David Friedman – “Winter Love, April Joy” (1975)

Vibraphonists and marimba players David Friedman (b. 1944) and Dave Samuels (1948-2019) first combined forces in 1974, as “The Mallet Duo.” The two practiced, performed and recorded together – despite their incredibly differing professional trajectories – as “Double Image,” or under their own names, for nearly a half century thereafter. Friedman, a percussion major at…

The Adventurers (1970)

The three-hour The Adventurers (1970) is a bizarre, overly long. dialogue-heavy oddity. Part action/adventure, part soap opera and a strange mash-up of war epic and non-spy playboy travelogue, it’s a film that makes one wonder “what’s the point here?” Think of mixing the battle scenes from Ben Hur (1965) – or some Western – with…

Bill Frisell “Orchestras” (2024)

Orchestras is a welcome, though not entirely satisfying, addition to guitarist Bill Frisell’s eye-popping and wonderfully wide-ranging discography. This double-disc set pairs the guitarist and composer with two distinctly different “orchestras,” both mostly arranged by veteran composer and orchestrator Michael Gibbs. The first “orchestral” disc released under Frisell’s own name, Orchestras would seem to be…

Ray Anthony – “Today’s Trumpet” (1967)

Plunging down several rabbit holes in recent days has brought me to Ray Anthony’s 1967 release Today’s Trumpet – not once but twice. The last of several dozen Anthony albums the Capitol label had issued since 1950, Today’s Trumpet is, however, more like “yesterday’s 45s,” a compilation of previously-issued singles, than a full-fledged album release.…

Claus Ogerman – “Zorba” (1968)

“Life is what you do while you’re waiting to die/ Life is how the time goes by,” – “Life Is” from Zorba. After a brief – and remarkably unsuccessful – stint on RCA Records, running the gamut of pop genres during the mid-sixties, the German arranger, composer and bandleader Claus Ogerman (1930-2016) was mysteriously recruited…

Claus Ogerman on RCA

The German arranger and bandleader Claus Ogerman (1930-2016) first worked with producer Andy Wiswell (1905-94) at Capitol Records on zither player Ruth Welcome’s Carnival album and on The Manhattans’ single “Sing All the Day” (which Ogerman co-wrote) – both in 1962. When Wiswell moved over to RCA the following year, the two also worked together…