Search - Irving Berlin, Michael [composer] Edwards, Juan Ellington Duke / Tizol :: Pipes of the Mighty Wurlitzer - Tom Hazleton at the console of the San Sylmar Wurlitzer

Pipes of the Mighty Wurlitzer - Tom Hazleton at the console of the San Sylmar Wurlitzer
Irving Berlin, Michael [composer] Edwards, Juan Ellington Duke / Tizol
Pipes of the Mighty Wurlitzer - Tom Hazleton at the console of the San Sylmar Wurlitzer
Genres: Country, Jazz, Special Interest, Pop, Soundtracks, Classical
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1


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CD Reviews

All i can say is "WOW!"
Rick D. Barszcz | bristol, ct United States | 09/12/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I received my CD today. I have a THX system and the mighty organ kicks and kicks hard. You will feel like your at Radio City Music Hall even though this isn't the Music Halls organ except for the organ name. The stereo separation is great and if you have a subwoofer you'll get that great rumbling sound that you can only get from the mighty Wurlitzer but it isn't overpowering. I was really impressed with this CD and if your into theatre organ music,,,,this is the one to get. Trust me,,,,you won't be disappointed. IT KICKS."
Excellent, just excellent
aficionado guy | Virginia USA | 02/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"3 Reasons why this CD is awesome:

1. The back cover blurb says "Hazleton is at home as both a church and theater organist." TRUE. Just when you're getting tired of the standard theater organ sound (overly vibrato, skating rink kind of shimmer) he throws in a piece like "The Lost Chord," which builds and builds and BUILDS, sounding like a monster church organ at the National Cathedral.

2. I always thought it would be cool to have a piece where every possible organ sound effect gets used. "The Stripper" has it all! It starts out with the tambourine and and shake bells, moves into the opening melody on a grand piano - which is linked to this Wurlitzer's keyboard [!], and before you're done he's thrown every sound effect you can think of -- even a siren! And IT WORKS! Amazing!

3. If you've ever been to an organ concert, you know half the fun is hearing the low frequency sonics of the really low pipes. The fidelity of this recording captures it! Turn it up and feel the rumble!

Really glad I got this. Highly recommended."
Theater Organ At Its Best!
James Yelvington | USA | 09/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In "Pipes of the Mighty Wurlitzer" Tom Hazleton clearly feels completely at home. This disk of mostly old favorites played on the San Sylmar Wurlitzer--an instrument with which he is quite familiar--seems precisely his métier. And the congruency between artist and material shows up in the splendid product. Fans of the theater organ and of old standards are almost certain to love this CD, with its excellent 20-bit digital reproduction of a large, fine-sounding instrument at the service of a master of the genre. (This CD is the last to be recorded on the instrument before its serious damage in the 1994 earthquake. After it was restored and significantly expanded Hazleton returned to record a more classically-oriented CD called "The Elegant Pipes of San Sylmar," Klavier KCD-11090).

The 10 tracks and 60+ minutes include two medleys: one of 4 tunes and the other of many notable tunes from the movie versions of Jerome Kern's broadway show "Showboat." Nearly all the songs date from the 1920s and 30s, the exceptions being "The Boy Next Door" (1944) and "The Stripper" (1962). ("After the Ball," an 1892 tune composed by C. K. Harris, and not Kern, is quoted here from one of the movies in an appropriately turn-of-the-century style.)

"Mountain Greenery" is a tune I didn't know by name, though I recognized the music as being somewhat familiar. After a theatrically impressive introduction the optimistic tune appears over a lively rhythm making good use of percussion sounds.

"Easter Parade" gives the first medley a fine start with its excellent arrangement and playing. "It's Only a Paper Moon" follows in much the same joyous vein. More subdued and romantic in style, "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," from Kern's "Roberta" emphasizes the softer, more plangent sounds fitting this song of love gone awry. A thundering bass tone cluster introduces a bluesy "Stormy Weather" to close the medley.

"On a Spring Note" is a jaunty, bubbly tune by Sidney Torch with a smooth, songlike middle section. The first theme is vaguely reminiscent of the piano novelty "Nola." Torch was England's leading pop organist of the 1930s and 40s.

A soft, mysterious, mid-eastern flavored rendition of Ellington's "Caravan" alternates with a more jazzy, up-tempo version of the same tune.

"The Lost Chord" sets the more artistically serious character of this selection with a church organ-like introduction before the theme is sung by a deepish cello sound with prominent vibrato. The second verse sings in a fine, reedy English horn voice, and the triumphant third verse employs trumpet/brass stops along with full church organ sounds to bring the piece to a sufficiently glorious finale.

The "Showboat" medley is a bit over 23 minutes of tunes from this popular old broadway show. Here Hazleton shows his great ability to use the organ's resources to set forth the character of the songs in a most convincing way. The medley is a kind of tour de force demonstration of the theater organ in its customary role as an illustrator and commentator for theatrical productions. Listen for the clever, carousel-like setting of "After the Ball."

"The Boy Next Door" starts off in sweet, soft tones with lots of vibrato suggesting a soap opera sound track and keeps the tender, song-like character throughout.

The reflective character of "Once in a While" is set forth by a quiet, solo oboe voice to introduce the theme, though the drama is increased later on by fuller sounds.

I don't know whether the respectably married, sometime church organist Hazleton ever attended a strip-tease act, but his performance of David Rose's "The Stripper" suggests that he might have. In any case, he delivers a super-convincing performance of this tune, complete with bumps and grinds, a realistic wolf-whistle, all manner of sound effects from sirens to auto horns, and a final chase-off.

Muted horns and trumpets introduce "God Bless America" quietly in order to give the song room to grow in volume and intensity as it builds toward its patriotically strong, brassy, fortissimo, and exultant close.

I can't seem to find anything to criticize in this recorded example of the theater organ at its best. If you like this genre of music (as I do), I can almost guarantee you'll greatly enjoy this fine CD.