Al Caiola (g), Bernie Privin (tp, flh), Romeo Penque (fl, b-cl, Egh), Hank Jones, Ronnie Ball (p), Clyde Lombardi (b), Kenny Clarke (d)
Reference: FSRCD 892
Bar code: 8427328608923
When guitarist Al Caiola (1920) moved to New York after graduating he was quickly hired as a staff musician by CBS, where his skill and adaptability guaranteed him a heavy radio and TV schedule until he left in 1956; he was, in fact, one of the busiest, most successful and respected session men in New York City throughout the 1950s and 1960s. In 1955, at the peak of his success, he recorded “Deep in a Dream” and “Serenade in Blue” for Savoy Records, two albums which focused on a meticulous and reverent treatment of a collection of well-known standards and of his own originals. Technically impeccable, on these Caiola is backed by an excellent rhythm section, with pianist Hank Jones demonstrating his usual warmth and skill, aided by drummer Kenny Clarke and bassist Clyde Lombardi.
Another asset is the assured, tasteful, lyrical, big-toned trumpet and flugelhorn of swing-era veteran Bernie Privin and, on four tracks, the multi-faceted reedman Romeo Penque and the young English pianist Ronnie Ball. Caiola, who worked on many shows in the early days of TV, was so multi-faceted and versatile that, when rock ‘n’ roll became popular, he adapted easily to the new genre, and for years was much in demand as a session guitarist. At all times he remained the consummate professional.
01. Deep in a Dream (Van Heusen-DeLange) 4:32
02. You Are Too Beautiful (Rodgers-Hart) 2:20
03. There Will Never Be Another You (Warren-Gordon) 3:47
04. Love Letters (Young-Heyman) 4:12
05. I’ve Got a Crush on You (Gershwin-Gershwin) 3:54
06. Thunderbird (Al Caiola) 4:56
07. I Got It Bad (and that Ain’t Good) (Duke Ellington) 4:28
08. Everything Happens to Me (Dennis-Adair) 4:32
09. Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me (Bloom-Koehler) 4:48
10. Moments Like This (Lane-Loesser) 5:03
11. Indian Summer (Herbert-Dubin) 5:00
12. Drambuie (Al Caiola) 2:55
13. Serenade in Blue (Warren-Gordon) 4:35
14. Early Autumn (Burns-Herman-J.Mercer) 4:12
15. Black and Blue (Waller-Brooks) 3:40
16. Blue the Night (Al Caiola) 4:20
Tracks #1-8, from the Savoy album “Deep in a Dream” (MG12033)
Tracks #9-16, from the Savoy album “Serenade in Blue” (MG12057)
Personnel on #1-8:
Al Caiola, guitar; Bernie Privin, trumpet & flugelhorn; Hank Jones, piano; Clyde Lombardi, bass; Kenny Clarke, drums.
Recorded at Van Gelder’s Studio, Hackensack, NJ, October 6 (#1-4) & 8 (#5-8), 1955
Personnel on #9-12:
Al Caiola, guitar; Romeo Penque, flute, bass clarinet, English horn; Hank Jones, piano; Clyde Lombardi, bass; Kenny Clarke, drums.
Recorded at Van Gelder’s Studio, Hackensack, NJ, December 14, 1955
Personnel on #13-16:
Al Caiola, guitar; Bernie Privin, trumpet & flugelhorn; Ronnie Ball, piano; Clyde Lombardi, bass; Kenny Clarke, drums.
Recorded at Van Gelder’s Studio, Hackensack, NJ, December 27, 1955
Original recordings produced by Ozzie Cadena
Savoy cover designs: David Lartaud
Compiled for CD release by Jordi Pujol
Hi Fi · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered
"Before rock and roll turned the guitar into a Stratocaster food fight on the frets, the jazz guitar was a subtle and swinging collection of six strings. Here's a reissue by Fresh Sound Records that rekindle a flame that used to burn brightly, but needs to be put back in the window sill.
Al Caiola made a successful living as a studio musician, working with artists like Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett as well as making defining work on TV shows like Bonanza or movies like The Magnificent Seven. Here, he’s on a pair of mood to be wooed albums with a tasty rhythm team of Hank Jones/p, Clyde Lombardi/b and Kenny Clarke/dr and either Bernie Privin/tp-fh or Romeo Penque/fl-bcl-Ehrn for countertones. There are a couple of snappy toe tappers such as “There Will Never Be Another You” but for the most part, Caiola keeps it cool and subtle. Privin’s horn has a vibrato big enough to park your Buick in, and his tone is Harry James strong, as on “Deep In A Dream” and “I Got A Crush On You.” Penque creates exotic moods with his flute on “Indian,” while “Drambuie” has foreboding tones from the bass clarinet and “Moments Like This” is pastoral with the English Horn. In this day and age,it’s easy to forget that at one time music was meant to be romantic. What a concept!"
George W. Harris (May 23, 2016)