Shorty Rogers

Shorty Rogers Meets Tarzan

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In 1959, Shorty Rogers wrote the soundtrack for a remake of Tarzan, the Ape Man. The movie (starring Denny Miller) soon disappeared, and so did this obscure LP. However, Rogers' music is worth bringing back, as is the humorous photo on the cover featuring Tarzan effortlessly lifting up the smiling trumpeter/arranger. The music that Shorty wrote for the film utilizes 14 horns, including trombonist Frank Rosolino and the reeds of Bud Shank, Bill Perkins, and Bob Cooper, plus Pete Jolly, two bassists, drummer Frank Capp and four enthusiastic percussionists. While side one of the album has six selections, all of which are in the same rhythmic mood, the flip side consists of the lengthy "Tarzanic Suite," an extended arrangement of the main theme from the picture. Although there are many short solos, the emphasis is on the dense and frequently exciting ensembles. The music, which is heard here in full-length form (unlike in the movie, where it is often buried behind the action), sounds quite self-sufficient apart from the action. A collector's item that has not yet been reissued on CD.