26 May

Keeping Track - Dateline December 2012

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Reviewers in this issue: David Ades, Peter Burt, Tony Clayden, Barry McCanna, Mike Crowther, Roger Hyslop, Edward Trub, Ken Wilkins and Peter Worsley

KT Editor’s CD Choice for this issue

‘IN LONDON TOWN’ – a musical tour of the historic sights of London The Philharmonic Concert Orchestra Iain Sutherland, conductor Concert Overture: Me And My Girl; Knightsbridge March; Westminster Waltz; Rotten Row; Covent Garden; Overture: Yeoman Of The Guard; London Fantasia; Get Me To The Church On Time; Greensleeves; Four Dances: Merrie England; London Bridge Is Falling Down; Elizabethan Serenade; Prelude: Water Music (Handel); Three English Dances (Quilter); The Sea Hawk (Main Theme) Somm SOMMCD 0117 (70:45) In his review of Iain Sutherland’s ‘Merrymakers - British Light Classics’ (Alto ALC 1192) in the September issue of JIM, David Ades expressed the hope that the maestro might be persuaded to delve a little deeper into his valuable archive for a possible follow-up CD. Well, rather quicker than perhaps even David expected this mid-price album has materialised, digitally remastered as before by Paul Arden-Taylor, selected from the Iain Sutherland/Radio Clyde Archive. Many familiar titles appear here including a sprightly Wally Stott’s Rotten Row and a notably elegant and gracefully played Ronald Binge’s Elizabethan Serenade. What makes this compilation the more enticing, however, is Noel Gay’s Overture to the 1939 hit musical (arranged by the conductor), which King George VI and Queen Elizabeth reputedly went to see three times, Clive Richardson’s Fantasia extract not too far away from the idiom of the celebrated "Denham Studio" concertos, and the welcome inclusion of Sir Edward German’s FourDances, surely deserving of a revival in this Diamond Jubilee year. One puzzle is the apparent connection made between Roger Quilter’s Dances and "Historic Mayfair". The only London connection I can trace, thanks to Tim McDonald’s notes for the composer’s volume in Marco Polo’s British Light Music series (8.223444), is that they received their première at London’s Queens Hall in June 1910. The orchestration was actually by Percy Fletcher, and they are described as possessing an unmistakable "Englishness". Erich Korngold’s main title theme music for the 1940 feature film that ends the compilation makes for a somewhat odd choice with its somewhat tenuous link to the capital (Greenwich: Cutty Sark and the Maritime Museum) when one of the greats of British light music, Haydn Wood, is a notable absentee. Still, this is a minor quibble given the excellent performances, sound engineering and generous playing time; and this splendid disc is certainly deserving of the widest possible support – and what better Christmas present could you possibly give yourself! RH

"THE GOLDEN AGE OF LIGHT MUSIC"

GLCD 5199 Three Great American Light Orchestras 
For track listing see ‘Light Music CDs’ pages on this website or visit guildmusic.com (78:46 mins)

GLCD 5200 A Glorious Century of Light Music
For track listing see ‘Light Music CDs’ pages on this website or visit guildmusic.com (78:37 mins)

It seems scarcely possible that it is eight years since the first GUILD Light Music CD made its debut – but if you look at GLCD 5101 the date definitely says 2004! I doubt if anyone involved – the proprietors of GUILD, together with David Ades and Alan Bunting – could have foreseen that the series would be the unparalleled success which it certainly has become. Much less that in 2012, it would reach its hundredth edition! And yet here we are, and I have been given the honour of reviewing these two new releases.

The Great American Light Orchestras features three of the best conductors in the business – Canadian-born Percy Faith, English-born David Rose, and someone whose work is perhaps slightly less well-known in the UK – Paul Weston, who hailed from Springfield, Massachusets, USA. The CD contains 24 tracks, neatly divided into three sections of eight, each representing one of the three orchestras. The programme ‘kicks-off’ with the orchestra of Percy Faith, in a selection of recordings made between 1950 and 1961, all from American Columbia (CBS or Philips in Britain) label. Five of these are in stereo including a very early (1958) track featuring a Victor Herbert composition Italian Street Song. All of the compositions are delivered in Faith’s usual faultless style and it is not difficult to see why this consummate musician had, and still has, such a devoted following. David Rose’s contribution features tracks from the MGM label – I imagine that he was a permanent artist in that company’s ‘stable’ - and like the Percy Faith selection, all of the arrangements (in fact all but one of the tracks) are by Rose himself. The recording dates range from 1953 to 1961, with three of the tracks being in stereo. Paul Weston’s main claim to fame (in the UK anyway) is the work he did with his wife, the singer Jo Stafford, and also for their ‘spoof’ performances as "Jonathan and Darlene Edwards". Originally a clarinet player, he began studying arranging whilst recuperating from a near-fatal train crash, and eventually became chief arranger for Tommy Dorsey. He worked in radio and TV and acted as MD to many top American stars. Over the years, Weston recorded for both Capitol and CBS, and examples of both are included on the CD. The dates range from 1954 to 1961, with five of the tracks being in stereo. One item, There Will Never Be Another You, features the conductor on piano. As a final bonus, on track 25, Paul Weston talks about his 1958 Jerome Kern recordings which were made for a special promotional feature album for Columbia. (This recording was kindly supplied by our good friend Kevin Stapylton in Australia). It is difficult to pick out specific items for special mention because they are all so good, in terms of the quality of the arrangements, the performances, the recordings, and, of course, Alan Bunting’s digital transfers. As I have remarked before in these reviews, I find myself running out of superlatives! This is a great addition to the GUILD series, and both David and Alan deserve many congratulations.

And so we come to number 100 -

A Glorious Century of Light Music. The task of this landmark collection is to feature some of the very best conductors and composers who created such a wealth of Light Music during the 20thcentury and to recognise that the GUILD series is dedicated to the preservation of all that is best from the ‘Golden Age of Light Music’. It was decided to concentrate on conductors who became ’ household names’ through their recordings and broadcasts, and the 26 tracks include some of the very best orchestras from the UK, the USA and Continental Europe, with 12 being in stereo. They span the years 1939 to 1961 excepting the final ‘bonus track’ which is a Jack Hylton recording from 1929, although you would hardly know it from the amazing sound quality! AB has worked his usual magic and has also seamlessly edited-out a small vocal section, in accordance with GUILD’s ‘instrumental only’ policy. The programme starts with a great Brian Fahey arrangement of the Jerome Kern number Look For The Silver Lining, by the Starlight Symphony conducted by Cyril Ornadel; this sets the tone for the whole disc. There is a good mixture of great orchestral arrangements of popular favourites, together with some excellent library pieces – in short, something for everyone. A couple of points to mention – track 17 - Butantan - by the Melachrino Orchestra is credited to ‘Wood’. This is neither Arthur nor Haydn, but Guy Wood (1911-2001), the Manchester-born but USA-domiciled composer, who is mainly remembered for his songs, including Till ThenMy One And Only Love and The Wedding- a popular song from the ‘60s. I have not come across any other orchestral compositions by him, but they may exist. Track 7 features some great ballet music by Leroy Anderson from his musical Goldilocks, which will be new to most people; this is an almost unknown piece – where has it been hiding all these years? Every single item on this CD can be described as truly excellent, and the whole selection, which was arrived at after a great deal of careful consideration, is more than worthy of comprising the hundredth edition. The total tally of tracks so far is in excess of 2500; I understand that there is plenty more material in the pipeline waiting to be released, and I would like to wish this wonderful series continued success. TC

MAX JAFFA AND THE PALM COURT ORCHESTRA Flight of the Bumblebee; Black Eyes; Vagabond King: Forgotten Dreams; Dobra Dobra; Czardas; Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair; Gypsy Cha Cha; Edelweiss; On Wings of Song; Gypsy Hora; Beautiful Dreamer; Heyken’s Serenade; Hungarian Dances Nos. 1 & 5; Fantasy on Nursery Rhymes; The Last Rose of Summer; Londonderry Air; Barcarolle; Doina Voda; Come Back to Sorrento; All the Things You Are; I’ll See You in My Dreams; Waltzing in the Clouds Yesterday’s Music C141 (74:35) Max was an extraordinary character and his autobiography, A Life on the Fiddle, makes compelling reading. This tribute CD is available only from Evergreen magazine and complements a detailed article they published in their autumn issue. Pre-war the maestro was 90% a dance band leader but after flying bombers and fighters he switched entirely to light music. He appeared on several post-war radio programmes of his own and was also associated with Grand Hotel and Scarborough where he was resident for 25 years. Some of the tracks are with his trio of Jack Byfield and Reginald Kilbey and some with a full orchestra. All are most tuneful and enjoyable with the titles speaking for themselves. PW

This CD may ordered for £9.95 (including p&p) from Evergreen Magazine on 01242 537900. 

BERT KAEMPFERT & HIS ORCHESTRA ‘The Wonderful World Of Bert Kaempfert - Four Original Albums’ 47 tracks incl. Wonderland By Night; As I Love You; The Aim Of My Desire; Stay With Me; Tammy; Lullaby For Lovers; Drifting and Dreaming; La Vie En Rose; Happiness Never Comes Too Late; On The Alamo; Dreaming The Blues; This Song Is Yours Alone; Dancing In The Dark; Twilight Time; Unchained Melody; Funny Talk; Only Those In Love … Tenderly; Cerveza; Ducky; Auld Lang Syne; Savoy Blues; Plaisir D’Amour; Don’t Forbid Me; Morgen (One More Sunrise); Catalina; Midnight Snack; Without Your Love; Louisa; I’ll See You In My Dreams; Yellow Bird; Midsummer Night In Gotland; Echo In The Night; Forgotten Melody; Symphony; There I’ve Said It Again … Jasmine JASCD 216 With generous amounts of trumpet and distinctive bass guitar sound to the fore, Bert Kaempfert (1923-1980), German orchestra leader and songwriter, was very popular in the Sixties and early Seventies, and reckoned by The Stereo Record Guide (1963) to be the most original musician in the field of European light music at that time. Among his successful self-penned numbers were Strangers in the NightA Swingin’ SafariMoon Over Naples (a hit for Al Martino asSpanish Eyes), The World We Knew and L-O-V-E (a hit for Nat King Cole). Almost There was a UK No.2 for the late lamented Andy Williams. Bert’s ‘Wonderland By Night’ album was US No.1 for five weeks in 1961 (the title track was also a US No.1 single), and is joined on this 2-CD set by three more of his earliest Polydor albums: ‘Dancing In Wonderland’‘The Wonderful World Of Bert Kaempfert’ and ‘With A Sound In My Heart’. A CD copy did not arrive in time for me to listen to but the aforementioned Guide opined that "Each offers excellent sound and varied and imaginative arrangements." PB 

‘SCOTLAND’S TUNES OF GLORY’ Iain Sutherland conducting the City of Glasgow Philharmonic Orchestra with the City of Glasgow Pipes and drums and the City of Glasgow Chorus 17 tracks incl. Iona (The Pilgrim); Briochan And Columba (The Pilgrim); Alba: Fanfare Salute; Here’s Tae The Gordons; The Laddies Who Fought And Won; Flower Of Scotland Delta CD6844 (61:20) Here’s a collection to stir the hearts of patriotic Scots wherever they may be. Iain Sutherland’s latest CD is an unashamed tribute to his homeland, and it is good to see some familiar names among the credits. Firstly the maestro himself, with his compositions Edinburgh Castle, Dunvegan Castle and the theme for the BBC TV series "MacKinnon Country" – plus Iain’s arrangements of The Black Bear Salute, Amazing Grace Anthem, Sutherland’s Law Theme and Reel O’Tulloch. Ernest Tomlinson has arranged My Love She’s But A Lassie Yet/Cock O’ The North and Robert Docker’s name appears as the arranger of Abbey Craig. There is audience applause on some of the tracks, but this is not intrusive. This is a nicely balanced collection of traditional and more modern music that makes a welcome addition to the light music repertoire. DA

DIMITRI TIOMKIN ‘The Greatest Film Scores Of …’ London Symphony Orchestra ˕ London Voices / Richard Kaufman Cyrano de Bergerac; The Alamo; The Old Man and the Sea; The Four Poster Giant; The Fall of the Roman Empire; High Noon; Rawhide; The High and the Mighty; Dial ‘M’ for Murder & Strangers on a Train; Wild is the Wind; The Sundowners; Circus World; Land of the Pharaohs; Friendly Persuasion lsolive LSO 0720 (77:05) This is a splendidly produced and recorded album of movie music delights, played con brio by the LSO at a live Barbican concert. Tiomkin (born St Petersburg 1894, died London 1979) became one of Hollywood’s most celebrated and best-loved composers. He wrote for more than 100 feature films and received nearly two dozen Academy Award nominations over five decades, winning four Oscars: ‘Old Man and the Sea’, ‘The High and the Mighty’, ‘High Noon’, and Do not forsake me, oh my darlin’. The last-named is one of five tracks with vocals supplied by Andrew Playfoot and/or Whitney Claire Kaufman. I would have been happy with purely orchestral versions. There are ten packed pages of notes in minuscule print. Two fascinating bits of information I did gather, though, were that in 1928 Tiomkin was the first pianist to perform Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in Europe, and in 1999 became one of only six Hollywood composers to be honoured with a commemorative stamp issued by the US Postal Service. PB 

JOHN WILLIAMS ‘A Tribute To John Williams – An 80th Birthday Celebration’ The Boston Pops ˕ The Skywalker Symphony Orchestra / John Williams Sound the Bells (‘American Journey’); Out to Sea/Shark Cage Fugue (‘Jaws’); Sabrina’s Theme (‘Sabrina’); March (‘1941’); Adventures on Earth (‘E.T.’); Dartmoor 1912 (‘War Horse’); The Adventures of Mutt (‘Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’); Harry’s Wondrous World (‘Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone’); Elegy for Cello & Orchestra; Going to School (‘Memories of a Geisha’); The Mission Theme (‘NBC News’); Schindler’s List Theme (‘Schindler’s List’); The Adventure Continues (‘The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn’); Throne Room & Finale (‘Star Wars’); Happy Birthday VariationsSony 88691942532 Fifteen tremendous tracks all from the man whose compositions invariably seem to stand out in compilations involving multiple composers. Winner of twenty-one Grammy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards and five Academy Awards. Williams is easily the most successful composer working in film today. This collection contains his personal favorites, chosen from film and television music as well as concert works and festive occasion pieces, and includes (for me, at least) some "discoveries" among his lesser-known works. Of special note is the previously unreleased recording of Williams’ joyous Happy Birthday Variations. All of the music on this album is both composed and conducted by John Williams, and also features two performances each by famous classical instrumentalists Itzhak Perlman (violin) and Yo-Yo Ma (cello). Unfortunately my CD copy is taking longer to arrive than any I have ever ordered, but I have been able to sample tracks online and the Sony sound is splendid. PB

THE JOHN WILSON ORCHESTRA ‘Rodgers & Hammerstein At The Movies’ Maida Vale Singers, Sierra Boggess, Anna-Jane Casey, Maria Ewing, et al. / John Wilson Oklahoma! Main Title / Oh! What a Beautiful Morning; People Will Say We're In Love; Carousel Waltz; If I Loved You; June is Busting' Out All Over; You'll Never Walk Alone; Soliloquy (all from ‘Carousel’); Twin Soliloquies / Some Enchanted Evening); I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Out Of My Hair ; Bali Ha'i (all from ‘South Pacific’); The King and I  Overture (from ‘The King & I’); The Sound Of Music - Main Title / Rex Admirabilis; I Have Confidence; Climb Ev'ry Mountain (all from ‘The Sound of Music’) EMI Classics (75:00) John Wilson's latest album brings us into the world of the movie versions of the Rodgers & Hammerstein stage musicals released by 20th Century Fox from the mid-1950's onwards resplendent in Cinemascope, Todd-AO and Stereophonic Sound. Once again J.W. has had to re-create and edit the film scores and has brought together a company of singers drawn from the operatic stage and popular musical theatre magnificently supported by the Maida Vale Singers. The John Wilson Orchestra are in superb form, particularly in the Carousel Waltz and The King and IOverture, and play with élan and panache – a wonderful, wonderful tribute to the 20th Century Fox Studio Orchestra and their conductor Alfred Newman who supervised the music for most of the original films. As expected the singing is first class: Julian Ovenden brings the characters of Curly and Billy vividly to life in his contributions from ‘Oklahoma’ and ‘Carousel’, Joyce DiDonato (recorded in Kansas) brings her gorgeous operatic voice to bear on her songs from ‘Carousel’ and ‘The Sound of Music’. My own personal favourite is David Pittsinger's rich interpretation of Some Enchanted Evening. It comes as no surprise that he has performed the role of Emile de Becque in a recent US National Tour of ‘South Pacific’. The recording is Abbey Road superb and the accompanying booklet a model of perfection. Overall another J.W. success and surely bound for that Christmas stocking. MC

‘THE INSTRUMENTALS’ 75 tracks incl. Hit And Miss; Wheels; Zambesi; Midnight In Moscow; On The Rebound; Walk Don’t Run; Kon Tiki; Moon River; Misirlou; The Stripper; Ebb Tide; S’Wonderful; Canadian Sunset; Misty … Delta 60399 (65:59, 67:34 & 67:21) At first glance this latest in a series of budget reissues under the blanket title of ‘Sweethearts & Stolen Kisses’, and sub-titled ‘Because They’re Young’, is not an obvious candidate for JIM. The content of the first two CDs is fairly eclectic, and includes Chris Barber, Acker Bilk, Dave Brubeck, Russ Conway, Miles Davis, Duane Eddy, Billy May, and Arthur Lyman, plus a number of less well-known musicians from the late Fifties/early Sixties (tracklist information is minimal). In contrast, the third concentrates on light orchestral works, including several movie themes, by such as Percy Faith, Robert Farnon, Ron Goodwin, Bert Kaempfert, Mantovani and Perez Prado, which makes it well worth considering. BMC

‘MELODY MIXTURE’ For track listing see ‘Light Music CDs’ pages on this website or visit guildmusic.comGuild GLCD 5197 (70:17). As it says at the start of the booklet notes this latest Guild Light Music CD doesn’t have any particular theme, hence the title ‘Melody Mixture’ (reminds me of the wartime BBC programme title Navy Mixture). However it begins in fine style with Cab Rank by Dolf van der Linden from the Charles Brull/Harmonic Library with The Symphonia Orchestra conducted by Ludo Philipp, followed by Henry Mancini’s theme to the US TV series Mr Lucky played by Frank Cordell’s Orchestra, although I must confess I’ve never heard of the programme … was it ever shown in Britain? From the film ‘The Sundowners’ comes Down Under played in fine style by Tommy Reilly, adapted and arranged by Dimitri Tiomkin with Wally Stott and his Orchestra. I checked with Halliwell and as I thought, Tiomkin wrote the film’s score. Getting away from films for a tick I jumped down the play list to three library pieces, firstly Trevor Duncan’s catchy humorous number With Tongue In Cheek followed by Peter Hope’s Spring Collection, perfect for a Pathé fashion news item, then Scurry For Strings by Lester B. Hart played by The Harmonic Orchestra conducted by Dolf van der Linden, under one of his many alias’s "David Johnson". I’ve seen the name Lester B. Hart before but I’ve no idea who he is (or possibly was) although it sounds American; or is it another name for somebody or other? Back to films and Laurie Johnson and His Orchestra play his title music to I Aim At The Stars the story of Werner Von Braun; no Halliwell stars for this one I’m afraid. Angela Morley’s Dear Old Pals is cracking turning-out-of-pub music with clients making very unsteady progress home, just the opposite to Cyril Watters’ Leaps and Bounds from Paul Franklin and his Orchestra (actually Dolf van der Linden again) on the Paxton Label. As you may have guessed library addicts (like me) have been provided with a fine selection of Gaumont British, Pathé and Movietone music not to mention Look At Life and Dave and Dusty (Pathé). There’s Peacock In Piccadilly by Wilfred Burns from Bosworth, Continental Highway by Harold Geller (KPM), Brandy Snaps by Peter Yorke (Charles Brull/Harmonic) but the last track surprised me. Although I’ve got the Paxton 78 ofOn Stage by Billy Mack, I’d no idea it was a pseudonym for Walter Collins and William MacDonnell. I’d like to know more about Walter Collins and I’ve never heard of William MacDonnell but there you are, you usually learn something new with every Guild Light Music release. Another fine collection of easy on the ear light music destined to be ignored by broadcasters supposedly paid to provide musical fare for every taste. KW

THE SOUNDTRACK GALLERY One Day One Night, Trombones and Trumpets, Sunshine Days, Latin Flutes, Saxy, Holiday for Two, Drive, Happymakers, Early Morning Mail, etc… (Gerhard Narholz); Just For You (John Fox); Merry Gerry (H. Egger) 29 tracks Winchester Hospital Radio WHRCD 1201(78:01). This is the latest collection from Steven Wills to support Winchester Hospital Radio, and it is good to see that copies now seem to be widely available (I got mine from Amazon). This time the music all comes from the Sonoton Production Music Library, based in Munich. This is owned by Gerhard Narholz (also known as Norman Candler and various other aliases), so you won’t be surprised to find that his works are prominently featured. But deservedly so, because this is the kind of happy 1960/1970s music that is still enjoyed by many collectors, especially those who like to collect music associated with BBC TV Test Cards from the days before TV was shown for 24 hours. It would have been nice to have had more than one track by our friend John Fox, because he has contributed a vast amount of delightful music to this library (maybe next time, Steven?). The titles probably won’t mean much unless you are a Test Card aficionado, but it is the happy music that is important. Steven has dedicated this CD to the memory of David Allan, who died in January 2012. He chose the music to accompany BBC TV Test Card transmissions during the 1960s and early 1970s, some of which are included in this collection. Only downside – no booklet. DA

TV SOUND AND IMAGE British Television, Film and Library Composers 1956-80 Condition Red (Barry Stoller); Three Days Of The Condor (Geoff Love Orchestra); Man Alive (Tony Hatch Sound); Tomorrow’s World (Richard Denton & Martin Cook); At The Sign Of The Swingin’ Cymbal (Frian Fahey Orchestra); The Contract Man (Bullet) Man Friday (Syd Dale); Echo Four-Two (Laurie Johnson Orchestra); The Persuaders (John Barry); Getting Nowhere In A Hurry (Roy Budd); Dawn To Dusk (Simon Park); New Avengers Theme (Laurie Johnson); Strike Rich (Reg Tilsley); Joe 90 (Barry Gray); Jaguar (John Gregory); Steam Heat (Barbara Moore); Angels (Alan Parker); Face Up (Alan Moorhouse)… 36 tracks on 2 CDs Soul Jazz Records SJR CD257 (110:17 mins). It may be surprising to find a collection like this on a label called ‘Soul Jazz Records’, which perhaps is an indication of the way in which production music (for want of a better name) is accepted in many quarters today, especially when it has either good rhythm, or is still associated with a fondly remembered TV show or film. Featuring music primarily (but not exclusively) sourced from the vaults of De Wolfe and KPM, this features 36 tracks - some commissioned by film and television studios between 1956 and 1980, while the rest was in production music libraries (or even on commercial discs) waiting for someone to choose it. Much of the music will be familiar to people of a certain age, and it covers a range of styles including orchestral, moody jazz, organ led upbeat numbers, and even folk. And as you’d expect, there is plenty of what people like to call ‘easy listening’. Highlights (and there are many) include the Brian Fahey Orchestra's At the Sign of the Swingin' Cymbal - the theme to Alan 'Fluff' Freeman's ‘Pick of The Pops’, and Roy Budd's theme to the original "Get Carter" film starring Michael Caine. Most of the big names are here - John Barry, Keith Mansfield, Barry Gray, Syd Dale, Roy Budd etc. The two CDs are presented in a jewel case that is housed in a cardboard slip case alongside a 48 page booklet. Featuring biographies on all of the featured artists (written by Jonny Trunk), a brief history of Library music, a short essay about de Wolfe Music and archive photos, it's of the standard people now expect from Soul Jazz Records. Confusingly, the introduction highlights a couple of theme tunes – "Mastermind" and "Match of The Day" - to explain how Library music has worked its way into the consciousness of UK television audiences even though neither tune features on the album. But the booklet is something to treasure, even though poor Neil Richardson has his face cut in half through being on two pages that only open flat with difficulty. Also it would have been preferable to see a photo of Barry Gray, rather than the puppet Joe 90 for whom he wrote the TV theme. But if only all CD booklets were like this. Jonny Trunk has done a great job with this collection. DA

THE ANDREWS SISTERS ‘Some Sunny Day’ 117 tracks incl. Heat Wave; Jolly Fella Tarantella; Count Your Blessings; Quicksilver; Tegucigalpa; Adios; Piccolo Pete; In the Mood Jasmine JASBOX 29-4 (78:37, 79:26, 78:40 & 78:25) This is a fantastic bargain, which samples the latter part of the Andrews Sisters’ career from the mid-forties until late 1953, plus reunions in 1959 and 1961. It includes the contents of five Decca LPs, namely ‘Irving Berlin Songs’, ‘Go West Young Man’ with Bing Crosby, ‘I Love to Tell the Story’ a collection of hymns with Victor Young, ‘My Isle of Golden Dreams’a collection of Hawaiian songs with Alfred Alpaka, and ‘Sing, Sing, Sing’. The sisters collaborated with other singers, and in addition to those already mentioned Al Jolson, Dick Haymes, Danny Kaye, and Jimmy Durante are included. There are a number of rarities here also, some of which were only issued in India, Argentina or the UK. Accompaniments include Vic Schoen, Guy Lombardo & his Royal Canadians, Gordon Jenkins, Russ Morgan, Skip Martin, Sy Oliver and Nelson Riddle. BMC

BING CROSBY ‘Through The Years Vol.10’ 30 tracks incl. Happy Holiday; Joy to the World; White Christmas; The First Nowell; Good King Wenceslas; Away in a Manger; Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly; O Little Town of Bethlehem; Silent Night … Sepia 1192 (76:53) This compilation was mentioned in our June issue but re-appears here in view of its content. The first 19 Christmas tracks (44’54") include the ten listed above that Bing recorded in 1955 with Paul Weston and his Orchestra and The Norman Luboff Choir. The remainder feature choirs from around the world, including those of the Mormon Tabernacle, Vatican and Dedham Choral Society in Essex (actually recorded in the UK), taken from the same year’s CBS radio special ‘A Christmas Sing with Bing’. A nice touch is also to have included Bing’s own introductions. There are two other Christmas tracks: a 1935 Silent Nightwith George Stoll and his Orchestra and The Crinoline Choir; and a Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Townfrom 1943 with Vic Schoen and his Orchestra and The Andrews Sisters. More information about the disc and a listing of the nine non-seasonal tracks are in JIM 192. Certainly a Crosby connoisseur’s choice! PB

ELLA FITZGERALD ‘The Voice of Elegance’ 55 tracks incl. Happy Talk; Lover Come Back to Me; My Happiness; Lazy Day; An Empty Ballroom; Come On-a My House; Baby Doll; Old Devil Moon….Jasmine JASCD 707 (79:46 & 79:52) This reissue concentrates on the last eight years of Ella’s recording career with Decca, which ended in 1955 when she switched to Verve. The earliest recording, That Old Feeling, dates from December 1947, as also does How High the Moon. You won’t find that out from Jasmine’s track list, which omits recording dates, although such information should be provided not just for today’s collectors, but also for the future. A number of these songs are well-known from previous reissues, but there are others which are new to me, and two (Soldier Boy and I Can’t Get Started) which don’t appear to have been issued at the time. Ella’s slightly throaty voice and effortless delivery imbued her songs with a feeling of warmth and joy, and she was well-served by her accompaniments, the excellence of which is enhanced by the quality of the remastering. There were occasions when the song became a vehicle for her voice, rather than the other way round, and the choice of material was sometimes less than ideal, but such occasions are minimal, and overall it’s a great compilation. BMC

THE GEORGE MITCHELL MINSTRELS ‘Meet The Minstrels’ The Two Original Albums ‘The Black and White Minstrel Show’’ (stereo 1960) "Meet the Minstrels"; "Leslie Stuart Melodies"; "In the Moonlight"; "Your Requests"; "Meet the Girls"; "A Tribute to Al Jolson"; "Memories of Stephen Foster"; "Grand Finale"; ‘Another Black and White Minstrel Show’ (mono 1961) "Meet the Minstrels"; "The Good Old Summertime"; "Alabamy Bound with Al Jolson"; "Western Style"; "Your Requests"; "Ay Ay Ay"; "Dry Bones"; "Goodbye-ee" Jasmine JASCD 219 (77:59) The Television Toppers, Leslie Crowther, Stan Stennett, George Chisholm, and the solo singing stars of the show: tenor John Boulter, bass Dai Francis and baritone Tony Mercer … ah, the memories! That the "blacking-up" is now considered racist should not detract from the quality of the product, which was required viewing on BBC Saturday night television for 20 years from 1958, and the highest rated variety show of the Sixties winning the Golden Rose of Montreux for Best TV Show in the World in 1961. The stage show ran for 6,477 performances in London’s West End, collecting a Guinness Book of Records entry for the live show seen by the largest number of people (your reviewer among them). It has been a real pleasure revisiting these (then) sales-breaking UK No.1 LPs and a big "bravo" to the label for bringing them back into circulation – with more promised. There is also a good liner note from Sam Hicks May. PB

CATERINA VALENTE ‘Classics with a Chaser’ 26 tracks incl. Tonight we love; Stranger in Paradise; The things I love; La Strada Dell’ 'Amore; Where; I love Paris; Ciao Ciao Bambina; La Canzone di Orfeo (Manha da Carnival); Nessuno al Mondo; Till; Stardust Sepia 1202 (70:00) The latest re-issue from Ms Valente is another winner. The first part of this album brings together a group of popular classical pieces that have been adapted as popular songs – Debussy’s Reverie becomes Larry Clinton's My Reverie and Chopin's Polonaise No 6 becomes Till the end of time – all beautifully sung in English with an instrumental prelude track to each classical piece provided by her regular M.D. Werner Müller and His Orchestra. The remaining bonus tracks are taken mainly from her early Decca years in the late 1950's and include her hits, TillPersonalita and Sucu-Sucu. The remastering by Robin Cherry is superb and the accompanying booklet first class with informative liner notes by Ossie Dales. MC

ANDY WILLIAMS ‘Very Best Of …’ 24 tracks incl. Moon River; Can’t get used to losing you; Music to watch girls by; Can’t take my eyes off you; The Impossible Dream (The Quest); Happy heart; Solitaire; Never can say goodbye; Raindrops keep falling on my head; It’s so easy; Born free; Up, up and away; May each day ... Sony 88697588282 The relaxed and friendly Andy was lost to us this September after almost an 84-year-lifetime in show business and most of his fans are likely to have at least one of his many easy going, middle-of-the-road albums in their collections. But if he does not have a place on your CD shelves and you would like a memento of one of the world’s finest ever popular singers, then look no further than this low-priced compilation from October 2009. PB 

LOUIS BELLSON ‘Four Classic Albums Plus’ 34 tracks Avid AMSC 1066 (79:58 & 79.58) Avid has issued three 2-CD sets featuring drummer-led groups. This one comprises all but three numbers from five 1950s 10" LPs, namely ‘The Just Jazz All Stars featuring Louis Bellson’ (1952), ‘Concerto for Drums’ (1954), ‘The Hawk Talks’ (1955), ‘Louis Bellson at the Flamingo’ (1957), and five tracks from‘Drummer’s Holiday’ (1956). He was a dynamic drummer, who could calibrate his performance from a subtle accompaniment to powerhouse percussion, and the full spectrum of his talent is showcased here. BMC

BARNEY KESSEL ‘Three Classic Albums Plus’ 36 tracks incl. Sweet Sue; By the Beautiful Sea; Satin Doll; Nagasaki; Swingin’ the Toreador; Volare; Angel Eyes… AVID AMSC 1064 (78:17 & 79:08) This falls one track short of four original LPs, all recorded between March 1957 and April 1959. In 1956 guitarist Barney Kessel, bassist Ray Brown and drummer Shelley Manne headed the jazz polls of the Downbeat, Metronome and Playboy magazines, and teamed up subsequently to record 'The Poll Winners'. They repeated the hat trick the following year, and celebrated by recording 'The Poll Winners Ride Again' in August 1958, from which the number Foreign Intrigue has been omitted. The choice of material was more eclectic, but the result just as enjoyable. In December 1958, following the surprise success of Shelly Manne’s 'My Fair Lady' album, Barney Kessel assembled a group of musicians with whom to record his arrangements of the score of Bizet’s Carmen. There were three groups involved, with a rhythm section of André Previn on piano, Joe Mondragon on bass and Shelly Manne on drums as a constant. The result did not take off as well as its predecessor, or the subsequent 'West Side Story' album under Previn’s leadership. Nevertheless, it was an artistic success which merited this reissue. The 'Some Like it Hot' album dates from March/April 1959, and was based on the score of the Billy Wilder film of that title, with a modern facelift to songs based in the Prohibition era. This is a delightful compilation, which showcases one of the great bop guitarists in a varied programme, featuring first-class arrangements superbly played by some of the best around. Sound quality is excellent, with much if not all in stereo. BMC

GENE KRUPA ‘Five Classic Albums Plus’ 38 tracks incl. I’m Coming Virginia; Jungle Drums; Day by Day; Love is Here to Stay; China Boy; How High the Moon. Avid AMSC 1069 (73:54 & 79:17)This reissue presents three 10" LPs on CD 1, all by the Gene Krupa Sextet, recorded in April 1953, September 1953, and February 1954, with a varying line-up which included Charlie Shavers, Bill Harris, Ben Webster and Teddy Wilson. CD 2 begins with ‘Hey … Here’s Gene Krupa’ from mid-1957 with Eddie Shu, Dave McKenna & Wendell Marshall, continues with ‘The Gene Krupa Trio Collates’with Charlie Ventura and Teddy Napoleon from 1953, and concludes with the EP ‘Drum Boogie’ which was recorded in Tokyo in April 1952. As you’d expect, this well-planned compilation offers exciting hard-driving jazz, with high-quality sound restoration. BMC

SHELLY MANNE ‘Three Classic Albums Plus’ 37 tracks Avid AMSC 1067 (79:31 & 79:51) This label’s third drummer-led set contains two albums based on the soundtrack of the TV series ‘Peter Gunn’ and, but for two tracks, two albums of numbers from the 1956 musicals ‘Bells are Ringing’ and‘Li’l Abner’. It’s a most enjoyable set, which swings along in a relaxed fashion, under Shelly’s genial leadership. BMC

MEL POWELL ‘Four Classic Albums Plus’ 42 tacks incl. Makin’ Whoopee; You’re My Thrill; Ain’t She Sweet; Pennies from Heaven; Liza; Easy Swing; ‘S Wonderful; Hallelujah…. Avid AMSC 1063(79:58 & 78:58) Mel Powell had a prodigious talent, and his jazz credentials were impeccable, but his interest turned increasingly to classical music, which he studied at Yale under Paul Hindemith. Nevertheless, between 1953 and 1955 he recorded several excellent Vanguard albums, under John Hammond’s hands-off direction. This compilation assembles four and a half Vanguard albums, plus four tracks from a Septet album, and an EP 'Classics in Jazz' which dates from December 1947. The Septet album dates from December 1953, and includes Edmond Hall on clarinet, Buck Clayton on trumpet, Walter Page on bass, and Jimmy Crawford on drums. Avid has included the four jazz numbers from the A Side, and omitted the B Side of the solo Sonatina for Piano. 'Borderline' was recorded in August 1954, with Paul Quinichette on tenor sax and Bobby Donaldson on drums, and'Thigamagig' followed exactly a week later, with the tenor sax replaced by Ruby Braff on trumpet.'The Mel Powell Bandstand' dates from December 1954, and Joan Wile (subsequent founder of Grandmothers Against the War) made her recording debut with 'My Last Millionaire' and 'Soon'.Finally, 'Out on a Limb' was recorded in October 1955, and features two studio groups, in which Bobby Donaldson on drums is the common factor. These recordings showcase Powell’s superb sense of swing; the earliest reflect his Dixieland background, and the later ones chart the growing influence of bop, transmuted by his classical sensibilities. His choice of musicians was astute, and the whole compilation sparkles with variety. Given the scarcity of this material, to have so much made available all at once is a treat that should not be missed. BMC

‘BRITISH DANCE BANDS’ 124 tracks incl. Blue Mountaineers I Got Rhythm; Jack McCormick At the Café Continental; Don Marino Barretto Green Eyes; Billy Munn Night and Day; Nat Star Hummin’ to Myself; Ben Frankel The Donkey Serenade; Four Bright Sparks My Idea of Heaven; Syd SeymourJust Like Jack, Just Like Jill; Tommy Kinsman A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody; Joe Orlando Remember Me?; George Elrick Popcorn Man; Josephine Bradley Tea for Two; Felix Mendelssohn CherokeeIvy Benson Stardust; Eddie Wood Hands Across the Table; Len Fillis By the Lazy Lagoon … DELTA 9052(74:56, 75:42, 74:29, 73:35 & 74:53) On the face of it, a 5-CD set for £12.99 including p&p would seem too good to be true, but like Delta’s earlier 5-CD set 'The Golden Age of Swing', the price is the only cheap thing about this compilation. Each CD is self-contained in a separate jewel case, with a comprehensive liner note and clearly annotated tracks, which are arranged in chronological order. Broadly speaking, it spans the Thirties and Forties, plus a handful of tracks from the Fifties. In addition to the more esoteric groups listed above, the usual suspects are also represented, but the degree of duplication with other CDs is lower than I had anticipated. By my reckoning, only just over fifty are commercially available already, mainly in the Vocalion dance band series, plus fourteen on vinyl. Of those that are new to CD, three were issued originally on the extremely rare Octacros label. The remastering is crisp and clear, and I recommend this package whole-heartedly. BMC

CARROLL GIBBONS & the SAVOY HOTEL ORPHEANS Volume 13 ‘Rustic Rhapsody’ 24 tracks incl. The Mood that I’m in; Amor, Amor; Do I Love You? ; My Favourite Dream; It Might as Well be Spring; Cynthia’s in Love…. Vocalion CDEA 6200 (72:57)

ROY FOX at the CAFÉ de PARIS ‘Spin a Little Web of Dreams’ 24 tracks incl. Midnight, the Stars and You; Aloha Beloved; One Morning in May; My Sweet; True … Vocalion CDEA 6201 (73:21)

THE NEW MAYFAIR DANCE ORCHESTRA DIRECTED BY CARROLL GIBBONS ‘Encore’ 25 tracks incl. All by Yourself in the Moonlight; Spread a Little Happiness; Anita: Nobody’s Fault but Your Own; Dancing Goblin…… Vocalion CDEA6202 (77:37)

Again, a disclaimer insofar as liner notes for these three reissues were written by yours truly, plus amea culpa!

Reissues of recordings by the Savoy Hotel Orpheans tend to concentrate on the thirties, but apart from the first two numbers in this latest compilation, which date from 1937, all the rest were recorded between 1940 and 1946. By then the Orpheans were playing in the then popular homogenous orchestral style, but without any lowering of standards. Carroll took a rare vocal on the song Who Am I? and his delightful piano playing is much in evidence. It introduces Too Romanticwhich is one of nine numbers sung here by his long-time vocalist Anne Lenner.

In 1934 Roy Fox spent three months at the Café de Paris, from March to May, and this compilation contains two dozen out of the 32 sides which came out of that residency. I can find only two tracks which have been reissued previously, both on a Decca LP, so duplication is minimal. Most of the vocals were taken by Denny Dennis, who'd joined Roy Fox at the end of 1933, and show why he attracted the title of "The British Bing Crosby". Trumpeter Sid Buckman sings the swinging Swaller Tail Coat, and the remaining six vocals fall to the mezzo-soprano tones of pianist Peggy Dell. It's a very attractive compilation which features a good mix of ballads and up-tempo numbers, Over My Shoulder in particular underlining what a superb outfit this was.

The New Mayfair Dance Orchestra was the HMV house band, which was reconstituted in 1928 under Carroll Gibbons’ musical directorship, which lasted until mid-1929, when he handed over to Ray Noble. Reissues mainly feature the latter’s recordings, particularly those with vocals by Al Bowlly, but Carroll’s have much to commend them, not least for the presence on some of the great American trumpeter Sylvester Ahola. Many of the numbers reflect the twenties vogue for syncopation, and over half the numbers are instrumentals. Of the vocals, I have erred in crediting Good Little Bad Little You to Eddie Grossbart instead of Eddie Brandt. Mike Dutton’s remastering has captured a very full depth of sound, and many of these treasures will be new to collectors. BMC 

FRANK BANTA ‘Upright and Grand’ 27 tracks incl. I Wonder Where My Baby is Tonight; Ain’t She Sweet; Nola; Go Home and Tell Your Mother; The Doll Dance Rivermont BSW-1142 (78:04) This CD gives a fascinating glimpse of a bygone era, through the recordings between 1923 and 1930 of virtuoso solo syncopator Frank Banta. His background and career is set out in the accompanying liner note by Alex Hassan (another piano virtuoso). He makes the point that Banta’s style of playing was perfect for the recording medium; a light touch, crisp and clear, and he made it sound as natural as breathing. Given the age and rarity of the original recordings, some residual surface noise is inevitable, but Bryan Wright’s remastering enables every nuance to be appreciated fully. BMC

‘DAINTY DEBUTANTES Female Novelty Pianists of the 1930s’ 26 tracks incl. You are My Heart’s Delight; Just by Your Example; Jazz up Your Lingerie; Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart; To a Wild Rose Rivermont BSW-1149 (78:38) This is a stunning compilation of recordings by Patricia Rossborough, the South African Raie de Costa, Renara, the American Edythe Baker, Australian Beryl Newell, and the Canadian Vera Guilaroff. All of the ladies concerned possessed keyboard skills of a very high order, whose artistry elevated popular songs of the day into minor works of art. The standout for me is Raie de Costa, and what Alex Hassan's liner note refers to as her amazing theme and variations on Cole Porter's ‘I've Got You on My Mind’. That alone is worth the price of the CD, most of which sounds as though freshly minted yesterday. BMC

ADAM ‘Giselle – Highlights’ Academy of St Martin in the Fields / Sir Neville Marriner Brilliant Classics 94354 (66:45) Music from the ballet is a good introduction to the whole wonderful world of classical music, and you will find no better value single album of the genre than this one.Giselle is the first ballet still regularly performed that was independent of opera, and is regarded as one of the great ballets of the romantic era. Written in 1841 by the Paris born Adolphe Adam (1803-56) it is now his best-remembered major work, although he is possibly even better known for his much-loved Christmas carol O Holy Night (Minuit, crėtiens!). This first-rate recording was made in December 1994 in the Church of St Jude-on-the-Hill in Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, and was originally issued on the Capriccio label. ET

‘BEETHOVEN FOR ALL’ Music of Power, Passion and Beauty West-Eastern Divan Orchestra ˕ Staatskapelle Berlin / Daniel Barenboim Decca B0016871-02 (143:14) Along with John Wilson, of course, another highlight of this year’s BBC Proms was the Beethoven Symphony series played by Maestro Barenboim’s remarkable orchestra of young musicians from Israel, Palestine and Arab countries of the Middle East. On this 2-CD set there are just over 72 minutes of extracts from the above series together with extracts on three tracks each of piano concertos (accompanied by the Staatskapelle) and piano sonatas with the conductor as soloist. This is an excellent release attractively priced and an ideal Christmas gift as an introduction to the greatest classical composer of them all. It would get my vote for being among the year’s best. ET

DELIUS Scottish National Orchestra / Sir Andrew Davis Chandos CHAN 10742 (75:35) If it had not been for Sir Thomas Beecham then we might never have heard of Delius, which would have been a great loss. Brigg Fair and Paris are lovely pieces in a lighter vein while Idylle de Printemps(English translation Springtime Idyll) has never been heard before, which is strange because it is excellent. The Piano Concerto is also enjoyable, especially as it is the rare original three movement piece as opposed to the one movement usually heard. A fine CD. PW

JOHAN SVENDSEN Orchestral Works – Volume 2’ Truls Mork (cello) Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra / Neeme Jarvi Chandos CHAN 10711 (72:09) Svendsen (1840-1911) studied at Leipzig, and at one time was a friend of Richard Wagner. Norwegian by birth, he spent much of his career in Denmark, where he became chief conductor at Copenhagen’s Royal Theatre. For one who showed such early promise as a composer, it is sad to relate that by the end of his thirties he had experienced a decline in inspiration and productivity, and from his early forties until his death he completed only a few occasional works. The composer’s great strength lay in his ability as a superb orchestrator, and it was in the field of orchestral music that Svendsen really excelled. Although he wrote very much in the Nordic idiom, his masterly command of the orchestra reminds me of Brahms, and particularly at times of Dvorak. The two Norwegian Rhapsodies Nos. 3 and 4 on this disc make use of several Norwegian traditional folk tunes, and some of this material will be familiar to those who are conversant with the music of Grieg, who was a close friend and near-contemporary. TheConcerto for Cello and Orchestra, Op.7 is a brief work of about 19 minutes, and although written in a conventional three-movement form, these are played without a break, with the last movement reprising much of thematic material of the first. (It has been suggested that the E flat Piano Concertoof Franz Liszt was the inspiration for this format). Although not of the same stature as, say, the Dvorak or Schumann concertos for the cello, it is an interesting work, worth getting to know. TheSymphony No.2, Op.15, written in 1876, was an immediate and well-deserved success, warmly received by both audience and critics. Written at the peak of Svendsen’s composing career at the age of 36, it is at one and the same time (to my ears anyway) both Nordic and Germanic – there are more than a few overtones of Richard Wagner in the writing. The quality of both the orchestral performances and the recordings – made at the Grieghallen, Bergen, Norway – are of the highest standard. This new CD is a worthy addition to the Chandos catalogue, and is highly recommended to those who, like me, are keen to explore the undoubted treasures of Scandinavian 19th-century musical repertoire. TC

(You will find a review of Volume 1 in JIM 191. – KT Ed.) 

‘NORDIC VIOLIN FAVOURITES’ Henning Kraggerud (violin) Dalasinfoniettan / Bjarte Engeset 21 tracks Naxos 8.572827 (74:48) Our listening pleasure has been enhanced again thisyear by many outstanding value-for-money releases from Naxos, and here is one of the best of them. There was a great deal of Nordic writing for the violin in the two decades from 1910 and this album has six fine examples by Olsen, Atterberg (a World Première Recording of Suite No.3), Stenhammar, Halvorsen, Sibelius and Sinding: Six Old Village Songs from Lom in NorwayTwo Sentimental Romances, Norwegian Dance, Six Humoresques and Evening Mood, together with two pieces by "The Nordic Paganini", Ole Bull (1810-80): Memories of Havana and A Mountain Vision. They are all marvellously played by the Oslo-born violinist who has been a recipient of Norway’s prestigious Grieg Prize. He is sensitively supported by the 29-strong chamber orchestra conducted by his fellow countryman. Both have made several highly praised recordings for the label in the past. Be warned, the liner notes pack in so much information they are of necessity in very small print. The recorded sound from Sweden is extremely good and altogether this is a release to be savoured. ET

NICOLA BENEDETTI ‘The Silver Violin’ Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra / Kirill Kirabits15 tracks incl. Williams Schindler’s List – Main Theme; Korngold Tanzlied des Pierrot; Violin Concerto; Mariettas Lied; Gardel Por una cabeza; Shostakovitch Romance; Andante; Prelude; Hess Ladies in Lavender – Main Theme; Marianelli My Edward & I; Shore Concertino – Eastern Promises Tatiana;Mahler Piano Quartet in A Minor Decca 478 3529 (77:54) Voted Best Female Artist at this year’s Classic BRIT Awards and a star of the BBC’s Last Night of the Proms, the 25-year-old Miss Benedetti has been critically extolled as one of the foremost violinists of her generation. Here she turns her attention to film music from the 1930s onwards, with the main work being the Czech-born Hollywood composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s 25½ minute concerto for which he drew on themes from his movie scores. That this disc is as much about Korngold as the silver screen, his two shorter pieces are from an opera. On other tracks film buffs may recognise music from ‘Scent of a Woman’, ‘The Gadfly’, ‘Jane Eyre’ and ‘Shutter Island’, among others. Not surprisingly the album, released in late August, went straight to the top of the Official Classical Album Chart and was still there as I wrote this in late October. It also made the low 30s in the Top 40 UK albums chart. You will note that Decca’s timing is a lot more generous than for many of their lighter music releases I have reviewed in the past. PB

'THE COLOURS OF CHRISTMAS' 23 tracks incl. Ding Dong! Merrily on high; In Dulci Jubilo; Away in a Manger; Hodie Christus natus est; I wonder as I wander; Silent Night; In the bleak mid-winter; O Holy Night; Joy to the world; Deck the hall; The Christmas Song … Decca 2782129 (73:27) Received too late to review at this time last year is this album with fresh recordings of some of the best-loved Christmas music compiled by the Festive season’s popular man-about-music, John Rutter, including what was then his brand new carol that gives the album its name. Other artists are The Bach Choir, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, organist John Birch and Over the Bridge (a nine-voice close harmony group, mainly made up of Clare College choral scholars, featured on three tracks), all conducted by "Mr Christmas" himself. PB

Some more recent releases recommended by Wilfred Askew

COUNT BASIE & HIS ORCHESTRA ‘Broadway and Hollywood .... Basie’s Way’ ‘Broadway’(1966) 12 tracks incl. Just in time; Mame; On a clear day; From this moment on; People; Everything’s coming up roses … Hollywood’ (1967) 12 tracks incl. Secret love; The shadow of your smile; The Trolley Song; Strangers in the night; Hurry sundown blues; Days of wine and roses …Fresh Sound FSA-CD 546 (65:45) Two original Command albums.

FERDE GROFẾ ‘Rocketship X-M’ (1950) 15 tracks mastered from the 1977 Starlog Soundtrack album. Bonus: Noodling On The Theramin MonsterMovie Music MMM-1965 (37:16) 

LURLEEN HUNTER ‘The Velvet Voice’ 4 albums on 2 CDs ‘Lonesome Gal’ (RCA, 1955) w. Al Nevins’s Orch. 12 tracks incl. Brief encounter; A stranger in town; But not for me; On Green Dolphin Street … ‘Night Life’ (VIK, 1956) w. Manny Albam’s Orch. 12 tracks incl. Georgia on my mind; Gentleman friend; Moondrift; Sunday … ‘Stepping Out’ (VIK, 1957) w. Phil Moore’s Orch. 12 tracks incl. Old devil moon; Blues in the night; Under a blanket of blue; Some other time … ‘Blue And Sentimental’ (Atlantic, 1960)

w. Jimmy Guiffre’s Orch. 11 tracks incl. Blue turning grey over you; If you could see me now; Crazy he calls me; Then I’ll be tired of you … Fresh Sound FSRR-CD 662 (147:11) 

HENRY MANCINI ‘Hatari’ Original Film Soundtrack 22 tracks Intrada Special Collection Vol. 200 (61:35) 

‘Charade’ Complete Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 28 tracks Intrada MAF 7121 (77:51)

DIMITRI TIOMKIN ‘Fall Of The Roman Empire’ Expanded Motion Picture Soundtrack – limited to 2,500 units 27 tracks La-La Land LLLCD 1202 (65:00)

World Premiere Recording of the Complete Film Score on 2 CDs City of Prague Philharmonic / Nic Raine 37 tracks A Tadlow Music Production Prometheus Records XPCD 170 (138:14) 

’55 Days AT Peking’ Expanded Original Film Soundtrack on 2 CDs – limited to 2,500 copies 57 tracks La-La Land LLLCD 1184 (114:25)

DAVID WHITAKER (1931 – 2012) ‘The Sword And The Sorcerer’ Original Film Soundtrack The Grounke S.O. / Whitaker 23 tracks BSX Records BSXCD 8910 (68:31)

EARL GRANT ‘Nothin’ But The Versatile Earl Grant’ 4 U.S. Decca LPs on 2 CDs 48 tracks ‘The Versatile Mr Grant’ incl. Blue star; Japanese Farewell Song; Dream; Ol’ Man River … ‘Nothin’ But The Blues’ incl. One for my baby; Basin St. Blues; St. Louis Blues … ‘Stormy Weather’ incl. Canadian Sunset; Ebb tide; Misty; "Exodus" Theme … ‘Paris Is My Beat’ incl. Under Paris skies; Bon soir; Beyond the sea; Two loves have I … Jasmine JASCD 197 (152:46)

PEPE JARAMILLO ‘Salud Pepé’ with his Latin-American Rhythm directed by Geoff Love 30 tracks incl. Cachito, Cachita; A woman in love; Romantica; Pepé; Delicado; Adios; Boy on a dolphin …Jasmine JASCD 193 (75:18) 

BILLY VAUGHN AND HIS ORCHESTRA ‘Orange Blossom Special & Wheels’ and ‘Berlin Melody’ 2 Dot albums from 1961 25 tracks incl. Are you lonesome tonight?; The Whiffenpoof Song; Green green grass of Texas; It’s a lonesome old town … Wooden heart; Blue moon; Till I waltz again with you; Come September … 3 bonus tracks: Red River Valley; Side by side; You are my sunshineSepia 1183 (66:04)

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About Geoff 123
Geoff Leonard was born in Bristol. He spent much of his working career in banking but became an independent record producer in the early nineties, specialising in the works of John Barry and British TV theme compilations.
He also wrote liner notes for many soundtrack albums, including those by John Barry, Roy Budd, Ron Grainer, Maurice Jarre and Johnny Harris. He co-wrote two biographies of John Barry in 1998 and 2008, and is currently working on a biography of singer, actor, producer Adam Faith.
He joined the Internet Movie Data-base (www.imdb.com) as a data-manager in 2001 and looked after biographies, composers and the music-department, amongst other tasks. He retired after nine years loyal service in order to continue writing.