Search - Larry Adler, Carroll Gibbons, Ruth Etting :: Maestro of the Mouth Organ

Maestro of the Mouth Organ
Larry Adler, Carroll Gibbons, Ruth Etting
Maestro of the Mouth Organ
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Classical
  •  Track Listings (24) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Larry Adler, Carroll Gibbons, Ruth Etting, Fred Hartley, Jay Wilbur and His Band, Stephane Grappelli, Django Reinhardt, Eugene Vees, Roger Grasset
Title: Maestro of the Mouth Organ
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Asv Living Era
Original Release Date: 7/17/1995
Re-Release Date: 7/18/1995
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Classical
Styles: Swing Jazz, Easy Listening
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 743625515329

CD Reviews

Larry Adler's early recordings a must for harmonica fans
peter krampert | | 12/30/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Larry Adler was the harmonica virtuoso who brought more to the harmonica than any other player, before or since. Unable to make it into Vaudeville with a harmonica band, Adler set out to treat the harmonica as the equal to any other musical instrument. By the end of the 1930's, serious Classical composers were writing for the instrument as a result of Adler's treatment of the harmonica.The recordings presented on this CD represent a sampling of the work Adler did during the 1930's, from his earliest recording date with Ruth Etting to recordings made with Django Reinhardt and the Hot Club of France. Though a little light on the classical side due to time constraints of recordings of that era, this collection does represent some very impressive outings with a respectable selection of songs by Gershwin, Ellington, Porter and other songwriters of the day. No look at the career of Larry Adler would be complete without these important early recordings."
A Virtuoso Unfairly Treated In His Home Country
peter krampert | 06/22/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Long before the likes of Jerry Murad & The Harmonicats made the instrument popular enough to achieve Billboard single chart status, there was Borrah Minevitch and His Harmonica Rascals and one Lawrence Cecil Adler, born in Baltimore on February 10, 1914. In fact, after teaching himself to play the "mouth organ" (a name he preferred to "harmonica" or "harp" to his dying day) he ran away from home and headed for New York City at age 14 where he tried to join the Minevitch group but was told, rather unkindly by Borrah "Kid ... you stink."

That didn't discourage Adler, though, as. with references from band leader Rudy Vallee, he instead began earning $100 a week playing in movie theatres during intervals between silent films before landing work with the great Eddie Cantor, not as a mouth organist but rather in skits as a page boy since Cantor thought he looked very much like himself as a young lad. He also worked for a time with Al Jolson, orchestra leader Paul Ash, and even Florenz Ziegfeld, before finally being hired by British entrepreneur C.B. Cochran to appear in a London revue. And that's where he became a huge star in the 1930s, playing with some of the best British bands at the time, including Henry Hall.

As you will see from this terrific volume from ASV Living Era of the U.K., his style was definitely jazz-oriented and these were some of his most popular records in that country, as detailed in the three pages of liner notes written in 1995 by Peter Dempsey. The sound reproduction is nothing short of fantastic considering the age of the recordings.

Any hope of striking it big in his own country were dashed when the long accusing finger of McCarthyism pointed at him during that infamous time when "Comoonists" were said to be infiltrating every aspect of American life. God help you if your nickname was "Red." The accusations were false (as were just about all of McCarthy's rants), but, unable to find employment, he felt compelled to return to the U.K. in 1949 where he lived out the remainder of his life. Even when he earned an Oscar nomination for writing the score for the 1953 British film Genevieve, the vindictive Americans managed to make sure his name did not appear on the credits for the U.S. release.

A great talent caught up in the idiocy of the time, Larry Adler passed away in London on August 8, 2001. Give a listen if you like both the sound of the "mouth organ" and some of the best music to come out of the 1930s. The man was very very good."
Even 15 Year Olds Like It
E. Rogers | Texas | 12/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"My son, who is 15, was given a harmonica a while back. He is very talented in music and can play any instrument given to him. I bought him this CD while searching for the Harmonicats. This CD fit his style a bit more than the Harmonicats. He recognized, and respects, the Harmonicats talent, but Larry Adler brings a smile to his face. He really enjoys this CD! I could not believe that a 15 year old would actually appreciate this music...especially how picky he is about "good" music!"