03 Jun

Keeping Track - Dateline March 2012

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STANLEY BLACK & HIS ORCHESTRA 'Carnival In The Sun' & 'Compilation' El Cumbanchero; Morocco; Jungle Bird; The Cactus Polka; Flamingo; The Baión; Cascade of Stars; Sugar Loaf Samba; The Breeze and I; Cielito Lindo; Tango; Rumba Rhapsody; Pianolo; Condeña; Mexican Hat Dance; Rumba-tambah; Maria La O; Alma Llanera; A Media Luz; Gaviotta; Siciliano; Estrellita del Sur; Back Track; O Dear, What Can the Matter Be?; Pop Goes the Mambo; Mon Coeur est un ViolonVocalion CDVS 1971 (72:11) We have not had a new Black re-issue for some time so this is especially welcome – particularly at the super-bargain price of £2.99! The first album with Stanley on piano and The George Mitchell Choir was first released on a Decca mono LP in 1955. The compilation tracks were all recorded between 1949 and 1960; some being issued as singles, others taken from Ace of Clubs LPs. The traditional O Dear and Pop Goes were arranged by John Gregory. Stanley's piano touch is well to the fore, as one would expect, and on the last track he is accompanied by Latin American Rhythms. A best buy! Peter Burt

BOTTICELLI & HIS ORCHESTRA 'The Sound Of Today' & 'Classics In Latin' 23 tracks incl. Botticelli's Theme; Fernando; Save Your Kisses for Me; This Melody; Besame Mucho; Je Vais T'Aimer ... Eine Kleine Nachtmusik; Liebestraum; Menuet; Bolero; In a Persian Market; Nabucco Slaves (Va Pensiero) ... Vocalion CDLK 4450 (73:14) David Ades was enthusiastic about this outfit in JIM 186 and disclosed that the man behind "Botticelli" was Dick Bakker, the Dutch arranger, producer, director, conductor and composer – his Eternal Cycle is on the second album – who has been associated with the renowned Metropole Orchestra for many years. These Phase 4 albums from 1977 and 1978 are both enjoyable with interesting arrangements; wordless chorus and the pop beat tolerable. The Latinised classical works are fun and start off at a cracking pace with Mozart's Little Night Music accompanied by a full set of percussion. Peter Burt

'BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC' Various Orchestras & Conductors Devil's Galop; Portrait of a Flirt; Sunny Side Up; Marching Strings; Barwick Green; Red Cloak; London Transport Suite; Starlight; Boomps A Daisy; By the Sleepy Lagoon; Television March; Merrymakers Overture; Calling All Workers; Oxford Street; Country Gardens; Shepherd's Hey; Molly on the Shore; Londonderry AirRegis RRC 1381 (62:04) This is an example, and good of its type, of an introduction to light music, taken from remastered recordings of originals from 1931-60 and still sounding well. We have six Eric Coates tracks, four of them marches, and four Percy Grainger's in those Frederick Fennell Eastman-Rochester "Pops" recordings, superb in their day, arguably the best things on the disc. Generally most of the music is very well-known, though I may not have heard Ron Goodwin's Red Cloak or the Siravo Boomps A Daisy – I am told he was, strictly, American! In many cases it is good to have the composer as conductor: Coates, Bob Farnon, Ray Martin, Charles Williams and Goodwin. One of the Farnon tracks is of Sidney Torch's engaging London Transport Suite I first heard at a 1950's BBC Light Music Festival, and another is Angela Morley's Starlight. At least half the tracks are BBC connected. Recommended as a present (price circa £5) for someone one wishes to introduce to light music. Philip L Scowcroft

KT Editor's CD Choice

ROBERT FARNON & HIS ORCHESTRA 'The Hits Off Sinatra' & 'A Portrait Of Johnny Mathis'Second Time Around; All the Way; Come Fly with Me; A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening; In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning; Only the Lonely; Young at Heart; Call Me Irresponsible; (Love is) The Tender Trap; All or Nothing at All; Nancy (with the Laughing Face); My Kind of Town; Misty; The Twelfth of Never; It's Not for Me to Say; What Will My Mary Say?; When Sunny Gets Blue; Maria (from 'West Side Story); Chances Are; A Certain Smile; Gina; Small World; Wonderful, Wonderful; Someone Vocalion CDLK 4455 (77:00)

'My Fair Lady And Other Musical Bouquets' & 'The Sensuous Strings of Robert Farnon' Get Me to the Church on Time; Wouldn't it be Loverly; On the Street Where You Live; I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face; Button Up Your Overcoat; Black Bottom; Dancing in the Dark; The Best Things in Life are Free; I'm a Dreamer, Aren't We All?; Sunnyside Up; The Touch of Your Lips; To a Young Lady; Isn't It Romantic?; La Casita Mia; Moonlight Becomes You; When I Fall in Love; I'm in the Mood for Love; Hey There; Something to Remember You By; Just a Memory; Alone TogetherVocalion CDLK 4462 (72:11) Long-time Farnonians will have been hoping for these releases.Readers who are comparative latecomers to Bob's music and only know him through re-issued Decca mono recordings on Vocalion may be pleasantly surprised. The four albums were recorded at the behest of Quincy Jones and issued in Britain on vinyl by Philips in the early-mid '60s. The Farnon orchestra featured such instrumental luminaries as Raymond Cohen, Shake Keane, Bob Burns, Kenny Baker, Don Lusher, Dave Goldberg and Johnny Scott. On 'The Sensuous Strings' (my favourite among the four albums) listeners will appreciate Bob's stereo re-recordings of tracks from his days at Decca. On 'My Fair Lady' he brings us some exciting big band sounds; and on 'A Portrait Of Johnny Mathis' there is more of what Mr Ades' admirable liner note describes as the "ethereal string sound that so mystified Farnon's peers". 'The Hits Of Sinatra' was produced by Harold (Hal) Mooney, A&R Director at Mercury Records. You can read more in a feature on page ??. Mike Dutton's usual high standard digital restoration pertains. Suffice to say that no self-respecting Farnon collector should be without these discs – at the time of writing available online from HMV for £5.99 each.Peter Burt

JACKIE GLEASON presents 'Champagne, Candlelight and Kisses' & 'Love Embers and Flame' Orchestra conducted by Jackie Gleason 24 tracks incl. Theme from 'Bus Stop'; Undecided; I Double Dare You; A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody; A Little Love, A Little Kiss; All by Myself ... What Can I Say After I Say I'm Sorry?; Lady of the Evening; How About Me?; Would You?; Now that You're Gone; For All We Know ... Vocalion CDLK 4459 (67:25) Mr Gleason (1916-87) was a man of many parts: actor, comedian, composer (the title tune and The Lovers' Waltz on the second album, are from his pen), conductor, designer of clothes, jewellery, games, etc. Mantovani guru, Colin Mackenzie, has written really excellent liner notes throwing light on the music of the man known as "The Great One", which is very helpful if, like me, you know his name but have not come across his recordings. The variety in George Williams' arrangements hold the interest throughout – I particularly enjoyed the five tracks on the first album where a Dixieland band plays in front of the string orchestra. But, basically, Mr Gleason's signature sound is lush strings backing solo trumpet, trombone or alto and tenor saxophone, with sometimes piano and rhythm. Definitely a disc to add to your shelves. Peter Burt

ANDRE KOSTELANETZ & HIS ORCHESTRA 'Waltzing and Marching' "Sari" Waltz; Vienna City Of My Dreams; Gold And Silver Waltz; Two Heart In Three Quarter Time; Waltz Dream; "Gypsy Baron" Waltz; "Zigeunliebe" Gypsy Love Waltz; Emperor Waltz; Strike Up The Band; Colonel Bogey; Seventy Six Trombones; American Patrol;: El Capitan; The Yellow Rose Of Texas/The Eyes Of Texas Are Upon You; Stars And Stripes For Ever; National Emblem March; Washington Post March; Semper Fideles; Anchor's Away/The Marines Hymn; The Caissons Go Rolling Along/The Army Air Corps Sounds of Yester Year DSOY 861 (63:05) The waltzes were recorded in the Liederkranz Hall, New York, in December 1947, with studio quality, no audience, originally on 78rpm in the USA but on a 10-inch vinyl in the UK. The marches are from a 1961 LP. The distinctive blend of ecstatic energy music Kostelanetz always produced is in abundance. Once again Michael Highton's sleeve notes deserve praise for their detail. Paul Clatworthy

GEOFF LOVE & HIS ORCHESTRA 'Big Suspense Movie Themes' & 'Big Bond Movie Themes'24 tracks incl. Also Sprach Zarathustra from '2001 Space Odyssey; Love Theme from 'The Godfather'; The French Connection; Paris by Night (Le Rififi) from 'Rififi'; Theme from 'Z'; The High and the Mighty; Shaft; The Harry Lime Theme; In the Heat of the Night; Love Theme from 'Airport'; Diamonds are Forever; Frenzy; The James Bond Theme from 'Dr No'; From Russia with Love; Goldfinger; Thunderball; Mr Kiss Kiss Bang Bang from 'Thunderball'; Casino Royale; You Only Live Twice ... Vocalion CDLK 4461 (72:08) In reviewing the Love disc of 'Themes For Super Heroes' & 'Big Terror Movies' (CDSML 8476) last September I hoped that it would be the forerunner of many more and, lo, here are four albums on two 2-on-1 discs for starters. This first album dates from 1972 and along with the other three was originally issued on EMI's best-selling Music for Pleasure label. (Geoff's 'Big Western Movie Themes' made it into the label's top twenty titles; so hopefully we can expect that in due course). From Richard Strauss through Rota, Tiomkin, Newman, Barry et al to Ron Goodwin, the first dozen tracks are both very well played and recorded. With the second MfP album from 1975, of equal merit, there is arguably less variety but you get what it says on the tin. A good listen, then, all round Peter Burt

'Latin With Love' & 'Dreaming With Love' 24 tracks incl. La Bamba; Spanish Harlem; Guantanamera; Sucu Sucu; The Girl from Ipanema; One Note Samba ... Dream; I'm a Dreamer, Aren't We All? You Stepped Out of a Dream; Drifting and Dreaming; Dream a Little Dream of Me; Out Of My Dreams from 'Oklahoma' ... Vocalion CDLK 4452 (73:05) Another good 'un and although I prefer a bit more fire with my Latin music, in fairness it is sub-titled "in the mood for dancing." The second album, a collection of lovely melodies from the great American songbook, is ideal for lazy afternoon or late night listening – which it has been getting in our house. The famed Norman Newell produced the original LPs, from 1973 and 1976 respectively, as he did those above. The quality of the remastering by Mr Dutton is a given, and the discs are each enhanced by six-and-a-bit pages of knowledgeable liner notes from Oliver Lomax. Peter Burt

FRANCK POURCEL & HIS ORCHESTRA '1925-30' & '1930-35' 24 tracks incl. Charleston; Valentine; Pas Sur La Bouche; Mon Paris; Le Black Bottom; I Want to Be Happy... Parlez-Moi D'Amour; I Got Rhythm; Les Gars de la Marine; Ville D'Amour; Miette; The Day You Came Along ...Vocalion CDLK 4464 (58:25) The maestro whose sum total of record sales piled one on top of the other would be twenty times the height of the Eiffel Tower is responsible for a couple of late '60s albums featuring some marvellous songs from the mid-20s to mid-30s. In her affectionate liner notes that give an added appeal to this disc Franck's daughter, Françoise, tells us that her father was "A perfectionist, he wrote the arrangements, chose the songs, the musicians, the studio and did the editing as well as the design of the album covers." I am a sucker for the Pourcel high string sound, so very interested to read him quoted as saying that "For me, the violin is the instrument closest to the human voice. I don't play it, I make it sing. It should be considered a vocal instrument, an instrument that speaks to the heart of man." Joie de vivre aboundshere. Peter Burt

ROGER ROGER ORCHESTRA – Volume 1 Happiness Day; En Carriole (Horse and Buggy); Haute Couture (Paris Fashions); Vive le Sport; Grands Travaux; Paysage (Landscape); Romany Girl; Clowneries; Menuet; Holiday Party; Feux-Follets (Jack O'Lantern); Traffic Boom; Interlude Dramatique; Tension No. 1; La Vitrine aux Jouets (The Toy Shop Window); Pres des Flots (Seashore); Music Hall; Concerto Jazz pour Harpe et Orchestre; Le Dernier Metro (The Last Metro); Danse des Oizeaux (Birds' Dance); El Muletero; Le Grand Derby; Suite Tropicale; Marche Royale; Tour de France; Tourbillon de Paris Orphee 58 ORP58002/1 (73:21). I got quite excited when I first learned about this new French CD. Roger Roger has written many appealing melodies, and he deserves to be remembered with new collections of his music. But I have to confess that when the copy I ordered from France arrived I was slightly disappointed. Being a CD producer myself, I like to know the origins of recordings, but there are no details of the original catalogue numbers or the dates (the latter is important because of sound copyright, and the inclusion of one track came as a surprise). There is one spelling mistake I spotted – track 17 should be Music Hall (not Music all!) The sound quality is generally good, although some tracks do seem a bit different from others. The majority come from the Chappell Recorded Music Library, and many of them are already available on Guild CDs. The booklet is a disappointment – only four pages with text on just one, in French, of course. Personally I think Roger Roger deserves better than this. But the biggest shock is the price: unless someone starts discounting UK buyers can expect to pay almost £20. With only MP3 downloads available from Amazon, I had to order my CD copy from the record company itself, and if readers wish to do the same they will need to visit the website ...www.orphee58.com... This is Volume 1: I hope I can be a bit more positive about Volume 2 when it is released. David Ades

DAVID ROSE 'King of Strings' Jasmine JASCD 597 Double CD (78:46 & 78:32) Peter Burt beat me with his excellent review in the last issue but I would like to add that way back in 1985 I collated articles on David's recordings. With the help of five other members we put together a large list of LPs sadly mostly unavailable. With the advent of CDs a little of the music was reissued (usually the same tracks!) Here we have 55 wonderful tracks doing some justice to David's magnificent catalogue, admittedly still containing some familiar tracks but a collection to be treasured. Hopefully some of David's other MGM albums will be resurrected, in particular 'The Music of Harold Arlen' my particular favourite. Paul Clatworthy

PHIL KELSALL 'Strictly Blackpool' 20 medleys incl. Say It With Music; Music, Music, Music, Forty Second Street; The Varsity Drag; Fascination; Lonely Ballerina; Cara Mia; Out of Nowhere (You came along from); You Stepped Out of a Dream; On The Sunny Side of the Street; Where are You?; Jealousy; Midnight Tango; Hallelujah; A Woman in Love; My Foolish Heart ... Grasmere GRCD 137(65:27) Here Mr Kelsall is on home ground at the Wurlitzer Organ of The Tower Ballroom, Blackpool. All tracks are in strict tempo and sequence. The album was recorded and released by AP Promotions in 2009 and has now been licensed to Grasmere. An entertaining listen as ever. Peter Burt

TONY WHITTAKER 'Medley Magic' 15 tracks – 41 tunes incl. You Started Something; At Sundown; I'll Never Say Never Again; Friends & Neighbours; Love & Marriage; Let's Do It; It's D'Lovely; Anything Goes; Oh! You Beautiful Doll; Louise; Ain't She Sweet?; Amapola; An Apple For the Teacher; Sing a Song of Moonbeams; A Wonderful Guy; Wunderbar; Dolores; A New Kind of Love; Little Old Lady ...

TWS2011 (50:14) This arrived on a lovely bright January morning, but it would brighten up the darkest of days. A strict tempo selection of tunes from 1930 to 1959 – the "Golden Era" of songwriting – it is played by the man who patrons of the Royal Spa Centre in Leamington Spa will know as the MD there for some 20 years. Here Tony, who is also active on the Concert Organ Circuit, plays duets with himself on the Kurzweil piano and Hammond organ with rhythm accompaniment. Of especial interest to readers will be that all the tunes have been adapted from our fellow member Harold Rich's original scores for his two-piano and rhythm group, Pianorama, late of BBC Radio 2. With good recording quality, an appealing album. Peter Burt

...Available priced £11.45 (incl. p&p) from MSS Studios, Rhiwias, Cae Deintur, Dolgellau, Gwyned L40 2YSFurther details at .........www.organs.co.uk ......

PAT BOONE 'Love Letters in the Sand'  61 tracks incl. Anastasia; April Love; That Lucky Old Sun; Harbour Lights; Ebb Tide; Solitude; Begin the Beguine; Secret Love; Moonglow ... Retrospective RTS 4192 (79:10 & 78:09) This follows hard on the heels of Jasmine's 2-CD set, reviewed in JIM 189, which presented a selection of his singles from 1953-60. This compilation focuses on 1955-60, and begins with 26 of his hits, which inevitably cover the same ground. In contrast, disc two features the complete 1958 'Star Dust' album, plus seven tracks from the subsequent album 'Tenderly', both of which include as fine a selection of standards as you could wish. They were backed by Billy Vaughn & his Orchestra, as were most of the 45s. Like all great artists, Pat Boone made what he did sound easy, and the result is quite simply a joy.  Barry McCanna

BING CROSBY & BUDDIES 'Gone Fishin'' 53 tracks incl. Pennies from Heaven; Small Fry; An Apple for the Teacher; Don't Fence Me In; It's Been a Long, Long Time; Alexander's Ragtime Band; Sam's Song; True Love... Retrospective RTS 4184 (79:33 & 79:17) Paul Whiteman's best-remembered vocal group was the Rhythm Boys, who feature here in the earliest track, namelyHappy Feet from the 1930 film ‘King of Jazz', with Eddie Lang's guitar audible behind the vocal. That's preceded by a 1951 duet with Louis, the title of which seems to sum up Bing's philosophy, if you substitute golf or horse racing for fishing! All three of the recordings that Bing made with the Mills Brothers are included, and they alone would be worth the price of this set; Dinah in particular is a master class in scat singing. Other particular favourites include The Way You Look Tonight with first wife Dixie Lee, the Hawaiian song Sweet Leilani, two swinging duets with Connee Boswell, and the delightful joshing on two songs with Johnny Mercer, not forgetting the verbal duel with Fred Astaire on I'll Capture Her Heart. Singing solo, Bing was a class act; in company the result was more than the sum of their parts. On some of these tracks the chemistry is so strong that you can almost smell it! Mention should be made also of the accompaniments, which are consistently excellent as you'd expect, given that apart from the stalwart John Scott Trotter, they include the orchestras of Jimmy Dorsey, Victor Young, Bob Crosby, Louis Jordan, Carmen Cavallero, Vic Schoen, Matty Matlock, Louis Armstrong and Billy May. It's truly a star-studded cast, and the compilation carries a full discography and an excellent liner note. Barry McCanna

...DALIDA 'The Very Best Of ...'... ...50 tracks incl Romantica; ...... Histoire d'un amour; Itsi bitsi petit bikini; Garde-moi la derniere danse (Save the last dance for me); Marina; Les Gitans; Love in Portofino; Dans le bleu du ciel blue; (Volare); Ce Serait Dommage; La chanson d'Orphee; Adieu monsieur mon amour ...... ...Not Now Music NOT2CD412 (154.00) Dalida was born Iolanda Christina Gigliotti in 1934 in Cairo, Egypt to Franco-Italian parents and soon after being crowned Miss Egypt in 1954 moved to Paris where her distinctive mezzo voice and glamourous Mediterranean good looks captured the hearts of the audiences of the more prestigious night clubs which lead to regular appearances on radio. She was soon signed up by the emerging Barclay record label alongside other new talent including Charles Aznavour. Her first success was in 1956 with Bambino a French version of the Italian hit Guaglione (recorded in the UK instrumentally by Cyril Stapleton as The man who plays the Mandolino) and was followed by Come PrimaCiao Ciao... ...Bambina and Le jour ou la pluie viendra (The day the rains... ...came down). However she achieved international success in 1960 with Le enfants du Pirėe - the theme to the film 'Never on Sunday' and thereafter enjoyed bumper album sales over the next 25 years or so until her untimely death in 1987 at the age of 53. This double-CD brings together fifty of her successes from her Barclay years and includes her big hits already mentioned. What distinguishes this album are the arrangements she used. During her early years she was accompanied by that doyen of French light music Wal-Berg and later on by the superb Raymond Lefèvre, both major recording artists in their own right. At a giveaway price this is ideal for fans wishing to replace their worn out 33s and 45s, and also for those newcomers wishing to sample the singing of one of yesterday's French greats. Mike Crowther...

DAVID HUGHES 'Serenade : The Best of ...' 26 tracks inclLove is a Many-Splendoured Thing; Ev'rywhere; Begin the Beguine; Santo Natale; True Love...REXX 132 (74:26)Reissues of David Hughes' work have tended to concentrate on repackaging his later LPs. In contrast, this compilation spans the fifties, and focuses mainly on the recordings he made for Phillips, although his first recording ‘With These Hands' (made for HMV in 1951) is also included. David had a rich tenor voice which was suited ideally to ballads. In the early sixties he switched course, and concentrated his output on classical and operatic works, and this CD encapsulates his relatively modest output of popular songs. Both tracklist and liner note are quite basic, but at its budget price this is well worth searching out. Barry McCanna

JOHNNY MERCER 'Music Shop 2' Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby; San Fernando Valley; My Blue Heaven: Love Go Away; It Could Happen To You; Dream; Sugar; The Trolley Song; Sure Thing; I Woke Up And Started Dreaming; Dream; Exactly Like You; Goodnight, Wherever You Are; You Can Depend On Me; Crazy Rhythm; Alexander's Ragtime Band; Dream; I Can't Help It; Time Waits For No One; I Get The Blues When It Rains; I'm Not Jealous; Dream. Sounds of Yester Year DSOY 860(69:02) Jo Stafford, The Pied Pipers, Paul Weston's orchestra and guests smoothly work their way through another set recorded to cheer up the American armed forces. Johnny excelled as a prolific writer but his singing does not pass muster (as he admits). Jo and the Pied Pipers more than compensate. Paul Weston always came up with the goods and the announcements are not too long.Paul Clatworthy

THE MILLS BROTHERS 'Swing It' 83 tracks incl. Tiger Rag; Dinah; Sweet Sue, Just You; Lazybones; Big Boy Blue; Darling Nelly Gray; I'll Be Around; Paper Doll; Gloria; If I Had My Way; The Glow-Worm; The Jones Boy; Paper Valentine; Queen of the Senior Prom..... Fantastic Voyage FVTD 132 (78:55) (79:26) & (77:15) This is a generous package, which fulfils its promise of the best of the vocal quartet from 1931 to 1958. Each CD covers one decade, the first of which includes their earliest (and hottest) recordings, and features several collaborations; two with Bing, three with Ella, and three with Louis Armstrong. It's fascinating to hear how the Mills Brothers adapted their delivery to take account of changing musical tastes, without ever abandoning their high standards. The set comes in a handsome fourfold blister pack, the front cover of which houses a glossy 18-page illustrated booklet. The discography should have been checked for accuracy, but that is a minor criticism which detracts little from the appeal of this compilation. Barry McCanna

JO STAFFORD & GORDON MACRAE 'Yesterday - The Definitive Duo' 2 CDs: 57 tracks incl. Yesterday (Waltz Song); My Darling, My Darling; Bibbidi-Bibbidi-Boo; To Think You've Chosen Me; Whispering Hope; In the Gloaming; Near Me; I'll See You in Church on Sunday Morning; Last Night; Let the Rest of the World Go By; Down the Lane; The Pussy Cat Song (Nyot NYow); Hold Me, Hold Me; Love's Old Sweet Song ;The Rosary ... I'll String Along With You; Long, Long Ago; Dearie; Girls Were Made to Take Care of Boys; Near You; Juanita; When it's Springtime in the Rockies; My One and Only Highland Fling; "A" – You're Adorable (The Alphabet Song); Sweet and Low; Driftin' Down the Dreamy Ol' Ohio; Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday; Now the Day in Over ... Jasmine JASCD 165(79:20) (78:15) Another winning compilation from this label with, here, the lady many reckon to be the best American popular female singer ever, and her partner on a staggering number of recordings for Capitol Records between 1948 and 1950 – 44 of them on these two discs. As well as his own singles, Gordon MacRae was well-known for his film roles in 'Carousel' and 'Oklahoma', both among the best-selling albums of the mid-'50s. Their first joint recording was a two-sided hit, Say Something Sweet to Your Sweetheart and Bluebird of Happiness). Robert Nickora's interesting liner notes tell us that this was recorded during a musicians' union strike, the full accompaniment being provided by a choral group. Another hit was Whispering Hope (a song from 1868) that sold a million. The second disc includes the original LP of 'Kiss Me Kate' with eight of Cole Porter's matchless opuses. The last two tracks totalling just over nine minutes are 'Songs of Christmas': hymn/carol medleys originally issued on a 12-inch 78 rpm record. We also hear Jo singing Gesu Bambino and Gordon Adeste Fideles. All the seasonal tracks feature The Jud Conlon Singers and organist Buddy Cole. Directing is Paul Weston, who with his orchestra accompanies on the majority of the tracks on both discs. For content and duration this is a fantastic bargain. Peter Burt

...CATERINA VALENTE 'Olé Plenty Valente!' 2 CDs: 56 tracks incl El Cumbanchero; Babalu; Anna; Quiereme Mucho; Poinciana; Granada; Taboo; Kiss of Fire; Two ladies in the shade of the banana tree; Secret Love ... Jasmine JASCD 695 (79.5 & 79:00) Ossie Dales recalls in his excellent liner notes that Caterina Valente was born in Paris in 1931 to an Italian mother and Spanish father both versatile performers and musicians appearing in cabaret, theatres and circuses all over Europe. At the age of three Caterina was performing with the family act initially as a dancer but later as a singer and guitarist with her brother Silvio Francesco also a talented singer and guitarist with whom she enjoyed a successful partnership in recordings and cabaret for over 20 years specialising mainly in performing Latin-American standards for which both had a natural affinity. It was as a result of an audition with German bandleader Kurt Edelhagen that her solo career was born and eventually a recording contract with Polydor. I first heard Caterina on the record request programme 'Two Way Family Favourites' on the BBC Light Programme in 1956 singing Malaguena and immediately bought an EP which included it together with The Breeze and I and Jalousie, all on this wonderful compilation, brilliantly accompanied by the RIAS Dance Orchestra directed by Werner Muller. Another EP purchase includes her version of Mack the Knife but this time accompanied by the distinctive sound of the Kurt Edelhagen Big Band which is on Side 2. This album is devoted to her "Polydor Years 1954/59" (with their iconic orange label and record sleeves) and demonstrates her versatility in chosen material: Latin-American songs, American standards and even Caribbean nonsense (Somebody bad stole de wedding bell), not to mention her singing effortlessly in Spanish, German and English. Appropriately this set contains 24 tracks from two Latin-American albums duetting with her brother accompanying themselves on guitar – the highlight for me is their lovely performance of the Rene Touzet standard Non te Importe Saber. The remaining two complete albums, all wonderfully accompanied by Sy Oliver and RIchard Wess, include her classic performance of Flamingo. All told this is a lovely collection, remastered superbly, and can be warmly recommended to fans and newcomers alike – and enjoy. Mike Crowther...

RODGERS & HART : Songs From The Shows 'My Funny Valentine' Frederica von Stade London Symphony Orchestra / John McGlinn 17 tracks incl. My Funny Valentine; I Must Love You; I Didn't Know What Time It Was; Moon of My Delight; Everybody Loves You; A Ship Without a Sail; To Keep My Love Alive; Love Never Went to College; You're Nearer; Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered; Now That I Know You; Bye and Bye; Atlantic Blues; Where or When ... EMI 0829382(69:16) Albums of opera singers performing popular songs do not always work, but not so here. In fact, the critic Adrian Edwards considered the original 1990 release to be "a well-nigh indispensable collection ... imaginatively planned ... a recording that I shall return to many times." The delightful American diva (known as "Flicka" to her family, friends and fans) is recognised as one of the best-loved classical artists of our time and has been involved in a number of "crossover" albums, none better than this. The song selection is nicely balanced between well-known titles and those less familiar; and the late John McGlinn conducts the first-rate LSO with his customary brio. To quote Mr Edwards again: "...the period orchestrations (largely by Hans Spialek) don't miss a trick to underline the syncopations of Rodger's writing." The always excellent Ambrosian Singers are on a couple of tracks, Quiet Night and Falling in Love With Love, while on If I Were You the mezzo is joined bythree sopranos: Rosemary Ashe, Lynda Richardson and Peta Bartlett. In his heyday Lorenz Hart's lyrical dexterity was considered second to none (well maybe to Ira Gershwin), so you won't go wrong with this competitively-priced American Classics offering. Peter Burt

ERIC DELANEY & HIS BAND 'The Big Beat' 25 tracks incl. Big Noise from Winnetka; Hornpipe Boogie; Time for Chimes; Ripe Cherry Rock; Bristol Bounce...REXX 134 (76:10) This compilation of his early recordings is an excellent tribute to the drummer Eric Delaney, who died in July 2011. Having begun playing in the thirties, he served with the RAF during the war then established his reputation when he joined Geraldo's organisation. He formed his own band in 1955, competed successfully against the incoming tide of rock ‘n' roll, and was still playing in his chosen genre over 60 years later. He adopted earlier innovations like internally-lit drums, and linked twin bass drums, and imported others such as a revolving stand and tuned timpani, hitherto the province of the symphony orchestra. The French use the term “batterie” for the drums, and Eric created a battery of sound, putting himself at the heart of his orchestra. He combined the instincts of a showman with the artistry of a musician, and that is well showcased by this CD. Ten of the tracks are medleys of tunes, mainly from film musicals (‘Can-Can', ‘My Fair Lady' and ‘Oklahoma') some are arrangements of traditional tunes, the best-known being his hit single Oranges and Lemons, and there are a couple of jazz classics. I wish that the tracklist were more detailed, and the liner note less perfunctory, but that is more than compensated for by the contents, which sound as if freshly-minted. This should be an essential purchase for devotees of the drum-orientated big band sound. Barry McCanna

THE NORTHERN DANCE ORCHESTRA 'Diamonds : The Best of ...' 56 tracks incl. All of Me; A Raggy Waltz; Blaydon Races; Thoroughly Modern Millie; September Song; Doin' the Racoon; Eleanor Rigby; Theme from ‘The Pink Panther'; My Ain Folk; Louise; Cheek to Cheek (SB); Wouldn't it be Loverly?... CORRIAN 101/2 (79:33 & 79:17) This double CD has been compiled from extant recordings of the NDO, which have survived (or been hoarded) despite the edict that after being used twice the tapes should be erased. From the very first track it's apparent that recording quality is quite superlative; the sound is as vivid and the stereo separation as clear as you could wish. It's a generous package, with the emphasis on instrumental numbers, but fifteen songs feature vocals by Johnny Roadhouse, Norman George, Clinton Ford and others. On the face of it therefore it has much to commend it, but I do have reservations about the balance and some of the interpretations. I've always regarded the rhythm section as the engine room of an orchestra, but here it seems to be occupying the bridge. The result is quite unrelenting, to the extent that I would advocate listening in segments rather than in one sitting. There is a wide range of material included, from outright swingers to sentimental ballads and traditional numbers, but in my opinion not all of them have benefited from the NDO treatment. Just to take two examples; that lovely torch song All of Mesounds as if it's been re-arranged for the Tijuana Brass and Lazybones is almost unrecognisable. I'm sure that big band enthusiasts will disregard those caveats, but if so don't delay because this is a limited edition and a... small number of copies are kindly being reserved for JIM readers.... ...Please mention this review when ordering. ...The double-CD costs £12.98 incl. p&p and you'll find more details and how to order at ...www.northerndanceorchestra.org.uk.... ...Barry McCanna...

...'TEA DANCE'... ...26 tracks incl. Java Jive; Sugar; China Boy; Texas Tea Party..... Past Perfect PPWOC001... ...(77:12) A... new CD from this label (after far too long an interval) should be cause for celebration, but the title is misleading, conjuring up an image of a Palm Court orchestra. The content is much more dynamic, ranging from Hutch's Moonlight Cocktail via The Boswell Sisters gender-blind rendition of When I Take My Sugar to Tea to Jimmie Lunceford's stratospheric For Dancers Only. Most of the tracks should be familiar, and collectors of this genre will own most if not all of them already – indeed, some of them come from earlier Past Perfect releases. So I'm sorry that it lacks both a liner note and a detailed tracklist. Having said that, it's a generous collection of outstanding performances by some of the very best bands and singers of the big band and swing era, in the remastered sound that Past Perfect does so well. Barry McCanna

TEDDY WILSON TRIO 'At the London House Chicago' Sunny Morning; Liza; Stompin' At The Savoy; Medley: Sophisticated Lady/Misty/I've Got The World On A String; King Porter Stomp; Someone To Watch Over Me; Honeysuckle Rose; Lullaby Of Birdland; Stompin' At The Savoy; Tea For Two; Medley: There's Danger In Your Eyes/On The Sunny Side Of The Street/It's The Talk Of The Town; How High The Moon; Body And Soul; Liza; Rose Room; Sunny Morning. Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY 866 (60:51) Transcription from the early 1960s. Teddy worked with many swing musicians including Roy Eldridge, Red Norvo, Buck Clayton and Ben Webster. In 1935 he joined Benny Goodman's trio making him the first black musician to perform in public with a previously all white group. Paul Clatworthy

BUDDY COLE 'Swingin' at the Hammond Organ' 48 tracks incl. Memories of You; Blue Lou; Brazil; Frenesi; Georgia on My Mind; Accent on Youth; Judy; Lullaby of the Leaves ... Jasmine JASCD 185 (65:31 & 66.59) This comprises four stereo albums, namely 'Have Organ Will Swing'(1958), 'Powerhouse' and 'Hot and Cole' (both 1959), and 'Swing Fever' (1960), and fulfils the promise of those titles. Two of these have been reissued already, and either cost far more than this quadruple, which should be a must have for fans of the instrument. Barry McCanna

MICHAEL FRANKS 'Time Together' Now That The Summer's Here; One Day In St. Tropez; Summer In New York; Mice; Charlie Chan Egypt; I'd Rather Be Happy Than Right; Time Together; Samba Blue; My Heart Said Wow; If I Could Make September Stay; Feathers From An Angels WingShanachie 5189 (56:59) The opening notes, a sweep of sound arranged by Chuck Loeb, keyboards, guitar, you will really believe it is summer. Added attraction, the trumpet of Till Bonner and sax of Eric Marienthal. Every track is a delight, consistently imaginative arrangements, others provided by Gil Goldstein, Mark Egan, Charles Blenzig and Scott Petito keep the mood of the opening gem in their scores. All songs are originals by Michael, every album he has made display the art of a wistfully melodic composer, his vocals are soft and emotive, enhancing the overall liquidity of the songs, every album seems to outdo the previous. Paul Clatworthy

IRVING AARONSON & HIS COMMANDERS 'Let's Misbehave (1926-28)' 25 tracks incl. Wimmin Aaah!; Poor Papa; The Pump Song; Waffles; Hard-to-Get Gertie; Crazy Words – Crazy Tune; Let's Misbehave ... Rivermont BSW-1155 (77:58) This label produces reissues to a very high standard, and this latest offering is no exception. It comprises the first 25 sides cut by Irving Aaronson, four for Edison and the remainder for Victor, and includes three unissued items. This was a very fine band, which played for entertainment as well as for dancing, and these recordings present a set of highly polished and extremely dynamic performances. This is the first in a planned series of four volumes, but the one drawback to this chronological approach is that (as can be seen from the titles) their 1926 recordings contain a high proportion of novelty songs. That said, all are played con brio, and my initial reservation was overcome by the band's obvious enthusiasm. Remastering has produced a very clear and spacious acoustic, in which the band's arrangements resonate, and the accompanying illustrated 28-page booklet contains a potted autobiography of the bandleader, a history of the band, profiles of the individual musicians, and notes on each of the recordings. Available from Amazon. Rivermont's catalogue can also be viewed and orders placed at ...www.rivermontrecords.com...Barry McCanna

ROY FOX 'Night After Night' 25 tracks incl. Wheezy Anna; Till Tomorrow; Sweetheart; A Broken Rosary; Maria My Own; Let's Call it a Day; Panhandle Pete.... Vocalion CDEA 6192 (75:03)

JACK PAYNE 'That's You Baby' 27 tracks incl. So Blue; This is Heaven; I've Got a Feeling I'm Falling;A Little Old Cottage; Exactly Like You; Falling in Love Again.... Vocalion CDEA 6191 (75:26)

LEW STONE 'My Kind of Music' 24 tracks incl. Lonely; The Girl who Loves a Soldier; Transatlantic Lullaby; Boom! F.D.R. Jones; Undecided; Rhumboogie..... Vocalion 6189 (73:54)

PAUL WHITEMAN 'Without a Song' 25 tracks incl. Evening Star; Felix the Cat; Lover Come Back to Me; Louise; Reaching for Someone; S'posin'; At Twilight ...... Vocalion 6193 (77:01)

First, a disclaimer, insofar as I wrote the liner notes for these four reissues, but that was the extent of my involvement. The other thing they have in common is that they all highlight a somewhat neglected period of that particular band.

Reissues of Roy Fox have concentrated on his first residency, at the Monseigneur Restaurant, but this CD turns the spotlight on 1933, when he was ensconced at the Kit-Cat Restaurant, and presents twenty-five of the thirty-seven recordings made between January and August. They give ample evidence of what a superb outfit this was, playing with crispness and precision that must have been the envy of many other bands. There's a good mix of vocalists on offer, and The Girl in the Little Green Hat offers a tour-de-force in the shape of trumpeter Sid Buckman's verbal dexterity. 
Other stand-out tracks are What a Perfect Combination and Black-Eyed Susan Brown, on both of which the vocal is provided by The Cubs (trumpeter Les Lambert, saxophonist Harry Gold, and guitarist Ivor Mairants).

The Lew Stone CD is focussed on the prewar period of March to August 1939, from which sixteen tracks are drawn, plus four apiece from both 1940 and 1941. The shadow of the war is reflected in several of the songs, but the pervading mood is one of good cheer, and the musicianship throughout is of a high order. Sam Browne supplies most of the vocals, but there is one song from Dorothy Alt, one from Hughie Diamond, and two from Benny Lee. The last two tracks are instrumentals by the Stonecrackers, which was a smaller jazz-oriented group of varying personnel which recorded a total of a dozen titles in late 1940/spring 1941.

Paul Whiteman began his recording career with Victor Records, but switched to Columbia in May 1928, remaining with that company until September 1930. This reissue draws on the first twelve months, plus a couple of numbers from autumn 1929. In between Whiteman had been cooling his heels in Hollywood, waiting unsuccessfully for filming to commence on ‘The King of Jazz'. Bix was still present to begin with, although less to the fore, but when he did solo, as on 'Tain't So, Honey, 'Tain't So his contribution transformed the proceedings. Bing Crosby's vocals can also be heard, solo on five tracks, and as part of the Rhythm Boys on three.

The fourth CD has a sizeable batch of the Columbia recordings made by Jack Payne's BBC Dance Orchestra, and also four of the Regal recordings made by his earlier Hotel Cecil Orchestra. With the exception of four instrumentals, all feature vocals by Jack himself, albeit one as a duet with ukulele player Sydney Nesbitt, and two as a trio with pianist Bob Busby and drummer Bob Manning. Vocals were not Jack's strongest feature, and I Can't Believe that You're in Love with Me lacks any attempt at a syncopated delivery. In fairness, that is the earliest recording on this compilation, and Jack's renditions improved over time. So far as the music is concerned, the band delivered a very full, satisfying sound which was well captured by Columbia's recording engineers. Barry McCanna

SOUSA 'Music for Wind Band Vol. 10' The Royal Norwegian Navy Band / Keith Brion 15 tracks incl. The Free Lance March; The Quilting Party March; When The Boys Come Sailing Home!; Myrrha Gavotte; Vautour Overture; The Beau Ideal March; Anchor and Star ... Naxos 8.5559397(59:58) Anyone who thought that Sousa penned only military marches – though he did produce something like 136 examples of those – will be somewhat confounded by this release that clearly demonstrates his varied and diverse musical output. Included on this disc of almost exclusively rarities are the seldom heard Jazz America, which despite its title is not strictly jazz but more emblematic of the Jazz Age and comes complete with harp and simulated train whistles. The 12-minute People Who Live in Glass Houses Suite replicates in musical terms various alcoholic beverages from around the world, whilst the somewhat outrageous Humoresque on Kern's Look for the Silver Lining features the sound of a Model T Ford careering along the road with its complement of Keystone Cops and wheezy sounding trombone intoning There is a Tavern in the TownThe Salvation Army March dates from 1930 and is a result of a request from Cmdr Evangeline Booth, daughter of William Booth, the Salvation Army's founder; the whimsical sounding Who's Who in Navy Blue was composed at the request of a US Naval Academy graduating class in 1920. Recording and production standards are up to the usual high standard of this series and anyone collecting it will not be disappointed. If this music doesn't coax at least an occasional smile to your lips then nothing will!Roger Hyslop

'ANOTHER NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS' & 'SCROOGE' RTẾ Concert Orchestra; Royal Ballet Sinfonia / Gavin Sutherland John Fox: Carol Fantasia; Bryan Kelly: Scrooge; Philip Lane: Old Christmas Music; Another Night Before Christmas; Matthew Curtis: Christmas Rush – Concert March;Rebikov: Waltz (from 'The Christmas Tree Suite'); Liszt: The Christmas Tree Suite; Adam Saunders:Fairytale Sleighride; Angela Morley: Snowride; Tchaikovsky: Troika (from The Seasons) (orch. Lane);Thomas Hewitt Jones: Christmas Cracker Naxos 8.572744 (79:20) Unfortunately this was not released in time for a review in the last JIM, so if you missed it make sure it goes to the top of your "wish" list for next Christmas. It is an album of good quality light music largely by composers well-known, indeed personally known, to many RFS members. One possible new name is Thomas Hewitt Jones who won the BBC Young Composer competition in 2003 and is writing the music for this year's Olympic Mascots animated films series. Both Scrooge (19:47) and Another Night (6:00) are narrated by the admired actor, Simon Callow – the icing on the CD cake! This album and the earlier highly recommendable 'The Night Before Christmas' (Naxos 8.570331) are both produced by our friend Philip Lane. Peter Burt

...BRAGA SANTOS  Royal National Scottish Orchestra / Ấlvaro Cassuto Alfama Ballet Suite; Symphonic Overture; Variations for Orchestra; Elegy; Three Symphonic Sketches Naxos 8.572815(72:36) Although not well-known in the UK, Joly Braga Santos (1924-88) was an outstanding Portuguese composer whose works vary from light music through to full scale symphonies. TheAlfama Ballet Suite is linked to the ancient Arab district of Lisbon and was recently discovered and orchestrated by the conductor, a former pupil of the composer. There are also several symphonies on the Marco Polo label, so definitely worth investigating if you like tuneful contemporary music.Peter Worsley...

......'DAN GODFREY ENCORES'  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra / Ronald Corp...... ...... ......Zampa ......(Herold)......; Gee Whizz! ......(Brooke)......; Carillon ......(Percy Whitlock)......; The Boatswain's Mate ......(Dame Ethel Smyth)......; Clatter of the Clogs ......(Flynn)......; In an Eastern Garden ......(Sir Landon Ronald)......; 'The Betrothal' ballet music ......(Armstrong Gibbs)......; Dance of the Nymphs & ...... ......Pizzicati ......(Montague Birch)......; The Magic Harp ......(Ian Boyle)......; Karlsbad's Dolls Dance ......(Ludwig Pleier)......; Love Duet ......from...... 'The Immortal Hour' ......(Rutland Boughton)......; Sierra Melody ......(Cecil White)...... ......Dutton Epoch CDLX...... (67:27) This is a fine and most welcome collection of encores given by Sir Dan Godfrey with his Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra during the early years of the 20th Century.  Most had been lost in the mists of times so it is really good to hear them resurrected and played, appropriately, by the current BSO. ......Peter Worsley......

GRIEG 'Music For String Orchestra' Malmö Symphony Orchestra / Bjarte Engeset 15 tracks incl. From Holberg's Time & Lyric Suite Naxos 8.572403 (71:13) Lovely works, often inspired by poetry or the composer's native Norwegian countryside, very well played as Edvard Grieg intended, not by a chamber or string group but by the string section of a full symphony orchestra. If you only know his Piano Concerto, then try this – a real bargain. Edward Trub

KALINNIKOV 'Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2' Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra / Kees BakelsBIS BIS-CD-1155 (77:29) One of the great tragedies of the history of Russian music was the early death through intractable ill-health, at the early age of 34 in 1901, of Vassily Sergeyevitch Kalinnikov. He displayed early signs of an impressive burgeoning musical talent revealed unmistakably in two youthful life enhancing and adorable symphonies written in quick succession in the 1980s. Very Russian in idiom with vivid attractive themes and brilliant assured glittering orchestration, it is little short of astonishing that music of this quality makes so few visits to the concert hall or recording studio. This new release can be warmly recommended with confidence. The orchestra was formed as recently as 1998 and its 105 members have quickly established an excellent reputation, having already recorded with their Dutch conductor laureate a 4-CD series of Rimsky Korsakov for BIS that was well received. If you only buy one classically orientated disc this year, I would strongly urge you to consider making this one, full of naturally flowing melodies of great charm and natural spontaneity, your choice. Roger Hyslop

......E. J. MOERAN & JOHN IRELAND Royal Scottish National Orchestra / Martin Yates Dutton Epoch CDLX 7281...... (59:13) Three major world premieres on one CD, the most important being the completion by the conductor of what would have been Moeran's ......2nd Symphony...... put together from sketches and fragments found after his untimely death in 1950. ......Overture for a Festival ......dates from the composer's pre-war period while ......Sarnia by...... John Ireland is an orchestration of a three movement wartime piano piece about the occupied Channel Isles. Serious music but in a lighter British vein. ......Peter Worsley......

'NEW YEAR'S CONCERT 2012' Wiener Philharmoniker/ Jansons Sony Classical 88697927102 2 CDs: 25 tracks Wielding the baton this year in Vienna at the Golden Hall of the Musicverein's Straussfest was the Latvian Mariss Jansons, who is in the top five of today's classical music conductors. As well as popular works by members of the Strauss family, with polkas predominating, we hear Ziehrer Viennese Citizens, Hellmesberger Diabolic dance, Lumbye ("The Strauss of Scandinavia") Copenhagen Railway Steam Galop and Tchaikovsky Panorama and Waltzfrom the 'Sleeping Beauty' ballet. The last three items were a "first" at these concerts, as were the three opening items: Patriotic MarchTown Hall Ball Dances and Either – Or! The last two items in the first half, Albion Polka and Jokey Polka,look forward to this year's Olympic Games. The famous Vienna Boys Choir join in with the VPO on the Tritsch-Tratsch and Fireproof Polkas. On the latter the maestro not only conducts but also plays the anvil. There is also a DVD (88697927139) with four bonus features. Definitely life-enhancing music in whatever form. Edward Trub

RIMSKY-KORSAKOV 'Orchestral Suites' Seattle Symphony / Gerard Schwarz Suite from 'The Snow Maiden'; Sadko – Musical picture; Suite from 'Mlada'; Suite from 'Le Coq d'Or' Naxos 8.572787 (70.04)This is another winner from the team that gave us this composer's previous release (8.572788) acclaimed by Roger Hyslop in our last issue. All the suites are taken from operas. No wonder that the disc was chosen on a Classic fM 'New CD Show' in January as "CD of the Week." And, despite a price rise to £6.99 (less online), still a great bargain. If you like this you might be interested In Rimsky's best-known work, Sheherazade, in a version with the same forces (8.572693), described by one reviewer as "absolutely terrific". Peter Burt

...SVENDSEN 'Orchestral Works Vol.1' Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra / Neeme JärviChandos CHAN 10693 (80:00) If you liked the highly acclaimed series of Halvorsen's orchestral works on this label by the same performers you will also like this from his fellow Norwegian, a contemporary of the great Grieg. Johan Svendsen's works, which are characterized by vitality and a mood of festivity, include two symphonies, concertos for violin and cello and chamber music, but he is remembered mainly for his shorter works, like Carnival in ParisRomance (Marianne Thorson is the solo violinist here) and Norwegian Rhapsodies. These are among the ten tracks on this disc, none of which exceeds 12:1 minutes. It is an album of approachable music, very well played, superbly recorded, and with the longest playing time I have come across so far. Edward Trub ...

GRAINGER 'Rambles & Reflections' Piers Lane (piano) The Carman's Whistle (Air and Variations)(Byrd); Hornpipe from Water Music (Handel); Handelian Rhapsody (Cyril Scott); Air and Dance(Delius); Four Irish Dances (Stanford); Beautiful Fresh Flower (Anon–Trad); Ramble on Love from Der Rosenkavalier (R Strauss); Cradle Song (Brahms); Après un Rêve; Nell (Fauré); Paraphrase on Tchaikovsky's Flower WaltzThe Man I LoveLove Walked In (Gershwin); Lullaby (Foster) Helios CDH55454 (75:19) These delightful pieces are piano transcriptions made by Percy Grainger (1882–1961) the Australian-born composer, arranger and pianist best know for his arrangement of the folk-dance tune Country Gardens. With an Australian mother, Piers Lane was born (and now lives) in London, but grew up in Brisbane. He has played at the BBC Proms on five occasions. His playing here is spirited and quite enriching. Edward Trub

HOLST 'The Coming Of Christ' ... ... Holst Orchestra, City of London Choir & St Paul's Girls School Chamber Choir / Hilary Davan Wetton with narrator Robert Hardy EMR CD004(57:00) This unusual choral piece was commissioned by the Dean of Canterbury Cathedral, where it was first performed in 1927, as a setting of a text by John Masefield and although some had misgivings about a modern mystery play, 6,000 people turned up to hear the various performances. This premiere recording is accompanied by four shorter pieces, including the Nunc Dimittis and two psalms. If you like serious and unusual choral works then you will enjoy it but in any event, check out the English Music Festival which is held annually each summer near Oxford and devotes itself to tuneful British composers with a... ...strong emphasis on the late 19th and early 20th centuries – the Golden Renaissance of English music.... ... Edmund Whitehouse

Wilfred Askew reminds us of some other recently received releases

LIBERACE 'I'll Be Seeing You – The Piano Stylings of ...' 51 titles incl. Fascination; Gigi; All the way; Bless this house; Smile; Mack the Knife; To each his own; Over the rainbow; Buttons and bows ... Jasmine JASCD 174 (154:58) Four original Coral albums on two CDs.

DAVE PELL 'I Remember John Kirby' 11 tracks incl. Rose room; Royal Garden Blues; Undecided; Blue skies ... 'The Big Small Bands' 12 tracks incl. Then I'll be happy; Summit Ridge Drive; At the codfish ball; Viva Zapata; Mountain greenery ... Fresh Sound FSR 2259 (70:47) Two original Capitol albums (1959/60)

DAVE PELL OCTET 'Swingin' In The Ol' Corral' 12 tracks incl. I'm an old cowhand; Gal in calico; Empty saddles; Wagon wheels; Oklahoma hills; Cool water; Across the alley from the Alamo...Fresh Sound FSR 1655 (40:50) Original RCA album of 1956.

TERRY SNYDER & THE ALL-STARS 'Persuasive Percussion, vols 1 & 2' 24 tracks incl. Whatever Lola wants; My heart belongs to Daddy; Aloha oe; Japanese Sandman; In a Persian market; Blue Tango; Lady of Spain; Brazil ... Sepia 1170 (66:08) Originally issued on Enoch Light's Command label (1959/60).

BOB THOMPSON, HIS ORCHESTRA & CHORUS 'Just For Kicks' 14 tracks incl. On the street where you live; Diga Diga Doo; Look for the silver lining; It might as well be Spring ... 'Mmm Nice!' 13 tracks incl. Hello, young lovers; Do it again; Joie de vivre; While we're young ... 'On The Rocks' 12 tracks incl. Happy talk; All the things you are; Breezin' along with the breeze; I'll see you again ... Blue Moon BMCD 819 (98:53) Three RCA albums (1958-59) on two CDs.

ED TOWNSEND 'New In Town' & 'Glad To Be Here' 24 tracks incl. The more I see you, Rockin' chair; Mam'selle; Symphony; Prisoner of love ... When my dreamboat comes home; Golden earrings; Brazil, Dinah; On the street where you live ... Blue Moon BMCD 1632 (77:12) Two Capitol albums from 1958, arranged/conducted by Nelson Riddle.

AL VIOLA 'Guitars' 24 tracks incl. When you're smiling; Moonlight in Vermont; And the angels sing; Route 66; Lover ... Lonesome Road; All star; Lemon Twist; Makin' whoopee; I'll remember April ...Fresh Sound FSR-CD 633 (60:34) Two Liberty albums of 1959.

FRANZ WAXMAN 'Sunset Boulevard' (Soundtrack) 22 tracks with bonus: The Paramount-don't-want-me-Blues (2:24) Counterpoint CPT-1001 (52:40) Also contains two booklets: The Making of Sunset Boulevard (28pp); Franz Waxman and the Road to Sunset Boulevard (40pp).

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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.