Welcome to Guitars & All That Jazz

Welcome to Guitars & All That Jazz

Guitars & All That Jazz was a radio station that webcast via Live365 for 11 years, ending in June 2011. The playlist consisted of guitar instrumentals, jazz, big band, early rock 'n' roll, lounge music and classic easy listening.

I hope to share some of this music with you via this blog. Most of it will be taken from the original vinyl (LPs and 45s) , cassettes and the occasional commercially unavailable CD.

Here's hoping you'll find something to enjoy. Please note files are available only for a limited time.

I urge you to purchase the digital version of the albums featured, either on CD or via download, wherever possible.

Listen to the Music
There are now two music streams. Click the appropriate player to the right.
1. Guitars & All That Jazz: Five hours of the best in jazz, guitars and other instrumental gems. New songs are added weekly.
2. Tiki Shores: Music to sweep you away to a tropical isle, a South American dance floor or a bossa nova on the beach at Rio. About 4.5 hours of classic exotica music, Latin rhythms and bossa nova.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Duane Eddy Wishes James Burton Happy Birthday

One guitar great wishes another Happy Birthday. James Burton, who was 75 on August 21, got his start in the 1950s playing on Ricky Nelson's early records as well as hits like Suzie Q by Dale Hawkins.


Duane Eddy James Burton Birthday Greeting from SongLever on Vimeo.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Guitars & All That Jazz On Summer Break


Guitars & All That Jazz will return in mid-September. See you then.

The Young Lovers - Valley of the Dolls


The cover of this cheap LP reminds of the posters for those exploitation flicks that used to be shown at drive-ins and 42nd Street grindhouses. Chicks in chains, the evils of drugs and alcohol, motorcycle gangs, teenage delinquents, etc.

Valley of the Dolls (Design, 1968) is billed as by the Young Lovers, but it sounds as though the tracks were drawn from several different sources. There are the three well-known movie themes plus seven tracks that seem to consist mostly of pop renditions of classical pieces.

The arrangement of the familiar Carmen bears more than a passing resemblance to the Tijuana Brass or perhaps the Phil Bodner-led Brass Ring, both of which got lots of airplay in the late '60s.

Carmen



There were at least two other Young Lovers LPs issued by Design. One featured the theme from Barbarella and another spotlighted songs from the musical Finian's Rainbow. I'd be willing to bet that many of the tracks from the LPs were recycled on other cheap albums, no doubt with different artist credits and perhaps some song title changes as well. None of the Young Lovers material has been released digitally, at least not under that name.

Since I mentioned them earlier, here's a couple of things from the Tijuana Brass and the Brass Ring.



And finally, something from the Young Lovers' The Hit Songs Of The Wild Movie Barbarella And Other Way Out Themes (Design, 1970).

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Leon Sash - Leon the Lion (single)


Some consider Leon Sash (1922-1979) the greatest jazz accordionist ever, and certainly the equal of the far better known Art Van Damme. Whatever the case may be, it's certain that Sash was vastly under-recorded.

Some early recordings for Mercury's EmArcy imprint, a live recording at Newport in 1957 and a couple of later LPs comprise his slim discography.

Sash gained national and international recognition in the 1950s and '60s, especially after his Newport appearance. But unfortunately fame did not bring him more recording opportunities. In fact he had to wait a decade after Newport to enter a recording studio again.

Sash recorded 11 titles for EmArcy in 1954, but only four of them were released on two singles (78 and 45). All of the EmArcy tracks turned up in 1983 on a limited edition LP, Leon Sash - The Master.

One of the four tracks to see the light of day in 1954 was Leon the Lion (b/w Package for Peggy). The other members of Sash's quartet were Rudy Kerpays, piano, Sully Picerno, bass and Max Marish, drums. Marish also played with Van Damme.

There's also a vocal chorus on the EmArcy recordings, consisting of the four members of the Meadowlarks -- Bob Bleznick, Maury Jackson, Marie Renaldo and Elaine Rodgers -- plus Lee Morgan (Sash's wife) and Ed Vana.

Please note that the audio quality of Leo the Lion isn't up to the usual standard. It's dubbed from one of the original 45s that wasn't in the best shape and has been cleaned up as much as possible.

Leon the Lion



None of the EmArcy recordings are available in a digital format. Leon Sash's recording of Blue Lou from Newport '57 is included on several download compilations. On CD there's only I Remember Newport, a 1967 album done for the Chicago-based Delmark and reissued 30 years later. It's for sale on Amazon for a reasonable price.

Polka Dots and Moonbeams is taken from that album.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Aki Aleong & the Nobles - Come Surf with Me


Aki Aleong is an American actor and musician who was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, in 1934. He has a lengthy list of credits on TV and in the movies. His best known TV appearances include roles on Babylon 5 and V: The Series.

On the big screen Aleong appeared with Nick Nolte in Farewell to the King and with Chuck Norris in the final film of the Missing in Action trilogy.

He has also advocated for a greater presence for Asian Americans in the TV, film and music industries.

Aleong's music career was largely confined to the 1960s and his first records were pop vocals. Trade Winds, Trade Winds (Reprise, 1961) was a hit in Los Angeles but failed to have much of an impact nationally.

When surf music came along, Aleong put together a group called the Nobles and produced an album called Come Surf with Me (Vee-Jay, 1963). Since the LP is mainly instrumental Aleong largely stuck to overseeing the project, although he may have played some percussion instruments.

The members of the Nobles were Ralph Geddes (lead guitar), Paul Geddes (bass), Marty Smith (rhythm guitar), Rick Gardner (drums) and Ron Smith (piano).

Come Surf with Me is a mixture of surf standards (Miserlou, Pipeline, Apache) and originals by Aleong, including the dynamic Hiawatha.

Hiawatha



Come Surf with Me largely passed unnoticed on its release. It hasn't appeared on CD or as a legal download. But two tracks from the LP, Body Surf and Earthquake, have appeared on CD compilations.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Jerry Murad's Harmonicats - Theme from "The Prize" (album track)


The Harmonicats, led by Jerry Murad, began playing in clubs in Chicago in the mid 1940s. They had their biggest hit in 1947 when Peg O' My Heart went to the top of the chart. Their other successes included the LP Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White, which reached the Top 20 in 1961. The Harmonicats continued recording for Columbia (they also made a number of records for Mercury) until the late '60s.

The Love Song of Tom Jones and Other Great Movie Hits (Columbia) was released in 1964 and included a version of the Theme from "The Prize," which reached theatres in December of the previous year. This drama of romance and intrigue involving several Nobel laureates starred Paul Newman, Edward G. Robinson and Elke Sommer.


The Prize featured an early score by prolific composer Jerry Goldsmith. The Harmonicats' version of the film's theme is considerably more uptempo and has a completely different character than the theme on the soundtrack

Theme from The Prize



Here's Goldsmith's soundtrack version.


Jerry Goldsmith's soundtrack for The Prize is available on limited edition CD from Film Score Monthly. The 36 tracks include plenty of bonus material. There is also a download version of the soundtrack available from iTunes and other sellers, but this does not come from Film Score Monthly, so it's probably "buyer beware" time.

The album containing the Harmonicats' version of the Theme from The Prize does not appear to have had a digital release, so here's another track from it, The Love Song of Tom Jones.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Pepe Jaramillo - Mexican Mirage

                                          (Photo from Audio Design Studio blog)

What little information there is on Mexican-born pianist Pepe Jaramillo has to be gleaned form the less than reliable information contained in LP liner notes. There are almost no biographical details available online.

According to the album information Jaramillo was born in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua. Sometime in the 1940s he began playing at the Ritz Bar in Mexico City, later moving to the newly-opened The Quid. His fame grew and he began appearing on radio and TV.

A visit to France in 1957 led Jaramillo to move to Europe. After some TV work for the BBC he went to live in London.

Jaramillo had a long career in Britain, recording prolifically for various EMI labels from 1959 through the 1970s. Many of his easy listening Latin-flavoured albums were recorded for the company's high end Studio 2 Stereo imprint, including Mexican Mirage (1973). A sample track is below.

Can't Take My Eyes Off You



Very few of Jaramillo's albums have been released on CD and the only one currently in print is a compilation from the Jasmine label, Salud Pepe. You'll have no trouble picking up a copy at a reasonable price.

There's a variety of Pepe Jaramillo downloads to peruse. Quality is likely to vary widely, so choose carefully.

Here's another track from Mexican Mirage.