Wild Bill Davison & The Spree City Ramblers – Jazz aus der Eierschale (1957)

FrontCover1‘Wild’ Bill Davison (January 5, 1906, Defiance, Ohio – November 14, 1989, Santa Barbara, California) was an American jazz cornet player. He emerged in the 1920s through his association with Muggsy Spanier and Frank Teschemacher in a cover band where they played the music of Louis Armstrong, but he did not achieve recognition until the 1940s. He is best remembered for his association with bandleader Eddie Condon, with whom he worked and recorded from the mid-1940s through the 1960s. Born William Edward Davison, his nickname “Wild Bill” reflected a reputation for heavy drinking and womanizing.

The poet Philip Larkin, a fan, described his playing thus:

“…a player of notable energy, he uses a wide range of conscious tonal distortions, heavy vibrato, and an urgent, bustling attack. At slow tempos he is melting, almost articulate. Humphrey Lyttelton has compared him with the kind of reveler who throws his arm round your neck one moment and tries to knock you down the next.”

“All the same, his stylistic mannerisms-the deep hoarse blurrings, the athletic in-front-of-the-beat timing, the flaring shakes-are highly conscious (the ‘Wild’ is more a personal than a musical sobriquet), and, imposed as they are on a conventional Armstrong basis, make Davison one of the most exciting of white small-band cornetists. His sessions with Sidney Bechet for Blue Note are collisions of two furious jazz talents which at the same time were oddly sympathetic, and prove his ability to play in any kind of milieu; his numerous sides in the Condon tradition show him uniting with (Pee Wee) Russell in the same way. But solo after solo demonstrates that he is not a ‘wild’ player: each note is perfectly shaped and pitched as if the cornet were his speaking voice, in the style of his favorites (Louis) Armstrong and (Bobby) Hackett, and with an emotional immediacy always hard to parallel.”

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Richard M. Sudhalter described first seeing Wild Bill at Eddie Condon’s club in New York City in the 1950s:

“Up there, incredibly, is Bill Davison himself, looking like anything *but* the standard image of the cornet or trumpet player. Not like Louis Armstrong, horn tilted up and eyes rolled back as the tone takes flight; not like Maxie Kaminsky, so tiny that his instrument seems gigantic in his hands. Not like Bix Beiderbecke, in some old photo or other, dented cornet pointed resolutely to the floor.

“Nope. This guy is seated, one leg crossed casually over the other, drink on an upended barrel in front of him. He sweeps the cornet into the side of his mouth to expel some supercharged phrase, then jerks it away as if it’s too hot to keep there. And I realize, awe-struck, he’s chewing *gum*! Where in the world does he *keep* that stuff when he’s blowing?

“In short, he looked just the way he sounded – like a guy from Ohio (a town named, aptly, Defiance) with a fierce, uninhibited way of attacking the beat, driving a band of whatever size halfway into tomorrow. The music comes out as from a flame-thrower, but with a density and momentum only suggested by even the best (of his) records” (wikipedia)

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There are hundreds of recordings with Wild Bill Davison from his tours in Europe, mostly from ´the60s up to the 80´s. Only one track in a trumpet compilation shows Wild Bill in his absolutely prime coming from 1958 when he made a session with The Feetwarmers in Hamburg. He shows a tremendous drive on that session and that also goes for another session with The Spree City Stompers which you can find on the the other side of the same LP which once upon a time was issued on Geman Polydor/Brunswick and there is also another LP on Ariola-label (“Spree Coast Jazz”). But even better is a LP on Austrian Columbia from the same tour with The Tremble Kids where trumpet man Oscar Klein changes to the guitar on many tracks which creates a real Eddie Condon feeling. An absolutely marvelous session.
The year before Wild Bill Davison also recorded with The Spree City Stompers in Berlin and this CDR shows that Mr. Davison is not only a nice, funny peronality but also one of the true trumpet greats in the history of jazz. This single session from the RIGHT years is far more important than most of the other European sessions the years to come. “Jazz aus der Eierschale” is my favorite buy 2012 and I really wish that everything with Wild Bill Davison in Europe 1957/58 will be aviable on CD before my ears fall off.  (Leif Hallin)

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Personnel:
Wild Bill Davison (cornet)
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Werner Geisler (trumpet)
Harald Müller (bass)
Thomas Keck (drums)
Poldi Klein (clarinet)
Eckhard Schmidt (piano)
Hans-Wolf Schneider (trombone)

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Tracklist:
01. Pagan Love Song (Freed/Brown) 3.46
02. Royal Garden Blues (C.Williams/S.Williams) 3.43
03. Struttin‘ With Some Barbecue (Armstrong) 4.30
04. I Want A Big Butter And Egg Man (Friend/Santly/Clare) 3.44
05. After You’ve Gone (Creamer/Layton) 5.21
06. Blues In The Egg Shell (unbekannt) 4.10
07. When You’re Smiling (The Whole World Smiles With You) (Goodwin/Shay/Fisher) 4.09
08. ’s Wonderful (Gershwin) 2.44
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09. Sweet Sue, Just You (Harris/Young) 2.22
10. When It’s Sleepy Time Down South (Muse/L.Rene/O.Rene) 3.45
11. If I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight (Creamer/Johnson) 2.56
12. Ol‘ Man River (Hammerstein II/Kern) 3.18

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The Ray Charles Singers – Summertime (1957)

FrontCover1In June 1954, the Ray Charles Singers, a name bestowed on them by Perry Como, began recording a series of albums. Due to advances in recording technology, they were able to create a softer sound than had been heard before and this was the birth of what has been called “easy listening”. Record producer Jack Hansen used some of the singers to provide backing vocals for Buddy Holly’s last songs, which Holly had composed and recorded shortly before his death in February 1959. The singers’ close harmonies behind Holly’s lead vocals simulated the sound of Holly’s hit records with the Crickets. Six songs resulted from the Hansen sessions, led by the 45-rpm single “Peggy Sue Got Married”/”Crying, Waiting, Hoping”.

On a cruise in 1964, Charles heard a Mexican song called “Cuando Calienta el Sol”. He liked it, recorded it, under the English title “Love Me with All Your Heart”, and his recording became a hit, riding to #3 on Billboard Magazine, #2 on Cashbox Magazine. This was followed by “Al Di La”, also a very popular recording. The Ray Charles Singers were not one group of vocalists. They were different combinations of singers on records, tours and TV shows. What made them the Ray Charles Singers was the conducting and arranging of Ray Charles. He generally recorded with 20 singers (12 men and 8 women) and these vocalists appeared on Perry Como’s television show. The Ray Charles Singers also were the voices behind many commercial jingles.

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Charles decided to produce a “live” performing group to send on the road with Perry Como. The group of 12 singers opened in Las Vegas at the International Hotel and also opened the show for Como at Harrah’s in South Lake Tahoe.

Charles wrote the music and lyrics for an album produced by the Continental Insurance Company for the New York World’s Fair in 1964, titled Cinema ’76. It was a companion piece to a 30-minute show about unsung heroes of the American Revolution.

On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed the Ray Charles singers among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire. (by wikipedia)

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And here is one of their nice Easy Listening album, it was their 7th album by The Ray Charles Singers and it´s of course a “summer” album … Ih weish all readers of this blog a very good summertime !

And don´t forget:

Although they were led by a man named Ray Charles, this group had no connection whatsoever to Ray Charles the famous soul singer, and certainly no connection whatsoever to soul music. The coincidence of two such different artists sharing the same name led the Ray Charles of the Ray Charles Singers, in fact, to bill himself as “The Other Ray Charles” when he was given a TV credit. (by allmusic)

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Personnel:
The Ray Charles Singers:
Audrey Marsh – Charles Magruder – Ray Charles – Rose Marie Jun
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a bunch of unknown studio musicians

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Tracklist:
01. Summertime (Gershwin/Heyward) 2.54
02. Mountain Greenery (Rodgers/Hart) 2.34
03. Summer Night (Warren/Dubin) 3.03
04. Breezin’ Along With The Breeze (Simons/Whiting/Gillespie) 2.34
05. Lazy Afternoon (Moross/Latouche) 2.56
06. In The Good Old Summertime (Evans/Shields) 2.45
07. Cruisin’ Down The River (Tollerton/Beadell) 3.11
08. Lullaby Of The Leaves (Petkere/Young) 3.02
09. Swingin’ In A Hammock (O`Flynn/Wendling/Seymour) 2.57
10. Picnic (Allen/Dunning) 2.44
11. Me And Marie (Porter) 2.20
12. Lazy River (Carmichael/Arodin) 2.50

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Little Richard – Here’s Little Richard (1957)

FrontCover1Richard Wayne Penniman (December 5, 1932 – May 9, 2020), better known as Little Richard, was an American singer, songwriter, and musician. An influential figure in popular music, Richard’s most celebrated work dates from the mid-1950s, when his dynamic music and charismatic showmanship laid the foundation for rock and roll, leading him to be given the nickname “The Innovator, The Originator, and The Architect of Rock and Roll”. Characterized by his frenetic piano playing and raspy singing voice, Richard’s music also played a key role in the formation of other popular music genres, including soul and funk. He influenced numerous singers and musicians across musical genres from rock to hip hop, and his music helped shape rhythm and blues for generations to come.

“Tutti Frutti” (1955), one of Richard’s signature songs, became an instant hit, reaching No. 2 on Billboard Rhythm and Blues Best-Sellers chart and crossing over to the pop charts in both the United States and overseas in the United Kingdom. It reached No. 21 on the U.S. Billboard Top 100 and No. 29 on the UK singles chart. Richard’s next hit single, “Long Tall Sally” (1956), hit No. 1 on the Billboard Rhythm and Blues Best-Sellers chart and No. 13 on the Billboard Top 100 while reaching the top ten in the UK. Following his success, Richard built up his backup band, The Upsetters, with the addition of saxophonists Clifford “Gene” Burks and leader Grady Gaines, bassist Olsie “Baysee” Robinson and guitarist Nathaniel “Buster” Douglas. Richard’s critically acclaimed debut album Here’s Little Richard (1957) peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard Top LPs chart.

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In 1962, concert promoter Don Arden persuaded Little Richard to tour Europe after telling him his records were still selling well there even though they were not in the United States. Having heard of Richard’s European tour, Brian Epstein, manager of The Beatles, asked Arden to allow the band to open for Richard on some tour dates, to which he agreed. The first show for which the Beatles opened was at New Brighton’s Tower Ballroom that October. During this time, Richard advised the group on how to perform his songs and taught Paul McCartney his distinctive vocalizations. In the fall of 1963, Richard agreed to rescue a sagging tour featuring The Everly Brothers, Bo Diddley and The Rolling Stones. At the end of that tour, Richard was given his own television special for Granada Television titled The Little Richard Spectacular.

Richard was honored by many institutions. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of its first group of inductees in 1986. He was also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He was the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. In 2015, Richard received a Rhapsody & Rhythm Award from the National Museum of African American Music for his key role in the formation of popular music genres and helping to bring an end to the racial divide on the music charts and in concert in the mid-1950s changing American culture significantly. “Tutti Frutti” was included in the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress in 2010, which stated that his “unique vocalizing over the irresistible beat announced a new era in music”.

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Here’s Little Richard is the debut album from Little Richard, released on March 1957. He had scored six Top 40 hits the previous year, some of which were included on this recording. It was his highest charting album, at 13 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart. The album contained two of Richard’s biggest hits, “Long Tall Sally”, which reached No. 6, and “Jenny, Jenny”, which reached No. 10 in the U.S. Pop chart.
In 2003, the album was ranked number 50 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, maintaining the rating in a 2012 revised list. It is included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die and in 2010 Time listed it in the Top 100 Albums of All Time. The opening track “Tutti Frutti” was listed as No. 43 in Rolling Stone ‘s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. (by wikipedia)

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Little Richard had been making records for four years before he rolled into Cosimo Matassa’s J&M Studio in New Orleans and cut the epochal “Tutti Frutti” in the fall of 1955, but everything else he’d done — and much of what others had recorded — faded into insignificance when Richard wailed “A wop bop a loo mop a lomp bomp bomp” and kicked off one of the first great wailers in rock history. In retrospect, Little Richard’s style doesn’t seem so strikingly innovative as captured in 1956’s Here’s Little Richard — his boogie-woogie piano stylings weren’t all that different from what Fats Domino had been laying down since 1949, and his band pumped out the New Orleans backbeat that would define the Crescent City’s R&B for the next two decades, albeit with precision and plenty of groove. But what set Richard apart was his willingness to ramp up the tempos and turn the outrage meter up to ten; “Tutti Frutti,” “Rip It Up,” and “Jenny Jenny” still sound outrageous a half-century after they were waxed, and it’s difficult but intriguing to imagine how people must have reacted to Little Richard at a time when African-American performers were expected to be polite, and the notion of a gay man venturing out of the closet simply didn’t exist (Richard’s songs were thoroughly heterosexual on the surface, but the nudge and wink of “Tutti Frutti” and “Baby” is faint but visible, and his bop threads, mile-high process, and eye makeup clearly categorized him as someone “different”).

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These 12 tunes may not represent the alpha and omega of Little Richard’s best music, but every song is a classic and unlike many of his peers, time has refused to render this first album quaint — Richard’s grainy scream remains one of the great sounds in rock & roll history, and the thunder of his piano and the frantic wail of the band is still the glorious call of a Friday night with pay in the pocket and trouble in mind. Brilliant stuff. (by Mark Deming)

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Personnel:
Lee Allen (saxophone)
Edgar Blanchard (guitar)
Frank Fields (bass)
Earl Palmer (drums)
Little Richard (vocals, piano)
Alvin “Red” Tyler (saxophone)
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Justin Adams (guitar on 01. + 05.)
Charles Connor (drums on 12.)
Nathaniel Douglas (guitar on 12.)
Lloyd Lambert (bass on 02.)
Roy Montrell (guitar on 09.)
Oscar Moore (drums on 02.)
William “Frosty” Pyles (guitar on 02.)
Renald Richard (trumpet on 02.)

Olsie Richard Robinson (bass on 12.)
Huey Smith (piano on 05.)
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saxophone on 02.:
Clarence Ford – Joe Tillman
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saxophone on 12.:
Wilbert Smith – Grady Gaines – Clifford Burks – Jewell Grant

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Tracklist:
01. Tutti-Frutti (Penniman/La Bostrie) 2.27
02. True Fine Mama (Penniman) 2.40
03. Can’t Believe You Wanna Leave (Price) 2.25
04. Ready Teddy (Marascalco/Blackwell) 2.06
05. Baby (Penniman) 2.03
06. Slippin’ And Slidin’ (Penniman/Collins) 2.41
09. Long Tall Sally (Penniman/Johnson/Blackwell) 2.07
10. Miss Ann (Johnson/Penniman) 2.14
11. Oh Why? (Scott) 2.06
12. Rip It Up (Marascalco/Blackwell) 2.21
13. Jenny, Jenny (Johnson/Penniman) 2.03
14. She’s Got It (Penniman/Marascalco) 2.24

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FILE PHOTO: Entertainer Little Richard performs on stage at Crossroad festival in Gijon, northern Spain.
Little Richard (December 5, 1932 – May 9, 2020)
RIP and thanks a lot for the fun you gave us

 

Herb Ellis – Nothing But The Blues (1957)

FrontCover1An excellent bop-based guitarist with a slight country twang to his sound, Herb Ellis became famous playing with the Oscar Peterson Trio during 1953-1958. Prior to that, he had attended North Texas State University and played with the Casa Loma Orchestra, Jimmy Dorsey (1945-1947), and the sadly under-recorded trio Soft Winds. While with Peterson, Ellis was on some Jazz at the Philharmonic tours and had a few opportunities to lead his own dates for Verve, including his personal favorite, Nothing But the Blues (1957). After leaving Peterson, Ellis toured a bit with Ella Fitzgerald; became a studio musician on the West Coast; made sessions with the Dukes of Dixieland, Stuff Smith, and Charlie Byrd; and in the 1970s became much more active in the jazz world. He can be heard on the first three releases issued by the Concord label, interacting with Joe Pass on the initial two, and he toured with the Great Guitars (along with Byrd and Barney Kessel) through much of the 1970s into the ’80s. After a long series of Concord albums,

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Ellis cut a couple of excellent sessions in the 1990s for Justice, as well as 1999’s Burnin’ on Acoustic Music. After battling Alzheimer’s disease, Herb Ellis died at the age of 88 at his home in Los Angeles on March 28, 2010.

ReviewDownBeat

Guitarist Herb Ellis considers this is his favorite personal album and it is easy to see why. With trumpeter Roy Eldridge and tenor saxophonist Stan Getz contributing contrasting but equally rewarding solos and lots of inspired riffing while bassist Ray Brown and drummer Stan Levey join Ellis in the pianoless rhythm section, these performances have plenty of color and drive. Ellis does indeed stick to the blues during the original eight selections yet there is also a surprising amount of variety. This CD reissue has been augmented by four numbers from 1958 originally recorded for a European soundtrack. Getz, Eldridge, and Coleman Hawkins all have their features but Dizzy Gillespie fares best. (by Scott Yanow)

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Personnel:
Ray Brown (bass)
Roy Eldridge (trumpet)
Herb Ellis (guitar)
Stan Getz (saxophone)
Stan Levey (drums)
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Tracklist:
01. Pap’s Blues (Brown) 7.07
02. Big Red’s Boogie Woogie (Ellis) 5.39
03. Tin Roof Blues (Brunis/Mares/Pollack/Roppolo/Stitzel) 3.00
04. Soft Winds (Goodman) 6.02
05. Royal Garden Blues (C.Williams/S.Williams) 4.46
06. Patti Cake (Ellis) 6.02
07. Blues For Janet (Brown/Ellis) 7.13
08. Blues For Junior (Brown) 4.50

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Luke Leilani & His Royal Hawaiians – Hawaiian Moonbeams – Hawaii Goes Percussion (1957)

OriginalFrontCover1Hawaiian Moonbeams is the only full-length artifact of the eponymous band, released in 1957 on the Coronet label… and shrouded in mystery. Even as an Exotica fan, I prefer mystique in my music rather than cobwebbed history, but in the case of this album, the revelations and peculiarities are particularly noteworthy. Who are the Hawaiian Moonbeams? I wish I could tell. The liner notes do not reveal anything but prosaic hogwash about Hawaii. It is safe to assure that two gentlemen are behind this project, or to be more precise: two steel guitarists, with at least one of them being a known expert in his field, but more about this later. The album comprises ten songs, surprisingly enough all of them unique material, with a few purposeful chords of Hawaiian classics thrown in for the aficionado.

There are two instances where a ukulele player joins the duo, but apart from his appearance, there is anything but shedloads of steel guitars. One thing, however, is certain: despite this minimal instrumental base, the tonal range of the steel guitars lures and is able to deliver more plasticity and colorful hues than many other Hawaiian albums. The novelty factor of two steel guitarists is not overly huge, this is still a proper Hapa Haole album, albeit one where the reduction helps carving out the richness of the textures, surfaces and halftones.

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Now that this is settled, let me briefly unveil one of the most audacious naming convention-related incidents in Exotica history, for this album is also re-issued in the late 50’s and early 60’s as Hawaii Goes Percussion. The reason is completely beyond me, for there is not one single percussion device on board. Not. Even. One. On the plus side, the two stringed devices sound delicately crunchy and gossamery distorted, and this has nothing to do with a less than optimal studio or a wonky vinyl version rather than the recording technique. Everything sounds immediate, upfront and punchy. The greatest of all mysteries, though, is the final track called Luau Lei. The people at Coronet are so cheeky! Find out below why this is the case. But first a few words about the nine unique traks that precede it.

Scents of gentle Rock, Bluegrass notions, a pinch of wide prairies and larger doses of Polynesia: Hawaiian Blues is an uplifting, only very distantly melancholic ditty with lots of steel guitar layers and golden rhythm ukuleles. The fact that there are are two steel guitar players pays off in a richer density. The second guitarist plays rhythmic counterpoints in adjacency to the ukulele, and instead of creating an all too monotonous soundscape, the interplay between the experts becomes more interesting. The gleaming Serenade decelerates the tempo and launches with elasticized technicolor strings. The mood is inebriated as expected, but it is once more the interdependency and simultaneity of the two steel guitar strata which fathom each other’s sphere. Benign warmth and designed coolness are in a constant intertwinement, the tone sequences comparably modern instead of chintzy.

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Up next is Lovely Guitars which enchants with its short prelude whose afterglow is anything but wondrously dazzling and vigorous, showcasing the textural beauty of the steel guitar. The actual song is all about steel guitars. Their walls of sound are so huge that this tune seems to be played by a trio! The arrangement lives up to the title, this is indeed rather lovely and has warmth all over it. The cheekily titled Hawaiian Bounce then ventures into a few chords of Jack Owens’ Hukilau Song, and this is surely no accident, but a nod to those listeners who are right at home in the more popular docks of the Hapa Haole harbor. In other news, the tune is a swinging one, a curious remark due to the omission of horns. Side A closes with Swinging Palm Trees, another example of a more Rock-oriented structure with city-strolling and spiraling motifs. These are not perfectly memorable or catchy, but the rhythm guitar offers a streamlined counterpoint and coats the whirling melodic splinters. Best of all: the roles are not set in stone, and the rhythm guitarist is at one point responsible for the lead. Quite eclectic.

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The hammock-friendly Sunset opens side B with gleaming red-tinted melodies and a great coalescence of the two principal guitarists. The actual mood is not necessarily of the dusky kind, for the chords and various sustain phases are appropriately lively and effervescent. Devoid of romantic notions or a syrupy transfiguration, Sunset is more rooted in brighter daytimes. And so is Guitar Chant which goes back thematically to the opener and increases the tempo to create a glitzy guitarscape. The signature element are the short but eminently auroral pizzicato strings. Like swift jags or blebs they are unique enough to tower above the album’s cohesive riverbed. While Hawaiian Night is the first – and only – tune to invoke a nocturnal atmosphere not via its colorful guitars but thanks to the fissured, laid-back groove which allows the admixed short riffs of Ralph Rainger’s and Leo Robin‘s Blue Hawaii to conflate all the better with the dark background, South Sea Island is a comparatively long shanty of almost three and a half minutes, able to encapsulate yearning, carefreeness and a sense of drifting in its polymorphous setting. The tempo is constant, but the sub-themes and undertones oscillate and recur constantly.

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The final Luau Lei is the outro, but not just any outro. It leaves a stale aftertaste and wakes the detective in the Hapa Haole connoisseur. I am no luminary in this field, not in the slightest, but even I notice that this tune seems to be taken out of its original context. The sound quality and instrumental pool changes decidedly. A rhythm acoustic guitar in tandem with a ukulele as well as bass guitar vesicles form the fundament for the sun-soaked steel guitars to shine. The solution to this riddle: this tune is taken off another album released on Coronet, Harry Kaapuni & His Royal Polynesians’ Aloha Hawaii (1960)! I spot minor differences in the backing chords, so this is a slightly different recording that was probably turned down, but shelved anyway. The only problem with my stray theory: Aloha Hawaii is released in 1960, but Hawaiian Moonbeams precedes it by roughly three years. Exotica, the genre full of mysteries…

Two steel guitarists, the occasional appearance of a ukulele player, the inclusion of Harry Kaapuni in order to help out with the needed tenth track as well as the highly curious alternative title Hawaii Goes Percussion make Hawaiian Moonbeams an extremely curious, if also ephemeral artifact even by Exotica standards. The prosaic liner notes are particularly wasteful and unnecessary, for the extrinsic peculiarity which twirls around the album causes a peak in any detective’s interest to unravel a secret which is most definitely utterly mundane. To be honest: Hawaiian Moonbeams is too bland and unimportant an album in-between the bigger works of the genre to gain a cult following which tries to decrypt the mystique.

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To pose just one comparably pressing question: could it be that Harry Kaapuni is the guitarist on all of these works? This cannot be entirely ruled out. The wish to know just that is deeply engraved in mankind’s reception and the saying “honor where honor is due.” Be that as it may, music-wise, Hawaiian Moonbeams offers a good twist in terms of the Hapa Haole formula. Instead of ukuleles or soft percussion, two guitarists are in constant dialog. The ensuing arrangements are still varied and colorful, thanks to the tonal range and attack of the steel guitar. Dreamscapes, Rock infusions and beach panoramas meet, mesh and depart. There is no real corker on board that blows anyone away, but the immediacy and punch of the recording are worth noting. And who knows, maybe the album is indeed some sort of classic: at the time of writing, it is digitally available on Amazon MP3 and iTunes under the spiteful title Hawaii Goes Percussion, whereas Harry Kaapuni’s albums on Coronet are not. Is this telling, or yet another riddle? (ambientexotica.com)

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Personnel:
Luke Leilani & His Royal Hawaiians

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Tracklist:
01. Hawaiian Blues 2.35
02. Serenade 2.30
03. Lovely Guitars 2.59
04. Hawaiian Bounce 3.13
05. Swinging Palm Trees 3.01
06. Sunset 2.38
07. Guitar Chant 2.45
08. Hawaiian Night 2.36
09. South Sea Island 3.26
10. Luau Lei 2.18

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Duke Ellington – Duke Ellington’s Greatest Hits (1968)

FrontCover1.jpgDuke Ellington was the most important composer in the history of jazz as well as being a bandleader who held his large group together continuously for almost 50 years. The two aspects of his career were related; Ellington used his band as a musical laboratory for his new compositions and shaped his writing specifically to showcase the talents of his bandmembers, many of whom remained with him for long periods. Ellington also wrote film scores and stage musicals, and several of his instrumental works were adapted into songs that became standards. In addition to touring year in and year out, he recorded extensively, resulting in a gigantic body of work that was still being assessed a quarter century after his death. (by William Ruhlmann)

Columbia’s Greatest Hits features many of Duke Ellington’s best-known songs and biggest hits, including “Satin Doll,” “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore,” “Take the ‘A’ Train,” “Solitude,” “Mood Indigo,” “I’m Beginning to See the Light,” “Prelude to a Kiss” and “Perdido.” It’s a fine sampling of Ellington’s most familiar melodies and works as a good introduction for novices. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

Duke EllingtonDuke Ellington’s work cannot possibly be summed up in one CD. Even his most important and influential work could barely make up a three CD collection. When I was beginning to get interested in Jazz, though, I wanted an album that, for a low price, would best represent what he has done for the world of jazz and music in the twentieth century.
Well, this album more then achieved that. If you could only have 10 of the Duke’s songs, then these would be the ones to have. C Jam Blues, I’m Beginning to See the Light, and Perdido are something every musician and music lover should hear. I strongly recommend this album, cuz’ its muy perfecto! (by Jason Decristofaro)

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Personnel:
Duke Ellington Orchestra
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Al Hibbler (vocals on 02.)
Betty Roche (vocals on 04.)

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Tracklist:
01. Satin Doll (1958) (Ellington) 3.54
02. Don’t Get Around Much Anymore (1947) (Russell/Ellington) 3.06
03. Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me (1947) (Russell/Ellington) 3.07
04. Take The “A” Train (1952) (Strayhorn) 8.03
05. Solitude (1957) (Ellington/DeLange/Mills) 4.44
06. C Jam Blues (1959) (Ellington) 4.55
07. Mood Indigo (1957) (Bigard/Ellington/Mills) 3.06
08. I’m Beginning To See The Light (1960) (George/Ellington/James/Hodges) 2.06
09. Prelude To A Kiss (1957) (Ellington/Gordon/Mills) 4.45
10. Perdido (1960) (Drake/Lenk/Tizol) 6.44

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Taken from the original liner notes:

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Johnny Cash – With His Hot and Blue Guitar (1957)

FrontCover1.jpgJohnny Cash with His Hot and Blue Guitar! is the debut album by American recording artist Johnny Cash, released on October 11, 1957. The album contained four of his hit singles: “I Walk the Line,” “Cry! Cry! Cry!,” “So Doggone Lonesome,” and “Folsom Prison Blues.” It was re-issued on July 23, 2002 as an expanded edition, under the label Varese Vintage, containing five bonus tracks, three being alternate versions of tracks already present on the original LP. In 2012, Columbia Records reissued the album with 16 additional non-album Sun tracks as part of its 63-disc Johnny Cash: The Complete Columbia Album Collection box set.

This was one of the first albums ever issued on Sam Phillips’ Sun Records label.

Cash auditioned for a place on the music label Sun Records in 1955, but failed to impress its founder Sam Philips after presenting himself as a gospel singer. Cash was told to come back with a more commercial sound, as gospel wouldn’t sell. He returned with the songs “Hey Porter!” and “Cry! Cry! Cry!” and subsequently released them as his debut single on Sun Records in July 1955. On the recording, he was backed by Luther Perkins on guitar and Marshall Grant on bass, dubbed “The Tennessee Two” by Philips. (“Hey Porter” was not included on the original Sun album, but was included in later reissues by other labels.)

JohnnyCash01“Cry! Cry! Cry!” became a commercial success, entering the country charts at number fourteen.

His second single, “Folsom Prison Blues”, was released in December 1955 and reached the country Top Five in early 1956.

His final single on With His Hot and Blue Guitar, “I Walk the Line”, continued his success, reaching number one on the country charts and staying there for six weeks, eventually crossing over into the pop Top 20. (by wikipedia)

Johnny Cash’s first album, released on Sun in 1957, is a little more folkloric and traditional than what he put on most of his singles, though not pronouncedly so. In fact, four of the tracks (“I Walk the Line,” “Cry! Cry! Cry!,” “So Doggone Lonesome,” and “Folsom Prison Blues”) had already been hit singles. For the rest of the set, Cash drew on some older folk (“Rock Island Line,” “The Wreck of the Old ’97”), country (“[I Heard That] Lonesome Whistle,” “Remember Me [I’m the One Who Loves You]”), prison (“Doin’ My Time”), and spiritual (“I Was There When It Happened”) songs. Filling out the set is a good, rollicking Cash original, “Country Boy,” and a rather sassy tune by the young Jerry Reed, “If the Good Lord’s Willing.” It’s a good, solid record that’s very much in the mold of his classic early Sun sound, with spare accompaniment that nevertheless often approaches a rockabilly-country bounce. (by Richie Unterberger)

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Johnny Cash was a proven hit-maker before this debut LP was released, based on the success of several hit singles. Those essential early Cash hits like “I Walk the Line” and “Folsom Prison Blues” appear here, but perhaps the most impressive part of this album is Cash’s ability to adapt a variety of traditional musical styles (including country, folk, and gospel) to his own simple yet irresistible style, as exemplified by some of the less famous tracks included. Traditional songs like “Rock Island Line” and “Wreck of the Old ’97” find new life in Cash’s signature chugging rhythm and deep, confident voice. The album is pure, honest Johnny Cash; no strings or horns, no complex production, just Johnny and the Tennessee Three — as it should be. (by Kenneth Bridgham)

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Personnel:
Johnny Cash (vocals, guitar)
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The Tennessee Two:
Marshall Grant (bass)
Luther Perkins (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. The Rock Island Line (Traditional) 2.12
02. I Heard That Lonesome Whistle (Davis/Williams) 2.26
03. Country Boy (Cash) 1.52
04. If The Good Lord’s Willing (Reed) 1.44
05. Cry! Cry! Cry! (Cash) 2.25
06. So Doggone Lonesome (Cash) 2.35
07. Remember Me (Hamblen) 2.02
08. I Was There When It Happened (Davis/Jones) 2.14
09. I Walk The Line (Cash) 2.42
10. The Wreck Of The Old ’97 (Traditional) 2.05
11. Folsom Prison Blues (Cash) 2.52
12. Doin’ My Time (Skinner) 2.39
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13. Hey Porter (Cash) 2.15
14. Get Rhythm (Cash) 2.16
15. I Was There When It Happened (unreleased alternate version) (Davis/Jones) 2.19
16. Folsom Prison Blues (unreleased alternate version) (Cash) 2.34
17. I Walk The Line (unreleased alternate version) (Cash) 2.41

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Johnny Cash (February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003)

 

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Johnny Griffin – A Blowing Session (1957)

FrontCover1.jpgA Blowin’ Session is an album by jazz saxophonist Johnny Griffin, recorded and released in 1957 on Blue Note Records. It was remastered and reissued in 1999, featuring an alternate take of “Smoke Stack”.

While listening to A Blowin’ Session — so named because of the four horn players featured on the album — one wonders why Johnny Griffin didn’t become a “saxophone colossus” like contemporaries Sonny Rollins, Wayne Shorter, or John Coltrane (who plays on this album). Griffin firm tone and blisteringly fast runs on the tenor sax place him head and shoulders above both Coltrane and Hank Mobley on this set. (To be fair, Coltrane was likely still an active user of heroin and alcohol when this was recorded, prior to the spiritual awakening and subsequent sobriety he experienced in the Summer of 1957, which he discusses in the liner notes to A Love Supreme.) As a band leader, Griffin leads a tight group, anchored by two legendary players on the rhythm section: Paul Chambers (bass) and Art Blakely (drums). The four horns come off a bit gimmicky at times, especially during the choruses, and the arrangements are fairly predictable. Either way, Griffin runs a tight ship here. The opener, “The Way You Look Tonight,” is the clear highlight, showing off everybody’s talents expertly. Otherwise, the remaining three tracks are quite solid, though the covers are a bit better than Griffin’s originals (“Ball Bearing” and “Smoke Stack”). Aside from Griffin and the rhythm section, Coltrane’s playing shows signs of his emerging and signature style, though he’s not quite yet to the place where he could pull off something like “Giant Steps.” Lee Morgan is as fluid and forceful as ever. The only weak link here is probably Hank Mobley, who seems dwarfed by the talent surrounding him. All in all, fans of hard bop will find plenty to enjoy about this album, and revel in its all-star lineup. (by yerblues)

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, New Jersey on April 6, 1957

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John Coltrane, Johnny Griffin and Hank Mobley at Griffin’s A Blowing Session, Hackensack NJ, April 6 1957

Personnel:
Art Blakey (drums)
Paul Chambers (bass)
John Coltrane (saxophone)
Johnny Griffin (saxophone)
Wynton Kelly (piano)
Hank Mobley (saxophone)
Trumpet – Lee Morgan (trumpet)

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Tracklist:
01. The Way You Look Tonight (Kern/Fields) 9.41
02. Ball Bearing (Griffin) 8.11
03. All The Things You Are (Kern/Hammerstein) 10.14
04. Smoke Stack (Griffin) 10.14
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05. Smoke Stack (Aalternate take) (Griffin) 11.00

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Various Artists – Les amis de Boris Vian (2010)

FrontCover1.jpgBoris Vian (10 March 1920 – 23 June 1959) was a French polymath: writer, poet, musician, singer, translator, critic, actor, inventor and engineer. Today he is remembered primarily for his novels. Those published under the pseudonym Vernon Sullivan were bizarre parodies of criminal fiction, highly controversial at the time of their release.

Vian’s other fiction, published under his real name, featured a highly individual writing style with numerous made-up words, subtle wordplay and surrealistic plots. His novel L’Écume des jours (literally: “The Foam of Days”) is the best known of these works and one of the few translated into English, under the title of Froth on the Daydream.

Vian was also an important influence on the French jazz scene. He served as liaison for Hoagy Carmichael, Duke Ellington and Miles Davis in Paris, wrote for several French jazz-reviews (Le Jazz Hot, Paris Jazz) and published numerous articles dealing with jazz both in the United States and in France. His own music and songs enjoyed popularity during his lifetime, particularly the anti-war song “Le Déserteur” (The Deserter).

Vian was born in 1920 into an upper middle-class family in the wealthy Parisian suburb of Ville d’Avray (Hauts-de-Seine). His parents were Paul Vian, a young rentier, and Yvonne Ravenez, amateur pianist and harpist. From his father Vian inherited a distrust of the church and the military, as well as a love of the bohemian life. Vian was the second of four children: the others were Lélio (1918–1984), Alain (1921–1995) and Ninon (1924–2003). The family occupied the Les Fauvettes villa. The name “Boris” was chosen by Yvonne, an avid classical music lover, after seeing a performance of Mussorgsky’s opera Boris Godunov.

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Boris’ later childhood was also marked with sickness as he suffered from Rheumatic fever when he was 12. From then on Boris parents became overprotective toward him, and he would later judge them harshly for this in L’Herbe rouge and L’Arrache-coeur.
Formal education and teenage years

From 1932 to 1937, Vian studied at Lycée Hoche in Versailles. In 1936, Vian and his two brothers started organizing what they called “surprise-parties” (surprise parties). They partook of mescaline in the form of a Mexican cactus called peyote. These gatherings became the basis of his early novels: Trouble dans les andains (Turmoil in the Swaths) (1943) and particularly Vercoquin et le plancton (Vercoquin and the Plankton) (1943–44). It was also in 1936 that Vian got interested in jazz; the next year he started playing the trumpet and joined the Hot Club de France.

In 1937, Vian graduated from Lycée Hoche, passing baccalauréats in mathematics, philosophy, Latin, Greek and German. He subsequently enrolled at Lycée Condorcet, Paris, where he studied special mathematics until 1939. Vian became fully immersed in BorisVian02the French jazz scene: for example, in 1939 he helped organize Duke Ellington’s second concert in France. When WWII started, Vian was not accepted into the army due to poor health. He entered École Centrale des Arts et Manufactures in Paris and subsequently moved to Angoulême when the school moved there because of the war.

In 1940, Vian met Michelle Léglise, who became his wife in 1941. She taught Vian English and introduced him to translations of American literature. Also in 1940, Vian met Jacques Loustalot, who became a recurring character in several early novels and short stories as “The Colonel”. Loustalot died accidentally in 1949 falling from a building he was trying to climb on in order to enter into a flat by the window, after a bet. In 1942, Vian and his brothers joined a jazz orchestra under the direction of Claude Abbadie, who became a minor character in Vian’s Vercoquin et le plancton. The same year, Vian graduated from École Centrale with a diploma in metallurgy, and his son Patrick was born.

After Vian’s graduation, he and Michelle moved to the 10th arrondissement of Paris and, on 24 August 1942 he became an engineer at the French Association for Standardisation (AFNOR). By this time he was an accomplished jazz trumpeter, and in 1943 he wrote his first novel, Trouble dans les andains (Turmoil in the Swaths). His literary career started in 1943 with his first publication, a poem, in the Hot Club de France bulletin. The poem was signed Bison Ravi (“Delighted Bison”), an anagram of Vian’s real name. The same year Vian’s father died, murdered at home by burglars.

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In 1944 Vian completed Vercoquin et le plancton (Vercoquin and the Plankton), a novel inspired partly by surprise-parties of his youth and partly by his job at the AFNOR (which is heavily satirized in the novel). Raymond Queneau and Jean Rostand helped Vian to publish this work at Éditions Gallimard in 1947, along with several works Vian completed in 1946. These included his first major novels, L’Écume des jours and L’automne à Pékin (Autumn in Peking). The former, a tragic love story in which real world objects respond to the characters’ emotions, is now regarded as Vian’s masterpiece, but at the time of its publication it failed to attract any considerable attention. L’automne à Pékin, which also had a love story at its heart but was somewhat more complex, also failed to sell well.

Frustrated by the commercial failure of his works, Vian vowed he could write a best-seller and wrote the hard-boiled novel I Spit on Your Graves (J’irai cracher sur vos tombes) in only 15 days. The book was ascribed to a fictitious American writer, Vernon Sullivan, with Vian credited as translator. Vian persuaded his publisher friend Jean d’Halluin to publish the novel in 1947. Eventually the hoax became known and the book became one of the best-selling titles of that year. Vian wrote three more Vernon Sullivan novels from 1947 to 1949.

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The year 1946 marked a turning point in Vian’s life: At one of the popular parties that he and Michelle hosted he made the acquaintance of Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Albert Camus, became a regular in their literary circles and started regularly publishing various materials in Les Temps Modernes. Vian admired Sartre in particular and gave him a prominent role—as “Jean-Sol Partre”—in L’Écume des jours (litt. “The foam of the days”) published in English under the title: Froth on the Daydream. Ironically, Sartre and Michelle Vian commenced a relationship that would eventually destroy Vian’s marriage.

Despite his literary work becoming more important, Vian never left the jazz scene. He became a regular contributor to various jazz-related magazines, and played trumpet at Le Tabou. As a result, his financial situation improved, and he abandoned the job at the AFNOR. Vian also formed his own choir, La petite chorale de Saint-Germain-des-Pieds.

The year 1948 saw the birth of Vian’s daughter, Carole. He continued his literary career by writing Vernon Sullivan novels, and also published poetry collections: Barnum’s Digest (1948) and Cantilènes en gelée (Cantelinas in Jelly) (1949). Vian also started BorisVian05writing plays, the first of which, L’Équarrissage pour tous (Slaughter for Everyone), was staged the year it was written, 1950. The same year saw the publication of Vian’s third major novel, L’Herbe rouge (The Red Grass). This was a much darker story than its predecessors, centering on a man who built a giant machine that could help him psychoanalyze his soul. Like the previous two books, it did not sell well; Vian’s financial situation had been steadily worsening since late 1948, and he was forced to take up translation of English-language literature and articles in order to get by. Vian separated from his wife, and in 1950 he met Ursula Kübler (1928–2010), a Swiss dancer; the two started an affair, and in 1951 Vian divorced Michelle. Ursula and Boris married in 1954.

Vian’s last novel, L’Arrache-cœur (The Heartsnatcher), was published in 1953, yet again to poor sales and Vian effectively stopped writing fiction. The only work that appeared after 1953 was a revised version of L’automne à Pékin, published 1956. He concentrated on a new field, song-writing and performing, and continued writing poetry. Vian’s songs were successful; in 1954 he embarked on his first tour as singer-songwriter. By 1955, when he was working as art director for Philips, Vian was active in a wide variety of fields: song-writing, opera, screenplays and several more plays. His first album, Chansons possibles et impossibles (Possible and Impossible Songs), was also recorded in 1955. He wrote the first French rock and roll songs with his friend Henri Salvador, who sang them under the nickname Henry Cording. He also wrote “Java Pour Petula” (a song about an English girl arriving in France, written in Parisian argot) for Petula Clark’s first concert performances in France.

Still in 1955, Vian decided to perform some of his songs on stage himself. He had been unhappy about the fact that French singer Marcel Mouloudji (1922-1994), who had interpreted “Le Deserteur” (The Deserter) on stage the year before, had not accepted the original lyrics because he thought that they would lead to the song being banned. Although Vian accepted a change to one verse, the song was banned from TV and radio channels until 1967. The record of Vian’s songs performed by himself was not successful in France until ten years after his death.

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Vian’s life was endangered in 1956 by a pulmonary edema, but he survived and continued working with the same intensity as before. In 1957, Vian completed another play: Les Bâtisseurs d’empire (The Empire Builders), which was only published and staged in 1959. In 1958, Vian worked on the opera Fiesta with Darius Milhaud, and a collection of his essays, En avant la zizique… Et par ici les gros sous (On with the Muzak… And Bring in the Big Bucks), was published the same year.

On the morning of 23 June 1959, Vian was at the Cinema Marbeuf for the screening of the film version of I will Spit on Your Graves. He had already fought with the producers over their interpretation of his work, and he publicly denounced the film, stating that he wished to have his name removed from the credits. A few minutes after the film began, he reportedly blurted out: “These guys are supposed to be American? My ass!” He then collapsed into his seat and died from sudden cardiac death en route to the hospital.[3]

During his lifetime, only the novels published under the name of Vernon Sullivan were successful. Those published under his real name, which had real literary value in his eyes, remained a commercial failure, despite the support of famous authors of this time.

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Almost immediately after his death, L’Écume des jours, and then L’automne à Pékin, L’Arrache-coeur, and L’Herbe rouge, began to get recognition in France and became cult novels for youths of the 1960s and 1970s.

As a songwriter, Vian had mixed success. When he decided to sing the songs that were rejected by the stars himself, he succeeded only in reaching a limited audience (including Léo Ferré et Georges Brassens), the public remaining unconvinced of his talent for singing.[6] Nevertheless the May 1968 in France generation, even more than the previous ones, loved his songs, especially because of their impertinence.

As a songwriter, Vian also inspired Serge Gainsbourg, who used to attend his show at the cabaret Les Trois Baudets and who wrote, thirty years later: “I took it on the chin […], he sang terrific things […], it is because I heard him that I decided to try something interesting”. As a critic, Boris Vian was the first to support Gainsbourg in Le Canard Enchaîné, in 1957.

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Over the years, Vian’s work have become modern classics, often celebrated and selected as subjects for study in schools. Vian is still viewed by many as the emblematic figure of Saint Germain des Prés as it existed during the postwar decade, when this district was the centre of artistic and intellectual life in Paris. (by wikipedia)

And here´s a pretty good sampler with songs from Boris Vian sung by many artists from the Fifties like Petula Cark, Henri Salvador or Juliette Gréco.

What a wonderful way to discover the world of the one and only Boris Vian.

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Tracklist:
01. Mouloudji: Le deserteur (1954) (Vian/Berg) 3.11
02. Henri Salvador: Faut rigoler (1958) (Salvador/Vian) 3.30
03. Annie Cordy: Nick nack paddy whack (1959) (Vian/Arnold) 2.08
04. Magali Noël: Oh! si y´avait pas ton père (1959) (Salvador/Vian) 2.39
05. Petula Clark: Java pour petula (1959) (Henderson/Steelman/Vian) 2.09
06. Dario Moreno: Venus de milo (1959) (Vian/Freed) 2.34
07. Hugues Aufray: Nous avions vingt ans (1959) (Vian/Goraguer) 2.46
08. Magali Noël: Oh! cest divin (1959) (Vian/Simon) 3.21
09. Juliette Gréco: Musique mecanique (1957) (Vian/Popp) 3.07
10. Philippe Clay: Juste le temps de vivre (1955) (Vian) 1.37
11. Henri Salvador: Moi, je prefere la marche a pied (1958) (Salvador/Vian) 2.31
12. Mouloudji: Je suis snob (1955) (Vian/Walter) 3.12
13. Magali Noël: Mon oncle celestin (1959) (Vian/Bolling) 3.24
14. Claude Piron: D´où reviens-tu Billy Boy (1958) (Scott/Vian) 2.31
15. Henri Salvador: Blouse du dentiste (1958) (Salvador/Vian) 3.29
16. Patachou: On n´est pas la pour se faire engueuler (1955) (Vian/Walter) 3.49
17. Mouloudji: Cinematographe (1955) (Vian/Walter) 3.06
18. Henri Salvador: Va t´faire cuire un (1956) (Legrano/Vian) 2.54

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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.

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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.

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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)

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

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Tracklist:
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

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