We’ve shaken and stirred it, now it’s time for you to lap it up. Retro ‘50s/’60s jazz - modernized a touch so the kids will dig it but vintage enough to make the rest of you dinosaurs dream of better days. The sonic equivalent of a classic Playboy cartoon. Work up a good thirst cuz this baby is gonna satisfy. Like a drunk divorcee perched on the last barstool at Musso & Frank’s. World class solos and vamps by some of the greatest players in the solar system. Or LA.
If you love Les Baxter, Martin Denny, Mel Henke (yeah, go look him up – freakin’ awesome), Henry Mancini, Jackie Gleason, Art Van Damme, or Esquivel, this CD is like they grooved right out of the grave and cut one more track. Hell, this thing has even got a track dedicated to the permanently exotic Sandy Warner, the model for 16 Martin Denny lp covers.
What you got here is an audio homage (try saying that after 4 martinis) to the vintage Playboy cartoons of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Influenced by those cultural revolutionary artists Jack Cole, John Dempsey, Doug Sneyd, Will Elder, Erich Sokol, Harvey Kurtzman, Phil Interlandi, Dan DeCarlo, Bill Ward and Eldon Dedini, these jazzy beats scream of tiki torches, negligees, farmer’s daughters, bachelor pad parties, and a time when stewardesses were hot.
And like a free round of Zombies at Don The Beachcomber’s, we added artwork by Playboy artist Dean Yeagle. Yeah, pick your olives up off the floor, Dean drew us our very own pinup – front and back, baby. Scantily clad and buxom, she’s a huge fan of the Salamanders way of doing things. Smart, hard working and eager to please, she’s the perfect adornment to our cover. Not only that, but she took it upon herself to go ahead and get our logo tattooed on her, well, you just go ahead and look for it. We didn’t even beg her to do it. We begged for lots of other things but not that. She’s such a fan she just went out and did it. We’re urging all females to follow suit. Head on over to your friendly neighborhood ink shop and drop your drawers in solidarity.
Check out Dean Yeagle’s work at www.cagedbeagle.com.
Sad Salamanders is made up of some mighty fine players. You’ve got your drums and percussion handled by Rick Latham and MB Gordy. We’re talking groovemeisters who’ve worked with The Doobie Brothers, Edgar Winter, Juice Newton, Chuck Rainey, Pat Travers, Rick Derringer, Bill Withers, & Frank Zappa. Anything brass is impeccably blown by Nick Lane and Steve Crum who’ve hung with Maynard Ferguson, The Who, Chicago, Brian Setzer, The Eels, Tom Jones, & Diana Ross. All flutes, ethnic flutes, wind fx and saxophones are ably fingered by Don Markese, who has graciously played with Neil Diamond, Ray Charles and more damn movie soundtracks than you’d think humanly possible. Accordion licks, runs and squeezing are executed flawlessly by the legendary Frank Marocco who is the most sought after player in the world. His credits are longer than Hugh Hefner’s conquests. Suffice to say Les Baxter, Dave Grusin and Henry Mancini. All guitars, electric & acoustic, ukuleles and whatever the hell else we threw on here, were plucked nimbly by Nick Brown, who has plucked some of the best in town. And finally, those awesome stabs, glisses, runs, vamps and general brilliant keyboard frills are poked and prodded by Ed Martel and Scooter Pietsch. Although anything stunning you hear is definitely Ed. He’s got really big hands and can handle a lot.
So dim the tiki torches, make yourselves a toddy, sit back and absorb the moody jazz sound waves known as Sad Salamanders vibrating from the stereophonic. Cigarettes and Fishnets. Made for each other.