Polyphonics, which means "many sounds", is quite an appropriate name for the
group represented by this album. As you shall hear, many sounds emanate from
each track. And, yet, the Polyphonics number only THREE...Ben Burley and Lou De
Santis on the Hohner harmonicas and Dick Scholl with, what is lovingly called, "The
Now, that your curiosity has been aroused, we hasten to
explain "The Monster". It
can partly be referred to as a multiple track tape recorder utilizing Ampex 960
machines. All other electronic equipment which is used for the purpose of providing
the acoustical effects on this album was built by Dick Scholl. The Ampex Model 960
Stereophonic Recorder/Reproducer is capable of essentially distortionless frequency
response from 30 to 20,000 cycles per second at the operating speed of 7 1/2 inches
per second, and from 30 to 15,000 cycles per second at 3% inches per second.
These, then, are The Polyphonics...
Dick Scholl...audio technician...started on his musical
career by playing professional
accordian. He was able to fit in 7 years of mechanical experience before the brand
new field of electronics opened up. Combining his mechanical experience and his
study of electronics, Dick became a leading man in the electronics field. Dick
collaborated with John Newit, who was responsible for most of Dick's electronic
training, to produce "Practical TV Servicing", a text which is used today in TV
schools. Besides being a member of The Polyphonics, Dick Scholl is the owner of
one of the few audio custom houses specializing in Audio component sales and
Ben Burley began playing the harmonica at a fairly early
age and received quite a bit
of training with the famed original Borah Minevitch Harmonica Rascals. In his travels,
Ben earned the distinction of becoming an expert at the unusual and rarely practised
trade of harmonica tuning. While working with the Borah Minevitch group Ben met...
Lou De Santis, who had also been making music with the
harmonica for a number of
years. Lou also has a flair for writing and arranging. The arrangements for this album
are Lou's brain children, as is the song "A Woman".
Both Ben and Lou thrived under the guidance of their work
with Borah Minevitch.
And their friendship and ideas thrived as well...resulting in their decision to go out
on their own with an act and try to achieve their own niche in the harmonica field.
Getting together an act for clubs presented a problem to the boys...that of
amplification. Through recommendations and word of mouth, Ben and Lou finally
sought the services of Dick Scholl and presented their problem to him. The rest is
simple...Dick came up with "The Monster", joined Ben and Lou in their night-club
act and The Polyphonics were born.
Now, it's time for you to get into the act. All you have
to do is listen to these many
new exciting sounds. And we repeat...you will hear only TWO actual
harmonicas. To quote Ampex Audio Inc., "This is quite a technical feat on your
part and you are to be congratulated." And Seeco congratulates The Polyphonics,
MEET ME TONIGHT IN DREAMLAND - This old favorite receives
a new treatment
in sound. The unique sound quality on this track is achieved only by the special
tuning of the harmonicas by Ben Burley.
OUT OF NOWHERE - Lou De Santis, takes this standard and
transforms it into a
different arrangement, which incidentally includes a chorus of HEARTACHES.
EL CUM BANCHERO - The exciting tempo of this track is
coupled with the
exciting sound that the boys create with their harmonicas.
A WOMAN - This tune, an original by Lou De Santis,
pictures a woman in blue.
Listen to the wailing sound of the harmonica.
SEPTEMBER SONG - The lyric melodic line of this well
remembered song is
interwoven by figurations which, if you listen closely, create the effect of
September's golden, falling leaves.
UNDER PARIS SKIES - A waltz as smooth as the flow of the
river Seine gives
way to a spirited can-can, painting a portrait of the City of Lights.
CARAVAN - The boys take you on a trip across the desert in
a brightly colored
caravan. As you travel, the desert tribes play haunting melodies on their flutes.
LA RIFIFI - The "Polys" play this simple, lovely
melody softly with only a hint of a
bolero tempo in the background.
PENNIES FROM HEAVEN - I CAN'T GIVE YOU ANYTHING BUT
LOVE - A
medley of two familiar songs done in shuffle tempo. On "I Can't Give You
Anything But Love", the bass harmonic plays the melody producing an unusual
TRISCHT TRASCHT - Take one Strauss waltz...give it to The
and behold, here is the child's world of a circus complete with a calliope, cotton
candy and all three rings going at once!
ST. LOUIS BLUES - The daddy of all blues played with a
true blues feeling. After
one chorus of the melody, the boys stare improvising with solos and a driving
chorus by what will appear to the ears as a "brass section".
LOVER - On this up tempo track, the harmonicas are joined
by a synthetic bass
which is produced electronically. Listen close and you'll hear what you think is the
sound of a drum stick hitting the rim of a drum...produced by "The Monster".