Friday, December 30, 2005

Murder, Inc.

This great album is a soundtrack without a movie. The whole thing was put together by a guy named Irving Joseph. Joseph was born in Brooklyn in 1925 and worked as a pianist for Tommy Dorsey and Lena Horne before writing this record. Joseph only did a couple more records after this LP and then he started working on Broadway and backing up Frank Sinatra and Rita Moreno in clubs. He died in 2000.

He apparently based the songs on books written about the Mafia and organized crime. That’s the idea I get from the Nat Hentoff’s liner notes anyway. Here’s what Hentoff wrote about this one: "The argot of the underworld includes oddly twisted meanings of words in current usage by the day people. A contract can cover the assignment of territories for the narcotics trade but is usually a job for killers hired to annihilate someone in the way. Such a contract was fulfilled in 1951 when Willie Moretti, who had talked to the Kefauver Committee was extinguished."

The LP came out in 1960 on Time Records. The band includes Milt Hinton and Bucky Pizzarelli. I think it’s one of the better “Crime Jazz” records. The label must’ve liked it a lot because they re-released the exact same record in 1964 as SURFIN’ TIME credited to a band called The Wedges. The names of the songs were changed.

I found this record in an antique store that’s been going out of business for the last three years. The same day, I found a book called The Rebel Yell by H. Allen Smith. The price wasn’t marked anywhere on the book. I joked that it should be two dollars because that was the price on the dustflap. The woman behind the counter agreed. Then she gave me a 60 percent discount and sold me the book for 80 cents!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reup, pls!!!

27/11/10 12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reup, pls!!

27/11/10 12:27 PM  

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