Joe´s Music Rack
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Sting Band Stru-Along

Tony Mottola and His Orchestra

Tony Mottola - Close to You Tony Mottola - Close to You
33MMottola T3

Command...RS 33 828...[1961]...33 1/3 RPM...Stereo

Side 1:
1) Happy Days - Yellen/Ager...2:24
2) Carolina In The Morning - Kahn/Donaldson...3:22
3) Twelfth Street Rag - Bowman...2:22
4) June Night - Friend/Baer...2:14
5) Nola - Arndt/Skylar...2:56
6) The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise - Lockhard/Seitz...2:06

Side 2:
1) Tip Toe Through The Tulips - Dubin/Burke...2:45
2) Bye Bye Blackbird - Dixon/Henderson...2:25
3) South Rampart Street Parade - Haggart/Bauduk/Allen...2:35
4) It Had To Be You - Kahn/Jones...2:30
5) Strike Up The Band - I. and G. Gershwin...1:35
6) Ain´t She Sweet - Yellen/Ager...2:00

CommandRS-33-828a label Tony Mottola - Close to You CommandRS-33-828b label Tony Mottola - Close to You




Sting Band Stru-Along

The greatest advance in sound
since high fidelity was invented!

For discriminating people who desire the finest in sound...always-demand

If you have ever heard a Command Record, you know what Command´s nazing recording techniques can do to add brilliance and excitement to a musical performance.

Album after album in the Persuasive Percussion series and the Provocative ercussion series has astounded listeners throughout the world by the spinengling fullness and clarity with which the most subtle sounds have been reroduced ... the way in which each separate element in massive arrays of )und has been captured so that the undiluted, natural result pours out of our speakers instead of a muffled, indefinite blur ... and the unrivaled creave imagination that has placed these fabulous sounds in such dramatic juxtaposition that a whole new, previously unsuspected world of musical ex-citement has been revealed.

If you have ever heard a Command Record, you know about Command excitement.

And now ... in this album ... you will learn something new, something that has never been heard before.

Now, for the first time, you will hear the astonishing ways in which Command´s dazzling recording adds glittering sparkle and unbelievably rollicking high spirits to music that is played for gaiety, for fun, for good times. All the brilliance, all the fantastic clarity, all the blood-surging excitement that produced the unparalleled musical drama that has made Command the most eagerly sought records in the world have been turned now to music iat ripples with pleasure, music for parties, for dancing, for foot-tapping, for sing-alonging, for strum-alonging... music with a smile, with a beat and with the most marvelously lighthearted happy-go-lucky air you´ve ever heard.

Originated and Produced by
Cover art by GEORGE GIUSTI
Tony Mottola ...... Electric Guitar Artie Ryerson ............................ Mandolin, Banjo
Don Arnone ........ Electric Guitar Dick Dia .................................... Mandolin
Al Casamenti....... Electric Guitar Carmen Mastren ........................ Banjo, Mandolin
Alien Hanlon ....... Electric Guitar Phil Bodner and Stanley Webb ... Reeds
Al Chernet .......... Steel Guitar, Mandolin, Banjo, Ukulele Bobby Dominick ........................ Banjo
Bill Suyker .......... Mandolin, Ukulele, Banjo, Steel Guitar Domenic Cortese ....................... Accordion
Barry Galbraith .... Rhythm Guitar, Ukulele Phil Kraus .................................. Percussion
Bucky Pizzarelli ... Bass Guitar Bob Rosengarden ....................... Percussion

Bob Haggart .............. Bass


HAPPY DAYS ................................... Advanced Music (ASCAP) TIP TOE THROUGH THE TULIPS ........ M.Witmark (ASCAP)
CAROLINA IN THE MORNING ...... Remick Music (ASCAP) BYE BYE BLACKBIRD ....................... Remick Music (ASCAP)
TWELFTH STREET RAG ............. Shapiro Bernstein (ASCAP) SOUTH RAMPART STREET PARADE .... Leo Feist (ASCAP)
JUNE NIGHT ........................................ Leo Feist Inc. (ASCAP) IT HAD TO BE YOU ............................. Remick Music (ASCAP)
NOLA ............................................ Sam Fox Publishing (ASCAP) STIRKE UP THE BAND ................ New World Music (ASCAP)
THE WORLD IS WAITING FOR THE SUNRISE .... Chappell & Co. (ASCAP) AIN´T SHE SWEET ................. Advanced Music Corp. (ASCAP)

Originated and Produced by ENOCH LIGHT

Enjoy the full program and technical data in detail, on the inside pages of this double album jacket.
Mfd. by Grand Award Record Co., Inc. New York, N. Y., U. S. A.


For good time music, you can´t beat something to strum on-whether it´s the happy self-hypnosis of the rankest amateur thumping on a ukulele or the virtuoso brilliance of as superb a guitarist as Tony Mottola. There´s a zing in those strings that lightens the heart, stirs up the blood, starts feet tapping and rouses instincts to sing along or strum along.

If one strummer can kindle such a happy glow, how much more rollicking musical gaiety can be whipped up by a roomful of masters of the plucked strings ... by an unsurpassed ensemble of guitarists, banjoists and mandolinists?

This is a thought that has often appealed to guitarists and banjoists. But, until now, they have never been able to reproduce on a record all of the infectious joy that they know they can draw from their instruments. The transient responses of such a group of stringed instruments are so similar, so close in sonic texture, that they tend to cover each other and to create a blurred sound that may have plenty of rhythm but very little individual identity. And when the individual identity of a guitar, a banjo, a ukulele or a mandolin is obscured, then most of the stimulus for this good time music has been lost.

That is why past attempts to transfer the twinkling merriment of carefree string groups to records has, at best, been only momentarily appealing. The walloping beat of the rhythm usually has come across clearly but the bright, sassy sparkle that leaps from each single string of every one of the instruments present has been muffled to drab fuzziness. It is that most dismal of disappointments - champagne that has gone flat.

Now, for the very first time, the cork on this particular musical champagne explodes with the promise of really bubbling spirits to come.

The fabulous Command recording techniques which made possible a whole new world of musical excitement have been turned on Tony Mottola´s hand-picked string group. Remember that Command´s emgineers have alread recorded the most subtle characteristics of even the most hard-to-to record instruments with such distinct clarity that they emerge from the speakers of a playback system so perfectly formed, so undistorted that the ear can actually separate each note of every instrument within a complex ensemble passage.

As a rule, these remarkably advanced recording techniques have been applied to wind instruments and percussion instruments. Now, in this album, they have been used to separate and clarify every bright, plangent note produced by the all-stars lineup of string specialists led by Tony Mottola.

This album is the result of two things that have been stirring around in Tony Mottola´s inventive mind. One is his conviction that there are undiscovered instrumental possibilities in selections that are normally heard as vehicles for vocalists. Take away the (or voices), Tony believes, and suddenly the essential melody can be treated in all sorts of interesting ways by instruments interesting ways by instruments alone, ways which would not be possible when it is tied down to the lyrics that a vocalist must sing.

Tony proved this point brilliantly in his instrumental transcriptions of familiar folk songs on Folk Songs (Command R823) R. D. Darrell, writing in High Fidelity magazine, hailed "the rarity of true inspiration" revealed by Tony´s arrangements and his playing in this collection. The only problem this left for Tony was where else he could apply this unique instrumental technique.

Strumming along one night on Mitch Miller´s sing-along television program, Mottola realized that the material he was looking for was right under his hands. Tony has been a regular on the Miller sing-along ever since its inception (just as he has been Perry Como´s guitarist since Como´s early days in radio) and, while the vocalists have been singing along with Mitch, he has been having a fine time picking out the tunes on his guitar. He could have an even better time, he reasoned, if he could transpose all the gaiety and happiness in those sing-along tunes to a group of guitars, mandolins and banjos that were not restricted to the limitations imposed by the vocal group.

That was one of the things that had been on Tony´s mind. The other was his fond memory of the sound of the string bangs that have traditionally marched in the Mummers´ Parade in Philadelphia on New Years Day. These groups, made up of a variety of stringed instruments and a few saxophones, produced an inimitably bright and sparkling sound. The only thing they lacked, in Tony´s view, was a strong rhythmic drive. Maybe this could not be solved on a street in Philadelphia but in a recording studio the solution was obvious: back up the strings with one of the most potent rhythm sections that could be called together in New York-the big-toned bass of Bob Haggart, the onetime stalwart of the rhythm section of Bob Crosby´s band; the strong, urgent accordion of Dominic Cortese; and two of the most volatile of all percussionists, Phil Kraus and Bob Rosengarden.

To make up his string group, Mottola rounded up every top-notch plectrist in New York. On electric guitars, in addition to himself, he used Don Arnone, Al Casamenti and Alien Hanlon. There are two steel guitarists, Bill Suyker and Al Chernet, with Suyker taking the solos and Chernet occasionally switching to banjo or mandolin. Bucky Pizzarelli provides the foundation for the guitar contingent on bass guitar. Still another guitarist, Barry Galbraith, is in the line-up but he works as part of the rhythm section rather than as a member of the guitar team. Galbraith also doubles on ukulele.

Banjoists, in addition to Chernet, are Bobby Dominick, who does the solo work, Carmen Mastren and Art Ryerson (who also doubles on mandolin), while Dick Dia and Leonid Bolontine split the mandolin leads, backed by the versatile team of Ryerson and Chernet. Blending with all these strings are two reed men, Stanley Webb and Phil Bodner, who play alto saxophones most of the time although there are moments when Webb shifts to baritone saxophone or bass clarinet and Bodner is heard on piccolo.The tunes are all happy, good time favorites ... tunes for humming, strumming, singing or dancing ... tunes with a party feeling ... some of the brightest, gayest songs ever written, dressed up in irresistibly sparkling sound by the combined skill and craftsmanship of Tony Mottola and Command´s miraculous engineers.


1. HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN. The gay, infectious spirit that pervades this whole collection is established right off the bat by this rollicking version of the song that once helped to lick the Depression. Mottola´s guitar leads the whole ensemble through the first chorus and later does some fancy stepping in the midst of wild breaks before Stanley Webb´s baritone saxophone leads into the final, rousing all-to-geth-er ensemble and a bright, concluding banjo flourish.

2. CAROLINA IN THE MORNING. Mandolins and guitars sweep us into the realization that "nothing could be fina than to be in Car-o-lina," as expressed by the electric guitars. Notice the dazzling array of breaks in the second chorus by banjo, bass clarinet (slap tongued) and piccolo, and the exhilarating effect as the banjo picks up the tempo in the third chorus before the all-out, slowed down finish.

3. 12th STREET RAG. Euday Bowman´s undying memorial to the joys of one of Kansas City´s main entertainment thoroughfares glistens with sparkling string sounds, particularly Bobby Dominick´s fantastically potent banjo breaks and the zestful mandolins that propel the third chorus.

4. JUNE NIGHT. The full-bodied blend of saxophones, accordion and strings gives the first chorus a lustrously lilting charm. Notice the contrast between the hard, sturdy sound of Stanley Webb´s baritone saxophone in the second chorus and the following sharp, brightness of Dominic Cortese´s accordion. The breaks involving the banjo and accordion require extremely fast response from playback equipment to reproduce the fantastically rapid succession of sharp impulses that they produce.

5. NOLA. Vincent Lopez´s familiar signature theme, originally a finger-busting piano exercise, is given a very graceful and melodic treatment by the guitars in the first chorus. All the way through this arrangement there is a succession of absorbing, mandolin-dominated breaks which, at one point, pairs the tight brightness of mandolins with the even tighter brightness of flutes played by Stanley Webb and Phil Bodner.

6. THE WORLD IS WAITING FOR THE SUNRISE. Impelled by a grunt from Stanley Webb´s bass clarinet, the banjos hoist the sun in the sky with the help of Tony Mottola´s spirited guitar. There is some astounding interweaving of guitars, piccolos and banjos in the second chorus, a section that was a remarkably stiff challenge to the engineers and should be an equal challenge to playback equipment to sort it all out cleanly and distinctly.


1. TIP TOE THROUGH THE TULIPS. Tony Mottola´s guitar and the mandolins tip toe up to the first chorus on which Mottola´s guitar takes the role that Nick Lucas did when he sang this song in the movies many years ago. These tulips, you´ll notice, seem to be growing in Hawaii for you´ll hear Bill Suyker and Al Chernet weaving their steel guitars all through the background.

2. BYE BYE BLACKBIRD. The steel guitars are back again to underline the introduction, a figure in which guitar breaks punctuate the ensemble. A striking contrast of sounds is developed in the second chorus when the deep, hard sound of the baritone saxophone boxes in the high, penetrating mandolins.

3. SOUTH RAMPART STREET PARADE. Thfs Dixieland classic was written by bassist Bob Haggart when he was with Bob Crosby´s band. Haggart wrote this exuberant arrangement and drives it along with his bull-voiced bass. This is an all-out ensemble foot-tapper from beginning to end with the saxophones and accordion adding an amazingly urgent wail to the background in the second chorus.

4. IT HAD TO BE YOU. Tony Mottola sets a swinging pace for this old Isham Jones favorite with his opening guitar solo, a pace that is spiced by a succession of stop-time solos and breaks by the banjos and by the busy team of Webb and Bodner who are heard on clarinet, piccolo and bass clarinet.

5. STRIKE UP THE BAND. The call to arms is issued by the mandolins and guitars before the whole ensemble goes marching. An unusual voicing in the second chorus puts the baritone saxophone in the lead, giving the ensemble a startlingly deep sound. And in the final chorus there is tremendous vertical range of sound values encompassed in a striking series of measures when the strings and rhythm stride along with Phil Bodner´s piccolo flying brightly above them and, Stanley Webb´s baritone saxophone muttering down below.

6. AIN´T SHE SWEET. Tony Mottola´s high guitar figure in the introduction is built into more full-bodied form by the other members of the group before Tony takes off on a solo excursion that is varied by brief entrances by Phil Kraus on xylophone, Dominic Cortese on accordion, Bill Suyker on steel guitar and Bobby Dominick on banjo. As a test of the smoothness of your transient responses, listen carefully for the clear, unalloyed lines you should hear when, at the end, the steel guitars sail gracefully upward and then swoop down.

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