Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Teasing the Korean

Great Space-Age LPs Hidden in the Jazz Section

96 posts in this topic

Inspired by a thread by Rabshakeh, I would like to discuss some great (and not-so-great) space-age bachelor pad LPs that I found hidden in the jazz section.

I started buying space-age bachelor pad LPs, before the genre had a name,  in the late 1980s, in part because of cover art, and in part because of jazz crossover.  (I had a fairly substantial jazz accumulation by that point.) I went into high gear in the early 1990s, during the period I affectionately call The Great Vinyl Purge.

I soon learned that the best places to find these albums were a) in the dollar bin; b) in the "easy listening" section; and, importantly c) in the jazz section, usually filed only under a letter as opposed to specific artist.

This thread will be devoted to great space-age albums that I either found in the jazz section, or that I have seen filed there.  

For my purposes, I am restricting the era of space-age bachelor pad music to 1946-1964.  The 1964 cutoff date is important, in that it represents the worldwide arrival of the Beatles and Bossa Nova, both of which led to the Now Sound and International Jet Set aesthetic, two genres that essentially supplanted space-age bachelor pad music. (These albums may also appear in the jazz section.)  I am also restricting my discussion to space-age albums with a decidedly jazzy bent, as there are space-age albums that are more symphonic or pop in nature.

I welcome any additions, and would like to hear of any similar experiences from members.

Beginning with a classic:  Legrand Jazz

 

Edited by Teasing the Korean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Certainly not averse to the overall genre, but I really do not like Legrand Jazz. To me it sounds like the smell of a cheap fruity cologne.

Looking forward to the further entries, though, seriously!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never dug it either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Certainly not averse to the overall genre, but I really do not like Legrand Jazz. To me it sounds like the smell of a cheap fruity cologne.

Looking forward to the further entries, though, seriously!

That is interesting, as it is often the only Legrand LP you will find in jazz collections!

The other Legrand album that for me neatly fits into this territory is Legrand's Plays Richard Rodgers album:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My father was a space-age bachelor, and had a pad to live in.  He was only married four or five years before your arbitrary cut off of 1964.

Yet I don't think that his 50s Sinatra LPs, and a few other jazz recordings (he had a copy of a Playboy compilation, maybe two) are the same as your "space age bachelor pad" music. You really have to be a lot more specific about what you are trying to get at.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the early days of buying space-age bachelor pad records, there were no interwebz, or at least no interwebz on the scale of those we enjoy today.  Similarly, there were no books on the topic.  

Consequently, buying back then was based on a combination of factors:  Recognizing the name of the artist; the names of the sidemen (if listed); the album title; the cover art; the song selection; and any information related to recording equipment or left/right separation.  There was a lot of trial and error involved.

I knew the name Ralph Burns from my high school jazz band days, but when I saw in the jazz section Ralph Burns in Percussion:  Where There's Burns There's Fire, I knew this one would have space-age potential.  It is not as good as I would have hoped, being a few notches above Command records  - and I am not generally a fan of Enoch Light/Command.  Still, there are a few notable tracks, including "Blue Holiday."

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re- Legrand Jazz, it is a while simce I've listened to it (BTW - yes, it is the only Michel Legrnad Jazz LP I have ^_^) so I will spin it later today but I would not have considered it "space age bachelor pad" music the way I understand you use this term and "category" (judging by your previous - numerous :D - references to it). So maybe after listening to it I will understand better what kind of recordings you are typically referring to. At the moment I am somewhat in the dark too ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Teasing the Korean said:

I knew the name Ralph Burns from my high school jazz band days, but when I saw in the jazz section Ralph Burns in Percussion:  Where There's Burns There's Fire, I knew this one would have space-age potential.  It is not as good as I would have hoped, being a few notches above Command records  - and I am not generally a fan of Enoch Light/Command.  Still, there are a few notable tracks, including "Blue Holiday."

 

Ha ... "Percussion" flipped a switch with me ... and another one as I read on and come across Enoch Light and Command.
So ... actually ... in that style, how would you rate "Persuasive Percussion" (command RS800 SD) by Terry Snyder and the All Stars (lineup incuding Tony Mottola, Dick Hyman and Jack Lesberg among the more notable jazz names)? I was given it very early in my collecting days (and appreciate it for the Josef Albers cover alone), warmed up to it for occasional relaxed listening "out there" but am not sure I'd expect to find it in the jazz racks (it sits outside the Jazz section in my collection too)
As the occasions arose, I later picked up "Provocative Percussion vol. 2" by (nominally by Enoch Light, on Command too) so I won't dwell on it further as you have given your opinion on him - except that I do like the Snyder album a tad better (though the line-ups seem to be fairly interchangeable) but this one is a period document for its Josef Albers cover too.
Another one in that vein I have is "Percussion and Guitars" (Time S2000, arrangements by Al Caiola). All space-agey enough for me, in a way.

Edited by Big Beat Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Big Beat Steve said:

Ha ... "Percussion" flipped a switch with me ... and another one as I read on and come across Enoch Light and Command.
So ... actually ... in that style, how would you rate "Persuasive Percussion" (command RS800 SD) by Terry Snyder and the All Stars (lineup incuding Tony Mottola, Dick Hyman and Jack Lesberg among the more notable jazz names)? I was given it very early in my collecting days (and appreciate it for the Josel Albers cover alone), warmed up to ti for occasional relaxed listening but am not sure I'd expect to find it in the jazz racks (it sits outside the Jazz section in my collection too)
As the occasions arose, I later picked up "Provocative Percussion vol. 2" by (nominally by Enoch Light, on Command too) so I won't dwell on it further as you have given your opinion on him - except that I do like the Snyder album a tad better (though the line-ups seem to be fairly interchangeable) but this one is a period document for its Josef Albers cover too.
Another one in that vein I have is "Percussion and Guitars" (Time S2000, arrangements by Al Caiola). Space-agey enough for me, in a way.

I don't categorically rate the Command or Time albums very highly.  However, there are gems on both. Back in the day, I accumulated a lot of Command, and I unloaded most of them. Two that I kept were Strange Interlude by Lew Davies and The Private Life of a Private Eye by Enoch Light.  Most Command albums lack a certain X-factor for me, generally in the harmonic department, but most of them also contain one or two standout tracks.  I did not have the patience to keep the albums, though, for those exceptions.

The great space-age albums on Time are Murder, Inc. by Irving Joseph and Thriller by Pete Rugolo, both of which were found in the jazz section!

 

Edited by Teasing the Korean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I confess to not knowing the name Pete Rugolo from my jazz days.  This was in part because I was more focused then on players than I was arrangers, and my knowledge of Stan Kenton (more about whom later) was limited to the track "Artistry in Rhythm," which my Dad had on a Capitol 78.  

After I'd sloughed off my restrictive jazz skin and embraced my bachelorhood - and I was indeed a bachelor then - I came across my first Pete Rugolo album in the jazz section of Princeton Record Exchange.  It was $1.99, as Princeton's impossible-to-remove price sticker confirms. The LP graphics along with the image of a buxom, mallet-wielding babe in high heels pushed me over the edge.  This was futurist, hi-fi big band music with what Larry Kart calls Pete Rugolo's "impish" quality.  Here is a track from that album.  I will also post some other Pete Rugolo tracks that reinforce the jazz/space-age nexus.

 

Edited by Teasing the Korean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

George Russell: Jazz In The Space Age - BUT that's probably not what you have in mind.:wub:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, jlhoots said:

George Russell: Jazz In The Space Age - BUT that's probably not what you have in mind.:wub:

No, it is absolutely on my list of albums to discuss, along with New York, New York!

But all in due time.  I need to post a few more Pete Rugolo tracks.

Edited by Teasing the Korean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Teasing the Korean said:

I confess to not knowing the name Pete Rugolo from my jazz days.  This was in part because I was more focused then on players than I was arrangers, and my knowledge of Stan Kenton (more about whom later) was limited to the track "Artistry in Rhythm," which my Dad had on a Capitol 78.  

After I'd sloughed off my restrictive jazz skin and embraced my bachelorhood - and I was indeed a bachelor then - I came across my first Pete Rugolo album in the jazz section of Princeton Record Exchange.  It was $1.99, as Princeton's impossible-to-remove price sticker confirms. The LP graphics along with the image of a buxom, mallet-wielding babe in high heels pushed me over the edge.  This was futurist, hi-fi big band music with what Larry Kart calls Pete Rugolo's "impish" quality.  Here is a track from that album.  I will also post some other Pete Rugolo tracks that reinforce the jazz/space-age nexus.

 

Has Duane Tatro's "Jazz For Moderns" (OJC, originally Contemporary) cropped on your radar screen before? Fascinating music IMO with an arguable space age vibe, if I understand what that means. Fine West coast lineup: Lennie Niehaus, Joe Maini, Shelly Manne, Ralph Pena, Jimmy Giuffre, Joe Egar, Vince DeRosa,  Bill Holman, et al.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Larry Kart said:

Has Duane Tatro's "Jazz For Moderns" (OJC, originally Contemporary) cropped on your radar screen before? Fascinating music IMO with an arguable space age vibe, if I understand what that means. Fine West coast lineup: Lennie Niehaus, Joe Maini, Shelly Manne, Ralph Pena, Jimmy Giuffre, Joe Egar, Vince DeRosa,  Bill Holman, et al.

Larry, you turned me on to that album!  And the record cover and title push it into space-age territory!  It is also on my list of albums to be discussed.  

Two more key Pete Rugolo tracks before I move on.

First, the opening track from Adventures in Rhythm, "Here's Pete."

And the title track from the mono LP Music for Hi-Fi Bugs, which was later retitled "Stereo Spaceman" when it was issued in stereo on the LP Out of Space.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Teasing the Korean said:

Larry, you turned me on to that album!  And the record cover and title push it into space-age territory!  It is also on my list of albums to be discussed.  

Speaking of the record cover, the kid in that futuristic car is John Koenig, Lester Koenig's son and destined to be a record producer himself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Larry Kart said:

Speaking of the record cover, the kid in that futuristic car is John Koenig, Lester Koenig's son and destined to be a record producer himself.

National Comedy Center Twitterren: "59 years ago tonight, Johnny Carson  began his 30-year run as host of "The Tonight Show", introduced by Groucho  Marx. The #NationalComedyCenter is proud to oversee the digital

OK, one more Pete Rugolo, "Diamond on the Move" from Richard Diamond.
 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

7 hours ago, Dan Gould said:

My father was a space-age bachelor, and had a pad to live in.  He was only married four or five years before your arbitrary cut off of 1964.

Not arbitrary at all, as my first post explains!

7 hours ago, Dan Gould said:

You really have to be a lot more specific about what you are trying to get at.

Continue through the thread and listen to examples, and ye shall be rewarded!  

7 hours ago, Big Beat Steve said:

Re- Legrand Jazz, it is a while simce I've listened to it (BTW - yes, it is the only Michel Legrnad Jazz LP I have ^_^) so I will spin it later today but I would not have considered it "space age bachelor pad" music the way I understand you use this term and "category" (judging by your previous - numerous :D - references to it). So maybe after listening to it I will understand better what kind of recordings you are typically referring to. At the moment I am somewhat in the dark too ...

"Space-age bachelor pad" describes not only a particular kind of sound, or family of sounds, but also encompasses packaging and, perhaps most importantly, the promise of a hi-fi experience for the armchair traveler!

With regard to Legrand Jazz specifically, I would argue that novelty of the ensemble configurations reflects the space-age ethos. This is music arranged specifically for the recording studio, and there would be few if any practical applications for presenting this music live.  It was made to be experienced in moderne domestic splendor. Expanding the usual jazz orchestra instrumentation with flute, French horn, vibes, harp, and tuba provides atypical textures and allows for greater exploitation of hi-fi capabilities.  And perhaps most importantly, Legrand's writing from this period simply exudes postwar optimism.  Collectively, these elements push this one over the edge into clear space-age territory.  I found my copy in the jazz section, but I file it in the space-age section, between Stan Kenton and Henry Mancini.

Edited by Teasing the Korean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Getting back to this discussion after the night ..

In fact last night I had thought of Duane Tatro's "Jazz for Moderns" (not only because of its cover ^_^) as a candidate for this thread but then discarded it as too obvious just for the cover on the one hand and too "far out" on the other. Incorrectly?

And then Pete Rugolo crossed my mind - as did Johnny Richards. But I wasn't sure they'd be dismissed as "just Kenton collaborators" and therefore off the radar ...
Incorrectly again since I just see that Stan Kenton seems to be part of your space-age section too ...?

Difficult indeed to pin down the focus of this thread unless you have comprehensive knowledge of what is out there in that boundary area (which I do not have, but then I seem to search and file artists under "jazz" - undisputedly so by common opinion - that you don't ...).
Serves me right for being out of touch with the evolution of the thread due to the time difference ... :D
Anyway ... as for Pete Rugolo, I have "Introducing Pete Rugolo", "Adventures in Rhythm", "An Adventure in Sound - Reeds", "Rugolomania" and "For Hi-Fi Bugs". Must take time to listen to them again more closely when I have some lounge-chair leisure time ... (this is no music for "background listening").

 

Finally, trying to clarify your broader context for me:
I was unable to find your Sauter-Finegan thread on searching briefly but I suppose you'd rank them in your bachelor pad category too?

 

 

Edited by Big Beat Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Big Beat Steve said:

Finally, trying to clarify your broader context for me:
I was unable to find your Sauter-Finegan thread on searching briefly but I suppose you'd rank them in your bachelor pad category too?

Yes, most certainly!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remind me how S-ABPM differs from exotica and other similar genres? Is Buddy Collette in there? I'm assuming Space-Age Pseudo Mambo Pool Part Music, which also often shows up in the jazz section, is its own genre.

Anyway. A nice idea for a thread. One of these days I would like to know your all time favourites across all of the connected exotica-adjacent genres.

On 28/02/2022 at 7:33 PM, Teasing the Korean said:

Beginning with a classic:  Legrand Jazz

 

Several close French friends who are jazz enjoyers, all of whom regard this album as an all conquering powerhouse of greatness that is the unquestionable next step in French jazz once you have absorbed the Reinhardt/Grappellis.

Never understood it myself. There's plenty of amazing french jazz records out there. This wouldn't make my top ten.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Rabshakeh said:

Remind me how S-ABPM differs from exotica and other similar genres? Is Buddy Collette in there? I'm assuming Space-Age Pseudo Mambo Pool Part Music, which also often shows up in the jazz section, is its own genre.

Anyway. A nice idea for a thread. One of these days I would like to know your all time favourites across all of the connected exotica-adjacent genres.

Well, there is exotica and there is Exotica.  Lower-case e "exotica" is often used generically as a descriptor for all kinds of non-mainstream music.  I would consider Capitol E "Exotica" to be of the postwar Baxter/Denny/Lyman variety, and in my musical taxonomy, Exotica to be one of several subcategories of Space-Age Bachelor Pad.  

And many of Buddy Collette's records would meet my definition of SABP, such as this one that you might find in the jazz section. 

 

5 hours ago, Rabshakeh said:

Several close French friends who are jazz enjoyers, all of whom regard this album [Legrand Jazz] as an all conquering powerhouse of greatness that is the unquestionable next step in French jazz once you have absorbed the Reinhardt/Grappellis.

Never understood it myself. There's plenty of amazing french jazz records out there. This wouldn't make my top ten.

I am a huge Michel Legrand freak, so I am the wrong person to ask.  But for French SABP found in the jazz section, there is always Andre Hodeir!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Teasing the Korean said:

Fred Katz - Folk Songs for Far Out Folk

 

Kenyon Hopkins - Lonelyville

 

Great titles. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those Warwick LP's like "The Soul of Jazz Percussion"?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Teasing the Korean said:

Fred Katz - Folk Songs for Far Out Folk

 

Kenyon Hopkins - Lonelyville

 

Are there enough Phil Woods improvised solos on TNB to make it worth buying?

Here's the only KH discography I've ever seen:

http://www.dougpayne.com/khdisco.htm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.