Buddy Rich – The Roar of 74


Artist: Buddy Rich

Genre: Jazz
Title: The Roar of 74
Released: 1973
Label: Groove Merchant
Format: Vinyl
Musicians:Charley Davis – trumpet, Larry Hall – trumpet, Greg Hopkins – trumpet
John Hoffman – trumpet, Joe Romano – alto saxophone, Bob Martin – alto saxophone, Pat La Barbera – tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, Bob Crea – tenor saxophone, John Laws – baritone saxophone, Alan Kaplan – trombone, Keith O’Quinn – trombone, John Leys – trombone, bass trombone, Buddy Rich – drums, Buddy Budson – piano, Joe Beck – guitar, Tony Levin – double bass, Jimmy Maeulen – conga,Sam Woodyard – percussion
Producer: Sonny Lester
Mastering Engineer: Sam Feldman

The Roar of ’74 is a 1973 studio album by the Buddy Rich big band released on the Groove Merchant Records label in the USA.

Sadly, the horns on this LP almost take away the enjoyment as they were recorded at high level and sound harsh in the mix. Unfortunately, this seems to be the case with most Buddy Rich LPs in my experience so far. I sometimes think that it’s a wonder he and others in his band were not deaf as far as we know.

This LP is typical big band jazz/swing, which was popular in the thirties and again in the seventies. While I appreciate this type of jazz, I have always been partial to the quartet or quintet bebop style Jazz. As this is Buddy Rich this LP is about percussion though, while not predominant, it is still featured. What is interesting about this LP is that as we approach the second track on the first side we find it a bit unusual because it is an African flavored funk track featuring guitar.
Track three is another funk/soul/rock style track that ends with bass and drum. Of interesting note is that this was long before the sub-genre’ of “drum & bass” came to be known in the dance/club scene. Track four is your standard high energy big band jazz number.
Side two of this record starts pretty much the same way side one ends. The second track introduces a slow blues number into the mix of songs. Track three is the longest track on the LP and supposedly a showcase. It would be a good track were it not so avant-garde. The LP ends with a jazz/blues number called Senator Sam, which is kind of a soundtrack style to a degree.

Unfortunately, we never get to hear any solos from Buddy Rich on this LP making one think that this was just a steady paycheck obligation. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

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Hugo Montenegro – Colors Of Love


Artist: Hugo Montenegro
Genre: Jazz, Easy listening, Soundtrack
Title: Colors Of Love
Released: 1970
Label: RCA
Format: Vinyl
Musicians: Unknown
Producer: Jack Pleis
Engineer: Mickey Crofford

Hugo Mario Montenegro (September 2, 1925 – February 6, 1981) was an American orchestra leader and composer of film soundtracks. His best known work is derived from interpretations of the music from Spaghetti Westerns, especially his cover version of Ennio Morricone’s main theme from the 1966 film The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. He composed the musical score for the 1969 Western Charro! which starred Elvis Presley.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugo_Montenegro

This LP is a collection of his interpretations of some popular hits and is officially part of his discography.
This is yet another one of those crazy LPs I pick up now and again. I am familiar with Hugo Montenegro from an LP of his Dylan interpretations I picked up years ago, which is actually quite good. I’ll get around to reviewing it later. On this LP though, there seems to be an overuse of echo on the flute for some reason.

Side One:
1 Here Comes The Sun (The Beatles) – Yes, starting off with this rendition of a Beatles tune. This version does not have the same impact as the original, which I prefer.
2 Didn’t We (Jim Webb) – This is not an original by Hugo Montenegro, but was written by Jimmy Webb and first released by James Darrin. This is a ballad and sounds like one expects.
3 Undun (The Guess Who) – “Undun” is a popular song by Canadian rock band The Guess Who. It was written by Randy Bachman after hearing Bob Dylan’s “Ballad in Plain D”, which included the phrase “she was easily undone”. The song takes its structure from new jazz guitar chords Bachman had learned from his friend and neighbor Lenny Breau. This rendition fits, but I like the original better. There is an interesting flute solo in the bridge though.
4 Something (The Beatles) – While this is certainly a different take, I still prefer the original.
5 Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head (BJ Thomas) – This was also part of the soundtrack to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid done by Burt Bachrach. This version almost doesn’t change anything from the original.

Side Two:
1 When It Was Done (Jim Webb) – I have not heard the original to compare this to.
2 Holly Holy (Neil Diamond) – This is one of those songs where the original can not be bested. Hugo and orchestra rock this one a little bit though, but not like Neil Diamond himself.
3 Just Like A Woman (Bob Dylan). – Hugo Montenegro did a whole LP of Dylan songs called Dawn Of Dylan, which I do have and will review at a later time. However, this song is not on that LP. This sounds just as cool as the rest from his Dawn of Dylan LP.
4 Good Morning Starshine (song from the second act of the musical, Hair). – We don’t know who wrote this song. Strangely, they chose to fade this song in instead of a true start. This version is ok.
5 Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye (Steam) – This song by the one-hit-wonder, Steam appears here in an interesting version, but I like the original better.

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Frank Sinatra – Come Dance With Me

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Artist: Frank Sinatra (with Billy May and his Orchestra)
Genre: Vocalist, Big Band, Swing
Title: Come Dance With Me
Released:1959
Label:Capitol
Format:Vinyl
Musicians: Frank Sinatra – vocals, Billy May – arranger, conductor
Heinie Beau – arranger

Come Dance with Me! was Sinatra’s most successful album, spending two and a half years on the Billboard charts. Stereo Review wrote in 1959 that “Sinatra swaggers his way with effortless verve through an appealing collection of bouncy standards, aptly described in the album notes as ‘vocals that dance'”.

This is my favorite type of Sinatra sound I like to call “the swingin era”. This is not the best pressing or is it? The vocals are a bit noisy, but this was done in 1959 after all.

I’m not going to breakdown the entire LP here, but my favorite cut is:
“Something’s Gotta Give” (Johnny Mercer) – 2:38 – “Something’s Gotta Give” is a popular song with words and music by Johnny Mercer in 1954. It was published in 1955. It was written for and first performed by Fred Astaire in the 1955 musical film Daddy Long Legs, and was nominated for an Academy Award in 1955 as Best Original Song, losing to Love is a Many Splendored Thing. The song playfully uses the irresistible force paradox – which asks what happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object – as a metaphor for a relationship between a vivacious woman and an older, world-weary man. The man, it is implied, will give in to temptation and kiss the woman. The song’s lyrics echo the plot of Daddy Long Legs, in which a reserved man in his 50s (Astaire) falls in love with a woman in her early 20s.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Something%27s_Gotta_Give_(song)

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Somethings Gotta Give: https://youtu.be/ImXxbqTvov8