It’s… Mrs. Mopps Piano Party

Sleeve Notes:

There’s Always Room At Our House, Frankie & Johnny, On Top Of Old Smokey, Goodnight Sweetheart, Greensleeves, My Very Good Friend The Milkman, The Ferry Boat Inn, Little Girl, She Wears Red Feathers, Cielito Linda, Pennies From Heaven, Cruising Down The River

On this album we have captured the swingin’ style of MRS MOPP. Roll back the carpet and let’s have a party.

It's... Mrs. Mopps Piano Party

Label: Deacon Records DEA 1059

1971 1970s Covers

Al Martino – Wake Up To Me Gentle

Sleeve Notes:

“`Wake up to me gentle, sunrise in your hair …” are not only the enchanting opening lyrics of the title song, but also serve to create the vibrant romantic mood which permeates this entire program of fresh ballad excellence by Mr. Al Martino.

These opening lyrics, of course, belong to Wake Up to Me Gentle, written by young composer Ken Mansfield. This great new song emerges as an important ballad of the day when given the exciting Martino vocal treatment plus lush guitar and string accompaniment. Al also concentrates his special talents on If You Must Leave My Life and Didn’t We, two meaningful uptempo ballads by Jim Webb, a young composer already famous for By the Time I Get to Phoenix and Up, Up and Away. Here his songs gleam with the magnificent styling that AI Martino brings to every outstanding composition.

In addition to these great new songs, you’ll enjoy the Martino magnetism in one of the most powerful and popular show songs ever written, The Impossible Dream from “The Man of La Mancha.” Listen as the master of romantic ballads gives new splendor to My Own True Love, a most familiar love theme from the motion picture “Gone With the Wind”; Hank Williams’ great country hit / Can’t Help It (If I’m Still in Love With You) and The Look of Love, a Burt Bacharach tune that ranks among everybody’s favorites.

Arranger-conductor John Andrew Tartaglia lends new freshness and a “today” feeling to each of these selections, while Al’s rich-mellow baritone lights new fires under the vintage favorites and soars to the heights with the best of the new ballads. Listen … and as always, enjoy.

Al Martino - Wake Up To Me Gentle

Lebel: Capitol ST 2983
Cover Photo: Capitol Studio/Rick Rankin

1968 1960s Covers

Gordon Jenkins His Orchestra and The Ralph Brewster Singers – Night Dreams

Sleeve Notes:

Our dreams at night shape the familiar patterns of daytime in a strangely fascinating way. And so with the romantic music of this album: it molds well-known melodies into new arrangements,’ imaginative and intriguing.

Such musical re-creation needs the special talents of a Gordon Jenkins. In his long career as composer, arranger, and conductor, he has always sought the fresh approach to popular music, and displayed it many is through a wide range of material—in hit tunes, in longer original works, in such unusual combinations of song and drama as his very successful “Manhattan Tower”.
Here, Gordon Jenkins has assembled several favorite musical ingredients: a large orchestra, his own distinctive piano style, The Ralph Brewster Singers, and a choice selection of ballads. But it is his arrangements, most of all, that give the album its very refreshing quality. The voices join the ensemble as an instrumental section in cleverly devised harmonies; the melody emerges in delightfully unexpected places; and familiar themes are colorfully wrought into the captivating mood of “Night Dreams.”
Gordon Jenkins His Orchestra and The Ralph Brewster Singers - Night Dreams

Label: Capitol T 781
Cover Photo by Ken Whitmore

1957 1950s Covers

Joe Reisman and His Orchestra – Door Of Dreams

Sleeve Notes:

There are many aspects to the work of every outstanding musician, and versatility is one of Joe Reisman’s prime assets. Settle back now and allow Reisman to conduct you through the DOOR of DREAMS, gateway to the floating sea of daydreams. Such a trip is fun, inexpensive and can be taken at a moment’s notice. Among the many places and moods available to the listener are the theater (Front Row Center), America’s majestic west (Covered Wagon), Spain (El Dorado), the relaxed mood of Sunday Afternoon and reflective thoughts on romance (For My Love). Arranger-composer-conductor Joe Reisman is a talented man who believes that the works of young composers should be heard. Practicing what he preaches, Joe has chosen six tunes by fresh, new composers for this album. Only Door of Dreams and When Sunny Gets Blue have been heard before, and the remaining four numbers are Reisman originals. This marks the first time that Joe has used any of his own material in an album. Using a good blend of all the orchestral colors in these arrangements for a thirty-five piece band, Joe collected some of the finest musicians and soloists in New York, among whom can be heard Urbie Green, trombone; Eddie Manson, harmonica; Tony Mattola, guitar; Jimmy Maxwell, trumpet; and Stanley Webb, oboe. The collection of mood music which comprises DOOR OF DREAMS follows rapidly on the heels of Joe’s recent album, PARTY NIGHT AT JOE’S, which featured one of the swinging-est big bands to be heard in many a moon.

Other albums by Joe Reisman and His Orchestra:

Delightful arrangements of Walt Disney favorites which every member of the family— from the youngest to the oldest — will love.
Superb standards done in a swinging big band style . . . perfect for dancing.
© by Radio Corporation of America, 1957

Joe Reisman and His Orchestra - Door Of Dreams

Label: RCA-Victor LPM-1519

1957 1950s Covers

Sauter and Finegan – Sleigh Ride

Sleeve Notes:

In the early fifties, Sauter and Finegan formed the original Doodletown Fifers and in 1961, United Artists invited them back into the studio and the result was this entertaining and expert set of tracks.

Bill Finegan studied at the Paris Conservatory and first became recognised after Tommy Dorsey bought his arrangement of “Lonesome.Road”; Glenn Miller subsequently offered Finegan the job of staff arranger which he held from 1932 to 1942 after which he joined Tommy Dorsey for just under ten years. The Sauter-Finegan partnership started in 1952 with Ed Sauter the more active musician of the two leaders. He played trumpet and mellophone as well as arranging for Red Norvo from 1935 until 1939 when he began arranging for the Benny Goodman band as well as Artie Shaw, Tommy Dorsey and Woody Herman. Probably the most outstanding track in this set is “Sleighride” which Sauter and Finegan based on a Prokofiev melody.

From original notes by Peter Gammond

Sauter and Finegan - Sleigh Ride

Label: Sunset Records SLS 50253

1974 1970s Covers

The Royal Guitar Ensemble – Golden Guitar

Sleeve Notes:

Channel 20 Sound, a new process which realises in superbly lifelike stereo all the potential splendour of each instrument, was specially developed in the Tokyo studios of E.M.I.’s associates, Toshiba Musical Industries. Recordings are made in a new studio designed exclusively for high quality recording a multiplicity of solo microphones captures every subtlety of tone-colour from each instrument, and a specially developed control console blends, mixes and amplifies each microphone’s contribution with the delicacy, precision and engineering brilliance that characterise Japan’s present-day technological achievement.

Label: Regal SREG 2035

1967 1960s Covers

Ted Heath And His Music – Big Band Bash

Sleeve Notes:

The impact of Ted Heath’s first “phase 4” stereo album, “Big Band Percussion”, created a demand for more music similarly presented by England’s big band boss—and here it is, ‘Big Band Bash”, destined to follow in the footsteps of the last LP straight to the best-selling charts.

This entire LP was committed to the unique arranging talents of Johnny Keating. He has striven imaginatively and successfully to carry the big band sound and concept to the requirements of “phase 4” stereo which needs a special accommodation. The programme is spiced with several moods, but consistently there is the kind of writing for which big bands were made. “Hindustan”, “Cherokee” and “Out of Nowhere”—to single out a few—are masterfully arranged by Keating.

SIDE 1 1. HINDUSTAN (Wallace; Weeks)
With a brilliant and bright anacrusis from the trumpets (right), we swing into this big band classic with free-flowing ease. The brass (right). rhythm and saxes (left) wheel it along to a magnificently performed duet between two tenor saxes (one left and one right). In a splendidly realized section of the arrangement we hear, behind the saxophones’ passage, flutes and trumpets (right), trombones (right) and driving rhythm (left) all weaving independent threads into a richly textured pattern—a beautiful piece of big band scoring.
2. A-TISKET A-TASKET (Fitzgerald; Feldman) The curious needle-point chatter of the tight-skinned bongos is heard. with a crisp precision on the left; and setting off the latinate patter is the contrasting weight of the heavily struck timpani and sharp-edged sparkle of the finger cymbal (right). Intoning the melody is the piercing flute (right) and grumpy baritone sax (left). Occasional thick and humorous grunts are heard from the full-bodied bass trombone (right). From there, bright and playfully, “Tisket” moves happily along in a sprightly arrangement.
3. I DON’T KNOW WHY (Turk; Ahlert) The marimba speaks mellowly but firmly from the right as the rhythm is ushered in gently by a silken vibraphone run (left). The pattern breaks momentarily when the string bass is heard from (left). The saxophones on the left play the melody at the second chorus, and to that fine satin finish is added Be sound of the “bodiful trombones (right). Two muted trumpets are heard adding a bit of colour as well (right).The work is paced and prepared to meet an impressive flow of sound at the point of climax just before the return of the marimba (right)who recalls the pattern of the introduction and brings the title to rest.
4. CAPUCCINA (Masser., Sherman; Pallavicini) There is something prettily naive about the mandolin figure which is heard on the left; and, as one would imagine such a figure to be short-lived in a Heath LP, it is soon stopped by the intrusion of an exciting walking bass line (left) whose mood is jazzily supported by the sure hand of the drummer (right). The guitar carries the melody (left) as the mood is percussively punctuated by the light chords on the piano (also left). Briefly joined by the vibes (left), the melody passes to the saxophone section on the left. Slowly and with measured planning the trumpets and trombones (right) come into the picture as the whole arrangement moves toward a frenzied climax. 5. HERNANDO’S HIDEAWAY (Adler; Ross) Spook figures haunt the hideaway left and right as the piece opens up a barrel of fun colours and sounds. Instruments and effects are apparent throughout this title as the music jumps about between speakers. This is good listening fun.

SIDE 2 1. CHEROKEE (Noble) Tom-toms herald the war council (left and right) and are broken temporarily by saxes (left) and flutes (right). The tom-tom chatter continues behind the melody (played on the left by the bass clarinet and baritone sax.) Soon the fltites as flying arrows are hurled out of the right speaker. As Mr. Heath said at the session: “the saxes are cowboys and the flutes are the Indian arrows coming at them.” That done, the whole Heath band begins to swing like a band of winning Indians in this great, wide-open and bust arrangement.
2. HARLEM NOCTURNE (Hagen) The delicate tinkle of a finger cymbal and soft tapping of the bongos (right) strike a mood of midnight mystery as the walking bass (left) soft cymbal and muted trombones (right) weave a background pattern in which the melody-playing alto flute is darkly set. The saxophone section (left) and brass (right) each have a turn at this lovely melody before the plaintive solo sound of the alto sax is heard (left) against which a pleasant obbligato flute figure is moving. The mood of the piece, sustained by the spell of intrigue which the rhythm sets, is constant to the end.
3. SABRE DANCE (Khachaturian; Roberts; Lee)• Swinging and driving as ever a big band was meant to, this title gets off the ground brightly and sharply with the trombones hammering left, the trumpets attacking right, and the saxophones driving from the left. With a clean, precise performance, the arrangement moves this famous Khachaturian opus home dramatically.
4. IN A PERSIAN MARKET (Ketelbey) A magic carpet flys (right to left) across the market place, and the plaza comes to life in the form of a grumpy, hoarse bass clarinet and baritone sax (left). Soon awakened are the less sleepy time-keeping skulls (right) and the sharp percussive xylophone and piccolo (also right). A young Arab is heard selling his wares (right) and a chorus of saxophones sell every bit as loudly from the left. Soon the brass choir (right) gets into the act and before you know it the whole market place is jumping in a magnificent display of swing playing. The picture fades at the end amid the hub-bub of the market.
5. CLOPIN-CLOPANT (Coque., Duclan; Goell, Rome) A bit of French sentimentality is heard from on the right in the form of the balmusette. The horse cart is heard clip-clopping along (also right). Alternately the famous melody is sounded by the flute (right), contra-bass clarinet (left) and the guitar (left). Following a break into latin tempo, the opening pattern is again recalled as the horse clip-clops out of sight.
6. OUT OF NOWHERE (Heyman; Green) There would be such to call to your attention in this title: the various colours you hear emanating from your separate speakers, the instrumental patterns effected by the different band choirs, etc. But at the heart of this title is its arrangement and structure, its tonal blends and fine performance. The Heath band has never sounded better and Johnny Keating has turned in one of his finest scores.

Ted Heath And His Music – Big Band Bash

Label: Decca PFS 4018

1962 1960s Covers

The International Pop Orchestra & Chorus – At Last – 26 Non-Stop Hits For Dancing

Sleeve Notes:

Have Nagila, Kalinka, Wenn Ich Komm (Wooden Heart), Oh! Happy Day, House Of The Rising Sun, Plaisir D’Amour, When The Saints Go Marching In, Down By The Riverside, My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean, Michael, He’s Got The Whole World In His Hand, Uber Den Wellen (It’s The Loveliest Night Of The Year), Cielito Lindo,
Liebstraum, Thema Aus Dem Klavierkonzert Nr.1 (Tchaikovsky), Nachte In Moskau (Midnight In Moscow), Schwarze Augen, Danny Boy, Greensleeves, Habanera, La Bamba, La Colondrina, La Paloma, Aloha Oe, Guantanamera, Santa Lucia

The International Pop Orchestra & Chorus – At Last - 26 Non-Stop Hits For Dancing

Label: Contour 2870 158

1972 1970s Covers