Bob Leaper, I Saw Her Standing There (1964)

 |   |  1 min read

Bob Leaper, I Saw Her Standing There (1964)

It's not easy to find out anything about the British jazz arranger and big band leader Bob Leaper, other than he did the music for a couple of (awful-sounding) sitcoms in the late Sixties/early Seventies which starred the likes of Jimmy Edwards and doubtless involved catch-phrases.

But what we can say on the basis of his album Big Band, Beatle Songs on the London label was that he was an impressive and innovative arranger, and as a band leader obviously commanded the respect of some of Britain's best jazz players at the time.

Big band or orchestral albums of Lennon-McCartney songs weren't uncommon by the mid Sixties, but Leaper's one – and unfortunately the players are not credited on the cover – just swings like crazy and the players are right on the money.

He also arranged George Harrison's moody Don't Bother Me (the sleeve credits it to Lennon-McCartney) and although it would be expected to hear All My Loving and She Loves You, Leader also went for It Won't be Long, There's a Place and Do You Want to Know A Secret which most arrangers stood back from.

The liner notes say this album was being marketed to US audiences and that might have been a tough call. Young Beale fans wouldn't care for it (the cover alone would put them off) and American jazz musicians rarely bothered listening to British musicians at the time.

But maybe because the Beatles had broken the cultural divide more than a few might have been curious enough to tune in. If they did they would a depth of musicianship that powered along – 19 players which included woodwinds, trombone and flugelhorn.

Just play this track loud and stick around for the furious solos towards the end.

I picked this up secondhand in excellent condition for $5 . . . and the album is on iTunes

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

The Ramones: Spiderman (1995)

The Ramones: Spiderman (1995)

Further proof that the Ramones' sound could be applied to almost any kind of B-grade pop and rock (and sometimes genuine platinum sounds) and always coming up sounding like itself. In '95, Ralph... > Read more

Grady Martin and the Slew Foot Five: Bimbo (1954)

Grady Martin and the Slew Foot Five: Bimbo (1954)

Having your own website like this is to some extent a vanity project. And it also allows for some personal indulgences, like posting this throwaway by the great Grady Martin. People of certain... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST WRITER NICK SMITH gets blown away by Bach's little big one

GUEST WRITER NICK SMITH gets blown away by Bach's little big one

The history of music is the history of revolution. Sometimes the change is technological – the invention of the piano caused a massive upheaval in the way people wrote and played music... > Read more

Various Artists: Rangarang; Pre-revolutionary Iranian Pop (Vampi Soul/Southbound)

Various Artists: Rangarang; Pre-revolutionary Iranian Pop (Vampi Soul/Southbound)

In Elvis Presley's trophy room at Graceland in Memphis -- more a trophy annex, with gold discs, costumes, awards, police badges and posters -- there is, framed on the wall, a dramatic headline from... > Read more