The year is 1936. Orphaned Addie Loggins (Tatum O'Neal, in her film debut) is left in the care of unethical travelling Bible salesman Moses Pray (Ryan O'Neal, Tatum's dad), who may or may not be her father. En route to Addie's relatives, Moses learns that the 9-year-old is quite a handful: she smokes, cusses, and is almost as devious and manipulative as he is. They join forces as swindlers, working together so well that Addie is averse to breaking up the team – which is one reason that she sabotages the romance between Moses and good-time gal Trixie Delight (Madeline Kahn). Later, while attempting to square a $200 debt that Addie claims he owes her, Moses runs afoul of of a bootlegger (John Hillerman) and is nearly beaten to death by the criminal's twin-brother sheriff. Painfully pulling himself together, Moses gets Addie to her relatives, whereupon she adamantly refuses to leave his side. Photographed in black-and-white by Laszlo Kovacs, the film was made largely on location in Kansas and Missouri.
Adapted from the novel, "Addie Pray" (1971) by Joe David Brown, PAPER MOON is the story of Moses Pray and Addie Loggins.
The third of three Concord albums by this version of the Quartet (with Jerry Bergonzi on tenor, Chris Brubeck on bass and bass trombone and drummer Randy Jones) is the most rewarding of the trio although each one is recommended. Brubeck and the Coltrane-influenced tenor Bergonzi take consistently exciting solos on seven standards which are highlighted by "Music, Maestro, Please," "I Hear a Rhapsody" and "It's Only a Paper Moon"; Brubeck's solo version of "St. Louis Blues" is also noteworthy.
In 1954, producer Norman Granz held a couple of marathon recording sessions featuring vibraphonist Lionel Hampton, pianist Oscar Peterson, bassist Ray Brown, drummer Buddy Rich, and (on April 13) clarinetist Buddy DeFranco. This set has three selections from the DeFranco date (a 17-plus-minute "Flying Home," the original "Je Ne Sais Pas," and "On the Sunny Side of the Street") and one from the earlier session ("April in Paris"). Hampton is typically exuberant throughout (grunting rather loudly during a few later ensemble choruses on "Flying Home"), DeFranco and Peterson are as swinging as usual, and the overall music is quite joyous.