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Jack Fascinato - Music from a Surplus Store
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Capitol Records T 1225

Oily Boid
Pixie Pipes Parade
Sweepy Time
Rub-a-Dub
Chinatown Bricklayer
Adios Castanets

Latin Hardware
Spring, Sprang, Sprung
Makin' Tracks
An Old Saw
Basket Weaving
Foggy Recollections

 

... a collection of seemingly un-musical implements from the hardware shelf,
such as trowels, putty knives, and crowbar, are blended with more usual
orchestral sounds in twelve fun-filled original compositions by Jack
Fascinate and Ken Snyder.

comments by Ken Snyder

The story of this album's making can best be told by this scene and situation:
A surplus store... two rather vague customers, prowling among the aisles,
bins and racks... furtively tap-tap-tapping plastic helmet-liners, rattling
messkits, plinging matched drill sets with a cold chisel. The clerk approaches

and asks, "Can I help you gentlemen?" And the reply, "No thanks. Just
listening"

It should be reported that the clerk had his inning. After the selection of
implements was complete, and the purchase made, he quipped, "Shall I wrap
these things, or do you want to play them here?"

At any rate, here are the recipes for these musical chef d'oeuvres. Pick up
an old Army spoon and plunk in!


side one:

OILY BOID features the geluck-gedunks of two needle-nosed oil cans. The sounds of
their bottoms being squeezed double-time blends with trumpet, a scuttling rhythm
section, and other instruments in getting things off to a happy, squeakless start.

PIXIE PIPES PARADE - Snare drum briskly announces a sprite-led little march thonked
out on five steel gas pipes sawed eight to twelve inches in length. The eccentric tune
is then further developed by the piccolo, in a musical mode reminiscent of some
medieval liturgical hymn. The rhythm figure is done with drumsticks on string bass
strings.

SWEEPY TIME - Here, a happy, devil-may-care string quartet has pizzicato good fun
with a real drone of a GI scrub brush. The brush is joined occasionally by a swishing
whisk broom, and together they register abrasive disapproval of the strings' rich but
unbusinesslike frivolity.

RUB-A-DUB - This is strictly a jazz number that's the swinging-est thing since the
automatic washer. It's a sort of laundry tub suite that features washboard, plus the
working end of a "plumber's helper" whapping out the trumpet squeals.

CHINATOWN BRICKLAYER - Busy, humorous music that suggests a bustling artisan
of San Francisco's Chinatown, scurrying here and there, laying a tile pagoda, or
brickin' the tong around. Trowels of different keys, piano, flute, and vibes played
with scaffolding nails create this occident-prone Chinoiserie.

ADIOS CASTANETS - Furniture casters with composition wheels supply these
rhythmic accents. And a juicy sound they create, with well lubricated ball bearings
of the casters adding an extra fillip. As a throaty cello swells forth in Spanish
rhapsodies, it's a farewell to old-fashioned castanets in favor of the striking new
sound these "casternets" create.

side two:

LATIN HARDWARE is a real tool-de-force featuring
rasp, stroked with loose-jointed pliers, and a tough but oh
so soprano crowbar getting the works from a putty knife
that's gone Latin.  Vibes, flute and electric guitar fill out the
ensemble in this bright jazz rhumba.

SPRING, SPRANG, SPRUNG - Stressed helical springs,
plucked with a surplus Medical Corps scalpel, come forth
here in a sort of jailhouse blues number. Chatty vibes and
a remorseful trumpet doing time with the springs join in
the lament... as though now that Spring has sprang, they'd
all like to be sprung!

MAKIN' TRACKS - A high-balling sandpaper freight, expressing itself along with a
driving bass, an electric guitar, some rod-riding vibes, and a knight of the road
harmonica. Then, on sandy tracks, it fades away in the distance, with a mournful
whistle call that's lonesome as an empty boxcar.

AN OLD SAW - A wailing song... by a tipsy musical saw to the tolerant,
long-suffering neighborhood bartender. A lugubrious recital of yesterday's
greatness, misunderstood genius, life's cruelties. He pauses to blearily observe the
arrival of new patrons... a string quartet with marimba... but when they settle, he
resumes his tearful history, punctuated only by an overdue hiccup.

BASKET WEAVING - A sinuous bit of musical chutney featuring metal wastebaskets,
with bottoms of flexible, thin-gauge sheet. Clarinet and a dampened electric guitar
turn the piece into Injah jive... the former dishing up a minor scale five-bar curry of
melody against the guitar's and basket's two-bar percussive figure.

FOGGY RECOLLECTIONS is a somber number that uses an electric motor with
variable speed control to make a sound pattern much akin to that of a
diaphragm-type foghorn. This moody, nostalgic theme closes the concert - its
haunting moments reminding us that musical beauty springs from many sources...
whether, for example, strings are softly bowed or wound around an armature.

Jack Fascinato is one of the busiest composer-arranger-conductors in the fields
of recording, TV, and radio. He has served as musical director for the Tennessee
Ernie Ford show, and others; and his arrangements for top recording stars are too
numerous to list. More of his wonderful original compositions can be heard in
another Capitol album: PALM SPRINGS SUITE T1157