Album Review ~ Stereo
Recording: Very Good
Stereo Quality: Very Good
Speed and Playing Time: 7½ ips ~ 29'
The really authoritative performer never needs to shout about what he does ( even if he happens to be shouting ). He just delivers. Como is neither a trend setter or a musical wizard. He just sings. No other TV singer has ever quite matched his ease. Among his almost unnoticed abilities are sensitive phrasing, excellent time ( excuse me, but he can swing ), consistency of tone, and smooth humor.
This album was recorded in Nashville and Como is backed up here by the superb Anita Kerr Quartet. ( Miss Kerr is not unlike Como in her understated and crystal clear approach to music. ) Many of the songs will sneak up on you. The country cornpone is present, but no one leans on it; it emerges kind of pleasant. It's amazing how skill and taste can clean up any sort of music if it's allowed to. There's a piano figure, a cluster of notes, running throughout "Give Myself a Party" that lifts this so-what tune right out of the dumps. "A Hatchet, a Hammer, a Bucket of Nails" has a surprisingly good lyric, considering it's drawl of a title, and "Gringo's Guitar" has a lovely melody. People who respect music tend to dismiss such tunes because hillbillies are so good at wrecking them. But take note that worse songs are written every day by better writers than the country crowd.
The selection of tunes indicates that someone on this date went through a lot of dull material before coming up with the final choices. Only a few of them beg to be ignored. Much of the sound that is twanged out in Nashville and et up by the country-and-western fans is revolting. But the musicianship in this album proves that many people in that region are practicing their instruments. The recorded sound is also excellent.
Como fits himself perfectly into the groove. He carefully takes on Nashville flavor and inflections without warping his own style a bit. All this is done, of course, with his usual ease, as though it required no effort at all. It's professionals like this man who stand between me and the pack of amateurs so fashionable right now. If you want an example of the best that Nashville can do, why settle for less than this album ?Morgan Ames STEREO REVIEW 1965 Perry Como ~ The Scene Changes With The Anita Kerr Quartet Produced by Chet Atkins and Arranged by Anita Kerr Recorded in RCA Victor's "Nashville Sound" Studio, Nashville, Tennessee First Nashville recording sessions circa February, 1965 Recording Engineers: Chuck Seitz and William Vandevort Album notes by Red O'Donnell, Nashville Banner, 1965
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