Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Bud Shank Quartet

Here's a great album. Recorded in 1956, I'm pretty sure this is Bud Shank's first major solo release. I've posted a lot of Shank's work, and I think he's an artist that really epitomises the west coast cool jazz scene. While his more commercially styled pop/jazz work later on is good, his work here and on subsequent Pacific Jazz releases from the early 60's is the really good stuff.

Reading the liner notes on the back really makes you appreciate the LP format. While such extensive notes were more a staple of Jazz records, you'd be hard pressed to find anything like this in any genre today. And I love the cover art on this. Hip and Modern. Basically this whole album is the essense of cool. Dig it.

Bud Shank: Alto and Flute
Claude Williamson: Piano
Chuck Flores: Drums
Don Prell: Bass

Side 1:
01 - Bag Of Blues
02 - Nature Boy
03 - All This And Heaven Too
04 - Jubilation

Side 2:
05 - Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me
06 - Nocture For Flute
07 - Walkin'
08 - Carioca

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Surfer's Pajama Party

Here's an interesting album. I'm pretty sure it's the only live album in the Surf Genre. While Bruce Johnston is better known as a member of the Beach Boys Post 1965, before that he was doing numerous other stuff, including his own solo career (Surfin' Round The World (1963) and producing the Beach Boys sound-alike group The Rip-Chords with fellow rich kid friend and future producer Terry Melcher. Johnston and Melcher also recorded a few tracks under the name Bruce & Terry.

The actual album was recorded at the Sigma Pi Frat House at UCLA. The audio quality isn't great, but it's raw. There's a garage/punky spirit in this record that shines under the squeaky clean early 60's exterior. This is the mono version, and the stereo version is on CD and has bonus tracks, so seek that out.

Side 1:
01 - Ramrod
02 - Last Night
03 - Surfer's Stomp
04 - What'd I Say (Something On Your Mind)

Side 2:
05 - Pajama Party
06 - Kansas City
07 - Mashin' The Popeye
08 - Gee But I'm Lonesome
09 - Green Onions

And sorry there's been no posts recently. Lot of stuff going on, and not a lot of time to go record hunting (My collection of stuff that's kosher to post is shrinking).

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Pahu Tahiti!

Here's a cool exotica album for drum fans. And there are a lot of drums. Other than one song called 'Ukelele', the album is entirely made up of Tahitian Drumming, featuring a number of groups . I guess you could call this a "real" exotica album. While it may not be something I'll listen to often, it's a nice historical record and artifact of the 50's-60's fascination with exotic cultures. It's also interesting to find an album that presents island culture in a "naked" format rather than trying to add an orchestra and jazz arrangements. Both styles have their charms of course.

I've also finally posted the book for The Play Guitar With The Ventures Album. After trying to scan the book too many times, I finally just took pictures of the book and tried to make them as presentable as possible. Hopefully you guys can read everything ok.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Bud Shank - Girl In Love

Sorry about the slightly frightening album cover. This is a nice pop inflected jazz album from Bud Shank, with the orchestra conducted by fellow sax player Oliver Nelson. Nelson's history is similar to Nelson Riddle, in that he started out as a jazz arranger and eventually moved his way into scoring music for television shows (Ironside, Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman to name a few). Even though the album sounds like Elevator Music at times, there are some tracks (Particularly "Solitary Man") that bounce. Released in 1966, the album is another example of L.A. Session musicians popping up everywhere. Percussionist Frank Capp at the same time was working on The Beach Boys' classic "Pet Sounds" album, and I'm sure many of Nelson's orchestra were as well.

Piano: Bob Florence
Guitar: Herb Ellis, Dennis Budimir, John Pisano
Bass: Bob West
Drums: Frank Capp
Percussion: Victor Feldman

Side 1:
01 - Lady Jane
02 - Summer Wind
03 - The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore)
04 - Strangers In The Night
05 - When A Man Loves A Woman
06 - Girl In Love

Side 2:
07 - Don't Go Breaking My Heart
08 - Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime
09 - Time
10 - The Shining Sea
11 - Lara's Theme From Dr. Zhivago
12 - Solitary Man