Montag, Januar 29, 2007

Bobby Byrne - Dance Discotheque Vol. 2 (1966)

Bobby Byrne joined the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra at age 16, then became trombone soloist in Jimmy Dorsey's Orchestra following their split in 1935. Byrne formed his own band in 1940. He stayed busy playing in several studio orchestras as well, playing with Pearl Bailey, Cannonball Adderly, Cootie Williams, Charlie Barnet, Urbie Green and Lionel Hampton between 1952 and 1960. By the late 60´s, he was no longer an active player but an executive for Command Records, so this is one of his last albums he made as a musician.

Here you can get a great version of "Mr. Tambourine Man". If you´ve always wondered, why there´s no tambourine in the Bob Dylan´s song, and no tambourine in The Byrds´ version, you should try Byrne´s version. The other´s have simply forgotten it. Or they just didn´t want one in it: "Hey, Mr. Dylan, wouldn´t it be nice to have a tambourine on this song?" - "No. I don´t think so." Actually he had his point. "Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me..." Have YOU ever PLAYED a song on a tambourine? Go ahead and try it. It´s not easy, but many songs sound the same, when they are played on a tambourine only. But the correct line, which I suggested to Mr. Dylan when I met him in Roskilde, Denmark once, got rejected by him: "Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, would you please get a Big Band and accompany a song for me..." I wonder why, because that is exactly what Bobby Byrne did in 1966. He must have heard my plea before, and you get a massive tambourine sound here...

Montag, Januar 22, 2007

T. W. Ardy - Hammond Happiness (1970)

Werner Twardy was born in 1926 in Oberhausen, Germany, and died in 1977. He was a composer, arranger, producer and bandleader, active in almost every field of music from the 1950s to the 1970s: Typical German pop music (so-called Schlager), movie soundtrack music, German cover versions of Amerian hit recordings, and even Jazz. During his career, he worked with various record labels, for example Polydor. One of Werner´s pseudonyms was "T. W. Ardy". Under that name, he released lounge music recordings outside Germany.

And if you thought, that nobody could press Led Zeppelin´s "Whole Lotta Love" into strict easy-listening Hammond dancing rhythm, then you should listen to this.

Donnerstag, Januar 18, 2007

Paul Kuhn - Happy Berlin (1972)

Paul Kuhn will turn 75 years old this year. He is THE musical icon of Germany´s capital Berlin, although he was born in Wiesbaden. He learned accordion, clarinet and piano and later on he became one of Germany´s leading jazz-pianists. To Schlager-fans he will always be known as the man who wrote and performed "Es gibt kein Bier auf Hawaii" (There´s no beer in Hawaii) in 1963, a sad story about a man, whose wife wants to spend their vacation in Hawaii, but he wants to stay home. His arguments are that there´s no beer and no cool place, and Hula-Hula only will not quench his thirst. Right on, Paul! Beer´s important to us Germans!

The connection to Berlin came 1968, when Paul became the leader of the SFB-Big-Band (Sender Freies Berlin). Right now he´s touring again with his famous collegues Max Greger and Hugo Strasser. I will introduce those two guys someday too. But first, here´s Paul Kuhn with his hommage to his beloved city of Berlin from the year 1972...

Montag, Januar 15, 2007

Das "Charly-Bar" Trio - Charly´s Piano-Cocktail (1963)

Well, here you have all the favorites from the German charts of the year 1962. Played by the "Charly-Bar Trio", I guess they were the house-combo of "Charly´s Bar", where ever that may have been. But if you´re about to sip a cocktail at Charly´s, please say Hello to the music-trio there and tell them that I really liked their record. Man, this is such a great bar-music sound! Now! Get me my favorite Whisky! I must play this record over and over again and again...

Freitag, Januar 05, 2007

Kai Warner - Warner Plays Wagner (1971)

Well, it´s just one letter, but what a difference that makes! Warner interpretes Wagner. No other artist of the Easy-Listening crowd ever DARED to touch Richard Wagner, because he was always related to a) a gay Bavarian wannabe-king named Ludwig and b) a psychotic wannabe-worldleader named Adolf. He was their favorite composer, and they both became fanatic of him. Ludwig´s castle "Neuschwanstein", which you can visit in Disneyland (for my American guests) or in Germany, a little south of Munich, had all paintings of scenes from Wagner-operas in it. One favorite track of Richard Wagner was featured in the "Blues Brothers" movie too, namely the "Ride of the Valkyries", when Henry Gibson flew away in his car...

Despite all those negative connotations, Richard Wagner (1813 - 1883) was one of Germany´s best composers. And Kai Warner (whose real name was Werner Last, and who was a brother of James) was one of Germany´s best bandleaders, so what could have gone wrong? Nothing! Nevertheless, this LP doesn´t feature Wagner´s "boombastic" opera sound. Most people can hardly stand a three-day opera like "The Ring of the Nibelungs", so Mr. Warner took the melodic stuff of Richard Wagner like "Winterstürme", "Abendstern" or "Am stillen Herd" to please the crowd on this great album from 1971. It´s VERY rare, because many Germans didn´t like it in 1971, and it wasn´t a million-seller back then...