Thursday, December 19, 2019

The Gunboat Diplomats seasonal release Take It In .... bouncy and cheerful 60's style pop

The Gunboat Diplomats once again treat our senses with their timely seasonal release "Take It In". The tune is a trip back to 60's style bubblegum pop that is bouncy, cheerful and just feels good! These guys are all about presenting positive and enlightening lyrics and a vibe that is rollicking, relentless and riotous. Is there a message here you may ask, of course there is, just open your ear canals and take it all in!

official website: https://gunboatdiplomats.com

Thursday, December 5, 2019

60's influenced female pop duo The Debutantes cover Amen Corner classic on their debut release

60's influenced pop female duo The Debutantes have recently released their cover of the Amen Corner classic ‘If Paradise Is Half As Nice’ featuring original band member Andy Fairweather Low.  Both of the girls, Victoria and Lavinia, have been hugely inspired by the 1960’s fashions, style and culture.

Their debut album is the creation of musician/songwriter Alan Jones. Alan has enjoyed a long career in both music and fashion, having had success as an original member/sax player with 1960’s Welsh chart toppers Amen Corner, followed by a chain of pioneering rock fashion shops, both in the UK and Los Angeles. All of these experiences have led to Alan creating, writing and recording an album of sixties influenced songs which he describes as ‘Symphonic Pop’, performed by these two talented sisters from Cardiff, Victoria and Lavinia George-Veale, collectively known as The Debutantes. 

Born in Cardiff into a Welsh musical family, the sisters’ home was filled with the Motown/Phil Spector sound of the 60's, by artists such as The Supremes, The Ronettes, The Crystals and Dusty Springfield. Since those early days the sisters have always loved singing, dancing and performing together. Their love of music has stayed with them into adulthood, with Victoria starring in musical theatre, and Lavinia in her final year at The London School of Music and Drama. So, when the sisters heard of a new musical project with a strong ‘60's influence, they were very interested.

They were introduced to Alan in a Cardiff coffee shop, and before long he was hearing them sing acappella in their own front room. The idea of bringing back the swinging sixties with a fresh twist was so appealing to the girls, they immediately began working on an album of fourteen tracks with Alan. All the tracks on the album were engineered by Richard Jackson, and feature Victoria and Lavinia’s stunning blend of vocals combined with John Rea’s lush orchestration.

Marty's review: these very talented ladies have nailed the sound of the 60's on their debut single and have certainly captured the vibe and style of the era. Being produced by Alan Jones with guest appearance by Andy Fairweather Low is an added bonus. They have recreated the original Amen Corner song with a fresh approach, and the delightful vocals of these sisters is such a pleasure to hear. The accompanying video is colourful and very psychedelic too.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Louis Prima...Swing It!...25 original mono recordings 1933-1950

Louis Prima ‎– Swing It!
Label: Living Era 
Format: CD, Compilation
Released: 2002
Genre: Jazz
Style: Big Band

1 Chinatown, My Chinatown
2 Dinah
3 Let's Have A Jubilee
4 It's The Rhythm In Me
5 Worry Blues
6 Swing Me With Rhythm
7 The Lady In Red
8 Chasing Shadows
9 Basin Street Blues
10 In A Little Gypsy Tea Room
11 Sing, Sing, Sing
12 Pennies From Heaven
13 Yes, There Ain't No Moonlight - So What?
14 Rosalie
15 Robin Hood
16 Angelina
17 Oh, Marie
18 Bell-Bottom Trousers
19 Brooklyn Boogie
20 Felicia No Capicia
21 St. Louis Blues
22 A Sunday Kind Of Love
23 All Right, Louie, Drop The Gun
24 Charley, My Boy
25 Oh, Babe

Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Many Moods of Mad Men.....a musical companion....various artists...from the 40's to the 60's

1-1 –Don Cherry Band Of Gold
1-2 –George Jenkins And His All Stars Caravan
1-3 –Vic Damone On The Street Where You Live
1-4 –The Andrews Sisters With The Gordon Jenkins Orchestra* I Can Dream, Can’t I?
1-5 –Ella Fitzgerald Manhattan
1-6 –Miles Davis Blue In Green
1-7 –The Aquatones You
1-8 –Percy Faith Non Dimenticar
1-9 –The Bud Powell Trio There Will Never Be Another You
1-10 –Luiz Bonfá Night And Day
1-11 –Rosemary Clooney Botch-A-Me
1-12 –Miles Davis Concierto De Aranjuez
1-13 –Rinky Dinks Choo Choo Cha Cha
1-14 –Chubby Checker The Twist
1-15 –Bobby Helms My Special Angel
1-16 –McGuire Sisters Volare
1-17 –Yma Sumac Gopher Mambo
1-18 –Frankie Laine Metro Polka
1-19 –Chubby Checker Let’s Twist Again
1-20 –Baby Washington & The Plants Congratulations Honey
1-21 –Kyu Sakamoto Ue O Muite Arko (Sukiyaki)
1-22 –Jack Jones Lollipops And Roses
1-23 –Perry Como Blue Room
1-24 –The Percy Faith Orchestra Theme From A Summer Place
1-25 –The Pentagons I’m In Love
1-26 –Brenda Lee Break It To Me Gently

2-1 –Peter, Paul & Mary Early In The Morning
2-2 –Marilyn Monroe I’m Through With Love
2-3 –The Gigalos Swingin’ Saints
2-4 –The Tornadoes Telstar
2-5 –Martin Denny Misirlou
2-6 –Johnny Mathis What’ll I Do
2-7 –George Jones Cup Of Loneliness
2-8 –Acker Bilk Stranger On The Shore
2-9 –The Pentagons To Be Loved
2-10 –Big Sid Catlett Quartet Featuring Ben Webster Memories Of You
2-11 –Bob Dylan Song To Woody
2-12 –Pete Mann I Followed My Heart
2-13 –Tennessee Ernie Ford Sixteen Tons
2-14 –Bobby Van & Kay Coulter There’s A Small Hotel
2-15 –Clyde Stacy & The Nitecaps So Young
2-16 –Skeeter Davis The End Of The World
2-17 –Teresa Brewer I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
2-18 –Patti Page Old Cape Cod
2-19 –Doris Day I Enjoy Being A Girl
2-20 –Etta James Trust In Me
2-21 –Gillian Hills Zou Bisou Bisou
2-22 –Ken Griffin Ebb Tide
2-23 –The Crystals He Hit Me (And It Flet Like A Kiss)
2-24 –Connie Conway I Should Not Be Seeing You
2-25 –Maurice Chevalier Sweepin’ The Clouds Away

Friday, October 11, 2019

The Fabulous Dorsey Brothers and Their Orchestra..24 original mono recordings 1928-1935

The Dorsey Brothers Orchestra was formed as a recording band in 1928 and despite the brothers' differing temperaments, which led eventually to their falling out, they produced records of the highest order. It helped that they rubbed shoulders with the best on New York's scene, whose services they could call upon, men like Bunny Berigan, Bud Freeman, Manny Klein, Leo McConville, Glenn Miller, Phil Napoleon, Adrian Rollini, Charlie Spivak, Jack Teagarden, and Frank Teschemaker.

Amongst many high spots on this compilation are Jimmy Dorsey's showpiece "Beebe", and vocals by Bing Crosby and the Boswell Sisters. 

  1. My Melancholy Baby
  2. Out of the Dawn
  3. It's Right Here for You
  4. She's Funny That Way
  5. Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love)
  6. My Kinda Love
  7. Mean to Me
  8. Beebe
  9. Praying the Blues
  10. Breakaway
  11. When I Take My Sugar to Tea
  12. It's the Girl
  13. Parkin' in the Moonlight
  14. Sing, It's Good for You
  15. It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)
  16. Mood Hollywood
  17. Old Man Harlem
  18. By Heck
  19. Stop, Look and Listen!
  20. Milenberg Joys
  21. Lullaby of Broadway
  22. Weary Blues
  23. Tailspin
  24. Dippermouth Blues

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Swingin' at the Speakeasy..The Sound of the Roaring 20's and 30's

Leaving aside a blatant error in the sub-title (roaring 20's yes, but the 30's were the depression era), this is a fascinating and fantastic collection. Many of these songs have stood the test of time well.

As with all music this old, it cannot be technically perfect. Some tracks have crackles and hiss, but this is often how these records sounded to listeners back then. When recorded music was a novelty, people tolerated the imperfections. 

There are more recent covers of many of these songs, and the compilers have included some here, which emphasize the limitations of the original ancient recordings. For example, the Puppini Sisters and the Temperance Seven, while these 20's/30's revivalists have made some excellent music, their inclusion here is debatable. Still, if their presence means more people discover the original music here, that's a good thing.

There are other less obvious later covers too, including the Ella / Louis cover of Dream A Little Dream of Me, which they recorded in 1950. This song dates from the thirties, but was revived in the sixties, first by the Shirelles and later by Mama Cass.

Despite some songs being later covers, most of the recordings are genuine recordings from the 20's and 30's, which capture the spirit of the music superbly. 

Whether you are just getting curious about this type of music or you have some already, this is an excellent compilation. (text from Amazon review)

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Julie London double ... The End of the World and Nice Girls Don't Stay for Breakfast...smooth 60's jazz/pop

Digitally remastered edition containing two original albums on a single CD. The great Julie London seems destined to be re-discovered every ten years or so. It started in the 80's and then again in the 90's. The End Of The World was released in 1963. Nice Girls Don't Stay For Breakfast was released in 1967. Older fans remember London for her string of sexy Pop singles and albums while slightly younger folks may remember her from acting stint on the popular 70's medical drama Emergency. Either way, London left her mark on many generations and is still fondly remembered.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Ultra-Lounge Volume Five...Wild, Cool and Swingin'.....finger snappin' vocals and cocktails after dark

1 –Dean Martin Ain't That A Kick In The Head 2:25
2 –Sam Butera and The Witnesses Dig That Crazy Chick 2:26
3 –Bobby Darin More 2:25
4 –Peggy Lee Fever 3:21
5 –Louis Prima Jump, Jive, An' Wail 3:30
6 –Sammy Davis, Jr. Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone 2:40
7 –Wayne Newton Danke Schöen 2:36
8 –Sam Butera and The Witnesses French Poodle 2:27
9 –Keely Smith What Is This Thing Called Love? 1:54
10 –Bobby Darin Sunday In New York 2:30
11 –Louis Prima Closer To The Bone 4:13
12 –Lou Rawls Nobody But Me 2:48
13 –Vic Damone Little Girl 2:02
14 –Nat King Cole L-O-V-E 2:34
15 –Dean Martin Volare (Nel Blu Di Pinto Di Blu) 3:00
16 –Louis Prima and Keely Smith That Old Black Magic 2:57
17 –Julie London You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To 2:16
18 –Bobby Darin Hello, Dolly! 3:14

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Atlantic Jazz Singers...classic jazz vocal tunes by the classic jazz vocalists

-Ray Charles Hard Times (No One Knows Better Than I) 2:53
–Joe Turner I Want A Little Girl 4:16
–Jimmy Witherspoon Tain't Nobody's Bizness If I Do 5:11
–Joe Mooney Have You Met Miss Jones 2:48
–Lavern Baker Empty Bed Blues 4:50
–Ruth Brown I Can Dream, Can't I 2:32
–Helen Merrill Any Time 2:36
–Lurlean Hunter Crazy He Calls Me 3:22
–Ann Richards Love Is A Word For The Blues 1:59
–Mose Allison Your Mind Is On Vacation 2:34
–Chris Connor Lonely Woman 4:05
–Mel Tormé Whisper Not 2:45
–Nancy Harrow Tain't Nobody's Bizness If I Do 4:10
–João Gilberto Deasfinado 1:57
–Betty Carter The Good Life 2:32
–Vi Redd         Salty Papa Blues 2:38
–Esther Phillips Confessin' The Blues 2:58
–Earl Coleman There's No You 3:54
–Carmen McRae I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good 3:26
–Al Hibber  Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me 4:38
–Aretha Franklin Moody's Mood 2:55
–Peggy Lee Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight 4:02
–Sarah Vaughan Something 4:16
–Sylvia Syms Lonely Woman 4:15
–The Manhattan Transfer Sing Joy Spring 4:15

Friday, May 17, 2019

Doris Day....Hits, Hollywood and Broadway

Doris Day (born Doris Mary Kappelhoff; April 3, 1922 – May 13, 2019) was an American actress, singer, and animal welfare activist. She began her career as a big band singer in 1939, achieving commercial success in 1945 with two No. 1 recordings, "Sentimental Journey" and "My Dreams Are Getting Better All the Time" with Les Brown & His Band of Renown. She left Brown to embark on a solo career and recorded more than 650 songs from 1947 to 1967.

Day's film career began during the latter part of the classical Hollywood era with the film Romance on the High Seas (1948), leading to a 20-year career as a motion picture actress. She starred in films of many genres, including musicals, comedies, and dramas. She played the title role in Calamity Jane (1953) and starred in Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) with James Stewart. Her best-known films are those in which she co-starred with Rock Hudson, chief among them 1959's Pillow Talk, for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. She also worked with James Garner on both Move Over, Darling (1963) and The Thrill of It All (1963), and also starred with Clark Gable, Cary Grant, James Cagney, David Niven, Jack Lemmon, Frank Sinatra, Richard Widmark, Kirk Douglas, Lauren Bacall and Rod Taylor in various movies. After ending her film career in 1968, only briefly removed from the height of her popularity, she starred in the sitcom The Doris Day Show (1968–1973).

Day became one of the biggest film stars in the early 1960s, and as of 2012 was one of eight performers to have been the top box-office earner in the United States four times. In 2011, she released her 29th studio album My Heart which contained new material and became a UK Top 10 album. She received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and a Legend Award from the Society of Singers. In 1960, she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress, and was given the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement in motion pictures in 1989. In 2004, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom; this was followed in 2011 by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association's Career Achievement Award.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

An introduction to....Finest Vintage Jazz...various artists

An excellent 2 disc, 49 track compilation of original mono recordings from 1917 to 1941 featuring the cream of jazz artists of the time. Ideal for the collector or if you are a recent convert to nostalgic music.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Bobby Darin Sings The Shadow of Your Smile and In A Broadway Bag...original albums plus

2007 digitally remastered two-fer from the legendary vocalist. Sings The Shadow Of Your Smile features the five movie songs nominated for the Academy Award in 1966, including 'The Ballad Of Cat Ballou' from Cat Ballou, and 'What's New Pussycat', as well as a host of popular songs from the era, all given the Darin treatment. 

In A Broadway Bag, also released in '66, displays Darin's winning style on a selection of outstanding songs from then-current and recent hit musicals. On the up-tempo side are 'Mame', the dramatic 'Don't Rain On My Parade' from Funny Girl and the soulful 'Feeling Good' from The Roar Of The Greasepaint - The Smell Of The Crowd. The ballads include the classic 'Try To Remember' from The Fantasticks. 

The seven bonus tracks are the contemporary non-album A and B-sides, including the Byrds-like 'We Didn't Ask To Be Brought Here', which indicated the rather more folky direction Darin's career was about to take.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Scott Joplin...Original Rags...historical piano roll recordings from the King of Ragtime

Scott Joplin (1868-1917) was an African-American composer and pianist. Joplin achieved fame for his ragtime compositions and was dubbed the King of Ragtime. During his brief career, he wrote 44 original ragtime pieces, one ragtime ballet, and two operas. One of his first and most popular pieces, the "Maple Leaf Rag", became ragtime's first and most influential hit, and has been recognized as the archetypal rag.

Joplin was born into a musical family of railway laborers in Texarkana, Arkansas, and developed his musical knowledge with the help of local teachers. He grew up in Texarkana, Texas, where he formed a vocal quartet and taught mandolin and guitar. During the late 1880's he left his job as a railroad laborer and travelled the American South as an itinerant musician. He went to Chicago for the World's Fair of 1893, which played a major part in making ragtime a national craze by 1897.

Joplin moved to Sedalia, Missouri, in 1894 and earned a living as a piano teacher. There he taught future ragtime composers Arthur Marshall, Scott Hayden and Brun Campbell. He began publishing music in 1895, and publication of his "Maple Leaf Rag" in 1899 brought him fame. This piece had a profound influence on writers of ragtime. It also brought Joplin a steady income for life, though he did not reach this level of success again and frequently had financial problems. In 1901 Joplin moved to St. Louis, where he continued to compose and publish, and regularly performed in the community. 

In 1907, Joplin moved to New York City to find a producer for a new opera. He attempted to go beyond the limitations of the musical form that made him famous, but without much monetary success. 

In 1916, Joplin descended into dementia as a result of syphilis. He was admitted to a mental institution in January 1917, and died there three months later at the age of 48. Joplin's death is widely considered to mark the end of ragtime as a mainstream music format; over the next several years, it evolved with other styles into stride, jazz, and eventually big band swing.

Joplin's music was rediscovered and returned to popularity in the early 1970's with the release of a million-selling album recorded by Joshua Rifkin. This was followed by the Academy Award-winning 1973 film The Sting that featured several of Joplin's compositions, most notably "The Entertainer", whose performance by pianist Marvin Hamlisch received wide airplay. In 1976, Joplin was posthumously awarded a Pulitzer Prize.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Mel Torme..Swingin' On the Moon...classic album from 1960 on Verve

Mel Tormé was so outrageously talented that even the fans of his "velvet fog" timbre under-estimate him--undoubtedly the one singer who approaches Lady Ella in terms of his commanding musicianship, his voice and all that he could do with it. He had definitely reached his prime by 1960, and this Sinatra-type "concept album," an idea stolen from Frank, pre-dates by five years the album ("Moonlight Sinatra") Ole Blue devoted to moon songs. Either way you can't go wrong.

Melvin Howard Tormé (September 13, 1925 – June 5, 1999), nicknamed The Velvet Fog, was an American musician, best known as a singer of jazz standards. He was also a jazz composer and arranger, drummer, an actor in radio, film, and television, and the author of five books. He composed the music for "The Christmas Song" ("Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire") and co-wrote the lyrics with Bob Wells.