Las Vegas is a new song with a big band arrangement written by retro style vocalist Frank Lamphere. Las Vegas was released on the Frank Lamphere CD America the Beautiful Swinging in August 2020. The fast tempoed tune, Lamphere's first original that he wrote in 2007, features a ten piece horn section. Lamphere's frequent accompanist Larry Harris wrote the powerful arrangement.
How did the song Las Vegas come about?
As I recite in the song's opening verse "I awoke one morning, had a vivid dream...
Had this song about casinos and music buzzin' through my head..."
That's exactly what happened. I awoke with 50% of the melody to Las Vegas.
I literally woke up, hummed the melody into a tape recorder (I was fearful that if I let even two minutes pass, I would have forgotten this song idea) I then spent the next several hours adding additional ideas, lyrics, wrote the bridge until I had a completed song. There were many lyric refinements since 2007 even right before the recording session in 2019.
What does the song say?
This songs speaks of the excitement and anticipation of going to Las Vegas for the first time. Aspects of the tune were written through the eyes of a nostalgic seeking 18 year old. That was me, on my first trip to Las Vegas. I had a fascination for Las Vegas' musical entertainment legacy. In fact, I had a front row seat to Dean Martin's show (the overwhelming reason for my trip) at the MGM Grand. I also harbored a desire to "conquer" the crap tables with what rudimentary knowledge I had of the game. It took just a day-and-a-half of shooting craps to lose every cent I had brought with me. My $300 now a memory, I clipped coupons offered by the hotel (one $2.00 bet at the crap table, one spin of the wheel etc...) to try and win back a few bucks, in order to buy breakfast. On the third and final day of my trip. I did win enough to buy breakfast, but not enough for the full cab fare to the airport. The cabbie left me at the airport's entrance and I walked with my suitcase, probably 10 minutes up to the gate. Nevertheless, I had a ball!
How did you come up with the arrangement for Las Vegas? I heard this song (in that dream) with it's screaming tempo, horns blaring and upright bass thumping in 4/4 time. I had been performing it live from time-to-time but would have regretted recording it with a smaller band, prior to this session in June of 2019. Early in that year I brought the song to my frequent accompanist Larry Harris who in addition to playing wonderful jazz piano has done some impressive arranging. We talked out the overall feel, along with some specific horn parts and then Larry did the rest.
Las Vegas recording session - Eric Schneider, Mark Olen and Russ Phillips
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