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Teasing the Korean

A Bachelor's Guide to Sauter-Finegan

109 posts in this topic

11 minutes ago, sgcim said:

TTK-In the message I sent you, I thought the Rolf Liebermann piece was a Trumpet Concerto, but it's a concerto for Jazz Band and Orchestra. Anyway, I wanted to know if the trumpet soloist was a trumpet player named Al Majorca. You can see the details in my last post, sandwiched in the group of quotes above.

They don't credit any of the individual players on my copy, unfortunately.

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That's okay, it must've been him, because I did an exhaustive search, and found I spelled the freakin' last name wrong, that's why it was exhaustive. 

Anyway, he indeed played lead trumpet with the S-F Band on three of their albums in the 1954 period. Sadly, he died suddenly of a cerebral hem. at a very young age-shocked the NY brass community...

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1 hour ago, sgcim said:

That's okay, it must've been him, because I did an exhaustive search, and found I spelled the freakin' last name wrong, that's why it was exhaustive. 

Anyway, he indeed played lead trumpet with the S-F Band on three of their albums in the 1954 period. Sadly, he died suddenly of a cerebral hem. at a very young age-shocked the NY brass community...

I think that album was released in 1955, so it very well may have been him. 

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Al Maiorca* is credited as playing trumpet (with Joe Ferrante and Nick Travis) on all the tracks of S-F's 'Straight Down the Middle', LPM-1497 from 1957, or LSP-1497 if you're lucky to find one of the early RCA stereos.  As of this album, Eddie Sauter had already split to Germany to be musical director of Sudwestfunk, the radio center in Baden-Baden. Sauter must've has one foot out the door as he only contributed four arrangements of the eleven. 

The title alone, "Straight Down the Middle' may indicate RCA was getting impatient with their concert jazz.  The next S-F album, 'Memories of Goodman and Miller', would be their last for RCA (LSP-1634, 1958). 

* that's how they spell it on the jacket

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7 hours ago, Teasing the Korean said:

Here is the title track, kind of what I expected, with a few percussive space-age accents.  Nothing wrong with it, but nothing I would pay more than a buck or two for, assuming it were in great condition.
 

Good for you if you have the choice. Over here it's a bit different. ;)

And across-the-pond shipping rates kill many deals anyway.

I had the same initial feelings about "Straight Down The Middle" being relatively MOR (by 50s standards), including because of the cover. "Under Analysis" (which has no Jim Flora cover either, after all) is a bit more straightforward than earlier albums too (in a way I can live rather well with, the semi-classic experimental far-out stuff on some of the other albums is something I'd need to take in smaller doses). I'll eventually get the "Middle" LP too, I guess.

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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5 hours ago, Big Beat Steve said:

Good for you if you have the choice. Over here it's a bit different. ;)

These kinds of albums have remained generally available and affordable in the US.  There are dealers and sellers who try to get top dollar for them, but sooner or later, the albums will all show up for someplace at a reasonable price.

However, the ones with Jim Flora cover art tend to be much more expensive.

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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Yeah I was just browsing a seller on discogs and every one I saw was at least $25 if not well more, including a 45!

 

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20 hours ago, Bill Nelson said:

Al Maiorca* is credited as playing trumpet (with Joe Ferrante and Nick Travis) on all the tracks of S-F's 'Straight Down the Middle', LPM-1497 from 1957, or LSP-1497 if you're lucky to find one of the early RCA stereos.  As of this album, Eddie Sauter had already split to Germany to be musical director of Sudwestfunk, the radio center in Baden-Baden. Sauter must've has one foot out the door as he only contributed four arrangements of the eleven. 

The title alone, "Straight Down the Middle' may indicate RCA was getting impatient with their concert jazz.  The next S-F album, 'Memories of Goodman and Miller', would be their last for RCA (LSP-1634, 1958). 

* that's how they spell it on the jacket

Yeah, that's the correct spelling, but I had another album on which it was spelled Majorca. He played with Benny Goodman and the Sal Salvador Big Band in the 50s and 60s.

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TTK, if you will kindly allow it, here's the Straight Down The Mittle Videothings. "These Foolish Things" is a really nice chart by anybody's standard - and executed beautifully. It's a keeper, hardcore. "Scotch & Sauter" is a hoot (and maybe more than a little cynical?) Mostly, though, sounds like they had a "dance book" and needed to use it on this session. The quirk is gone, and as much as it's a certain set of quirk that bugs me about this band, hey, there's a certain set of it that I like. Seems like they (or somebody) just said "FUCK the quirk". I wish they would have thought a little more on that. Seems that they put the three best/most original charts at the end of Side 2.

I've been wondering if there might be innuendo about the cover, it's like on the floor he's off-center and she has to take him home to show him (lovingly but unambiguously, and only behind thier own four walls) how it goes, but....maybe I just have that kind of mind?

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But yeah, look at this sequencing, it's like, your reward if you listen all the way through both sides is to get the three good 'uns, and if you don't know/care enough, hey, jsut play Side 1 and be done with it.

R-6754939-1425936339-2456.jpeg.jpg

R-6754939-1425936343-6918.jpeg.jpg

 

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1 hour ago, JSngry said:

TTK, if you will kindly allow it, here's the Straight Down The Mittle Videothings. "These Foolish Things" is a really nice chart by anybody's standard - and executed beautifully. It's a keeper, hardcore. "Scotch & Sauter" is a hoot (and maybe more than a little cynical?) Mostly, though, sounds like they had a "dance book" and needed to use it on this session. The quirk is gone, and as much as it's a certain set of quirk that bugs me about this band, hey, there's a certain set of it that I like. Seems like they (or somebody) just said "FUCK the quirk". I wish they would have thought a little more on that. Seems that they put the three best/most original charts at the end of Side 2.

Thank you!  Yes, I invite anyone to post videos of albums I've missed, especially Adventure in Time and The Sons of Sauter-Finegan.

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On February 8, 2019 at 7:42 PM, JSngry said:

TTK, if you will kindly allow it, here's the Straight Down The Mittle Videothings. "These Foolish Things" is a really nice chart by anybody's standard - and executed beautifully. It's a keeper, hardcore. "Scotch & Sauter" is a hoot (and maybe more than a little cynical?) Mostly, though, sounds like they had a "dance book" and needed to use it on this session. The quirk is gone, and as much as it's a certain set of quirk that bugs me about this band, hey, there's a certain set of it that I like. Seems like they (or somebody) just said "FUCK the quirk". I wish they would have thought a little more on that. Seems that they put the three best/most original charts at the end of Side 2...But yeah, look at this sequencing, it's like, your reward if you listen all the way through both sides is to get the three good 'uns, and if you don't know/care enough, hey, jsut play Side 1 and be done with it.

I listened to the whole album in order yesterday, and yes, I agree, either the album gets better as it progresses, or the Doodletown pheromones begin to kick in halfway through and alter your perception.  I would probably pick up this album for cheap if it were in really nice shape.

I also got caught up on all those other vids you posted of S-F's work with Tommy Dorsey and Ray McKinley.  I didn't know what these guys were doing between Goodman/Miller and S-F.  Thank you!

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Back on page one of this thread, I'd mentioned that The Sound of the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra is one of only two Sauter-Finegan albums that I owned and subsequently unloaded.

Next up is the other one:

Memories of Goodman and Miller - RCA Victor LPM/LSP 1634.

Cover art:  Boring, black and white photos of our heroes.

Now drinking:  Strong black iced coffee with Silk almond creamer, from a Tiki coffee mug.

Why did I unload this album?  I was moving and thinning out the collection.  It wasn't in very good shape, the cover art was boring, and I had other Sauter-Finegan albums I liked more.  My copy may still be in the thrift store in Beantown, if you're in the neighborhood.

I will see if I can find some videos online, but this album was discussed in some detail in a separate thread - the thread which inspired this one.  

So, I will post a review of this album by esteemed forum member Sir Larry Kart:

On January 22, 2019 at 11:21 AM, Larry Kart said:

Another LP from the distant past that I found on my shelves— bought it used a few years ago and may not have ever sat down and listened to it before — “Sauter-Finegan Memories of Goodman and Miller” (RCA, 1958). Based on the personnel lists in the booklet of the one Sauter-Finegan CD I have, “Directions in Music,” an RCA compiliation that includes one track from the Goodman-Miller album (I have several other S-F LPs), the band here is a mix of S-F vets and some NY studio regulars of the time: Doc Severinsen, Al DeRisi, Joe Ferrante, tpts.; Rex Peer, Sonny Russo, Tom Mitchell, trbs.; Jay McAllister, tuba; Walt Levinsky, Phil Woods, Al Block, Al Klink, Wally Kane, Gene Allen, reeds; Lou Stein, piano; Nanette Norton, harp; Mundell Lowe, guitar; George Duvivier, bass;, Don Lamond, drms; Joe Venuto, per. — a formidable batch of executants, and do they play their asses off. And the writing is quite something too — not reproductions of Finegan and Sauter's vintage Miller and Goodman charts but more or less a series of inventive fantasies from S and F on the likes of “Little Brown Jug," “Clarinet a la King,” “Song of the Volga Boatman,” “Benny Rides Again," etc. Levinsky takes the clarinet solos on the Goodman pieces, expert playing but more Shaw-like than Goodman-esque, and there are a number of solos from unidentified others, although Woods is unmistakable and in fine form on “Volga Boatman.” My friend Bill Kirchner says, "From a jazz point of view, it’s probably the best of the S-F albums."

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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As Jim Sangrey pointed out in that thread, my term "inventive fantasies" muchly exaggerates the differences between these charts and the Finegan and Sauter originals. When these versions sound different, I think it's mostly because of the album's  brighter "hi-fi" engineering versus the more mellow homogenous  sound of the original recordings.

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10 minutes ago, Larry Kart said:

As Jim Sangrey pointed out in that thread, my term "inventive fantasies" muchly exaggerates the differences between these charts and the Finegan and Sauter originals. When these versions sound different, I think it's mostly because of the album's  brighter "hi-fi" engineering versus the more mellow homogenous  sound of the original recordings.

A topic that will resurface when our heroes re-record some of their early RCA hits in stereo for United Artists.  But let's not get ahead of ourselves!  

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On 2/8/2019 at 8:33 PM, Teasing the Korean said:

Thank you!  Yes, I invite anyone to post videos of albums I've missed, especially Adventure in Time and The Sons of Sauter-Finegan.

R-4366712-1479956682-1131.jpeg.jpg

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This is the only cut not "blocked in country":

Nothing in that one for me.

However, I did find this, apparently another 45 not put on LP? It's crazy/dry enough to work for me well enough. Sounds like music for a Bob Fosse number.

 

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The final Sauter-Finegan RCA album I will discuss is a compilation, but it is worth noting, if only to differentiate from an earlier album in the catalog:

Inside Sauter-Finegan Revisited - RCA Victor LPM 2473.

Cover art:  Jim Flora.

Now drinking:  Strong iced coffee with Silk almond creamer.

The album title is similar to Inside Sauter-Finegan.   The cover art, by Jim Flora, is similar to that of Inside Sauter-Finegan.  But this is not Inside Sauter-Finegan.

It is a compilation released in the 1960s, and the album it bears the most resemblance to is the aforementioned New Directions, as it contains 7 of those 12 tracks.  The other tracks are from Concert Jazz, The Sound of, and Inside.   And like most S-F albums, this too is a mixed bag.

The only "new" track is this early single, "The Moon is Blue," featuring the ubiquitous Sally Sweetland.  

 

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Before the Sauter-Finegan Limited departs RCA for United Artists, it's worth noting that RCA released a number of S-F tracks on singles or EPs that never made it to LP, and maybe not even CD in some cases.  The excellent "Science Fiction" posted previously by JSngry is one example.  Here is another, "Dream Play," which may have been inspired by "Clair de Lune,"  from an RCA EP.  I am also posting a link to Discogs' S-F singles page.  I would love to hear "Coco Bongo!"

https://www.discogs.com/artist/432779-Sauter-Finegan-Orchestra?filter_anv=0&subtype=Singles-EPs&type=Releases

 

 

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For the throngs of rabid Sauter-Finegan fans who have expressed concern about the status of our Bachelor's Guide, rest assured:  Your beloved TTK will soon come roaring back with his incisive, provocative reviews of the final two Sauter-Finegan albums, both recorded for United Artists, and then cap off the thread with an overall evaluation of S-F's body of work as it stands in relation to other postwar musics.  

In the meantime, if anyone here can find videos for what what carries the potential be my favorite Sauter-Finegan album, Adventure in Time, please share! 

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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Crate-diggers for these two Sauter-Finegan United Artist LPs will be rewarded by their 'Ultra Audio' engineering --as explained inside the gatefold for hi-fi buffs circa 1961:

"What you are about to hear is the ultimate in recorded sound -- ULTRA AUDIO -- and it was recorded with you, the listener, and your equipment in mind.  If you are interested in the sternest possible test for your equipment, this album will provide that test.  Records are pressed with exacting care, and the pressings are checked continuously.  Thus every Ultra Audio record is, in fact, a hand-crafted product, produced under rigid supervision to provide the finest in recorded sound for your listening pleasure."

After 1962, with just over 20 releases, the Ultra Audio series was discontinued by United Artists.  I'll step aside and let TTK tell you about the music.

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29 minutes ago, Bill Nelson said:

After 1962, with just over 20 releases, the Ultra Audio series was discontinued by United Artists.  I'll step aside and let TTK tell you about the music.

I may not get around to it until the weekend, so feel free to discuss the albums if you like!

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We not done here, are we?

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46 minutes ago, JSngry said:

We not done here, are we?

 
No.  Still gotta do the two UA albums.  Sorry for the delay.  And the first UA album is gorgeous.  
 

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Last night I dreamed that I found two more Sauter-Finegan albums on RCA  that were not in the discography.  I can't remember the names of the albums, but I remember the cover art for one of them. 

Of course, they were confusing, combining some common tracks with ones I'd never heard of before.  

Back to this reality, I am getting a new cartridge for my turntable and will review the two United Artists albums when it arrives.  

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