The Wizard of Oz and Other Harold Arlen Songs
1 x LP
Originally released in 1959 -2013 Speakers Corner reissue on vinyl 180g LP= Shorty Rogers took the majority of numbers on this LP from the musical "The Wizard Of Oz", which Americans in the Fifties knew from Broadway and from the cinema. But to det...
Released date: 23-08-2013(Originally released in 1959)
2013 Speakers Corner reissue on vinyl 180g LP= Shorty Rogers took the majority of numbers on this LP from the musical "The Wizard Of Oz", which Americans in the Fifties knew from Broadway and from the cinema. But to detect basic jazz improvisations within them and arrange these was a real challenge. To achieve the best possible result, it needed a man as brilliant as Shorty Rogers to tackle the score with a baton in his hand.
A1. We're Off To See Wizard
A2. Over The Rainbow
A3. The Jitterburg
A4. The Merry Old Land Of Oz
A5. If I Only Had A Brain
A6. Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead
B1. My Shining Hour
B2. Get Happy
B3. Blues In The Night
B4. Let's Fall In Love
B5. That Old Black Magic
Shorty Rogers was one of the principal creators of West Coast jazz. He played both the trumpet and flugelhorn, and was in demand for his skills as an arranger. He began as a bugler with the Furriers Post of Jewish War Veterans Boy Scout drum and bugle corps in The Bronx, New York. He played with a number of big bands in the late 1940s, and arranged for Woody Herman, later going to Stan Kenton and His Orchestra. Eventually, he formed a jazz group, The Giants, and recorded a number of albums for RCA Victor. He composed music for the avant-garde UPA cartoons featuring Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel) and Stan Freberg, while continuing to arrange and perform many pop and jazz recordings.
"All of trumpeter/arranger Shorty Rogers' recordings from the 1950s (which were quite influential on both arrangers and cool-toned soloists) are well worth searching for... On the first side, Rogers and his Orchestra (which includes such fine soloists as Jimmy Giuffre on clarinet and tenor, valve trombonist Bob Enevoldsen, altoists Bud Shank and Herb Geller, guitarist Barney Kessel and pianist Pete Jolly) perform five familiar songs from Oz, plus 'The Jitterbug,' which did not make it into the final cut. This date is rounded out by fresh versions of five of Arlen's most famous songs, including 'Get Happy,' 'Blues In the Night' and 'That Old Black Magic.' Wonderful music." - Scott Yanow, allmusic.com, Rated 4/5 Stars
The six musical titles on Side A – all of which Judy Garland sang, performed, and virtually embodied and which, of course, were all smash hits – offer a wonderful opportunity for elaborate improvisations by all soloists thanks to their simplicity, catchiness and lightheartedness. Worth special mention are "Ding Dong!" and "Over The Rainbow", with the delightful miniature piano concerto by Pete Jolly.
The five numbers on the B Side are all well known to jazz fans, and have been for many years, because Harold Arlen contributed repertoire to the Great American Songbook. "Blues In The Night" is not quite 'black' enough – but that’s only logical since they were white West-Coast musicians, and not from Harlem. But otherwise all the numbers have that famed cool drive, which audiences under the warm Californian sun so loved in the Fifties and Sixties.
Both sides of this LP are proof positive that Shorty Rogers and His Giants perform music that swings. And who’s to say that such music shouldn’t be jolly and fun?
Shorty Rogers - trumpet
Jimmy Giuffre - tenor saxophone
clarinet / Herb Geller - tenor saxophone
Bud Shank - alto saxophone, tenor saxophone
Bob Enevoldsen - trombone
Pete Jolly - piano
Barney Keseel - guitar
Larry Bunker - vibes
Joe Mondragon - bass
Mel Lewis - drums
Recording: February 1959 at RCA Victor's Music Center of the World, Hollywood
Production - Dick Peirce
Label: Speakers Corner Records
Originally released: 1959
This release: 2013