Monday, November 27, 2006

Nat King Cole Sings - George Shearing Plays

Something a bit special today - the incomparable baritone of Nat King Cole teams up with the dreamy piano of George Shearing to create an album that's about as smooth as you can get.

The George Shearing Quintet, with its pianos and mallets, was the quintessential cool jazz sound; add a string orchestra for that extra schmaltz and weave in the cultured tones of Nat King Cole as he masterfully interprets the tunes. A cool, swingin' treat for you lounge lovers.


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Nat King Cole Sings - George Shearing Plays

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Nat King Cole Sings - George Shearing Plays

Mr Snookles

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Joe Loss - Big Band Bossa

Don't be put off by the clarinet-fondling floozie on the front cover - this is a classy selection of tunes with a light bossa beat. There's a few bossa standards such Desafinado and the ubiquitous Girl From Ipanema, the latter featuring some tasty tenor sax lines from Duncan Lamont. The other tunes are popular standards of the day - Bacharach's "Close To You" is a stand out, and there's a hip arrangement of "Killing Me Softy" on side two. Joe Loss has a deft touch with his arrangements, and the musicians, made up of his regular band and a number of top session musos brought in for the recording, give a first class performance.

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Big Band Bossa

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Oops...

Mr Snookles has just noticed that track six in the download is faulty. The download has now been fixed, but for any of you early-birds who downloaded the original file, here is a replacement track six...

Track Six - Soul Bossa Nova

track 12 also...

Track 12 - Bossa Nova USA

Mr Sookles.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Victor Silvester - Someday I'll Find You

For those lovers of the light classics, here's a collection of the tunes of Noel Coward, played by Victor Silvester with his Silver Strings. The mood is feathery light and sunny, merry pizzicati and bubbling woodwinds decorate Coward's whimsical tunes. The silver strings themselves carry most of the melodies, and a sense of English drawing room charm pervades the entire album.


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Victor Silvester - Someday I'll Find You

Mr Snookles

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Rugulo Plays Kenton

Silky smooth, beautifully orchestrated swing-band jazz from the Pete Rugulo Orchestra. The mood ranges from the more typical feel-good swing grooves to moody, introspective moments where the arranging talents of Rugulo come to the fore. Some of the slower tracks even hint at the dreaminess of impressionist composers such as Debussy or Ravel with their constantly shifting tone colours.

Approaching its 50th birthday, the vinyl has suffered somewhat and some restoration of the original was needed. The quality of arranging and Stan Kenton's harmonically sophisticated tunes make the listen well worth the few imperfections.


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Rugulo Plays Kenton

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Rugulo Plays Kenton
Mr Snookles.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Tony Mottola Joins the Guitar Underground

For those of you who enjoyed the previous Tony Mottola posting, here's another one for your listening enjoyment. This Project 3 release features Tony playing with the Guitar Underground, a group consisting of a rhythm guitar and three electric guitarists. The use of a few unorthodox foot-pedal effects, 12-string classical and six-string bass guitars adds variety and depth to the ensemble sound.

Here's the track listing from the back cover.


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Guitar Underground

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Guitar Underground

Mr Snookles

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Sonia Rosa - Golden Bossa Nova

Lazy Bossa rhythms, acoustic guitars and bass create an intimate setting for the delightful voice of Sonia Rosa on this unusual Japanese recording, made in the studios of EMI's Tokyo associate Toshiba Musical Industries.

Stand out tracks are a smoldering version of "The Look Of Love", one of my favourite Bacharach tunes, along with Jobim's "Meditation" and "Corcovado". Here's a snippet of the back cover with the tracks (full cover scans in the download).

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Sonia Rosa - Golden Bossa Nova

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Sonia Rosa - Golden Bossa Nova

Mr Snookles

Monday, November 06, 2006

Tony Mottola's Guitar Factory


This offering on Enoch Light's Project 3 label features Tony playing a wide variety of guitars, along with a dash of electric sitar, and spiced up with a smattering of inventive foot-pedal electronics from Vinnie Bell, who also plays guitar on the album. Dick Hyman guests on organ and piano, rounding out the guitar combo sound. The result is mellow, but has a catchy and endearing quality that makes it worth repeated listening.

enjoy.

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Guitar Factory

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Guitar Factory

Mr Snookles

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The 50 Guitars of Tommy Garrett - Spanish Eyes


A few Hawaiian Tommy Garrett Albums were floating around in the blogosphere a couple of months ago. This album is more of a mixed bag. The beautiful mellow tones of the guitar orchestra will be instantly recognisable, however, to any one who has heard any of Garrett's other 50 Guitars albums.

The arranging is done for the main part by Ernie Freeman, and much of the solo work is by Tommy Tedesco.

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Spanish Eyes

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