The Reel Deal

Sharing stuff found on magnetic tape in the reel-to-reel format.


Dixieland Jamfest in Stereo

I got this tape today, and HAD to share it, it's too good.

It's a Reeves Soundcraft tape (I can hear the gagging and other noises already, calm down...), but this one was a PRE-RECORDED one. The only way you can tell is by the red label with the lettering on the front of the stock tape box, and a label on the second side of the reel that says "DANGER! DO NOT ERASE! PRE-RECORDED TAPE!"

What is it, then, you ask... well, it is a 2-track stereo (inline head) recording of a BRILLIANT Dixieland all-star group doing a 5 tune, 20 minute set, and boy is it a blowing session! The only clam is on the third musical cut where someone didn't start the tape in time, and shut it off rather abruptly, but the tunes... the playing... the SOUND QUALITY!

Here's the lineup:
Coleman Hawkins - Tenor Sax
Henry "Red" Allen - Trumpet
J. C. Higginbotham - Trombone
Cozy Cole - Drums
Sol Yaged - Clarinet
Milt Hinton - Bass
Lou Stein - Piano

Recording date was September 16, 1958, and duplication was done by Livingston Audio Products of Caldwell, New Jersey.

I'm gonna shut up and let the playing speak for itself.

Here is The front of the box.

Step back in time and enjoy a little piece of almost-lost history: a Dixieland Jamfest In Stereo!


Concert in the Clouds - American Airlines

Well now, what with a bunch of projects I have in the fire, I haven't posted anything for a week... gonna FIX that!

Here's another eBay win, another three hours' worth of 1960s 'popu;ar' music, American Airlines Popular Program No. 20. The 'sponsor' label this time is United Artists, so there is a lot of Ferrante & Teicher and Lena Horne in here, as well as (drum roll!) AL CAIOLA! This is a VERY nice Martini Tape, well worth the download (it's ONE BIG download, as fair warning), with some very nice music for the road.

A word about these American Airlines tapes, one of them, #40 (Capitol being the label), fetched $78 on eBay recently! I have a few more of these in-house now, so there is the possibility for more of these on the blog... donate a few coins and I can get more of 'em!

Here are the scans of the box:
The front...
The back...

Enjoy a martini and the AstroVision Concert in the Clouds...

Also, since I have 2 copis of this one, I have this tape up on eBay for sale as well. End of commercial :)


Voice of Music - Everybody's Favorites


This is a 1960 compilation of mood & lounge & light classical & polka (yes, polka) music put out by "the Voice of Music" company of Benton Harbor, Michigan. Actually, V-M Corporation was a manufacturer of tape recording and playback gear in the 50s and early 60s, and had their own line of pre-recorded reel tapes (I have another one coming up from VoM in a couple of posts). Somewhere along the line though, I think someone forgot to tell the people who were in charge of the artist credits that they could take the day off on this one... because only four artists are credited! The rest? A good question! So that kind of makes this another Mystery Tape, at least as far as the artist creds go. And it is too bad, because there are some VERY tasty things on this tape,including one of the most WACKED-OUT instrumental versions of "Mack the Knife" I think I have ever heard... a version that Kurt Weil would have been very proud of. The sound quality on this one is nothing short of exceptional on most of this stuff, there's even an example of no-center-channel stereo on here ("Can't Help Lovin' That Man of Mine" by a fair Judy Garland imitator... couldn't tell if it was the Real Judy, because the singer was waaaaaay off in the left channel across the room...).

Unfortunately, the reel didn't have a label on it, plus there was a couple (one and one-half cuts actually) of 'extra tracks' that someone put on to fill side one. Those are NOT included here. I hate it when people do that....

Which brings me to my latest bitch-rant: eBay poo-heads. There are SOME people out there in ePoo land that think they can sell crap out there, and sell it as original! I have even seen listings where people say that they re-mastered the old program and put it on (gag choke retch puke) Ampex/Quantigy 457 tape! Uhhhhh, guys, 457 is the formula that decides to SELF DESTRUCT because there's no whale oil in the backing formula!!! Ever heard of Sticky Tape Syndrome?? Or, even better, I have seen someone put some Old Time Radio programs ON JUNK STOCK TAPE!!!

Hmmmm, with all the OTR I have in MP3, and all the junk stock tape I have around here......

Oh yea, and props to grannystjean, she took it in the shorts on a lot win of reels... a bunch of them were absolute JUNK... she runs her store as a neat little extra-income business, and I hope that she nails this poo-head that stiffed her.

Seriously, watch what you're bidding on in eBarf... I am gonna put a few things up that I have posted here (sniff sniff WAAH!)... see what happens when people don't leave a Love Offering?

Here are the scans of the box:
The front...
The back...

Somebody thought that these would have been Everybody's Favorites...


Stanley Black - Continental Tango Golden Album

Tonight, the last of the Japanese releases I have (until I find what I think is one more that may be buried in here...)...

This time, a 1966 London Phase 4 album, released by King Record Co., Japan, and recorded on Sony tape. A GREAT LP, one that I haven't seen very often, and one that sounds really really good.

Stanley Black did a few things for London, unfortunately I don't have any more of them... these are the standard tango dance numbers, although I think one or two may have not quite made it past the translators (Something tells me "Tango Delle Rose" should be "Tango De La Rosa"...). The emotion is not quite at the fever pitch of some of the Argentine tango I have heard, but it's still quite the stirring dance music, and still VERY well recorded.

Here are the scans of the box:
The front...
The back...

Put the sambuco on, get the rose between her teeth and enjoy the Continental Tango Golden Album.


I told you I was serious about trying to fund space for it...


What a difference 5 years makes!


Wow, remember the "unknown dance band" and the Rehearsal from Hell a couple of posts back? Well, I found some more stuff in this batch of tapes, this one from 5 years later (it's dated as you can see, that's just an enlargement of the only thing writtenon the back of the box), and WOW... these guys got GOOD!

It starts with an unknown piece for "Bob" (on piano) and someone on trumpet, then goes into 8 cuts from a live performance from 1960. The instrumentation is, on most cuts, trio ("Bob" on piano, with a drummer and an acoustic bassist), but someone with a sax shows up for the last cut or two. The fare is jazz standards of the day, but, let me tell ya something, this is a nice little set, especially after "Bob" finds his hands a couple of numbers in. This is a RAW recroding, the only thing I did to it was get rid of a little of the tape hiss. There's a few places where you'll hear the fluorescent lights buzz, and someone mic'ed the drummer's kick bass a little hot, but other than that, it wouldn't take too much to really clean this one up. And, if I find some more of this band, I'm definately gonna post this stuff up. These guys SWING.

Just goes to show you, practice and getting the right sidemen can do wonders for a band.

Here are the scans of the box:
The front...
The back...

Heeeeeeere's Bob & His Jazz Combo


Red Nichols and his Pennies

Got for you today another 5-inch 2-track mono tape, this time from the UK...

Red Nichols built his reputation in the US by being one HOT trumpet and cornet player. Hot Jazz was his bailywick, and he did it VERY well. I have some 78s of him tearing it up both with his group, the Five Pennies, and with other big bands as well as all-star combos.

This collection shows a mixture of lounge, traditional jazz, and, for the lack of a better term, 'lounge-jazz'. There are some tracks that reflect the 1930s, some that reflect big bands of the 40s, and a couple that get into the mood-lounge of the 50s. It is an interesting jumbo-gumbo, but it is tasty, once you get over the initial expectations.

Unfortunately, unlike most World Record Club tape issues, this tape didn't have the nice little leaflet inside, so there are absolutely NO liner notes to be had, which heans, I have bloody naught of a clue as to support personnel or backing orchestrae. Which is a shame, because there's noteworthy performances on this little gem. I'll have to dig around and see if this is a compilation or if these tracks were recorded exclusively for the UK.

I suspect it is a compilation becasue I heard some pops as if this was from disc... which I removed :)

Actually a question for you all... I realize that this is a 2-track tape, and I dubbed this off on a 4-track machine (albeit a GOOD 4-track deck!), does the equalization sound somewhat 'hollow' to anyone here? If it is, I may re-EQ these cuts and repost at a later date... let me know what'cha think.

Here are the scans of the box:
The front...
The back...

Some very sophisticated gumbo from a hot cornet and cool sidemen... Red Nichols and his Pennies


Giuseppe di Stefano - Catari, Catari!

Here's a nifty tape that when the computer crashed I lost my entire, well-written, witty review.

We have selections by Neopolitan tenor Giuseppe di Stefano, backed by the New Symphony Orchestra of London, performing your basicly brilliant Neopolitan singing. The album is a London FFST tape, but, as you can see by the back of the box, it's a Japanese release! No slouches, this King Record Co., as they released it on Sony tape! This was in the pile of Japanese tapes I was going through a couple of weeks ago, but I didn't notice it for some reason until I looked at the back of the box. Silly me.

This is some brilliant singing, making me pine for a cappucino and biscotti somewhere in a sidewalk cafe in Naples, to be followed by liberal dashes of a decent wine, while watching the world pass by.

I have never seen this one show up in the thrift stores on London or UK Decca on LP, so I am thinking that this may be a new treat for many of you, it certainly was for me!

THe orchestra, the New Symphony Orchestra of London (under the capable baton of Iller Pattacini) backs Signore di Stefano very well, bringing a great flair to the proceedings.

I think that you will enjoy this tape, much as I did when listening to it during the encode pass, which was a GREAT way to start a beutiful early autumn day in the Rockies.

Here are the scans of the box:
The front...
The back...

Order up a cappucino and biscotti and enjoy Catari, Catari!


New Animal Crackers Jazz Band - Cinematographe 1925

I JUST TODAY got this tape... and HAD to encode it. This is one GREAT tape!

It was recorded in France by Club Francais du Disque, I think from around 1955, and released as a 2-track mono tape in the US by JazzTapes on 5" reel at 7.5 ips. I wish I had a 2-track deck, but the TEAC handled it well enough, so here it be.

I don't know all the personnel, but I *DO* know that Claude Bolling did the arrangements, and I will wager he's playing something instrument-wise here, quite possibly the piano... would make sense because that's his instrument...

The jazz is what you would hear circa 1925, played hot and brilliantly, with enough fun being had to make this one HECK of an enjoyable listen. It is an extremely rare recording that I am very proud to share with all of you jazz fans and reel-tape afficionados.

Here are the scans of the box:
The front...
The back...

Travel back in time and enjoy Cinematographe 1925!

Vive le Jazz au Francais!


1955 Ohio Folklore Society Meeting

I love getting used reels from eBay some times.... sometimes you get a GOLDEN NUGGET, and boy oh boy here is one.

The back simply says: "Ohio Folklore Society Meeting" with a date of 10/1/55. On the tracklist it says "Weber Ohio Folklore Society". I took liberties and added text to the back pic scan to make it easier for you to read it...

This is reel 1 and 2 of 2 (I think) of this meeting, which consists of 4 30 minute portions of a lecture, with singing and dulcimer playing demonstrations of regional area folk songs. The first side has a few recording issues, but the second side came out VERY nice. I'll load these up as mp3s so you can play or download and save or whatever.

I did load up the other reel, so you have 2 hours available... the sessions seem to be part lecture, part Q&A and part demonstration of folk music... some sung well, some sung by perhaps a student of Florence Foster Jenkins :) There are some points in these where the recordist very noisily moved or adjusted the microphone, but I left those in for historical continuity's sake. I did do a little remastering on the second reel to bring out the voices more, I may re-do reel 1 the same way in the near future, now that I have a fairly good re-EQ curve set up.

Again, a 51 year old 2-track mono tape, some microphone bumps and readjusting, as this was recorded live from the audience in a lecture hall... nicely done for an amateur recordist getting a piece of history. I have contacted the Ohio State Historical Society to see if there is any interest in these...

Reel 1 Side 1
Reel 1 Side 2
Reel 2 Side 1
Reel 2 Side 2

The front...
The back (without notes)...
The back of reel 2 (with notes I added)...

Another eBay win... if you want more, I need to get something besides spider poop in the PayPal box!

Jake's Boys and The Rehearsal from Hell

First off, a bit of administratia: I killed the Box Tops posting. It was just too too awful.

Now, on with the reel for today!

Got a two parter tonight for you... first up, we have some country & western from 1955, recorded at a live show, somewhere, with a very small audience. The reel said "Jake's Boys" and they give us a nice little 6 tune set, with a couple of rehearsals of their song they recorded for Decca. I wonder who these guys REALLY are...

BUT!! It's a fairly good recording for 1955, and it looks like it is a 2-track mono tape. On the scan, I cheated on the back and put in the indexes myself, but you get the idea of what the boxes looked like for blank tape in the late 1950s.

Here's Jake's Boys, live, somewhere, in 1955!

Now, the next archive. This is of a dance band, personnel unknown, date unknown (but I'd wager 1955 as well), and, well, they REALLY REALLY need to rehearse some MORE. These guys are CRINGINGLY bad. Do not mistake this stuff for be-bop, this is just a band that needs.... something. A LOT of something...

I have spaced the title of the third song, it was really popular, but I spaced it....

You'll either cringe or laugh yourself silly at this, but it was SO well-intentionedly BAD I *HAD* to arc it up and share it with you.

The Rehearsal from HELL!

The front...
The back...

A Reminder... this was an eBay win, to assist me in getting more of these, drop something in the PayPal box please? Thanks!


Ronnie Aldrich - It's Happening Now

I'll either (a) go easy on you, or (b) inflict some popular music juxtapositional audio torture. You decide.

If you like option (a), this is an interesting, later Phase 4 series tape of Ronnie Aldrich and his Two Pianos, this time doing hits of the late 1960s in his own inimitable style. Nice, lush arrangements, the usual theme of one piano per channel, and even sneaking in one of his own compositions. The usual London Phase 4 recording quality, no surprises there...

However, if you choose option (b).... some of these tunes done in the Muzak Manner... "Light My Fire"??? Jim Morrison is turning in his grave over this one I betcha... and "Ride My See-Saw"??? Well, because of the time, I guess this was Aunt Martha's access to the pops, I dunno.

While not as trite as the Sound in the ROund (which I saw an ORIGINAL 1956 version on eBay), this one, well, let's just say that the juxtaposition of the great hits and the way that Ronnie did them..... one man's brilliance is another man's Death-by-Muzak.

Here are the scans of the box:
The front...
The back...

Love it or hate it, It's Happening Now!


Sound in the Round...

This.... is one of the most IDIOTIC stereo demonstration tapes EVER! Imbecilic! Supercillious! Insipid! Dumb!

Robert Oakes Jordan was one of the more reknowned field recording specialists, and along with James C. Cunningham, recorded the material for this piece of DREK. This thing is so campy, it's HILARIOUS! Tom Mercein gives the sappy, juvenile narration, around the sound bites, but you may need a barf-bag after hearing his twaddling efforts at walking us through all the sound samples.

Oh, yes, on some of the samples the microphone was overdriven, and you can hear the distortion from extreme sound pressure levels.

I encoded this and saved this as one long mp3 instead of breaking out the tracks, because there's no way to really break out the tracks. Also, somewhere, the first few feet of the tape have literally vanished... maybe someone's hub brakes needed a little adjustment? I do not know.

Here are the scans of the box:
The front...
The back...

And here is one fo the worst pieces of sonic silliness I have ever heard, Sound in the Round.

Bring your own barf-bag.

--- ADDENDUM ---

This was originally released on ConcerTapes in 1956, someone had one up on eBay so I snagged their picture of the original cover...

Astrud Gilberto - The Shadow of Your Smile

Hopefully, another tribute to my favorite parrot, zecalouro, that he hasn't posted in the last 3 weeks :)

Friends, this is what we in the US of A got for Brasilian music, not that it is BAD, no, it is VERY good, but this is only a small slice of the pie, as it were. And such a yummy pie it is! Astrud Gilberto needs no introduction to the many fans of Brasilian music, those of us in the US of A would remember her as the singer of "The Girl from Ipanema", in one of the many variations we heard on the radio up here.

This album is kind of a joint, almost schizophrenic look at Astrud, since some of the arrangements are by the wonderful Joao Donato, some are by the classy Claus Ogerman, and some by the... the... the... unique Don Sebesky, all under the watchful eye of Creed Taylor in 1964 and 1965.

Creed mixed up the tracks, giving us some American standards and some Brasilian standards, which makes this a multi-layered cake of such delicate sweetness, it is hard to resist going back for more and more!

The front...
The back...

Cut yourself a piece of The Shadow OF Your Smile, and think kindly of our favorite parrot.


Mystery Reel!


What we have here is a reel, from a box, that has no label, but has some awfully good light/lounge music on it. Now, here's the mystery... I know the titles of a FEW of the tracks, but not all, and I have NO idea who the artist is!

The music is orchestral, almost in the mode of Edmundo Ros but not quite, fairly lush strings, and the use of some different and exotic percussion instruments. Whoever the heck this is, it is an album I'd love to have! There is definately some hints of ping-pong-y stereo, but nowhere near as nasty as a StereoAction disc.

I would ALMOST, but NOT QUITE, put this as an Esquivel LP, but which one? I honestly do not know.

Anyone out there care to try their hand? At least get me the song titles and maybe I Can go from there?

There are 2 more LPs' worth of tunes on this reel, I'll post them tomorrow after I clean them up and tag the tracks as best I can.

Mystery Reel number 1-a.

The second LP in the Mystery Reel.... it was recorded pretty hot, but it is some HOT orchestral tracks, with the occasional guitar solo... there's only ONE track I recognize the title to, that being the tango "Jealousy", but everything else definately has a LAtin/Spanish flavor to it. There are a few dropouts, and signs of over-saturation, but it is still good for some nice backgrounds for sipping the sangria on the deck...

Help me out kind friends, see if anyone knows the titles to Mystery Reel number 1-b.

Lastly, we go from Spain to a little north... the accordion interludes are a dead giveaway of something themed with Love and La Belle France... I caught two track titles here (you can see them in the track ID tags...), but most of the titles elude me. Maybe I'm in a fog, or maybe I have heard them all and just can't remember the title names or the orchestras, but come on, how many LPs do you know of that have these titles in the combination?

Recorded well, don't know if this was an LP or tape dub, but there is only a little bit of shrillness on the strings, and the orchestrations are Clebanoff or Mantovani lush... if you have ANY idea on tracks or orchestras, please???

Otherwise I'll be forced to load up Johnny Mathis or Polka tapes!

Take your best shot with Mystery Reel number 1-c.

Melodies of Japan

Double shot of tapes tonight! Here is something interesting from 1964, Japanese classical and folk melodies with Western orchestral backgrounds! Actually, the orchestrations are referred to as "Latin", but, hey... The artist credit is given as Ko-Tamae & her Stereo Strings, conducted by Tadashi Mori, and, apparently this is TDK's first commercial musical release!

The music here is very very good, the high-end can still blow the top off of a bottle of Kirin (GOOD Japanese beer), but I guess that's how they EQ'ed stuff over there?

THe one thing that I had an issue with was one of the Japanese flutes and how it very slowly approached Western pitch to match the orchestra... having listened to a LOT of Japanese msuic (without western orchestra) I am used to it, but having it be very dissonant against the western ear... well, it's just a warning... or maybe that's what makes stuff like this so doggone culturally INTERESTING!

The front...
The back...

Enjoy this rich variety of Melodies of Japan.


Great Trumpet Solos

We get back to the moody swing/light music thing now, beginning with a couple of reels I found in a thrift store a long time ago... what's so different? These are Japanese issues! I'll get through these somewhat quickly, but as a curiosity, I loaded this one up, and WHOA. NICELY surprised. Granted, the high end could knock the top off of a bottle of Kirin, but these cats can PLAY!

Whomever the horn player os for the Francis Bay Orchestra, my hats are off to him, he certainly displays some chops. The arrangements are a bit stock-standard-ish, but the band has a good ensemble sense, and can cut loose as required.

If anyone has any info on who these people are, kindly forward?

The front...
The back...

Sit back in your easy chair, pop open a bottle of Sapporo, and picture yourself on a balcony in 1964 Tokyo, with some Great Trumpet Solos on your Sony.


Dylan Thomas Reading His Complete Recorded Poetry

This, I realize, will be from completely out in left field, but after being 'niched' as a classical afficionado, I felt I had to pull this one off the shelves (yes, shelves... NEW shelves, built by mine own hand, a Makita cordless drill, scrap wood, and a bunch of deck screws) and regale you with it.

This, I would recommend, unless you are a LARGE fan of spoken word poetry, taking in doses. There is almost two hours of read poetry here... and DYlan's voice, even though it is sonorous, may start to 'get to you' after a while... make no mistake, these are classic poetic works... just that I found I needed to break it up a bit.

There are 29 works here, his complete recorded works, sourced from older records, some BBC recordings, and some recordings he made for Caedmon. You will also notice that the back label of the box with the tracklist is NOT correct, and neither is the label on the tape... so if anyone finds inconsistencies with the titles, PLEASE let me know and I'll adjust accordingly.

The front...
The back...

Settle back in your auditorium seat as Dylan Thomas ascends to the lectern and reads His Complete Recorded Poetry.