26 May

Keeping Track - Dateline September 2012

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Reviewers in this issue: David Ades, Peter Burt, Roger Hyslop, Barry McCanna, Edward Trub and Edmund Whitehouse

KT Editor's CD Choice

HENRY JEROME & HIS ORCHESTRA 'Brazen Brass' 2-CDs 48 tracks incl. 'Brazen Brass' Stompin' at the Savoy; Glow Worm; Dance of the Hours Cha Cha Cha; Blue Moon; Bugle Call Waltz; The Saints Go Marching In … 'Brazen Brass Goes to Hollywood' Around the World; Moonglow; Three Coins in the Fountain; High Noon; Gigi; The Third Man Theme … 'Brazen Brass Plays Songs Everybody Knows'Alexander's Ragtime Band; You Were Meant for Me; I Can't Give You Anything But Love; Margie; Near You; On the Sunny Side of the Street … 'Brazen Brass Brings Back The Bands' In the MoodYou Made Me Love You; Song of India; Sentimental Journey; Dipsy Doodle; Sing Sing Sing (With a Swing) … Jasmine JASCD 704 (55:30 & 64:37) Henry Jerome, born 1917, started as a bandleader in high school. From the mid-1930s until the end of the 1940s his was a "sweet" band, specialising in light ballads and moderate tempos. After breaking up the band Jerome went into record producing, and ended up forming a new studio band to release a series of LPs for Decca under the name of "Brazen Brass", inspired by the success of Enoch Light's "Percussion" albums and sound (see review in JIM 192 or online at www.rfsoc.org.uk). The trademark "brazen" sound was enhanced through stereo by recording an equal number of trumpets on each channel. According to Jerome, the technique was "To have my open brass section on left speaker talk musically to the muted brass section on the right speaker in musical phrases and be able to reverse them, which was unheard of in those days." He produced and conducted nine Brazen Brass albums for Decca (four of them, including the second album here, making the American Top 10) as well as several more sweet albums, until he left to become an A&R man for Coral in 1959. He released one more "brazen" style album in the late 1960s for United Artists. With good transfers and digital processing this first CD release is swing accented easy listening and, though apart from the rhythm section there is nary a string to be heard, I loved it. PB

MANUEL AND THE MUSIC OF THE MOUNTAINS 'Mountain Fire' & 'Beyond The Mountains' 24 tracks incl. Sailing; Evergreen from 'A Star is Born'; El Porompompero; Forever and Ever; Dancing in the Dark; Cachita … El Rancho Grande; Shangri-La; The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (I will wait for you); Stranger in Paradise'; Dancers of El Paso; Over the Rainbow … Vocalion CDLK 4476 (77:02)Readers who are enjoying the Music for Pleasure LP re-issues from Geoff Love and his Orchestra on this label will also want this release. Geoff used his "Manuel" moniker on 30 albums from 1960 to 1981. The first one here comes from 1977, the second from ten years earlier and they were originally on EMI's Studio 2 Stereo label. The album titles are both Love compositions. PB

EDMUNDO ROS 'Cuban Love Song' 28 tracks incl. Cuban Love Song; Los Hijos de Buda; Maria Elena; No Can Do Calypso; Tico-Tico; Come Closer to Me; The Coffee Song; A Rainy Night in Rio; The Wedding Samba; April in Portugal; Delicado; I Talk to the Trees; Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White; Spanish Gypsy Dance Retrospective RTR 4200 (79:20) This is a timely tribute to the highly popular Latin-American bandleader, who died last year just short of his 101st birthday! During his 36 years as a bandleader he did much to popularise such exotic rhythms as the bolero, the rumba, the mambo and the paso doblé, all of which rhythms and more are represented here. The compilation takes in his early forties recordings whilst resident at the Coconut Grove in Regent Street, his mid to late '40s recordings when at the Bagatelle, and those made in the early to mid-fifties with his expanded orchestra. It concludes with three tracks from his 1958 album 'Rhythm of the South', one of Decca’s early stereo LPs, and something of a trail-blazer in its day. The original recordings transported listeners to exotic sun-kissed locations; the splendidly remastered sound should have the same effect. BMC

'MERRYMAKERS – BRITISH LIGHT CLASSICS' Iain Sutherland Concert Orchestra Overture – The Merrymakers (Eric Coates); The Girl From Corsica (Trevor Duncan); Little Serenade (Ernest Tomlinson); Dance In The Twilight – from ‘Springtime’ Suite (Eric Coates); Sutherland’s Law Theme (Hamish McCunn); March – Things To Come (Arthur Bliss); The Watermill (Ronald Binge); Playful Scherzo (Peter Hope); Dusk – from ‘Fancy Dress’ Suite (Cecil Armstrong Gibbs); Seventeen Come Sunday (Ralph Vaughan Williams); Theme from ‘Limelight’ (Charles Chaplin, arr. Reg Tilsley); Overture – The Arcadians (Lionel Monckton, arr. Arthur Wood); The Dream of Olwen (Charles Williams); English Dance No. 6 (Malcolm Arnold); My Love Is Like a Red Red Rose (Trad. arr. Gordon Langford); Mexican Hat Dance (Trad. arr. Peter Hope); Suo Gan (Trad. arr. Adrian Staines); Dick’s Maggot – from ‘Suite of English Folk Dances’ (Ernest Tomlinson); Bells Across The Meadow (Albert William Ketèlbey); Overture – Tam o’Shanter (Malcolm Arnold) Alto ALC 1192 (78:29) CD collections like this make life so easy for the reviewer, because the contents automatically recommend themselves! We are blessed with a conductor who loves, and understands Light Music, and his passion shines through in every track. Whether he is dealing with the acknowledged "masters", such as Coates or Ketèlbey, or the slightly less familiar who were once heard frequently on the much-missed BBC Light Programme, the result is the same: polished performances that illustrate what a wonderful world of Light Music is out there for us all to enjoy. I don’t need to comment on the best known works, but I would draw your attention to the two tracks by Peter Hope. I well remember his Playful Scherzo from BBC broadcasts, but even more familiar is his brilliant arrangement of Mexican Hat Dance. It’s also nice to see our "own" new MBE – Ernest Tomlinson, with two of his most appealing numbers. Iain Sutherland has modestly restricted his own contribution to his arrangement of Land of the Mountain and Flood – perhaps he can be persuaded to delve deeper into his own archive next time; because there surely must be another CD like this. It is a pure joy from start to finish. The excellent remastering was in the hands of another of our RFS friends – Paul Arden-Taylor. DA

'CROSS-CHANNEL PACKET' Panorama Musical d’Outre Manche Marianne Melodie 635824 (2 CDs, total 157:29) What a delightful surprise, to discover a new box set of British music celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II – from a French record company! But when you look closely at the credits in the booklet you discover that our friend Ralph Harvey has had a big hand in it, and his wife Patricia has provided the striking cover picture. CD 1 focuses more on "pure" light music, with tracks such as Knightsbridge and other works by Eric Coates, Waltzes by Charles Ancliffe, and contributions from Albert William Ketèlbey and Edward German among others. Robert Farnon is well represented with his arrangements of traditional British airs: Strawberry Fair, Early One Morning, Drink To Me Only, Annie Laurie, All Through The Night and British Grenadiers. On CD 2 we begin with seven tracks by the great Jack Hylton Orchestra – surely one of the finest British dance bands from the 1920s onwards, although it had many fine outfits challenging its supremacy, such as Jack Payne, Henry Hall, Roy Fox, Geraldo, Carroll Gibbons and, finally, Ted Heath. In every respect this is an enjoyable and imaginative collection, cleanly remastered (some of the tracks from the 1930s are astonishing in their clarity), that will give hours of listening pleasure. The odd vocal has been removed by sympathetic editing – some purists may object, but I personally find it acceptable if the end result is a more satisfying listening experience. The bonus is the generous booklet, with notes in both French and English. Such fun! DA

MANTOVANI AND FRIENDS Memory Lane / Yesteryear GLM/Y-38-26a,b,c (3 CDs, total timing 179.18) This is a similar format to 'Yes, Milord!' [reviewed further on] except for the contents. This time the 60 tracks concentrate mainly on light orchestras, with the eponymous Annunzio Mantovani accompanied by Henry Mancini, Frank Chacksfield, George Melachrino, Leroy Anderson, Boston ‘Pops’, Ron Goodwin, Nelson Riddle, Ray Martin, Percy Faith, Edmundo Ros, Stanley Black, Ray Conniff, Bert Kaempfert, Helmut Zacharias, Norrie Paramor, MGM Studio Orchestra, 20thCentury Fox Studio Orchestra, Mitch Miller, Victor Silvester, Geoff Love and Robert Farnon – whose contributions are Westminster Waltz and Tea For Two. This is a vintage collection of top light orchestras that illustrates just how fortunate record buyers were in the 1950s. Great sound and a great choice of music, with the added bonus of a fine booklet. Just place any of these discs in the CD player, and sit back and wallow! DA

'THAMES DIAMOND JUBILEE PAGEANT – NEW WATER MUSIC' Ensemble H2Fast – Slow – Fast (Anne Dudley); Gigue (Debbie Wiseman); Bourree (John Lunn); Rigaudon (Howard Goodall); Air On The River (Stephen Warbeck); Passepied (Gavin Greenaway); Overture & Allegro (Julian Nott); Jubilee Gavotte-Rock (Christopher Gunning); Slowish (Graham Fitkin); Alla Hornpipe (Adrian Johnston); London Bells (Jocelyn Pook) Silva Screen SILCD1385 (54:31) These new works were commissioned by the Thames Diamond Jubilee Foundation, and performed for the first time at the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on Sunday 3rd June 2012 as part of the celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II’s 60 years on the throne. The background was explained in a special feature in the last issue of this magazine, when it was hoped that this New Water Music would be prominently featured during the celebrations. Unfortunately the BBC’s television coverage of this event left much to be desired, so it is good to have this CD as a permanent memento of this historic occasion. The music is inspired by the earlier event almost 300 years ago when Handel composed his famous (and still popular) Water Music. Today’s composers were encouraged to use the original titles as inspiration, but (as Debbie Wiseman says in the booklet) "not to take this too literally, and to use our own musical voice." As a result we have eleven new interesting and contrasting works, which certainly deserve to have a life of their own. Each has been conducted by the composer, and the 17 top musicians forming the appropriately named "Ensemble H20" are all given their due credit in the booklet. Also there are explanations of each work by all the composers. It was a wonderful idea, brilliantly executed, and it is good to have this souvenir to enjoy over and over again. DA

DORIS DAY 'A Sentimental Journey With Doris Day : Her 53 Finest 1944-1960' incl. Sentimental Journey Day By Day; It’s Magic; Canadian Capers; Lullaby of Broadway; Moonlight Bay; Mister Tap Toe; Secret Love; Ready, Willing and Able; Singin’ in the Rain; Three Coins in the Fountain; Que Será Será Retrospective RTS 4198 (77:28 & 77:49) It’s rare for me to listen to such a lengthy compilation at one sitting, but this is an exceptional release. RFS member Doris is a tonic, whose voice projects her joie-de-vivre, instantly lifting the listener’s spirits. Her dulcet tones pour forth without strain, whatever the register, she’s a peerless interpreter of the song, and she enunciates the lyrics clearly. This is a superb compilation, which includes nine mid-40s recordings with Les Brown and a number from her many screen appearances. There are several duets; two with Buddy Clark, and one apiece with Frank Sinatra, Frankie Laine, Donald O’Connor, Johnnie Ray, and Paul Weston and Percy Faith figure prominently amongst her accompaniments. Remastering is excellent, and there’s a detailed discography and an informative liner note. BMC

SON YAMBU ‘La Maravilla’ 11 tracks inclBaila Con Mi Tumbao; Co Co Mai Mai; Mujer Majadera; Cangrejo; Le Sumba El Mango … Apollo Sound APSCD238 (51:08) It’s been some while since our friends at Apollo Sound announced a new release, but one has just arrived, and what a fascinating CD it is! Billed in the press release as the "First Ever Cuban Son Album Recorded in the UK", it features seven distinguished Cuban musicians who are members of London’s growing Latin American culture. Toby Herschmann (the son of Apollo Sound’s founder Heinz Herschmann) writes: "we can’t wait to prove that extraordinary Cuban musicians are not limited to the island and that the potential for a continuation of the Buena Vista legacy can be found on London’s very own doorstep". Upon hearing the music for the first time the words "Tijuana Brass" immediately spring to mind, but you quickly forget that this is not a commercially produced sound for western ears, but a group of dedicated musicians happily making music for their own – and your – enjoyment. A knowledge of Spanish would be an advantage to fully appreciate the vocals, but it is really the infectious rhythm that carries this music along. One can imagine it being played in London clubs on a warm summer evening, with the drink flowing and couples unable to resist taking to the dance floor! This is far from the usual kind of CD you find reviewed in this feature, but if you want something completely different – and are planning a Caribbean themed party – you could do far worse than have this happily playing away in the background creating the perfect ambience. DA

IAN WHITCOMB 'Songs Without Words'  48 tracks incl. The Dickens Waltz; My Blues; Wigwam Wigwalk; Der Pussycat Walk; Montmartre; Tango of the Bears … Rivermont BSW-3136 (70:07 & 77:58) Ian Whitcomb has been a great proselyte for the vanished age of popular music, and  this 2-CD retrospective provides a selection of his instrumental recordings from between 1964 and 2009. It features his piano, ukulele, orchestra and dance bands, and embraces ragtime, blues, tangos, waltzes, laments, and tone poems, and that doesn’t even begin to cover it. To paraphrase Ian’s engaging liner note, this is music to accompany activity, rather than for sitting passively listening. Music has charms, and they are captured here to perfection.  BMC

BILLY BUTTERFIELD 'What’s New?' 24 tracks incl. Stardust; Jazz Me Blues; Stormy Weather; Little White Lies; I’ll be a Friend with Pleasure … Retrospective RTR 4203 (78:42) Billy Butterfield came from that stable of trumpeters who, having been influenced by the playing of Bix Beiderbecke, saw purity of tune as an essential part of their armoury. He was born in 1917, the year of the first jazz recordings, and this fine compilation spans the first two decades of his recording career from the age of 21. It kicks off with one of his first solos with Bob Crosby’s Orchestra, followed by one from the Bob Cats, and thence to Artie Shaw. One of the four numbers he recorded with a studio group led by Mel Powell in February 1942 is included, as are three numbers he recorded with trombonist Brad Gowans & New York Nine in 1946. There are three vocal accompaniments, to Margaret Whiting, Frank Sinatra, and Lee Wiley, and the final two tracks feature him in a Ray Conniff setting. Much of the rest is devoted to recordings made with his own orchestra, and two leading his Jazz Band in a tribute to Bix. Every track is a delight, enjoyment of which is enhanced by Alan Bunting’s audio restoration. The reissue was inspired by trumpeter Digby Fairweather, whose liner note outlines his career, and gives an expert commentary on his playing. BMC

STAN GETZ 'Four Classic Albums' 28 tracks inclPan; To the Ends of the Earth; Night in Tunisia; Nature Boy …. Avid AMSC 1058 (78:37 & 76:14) This 2-CD set presents the original contents of four vinyl albums. 'West Coast Jazz' dates from August 1955 and features a quintet, the others being Conte Candoli on trumpet, Lou Levy on piano, Leroy Vinnegar on bass and Shelley Manne on drums.'The Soft Swing' was recorded two years later, with Mose Allison on piano, Addison Farmer on bass and Jerry Segal on drums. 'Cool Velvet' was recorded in West Germany in March 1960 with a string orchestra conducted by Russell Garcia. It may not be jazz, but with playing of such quality who cares? Finally, 'Focus'" comes from late 1961, and features Stan improvising against a string orchestra playing arrangements by Eddie Sauter. Of all his recordings, and there were many, this was Stan’s favourite. 'Cool Velvet' and 'Focus' were both recorded in stereo, and the sound quality is quite breathtaking. BMC

TEDDI KING 'Four Classic Albums Plus'  54 tracks incl. That Old Feeling; I Can't Get Started; You go to My Head; The Touch of Your Lips; Porgy; Temptation; Flamingo ... Avid AMSC 1059 (79:58 & 79:58)  This compilation features an undeservedly near-forgotten singer, who died in 1977, after a lengthy illness which kept her out of the limelight. 'All The King’s Songs' was recorded for Coral during 1953 with an orchestra directed by Lew Douglas & Johnny Richards. 'Storyville Presents Miss Teddi King' was  a 10" LP recorded in 1954 with the quartet of Ruby Braff, Jimmy Jones, Milt Hinton and Jo Jones, and six of the eight numbers are presented here, split three aside between the two CDs. The remainder is three RCA albums, namely 'Bidin’ My Time' with Al Cohn & his Orchestra from mid-1955, 'To You from Teddi King' from mid 1956, and 'A Girl and Her Songs' from March 1957, both accompanied by George Siravo & his Orchestra. Teddi King had a glorious bell-like voice, with a controlled vibrato, and the ability to project the lyrics in an understated fashion, relying on dynamics and intonation to convey her interpretation. It’s an exquisite reissue, which will commend itself to Miss King’s devotees, and should help to swell their number. BMC              

'BIG BROADCAST  VOLUME 7'  Various Artists 25 tracks incl. Tampeekoe; My Heart Stood Still; Happy Days & Lonely Nights; Nobody’s Sweetheart; Walkin’ My Baby Back Home; Smoke gets in Your Eyes; Lovely to Look at  Rivermont BSW-1156 (74:56) Every year Rich Conaty, the host of WFUV’s long-running radio programme "The Big Broadcast", draws on jazz and popular music of the twenties and thirties to produce a generous compilation, including curios and rarities. The lavishly-produced liner booklet provides illuminating background information. Just to take a few examples, Moxie was a soda drink, and Arthur Fields’ recording was an advertising jingle for the product. They Satisfy by Mills Music Masters was more subliminal, but the song put across the slogan of Chesterfield cigarettes. Nicotine features elsewhere, with Harold Arlen taking the vocal on Leo Reisman’s Smoke Rings. And a young David Rose joined forces with Louis Prima and Norman Gast (as "The Hotcha Trio") for Chinatown, My Chinatown. Remastering is exemplary, and this is a real gem that I can’t recommend too highly.  BMC

'BRITISH DANCE BANDS' 124 tracks incl. I Got Rhythm; The Swiss Bell-Ringer; The Chestnut Man; Rhythm Lullaby; My Idea of Heaven; Ride, Tenderfoot, Ride!; The Snake-Charmer; Zambezi; By the Lazy Lagoon; Harlem…… Delta 90522 (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. Every 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. One of the potential drawbacks with such compilations is duplication, so I’ve gone through all those that I can check with a fine-tooth comb. By my reckoning, 50 have never been reissued since their original appearance, and only 14 have been reissued on LP. Leaving aside about 20, only 40 are commercially available already, and you’d need to own a lot of CDs to cover all of them. Three tracks, namely Who Made Little Boy Blue? by Joe Loss, A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody by Tommy Kinsman, and Hands Across the Table by Eddie Wood, were issued on the extremely rare Octacros label. In addition, many groups have been overlooked by compilers, and included here are The Blue Mountaineers, Jack McCormick, Don Marino Barreto, Nat Star, Ben Frankel, The Four Bright Sparks, Syd Seymour & Joe Orlando. 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; Goodnight, my lucky day; It's always you; Who am I?; Too romantic; The moon and the willow tree; Do I love you?; Journey's end … Vocalion CDEA 6200 (72:57)

ROY FOX AT THE CAFÉ DE PARIS VOLUME 9 'Spin A Little Web Of Dreams' 25 tracks incl. No more heartaches; no more tears; Midnight, the stars and you; You have taken my heart; Gee! Oh gosh! I'm grateful; Paddy; One morning in May; Aloha beloved … Vocalion CDEA 6201 (73:21)

THE NEW MAYFAIR DANCE ORCHESTRA DIRECTED BY CARROLL GIBBONS 'Encore' 25 tracks incl. All by yourself in the moonlight; You're in my heart; Shout Hallelujah! 'cause I'm home; Love me or leave me; One step to heaven; There's a blue ridge 'round my heart, Virginia; I'm a one-man girl; Anita … Vocalion CDEA 6202 (77:37)

These three CDs were issued the day before JIM’s deadline, which left little time to do other than concentrate on the highlights. The first spans 1937 to 1946, and features a number of vocalists, not least Anne Lenner, but also including Carroll himself. The second is set in 1934, March to May, and Denny Dennis is the vocalist on 18 of the tracks, Peggy Dell on all but one of the remainder. Finally, the NMDO compilation covers the twelve months from November 1928, and is weighted towards non-vocal recordings. I should declare an interest, having drafted the liner notes for all three. BMC

'ROARING 20s, CRAZY 30s: 200 Hot Tunes' incl. Rhythm KingBlack Bottom; Tailspin; Aristocratic Stomp; Magnolia; Amapola; Harlem Shout… Membran 233377 (approx.60 mins. per disc) This 10-CD set merits a full review, but the space required merely to list 200 tracks makes that impossible. 74 four tracks feature British dance bands, most of which have been reissued elsewhere; the remainder comprises jazz and American dance bands and some outright jazz, and a few rarities are included. A high proportion of the set features vocals. The set has been compiled in quite random fashion, with no attempt at chronology, and some tracks fail to measure up, particularly those from the 1940s. As with other Membran 10-CD boxed sets, the discs are housed in cardboard slipcases, and tracklist information is minimal, and less than accurate. Those drawbacks pale into insignificance against a current price of less than £1 per disc, and my advice would be to snap up a set whilst you can. BMC

'YES, MILORD!' Memory Lane GLM/Y-36a,b,c (3 CDs, total timing 212:20) The sub-heading of this collection is ‘Charming Souvenirs from the Age of Elegance’ and it is a good description of the contents of 65 tracks on these three CDs. The booklet confesses that this compilation has been inspired by the success of the TV series "Downton Abbey" and the revival of the earlier "Upstairs, Downstairs", and each CD has its own separate theme: ‘Enchanted Evenings’, ‘Carefree Times – Reflective Times’ and ‘An Age of Charm’. There is an attractive mix of vocal and purely instrumental tracks, and it is good to see that the temptation to use the best-known (and previously readily available) versions of some well-known numbers has been avoided. As examples we have the Alfredo Campoli 78 of Teddy Bears’ Picnic (not the ubiquitous Henry Hall), Troise and his Mandoliers playing The Grasshoppers’ Dance and the Serge Krish Sextet performing Nola. There isn’t space to list the tracks, but the following names should give an indication of the wide variety covered: Mantovani, Boston Promenade Orchestra, Norman Luboff Choir, Jay Wilbur & New Light Symphony Orchestra, Jeanette MacDonald, Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth, Deanna Durbin, Boyd Neel Orchestra, Joan Hammond, Debroy Somers, Charles Ancliffe Orchestra, D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, Orchestra Mascotte, New Symphony Orchestra, Peter Dawson, Noel Coward, Fred Astaire, Al Bowlly, Sidney Torch, Eric Coates … the list is almost endless! For more information you can visit the website: www.memory-lane.co.uk. Martin Moritz has contributed some interesting booklet notes, but it is a pity that the catalogue numbers of each track have been omitted. I suspect that the music has been acquired from various sources, because there are a few slight variations in the (generally very good) sound quality. This is the kind of collection that you find in the shops at many tourist attractions, and it is ideal for collectors who may not already possess much of the music on offer, but wish to have examples of the kind of records that were once so popular with their ancestors over 50 years ago. You will have already learned more about the enterprise behind this collection in the article on page 14 of this issue . DA

'DIAMOND JUBILEE' The Band of HM Royal Marines, Portsmouth (The Royal Band) DOM Major A J Smallwood with The Medina Community Choir & The Senior Choir of St Catherine's School, Bromley 18 tracks incl. arr. Jacob: The National Anthem; Yates: Jubilee;Waterer: Royal Salute; McDermott: Salute to the Commonwealth; Purcell: Trumpet Tune; Koenig:Post Horn Galop; Boyce: Heart of Oak; Russell: A Life on the Ocean Wave Chevron CHVCD 34(62:02) This release is a celebration in music of the The Queen's Diamond Jubilee and is a well-chosen and deservedly familiar selection for such a significant and historical occasion, thus Walton's stirring Crown Imperial, composed for the 1937 Coronation of George VI, Holst's Jupiter from "The Planets" and Elgar's Nimrod so indelibly associated with the annual Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph. That two tracks, The Mountbatten March and Famous Songs of the British Isles – the latter cleverly woven into a march medley – carry the familiar name of Vivian Dunn who had a long and distinguished career as PDM of the Royal Marines and a champion of British light music, is particularly welcome. Robert Farnon's State Occasion, always very popular with military bands, finds a well-deserved place here; and also worthy of note is Douglas C Doble's (a former RNVR officer) Royal Occasion, music inbred with great natural dignity. The two choirs feature in Brian Knowles Diamond Jubilee Tribute; a re-working in rather more updated and modern idiom of The National Anthem andBritannic Salute: an amalgam of Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory. You don't exactly expect to hear the skirl of the bagpipes on a Royal Marines recording but Highland Cathedral, written for the 1982 Highland Games in Germany, is absolutely captivating – almost worth the cost of the CD alone! – expertly played by Musician Hannah Wright, and earns a place here as it was often played on board HMY Britannia. One minor quibble: at just over a hour space could have been found for more music appropriate to a Royal theme but it's quality rather the quantity that counts and you get the former here in spades. Furthermore the Ferneham Hall at Fareham offers an excellent soundstage and any purchaser of this excellent disc will be helping to support an eminently worthwhile charity that will help all these musicians now and in the future. The booklet includes a message from Princess Anne, and all the technical side of this recording was impressively handled entirely "in house" by the RM Band Service. RH

(This album was "CD of the Jubilee Weekend" on Classic fM – KT Ed.)

Available for £12 (incl. p&p) through The Royal Navy & Royal Marine Charity at Building 29, HMS Excellent, Whale Island, Portsmouth PO2 8ER; or the charity website: rnrmc.org.uk.

CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO Piano Concertos 1 & 2; Four Dances from 'Love's Labour's Lost' · Alessandro Marangoni (piano) Malmő Symphony Orchestra / Andrew Mogrelia Naxos 8.572823 (76:43) Unknown to me prior to discovering this disc, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco was born in Italy in 1895 (he died in 1968) and became one of the 20th century's foremost guitar composers with over 100 pieces to his credit, as well as writing for a number of other instruments and many other forms from opera to chamber music. He moved to the United States in 1939 – having been banned by Mussolini – where he composed for some 200 Hollywood movies, mainly MGM, and is said to have been an influence upon Messrs Mancini, Previn, Riddle and Williams. His music is melodious, sumptuously scored and immensely accessible, as the works here bear witness. The Four Dances (1953) are not just a first recording but a first performance. With excellent sound throughout I urge you to try this well-filled low-price album for yourself. PB

CHABRIER 'Favourite Orchestral Works' Gwendoline Overture; Espana; L'Étiole; Suite Pastorale Melodies & Piano Pieces; Ode À La Musique; Bourrée Fantasque; Joyeuse Marche; Le Roi Malgré Lui - Fête Polonaise Magdalen METCD 8015 (76:58) The music of French-born Emmanuel Chabrier (1841-94) has great melodic appeal and zest. The exciting Espana, a piece nearly everybody knows, shows him to be a masterly orchestrator. The mono recordings span the years 1936 to 1959. Sir Thomas Beecham and Sir John Barbirolli are among the maestros featured. The final item with Robert Irving conducting the Sinfonia of London appears on CD for the first time. This album should put a smile on your face. ET

GEORGE GERSHWIN Piano Concerto in F; Rhapsody In Blue; Second Rhapsody; Variations On "I Got Rhythm" · Freddy Kempf (piano) Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra / Andrew Littton BIS SACD-1940 (73:56) Arriving just in time for this issue of JIM, a superlative Super Audio CD of Gershwin's music for piano and orchestra from the Swedish label, The famous Rhapsody in Blue is in the original jazz band version orchestrated by Ferde Grofé for Paul Whiteman with three woodwind players (who play oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet and various sizes of saxophone), a pair of trumpets, horns and trombones, tuba (doubling string bass), accordion, banjo, celesta, orchestral piano, a variety of percussion and eight violins. Håkon Nilsen is the named clarinetist. The lesser known Second Rhapsody came about through the composer's involvement in one of the earliest Hollywood film musicals in late 1930, 'Delicious', starring Janet Gaynor. It is brilliantly played as are the Variations. In the Concerto Martin Winter is the fabulous featured trumpet player in the 2ndmovement. London born (1977) Freddy Kempf was in 1992 the youngest winner in the history of the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition and, although he did not win first prize, was the "people's choice" in the 1998 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow. Andrew Littton knows all about his fellow countryman's music and the Norwegian orchestra play to the manner born. The recording, made in Bergen in August 2011, is supported by the Grieg Foundation. If these works are not in your collection, you can hardly better this release. And even if you already have them, with superb playing and top drawer sound, this is worth adding to your shelves. PB 

EDVARD GRIEG 'Grieg Favourites' Norwegian Dances; Holberg Suite; Peer Gynt Excerpts; Lyric Pieces Excerpts; Lyric Suite Magdalen METCD 8012 (77:49) Delighted to see the name of George Weldon on a new reissue (two of my great aunts were in service with his family in Bexhill) especially with a Gramophone quote that in the first item "[he] seems to fool the RPO that they are playing under Sir Thomas Beecham himself." The other conductors on these mono recordings are Karl Műnchinger, Nicolai Malko, Otto Dobrindt with soprano Emmy Bettendorf (Solveig's Song), and pianist Walter Gieseking (Lyric Pieces). A value-for-money release at under £10. PB

HALVORSEN 'Orchestral Works 4' Melina Mandozzi (violin) · Ilze Klava (viola) · Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra / Neeme Járvi Chandos CHAN 10710 (72:53) This, the last in the series devoted to the orchestral music of Johan Halvorsen, opens with the two Norwegian Rhapsodiesboth premiered by the composer in 1920 to enthusiastic acclaim. These make imaginative use of traditional Norwegian folk tunes, the outer lovely and more boisterous sections framing a more reflective middle portion. The following two pieces are not "pure" Halvorsen but take their inspiration from other composers, the Passacaglia for violin and viola – a somewhat curious choice that hardly comes within the province of orchestral music – being a reworking of a movement from a HandelHarpsichord Suite, whilst the preceding jaunty Norwegian Bridal Procession is merely an orchestration of a piano piece by fellow countryman Grieg. Incidental music to various theatre productions – a particular cachet of this composer – is much in evidence here featuring a Dance Scene from 'Queen Tamara' and the impressive and impassioned Symphonic Intermezzo from 'The King'. After the rousing Norwegian Festival Overture with its dazzling trumpet fanfares the disc concludes with the 18-minute Norwegian Fairy Tale Pictures, which contains some decidedly quirky music as befits the tale of a princess and a great troll. As to be expected from this series, production standards are uniformly high with an exemplary recording; and certainly in Neeme Jarvi is found a committed and doughty champion for Halvorsen's music. RH

HOLST Walt Whitman Overture; Symphony "The Cotswolds"; A Winter Idyll; Japanese Suite; Indra Symphonic Poem · Ulster Orchestra / JoAnn Falletta Naxos 8.572914(65:25) There is a great deal of early British music which is rarely played and this CD includes a substantial chunk of it. Each piece is a gem in its own right and worthy of repeated hearing. I have no hesitation in thoroughly recommending it to all lovers of good tuneful music as there is much more to Gustav Holst than The Planets. Splendid stuff! EW

RACHMANINOV Piano Concertos 1 – 3 ; 18 Preludes Dame Moura Lympany · Philharmonia Orch. / Nikolai Malko · New Symphony Orch. Of London / Anthony Collins Magdalen METCD 8016 (150:15) A 2-CD re-issue to cherish. "Rach 2" is No.1 in Classic fM's Hall of Fame and this fine 1953 recording is by the pianist born Mary Johnstone in Saltash, Cornwall in 1916. She was made a CBE in 1979 and a DBE in 1992, and died in France in 2005. Her agent once described her as "never late, not temperamental and with wonderful vitality. She never dropped her standards in any way." She herself said she played best after a good night's sleep and a good steak! The other two concertos were also recorded in the early '50s and are, rightly, highly regarded. Miss Lympany was the first Western artist to play in the Soviet Union after the war and in 1945 made the first complete recording of the Preludes. The splendid recording on this release was made by Decca six years later produced by that key figure in the world of the gramophone, John Culshaw. All recordings are in mono but it is the quality of the music making that matters here. ET

SAINT-SAËNS 'Neeme Járvi Conducts Saint Saëns' Royal Scottish National Orchestra incl. Danse Bacchanale (from Samson et Dalila); Le Rouet d'Omphale; Phaëton; La Jeunesse d'Hercule; March Militaire Française Chandos CHSA 5104 (77'40") This well chosen selection of Camille Saint-Saëns orchestral oeuvre features all four symphonic poems including the popular Danse Macabre,and some fascinating rarities. In the latter category are the sparkling Overture to La Princesse Jaune(a comic opera), a delightful miniature – lasting all of a little over 3½ minutes – Une nuit ả Lisbonne,and the substantial and unpublished Spartacus overture recovered apparently in the 1990's. Even more extraordinary is the concluding March du Couronnement written for the coronation of Edward VIII in 1902, which was accepted for the occasion and presumably played during the ceremony. With generous playing time, vivid recording in multi-channel stereo format and intensely likeable music that makes no great demands on the listener, this is well worth seeking out. RH

(This album was BBC Music Magazine's "Orchestral Choice" for August – KT Ed.)

SARASATE 'Music for Violin and Piano - 3' Tianwa Yang (violin) · Markus Hadulla (piano)15 tracks including Boléro; Sérénade andalouse; Introduction et fandango; Prière et berceuse; Airs ecossaise … Naxos 8.570893 (78:55) Do not be put off by the titles, the renowned Spanish violinist Pablo Sarasate was a great melodist. Among his best known works are Zigeunerweisen (Gypsy Airs) and Spanish Dances. The charismatic compositions on this disc are sensationally played by one of the most notable young violinists of today, critically acclaimed as an unquestioned master of her instrument. She is ably accompanied by another accomplished artist; the result a delightful disc. ET

'SCANDINAVIAN SMÖRGÅSBORD' Vienna S O / Øivin Fjeldstad · Danish State Radio S O / John Frandsen · Copenhagen S O / Lavard Friisholm · Halle Orchestra / Sir John Barbirolli 16 tracks incl. Entry of the Boyars; Norwegian Bridal Procession; Festival Polonaise; Herdgirl's Sunday; Midsummer Vigil; Last Spring … Magdalen METCD 8017 (78:34) With its enticing title this is a flavoursome compilation of superior lighter classical music from the pens of Halvorsen, Bull, Grieg, Svendsen, Kuhlau, Nielsen, Alfvén and Lumbye. The last named, of course, wrote The Copenhagen Steam Railway Galop, which is included here together with his equally appealingChampagne Galop and Britta Polka. Alongside some less familiar pieces there is the very well-known Alfvén Vigil, aka Swedish Rhapsody. The original recordings, mostly mono, date from 1955-61 and it is the first time on CD for the five Kuhlau pieces. As with all the recent releases on this label the disc is very well mastered by RFS member Paul Arden-Taylor, and James Murray's booklet notes are exemplary. PB

TCHAIKOVSKY : MENDELSSOHN Violin Concertos Ray Chen · Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra / Daniel Harding Sony 8697984102 (63:55) 23-year-old Taiwan born, Australian raised Chen is a winner twice over: of both the Menuhin (2008) and Queen Elisabeth (2009) Violin Competitions, respectively playing the two popular works here. Recordings of these abound, several in this coupling, but this is up there among the best. ET

LESLEY GARRETT 'A North Country Lass' The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra · Crouch End Festival Chorus / Paul Bateman 16 tracks incl. The Bold Grenadier; Once I Had a Sweetheart; Blow the Wind Souherly; He Moved Through the Fair; Suo Gan (Lullaby); The Raggle Taggle Gypsies; The Cuckoo; The Collier Lad; Dance to Your Daddy … Music Infinity INS500(64:20) Opera meets folk on this thoroughly enjoyable album. Although as Louis Armstrong once said: "It's all folk singing; I ain't never heard a horse sing!" Interesting arrangements (not all for the purists, maybe) are well played by an orchestra that knows a thing or two about folk music. My favourite track is All Around My Hat accompanied by the solo violin of Concert Master Lucie Svehlova, accordion, acoustic guitar, bodhran, washboard and Crouch End F.C. Recorders, a madrigal choir, harp, bamboo flute, kato, santur, shamisen, cimbaloms, lute, pipes and bagpipes give support on other tracks. (Did Henry VIII really write Pastime With Good Company?) The final "bonus track" is a conductor arranged On Ilkley Moor Baht'at, with a touch of Rossini, featuring the famous Black Dyke Band. As for the "Doncaster diva", the crystal clarity of her words is once again a hallmark of her performance. PB

'THIS IS THE DAY Music on Royal Occasions' The Cambridge Singers · Elin Manahan Thomas (soprano) Aurora Orchestra · Andrew Lucas (organ) / John Rutter This is the Day (Rutter); Laudate Dominum  (Mozart); Psalm 23  (Schubert); How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place(Brahms); The Spirit of the Lord (Elgar); We Wait for Thy Loving Kindness (McKie); Ubi Caritas(Mealor); Ubi Caritas (Duruflé); Holy is the True Light  (Harris); Song for Athene  (Tavener); These Three (Bennett); Set Me as a Seal (Walton); God Be in My Head (Walford Davies); I Would BeTrue (Arr. Rutter); Touch Her Soft Lips and Part (Walton); Choral Dances from "Gloriana" (Britten);Let The Bright Seraphim (Handel); Let Their Celestial Concerts All Unite (Handel) Collegium COLCD 136 (75:21) This is a treasurable album that includes music sung at the Queen's marriage to Prince Philip in 1947, the Queen Mother's funeral, the wedding of Charles and Diana, the funeral of the Princess of Wales, the Queen's diamond wedding in 2007, and the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The pieces are glowingly sung throughout by the 28-strong choir with the very best left to the last two pieces by Handel featuring the gorgeous voice of Manahan Thomas (she also singsLaudate Dominum), the brilliant trumpet of Simon Cox and the unnamed percussionist. Sound quality – the recordings were only made in January this year – and documentation are both very good. I challenge anyone not to be moved by some part of this album, which I am likely to return to in our next issue as one of the CDs of 2012. PB

Some more recent releases recommended by Wilfred Askew

ERROLL GARNER with Orchestra conduced by Mitch Miller 'Other Voices' (1957) 10 tracks incl. Misty*; Dreamy*; On the street where you live; Solitaire*; It might as well be Spring*; The very thought of you … (*Repeated as six bonus tracks in solo and/or trio versions). Essential Jazz Classics EJC 55466 (62.48)

RON GOODWIN 'Sir Gawain And The Green Knight' Original Motion Picture Soundtrack(1973) CD1 12 tracks (46:33); CD2 11 tracks (40:16) Intrada Special Collection Volume 196

HOLLYWOOD SAXOPHONE QUARTET arr. by Garcia, Paich, Montrose & Niehaus 24 tracks incl. 'Sax Appeal' Wait till you see her; But not for me; Polka Dots & Moonbeams; Yesterday's gardinias; Four at liberty … 'Hollywood Saxophone Quartet' Nightcap; All the tings you are; You brought a new kind of love to me; Autumn in New York; Ghost of a chance … 2 Liberty LPs from 1955. Fresh Sound FSR 2253 (66:57)

ANITA KERR & The Little Dippers 'Forever' 'Velvet Voices' (1959) incl. Strange little melody; Greensleeves; Pop goes the weasel; Blue interlude … 'Voices In Hi-Fi' (1968) incl. You're my everything; Rockin' chair; Once in a while; Comes love; My love is a kitten … 2 US Decca LPs from 1960. Cherry Red ACMEM 219 CD (79:33)

JAYE P MORGAN 'Up North, Down South' 'Up North' 13 tracks incl. Yankee doodle Boy; Shine on harvest moon; The Whiffenpoof Song; Chicago … 'Down South' 12 tracks incl. The yellow rose of Texas; Kentucky babe; Old folks at home, Dixie … plus 6 bonus singles inclI walk the line & Brotherhood of Man. 2 MGM albums from 1960. Jasmine JASCD 194 (77:43)

MIKLOS R0ZSA 'Ben Hur' Complete Soundtrack Collection Discs I & II: The Film Score 64 tracks (139:55); Disc III: The Savina Album 32 tracks (73:55): Disc IV: The First Kloss Album 27 tracks (77:34): Disc V: The Second Kloss album 41 tracks 75:24) Film Score Monthly FSM Vol.15, No.1 Limited to 2,000 copies.

DIMITRI TIOMKIN 'The Alamo' Complete Film Score City of Prague P.O. / Nic Raine 3 CDs – 57 tracks Prometheus XPCD 168 (164:21)

FRANZ WAXMAN 'Taras Bulba' Complete Film Score City of Prague P.O. / Nic Raine Limited 2-CD Collectors' Edition 25 tracks13 bonus tracks Tadlow Music TADLOW 013 (128:06) 

LAWRENCE WELK & HIS ORCHESTRA 'Calcutta' (1960) 12 tracks incl. Sailor; Bombay; Ruby; Save the last dance for me …''Yellow Bird' (1961) 12 tracks incl. Runaway; Mockin' Bird Hill; Heartbreak Hotel; Harbour lights; Loch Lomond … plus 2 bonus tracks: Melodie d'Amour & MyGrandfather's clock. 2 original Dot albums. Sepia 1181 (60:01)

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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.