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

Fats Waller: My Very Good Friend the Milkman Said (1935)

Fats Waller: My Very Good Friend the Milkman Said (1935)

Paul McCartney covers this old Waller song on his album Kisses on the Bottom where he goes back to songs he knew fondly in his childhood (and isn't the first Beatle to do so, Ringo did a collection... > Read more

Billy Fury: I'm Lost Without You (1965)

Billy Fury: I'm Lost Without You (1965)

One of the most interesting songs on Marlon Williams' debut album -- and certainly the least expected from someone whose forte is along the folk/country axis -- is his heavily orchestrated cover of... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

King Sunny Ade: Synchro System (1983)

King Sunny Ade: Synchro System (1983)

Given the long (and often shameful) history Britain has had with various parts of Africa from colonial times, it comes as a surprise that this album -- from 1983 no less -- was the first pop album... > Read more

San Francisco, California: Feeding the inner man

San Francisco, California: Feeding the inner man

He didn't give his name and it didn't matter actually. My guess is he just wanted someone to listen. So I did, and it wasn't a pretty story. It was mid-afternoon on a weekday in the 21 Club, a... > Read more