TJB on Danny Kaye

jazzdre

Active Member
Wow! Really cool! I didn't even know Danny Kaye had his own TV show!! It's quite frankly one of the rare times you see Herb perform live with the Brass on a special! Other performances of this nature(on a variety special that is) has the group playing in 'sync';meaning that they're playing to a pre-recorded track. 'Winds Of Barcelona' and 'A Taste Of Honey' are played live but 'Zorba The Greek' is played pre-recorded.

All in all, it's great to see these videos; it's a historical kaleidoscope to another era; the year of this video was it 1965 or 1966? I would like to know!

Anyway,TjbBmb, thanx for showing us this!

Regards,
jazzdre
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
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Yes, Danny Kaye had a very popular variety series on CBS for a few years. It went color in the fall of 1965, and remained on the schedule through much of 1967. It always aired at 10 PM Eastern on Wednesdays. I used to watch it all the time.
 

Bobberman

Well-Known Member
Awesome videos truly early TJB Touring group at its best before John Pisano and Lou Pagani sprouted mustaches coincidentally I couldn't help but notice the EV 635A microphones being used (which I own several of) I'm so glad I still have my set
 

Steve Sidoruk

Founder, A&M Fan Net
Staff member
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DANNY KAYE SHOW

10/27/65 air date - WINDS OF BARCELONA, TASTE OF HONEY
3/23/66 air date - TASTE OF HONEY, ZORBA THE GREEK
 

Captaindave

Well-Known Member
I have a question. Please forgive me if I don't understand this better, but how can you tell if a performance like we see in these videos is being played live, or if it is pre-recorded? They sure do appear to be live, but how can you tell for sure?

I can hear a difference in sound between Zorba and the other songs. But how do I know that the other songs weren't pre-recorded specifically for the show, and then mimed also. I can hear how the sound and see how the playing is different than the studio recordings. It sure does "look" like a live performance. But I don't see why those performances couldn't have been pre-recorded and mimed to that recording.

And I also don't know much about TV technology back in those days either.

I recall the video of the reorganized TJB on the Midnight Special in 1975, and that sure did seem to be live also.

Can anyone "educate" me about this?
 
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Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
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Since these shows were pre-recorded onto videotape, it's likely that Herb & the boys were playing live on all of these songs except "Zorba The Greek". With videotape, if something went horribly wrong, they could just do it again until they got it right. Then the editing room would put the whole show together with the good takes.

"Zorba The Greek" presented a special problem. It was difficult to get right, so on a national television show, it needed to be mimed to the record. The record itself was legendary in that it took many, many takes in the studio before they got it the way Herb wanted it. In fact, the two "halves" of "Zorba the Greek" are actually the same recording. The first minute and fifteen seconds is the basic recording. Then the slow part comes in. That's all original too. But when it gets back to the fast part, the recording is actually a repeat of that main section from the first part of the record.

It was such a bear to record, that they must have decided to use that clever editing technique to make sure it was indeed perfect.

On the single, they masked some of the duplication with the audience hoots and hollers.

When the Brass played live though, they had to trudge through "Zorba" and do the best they could. I believe most of the time they just went through the main part of the song once, and moved on, usually relegating it to a medley of hits.
 

DAN BOLTON

Well-Known Member
The liner notes from the Greatest Hits album stated that the recording sessions for Zorba lasted 17 hours...must have been exhausting and very expensive.
 

bob knack

Active Member
Since these shows were pre-recorded onto videotape, it's likely that Herb & the boys were playing live on all of these songs except "Zorba The Greek". With videotape, if something went horribly wrong, they could just do it again until they got it right. Then the editing room would put the whole show together with the good takes.

"Zorba The Greek" presented a special problem. It was difficult to get right, so on a national television show, it needed to be mimed to the record. The record itself was legendary in that it took many, many takes in the studio before they got it the way Herb wanted it. In fact, the two "halves" of "Zorba the Greek" are actually the same recording. The first minute and fifteen seconds is the basic recording. Then the slow part comes in. That's all original too. But when it gets back to the fast part, the recording is actually a repeat of that main section from the first part of the record.

It was such a bear to record, that they must have decided to use that clever editing technique to make sure it was indeed perfect.

On the single, they masked some of the duplication with the audience hoots and hollers.

When the Brass played live though, they had to trudge through "Zorba" and do the best they could. I believe most of the time they just went through the main part of the song once, and moved on, usually relegating it to a medley of hits.
I heard the TJB original band twice and the brass 2.0 and 3.0 each once. I'm sure they played Zorba the first time at McCormick Place in Chicago as it was just prior to the What Now My Love album coming out. If I remember correctly, each time they played the 45 version and not the LP version, eliminating that slow part in the middle. It was their "showstopper" and finale, never part of a medley.
 

Harry

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I heard the TJB original band twice and the brass 2.0 and 3.0 each once. I'm sure they played Zorba the first time at McCormick Place in Chicago as it was just prior to the What Now My Love album coming out. If I remember correctly, each time they played the 45 version and not the LP version, eliminating that slow part in the middle. It was their "showstopper" and finale, never part of a medley.
Yep. You're probably right. Memories fade after so many years...
 

Captaindave

Well-Known Member
When I first heard the TJB in concert at Blossom Music Center in Ohio in August, 1968, I think I recall that Zorba was the last song of the night. They may have started it out with the slower part with its gradually accelerating tempo, and then ended it with the uptempo part as the finale. I seem to remember Bob Edmondson playing the tympani. But I don't remember exactly how it was done.

When the TJB performed in concert, I think that some songs were sometimes rearranged a little bit from the studio recordings to make them more "playable" in a live situation. Or to shorten the recorded version a little bit. The TJB had rehearsed and perfected the delivery of a concert. By August, 1968, the Beat of the Brass album had been released and the TV special had aired the previous April. There were a lot of songs to choose from by that time to work into a concert set list. "This Guys...." was #1 at the time, and was definitely necessary to be played.
 
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Harry

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Probably my brain was thinking of this Midnight Special medley that included "Zorba The Greek", albeit at the end.




Back in 1969, Herb & The Brass were at London's Royal Festival Hall and this is the audio of "Zorba" from that concert. It's not exactly a stellar performance of this difficult to play song, made even more difficult by the fast speed at which they played it!

 

Captaindave

Well-Known Member
Yes! I'm glad my memory is still working - I remember that! I think they may have played the song that way at the Blossom Music Center concerts I mentioned above, which were over a year earlier in August, 1968.

I remember now how the trumpets just hit the first note in each pattern coming down the scale on the 16th note patterns that were double tongued on the studio recording.

As a trumpet player, I also think the song is difficult to play well. Especially under pressure. There is a lot of simultaneous double tonguing and fast fingering. Takes a lot of slow practice in the beginning, gradually speeding up until the coordination between the fingers, tongue, and air gets happening. I don't know of any other song from the time period of the original TJB that is anything like Zorba in terms of technical difficulty.

In the 1975 video clip from the Midnight Special, Bob Findley is playing at that time with the reorganized group. Bob is a terrific player. They're playing all the notes coming down the scale in that clip and it's amazing to me how well they do it.

Soemtimes, I have found that speeding it up can actually make it a little easier, because everything is moving so fast that most people never notice any mistakes.
 
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Captaindave

Well-Known Member
Maybe it was at the Cleveland Public Auditorium concert I attended in late October, 1969, where Zorba was played that way. That would have been much closer to the time of the London program.

Thinking about it, I think they may have played Zorba in 1968 at Blossom the way they did it on the Midnight Special video. Slow beginning and then accelerating into the fast past.

I do remember Herb introducing the song in that way...."Ladies and gentlemen, this is Zorba's dance from Zorba the Greek."
 

bob knack

Active Member
Probably my brain was thinking of this Midnight Special medley that included "Zorba The Greek", albeit at the end.




Back in 1969, Herb & The Brass were at London's Royal Festival Hall and this is the audio of "Zorba" from that concert. It's not exactly a stellar performance of this difficult to play song, made even more difficult by the fast speed at which they played it!

I sure would like to see the whole video of that Royal Festival Hall concert. As for Zorba, the band had been on the road for a few years by then and maybe they were just getting tired. Wasn't Herb having some problems then?
 

Harry

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Yes, I believe that the tour which included the Royal Festival Hall was probably the one where Herb came to face his difficulties in playing.
 
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