Five For Friday: Tuck Andress

I was going through my music collection yesterday, and found Hymns, Carols, And Songs About Snow, the 1991 album of Christmas songs by Tuck Andress, the guitar-playing half of the jazz duo Tuck and Patti. Tuck has an interesting technique for olaying solo guitar which includes percussive elements in addition to standard fingerstyle jazz guitar. These are the last five songs from the album.

  1. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
  2. Deck The Halls
  3. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
  4. Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer
  5. Angels We Have Heard On High

And that’s Five For Friday for December 17, 2021.

Five For Friday: Mannheim Steamroller

Mannheim Steamroller, the neoclassical New Age group formed by percussionist Chip Davis, gets very popular around this time of the year, mostly because they’ve made a number of album of Christmas music. They seem like a logical choice for this time of the year, so here are five by them.

  1. Carol of the Bells
  2. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
  3. Little Drummer Boy
  4. Hallelujah
  5. Silent Night

And that’s Five For Friday, December 10, 2021.

Five For Friday: Percy Faith Christmas Songs

I had intended on going with music from the GRP Christmas collections, except it’ll only play in the US and Canada. Instead, I chose five songs from Percy faith’s various Christmas albums, including one from a 78 from the early ’50’s. This would have been out earlier, except I took an unscheduled (but highly refreshing) nap.

  1. Christmas In Killarney
  2. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
  3. Silver Bells
  4. Toyland
  5. Christmas Is…
  6. (Bonus!) We Need A Little Christmas

More Christmas music on Monday with Monday’s Music Moves Me and next Friday on Five for Friday!

Five For Friday: Radical Gipsy

After my most recent Battle of the Bands, Birgit commented that she’d like to hear more of Radical Gipsy, who were shut out in the battle and (in my opinion, anyway) deserved to be featured, because they were also very good.

According to their YouTube page (and thanks to Google Translate),

The Radical Gipsy, or Gabriele Giovannini and Daniele Gai on guitars with Giulio Ciani on double bass, formed in Rome in 2012, with a precise orientation towards the sounds of traditional Manouche jazz inaugurated by Django Reinhardt. Their path has developed between Roman clubs and festivals, with important collaborations among which the one with the French accordionist Ludovic Beier and participation in the XXVI edition of Paolo Fresu’s Time in Jazz festival stands out. Along with original compositions and traditional pieces, the trio also brings to the stage some modern pieces rigorously arranged in a gipsy jazz key

  1. "Minor Swing": Django Reinhardt’s signature piece.

  2. "Jingles": A Wes Montgomery tune, given the Manouche touch.

  3. "Bossa Dorado": With Ludovic Beier on accordion. Written by Dorado Schmitt (another artist in the gipsy jazz genre).

  4. "Swing Gitan": A traditional song given a swing treatment.

  5. "For Sephora": A song by Stochelo Rosenberg of the Rosenberg Trio (another gipsy jazz artist).

You can find more Radical Gipsy on YouTube and Spotify.

That’s Five For Friday for November 26, 2021.

Five For Friday: Gene Krupa

Shelley Krupa, who writes the excellent blog Quaint Revival (which, if you haven’t read it, you should. She pretty much only writes on Sunday), left me this as part of a comment today:

On a side note, have you ever written a post about Gene Krupa? Via marriage, I’m supposedly related to him.

Since I really had nothing else planned, and since Gene Krupa was a pretty remarkable drummer, I decided to go with her idea…

  1. Benny Goodman Orchestra, "Sing, Sing, Sing": Maybe his best known solo was the one he did with the Benny Goodman Orchestra on this 1937 recording of Louis Prima’s "Sing, Sing, Sing."

  2. Gene Krupa Orchestra, "Drum Boogie": One of my all-time favorite movies is the 1941 screwball comedy Ball of Fire starring Gary Cooper and Miss Barbara Stanwyck as Katherine "Sugarpuss" O’Shea, a nightclub singer. She makes her first appearance in a club where the Gene Krupa Orchestra is playing. While her voice is dubbed by Martha Tilton, she turns in a fantastic performance. Gene does an encore by playing "Drum Boogie" on a matchbox.

  3. Benny Goodman Quartet, "Avalon": Both Benny Goodman and Gene Krupa are from Chicago, Goodman from the Maxwell Street area, Krupa from the South Chicago neighborhood. At a time when segregation and Jim Crow were the law of the land in many areas, the Goodman quartet had two white members (Goodman and Krupa) and two Black members (pianist Teddy Wilson and vibraphonist Lionel Hampton). "Avalon" was written by Al Jolson and Vincent Rose and was recorded by the quartet in 1937. Gene mostly stays in the background as the timekeeper for the quartet, but he does some interesting playing especially toward the end.

  4. Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich, "Drum Battle": From a 1966 episode of The Sammy Davis Jr. Show. Krupa and Rich did a couple of albums together and would stage drum battles on many of their shared gigs. Here is one such battle, with Sammy giving each drummer one of his shoes as a prize at the end.

  5. Gene Krupa Quartet, "Big Noise From Winnetka": Two members of Bob Crosby’s band, bassist Bob Haggart and drummer Bauduc, made this up on a gig at the Blackhawk restaurant in Chicago’s Loop. (Winnetka is a suburb about 20 miles north of downtown Chicago, where several of my high school friends lived; Northfield, where I lived in my high school days, is "next door" and both share the same ZIP code.) As with the original, Krupa plays part of this on the bass player’s strings.

Thanks again to Shelley for this week’s theme. That’s Five For Friday for November 19, 2021.