Live at Middle Tennessee State University / Nov. 9, 2010

In the music-style wars of the last century, nothing out-"styled" the swanky swing of the Space-Age Bachelor Pad and Pops Percussion records of the 1960's. Composers, arrangers, and band leaders like Esquivel, Marty Gold, Enoch Light, Dick Schory, and Bernie Green all had fabulous bands, fabulous record covers, a remarkably square-shaped hipness, and an unabashed excitement about the still-infant separated audio channels of "Living Stereo". If the record was any good, the stereo was hyper-panned, and the guitars and bongos would bounce from left to right like a tennis ball. RCA Victor even had a series with the name "Stereo Action", which hits the aesthetic nail so on the head, it seemed worth stealing. These records are all driven by virtuosic percussionists, so a full ensemble of them seemed even better. The result is this Stereo Action, where the percussion (including the oft-neglected percussion instrument, the piano) also takes on the original roles of the hot brass, the swanky strings, and the smooth electric guitars. Of course, all is in glorious stereo. But Stereo Action is not a parody; it is a loving embrace of the only musical genre where your Hi-Fi must be finely-tuned, and your martini perfectly chilled.

[ view the score at jonathannewman.com/music.php?id=035 ]

Posted with kind permission by Texas A&M University-Commerce Percussion Department.

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