Harry James and his Orchestra – Soft Lights, Sweet Trumpets

Sleeve Notes:

The instruments of the brass choir, by their nature, seem predetermined for use in brilliant, flaring music. Largely developed for use on occasions of military or high festive significance, they have to some extent carried that usage through to the present, and are most often heard when the music lends itself to (or requires) a bright, edgy tone. That this is a patent misuse of a versatile group of instruments has been demonstrated again and again, as musicians keep hacking away at the idea. The enormously subtle and vigorous variations of Bix Beiderbecke on the cornet, the cool, fluid trombone of Tommy Dorsey and the velvety trumpet of Harry James have whittled no little chunks away from the feeling that brass must be brassy, and in this collection the inventive James trumpet is heard in a further exploration.

Among the most polished of popular musicians, Harry James has virtually lived with popular music all his life. Arriving on the commercial scene just too late for first-hand absorption from the great jazz masters, he worked with most of the swing greats, who had already culled the best of the jazz techniques and adapted them to their own styles. James’ first important job in popular music was with Benny Goodman and his Orchestra in the late thirties, where he brought to its peak the shining trumpet mastery that is his trademark. Learning from the brilliant musicians of the Goodman orchestra, and supplementing their work with his own fresh ideas and expert technique, he swiftly became one of the top-ranking stars in an orchestra of stars.

That he was already a musician upon joining the group is no accident : he was born into music, for his father was bandmaster with the Mighty Haag Circus. The rousing brass of the circus band was part of his daily routine, and he worked with the band frequently during his early years, until the family re-tired to Texas. There, in Beaumont, he continued to study, and in his ‘teens he played with local orchestras and supplied them with an occasional original number. One of these numbers got recorded, Benny Goodman heard it, and sent for the young composer.

After a number of fruitful years with Goodman, James started his own orchestra, and found the going at first a little difficult. The swing era like everything else at the time, was going into a recession, and he found, with the changing mood of the country, that audiences wanted to dance rather than listen : the clusters of avid youngsters around the bandstand grew smaller. So he brought out the smooth, warm ballad technique that is so uniquely his, and, with a group of hit re-cords, found himself the leader of one of the most successful orchestras in the land. The formula was not only commercial—his group is one of the very few big orchestras still in existence—but musical, and it produced music that is still listened to on records and still very much a part of the popular scene.

In this collection, Harry James plays twelve evergreen popular songs, each so familiar that it requires something extra to make it catch fire. That vibrant extra some-thing is present throughout in some of James’ finest playing, singing through the arrangements clear, strong and sweet. From 1925’s Manhattan to 1946’s If I’m Lucky the trumpet is heard weaving in and out of the orchestra in fascinating patterns of sound, keyed to a mood of romance and relaxation. This is the sweet trumpet of Harry James … the soft lights are at your command.

Other Columbia Records by Harry James include:

Dancing in Person with Harry James at the Hollywood Palladium : Palladium Party • Bye Bye Blues • Please Take a Letter, Miss Brown • Ain’t She Sweet • Sugar Foot Stomp • How Could You Do a Thing Like That to Me • Moonlight Bay • Midnight Sun • Moan-in’ Low • Flash. “Lp” CL 562 • Extended Play Set B-428 (abridged)

One Night Stand : Ultra • Blues from “An American in Paris” • Mani Bongo • Memphis Blues • The Flight of the Bumble Bee • There They Go • Jackpot Blues • You Go to My Head • Don’t Stop • Feet Draggin’ Blues • Back Beat Boogie. “Lp” CL 522 • Extended Play Sets B-385, B-390

Trumpet After Midnight: Autumn Leaves • Judy • The Moon of Manakoora • How Deep Is the Ocean • Symphony • Moanin’ Low • If I Loved You • I Had the Craziest Dream • Theme for Cynthia • Lush Life • Bess, You Is My Woman • I Never Knew. “Lp” CL 553 • Extended Play Set B-410

Hollywood’s Best—Rosemary Clooney and Harry James: You’ll Never Know • On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe • Ruby • It Might as Well Be Spring • Come on-a My House • Over the Rainbow • Sweet Lei-lani • The Continental • Stella By Starlight • When You Wish Upon a Star • Red Garters • In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening. “Lp” CL 585 • Extended Play Set B-319

Harry James Juke Box Jamboree: Little Things Mean a Lot • Hernando’s Hideaway • Three Coins in the Fountain • The High and the Mighty • The Touch • 0, Mein Papa • Ruby • Serenata • Smile • I Need You Now • Oop Shoop • Muskrat Ramble. “Lp” CL 615 • Extended Play Singles B-1864, B-1881

All-Time Favorites by Harry James: Ciri biribin • Sleepy Lagoon • One O’Clock Jump • Two O’Clock Jump • You Made Me Love You • Music Makers • The Flight of the Bumble Bee • Concerto for Trumpet • Don’t Be That Way • Flatbush Flanagan • September Song • Sleepy Time Gal. “Lp” CL 655 • Extended Play Set B-117 • Extended Play Single B-2014

Harry James and his Orchestra - Soft Lights, Sweet Trumpets

Label: Columbia CL 581
Dirone Photography

1954 1950s Covers

Jackie Gleason presents Music, Martinis and Memories

Sleeve Notes:

Music, Martinis and Memories

…each creates a wonderfully soft, romantic haze. Put them all together and you have a veryspecial effect—a mood whose warmth and tenderness are irresistibly appealing.

The memories and martinis should be yours, of course; the music may be provided by someone else—and nobody can do that more expertly than Jackie Gleason. His famous album presentations—lovely ballads richly orchestrated and featuring the lyric trumpet of Bobby Hackett—are remarkably conducive to that intriguing sentimental spell.

It’s really quite possible, in fact, to omit the memories and martinis; but with or without them, you’ll find this collection of Jackie Gleason interpretations to be romantic music at its very best, an ideal setting for your most delightful listening moments.

Jackie Gleason presents Music, Martinis and Memories

Label: Capitol SM 509 (reissue)

1954 1950s Covers

Richard Hayman and His Orchestra – Let’s Get Together

Like the selection of drinks on the menu of a swank cocktail lounge, this selection of music for after 5 P.M. relaxation runs the gamut of pleasure“. Well who is going to argue with Richard Hayman and His Orchestra? My only doubts are the swankiness of the lounge and whether 5pm is a little too early for such a gamut of pleasure. Regardless, this example of harmonica infused Long Player joy from Richard Hayman would no doubt have lifted many a mood around 1954. The front cover model has been cut in two and placed on opposing sides. Listen to some of this smooth fifties sound below.

Sleeve Notes:

Like the selection of drinks on the menu of a swank cocktail lounge, this selection of music for after 5 P.M. relaxation runs the gamut of pleasure. If you’re the straight highball type, enjoy the plait and simple relaxation offered by Spring Is Here. If you delight in the creamy luxury of a Grasshopper, try the richness of Port of Spain. For those who delight in vintage, there is Alt Wein. Melody for every taste and temperament, designed to wear off the day’s tensions, is Haymon’s “Mission Accomplished.” Richard Hayman’s harmonica is interwoven into many of the melodies like the tinkling, cooling ice chips that put that extra sparkle into an evening’s drink.

New England born and bred, Richard Hayman is a self-taught harmonica player and musical arranger. At 18 he joined Borrah Minnevitch’s world-famed Harmonica Rascals. At 21 he became a member of the Vaughn Monroe group, doing a specialty novelty harmonica act. After several years, he joined the Horace Heidt troop, which eventually brought him to Hollywood. Here he played bit roles in a score of musical films, and gained further experience arranging under the expert tutelage of George Stoll. Hayman, himself, has composed such outstanding instrumentals as Skipping Along and No Strings Attached, Huckleberry Finn and Carriage Trade which were also composed by Hayman are part of this WING Long Play album.

Richard Hayman and His Orchestra - Let's Get Together

Label: Mercury Wing MGW 12100

1954 1950s Covers

Carmen Jones OST – Oscar Hammerstein II

The stirring music of Bizet with exceptionally fine lyrics and a fiery front cover. Not to be confused with Carmen Miranda samba queen – that’s the fruity one. In this production “Otto Preminger… has woven together the stirring music of Bizet with exceptionally fine lyrics and the synchronisation of talented actors and actresses…” Synchronisation is a technical term to mean the actors and actresses mime to the songs, these being sung by hidden professional singers or played back from a recording.

Sleeve Notes:

Side One

Opening Medley
Dat’s Love (Habanera)
You Talk Jus’ Like My Maw
Dere’s A Cafe On De Corner
‘Dis Flower
Beat Out Dat Rhythm On A Drum

Side Two

Stan’ Up An’ Fight
Quintet: Whizzin’ Away Along De Track
Card Song
My Joe
Duet And Finale

Probably no film has created more comment in recent years than has Oscar Hammerstein II’s ” Carmen Jones “. The fact that the music of Bizet had been applied to a modem story and a present-day setting, caused purist lovers of the original opera to shudder. However, none was disappointed with the brilliant treatment of this subject and that applies to this LP record, taken from the original sound-track of the film.

As Oscar Hammerstein himself says, “Carmen Jones is not in any way an opera, but is, in fact, a musical play based on an opera. The score of Bizet’s original music has not been altered in any way, nor has the traditional tempo been varied.”

Otto Preminger in his production of “Carmen Jones ” as a film, has woven together the stirring music of Bizet with exceptionally fine lyrics and the synchronization of talented actors and actresses. with the magnificent yokes of an unseen singing cast.

The story of ” Carmen Jones ” follows in a modern pattern, along the lines of its operatic counterpart, with a change of setting that brings the action into the 20th century — specifically World War II.

The story begins when Joe (Harry Belafonte) an Army corporal stationed in Jacksonville, U.S.A., is about to enter Flying School and a party is given in his honour by workers of the nearby parachute factory. Among them is his sweetheart Cindy Lou (Olga James), for whose attentions Sgt. Brown (Bros Peters) is a rival. During the course of the celebrations, Carmen Jones (Dorothy Dandridge) swaggers in and attempts to use her feminine wiles on Joe, who is not at all interested.

Joe at that time is seeking permission from his C.O. to marry Cindy Lou when Carmen chooses to pick a fight with another female employee. Sgt. Brown maliciously puts her in Joe’s custody to take her to Jacksonville Jail, and suggests to Cindy Lou that Joe has volunteered to be responsible for Carmen.

Carmen continues to lure, and her attempts are eventually successful. Meanwhile they stop at a shanty town where she proudly shows of her Joe — all the time promising him that they will soon be aboard the train for Jacksonville and the jail. Carmen’s grandmother, who is a fortune-teller, predicts evil things for the couple, which so much upsets the superstitious Carmen that she runs away.

Joe is imprisoned for his neglect of duty, and during his imprisonment he is so devoured by his passion for Carmen that he cannot face Cindy Lou when she visits him. The only reliefs in his
imprisonment are letters and promises from Carmen, with a gift of a rose.

Carmen, meanwhile, settles down at Billy Pastor’s night club to wait for Joe. Husky Miller (Joe Adams), a heavyweight champ, wants her as his girl friend, but Carmen will have none of it, despite the coaxing of her old friend Frankie (Pearl Bailey), whose job comes to depend on arranging things for Husky.

Joe is released, and joy reigns until Carmen realizes he still plans to go into flying school. She wants him to forget the army and go of to Chicago with her. He fights the temptation, but Sgt. Brown overhearing the scene, intrudes sneeringly and is knocked out by Joe, who, knowing now that the alternative is prison, hides the unconscious sergeant and agrees to Carmen’s plan.

In Chicago, they must evade M.P.’s and go into hiding. When their money has gone, Carmen goes to Husky for more. Frankie urges Carmen to be nice to the fighter, but Carmen swears she’s no two-timer. When Carmen retums to Joe, who complains to her for being away so long, he is suspicious as to the source of the money provided for food. This drives Carmen back to Husky’s where, at a party, she reads her own cards, forecasting death.

Joe follows Carmen, eluding the M.P.’s, while Cindy Lou arrives in pursuit of Joe. All meet at Husky’s training quarters, where Carmen tells Joe it’s all over between them, but helps him to escape. Cindy Lou departs in tears knowing that she has lost her Joe.

At the championship fight, the crowd acclaiming Husky’s triumph, Joe confronts Carmen, again pleading with her. When she refuses his love, he kills her. As the mob mums out of the doors screaming for their hero, the heartsick Joe weeps for the dead Carmen and voices his hope they will soon “hang him on the highest tree”, so that he might join his beloved.


Carmen Jones OST - Oscar Hammerstein II

Label: HMV CLP1034

1954 1950s Covers