Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Eddie Cano - The Latin Magic Of Eddie Cano & His Orchestra

The Latin Magic Of Eddie Cano & His Orchestra


256+ VBR LAME mp3
Vinyl rip & scans from Hurrah H-1053

Medley 4

Eddie Cano was a gifted LA-born Latino pianist from a musical family who played a considerable role in the creation and popularisation of Latin jazz. His early work with Tito Puente, Machito and Noro Morales in the late 40s led to stints with Les Baxter, Cal Tjader, Jack Costanzo and Buddy Collette then, thanks to
his instrumental virtuosity and compositional skills as well as some strenuous support from Shorty Rogers, he was signed for a series of respected solo albums for RCA in the 50s. From there he would record for a considerable list of labels in the 60s, including United Artists, Pickwick, Reprise, Atco and Dunhill.

During the lion's share of that dynamic decade he headed up the resident band at the famous Hollywood hot-spot, P.J.'s, for numerous years and was a danceflloor darling of tinsel town jet set. It was there he recorded one of my favourite boogaloo bombs, Brought Back Live From P.J.'s, which would see its way to Soundological save for the fact the reissue is dirt cheap at Dusty's or on order from your local dealer. This was actually the second album he taped there; six years earlier he saw a hit with his interpretation of "A Taste of Honey" from Eddie Cano at P.J.'s.

Not nearly as exciting, this collection of cha cha medleys was recorded for Pickwick (who released it on at least three different sub-labels) at the outset of the 60s. Although Cano shows his chops and the horn section hits the mark throughout, it's the start of period of label restriction that saw Cano strait-jacketed by industry types out to exploit the latest Latin dance fads by covering and pop chart hits. Although proving to be a bankable payday, the piper called the tune and Cano was always clear that from the time he left RCA until he dumped Reprise for Dunhill, he had bupkiss by way of creative input on his albums beyond his actual playing. This would be rectified with Dunhill and later in the 70s with his participation in sessions on albums like Bobby Hutcherson's Montara and his continuous live appearances until his passing in the late 80s

According to Cano himself*, he "wasn't into a complete jazz bag or a complete Latin thing" and Latin jazz was his "bag" and what he had "always done." Thankfully this release was prior to the worst of this restriction so Cano's obviously still having some fun with the gig at this point and displays a palpable emotional connection to the material. Although it's basically your run-of-the-mill cha cha record meant to be played at parties and consequently upbeat by nature of the beast, each of the four medleys has a subtly different overtone ranging from bittersweet to bawdy. Not nearly as strong as his earlier effort at RCA, it's still an enjoyable representative of its genre albeit better suited as a soundtrack for social gatherings than as a piece for solitary appreciation.

Eddie Cano - Piano

1 Canto Karabali; Lunita Nueva; Candice: Ombo; Salud, Dinero Y Amor; Piel Canela
2 Mama Inez; Negra Consentida En Vano Te Espero; Cuando Yo Bailo Asi; Tru-Cu-Tu; Amor Y Mas Amor; El Suenito; Batiri
3 Manhattan; Yo Te Lo Dije; Rico Rica; Amapola; Senor Juan Cha Cha #5, Pan Con Queso; Teresa
4 Take Your Time; Cha Cha Chando; El Limpiabotas; TV Cha Cha; Ella, Ella; Cuba Cha Cha; La Santiaguera; Acere

Feel the Latin magic with Soundological HERE or HERE.


1956 Costanzo, Cano & Bongos! w/ Jack Costanzo
@ Orgy In Rhythm

1956 Cole Porter & Me /1957 Duke Ellington & Me
[reissued 2003 as Cole Porter, Duke Ellington & Me] @ AvaxHome

1958 Deep In A Drum
[reissued 1993 & 2005]
1958 Time For Cha Cha Cha
@ Schadenfreudian Therapy

1959 Cha Cha Cha Con Cano

1960 Jazz Heat Bongo Beat
w/ Buddy Collette
@ Xtabays

1960 Dancing on The Sunset Strip
w/ Jack Costanzo

1961 Eddie Cano at P.J.'s
[reissued 2008]

1962 30 Latin American Favorites [Pickwick]
aka The Latin Magic Of Eddie Cano & His Orchestra [Hurrah]
aka Latin Discotheque [Cosmic]

1962 Here Is The Fabulous Eddie Cano
[reissued 2008]
1962 Mucho Piano!

1963 A Taste of Cano
Mucho Piano! w/ different track sequence]

1963 Cano Plays Mancini
[reissued 2008]

1963 Danke Schoen
[reissued 2008]

1963 Jack Costanzo Meets Eddie Cano
w/ Jack Costanzo

1964 Broadway Right Now
[reissued 2008]
@ Latin Jazz Descarga Directa
1965 The Sound of Music and The Sound Of Cano
[reissued 2008]

1966 On Broadway
w/ Nino Tempo
[reissued 2008]

1967 Brought Back Live From P.J.'s
[reissued 2006]

More info on Eddie can be found at and in the pages of *Barrio rhythm: Mexican American Music in Los Angeles by Steven Joseph Loza (snippets here).

Monday, 16 November 2009

Quartette Trés Bien - Kilimanjaro


256+ VBR LAME mp3
Vinyl rip & scans from DL 74548


My Favorite Things

Often compared to the Ramsey Lewis/Young-Holt Trio, Billy Larkin & The Delegates, Odell Brown & the Organ-izers and The Three Sounds to name a few, this soulful piano-fronted St. Louis combo set themselves apart by adding a percussionist into the mix and notching up the funky latin feel early in the game. Hugely popular in their hometown, this is one of the records that broke them out of their regional star status and brought them to the world's attention in the early 60s.

Although released second in chronological sequence, Kilimanjaro could actually be viewed as the band's debut since the material contained herein was recorded prior to most of the music on Boss Trés Bien. Having released some albums on small indie label Norman Records before signing with Decca, their discography is not so cut and dried when it comes to the dawn of their career. Here's a bit of background on QTB's early output from Dennis Owsley's book City of Gabriels: The History of Jazz in St. Louis, 1895-1973 (p. 149):
The Quartette Trés Bien recorded for the Norman label in St. Louis before moving to Decca...Their first album, Quartette Trés Bien was recorded in St. Louis around 1962. The tunes were "Lover Come Back To Me," "I Love Paris," "The Breeze and I,", "Exodus," "Rhodesian Chant," and "Three O'Clock in the Morning." Both "Exodus" and "Three O'Clock in the Morning" also were on their Atlantic album, Bully! The group also recorded "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" and "Ramblin' Rose" as a 45-rpm single during this time. "Kilimanjaro," the title tune of their first Decca album was also recorded in St. Louis as a single. The remaining tunes on the album Kilimanjaro may have been recorded in either St. Louis or New York. They are "Secretly," "I Didn't Know What Time It Was," "My Favorite Things," "My One and Only Love," and "You Came a Long Way from St. Louis." One more tune was recorded in St. Louis as a single, "Boss Trés Bien," parts 1 and 2, became part of the Decca album, Boss Trés Bien. Vocalist Clea Bradford recorded "Someday My Prince Will Come" in two parts with the group in 1963 as a single.
In the appendix of his book, rife with discographical data, Owsley notes there are at least 4 tracks recorded during the 60s Decca sessions that remain unissued, although he mentions there is speculation some of the tracks may have been remastered and renamed. Owsley also mentions elsewhere in the book that producer Norman Wienstroer (the "Norman" in "Norman Records") was the one responsible for hooking up QTB with Decca. Thankfully he did since otherwise these local jazz heroes may have faded into obscurity as was the fate to befall most other acts from the Norman catalogue's 1960-1967 run.

Dusty Groove sez:
One of the earliest albums from the legendary Quartette Trés Bien -- the hip piano combo from the St Louis scene -- one who were almost to that city's jazz world what Ramsey Lewis was to Chicago! Unlike other piano groups of the time, which were trios, the Quartette featured an additional percussionist in their lineup of piano, bass, and drums -- and that added percussion really gives records like this a super-cool kick -- a romping sort of rhythm that's totally great! Pianist Jeter Thompson's also one heck of a great writer -- as you'll hear on the album's original "Kilimanjaro" -- and percussionist Percy James really makes other tunes groove, including versions of "You Came A Long Way From St Louis", "I Left My Heart In San Francisco", "Secretly", "My Favorite Things", and "My One And Only Love".

Jeter Thompson - Piano
Richard Simmons - Bass
Albert St. James - Drums
Percy James - Percussion

1 Kilimanjaro
2 I Left My Heart In San Francisco
3 Secretly
4 I Didn't Know What Time It Was
5 My Favorite Things
6 My One And Only Love
7 Ramblin' Rose
8 You Came A Long Way From St. Louis

You can climb
Kilimanjaro's snow-capped peak with your Soundological sherpa HERE or HERE.


1964 Boss Trés Bien

[Norman NL102/NS102 & Decca DL 7/4547]
here (@320 not my rip, found on slsk)

1964 Kilimanjaro
[Norman NL107/NS107 & Decca DL 7/4548]
1965 Spring into Spring
[Decca DL 7/4617] at Arkadin's Ark

1965 Stepping Out
[Decca DL 7/4675] at Arkadin's Ark

1966 Sky High
[Decca DL 7/4715] at Arkadin's Ark

1966 Bully!
[Atlantic SD 1461] it's out there, do a search (not linked by request)

1966 In Motion
[Decca DL 7/4791 & Brunswick LAT8642] at Arkadin's Ark

1967 Where It's At!
[Decca DL 7/4822 & Brunswick 74822]
c/o My Jazz World

1968 Here It Is!
[Decca DL 7/4893] at Arkadin's Ark

1968 Four of a Kind
[Decca DL 7/4958]

1968 Our Thing
[Decca DL 7/5044] c/o Arkadin via slsk

2004 Coming Together
[Trio Tres Bien] at Trio's web page

2000 Bully! w/ Sergio Mendes' Great Arrival (Collectable Jazz Classics 2-for-1)
Boss Trés Bien (Universal Japan)
2008 Kilimanjaro (Universal Japan)

Along with Peanuts Whalum on sax, QTB also backed St. Louis jazz chanteuse Jeannie Trevor on her 1965 album for Mainstream, Pow! Jeannie Trevor Sings!! Fetching a fair price on the racks, it features yet another dope Jack Lonshein cover for Shad's label. QTB had previously backed her in 1962 on two 45s for Norman records.

[Mainstream 56075]

Speaking of 45s, the band also released a dope one in the early 70s on Royal Tone Records featuring the choice cut "Voo Doo Man" with Jeter switching on to electric piano - check it out over at I'm Learning To Share! However, this looks like the swan song for QTB as this line up would split and Thompson would hook up with his brothers Harold and Howard to carry on in the same vein as the Trio Trés Bien.

Sources: Dennis Owsley (KFMU St. Louis), AMG, Wikipedia, The Egyptian Combo & Norman Records page.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Moe Koffman - Back To Bach

Back To Bach


256+ VBR LAME mp3
Vinyl rip & scans from Anthem ANR-1-1023

Canned Daddy

Nursury Rhyme Dancer

This is widely acknowledged as the worst set from the entire Moe Koffman catalogue and that truly says something, don't it? Frankly, it encapsulates everything wrong with discofied jazz and much of music in general at the end of the 70s (or is that the start of the 80s?): monotonous metronome disco beats, cheezy and unchallenging solos, horrendous concept albums, salubrious string sections, schmaltzy balladry, slick assembly-line production sapping the soul out of every note and even bad cover art to boot.

Obviously Moe had exhausted his ideas and made an ill-advised return to not only the nearly dried-out well of Western Classical Music but, as the the title so non-cleverly states, back to Bach's well-worn and immediately-identifiable ditties. Bad call there, buddy.
On the bright side, beat builders may find a funky brick or two to work with here - however "brick" is definitely the operative word overall since this here album sinks like one in almost every aspect.

In the immortal words of Brenda Lee: I'm sorry. So sorry. Sorry my completist tendencies compel me to cough up this chunk of Can Con crap into your lap. But hey, this means Moe's mostly done here at SI (check his discography post here) and we can hold our head high for keepin' it real and reppin' our hinterland 'hood...

Moe Koffman - Flute & Piccolo
Doug Riley - Keyboards & Toy Drum
Bob Mann - Guitar
Tom Szczesniak - Bass
Bob McLaren - Drums & Percussion
Brian Leonard - Drums & Percussion

1 Canned Daddy
2 The Wooden Soldier
3 Singing Voices
4 Bad N Eerie
5 Back to Bach
6 Bach's Lunch
7 Air D'Or (Melody of Gold)
8 Irish Tea Party
9 See Us Home
10 Nursery Rhyme Dancer

Bach up with Soundological HERE or HERE.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Moe Koffman - Solar Explorations

Solar Explorations

256+ VBR LAME mp3
Vinyl rip & scans from GRT 9230-1050


Since the previous Herbie Mann post included a cover of Moe's signature tune, Swingin' Shepherd Blues, I thought I'd bump this one up in the rotation. I'd have to say the fact the world's premiere jazz flautist chose to include one of Moe's compositions along with heavy hitters such as The Beatles, Smokey Robinson and a fundamental track from the roots reggae canon speaks volumes of the high regard in which he was held by the woodwind world.

This double-LP is definitely a singularity in Koffman's catalogue and the closest any of his releases came to a true kosmigroove or free jazz mode as opposed to the bop-licitous charts of his early and later days or the snazzy reinterpretations of popular/classical music and saccharine smooth jazz that often plagued his output during the late 60s through to the early 80s. Overall it's very similar in feel to the third Dr. Music album recorded a scant few months earlier at the same studio.

This is likely due to It sharing much of the same core line up save for Kennedy and Mallory (who were most responsible for the lyricism and song-oriented structures of that project's output) with the addition of some Boss Brass members and guitarist Sonny Greenwich, who had spent the previous decade performing with luminaries like Miles Davis, Charles Lloyd, Wayne Shorter, Pharoah Sanders, McCoy Tyner, Chick Corea, John Handy and Sun Ra as well as recording with Hank Mobley on the latter's acclaimed Third Season album from 1967.

Note that persisting issues from the RapidShare and PayPal problems of the past two weeks prevent the preview player from working so I've provided a link to a track instead. Since posting clips currently costs over $200 per year in server fees, I might have to switch up to this more economical method, use minimal snippets instead of the whole track or ditch the previews altogether. sez:
Koffman's album of choice is Solar Explorations, a double lp of nine tracks with titles corresponding to the nine planets in this solar system. Obvious yeah, but far preferable to his early 70s conceptual missteps in blending jazz with Bach or Vivaldi's Four Seasons. David Axelrod, these ain't. On Solar Explorations, some of the larger ensemble pieces ("Saturn", "Uranus") resemble a more kozmik Boss Brass-- unsurprising with the guest appearances of both Rob McConnell and Guido Basso.

Better are the octet recordings, which are dominated by Koffman on flute, Sonny Greenwich on guitar and Doug Riley on Fender Rhodes. The tastiest cuts are designated by "Earth" (atonal free electronic interludes alternating with fierce percussive sections), "Mars" (great middle section tribute to Rod Serling) and "Venus" (anchored by a near-serialist bassline doubled on ARP and a jerky funk rhythm.).

Moe Koffman - Flute, Piccolo, Alto & Soprano Sax
Doug Riley - Keyboards, Fender Rhodes
Don Thompson - Bass
Rick Homme - Bass
Terry Clarke - Drums
Claude Ranger - Drums
Michael Craden - Percussion
Sonny Greenwich - Guitar
Guido Basso - Trumpet
Fred Stone - Trumpet
Arnie Chycoski - Trumpet
Al Stanwyck - Trumpet
Rob McConnell - Trombone
Ian McDougall - Trombone
Russ Little - Trombone
Bob Livingston - Trombone
Eugene Amaro - Sax
Keith Jollimore - Sax
David Rosenbloom - ARP synthesizer
Peter Schenkman - Cello

1 Saturn
2 Earth
3 Uranus
4 Neptune
5 Mars
6 Jupiter
7 Venus
8 Pluto
9 Mercury

Surf Moe's solar system alongside Soundological HERE or HERE.