Al Hirt - The Horn Meets "The Hornet"
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RCA Victor LSP-3716

Green Hornet Theme
The Hornets Nest
Night Rumble
"Get Smart" Theme
Theme from "Run for Your Life"
Batman Theme

The King Kong Theme
(Theme from) The Monkees
Tarzan (Tarzan's March)
T.H.E. Cat
(Theme from) Run Buddy Run

At a TV rehearsal not too long ago, I listened to big Al run over September Song. He
was seated in a rocker and a spotlight threw a stark, angular shadow of the chair
and the bearded man on the floor. In a baritone, somewhere between Walter Huston's
western gravel and Jack Tea-garden's southern molasses, Al gave an attractive
reading of the sad ballad. But no matter how he tried to cool it, something of his sheer
joie de vivre came through and, though the rocker was turned so that little of the
good-humored face was visible, an aura of insouciant vitality emanated from the
shadow itself.

Excitement and vigor—these are the man. And these are the infectious qualities of
the Horn. No wonder that when Al recorded the racing, buzzing, breathless theme of
"The Green Hornet" TV show, it became a fast seller. And, though another Hirt album
was ready for release, there was no denying fans the opportunity of hearing Al's
virtuoso treatments of some popular TV themes.

Here, then, are head-bobbing, big-band renditions, with the Hirt horn in high-flying
form. Although two of the selections, The Hornets Nest and Night Rumble, are not
television themes, Al believed their excitement and drama merited including them in
the album. Al's feeling for melody finds lyrical play in The Hornets Nest and (Theme
from) The Monkees.
The seductive wa-wa trumpet of Tarzan takes on a feline
ferocity in T.H.E. Cat. Running, rhythmic countermelodies modulate into appealing
sneak licks in Theme from "Run for Your Life." Al even has a few moments to
display his penchant for comedy in the "Get Smart" Theme. In all, arranger Frank
Hunter has provided charts that effectively combine big-band drive with the
teen-age sound-and-beat of electric organ and guitars.

By this time there are many elements at play in the versatile Hirt horn. The lyricism of
Al's recent ruminations with the Boston Pops is in striking contrast with the
high-register, bop drama of these tunes. Each is in its place, since one is relaxed,
armchair listening and the other, the theater of suspense and intrigue. A master
musician, Al never permits his dazzling virtuosity to degenerate into meaningless
pyrotechnics. Also, the bearded man has ineradicable roots in two-beat Dixie and
country music, roots that helped make fabulous sellers of his albums HONEY IN THE
HORN and COTTON CANDY, and that give all his horn peregrinations an inevitable,
finger-snapping earthiness.


Copyright 1966, Radio Corporation of America