This lot looks content with anything from breakbeats to Bacharach, decent beer and a tight game of Connect 4.
Guitarist Gabor Szabo's debut as a leader (after an important stint with the Chico Hamilton Quintet) is surprisingly successful. The reason this LP is a bit of a surprise is that the repertoire (in addition to two originals apiece by the leader and Gary McFarland) has a few unlikely songs by the Beatles ("Yesterday" and "If I Fell") and Burt Bacharach (including "Walk On By"). Usually jazz adaptations of rock songs in the 1960s are lightweight, but Szabo's original sound, the unusual instrumentation (two or three guitars, Sadao Watanabe on flute, Gary McFarland on marimba, bass, drums and percussion) and McFarland's clever arrangements uplift the music. The playing time at 35 minutes is a bit brief, but the performances are better than expected.
After trying her hand at writing her own vintage-inspired material with 2014's Into Colour, singer Rumer returns to her core inspiration of covering classic '60s and '70s pop with 2016's sophisticated This Girl's in Love (A Bacharach & David Songbook). Produced by her husband and longtime collaborator Rob Shirakbari at Capitol Studios, This Girl's in Love finds Rumer applying her supple vocals and soft-focus aesthetic to songs written by the legendary team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David. While Rumer has most certainly sung many of these songs in live settings, it's surprising, given her association with the time period, that she's never actually recorded any of this material in the past…
This two-fer from Dutton Vocalion features a pair of out of print Ronnie Aldrich LPs: The World of Burt Bacharach and Webb Country, originally issued in 1972 and 1977, respectively. These 21 tracks are dominated by Muzak versions of popular songs of the era written by Bacharach and Hal David and include "(They Long to Be) Close to You," "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head," and "This Guy's in Love with You." The remaining tunes are from the songbook of Jimmy Webb and include "MacArthur Park," "Wichita Lineman," and "Up, Up and Away." This is an enjoyably relaxing reissue from Aldrich's deleted catalog on London Records.
La Femme Dietrich's career lasted several decades, and when she inked a deal with Decca Records in 1939, her first recording assignment was to produce an album of her "greatest hits," so already pervasive was her fame. This 16-track collection rounds up selections recorded over a 25-year period between her signing to Decca and her later recordings for Dot and Kapp, all of which parent company MCA-Universal now owns. Besides the definitive, elegant orchestral reading of 'Falling In Love Again', Marlene also puts her pipes and personality to other hits like "The Boys in the Backroom" and "You've Got That Look (That Makes Me Weak)" from the movie Destry Rides Again, as well as a batch of classy readings of "You Do Something to Me," "You Go to My Head," and uncharacteristic, almost surreal 1957 rock & roll stabs at "Near You," and "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine" and the campy spins of her final single in 1965, "If He Swing By the String" and "Such Trying Times." All in all, a great little career overview to add to the pop vocal side of the collection.