12 a 1 Clav. Canone alla Quarta in moto contrario 0.55
14. Variatio 13. a 2 Clav. 2.09
15. Variatio 14. a 2 Clav. 0.57
16. Variatio 15. Canone alla Quinta. a 1 Clav.: Andante 2.14
17. Variatio 16. Ouverture. a 1 Clav. 1.16
18. Variatio 17. a 2 Clav. 0.53
19. Variatio 18. Canone alla Sesta. a 1 Clav. 0.45
20. Variatio 19. a 1 Clav. 0.42
21. Variatio 20. a 2 Clav. 0.45
22. Variatio 21. Canone alla Settima 1.42
23. Variatio 22. a 1 Clav. alla breve 0.42
24. Variatio 23. a 2 Clav. 0.53
25. Variatio 24. Canone all’Ottava. a 1 Clav. 0.56
26. Variatio 25. a 2 Clav. adagio [The Black Pearl] 6.27
27. Variatio 26. a 2 Clav. 0.51
28. Variatio 27. Canone alla Nona. a 2 Clav. 0.48
29. Variatio 28. a 2 Clav. 1.10
30. Variatio 29. a 1 ô vero 2 Clav. 0.59
31. Variatio 30. a 1 Clav. Quodlibet 0.46
32. Aria da capo 2.12

Music written by Johann Sebastian Bach



David Oistrakh + The Philharmonia Orchestra – Violin Concerto (Khachaturian) (1955)

FrontCover1Aram Khachaturian’s Violin Concerto in D minor was completed in 1940 and dedicated to the Russian violinist David Oistrakh, who premièred the concerto in Moscow on September 16, 1940. Oistrakh advised Khachaturian on the composition of the solo part and also wrote his own cadenza that markedly differs from the one originally composed by Khachaturian. The concerto was initially well received and awarded the Stalin Prize for arts in 1941. The work became a staple of the 20th century violin repertoire, and maintains its popularity into the 21st century.

French flautist Jean-Pierre Rampal transcribed the piece for flute in 1968, with encouragement from Khachaturian. Rampal’s transcription included a different cadenza in the first movement, but Rampal otherwise strove to adhere to Khachaturian’s original.

The Violin Concerto was the second of three concertos Khachaturian wrote for the individual members of a renowned Soviet piano trio that performed together from 1941 until 1963. The others were: the Piano Concerto for Lev Oborin (1936); and the Cello Concerto for Sviatoslav Knushevitsky (1946).

The work is scored for solo violin and an orchestra consisting of one piccolo, two flutes, two oboes, one English horn, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, three trumpets, three trombones, tuba, timpani, tambourine, piccolo snare, cymbals, bass drum, harp and strings.

Aram Khachaturian

The concerto consists of three movements with the following tempo markings:

Allegro con fermezza
Andante sostenuto
Allegro vivace

Allegro con fermezza
As with most concertos, the first movement is in sonata form and begins with a brief orchestral introduction, followed by the entrance of the soloist with the initial theme. The solo violin then introduces the lyrical second theme, marked espressivo, with responses from the woodwinds. A brief cadenza precedes the development section, which prominently features the soloist in several virtuoso passages. A second longer cadenza begins with a quiet duet between the solo violin and clarinet, but soon becomes more animated. The recapitulation of the principal themes leads to a brief coda, based upon the motif of the initial theme. The movement is in common time although there are extended sections in 3/4. The overall key is d minor. The technical demands of this music are considerable.

Andante sostenuto
After an introduction featuring the bassoon and clarinet, the soloist enters with the movement’s principal melody. The movement is notable for its variety of moods and the wide-ranging, highly expressive writing for the soloist. Toward the close, the soloist repeats the principal melody, but now played an octave lower, and with a ‘dolce clarinet obbligato. After a dramatic orchestral outburst, the movement reaches its conclusion, as the violin’s final sustained notes are supported by the horn and muted upper strings, along with descending passages in the flute, bassoon, harp and pizzicato lower strings. The movement is in 3/4 time although common time appears in phases. The overall key is a minor. The general tone of this andante is dark, often threatening, sometimes sad and sometimes angry, especially at the two orchestral climaxes. The second climax then fades away into nothing over a descending scale by the woodwinds over a held G-sharp violin note, which sounds like a semitone away from true.

Allegro vivace
In contrast to the second movement, this one is energetic and enthusiastic. Like many of the classical violin concertos, this one is in the parallel major i.e. D major. The tempo marking is Allegro vivace, 3/8 but the real feel is 6/8 and Presto. Unlike the first two movements, the rhythm remains almost constant throughout. The structure is rondo and the main theme (which comes after a longish orchestral introduction) is derived from an Armenian dance tune. The second melodic subject, which comes after an exuberant transition passage, is the same as the lyrical second theme from the first movement, now reworked to fit the new beat and given urgency and forward drive by a thumping string accompaniment. The third theme features nonstop semiquaver runs and leads back to a reprise of the main tune. A transitional passage then takes us to the coda, which starts with the main theme again but transposed and in rapidly shifting keys. After a vast circle of modulations the music finally comes in for landing on D.


The considerable length of the movement (approximately 450 bars of 6/8 or 900 of 3/8) together with the almost ceaseless semiquaver motion make this one of the most challenging works in the solo violin repertoire. (by wikipedia)

David Fyodorovich Oistrakh (30 September [O.S. 17 September] 1908 – 24 October 1974), PAU, was a renowned Ukrainian-born classical violinist and violist.

Oistrakh collaborated with major orchestras and musicians from many parts of the world, including the Soviet Union, Europe, and the United States, and was the dedicatee of numerous violin works, including both of Dmitri Shostakovich’s violin concerti, and the violin concerto by Aram Khachaturian. He is considered one of the preeminent violinists of the 20th century.

David Oistrakh01Oistrakh received many awards and distinctions. Within the Soviet Union, David Oistrakh was awarded the Stalin Prize in 1943, the title of People’s Artist of the USSR in 1953, and the Lenin Prize in 1960. He also won the 1935 Soviet Union Competition. Several reputable works from the standard violin repertoire are dedicated to Oistrakh, including a concerto by Khachaturian, two concerti by Shostakovich, and several other pieces.

Oistrakh’s fame and success were not limited to the Soviet Union: he placed second at the Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition in Warsaw, after 16-year-old prodigy Ginette Neveu, and further improved upon that by winning the grand prize in the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels.

Additionally, the asteroid 42516 Oistrach is named in honour of him and his son, the violinist Igor Oistrakh.

David Oistrakh is known to have played at least seven Stradivarius violins owned by the Soviet Union. He initially selected the 1702 Conte di Fontana Stradivarius, which he played for 10 years before exchanging it for the 1705 Marsick Stradivarius in June 1966, which he played until his death. (by wikipedia)

This is the second version of the “Violin Concerto” … the first was recorded in 1945 and the third in 1965 … This versuon ws recorded in 1954 and without any doubts, this ist one of the best classical sompositions of the last century.

David Oistrakh02

David Oistrakh / Aram Khachaturian

David Oistrakh (violin)
The Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Aram Khachaturian



Concerto for Violin and Orchestra:
01. First Movement – Allegro Con Fermezza 13.56
02. Second Movement – Andante Sostenuto 11.57
03. Third Movement – Allegro Vivace 9.21

Music composed by Aram Khachaturian