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Sunday, 30 December 2012

Bill Ramal – Screamin’ Saxes (MGM E/SE 4051)

Side 1
1. Hand Clappin'
2. Hard Times
3. Cloudburst
4. Walkin' With Mr Lee
5. Em-Bee
6. Ichi-Ban

Side 2
1. Back Street
2. Castle Rock
3. Blow Your Horn
4. Sting Ray
5. Honky Tonk
6. Hot Rod

Here’s something that differs from the usual Be Bop Wino fare. It’s not quite the usual cool R&B / Jazz / Rock ‘n’ Roll that I like to think is the staple diet of this august blog. The album title, the front cover art, the track list, it all looks right and yet it’s kind of “off kilter.” There’s positively lurid use of stereo separation as the tenor saxes of Bill Ramal and big band veteran Georgie Auld tear through 12 honking sax instros but the feeling I get from listening to this set is that it consists of R&B by the numbers, or ersatz R&B.

“Screamin’ Saxes” was released in 1962. The sleeve notes assure us that the sounds contained therein are “… big and driving and new; this sound of the 60s.” In fact it’s a compilation of cover versions of 1950s R&B honking sax juke box hits, plus 3 original compositions by Bill Ramal: “Em-Bee”, “Ichi-Ban” and “Sting Ray.”

The cover versions are – “Hand Clappin’” and “Blow Your Horn” both originally by Red Prysock, “Hard Times” by Noble Watts, “Cloudburst” by “Claude Cloud and his Thunderclaps" (really the Leroy Kirkland band with Sam “The Man” Taylor on tenor sax), Lee Allen’s “Walkin’ With Mr. Lee”, Eddie Chamblee’s “Back Street”, “Castle Rock” by Johnny Hodges (Al Sears on tenor sax),” Honky Tonk” by Bill Doggett (Clifford Scott on tenor sax) and “Hot Rod” by Hal Singer.
There’s an interesting post on Bill Ramal at the Ill Folks blog. He was a saxophone player and arranger who worked with Del Shannon and Johnny And The Hurricanes. He also arranged and composed novelty records with Dickie Goodman. The Ill Folks post has a sound sample from Ramal’s 1963 LP “Young America Dances To TV’s Greatest Themes.”

Ripped from vinyl at 320 kbps.

Download from here:

Or here:

The password on the rapidshare download is greaseyspoon. There is no password on the mediafire download.


Andy 7 said...

Kind of a badass Earl Bostic groove going on here. Love it, dig it, yeah!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
boogiewoody said...

MM - great to hear from you! The last link you sent me kind of imploded but now I'm back in the groove!

And a Happy New Year to your good self.

Anonymous said...

I thought this was an interesting record. Not only is it well played, but it provides a snapshot of what things were like for musicians of the old school as their era ground to a close. By '62 the Jump Blues era was clearly over, and mainstream jazz was on it's last legs. Many musicians from the older tradition hung on in the early '60s by releasing 'Twist" records. By infusing their sax-based music with some of the straight-8th-note rhythms and energy of the then-current Surf Instrumental craze, they managed to stay relevant for a final year or two. By '64, when the Beatles wave broke, this tactic no longer worked, and the older musicians became passe. Big Jay McNeely became a minister (!) to ride out the jump-unfriendly '60s and '70s. George Auld was best-known for his long-ago stint with Benny Goodman. I can only imagine what he was thinking during this session... "Oh man- the things I have to do to make a buck nowadays"... Nonetheless, this is good music, and a number of Twist records make fine listening for Be Bop Wino fans. I'd especially like to refer readers to the Joe Houston twist record featured by the blog some time back...The Masked One

Gerard Herzhaft said...

Rare and very interesting LP. I remember many R&B and blues fans thought Bill was an african American tenor sax man. In fact, he is Bellino Ramaglia and, outside this LP, I know only another one with mostly movie themes of the early 60's like Dr No.

Unknown said...

I'm listening to the first tune right now and it's mind blowing! I like it even better than the Red Prysock version. Thanks for posting!

Baron said...

Cheers BWoody

Paco's brother said...

Thanks one more time!

KurtGS said...

Another one that deserves a re-up.
Thanx in advance!

boogiewoody said...

Hi Kurt - the mediafire link on this one still works! I'm very surprised by that.