Sunday, February 27, 2011

Janos Sebestyen: "J. S. Bach: Music for Solo Harpsichord"

Released in 1968,
the music on this LP
is of course utterly timeless, stunning, and beautiful.
The striking (pun intended) sound of the solo harpsichord
makes it all the more appealing and noteworthy.

Various: "100 Musical Memories, Volume One, Record Two"

I do not know what orchestra recorded this LP.
I do not know when this LP was released.
I do not know who created the cover illustration.
The music is timeless,
and the illustration is extraordinary.
I really wish I knew who was the artist.

Dinah Shore: "Sings Cole Porter and Richard Rodgers"

Released in 1950
(near as I could tell from research).

Quite a leap from Olivia Newton-John in the previous post
to Dinah Shore in this one,
except that they both were bombshell phenomena
in their day.
If anything, Dinah Shore was even more of an icon.

Read more about Dinah Shore HERE.

Olivia Newton-John: "Totally Hot"

Released in 1978.

Surfing the wave of "Grease" success,
this LP was dynamite for Olivia.
Still a fun listen to this day!

More about Olivia Newton-John HERE.

The Steve Miller Band: "Greatest Hits, 1974-78"

Released in 1978.
Some of the best party music EVER!

It is a little disturbing to me that this LP
is rapidly approaching
FORTY (40) years
since its release.

I think I'll observe a moment of silence.

And then
and dance my sox off!

Cover Illustration & Design: Kelly & Mouse
Cover Lettering: Sam Shepard
Photography: David Stahl
Album Design: John von Hamersveld

Friday, February 25, 2011

Eddie Money: "Can't Hold Back"

Released in 1986,
this was Eddie Money's sixth (6th) studio LP.

Read more about the life and times of Eddie Money HERE.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Steve Miller Band: "Book of Dreams"

Released in 1977,
this was their twelfth (12th) studio LP.

It's hard for me to imagine there is anyone out there
who has not heard most of this music,
but if you really are one who has not yet enjoyed these tunes
DO NOT waste any more time!
Go get these tracks -
"Jet Airliner"
"The Stake"
"Jungle Love"
"True Fine Love"

Get started on the history of The Steve Miller Band HERE.

Love this album.
Love the tunes.
Love the art.

Art Direction: Roy Kohara
Illustration: Kelly and Mouse
(this is a reference to Alton Kelley and Stanley (Miller) Mouse)

Benny Goodman: "B. G. in Hi-Fi"

Released in 1954.
This is a wonderful collection of Benny Goodman's tunes.
For those who might not actually know this
"Hi-Fi" was a very popular term back in the 1950s-'60s.
It stood for "high fidelity" which was a reference to audio recording and playback devices,
for the average consumer usually a phonograph turntable
connected to "high-end" speakers housed in an attractive wooden cabinets or "console."
The "hi-fi" was a standard piece of furniture in many American homes.

Anyway, Benny Goodman's stellar music-making
should not be upstaged by the playback equipment!

Read more about Benny Goodman HERE.

Bobby Bond: "Sings the Roger Miller Songbook"

Released in 1967.
Not a lot of information immediately available on Bobby Bond.
He does a passable job covering these songs,
but all things considered
there was no reason not to just
buy the Roger Miller versions.

Cover design by Chic Lacanella.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Willie Nelson: "Stardust"

Released in 1978,
this is one of Willie's most popular LPs.

Willie is a genuine legend.
Read more about him HERE.

Cover painting: Susanna Clark
Back cover photo: Beverly Parker

Larry Elgart: "Hooked on Swing 2"

Released in 1983.
This is a very fun, dance-your-socks-off recording.
It consists of several medleys wrapped in relentless BEAT.

And in case you did not know it,
Larry Elgart is fully legit.
Read more about him HERE.

Illustration by Tom Lundstrom.

Henry Mancini: "Film Music"

Released in 1973.
I have waxed plenty eloquent
expressing my opinion
about Henry Mancini
and his music
in previous posts.
This LP underscores my point
(pun intended)
that Henry Mancini
is deservedly renowned
as a composer,
a pianist,
and an orchestra leader.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Woody Herman: "Blowin' Up A Storm"

....speaking of Woody Herman....
This LP was released in 1966.
It is a compilation of tracks
recorded MUCH earlier.

Woody Herman's story is fascinating.
He stayed active throughout his life,
and he experimented with various styles and instruments
not normally associated with Jazz, Big Band, Swing, etc.

Read more about Woody Herman HERE and HERE.

Art Direction: Woody Woodward
Cover Photo: David Dooley

Ray Anthony: "Golden Horn"

Released in 1955.
If you ask an average American these days
to list "famous" Big Band Leaders,
Ray Anthony is not generally
a name that will top the list.
(Sorry, Ray!)
Folks would gravitate to Glenn Miller (whose band Ray played in),
Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Woody Herman, Harry James, Les Brown...
Ray Anthony fully deserves to be among them!!

Ray is still slingin' the tunes, too!
Read about him HERE.

George Shearing: "The Shearing Touch"

Released in 1960.
You don't have to take my word for it.
Go find these tracks and give 'em a listen.
Call it Lounge Music if you must,
but this would be a Lounge
in which everyone
was paying rapt attention
to the piano player.

Henry Mancini: "The Latin Sound of..."

Released in 1965.
Henry Mancini persistently is relegated to "Easy Listening"
"Mood Music" and other brands of "Elevator Music."
And I admit that
compared to ROCK music
and all of its legitimate descendants
Mr. Mancini is much more closely related to those softer genre.
But I believe there should be at least ONE solid, accepted category
somewhere between "easy listening" and "jazz"
that could describe Henry Mancini 
and a few others
so they wouldn't be so blithely
lumped in with the Muzak crowd.

Know what I mean? 

I mean
these days
Rock, Pop, and Soul
have so many subgenre
it is durn near totally
to keep up with 'em all.
Even Jazz
has multiple subgenre.

I'll have to give this some serious thought.

No, really.

I will.

Please stand by.

Epiphany to follow.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Henry Mancini: "The Great Academy Award Songs"

Like George Shearing,
I place Henry Mancini outside the realm of schmaltzmeistering.

Here is a great collection of some of the best songs of the day.
Released in 1964 as a promo for B.F.Goodrich by RCA.

Read more about Henry Mancini HERE.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Bing Crosby: "Singalong - 33 Great Songs"

Released in 1960,
this was a specialty LP,
meant to encourage, contribute to, and capitalize on the "singalong"
craze of the late '50s and early '60s.
This was the "karaoke" of that day.

Read more about Bing Crosby HERE.

There is a photo credit in the lower left corner of the back of this LP.
I cannot make it out, and I did not record it when I took the picture.

Harry Belafonte: "Sings of the Caribbean"

Released in 1957,
this was Belafonte's fifth (5th) studio LP,
and it is typical of his early work.

Read more about Harry Belafonte HERE.

George Shearing: "That Fresh Feeling"

Depending on how one counts,
this LP was around 47th for George Shearing.
It was released in 1966.
Often lumped with the many, many, many
band leaders and orchestra conductors
whose recordings are relegated to the "easy listening" and "mood music" category,
but George Shearing's music always has a more distinctive
style and tone than most; i.e., he is fully worthy of being placed in the "jazz" genre.

Read more about George Shearing HERE.

No information available about design/art/photography credits.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Art Tatum: "Gene Norman Presents An Art Tatum Concert"

The concert was recorded in 1949.
The LP was released in 1952.
The artist and his musical style and talents are timeless.

Read about Art Tatum HERE.

Connie Francis: "Movie Greats of the '60s"

Connie Francis was an international sensation in the late '50s and throughout the '60s.

Released in 1966,
this was her thirty-second (32nd) studio LP.

Read more about Connie Francis HERE.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Bobby Vinton: "All-Time Greatest Hits"

Released in 1972,
this is a double LP collection.

Timeless classics!

Read more about Bobby Vinton HERE.

These are great photographs!
Wish I knew who took them.