Jerry Fielding (arr, dir), Conrad Gozzo, Maurice Harris, Ralph Fera, Mickey Mangano, Jerry Carr, Larry Klein, James Longo, Ed Shedoski (tp), Joe Howard, Lloyd Ulyate, Marshall Cram, Thermon Donelli (tb), Hymie Gunkler, George Dorsey (as), Buddy Collette (fl, as, ts), Sam Donahue, Phil Urso, Don Lodice (ts), Marty Berman (bs), Gerald Wiggins, Jerry Carr (p), Vincent Terri (g), Red Callender (b), Tom Romersa, John Perilli (d), Milt Holland (perc), Ruth Olay, Tony Fontaine, Morgan Sisters, Hi-Lo's (vcl)
Bar code: 8427328611053
Including 20-page booklet with new liner notes and rare photos
The Jerry Fielding orchestra was a good, charging dance band, a swing-era style unit with a modern approach. Jerry was one of the few band leaders at that time who not only fronted his band, but also led it. There is a certain precision in the band that can only come from thorough rehearsal, and yet, it is a spontaneous spark of creativity that carries each performance. This is in part thanks to the rhythmic arrangements that leave room to flow smoothly when the music asks for it. There is a spirited, crisp cohesion and a feeling of often latent —sometimes overt— power.
From a performance standpoint, it must be noted that this was an organized band of thirteen hand-picked top musicians. And such big sounds he gets from 13 men! The excitement, warmth, power and finesse of Fielding's band could do justice to just about every mood with its never-ending versatility, a group of seasoned sidemen from the radio and film industries swinging their way through Jerry's modern-flavored arrangements.
This CD closes with the only four sides that Jerry Fielding recorded with the vocal quartet the Hi-Lo's which Trend released in two singles. Whether this was music designed for dancing —as Fielding’s three 10” Trend albums claimed— or for listening, you are sure to get equal enjoyment either way.
"Joshua Itzhak Feldman (1922-1980), better known as Jerry Fielding, made a name for himself from the 1960s onwards as an arranger and composer of film scores for directors such as Sam Peckinpah and Clint Eastwood. He also did a lot of work for radio and TV.
Fielding, born in Pittsburgh, started at 17 as an arranger with guitar pioneer Alvino Rey's orchestra, which was active on the West Coast. He then wrote arrangements for the bands of Kay Kyser, Tommy Dorsey and Charlie Barnet. From 1947 he worked for radio and TV shows, including that of the popular comedian Groucho Marx.
In the spring of 1951 he formed his own dance band with which he appeared in his own TV show, with Ruth Olay, Tony Fontaine and The Morgan Sisters as vocalists. With this Great New Orchestra he recorded his first album for the small independent Trend label. Apart from the own opening track Faintly Reminiscent, these are mainly well-known standards, which, however, have all been cast in a surprising new arrangement. The modern, sometimes unusual performances, full of variety, such as in The Peanut Vendor, for example, are performed with great perfection by these west-coast musicians. Despite the tight, razor-sharp brass, the fluent sound of the saxes and the support of an excellent rhythm section, there is always enough room for creative solo contributions from Colette, Donahue, Howard and Wiggins in particular. On the first album Olay delivers some nice vocal contributions.
The album was so well received by critics that in addition to working for TV, the band also gave concerts and was offered engagements in some well-known ballrooms in Hollywood. Trend also saw opportunities for a next album.
In December 1953 Fielding came into conflict with the witch hunt for (alleged) communists unleashed by Senator McCarthy. It resulted in a long-term boycott of his radio and TV appearances. Reason for Fielding to tour with an orchestra. He again formed an excellent band from the large arsenal of outstanding studio musicians. With this, both the last LP and the debut single of the Hi-Lo's were recorded, which concludes this musically interesting edition, which is also provided with an extremely well-maintained and informative booklet."
—Aldert Toornstra (December, 2021)
Dr. Jazz Magazine, The Netherlands