Frank Marocco – Like Frank Marocco + Diamonds Cufflink & Mink
The accordion, at one time a much neglected instrument, became after World War II an important element of the American musical scene. By the mid Fifties it may not have been as widely used as other instruments, but at least it was no longer considered a stranger to jazz. However, because black musicians never took to the instrument, it can’t be said that the accordion was ever totally in the mainstream of jazz.
Frank Marocco (1931-2012), a member of the Hollywood studio brigade, was one of the world’s most versatile performers on the instrument. At home with any style or school of playing, he was happiest, in the stimulating area of modern jazz. So for his first jazz album— Like Frank Marocco, recorded in 1960—he led a quintet that featured Victor Feldman on vibes and Al Hendrickson on guitar.
After several years focused in the more lucrative path of the studio musician, Frank decided to devote more time to playing jazz, and in 1977 he appeared again on a record with a group of friends; a quintet with Gary Foster, sax, Dave Koonse, guitar, and Putter Smith, bass, under the leadership of drummer John Tirabasso. All solos are of consistent interest, with Marocco displaying worthwhile concern for the melodic lines, considerable facility and modern conception.
An excellent technician, as a jazzman Marocco rarely exhibited a tendency toward wildness or experimentation, but he knew where his roots grew: the lines he developed were logical, and his use of chording effective and exciting. These two fine but longforgotten albums—featuring accomplished musicians from the West Coast jazz scene—give us the chance to rediscover Frank Marocco, a player who made the accordion no longer a right hand only instrument.
1. Southern Fried - 3:01 2. Frank's Tune - 3:29 3. Tiny’s Blues - 4:06 4. It Could Happen to You - 2:40 5. Road to Morocco - 2:00 6. Lunham Bridges - 2:27 7. Fascinating Rhythm - 3:46 8. Umbrella Man - 5:12 9. Anything Goes - 3:55 10. Take the “A” Train - 4:20 11. Night in Morocco - 6:08 12. Yours Is My Heart Alone - 4:55 13. Happy Samba - 6:22 14. Wind and Rain in Her Hair - 7:26 15. Body and Soul - 5:00 16. Dobre Drums - 5:10 17. Southbound Express - 3:43
Tracks #1-10, from the album “Like Frank Marocco” (Verve MG V6-2135)
Tracks #11-17, from the album “John Tirabasso - Diamond Cufflinks and Mink” (Dobre DR 1022)
Personnel on #1-10:
Frank Marocco, accordion; Victor Feldman, vibes; Al Hendrickson, guitar; Lloyd Lunham, bass; Milt Holland, drums.
Recorded at Radio Recorders, Hollywood, California, January 19 (#1-4 & 10), and February 23 (#1 & 5-9), 1960
Personnel on #11-17:
Gary Foster, alto and tenor sax (out on #15 & 17); Dave Koonse, guitar; Frank Marocco, accordion (out on #15 & 17); Putter Smith, bass; John Tirabasso, drums.
Recorded at Gold Star Studios, Hollywood, California, on December 2, 1977