Claus Ogerman and His Orchestra - Watusi Trumpets (1965/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz
Artist: Claus Ogerman and His Orchestra
Title: Watusi Trumpets
Genre: Jazz, Jazz Pop, Crossover Jazz, Post Bop, Soul Jazz, Easy Listening
Label: © Radio Corporation Of America | Sony Music Entertainment
Release Date: 1965/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Recorded: 1965, Webster Hall, Manhattan, New York City by Mickey Crofford
Of Ogerman's four mod albums for Victor, Watusi Trumpets is the best, probably because it stays truest to the mod style. The other key factor is Dick Hyman's prominent (but uncredited) work on Lowrey organ. "The Joker" begins with exotic percussion, builds with a haunting flute, and then becomes a showcase for Hyman's Lowrey. Featuring the old standard "Poinciana," the rock classic "Land of a Thousand Dances," not to mention three tunes with "watusi" in the title, this mod album is as essential as any. --AllMusic Review by Tony Wilds
Now that we’re in the full swing of the summer season, it seemed logical to go for an album this month with a sunny disposition. So let me make the disclaimer that the music on this LP will not change your life and I make no claims for innovation or anything earth shattering. But with your hi-fi setup close to the pool or deck, a libation of your choice in hand, and possibly a dance partner, you might find Watusi Trumpets to be a sunny finger popping disc.
While many are most likely aware of arranger Claus Ogerman through his work on such sublime classics as Antonio Carlos Jobim’s Wave , Bill Evans With Symphony Orchestra , and possibly his own late ‘70s/early ‘80s albums Gate of Dreams and Cityscape , fewer still have probably seen or heard Watusi Trumpets. Cut in 1965 for RCA Victor, Ogerman is heard just a few years shy of hooking up with producer Creed Taylor who would keep him busy over the next decade arranging a variety of projects for Verve and CTI Records.
This set is obviously in line with similar concept albums of the time that lent jazz sensibilities to popular dance moves such as the twist. Pop hits abound here including “Downtown,” “It’s Not Unusual,” “The Joker,” “La Bamba,” and “Land of 1000 Dances.” Ogerman approaches the material with taste even if the actual harmonic and melodic content of some of the tunes is limited. “La Bamba” actually seems far removed from its more popular incarnation, with bright flute work and harmonious trombones carrying the lead. A bit more of a Tin Pan Alley chestnut, “Poinciana” is almost unrecognizable until B3 organ steps in with the familiar melody, complimented by a dazzling trumpet fanfare on the bridge.
Aside from the pop ditties, Ogerman pens a few of his own originals, along with Herbie Mann’s “Right Now,” Ray Barretto’s “El Watusi,” and Joe Zawinul’s “One Step Above.” The last of these sets the routine for most of the tracks, with B3 organ taking the lead and contrasting bursts from the trumpet and trombone sections. Aside from a flute solo here or there the emphasis is mostly on “the groove” for these tracks that rarely exceed two and a half minutes in length. Standing apart from even his other commercially-oriented RCA sets, Ogerman’s Watusi Trumpets is certainly an oddity and a one-off affair that offers little in the way of jazz improvisation but much in the way of ‘60s high fidelity, not to mention its appeal to those who dig “Space Age Pop” or “Bachelor Pad” music. --C. Andrew Hovan, All About Jazz
1 It's Not Unusual 2:15
2 Stingray 2:30
3 Watusi Trumpets 2:15
4 El Watusi 2:24
5 Downtown 2:17
6 Right Now 2:22
7 Harlem Watch 2:28
8 One Step Above 2:06
9 The Joker 1:55
10 Poinciana 2:28
11 La Bamba 2:15
12 Land Of 1000 Dances 2:01
Claus Ogerman and His Orchestra
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