Gamelan Orchestra (1952) Mandera ‎Dancers Of Bali (LP) Columbia Masterworks ‎– ML 4618

Gamelan Orchestra

from the Village of Pliatan, Bali, Indonesia

Mandera ‎Dancers Of Bali

Under Direction of Anak Agung Gde

Produced by John Coast

1952
Columbia Masterworks ‎– ML 4618

*** noteworthy

It’s easy to see why jazz musicians found inspirations and influences in Asian dance music like this. The nature of dance made this music fiery, frantic, and avant garde. And it wasn’t improvisation, it sure sounded like that.

Likely while the dancers responded to the music, the music responded to the dancers.


This makes one wonder about the profound effect dancers had on music, not just in Asian, but in America as well.

— winch (author of )

 

LINK TO SELLERS:

Toots Thielemans (1959) The Soul of Toots Thielemans (LP) Signature (SM 6006)

Toots Thielemans

The Soul of Toots Thieleman 

Recorded 1959, released 1960

Signature (SM 6006)

**** recommended

For this 1959 date, Toots is backed wonderfully with three Americans, Ray Bryant (Philly) on piano, Ray’s brother Tom on bass, and Oliver Jackson (Detroit) on drums, all the members helping to set the tone for the meeting and helping bringing Toots into their country, planting the sound deep into American soil, Ray getting plenty of time to get his piano into the conversation.


Of course, as the billing suggests, this is Toot’s album, his last name showing on all the credits of the originals on this set, his playing gracing every selection, the talented Toots alternates between harmonica and electric guitar, even whistling through his original “Brother John” that closes the set.


Toots shows he was not just an outstanding harmonica player, but a great guitar player as well–showing this clearly on cuts such as “Lonesome Road”–showing that the harmonica can color in a selection as much as any horn, and showing that the electric guitar can do the same. While blues and jazz guitar players revealed the ability for the guitar to offer rhythm and lead at the same time, adding electricity offered even more, making it easier for the guitar to fill in the song with colors much like horns had done for centuries.


This whole set is thoroughly enjoyable, a mix of originals by Toots and tunes by others—old tradition songs and jazz standards, Garner’s “Misty,” Reinhardt’s “Nuages,” and Parker’s “Confirmation”–the meeting laid back yet swinging, taut as a congregation yet relaxed as a Sunday afternoon, swinging like a porch swing with autumn in the air, the warmth of summer mixing with the latter parts of the year, youthful as young man, yet thoughtful as an elder. This might not be a great album, but it’s certainly a good one.

— winch (author of

 

LINKS TO SELLERS:

 

 

Perez Prado (1958) Dilo (Ugh!) LP (RCA LPM-1883)

Perez Prado

Dilo (Ugh!)

1958

(RCA LPM-1883)

**** (recommended)

Instead of just using a bunch of rushed filler to release an album to house the big hit “Patricia,” Prado and the band use the hit to introduce new listeners to a solid set while showing old fans that hot singles weren’t going to spoil the fun.


Along with the horns, percussion, organ, and ugh!, a guitar helps cut a groove through on several cuts.


While jazz fans were looking elsewhere for their Cuban fix in 1958, mainstream middle class just needed heavy doses of this cat.  This album clearly shows why.

— winch (author of

 

LINK TO SELLERS:

Tab Smith (1956) Red Hot and Cool Blue Moods (LP) United Records 003

 

Tab Smith

Red Hot and Cool Blue Moods

United Records 003

1956

*** noteworthy

 

While few remember Tab Smith today, he was flying high with success in the mid 50s, perhaps United Records’ (Chicago) answer to Earl Bostic.


This long player houses most of the instrumental sides Tab recorded for United during the mid 50s and provides a window to a world now mostly forgotten. And that’s unfortunate because artists such as Tab helped bridge the jazz of earlier decades to the music the masses would embrace in the decades that followed.  On the other hand, this isn’t part of the wild R&B of this era that clearly welcomes in rock and roll, and it’s not cutting edge jazz, so perhaps it’s not surprising that Tab’s music has been mostly forgotten.  It’s not proto-this or proto-that, and that’s often all the masses find interest in exploring.  But this is enjoyable music, earthy yet urban, full of tone and focused on feeling rather than showing off.  While this lacks the abandonment of much of the R&B from this era, this has more depth than much of the music of the 50s, without ever getting too serious like the innovative jazz of this decade.  It’s mood music with some meat.

There’s a sadness that runs through even the “red hot” numbers, and it’s sad that black artists such as Tab Smith aren’t remembered more.

— winch

Piano Red: Rockin’ With Red

William Lee Perryman…aka Piano Red…aka Dr. Feelgood…an essential part of the story of American music…1950 “Rockin’ with Red” and “The Wrong Yoyo” the next year, years before Bill Haley…rock and roll was mostly just a racist term trying to convince people that white artists had invented something…Red’s boogie woogie and barrelhouse blues (as well as Louis Jordan’s jump blues) clearly giving Haley his cues…Red’s music clearly showing a bridge back to ragtime…and while the so-called rock and roll is said to have brought black music to white audiences, ragtime had done that in a big way over fifty years earlier…and Red recorded for and played for white audiences years before the so-called rock and roll hit the charts….if Red don’t put a grin to your chin and a tap to your toes you might as well give it up and give up the ghost. — winch

Eddie Costa & Vinnie Burke Trio (1956) S/T (LP) Josie 3509 (1962 reish of Jubilee JLP 1025)

“Oh this is delightful,” my woman says when she steps into my den.  Typically, she’s walking into a vroom of high-octane punk rock, deep funk or some crazy-ass shit that just makes her grin, shake her head and head the other way, but this album she found “dignified but cheerful.”  Indeed, laid-back but swinging, peaceful but never boring, serious but thoroughly enjoyable, playful and seriously good, like a good woman telling you it’s time to come in for dinner, like a belt of whiskey on a Saturday evening.

 

While the original 1956 has a much better sleeve design, ultimately it’s the grooves that count…and these grooves do count.

P

— winch (author of…winch’s books)

Bill Doggett (1958) 12 Songs of Christmas (LP) King Records 600

Bill Doggett

12 Songs of Christmas

1958

King Records 600

**** Recommended

Solid holiday offering from the man from Philly, the man on the Hammond, all instrumental drenched in organ and guitar.

 

“Silent Night,” “Jingle Bells,” “Christmas Song,” “White Christmas,” “Winter Wonderland,” and “I Saw Mommy…” came from the 1954 10″ All-Time Christmas Favorites (the first R&B Christmas album?), the other six recorded this 1958 set.