Anita O’Day – All the Young Sad Man {Verve}

Review by Richard S. Ginell (

When Creed Taylor took over the production reins from Norman Granz when the latter sold Verve to MGM, he continued to place Anita O’Day in imaginative settings that challenged her creativity.
On this LP, she was served with a collection of brilliant, difficult big-band charts, courtesy of a 27-year-old emerging master named Gary McFarland who mixed instrumental voices and tempo changes in querulous, turbulent combinations. Even a truly odd pick like “You Came a Long Way From St. Louis” is enlivened with sprouting shafts of outlaw muted brass and reeds. Another highlight is the contemporary update of O’Day’s old flag-waver with the Krupa band, “Boogie Blues,” complete with one of her patented flip upturned glissandos at the end. This album must have been a traumatic experience for O’Day, for as she tells the story, the tapes of McFarland’s arrangements arrived by mail from New York and she had to overdub her vocals in an empty studio in Los Angeles. Yet it is a tribute to O’Day’s abilities that she makes it all sound easy, exhibiting a freedom in phrasing and improvising that is extraordinary even for her.

01 – Boogie Blues
02 – You Came a Long Way from St. Louis
03 – I Want to Sing a Song
04 – A Woman Alone With the Blues
05 – The Ballad of All the Sad Young Men
06 – Do Nothin’ Till You Hear from Me
07 – One More Mile
08 – Night Bird
09 – Up State
10 – Senor Blues

Anita O’Day – vocals, with The Gary McFarland Orchestra.

Recorded in 1961.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork


Cal Tjader – Solar Heat {DCC}

Review by Ken Secor (

Latin flavor with no loss of swing. I bought this album when vinyl was ‘it’. The quality of the record was terrible and I was crushed because of the outstanding musical talent and awesome vibes of one of my all-time favorite vibraharpists – and the poor quality of the record.
Now that CD’s are it, I would love to get my hands on this great assortment of Cal’s fine playing and some truly brilliant tunes. But alas, today – it appears only a used CD is available. Hopefully, someone will press a few more for Cal’s fans and this – one of his best works – not far from Several Shades epicwise, will return. The line starts here!

01 – Ode to Billy Joe
02 – Never My Love
03 – Felicidade
04 – Mambo Sangria
05 – Here
06 – Fried Bananas
07 – Amazon
08 – La Bamba
09 – Eye of the Devil
10 – Solar Heat

Cal Tjader – vibes
Joao Donato – organ
Bobby Rodriguez or Chuck Rainey – bass
Ray Barretto and Orestes Vilato – latin percussion
Mike Abene – electric piano and harpsichord
Gary McFarland – vibes

Recorded January 15, 1968 at A&R Recording Studios, NY

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork