Vido Musso

Teenage Dance Party

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Vido Musso's first album for the Modern label, 1956's The Swingin'st (though it actually contained sides from around 1953-1954), was pretty close stylistically to the swing jazz he'd played in the 1930s and 1940s, though there were a few touches of '50s R&B. For his follow-up LP, 1957's Teenage Dance Party, it was obviously felt that deeper bows had to be made to the oncoming rock & roll revolution, from the title on downward. The material wasn't wholly alien to what he'd previously recorded as a swing jazzer; he'd done "Intermission Riff" and "Come Back to Sorrento" back in 1946, offering re-recorded versions here. But the inclusion of a cover of Bill Doggett's monster instrumental rock smash "Honky Tonk" alone indicated a concession to contemporary trends, and throughout the album there was a far greater emphasis on standard bluesy progressions (and, at times, electric guitar). This was something that Musso did reasonably well, but not as well as more naturally R&B-inclined saxophonists of the time like Joe Houston and Big Jay McNeely. More of a problem, perhaps, was the deployment in the arrangements of a truly oddball rinky-dink organ that sounded straight off the stage of a movie intermission. While this makes it sound different than most other instrumental R&B (or R&B-jazz crossover) recordings of the time, the organ doesn't mesh well with the more straight-ahead sound of Musso, and in any case the material isn't all that stellar. The entire album was added to Ace's CD reissue of The Swingin'st, a single-disc production that also includes a previously unissued alternate take of the single "Blue Night" and the 1954 single "Vido's Drive"/"Frosty."