Rhapsody In Rhythm
About This Album
New York, N.Y.
I am going to try to write you some material which may be helpful for the liner notes. I am surrounded by Swedish relatives who haven't seen each other for years and are all talking in Swedish. But I'll try to keep these observations strictly in the American language.
My personal reaction to this album is that, while retaining the beat and voices, it is a tremendous step forward musically. It was also a thrill and a pleasure to conduct the dates with 63 players and 8 singers.
The orchestra placement: On the Left — 16 violins, 4 French horns, piano, 2 percussion, 4 girls in wordless vocalizing. Center — 2 string bass, rhythm drums, 2 guitars, saxophone solo, clavietta solo. Right — 4 violas, 4 celli, harp, 2 percussion, 10 woodwinds, 3 trumpets, 4 trombones, tuba, 4 men in wordless vocalizing. (There are 5 drummers in all).
Here are some of the effects, stereo and otherwise, prominent in the album.
LADY OF SPAIN — The first of several Spanish-rhythm numbers in the album. A timpani roll starts things off. There is a very exciting last chorus in which the massed brasses, bassoons, basses and celli are all going on the bass line.
BEAUTIFUL LOVE — And a beautiful Eddie Miller tenor sax solo in the center channel!
MOONLIGHT AND ROSES — In the introduction the girls, violins and horns (left) are answered by the men, violas, celli and woodwinds (right). There is some really interesting stereo here. I call the second chorus a "Swingin' Symphony," as a block sound of 4 French horns, 24 strings and 10 woodwinds plays the melody swing style with some wild fall-offs.
LOVE WALKED IN — Again, this is light jazz (with 63 players and 8 singers!). After an intro for timpani, woodwinds and chimes, enter the horns and finally the wordless chorus backed by strings.
OUR WALTZ — Another tremendous Eddie Miller sound on solo sax.
I CONCENTRATE ON YOU — The second Spanish-rhythm piece, with castanets, vibes, etc. In the last chorus, Caesar Giovannini plays a fine piano solo.
TAKE ME IN YOUR ARMS — The third Spanish-flavored number. The voices are very prominent and overlapping. I play the clavietta solo in the last chorus.
MALAGUEÑA — I think the Flamenco-Spanish idiom is unmistakable here. Great entrance of horns against a sustained C-sharp in the violins. And that cymbal crash followed by tubas, trombones and basses near the end...!!!
IMAGINATION — The chorus has its say first, in a nice danceable way. Then Eddie Miller gives out with his third great tenor sax solo. The clavietta solo is again by yours truly.
KISS OF FIRE — A great performance and real subtle use of Big Sound.
TO MY LOVE — This is my own original composition, done with the typical Conniff rhythm beat. The theme was inspired by my wife, Ann.
MY ROMANCE — Men first this time, then the girls. The strings take over for the second chorus, then various combinations of winds — and an excellent flute solo by Arthur Gleghorn right at the end.
Although this album represents a tremendous amount of work, Ernie, I'm sure that all listeners will feel the joy that went into it, too.