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 2YS. Further 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 Prima, Ciao 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 incl. Love 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 Town. The 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 March, Town 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 Paris, Romance (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 Waltz; The Man I Love; Love 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).
WILLIAM ALWYN 'Film Music' (arr. for wind band) Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra / Clark Rundell / Mark Heron The Crimson Pirate Overture; The History of Mr. Polly Suite; The Way Ahead March; State Secret Suite; The Million Pound Note Waltz; Swiss Family Robinson Suite; The True Glory March; Geordie Suite; In Search of the Castaways Suite; Desert Victory Suite Naxos Wind Band Classics 8.572747 (69.46) Surprisingly, because he was the re-creator and orchestrator of all these original film transcripts from half a century ago (except for Mr. Polly), no credit is given to Philip Lane. However, as all the new arrangements for wind band by Martin Ellerby have such an excellent pedigree it is not surprising they sound good. Varying in style from pp to ff and from eerie to theatrical, they recreate the picture palaces of the past when audiences flocked in to see the latest drama set against a musical backdrop later discarded by the film company. Edmund Whitehouse
THE FILM MUSIC OF ARTHUR BENJAMIN AND LEIGHTON LUCAS BBC National Orchestra of Wales / Ruman Gamba Benjamin: Conquest of Everest; The Man Who Knew Too Much; An Ideal Husband; Lucas: Yangtse Incident; Portrait of Clare; Dam Busters; Stage Fright; Ice Cold in Alex; This Is York; Target For Tonight Chandos CHAN 10713 (67:58) Many of these scores only exist in a fairly fragmentary state and it's thanks largely to the efforts of the indefatigable Philip Lane, who reconstructed much of the music here and also provided the fascinating and interesting booklet notes, that has made all this possible and to whom we are much indebted. One of the longest single tracks at 7:44 in Benjamin's The Storm Clouds Cantata from the 1934 film 'The Man Who Knew Too Much' scored for mezzo-soprano, chorus, organ and orchestra. When Hitchcock came to remake the film in 1956 it was subsequently redeployed. 'An Ideal Husband', from which we have Waltz and Hyde Park Galop, boasted the famous Alexander Korda as director. What commends this issue for me is the inclusion of Lucas's score for the 1957 film 'Yangtse Incident'. This includes The Amethyst March, a stirring, heart-warming piece and a worthy musical tribute to all those unfortunate "hearts of oak" caught up in 'The Incident'. Lucas also composed music for the British Transport film documentaryThis Is York, and Philip Lane makes the point that this is the only full film score of him to have surfaced to date. Having served in the RAF during WWII it is not surprising that Lucas was called upon to write a suitable march for the classic 1941 RAF documentary 'Target For Tonight' (currently available on DVD) and was perhaps a natural choice for making a major contribution towards 'The Dam Busters' – Eric Coates, of course, being responsible only for the perennially popular Dambusters March. This is a superbly played and engineered disc and will surely be wanted by anyone with an interest and fascination in quality vintage British film music. Roger Hyslop
Philip Lane strikes again, this time with a superb reconstruction of several old film scores which sound terrific, including 'Yangtse Incident' in which the official but false version of the remarkable escape was retold on celluloid. Against orders, HMS Concord secretly went upstream under cover of darkness to assist HMS Amethyst and the two escaped together, a secret which has been covered up ever since so as not to offend Communist China; the British government of the time having backed the wrong political horse. While HMS Amethyst took all the plaudits, the crew of HMS Concord was sworn to secrecy, something which has festered with them for decades! This is a great CD. Edmund Whitehouse
HOWARD BLAKE 'The Avengers' Music composed & conducted by Howard Blake 50 tracksSilva Screen SILCD1363 (57:56 & 36.06) Of all the television scores I hoped would become available on CD, Howard Blake's magnificent scores from 'The Avengers' 1968-69 Tara King Season, are the ones I least expected to see emerge. Thoughtfully released during the 50th Anniversary celebrations of the series, this collection was released during the autumn of 2011. This 2-CD set, but with different artwork, was previously released privately, and is now a collector's item. These scores represent the ten films for which Howard Blake was composer, by the request of Laurie Johnson, who at the time, was busy composing for films such as 'Hot Millions'. Howard succeeds magnificently in maintaining the Avengers style, although for those who are familiar with his later film scores, there are tell-tale signs of things to come. As the keyboard player on previous soundtracks for 'The Avengers', Howard knew exactly what was required, and he knew the other musicians involved, and many of them therefore, such as trumpeter Stan Roderick (who also provided the inimitable solo trumpet counter melody in this season's titles music), are heard here. The sound reproduction is quite superb. Included in this set are, of course, Laurie Johnson's second arrangements of the main and end titles theme, as well as his Tag Scene – an exquisite '60s bossa nova, which accompanied most of the humorous closing sequences with John Steed, and Tara King. At the time, 'The Avengers' was shown in 90 different countries. Today it is seen everywhere, and it remains the world's most famous television series, having opened the way for all other Cold War characters, such as James Bond, Napoleon Solo, and others. I would recommend buying this now, before you regret not doing so, as television soundtracks soon tend to soar in scarcity value. I would add that the booklet and backing insert for 'The Avengers' are produced very much for genuine fans of the series in mind, with beautiful colour photographs which I have not seen in publications before, and the notes include all recording dates, and a list of the musicians who took part. Howard had obviously had this project in mind for a long time.
Laurie Johnson's own soundtracks from 'The Avengers', 'The New Avengers', and 'The Professionals' are already starting to disappear, so look for these on Amazon. Hopefully, Howard Blake's scores might elicit a more complete set of Laurie Johnson's own 'Avengers' scores, and it would be wonderful to at last own his original colour series' main and end titles themes on CD. For those who remember the series from its inception, Johnny Dankworth's two separate versions of his ownAvengers Theme are still available on CD: 'The Best Of Johnny Dankworth' (Redial 546 135-2), and'Johnny Dankworth - Let's Slip Away' (Lost Tunes UMC 0-06007 - 5317621 - 4), and an excellent cover version of the Dankworth theme by John Gregory is included on 'John Gregory & His Orchestra – Mission Impossible' (Mercury 532 986-2). Franck Leprince
'BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC PREMIERES Vol. 6' Royal Ballet Sinfonia / Gavin SutherlandSaturday Market (Anthony Hedges); Welsh Nursery Tunes (Lullaby & Shoeing Song) (Alun Hoddinott); Five Lyric Dances (Philip Lane), Cinque Port Suite and El Tango Ultimo (Carey Blyton), Portrait of Diana (John Fox), Music for Children (Out for a Stroll, Pony Trap, Sweet Dreams, Rustic Dance) (David Morgan), Breton Suite (Little Dress, Clogmaker, Rosary) and Six Welsh Dances (Four Clogs, Red Cloak, Shepherd of Hafod, Hornpipe, Good Cheer, Shepherd’s Dance) (Mansel Thomas), André Charlot Show of 1926 (Addinsell/Gay) Dutton Epoch CDLX7283 (65:00) Working backwards, the André Charlot (pronounced Sharlow) extended piece transports us back to a different age of show business with jolly music from the pit orchestra back in the '20s. Mansel Thomas’s Six Welsh Dances simply fizz; John Fox pays homage to Princess Diana; David Morgan gives us four delightful children’s miniatures; Carey Blyton posts a musical portrait of a south coast port down the centuries; Philip Lane produces yet more splendid well rounded tuneful dances; Alun Hoddinott provides some Welsh culture; and Anthony Hedges shows us what Beverley Market was like on a Saturday morning 35 years ago. Another fine disc for Messrs. Lane and Sutherland. Long may they flourish! Edmund Whitehouse
As its name implies, this CD joins its five companions to comprise what has become a sizeable collection of music which, hitherto, has never made it onto any recording format. I suspect that this is probably the result of quite a lot of "midnight oil-burning" on the part of Philip Lane, aided and abetted by Lewis Forman. We have here a collection of very pleasant if at times somewhat unremarkable music which, inter alia, introduces us to composers David Morgan and Mansel Thomas. It should be noted that the last track is an "extra" by the BBC CO, conducted by Barry Wordsworth, whereas all others are by Gavin Sutherland and the Royal Ballet Sinfonia. A well-put-together programme, which certainly should appeal to those who like to try something new and a little "off the beaten track". Tony Clayden
CLEBANOFF & HIS ORCHESTRA 'Strings Afire' & 'Exciting Sounds' Millionaire's Hoe-Down*; You Do Something to Me; Nigrita*; Oye Negra; Blue Theme*; Bobsled*; Strings Afire*; Like Paganini*; Harlem Nocturne; Cherokee; Brazilian Polka*; Blue Mountain*: Cumaná; Orchids in the Moonlight; Hava Nagila (arr. Clebanoff); Cha Cha Cha Flamenco; My Shawl; What is this Thing Called Love; Golden Earrings; Quiet Village; Turkish Harem Dance*; Barranquilia*; Yours (*written, wholly or in part, by Clebanoff) Vocalion CDLK 4474 (66:35) A return appearance on this label for Herman Clebanoff with, arguably, his two best albums – both from 1961 in Mercury's famed Perfect Presence Sound Series that produced so many wonderful classical LPs. Son of Russian emigrants, Clebanoff grew up in Chicago and by the age of 20 was already the youngest member of that city's symphony orchestra. He was signed up by Mercury and moved to Hollywood around 1960. It is likely he was regarded by his record company as its answer to Decca's Mantovani. To boost Clebanoff's splendid string sound his arrangers Wayne Robinson and Caesar Giovannini engaged some stellar West Coast session percussionists. With its touches of Latin, I enjoyed this CD a lot. Peter Burt
RAY CONNIFF ‘All Or Nothing At All’ 56 tracks incl. Remember; Harbour Lights; Moon Song; Buttons and Bows; Besame Mucho; Summertime; Brazil; Tammy… Highnote REXX 344 (77:53 & 77:47) This generous package offers four Ray Conniff albums: ‘Young at Heart’ and ‘Somebody Loves Me’ (with the RC Singers & Orchestra), and ‘Say it with Music’ (sub-titled ‘A Touch of Latin’) and ‘Memories are Made of This’ (both with the RC Orchestra & Chorus). If that were not enough, there are eight bonus tracks, including five from the album ‘It’s the Talk of the Town’. As you might expect from these CBS stereo recordings, sound quality is excellent. Barry McCanna
FRANK CORDELL & HIS ORCHESTRA 'The Best Of Everything' & 'Hear This' Guantanamera; Alfie; A Man and a Woman; The Gentle Rain; Music to Watch Girls By; The Shining Sea; Somethin' Stupid; Once Upon a Summertime; Berimbau; And We Were Lovers; London Life (Cordell); Never on Sunday: So in Love; I Didn't Know What Time it Was; June is Bustin' Out All Over; My Funny Valentine; Kee-Mo, Ky-Mo (The Magic Song); My Heart Stood Still; Quiet Drive (Cordell);; I'm Old Fashioned; Caravan; Come Rain or Come Shine Vocalion CDLK 4469 (73:39) Frank Cordell (1918-80) was a composer, arranger and conductor who is sadly under-represented in the current CD listings. So congratulations to Michael Dutton for bringing two of his albums back into circulation. Let us hope that 'Sweet and Dry' and 'The Melody Lingers On' (my favourite) will follow. Frank first came to prominence with his arrangements on numerous HMV vocal singles in the 1950s. Later he was to write soundtrack music for films such as 'The Captain's Table', 'Cromwell', 'Khartoum', 'Mosquito Squadron' and 'Ring of Bright Water'. 'The Best of Everything' from 1967 is a nice compilation of film themes, Brazilian originating melodies, and pop chart pieces in Frank's fine arrangements, all very well played by star sounding musicians. The Stereo Record Guide for 1963 opined that 'Hear This'was "musically brilliant, but in spite of the dilution of style by the use of orchestrations derived from serious (sic) music (and the American musical) most is highly sophisticated written Jazz." The soloists are Eddie Blair (trumpet), Jack La Rock (violin), Don Lusher (trombone), Tommy Whittle (tenor sax) and Roy Willox (alto sax). Expect Tony Clayden to be revisiting this release next time. Peter Burt
'THE FINCK ALBUM' Orchestra of the Theatre Bel-Etage (Tallinn) / Mart Sander : Pirjo Levandi & Kelli Uustani (sopranos), Mart Sander (baritone) 13 pieces – 18 tracks incl. Cheerio!; Hullo, Girls!; Jocoso; Dear Old Fighting Boys; The K-Nuts Medley… Divine Art Diversions DDV 62402 (67:54) The light music revival seems to have largely bypassed Herman Finck (1872-1939), Dutch by extraction but a Londoner from birth; it has needed this disc from Estonia – a small but very musical country – to show us what a good tunesmith he was. He worked much of his adult life in London's Palace Theatre, as conductor and composer of operettas and ballets. His dance music is particularly delightful, as can be heard here in the My Lady Dragonfly Ballet Suite and single movements like Moonlight Dance, Pirouette, dedicated to Anna Pavlova, and the waltz songs Venetia(from the operetta 'Decameron Nights', also given a lengthy orchestral selection), My Waltz Queen, and Queen of the Flowers. Finck's best remembered tunes, In the Shadows and Gilbert the Filbert are here, too, both in vocal versions, of which there are six on the disc. The singing comes over well, perhaps a little too well as the singers are rather too forwardly balanced, but the clarity of the delivery and English diction are excellent. The orchestra, while not as polished as, say, the BBC Concert Orchestra or the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, put in some fine work, and I have no hesitation in recommending the CD, which hopefully may encourage a Finck revival. Philip L Scowcroft
EDWARD GERMAN BBC Concert Orchestra / John Wilson Dutton Epoch CDLX7285 (76:26) The conductor is on record as saying he has no nostalgia for light music because he is not old enough to remember it but he knows what he likes. Not many of us is actually old enough to remember Edward German (he died in 1936) but his delightful music lives on in recorded form, and none better than this fine CD. 'Much Ado About Nothing' – Incidental music is terrific while 'The Tempter' – Incidental music has a charming Berceuse followed by a lively Bacchanalian Dance. Marche Solennelle (Funeral March) is having only its fourth performance while 'Henry VIII' – Incidental music is offered in the form of a slightly longer overture and two preludes followed by three short famous dances (Morris Shepherd's and Torch), which later resurfaced in 'Merrie England'. 'Romeo and Juliet' – Incidental music is a Dramatic Interlude while the Coronation March and Hymn was composed for King George V. Great music, great composer, great value. Edmund Whitehouse
German Edward Jones (some accounts suggest his name was sounded with a hard "G", as in "got") was born into a musical family in 1862, and was always destined for a musical career. At the age of 18, he enrolled at the RAM, studying with the famous Ebenezer Prout, and becoming "Edward German" to avoid clashing with a fellow pupil also called Jones. By the age of 26 he had been appointed to the prestigious post of MD at London’s Globe Theatre. Many regarded him as the natural heir to Sir Arthur Sullivan and when it is considered that he wrote a fairly sizable canon of music, including three symphonies, it is both strange and unfortunate that most of his output, together with his very name, has become largely forgotten. German’s compositions have recently found a champion in the shape of the ever-enterprising Michael Dutton; this new release joins two previously issued Dutton Epoch CDs, also featuring John Wilson and the BBC Concert Orchestra, containing the aforementioned symphonies and various other orchestral works. The programme on this latest offering includes a number of World Premiere and First Digital recordings, so it is likely that much of the material will be unfamiliar. However, as with much of German’s work, it is immediately accessible and enjoyable, whilst John and the Orchestra deliver their usual superlative performances. Warmly recommended! Tony Clayden
'THE GREAT STARS OF LIGHT ORCHESTRAL MUSIC' ('Les Grandes Etoiles du Divertissement’) 147 tracks on 6 CDs featuring the orchestras of Ray Martin, Helmut Zacharias, Teddy Petersen, Werner Müller (Ricardo Santos), David Rose and Cedric Dumont Marianne Melodie (France) 480624 When you discover the names of RFS friends such as Serge Elhaik, Ralph Harvey and the legendary Pierre-Marcel Ondher in the credits, you can be assured that this is a collection worthy of the attention of all light music fans. Unlike some earlier French compilations, this time the spotlight falls upon just six major light orchestras, with each CD in the set specially themed – such as 'Characteristic Pieces', 'All the Colours of the World', 'International Successes', etc… Of course keen collectors are bound to possess many of the tracks already in other collections, but there are some pleasant surprises and there is a 44-page booklet crammed with information (mostly in French, of course). Great collections like this don’t turn up every day, and the restorations have been in the capable hands of Lionel Risler and his team Sofreson. Despite its title, this collection does not pretend to be an exhaustive study of the world of Light Music. You sense that care has been taken to avoid duplicating those orchestras who are already well represented elsewhere. It is very satisfying to know that various record companies are still prepared to make light music of this quality available on commercial discs. They all deserve our support to keep this niche in the world of music alive. David Ades
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ENOCH LIGHT & HIS ORCHESTRA 'Stereo 35/MM' & 'Far Away Places' 24 tracks incl. Heat Wave; The Man I Love; I've Got a Crush on You; All the Way; My Romance; You Do Something to Me; Zing Went the Strings of My Heart; Someone to Watch Over Me … Waltzing Matilda; Banana Boat Song; The Third Man Theme; Sunrise Over Sumatra; Bali Ha'I; Mimi; Calcutta … Sepia 1191 (71:16) Enoch Light (1907-78) was an American bandleader and record entrepreneur. He started the Command label and was always interested in the technical side of producing records, so stereo was made for him. He went on to be one of the first to record on 35mm movie film instead of tape, an advance at the time. The first album on this release was recorded in summer 1961 at Carnegie Hall with its natural acoustics as "the greatest sound chamber in the world." I expected something ultra gimmicky but it is all very classily done. The LP was U.S. No.1 for seven weeks and remained in the charts for 57 weeks – says it all, really! For his orchestra Light brought together more than 60 of the best musicians in New York (trumpeter Doc Severinsen and guitarist Tony Mottola were among those who regularly played for him) and it is apparent that great care was taken both before and during the recording. The second album, "Featuring Harpsichord and Exotic Percussion", was recorded earlier in the same year. It is an entertaining compilation of a dozen more Lew Davies arrangements, although I am not enthusiastic about the five singers' wordless contributions. Richard Tay's estimable label maintains its high standards with Robin Cherry's remastering and nine pages of detailed booklet notes. Well worth considering adding to your CD shelves. Peter Burt
GEOFF LOVE & HIS ORCHESTRA 'Big War Movie Themes' & 'Big Concerto Movie Themes' 21 tracks incl. Colonel Bogey - excerpt from The River Kwai March; Lawrence of Arabia; The Guns of Navarone; Battle of Britain; The Longest Day; Where Eagles Dare … Warsaw Concerto; Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Spellbound Concerto; Theme from Concerto in B flat minor (Tchaikovsky); Cornish Rhapsody … Vocalion CDLK 4468 (74:10) Another 2-on-1 from EMI's hugely popular Music for Pleasure series – both albums from the early 1970s. The "usual suspects" are in the first album's track choice, although Rózsa's The Green Berets and Jarre's Is Paris Burning are here. The final item is Addison's Reach for the Sky. The second album covers the films 'The Bridge on the River Kwai', 'Dangerous Moonlight', 'The Story of Three Loves', 'Spellbound', 'the Music Lovers', 'Love Story', 'While I Live', 'The Glass Mountain' and 'Song of Norway'. As well as Oliver Lomax's highly informative three-and-a-bit pages of liner notes we have extracts from the original LP sleeve notes. But I am still no wiser as to who the pianist is and something about the other musicians involved.Peter Burt
Among Vocalion's April releases are also albums from Chico Arnez, Martin Denny (2), Jackie Gleason (2), Syd Lawrence (2), Woot Steenhuis, and Si Zentner.
'NATURE’S REALM' For tracklisting please see page XX. Guild GLCD5194 (77:58). When I received this latest Guild CD I wasn’t sure if it was up my street or not because, although it includes several library pieces which I consider "my territory", the titles seemed to have a rather lethargic sound to them. However the first track is just the opposite, a rousing send-off courtesy of Sidney Torch and his Orchestra, Thunder and Lightning Polka. According to David‘s booklet notes Stormy Weather was reckoned to have been written in 1933 by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler …. I always thought it came from the 1943 film musical of the same name, lightly based on the career of Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. However, whatever its origins there‘s a very good arrangement on this CD by Morton Gould and played by his Orchestra. From inclement weather to more of the stuff with a catchy number played by Ray Martin and his Orchestra, Tango in The Rain by, according to David, the prolific German composer Lotar Leonard Olias. Sorry David, I’ve never heard of him but somebody whose music I am very familiar with is Frederic Curzon and his tuneful Over the Hills and Far Awayplayed by the New Concert Orchestra sits comfortably with Malcolm Arnold’s theme music for the 1961 British film 'Whistle Down the Wind' …. one star from Leslie Halliwell but the music’s nice. Another Halliwellism describes 'Whirlpool' (1959) as "a modestly attractive travelogue with the burden of a very boring melodrama" but again the theme by Ron Goodwin is rather good as played by his Concert Orchestra, and so is Clive Richardson’s mood music piece written for the Charles Brull/Harmonic Library, Saga Of the Seven Seas. Wandering The King’s Highway by Leslie Coward is more likely to be remembered as a Peter Dawson or Oscar Natzka rendition but here it’s played by the Melodi Light Orchestra from a Chappell disc and a fine tune it is too. Trouble is I can’t find out anything about the composer, even Google doesn’t help. Fireflies by Peter Yorke and Eric Spear’sWhirlwind, both played by the Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra, are very catchy indeed as is Bruce Campbell’s Trotting Class on a Paxton 78 played by Dolf Van Der Linden and his Orchestra. Gerard Calvi’s Thunder in Louisiana has a slightly hypnotic drum beat throughout – beginning quite quietly, which made me think the title was a bit of a misnomer, but it gradually gets louder and so fulfills its title. I mentioned not knowing anything really about Leslie Coward and almost the same thing can be said about George Trevare whose composition The Mad Mountain Ride is played by the Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra conducted by Sidney Torch. Mr. Trevare is mentioned on Google as having connections to the Australian ABC Network and there’s a recording of I’m Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover sung by Johnny Wade accompanied by George Trevare and his Southern Seven on Columbia DO 3241. However, I’m sure readers will come up with more information in both cases. Ken Wilkins
THE NEW FOXTROT SERENADERS with Simon Gledhill 'Say it with Music' Say it with Music,Paddlin' Madelin' Home (vocal, Graham Wright), Isn't this a Lovely Day, When you're Smiling (vocal Graham Wright and band members), Side by Side, Singing in the Bathtub (vocal Graham Wright), Look for the Silver Lining, Paddlin' Madelin' Home (non-vocal version) NFSCD05 (26.45) The idea of a band or orchestra performing with a theatre organist is by no means a new one. Many of the theatre orchestras of the thirties made records with the addition of a cinema organ and, of course, there was Billy Thorburn's The Organ, The Dance Band and Me. From the inlay notes, it is apparent that it was the latter combination that inspired the New Foxtrot Serenaders to team up with virtuoso organist Simon Gledhill, not just on this CD, but on some of the band's many concerts around the country. If you enjoy bouncy, tuneful music from the past, you are really going to love this CD. The performances are immaculate and the tight ensemble as good as you could wish to hear. The band's precision is probably due to the fact that some of the players have been members of top service bands. Trumpeter, Graham Wright (an ex-guardsman) adds a pleasing vocal touch to some numbers. My only criticism is that this is a rather short CD, but every number is a joy to listen to and I highly recommend it, as indeed I recommend you to go and listen to the band if it performs near you. You will be able to find this out from their very comprehensive websitewww.newfoxtrotserenaders.co.uk. You can also purchase the CD (£7+£1.50 p&p) through this website or by sending a cheque to Graham Wright, 7, Grosvenor Gardens, Carshalton, Surrey SM5 3EJ. Brian Reynolds
'STEREO INTO THE SIXTIES' For tracklisting please see page XX. Guild GLCD5192 (74:30). It says what it is on the CD case and that’s exactly what it delivers, so if stereo is your forte you’re in for a treat, beginning in "big picture" mode with Cole Porter’s Night and Day from the Astaire/Rogers 1934 musical 'The Gay Divorcee', originally titled 'Divorcee'. This particular recording is played in fine style by The Starlight Symphony conducted by Cyril Ornadel and arranged by Brian Fahey, followed by George Gershwin’s Bidin’ My Time with Frederick Fennell and his Orchestra. Quite a change from his usual band of musicians, namely the Eastman-Rochester Pops, but quite possibly the same players as they turn up on track 12 with Jaime Texidor’s rousing and well known Amparito Roca. The listener will quickly realise the strings are very much to the fore on this collection as they were all recorded when stereo was considered the way ahead and with speakers placed well apart. I suppose it was thought it enhanced the listening experience with the strings coming out of one speaker and, say, the brass emanating from the other. Did it? Anyway, that’s my rant over, back to the disc in hand .... Mantovani and his Orchestra make an appearance with a very pleasing composition of his own, Italia Mia, and this is followed by Ron Goodwin and his Orchestra playing his own sprightlyLondon Serenade, which could have come from any mood music publisher’s catalogue. Did it by any chance? Australian composer Don Banks paints a lively picture of Coney Island with "brush strokes" by The Sinfonia of London conducted by Douglas Gamley while Jack Shaindlin and his Orchestra playThe Carioca featured in a lengthy sequence from 'Flying Down to Rio', another Astaire/Rogers film but they weren’t the featured stars; it was their first pairing and they rated below Dolores del Rio and Gene Raymond. I have the soundtrack of this film issued in 1978 on the Sandy Hook label and on the reverse is the soundtrack of 'Carefree'. The strange bit about the LP from which Carioca has been taken is it’s called '50 Years Of Movie Music' which tries to replicate film music of that period yet it’s been recorded in stereo …. which rather defeats the object I would have thought. Luckily I’ve got the monaural issue. When I saw Jockey on the Carousel in the tracks listing I was reminded of Bob Farnon’s composition but this one is by Jerome Kern; it is a more gentler melody but none the less tuneful for that. Pedro The Fisherman is given a rousing performance by Johnny Douglas and The Living Strings …. very different from the Richard Tauber version which is usually played – if it’s played at all these days. The music was written by Harry Parr-Davies for the 1943 show 'The Lisbon Story' at the London Hippodrome and ran for 492 performances. Ferrante and Teicher make a very good job at two pianos with an unnamed orchestra of the Love Theme from One Eyed Jacks. The Living Strings make a second appearance, this time conducted by William Hill Bowen with a quirky arrangement of On the Beach At Waikiki by the conductor; but the next track was a big surprise although on reflection I don’t know why because he was an excellent pianist: Russ Conway and Michael Collins and his Orchestra play Charles Williams’ Dream of Olwen on a Columbia recording. I’m sure Charles Williams would have been highly delighted. A piece more up my street is on track 20, Walberg’s Fete Circassienne played by his own orchestra. I don’t know much about him apart from the info in David’s booklet notes but his name appears several times in the Harmonic/Charles Brull catalogue and I’ve got an LP of his with a Russian theme. A smashing performance of Eric Coates’ gentle waltz Mayfair from his 'London Again Suite' is played by an orchestra conducted by somebody I’d never heard of, Eric Johnson, on a Westminster LP. But this Guild CD is brought to a fine conclusion with another big picture theme, Away Out West from 'Around the World in Eighty Days' by the unusually named Victor Popular Young played in fine style by Robert Farnon and his Orchestra from an MGM LP of 1960. Another collection of superb light concert music just waiting to be ignored by Britain’s national broadcasting organisation. Ken Wilkins
KT Editor's CD Choice
FLOYD CRAMER 'Countrypolitan Piano' Four Original Albums 48 tracks incl. I'll Never Be Free; The Swingin' Shepherd Blues; Midnight; Have I Stayed Away Too Long?; Stormy Weather; Trouble In Mind … Last Date; I Need You Now; Moments To Remember; Tennessee Waltz; Too Young; Mood Indigo … On The Rebound; Wonderland By Night;; I Can Just Imagine; Faded Love; Let It Be Me; Two Of A Kind …Your Last Goodbye; Unchained Melody;; You Win Again; Someone Else, Not Me; Lonely Again; The Waltz You Saved For Me … Jasmine JASCD 694 (56:54 & 56:24) This 2-CD set has been in my player a lot lately – good cheery music for these troubled times. Tastefully melodic all the way, Cramer (1933-97) described his distinctive piano style as "whole-tone slur" or "slip note". He was a RCA session man from 1955 and, as well as hits with the likes of Elvis Presley and Jim Reeves, had his own big chart entries including Last Date (No.2 in the US), On the Rebound (No.1 in the UK, No.4 in the US) – both his own compositions – and San Antonio Rose (No.8 in US), all heard here. These are four albums from the very many he made for RCA, all produced by Chet Atkins: 'Hello Blues' and 'Last Date' (1960), 'On The Rebound' and 'America's Biggest Selling Pianist' (1961). A pity that the accompanying musicians are not acknowledged, even if the largely wordless girly singers add little to the proceedings. Nevertheless a very pleasant memento of one of the leading architects of the famed "Nashville sound." Peter Burt
HARRY FARMER : HAMMOND ORGAN 'Get Happy' 54 tracks inc South Rampart Street Parade, Muskrat Ramble, In The Night, Saturday Rag, An Apple For The Teacher, Mean To Me, Because, If I Had A Talking Picture Of You, Bach Goes To Town, Tip Toe Through The Tulips, I’ve Got A Pocketful Of Dreams REXX 338 (73:54 &71:05). Harry Farmer was part of the Jimmy Leach Organola team playing organ whilst Jimmy Leach played the piano and they made quite a number of 78’s which sold well. This double CD set is a bargain with 27 tracks per disc almost filling the capacity of the discs. Seven or eight tracks per side are utilised in bringing us Chris Hamalton and his Hammond organ….a pseudonym of Harry Farmer. Generally these tend to be the hotter numbers such as South Rampart Street Parade, Muskrat Ramble, In the Night, Saturday Rag. The Harry Farmer Rhythm Ensemble occupies the remainder of the discs. This ensemble comprises Harry on the organ, Harry Engleman on piano, Barry Fox on guitar and Pete Thomas on drums. Sometimes they are joined by Norman Parker on marimba. They make a very pleasant sounding ensemble with most of the tracks performed in a danceable style. Other tracks include Goodnight Sweetheart, Beyond the Blue Horizon, I’ve Got You Under My Skin, Moonlight Serenade and I Only Have Eyes for You. This is a bargain indeed and a programme of very listenable music. Restorations are outstanding so no problems there. The hand of Colin Brown is behind this issue; he has served the music industry well over the years. Get the CD whilst you can. Brian Stringer
BERT WEEDON 'The King of Strings' 25 tracks incl. Guitar Boogie Shuffle; Bongo Rock, Apache; Big Beat Boogie; Lonely Guitar; Jolly Gigolo; Stranger Than Fiction; Rippling Tango; Petite Fleur; The $64,000 Dollar Question; Sorry Robbie, Flannel Foot; Easy Beat Pegasus PEG CD 734 (58:31) This very popular British guitarist of the '50s and '60s was lost to us, aged 91, earlier this year. Here is a 2011 cheap-as-chips compilation of remarkably well-recorded numbers including two tracks with George Chisholm – Honky Tonk and D R Rock – that form a fitting memento of his work. Peter Burt
BING CROSBY 'Through The Years Volume Ten' 30 tracks incl. Love in a Home; Trust Your Destiny to a Star; Gigi; Church Bells; Rain; Someday Sweetheart; There's No Business Like Show Business; Go West, Young Man; Lullaby Land Sepia 1192 (76:53) With this release Sepia complete a project that has been running for over 25 years. It covers the years that Bing spent recording for Decca. However, as 19 of the tracks are from his 1956 'Á Christmas Sing with Bing Around the World'album and there are two other seasonal tracks, I shall return to this album later in the year. Meanwhile I would like to know how Bing came to have Dedham Choral Society from near my home town of Colchester singing God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen on his CBS radio special? Peter Burt
THE KING SISTERS ‘Imagination’ 71 tracks incl. Deep Purple; Memories of You; The Hawaiian War Chant; I’ll Get By; Pagan Love Song; Ebb Tide… Jasmine JASCD 183 (79:05 & 79:14) Unlike most sister groups, the King Sisters was a quartet, which used close harmonies rather than counter-point to achieve their effect. That approach chimed with the homogenous music of the swing era, and Alvino Rey’s band supplied the backing. They first recorded together in November 1940, but this compilation comes from a decade later, by which time they had recorded four albums for Capitol. Some tracks have been selected from the first three, augmented by a number of singles, but the 1960 album ‘Baby, They’re Singing Our Song’ that was recorded as a continuous medley, appears in its entirety. Barry McCanna
MILITARY WIVES Presented by Gareth Malone 'In My Dreams' Make you Feel My Love; In My Dreams; With Or Without You; Up Where We Belong (Love Lifts Us Up); True Love Ways; You've Got A Friend;; Eternal Father; Fix You; The Silver Tassie; On My Own; Wherever You Are Decca 2796665 (39:42) This is the first time – and, probably, the last – that I have reviewed a popular chart-topping album. The BBC2 series featuring the Chivenor Choir was a joy and here they are recorded alongside similar groups from Plymouth, Portsmouth, Lympstone, and Catterick Garrison. The harmony of all the choirs is remarkable. The title and final tracks are from the pen of the royal wedding composer Paul Mealor. The latter was No.1 single in the UK last Christmas and No.5 in this year's Classsic fM Hall of Fame, and features the beautiful voice of Sam Stevenson, as does Robert Burns' traditional Silver Tassie. Although the album has Decca's not unexpected short measure for their TV-advertised releases, at least £1 of each full-price sale will go directly to the Military Wives Choirs Foundation to help other military communities establish their own choirs … wherever they are. Most enjoyable! Peter Burt
GEORGE BEVERLY SHEA 'I'd Rather Have Jesus' 50 tracks incl. Amazing Grace; The Old Rugged Cross; What A Friend We Have In Jesus; It Is No Secret; How Great Thou Art; Be Still My Soul; Take My Hand, Precious Lord; Saviour, Again To Thy Dear Name Jasmine 701 (71.08 & 71.48) According to the Guinness Book of Records, this Canadian-born bass-baritone, affectionately known as "America's beloved gospel singer", holds the world record for singing in person to the most people ever with an estimated cumulative live audience of 220 million people. He won a Grammy in 1956 and at the age of 102 received the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award alongside the likes of Julie Andrews and Dolly Parton. He was associated with the great evangelical preacher Billy Graham from 1947 until comparatively recently. He recorded over 70 albums, some with orchestras conducted by, among others, Hugo Winterhalter and Ralph Carmichael. Unfortunately the musicians on the four mono LPs here – Evening Vespers', 'Inspirational Songs', 'Sacred Songs' and 'An Evening Prayer' – are not identified. Tenderly He Watches and Sunrise are two bonus tracks. Truly inspirational. Peter Burt
'STAND BY FOR ADVERTS' : Rare Jazz, Jingles and Advertising Electronics by Barry Gray81 tracks Trunk Records JBH039CD (57:26) This is a beautifully produced, and excellently restored compendium of advertising jingles composed by Barry Gray, better known for his themes and scores for most of Gerry Anderson's television Sci-Fi series, such as 'The Thunderbirds', 'Supercar', and 'Stingray'. Stylistically, these short pieces vary as much as the products they advertised. They are all from the early days of British Television, and were composed for such brands as Sunsilk, Shell, Esso, Tide, Horlicks, Gillette, Hoover, BOAC, Aspro, and a host of other products that I have either forgotten about, or were not aware of when I was a toddler. Anyone fortunate enough to have collected the entire Silva Screen series of Barry Gray's soundtracks, will want to add this to their collection. The booklet notes by Ralph Titterton are well-produced, well-written, and fascinating. All of the tracks are expertly remastered, sounding better than any television set of the time could have made them do. Many are preceded by a spoken introduction, but this does not detract from the overall enjoyment of auditioning them. A thoroughly delightful excursion into the realms of nostalgia. One wonders how many other tapes survive by other composers of jingles, such as John Barry, Cliff Adams, Tony Osborne, Robert Sharples, and others.Franck Leprince
BENNY CARTER 'Four Classic Albums Plus' 46 tracks incl. I’m Coming Virginia; Thou Swell; A Monday Date; And the Angels Sing; Moon of Mannakoora; I’ll Remember April; September Song…Avid AMSC1048 (79:58 & 79:58) This comprises four albums, namely ‘Jazz Giant’ which dates from 1957/8, ‘Swingin’ the ‘20s’ from November 1958, the 1960 ‘Sax a la Carter’ and the slightly earlier‘Aspects’. The first three are small group settings, but the last-named was recorded with a big band. Scott Yanow wrote of the first album "This timeless music is beyond the simple categories of "swing" or "bop" and should just be called "classic’." That comment could equally well be applied also to the three other albums included here. It’s a superlative reissue, in brilliantly remastered sound. Barry McCanna
QUINCY JONES ‘Strike Up The Band’ 41 tracks incl. Tuxedo Junction; Caravan; Cherokee; Love is Here to Stay; Under Paris Skies; Mack the Knife; Come Back to Sorrento Jasmine JASCD 696(69:22 & 66:20) This is a straight reissue of four Mercury albums recorded in stereo between February 1959 and February 1961, namely 'The Birth of a Band' (Mercury SR 60129), 'The Great Wide World of Quincy Jones' (Mercury SR 60221), 'I Dig Dancers' (Mercury SR 60612), all with 10 tracks apiece, and 'Around the World' (Mercury PPS 6014) which runs to eleven tracks. The first two albums are superbly played big band jazz, and feature amongst the soloists Zoot Sims, Clark Terry, Joe Newman, Harry Edison, Art Farmer, and Lee Morgan. The arrangements on the second album were by Ernie Wilkins, Bill Potts, Ralph Burns, and Al Cohn, and a number of standards are included. The third album begins well enough, and the standards are given a facelift by the arrangements, although not always to their advantage. In particular Moonglow which was written as a slow ballad suffers from being taken too fast and finally becomes incandescent, and the treatment of Chinese Checkers is irritating. The best track is Jones’ own composition The Midnight Sun Will Never Set. Finally, the "world tour" album, which relies on the gimmicky nature of the material, is something of an anti-climax. The liner contains a very full discography of the varying personnel and the session involved, and identifies the soloists on the first disc. Sound quality and stereo separation is excellent, and despite my reservations it is a real bargain. Barry McCanna
MAŘEK WEBER, HIS VIOLIN & HIS ORCHESTRA 'Café in Vienna – His 23 finest (1925/35)'Café in Vienna (JH); Valencia; Da Draussen in der Wachau; Estudiantina; Schoner Gigolo (MW); Japanischer Laternentanz; Rosen aus dem Suden; Fruhlingslust; Oh, Donna Clara (MW); Gold und Silber; Die Blume von Hawaii sel. (CH); Viennese Singing Birds; Spanish Gypsy Dance; I Want Nothing but Your Love; Rosa Mia (JP); Tonight Give Me an Hour of Love (JP); The Merry Widow Waltz; Her First Dance; The Music Comes; Dream of Love; Marie Louise (JH); Love’s Last Word is Spoken, Cherie; Song of Paradise. Key: CH – Comedian Harmonists; JH – John Hendrik; JP – Jack Plant; MW – Marcel Wittrisch Retrospective RTR 4196 (79:06) Marek Weber was born in Austria in 1888 and, as leader of a salon orchestra, established his reputation both on the Continent and in England well before arriving in London in late 1932. He was extremely well-served by his recordings, which won critical acclaim, and this selection of the popular foxtrots and tangos of the time, seasoned with Viennese waltzes and novelty numbers, has been lovingly remastered by Alan Bunting. Many of the tunes will be familiar, indeed Estudiantina must have served as the basis for Home, James and Don’t Spare the Horses. Peter Dempsey’s liner note mentions the phrase "a rare treat for three shillings" from a contemporary Gramophone review, and the same holds true in today’s money. Barry McCanna
'THIS IS LONDON' 25 tracks incl. The ‘Ampstead Way; Carry on London; Down the Mall; Bow Bells; London Melody Delta 26675 (71:16) This reissue includes a number of British dance band tracks, some of which don’t appear to have been reissued elsewhere. Personality recordings also feature, and although it lacks a liner note the result is a good old wallow. Barry McCanna
ELSIE CARLISLE 'With a Different Style' 23 tracks incl. Meadowlark; He’s a Good Man to Have Around; Cavalcade Pts.1&2; My Man of War; You’ve Got Me Crying Again; Smoke Gets in Your Eyes; One Little Kiss; Change Partners Memory Lane MLMCD 023 (72:46) This is a jewel of a reissue, which begins with an early rather tentative recording, and displays her transition to the assured singer she’d become by the late twenties. Two songs come from cardboard-based World Echo 78s, and two from plastic Filmophones, and I can only marvel at the fullness of sound that Alan Bunting has been able to coax out of them. Such recordings are rarities, as are others in this compilation, and most have not been reissued previously. Elsie Carlisle had a fresh, innocent voice, which transcended the limitations of contemporary recordings. Thanks to Memory Lane, her voice now shines more brightly than ever. You can find full details, and order this and others in the series, atwww.memorylane.org.uk Barry McCanna
The Bygone Days label has produced six more CDs aimed at the nostalgia market, all of which are well remastered with informative liner notes by Peter Dempsey. They are reviewed by Barry McCanna:
'BIG BAND DIVAS OF THE 1940s' 24 tracks incl. Three Little Words; Elmer’s Tune; My Guy’s Come Back; Alabama Bound; Trouble is a Man BYD77074 (73:05) Two dozen American songbirds are featured with 18 different bands. Many will be familiar but some, like Peggy Mann with Teddy Powell, Jane Harvey with Benny Goodman, Bea Booze with Andy Kirk and Delores Hawkins with Gene Krupa, have been somewhat neglected. What all have in common is the voice beautiful, and in some cases the tune most associated with a particular artiste has been bypassed in favour of a less well-known example.
FRANK CRUMIT ‘A Gay Caballero’ 24 tracks incl. The Girl Friend; And Then He Took Up Golf; The Prune Song BYD77076 (72:36) Like de Leath, Frank Crumit recorded extensively, and this concentrates on the period between 1926 and 1938. His style was often that of a raconteur, and it’s probable that this derived from his early start in a minstrel show, and his later progress in vaudeville. Highlights are his setting of Kipling’s poem I Learned About Women from Her and his hits Abdul Abulbul Amir and There’s No-one with Endurance (Like the Man Who Sells Insurance).
VAUGHN DE LEATH ‘The First Lady of Radio’ 24 tracks incl. Ukulele Lady; Kentucky Babe; Sometimes I’m Happy; I Must Have That Man; Button Up Your Overcoat BYD77075 (75:54) Thiscontains a selection of her recordings from between 1925 and 1929, including the Whiteman concert arrangement of The Man I Love. She began singing on the radio around the turn of 1919/1920, which made her one of the first female broadcasters, and began recording very soon after. Her voice was sweet, with a pronounced vibrato, and I suspect that her practice of gliding up (or down) to a note influenced Ruth Etting’s style.
'LAMBETH WALK – THE MUSIC OF NOEL GAY' 26 tracks incl. The Sun Has Got His Hat On; Happy; Meet the Navy; Let’s Have a Tiddley at the Milk Bar; Lonely: Run, Rabbit, Run; Hey, Little Hen! …BYD26668 (76:59) This is an eclectic selection of compositions by Noel Gay, whose pseudonym matched his cheery style. It features both dance bands and personalities, and the liner note places the songs in the context of the films and shows for which many were written.
'FAVOURITE MELODIES OF IVOR NOVELLO' Various Artists 22 tracks incl. Keep the Home Fires Burning; Music in May; My Dearest Dear; Waltz of My Heart; We’ll Gather Lilacs… BYD77073 (73:10)This compilation is sub-titled "Original Recordings 1935-1959" but only around half of the numbers are from the original productions, plus three contemporaneous recordings by other artists, and two from later film versions. With two exceptions the remainder date from the fifties. That said, it offers a well-remastered selection of songs from the eight shows he wrote between 1935 and 1951, the year of his death. They feature such artists as Dorothy Dickson, Richard Tauber, Elizabeth Welch, Mary Ellis, Vanessa Lee, Lizbeth Webb and Cicely Courtneidge. The CD has been made to look like a miniature 78, and the result is a treat for lovers of the musical theatre.
'VINTAGE CHARLESTON 1924-29' 25 tracks incl. Don’t Bring Lulu; Sweet Child; Fascinating Rhythm; The Chant; Blue Room; Miss Annabelle Lee … BYD77072 (74:58) Of all the various dances from the Roaring Twenties, it’s the Charleston which has come to of which epitomise the era, being played at a fast pace, in syncopated 4/4 time. This compilation favours American recordings (one isBlack Bottom, which was a different dance) and largely avoids duplication with other similar-based reissues. I’m not convinced that everything comes within the ambit of the title, but no matter, there are some splendid numbers here, from some of the top bands of the period. As regards the British dance bands, a couple of them are rarities, namely Chili Bom Bom by Nat Star, and My Cutie’s Due at Two-to-Two Today by Don Parker.
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 Town. The 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
VERDI 'Complete Ballet Music from the Operas' Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra / José Serebrier Naxos 8.572818-19 (01:55:24) The great Italian composer's "light" music from his opera ballets is appealing, melodious and lively. (It is also said he cooked a great risotto Milanese!) This 2-CD compilation is unique in that it is the first time all the ballet music from Giuseppe Verdi’s operas has been brought together in a singe recording. It is well-recorded and played con brio by the BSO under their distinguished conductor, who also wrote the booklet notes. A fine bargain available online in the UK for under a tenner. Edward Trub
'THE MUSIC OF CHARLES DICKENS AND HIS TIME' The Seven Dials Band 20 tracks incl. The College Hornpipe; Some Folks Who Have Grown Old; The Ratcatcher's Daughter; Home, Sweet Home; Begone, Dull Care; The Young Jolly Waterman; The Soldier's Tear; The David Copperfield Polkas;; Shiver and Shakery – The Man That Couldn't Get Warm; Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms … Warner Classics 2564661451 (66:09) This is an imaginative and entertaining album – a spirited and diverting compilation of Victorian songs and tunes ranging from polite parlour ballades to cockney ditties. Particularly interesting are several of Dickens' own songs: The Village Coquettes, The Ivy Green, Mr Wardle's Carol. and The Fine Old English Gentleman (New Version). The instruments played by the 11-strong band are concertina, clarinet, trombone, serpent, harp, fiddle, oboe, tuba, cello, piano and bass drum. Only five of the tracks are purely instrumental. The St Clements Chorus directed by Paul Sartin is also involved. All but five of the tracks are arranged by the MD Dave Townsend, who is also half of the "rough chorus." At a price that definitely won't break the bank, well worth investigating. Peter Burt
'RULE BRITANNIA' 18 tracks incl. Nimrod; Fantasia on Greensleeves; Abide with Me; Anchor’s Aweigh; Jerusalem Delta 26675 (73:30) Classical compositions, choral works, and military bands are mixed to good effect in this patriotic reissue. There is insufficient information about the recordings, and lack of space between tracks, but remastering is excellent, and some of the recordings are in stereo. Delta CDs obtainable for £4 online. Barry McCanna
'EVENING SONGS' Delius and Ireland songs arranged for cello and piano by Julian Lloyd Webber 21 tracks Naxos 8.572902 (63:28) The UK's leading cellist (Andrew's kid brother, of course) is joined by the highly praised pianist John Lenehan, who has recorded John Ireland works for Naxos with John Wilson conducting (see JIM 190). Both the composers (1862-1934 and 1879-1962 respectively) knew how to write a good melody. Birds in the High Hall Garden by Delius, and Ireland's Evening Song and In Summer Woods, on which Julian is also joined by his cellist wife Jiaxin Cheng, are all world première recordings. The arrangements are ideal for listening to at the end of the day but can be appreciated at any time. Edward Trub
Wilfred Askew reminds us of some other recently received releases, unavoidably held over from our last issue
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).
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 Mood; You 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 H20 Fast – 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 incl. Baila 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 incl. Pan; 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 King; Black 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 incl. I 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 tracks, 13 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)
Reviewers in this issue: David Ades, Peter Burt, Tony Clayden, Barry McCanna, Mike Crowther, Roger Hyslop, Edward Trub, Ken Wilkins and Peter Worsley
KT Editor’s CD Choice for this issue
‘IN LONDON TOWN’ – a musical tour of the historic sights of London The Philharmonic Concert Orchestra Iain Sutherland, conductor Concert Overture: Me And My Girl; Knightsbridge March; Westminster Waltz; Rotten Row; Covent Garden; Overture: Yeoman Of The Guard; London Fantasia; Get Me To The Church On Time; Greensleeves; Four Dances: Merrie England; London Bridge Is Falling Down; Elizabethan Serenade; Prelude: Water Music (Handel); Three English Dances (Quilter); The Sea Hawk (Main Theme) Somm SOMMCD 0117 (70:45) In his review of Iain Sutherland’s ‘Merrymakers - British Light Classics’ (Alto ALC 1192) in the September issue of JIM, David Ades expressed the hope that the maestro might be persuaded to delve a little deeper into his valuable archive for a possible follow-up CD. Well, rather quicker than perhaps even David expected this mid-price album has materialised, digitally remastered as before by Paul Arden-Taylor, selected from the Iain Sutherland/Radio Clyde Archive. Many familiar titles appear here including a sprightly Wally Stott’s Rotten Row and a notably elegant and gracefully played Ronald Binge’s Elizabethan Serenade. What makes this compilation the more enticing, however, is Noel Gay’s Overture to the 1939 hit musical (arranged by the conductor), which King George VI and Queen Elizabeth reputedly went to see three times, Clive Richardson’s Fantasia extract not too far away from the idiom of the celebrated "Denham Studio" concertos, and the welcome inclusion of Sir Edward German’s FourDances, surely deserving of a revival in this Diamond Jubilee year. One puzzle is the apparent connection made between Roger Quilter’s Dances and "Historic Mayfair". The only London connection I can trace, thanks to Tim McDonald’s notes for the composer’s volume in Marco Polo’s British Light Music series (8.223444), is that they received their première at London’s Queens Hall in June 1910. The orchestration was actually by Percy Fletcher, and they are described as possessing an unmistakable "Englishness". Erich Korngold’s main title theme music for the 1940 feature film that ends the compilation makes for a somewhat odd choice with its somewhat tenuous link to the capital (Greenwich: Cutty Sark and the Maritime Museum) when one of the greats of British light music, Haydn Wood, is a notable absentee. Still, this is a minor quibble given the excellent performances, sound engineering and generous playing time; and this splendid disc is certainly deserving of the widest possible support – and what better Christmas present could you possibly give yourself! RH
"THE GOLDEN AGE OF LIGHT MUSIC"
GLCD 5199 Three Great American Light Orchestras
For track listing see ‘Light Music CDs’ pages on this website or visit guildmusic.com (78:46 mins)
GLCD 5200 A Glorious Century of Light Music
For track listing see ‘Light Music CDs’ pages on this website or visit guildmusic.com (78:37 mins)
It seems scarcely possible that it is eight years since the first GUILD Light Music CD made its debut – but if you look at GLCD 5101 the date definitely says 2004! I doubt if anyone involved – the proprietors of GUILD, together with David Ades and Alan Bunting – could have foreseen that the series would be the unparalleled success which it certainly has become. Much less that in 2012, it would reach its hundredth edition! And yet here we are, and I have been given the honour of reviewing these two new releases.
The Great American Light Orchestras features three of the best conductors in the business – Canadian-born Percy Faith, English-born David Rose, and someone whose work is perhaps slightly less well-known in the UK – Paul Weston, who hailed from Springfield, Massachusets, USA. The CD contains 24 tracks, neatly divided into three sections of eight, each representing one of the three orchestras. The programme ‘kicks-off’ with the orchestra of Percy Faith, in a selection of recordings made between 1950 and 1961, all from American Columbia (CBS or Philips in Britain) label. Five of these are in stereo including a very early (1958) track featuring a Victor Herbert composition Italian Street Song. All of the compositions are delivered in Faith’s usual faultless style and it is not difficult to see why this consummate musician had, and still has, such a devoted following. David Rose’s contribution features tracks from the MGM label – I imagine that he was a permanent artist in that company’s ‘stable’ - and like the Percy Faith selection, all of the arrangements (in fact all but one of the tracks) are by Rose himself. The recording dates range from 1953 to 1961, with three of the tracks being in stereo. Paul Weston’s main claim to fame (in the UK anyway) is the work he did with his wife, the singer Jo Stafford, and also for their ‘spoof’ performances as "Jonathan and Darlene Edwards". Originally a clarinet player, he began studying arranging whilst recuperating from a near-fatal train crash, and eventually became chief arranger for Tommy Dorsey. He worked in radio and TV and acted as MD to many top American stars. Over the years, Weston recorded for both Capitol and CBS, and examples of both are included on the CD. The dates range from 1954 to 1961, with five of the tracks being in stereo. One item, There Will Never Be Another You, features the conductor on piano. As a final bonus, on track 25, Paul Weston talks about his 1958 Jerome Kern recordings which were made for a special promotional feature album for Columbia. (This recording was kindly supplied by our good friend Kevin Stapylton in Australia). It is difficult to pick out specific items for special mention because they are all so good, in terms of the quality of the arrangements, the performances, the recordings, and, of course, Alan Bunting’s digital transfers. As I have remarked before in these reviews, I find myself running out of superlatives! This is a great addition to the GUILD series, and both David and Alan deserve many congratulations.
And so we come to number 100 -
A Glorious Century of Light Music. The task of this landmark collection is to feature some of the very best conductors and composers who created such a wealth of Light Music during the 20thcentury and to recognise that the GUILD series is dedicated to the preservation of all that is best from the ‘Golden Age of Light Music’. It was decided to concentrate on conductors who became ’ household names’ through their recordings and broadcasts, and the 26 tracks include some of the very best orchestras from the UK, the USA and Continental Europe, with 12 being in stereo. They span the years 1939 to 1961 excepting the final ‘bonus track’ which is a Jack Hylton recording from 1929, although you would hardly know it from the amazing sound quality! AB has worked his usual magic and has also seamlessly edited-out a small vocal section, in accordance with GUILD’s ‘instrumental only’ policy. The programme starts with a great Brian Fahey arrangement of the Jerome Kern number Look For The Silver Lining, by the Starlight Symphony conducted by Cyril Ornadel; this sets the tone for the whole disc. There is a good mixture of great orchestral arrangements of popular favourites, together with some excellent library pieces – in short, something for everyone. A couple of points to mention – track 17 - Butantan - by the Melachrino Orchestra is credited to ‘Wood’. This is neither Arthur nor Haydn, but Guy Wood (1911-2001), the Manchester-born but USA-domiciled composer, who is mainly remembered for his songs, including Till Then, My One And Only Love and The Wedding- a popular song from the ‘60s. I have not come across any other orchestral compositions by him, but they may exist. Track 7 features some great ballet music by Leroy Anderson from his musical Goldilocks, which will be new to most people; this is an almost unknown piece – where has it been hiding all these years? Every single item on this CD can be described as truly excellent, and the whole selection, which was arrived at after a great deal of careful consideration, is more than worthy of comprising the hundredth edition. The total tally of tracks so far is in excess of 2500; I understand that there is plenty more material in the pipeline waiting to be released, and I would like to wish this wonderful series continued success. TC
MAX JAFFA AND THE PALM COURT ORCHESTRA Flight of the Bumblebee; Black Eyes; Vagabond King: Forgotten Dreams; Dobra Dobra; Czardas; Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair; Gypsy Cha Cha; Edelweiss; On Wings of Song; Gypsy Hora; Beautiful Dreamer; Heyken’s Serenade; Hungarian Dances Nos. 1 & 5; Fantasy on Nursery Rhymes; The Last Rose of Summer; Londonderry Air; Barcarolle; Doina Voda; Come Back to Sorrento; All the Things You Are; I’ll See You in My Dreams; Waltzing in the Clouds Yesterday’s Music C141 (74:35) Max was an extraordinary character and his autobiography, A Life on the Fiddle, makes compelling reading. This tribute CD is available only from Evergreen magazine and complements a detailed article they published in their autumn issue. Pre-war the maestro was 90% a dance band leader but after flying bombers and fighters he switched entirely to light music. He appeared on several post-war radio programmes of his own and was also associated with Grand Hotel and Scarborough where he was resident for 25 years. Some of the tracks are with his trio of Jack Byfield and Reginald Kilbey and some with a full orchestra. All are most tuneful and enjoyable with the titles speaking for themselves. PW
This CD may ordered for £9.95 (including p&p) from Evergreen Magazine on 01242 537900.
BERT KAEMPFERT & HIS ORCHESTRA ‘The Wonderful World Of Bert Kaempfert - Four Original Albums’ 47 tracks incl. Wonderland By Night; As I Love You; The Aim Of My Desire; Stay With Me; Tammy; Lullaby For Lovers; Drifting and Dreaming; La Vie En Rose; Happiness Never Comes Too Late; On The Alamo; Dreaming The Blues; This Song Is Yours Alone; Dancing In The Dark; Twilight Time; Unchained Melody; Funny Talk; Only Those In Love … Tenderly; Cerveza; Ducky; Auld Lang Syne; Savoy Blues; Plaisir D’Amour; Don’t Forbid Me; Morgen (One More Sunrise); Catalina; Midnight Snack; Without Your Love; Louisa; I’ll See You In My Dreams; Yellow Bird; Midsummer Night In Gotland; Echo In The Night; Forgotten Melody; Symphony; There I’ve Said It Again … Jasmine JASCD 216 With generous amounts of trumpet and distinctive bass guitar sound to the fore, Bert Kaempfert (1923-1980), German orchestra leader and songwriter, was very popular in the Sixties and early Seventies, and reckoned by The Stereo Record Guide (1963) to be the most original musician in the field of European light music at that time. Among his successful self-penned numbers were Strangers in the Night, A Swingin’ Safari; Moon Over Naples (a hit for Al Martino asSpanish Eyes), The World We Knew and L-O-V-E (a hit for Nat King Cole). Almost There was a UK No.2 for the late lamented Andy Williams. Bert’s ‘Wonderland By Night’ album was US No.1 for five weeks in 1961 (the title track was also a US No.1 single), and is joined on this 2-CD set by three more of his earliest Polydor albums: ‘Dancing In Wonderland’, ‘The Wonderful World Of Bert Kaempfert’ and ‘With A Sound In My Heart’. A CD copy did not arrive in time for me to listen to but the aforementioned Guide opined that "Each offers excellent sound and varied and imaginative arrangements." PB
‘SCOTLAND’S TUNES OF GLORY’ Iain Sutherland conducting the City of Glasgow Philharmonic Orchestra with the City of Glasgow Pipes and drums and the City of Glasgow Chorus 17 tracks incl. Iona (The Pilgrim); Briochan And Columba (The Pilgrim); Alba: Fanfare Salute; Here’s Tae The Gordons; The Laddies Who Fought And Won; Flower Of Scotland Delta CD6844 (61:20) Here’s a collection to stir the hearts of patriotic Scots wherever they may be. Iain Sutherland’s latest CD is an unashamed tribute to his homeland, and it is good to see some familiar names among the credits. Firstly the maestro himself, with his compositions Edinburgh Castle, Dunvegan Castle and the theme for the BBC TV series "MacKinnon Country" – plus Iain’s arrangements of The Black Bear Salute, Amazing Grace Anthem, Sutherland’s Law Theme and Reel O’Tulloch. Ernest Tomlinson has arranged My Love She’s But A Lassie Yet/Cock O’ The North and Robert Docker’s name appears as the arranger of Abbey Craig. There is audience applause on some of the tracks, but this is not intrusive. This is a nicely balanced collection of traditional and more modern music that makes a welcome addition to the light music repertoire. DA
DIMITRI TIOMKIN ‘The Greatest Film Scores Of …’ London Symphony Orchestra ˕ London Voices / Richard Kaufman Cyrano de Bergerac; The Alamo; The Old Man and the Sea; The Four Poster Giant; The Fall of the Roman Empire; High Noon; Rawhide; The High and the Mighty; Dial ‘M’ for Murder & Strangers on a Train; Wild is the Wind; The Sundowners; Circus World; Land of the Pharaohs; Friendly Persuasion lsolive LSO 0720 (77:05) This is a splendidly produced and recorded album of movie music delights, played con brio by the LSO at a live Barbican concert. Tiomkin (born St Petersburg 1894, died London 1979) became one of Hollywood’s most celebrated and best-loved composers. He wrote for more than 100 feature films and received nearly two dozen Academy Award nominations over five decades, winning four Oscars: ‘Old Man and the Sea’, ‘The High and the Mighty’, ‘High Noon’, and Do not forsake me, oh my darlin’. The last-named is one of five tracks with vocals supplied by Andrew Playfoot and/or Whitney Claire Kaufman. I would have been happy with purely orchestral versions. There are ten packed pages of notes in minuscule print. Two fascinating bits of information I did gather, though, were that in 1928 Tiomkin was the first pianist to perform Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in Europe, and in 1999 became one of only six Hollywood composers to be honoured with a commemorative stamp issued by the US Postal Service. PB
JOHN WILLIAMS ‘A Tribute To John Williams – An 80th Birthday Celebration’ The Boston Pops ˕ The Skywalker Symphony Orchestra / John Williams Sound the Bells (‘American Journey’); Out to Sea/Shark Cage Fugue (‘Jaws’); Sabrina’s Theme (‘Sabrina’); March (‘1941’); Adventures on Earth (‘E.T.’); Dartmoor 1912 (‘War Horse’); The Adventures of Mutt (‘Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’); Harry’s Wondrous World (‘Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone’); Elegy for Cello & Orchestra; Going to School (‘Memories of a Geisha’); The Mission Theme (‘NBC News’); Schindler’s List Theme (‘Schindler’s List’); The Adventure Continues (‘The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn’); Throne Room & Finale (‘Star Wars’); Happy Birthday VariationsSony 88691942532 Fifteen tremendous tracks all from the man whose compositions invariably seem to stand out in compilations involving multiple composers. Winner of twenty-one Grammy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards and five Academy Awards. Williams is easily the most successful composer working in film today. This collection contains his personal favorites, chosen from film and television music as well as concert works and festive occasion pieces, and includes (for me, at least) some "discoveries" among his lesser-known works. Of special note is the previously unreleased recording of Williams’ joyous Happy Birthday Variations. All of the music on this album is both composed and conducted by John Williams, and also features two performances each by famous classical instrumentalists Itzhak Perlman (violin) and Yo-Yo Ma (cello). Unfortunately my CD copy is taking longer to arrive than any I have ever ordered, but I have been able to sample tracks online and the Sony sound is splendid. PB
THE JOHN WILSON ORCHESTRA ‘Rodgers & Hammerstein At The Movies’ Maida Vale Singers, Sierra Boggess, Anna-Jane Casey, Maria Ewing, et al. / John Wilson Oklahoma! Main Title / Oh! What a Beautiful Morning; People Will Say We're In Love; Carousel Waltz; If I Loved You; June is Busting' Out All Over; You'll Never Walk Alone; Soliloquy (all from ‘Carousel’); Twin Soliloquies / Some Enchanted Evening); I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Out Of My Hair ; Bali Ha'i (all from ‘South Pacific’); The King and I Overture (from ‘The King & I’); The Sound Of Music - Main Title / Rex Admirabilis; I Have Confidence; Climb Ev'ry Mountain (all from ‘The Sound of Music’) EMI Classics (75:00) John Wilson's latest album brings us into the world of the movie versions of the Rodgers & Hammerstein stage musicals released by 20th Century Fox from the mid-1950's onwards resplendent in Cinemascope, Todd-AO and Stereophonic Sound. Once again J.W. has had to re-create and edit the film scores and has brought together a company of singers drawn from the operatic stage and popular musical theatre magnificently supported by the Maida Vale Singers. The John Wilson Orchestra are in superb form, particularly in the Carousel Waltz and The King and IOverture, and play with élan and panache – a wonderful, wonderful tribute to the 20th Century Fox Studio Orchestra and their conductor Alfred Newman who supervised the music for most of the original films. As expected the singing is first class: Julian Ovenden brings the characters of Curly and Billy vividly to life in his contributions from ‘Oklahoma’ and ‘Carousel’, Joyce DiDonato (recorded in Kansas) brings her gorgeous operatic voice to bear on her songs from ‘Carousel’ and ‘The Sound of Music’. My own personal favourite is David Pittsinger's rich interpretation of Some Enchanted Evening. It comes as no surprise that he has performed the role of Emile de Becque in a recent US National Tour of ‘South Pacific’. The recording is Abbey Road superb and the accompanying booklet a model of perfection. Overall another J.W. success and surely bound for that Christmas stocking. MC
‘THE INSTRUMENTALS’ 75 tracks incl. Hit And Miss; Wheels; Zambesi; Midnight In Moscow; On The Rebound; Walk Don’t Run; Kon Tiki; Moon River; Misirlou; The Stripper; Ebb Tide; S’Wonderful; Canadian Sunset; Misty … Delta 60399 (65:59, 67:34 & 67:21) At first glance this latest in a series of budget reissues under the blanket title of ‘Sweethearts & Stolen Kisses’, and sub-titled ‘Because They’re Young’, is not an obvious candidate for JIM. The content of the first two CDs is fairly eclectic, and includes Chris Barber, Acker Bilk, Dave Brubeck, Russ Conway, Miles Davis, Duane Eddy, Billy May, and Arthur Lyman, plus a number of less well-known musicians from the late Fifties/early Sixties (tracklist information is minimal). In contrast, the third concentrates on light orchestral works, including several movie themes, by such as Percy Faith, Robert Farnon, Ron Goodwin, Bert Kaempfert, Mantovani and Perez Prado, which makes it well worth considering. BMC
‘MELODY MIXTURE’ For track listing see ‘Light Music CDs’ pages on this website or visit guildmusic.com. Guild GLCD 5197 (70:17). As it says at the start of the booklet notes this latest Guild Light Music CD doesn’t have any particular theme, hence the title ‘Melody Mixture’ (reminds me of the wartime BBC programme title Navy Mixture). However it begins in fine style with Cab Rank by Dolf van der Linden from the Charles Brull/Harmonic Library with The Symphonia Orchestra conducted by Ludo Philipp, followed by Henry Mancini’s theme to the US TV series Mr Lucky played by Frank Cordell’s Orchestra, although I must confess I’ve never heard of the programme … was it ever shown in Britain? From the film ‘The Sundowners’ comes Down Under played in fine style by Tommy Reilly, adapted and arranged by Dimitri Tiomkin with Wally Stott and his Orchestra. I checked with Halliwell and as I thought, Tiomkin wrote the film’s score. Getting away from films for a tick I jumped down the play list to three library pieces, firstly Trevor Duncan’s catchy humorous number With Tongue In Cheek followed by Peter Hope’s Spring Collection, perfect for a Pathé fashion news item, then Scurry For Strings by Lester B. Hart played by The Harmonic Orchestra conducted by Dolf van der Linden, under one of his many alias’s "David Johnson". I’ve seen the name Lester B. Hart before but I’ve no idea who he is (or possibly was) although it sounds American; or is it another name for somebody or other? Back to films and Laurie Johnson and His Orchestra play his title music to I Aim At The Stars the story of Werner Von Braun; no Halliwell stars for this one I’m afraid. Angela Morley’s Dear Old Pals is cracking turning-out-of-pub music with clients making very unsteady progress home, just the opposite to Cyril Watters’ Leaps and Bounds from Paul Franklin and his Orchestra (actually Dolf van der Linden again) on the Paxton Label. As you may have guessed library addicts (like me) have been provided with a fine selection of Gaumont British, Pathé and Movietone music not to mention Look At Life and Dave and Dusty (Pathé). There’s Peacock In Piccadilly by Wilfred Burns from Bosworth, Continental Highway by Harold Geller (KPM), Brandy Snaps by Peter Yorke (Charles Brull/Harmonic) but the last track surprised me. Although I’ve got the Paxton 78 ofOn Stage by Billy Mack, I’d no idea it was a pseudonym for Walter Collins and William MacDonnell. I’d like to know more about Walter Collins and I’ve never heard of William MacDonnell but there you are, you usually learn something new with every Guild Light Music release. Another fine collection of easy on the ear light music destined to be ignored by broadcasters supposedly paid to provide musical fare for every taste. KW
THE SOUNDTRACK GALLERY One Day One Night, Trombones and Trumpets, Sunshine Days, Latin Flutes, Saxy, Holiday for Two, Drive, Happymakers, Early Morning Mail, etc… (Gerhard Narholz); Just For You (John Fox); Merry Gerry (H. Egger) 29 tracks Winchester Hospital Radio WHRCD 1201(78:01). This is the latest collection from Steven Wills to support Winchester Hospital Radio, and it is good to see that copies now seem to be widely available (I got mine from Amazon). This time the music all comes from the Sonoton Production Music Library, based in Munich. This is owned by Gerhard Narholz (also known as Norman Candler and various other aliases), so you won’t be surprised to find that his works are prominently featured. But deservedly so, because this is the kind of happy 1960/1970s music that is still enjoyed by many collectors, especially those who like to collect music associated with BBC TV Test Cards from the days before TV was shown for 24 hours. It would have been nice to have had more than one track by our friend John Fox, because he has contributed a vast amount of delightful music to this library (maybe next time, Steven?). The titles probably won’t mean much unless you are a Test Card aficionado, but it is the happy music that is important. Steven has dedicated this CD to the memory of David Allan, who died in January 2012. He chose the music to accompany BBC TV Test Card transmissions during the 1960s and early 1970s, some of which are included in this collection. Only downside – no booklet. DA
TV SOUND AND IMAGE British Television, Film and Library Composers 1956-80 Condition Red (Barry Stoller); Three Days Of The Condor (Geoff Love Orchestra); Man Alive (Tony Hatch Sound); Tomorrow’s World (Richard Denton & Martin Cook); At The Sign Of The Swingin’ Cymbal (Frian Fahey Orchestra); The Contract Man (Bullet) Man Friday (Syd Dale); Echo Four-Two (Laurie Johnson Orchestra); The Persuaders (John Barry); Getting Nowhere In A Hurry (Roy Budd); Dawn To Dusk (Simon Park); New Avengers Theme (Laurie Johnson); Strike Rich (Reg Tilsley); Joe 90 (Barry Gray); Jaguar (John Gregory); Steam Heat (Barbara Moore); Angels (Alan Parker); Face Up (Alan Moorhouse)… 36 tracks on 2 CDs Soul Jazz Records SJR CD257 (110:17 mins). It may be surprising to find a collection like this on a label called ‘Soul Jazz Records’, which perhaps is an indication of the way in which production music (for want of a better name) is accepted in many quarters today, especially when it has either good rhythm, or is still associated with a fondly remembered TV show or film. Featuring music primarily (but not exclusively) sourced from the vaults of De Wolfe and KPM, this features 36 tracks - some commissioned by film and television studios between 1956 and 1980, while the rest was in production music libraries (or even on commercial discs) waiting for someone to choose it. Much of the music will be familiar to people of a certain age, and it covers a range of styles including orchestral, moody jazz, organ led upbeat numbers, and even folk. And as you’d expect, there is plenty of what people like to call ‘easy listening’. Highlights (and there are many) include the Brian Fahey Orchestra's At the Sign of the Swingin' Cymbal - the theme to Alan 'Fluff' Freeman's ‘Pick of The Pops’, and Roy Budd's theme to the original "Get Carter" film starring Michael Caine. Most of the big names are here - John Barry, Keith Mansfield, Barry Gray, Syd Dale, Roy Budd etc. The two CDs are presented in a jewel case that is housed in a cardboard slip case alongside a 48 page booklet. Featuring biographies on all of the featured artists (written by Jonny Trunk), a brief history of Library music, a short essay about de Wolfe Music and archive photos, it's of the standard people now expect from Soul Jazz Records. Confusingly, the introduction highlights a couple of theme tunes – "Mastermind" and "Match of The Day" - to explain how Library music has worked its way into the consciousness of UK television audiences even though neither tune features on the album. But the booklet is something to treasure, even though poor Neil Richardson has his face cut in half through being on two pages that only open flat with difficulty. Also it would have been preferable to see a photo of Barry Gray, rather than the puppet Joe 90 for whom he wrote the TV theme. But if only all CD booklets were like this. Jonny Trunk has done a great job with this collection. DA
THE ANDREWS SISTERS ‘Some Sunny Day’ 117 tracks incl. Heat Wave; Jolly Fella Tarantella; Count Your Blessings; Quicksilver; Tegucigalpa; Adios; Piccolo Pete; In the Mood Jasmine JASBOX 29-4 (78:37, 79:26, 78:40 & 78:25) This is a fantastic bargain, which samples the latter part of the Andrews Sisters’ career from the mid-forties until late 1953, plus reunions in 1959 and 1961. It includes the contents of five Decca LPs, namely ‘Irving Berlin Songs’, ‘Go West Young Man’ with Bing Crosby, ‘I Love to Tell the Story’ a collection of hymns with Victor Young, ‘My Isle of Golden Dreams’a collection of Hawaiian songs with Alfred Alpaka, and ‘Sing, Sing, Sing’. The sisters collaborated with other singers, and in addition to those already mentioned Al Jolson, Dick Haymes, Danny Kaye, and Jimmy Durante are included. There are a number of rarities here also, some of which were only issued in India, Argentina or the UK. Accompaniments include Vic Schoen, Guy Lombardo & his Royal Canadians, Gordon Jenkins, Russ Morgan, Skip Martin, Sy Oliver and Nelson Riddle. BMC
BING CROSBY ‘Through The Years Vol.10’ 30 tracks incl. Happy Holiday; Joy to the World; White Christmas; The First Nowell; Good King Wenceslas; Away in a Manger; Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly; O Little Town of Bethlehem; Silent Night … Sepia 1192 (76:53) This compilation was mentioned in our June issue but re-appears here in view of its content. The first 19 Christmas tracks (44’54") include the ten listed above that Bing recorded in 1955 with Paul Weston and his Orchestra and The Norman Luboff Choir. The remainder feature choirs from around the world, including those of the Mormon Tabernacle, Vatican and Dedham Choral Society in Essex (actually recorded in the UK), taken from the same year’s CBS radio special ‘A Christmas Sing with Bing’. A nice touch is also to have included Bing’s own introductions. There are two other Christmas tracks: a 1935 Silent Nightwith George Stoll and his Orchestra and The Crinoline Choir; and a Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Townfrom 1943 with Vic Schoen and his Orchestra and The Andrews Sisters. More information about the disc and a listing of the nine non-seasonal tracks are in JIM 192. Certainly a Crosby connoisseur’s choice! PB
ELLA FITZGERALD ‘The Voice of Elegance’ 55 tracks incl. Happy Talk; Lover Come Back to Me; My Happiness; Lazy Day; An Empty Ballroom; Come On-a My House; Baby Doll; Old Devil Moon….Jasmine JASCD 707 (79:46 & 79:52) This reissue concentrates on the last eight years of Ella’s recording career with Decca, which ended in 1955 when she switched to Verve. The earliest recording, That Old Feeling, dates from December 1947, as also does How High the Moon. You won’t find that out from Jasmine’s track list, which omits recording dates, although such information should be provided not just for today’s collectors, but also for the future. A number of these songs are well-known from previous reissues, but there are others which are new to me, and two (Soldier Boy and I Can’t Get Started) which don’t appear to have been issued at the time. Ella’s slightly throaty voice and effortless delivery imbued her songs with a feeling of warmth and joy, and she was well-served by her accompaniments, the excellence of which is enhanced by the quality of the remastering. There were occasions when the song became a vehicle for her voice, rather than the other way round, and the choice of material was sometimes less than ideal, but such occasions are minimal, and overall it’s a great compilation. BMC
THE GEORGE MITCHELL MINSTRELS ‘Meet The Minstrels’ The Two Original Albums ‘The Black and White Minstrel Show’’ (stereo 1960) "Meet the Minstrels"; "Leslie Stuart Melodies"; "In the Moonlight"; "Your Requests"; "Meet the Girls"; "A Tribute to Al Jolson"; "Memories of Stephen Foster"; "Grand Finale"; ‘Another Black and White Minstrel Show’ (mono 1961) "Meet the Minstrels"; "The Good Old Summertime"; "Alabamy Bound with Al Jolson"; "Western Style"; "Your Requests"; "Ay Ay Ay"; "Dry Bones"; "Goodbye-ee" Jasmine JASCD 219 (77:59) The Television Toppers, Leslie Crowther, Stan Stennett, George Chisholm, and the solo singing stars of the show: tenor John Boulter, bass Dai Francis and baritone Tony Mercer … ah, the memories! That the "blacking-up" is now considered racist should not detract from the quality of the product, which was required viewing on BBC Saturday night television for 20 years from 1958, and the highest rated variety show of the Sixties winning the Golden Rose of Montreux for Best TV Show in the World in 1961. The stage show ran for 6,477 performances in London’s West End, collecting a Guinness Book of Records entry for the live show seen by the largest number of people (your reviewer among them). It has been a real pleasure revisiting these (then) sales-breaking UK No.1 LPs and a big "bravo" to the label for bringing them back into circulation – with more promised. There is also a good liner note from Sam Hicks May. PB
CATERINA VALENTE ‘Classics with a Chaser’ 26 tracks incl. Tonight we love; Stranger in Paradise; The things I love; La Strada Dell’ 'Amore; Where; I love Paris; Ciao Ciao Bambina; La Canzone di Orfeo (Manha da Carnival); Nessuno al Mondo; Till; Stardust Sepia 1202 (70:00) The latest re-issue from Ms Valente is another winner. The first part of this album brings together a group of popular classical pieces that have been adapted as popular songs – Debussy’s Reverie becomes Larry Clinton's My Reverie and Chopin's Polonaise No 6 becomes Till the end of time – all beautifully sung in English with an instrumental prelude track to each classical piece provided by her regular M.D. Werner Müller and His Orchestra. The remaining bonus tracks are taken mainly from her early Decca years in the late 1950's and include her hits, Till, Personalita and Sucu-Sucu. The remastering by Robin Cherry is superb and the accompanying booklet first class with informative liner notes by Ossie Dales. MC
ANDY WILLIAMS ‘Very Best Of …’ 24 tracks incl. Moon River; Can’t get used to losing you; Music to watch girls by; Can’t take my eyes off you; The Impossible Dream (The Quest); Happy heart; Solitaire; Never can say goodbye; Raindrops keep falling on my head; It’s so easy; Born free; Up, up and away; May each day ... Sony 88697588282 The relaxed and friendly Andy was lost to us this September after almost an 84-year-lifetime in show business and most of his fans are likely to have at least one of his many easy going, middle-of-the-road albums in their collections. But if he does not have a place on your CD shelves and you would like a memento of one of the world’s finest ever popular singers, then look no further than this low-priced compilation from October 2009. PB
LOUIS BELLSON ‘Four Classic Albums Plus’ 34 tracks Avid AMSC 1066 (79:58 & 79.58) Avid has issued three 2-CD sets featuring drummer-led groups. This one comprises all but three numbers from five 1950s 10" LPs, namely ‘The Just Jazz All Stars featuring Louis Bellson’ (1952), ‘Concerto for Drums’ (1954), ‘The Hawk Talks’ (1955), ‘Louis Bellson at the Flamingo’ (1957), and five tracks from‘Drummer’s Holiday’ (1956). He was a dynamic drummer, who could calibrate his performance from a subtle accompaniment to powerhouse percussion, and the full spectrum of his talent is showcased here. BMC
BARNEY KESSEL ‘Three Classic Albums Plus’ 36 tracks incl. Sweet Sue; By the Beautiful Sea; Satin Doll; Nagasaki; Swingin’ the Toreador; Volare; Angel Eyes… AVID AMSC 1064 (78:17 & 79:08) This falls one track short of four original LPs, all recorded between March 1957 and April 1959. In 1956 guitarist Barney Kessel, bassist Ray Brown and drummer Shelley Manne headed the jazz polls of the Downbeat, Metronome and Playboy magazines, and teamed up subsequently to record 'The Poll Winners'. They repeated the hat trick the following year, and celebrated by recording 'The Poll Winners Ride Again' in August 1958, from which the number Foreign Intrigue has been omitted. The choice of material was more eclectic, but the result just as enjoyable. In December 1958, following the surprise success of Shelly Manne’s 'My Fair Lady' album, Barney Kessel assembled a group of musicians with whom to record his arrangements of the score of Bizet’s Carmen. There were three groups involved, with a rhythm section of André Previn on piano, Joe Mondragon on bass and Shelly Manne on drums as a constant. The result did not take off as well as its predecessor, or the subsequent 'West Side Story' album under Previn’s leadership. Nevertheless, it was an artistic success which merited this reissue. The 'Some Like it Hot' album dates from March/April 1959, and was based on the score of the Billy Wilder film of that title, with a modern facelift to songs based in the Prohibition era. This is a delightful compilation, which showcases one of the great bop guitarists in a varied programme, featuring first-class arrangements superbly played by some of the best around. Sound quality is excellent, with much if not all in stereo. BMC
GENE KRUPA ‘Five Classic Albums Plus’ 38 tracks incl. I’m Coming Virginia; Jungle Drums; Day by Day; Love is Here to Stay; China Boy; How High the Moon. Avid AMSC 1069 (73:54 & 79:17)This reissue presents three 10" LPs on CD 1, all by the Gene Krupa Sextet, recorded in April 1953, September 1953, and February 1954, with a varying line-up which included Charlie Shavers, Bill Harris, Ben Webster and Teddy Wilson. CD 2 begins with ‘Hey … Here’s Gene Krupa’ from mid-1957 with Eddie Shu, Dave McKenna & Wendell Marshall, continues with ‘The Gene Krupa Trio Collates’with Charlie Ventura and Teddy Napoleon from 1953, and concludes with the EP ‘Drum Boogie’ which was recorded in Tokyo in April 1952. As you’d expect, this well-planned compilation offers exciting hard-driving jazz, with high-quality sound restoration. BMC
SHELLY MANNE ‘Three Classic Albums Plus’ 37 tracks Avid AMSC 1067 (79:31 & 79:51) This label’s third drummer-led set contains two albums based on the soundtrack of the TV series ‘Peter Gunn’ and, but for two tracks, two albums of numbers from the 1956 musicals ‘Bells are Ringing’ and‘Li’l Abner’. It’s a most enjoyable set, which swings along in a relaxed fashion, under Shelly’s genial leadership. BMC
MEL POWELL ‘Four Classic Albums Plus’ 42 tacks incl. Makin’ Whoopee; You’re My Thrill; Ain’t She Sweet; Pennies from Heaven; Liza; Easy Swing; ‘S Wonderful; Hallelujah…. Avid AMSC 1063(79:58 & 78:58) Mel Powell had a prodigious talent, and his jazz credentials were impeccable, but his interest turned increasingly to classical music, which he studied at Yale under Paul Hindemith. Nevertheless, between 1953 and 1955 he recorded several excellent Vanguard albums, under John Hammond’s hands-off direction. This compilation assembles four and a half Vanguard albums, plus four tracks from a Septet album, and an EP 'Classics in Jazz' which dates from December 1947. The Septet album dates from December 1953, and includes Edmond Hall on clarinet, Buck Clayton on trumpet, Walter Page on bass, and Jimmy Crawford on drums. Avid has included the four jazz numbers from the A Side, and omitted the B Side of the solo Sonatina for Piano. 'Borderline' was recorded in August 1954, with Paul Quinichette on tenor sax and Bobby Donaldson on drums, and'Thigamagig' followed exactly a week later, with the tenor sax replaced by Ruby Braff on trumpet.'The Mel Powell Bandstand' dates from December 1954, and Joan Wile (subsequent founder of Grandmothers Against the War) made her recording debut with 'My Last Millionaire' and 'Soon'.Finally, 'Out on a Limb' was recorded in October 1955, and features two studio groups, in which Bobby Donaldson on drums is the common factor. These recordings showcase Powell’s superb sense of swing; the earliest reflect his Dixieland background, and the later ones chart the growing influence of bop, transmuted by his classical sensibilities. His choice of musicians was astute, and the whole compilation sparkles with variety. Given the scarcity of this material, to have so much made available all at once is a treat that should not be missed. BMC
‘BRITISH DANCE BANDS’ 124 tracks incl. Blue Mountaineers I Got Rhythm; Jack McCormick At the Café Continental; Don Marino Barretto Green Eyes; Billy Munn Night and Day; Nat Star Hummin’ to Myself; Ben Frankel The Donkey Serenade; Four Bright Sparks My Idea of Heaven; Syd SeymourJust Like Jack, Just Like Jill; Tommy Kinsman A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody; Joe Orlando Remember Me?; George Elrick Popcorn Man; Josephine Bradley Tea for Two; Felix Mendelssohn Cherokee; Ivy Benson Stardust; Eddie Wood Hands Across the Table; Len Fillis By the Lazy Lagoon … DELTA 9052(74:56, 75:42, 74:29, 73:35 & 74:53) On the face of it, a 5-CD set for £12.99 including p&p would seem too good to be true, but like Delta’s earlier 5-CD set 'The Golden Age of Swing', the price is the only cheap thing about this compilation. Each CD is self-contained in a separate jewel case, with a comprehensive liner note and clearly annotated tracks, which are arranged in chronological order. Broadly speaking, it spans the Thirties and Forties, plus a handful of tracks from the Fifties. In addition to the more esoteric groups listed above, the usual suspects are also represented, but the degree of duplication with other CDs is lower than I had anticipated. By my reckoning, only just over fifty are commercially available already, mainly in the Vocalion dance band series, plus fourteen on vinyl. Of those that are new to CD, three were issued originally on the extremely rare Octacros label. The remastering is crisp and clear, and I recommend this package whole-heartedly. BMC
CARROLL GIBBONS & the SAVOY HOTEL ORPHEANS Volume 13 ‘Rustic Rhapsody’ 24 tracks incl. The Mood that I’m in; Amor, Amor; Do I Love You? ; My Favourite Dream; It Might as Well be Spring; Cynthia’s in Love…. Vocalion CDEA 6200 (72:57)
ROY FOX at the CAFÉ de PARIS ‘Spin a Little Web of Dreams’ 24 tracks incl. Midnight, the Stars and You; Aloha Beloved; One Morning in May; My Sweet; True … Vocalion CDEA 6201 (73:21)
THE NEW MAYFAIR DANCE ORCHESTRA DIRECTED BY CARROLL GIBBONS ‘Encore’ 25 tracks incl. All by Yourself in the Moonlight; Spread a Little Happiness; Anita: Nobody’s Fault but Your Own; Dancing Goblin…… Vocalion CDEA6202 (77:37)
Again, a disclaimer insofar as liner notes for these three reissues were written by yours truly, plus amea culpa!
Reissues of recordings by the Savoy Hotel Orpheans tend to concentrate on the thirties, but apart from the first two numbers in this latest compilation, which date from 1937, all the rest were recorded between 1940 and 1946. By then the Orpheans were playing in the then popular homogenous orchestral style, but without any lowering of standards. Carroll took a rare vocal on the song Who Am I? and his delightful piano playing is much in evidence. It introduces Too Romanticwhich is one of nine numbers sung here by his long-time vocalist Anne Lenner.
In 1934 Roy Fox spent three months at the Café de Paris, from March to May, and this compilation contains two dozen out of the 32 sides which came out of that residency. I can find only two tracks which have been reissued previously, both on a Decca LP, so duplication is minimal. Most of the vocals were taken by Denny Dennis, who'd joined Roy Fox at the end of 1933, and show why he attracted the title of "The British Bing Crosby". Trumpeter Sid Buckman sings the swinging Swaller Tail Coat, and the remaining six vocals fall to the mezzo-soprano tones of pianist Peggy Dell. It's a very attractive compilation which features a good mix of ballads and up-tempo numbers, Over My Shoulder in particular underlining what a superb outfit this was.
The New Mayfair Dance Orchestra was the HMV house band, which was reconstituted in 1928 under Carroll Gibbons’ musical directorship, which lasted until mid-1929, when he handed over to Ray Noble. Reissues mainly feature the latter’s recordings, particularly those with vocals by Al Bowlly, but Carroll’s have much to commend them, not least for the presence on some of the great American trumpeter Sylvester Ahola. Many of the numbers reflect the twenties vogue for syncopation, and over half the numbers are instrumentals. Of the vocals, I have erred in crediting Good Little Bad Little You to Eddie Grossbart instead of Eddie Brandt. Mike Dutton’s remastering has captured a very full depth of sound, and many of these treasures will be new to collectors. BMC
FRANK BANTA ‘Upright and Grand’ 27 tracks incl. I Wonder Where My Baby is Tonight; Ain’t She Sweet; Nola; Go Home and Tell Your Mother; The Doll Dance Rivermont BSW-1142 (78:04) This CD gives a fascinating glimpse of a bygone era, through the recordings between 1923 and 1930 of virtuoso solo syncopator Frank Banta. His background and career is set out in the accompanying liner note by Alex Hassan (another piano virtuoso). He makes the point that Banta’s style of playing was perfect for the recording medium; a light touch, crisp and clear, and he made it sound as natural as breathing. Given the age and rarity of the original recordings, some residual surface noise is inevitable, but Bryan Wright’s remastering enables every nuance to be appreciated fully. BMC
‘DAINTY DEBUTANTES Female Novelty Pianists of the 1930s’ 26 tracks incl. You are My Heart’s Delight; Just by Your Example; Jazz up Your Lingerie; Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart; To a Wild Rose Rivermont BSW-1149 (78:38) This is a stunning compilation of recordings by Patricia Rossborough, the South African Raie de Costa, Renara, the American Edythe Baker, Australian Beryl Newell, and the Canadian Vera Guilaroff. All of the ladies concerned possessed keyboard skills of a very high order, whose artistry elevated popular songs of the day into minor works of art. The standout for me is Raie de Costa, and what Alex Hassan's liner note refers to as her amazing theme and variations on Cole Porter's ‘I've Got You on My Mind’. That alone is worth the price of the CD, most of which sounds as though freshly minted yesterday. BMC
ADAM ‘Giselle – Highlights’ Academy of St Martin in the Fields / Sir Neville Marriner Brilliant Classics 94354 (66:45) Music from the ballet is a good introduction to the whole wonderful world of classical music, and you will find no better value single album of the genre than this one.Giselle is the first ballet still regularly performed that was independent of opera, and is regarded as one of the great ballets of the romantic era. Written in 1841 by the Paris born Adolphe Adam (1803-56) it is now his best-remembered major work, although he is possibly even better known for his much-loved Christmas carol O Holy Night (Minuit, crėtiens!). This first-rate recording was made in December 1994 in the Church of St Jude-on-the-Hill in Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, and was originally issued on the Capriccio label. ET
‘BEETHOVEN FOR ALL’ Music of Power, Passion and Beauty West-Eastern Divan Orchestra ˕ Staatskapelle Berlin / Daniel Barenboim Decca B0016871-02 (143:14) Along with John Wilson, of course, another highlight of this year’s BBC Proms was the Beethoven Symphony series played by Maestro Barenboim’s remarkable orchestra of young musicians from Israel, Palestine and Arab countries of the Middle East. On this 2-CD set there are just over 72 minutes of extracts from the above series together with extracts on three tracks each of piano concertos (accompanied by the Staatskapelle) and piano sonatas with the conductor as soloist. This is an excellent release attractively priced and an ideal Christmas gift as an introduction to the greatest classical composer of them all. It would get my vote for being among the year’s best. ET
DELIUS Scottish National Orchestra / Sir Andrew Davis Chandos CHAN 10742 (75:35) If it had not been for Sir Thomas Beecham then we might never have heard of Delius, which would have been a great loss. Brigg Fair and Paris are lovely pieces in a lighter vein while Idylle de Printemps(English translation Springtime Idyll) has never been heard before, which is strange because it is excellent. The Piano Concerto is also enjoyable, especially as it is the rare original three movement piece as opposed to the one movement usually heard. A fine CD. PW
JOHAN SVENDSEN ‘Orchestral Works – Volume 2’ Truls Mork (cello) Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra / Neeme Jarvi Chandos CHAN 10711 (72:09) Svendsen (1840-1911) studied at Leipzig, and at one time was a friend of Richard Wagner. Norwegian by birth, he spent much of his career in Denmark, where he became chief conductor at Copenhagen’s Royal Theatre. For one who showed such early promise as a composer, it is sad to relate that by the end of his thirties he had experienced a decline in inspiration and productivity, and from his early forties until his death he completed only a few occasional works. The composer’s great strength lay in his ability as a superb orchestrator, and it was in the field of orchestral music that Svendsen really excelled. Although he wrote very much in the Nordic idiom, his masterly command of the orchestra reminds me of Brahms, and particularly at times of Dvorak. The two Norwegian Rhapsodies Nos. 3 and 4 on this disc make use of several Norwegian traditional folk tunes, and some of this material will be familiar to those who are conversant with the music of Grieg, who was a close friend and near-contemporary. TheConcerto for Cello and Orchestra, Op.7 is a brief work of about 19 minutes, and although written in a conventional three-movement form, these are played without a break, with the last movement reprising much of thematic material of the first. (It has been suggested that the E flat Piano Concertoof Franz Liszt was the inspiration for this format). Although not of the same stature as, say, the Dvorak or Schumann concertos for the cello, it is an interesting work, worth getting to know. TheSymphony No.2, Op.15, written in 1876, was an immediate and well-deserved success, warmly received by both audience and critics. Written at the peak of Svendsen’s composing career at the age of 36, it is at one and the same time (to my ears anyway) both Nordic and Germanic – there are more than a few overtones of Richard Wagner in the writing. The quality of both the orchestral performances and the recordings – made at the Grieghallen, Bergen, Norway – are of the highest standard. This new CD is a worthy addition to the Chandos catalogue, and is highly recommended to those who, like me, are keen to explore the undoubted treasures of Scandinavian 19th-century musical repertoire. TC
(You will find a review of Volume 1 in JIM 191. – KT Ed.)
‘NORDIC VIOLIN FAVOURITES’ Henning Kraggerud (violin) Dalasinfoniettan / Bjarte Engeset 21 tracks Naxos 8.572827 (74:48) Our listening pleasure has been enhanced again thisyear by many outstanding value-for-money releases from Naxos, and here is one of the best of them. There was a great deal of Nordic writing for the violin in the two decades from 1910 and this album has six fine examples by Olsen, Atterberg (a World Première Recording of Suite No.3), Stenhammar, Halvorsen, Sibelius and Sinding: Six Old Village Songs from Lom in Norway, Two Sentimental Romances, Norwegian Dance, Six Humoresques and Evening Mood, together with two pieces by "The Nordic Paganini", Ole Bull (1810-80): Memories of Havana and A Mountain Vision. They are all marvellously played by the Oslo-born violinist who has been a recipient of Norway’s prestigious Grieg Prize. He is sensitively supported by the 29-strong chamber orchestra conducted by his fellow countryman. Both have made several highly praised recordings for the label in the past. Be warned, the liner notes pack in so much information they are of necessity in very small print. The recorded sound from Sweden is extremely good and altogether this is a release to be savoured. ET
NICOLA BENEDETTI ‘The Silver Violin’ Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra / Kirill Kirabits15 tracks incl. Williams Schindler’s List – Main Theme; Korngold Tanzlied des Pierrot; Violin Concerto; Mariettas Lied; Gardel Por una cabeza; Shostakovitch Romance; Andante; Prelude; Hess Ladies in Lavender – Main Theme; Marianelli My Edward & I; Shore Concertino – Eastern Promises Tatiana;Mahler Piano Quartet in A Minor Decca 478 3529 (77:54) Voted Best Female Artist at this year’s Classic BRIT Awards and a star of the BBC’s Last Night of the Proms, the 25-year-old Miss Benedetti has been critically extolled as one of the foremost violinists of her generation. Here she turns her attention to film music from the 1930s onwards, with the main work being the Czech-born Hollywood composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s 25½ minute concerto for which he drew on themes from his movie scores. That this disc is as much about Korngold as the silver screen, his two shorter pieces are from an opera. On other tracks film buffs may recognise music from ‘Scent of a Woman’, ‘The Gadfly’, ‘Jane Eyre’ and ‘Shutter Island’, among others. Not surprisingly the album, released in late August, went straight to the top of the Official Classical Album Chart and was still there as I wrote this in late October. It also made the low 30s in the Top 40 UK albums chart. You will note that Decca’s timing is a lot more generous than for many of their lighter music releases I have reviewed in the past. PB
'THE COLOURS OF CHRISTMAS' 23 tracks incl. Ding Dong! Merrily on high; In Dulci Jubilo; Away in a Manger; Hodie Christus natus est; I wonder as I wander; Silent Night; In the bleak mid-winter; O Holy Night; Joy to the world; Deck the hall; The Christmas Song … Decca 2782129 (73:27) Received too late to review at this time last year is this album with fresh recordings of some of the best-loved Christmas music compiled by the Festive season’s popular man-about-music, John Rutter, including what was then his brand new carol that gives the album its name. Other artists are The Bach Choir, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, organist John Birch and Over the Bridge (a nine-voice close harmony group, mainly made up of Clare College choral scholars, featured on three tracks), all conducted by "Mr Christmas" himself. PB
Some more recent releases recommended by Wilfred Askew
COUNT BASIE & HIS ORCHESTRA ‘Broadway and Hollywood .... Basie’s Way’ ‘Broadway’(1966) 12 tracks incl. Just in time; Mame; On a clear day; From this moment on; People; Everything’s coming up roses … ‘Hollywood’ (1967) 12 tracks incl. Secret love; The shadow of your smile; The Trolley Song; Strangers in the night; Hurry sundown blues; Days of wine and roses …Fresh Sound FSA-CD 546 (65:45) Two original Command albums.
FERDE GROFẾ ‘Rocketship X-M’ (1950) 15 tracks mastered from the 1977 Starlog Soundtrack album. Bonus: Noodling On The Theramin MonsterMovie Music MMM-1965 (37:16)
LURLEEN HUNTER ‘The Velvet Voice’ 4 albums on 2 CDs ‘Lonesome Gal’ (RCA, 1955) w. Al Nevins’s Orch. 12 tracks incl. Brief encounter; A stranger in town; But not for me; On Green Dolphin Street … ‘Night Life’ (VIK, 1956) w. Manny Albam’s Orch. 12 tracks incl. Georgia on my mind; Gentleman friend; Moondrift; Sunday … ‘Stepping Out’ (VIK, 1957) w. Phil Moore’s Orch. 12 tracks incl. Old devil moon; Blues in the night; Under a blanket of blue; Some other time … ‘Blue And Sentimental’ (Atlantic, 1960)
w. Jimmy Guiffre’s Orch. 11 tracks incl. Blue turning grey over you; If you could see me now; Crazy he calls me; Then I’ll be tired of you … Fresh Sound FSRR-CD 662 (147:11)
HENRY MANCINI ‘Hatari’ Original Film Soundtrack 22 tracks Intrada Special Collection Vol. 200 (61:35)
‘Charade’ Complete Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 28 tracks Intrada MAF 7121 (77:51)
DIMITRI TIOMKIN ‘Fall Of The Roman Empire’ Expanded Motion Picture Soundtrack – limited to 2,500 units 27 tracks La-La Land LLLCD 1202 (65:00)
World Premiere Recording of the Complete Film Score on 2 CDs City of Prague Philharmonic / Nic Raine 37 tracks A Tadlow Music Production Prometheus Records XPCD 170 (138:14)
’55 Days AT Peking’ Expanded Original Film Soundtrack on 2 CDs – limited to 2,500 copies 57 tracks La-La Land LLLCD 1184 (114:25)
DAVID WHITAKER (1931 – 2012) ‘The Sword And The Sorcerer’ Original Film Soundtrack The Grounke S.O. / Whitaker 23 tracks BSX Records BSXCD 8910 (68:31)
EARL GRANT ‘Nothin’ But The Versatile Earl Grant’ 4 U.S. Decca LPs on 2 CDs 48 tracks ‘The Versatile Mr Grant’ incl. Blue star; Japanese Farewell Song; Dream; Ol’ Man River … ‘Nothin’ But The Blues’ incl. One for my baby; Basin St. Blues; St. Louis Blues … ‘Stormy Weather’ incl. Canadian Sunset; Ebb tide; Misty; "Exodus" Theme … ‘Paris Is My Beat’ incl. Under Paris skies; Bon soir; Beyond the sea; Two loves have I … Jasmine JASCD 197 (152:46)
PEPE JARAMILLO ‘Salud Pepé’ with his Latin-American Rhythm directed by Geoff Love 30 tracks incl. Cachito, Cachita; A woman in love; Romantica; Pepé; Delicado; Adios; Boy on a dolphin …Jasmine JASCD 193 (75:18)
BILLY VAUGHN AND HIS ORCHESTRA ‘Orange Blossom Special & Wheels’ and ‘Berlin Melody’ 2 Dot albums from 1961 25 tracks incl. Are you lonesome tonight?; The Whiffenpoof Song; Green green grass of Texas; It’s a lonesome old town … Wooden heart; Blue moon; Till I waltz again with you; Come September … 3 bonus tracks: Red River Valley; Side by side; You are my sunshineSepia 1183 (66:04)