Thursday, April 25, 2013


1,293 HITS in the past 30 days April 25 around 8 AM

Please always visit our main pages 

 SUNNY by Ella Fitzgerald
Arranged by Gerald Wilson
from the album

Things Ain't What They Used to Be (And You Better Believe It)

  Listen to Ella sing "Sunny" here (1st track on LP) arranged by the great Gerald Wilson 

In 1970 Ella recorded her final album for Frank Sinatra's Reprise label, a disc which opened up with five minutes and eighteen seconds of "Sunny", arranged and conducted by Gerald Wilson (the album was produced by Norman Granz - click on Frank Sinatra to see that Frank wanted to purchase Granz's VERVE label; Frank, of course, also covered "Sunny".)

Now the key here is that Gerald Wilson's "You Better Believe It" album was what Bobby Hebb immersed himself in after the passing of Hal Hebb, Bobby's older brother.

You'd Better Believe It by Gerald Wilson (Pacific Jazz, 1961)
Wilson's disc was released in 1961, Ella's in 1970, 9 years later.
In between Bobby would write and record "Sunny".

Things Ain't What They Used to Be is a 1970 studio album by the American jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald. The final album that Fitzgerald recorded on the Reprise Records label. The album was re-issued on CD with alternative artwork, in 1989. Released together on one CD with Ella's first album recorded for Reprise label, Ella

Released 1970
Recorded May 26-30, 1969
Genre Jazz
Length 34:06
Label Reprise
Producer Norman Granz


by Bobby Hebb on THIS IS TOM JONES TV show


Google Doodle celebrates birthday of jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald

The Doodle is published on what would have been her 96th birthday

  Google today honoured jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald with a Doodle on its homepage.

The Doodle is published on what would have been her 96th birthday and shows the singer, also known as 'Queen of Jazz', 'The First Lady of Song' and 'Lady Ella', performing on stage with a band and 'Google' emblazoned on the backdrop.

The singer was born on 25 April 1917 and died on 15 June 1996 at the age of 79. She made her first recording in 1936 when she was just 17. She enjoyed a highly successful career that spanned six decades and saw her win 13 Grammy awards.


 This is the show in black and white

Here's Ella and Tom Jones in color


Featuring Ella Fitzgerald, Ace Trucking Company, Rudolf Nureyev, Big Jim Sullivan
& The Treorchy Male Choir


Gerald Wilson was born in 1918

Gerald Stanley Wilson (born September 4, 1918) is an American jazz trumpeter, big band bandleader, composer/arranger, and educator. He has been based in Los Angeles since the early 1940s.[1]

, Wilson has written arrangements for others including Sarah Vaughan, Ray Charles, Julie London, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Carter, Lionel Hampton, Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, and Nancy Wilson to name a few.


You Better Believe It! + Moment Of Truth (2 Lps On 1 Cd) + Bonus Track
Gerald Wilson
Featuring: Gerald Wilson (lead, arr, cond, tp) with collective personnel including: Carmell Jones, Ray Triscari (tp), Lou Blackburn (tb), Buddy Collette, Joe Maini, Teddy Edwards, Harold Land, Walter Benton (saxes), Jack Wilson (p), Richard 'Groove' Holmes (org)


Composer, arranger and trumpeter Gerald Wilson has recorded big band albums of extraordinarily consistent brilliance throughout his remarkable and enormously long career. And those he made in the 1960s represent one of several peaks.

On both “You Better Believe It!” and its worthy follow-up “Moment of Truth,” Wilson’s writing is personal and uncluttered; he resists the temptation to deploy all his forces at once, building logically to climactic tutti passages, dealing mostly with blues and groovy originals. The orchestra, made up of top West Coast men, generates a strong drive, plays cleanly and precisely, and was blessed with fine soloists. Holmes is impressive with a big band shouting behind and around him. Carmell Jones, who is also heavily featured, shows he was a thinking young musician. But as good as them were Teddy Edwards, Walter Benton, Harold Land, Joe Maini, Jack Wilson, and guitarist Joe Pass, who plays stunningly in every one of his featured segments.

Amid this wealth of jazz talent, though, Wilson’s writing, particularly on “Moment of Truth,” remains the star of the show, with a harmonic sophistication that is never exercised at the expense of jazz virtues like groove, drive and swing.

Here's Joe Viglione's review of "You Better Believe It" on Fresh Sounds


01. Blues for Yna, Yna (Wilson) 6:50
02. Jeri (Wilson) 3:41
03. Moody Blue (Wilson) 3:06
04. Straight Up and Down (Wilson) 4:42
05. The Wailer (Wilson) 7:19
06. You Better Believe It (Wilson-Holmes) 5:17
07. Yvette (Stoll) 3:34
08. Viva Tirado (Wilson) 5:42
09. Moment of Truth (Wilson) 4:20
10. Patterns (Wilson) 5:54
11. Teri (Wilson) 2:53
12. Nancy Jo (Wilson) 2:37
13. Milestones (Davis) 5:30
14. Latino (Wilson) 5:02
15. Josefina (Wilson) 4:25
16. Emerge (Robertson) 3:25
17. Cherokee (Noble) 3:53 (*)

 "Long out of print, the sophisticated and timeless instrumental work titled You Better Believe It by underrated conductor/arranger Gerald Wilson is a first-rate masterpiece released on the Pacific Jazz label in 1961. [...] Beginning with "Blues for Yna Yna," the album starts off like an intriguing spy movie complete with understated dramatic tension. Written for Wilson's pet cat, according to liner note writer John William Hardy, the almost seven-minute excursion features the reeds of Harold Land. Explosive horns chirp over Richard "Groove" Holmes' jazz organ solos, but the 17-piece orchestra never gets in the way -- just the opposite as Wilson adds this or that in clever fashion so that the pieces stay fresh over endless spins. "Jeri," the second title and written for Wilson's daughter, is almost half the length of the opening track, but pulls away the curtain and explodes with the horns flowing and Holmes' keyboard ebbing, the rhythm section of drummer Mel Lewis and bassist Jimmy Bond directing the current so everything else can fall nicely into place. "Moody Blue," with its pensive and majestic oozing prowl, was a major inspiration to "Sunny" author and Wilson aficionado Bobby Hebb who immersed himself in this album in the early '60s and pointed out: "The great Gerald Wilson believed in the talent of Richard Holmes." Indeed, Wilson gave Holmes a tremendous platform to infuse his ideas with those of the other gifted players, Joe Maini on alto, Walter Benton on tenor, and reed player Teddy Edwards, who helps open side two with his participation on "The Wailer." "The Wailer" is almost like a "Part Two" to side one's opening track, "Blues for Yna Yna," back to the spy movie style -- and Hardy's essay notes that it was written for a television play. One website claims Wilson appeared as a trumpeter in a 1959 CBS-TV drama, Lineup, for an episode called The Wailer. On the track with the same name as the TV episode the music creeps in and evolves into thickly textured swirls of brass, keyboards, and advancing drums. Richard "Groove" Holmes' organ swells up about six minutes into the seven-and-a-half minute expedition, just a marvelous performance that transcends jazz and borders on modern pop, a foundation for things that became mainstream within a decade of its release.

On the back cover of the original imprint, Hardy calls this disc "one of the most thoroughly ingratiating big-band jazz recordings in years," and the test of time proves Hardy correct. The 17-piece orchestra performs like a trio or quartet, each musician knowing where to be and when to execute, so the tension shifts and the moods change as subtle instrumentation slides in track by instrumental track. Shifting from quiet to quickly dramatic, the ideas keep flowing from Wilson's creative fount and titles like "Straight Up & Down" continue the mission inside the under four minutes. It sure feels as if Blood, Sweat & Tears and Chicago were inspired by these sounds from 1961, and most certainly the Henry Mancini composed original soundtrack to The Pink Panther, recorded in 1963 and released in 1964, owes some debt to You Better Believe It. That this music is so film-ready should come as no surprise as Wilson was involved in the soundtrack to the motion picture Where the Boys Are in the '60s and other TV and movie work. "Gerald Wilson's groove can only be told if you have the strength to pull the corner of your lips out of your ears, because he produces a heavy smile" Bobby Hebb says of one of his favorite artists specifically for this review, and it's difficult to disagree. You Better Believe It somehow got lost in the shuffle in the 46 years between when it was released and when this review was written. It's a textbook for future generations, a dynamic and powerful combination of sounds waiting to inspire the world again."

Joe Viglione -All Music Guide
OUR TOP 10 for April 25, 2013

No comments: