Workshop Jazz RecordsWorkshop Jazz 2001 (B), May 1962

B-side of Exodus

(Written by Victor Schertzinger and Johnny Mercer)

Scan kindly provided by Gordon Frewin.  All label scans come from visitor contributions - if you'd like to send me a scan I don't have, please e-mail it to me at fosse8@gmail.com!The first ever release on Motown’s new specialist jazz subsidiary, Workshop Jazz Records, was parked firmly in the middle of the road. The A-side, Exodus, for all intents and purposes a Pat Boone cover, had hardly set the hep cats abuzz with excitement, and this B-side – another supposedly “jazz” cover of a whitebread standard, this time a song from the 1942 film The Fleet’s In where it had been sung by Dorothy Lamour – is even wetter.

Save a bit of supper-club piano at the start, and a very understated sax break two thirds of the way through, there’s really not a lot of jazz happening here at all, truth be told. It’s a nice easy listening production, handled well by Mickey Stevenson, but – as with the A-side – it was surely a decidedly dangerous tactic, releasing MOR fluff aimed at middle-class whites to launch a new credible jazz offshoot.

The liner notes to The Complete Motown Singles: Volume 2 describe this as “lightly swinging… a fine idea”, but I can only really agree with the first of those assertions. It does swing, very lightly; Hank and Carol give a pleasant dual-handed Forties-inflected vocal delivery, save for a horribly jarring bum note at the end, and the band’s performance is smooth and practised enough that if you close your eyes, you could be back at a supper club somewhere on the Atlantic seaboard circa 1954; but I’d be hard pushed to say how it was a “fine idea”. Indeed, given the panning I handed out to Marvin Gaye’s similarly cheesy Mr Sandman, I can’t in good conscience give any kind of thumbs up to this.

Hank and Carol Diamond supposedly recorded an entire album’s worth of this sort of vaguely not-really-jazz MOR easy listening stuff, but this single was their one and only release of any kind.



(I’ve had MY say, now it’s your turn. Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment, or click the thumbs at the bottom there. Dissent is encouraged!)

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Hank & Carol Diamond
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