John Plonsky (tp), Herb Pilhofer (p), Jack Coan (tp), Paul Binstock (Frh), Stan Haugesag (tb), Bob Crea (as, cl), Dave Karr (ts, bs, fl), Carl Janelli (bs), Dominic Cortese (accordion), Chet Amsterdam, Ted Hughart (b), Mel Zelnick, Russ Moore (d), Betty Blake (vcl)
Reference: FSRCD 1064
Bar code: 8427328610643
Fresh Sound Records presents:
Rare and Obscure Jazz Albums
A CD series created for the most discerning jazz collectors
· Hard to find albums in Collector's Edition
· 2 Original LPs on 1 CD
· Original Cover Art, Liner Notes
· Complete Personnel Details
· Hi Fi Recordings
· Newly Remastered in 24-Bit
Cool Man Cool
This quintet under the direction of composer-arranger-trumpeter John Plonsky (born in 1926) offers an interesting listening experience in the smooth jazz style of Dave Pell butwith a twist, its unusual instrumentation composed of baritone, amplified accordion and trumpet with bass and drums. Recorded in 1957, Cool Man Cool was his only album as a leader, and it revealed Plonsky as a talented and imaginative soloist with a warmand open tone, who also managed to carry out extremely laborious ensemble work. All players are excellent in harmony, and the use of amplified accordion provides an orchestral texture to support the trumpet and baritone saxophone, adding much appreciated depth to the overall sound. Plonsky's five tastefully conceived originals plus the six fresh, well-arranged standards —two of theman excellent frame to showcase the talent and the vocal facets of singer Betty Ann Blake— do much to enhance the album's appeal.
Jazz From the North Coast, Volume 2
Pianist Herb Pilhofer was born in Nurenberg, Germany, in 1931. He was not overly interested in music until he began studying piano at the age of seventeen. After WWII, he was introduced to jazz by the American soldiers who stayed in Germany, and decided to form his own group and play for the Army Special Service and the USO in Europe. He traveled to the United States in 1954, where he learned arranging and orchestration from Bill Russo. Not wanting to waste time, that same year Pilhofer organized his octet, choosing from some of the best musicians the Twin City jazz scene had to offer. For him, it became a kind of workshop to test his own compositions. His album debut was 'Jazz from the North Coast, Volume 2,' recorded in 1956. Much of his writing and sound of Herb Pilhofer's octet walked the groove between the endeavors of the Dave Pell and Shorty Rogers groups, which were so in vogue at the time.
How did we miss all of these? Rare and Obscure Jazz Albums...
"Fresh Sound Records, the label that has given us collection of music from B movies and undeservedly overlooked vocalists, has now expanded their horizons with a brand new mouth watering category of recordings. This latest set consists of albums made by musicians that made a living in the studio and got one or two chances on their own, or for some strange reason were simply overlooked.
There isn't a single album here that isn't essential for jazz fans. Each packet comes with (usually) a list of all of the musicians and some fantastic liner notes to give you some background to the featured artist. Sure, I'm going to review them, but the subtitle under each summary is “Go get it... NOW!”
Trumpeter John Plonsky leads a NYC team through a mix of standards and originals in the California Cool style of Shorty Rogers and Dave Pell. The 1957 session includes a Chris Connor'd husky “But Not For Me” and a cozy “How About You”, with the team chicka booming on the hotcha “Blond Caboose”. Plonsky's muted horn works on some Mulliganish charts with baritone saxist Carl Janelli on “The Lady Is a Tramp” and blows sweet open blues on “Laurel and Hardy”. Way Out East.
Pianist Herb Pilhofer records in the Nordic jazz crossroads of Minneapolis, MN, on richly textured session from 1956 with a five member horn section teamed with Ted Hughart/b and Russ Moore/dr. The flutes give out a rich thoughtful bop on “Nicollet Avenue Breakdown” with cool reeds blowing in the wind for “Give Me The Simple Life”. French horns and trombones meld well on a misty take of “Django” and Dave Karr's baritone sax swings well for “Topsy”, with Pilhofer and Hughart giving a sleek pulse to “Bach's Lunch”. Clear charts to follow."
—George W. Harris (January 10, 2022)
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