There were a couple of possibilities musically-speaking, but my selection as the most essential compact disc of the month goes to Phil Harris and “The South Shall Rise Again / You’re Blasé,” Sepia (E) 1278, because of the care given in its production.
Included are the complete RCA Victor “Living Stereo” album LSP-1985, recorded in 1958; plus a less-common 10” LP, “You’re Blasé” (RCA Victor LPM-3203); and a half-dozen hi-fi singles.
The original front cover artwork from both albums is included, along with meaningful liner notes and other details.
Only a handful of these sides have been available in any format since their initial release in the 1950s, so this is a good, quality release to get.
Be sure to listen to the 1951 version of Where the Blues Were Born in New Orleans, Rugged But Right, and I Wouldn’t Touch You with a Ten-Foot Pole – they’re real Dixie-drenched swingers!
Big Band Library rating: Southern comfort, y’all!
MORE NEW CDS
Count Basie. “Original Album Series,” Warner 2564628850. 5-CDs, each one a
different album: “The Atomic Mr. Basie,” “Count Basie Swings, Tony Bennett Sings,”
“Basie: One More Time,” “Chairman of the Board,” and “Basie At Birdland.” However,
this has all been on CD before.
Frankie Carle. “Top of the Mark,” Music Boutique CD-R. His live album taped at the
Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco in 1960. I think that this is one of Carle’s best
albums, though it doesn’t come with the deluxe booklet of photographs that the
original RCA Victor LSP-2233 LP issue did.
Tommy Dorsey. “The Tommy Dorsey Show Volume Three,” Sounds of YesterYear (E)
DSOY996. Tommy as d.j. introducing and playing some of his own recordings
such as Opus 1 and None But the Lonely Heart, as well as select hits of the day
by others including Gene Krupa, Frankie Carle, Louis Prima, Jimmy Dorsey, Les
Brown, Tony Pastor, Russ Morgan, and Ray Noble. Not too interesting in my
opinion, unless you’re a T.D. completist. Only one more volume to go, thank
Shep Fields. “One Man Two Bands,” Music Boutique CD-R. The RCA Camden CAL-
388 album, with half the songs by Shep’s traditional “Rippling Rhythm” band and the
other half by his early 1940s all-reed “New Music” orchestra.
Benny Goodman. “Charlie Christian Live with the Benny Goodman Sextet,” Phoenix
131606. Performances, mostly from broadcasts, between 1939 and 1941.
Ted Lewis. “Volume Three: Some of These Days: Recordings From 1922 to 1934,”
Crystal Stream (Aus) IDCD302. Total playing time 79:45, including Hot Lips, Tiger
Rag, Away Down South in Heaven, and Happiness Ahead.
Freddy Martin. “Freddy Martin’s Greatest Hits,” Music Boutique CD-R. Freddy’s
1967 Decca LP with all his usual big hits like Bumble Boogie, Warsaw Concerto, and
Intermezzo re-done once more. As big band author George T. Simon once
commented, “Not the original recordings, but good facsimiles, nevertheless.”
SORTING OUT “FATHA” HINES CDS
As a fan of big band music, I think that there have been too many times when one company releases some old LPs onto CD, then another, competing company releases nearly the same contents but with one or two things different. Don’t they pay attention to what has already come out?
Even if they are selling a bunch of albums on CD for $13-$15, it’s not too enjoyable to have to buy so much duplication just to get one or two things you didn’t already have.
Consider the following examples of recent releases of music by Earl “Fatha” Hines.
American Jazz Classics released “Earl’s Pearls” in 2011 (catalog number 99038) and Fresh Sound Records did “Livin’ with the Blues: Barbara Dane with Earl ‘Fatha’ Hines & His Orchestra” in 2013 (FSR CD 781).
Now I’ll underline the duplications which followed.
In January of this year, Real Gone Jazz released a 4-CD package titled “Seven Classic Albums” (catalog number RGJCD468). The albums were “‘Fatha’ Plays ‘Fats,’” “Earl ‘Fatha’ Hines: solo,” “The Incomparable Earl ‘Fatha’ Hines,” “The Earl Hines Trio,” “Livin’ with the Blues,” “Earl’s Pearls,” and “A Monday Date.” Two had already been out.
Actually, make that three, because Original Jazz Classics had reissued "A Monday Date" on CD in 1991!
Then in March of this year, Avid produced the 2-CD set “Earl Hines: Four Classic Albums Plus” (AMSC 1152), containing “Paris one night stand,” “The Incomparable Earl ‘Fatha’ Hines,” “Earl’s Pearls,” and “A Monday Date.” Three out of four were already available!
This month, the Enlightenment label (which doesn’t seem too enlightened about what’s already been put out) is releasing a 4-CD package, “Earl Hines: Eight Classic Albums 1951-1961.” Included are the 10-inch LP “Piano Moods” (from Columbia), “Earl ‘Fatha’ Hines: solo,” “Louis Armstrong and Earl Hines” (Philips), “‘Fatha’ Plays ‘Fats’,” “The Incomparable Earl ‘Fatha’ Hines,” “Earl ‘Fatha' Hines: solo,” “Earl’s Pearls,” and “A Monday Date.” Yes, the cover artwork is nicely done, but… six out of the eight albums were already available in the CD format!
As you can see, certain of these CD producers are mining the same material, with little regard for the consumer who has to buy the stuff over and over just to get the one or two albums that weren’t otherwise available.
BIG BANDS ON TOUR
Les Elgart Orchestra directed by Russ Dorsey. Apr 9, “Master Works [ sic ] Family
Concert,” Old Bedford School, Bedford, TX.
Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Nick Hilscher. Apr 2, Alma Performing Arts
Center, Alma, AR; Apr 7, Paramount Theatre, Anderson, IN; Apr 10, Canton High
School, Canton, IL; Apr 11, Edgerton Performing Arts Center, Edgerton, WI; Apr 12,
College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL; Apr 14, Evergreen, Holland, MI; Apr 17-18,
Kleinhans Music Hall, Buffalo, NY; Apr 19, Youghiogheny Country Club, McKeesport,
PA; Apr 20, York Central School, Retsof, NY; Apr 22, Community Arts Center,
Williamsport, PA; Apr 24, Capitol Theatre, Rome, NY; Apr 25, The Dana Center,
Manchester, NH; Apr 26, Infinity Hall, Norfolk, CT; Apr 27, Massena High School,
Massena, NY; Apr 29, Bohemia Manor Middle School, Chesapeake City, MD; Apr
30, The Levoy Theatre, Millville, NJ.
Artie Shaw Orchestra directed by Matt Koza. Apr 26, Sellersville Theater,
AND A WOODY HERMAN TRIBUTE
On the 18th of this month, an evening concert in tribute to Woody Herman will take place at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Zelazo Center, featuring three alumni from his last orchestra.
Saxophonist Frank Tiberi, who took over the Herman herd when Woody died in 1987, will lead what's described by Mike Drew in the online Milwaukee Journal as "a blend of Herman alumni and other big band vets." Trumpeter Roger Ingram and saxophonist Mike Brignola will be two of the other musicians in the ensemble.
The day before the concert, Tiberi, Ingram, and Brignola will conduct student clinics, which are open to the public.
IN-PRINT AND / OR ONLINE
Stephen J. Pytak. "Les Brown festival salutes veterans," [ Pottsville, PA ] Republican
Herald, Apr 19, 2015. Guests at the three-day celebration included Les Brown, Jr.,
who is now age 75 and lives in Branson, MO.
Margie Stanislaw. "Jeannette's Big Band star honored by alma mater," [Pittsburgh,
PA ] Tribune-Review, Apr 14, 2015. The high school in Jeannette, PA which Vaughn
Monroe attended and graduated from in 1929 has named its Auditorium after him.
HAPPY BIRTHDAYS TO:
Boomie Richman, b.Apr. 2, 1921. Tenor saxophonist with Paxton '44-'45; T. Dorsey
'45-'51 [ off and on ]; Goodman '51 / '52 / '53 / '54 / '55 / '58; Reynolds '55 "Songs for
Happy Feet" album.
Doris Day, b.Apr. 3, 1924. Vocalist with Crosby '40; Brown '40-'41 / '44-'46.
Derek Smith, b.Apr. 17, 1931. Pianist with Goodman '61 / '67 / '69 / '71 / '72-'73.
Slide Hampton, b.Apr. 21, 1932. Trombonist with B. Johnson '55-'57; Hampton '58;
Ferguson '58-'59; and leader of the Gillespie All Star Big Band '04- .
Mundell Lowe, b.Apr.21, 1922. Guitarist with McKinley '46-47.
Bea Wain, b.Apr. 30, 1917. Vocalist with Shaw '37 (If It's the Last Thing I Do); Clinton
Harry Carney, b.Apr. 1, 1910. Baritone saxophonist with Ellington '27-'74.
Hymie Shertzer, b.Apr. 2, 1909. Alto saxophonist with Goodman '34-'38 / '42-'44/
'51 / '52 / '53 / '54 / '55 / '58 / '59; Hampton '37 (Victor) / '39 (Victor); T Dorsey '38-'39;
Shaw '50 (Decca) / '53 (Decca).
B ill Finegan, b.Apr. 3, 1917. Arranger – composer for T Dorsey '39-'52 (intermittently);
Miller '39-'42; Heidt '42-'43. Leader of own band with Sauter.
Ken Kersey, b.Apr. 3, 1916. Pianist with Eldridge '39-'40?; Kirk '42.
Knobby Totah, b.Apr. 5, 1930. Bassist with Krupa '63-'64.
Gerry Mulligan, b.Apr. 6, 1927. Baritone saxophonist. Arranger - composer with Krupa
'46-'47 / '58; Thornhill '47-'53?; Kenton '52-'53.
Ralph Flanagan, b.Apr. 7, 1914. Pianist –arranger for Kaye '41. Leader of own band.
Billie Holiday, b.Apr. 7, 1915. Vocalist with Basie '37-'38; Shaw '38.
Peanuts Hucko, b.Apr. 7, 1918. Clarinetist – tenor saxophonist with Bradley '39-'40/
'41 / '46 (Signature session); Miller '43-'45 (AAF); McKinley '46-'47; Teagarden '47 /
'57; Welk '70-'72. Leader of Miller Orch '74.
Julian Dash, b.Apr. 9, 1916. Tenor saxophonist with E Hawkins '38-'53?.
Morty Corb, b.Apr. 10, 1917. Bassist with Crosby '52 / '56 / '57 / '60.
Chano Pozo, b.Apr. 10, 1915. Bongo – conga drums with Gillespie '47-'48.
Lionel Hampton, b.Apr. 12, 1908. Vibraphonist /drummer with Armstrong '30-'31;
Goodman '36-'39. Leader of own band.
Bud Freeman, b.Apr. 13, 1906. Tenor saxophonist with Noble '35; T Dorsey '37-'38;
Goodman '38; Wilson '38.
Henry Mancini, b.Apr. 16, 1924. Pianist - arranger with Miller Orch-Beneke '46-'47;
arranger for Beneke '51.
Joe Dixon, b.Apr. 21, 1917. Clarinetist and saxophonist with T Dorsey '36-'37;
Lou Stein, b.Apr. 22, 1922. Pianist with McKinley '46-'47? / '53 / '54 / '66; Ventura '47;
Bradley '53; Hefti '54; Bellson '55 / '56.
Dave Tough, b.Apr. 26, 1908. Drummer with T Dorsey '36-'37; Berigan '38; Goodman
'38; Shaw '41-'42; Herman '44-'45; Ventura '47 (National session in March);
Teagarden (3/14/47 RCA Victor session).
Matty Matlock, b.Apr. 27, 1909. Clarinetist with Pollack '29-'34; Crosby '35-'42 /
'50-'52 / '56-'57 / '60 / '66 et al; Hackett '55.
Everett Barksdale, b.Apr. 28, 1910. Guitarist with Carter '40.
Duke Ellington, b.Apr. 29, 1899. Leader of own band.
Billy Ver Planck, b.Apr. 30, 1930. Trombonist – arranger with Thornhill '53; Dorsey Bros
'56-'57?; J Dorsey '52 / '56 (Fraternity session).
Be watching for some Ben Pollack material, several Jan Garbers, and more very good Frankie Carle music transferred to CD.