Harry Breuer

Mallet Magic

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Mallet Mischief, the follow-up album, is the one with the zany jacket -- and better music. With his background in vaudeville, movies, and radio, session percussionist Breuer is a natural choice for a general percussion album. Bob Rosengarden and Phil Kraus, who worked with Breuer on many, many occasions, would be the other choices. Breuer tackles the assignment apparently with relish and a great sense of humor. There are not one but two tunes with insect themes (always a good sign in cheesy instrumental pop), "Mosquitos' Parade March" and "Bumble Bee Bolero" (after "Flight of the Bumble Bee"). "Buffoon" and "Samba Macabre" are others. Eight of the twelve tracks are originals or at least adaptations by Breuer. While every cut is above average, especially for a percussion album intended to demonstrate stereo, four or five really are fairly magical applications of mallets.