The Command All-Stars

Persuasive Percussion, Vol. 3

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This is one in a series of LP's that Command records issued to show off its considerable recording skills rather than for any lasting musical value. Right from the outset with the Hawaiian sounding guitar of Tony Mottola through the exotic rendition of something called "Kashmiri Song" to the use of the guiro on the album's coda, "Don't Worry 'Bout Me," all the percussive tricks are brought out to demonstrate the high quality stereo sound Command managed to produce. There are maracas, finger cymbals, woodblocks, timbales, and even syncopated hand clapping. To bring this off, the label pulled together some of the better New York musicians like Doc Severinsen, Bobby Haggart, and Phil Bodner into what was called the Command All Stars. In a sense, it's a shame so much attention was paid to creating sensational sound since it masks some good playing. There's Severinsen's high-powered trumpet joined byBodner's swinging piccolo, with good ensemble work, on "Perdido." Stan Webb's baritone sax solo on "All the Way" and Bobby Byrne's trombone on "Don't Worry 'Bout Me" are also noteworthy. But for the most part, these talented musicians are wasted playing Lew Davies' rinky dink, Enoch Light inspired arrangements. Good stereo sound for that day, though.

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