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Party Hats - Party Hats
 

Party Hats - Party Hats

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Title:  Party Hats
Company: Baby Grand
Catalog: SE 1016
Year: 1979
Country/State: US
Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+
Comments: still in shrink wrap

Unlike many Baby Grand releases, 1979's "Party Hats" actually had some information on the liner notes:

- The album was recorded at Dirk Dalton Studios in Santa Monica, California
- Dennis Dreith, Ron Fair and Joe Romano shared arranging and conducing duties (the latter two having also recorded material for Baby Grand).

And that gave you a feel for what this one sounded like - namely a bunch of studio players with jazz backgrounds using some free studio time to showcase a mixture of material they had in their collective repertoires. Yeah, the cover art may have left you with the impression this was going to be a set of throwaway dance material, but virtually all of these eight instrumentals showcased adult contemporary jazz moves ... While there were no performance credits, I'm guessing the prime players were Deith, Fair, and the late Romano. There was not denying these guys had some major technical chops, but the end result was simply too muzak for true jazz fans and too jazzy for everyone else.

- In spite of the promising title, 'Party Hats Theme' was nothing more than a minute of discordant, pseudo-jazzy, warm-up moves. rating: * star
- 'E-Gads' was a decent slice of adult contemporary jazz that actually sounded like it had been written as the theme, or incidental music for some throwaway television program. Nice bass line ... rating: ** stars
- 'Wallflower' was a mildly interesting jazz-flavored piece that bounced between a pretty melody and a more experimental feel. rating: ** star
- In spite of the horn arrangements, 'Spin the Bottle' was probably the most enjoyable performance on the first side. Surprisingly funky and showcasing the album's best guitar solo, this one actually managed to generate a bit of energy. rating: *** star
- After the goofy introduction, 'Hullo Dennis' morphed into something that sounded like something you would have heard from the Saturday Night Live band when they cut away to a commercial. rating: ** star
- 'Vino Suave' offered up a pleasant slice of atmospheric adult contemporary jazz-rock fusion. Perfect for cocktails after dinner. And like the dinner itself, probably something you wouldn't remember the next morning. rating: ** star
- Opening up with a stark piano segment, 'On a Dime' suddenly morphed into a mildly funky, horn-powered number. Imagine Bloods, Sweat and Tears trying to sound funky and you'll be in the right aural neighborhood. rating: ** star
- The album ended with another pretty, but largely anonymous adult contemporary slice of cocktail jazz. Pretty, but thoroughly forgettable, this was the kind of stuff you were forced to endure while waiting on a help line ... rating: ** star


"Party Hats" track listing:
(side 1)
1.) Party Hats Theme (instrumental) (Dennis Dreith - Joey Romano - Ron Fair) - 1:06
2.) E-Gads (instrumental) (Joey Romano) - 6:08
3.) Wallflower (instrumental) (Ron Fair) - 5:52
4.) Spin the Bottle (instrumental) (Dennis Dreith) - 5:15

(side 2)
1.) Hullo Dennis (instrumental) (Ron Fair) - 3:50
2.) Vino Suave (instrumental) (Dennis Dreith) - 4:15
3.) On a Dime (instrumental) (Dennis Drerith) - 5:05
4.) Second Wind (instrumental) (Dennis Dreith) - 4:55
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