Alexander the Great + The Dazzling Sound (2 LP on 1 CD)
  • Liberty LRP-3008
    Liberty LRP-3008
  • Liberty LRP-3040
    Liberty LRP-3040

Tommy Alexander & Keith Williams

Alexander the Great + The Dazzling Sound (2 LP on 1 CD)

Fresh Sound Records

Tommy Alexander (tb, lead), Keith Williams (tp, lead, arr), Clyde Reasinger, Pete Candoli, Conrad Gozzo, Manny Klein, Johnny Audino, Don Fagerquist, Wes Hensel, Frank Beach, Cappy Lewis (tp), Dave Wells, Frank Strong, Lew McCreary, Jay Hill, Si Zentner, Tommy Pederson, Joe Howard, Herbie Harper, Harry Betts, George Roberts (tb), Dick Paladino, Lanny Morgan, Russ Cheever, Bob Hardaway, Bill Trujillo, Ted Nash, Don Renfrew, Chuck Gentry, Lennie Mitchell, Bill Ulyate (reeds), Arnold Ross (p), Tommy Tedesco, Al Hendrickson (g), Harry Babasin, Curtis Counce (b), Alvin Stoller, Larry Bunker (d), Gene Estes, Ralph Collier, Dick Shanahan (perc), Bill Holman, Jim Bates, Russell Garcia (arr)

Reference: FSRCD 965

Bar code: 8427328609654


WEST COAST SERIES · Jazz & Swing Orchestras
Rare & Collectible Albums by Unsung Bandleaders

When the dust from the collapse of the Swing Era settled, there were few big bands left that had survived. Yet, because they loved the swinging drive of a full-on jazz orchestra, a series of adventurous and unsung bandleaders optimistically organized some fine, but short-lived, new orchestras that were packed with jazz and studio musicians, holding the flag of Swing high.


Alexander The Great showcases the orchestra led by Tommy Alexander, a young trombonist who formerly was with Billy May. His new band had an impeccable pedigree in players like Bobby Stiles, Arnold Ross, Harry Babasin, Dave Wells, Lanny Morgan and Bill Trujillo, all coolly, crisply and intelligently encased in the modern contemporary idiom by arrangers Bill Holman and Jim Bates. The Band’s sound is different, in the sense that it often uses trombones as lead voices instead of the customary saxes, and it successfully combined progressive jazz with the best of danceable rhythm, walking a swinging line between two opposite poles in jazz.

The Dazzling Sound. For this album, the band of Keith Williams delivered a balanced program of standards and original songs cleverly arranged by Williams himself and Brinley Bethel, as well as the original Wiki Wiki by Russ Garcia. Without the rhythmic support of neither piano nor guitar, the band shines by the ensemble work of its skilled reed section, pushed by the high-pitched, dazzling brass sound, and a tasty and colorful percussion. The main jazz soloist is tenor saxophonist Ted Nash, but Herbie Harper, Don Fagerquist, Cappy Lewis, Russ Cheever, Bob Hardaway and guitarist Tommy Tedesco are also heard in some daring, albeit brief, solos.


Sample this album
Total time: 72:26 min.

01. Mad About the Boy (Noel Coward) 3:14
02. Tomboy (Bill Holman) 2:09
03. We'll Be Together Again (Laine-Fischer) 2:53
04. I Hadn't Anyone 'Till You (Ray Noble) 2:42
05. Midnight Sun (Hampton-Burker-Mercer) 3:47
06. Lullaby of Birdland (George Shearing) 2:12
07. Old Devil Moon (Lane-Harburg) 2:20
08. The Song Is You (Kern-Hammerstein II) 2:02
09. All the Things You Are (Kern-Hammerstein II) 2:25
10. It Could Happen to You (Van Heusen-Burke) 2:31
11. Flamingo (Grouya-Anderson) 3:20
12. Don't Be That Way (Goodman-Samson-Parish) 2:46
13. Was That The Human Thing to Do? (Fain-Young) 2:48
14. Trees (Rasbach-Kilmer) 2:51
15. Mine (G. & I. Gershwin) 2:28
16. I Remember You (Schertzinger-Mercer) 2:48
17. Carioca (Youmans-Kahn-Eliscu) 2:31
18. Toscana (Williams-Bethel) 2:27
19. Winter Interlude (Williams-Bethel) 2:58
20. Easy to Love (Cole Porter) 2:30
21. Wiki Wiki (Russell Garcia) 2:26
22. Bernie's Tune (Bernie Miller) 2:32
23. Sleeping Princess (Williams-Bethel) 2:33
24. When Your Lover Has Gone (Einar Aaron Swan) 2:49
25. Caleta (Lyle Murphy) 3:04
26. Solo (Bob Russell) 2:30
27. Why Not? (Williams-Bethel) 2:47

Album details

Tracks #1-11, from “Tommy Alexander -Alexander the Great!” (Liberty LRP-3008)
Tracks #12 & 13, from the 78 rpm disk MGM 11921
Tracks #14 & 15, from the 78 rpm disk MGM 11994
Tracks #16-27, from the album “Keith Williams -The Dazzling Sound” (Liberty LRP-3040)

Personnel on "Alexander the Great!":
Tommy Alexander and His Orchestra
Arrangements by Jim Bates, and Bill Holman (#2,4,6,9 & 11)
Clyde Reasinger, Ed Bordenave, Bob Clark, Bobby Stiles, trumpets; Dave Wells, Frank Strong, Lew McCreary, Jay Hill, trombones; Dick Paladino, Lanny Morgan, alto saxes; Bill Trujillo, tenor sax; John Bambridge, tenor & baritone sax; Lennie Mitchell, baritone sax; Arnold Ross, piano; Tommy Tedesco, guitar; Harry Babasin, bass; Sal LaPertche, drums.
Recorded at Capitol Records Studio, Hollywood, November 24 & 25, 1955

Personnel on #12-15:
Tommy Alexander and His Orchestra
Arrangements by Billy May
Pete Candoli, Conrad Gozzo, Manny Klein, Uan Rasey, trumpets; Murray McEachern, Si Zentner, Tommy Pederson, trombones; Ed Kusby, bass trombone; Skeets Herfurt, alto sax; Ted Nash, Fred Falensby, tenor saxes; Bob Dawes, Chuck Gentry, baritone saxes; Cliff Fishback, piano; Al Hendrickson, guitar; Joe Mondragon, bass; Alvin Stoller, drums.
Recorded at Capitol Records Studios, Hollywood, May 11, 1954

Personnel on "The Dazzling Sounds":
Keith Williams Big Band
Arrangements by Keith Williams, Brinley Bethel (#19), and Russ Garcia (#21). Keith Williams, conductor & trumpet.

Tracks #17,22,27: Johnny Audino, Don Fagerquist, Don Smith, Wes Hensel, trumpets; Joe Howard, Herbie Harper, Harry Betts, trombones; George Roberts, bass trombone; Jack Dumont, clarinet, alto sax; Russ Cheever, soprano sax; Ted Nash, tenor sax; Bill Ulyate, baritone sax; Al Hendrickson, guitar; Curtis Counce, bass; Larry Bunker, drums; Gene Estes, mallets, bongos.
Recorded at Radio Recorders, Hollywood, July 16, 1956

Tracks #16,19,24,25: Johnny Audino, Don Fagerquist Jerry Kadovitz, Wes Hensel, trumpets; Joe Howard, Herbie Harper; Ed Freudenberg, trombones; George Roberts, bass trombone; Bill Carson, Charles Romo, Don Renfrew, reeds & woodwinds; Don Davidson, baritone sax; Tommy Tedesco, guitar; Joe Comfort, bass; John Lais, drums; Ralph Collier, conga, mallets.
Recorded at Capitol Records Studio, Hollywood, December 4, 1956

Tracks #18,20,21,23,26: Johnny Audino, Frank Beach, Jerry Kadovitz, Cappy Lewis, trumpets; Joe Howard, Tommy Pederson, Roy Weigand, trombones; Marshall Cram, bass trombone; Bill Carson, Bob Hardaway, Don Renfrew, reeds & woodwinds; Don Davidson, baritone sax; Tommy Tedesco, guitar; Francis James, bass; John Lais, drums; Ralph Collier, conga, mallets; Dick Shanahan, bongo.
Recorded at Capitol Records Studio, Hollywood, December 21, 1956

Sound engineers: John Palladino (#1-11), unidentified (#12-15), Val Valentin (#17,22,27), Ted Keep (#16,19,24,25) and John Kraus (#18,20,21,23,26)

Liner notes by Simon Jackson & Bob Russell
Additional notes: Jordi Pujol
Original recordings produced by Harry Babasin & Simon Jackson (#1-11), unknown (#12-15) and Russell Keith (#16-27)
This compilation produced for CD release by Jordi Pujol
© 2018 by Fresh Sound Records

Hi Fi · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered
Blue Moon Producciones Discograficas, S.L.

Press reviews

"Fresh Sound Records continues to find wonderfully obscure recordings from the 50s and 60s by unsung jazz artists. They’ve recently started a series of West and East Coast CD sets that focus on studio orchestras that were filled with guys that had successful careers in the Swing Era, and were now finding work playing for TV shows and movies.

The first set is the third of the West Coast Series, featuring Tommy Alexander and His Orchestra. The 1954-55 band boasted arrangements by Bill Holman and Billy May along with members including Pete Candoli/tp, Ted Nash/ts, Alvin Stoller/dr, Wrecking Crew member Tommy Tedesco/g and future Supersaxer Lanny Morgan. The orchestra delivers a bold “Flamingo” and brings a rich mood to “Mad About The Boy” and a nice Basie groove to “Lullaby of Birdland.” Keith Williams’ big Band includes charts by Williams and Russ Garcia, boasting a cast of Larry Bunker/dr, Curtis Counce/b, Nash and Tedesco. This big band sounds a lot more Stan Kentony, with a hard hitting “I Remember You,” and extroverted “Bernie’s Tune” and hard swinging takes of “Easy to Love,” while Garcia’s “Wiki Wiki” is an absolute hoot. Lots of fun here."

George W. Harris (August 13, 2018)


10,95 €  (tax incl.)

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