Ebay for 125 euros! Of course nobody will buy it. But why is a record that advertizes for the 1959/1960 SABA-Stereo Truhe, (a TV, a radio and a record player combined into a piece of furniture), considered to be so valuable?trying to sell it on
Most probably because of the one song by Austrian jazz tenor saxophonist and bandleaderone of the few pure jazz musicians who managed to play his music after the Beatles dropped the bomb on jazz in the 60s. Most other German and Austrian jazz musicians either had to play Schlager or dropped out.
This record is also unique because it was one of the first releases produced by SABA, a German manufacturer of electronic equipment, before the company actually branched out into the SABA label. The note/fir tree symbol on the sleeve signifies the black forest where the company and the studio was located. In 1968 SABA, a variety label, was renamed to MPS, the first German label to exclusively release jazz. SABA issued three LPs by Hans Koller from 1963 to 1966. In this respect Koller´s “Tribute to SABA” , recorded in 1958 in Sandweiher near Baden-Baden, was a tribute ahead of time.
Now you probably know by now that I´m not a jazz expert. In fact I don´t care for most of what has passed for jazz in the past 60 years. I like jazz that you cannot stand still to: dance music.
Well, this is still sufficiently swingin`…
If you like this you might want to check out an EP by Zoot Sims and Hans Koller from roughly the same time on the German Brunswick label, that Boogieman posted in April. That one really makes you wanna move!
Grady Martin (January 17, 1929 – December 3, 2001) is in the Rockabilly Hall Of Fame. As a session guitarist he worked with anyone who had a name in the country and rock´n´roll field. Today he´s mostly known for the recordings he did with Johnny Burnette. It´s actually his guitar playing that can be heard on most of the recordings of Johnny Burnette´s Rock´n´Roll Trio.
But Grady Martin´s own instrumental records with the Slew Foot Five were equally excellent. Side By Side, with vocals by Dottie Dillard and Jack Shook, was originally recorded in 1953 in Nashville. This German EP from 1958 collects four tracks that also appeared on Martin´s Jukebox Jamboree LP (1956).
Surprisingly the song has never been re-released in digital format and can currently not be purchased anywhere.
Great Gosh found its way on a Belgium bootleg compilation LP called “Rock´n´Roll Collection Vol. 15″ in 1986. The generic cover of the series simply donned a Confederate Flag indicating to what type of listeners the bootleggers had in mind. Apart from this appearance the song has never been reissued legally and hence is not to be found digitally anywhere either.
After 57 years it´s about time…
Rio De Gregori (* September 22, 1919 in Zürich; † May 22, 1987 in Munich) was a Swiss jazz pianist and singer.
De Gregori learned to play the piano at age 7 and at fourteen started to collect jazz records by the likes of Duke Ellington and others. Although his parents wanted him to become a classical pianist, he started to perform professionally as a jazz musician. He worked with Willie Mac Allen (1939-40), James Boucher (1940- 41), Jo Grandjean (1942) and up until September 1944 with René Weiss and his orchestra. Then he got a job in Fred Böhler´s big band and stayed with them until 1945. The same year he founded his own big band, that included some of the best Swiss jazz musician like Stuff Combe, Bob Jaquillard, Jean Pierre Dupuis, Luc Hoffmann, Raoul Schmassmann, Kurt Weil and guest soloist Glyn Paque. After the breakup of his band he continued to work in a trio and as a soloist and also managed a bar in Ascona, Switzerland. He then settled in Munich, opened a night club and henceforth called himself Rio Gregory. He named the club Bar Ascona. Later he discovered pop singer Suzanne Doucet at Bar Ascona.
Rio Gregory recorded another four EPs worth of material for the Varieton label and some more records for Columbia, Elite and Harlekin. Despite the Wikipedia article, not one of them has ever been reissued.
Simple but nicely designed one-sided plastic Varieton company sleeve and red vinyl for the jazz collectors of 1955!
A while back I found some more flexible 45s by Kid Orbis, alias Wolf Gabbe. Although my other posts of his music, like his swingin Nutcracker Suite, have left even the small remainder of readers unfazed, I have to do what I have to do. I dig Kid Orbis´ take on Antonín Dvořák. Sure, Jumpin with Anthony Dvorak could be more jumpin´ but it´s still a nice little tune. Kid Orbis recorded specially for Delta-Ton out of Düsseldorf-Büderich. But Delta Ton also took over material from real labels.
J.P.´s Blues by James Williard Parks and the Bucktown-Six first appeared on an EP of the same title on the German Climax label, a small jazz specialty label. Written by J.W. Parks, an Afro-American US-soldier stationed in Wiesbaden. J.P.´s Blues is probably the most authentic sounding blues song recorded in Germany in the 1950s. It was recorded on February 22nd 1957 in the Robert-Schumann-Saal in Düsseldorf.
The line-up features: J.W.Parks, voc; Dietrich Geldern, cl; Manfred Stapput, tp,voc; Herbert Koleczek, p; Dieter Kauffmann, bj; Hermey Kopp, dm and Heino Ribbert, b.
(Cover image from the 45cat website)
Judging from the front sleeve of the Climax EP J.W. Parks must have been a sight to behold in Germany at the time. His flashy getup was certainly in contrast to that of most German jazz musicians and Pop stars.
Last week I bought two Opera label 45s. Opera was a record club, essentially a sort of cheapo label. They still sell cheaply today and I would contribute this largely to the bland record sleeves, that do not tell much about the music on the records and lead sellers to believe the music must not be interesting. Opera did mostly published second grade versions of hit songs, but also took over some cool stuff from other labels catalogs, like Duke Ellington and the Deep River Boys. While the music on this record is not rhythm & blues or hot jazz it´s still a little more sophisticated than the stuff that I normally present here. It´s Modern Jazz in the Stan Getz style – some sort of big band junkie jazz. Either way it´s not meant for dancing. It´s music for sitting. I´m nearing fifty but I feel that I´m still way too young for this type of jazz. I still have no time for slow music. Or for music that I need to sit down to to listen to.
But who is this band and where are they from? I couldn´t find any trace of The Pepper Biters Big Band on the Internet. Are these real names? Ben Brook (Piano), Joe Nathan (Trumpet), Shaw-Shaw Namuna (Drums), Mackie Daniels (Voice), Mike Mills (Saxo), Buddy Toybeen (Trombone), Coleridge Gray (Vibraphone), Larry Pongo (Bass) and the Hot Nine.
A couple of years ago I thought big band swing music was boring elevator background muzak. Since then I´ve developed a deep appreciation for the big band swing sound of the 30s and 40s. But the reason why big band swing got such a bad rep is probably stuff like this. Back in the 50s big band swing had already gotten long out of fashion. Like all big band swing ever since, this record was appealing to more conservative listeners. Hip people either listened to real jazz or rock´n´roll. Today nobody needs some 1950s second grade medleys of Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller hits, when most people don´t even care for the originals? Still musically this is top-notch big band swing! From Berlin – from one of Berlin´s true Jazzmen!
Andrés Ramiro really is Berlin band leader Wolf Gabbe,the man who was also behind the pseudonym Kid Orbis. Unfortunately his music has largely been forgotten. If you´ll search for Wolf Gabbe on Amazon/Itunes two songs will pop up that are currently for sale . Only two songs from a couple of decades that Gabbe worked and recorded in. I have posted some of his records here, here and here.
Wolf Gabbe appeared in the 1954 film Der treue Husar, the faithful Hussar.
Bill Ramsey´s German cover version Wumba-Tumba Schokoladeneisverkäufer vom andern Stern of Sheb Wooley´s Purple People Eater reached #4 in the German Charts in 1958. On Thursday I found a budget version of that song, released by the Opera label out of Stuttgart, in a nearby thrift store. I had seen a copy of the record on Ebay before, but since I don´t buy stuff on the Internet, I had to wait until I came across it by coincidence. On Ebay it probably wouldn´t have been 50 Cents either.
No info about Trio Sorrento on the Internet but contrary to many budget artist they were a real group, who´s music however did also appear on cheapo labels like Opera, Neckermann and Baccarola. An article in Spiegel from January 1954 about East German restrictions on “decadent” western musical styles, like the Boogie Woogie, also mentions the trio:
On October 6th 1953 four stocky soviet directors ejected Trio Sorrento (formerly with Berlin radio station Rias) from a cultural center in East Berlin, because the group´s musical repertory (“Junge,Junge, Junge”, “Mäcki-Boogie”, “Schaschlik-Boogie”) had caused the attending young workers to applaud demonstratively. (Spiegel, Jan.1954, “Barrieren um Boogie Woogie”)
This version of Wumba-Tumba Schokoladeneisverkäufer vom andern Stern was made to sound almost identical to Ramsey´s version. It´s still quite different, but since I won´t post Bill Ramsey´s version, just take my word for it…
Jody Reynolds song of teenage tragedy Endless Sleep reached #5 in the Billboard Charts in 1958. Reynolds follow-up Fire of Love from the same year, only went to #66, but achieved cult status 25 years later when The Gun Club covered it.
The original German version of Endless Sleep was recorded by the James Brothers (Schlager singers Peter Kraus and Jörg Maria Berg), who were put together to emulate the Everly Brothers. In true budget manner the Opera label producers simply called their brothers the Johnson Brothers.
The two-colored illustration on the back of the sleeve should have been on the front. The drawing is what´s remarkable about this record. Why is the illustration on the back then? I can only imagine how the story must have been, but from my experience as an illustrator, it´s always the same thing. Regular Opera releases only had writing on the back. Because they had two rock´n´roll songs on the record, the record label people must have had the feeling that they should give the teenagers a little more to look at. They liked the commissioned drawing, but still decided against putting it on the cover, because they couldn´t depart from their concept that all their sleeves in this series needed to have the bland purple design!