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Teasing the Korean

Nelson Riddle & Les Baxter 101 Strings Albums

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By the early 1970s, musical artists of the Les Baxter and Nelson Riddle vintage were growing mutton chop sideburns and turning on to the moods, styles, and vibrations of today.

During this time, both Nelson and Les arranged albums that were released under the 101 Strings imprint.  

Baxter did at least two.  One of these is completely disposable, but the gem is Que Mango.  This album finds Les updating his classic 1950s exotica sound with a drum kit, electric bass, and electric guitar, along with his signature string sound.  

This album just exudes international jet-set decadence.  Drop your keys in the bowl in the foyer, and waddle over to the bar.

Nelson Riddle recorded an equally deliciously decadent album for 101 Strings at around the same time.  Here it is:

 

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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Have quite a bunch of his records in the collection

Here are some favorits.  Its a pity that the band members are not listed

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Edited by jazzcorner
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I forget which bio it was, possibly Peter Levenson’s bio of Nelson Riddle, but Les Baxter was known for taking arranging jobs, sub-contracting the work, but taking credit for it. The saying went, “The Les Baxter, the better...”

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Posted (edited)

4 hours ago, Ken Dryden said:

I forget which bio it was, possibly Peter Levenson’s bio of Nelson Riddle, but Les Baxter was known for taking arranging jobs, sub-contracting the work, but taking credit for it. The saying went, “The Les Baxter, the better...”

You may want to expand your sources.  That has been disproven.  The University of Arizona has all of Baxter's existing arrangements.  Many of these are in Baxter's own hand; others are in the hands of his assistants, Hall Daniels or Albert Harris.

Albert Harris, who was a highly respected arranger who worked with just about everyone in Hollywood, said that Baxter's sketches were very detailed, and regardless of which arranger did the grunt work, the end results would have been the same. 

Albert Harris composed and arranged an orchestral suite for Frank DeVol, titled Bacchanal.  Listen to it sometime.  It is gorgeous, but it sounds nothing like Baxter's exotica albums.

There is a consistent thread in all of Baxter's exotica works, from Voice of the Xtabay in 1950 to Que Mango in 1970, and everything in between.  Same with his gothic scores for AIP films.  That can't be a coincidence.  

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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Yeah, "ghost writing" was (is?) standard practice in those days. not a big deal in and of itself, imo, that's just how things got done.

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6 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Yeah, "ghost writing" was (is?) standard practice in those days. not a big deal in and of itself, imo, that's just how things got done.

The work for arrangers was often feast or famine.   They all had assistants.  

Gordon Jenkins wrote his charts with all the instruments as C instruments - strings together on one staff, winds together on another, etc.  An assistant would do the rest. 

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Benny Carter was very open about ghost-writing being his gateway to film/TV scoring. Of course, he had to speak up, to say hey, when do I get MY shot? (and lord knows, that was a question asked with no guarantee of a desired outcome), but still, that was how dues go paid in that world in that time.

Best as I can tell, all the name arrangers had "staff". None of it (at that level) was a one man shop.

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My old buddy, Lenny Scinsgalli, a great alto player, and arranger, used to ghostwrite Tony Bennett charts for Torrie Zito. Torrie played piano at LS' memorial concert at St. Peter's, and led the big band.

If you look at that youtube channel that TTK got the Les Baxter album from, the guy has some interesting stuff from Pete Rugolo and Manny Albam and others. If only somebody could detain Wynton somewhere for a few years, and get a Wynton impersonator to take over JALC. We could get the impersonator to program some Les Baxter, Nelson Riddle, Manny Albam, Eddie Sauter, Pete Rugolo, John Benson Brooks, Gary McFarland, George Handy, Kenyon Hopkins, George Russell, Jimmy Giuffre, Gil Evans, Rod Levitt, Alec Wilder, David Raksin, Claus Ogerman, David Angel, Gene Puerling, Oliver Nelson, Johnny Carisi, Lalo Schifrin, etc... 

By the time the real Wynton got back,, he'd have aged so much, that no one would recognize him anymore, and they;d think he was just some nut who had delusions that he was Wynton, and he'd just give up and go back to New Orleans, where he'd spend the rest of his days playing in Mardi Gras bands...:w:w:w:w:w:w

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32 minutes ago, sgcim said:

If only somebody could detain Wynton somewhere for a few years, and get a Wynton impersonator to take over JALC. We could get the impersonator to program some Les Baxter, Nelson Riddle, Manny Albam, Eddie Sauter, Pete Rugolo, John Benson Brooks, Gary McFarland, George Handy, Kenyon Hopkins, George Russell, Jimmy Giuffre, Gil Evans, Rod Levitt, Alec Wilder, David Raksin, Claus Ogerman, David Angel, Gene Puerling, Oliver Nelson, Johnny Carisi, Lalo Schifrin, etc... 

Could you imagine if JALC did The Hustler by Thee Great Kenyon Hopkins?!?

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23 hours ago, Teasing the Korean said:

Could you imagine if JALC did The Hustler by Thee Great Kenyon Hopkins?!?

 

23 hours ago, Teasing the Korean said:

Could you imagine if JALC did The Hustler by Thee Great Kenyon Hopkins?!?

Yeah, but they'd have to find someone to dig up Phil Woods, and I don't do that type of work anymore.

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, sgcim said:

 

Yeah, but they'd have to find someone to dig up Phil Woods, and I don't do that type of work anymore.

Maybe the Nash kid could pull it off?

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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No way. You can give Nash all the awards you want to, but that won't give him Woods' natural embouchure. The Hustler ain't the Hustler without that Woods sound. They both played with Charlie Shoemake, and as good as Nash is, he's no replacement for Woods.

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27 minutes ago, sgcim said:

No way. You can give Nash all the awards you want to, but that won't give him Woods' natural embouchure. The Hustler ain't the Hustler without that Woods sound. They both played with Charlie Shoemake, and as good as Nash is, he's no replacement for Woods.

I just thought that the family connection to Henry Mancini may have given him a genetic predisposition for succeeding with The Hustler.  I am an optimist at heart.

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2 hours ago, chewy-chew-chew-bean-benitez said:

i have this early stereo

 

Image result for nelson riddle sea of dreams

Can't see the image, Jasper!

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Posted (edited)

wild i just copied from a google image search  Image result for shoulder shrug emoji

i see it fine?!

from "flikr"- does this work?

Image result for nelson riddle sea of dreams

you should see my capitol full spectrum stereo sleeve its a huge giana logo kind of like the sticker-

Edited by chewy-chew-chew-bean-benitez

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Posted (edited)

On 5.1.2020 at 7:01 AM, chewy-chew-chew-bean-benitez said:

Re: Nelson Riddle

you should see my capitol full spectrum stereo sleeve its a huge giana logo kind of like the sticker-

 

Like that cover and Nelson too.

Here is a european edition on Intersound with a great band of west coast artists (most of them known from the jazz scene there)

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Edited by jazzcorner
some more text

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