Playing It Straight: Lee Morgan - Al Hirt - Doc Severinsen - Freddie Hubbard

JOv2

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Four of our finest trumpeters give us straight readings of some late '60s pop standards (recorded 1968-69).

It's fascinating to hear jazz musicians give a straight read...which then really brings out the subtleties of articulation, shading, attack and other pitch-producing embellishments. Truth be told, when improvisation -- which is what distinguishes Lee, Al, Doc and Freddie from each other -- is removed from the equation, we're left with their individual stylistic approaches to melody...which is the arena where Herb with his unique gift for embellishment genuinely shines. Check out their straight reads (or "almost" in Hubbard's case) where one may be hard pressed to identify any of these trumpeters from one another devoid of improvisation.



Wichita Lineman - Freddie Hubbard
 

Mike Blakesley

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I really enjoyed watching Doc Severinsen's band on the Tonight Show back in the day, but I never could listen to his music "long term" (as in, through the end of a song). I just don't get into that kind of musical gymnastics.... I like a good melody first and foremost, which is why I'm such a Herb Alpert fan I suppose. He always puts melody front and center.

The only Severinsen album I ever had was called "Doc" and came out sometime in the '70s. The opening track "Bonnie" was catchy, as I remember. I'll need to give these linked albums a shot, maybe "playing it straight" would work better in my musical ear.
 

JOv2

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For me, hearing Lee Morgan play it straight was a revelation: of the four trumpeters I favour his tone for its straight-ahead, grounded quality. Al has his raspy tone that always identifies him (or that your stylus needs cleaning!). Doc, who in my opinion is the most technically gifted "recorded" trumpeter of all time, produces a beautiful, shimmering-metallic tone. Freddie's tone is the sweeeeetest -- something I would not have expected given his fiery Blue Note dates.

The only Severinsen album I ever had was called "Doc" and came out sometime in the '70s.
Hey, that's my favourite of his RCA LPs!
 

rbisherw

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Maynard Ferguson's Columbia Records debut (UK) "Ballad style" featured all covers arranged and produced by Keith Mansfield.

Very little improvisation, however still lots of his high register playing.

Quite a bit different from the albums he recorded before and after. Never had a US LP issue by Columbia in the states.
Wounded Bird and Dutton eventually released CD versions

His version of "Girl Talk" being my favorite track on the album and possibly the epitome of "Austin Powers" lounge music.

 

Rudy

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Quite a bit different from the albums he recorded before and after. Never had a US LP issue by Columbia in the states.
It's also interesting that when Maynard was at Roulette, he cut his groundbreaking jazz albums, but also concurrently released a few dance albums that were more straight-laced. (I can't tell the tracks apart on the Mosaic box set, but one day I'll split the tracks out into individual albums and compare the two styles of those albums.) One of those was his own version of the Madison line dance, "Doin' The Madison," released as a Roulette 45 (R-4250):

 

Bobberman

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Maynard Ferguson's Columbia Records debut (UK) "Ballad style" featured all covers arranged and produced by Keith Mansfield.
Ah Keith Mansfield now that's a name I'm familiar with he was one of the many contributors to the KPM Library music recordings during the late 60s to the 70s and also contributed to other libraries such as Amphonic music and Bruton in the 70s and early 80s one album I highly recommend is his 1979 release titled "Night Bird" the title song is my favorite you can hear it on YouTube but Mansfield is a great arranger and artist in his own right
 

bob knack

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Ah Keith Mansfield now that's a name I'm familiar with he was one of the many contributors to the KPM Library music recordings during the late 60s to the 70s and also contributed to other libraries such as Amphonic music and Bruton in the 70s and early 80s one album I highly recommend is his 1979 release titled "Night Bird" the title song is my favorite you can hear it on YouTube but Mansfield is a great arranger and artist in his own right
I just sampled a few tracks on Night Bird and found them to be very Bob James-like.
 

Bobberman

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I just sampled a few tracks on Night Bird and found them to be very Bob James-like
I agree I also like Bob James at that time the TV series Taxi which (James wrote the music for) was popular and that particular style of music was very influential
 
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