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Dick Schrum - That's Entertainment
Bill Blunk studio, 5/24 Marr & Colton
Portland, OR
1966, Concert Recordings CR-0008

Click for a larger version of this image (27K) Record review from Theatre Organ, October 1966:

THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT. Dick Schrum playing the 5/24 Marr and Colton organ in Bill Blunk's studio (Portland, Oregon). Concert Recording No. CR-0008, available by mail only as a compatible stereo disc ($4.50) or 4track 7 1/2 ips stereo tape ($5.95), postpaid.
As most organ enthusiasts know, Dick Schrum is president of ATOE. At the 1966 convention he was pressed into service to play the concert John Muri couldn't because of the airline strike. Those who heard Dick at this same fine Marr and Colton were most favorably impressed by the polished performance he gave--especially considering the impromptu aspect of his program. He quickly established his skill at playing orchestrally and that characteristic is evident on this record. It offers a variety of musical canvasses for Dick to color. This he does in combinations ranging from pastels to bold brush strokes of primary color.
That's Entertainment is Dick's "console riser." Played in fast showtime tempo, it serves as an introduction to both the big M and C sound and to the up-tempo style of the artist. Variations on the familiar melody without first hearing it played straight may seem a little disconcerting, but that's show biz.
Ruby. If there wasn't another tune on the platter this would do much to elevate Dick Schrum high among masters of organ balladry. The arrangement is exquisite in its imagery and the whole piece is dominated by phrasing, use of voices and nuance hauntingly close to sound produced by the late Buddy Cole. The Cole style pedal gliss, horn counter melody, untrem'd Diapason and ethereal Vox - String combinations are used with tremendous effect. Even noise inherent in the pressing doesn't detract from the beauty of Ruby. Click for a larger version of this image (67K)
A pedal cymbal used against Posthorn riffs and "sneers" mark the entry of Georgia and for her second appearance she comes through as a jazz cornet solo with much joie de vivre.
I Hadn't Anyone Til You features a smooth tuba melody, flowing rhythm and mellow reed punctuation.
It's the big marching band for Liberty Bell, a real swinging march played with all the majesty of the M & C's complement of "brass," traps and reeds.
It's Easy to Remember is played simply but beautifully in slow ballad' style. The massive ending is softened by a sentimental Tibia coda with plaintive comments by the Chrysoglott.
Dick goes to the percussions for color during Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise, a dramatic "Valentino" tango with the Marimba much in evidence as well as other "clackers" which never overshadow musical values.
A fast waltz tempo marks Life is a Beautiful Thing, even when the instrumentation switches briefly to a carousel hurdy gurdy. Mostly it's played in broad, Viennese style. A happy tune which proves Dick's competence in the 3/4 department.
Another application of Buddy Cole styling saves that overexposed dame from Ipanema from being just another Bikini in the crowd. Her frigid stares are softened by the rhythmic humor of a "Sassy Brass" treatment. Dick is an admitted admirer of the late maestro; the resemblance is intentional and skillfully applied, although never a direct copy.
The closer opens with a soaring Trumpet playing Mean to Me, followed by a Tibia / Vox mellowness broken by subtle brass comments. Dick at his colorful arranging best and with lots of registration variety.
Both Dick Schrum and the Marr and Colton come through their initial recording experience with flying colors despite some technical drawbacks, e.g. highs seem to be attenuated in a set of grooves sometimes rough and noisy. Concert Recordings advise only 25 records got out with noisy grooves before corrections were made.
Jacket notes are informative and occasionally incorrect (this is not the largest Marr and Colton built). The cover bears two color shots of Dick, one passable, the other unflattering. Other pix show the studio and some pipework.

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