Homer: Seriously, the reason for this album is simple:
Jethro: We didn't know the words to these songs!
More than 30 years after it was recorded, It Ain't Necessarily Square remains one of the very finest jazz mandolin albums of all time in my opinion. The other, Playing It Straight is an equally fine effort. Both are now available on a re-release CD from RCA Japan. Above: a copy of my newly acquired LP.
On the liner notes of 'Ain't' Jethro writes that this is their second venture into the world of strictly instrumental music and that the first, Playing It Straight--was a financial flop. He quickly adds that it may also have been an artistic failure! To that my dear Jethro I can only say that there are thousands of mandolin players out there who disagree 100% (and wish you were around so we could tell you in person!).
I suspect that comment was an effort to inject a bit of comedy. One thing is for sure: it's a terrific album and one you shouldn't be without. A must for any mandolin player interested in jazz.
Jethro Burns - mandolin
Homer Haynes - acoustic guitar
Hank Wallis - acoustic bass
John Greubel - drums
Beegie Cruser - piano
Joe Layne - piano
Buddy Harman - bongos
Special thanks to the Mandolin Cafe's primary business partners.