Lenny Dee - Dee-liriousLenny Dee - Dee-lirious (back)

Some bouncy high-camp Hammond organ from Lenny Dee, famous for his hit “Plantation Boogie.” Whereas most Hammond organistas stuck to quiet, soothing ballads and slow, stultifying hymns, Lenny made his name with upbeat, sometimes goofy arrangements and swingin’ rhythms. These twelve tunes are are sure to enliven your next roller-rink-themed cocktail soiree. Lots more info on Lenny here and here. And don’t forget to get his autograph!

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Geri Galian - Classicos En Ritmo Classicos en Rito reverse

Here’s a fun album that’s sure to irritate Classical musicians and delight bongo fans. Classical standbys by Debussy and others, arranged with a swingin’ Latin beat. Surprisingly sweet and listenable. I tried looking for some info on Galian, but aside from the occasional listing at used record stores (and this photograph,) he seems to be practically unknown. I have a few other LPs from “Discos Corona,” and they’re almost always a good listen.

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(*But Were Afraid To Ask)

moog.jpgI always wanted to hear Ravel’s “Bolero” on the Moog. I’ve just been too afraid to ever ask anyone to play it. Luckily, my silent prayers were answered! This album features that piece, along with the “Habañera” and the “Introduction to Act I” (aka “Toreodor, don’t spit on the floor/use a cuspidor/that’s what it’s for”) from Carmen, Chabrier’s “España” and Lecuona’s “Malagueña” all performed by The Mighty Moog, “semi-conducted” by the frightfully witty Andrew Kazdin and Thomas Z. Shepard.

What could be more exciting than an album of Spanish music? (The consistency of our Spanish program, you will note, is marred only by the fact that Lecuona was not a French composer).

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Kate Smith - Songs for the NOW Generation

Because nothing says “NOW” quite like a busty sixty-something in a sequined magenta muu-muu, here’s Kate Smith singing a selection of the squarest hits of the 60’s– dig those strings, man! Kate blasts her way through 11 classics, trying hard not to make them all sound like “God Bless America.” Sadly, a lot of big stars from the 40’s and 50’s tried making these “hip” records, with little success.

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Eivets Rednow

This caught my eye one day as I was rifling through a dollar bin in Williamsburg. It wasn’t until I got it home that it occurred to me that “Eivets Rednow” is “Stevie Wonder” spelled backwards(!) This is an album of Stevie Wonder playing the harmonica– all instrumentals– layered over some fairly MOR backing arrangements. Stevie’s excellent playing more than makes up for 101 Strings-esque sound, though.

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Even though the jacket for this record was in deplorable condition, and the dude at the flea market wanted $6 dollars for it, I couldn’t pass it up. It turns out my instincts were good– this is a great little LP of vocal jazz. According to the back cover, the Blue Stars are actually instrumentalists who started singing together on a whim. The amateur sound is pretty endearing. In addition, their producer is someone called Blossom Dearie, who my friend Sanchi informs me is responsible for the “Lolly Lolly Lolly Get Your Adverbs Here” song from Schoolhouse Rock. Awes.

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