RCA Victor LSP-2738
Dick Schory's first album, MUSIC FOR BANG, BAA-ROOM AND HARP, released in 1958, hit the bestseller charts and is said to have been a major factor in touching off the whole hi-fi/stereo percussion craze. His last album, SUPERCUSSION, is a Dynagroove whing-ding—on the charts almost from the moment of release.
Now, in POLITELY PERCUSSIVE, Schory displays the gently swinging side of his "Percussion Pops Orchestra." Here is tasteful, subtle music with a quiet excitement. The arrangements are fresh and modern; the playing is inspired— this is the sound of a group of first-rate musicians playing not a routine date, but with extraordinary rapport and dedication. All the color and brightness of the Schory approach is here, but the effect is more rich velvet than flashing steel.
Featured on drums is Joe Morello of Dave Brubeck fame, and top percussionists Bobby Christian and Gary Burton with some very tasty vibes work. Robert Wessberg is outstanding on tubaphone (a soft marimba-like instrument). Wessberg, incidentally, is the Schory band's number one percussionist on tour and a master of all percussion instruments. The orchestra is sizable with full brass and woodwind sections and everybody doubling like mad.
On the opening band. Side One, the Schory sense of humor spices the Cole Porter favorite I Get a Kick Out of You. Contrabass clarinet and slap marimba, opposed by piccolo and antique cymbals, provide a kick to tickle your tweeters and rattle your woofers. On Cy Coleman's Playboy's Theme alto flutes and vibes set a swinging easy pace for the trombone of Herb Wise and the full Schory crew. Bobby Christian takes off on vibes followed by Bob Wessberg on tubaphone. Duke Ellington's Satin Doll is subtly handled with Mel Schmidt featured on bass and with tasty fills and send-offs by drummer Morello. Note the fine xylophone and vibes work by the percussion team.
Baubles, Bangles and Beads is almost the keynote of this album with its delicately embroidered arrangement featuring crotale cymbals, celesta and alto flutes—this time with Wessberg on marimba, Burton on vibes and Bobby Christian on tubaphone.
Further attempt to highlight the solos, the arrangements, the finely worked sound of this set is, well, fatuous. For here are twelve thoroughly enjoyable sides of a uniform excellence. Nobody had to hide a less-than-great "take" somewhere around band five. Side Two!
For the sell-out audiences around tlie country that have made Dick Schory's "Percussion Pops Orchestra" one of our leading concert attractions (twenty musicians playing over 200 brass, woodwind, string and percussion instruments!), this album constitutes an interesting change of pace. Here is all the excitement and variety of a percussion band, but with subtlety and restraint—in a phrase, POLITELY PERCUSSIVE!
Orchestra Personnel Trumpets: Bill Hanley Rudolph Stauber Trombones: Herbert Wise-Paul Crumbaugh Bill Corti Woodwinds: Mike Simpson Kenny Sodcrblom Harold Dessent Percussion: Bobby Christian Bob Wessberg Gary Burton Rhythm: Drums—Joe Morello Bass—Melvin Sehmidt Guitar—George Alien Piano—Willis Charkovsky
Copyright 1965, Radio Corporation of America