THIS WEEK'S SELECTIONS PROVIDED BY DAVE SAVIET
"They're Mine, They're Mine, They're Mine"/
"To Be Continued"/
"Shave And A Haircut"/
"When You're Smiling"/
(Includes Audio For Nine Songs)
The Soft Winds Trio (L-R) Herb Ellis, guitar; John Frigo, bassist-violinist; and Lou Carter, piano. The Trio was active from 1947 to 1952. All three had been musicians in Jimmy Dorsey's orchestra. Each of them, in their own right, became famous as excellent instrumentalists. On all sides of the records presented here, they sing together in harmony, with none ever taking the lead vocally. Every commentary that was found had good words about them.
The Soft Winds Trio appeared on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts in November 1947.
Herb Ellis was also with the Red McKenzie Orchestra (1945), Ben Webster Orchestra (1953), Oscar Peterson Trio (1953), Roy Eldridge Quintet (1954), Dizzie Gillespie-Stan Getz Quintet (1954), and Billy Holiday Orchestra (1955).
Lou Carter was later with the Anita Day Orchestra (1952).
Immediately after The Soft Winds Trio ended, John Frigo became a fiddler, for many years, for the country radio program "National Barn Dance", backed by his band, The Sage Riders. The show emanated from Frigo's hometown, Chicago, on clear-channel WLS (and later on Chicago's WGN).
THE BILLBOARD, October 30, 1948: CHAT NOIR, NEW YORK NIGHT CLUB REVIEW
...The Soft Winds, a new trio, formerly with Jimmy Dorsey (two years ago), do some listenable things with their piano, guitar, bass, and voices. Unfortunately, opening night, the audience took to their chores as a signal to start talking. With the proper build-up and better spotting, the trio could find a more attentive audience....
ST. LOUIS GLOBE DEMOCRAT, October 15, 1950:
The Soft Winds, three alumni of the Jimmy Dorsey orchestra, putting their best notes together for an ear-tilting evening of subdued jazz. It's plu-perfect listening all evening, and you won't even want to break the spell by talking to your one-and-only. (NOTE: Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines "plu-perfect", in this context, as "utterly perfect or complete".)
ST. LOUIS GLOBE DEMOCRAT, October 8, 1950: THE SOFT WINDS
Lot of times I drop into a night spot, listen awhile to whatever's going on in the entertainment department, then get restless and move on somewhere else. At the Sheraton Lounge (in the Sheraton Hotel) nowanights I don't get restless. Neither will anyone else with the ear for quality combo music. The Soft Winds Trio opened there Monday night, and if you'll pardon the expressionwhammy! These boys have got itin spades.
All alumni of the Jimmy Dorsey orchestra, the Soft Winds line up like this: Lou Carter, pianist; Herb Ellis, guitarist; and John Frigo, bassist-violinist. They're topnotch jazzmen and their inovative musical stylings are so laced with nuances that you can sit there all evening long without running into monotony. The boys sing too as an extra touch, bouncing ringsider's ears with such comedy compositions of their own as "I Told Ya I Loved Ya, Now Get Out" and "That's The Kind Of Girl I Dream Of, You Should See The Kind I Get".
Carter, Ellis and Frigo have been sidemen in a number of other big-name bands besides Dorsey's. They left Dorsey in 1947 during a layoff and formed the Soft Winds Trio, which has been getting king-size bouquets from critics and audiences ever since. Frigo, incidently, was featured on the violin in the three-tempo arrangement of "Tea For Two", one of Jimmy Dorsey's most famous instrumentals.
If you ever pay attention to me at all, pay attention now. These three are just what your ears have been waiting for.
Above: The Soft Winds Trio (L-R) Herb Ellis, John Frigo, and Lou Carter (both photos).
Above Left: TERRE HAUTE STAR, November 9, 1949.
Above Right: CUMBERLAND NEWS, January 28, 1950.
Above Left: CUMBERLAND NEWS, January 30, 1950.
Above Right: COURIER JOURNAL, December 24, 1950.
Above: ST. LOUIS DISPATCH, October 3, 1950.
Above Left: CHICAGO TRIBUNE, January 27, 1952: PREVIEW TRIO
The Soft Winds Trio, composed of John Frigo, bass player; Herb Ellis, guitarist; and Lou Carter, pianist (top to bottom) is appearing in the Loop's Preview Lounge.
Above Right: AKRON BEACON, April 10, 1952.
Above: SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER, November 28, 1953.
EXTRA AUDIO (Windows Media Player) JIMMY DORSEY AND HIS JAMMERS:
Above Left: Decca 18812 B label image, this side recorded on February 6, 1946.
Note the apparent typo in the song title on the label (missing a period).
Above Right: ST. LOUIS STAR AND TIMES, May 15, 1946.
At Left: Jimmy Dorsey, circa 1946.
ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH, May 28, 1946....
...Decca presents the first side by Jimmy Dorsey's small combo, The Jammers. They do Dorsey's own "J.D.'s Jump", based on a heard-before riff and highlighted by Louis Carter's piano and Herb Ellis's guitar... Dorsey's alto sax is a poor cross between that of Charlie Parker and Louis Jordan....
The Billboard Review (4/15/46):JIMMY DORSEY DECCA 18812.... J.D.'s Jump
Jimmy Dorsey and his Jammers do a swell job with "J.D.'s Jump", a real jazz number done in subdued vein so even the old ladies' homes will go for it. It's good music. ...a good buy for most any spot, from tea room to bar room.
The Cash Box Review (4/27/46):JIMMY DORSEY DECCA 18812.... J.D.'s Jump
"J.D.'s Jump" certainly lives up to its name and spots Jimmy's Jammers with the maestro front and center on the alto sax; Louis Carter at the piano; Herb Ellis very apparent at the guitar; Norman Bates at the bass; and Karl Fiffe at the drums....
LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Instrumental]
"J.D's Jump" - J.D's Jump - Jimmy Dorsey And His Jammers - Decca 18812 B - 1946.
Above: Label images for Majestic 1180 and Majestic 1180. All four sides were recorded in October 1947 and released in 1947.
EL PASO HERALD POST, January 1, 1948:
...The Soft Winds have what should be a sure juke box number in "That's The Kind Of Gal I Dream Of" (Majestic)....
The Cash Box Review (1/3/48):THE SOFT WINDS MAJESTIC 1182.... To Be Continued/That's The Kind Of Gal I Dream Of
The soft dulcet tones of harmony that this crew spill with are sure to clinch with those phono fans that go for the light treatment. Wailing the cute wordage to the top deck, "To Be Continued", the combo display an easy free style, smooth as a whistle. Wax message weaves around our entertainment cut short with the title coming in to fill. On the flip with "That's The Kind Of Gal I Dream Of", the crew show in happy tones once again to sparkle for a happy waxing. Both sides for the crowd that really love good music.
Above: Label images for Majestic 1221 and Majestic 1235. All four sides were recorded in December 1947 and released in 1948. The Soft Winds Trio (Frigo-Carter-Ellis) are credited as composers on four of the eight sides featured here.
The Soft Winds Trio had a total of six records released on the Majestic label (1947-1948). Mercury re-issued four of their Majestic sides in 1948/1949 and one record of new sides by them in 1949.
THE BILLBOARD, January 22, 1949:
At Mercury, the Soft Winds, a fresh instrumental and singing trio, were inked to a pact and will slice their initial wax for the firm next week. The group cut its first wax for the Majestic diskery and Mercury now holds the trio's masters sliced for the former firm.
The Billboard Review (4/3/48):THE SOFT WINDS MAJESTIC 1235....
When You're Smiling (68) Pleasant whispered vocal and clean instrumental cutting of an oldie.
Pin Stripe Pants (81) Cute and clever is this rhythm noveltyexecution is tasty.
(NOTE: A ratings range of 60-69 was considered "satisfactory" and 80-89 "excellent".)
The Billboard Review (12/18/48):THE SOFT WINDS TRIO MERCURY 5221.... (Both sides are re-issued from Majestic tracks)
Pin Stripe Pants (82) Clever Bob Russell lyric on this novelty is sold beautifully by this promising threesome; originally sliced for the Majestic label.
My Sweet Patoot With The Bumbershoot (79) Another cute novelty well handled by the trio; disk jocks should go for these guys in a big way.
(NOTE: A ratings range of 70-79 was considered "good" and 80-89 "excellent".)
(NOTE: Patoot is probably short for Patootie, which is a cute or attractive girlfriend. A bumbershoot is an umbrella.)
NOTE: Most discographical information provided at this website is from Ferdie Gonzalez' Disco-File.
Listen to this week's selections featuring The Soft Winds on Decca from 1939 and 1940 using Windows Media Player:
[Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
1. They're Mine, They're Mine, They're Mine
2. I Told Ya I Love Ya Now Get Out
3. To Be Continued
4. That's The Kind Of Gal I Dream Of
5. Shave And A Haircut
6. My Sweet Patoot With The Bumbershoot
7. When You're Smiling
8. Pin Stripe Pants
ALL EIGHT ABOVE SONGS played in sequence.
[To download audio files, right-click on song title
link and then click "Save link (target) as..."]