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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

TOM RILEY & THE SAINTS / NORA EVANS 
STARS OF JAZZ - MARCH 18, 1957 - SHOW #37





T. Riley and the Saints enjoyed a long standing engagement at the Hermosa Inn in Hermosa Beach. They billed themselves as "Cool Figs" as opposed to traditional Dixieland groups that were referred to as "Mouldy Figs" by combos that played jazz labelled as "modern." The Saints instrumentation lacked some of the traditional instruments that were associated with Dixieland jazz, no tuba and no banjo. The lead horn played by Chico Alvarez was a trumpet, once again not the traditional cornet found in Dixieland groups. They played traditional Dixieland numbers with arrangements that were not typical of the traditional style heard in Dixieland groups.  Although their long run at the Hermosa Inn must have pleased patrons and kept the "house full" there is no record of them having entered a studio or recording the group live at the Hermosa Inn. 

The featured vocalist on this program had gained fame as a singer who could mimic any vocalist who happened to have a hit on the Billboard charts.  One day she might sing a Jo Stafford hit and the next day a Mary Ford tune that had topped the charts.

One of the companies that specialized in making "covers" of current Billboard hits was Broadway Records. They would package two hits on a single 78 record and sell the "cover" for considerably less than you would pay for a copy of the original hit on Capitol or Decca or RCA Victor.

Nora Evans had decided to strike out of her own when she appeared on Stars of Jazz and Billboard carried a notice around this time that she had signed with Rave Records. 

Today Ms. Evans is best known for the album that she released on her own label, Noreva Records.


SHOW #37
MARCH 18, 1957
Tom Riley and the Saints: Chico Alvarez, trumpet; Wayne Sherman, trombone; James Gray, clarinet; Norman Pizzuti, piano; Monford Gibbs, acoustic double bass; Tom Riley, drums. Nora Evans, vocal.

Ms. Evans was backed by Norm Pizzuti on her numbers, and he received double scale, paid separately by A.B.C.

Production credits for this show:


Host: Bobby Troup
Producer: Jimmie Baker
Writer: Robert Arbogast
Director: "Hap" Leo G. Weyman
Audio: Chuck Lewis
Cameramen: Jack Denton, Sal Folino
Technical Director: Gene Lukowski
Lighting Director: Vince Cilurzo
Video: George Hillas





















Bobby Troup played regular gigs around Los Angeles while he was MC on Stars of Jazz. The Keynoter was one of his regular haunts.


Thursday, October 2, 2014

WARNE MARSH QUINTET / ANN RICHARDS 
STARS OF JAZZ - MARCH 11, 1957 - SHOW #36



The 36th program on KABC’s Stars of Jazz series featured the Warne Marsh Quintet that had been attracting appreciative audiences at Bill Whisling’s Modern Jazz Room at 6507 Sunset Blvd. Whisling’s jazz club had been in constant operation since the early 1950s when it was known as Whisling’s Hawaii. The featured vocalist on the program was Ann Richards, also known as Mrs. Stan Kenton. The Warne Marsh Quintet featured Marsh and Ted Brown on tenor saxes, Ronnie Ball on piano, Ben Tucker on bass, and Jeff Morton on drums. Ann Richards was accompanied by Eddie Beal who frequently occupied the piano chair on Stars of Jazz to back the featured vocalist. Shown above: a vintage handbill from 1950 on the left, a contemporary photo of the space at 6507 Sunset Boulevard on the right, and at the bottom a listing for the Marsh quintet at Bill Whisling's from Down Beat magazine's Where To Go column.


John Tynan reviewed the Warne Marsh Quintet for down beat's "Caught In The Act" column in the March 21, 1957 edition of the magazine.

Warne Marsh had been busy in Los Angeles recording studios the previous fall of 1956.  The quintet that appeared on Stars of Jazz had recorded an album for Imperial records, Jazz of Two Cities, in October of 1956; and another album the same month for Kapp Records, Modern Jazz Gallery, that featured other groups in a double LP set. In November Marsh teamed up with Art Pepper to record an album for Contemporary Records that would remain unreleased for a number of years.

The same quintet members with the addition of Art Pepper on alto sax recorded an album for Vanguard Records, Free Wheeling, that was released under Ted Brown’s leadership. The sessions took place at Radio Recorders on December 21, 1956, the first from 1:00 to 3:30 P.M. and the second from 4:00 to 7:00 P.M. Albert Marx signed the contract on behalf of Vanguard Records.














Ann Richards performing with the Stan Kenton Orchestra at Gene Norman's Crescendo Club.



 Ted Brown and Warne Marsh from the pre-show rehearsal.


SHOW #36
MARCH 11, 1957
The Warne Marsh Quintet: Warne Marsh, Ted Brown, tenor sax; Ronnie Ball, piano; Ben Tucker, acoustic double bass; Jeff Morton, drums. Eddie Beal, piano; Ann Richards, vocal.

Production credits for this show:
Host: Bobby Troup
Producer: Jimmie Baker
Writer: Robert Arbogast
Director: "Hap" Leo G. Weyman
Audio: Chuck Lewis
Cameramen: Jack Denton, Sal Folino
Technical Director: Gene Lukowski
Lighting Director: Vince Cilurzo
Video: George Hillas



















The photos that greatly enhance this presentation have been provided courtesy of the Ray Avery Estate and the Howard Lucraft Collection.  The author would like to extend a most heartfelt thanks to Cynthia Sesso, Licensing Administrator of the Ray Avery Photo Archives and the Howard Lucraft Collection.  Please note that these photos remain the property of the Ray Avery Estate and the Howard Lucraft Collection and are used here with permission.  Any inquiries regarding their use, commercial or otherwise, should be directed to:  Cynthia Sesso at CTSIMAGES.