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Archive for the ‘Victor Young’ Category

From Brazil to Ireland, Él Releases Grab-Bag of Jazz, Vocals, Soundtracks and Bossa Nova

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Cal Tjader - Latin BagFans of vintage jazz can thank Cherry Red’sél label for a number of recent reissues from such artists as Cal Tjader, Dave Lambert and Jon Hendricks, Herbie Mann and Antonio Carlos Jobim.

In a Latin Bag and Saturday Night/Sunday Night at the Blackhawk combines two albums on one CD from Latin jazz pioneer Cal Tjader. The vibraphonist/percussionist recorded these long out-of-print albums in 1961 and 1962, respectively, at Verve under the aegis of future CTI chief Creed Taylor. By the time he joined Verve, Tjader was already a seasoned leader, having recorded nearly 30 albums for the Savoy and Fantasy labels. Though born in St. Louis and raised in California, Tjader became enamored with Latin and Afro-Cuban styles, exploring them on LPs like Tjader Plays Mambo, Mambo with Tjader, Plays Afro-Cuban, and Latin for Lovers with Strings. He would stick with these sounds for his entire life.

For In a Latin Bag, Tjader was joined by flautist Paul Horn, bassist Al McKibbon, pianist Lonnie Hewett, and the percussion section of Armando Peraza (bongos), Wilfredo Vicente (congas) and Johnny Rae (timbales). The album blended originals from Tjader and Horn with standards including “Misty” and “Speak Low,” and movie material like Bronislau Kaper’s “On Green Dolphin Street” and Miklos Rosza’s “Theme from Ben-Hur.” Saturday/Sunday at the Blackhawk returned Tjader to the San Francisco venue where he had recorded live albums in 1957 and 1959. Leading a quartet consisting of Rae, Hewitt and bassist Freddy Schreiber, Tjader excelled at reinvention as he improvised on classic melodies by Richard Rodgers (“This Can’t Be Love”), Benny Goodman (“Stompin’ at the Savoy”) and George Gershwin (“Summertime”) and more contemporary ones by Gary McFarland and Benny Golson. Schreiber, Hewitt and Tjader all contributed compositions, too. It would take Tjader a couple more years to break through on Verve, which he accomplished with 1964’s Soul Sauce, said to be the album that popularized the term “salsa” for the kind of Latin dance music in which Tjader excelled. The two-for-one reissue includes the original liner notes for both albums.

Brazilian SceneThe music of Brazil has been featured on numerous él CDs in recent months, from artists including Antonio Carlos Jobim, Joao Gilberto, Joao Donato, Vinicius de Moraes, and Luis Bonfá. The latest of the label’s explorations of bossa nova and beyond is The Brazilian Scene, a 24-track compendium.   This collection draws on music recorded between 1955 and 1962 from a number of diverse Brazilian artists. The legendary Jobim (sometimes referred to as “the Gershwin of Brazil”) is heard teaming with Herbie Mann on his own “One Note Samba,” while his “Garota de Ipanema” (“The Girl from Ipanema”), “Samba do Aviao” and “So Danco Samba” are heard in renditions by organist Ze Maria and bossa nova/tropicalist composer Jorge Ben. Maria’s 1962 album Todo Azul is included in full here, noteworthy as Ben’s professional recording debut. Ben’s signature song “Mas Que Nada” (later a smash hit by Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66) is among its tracks. The Brazilian Scene also includes music from Herbie Mann and Baden Powell, Luis Bonfá, Radames Gnattali with Laurindo Almeida, Gilberto Gil, and even composer Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959). Villa-Lobos’ classical/art music predated bossa nova and tropicalia but shares with those movements a spellbinding, exotic quality. It all adds up to some of the most beguiling “world music” ever made.

After the jump: a look at Lambert and Hendricks (no Ross, sorry) and a melange of music from the classic film The Quiet Man, as sung by Bing Crosby and one somewhat more unexpected crooner! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

May 2, 2014 at 10:15

A Paramount Collection: Kritzerland Unearths Three Vintage Scores From Victor Young

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Victor Young at ParamountVictor Young was very nearly the Randy Newman of his day.  When Newman finally took home the Academy Award in 2002, it followed 15 unsuccessful nominations – a record which tied him with another film score legend, Alex North.  (North received a Lifetime Achievement Oscar in 1986, five years before his death.)  When Young’s name was finally called as the winner of an Academy Award in 1957, it was a posthumous victory for the 22-time (!) nominee.  Victor Young died in November 1956 at just 56 years old (some sources say 57), but not before leaving behind a vast, rich body of work including 1943’s For Whom the Bell Tolls, cited as the first score to be issued on records.  Young also wrote a number of now-standard songs such as “When I Fall in Love” and “Stella by Starlight.”  Kritzerland is celebrating the Young oeuvre with the release of Victor Young at Paramount containing three scores from the great composer.  This 1,000-unit limited edition release is due by the last week of April but pre-orders directly from the label usually arrive an average of four weeks early.

This Victor Young triple bill comprises the scores to three films released between 1949 and 1951: The Accused (1949), September Affair (1950) and Appointment with Danger (1951).  None of these three scores have ever been released in audio format before, and all have been transferred directly from the elements in the Paramount vaults by the restoration experts at Kritzerland.  Ironically, Young wasn’t nominated for Oscars for any of these scores, but they’re no less melodic and memorable.  After the jump, we have all of the details on this Young treasure trove via the complete Kritzerland press release as well as the full track listing and pre-order link! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

March 11, 2014 at 13:27

Soundtrack Round-Up: FSM “Heat”s Up, Intrada Uncovers More Disney, La-La Land is Super, Kritzerland Is Forever Young

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You know it’s a big week for soundtracks when multiple specialty labels announce projects in the same week; currently, we have six such titles on the horizon from four labels!

First off, Film Score Monthly has prepped their third-to-last soundtrack set, and it’s an oft-requested killer: an expanded edition of John Barry’s score to Body Heat (1981). A neo-noir classic, Body Heat – the directorial debut of legendary screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes BackRaiders of the Lost ArkThe Bodyguard) – stars William Hurt and new starlet Kathleen Turner in a highly eroticized tale of an affair that turns to murder and deceit. The late John Barry turned in one of his most acclaimed scores, looking back to his early, improv-friendly jazz combo days while maintaining a modern, lush, orchestral edge to the score. FSM’s definitive presentation of Body Heat includes the full score with alternates and source music, as well as a bonus disc featuring an unreleased edit and mix of the score for album purposes, featuring composer-approved mixes by Dan Wallin, and ten demos of the seductive main theme.

And what’s on the way from Intrada, La-La Land and Kritzerland? Hit the jump to find out.

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Written by Mike Duquette

August 29, 2012 at 10:20