Canadian vibraphone and marimba player Jimmy Namaro is best known in the U.S. for the 15 years he spent as musical director for Frankie Laine -- from 1978-1993.
But long before that he had a dual career in Canada -- as a leader of pop and jazz trios and quartets in popular Toronto nightspots and as a frequent performer on radio, particularly as a member of the Happy Gang musical troupe on the CBC network.
He didn't make all that many recordings and only one album, Driftwood, was released in the U.S. With Mallets A 4 Thought is one of his earliest albums, perhaps even his first, and was released on the Canadian Sparton label. Although there's no date on the record, it probably is from the mid- to late 1950s. You can listen to and download one of the tracks from this album below.
With Mallets Towards Some
Namaro died at his home in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada in 1998 at age 85. Unfortunately, none of his recordings are available on CD or as downloads, although his LPs occasionally turn up on the auction sites. A copy of With Mallets A 4 Thought recently sold on eBay for under $10.
Here's another sample of Namaro's music, this time from the album Driftwood.