Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Dave Frishberg's cult album for CTI is being reissued today as a 2-CD set

Recorded in late 1969 at the Associated Recording Studios, in New York, and released in early 1970, Dave Frishberg's debut solo album "Oklahoma Toad" was the fourth LP issued by CTI Records (original catalog number CTI 1004). CTI's head Creed Taylor took the original multi-track tapes (engineered by Warren Schatz & Larry Schnapf) to his longtime collaborator Rudy Van Gelder, who did the mixing and the mastering at his famous Van Gelder Studio in New Jersey.

"After Dave, Margo and I finished recording and mixing, I presented the album to Creed Taylor," says David Rosner, Frishberg's music publisher and the album co-producer. "Creed loved what he heard and agreed to release it on his CTI label - provided he could do some additional recording, re-sequence the tracks and re-mix the album."

Comparing the two different mixes, you may have the false impression that some horn overdubs - by people like Al Cohn & Garnett Brown - were added by Creed at Rudy's. "Creed didn't add the horns. We recorded them at Associated," reveals Rosner. "We - Margo, Dave and I - used them sparingly when we mixed, especially in "Van Lingle Mungo", whereas Creed seemed to have used everything on the tape."

Sales at the time of its original release were disappointing, but both Frishberg (who recorded on the very first LP I ever produced, "Yana Purim," for RCA, on which he played a superb version of Edu Lobo's "Canto Triste") and his CTI album achieved a cult status. Since then, the original pressing of "Oklahoma Toad" became an impossible-to-find collector's item, being reissued on CD only once, on June 15, 1999, and only in Japan, by Vivid Sound Corporation in association with King Records, CTI's distributor in Asia.

Now, on this magical day, July 28, 2010, "Oklahoma Toad" is once again made available in the Japanese market in a limited 2-CD set issue, distributed by Muzak, Inc. (priced at ¥2,800), including a second disc with an alternate mix (actually, the original mix before Van Gelder's magical touch), the original track-sequence and a previously unreleased track from a 1972 session in LA, all remastered by Bernie Becker in 2010 at his studio in Pasadena, California.

The original cover art - signed by one of CTI's first graphic designers, Tony Lane, who also worked on albums by Kathy McCord, Flow and Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Stone Flower", before being replaced by Bob Ciano - is reproduced in a mini-LP paper sleeve gatefold cover. Besides the lyrics printed in the liner cover, there's also a booklet with new texts by LA-based jazz writer Bill Reed, producers Rosner & Guryan (printed in both English & Japanese), plus quotes by several Japanese writers.
Here's the complete tracklist of the 2-CD set:

Disc 1 - CTI Mix
1 One Horse Town
2 Van Lingle Mango
3 The Secret of Success
4 Oklahoma Toad
5 The Prophet of Doom
6 Rocky Mountain Water
7 You Can't Go
8 Wallflower Lonely, Cornflower Blue
9 Nasty, Nasty Habit
10 I Don't Believe You

Disc 2 - Producers' Mix
1 Nasty, Nasty Habit
2 You Can't Go
3 Oklahoma Toad
4 Van Lingle Mango
5 The Secret of Success
6 I Don't Believe You
7 The Prophet of Doom
8 One Horse Town
9 Rocky Mountain Water
10 Wallflower Lonely, Cornflower Blue
11 The Ballad of Ralph Nader (previously unreleased)


Dave Frishberg (vocals, acoustic & electric pianos, organ, clavinet, arranger)
Herb Lovelle (drums)
Stuart Scharf (electric guitar)
Russell George (electric bass)
Al Cohn (tenor sax)
Sol Schlinger (baritone sax)
Garnett Brown (trombone)
Bill Berry (trumpet & flugelhorn)

Originally Produced by David Rosner & Margo Guryan for Daramus, Inc.


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