- Beyond The Blue Horizon
- You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby
- All The Things You Are
- Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin'
- Time On My Hands
- Something To Remember You by
- What A Diff'rence A Day Made
- South Of The Border
- Can't We Be Friends
- A Love Is Born
- I Found A Million Dollar Baby (In A Five And Ten Cent Store)
This album was originally released
in 1959 and reissued on CD in the USA in 1989 (Columbia CK 8155). On the U.S.
reissue, the missing first beat on "South Of The Border" is annoying
but otherwise it is a great CD. Sony deleted the CD in 1995. In Brazil this CD
was titled 's Different and does not contain the flaw in "South Of
Original LP liner notes:
The initials BB. What do they mean to you?
If, quick-as-a-wink, you say Billy Butterfield, and you're classified as masculine
in gender, even our man Billy might suggest that you must either be obsequious
Let's face it: Our Billy isn't in the same league with BB, the fabled Bardot
of the French cinema. (He's older, that's why). And he's not in the same financial
bracket with that "other" BB, Barney Baruch. (Hates those drafty old
But if you're at all at ease in the jazz cosmos, the initials should quickly
translate themselves subliminally and sublimely into the name of Billy Butterfield,
the Brobdingnagian-toned trumpeter from Middletown, Ohio. And this album, in
which Billy teams with arranger Ray Conniff, presents a full-sized demonstration
of their brilliant musical talents.
Because Ray Conniff is a renowned musical innovator who specializes in crisp,
fresh and intelligent sounds, and Billy Butterfield never sounded better, the
pairing has produced an album that is, musically speaking, as easy and pleasing
an alliance as similar musical ententes by Messrs. Rodgers and Hammerstein or
Lerner and Loewe.
Actually, Conniff met Butterfield long before this recording session in New
York City. These cats go back to the famous Bobcats of Bob Crosby, a little
more than 20 years ago.
Born in Attleboro, Mass., Ray was taught to play trombone by his dad, who also
taught him the rudiments of arranging, aided by a mail-order course. In 1936,
after two years' gigging in and around Boston, Ray was added to the legendary
Bunny Berigan band. And if you've been reading Hear Me Talkin' to Ya by
Nat Shapiro and Nat Hentoff, you know what that group was like, musically and
socially. How times have changed. Anyhow, it wasn't until Ray joined the Artie
Shaw band that he came into his own as an arranger, turning out such precious
baubles as, 'S Wonderful, and Prelude in C-sharp Minor. You still
hear these numbers today. During his four-year hitch with Shaw, Ray could find
time to study arranging at the Juilliard School of Music and fill in with radio
shows. He joined the Harry James crew as an arranger no trombone
after his World War II service.
Apart from his aptitude for sizzling big band
arrangements, Ray also has a gift for orchestrating and conducting pop tunes
for such performers as Johnnie Ray, Don Cherry, Guy Mitchell and Rosemary Clooney.
Singin' the Blues, with Guy Mitchell, was a Conniff soundtrack that made
a noise a few seasons back. (Ray also has recorded as a singer. And not bad,
Billy Butterfield's career is intertwined with that of Conniff's. He was a growing
lad of about 20 when he came into prominence as Bob Crosby's "new"
horn. His fame spread still farther when he and bass player Bobby Haggart wrote
What's New. Like Ray, Billy also was a mighty cog in Artie Shaw's music
machine and doubled as a member of the famous Gramercy Five. He followed this
with a chair in Benny Goodman's band and, after serving in the armed forces,
became one of the most sought-after sidemen in the land. This happy circumstance
enabled Billy to pick and choose his own spots, and he preferred to play for
the radio bands in New York. After being prevailed upon once again to travel
this time with his own band Billy came back to New York and settled
down to being one of jazzdom's most renowned hornmen, thanks to that wide-open
tone, a no-nonsense sound that is undiluted by watery voices that have trickled
into the trumpet bells of some less gifted musicians.
The album you are looking at contains a dozen superb tunes, all brought up to
date with Billy's tastefully sophisticated and, when needed, hard-driving jazz.
Billy Butterfield, his embouchure and trumpet carry the ball in this set. And
what a ball he's having. His rugged, he-man tones and Conniff's glass-smooth,
swinging-sweet arrangements do more than rustle the ear lobes that are, happily,
within listening range. These sounds go beyond the finger-snapping and toe-tapping
bit. For these lads, the snapping-tapping stage is just a starting point. They
prefer to get heads and shoulders a-pumping, too, in the best therapeutic manner.
And that brings us to the purpose of this album. Conniff Meets Butterfield
to Swing, Man. They have latched on the perennially popular custom of up-dating
standard tunes. Now, they're doing it with a beat that bounces along in a simplified
rhythmic pattern while the horn up front cuts loose with the melody. Result:
a clean-cut, clean-swinging statement of music that is refreshingly free of complexity
and gets down to the swingin' mood with great alacrity.
There is, however, one change of pace in the album. Billy does a piece of work
on A Love Is Born (or Song of the Trumpet) that might just cause
some lachrymal glands to lubricate an eyeball or two if you're not careful.
This performance is worth the price of admission all alone. But there's much
more, as Billy mixes humor and his unending supply of vitality to these standards.
In South of the Border, he comes on like a Boeing 707 and you can almost
feel the heat as Billy pushes his way Tijuana-wards. Rosalie struts along
with a new wiggle and a shuffling bounce in Billy's rendition. He gets maximum
values out of What a Diff'rence a Day Made as he uses a muted horn for
the first go-'round and an open horn (and how!) the second time around. Oh,
What a Beautiful Mornin' is delivered in a cheerful package that is faithful
to the mood of the song. Filled with the happy spirit.
Something to Remember You By has Billy blowing more open, pretty sounds
in a beautiful Schwartz-Dietz tune. There he is with a gentle-yet-jumping rendition
of All the Things You Are. If you have a date around, here's a tip: Light's
out. And listen to the way Butterfield belts those words, "... some DAY
..." near the finish.
Beyond the Blue Horizon features a rollicking rhythm section that spanks
the melody forward, ever forward, with Billy playing muted horn and then adding
some open horn embellishments. Time on My Hands offers softness, tenderness,
in displaying more of Billy's mastery. Buddy Weed on piano gives him perfect
support. Straight and slow is the way Million Dollar Baby comes across.
Ideal for dancing, as is You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby. Billy
gives Can't We Be Friends a perky, humor-laced reading that adds to the
fun in this jaunty album.
Notes by Fred Danzig
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