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About sgcim

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    Groove Merchant
  1. RIP Johnny Mandel

    On the original recording of Mandel's "Theme from Mash", there's a member or two of a singing group from 1963 called The Singers Inc., who were a Hi-Lo type group that tried to cash in on the Bossa Nova. There's nothing worth listening to on You Tube, but check out the personnel: Geo. Tipton- Nilsson's brilliant arranger of his great early stuff. Perry Botkin Jr.- Producer/composer/arranger Ian Freebairn-Smith- Another talented arranger/composer/vocalist, who wrote some great arrangements for the Four Freshman, which made them sound much better than their usual corn. Sue Allen- a singer from the 40s that I had never heard of. Jimmy Bryant- The voice of Tony in the movie version of West Side Story, and also an arranger. Mandel knew all of these people in the Hollywood studios.
  2. He sounds good on his tunes, but I could see where a classically trained musician might not be able to cut sitting in with someone like Joe Albany. Probably didn't know any tunes.
  3. Amram did have a great interest in 'world music' (like Tony Scott), decades before the more recent fad, and liked to feature himself playing non-Western instruments from his journeys all over the world. Probably Gleason didn't think they fit in that well in a jazz situation. Amram was a special case, in that he never took the academic route that most classical composers took, so he had to make a living as a composer/multi-instrumentalist, and embrace other types of music other than jazz to make a living, and indulge in self-promotion to survive. Perhaps all these things gave my friend the impression DA was some sort of 'charlatan'. I worked regularly with George Barrow for a few years, and he never had anything but praise for Amram's playing and writing.
  4. RIP Johnny Mandel

    What a melodic gift he had, Emily, A Time For Love, The Shadow of Your Smile, just those three would make him qualified to be one of the greatest songwriters of the last half of the 20th Century. RIP, Johnny. In connection with MASH's theme song, the name Ian Freebairn- Smith came up a lot. It turned out that he was one of the vocalists on the original version of the theme, and also a composer/arranger in Hollywood that also did some Hi-Los, and Four Freshman arrangements, and led a similar type of group called The Singers Inc.
  5. Gabor Szabo

    Yeah that's him.
  6. Another fascinating show, David! It's sad that the NPR station in NY uses Kevin Whitehead as their 'Jazz Consultant' (who is currently plugging his new book on "Hollywood Movies and Jazz", which seems as vanilla as his regular radio segments) instead of you; people might understand what great jazz is, but they could care less bout that... I've spent the last week writing an arr. of a David Amram piece, and think that he was a great composer/jazz french horn player, but I mentioned his name to a friend once, and he thought of him as a 'charlatan' of sorts. Have you ever heard Amram characterized as such?
  7. Gabor Szabo

    Gabor claimed Bad Benson ripped him off on his monster hit of Breezin'- we held a Kangaroo Court and sentenced him to having to play some awful Schoenberg piece. Harsh punishment no doubt, but it fits the crime.
  8. Gabor Szabo

    Yeah, it's just this bunch of raving Benson fanatics in some guitar discussion groups I belong to that insist that Benson is the living personification of Bird on the guitar, and ignoring the recordings of players like Raney and Farlow, who were actually present on 52nd St., and would spend every night they could hearing him live and incorporate all of his ideas into their playing. That is the core of my "Upsetment". As Jim said, only a recording of Schoenberg's "Op.24, Seranade for Septet and Baritone Voice" produced by Q. and featuring Bad Benson playing the guitar part would quell my upsetment. Here is an example of Johnny Smith playing it under Mitropoulos: He had to feed the nose....
  9. Gabor Szabo

    It's when Benson's name gets linked with Bird that bugs me. There are a bunch of guitarists that think Benson was the greatest exponent of Bird on the guitar, but I don't hear it. Barry Harris has been quoted as saying that Jimmy Raney was the cat who played more like Bird than any other guitarist. Raney played with Al Haig, and he lived that music full-time 24/7 on 52nd Street. Then Benson comes along who was too young to even know who Bird was, and had never even heard him until he was a pro playing with McDuff. And then the "upsetment" intensifies when I read his jive autobiography, and he has the nerve to end the book agreeing with some jerk who says that "Bird destroyed jazz". Everything else is neither here nor there, but when he puts that garbage about the greatest jazz musician that ever lived, IMHO, it's extremely problematic. But don't worry, he's only about 80 now, he'll resurrect jazz from that nasty Yardbird jazz destroyer any day now................................................................................
  10. Gabor Szabo

    Yeah, Benson tried to do it once, as he mentions in the book. He got together a great band, with amazing players. They did a gig somewhere or other, and no one showed up. Boom! That was the end of the band. Herbie keeps releasing jazz album after jazz album. I remember buying Benson's album with Joe Farrell, thinking, "How could this possibly be lame- Joe Farrell and George Benson. I used to catch Farrell playing with Sam Brown in the Village, and they'd blow their asses off for twenty minute-long solos. I put the record on, and couldn't believe it- smooth effing jazz- Joe Farrell! Not even one cut where they tried to play the type of stuff Farrell was playing with Sam Brown in the 70s. Duaneiac's interpretation of "destroyed jazz" is hardly what Benson and his admirer were talking about, (although I admire his imaginative, post-modern interpretation ), they were obviously talking about Bird's music not being as easy to dance to as the Swing music that was so popular. Then Benson saved 'jazz' by teaming up with Quincy and "Gave us The Night" "On Broadway", where we be "Breezin' through "This Masquerade" with "The Greatest Love of All"on the dance floor.. And it's not like he isn't a great player (the greatest in many people's eyes), but there's something subtle about his and Rodney Jones' rhythmic approach which funks more than it swings. His voice has such a great timbre, that when he's singing along with his lines, that it comes out as something greater than it would be if he were just playing guitar.
  11. Gabor Szabo

    "I said, “You mean Bird?” He said, “That’s it!” “Charlie ‘Yardbird’ Parker.” “Yeah, that’s the name. Yardbird. They said he was going to destroy jazz.” On the way back to the hotel, I thought about what the man said, what the man felt, what the man believed, and you know what? He was right." And we're supposed to believe that the "new, beautiful way" he presents it is better than the way Bird and his followers presented it? The slick, over-produced arrangements of smooth jazz he plays live and on all his albums? If you listen to the lines that he plays and sings, they're hack blues cliches that hundreds of mediocre organ trio guitarists play. When Pat Martino was asked what he thought of Benson as a jazz guitarist, he replied, "He's a pretty good R&B player". Benson's egotism allows him to say, "He was right", because he believes that the way HE puts Bird's ideas to use is better than the way Jackie McLean, Sonny Stitt , Sonny Rollins, Phil Woods, Cannonball Adderly, ad infinitum. because he appeals to the LCD and sells more records, whatever that means anymore. His legacy will be his square, effeminate rendition of "The Greatest Love of All", because he refuses to put out any jazz records, because they don't make a lot of money. If your read the whole book, he drops anything that won't draw large crowds and sell a lot of records. The man who destroyed jazz, meanwhile, has a legacy that shows no sign of ever fading.
  12. COVID-19 III: No Politics For Thee

    The advice on masks from various sources is pretty confusing. The surgical mask box says single use only. Other sources online say that you can wash them, but other sources say that once they're wet, they're useless. I bought a KN95 mask once, and the women pharmacists who sold it, all insisted that you can clean them with soap and water, yet the CDC says they retain viral particles, and should be thrown out after a single use. Some say you should never spray them with disinfectants, and others say a brief spritz is sufficient. Here in NY, supply has finally improved, and I was able to buy 15 masks for $10, so I'm just going to throw them out after a single use, and forget about washing them.
  13. Gabor Szabo

    That was a long time ago that he said that. He changed.
  14. Gabor Szabo

    I can send you some of the puke if you want me to. I saved it in a jar as proof of Bad Benson's unbelievable egotism.
  15. Gabor Szabo

    All I remember about Benson's autobiography was that he agreed with the statement of one of his fans that Charlie Parker destroyed jazz, but that player's like Benson himself were taking Bird's innovations and creating a newer, better type of music. At that point, I either puked, or stopped reading.