The catalogs today
list many record albums which have drawn their inspirations
from an exotic locale or from a colorful decade of history. But it is rare indeed
when we can hear a musical offering that owes its existence to such an
unusual source as a jet plane.
Yet this is the case with Supersonics in Flight, recorded in RCA Victor's
sound. The plane honored by the album is Grumman Aircraft's silver-winged pride,
the F11F-1 Tiger, first-line Navy jet fighter. The fast-moving fingers of Billy Mure
and his fellow guitarists capture, in sound and rhythm, the speed and excitement of
the fleet-flying aircraft.
Aficionados of guitar rhythms will find that the Mure method of
making music is a
special one, indeed. In creating this album, he has combined the sounds of four electric
guitars, one straight guitar, two drums, bass and organ. Leading his contingent. Mure
uses a specially built guitar and amplifier designed to produce extreme highs. The total
strum-mmg-drumming-humming effect is calculated to send the listener soaring in an
around-the-worid flight in stratospheric sound.
A prime example of this is the title number, Supersonics in Flight.
Composed by Mure,
the arrangement gives a glittering touch to a boogie beat. With precise teamwork, the
guitars take off in brilliant echelon, producing an unbroken pattern of mile-high melody.
The mood changes somewhat when the guitars pick up the Viennese strains of
3rd Man Theme. Made famous as a zither specialty by Anton Karas, the melody turns
out to be a natural for the guitar. The adaptability of the instrument is further shown in
an expert interpretation of Two Guitars in Cha Cha.
In still another display of versatility. Mure and his men give a
performance of The Poor
People of Paris which adds several degrees of zest to the bouncy melody. The lure
of Spain is presented in torrid style by Flaming Guitar, in which castanets crisply
flavor the main theme.
An interesting device has been used in Lonely Guitar, another song
written by Mure.
By giving his amplifier a tremolo effect, he produces a vibrating, haunting sound
sets this number apart from all the others.
Two other songs on the disc, Blue Skies and Choo Choo Ch'Boogie,
offer two more
facets of the guitarist's art. In Blue Skies, the pleasant strummings are in
the mood of the familiar ballad. In Choo Choo Ch'Boogie, the guitar group pulls out
stops and gives a wide-open, no-holds-barred exhibition that can only be described
as sheer rock-'n'-roll.
Like the Navy jet that inspired it, Supersonics in Flight covers a lot of
melodies are bright and varied. Its outlook is slick and modern. It is, in short, an album
well-suited to the fast-moving tempos of today.
Recorded in RCA Victor's Studio A, New York City, September 3 and 29 and
October 7, 1958. Recording Engineer: Bob Simpson. Produced by Eddie Heller.