"CAPTAIN NEMO AND THE UNDERWATER CITY" Film Soundtrack (Angela Morley) Conducted by Marcus Dods [USA] Film Score Monthly FSM Vol. 12 No. 8 [61:35 mins]. Angela Morley was still working as ‘Wally Stott’ when she composed the score for this film. This is the premiere release of the complete score, and the CD is limited to 1,500 copies making it an instant collectors’ item. But the important thing is the music, and we hear Angela creating some memorable tunes and glorious harmonies during a period when she had rebuilt her career as a major composer for films, following a self-imposed ‘exile’ due to her disappointment at what she regarded as poor sound quality in cinemas of the 1950s. The music was recorded at Anvil Studios, Denham and CTS London in June 1969. It has been magnificently restored for this CD, and it is such a pity that Angela was unaware before she died that it was ‘in the works’. She would have been delighted – not just with the sound, but also with the accompanying CD booklet which explains in considerable detail how the music fitted the film. I know that RFS members will rush to add this CD to their collections before all copies are sold. If you have problems finding a copy, the RFS Record Service will try to help, but this import may cost around £17. David Ades
GREAT MOVIE THEMES 2 Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra / Carl Davis
Batman; The Pink Panther; Mission Impossible Suite; Love Story; Jurassic Park; Romeo and Juliet; Superman: March; The English Patient; The Godfather; Superman: "Can you read my mind?"; Pirates of the Caribbean; The Deerhunter: Introduction and Cavatina; The French Lieutenant’s Woman; Shakespeare in Love
Naxos 8.572111 [68:44 mins]. It is great to be able to recommend this album by one of the UK’s leading symphony orchestras: a newly recorded release of a kind that in the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s would have made regular appearances in the lists featuring the finest light music orchestras such as those fronted by Stanley Black, Percy Faith and Ron Goodwin. The RLPO under Carl Davis [composer of the penultimate track] play as to the manor born throughout. The brass excel, no more so than on Klaus Badelt’s Pirates, the knockout track for me and everyone else in my family who has heard it. Unsurprisingly three of the scores are by John Williams, with the others being by Danny Elfman, Francis Lai, Henry Mancini, Stanley Myers, Nino Rota , Francis Lai, Lalo Schifrin, Stephen Warbeck and Gabriel Yared. The recording, made in St George’s Hall, Blackburn, is very good with the percussion being particularly well-captured. This is my nomination for best bargain CD – at around £5 online – and also my Best Album choice. There is an earlier volume on Naxos 8.570505; I have heard excerpts and it sounds equally attractive. Peter Burt
GOLDEN AGE OF LIGHT MUSIC : Light and Lively For full tracklisting see the Light Music CDs pages on this website. Guild GLCD5160 [79:05 mins] We light music enthusiasts have waited half-a-century for some decent recordings and then 60 come along together [well, almost!] With Guild’s latest offering [its 60th, yes 60th in the series] you get what it says on the tin … something "light and lively" [in the main], much needed feel good factors in the present climate. Thirty tracks at under a tenner strike me as pretty good value for money, even if we can’t claim it back on expenses! To say I enjoyed all the tracks may sound a little glib and twee, but I am at a loss to find anything unkind to say about this selection; something which will not gain me entrance to the Critics Club, no doubt. As with Guild GLCD5159 [reviewed below] there is a fine mix of the familiar and unfamiliar in terms of repertoire and performers. How good to hear names like The Amsterdam Symphonic Orchestra, Lou Busch, The Crawford Light Orchestra Joe Leahy, Michael Piastro, Boris Sarbek and Florian ZaBach for the first time [for me, that is] alongside the establishment of Chacksfied, Farnon, Faith, Hayman, Morley, Ornadel, Rose and Torch – for whom I had the experience of working with the BBC Concert Orchestra at the Camden Theatre in the mid-1960s. As a percussionist just out of short trousers I found Sidney quite scary, but one cannot help be impressed by his versatile contributions, as organist, composer, arranger and conductor, to the light music world in general and, retrospectively, to the Guild series in particular. It’s interesting, by the way, to discover that Coronation Street wasn’t the only tune Eric Spear wrote, and that David Curry wasn’t just a conductor. The exceptionally informative notes, a splendid feature of the Guild series, also tell us that the Austrian Robert Stolz, who contributes the atmospheric African Moon to this disc, was featured on GLCD5118 in his more familiar role as composer and conductor of operetta. As David Ades writes: Stolz fled to the U.S.A. to escape the Nazis but returned to Vienna straight after the war, reclaimed his old house and continued to have a very successful career particularly as a conductor well into his 80s. A very big name in the Austrian capital alongside Brahms, Mahler, Mozart, Schubert, and the Strauss family, Stolz [middle name Elizabeth] provides a bizarre link between Petula Clark and Beethoven. As a young man he followed in the footsteps of the great German composer, and also those of Lehar, Millöcker, Offenbach, von Suppé and Zellar among others, as a major player in the history of Vienna’s iconic Theater an der Wien. And in 1961 Petula Clark and M.D. Peter Knight had a big hit with Romeo, based on Stolz’s quasi-foxtrot Salome. I would urge all light music lovers to invest in ‘Light And Lively’ immediately. It’s jam-packed with goodies, not least Gerard Calvi’s Madame De Mortemouille’s Ball, a singularly whimsical arrangement which just avoids being a wee bit silly, although it’s a mystery why Mr Calvi changed his name from Grégoire Elie Krettly. It’s an absolute cracker! Glyn Bragg
GOLDEN AGE OF LIGHT MUSIC : More Strings In Stereo For full tracklisting see the Light Music CDs pages on this website. Guild GLCD5159 [77:07] Guild’s fabulously unique light music series seems now well established in the stereo era. With no less than 25 tracks this album offers a superb mix of familiar and unfamiliar music and performers. More knowledgeable light music fans than me will no doubt have heard many of the tracks in their original form but I was delighted to come across Buddy Bregman, Pierre Challet, the Clebanoff Strings and the Rio Carnival Orchestra for the first time. Once again I was struck by two things: the high quality of the orchestral playing, in particular the strings, and the brilliant inventiveness of the arrangements. There are too many gems to list but Les Baxter’s Harem silks from Bombay was surprisingly delicious, and the combination of Angela Morley and A nightingale sang in Berkeley Square is quite special – even ‘though I never was able to discover that particular bird in that particular part of London [nor blue birds over the white cliffs of Dover, for that matter.] I didn’t enjoy Percy Faith’s rather pedestrian version of Happy Talk from‘South Pacific’. The Gaslight Orchestra’s After the ball seemed slightly out of place and [dare I say?] I found Leon Pober’s The Ski Song a touch old-fashioned. But any lack of enthusiasm for the odd track is more than compensated for by the rest of the disc, which I can recommend wholeheartedly. Needless to say, transfers are of the usual high Guild standard and the liner notes are once again packed with well-researched information. Glyn Bragg
JOHN IRELAND The Hallé Orchestra / John Wilson
Mai-Dun, The Forgotten Rite, Satyricon Overture, The Overlanders Suite [arr. Sir Charles Mackerras], A London Overture, Epic March
Hallé CDHLL 7523 [67:41]. Mr Ireland was born in Cheshire in 1879 and died in 1962. He destroyed all the music he wrote prior to 1908. After that his output included a number of attractive orchestral works, the most famous being included on this album superbly played by the North West’s very own symphony orchestra with our own John Wilson wielding the baton. Well worth acquiring and not only for the deserving to be more popular Suite, arranged from music for a 1946 Australian film [the composer’s sole film score] starring Chips Rafferty and produced by Sir Michael Balcon, Peter Burt
DANCING ON A SUMMER LAWN The Palm Court Orchestra conducted by John Godfrey Pink Lady; A Perfect Day; I Love You Truly; Desire de Moment; Aloha Oe; The Melody; Valse Pathetique; The Little Grey Home in the West; Mighty Lak a Rose; Vision of Salome; La Première Fois; When Irish Eyes Are Smiling; Fairy Dream; The Whirl of the Waltz; When You Remember Vienna; Thrills; Hearts and Flowers; Dreaming; O Sole Mio. Dal Segno DSPRCD 401 [64:04] The orchestra on this CD is essentially a small group comprising a pianist, violinist, violist, cellist and flautist. Emanating from Sydney, they still play at tea gardens and small functions under the baton of Robyn Godfrey, John having died in 1996. Unfortunately the group, its music and recordings have suffered various tragedies over the years including the loss of most of its 15,000 library scores; the studio recordings on this disc are all that survive of their work. The music comprises ragtime, lots of English and European waltzes and light classics. The arrangements and music are sufficiently varied to avoid a degree of sameness. Maybe this album does not quite attain to the heights of Shelly Van Loen but it is immensely enjoyable particularly given the modest price. Ideal for listening to in the garden on a summer evening or doing what the title says! The label is somewhat obscure, but the CD can be obtained from MDT [tel: 01332 540240 or www.mdt.co.uk ] at £9.07 including p&p. Brian Stringer
ANDRẾ PREVIN : THE GREAT RECORDINGS [The LSO Years 1971-1980]
London Symphony Orchestra / André Previn EMI Classics 2 67969 2. A 10-CD boxful of delights from the prodigiously talented conductor-arranger, composer, pianist and TV personality born Andreas Prewin 80 years ago in Germany and addressed as Mr Preview by Morecambe and Wise. Along with the "heavier" items, which include Boléro, Enigma Variations, The Planets and Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings, there are discs devoted to Tchaikovsky ballet music, Gershwin [Rhapsody in Blue, An American in Paris, etc.] and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. Choral music lovers are catered for by the sacred Belshazzar’s Feast and the secular Carmina Burana. With splendid playing, fine digitally remastered sound, well-filled discs, and a bargain price of around £3 per CD, this box will make an excellent Christmas gift. Peter Burt
"THE CHAMPIONS" Original TV series Box Set Network DVD Catalogue Number 2959007. The Network DVD Original Soundtracks series have released music from ‘The Champions’, which includes Robert Farnon’s music, written especially for the ITC series. One of the tracks, entitled simply ‘Violin’ is a fragment from the Rhapsody for Violin and Orchestra (a cue in the Chappell Recorded Music Library), but played unaccompanied. It also sounds like Raymond Cohen’s playing to me. The series now includes ‘Department ‘S’’, ‘Jason King’, ‘Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased)’, ‘The Strange Report’, ‘Danger Man (Half Hour Black and White)’, ‘Danger Man (Hour Colour)’, ‘Man In A Suitcase’, and of course ‘The Prisoner’, of which RFS members are already aware. The next in the series will be ‘The Protectors’. The reproduction on all of them (with exception of the main titles from ‘Department ‘S’’) is extremely good. Franck Leprince Network DVDs are available from their website. Copies can also be obtained from the RFS Record Service.
GOLDEN AGE OF LIGHT MUSIC European Tour For full tracklisting see the Light Music CDs pages on this website. Guild GLCD 5161 [77:47]. A European Tour, courtesy of one of Guild’s latest offerings with some evocative tunes to keep us company - starting in the capital with Voice of Londonby Charles Williams played here by his Concert Orchestra. This is a longer version than the original Chappell recording by the Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra who used it to introduce their broadcast concerts. I had an idea it was also used many years ago by the BBC as intro music for a radio film programme introduced by Peter Noble, but I could be wrong. A non-stop trip to Scotland with Bob Farnon and his Orchestra allows us to hear two of his arrangements of traditional melodies from his suite "From The Highlands" – Comin’ Thru’ The Rye and My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose. However if there’s a further ‘tours’ CD I’ll ask David to stop off in the Midlands to hear Leslie Bridgewater’s homage to Worcestershire – Bromsgrove Fair – played by the New Century Orchestra conducted by Sidney Torch on FDH. Back-tracking down to Wales with the Melachrino Orchestra, Rhondda Rhapsody by the BBC producer Mai Jones used to introduce a feature in the show she produced "Welsh Rarebit" – a tuneful ‘Concerto’ style number reminiscent of the so-called ‘Denham Concertos’. Then we go across the Irish Sea for a sparkling version of Victor Herbert’s The Irish Have A Great Day Tonight from Mantovani and his Orchestra, before setting foot on the European mainland to the strains of Clive Richardson’s Continental Galop played by the Danish State Radio Orchestra. There are echoes of Clive’s Running Off The Rails (Locomotion) I’m sure. Werner Müller (alias Ricardo Santos and his Cascading Strings) provide a sound portrait of Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens with Heino Gaze’s Tivoli Melodie followed by a real lilting melody – Luxembourg Waltz by Geoffrey Everitt and Frederick Peter Hargreaves, played in fine style by Frank Chacksfield’s Orchestra. Did the two composers write anything else? I don’t know, but I’m sure somebody will! A fiery rendition of Fiesta In Seville by David Rose conducting his own orchestra gets the feet a’tapping, as does Tony Osborne’s Lights Of Lisbon with a wordless chorus. Is this a first for a Guild Light Music CD? When It’s Spring In Baden Baden played by the Baden-Baden Symphony Orchestra (now known as the South West German Radio Symphony Orchestra) conducted by Hans Rosbaud is an absolutely delightful piece of light music – and to think the orchestra was originally a Spa municipal group of players! Where I live we used to have a Spa orchestra but it was a much more modest affair (more the salon type) disbanded many years ago. Another David Rose number Roman Holiday is a really catchy corker of a piece. Apparently Italian motorists are to be avoided at all costs, so I’ve read, so I wondered if David Rose had ever visited Rome because I’m sure there are echoes of frantic motor horns in the music – great stuff! Passe Partout by Victor Young from "Around The World In Eighty Days" is played in gradn style by the Cinema Sound Stage Orchestra – could they be the same players as are used on the ‘101 Strings; LPs? A very underrated series, in my opinion. Swiss Holidayby Joe Leahy, played by his Orchestra, is another tuneful, catchy item as is Swedish Polka by Hugo Alfvén. Although credited as the conductor it was Bengt Hallberg, a jazz pianist and arranger, who took the places of the aged composer on the podium, although I’d never heard of Hallberg anyway. Be that as it may, buy Guild Light Music CDs and not only are you entertained – you’re educated too! Track twenty-two has Victor Young and his Orchestra playing Sicilian Tarantella by Balsamo, Conn & Miller (who?!) which is a dead ringer for Henry Mancini’s score for "What Did You Do In The War Daddy?" made in 1966 about the same time as I bought the LP soundtrack, whereas Sicilian Tarantetta was recorded in 1956. The film is described in Halliwell as a ‘silly war comedy with insufficient jokes for its wearisome length’! So there! Georges Auric is a name I associate with British films of the 1940s such as "Dead Of Night", "Passport To Pimlico" and "It Always Rains On Sunday" – but here is his Pavements Of Paris played by Michel Legrand’s Orchestra. Our European Tour ends in Belgium with a quirky little number called The Spider Of Antwerp played by Guy Luypaerts and his Orchestra – another name I hadn’t heard before until it started to appear on earlier Guild Light Music CDs. But before Belgium we’re diverted to the Mediterranean – East Of Malta to be exact – Ronald Hanmer’s dramatic, slightly oriental piece from the Francis, Day & Hunter library, played by the New Century Orchestra with Sidney Torch conducting. Personally I think that would have given this CD a stronger finale than ‘Spider’. Either way, another scintillating choice to add to this ever gowing collection of light music, enhances as ever by Alan Bunting’s restoration magic. Ken Wilkins
GOLDEN AGE OF LIGHT MUSIC Hall of Fame – Volume 3 For full tracklisting see the Light Music CDs pages on this website. GLCD 5162 [77:54]. "Hall of Fame 3" kicks off with Singing In The Rainplayed by the Conrad Salinger Orchestra conducted by Buddy Bregman, which I must confess isn’t my favourite tune. I don’t know what it is, apart from being a bit repetitive – I was probably put off by Gene Kelly’s warbling on the film soundtrack! He should have stuck to dancing! In complete contrast track two is a corker of a performance from Percy Faith’s Orchestra of Spanish Serenade by Victor Herbert. It’s number one of ‘A Suite of Four Serenades’, the others being Chinese, Cuban and Oriental – the Spanish Serenade being particularly tuneful. The Percy Faith version is longer than the Paul Whiteman recording on Naxos which I have, but that includes the three other serenades. Did Percy Faith conduct the complete ‘Suite’? I bet PF expert Alan Bunting knows! Ron Goodwin’sLingering Lovers meanders along nicely on track three, courtesy of David Carroll’s Orchestra, followed by Philip Green’s Ecstasy which has (I think) a strong Spanish flavour, hence the ‘José Belmonte’ pseudonym I suppose. Richard Hayman and his Orchestra get into the swing of things with a sparkling, and at the same time exotic, rendition of Ernesto Lecuona’s Amor Que Bonito (Love And The World Loves With You), and in a similar vein Hugo Winterhalter adds another touch of Spain with his own composition La Muneca Espanola (The Spanish Doll). Now here’s where I disagree with David: he calls Charles Williams’ Columbia recording of his own Devil’s Galop the definitive version. My Chambers dictionary defines ‘definitive’ as ‘ final, expert, most authoritative’ – and the onlyDevil’s Galop that falls into that category is the Chappell version recorded at Levy’s Sound Studios. Nobody, but nobody, plays that piece like the Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra – crisp drumrolls at the beginning and end, and a sparkly xylophone in the middle – and fast. No wonder BBC producer Neil Tuson chose it: he says in "The Inside Story of Dick Barton", published in 1950, "When I found the Galop (spelt incorrectly in the book with two ‘ll’s’) and heard that drumroll I could hardly believe my ears – so I lit a cigarette and relaxed!" In his defence, David says he included the well-known Columbia version because the original Chappell piece only lasted 79 seconds. No such reservations with Jumping Bean and Shooting Star – Decca and Columbia releases from 1948, and Elizabethan Serenade – Ron Goodwin’s Parlophone single from 1957. Crazy Violins is a tour-de-force in playing ‘out of tune; which, if you can actually do something reasonably well, is a hard thing to do – as Helmut Zacharias and his Magic Violins must have found out. It’s a delightfully eccentric melody written by someone called Wildman. Now would that be a pen name for David Rose, because hisMarch Of The Pretzels also uses the off-key violins sound in this very catchy piece played by his Orchestra. Eric Coates rounds off the main part of the CDD programme with his Rediffusion March – Music Everywhere with him conducting the Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra. What busy musicians they were in those halcyon days of light concert music! Finally there is a tribute to George Melachrino in which he and his own Orchestra are featured on four recordings with the maestro as guest conductor on a fifth – made between 1947 and 1958. It begins with the Theme from Runnymede Rhapsody by the long-lived but rather neglected composer/conductor Reginald King. Then an arrangement by George of Bob Farnon’s Sophistication Waltz called by its original song title My Song Of Spring,followed by his own catchy composition Winter Sunshine. Then something I’ve never heard of: Aprite Le Finestre (Open The Windows) by one Virgilio Panzuti – this time George is conducting the San Remo Festival Orchestra. It was an Italian entry in the first Eurovision Song Contest in 1956, and also the winner in the San Remo Festival of the same year. Ten to one this is its first outing in yonks! And to round off the third Guild ‘Hall of Fame’ Richard Addinsell’s Warsaw Concerto from the film "Dangerous Moonlight", the last of the featured Melachrino recordings with William Hill-Bowen at the piano Apparently the music became such an instant hit with cinemagoers that a record was rushed out to satisfy public demand, but it’s my contention that the issued disc was a rejected studio ‘take’ because the pianist, Louis Kentner, isn’t entirely in-step with the orchestra – which has probably added to the charm of the music! Ken Wilkins The above two Guild Light Music CDs are due to be released at the beginning of October. You can order copies in advance from the RFS Record Service.
FINE TUNING The Music of Roy Dean : Warren Mailley-Smith [piano], Matthew Jones [violin], Susie Parkes [soprano], Frances Patton [mezzo], George Bartle [tenor], Henry Grant Kerswell [bass-baritone] Ceremonial March: Betjemania, A Century of Songs [12 songs], Lyric Suite: Three moons [32:17]. Roy Dean is an 82-year-old amateur composer who, since retirement from the Diplomatic Service, has gone into music. This CD, which admittedly offers short measure, presents a selection of his work which he admits is pastiche [‘though so much light music is] but is certainly tuneful. It begins with a cheerful march inspired by the former Poet Laureate, played here as a piano solo. The sequence A Century of Song is written in various 20th century song styles: music hall, parlour ballad, New Orleans, rock musical, Irish song, calypso, Country and Western, etc. The Three Moons, originally songs and shapely ones, are transcribed for violin and piano and the Joplinesque finale, Honeymoon Tune, rounds things off happily. Well performed, nicely recorded and enjoyable. Available from the composer at 14 Blyth Road, Bromley, BR1 3RX, £10 [including p&p] Philip L Scowcroft
GOLDEN AGE OF SALON MUSIC The Schwanen Salon Orchestra, G. Huber Skater’s Waltz; Vienna, City of My Dreams; The Gypsy Princess: Potpourri; Jocelyn: Berceuse; Serenata; Portuguese Fisherman’s Dance; Salut d’amour; Il bacio; Blue Tango; A Waltz Dream, Act 1: Non sai mia bella: Leise, ganz leise klingt’s durch den raum; Mélodie in F major [Rubinstein]; Belle of the Ball; Blauer Himmel; Liebesleid; The Dragon Fly; Hexentanz / Funiculi, Funicula; Mattinata; The Opera Ball: A Private Room; Humoresque No.7 [Dvorak]; Dark Eyes; Romanian Gypsy Festival; A media luz; Puszta Fox; Thais: Méditation; Gerhard Winkler Medley; Harlequin’s Millions: Serenade; Das muss ein Stuck vom Himmel sein; South of the Alps: In a Port; Sie hören Paul Lincke: Sie hören – PotpourriNaxos 8.578003-04 Over two-and-a-quarter hours of salon music on 2-CDs affectionately played and well recorded. There are no big surprises here in this compilation from the previous four albums which the orchestra has recorded on Naxos going back as far as 2000. The potpourris are of quite reasonable length, unlike similar items that used to appear on 78’s which gave you about 15 seconds of one title before switching to the next. A pity that only one movement has been selected from Ernst Fischer’s delightful South of the Alps suite. However if the selection of titles appeal, and at around £11, then you can safely invest. Brian Stringer
STAN KENTON’S MUSIC 1955
Artistry in rhythm theme, One o’clock jump, Alright, okay, you win, Egdon Heath, It’s only a paper moon, Come rain or come shine, Harold Arlen song medley, This can’t be love, Bernie’s tune, Opus in chartreuse, Lover come back to me, Learnin’ the blues, Blues in D flat, Theme
Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY776 [54:22]
Kenton fans will be disappointed with this one because the Musicians’ Union would not let him use his own band. Johnny Richards recruited as many good New York based players that he could; the line-up changed week by week cutting down on the tightness of the sound. Guests involved included Harold Arlen, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Coleman Hawkins, Ilinois Jacquet, Oscar Pettiford, Jimmy Raney, Buddy Rich and Joe Williams. Stan did all the announcements. The CD consists of two shows, the sound dodgy to say the least, some of the applause should have been edited. Two from the Kenton band book, Egdon Heath and Opus in chartreuse, fit uneasily in the show sounding quirky without the cohesion Stan’s full band could provide. Harold Arlen was a wonderful composer, here singing himself plus a couple from Julie Wilson. They really murder great tunes; the crime increased on As long as I live by including an organ. The jazz soloists on board do an over the top frantically paced Bernie’s tune. The penultimate number Blues in D flat includes most of the sessioneers in a jam session. In summary: if you listened to the original broadcasts, a memory jogger but little else! Paul Clatworthy
EVELYN LAYE Queen of Musical Comedy I’ll See You Again, Vila, I Love You So, Lover Come Back To me, Dear Little Café, Zigeuner, Love Is A Song, Let The People Sing, I See Your Face Before Me, You’ve Done Something To My Heart etc.. 55 tracks in total Avid Easy AMSC 977 2 CDs [158:10]. Avid have already spoiled musical comedy fans with 2-CD sets devoted to three famous leading ladies - Jessie Matthews, Frances Day and Pat Kirkwood; now compiler Hugh Palmer has turned his sights on perhaps the greatest of them all, Evelyn Laye. To quote Avid’s own publicity: Arguably the most historic retrospective double-CD ever released in the United Kingdom, "Evelyn Laye – Queen of Musical Comedy" spans 71 years of the glittering career of the legendary British star whom the director Max Reinhardt called "that rare and Holy Trinity of the stage, a great singer, a great actress, and a great beauty".The 55 tracks, many of them never previously released, take her from her first major London hit as a 19-year-old Gaiety Girl in the 1920 revival of The Shop Girl to the last (and hitherto unreleased) studio recordings she ever made, in 1991, at the age of 91. Along the way are rare and unreleased performances from The Merry Widow, in which she took London by storm at the age of 22 in the 1923 revival, but from which she made no commercial recordings; two songs that she never recorded from her greatest international success in Noel Coward’s Bitter Sweet; unreleased soundtrack songs from her two Hollywood films, One Heavenly Night, with John Boles, and The Night is Young, with Ramon Novarro; an operatic duet from Verdi’s La Traviata, and even a stirring and hitherto unreleased version of Elgar’s ‘Land of Hope and Glory’. CD-2 contains still more unreleased treasures: versions of Joyce Grenfell’s ‘I’m Going To See You Today’ and Ivor Novello’s‘Love is My Reason’; an extreme rarity, ‘Liaisons’, recorded from the stage in live performance during her last musical, A Little Night Music, in 1979; duets from the 1980s with Sir Harry Secombe and with Roy Hudd, and two songs specially written for her in 1991 by her musical director, John Dalby, the second of which, ‘Thank You’, is a moving valedictory to her loyal public during a career that spanned nine decades. The detailed booklet contains just about everything you need to know about her career (and her often troubled private life) with copious recording information to satisfy those of us who like to know the source of the music we are hearing. This CD is a poignant example of the kind of valuable and historic archive that might be lost if changes in sound copyright law made such releases uneconomic. The major companies (and their accountants) certainly wouldn’t be interested in such a project. David Ades
THE BOSWELL SISTERS The Music Goes Round And Round 19 tracks including the Title tune, The object of my affection, It’s the girl, Every little moment, Let yourself go, Top hat white tie and tails, It’s written all over your face, Coffee in the morning and kisses in the night, The lonesome road, When I take my sugar to tea, I’m gonna sit right down and write myself a letter, Dinah etc.Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY775 [54:28] On this CD the sisters are mainly backed by members of the Dorsey Brothers various groups. They set the standard that many later vocal groups tried to compete with. Elle Fitzgerald is quoted as saying she used Connie Boswell’s voice as one to emulate. As with many of these historical issues, tunes are included that have not survived the passing of time; I only knew ten of the titles. Charming nostalgia all the way. Paul Clatworthy
BUDDY HOLLY & THE CRICKETS The Very Best Of
Heartbeat, That’ll be the day, Peggy Sue, Oh boy, Rave on, Think it over, Brown eyed handsome man, Let’s make a fool of you, True love ways, Raining in my heart, Everyday, Wishing, Love me, …..Universal 1797581 [54:45 & 53:49] I enjoyed every one of these 50 tracks by the singer who, aged 22, was tragically killed in a ‘plane crash; a very talented pioneer of rock ‘n’ roll whose work, thanks to his interest in production techniques, sounds as fresh today as it did nearly 50 years ago. I find what has been called his "hiccoughing vocal style" most attractive. Mention, too, should be made of The Crickets in the success of this 2-CD set, available online at around 17 pence per track [a consideration in these straightened times]. Peter Burt
BETTY HUTTON At The Saints And Sinners Ball 20 titles incl. My cuty’s due at two-to-two today, Banana boat [Oomba-oomba-oomba], Sleepy head, Hit the road to dreamland, Back home, Satins & spurs, This must be the place, Chicken hawk Sepia 1133 [53:30] Probably better known as a rather rumbustious character in movies, this is an interesting album. The first ten tracks are shared by orchestra conductors Nelson Riddle , Vic Shoen  and Billy May . Tennessee Ernie Ford sings on two tracks, one of which is The honeymoon’s over that became a Top 20 single. Betty’s sister Marion also joins her on two tracks: Ko ko mo [I love you so] and Heart throb. The album from which the CD is named was recorded in 1958 and includes Whole world in his hands, When the saints come marchin’ in and Search my heart, which perhaps presages Betty’s later decision to dedicate her life to religion and teaching. Ray Pavene
JANE RUSSELL Fine And Dandy 17 tracks incl. The Title tune, Take love easy, Love on the rocks, When a woman loves a man, Can’t we talk it over, You don’t know what love is, Love is here to stay, The one I love, You’re mine, you, Sepia 1132 [44:43] Miss Russell’s obvious physical attributes have probably rather overshadowed her ability as a singer. The first 12 tracks on this album date from 1958 and the disc became Jane’s personal favourite. The last five tracks – Sing you sinners,I’ve got the world on a string, One way ticket to the blues, Diamond’s are a girl’s best friend and One for my baby – have never been released before and there are, as the booklet notes put it, "some rough edges". Enjoyable, but short measure for this company. Ray Pavene
KATE SMITH We Remember Kate Smith 26 tracks incl. Just in time, All the way, It don’t mean a thing, Thinking of you, The beat o’ my heart, Yes indeed!, High on a windy hill, Mr Wonderful, Love is a many splendoured thing, Comes love, Wish you were here, Come rain or come shine, …. Sepia 1134 [78:08] Well, I don’t remember her … but glad to make the singer’s acquaintance here. Born Kathryn Elizabeth in 1907, she had a good soprano voice, first used in church choirs, and was popular from the mid-‘20s into the ‘70s. She passed on in 1986. She had been training as a nurse before moving into show biz. The ever comprehensive booklet notes tell us that the great classical conductor Leopold Stokowski said of her voice: "Don’t ever take a lesson, Miss Smith. Your voice is a gift from God". She made Irving Berlin’s God bless America [track 25 here] into a substitute national anthem in WWII, during which she raised $600 million for GIs. Although she had sole performing rights to the song, proceeds went to the Boy Scouts. Here is a fine choice of quality songs and this full measure album can be recommended. Peter Burt
ALMA COGAN Dreamboat: Her 31 Finest including Bell bottom blues, Half as much, The moon is blue, The little shoemaker, Canoodlin’ Rag, Little things mean a lot, Skokiaan, This old house, I can’t tell a waltz from a tango, Paper kisses, Blue again, Softly, softly, Mambo Italiano, Tweedle-dee, The naughty lady of shady lane
Retrospective 4121 [76:17] This collection on a new label complements the broadcast selection from Sepia reviewed in JIM 178. Nine of the songs here were Top 20 hits including the title tune which made it to No.1 in April 1955. Frank Cordell and his Orchestra accompany on the majority of tracks although those of Ken Macintosh, Geoff Love and pianist Felix King are also featured. Penny-whistler Desmond Lane plays on Willie Can. The label did not reply to my e-mail so I cannot tell you who made the arrangements. This is something of a nostalgia trip for those of us who in the ‘fifties were a little bit in love with "The girl with the laugh in her voice". Peter Burt
LISA KIRK Sings At the Plaza 22 tracks including I travel light, I’m sitting on top of the world, Yo’d be so nice to come home to, Anything goes, Hi-lili, hi-lo, How come you do me like you do, Why can’t you behave, Good little girls, Far away places and the Riviera, Limehouse blues Sepia 1128 [74:53] I must admit to not having heard of this lady before but the customary informative liner notes for this label tell me that not only was she a Broadway star but "truly the Queen in the golden days of night life entertainment". Nice personality and voice and well supported by her M.D. Don Pippin and The 4 Saints, the applause is deserved and not too obtrusive. In addition to the album titles listed above there are a further dozen musical theatre tracks such as Shaking the blues away, Little girl blue, But not for me, The lady is a tramp and My funny valentine. With Sepia’s generous timing and the price [around £8], well worth adding to your collection. Peter Burt
BOZ SCAGGS Speak Low Invitation, She was too good for me, I wish I knew, Speak low, Do nothing till you hear from me, I’ll remember April, Save your love for me, Ballad of the sad young man, Skylark, Sense fine, Dandy, This time the dream’s on me Decca B 001202602 [52:30] Long overdue follow-up to his last CD, where singer Boz started to be more experimental. Inspired by ideas Gil Evans explored, Boz picks a wide range of ballads arranged by Gil Goldstein. His distinct vocalising gives a new slant to some well-known diverse songs. A very nice release with a few surprises in the repertoire, a real change of style first explored on his last album which left his early days as a singer of blues and rock and roll a distant memory. I hope all his followers have moved with him. Paul Clatworthy
FRANK SINATRA Nothing But the Best 2-CD Set CD1: 22 tracks including Come fly with me, The best is yet to come, The way you look tonight, Luck be a lady, Bewitched, The good life, The girl from Ipanema, Fly me to the moon [in other words], Summer wind, Strangers in the night, Call me irresponsible, Somethin’ stupid, My kind of town. CD2: 12 tracks including White Christmas, Go tell it on the mountain, The little drummer boy, Do you hear what I hear?, The twelve days of ChristmasReprise 8122798853 [74:38 & 38:17] Perhaps not quite the best, but still very good. These are digitally remastered Reprise tracks from the ‘60s, including some Capitol re-recordings. Arrangers are Nelson Riddle, Billy May, Quincy Jones [with Count Basie and his Orchestra], Ernie Freeman, Billy Strange [with Nancy Sinatra], Gordon Jenkins, Skip Martin [the title tune], Claus Ogerman and Don Costa [including My way]. The final track, Body and soul, is a Torrie Zito arrangement conducted by Frank Sinatra Jr. and was previously unreleased. The 2-CD set also includes the "Rare and Unreleased" 12 Songs of Christmas with Frank being joined by Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians, and Bing Crosby. The main album is available separately. Peter Burt
ANN SOUTHERN / DOROTHY LAMOUR Southern Lamour After you’ve gone, Another year, Always, The last time I saw Paris, You’ll never know, My man, Life is just a bowl of cherries … & 7 other tracks / You’re mine now, Did you ever see a dream walking? Why was I born, Can’t help loving that man, I can’t tell why I love you … and 5 other tracks Sepia 1127 [66:09] Two successful LP albums from 1957 by two of the silver screen’s songbirds. Ann Sothern was another new name to me but her 14 tracks, arranged and conducted by Ian Bernard, who composed the rather wistfulAnother year, make for very pleasant listening. Berlin, Kern-Hammerstein II, Brown-Henderson, Gershwin-Heyward, Rodgers-Hart, Arlen-Koehler and Porter figure among those supplying the words and music. There are some splendid instrumental soloists especially on Ballin’ the jack. Dorothy Lamour was, of course, known to me through the ‘Road’ films with Crosby and Hope. She, too, was a "proper" singer and her 10 tracks are arranged and conducted by Georges Norman. Again, good compositions equally pleasant to listen to, with Kern-Hammerstein II responsible for four of them, although P.G. Wodehouse also got in on one of them, Bill. For all their long film careers the two vocalists only worked together once, as chorus girls in the 1933 Busby Berkeley classic "Footlight Parade". Peter Burt
BITTER SWEET Selections from the Operetta by Noël Coward, Vanessa Lee, Roberto Cardinali, Julie Dawn and John Hauxvell, The Rita Williams Singers and Michael Collins and his Orchestra Overture, The call of life, If you could only come with me, I’ll see you again, Ladies of the town, If love were all, Dear little café, Tokay, Kiss me, Ziguener, Finale … Sepia 1130[77:29] The first eleven tracks [of 23] above are by the artists listed and were recorded in 1958, the first stereo version of the 1929 show. They are followed by a selection played by the London Palladium Orchestra conducted by Clifford Greenwood just before the outbreak of war in 1939. Then there are the original London cast members, Peggy Wood, George Metexa and Ivy St Helier, singing the major hits of the show. Evelyn Laye, the original Broadway star sings I’ll see you again andZigeuner, and then we have four tracks from the Paris production of 1930 starring Jane Marnac and René Bussy. "The Master" himself completes the disc with his distinctive version of I’ll see from a recording made in 1954, exactly 25 years after the show was first seen. A veritable cornucopia of what was, as the detailed liner notes opine, "Coward’s first musical and arguably his best". Ray Pavene
"My inspiration is you" ANNETTE HANSHAW. Moanin’ low, Loveable and sweet, Here we are, I get the blues when it rains, Mean to me, A precious little thing called love, My inspiration is you, My blackbirds ere bluebirds now, Forgetting you, From now on, Miss Annabelle Lee, Ever since time Began, Would you like to take a walk, Yes indeedy he do, The way I feel today, Nobody cares if I’m blue, If I had a girl like you, Telling it to the daises, Cooking breakfast for the one I love, I have to have you. Sounds of Yester Year DS0Y779 [59:00]. Old as I am there are not many tunes here that I know, Identifying titles is not helped by the fact that the sleeve puts many songs in a different order to the CD! Her "Betty Boop" voice puts her into my novelty catalogue although there will be many nannies and grandpas who would love a copy. Her main backing group goes under the name "The Sizzling Syncopaters"; other tracks have The Dorsey Brothers, Manny Klein, Adrian Rollini and Benny Goodman. Rated top notch in the 1920s her recording really sounds its age! Paul Clatworthy
THE ORIGINAL BLONDE BOMBSHELL : EVELYN DALL VOL. 1 - Mrs. Worthington; Cohen The Crooner (MB/JC); Lulu’s Back In Town; The General’s Fast Asleep (RB);The Lady In Red; Wotcha Gotcha Trombone For?; Woe Is Me (JC); Cuban Pete; I’m All In; Lost My Rhythm, Lost My Music, Lost My Man; Organ Grinder’s Swing; Did You Mean It?; On The Isle Of Kitchymiboko; Swing Is In The Air; Sailor, Where Art Thou?; I May Be Poor, But I’m Honest (SB,LC); Rhythm’s O.K.In Harlem; Gangway; Swing High, Swing Low; Poor Robinson Crusoe; Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off (SB); Fifty Million Robins Can’t Be Wrong; It’s The Natural Thing To Do; No Songs About Love (KTMA); It’s The Rhythm In Me (KTMA); The Coster Rhumba (HFAS); You’ll Love The Army (KAWAG); Actions Speak Louder Than Words (KAWAG); Sitting On A Cloud That’s Silver-Lined (TF); Hey There Bellman (TF). MB – Max Bacon; SB – Sam Browne; JC – Jack Cooper; LC – Les Carew; RB – Rhythm Brothers. From film soundtracks of: KTMA – Kicking The Moon Around; HFAS – He Found A Star; KAWAG – King Arthur Was A Gentleman; TF – Time Flies (acc. Stephane Grappelli) Memory Lane MLCD00178:05. Memory Lane magazine, in what promises to be an exciting new venture, has just launched its own CD label, and this is the first release. It contains 23 tracks with Ambrose & his Orchestra covering just over two years from September 1935, and seven more from film soundtracks, and is sub-titled "The Complete Evelyn Dall Recordings" with a promise of more to come. By my reckoning around half these tracks have appeared individually on various CD reissues, but many are now out of print. To have Miss Dall’s complete output brought together in this way is a major step for which Ray Pallett and Dave Cooper deserve every support. The remastering has produced a very clear sound, and given the timbre of Evelyn’s voice I found it preferable to listen with the tone setting set towards the bass. It’s apparent that she had a considerable stage presence and a strong personality, which was perfectly suited to the material she was assigned. That included some real scorchers, which she sang as to the manner born, but she was equally at home in broad comedy and Latin-American numbers. The presentation is excellent, with an informative liner note and a reproduction of the original publicity for "The Coster Rhumba" (note correct spelling!). I would like to have seen composer credits included, and a slightly longer interval between tracks, but as the first of a new label this is impressive, and highly recommended. Barry McCanna The CD is priced at £5.99 inc. P&P to a UK address, or £7.99 inc P&P for air mail post to an address outside the UK. It can be ordered from Memory Lane, PO Box 1939, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex SS9 3UH. Payment can be made by sterling cheque to "Memory Lane", or you can log on to www.memorylane.org.uk where there is a PayPal facility.
HANSEL AND GRETEL Original Television Cast Sepia 1125 [76:20] The music for ‘Hansel and Gretel’ was composed by Alec Wilder with words by William Engvick, who wrote the English lyrics to the Song from Moulin Rouge [Where is your heart]. It starred Rudy Vallee, Stubby Kaye and Paula Laurence. Coupled with this are five numbers from Gilbert and Sullivan’s ‘Yeoman of the Guard’ with Barbara Cook, Celeste Holm, Bill Hayes and Alfred Drake. Then there are 16 "Bonus Tracks" by such as Red Buttons, Barbara Cook, Eddie Bracken, Stubby Kaye, and Rudy Vallee, one of whose songs isThe pig got up and slowly walked away. Rather a mixture but, surprisingly, enjoyable. But I can’t see many sales outside the States – especially if they don’t read JIM! Ray Pavene
"THE THIRD MAN" AND OTHER CLASSIC FILM THEMES including Passport to Pimlico, La Ronde, The Romantic Age, Whisky Galore, The Glass Mountain, Genevieve, La Strada etc.. Naxos 8120880.Featruing recordings by Anton Karas (zither), Mantovani, Charles Williams, Larry Adler, Percy Faith, David Rose and others.
BILL SAVILL AND HIS ORCHESTRA "We Could Have Danced All Night"; "In a Dancing Mood". Original Decca LPs from the 1950s. A welcome reminder of "Music While You Work".Vocalion CDLK4397.
INTERNATIONAL POP ALL STARS "Great Film Themes From Many Lands"; "Vibrations Around The World". Original Decca LPs from the 1960s. Featuring some pleasant surprises – pity all the arrangers aren’t known. Vocalion CDLK4394.
More new releases noted by Wilfred Askew
THE BEST OF BROADWAY VOL. 1 South Pacific 8 tracks with Peggy Lee, Margaret Whiting & Gordon Macrae; Orchestra conducted by Dave Barbour and Frank DeVol [1950 Capitol album] Kiss Me Kate 8 tracks with Jo Stafford and Gordon Macrae; Orchestra conducted by Paul Weston [1949 Capitol album] DRGCD 19113 [45:41]
MEL TORME SINGS HIS OWN CALIFORNIA SUITE The 1949 Capitol recording conducted by Hal Mooney plus the 1957 Bethlehem recording arranged and conducted by Marty Paich, in an attractive digi-pack with two booklets, one containing the lyrics of the two versions. Fresh Sounds FSR-CD 496 [67:14]
VINTAGE CINEMA Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra Selections from King Kong, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Spellbound, Sunset Boulevard, A Streetcar Named Desire, A Place In The Sun, On The Waterfront, North By Northwest, El Cid, To Kill A Mockingbird and Taras BulbaTelarc CD-80708 [53:13]
HENRI RENĖ AND HIS ORCHESTRA Compulsion To Swing In Rhythm A coupling of the two albums ‘A Compulsion to Swing’ & ‘Riot In Rhythm’: 24 tracks including The blue room, Cry me a river, Baubles, bangles and beads, Compulsion to swing, It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing, Just a gigolo, ‘S wonderful, Nature boy, The hot canary, Blue chartreuse, The surrey with the fringe on top, Don’t cry Joe, Whispering … Jasmine JSCD 490 [63:46] RCA stereo recordings from 1958
JANE MORGAN Fascination : The Ultimate Collection Original Kapp recordings on 2 CDs: 56 tracks including The heart you break, Why [are there things we can’t explain], Why don’t you leave us alone, Give me your word, Flyin’ high, In Paree, Take me away, Let’s go steady, I’ve got bells on my heart, Only one love, I may never pass this way again, Catch a falling star, Where the blue of the night, Makin’ love … Jasmine JASCD 489 [149:58]
THIS IS IT : The Best Of Jack Leonard and Tommy Dorsey 28 tracks including I’m in a dancing mood, Where are you, If my heart could only talk, You’re here, you’re there, you’re everywhere, Dedicated to you, Marie, Sweet is the word for you, Love is never out of season, Have you any castles, baby?, An old flame never dies, In the still of the night, Blue Orchids Flare ROYCD 281[77:47]
BOB EBERLY Sings Tender Love Songs with the Enoch Light Orchestra 12 tracks from ‘Sings Tender Love Songs’  including Brazil, Moonglow, Tangerine, I understand, Amapola, Maria Elena, Green eyes, September song …13 tracks from ‘Best Of the ‘Fifties Singles’ including This much I know, Long before I knew you, Alone, I made a promise, You’ll never know how it feels, The beat o’ my heart, I’ll always be following you ... Flare ROYCD 276 [70:49]
TEDDI KING ‘Round Midnight Extended album plus ‘Very Best Of The Singles’: 25 tracks including I concentrate on you, Little girl blue, It never entered my mind, What’s new, Prelude to a kiss, ‘round midnight, I saw stars, Love is a now and then thing /Are you slipping through my fingers, Mr Wonderful, There’s so much more, Married I can always get, Travelling down a lovely road, Say it isn’t so … Flare ROYCD 275 [77:05]
MORTON GOULD Star Dust Symphony Blues In The Night, Birth of the Blues, Solitude, Old Devil Moon, Nocturne, Limehouse Blues, Mood Indigo, St Louis Blues, Sophisticated Lady, Big City Blues, Moonglow, Deep Purple, The Surrey With The Fringe on Top, Besame Mucho, I Get a Kick Out of You, Speak Low, Body and Soul, What Is This Thing Called Love, My Silent Love, That Old Black Magic, Night and Day, The Very Thought of You, Poinciana, You And The Night And The Music, Summertime, Star Dust, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, Pavanne, Stormy Weather, Beyond the Blue Horizon, Cresta Blance Waltz, Where or When, Orchids in the Moonlight, Over The Rainbow, Time on my Hands, Holiday for Strings, I Love You, My Blue Heaven, Serenade in the Night, Mexican Hat Dance. 2 CDsJasmine JASCD 666 [148:17]
LEROY ANDERSON Blue Tango Bells of the Ball, Promenade, Syncopated Clock, Serenata, Saraband, Waltzing Cat, Trumpeter’s Lullaby, Jazz Pizzicato, Jazz Legato, Plink Plank Plunk, Horse and Buggy, Phantom Regiment, Blue Tango, China Doll, Penny-Whistle Song, Irish Washerwoman, Bluebells of Scotland, Song of the Bells, Fiddle-Faddle, Typewriter, Girl in Satin, Sandpaper Ballet, Buglers’ Holiday, Summer Skies, Sleigh Ride, Last Rose of Summer, Forgotten Dreams Bygone Days BYD 77025
ELMER BERNSTEIN Staccato / Paris Swings Original Capitol LPs from 1959 and 1960 DRGCD 19110 [64:51]
LES BAXTER & HIS ORCHESTRA Thinking Of You 2 CDs, 60 tracks including The poor people of Paris, Blue star, Zing zing – zoom, zoom, With my eyes wide open I’m dreaming, The Shrike, Tropicana, Ruby, Temptation / Unchained Melody, The nearness of you, The roving kind, Out of this world, The high and the mighty, The breeze and I, Shrimp boats, Blue Tango … Jasmine JASCD 672[159’48"]
JEFF CHANDLER You And I : Sings Songs Of Love U.S. Decca recordings 1953/4 and Liberty recordings 1957/8 DRGCD 19110 [64:51]
LOVE LETTERS FROM YVONNE DeCARLO / MAUREEN O’HARA SINGS ─ their debut albums from 1957 and 1958 Flare ROYCD 278 [72:24]
THE HOLLYWOOD LADIES SING - ELIZABETH SCOTT Lizabeth  / DENISE DARCEL Banned In Boston  Flare ROYCD 277 [64:06]
JOHNNY DOUGLAS AND HIS ORCHESTRA AND SINGERS "The Spirit of Christmas" CD1: White Christmas, Silver Bells, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas, Home For The Holidays, The Christmas Song, I’ll Be Home For Christmas, The Little Drummer Boy plus medleys of carols. CD2 Happy Holiday, Here’s To You, My Favourite Things, A Merry Christmas Song, Out Of The East, Do You Hear What I Hear plus medleys of carols. Dulcima DLCD 122 2CD set, [116:05 mins]. Johnny Douglas will need no introduction to readers of thisJournal Into Melody. Late in his career he set up his own label, Dulcima Records, and this has been continued by his family since we lost him in 2003. Every so often some of his music is made available again, and this latest collection (on two CDs) provides some enchanting melodies for the coming festive season. Over 50 years ago RCA producer Ethel Gabriel worked on the Melachrino Strings’ "Moods in Music" series and in the late 1950s developed the Living Strings as a package for RCA’s budget label, Camden, using various orchestras, mainly from Europe. The albums were all centred on a theme: the sea, the West, Broadway, night music. The recordings made by The Living Strings became a mainstay of easy-listening radio and commercial venues.
Johnny Douglas, widely recognised as one of England’s masters of string arranging, was the primary arranger and conductor for the series recorded in England. He brought great songs to a new life with his arrangements of a mass of pure velvety strings, mellow brass and superb solos played by the cream of the British musicians of that era. This release brings together three of the albums he recorded in the 1960s and 1970’s. The first CD is purely orchestra, while the second features some very tasteful choral arrangements with the orchestra. As the accompanying notes explain, a few of the titles are repeated, one even twice, but with different arrangements. To delete the repeats would render the original albums incomplete and deprive the listener of the opportunity to experience the versatile arranging by Johnny Douglas. Many of us like to hear something new to enjoy at Christmas, and this is a fine new collection to add to your music library. David Ades
FRED WARING AND THE PENNSYLVANIANS I Hear Music ‘In Hi-Fi’ I hear music; Dry bones; In the still of the night; Ol’ man river; Hit the road to dreamland; Smoke gets in your eyes; Give me your tired, your poor; A cigarette, sweet music and you; The Whiffenpoof Song [Baa baa baa]; Hora staccato; Lolly too dum dey; Sometimes I feel like a motherless child; You’ll never walk alone; Battle Hymn of the Republic; Sleep ‘All Through The Night’ Autumn leaves; If I had my way; The inch worm; Dear hearts and gentle people; Anywhere I wander; Tennessee Waltz; Greensleeves; Funiculi funicula; Drink to me only with thine eyes; The unconstant lover; Comin’ thro’ the rye; All through the night Flare ROYCD292 [79:25] Those who have been fans of Fred and his "Gang" for many years will, like me, be delighted to welcome this single CD of their first two stereo albums, recorded in late 1957 and early 1958. Well done, Flare! The spotlight is, of course, on the singers with their gorgeous close harmonies, deep basses and soaring sopranos, but there is no lack of felicitous support from the musicians. The programme is so varied that everyone will have their own favourite tracks: mine include the brilliant Bones, Irving Berlin’s Give me your tired, the wonderfully countrified Lolly, the magnificent Battle Hymn, the early hit Sleep, the eminently sing-along Dear hearts, and the traditional songs from the British Isles given the inimitable Waring treatment. Here is just under 80 minutes of real joy for around £8 [less online] and my choice for this issue’s Best Album. Peter Burt
FRANK CHACKSFIELD PLAYS LERNER AND LOWE & RODGERS AND HART My Fair Lady Suite; If ever I would leave you; Wand’rin’ star; Camelot March; Almost like being in love; I talk to the trees; Come to me, bend to me; Gigi Suite / Johnny One-Note; Isn’t it romantic, Ten cents a dance; Thou swell; My funny valentine; Lover; With a song in my heart; Bewitched; Falling in love with love; Where or when; The lady is a tramp; Mountain greenery Vocalion CDLK 4400 [71:40]. With their late-summer releases Vocalion has brought us a veritable Frankfest of quality light music. This 2-on-1 has albums dating from 1976 and 1975. Roland Shaw is the arranger on the first and manages to introduce Wagner’s Wedding March and Offenbach’s Can-Can into the two Suites! The late, great Kenny Baker’s trumpet is featured on If ever, a wonderful contra bassoon conjures up memories of Lee Marvin on Wand’rin’, and Joanne Brown sings a couple of the songs, as she does on the second album. There is no arranger credit given on the second album [no liner notes for either album] but a tad of tango rhythm is added to Ten cents and Thou swell responds well to a pizzicato string treatment. Frank’s stellar French hornist [could be Neil Sanders] pops up on other tracks throughout the disc, and I suspect it is Kenny Baker again on Bewitched and The lady. All round enjoyable.
THE NEW LIMELIGHT & CHACKSFIELD PLAYS BACHARACH Limelight; The man that got away; In the still of the night; Scarlet ribbons; Smile; Tonight; Theme from ‘Picnic’; Come rain or come shine; Night and day; Here I am; Warsaw Concerto / Raindrops keep fallin’; Alfie; I’ll never fall in love; This guy’s in love with you; Paper maché; Trains and boats and planes; [They long to be] Close to you; You’ll never get to heaven; The look of love; To wait for love; The green green grass starts to grow; Wives and lovers Vocalion CDLK 4380 [77:58]. The 1966 Stereo Record Guide opined that ‘The New Limelight’ LP was "the best of Chacksfield’s most recent discs" and described the sound as "brilliant and reasonably atmospheric." Apart from the opening and closing tracks the arrangements are by Roland Shaw ─ Scarlet Ribbons and Come rain stand out for me. There is a rather good performance of Richard Addinsell’s Concerto by an unnamed pianist. The ‘Plays Bacharach’ album is from five years later and well worth acquiring, even if it does not oust in my affections Ron Goodwin’s similar album [seven tracks in common] also on Vocalion but now sadly no longer available. John Keating’s arrangements are never less than interesting. There is just an occasional hint of a Kaempfert-style bass and some particularly nice piano on This guy’s in love. On the first album Here I am, of course, is another Bacharach composition. Again a complete lack of any liner notes; perhaps the original Decca sleeves did not have any.
FRANK CHACKSFIELD AND HIS ORCHESTRA Plays Simon & Garfunkel and Jim Webb / The Beatles’ Song Book Up, up and away; Homeward bound; By the time I get to Phoenix; Mrs Robinson; Galveston; Bridge over troubled water; Scarborough Fair; Wichita lineman; Cecilia; The sound of silence; MacArthur Park / Get back; Michelle; Got to get you into my life; Yesterday; Something; Hey Jude; A hard day’s night; Norwegian wood; Ticket to ride; The fool on the hill; Come together; Ob-la-di, ob-la-da Vocalion CDLK 4392 [70:25]. Your reviewer has cherished the second album here since it first appeared as a Phase 4 Stereo Spectacular LP, incredibly, nearly 40 years ago. It is far from typical Chacksfield but every track gives pleasure and should keep your feet tapping. The first album from a year later is also arranged by John Keating but for me did not have quite the same immediate impact. I hasten to add that my initial disappointment has dissipated somewhat with repeated hearings. The tunes are all good, well-played, and the arrangements are never dull. And, after all, the second album alone is worth the modest price of the CD! Once again no liner notes; what a pity Vocalion cannot find somebody to do for Chacksfield what Colin Mackenzie does for Mantovani. Peter Burt
BBC CONCERT ORCHESTRA Conducted by RUMON GAMBA The Film Music of Mischa Spoliansky Suite from ‘North West Frontier’, Three Songs from ‘Sanders of the River’ (Featuring Mark Coles, bass), Suite from ‘The Man Who Could Work Miracles’, Voice In The Night (from ‘Wanted for Murder’), Suite from ‘ The Ghost Goes West’, Dedication (from ‘Idol of Paris’ – featuring Roderick Elms, piano), Suite from ‘King Solomon’s Mines’ (with Mark Coles), Galop from ‘The Happiest Days Of Your Life’, Toccatina for solo organ (from ‘Saint Joan’). Chandos CHAN 10543 [73:03]. When I saw this CD among a list of future releases I was impatient for it to arrive. Finally when I got it in my hands I clicked on track 22 to hear the music from the 1950 film The Happiest Days Of Your Life. I first saw this film as a teenager, and I still get many laughs from it when it turns up on TV. Alastair Sim and Margaret Rutherford (both were absolutely brilliant in roles that could have been created just for them, although it had previously been a stage play) were supported by a superb cast of British character actors (Joyce Grenfell, Richard Wattis et al) and Mischa Spoliansky’s music was simply perfect for the plot. There wasn’t a lot of it in the film, and the middle part of Philip Lane’s finely reconstructed score isn’t familiar to me. Looking back through old copies of Radio Times (when they used to list the music played in many radio programmes) you occasionally come across the galop from ‘Happiest Days…’ so it must have been made available in sheet music form for orchestras to perform, probably with the extra middle section added to make it long enough (it lasts well under two minutes on screen). Why on earth didn’t someone like Sidney Torch make a commercial recording? We’ve waited a long time, but for me it’s been worth it. Two other tracks that quickly caught my attention are Voice In The Night and Dedication – both originally on Columbia 12" 78s with the latter featuring the composer on the piano (it has been reissued on Guild GLCD 5109). However the music from ‘Idol of Paris’ on this CD is a longer version, lasting over 7 minutes. Most of the other tracks are premiere recordings, and they demonstrate that Spoliansky fully deserves this long-overdue tribute. We are so fortunate that, in today’s cash-strapped world, somehow funds can still be found to make worthy recordings like this. The BBC Concert Orchestra (as usual these days) plays superbly, and Rumon Gamba clearly understands how film music of this kind should be treated. The 44 page booklet (with notes by Philip Lane) cannot be faulted. Chandos deserve our support, so add this one to your Christmas list. David Ades
DIE FLOTTEN GEISTER ORCHESTRA Spirit Of Vienna Vol.2 Imperial Riflemen March; The Hunt for Happiness [Gallop]; The Lady Skater’s Waltz; In Flight with Her [Quick polka]; Harvestehude Swallows Waltz; Common Sense [Quick polka]; Bucharest Life Waltz; Carmen Waltz; The Beautiful Viennese Girls [March-Polka]; Pretty Sweetheart [Polka mazurka]; Young Gentlemen’s Dance Waltz; Themes from The Dollar Princess Tonstudio 02332 [74:40]. The Johann Strauss Societies of Great Britain and the Czech Republic are dedicated to the promotion of Viennese music by the Strauss family and their contemporaries, and this release complements the first volume reviewed in JIM 173. The recordings here, all firsts, were made in the Czech Republic as recently as February of this year. The only tracks from a Strauss are The Lady, by Johann III, and In Flight, by his father Eduard, the third brother of Johann II and Josef. Other composers are Richard Eilenberg, Oscar Fetrás, C.M. Ziehrer, Iosef Ivanovici, Juventino Rosas, Carl Drescher, Karl Komzák II, Josef Gung’l and Leo Fall. Particularly interesting is the longest piece, Carmen Waltz, by Juventino Rosas, the Mexican composer of the well-known Over the waves [used for the song The loveliest night of the year] which often has been attributed to Johann I, "The Waltz King." The conductor throughout is Christian Pollack, who has made recordings for the Marco Polo and Naxos labels, and without whom many of these tunes may not have been recorded. This is an extremely pleasant album, all the better for being of unfamiliar items, well-played and produced with good programme notes by John Diamond. May we hope for a third volume in due course? Peter Burt
Available for £12.99 [incl. p&p in the U.K]. from Discovery Records Ltd, Banda Trading Estate, Nursteed Road, Devizes, Wilts. SN10 3DY.or www.discovery-records.com
MANTOVANI AND HIS ORCHESTRA To Lovers Everywhere / From Mantovani With Love The way you look tonight; Tea for two; September song; Whispering; Quando, quando, quando; All of a sudden; I will wait for you; Me and my shadow; I can’t stop loving you; Yellow bird; Winter world of love / Try to remember; It’s impossible; My prayer; If I only had time; Loss of love; Gwendolyne; Rosy’s Theme; Theme from Love Story; Little green apples; Last summer; Where have all the flowers one?; May each day Vocalion CDLK 4393 [71:24]
Mantovani Touch / Operetta Memories On a clear day; Alfie; Release me; A man and a woman; Almost there; What now my love; Edelweiss; A day in the life of a fool; My cup runneth over; Days of wine and rose; The impossible dream; Puppet on a string; / The Merry Widow Waltz; My hero; Play gipsies, dance gypsies; O maiden, my maiden; The Gypsy Princess Waltz; The Count of Luxembourg Waltz; Serenade from Frasquita; Gipsy Love Waltz; The Gypsy Baron Waltz; Die Fledermaus – Overture Vocalion CDLK 4396 [74:55]. Four more albums from the Decca archives by the master maestro reissued for our delectation and delight by Mike Dutton. The first 2-on-1 features albums that originally saw the light of day in 1971. The first album was also Monty’s first with Parisian musicians ─ for tax reasons he could no longer record in England ─ while the second was his last with all British personnel. Stand-out tracks for me include Monty’s own poignant composition Last summer, and May each day, his last UK recording. On the second 2-on-1 the first album dates from c.1968 [Puppet from ‘67], the second was recorded during December 1959 and January 1960.‘Touch’ is an attractive collection of a dozen contemporary tunes. I especially enjoyed Alfie, featuringthe violin of David McCallum [father of the actor] who was Monty’s leader for a decade, the Bolero-like What now my love, and the lovely My cup runneth over. The titles on ‘Operetta Memories’ are meat and drink to Monty and I can only concur with Scott Raeburn who writes online that it is "one of the really great Mantovani albums and no fan should be without this in their collection." Peter Burt
BILL SAVILL AND HIS ORCHESTRA In a Dancing Mood / We Could Have Danced All Night(Quicksteps) So in love, Do I love You, June is bustin' out all over, Always true to you in my fashion, You'd be so nice to come home to, (Waltz) I give my heart, Glamorous Night, (Foxtrot) Lovely to look at, The folks who live on the hill, (Quicksteps) Love walked in, Shall we dance, Let's call the whole thing off, Long ago and far away, Can I forget you, How high the moon, I've got you under my skin, This is my lovely day, Most gentlemen don't like love, The last time I saw Paris, I love Paris, C'est magnifique, (Tango) No other love, (Rumba) Wish you were here, (Samba) Carioca, (Foxtrot)September Song, Bewitched, (Quicksteps) Dance little lady, A room with a view, Pick yourself up, Easy to love, All of you, I could write a book, I'm gonna wash that man right out of my hair, There's nothin' like a dame, Happy talk, A cock-eyed optimist, Bloody Mary, Honey bun, (Waltz) This nearly was mine, When I'm not near the girl I love, (Foxtrot) Smoke gets in your eyes, My funny Valentine, I didn't know what time it was, (Quicksteps) You were never lovelier, They all laughed, We'll gather lilacs, I'm gonna sit right down and write myself a letter, From this moment on, I could have danced all night, I've grown accustomed to her face, Get me to the church on time, With a little bit of luck, On the street where you live, (Cha-cha) Ol' man river, I can't get started, The man I love, (Samba)The Mayfair Samba, (Quicksteps) All the things you are, A foggy day, Nice work if you can get it, My heart belongs to Daddy, Sing for your supper, It's alright with me. Vocalion CDLK 4397 [77:16]. It has been a long wait, but at last Bill Savill and his Orchestra have made it to CD. For the benefit of younger readers, Bill Savill was a society ballroom orchestra leader, who was regularly heard on radio for well over twenty years. His 308 'Music While You Work' programmes made his orchestra the fourth most broadcast combination on the show. If you are one of those people who find strict tempo ballroom music a bit monotonous, do not despair, as the Bill Savill orchestra is as perfect for listening as it is for dancing. Most dance bands of the fifties and sixties were comprised of brass, saxes and rhythm but the Savill sound featured a string section instead of brass, giving a distinctive quality. Bill once told me that this was at the suggestion of Eric Rogers, his pianist in the early days of the orchestra. He also told me that whilst his broadcasting orchestra consisted of 14 musicians, it was augmented to 19 for his series of LP records for Decca ─ the additions being in the string section plus one discreetly used (mainly) muted trumpet. The beautiful mellow saxophone section (for which Bill Savill was noted) is particularly enjoyable, particularly when there is a Glenn Miller style clarinet lead. My only regret about these recordings was that for two of the Latin numbers, a brass section replaces the strings [probably some stupid idea of Decca!] The CD comprises two of Bill Savill's four LPs and is an absolute delight. I well remember my excitement when, as a teenager, I came across Bill's first LP 'Shall We Dance?' in my local record shop. Having been a fan of the orchestra for several years, I wasted no time in getting it. The music on this CD (much of it in medley form) relies heavily on such masters of popular music as Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Richard Rodgers and George Gershwin. If you are a 'Strictly Come Dancing' fan it might come as a surprise that the pieces are actually in the correct tempos used by dancers for decades. The one rumba is actually a rumba and not a pop ballad and the waltzes are in the traditional three-four time! Vocalion are to be congratulated on releasing these two albums on CD. Perhaps it is a prelude to their reissuing the many albums of Phil Tate and Tommy Kinsman, two other popular broadcasting orchestras of the period. I highly recommend this CD to all who enjoy well-arranged and well-performed quality dance music. This is possibly the best CD of its kind ever produced. Hopefully, you will love Bill Savill's orchestra as much as I do! Brian Reynolds
GOLDEN AGE OF LIGHT MUSIC The 1930s Revisited For full track listing see the Light Music CDs pages in this website.. Guild GLCD 5163 [78:54]. When I saw the title of this CD I thought: "Great, just up my street!" ─ and so it came to pass because the very first track is Eric Coates’s Miniature Overture The Merrymakers, recorded on my birthday, November 3rd 1931, with the composer conducting the London Symphony Orchestra. It was used as the title and incidental music for one of Austin Motor Company’s many promotional films, ‘Here’s to Comfort’, made in 1936. Then comes theFancy Dress Suite by Cecil Armstrong Gibbs. Usually it’s only the movement Dusk that gets played but the Regent Concert Orchestra conducted by William Hodgson include two more movements, Hurly Burly and Pageantry ─ all from the Boosey & Hawkes Library. Two very contrasting pieces follow:Entrance of the little fauns by Gabriel Pierné played by Jack Payne’s BBC Dance Orchestra, and Jerome Kern’s Smoke gets in your eyes arranged by Peter Yorke and played by Louis Levy’s Orchestra. Jerome Kern turns up again on track seven with a selection from ‘Music In The Air’, played by the New Mayfair Orchestra, conducted by Ray Noble, which positively exudes 1930’s atmosphere; then there is a vigorous march by Charles Ancliffe, The Liberators, with the London Palladium Orchestra in fine fettle conducted by Jack Frere. Although probably better known for his waltzes, Ancliffe has a number of "mood" pieces in the Bosworth Library as well as another cracking piece on the FDH Label called The Kinsgmen March. David, please note! Marek Weber had a super light orchestra with a "sound" all its own and, although it isn’t so apparent on Forest Idyll, it’s a smashing piece all the same. John Ansell’s nautical Windjammer Overture is played by the Regent Concert Orchestra, William Hodgson conducting, from the Boosey & Hawkes Library, but it’s slightly shorter than their disc of the 1940’s. It was used to good effect in a colour documentary made by the Southern Region Film Unit called ‘Golden Arrow’, produced about 1947. John, apart from working in the theatre, also wrote for feature films, including one I have on tape and disc called ‘Song of the Road’, made in 1937. I don’t know who W.C. Polla was but he/she [?] wrote a very catchy piece called Dancing Tambourine, and Jack Hylton and his Orchestra recorded it for HMV in 1927 ─ but you wouldn’t know it, thanks to Alan Bunting’s magical restoration. What a pity Hylton and his boys aren’t around to hear their recordings today, and that goes for all the musicians featured on this Guild series. The Commodore Grand Orchestra was reckoned to be one of the finest light orchestra of its time and it had two conductors, Joseph Muscant and, later on, Harry Davidson. Here, the former is wielding the baton on Henry Steele’s Knave Of Diamonds with Louis Mordish at the piano. It can also be found in the Bosworth’s Library early recordings played by the Pall Mall Revellers. Cupid’s Parade, a Fantasy by somebody called Rivelli, played by The Little Salon Orchestra has a distinct continental sound to it. In fact, The LSO sounds just like Marek Weber’s Orchestra. The Orchestra Mascotte make a super job of Joseph Lanner Court Ball Dances, as does the Drury Lane Theatre Orchestra with a selection of Ivor Novello’s music to ’Glamorous Night’, arranged and conducted by Charles Prentice. A number from the Bosworth Library is the penultimate item: Carl Robrecht’s Fata Morgana played by the Louis Voss Grand Orchestra. Robrecht is better known for his symphonic foxtrot Samum. But it is another Foxtrot, which is the Finale to Edward Künneke’s ‘Dance Suite’, plays out this revisitation of the tuneful ‘30s in grand style ─ although you wouldn’t expect any less from the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra with the composer on the podium. Ken Wilkins
THE THIRD MAN and Other Classic Film Themes: Original recordings 1949-1958 featuringAnton Karas, Mantovani, Larry Adler, Anton Walbrook, Narciso Yepes, Percy Faith, David Rose and others ‘The Third Man’: The Harry Lime Theme; The Café Mozart Waltz; ‘The Lives of Harry Lime’: Radio bridge 1-3; The Third Man Theme; ‘Passport to Pimlico’: The Siege of Burgundy;‘La Ronde’: La ronde de l’amour; ‘The Romantic Age’: Jealous Lover; ‘Whisky Galore’: Prelude; ‘The Glass Mountain’: The Legend of the Glass Mountain; ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’: Can-Can Finale; ‘Jeux Interdits’: Jeux Interdits, Parts 1 & 2; ‘Anna’: Anna [El negro zumbon]; Non dimenticar;‘Genevieve’: Themes; Love Theme and Blues; ‘The Kidnappers’: Nova Scotia Rhapsody; ‘La Strada’: Gelsomina [You and you alone]; ‘Touchez Pas Au Grisbi’: The Touch [Le Grisbi]; ‘Summertime’: Summertime in Venice; ‘French Can-Can’: Merry-Go-Round [Complainte de la butte] Naxos 8.120880 [57:42]. Definitely this issue’s Budget Choice. Taken from 78s or soundtracks, this is pure nostalgia all the way. Other participants are conductors Charles Williams and Benjamin Frankel conducting their own compositions, Ernest Irving and Muir Mathieson. The catchy Anna has Flo Sandons dubbing the voice of the star, Silvana Mangano. Unfortunately we don’t get "the" Genevievetheme. Transfers and production are by David Lennick, with digital restoration by Alan Bunting. There are full recording details, and David Ades wrote the knowledgeable booklet notes. For example, he reminds us that Bruce Montgomery, who wrote The Kidnappers score, was later involved in the ‘Doctor’ and ‘Carry On’ series. But did you know that he also wrote successful detective novels and other works under the name of Edmund Crispin? Peter Burt
THE HEART’S AWAKENING Songs & Piano Solos by Albert Ketèlby Peter Dempsey [tenor], Guy Rowland [piano] Songs: The country that I love; Believe me true; The knight’s return; Aberfoyle; Sweetheart mine & The morning was bright [from comic opera ‘The Wonder Worker’]; Blow, blow thou winter wind; Thy throne; Lady of dreams; Sing heighho!; Young and old; The heart’s awakening; My heart a-dream; Those bells so softly pealing; Keep your toys, laddie boy!; In a monastery garden; I dream of all the worlds; Kilmoren; Piano solos: Alice; The Phantom Melody; Bells across the meadows; With the Roumanian Gypsies AWK 1. Eric Coates, Haydn Wood and Wilfred Sanderson, to go no further, brought the Edwardian ballad to considerable height. To them we should add Albert Ketèlby, more usually remembered, like Coates and Wood for other forms of light music, who gets fine advocacy from Peter Dempsey, following his similar CDs of Coates and Wood songs. These songs, which mainly set lyrics by Florence Hoare, Charles Kingsley, Shakespeare [whose Blow blow is stormy if not over subtle] and Ketèlby himself, range from 1896 to 1952 [only two in fact post 1918]. Mr Dempsey sings them in roughly chronological order, so we can trace Kètelby’s development. All show him as a fine tunesmith. I like particularly the passionate title song, the lilt of Aberfoyle, the insistent polka rhythm of Sing heigho!, the carillon-ish accompaniment ofThose bells and the heartrending nostalgia for childhood of Keep your toys. Yearning feelings indeed run through the disc. Guy Rowland is again a positive accompanist and contributes four solos:Phantom Melody was AWK’s earliest hit, Bells across the meadows sounds as atmospheric on piano as orchestra, the Roumanian Gypsies cavort brilliantly and Alice  is a charming find. All tracks, bar perhaps four, are world premiere recordings at least in this form. The informative booklet does not reproduce the words but Mr Dempsey’s admirable diction makes it unnecessary. Strongly recommended. Philip Scowcroft
Available at £9.95, inc. p&p, from Mr P Dempsey at 44 Victoria Road, Bedford B50 4AR [Demsini @ aol.com]
GINO BORDIN Virtuose de la Guitare Hawaiienne The blue bird, Crépuscule Hawaien, Manuska, Hawai nous appelle, Sérénade bleue, Retour de Hawai, J’écoute la guitare, En écoutant l’ukulélé, Addio signora!, Hawaiian berceuse, Je n’ai plus personne, Reflet viennois, Viens dans ce joli pavillon, Hé hop la hé, C’est une valse qui chante, Waikiki en fete, One kiss, La destine du marin, Le jeune pecheur, L’ile aux reves d’or, Chant d’amour de Tahiti, Ay, ay, ay, De tout mon coeur, Dans la nuit, Avant de mourir Grass Skirt Records GSK 1003 [72:15]. Previous GSK reissues featured Sam Ku West (GSK 1001) and Sol Hoopi (GSK 1002), both of which were produced to a very high standard. The same care has been taken with these 25 mainly 1930s recordings by this French exponent of the Hawaiian steel guitar. Instrumentation is varied, and includes violin, zither, accordion, xylophone, and even musical saw on one track, and some feature French singers. Superbly remastered by Ted Kendall, the CD sports a reproduction Salabert label, and comes in a gatefold sleeve which also houses a 44-page booklet, half in French with an English translation and illustrated throughout. Barry McCanna
Full details at www.GrassSkirt.co.uk or from Grass Skirt Records, PO Box 371, Hyde, SK14 9AB, UK.
AL BOWLLY The Complete Maurice Winnick & Sidney Lipton Sessions Topical Tunes Part 1 - In The Mountains of the Pine/What A Fool I’ve Been*/Twilight Waltz; Springtime Reminds Me Of You; The Waltz You Saved For Me; Topical Tunes Part 2 – Life/Pardon Me, Pretty Baby*/Shake And Let Us Be Friends; Bei Mir Bist Schoen; There’s A Gold-Mine In The Sky; Kiss Me Goodnight; Rosalie; In The Still Of The Night; Once In A While; When The Organ Played "Oh, Promise Me"; Somebody’s Thinking Of You Tonight; My Heaven On Earth; Chatterbox; When You Wish Upon A Star; Turn On The Old Music Box; Who’s Taking You Home Tonight?; Arm In Arm; There’s A Boy Coming Home On Leave; My Capri Serenade; The Lonesome Trail Ain’t Lonesome Any More; It’s A Long, Long Way To Your Heart; Souvenir Of Love; Trusting My Luck Memory Lane MLCD 002 [68:37]. Al recorded a total of 20 sides with Maurice Winnick, and four with Sydney Lipton. One could be forgiven for wishing those statistics were reversed, because around the mid-thirties Winnick hitched his wagon to Guy Lombardo’s star. The result was a sort of musical kitsch, which has not worn well, whereas Sydney Lipton’s music was as elegant as the man himself. The compilation falls naturally into five segments. There’s the mid-1931 session with Winnick, that is two waltzes topped and tailed by the Topical Tunes set, of which Al sings the second tune in both cases. The best of the three tunes from the late December 1937 session is Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen, and the quality of the next three songs also rises above the instrumental schmaltz. For me the nadir was reached in the mid-1938 session, when the sound of the orchestra seems to have become homogenized into a sort of musical broth. The problem is compounded by the overly sentimental nature of some of the songs, which sound as though they originated in a Victorian drawing room. Having said that, the vocal is another matter; Al’s innate sincerity transcended the material, and the end result is better than might be expected. For me, Chatterbox is Al’s best Winnick recording, which demonstrates his mastery of phrasing, and the trumpet section’s triple-tonguing skill deserves a mention also. Of course, all three songs from that session came from the Walt Disney cartoon ‘Pinocchio’, and the accompaniment is suitably animated. The final Winnick session produced four more good tunes, one of which is a reminder that this was now wartime. The four tracks with Sydney Lipton which conclude this compilation revert back to the beginning of 1938. The first is a cowboy song, a tongue-in-cheek lament for the vanished world of the Wild West, and includes a most musical yodel. That’s followed by three ballads, the last two from the film ‘Sailing Along’ which starred Jessie Matthews and Jack Whiting. A fair number of these tunes were reissued piecemeal on vinyl, but a complete release on CD was long overdue, and despite it being something of a curate’s egg the balance is firmly in its favour. The original Decca recordings present something of a challenge in their remastering, but Dave Cooper has achieved as good as we’re likely to get, and Ray Pallett’s liner note completes the package. You should have ordered your copy already, but if not don’t miss out. Barry McCanna
The CD is priced at £5.99 inc. p&p to a UK address, or £7.99 inc. air mail p&p to overseas (inc. Eire). Sterling cheques should be made payable to Memory Lane, and sent to Memory Lane, PO Box 1939, Leigh-on-Sea, SS9 3UH, England. Alternatively, log on to www.memorylane.org.uk where you can order using PayPal.
Please note that the following CD is not scheduled for release until the end of January
THE GOLDEN AGE OF LIGHT MUSIC A Trip To The Library Guild GLCD 5164
1 The Merrymakers – Miniature Overture (Eric Coates)
LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Conducted by ERIC COATES
Fancy Dress – Suite (Cecil Armstrong Gibbs)
2 Hurly Burly
REGENT CONCERT ORCHESTRA Conducted by WILLIAM HODGSON
5 Entrance Of The Little Fauns (from the ballet "Cydalise et la chèvre-pied") (Henri Constant Gabriel Pierné, arr. Mouton)
JACK PAYNE AND HIS BBC DANCE ORCHESTRA
6 Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (Jerome Kern, arr. Peter Yorke)
LOUIS LEVY AND HIS ORCHESTRA
7 "Music In The Air" – Selection (Jerome Kern) There’s A Hill Beyond A Hill, I’ve Told Ev’ry Little Star, When The Spring Is In The Air, The Song Is You, I’m So Eager, In Egern On The Tegern See, We Belong Together, One More Dance.
NEW MAYFAIR ORCHESTRA Conducted by RAY NOBLE
8 The Liberators – March (Charles W. Ancliffe)
LONDON PALLADIUM ORCHESTRA Conducted by JACK FRERE
9 Hearts And Flowers (Theodore Moses Tobani, arr. Willoughby)
J.H. SQUIRE CELESTE OCTET
10 Forest Idyll (Esslinger)
MAREK WEBER AND HIS ORCHESTRA
11 Windjammer Overture (John Ansell)
REGENT CONCERT ORCHESTRA Conducted by WILLIAM HODGSON
12 Dancing Tambourine (W. C. Polla)
JACK HYLTON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
13 Swamp Fire (Harold (Hal) Mooney)
ANDRE KOSTELANETZ AND HIS ORCHESTRA
14 Escapada (Sid Phillips)
AMBROSE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
15 Knave Of Diamonds (Henry Steele)
COMMODORE GRAND ORCHESTRA Conducted by JOSEPH MUSCANT Piano : LOUIS MORDISH
16 Irving Berlin Waltz Medley (Irving Berlin) All Alone; Always; What’ll I Do?
COVENTRY HIPPODROME ORCHESTRA Conducted by CHARLES SHADWELL
17 Cupid’s Parade – Fantasy (Rivelli)
THE LITTLE SALON ORCHESTRA
18 Court Ball Dances (Hofballtanze) (Jos Lanner)
19 "Glamorous Night" – Selection (Ivor Novello, arr. Charles Prentice) Her Majesty Militza, Shine Through My Dreams, Fold Your Wings, When The Gipsy, Far Away In Shanty Town, Glamorous Night, Royal Wedding.
DRURY LANE THEATRE ORCHESTRA Conducted by CHARLES PRENTICE
20 Fata Morgana (Carl Robrecht)
LOUIS VOSS GRAND ORCHESTRA
21 Finale – Foxtrot (from "Dance Suite") (Eduard Künneke)
BERLIN PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA Conducted by EDUARD KÜNNEKE
GOGI GRANT Mad About the Boy 22 tracks incl. Welcome to my heart; The more I see you; Paradise; Love walked in; So do I; They didn’t believe me; But beautiful; Love letters; With all my heart; If I should lose you; At last! At last!; How deep in the ocean; Bewitched; Mad about the boy …Flare ROYCD296 [78:26]. " …an unforgettable voice, singing songs that will last for ever." The opinion of liner note writer Colin Villani ─ and I would not disagree with that. These are songs "of love and loss and longing" from two albums: ‘Torch Time’ and ‘Welcome to My Heart’ [both from 1958]. The first 12 tracks listed above are from the latter and have the added interest for RFS members of being arranged and conducted by Dennis Farnon. The accompaniment for Love lettersalone is almost worth the price of the disc. Henri René conducts on the remaining tracks. For readers who may not have come across Miss Grant before: she had hits in the ‘50s notably the Top 10Suddenly there’s a valley and No.1 The wayward wind, and then dubbed Ann Blyth’s singing voice in the film biography of Helen Morgan, the famous 1920s torch singer. More, please! Peter Burt
ANNETTE HANSHAW I’ve Got A Feeling I’m Falling When I am housekeeping for you; Fit as a fiddle; I’m following you; I’ve got it bad but it don’t do me no good; My future’s just passed; I want a good man [and I want him bad]; I hate myself for falling in love with you; You’re the one I care for; You’re just too sweet for words honey of mine; I cover the waterfront; Just another day wasted away; Are you happy; Is there anything wrong in that; My sin; If you see Sally; Black bottom; I’ve got a feeling I’m falling; Daddy wont you please come home; What wouldn’t I do for that man; If I can’t have you Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY781 [60:25]. I reviewed Annette’s previous album in the last issue; much of that review could be repeated for this outing. Once again many well known musicians are present. In the twenties Annette was America’s Queen of Song, and as well as singing she could play ukulele and piano. An example of her keyboard playing is heard on Are you happy; competent but little different from the other pianists in her various groups. Her quaint but infectious singing [sometime speaking] does intrigue and reminds me of happy days playing my Dad’s 78s.Paul Clatworthy
VINCE MENDOZA and THE METROPOLE ORCHESTRA El Viento – The Garcia Lorca Project 12 tracks incl. La Cancio’n del Mariquita; Historietas del Viento [in three parts]; La Tarara, De Los Cuatros Muleros, Angeles Negros … ACT 9490-2 [70:45]. As the Metropole was involved I just had to have this! Opera fans will probably revel in it but I did not know the language and I found the impassioned singing of the soloists intruded on the beauty of the orchestral settings. I will console myself with the breaks in the vocals where the orchestra as usual excels. Paul Clatworthy
THE GLENN MILLER SINGERS Re-unions 1948, 1954, 1959 Tex Beneke, Marion Hutton, Ray Eberle, Johnny Desmond, Dorothy Carless, The Modernaires with Paul Kelly He sez, she sez; So far; It could happen to you; You don’t have to know the language; Brooklyn Love Song; Golden earrings; Sure thing, St Louis Blues March; I’ll be seeing you; Surprise Symphony; Begin the beguine; Memories of you; Because, Blue champagne; Moonlight serenade; A nightingale sang in Berkeley Square; Sweet Eloise; [I’ve got a girl in] Kalamazoo; Wham [Re-Bop-Boom-Bam]; Don’t sit under the apple tree; Serenade in blue; Elmer’s Tune; Booglie wooglie piggy; Chatanooga choo choo; Perfidia Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY 783 [76:15]. Good quality transcription recordings complete with announcements. Some of the tunes are not sung so I almost included this review in Big Band Roundup. Tracks with strings I enjoyed most were It could happen, Golden and Sure; the arranger on the last, Gerry Gray. Other arrangers credited: Norman Leydon, Bill Finegan, Ray Mackinley, Perry Burgett, Ray Wright, Eddie Durham and Billy May. Paul Clatworthy
CLIFF RICHARD & THE SHADOWS Reunited 22 tracks incl. I could easily fall [in love with you]; The young ones; Living doll, Bachelor boy; Travellin’ light; In the country; Willie and the hand jive; Summer holiday, Do you wanna dance? …. EMI 9996878832L [61:07]. Here’s another one for the festive season ─ and sheer nostalgia all the way. The principal participants sound as good as they did when first recording these tracks up to 50 years ago. For good measure there are three tracks newly minted: C’mon everybody, Sea cruise and Singing the blues. As well as the named artists you get violins, cellos, saxophones and an accordion for your tenner. Interesting to read that Cliff’s vocals were recorded in Miami and Hank Marvin’s guitars and vocals in Perth, Western Australia. Peter Burt
DINAH SHORE Moments Like These 26 tracks incl. Deep purple; When the world was young; Moments like these; I’ll remember April; These foolish things; I fall in love too easily; Until; West of the mountains; Pretty mandolin; Tempting; The Stowaway; I could have danced all night …. Flare ROYCD283 [73:03]. Miss Shore started studying sociology but became in the early ’40s the leading American female singer on records and radio, having her first million-seller with Blues in the night. On this CD we hear her last album made for RCA Victor in 1958 ─ a dozen ballads largely about love, or the loss of it. Then we have 14 singles recorded during the final years of her long association with her record company, the very last being the amusing tango The scene of the crime that brings this desirable disc to its close. There are some attractive photographs of the star in the accompanying booklet and comprehensive tracks listings with full notes by Colin Villani. Most of the songs are conducted by Harry Zimmerman, although Vic Shoen, Harry Geller, Henri René and Hugo Winterhalter ─ a rather attractive The Whistling Tree, where Dinah duets with herself ─ as well as The Peter King Singers, The Skylarks and The Notables also play their part.
Dinah! The One and Only Dinah Shore ‘This Is The Moment’ Tall hope; Tenderly; These foolish things; Three o’clock in the morning; I could have danced all night; Smoke gets in your eyes; I cover the waterfront; Begin the beguine; It never entered my mind; I’ve got you under my skin … & 12 others ‘Dinah!’ Blues medley: St Louis blue, I got a man, Shake rattle and roll, Let the good times roll, Boogie blues, Blues in the night, Dinella Blues; Wrap your troubles in dreams; Hello young lovers, After you’ve gone; Please don’t talk about me … & 7 other tracks Flare SPEC1037 [65:45 & 43:22]. I make a passing reference to ‘The Dinah Shore Chevy Show’ in Back Tracks on page 68 without it probably meaning very much to our UK readers. It was a live, full-colour variety hour that ran on NBC in the States for 125 performances from 1956 until 1963. On the first of this 2-CD set there are 22 tracks taken from some of those Emmy Award-winning appearances mostly with conductor Fred Zimmerman in attendance. Frank DeVol is the conductor for the second album which is taken from Miss Shore’s "unforgettable" one-woman show recorded in Los Angeles on 14th October 1962. Credit, too, to Dinah’s pianist Ticker Freeman. Her Spiritual Medley [Some times I feel like a motherless child; Joshua; All God’s chillun and Ezekiel] forms a fine finish to a disc of delights. Another admirable all-round production from Flare, not least the 10-page booklet. Peter Burt
THE MAGIC OF THE HOLLYWOOD TENORS Mario Lanza, Felix Knight, Dennis Day, Dennis Morgan, Jan Peerce, Kenny Baker, Allan Jones and more... 24 tracks incl. The Rose of Tralee; The Donkey Serenade, In the still of the night; The moon of Manakoora, Love walked in, The moon and I, Two dreams met, Wait and see, The Desert Song, My wild Irish rose; Hush-a-bye [Wee rose of Killarney]; Ma belle Marguerite; I’ll build a stairway to paradise; Amapola; California moon…. Flare ROYCD289 [77:38]. A very well-filled album of the familiar and not-so-familiar, some even forgotten, spanning the years 1930 [the first track sung by John McCormack] to 1958 [Jan Peerce’sOn the street where you live]. Tony Middleton’s liner notes are most informative, like why tenor Oreste Kirkop, starring opposite Kathryn Grayson in the 1956 Paramount musical ‘The Vagabond King’, had to have his speaking voice dubbed! The track listings helpfully give credit to the accompaniments by orchestras and chorus including those of Ray Sinatra, Lennie Hayton, Michael Collins, Johnny Green, Henri Rene, and George Stoll, who conducts for Mario Lanza on Serenade andBeloved from the soundtrack of ‘Student Prince.’ Devotees of the genre need not delay in adding this CD to their collection. Ray Pavene
JUST WE TWO The Stars Sing Duets From The Musicals Jane Powell & Vic Damone, Bing Crosby & Ann Blyth, Judy Garland & Margaret O’Brien, Robert Merrill & Dinah Shore, Ethel Merman & Joan Carroll, Fred & Adele Astaire ... many more 24 tracks incl. Let’s be buddies; Two dreams met; Under the bamboo tree; My one and only Highland fling; Oh, ‘tis sweet to think; Darn it baby, that’s love; Just we two; I have dreamed; Still water, You belong to my heart; Deep in my heart, dear; One boy sends you a rose; Is it you?; I talk to the trees; I adore you ….Flare ROYCD291 [76:04]. Another even more fascinating collection of tracks, this one spanning the years 1931 [Hoops from ‘The Band Wagon’ with the Astaires] to 1958 [Indian love call from ‘Rose-Marie’with Julie Andrews and Giorgio Tozzi]. Always worth hearing is Irving Berlin’s great standard Easter Parade from ‘Thousands Cheer’, and never more so than in the version here by Paul Whiteman, his orchestra and singers Joan Edwards and Clark Dennis. Other favourites among many on this CD are the classic You’re just in love from ‘Call Me Madam’ sung by Russell Nype and Dinah Shore, andMake believe from ‘Showboat’, which Victor Lewis describes in his full liner notes as "one of the most famous duets to emerge from the world of the musical." It is sung here by Howard Keel and Kathryn Grayson. Our dear late Edmund Hockridge is joined by Joy Nichols, of BBC’s radio’s ‘Take It From Here’ fame, for a wonderful version of There once was a man from ‘The Pajama Game’ enhanced by the musical direction of Robert Lowe. Again, there are full track listings. I had forgotten that Andre Previn was the MD for Maurice Chevalier and Hermoine Gingold on I remember it well from ‘Gigi.’Ray Pavene
DANIEL SMITH "Blue Bassoon" The Jody Grind, Billie’s Bounce, Things Ain’t What They Used To Be, Scotch And Water, My Baby’s Gone, Sack Of Woe, Nostalgia In Times Square, Wquinox, The Double Up, From Four Till Late, Break Out The Blues, Footprints, Solid Summit Records DCD 530[47:55]. I do not pretend to be an expert on the bassoon, let alone one that performs jazz. Ten years ago I would have expressed surprise if anyone had suggested that I would enjoy a concert featuring jazz music with the bassoon as the central instrument. Yet on 13 September in Malvern I did just that, when Daniel Smith gave a sensational premiere performance of Robert Farnon’sBassoon Concerto. Understandably the audience wanted more, and Daniel treated us to three numbers from this new CD. Some of the concertgoers that evening may not have fully appreciated how fortunate they were to be in the presence of an instrumentalist who has received heaps of praise from critics who know what they are writing about. As Michael J. West says in the booklet notes: "just as Daniel’s bassoon defies conventions of jazz and blues instrumentation, his playing of it challenges typical notions of jazz and blues phrasing. Along with the rich and reedy bass timbre that is his instrument’s stock in trade, Blue Bassoon is chock-a-block with Smith’s clipped staccato melodic statements, surprise glissandi, risky and virtuosic note bends, double-quick pacing, and rhythms that challenge the orthodoxy of swing". On this CD Daniel is supported by Martin Bejerano, piano; Edward Perez, bass; Ludwig Afonso, drums; and Larry Campbell, guitar. The strength of jazz is that it is a continually developing art form. Music lovers sometimes prefer certain periods of its evolution, and there is no doubt that today’s performers will one day be overtaken by new ideas and sounds as fresh generations find it impossible to resist its challenging appeal. Daniel Smith must surely be proud of his unique and invaluable contribution to the wonderful world of jazz, and it seems that each new release from him takes us further along the long road of discovery. Maybe one day he will return again to classical music to express his love for the bassoon. Whatever he does you can be sure that it is inspired by a passion that makes him such an exciting performer. David Ades
HERB ELLIS & CHARLIE BYRD TRIO The Navy Swings 15 tracks incl. One note Samba; Lady be good; Carolina in the morning; Chung king; St Louis blues; Someone to light up my life; Danco No.5; Limehouse Blues … Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY 787 [60:18]
COUNT BASIE AND JOE WILLIAMS Let’s Go To Town 15 tracks incl. It’s a wonderful world; Three eighteen; Keep your hand on your heart; Moten swing; One o’clock jump; Shake rattle and roll; In a mellow tone … Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY 786 [61:37"]
PEGGY KING and ANDRÉ PREVIN TRIO The Navy Swings 16 tracks incl. I could have danced all night; More than you know; Stars fell on Alabama; I’m beginning to see the light; Mad about the boy; I remember you; Zip … Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY 784 [61:01]
GEORGE SHEARING QUINTET The Navy Swings 14 tracks incl. Polka dots and moonbeams; For every man there is a woman; Nothing ever changes my love for you; You’re my girl; Night mist, Imagination … Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY 795 [61:07]
These four CDs have one thing in common: they were all made to recruit soldiers and sailors to the US Forces; each consists of four programmes complete with announcements. The music and recordings are excellent. Herb and Charlie, both consummate artists, ease through all their songs providing a relaxed mood only interrupted by the commercials. Sound is studio quality. The Basie set offers more contrast, well-known big band favourites augmented with eight vocals for Joe. The Basie penned instrumental, Three eighteen, a real treat for the ears. I never tire of listening to Neal Hefti’sLil Darlin’ or Whirly bird. The recording is live complete with cheering audience. The Previn trio has Red Mitchell on bass, Frankie Capp on Drums; they include two songs from ‘My Fair Lady Swings’which was high in the charts at the time although under Shelly Manne’s name. Peggy really hits the spot with her versions of I remember you and Happiness is just a thing called Joe. Peggy and the group are a happy match. This is also studio quality. George’s Shearing’s selection also has the benefit of studio sound, the tunes chosen could hardly have been better. Along with Toots Thielman on harmonica, Emil Richards vibes, Al Mckibbon bass, Percy Brice drums and Amando Peraza bongos, they breeze through the songs smoothly. Several other jazz names are mentioned during the announcements, so I expect more dates will be issued. These fifties recordings are available from The Woods (contact details in my ‘Big Band Roundup’ column), Amazon, HMV and most dealers.Paul Clatworthy
NICOLA BENEDETTI Fantasie Sarasate: Zigeunerweisen; Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending; Saint-Saëns: Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso; Massenet: Meditation from Thais; Ravel: Tzigane; Pärt: Spiegel im Spiegel; Rachmaninov: Vocalise; Fauré: Après une Rêve Deutsche Grammophon 476 3399 [68:54] Although on a famous classical label, I hope that JIM readers will not overlook this release especially with Christmas just around the corner. There are some gorgeous melodies here, and three of the tracks are gypsy inspired including the showpiece opening track. This and two other of the five orchestral accompaniments are by the excellent Vasily Petrenko conducted Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. For me the CD is worth acquiring to discover the mesmeric Spiegelby the modern Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. Miss Benedetti and her violin are accompanied on the last three items by the Ukranian pianist Alexei Grynyuk. Beautiful playing throughout. Peter Burt
NIGEL OGDEN Plays Hammond The Carioca, April In Paris, The Continental, A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square, One Morning In May, Portrait Of A Flirt (Robert Farnon), Desafinado, Remembering The Hammond Organists – Robin Richmond & Jerry Allan, Fly Me To The Moon, You Made Me Love you, etc… Grasmere GRCD 131 [76:01]. The Hammond Organ was invented by Laurens Hammond in 1934, and it certainly created a sensation at the time. For decades afterwards it was the instrument of choice for organists specialising in popular music, and when you listen to Nigel Ogden’s latest CD it is not difficult to understand its enduring appeal. According to the booklet Nigel has now notched up 70 collections such as this, and his weekly show on BBC Radio-2 is now in its 30th year. He has built up a large army of loyal fans, and they will certainly not be disappointed with his latest offering. And just in case you missed it in the list of contents … track 7 is Robert Farnon’s Portrait Of A Flirt which Nigel performs with a respectful nod towards the original orchestral arrangement. I really enjoyed this CD! David Ades
GLAZUNOV Masquerade [Incidental Music] Gnesin Academy Chorus, Russian Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Dmitry Yablonsky Naxos 8.570211 [66:57] An immensely enjoyable collection of easy on the ear music by the Russian classical composer Glazunov, who died in 1936, for a play that was banned for some 30 years. An added attraction is the occasional burst of that characteristic ripe Russian brass sound. The vocal contribution is quite small but very effective. All at the lowest possible price. Peter Burt
THE MUSIC OF ITC
Further to their exclusive original soundtrack CDs, Network has now released single CD volumes of highlights from some of the series previously issued. Among the 58 tracks spanning 71 minutes,‘The Prisoner’  contains 2 cues composed by Robert Farnon. Also featured are other incidental themes and the title theme by Ron Grainer. Other releases currently available are:‘Danger Man’ [hour/half-hour episodes] composed by Edwin Astley 40 tracks [7959020 1:16]; ‘Department S’ Edwin Astley 54 tracks [7959019 1:16]; ‘Man in a Suitcase’ Albert Elms/Ron Grainer 44 tracks [7959021 1:17]; ‘Randall & Hopkirk [Deceased]’ Edwin Astley 62 tracks [7959016 1:17]. Of special interest is a 2-CD compilation ‘The Music Of ITC’  which contains 113 tracks, some previously unissued, in addition to tracks from some of the box-set compilations: ‘Gideon’s Way’ Edwin Astley 2 tracks; ‘The Baron’ Edwin Astley 7 tracks; ‘The Saint’Edwin Astley 9 tracks; ‘The Persuaders!’ John Barry/Jackie Trent & Tony Hatch/Ken Thorne 4 tracks;‘The Adventurer’ John Barry, etc. 3 tracks; ‘The Zoo Gang’ Paul McCartney & Wings/Ken Thorne 8 tracks; ‘Return of the Saint’ John Scott/Irving Martin & Brian Dee/G & M De Angelis 8 tracks. There are also 7 tracks from ‘The Prisoner’ at least one of which is by Robert Farnon. Of particular interest from these "new tracks" listed above are those from ‘The Persuaders!’ Apart from John Barry’s theme, there is a suite of incidental music by Ken Thorne and the song Gotta get away now which was used in the pilot episode and sung by Tony Hatch & Jackie Trent. ‘The Adventurer’ theme is also by John Barry and has so far never appeared commercially in its original form. The running time of this CD not available at the time of writing. All releases are available from wwwnetworkdvd.netGareth Bramley
LES BAXTER & HIS ORCHESTRA Space Escapade 12 tracks incl. Shooting star; Moonscape; A distant star; Other side of the moon; The lady is blue; Saturday night on Saturn + 18 bonus tracks from the mid-50s incl. Toy tiger; Havana; The left arm of Buddha; Rush-hour romance; Designing woman; Blue echo; "Houseboat" Love song …. Cherry Red ACMEM 171 CD [73:15] Original Capitol recording from 1958.
ELMER BERNSTEIN God’s Little Acre 15 tracks plus Bonus Suite Kritzerland KR 20012-8[41:02] Limited Edition of 1000 copies. Original music from 1958 Motion Picture Soundtrack.
ESQUIVEL & HIS ORCHESTRA Infinity in Sound Vols 1 & 2 24 tracks incl. My reverie; Johnson Rag; Harlem Nocturne; Macarena; Autumn leaves; So rare …. / Baia; Time on my hands; Who’s sorry now; Espana Cani; Cherokee; Lullaby of Birdland …. Wounded Bird WOU 2225 [63:51] Original RCA recordings from 1960.
STAND BY FOR ACTION The Music of Barry Gray 40 tracks from "Four Feather Falls"; "Supercar"; "Fireball XL5"; "Stingray"; "Thunderbirds"; "Joe 90"; "Captain Scarlet"; "The Secret Service"; "Lifo"; "Space 1999" Silva Screen Records SILCD 1279 [80:00] Original music including previously unreleased tracks.
HENRY MANCINI The Thief Who Came to Dinner  The 12 tracks of the original Warner Bros. LP are followed by 17 bonus tracks. Film Score Monthly FSM Vol.12 No.10 [63:15] Limited edition 3000 copies.
ANDRẾ PREVIN Two For The Seesaw  Kritzerland KR 20012-8 [41:02] Limited edition of 1000. Original soundtrack.
BILLY VAUGHN & HIS ORCHESTRA Melody of Love 58 tracks incl. Tennessee Waltz; Little boy blue*; O, main papa; Unchained melody; Peg o’ my heart; Heartacres; The ship that never sailed*; Bells across the Rhine, La paloma; My blue heaven; Twilight time; Tumbling tumbleweeds; Cool water …. [* narrated by Ken Nordine]
2 CDs Jasmine JASCD 503 [173:16] Original DOT recordings. Although the back of the jewel case claims boldly that all tracks are mono, only about a dozen are. Among the tracks on the first disc is the stereo remake of the LP ‘The Golden Instrumentals’, originally issued in mono in 1956 ─ apparently its first appearance on CD.
MITZI GAYNOR Mitzi 12 tracks incl. The nearness of you; Cheek to cheek; That old feeling; Rain; Lazy; I only have eyes for you …. + 9 extra tracks incl. 4 from the "South Pacific" Soundtrack; You’re the top [w. Bing Crosby]; Soon*; I don’t regret a thing, The half of it dearie blues*… Arranged and conducted by Pete King except for (*) with Russ Garcia and his Orchestra. Flare SPEC 1039 [52:04]
HERMOINE GINGOLD Live at the Café de Paris 12 tracks incl. Which witch?; Men are exactly the same; Only a medium medium +13 bonus tracks incl. Takes two to tango & Oh Grandma [both with Gilbert Harding]; The Borgias are having an orgy; Tit for Tat; Thanks, Yanks … Stage Door Records Stage 9010 [77:20]
"GIGI" 11 tracks from studio recording with Gogi Grant and Tony Martin with Dennis Farnon’s Orchestra + 9 bonus French and 3 Spanish tracks with Maurice Chevalier, Sacha Distel and Jane Markin; and Andre Toffel, Rosa Me and Lopez Negrette. Stage Door Records Stage 9013 [77:20]
FROM FABULOUS BROADWAY TO HOLLYWOOD’S REEL THING
The Fantasticks medley, September Song, Night and Day, It Might as Well be Spring, Mary Poppins medley, Fiddler on the Roof medley and 24 other tracks
Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra (Deutsche Grammophon, 4776124) 150:56
This is the fourth volume in the 2-CD sets in the Arthur Fiedler Legacy Series and the one most likely to appeal to JIM readers. The first three are largely classical ─ albeit mostly light ─ and volume five is out-and-out symphonic pop from the 60s and 70s; although all are recommendable in their way. On the first CD, in addition to those listed above, there are medleys from "Man of la Mancha", "Company" and "Hair", as well as individual items from "State Fair" and "Godspell". The opening medley includes the lovely Try to Remember. Among the items on the second CD are medleys from Disney’s "Robin Hood" and " The Happiest Millionaire" together with Michel Legrand’s themes for "Portnoy’s Complaint" and "Summer of ‘42", Nino Rota’s love themes for "The Godfather" and Zeffirelli’s "Romeo and Juliet", and Henry Mancini’s Days of Wine and Roses. Paul Simon’s Mrs Robinson is particularly bouncy. It is interesting, too, to hear Fiedler’s only take on his successor John Williams’ themes for "Star Wars" and "Jaws". The majority of the arrangements are by Richard Hayman with a handful by Eric Knight. Everything is performed in the manner one would expect from the renowned Boston Symphony Orchestra’s second chair players under the man who conducted them and their predecessors from 1930 until 1979, and who opined that the most thrilling sound was that achieved by a full orchestra. If you subscribe to Mr Fiedler’s philosophy of big orchestral arrangements of popular music you will love this ‘twofer’. The majority of tracks were recorded in the early ‘70s; some are previously unreleased on CD. With good sound, available online for around a tenner (including postage), these are immensely desirable discs.
GYPSY SOUL/STEREO SHOWCASE
The Heart of Budapest, Czardas (Monti), Golden Earrings, Theme from "Villa Rides", "Carmen": Gypsy Dance, Gypsy Carnival, The Singer Not the Song, Hejre Kati, Gypsy Flower Girl, Hora Staccato, Zapateado, Hungarian Rhapsody No.2 and eight other tracks
Mantovani and his Orchestra (Vocalion, CDLK 4351) 75:49
"Gypsy Soul" is the CD I have been waiting for. Recorded in 1968, but not issued in the UK, (as "Gypsy") for two years ─ five in the USA ─ it is a fine mix of melodies associated with the gypsy people, some Roland Shaw film orchestrations (Maurice Jarre’s Theme my favourite), and choice items from Bizet and Liszt. Monty’s biographer Colin Mackenzie quotes album producer Tony D’Amato on Hungarian Rhapsody: "(Ronald) Binge, who seemed to know how far pyrotechnically he could take an orchestra, stretched the ensemble to the limit in this instance, secure in the knowledge that Mantovani’s skills as a conductor and interpreter of music would match with bravura all the many technical challenges set forth." The evocative opening number uses the cimbalom, a sort of Hungarian dulcimer. Monty’s own Gypsy Flower Girl is not out of place in this company. Mr Mackenzie contributes his usual informative booklet notes ─ something entirely absent from the original release. "Stereo Showcase" is a fascinating ‘sampler’ album from 1959 which Decca asked Monty to record exclusively for the American market. This was done in order to exploit the then new stereo recording process and gain all important stereo album sales in that territory. We hear the great man himself presenting each piece and explaining how the stereo process enhances his music. Among the tracks are three on my Desert Island short list: Greensleeves, Some Enchanted Evening and Village Swallows.
SONGS HITS FROM THEATRELAND/THEME FROM "CARNIVAL" AND OTHER GREAT BROADWAY HITS
If I Loved You, Wunderbar, I’ve Never Been in Love Before, Bewitched, I Talk to the Trees, Some Enchanted Evening, Out of My Dreams, Stranger in Paradise, C’est Magnifique, Almost Like Being in Love, Hello, Young Lovers, They Say it’s Wonderful / Theme from "Carnival", I Feel Pretty, You are Beautiful, Shall We Dance?, Till There Was You, I Know About Love, Do Re Mi, Till Tomorrow, So in Love, Ascot Gavotte, My Heart is so Full of You
Mantovani and his Orchestra (Vocalion, CDLK 4356) 71:31
This 2-on-1 is superior standard Mantovani fare ─ carefully selected compilations of choice material immaculately played. The first album was a 1958 stereo re-recording of a best-selling mono LP from three years earlier ─ I think this may have been the very first 12-inch LP that I bought! Some of the tracks, like the Cole Porter "Kiss Me Kate" number, have remained favourites to this day. The rarely heard soprano saxophone is used on Bewitched. The second album appeared Stateside in 1961. What wonderful tunes the shows of that era contained and how Monty does them full justice. The"Theme from "Carnival", I Know, So in Love and If Ever are all new to the UK on CD. Colin Mackenzie’s immensely informative liner notes complete the package.
Serenade op.6 no.1(Toselli), Serenade from "The Fair Maid of Perth", Serenade "The Student Prince", Serenade "Don Giovanni"(Der Vieni Alla Finestra), Serenade (Pierne), Barcarolle "Tales of Hoffman", Love theme "Romeo and Juliet", Serenade "Les Millions d’Arlequin, Serenade "Don Pasquale (Act III), Serenade "Ständchen" from "Schwanengesan", Serenade "Angel’s", Serenade to a Mandarin, Mephistopheles’ serenade, Siciliano "Cavelleria Rusticana"
Frank Chacksfield and his Orchestra (Vocalion, CDLF 8132) 42:14
Mr Dutton has done it again and chosen for reissue on this CD at budget price one of my all-time favourite albums, released in 1959, and one of the best Frank Chacksfield ever recorded. Here are some gorgeous melodies from classical greats like Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Schubert and Berlioz, as well as Bizet, Toselli, Romberg, Pierné, Offenbach, Drigo, Donizetti, Braga and Mascagni, arranged by Leon Young, who also has his own Serenade to a Mandarin included, played by a light orchestra on top form. Every track is a standout one for me and I doubt if any album will give me more pleasure in 2008. Pity there are no liner notes.
OUR MAN IN LONDON/LISBON AT TWILIGHT (HIGHLIGHTS)
Greensleeves, A Foggy Day, A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, Sally in Our Alley, The White Cliffs of Dover, Waltz Medley from "Blithe Spirit", Roses of Picardy, The Haunted Ballroom, Small World (from "Gypsy"), Beautiful Dreamer, Moon River, Starlight, Tennessee Waltz, Body and Soul, The Sweetest Sounds/ Lisbon at Twilight, Barco Negro, The Lonely Beach, Song of the Sea, April in Portugal, Villa Villa, Ladies of Lisbon, Una Casa Portuguesa
The Melachrino Orchestra conducted by George Melachrino (Vocalion, CDLK 4337) 76:09
What a joy to find two Melachrino RCA albums, from 1963 and 1958 respectively, reissued on a Vocalion 2-on-1. As you can see from the listings above, the original LP of "Our Man in London" had British tunes on one side and American ones on the other. It is a very attractive programme of alluring tunes. Richard Addinsell wrote the Waltz Medley. The sonics are rich and spectacular. Completing the CD are eight tracks from "Lisbon at Twilight" featuring the guitars of Ivor Mairants and Raul Nery. A couple of inaccuracies have crept into the composer credits but not in the liner notes ─ there are none! I would like to have known the name of the occasionally used pianist. Can we now expect further Melachrino albums like "Under Western Skies" and "Music for Dining"?
The theme from "Limelight", Incidental music from "Limelight", Luxembourg Polka, The Shadow Waltz, Tango Tonight, Deep Purple, The Theme from "The Glenn Miller Story", Footsteps in the Fog, Spellbound, The Bandit, The Song of the High Seas, How Deep is the Ocean?, All the Things You Are, Venezuela, Postman’s Knock, Romance (from "The Magic Bow"), The Last Rose of Summer, A Kid for Two Farthings, The Lily Watkins Melody, Mr Pastry’s Polka, The Dizzy Duckling, Catwalk, Teenager, The Night Ride, The Cat from Coos Bay, Cat Slick, Lucky Strike
Wally Stott and his Orchestra (Vocalion, CDEA 6127) 77:42
Until now the only Stott CD I could find listed on the internet has been the classic "Christmas By the Fireside". So it is great that Mike Dutton has brought us this compilation of 27 instrumental tracks (I understand that seven have appeared on Guild) recorded between 1951 and 1956.mStellar trumpet player Kenny Baker and violinist Max Jaffa are featured on two tracks each ─ Kenny’s contribution being worth the price of the CD ─ and the Rita Williams Singers are the vocalists on Tango Tonight, one of four Stott originals, the others being The Night Ride, Cat Slick and Lucky Strike. I believe the last track was often used to play out "The Goon Show". The Wally Stott Novelty Ensemble performsMr Pastry’s Polka and The Dizzy Duckling. The arrangements are invariably imaginative throughout the disc. Other top tracks for me include The Cat from Coos Bay, which I’ve not heard since it was regularly played on Radio (RAF) Wyton over 50 years ago, the Chaplin melodies, the smile inducingLuxembourg Polka, the stirring melody from Richard Rodger’s "Victory at Sea" and the engaging A Kid for Two Farthings. An immense welcome then, for this budget-priced disc by the artist we now know as Angela Morley. Its reissue encourages me to think that there may yet be a chance of getting "London Pride" on CD. With nearly 80 minutes music for around £6, it seems churlish to mention the absence of liner notes. Are they, like neckties, going out of fashion?
STRINGS AND THINGS
Body and Soul, Chinatown My Chinatown, By the Fireside, Zither Rhythm on Anton Karas, The Girl Without a Name, Cuckoo Cuckoo, Shuffle to Buffalo, Stardust, Red Wing, I Go Rhythm and more
Various artists (Rex, Rexx115) 65:16
A real cornucopia of tracks ranging from the violin to the zither! Sound quality varies from track to track and it is an interesting mixture of sounds. It is certainly not one of the best compilations I have come across and it does become rather tired if listened to from start to finish. However, a highlight for me is the lively version of Chinatown My Chinatown by Bobby Maxwell and his Swinging Harps. It is good to have a few more tracks by Semprini and another version of one of my favourite songsLittle Red Monkey. Artists include Joe Venuti, Bob Haggart, Arthur Young and more. Buy a copy and judge for yourself!
A LEGENDARY PERFORMER
Moonlight Serenade, Sunrise Serenade, Little Brown Jug, In the Mood plus eighteen other selections.
Glenn Miller (RCA Bluebird, 0693-2-RB)
For many true music lovers, the Glenn Miller big band was simply the greatest. To still more, it typified an era filled with optimism about the future. This energy is captured faithfully on this re-issue of the original late 1970's ‘Legendary Performer’ series save that two numbers have been inexplicably left out: Elmer’s Tune and Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Still, this remains one of the best releases of this band which always managed to sound even more impressive on its live dates. Take, for example, In the Mood, a time honoured classic played with more potency and life than the plodding original studio recording. The last Chesterfield broadcast of September 1942 is heard here with Juke Box Saturday Night, highlighting the various styles of the Ink Spots and Harry James himself playing on trumpet. An extra addition to Glenn and the band’s efforts is the audience. Nothing will ever replace the rhythmic hand clapping to the intro of Tuxedo Junction or band mates yelling encouragement to each other during Little Brown Jug. This CD constitutes a valuable introduction to one of the most musical icons of the big band era: Glenn Miller.
THAT SENTIMENTAL GENTLEMAN
Hawaiian War Chant, Song of India, Marie, Well Get It! plus 21 other selections.
Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra (Collectables, COL-CD-2813)
Tommy Dorsey may have been called "That Sentimental Gentleman" but when called upon, he could provide a hard swinging ‘killer diller’. This particular collection is made up of live radio broadcasts spotlighting that hard driving style with a few of the lovely mood settings that made up the sentimental side of Dorsey’s recordings. Buddy Rich is heard to great advantage on Hawaiian War Chant and a dynamically frenzied Quiet Please. Ziggy Elman is heard playing his signature piece And The Angels Sing while Frank Sinatra is heard at his early crooning style on Marie as well as his last broadcast performance with TD, a superb The Song Is You followed by the only Dick Haymes vocal with the band on Daybreak. Even Sy Oliver gets a chance to sing on Jimmy McHugh’s Exactly Like You while Jo Stafford shares the spotlight as one of The Pied Pipers on Margie and as the end attraction of a medley which ends with I Can’t Give You Anything But Love. This CD is taken from a near mint LP pressed by RCA’s Black Label in 1956 and this is apparent by some bumps and a very bad needle skip on Zonky - so don’t throw out your LP of this set just yet! The sound follows the misguided practice of swamping everything in echo to get rid of any crackle and bump making this an almost shrill sounding CD. By turning back the treble, the listener will be satisfied by this marvellous collection by one of the top bands of a great era in all music.
Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2, Escenas Campestres Cubanas, Célèbre Tarentella, etc.
Hot Springs Festival Symphony Orchestra conducted by Richard Rosenberg with Soloists (Naxos 8.559320)
This is something of a discovery. Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829-1869) was an American child prodigy pianist as well as a composer; dubbed, among other things, "the Chopin of the Creoles". There is great variety in his works, some anticipating the ragtime and jazz of half a century hence. This 77-minute disc is absolutely chock-full of memorable and catchy tunes. I doubt whether you will ever have heard symphonies like the two here, and La Casa del Joven Enrique por Méhul – Gran Overture is particularly fine. Escenas (13:23) is a one-act opera and Ave Maria is nicely sung. Although you will find this in the shops in the classical browser, I hope that other JIM readers will give it a spin at the low Naxos price and not be disappointed.
West Side Story medley, Memory, There’s No Business Like Showbusiness, Sunrise Sunset/If I Were a Richman, Phantom/All I Ask of You, Deadwood Stage/Secret Love, Les Miserables medley, Hello Dolly!, Miss Saigon medley, Close Every Door/Any Dream Will Do, Food Glorious Food/As Long As He Needs Me and The Sound of Music medley
Jean Martyn (Jean Martyn Records) 66:08
This new CD is a release by Jean Martyn playing the Yamaha EL 900 organ. "Queen of the Keyboards" is the name by which Jean has become known by her legion of fans both at home and overseas. Jean’s range of music is vast, ranging from classical composers to modern day music and her many recordings demonstrate her talents on piano and electronic and theatre organ. This latest instalment in her collection of albums is excellent, and clearly displays her versatility in the world of show business. She herself is celebrating 25 years as a professional musician and this is captured as the music unfolds from these spectacular shows.
Jean Martyn’s list of available CDs can be seen at www.jeanmartyn.co.uk If you do not have access to the internet, the CD can be purchased by sending a cheque to the value of £11.00 (including P&P) – made payable to Mr Bob Ware, 7 Westhall Close, Brewood, Staffs ST19 9EY.
HITTING THE HAMMOND
A Skye Blue Shirt and a Rainbow Tie, Goodbye Sweetheart, American Patrol, Delaway’s Dilemma, Tiptoe Through the Tulips, Small Talk, Gitanerias, Some Like It Hot, Sunny Side Up, Rag medley, Over the Rainbow, When I Needed You Most, Mean to Me, A Little Bird Told Me, S’posin’, Opus 1, Organising the Blues, Beyond the Blue Horizon, Face of an Angel, The Candy Dancers Ball, Hysterics Rag, Kind, Painting the Clouds With Sunshine and The Golden Ring
Various artists (Rex, Rexx117)
It maybe a new CD but the historic recordings are from over 35 years ago – as stated in the sleeve notes by Bernie Tyrrell as a "golden musical era!" This compilation will be liked by readers who enjoy the Hammond organ accompanied with other instrumentalists and vocalists, but disliked if bought to enjoy pure Hammond organ. It is a reasonably priced compilation disc released by Rex Recordings and artists include among others Jerry Allen, Robin Richmond, Chris Hamalton and Harry Farmer.
Take the ‘A’ Train, All the Things You Are, Evelyn Queen of the Racquet Club, Phyllis, Chelsea Bridge, How Deep is the Ocean?, The song from "Mash", The Shining Sea, You Are There, You Must Believe in Spring, Laura, Stella By Starlight, Emily, I’m Getting Sentimental Over You, Sentimental Journey, A Mirror Image, Elegy, Westlake, Take Me Home, The Trouble with Hello is Goodbye, I Will Say Goodbye and Auld Lang Syne
Bob Florence (Mama, MMF1029) 53:48
Available from Jazz n’ Blues Records (see Big Band Roundup). Bob Florence, a piano and a well chosen set of songs by some of his favourite composers. Bob’s playing is delicate and sometimes dreamy but holds you enraptured throughout – one to play in your quieter more reflective moments. Bob does not copy anyone but fans of Bill Evans will relish this recording.
THE LISTEN AND DANCE COLLECTION Phil Kelsall at the Wurlitzer Organ of the Tower Ballroom, Blackpool Grasmere GRCD 128. Yet another 2-CD collection from the talented Phil Kelsall, who has now produced so many recordings and videos that even his most loyal fans much be wondering what on earth he will do next! By now you’ll know what to expect. David Ades
Besame Mucho, Fast Forward, Old Friends, Free Parking, Night Walk, A Tribute to Bud, Winter Landscapes, Tin Tin Daeo and Hymn to Freedom
Lalo Schifrin (Aleph) 63:21
Available from Compact Disc Club. Lalo has written so much to enjoy over many years, many will forgive the over indulgence of this album. To me, it sounds like a private party where musicians of high calibre just enjoy playing. As a listener, I found the pointless drum rolls and double bass solos a little wearing. James Moody’s sax playing raises more interest than the other six players, Lalo’s piano playing only peaks occasionally and the originals chosen do not linger in the mind in the same way as his big band outings but that is just me!
The George Shearing / Robert Farnon album, "On Target" has been re-issued by Universal
as part of a 4 CD set "George Shearing with Niels-Henning Orsted Peterson and Louis Stewart; THE MPS SESSIONS " Universal 1745068.
Sa Majesté L’Orgue de Cinema featuring Reginald Dixon, Sidney Torch and other famous Cinema Organists (France) Marianne Melodie 071861 2-CD set. This is the latest brainchild of Pierre-Marcel Ondher, who is doing a magnificent job in France keeping alive quality light and popular music from past decades. This time he is focussing on those great organists, mainly from the 1930s, who were such an exciting feature of visits to the cinema in those far-off days. The first CD contains many legendary names such as Reginald Foort, George Wright, H. Robinson Cleaver, Al Bollington, Joseph Seal, Terence Casey and Charles Smart. The second CD is devoted to Reginald Dixon and Sidney Torch, and it contains many of the titles that made them famous. The informative booklet contains detailed recording information, but I should mention that it is entirely in French. I hardly need to comment on the quality of the restorations, because our friend PMO always gives us a first rate product. Highly recommended for all organ enthusiasts. David Ades
TRAPEZE/THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH
Two original film soundtracks on one CD
Various artists (Sepia, 6001) 51:59
This limited edition CD (pressing of only 1500 copies) is a real joy and most particularly as it is the release of another Malcolm Arnold film score. "Trapeze", from 1956, tells the tale of two trapeze artists and Arnold certainly captures the sights and sounds inside the big tent at the circus. Lola’s Theme is a standout track for me and is both very melodic and haunting compared to the other end of the scale Juke Box is a lively piece of swing! Accompanying this soundtrack is "The Greatest Show On Earth", made in 1952, again set in the circus world. Victor Young was the Musical Director and it features two of his compositions. The score also sets the scene and you are back in the circus arena in your very own front room! This does not have such variety as "Trapeze" but enjoyable nonetheless. Sound quality is excellent and it comes with a lavish glossy colour booklet, which is the high standard we have come to expect from Sepia Records. The CD is available directly from Backtrack www.backtrackrye.com or through Sepia’s own website www.sepiarecords.com
"THE PRISONER" Original Soundtrack
Network 7959000 This 3-CD collection is strictly to enthusiasts only, because it is a collection of themes and underscores composed for the cult TV series, although some of it was never used. The first CD has 38 tracks by Robert Farnon, but apart from the titles music (rejected by Patrick McGoohan) this isn’t the Bob we know and love! Those who must have everything associated with this series have been well served with CDs and videos in the past, and they will lap this up – even with a price tag in the region of £30. The booklet contains reproductions of the original notes by Eric Mival, one of the Music Editors. David Ades
"THE BLOB" (Ralph Carmichael) plus production music from the Valentino Music Library by Roger Roger and others. MMM-1955.
"THE INTRUDER" (Herman Stein) plus complete score from "Career For Two" and other miscellaneous pieces. MMM-1956
These two latest CDs from Monstrous Movie Music offer world premiere releases of scores that movie buffs will welcome. As we have indicated before, this company employs high production standards, and their detailed booklets are almost worth the price alone! Sadly pressure on space precludes more detailed reviews this time, but you can find much more information (including how to purchase the CDs) by visiting the website: www.mmmrecordings.com David Ades
News has reached us of a new UK CD label dedicated to quality music at a price that gives value for money. Stage Door Records take pride in presenting nostalgic recordings with top quality remastering, period artwork, unusual and rare selections. There first four titles are ‘Shirley Bassey: The Early Years’, ‘Wish You Were Here (OBC)’, ‘On Your Toes/Pal Joey (1950s studio recordings)’ and ‘New Faces of 1956/Selections from Mrs Patterson (featuring Eartha Kitt)’. Their website is www.stagedoorrecords.com
THE VERY BEST OF
It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Music To Watch Girls By, Can’t Get Used to Losing You, Moon River, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, On the Street Where You Live, Up, Up And Away, Happy Heart, Born Free, Spooky, The Impossible Dream and more
Andy Williams (Sony BMG, 08697211802) 72:29
Issued last Christmas on the back of the Marks & Spencer TV advert (incidentally the liner gives 2007 as the publication date for this track), there are no surprises here unless one needs a reminder of the quality of Andy’s singing. This budget-priced CD contains 25 largely quality songs, the earliest being a sprightly House of Bamboo from 1958. There is a very good 1995 version of Stranger on the Shore; most are from the ‘60s and ‘70s. Already owning a ‘Best Of’ album, I was surprised how little duplication there is here. It is well worth investigating as, apart from the vocalising, the accompaniments are never less than interesting. It is a shame that arranger(s) and MD(s) get no credit.
GET THE PARTY STARTED
Get the Party Started, The Living Tree, I Will Survive, I Who Have Nothing and nine other songs
Dame Shirley Bassey (Lock Stock and Barrel Records, LSBRCD005)
Some artists have a remarkable rapport with audiences of all ages and musical tastes. This is very true with Dame Shirley Bassey whose career has stretched over five decades. This particular recording is no exception! Aimed at a dance oriented, young, vital age group, Dame Shirley nevertheless shows us that age hasn’t slowed her down. Anyone who has the courage to do Pink’sGet This Party Started and deliver it convincingly deserves an award of the very highest order. Not only does Bassey sing with total understanding of the words but also with a devil may care attitude.The Living Tree is sung with a very deep poignancy underlining a bitter farewell to a useless relationship. The other songs are all retreads of favourites common to all of Dame Shirley’s worldwide fans updated with a dance beat. This is a great CD for either dancing (recommended for the young) or just as one more evidence that Dame Shirley Bassey remains one artist who will forever be changing yet remains a highly potent artist for generations to admire.
Used to Dream, Sap, Like They Care, Arms of Three, Captain of Me and five other songs
Beth Arentsen (Arentsen LLC)
Every so once in awhile, a superb vocalist emerges off the pop music scene. One of the finest is Beth Arentsen, lead singer of the Latin/dance group P-1. Following Alicia Keys’ example of piano based songs, Arentsen has written songs of a deeply personal expressing abuse (Like They Care), love lost and found (Sap), relationships (Used To Dream and Spider). One song, Ode is used as an opening verse to Conquistadora, a plea for a simpler meaning of life. These very probing songs may not be to everyone’s taste. However, for the brave, this CD represents a highly rewarding experience into a new world by an upcoming singer/songwriter/performer well worth more exposure. This CD is available from either CD Baby or from Beth Arentsen’s own website at www.betharentsen.com
ONCE UPON A TIME On the Street Where You Live, Call Me Irresponsible, A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square*, All Or Nothing At All, If I Love Again, Dancing In The Dark, I Could Write A Book, In The Wee Small Hours*, The Song Is You, An Affair To Remember, Day In Day Out, Even You And I*, You Brought A New Kind Of Love To Me, I’ll Take Romance, Tender Is The Night, How About You, Once Upon A Time Colin Dean OMM001, 52:30 mins. Every now and then something comes along to surprise you, and this CD certainly falls into this category. Chris Dean is a trombone player turned bandleader, and now it seems that he wants to add singing to his talents. The big surprise is the three tracks with the backing arranged and conducted by Robert Farnon (marked with a star*). You will have first heard them on the Eileen Farrell CD "Here" – note that Nightmood is now Even You And I. How has this happened? Derek Boulton probably knows the answer – he managed Bob and also Chris Dean! An interesting experiment, and Chris Dean has a pleasant enough voice. David Ades
LET’S GET LOST: THE SONGS OF JIMMY MCHUGH
Let’s Get Lost, Don’t Blame Me, On the Sunny Side of the Street, Where Are You plus eleven more songs
Wesla Whitfield (High Note Records, Inc. HCD 7065)
It’s always a pleasure to listen to a truly musical compact disc. What makes this one even better than most is the slightly edgy but always warm vocals by Wesla Whitfield, a great interpreter in the pantheon of great artists. She is backed by her husband, pianist Mike Greenhill and quintet of fine people: Ken Peplowski (clarinet and saxes), Gary Foster on saxes and clarinet, Michael Moore on bass and Joe LaBarbera on drums. McHugh was one of those fine songwriters whose melodies are instantly memorable. Whitfield and her husband provide unique and original performances which vary quite a lot from the norm. On the Sunny Side of the Street is performed at a slow, sensual pace which brings out all of the longing inherent in the lyrics. There are also some unknowns on this disc such as It’s Me Remember which receives its first recording. This poignant ballad was co-written with Dorothy Wayne and only exists in manuscript and a demo recording. As with all of her recordings, this one is very well recorded with no sense of claustrophobic miking and with clear, even balances between the voice and instruments. Words cannot describe just what a perfect CD we have for our ears. All that can be said is chalk up another great one by the great Wesla Whitfield.
SWINGIN’ ON BROADWAY Chim Chim Cheree, All I Need Is The Girl, This Can’t Be Love, Anything Goes, On The Street Where You Live, Who Will Buy, You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile, and8 more
Gary Williams Superbreak BOS6816. A new Gary Williams CD is always welcome, and this time he has picked some fine numbers by top composers such as Porter, Rodgers, Gershwin etc. There are also a few surprises (I’m undecided about the opening track Chim Chim Cheree – perhaps it’s still too soon to forget what Dick Van Dyke did to it!) This collection finds Gary in jazz territory, backed by a talented small group of musicians with the lion’s share of charts by Clive Dunstall and Andrew Cottee. Late night cocktail listening par excellence. David Ades
HERE I GO AGAIN Taking a Chance on Love, Let’s Eat Home, Lady Is A Tramp, Angela Eyes, Cheek To Cheek, The Nearness Of You, Just You and Me, You Are Too Beautiful, and five new compositions by Nicola Farnon.
Nicola Farnon "The more I know about Robert Farnon the more I realise what an amazing man he really was" - the words of Nicola in a note she sent us with her new CD. It seems that anyone with the name Farnon is bound to have some musical talent, and we know that Nicola was so pleased that she made contact with her famous relative a few years ago. Bob encouraged her, and he would have loved this new collection of lovely tunes sung with real feeling. There is also some exciting playing from the jazz musicians providing the backing, and Nicola really lets herself go on some of the tracks! Anyone wishing to know more about Nicola can visit her website at www.nicolafarnon.com If you’d like her new CD just send a cheque for £11.50 (payable to Nicola Farnon) to her at 71 Burcot Road, Sheffield, S8 9FD, England.
CD round-up by Wilfred Askew
THE SEARCHERS – MAX STEINER
The original soundtrack to the John Ford classic western with the score composed and conducted by Max Steiner. (Cherry Red ACMEM107) 68:34
DAVID NIXON’S THE THREE MUSKETEERS — MUSIC BY MALCOLM ARNOLD
Features Arnold’s music from The Three Musketeers ballet, symphonies, dances etc along with music from the films "Hobson’s Choice", "Roots of Heaven" and "David Copperfield".
(Quartz, QTZ2056) 79:52
GYPSY CREASM AND GINGER NUTS: SOUNDS THAT SWEPT THE SUPERMARKETS
Artists include Vic Flick, Alan Moorhouse, Pete Moore, Harry Stoneham, Howard Blaikely, Tony Evans and Tony Osborne. All original Rediffusion tracks. (RPM, RPM328) 72:12
HENRI RENE AND HIS ORCHESTRA – MUSIC FOR BACHELORS
Original RCA recording. Tracks include I’m Confessin’, I’ll See You in My Dreams, Be My Love, Easy to Love, Time On My hands, La Vie En Rose, I Cried For You etc
(Rev-Ola, CRREV223) 32:07
LES BROWN AND HIS BAND OF RENOWN: LES BROWN’S IN TOWN
Two original albums from 1956 and 1964. Tracks include Harlem Nocturne, Nina Never Knew, On a Little Street in Singapore, The Piccolino, Goodbye, Domino, PS I Love You, Till Then, One Note Sambaetc
(Jazzbeat, 518) 73:45
FRANKIE CARLE, HIS PIANIO AND ORCHESTRA: SILVER AND GOLD
Two disc set of original RCA Victor recordings. 55 tracks which include Beg Your Pardon, Loch Lomond, Please Mr Sun, Two Sleepy People, Young At Heart, Laura, Bewitched, I Could Write a Book, Nola, Half As Much etc
(Jasmine, JASCD462) 156:43
JANE MORGAN – AN AMERICAN SONGBIRD IN PARIS
Original recordings between 1949-1957. Tracks include: I’ll Be Seeing You, I Can Dream Can’t I?, It Might As Well Be Spring, Let’s Go Steady, Better Luck Next Time, I Didn’t Know What Time It Was, Eyes of Blue etc.
(Sepia, 1098) 77:07
ART MOONEY – GREATEST HITS AND MORE
Original MGM recordings between 1947-1956. Tracks include: Beautiful Eyes, The Big Brass Band from Brazil, Daydreams, No Regrets, Rock and Roll Tumbleweed, The Girl I Left Behind etc.
(Sepia, 1094) 69:56
ERIC COATES "Sound And Vision" Sound And Vision (ATV March), From the Countryside – Suite, Holborn March, Moresque, Four Ways Suite, Valse from "The Three Bears", The Eighth Army March.Music for Voice and Orchestra The Mill O’Dreams, Song of Summer, Your Name, Green Hills of Somerset, I Heard You Singling, The Fairy Tales of Ireland, Bird Songs at Eventide. BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by John Wilson, with Sir Thomas Allen (baritone) and Richard Edgar-Wilson (tenor). Dutton Epoch CDLX 7198 71:03 mins. Michael Dutton’s wonderful support of British music seems to continue unabated. With the major record companies now largely part of huge international conglomerates, the days when the likes of EMI and Decca could be relied upon to foster British composing talent now seem just a distant memory – with the very occasional odd exception. The demise of Sanctuary, and the apparent reduction of new releases from Chandos and Hyperion could well have added to the gloom, were it not for Dutton’s Epoch label. Almost single-handedly this label is providing us with unexpected treats on a regular basis, and it is to be hoped that readers of this magazine are taking full advantage of what is on offer. John Wilson – in a matter of ten years or so – has become one of Britain’s brightest recording talents, and when he is teamed up with the magnificent BBC Concert Orchestra the results are always superb, and quite frequently astounding. The first twelve tracks in this new CD feature Eric Coates as the familiar master of light orchestral music. Where else could one expect to hear such a varied and delightful collection of 20th century music? The remaining ten tracks remind us that Coates launched his career as a writer of popular ballads, although he never completely abandoned the genre since there are two late examples – from 1938 and 1943. No self-respecting lover of Light Music can possibly fail to add this new release to their CD collection. David Ades This CD is available from the RFS Record Service.
CONTINENTAL ENCORES/MANTOVANI MANHATTAN
More Than Ever, La Vie En Rose, Under Paris Skies, O Mein Papa, April in Portugal, Arrivederci Roma, Anema e Core, La Mer, I Only Know I Love You, Autumn Leaves, Answer Me, Poppa Piccolino, Give My Regards to Broadway, Autumn in New York, The Bowery, Harlem Nocturne, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, Manhattan Serenade, Take the ‘A’ Train, Manhattan Lullaby, Maria, Somewhere, The Belle of New York and Tenement Symphony
Mantovani and his orchestra (Vocalion, CDLK 4370), timing 73:04 mins.
Another fine addition to Vocalion’s increasingly comprehensive series of Mantovani reissues. This release compiles two further albums from the light music’s legend vast Decca discography. "Continental Encores" was the very first stereo album I heard (49 years ago!), and its re-emergence on CD will be welcomed as overdue by many Mantovanians, for whom some of the tracks will be among their all-time favourites. Memories of the 1950s are stirred by Papa, Answer and Poppa – all tunes that are unlikely to be heard today. As one might expect, accordionist Emile Charlier is featured throughout. In addition to its musical merits, Colin Mackenzie describes the album in Monty’s biography (Melrose Books) as "technically an excellent recording, well balanced, well miked, in full stereo with a wide deep soundstage."
The second album, from 1964, is also atmospheric with every track a winner – the standouts for me being Cecil Milner’s arrangements of Rodgers Slaughter, Strayhorn’s Train, and The Bowery, a rousing waltz featuring a lovely jangle piano. Among the splendid Roland Shaw arrangements are the jazz-inspired Nocturne and the big final number conjuring up images of winding fire-escapes and TV antennas. The Lullaby is Monty’s own composition, as are the arrangements of the two "West Side Story" pieces.
Peter Burt All Vocalion CDs are available from the RFS Record Service.
LEROY ANDERSON: ORCHESTRAL MUSIC, VOL.1
Bugler’s Holiday, Blue Tango, The First Day of Spring, Belle of the Ball, Clarinet Candy, Chicken Reel, Fiddle-Faddle, China Doll, and more
BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin with Geoffrey Biegel, piano [Naxos 8.559313] 61:54 mins
One of the many musical centenaries marked this year is the birth of Leroy Anderson, the American master of light concert music, and here we have a very welcome addition to his discography. Nicely recorded at the Watford Colosseum in 2006, there is a good mix here with a number of familiar tracks as listed above, a couple probably not so well-known: Arietta and the brooding Balladette, and a quartet completely unknown, to me at least: Governor Bradford March [a first recording], The Golden Years, The Captains and the Kings and the Piano Concerto in C Major. Classical Jukebox is not an Anderson original composition but his amusing arrangement of Music! Music! Music!, which was a million seller for Teresa Brewer in the early ‘50s. Older readers may consider this track with its simulated "stuck groove," of unblessed memory, worth the low price of the CD. But the piece that will probably most encourage Anderson aficionados to buy is the 19-minute long concerto. It was first performed in 1953 but was withdrawn following mixed reviews and Anderson’s own dissatisfaction with the first movement. We are told in Richard Ginell’s detailed liner notes that the composer warmed to the work more in his later years and, after his death in 1975, his widow Eleanor decided to release the work as he left it. It is definitely worth a listen – the second and third tracks are both engaging. With the ever versatile BBC Concert Orchestra and its "big name" conductor, this new disc is strongly recommended, even as a supplement to whatever other Anderson albums you may already have. And if you like this … there is more to come.
LEROY ANDERSON: ORCHESTRAL MUSIC VOLUME TWO
Woodbury Fanfare, A Harvard Festival, Forgotten Dreams, Whistling Kettle, Horse and Buggy, The Waltzing Cat, Home Stretch, The Girl in Satin, March of the Two Left Feet, Waltz Around the Scales, Lullaby of the Drums, Jazz Legato, Jazz Pizzicato, Song of the Bells, Song of Jupiter and Suite of Carols for String Orchestra
BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin with Alistair Young, Piano and David McCallum, trumpet (Naxos, 8.559356) 54:51
So here’s more already – the next instalment of pieces including some the composer did not release and which his family have now made available. There are half-a-dozen items, some with very catchy titles that I looked forward to hearing for the first time. Fanfare features four trumpeters, Festival is a revision of the piece that gave Anderson his entrée to the Boston Pops in 1936 and definitely has a ‘classical’ feel, beginning with some telling celli and finishing on a super tune with added organ;Whistling was a student piece for violins and violas of 1:44 mins duration with a sound that reminds me of bagpipes; Waltz was the composer’s very last original orchestral work; and Lullaby is, perhaps, more a gentle march than a lullaby, and I think my favourite among the new items – but then I’m a sucker for the sound (however fleeting) of French horns. Richard Ginell’s expected exemplary notes refer to March, another piece unknown to me, as a ‘madcap fast polka’. Pizzicati, from 1938, is the earliest example of Anderson’s work extant. With a good mix of new, familiar and not-quite-so-familiar items this is another excellent compilation and one can only look forward to more of the same. At under an hour I suppose some may claim short measure, especially with the longest item, Carols (12:27), unlikely to be played a lot at this time of year, but at the price – I paid £3.99 including p&p online – for such a quality product one really can’t complain.
Peter Burt All Naxos CDs are available from the RFS Record Service.
Charles Williams – Girls In Grey, Space Ship, Quebec Concerto, Side Walk Exhilaration, The Beggar’s Theme; Philip Green – Ragamuffin, Pan-American Panorama, Running Off The Rails, Spinning Wheel, Stringopation, Gaelic Fantasia; London Promenade Orchestra – Dancing Dolls; Sidney Torch – Cornflakes, Domino, Elfinette, Fiddlin’ For Fun, All Strings and Fancy Free, Guaracha, Speakeasy; Ray Martin – Gipsy Fiddler, Muriella; Frank Chacksfield – Gin Fizz, Pulling Strings; Louis Levy – Moto Perpetuo; Kingsway Symphony Orch / Camarata – I Love Thee. Vocalion CDVS 1954, 73:49 mins. Twenty years ago we would have given our eye teeth to be able to buy a CD like this. The fact that keen collectors will probably have 90% of these titles in their collections speaks volumes for the way in which Light Music has been re-established as an important part of the musical scene. If only the BBC would wake up to what has happened! This is the second collection of Light Music Classics on offer from Michael Dutton at the bargain price of around £3. OK – you don’t get any booklet notes, but just be grateful that you can get your hands on this superb collection of Light Music for such a small sum. Even if you already have most of these tracks, I still recommend a purchase. Personally I like it when someone else selects music for me to hear; familiar favourites somehow seem fresh and new when played in a different order. This is a priceless ‘snapshot’ of the British Light Music scene in the middle of the last century, at a time when it seemed inconceivable that it would go into such decline by the 1980s. Happily that decline has been arrested, and collections like this can only help to alert new generations as to what they might be missing if they only rely upon the radio for their musical enjoyment. David Ades
SIX NEW GUILD RELEASES REVIEWED
Firstly, I must offer my sincere apologies for the lack of any GUILD reviews in JIM 175; this was entirely due to the pressures of earning a living, but I hope to make amends in the following paragraphs.
GLCD 5140 – MUSICAL KALEIDOSCOPE VOLUME II [full tracklisting in JIM 175, page 62]. Hard on the heels of Vol. I – and bearing the next consecutive number – comes its splendid new companion. The beauty of the KALEIDOSCOPE format is that it enables compositions of so many styles, different orchestras and time-eras to be assembled into a very enjoyable programme without any of the constraints which, perforce, are imposed on a ‘themed’ CD. All of the recordings date from the period 1946-1956, surely THE ‘Golden Age’ of Light Orchestral Music. There is a reasonable mix of Commercial and Publishers’ material, roughly ⅓rd and ⅔rds respectively. The selection begins appropriately enough with another composition entitled Kaleidoscope, (this one being by Dolf van der Linden) and includes a few real gems of a slightly more ‘serious’ nature, e.g. the Overture Down The Solent (Rapley), the Theme from the film The Broken Horseshoe (W. Burns), Sea Reivers andOriental Dances (G. Bantock), Columbine (Leighton Lucas) and three pieces from Edward McDowell’sWoodland Sketches – (but curiously not this composer’s best known tune To A Wild Rose, which is taken from that suite). Worthy of particular mention is Bewitched (Rodgers and Hart) by Felix King, his piano and orchestra; this appears to be a note-for-note replication of the famous Bill Snyder c. 1949 interpretation of the well-known song from the show Pal Joey. Was this a deliberate attempt to produce a British ‘cover version’ of the USA hit recording, bearing in mind that it was then virtually impossible to obtain 78s from the States, due to post WWII import restrictions? On a lighter note, there are some old favourites, like Maurice Grew’s Jay Walker and George Melachrino’s Bobby Sox Bounce. There is a group of ‘shorts’ – pieces which would often be used in film and TV advertising and promotional features, and the disc concludes with four items under the heading Drama, Menace and Excitement. (Any resemblance to RFS meetings is purely coincidental!). These were used in melodramatic and even horrific moments in drama productions – e.g. Trevor Duncan’s Inhumanity, which was the closing music for the first two series of the famous 50s BBC TV serial Quatermass. I am bound to say that this particular format works so well that I hope there will be more similar volumes in due course.
GLCD 5141 – GLOBE TROTTING [tracklisting JIM 175, page 65].
The next release returns to the Themed format and commences with a very typical – and appropriate Trevor Duncan composition, Broad Horizon, which – with its high-register strings and big, heroic, orchestration – beautifully sets the scene for a 77 minute round-the-world trip. This takes in France, Switzerland, Italy, Spain and Portugal, then ventures farther afield to Egypt, the Orient, Madagascar, India, then on to Cuba, Mexico and finally Manhattan, before returning to England – via Norway – and closing with Jack Beaver’s Journey’s End. David Ades has managed to combine a good variety of styles, orchestras and conductors, including one or two making their GUILD debut. The booklet notes mention the song Faraway Places With Strange Sounding Names (not included on the CD however). It’s true that when these recordings were made – mostly in the 50s but a few date from earlier – the pieces in this collection were just that; merely names. These days ‘Globetrotting’ has become a favourite pastime for millions! On the face of it, some of the titles might seem to make strange bedfellows e.g. Lovers in Paris (Logist), Flamenco Love (L. Wagner) and Tahiti Tango (Martin) are in distinct contrast to pieces like Ketelby’s In The Mystic Land Of Egypt, Victor Herbert’s Chinese Serenade, and a particular favourite of mine, the Three English Dances by Roger Quilter, but it all works surprisingly well. It’s good to hear Jimmy McHugh’s Cuban Love Song in a different arrangement from the well-known version which was the signature tune of Edmundo Ros, whilst the inclusion of the selection from the show Song Of Norway, based on melodies by Edvard Grieg, is most welcome. This is another carefully-crafted programme which deserves to find many new friends.
GLCD 5142 – The 1950s – Volume 5 SUNNY SIDE UP [JIM 175, page 67]
To quote from the booklet notes, "this selection has been chosen with the aim of recalling the cheerful, bright and breezy style of music that ..... seemed prevalent in the 1950s". Although the decade was not without its downsides, (rationing and shortages at the beginning, the threat of global nuclear war at the end), the compositions – and orchestras – of the period have, as I have remarked before, a glossier, more sophisticated and often more optimistic sound than their predecessors of the 40s; truly children of their respective times. On this CD, the balance is tipped in favour of ‘consumer’ recordings, with 18 of the 30 tracks having originated on British and American commercial labels; the remainder started their careers in the recorded music libraries of Synchro, Chappell, Weinberger, Impress, Paxton and Bosworth. The selection "kicks off" with the eponymous title Sunny Side Up (De Sylva, Brown and Henderson) in that wonderful Farnon arrangement which became famous as the playout tune for many of Kenneth Horne’s shows on the late-lamented BBC Light Programme. Next up is an early, and excellent, piece by the gifted German composer and arranger Bert Kaempfert –Las Vegas – (not to be confused with the Laurie Johnson opus of the same name) – although here Mr K is masquerading under the pseudonym of ‘Bob Parker’. DA’s notes also refer to Kaempfert’s "... easy listening style that .... often relied upon a rhythmic beat described in Germany as ... ‘crackling bass’ ". I would add that I have also seen it referred to as ‘click bass’ and I believe that it was pioneered by virtuoso bass-guitarist Lasli Geisler. The conductors form a truly international lineup:- Dolf van der Linden from the Netherlands, Johnny Gregory (of Italian extraction), Ray Martin, who hailed originally from Vienna, the Odessa-born Monia Liter, the French Franck Pourcel, together with Americans Van Phillips, Mahon Merrick, Bernie Wayne, George Liberace, David Rose – and Frank Sinatra, (in an unlikely but apparently successful role) – all rub shoulders with the home-grown talents of Ron Goodwin, Ambrose, Louis Voss, Elliott Mayes and Geoff Love. This is an imaginatively-assembled and very enjoyable CD, which has all the makings of another GUILD winner.
GLCD 5143 ANIMAL ANTICS [JIM 175, page 70]
As the booklet notes are quick to point out, the title of this collection is misleading; not all the tracks refer to animals, as there are plenty of birds and insects thrown in for good measure! Never mind, the resulting programme is another example of the prolific programming skills of David Ades, aided and abetted by Alan Bunting who, apart from his main task of technical supremo restoring these recordings – (and as has been remarked upon several times before, doesn’t he make a superb job of it?) – has an important second role in collaborating with David to select the contents of each new release. So here we have, in the menagerie department, a Little Pink Horse a Waltzing Cat, Donald Thorne’s ‘take’ on those three well-known sightless rodents, two different frogs and Sidney Torch’s arrangement of Friml’s Donkey Serenade, with a little Sympathy thrown in for good measure. Then we come to a veritable aviary, including a Nightingale, a Flamingo, a Meadow Lark and a Skylark,Gilbert The Goose, a whole Reel of Chickens (!) and some Marching Penguins. The insect world gets a look-in too – David Rose’s My Dog Has Fleas is in good company with Paul Linke’s Glow Worm, Ettore’s Butterfly Fantasy and Whitney’s Mosquitos’ Parade. This list is by no means exhaustive, (see full track listing elsewhere), but it gives more than a flavour of this excellent collection, which concludes with the eponymous track Animal Antics (Colin Wark), in a recording by the London Palladium Orchestra made in 1931 – except that you’d never know, because it sounds so amazingly good.
I often take new CDs for review in the car on long business trips, and these four have kept me more than happy on a recent lengthy journey from North London to South Wales and back again.
GLCD 5144 CHILDHOOD MEMORIES – VOLUME 2 [please see full tracklisting elsewhere in this issue].
There is always a danger with a second volume of a CD on a particular theme that it will suffer from ‘the second cup of tea’ syndrome (i.e. it doesn’t taste as good as the first one!) – but thankfully this never seems to happen with the GUILD series. Volume I of CM is often to be found in my CD player and I have to confess to having badgered DA for many months to create a follow-up! Well, he’s certainly ‘come up trumps’ again with this one, and we are treated to another 27 wonderful tracks, a few of which were suggested by yours truly. Amongst those are Josef Engelman’s Tales From A Fairy Book, a worthy stable-mate to his Children’s Playtime Suite featured on the earlier CD. I have been in contact with musician Guy Rowland – (who knew Engelman’s son Harry, also a composer) - and he has a copy of the original sheet music of this work. He was able to confirm that the title of track 12 – shown as Rumpelstickins is just a tad incorrect. Although the generally accepted form of this fabled character’s name is RUMPELSTILTSKIN, for some unaccountable reason it is shown on the printed music as Rumpelstilkins. When Bosworth issued it on their 78 disc, (BC1009), they then managed to turn a letter ‘l’ into a ‘c’. It, therefore, reads Rumpelstickins on the label; it was also registered with the PRS in this form, and has been faithfully copied into the booklet notes! However, it doesn’t detract from another excellent little opus from this almost forgotten composer. Other particularly notable tracks include José Fontaine’s Dance Of The Pirates, Bob Farnon’s Toyland Tattoo, See-Sawby Douglas Brownsmith, Pirouette by Henry Croudson and Charles Williams’ Drummer Boy. We are treated to three different marionettes:- Gilbert Vinter’s Dance Of The Marionettes; Sleepy Marionette, another Charles Williams’ composition (which I fancy is a re-incarnated Funeral March Of A Marionette by Charles Gounod); and Dolf van der Linden’s Marionette March. I must plead ‘guilty’ to having had more than a little bit to do with the final track; this is Fred Hartley’s Scherzetto For Children, which was the warm-up ‘intro’ music for BBC Children’s Television in the early 50s. DA was very anxious to include this item and AB has magnificently improved my rather sub-standard recording, which was originally made available to me by Andrew Emmerson. Whilst profuse apologies are tendered in the notes for including a recording which is ‘...far from perfect’, these are totally superfluous! Anyone hearing this restoration will wonder what all the fuss is about, so successful is the final result; methinks they protesteth too much!! This CD is a more-than-worthy companion to Vol. 1, and a fine addition to the GUILD series.
GLCD 5145 SCENIC GRANDEUR [tracklisting earlier in this issue]
Here we have another example of a very definite theme, again with an eponymous title – track 3Scenic Grandeur by a certain Mr Farnon! Yet again DA has ‘pulled out all the stops’ and put together an impressive collection of descriptive pieces, which conjure-up images of mountain ranges, seascapes, morning mists and sunsets – or indeed many other manifestations of natural beauty. Light Music composers such as Bob Farnon and Trevor Duncan poured out many such pieces to satisfy the enormous demand for this type of mood music, and many others ‘had a go’ too – Len Stevens, Ernest Tomlinson, Gideon Fagan, Tony Lowry, Peter Yorke, Bruce Campbell, Charles Williams, Clive Richardson, Jack Beaver and Dolf van der Linden are all represented here, and there are more besides, with a total of 23 tracks. It will come as no surprise that the majority of these (15) are taken from publishers’ discs, with the balance being made-up of commercial recordings largely from the USA. Of particular note are another Farnon track, Open Skies, Great Panorama (Perry – actually Ernest Tomlinson), Gideon Fagan’s Pastoral Montage (used for the BBC TV Windmillinterlude), Tony Lowry’s Seascape and Bruce Campbell’s Cloudland. In fact they’re all fine pieces, although because of the very specific nature of the subject matter, there is a markedly similar ‘feel’ to many of the compositions. It may be that listeners would wish to ‘dip-in’ to individual tracks, rather than play the entire CD from start to finish. It’s rather like having a box of posh liqueur chocolates – lovely as they are, you might not want to eat the whole lot in one go! The programme is not unlike the earlier CD Reflections Of Tranquility; it’s certainly in marked contrast to some of the more upbeat offerings in this series, and is another fine addition to the GUILD series. Tony Clayden
All Guild Light Music CDs are available from the RFS – price £8 each [US $17] plus postage.
HOLLYWOOD RHAPSODIES & NIGHT MUSIC
Love theme from ‘The Robe’, Selena’s waltz, Nightfall, Thème romantique, Jubilee trail, The moonlight song, Love theme from ‘The Glenn Miller Story’, Spring madness, Theme for Cynthia, Geraldine, Lost moment, BonSoir / The High and the Mighty, Moonlight and roses, Passion tango, Never say goodbye, Smile, The ‘Rear Window’ theme, The song from ‘The Caine Mutiny’, Magnificent obsession, Glamour waltz, Rendezvous in Tunis, Last night when we were young, Twilight interlude
Victor Young and his Singing Strings [Vocalion CDNJT 5201]
It is good to have this new 2-on-1 of the Chicago born composer, arranger, violinist and conductor recorded in 1954 and 1956, the year of his passing. Victor went to Hollywood in 1935 to form his own orchestra for film work and made many recordings with the orchestra of light music and as backing for singers. He also composed such well-known pieces as Golden Earrings, My Foolish Heart, The call of the faraway hills and Around the World in Eighty Days. Although he wrote many songs and for around 350 films, Young the composer is only represented on this CD by three items – Jubilee trail[from the film of the same name], Geraldine, and Bon Soir [from ‘Perilous Journey’] – but there are tracks from other film music luminaries: Arlen, Korngold, Newman, Mancini, Steiner, Tiomkin, Waxman and the underrated Chaplin. I must admit to not recognizing many of the films for which the music was composed but that has not stopped me enjoying the music. Composer Harry Sukman is the piano soloist on Spring madness [from ‘Belle La Grande’], Theme for Cynthia, Lost moment [from the film of the same name] and Twilight interlude as well as his own Nightfall from ‘Gog’, a 1954 low-budget sci-fi movie. The alto sax of Benny Carter can be heard on Rendezvous in Tunis. Written in 1925, Moonlight and roses has been a favourite tune of mine since I were but a lad. An all-round recommendable release.
AMBROSE AND HIS ORCHESTRA Arranged and Conducted by LAURIE JOHNSON
"Latin America After Dark" Siboney, Walter Winchell Rhumba, Vuelve, Tenacion de Amor, Cae Cae, Volvere, etc… 12 tracks "Starlit Hour – the Music of Peter DeRose" Deep Purple, Autumn Serenade, Let’s Dream Together, American Waltz, Lilacs In The Rain, Blue September, etc… 12 tracksEP: Slide Rule, Whistlin’ Willie, Marching Through Georgia, Bluebell Polka. Vocalion CDNJT 5202. By the mid-1950s music lovers in Britain were starting to take note of Laurie Johnson. We had several 78s on Polygon, plus a few singles on HMV (some on their International label) then a batch of interesting releases on MGM. It turned out that these latter ones were recorded specially for the American market, and when the two LPs on this CD came out in Britain they were in EMI’s MGM International catalogue. I am very pleased to see that Mike Dutton commissioned booklet notes from Tony Middleton. The Wally Stott collection (CDEA 6127) was issued without any notes at all, and it would have been a crying shame if Laurie Johnson’s massive contribution to these recordings had gone uncredited. Observant collectors will notice that a few of the tracks on this new CD have already appeared in the Guild Golden Age of Light Music series, but I would urge everyone who shares my admiration for Laurie Johnson not to hesitate, but snap this one up as quickly as you can! The arrangements and the playing are simply superb, and to make them sound even better try giving the bass control on your amplifier a slight boost! David Ades All Vocalion CDs are available from the RFS.
‘ORIGINALS’ FRANCK POURCEL
Volume 1 25 tracks from 1952 to 1956 including Limelight, Blue Tango, Moulin Rouge, Wonderful Copenhagen,Grisbi Blues, Mon Coeur est un Violin, April in Paris, Madamoiselle de Paris, etc… EPM [France] 986232
Volume 2 Frou Frou, Una Casa Portuguesa, Johnny Guitar, I Love Paris, Lisbon Antigua, etc… 22 tracks EPM 986402
Volume 3 Port au Prince, Carousel Waltz, Malaguena, Around the World, etc… 21 tracks EPM 986412
Volume 4 Whatever Lola Wants, Clown on the Eiffel Tower, Just a Gigolo and the Les Baxter suite"La Femme" 22 tracks EPM 986422
In recent years some of Franck Pourcel’s reissues have been the subject of litigation in the French courts, but hopefully these four new collections are legitimate. Indeed the brief notes inside each CD state that the recordings have been remastered by his estate, and are therefore the originals (hence the title of the collection). Volume 1 concentrates on Pourcel’s early years; Vol. 2 also harks back to the 1950s, with tracks from 1950 to 1957; Vol. 3 comes from 1957 in the series "Amour, Danse et Violons" and the LP "L’Inimitable"; finally Vol. 4 reflects Franck’s ‘musical journey in America’. Somewhat unusually the promotional copies received were in the form of a single CD for volume 1, whereas vols 2, 3 & 5 were combined in a (flimsy) box with the catalogue number EPM 986392. It appears that these three volumes are not available separately – at least not at the time of writing this review. David Ades These CDs are available to special order from the RFS.
MILITARY BAND FAVOURITES - BANDSTAND FAVOURITES
Strike Up the Band, The Golden Mile, Calling All Workers, The Westminster Waltz,
Sabre Dance, Anything Goes, Stage Centre, Rhapsody in Blue, La Rejouissance, Skye Boat Song, Czardas, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Scarborough Fair, Greensleeves. Tie a Yellow Ribbon, The Polecat Polka, Bells Across The Meadow, Adagio, Alexander's
Ragtime Band and Nessun Dorma
Various Bands (MusicMasters)
This review departs a little from the usual, in that the CD is not really new (released in January 2007), and your reviewer downloaded it from the Internet which didn't include its catalogue number! However, it is a British release and should be tracked down with ease or it can be downloaded from www.emusic.com for a very reasonable fee. The CD is an interesting and wide variety of music genres, including Farnon's Westminster Waltz and Coates' Calling All Workers - all given the military band treatment; brass and woodwind replacing the strings. The bands used in this selection are all well-known and top class British bands, including The Blues and Royals, Coldstream Guards, HM Royal Marines, Royal British Legion, Life Guards, Royal Yeomanry and the Queen's Lancashire Regiment. It’s quite a musical treat for military/brass band buffs to jump from Sabre Dance to The Polecat Polka! I was delighted to hear Alexander's Ragtime Band played in true ragtime style by the Band of the British Legion. The producers have done a great job getting this material together, they are all recent stereo recordings and I can't say I was disappointed with any of the selections.
The Presidents Own United States Marine Band (Naxos, 8.570727) 79:00
Well Naxos keep surpassing themselves in quality and unexpected finds! This is a stunning band record that I have recently purchased. This CD is a real pleasure - just listen to track 22 - it takes your breath away with a live performance of the Stars and Stripes including a flute solo played by Master Sergeant Gail Gillespie. Superlative is the only word that comes to mind - put this track on full volume to start the day!
The Black Dyke Mills Band (Naxos, 8.570726)
If anybody ever thought that we didn’t lead the world in this genre, then just listen to this recording made in Morley Town Hall. The sound is exceptional and even more so when you have the conducting and arranging honours by Nicholas Childs and his brother Robert - pure gold. Just listen to the 1812 Overture arranged by Robert and you have a rival for the old classic Mercury recording conducted by Dorati. I would add, in my opinion, that the guns are more realistic.
"A Dream Realised" The Music of LESLIE STATHAM [Arnold Steck] The Band of the Welsh Guards Specialist Recording Company SRC 112, 71:38 mins.
For some years as a longstanding admirer of the Band of the Welsh Guards I have been agitating for a recording devoted to the music of Leslie Statham, their Director of Music between 1948 and 1962, who wrote many of his compositions under the name of Arnold Steck.
The original dream was that sufficient of his music could be brought together to fill an LP but just as that seemed a possibility we moved into the CD era with its much greater capacity. All seemed lost but gradually more pieces were found and then through the good offices of Mrs Statham we discovered that there were over 80 published items. Major Statham had given me so much pleasure, without ever knowing it, and continued to do so with the legacy of his fine music that it is was my wish to see as much of his music as possible brought together on one CD as a tribute to him and for the public of today and tomorrow to enjoy.One of the major concerns was the commercial viability of such a CD but after careful thought and running through most of the music Major Davd Cresswell rose to the challenge and set up the sessions with Mike Purton of Specialist Recording Company who have already issued a number of single composer CDs by the Band including one of Edward German.Mike is renowned for the care and accuracy of his recordings and this was rapidly confirmed as he picked up details and nuances which were inaudible to most but which will ensure that the finished product is of the highest quality. He has used the chapel at Chelsea Barracks for other recordings and this was again the venue. The first item was a haunting arrangement of Men of Harlech, still as a march but far removed from the usual brash approach. There followed a succession of marches in various styles and descriptive pieces, some well known but others being heard for the first time by all concerned.Although tiring, Monday’s session on 5 February 2007 ran smoothly with some 60 per cent of the intended music "in the can" by the end of the day. This promised an early finish on Tuesday but it was to prove rather more eventful despite starting quite normally. We were warned to expect three parties who wished to view the chapel as part of the sales process for Chelsea Barracks and it was agreed that these would be accommodated in breaks in the recording. What was not expected was a helicopter which seemed to hover, move away only to return followed a little later by a second, both landing on the Parade Square. This held up proceedings for some minutes but having just resumed a 21 gun salute to mark the anniversary of the Queen’s accession started. To add to the interest we had a planned visit by Sian Price who was filming one of a series of TV documentaries for BBC Wales, this one featuring the Band with whom she will be going to Bosnia shortly. She took a number of shots mainly in close up whilst Royal Review was being played; it appeared in the broadcast as the band preparing for an important concert in front of the Prince of Wales! We assumed the afternoon would be quiet – until an over enthusiastic drill sergeant decided that the ideal place to put his squad through their paces was right outside the chapel. The band sergeant-major, resplendent in full practice dress (extremely unmilitary!), despatched himself rapidly and persuaded the culprit of the error of his ways! Some real gems were revealed. Marches such as Birdcage Walk and The Guardsman are well known butFreedom of the City was a real revelation and Heroes Return could have come from Sousa’s pen so well was the style captured. Of the descriptive pieces Broadacres and Skeleton in the Cupboard were outstanding with the Happy Days Suite conveying perfectly the atmosphere of such times. The band produced a splendid sound and purchasers of the CD are in for a treat when they hear it. From time to time there have been calls for recordings devoted to a single military composer other than Sousa or Alford and here we have just a production; it is hugely entertaining in its own right, but if record companies are to produce more of this type they need support from the buying public. All concerned are to be congratulated on their efforts and the hope must be that this CD will open the eyes of a wider public to the quality of the music of Leslie Statham, one of the Army’s most significant composers. Light music of the mid 20th century it unashamedly is, but superbly crafted and beautifully executed; the faithful recording and caring production of Mike Purton and his team should ensure that here is a CD which will find a place in the library of every lover of military band music – as well as those who are already familiar with light music arrangements of Statham’s compositions.
Alan Hardwick[Reprinted from Band International (IMMS) by kind permission of the Editor and the Author]
Editor: orchestral versions of works by Leslie Statham (under his pseudonym Arnold Steck) have appeared on the following Guild CDs:
GLCD5143 Morning Canter
GLCD5132 Riviera Rhapsody
GLCD5147 Royal Review
GLCD5126 Skeleton In The Cupboard
Pedro the Fisherman, French Café Medley, Cuban Boy, All the Things You Are, Port Au Prince, Film Medley, Autumn Leaves, The Avengers Theme, High Wire, Early Autumn, Sunrise Sunset, Another Day Tomorrow, Can You Feel the Love Tonight and Cinderella Samba
ORGAN-ized is an organ/piano-based easy listening album, this is stated at the top of the front CD inlay card and it certainly lives up to its statement! Tony effortlessly moves from tune to tune with his own musical arrangements making this a CD to sit back and enjoy, with certain tracks that are not usually or rarely heard. The only track I, personally didn’t enjoy was Can You Feel the Love Tonight – the combination of keyboards did not sound up to the standard of the rest of the CD. His own compositions Another Day Tomorrow and Cinderella Samba made delightful additions. The tunes were recorded entirely on Kurzweil and Korg Keyboards.
Jolson medley, Pure Nostalgia medley, South of the Border/Bluesette medley, It's All in the Game, Blue Danube Waltz, Baby Elephant Walk, Phantom of the Opera medley, Days of Wine and Roses, Out of Town/Candy Man medley, Masquerade, Scottish medley, The Skye Boat Song, Moonlight Serenade, Wartime medley, Summertime, Warwick Waltz, They Can't Take That Away from Me, Rosina, As Time Goes By and South Pacific medley
Tony Whittaker playing the Compton 3/11+Melatone at Fentham Hall, Hampton-in-Arden, Solihull
This entertaining CD is Tony’s debut recording on the theatre pipe organ and would make an excellent addition to anyone’s collection of keyboard CDs. His style and interpretation of the varied tunes on this CD make for easy listening and a must for the ipod owner. Again Tony has included two of his own compositions Rosina and Warwick Waltz on this 2007 release.
Both the above albums can be purchased directly from Tony Whittaker - £11.00 per CD including P&P (UK only) Send cheque/PO to: Tony Whittaker Musical Service, 49 Hollystitches Road, Nuneaton, Warwickshire, CV10 9QA, England.
NIGHTINGALE FROM SAVANNAH
Connie Haines (Sepia, 1107) 75:10
It has been a real delight to discover the singing talents of Connie Haines on this excellent release from Sepia Records. Although her recordings with the orchestra of Harry James and Tommy Dorsey have been readily available, few of her much sought after titles as a single artist have seen the light of day – until now! The CD highlights her versatility as it offers 27 numbers from across the musical spectrum ranging from Stormy Weather, The Man I Love and My Man through to Silly No- Silly Yes,Ol’ Man Mose and Pink Shampoo. Recordings date from 1946 to 1953 with accompaniment by such names as Ray Bloch and his orchestra and Bob Crosby and the Bobcats. All in all a great CD to dip into when you are feeling down as Connie, with her subtle southern twang, radiates warmth and sings with great joy. Top marks once more to Sepia for sound quality, informative liner notes and stylish design.
SONGS FROM YEARS GONE BY
Swing Low, Steal Away, Deep River, Were You There, Go Down Moses, Nobody Knows The Trouble I See, The Ashgrove, Idle Days In Summertime, Speak To Me My Own Beloved, Ye Banks And Ye Braes, Oh My Love Is Like A Red Red Rose, Barbara Allen, Drink To Me Only, A Brown Bird Singing, The Lark In The Clear Air, The Old House.
Ramon Remedios (Tenor) David Snell (Piano) President Records PRCD 161
Liverpool-born and Guildhall School of Music–trained, Ramon Remedios has sung with the Welsh National and Scottish Opera companies, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden – and many European Opera Houses. He has made several UK television appearances and a number of CDs – in both cases often in association with Rick Wakeman. This recording takes him in a new direction and is his first collaboration with RFS member David Snell, who has swapped his harp – and conductor’s baton – for the role of arranger and accompanist. The programme combines mostly traditional songs from the British Isles with six spirituals; the latter are unusual, inasmuch as they are rarely – if ever – performed by a Tenor. It’s a novel idea and, helped by David’s sensitive arrangements, the pieces are certainly shown in a different light from the conventional basso profundo renditions with which we are all so familiar. These days, songs such as these are seldom performed or recorded and it’s, therefore, heartening to see two such fine artists reviving a sadly neglected and almost forgotten genre with this very enjoyable selection.
THE BLUEST KIND OF BLUES
Denny Dennis (Sepia, 1108) 77:18
A double treat from Sepia as not only do we have 26 tracks showcasing the smooth vocals of Denny Dennis (1913-1993) but six of them are with Robert Farnon and his orchestra dating from March 1948. These tracks may now be sixty years old but they sound timeless. The numbers arranged and conducted by Robert Farnon are After All, Judaline, Every Time I Meet You, Glen Echo, I’d Love To See You Home Tonight and By the Way. Denny is a versatile vocalist and the songs on this CD reflect this highlighting his baritone voice and relaxed vocal style. The recordings date from between 1939-1949 and the other main orchestras featured are those of Stanley Black and Phil Green. Congratulations to all involved on a class production which is stylishly presented.
THE MAGIC OF BELIEVING
Jane Russell (Sepia, 1110) 65:41
One of the last surviving Hollywood leading ladies of the ‘Golden Age’ of Hollywood - Jane Russell and it is her vocal talents which are spotlighted in this new release from Sepia Records. The title track is a great opening and is one of twelve tracks from a 1957 album entitled The Magic of Believing that Jane recorded with her good friends Connie Haines and Beryl Davis. All ‘inspirational’ songs ranging from religious ballads to rocking numbers with a message, these sound fresh and lively and are infectiously enjoyable. The three ladies harmonize beautifully and the sound quality is excellent – it could have been recorded yesterday. The remaining thirteen tracks offer a great variety of songs which Jane performs in her attractive and clear vocals – all lyrics can be heard. Excellent sound quality again with catchy arrangements from the likes of Nelson Riddle and George Cates. Particular favourites of mine were One Arabian Night and If You Wanna See Mamie Tonight plus two duets with Johnny Desmond from 1954. As expected from Sepia, there is a well illustrated and informative inlay booklet. Highly recommended.
SONGS FROM THE ZIEGFELD FOLLIES
Vivian Blaine (Sepia, 1106) 75:23
Hats off to Sepia Records who added another excellent title to their ever-growing catalogue in the form of a 2 on 1 from Vivian Blaine (1921-1995); the popular star of 20th Century Fox musicals of the 1940s and best known for creating the role of Miss Adelaide in "Guys and Dolls". "Songs from the Ziegfeld Follies" and "Songs from the Great White Way" are to companion albums that were recorded in September/October 1956 for the Mercury Records label with orchestra conducted on both by the talented Glenn Osser. Blaine adds her own unique touch to the 24 show tunes featured bringing warmth to the more intimate numbers whilst not afraid to sing out the more up-tempo songs m- she is aided by some very good orchestrations. As suggested, the first album offers songs featured in the various Ziegfeld Follies shows from 1912-36. A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody is the opening track and contains a charming spoken introduction from Vivian. Other well known numbers include I Can’t Get Started, Shaking the Blues Away and Mandy. I much enjoyed Suddenly (Rose-Harburg-Duke) which was a new tune to me.
The second album showcases a host of well known songs such as People Will Say We’re in Love, But Not for Me and How Are Things in Glocca Morra which are all performed to the same high standard. With the added bonus of three songs plus excellent CD remastering by RFS member Robin Cherry and an extremely well designed and attractive booklet, this release is a real winner and a worthy tribute to the talents of Miss Blaine.
Buttons and Bows, Maybe You’ll Be There, Nature Boy, Dark Moon, Cock-Eyed Optimist and many more
Bing Crosby (DSOY746) 81:30
These tracks, on a double CD and totalling 33 in all, are taken from air checks that Bing made with the John Scott Trotter orchestra whilst the US musicians were on strike in 1948. I expect Cab Smith has this already, but if not, he will be heading for his nearest record store!
Continental and International
FETE AU VILLAGE SICILIEN ET NAPOLITAIN (OVER MOUNTAINS AND THROUGH VALLEYS)
49 tracks including Terra mia Pupetta inamorata; De Riposto à Mascali, Piccola Monella, Meluccio, Sicilia mia, La Danza Antica. Il Bacio, Scintille Sérénade Napolitaine Tarantella per Fischiett, Marche Florentine, Canzoniero Napolitano, Oride Canzoniero Napolitan; Florentine March
Various artists (Marianne Melodie 061591)
Another winner from Pierre-Marcel Ondher’s collection. Some of the tunes will be familiar to readers; but there are a host of unfamiliar but appealing tracks. There is a very distinct cosmopolitan flavour about this set with delightful ocarina flutes, orchestras, string ensembles and mandolin orchestras playing beautiful melodies. Listening to Florentine March by a mandolin orchestra, make a refreshing change from hearing versions by military bands or orchestras. The compilation focuses on music from South Italy, Naples and Sicily. Many of the tracks feature folk dances with very melodic catchy tunes. There are two rather unusual tracks from an early Decca LP, Il Bacio and Napolitan Nights by the Marimba Serenaders. These were originally issued on Decca LF 1044. This group features several marimbas accompanied by mandolins and various other instruments. Much of this compilation is drawn from continental 78 labels or early LPs such as Odeon, Durion, Fonit etc which would be very hard to find today. There is a short set of notes by Ralph Harvey, the remaining documentation being provided in French. A very attractive period style painting similar to the excellent Guild covers, adorns the front of the booklet. The transfers have been made with great care to a high standard. A bargain, if this kind of continental light music appeals.
Brian Stringer This collection was also previously reviewed in JIM 168, June 2006. Available to special order from the RFS Record Service, or direct from www.mariannemelodie.com or from Marianne Melodie BP 102 – 78372 Plaisir Cedex, France. Tel 00 33 0892.350322 preceded by country code.
FETE AU VILLAGE BAVAROIS (VILLAGE FAIR IN BAVARIA – OVER MOUNTAINS AND THROUGH VALLEYS VOLUME TWO)
44 tracks including Ländler de Hallertau, Schützenliesl Polka, Le Chemin du Coeur, Danse du Berger Munichois, Rheinländer du Coucou, Clarinette-Polka, Les Violettes du Kochelsee, Polka d'Egerland, Hoppla! Hoppla! Troupeau de chamois, Polka de Hacketau, En route vers le Tyrol, Riante Münich, Petite Suzanne, Salut à Oberammergau
Various artists including Rudi Knabl, Alfons Bauer their zithers and orchestras, Max Greger’s Sextet, Orchestre Munichais de Thomas Wendlinger etc. (Marianne Melodie 031 084)
This is yet another set in the series from Pierre-Marcel Ondher’s collection. In the early 1950’s, I remember calling in at my local record store and seeing all the wonderful distinctive orange labeled popular Polydor 78’s and mono LPs (which I couldn’t afford) displayed in the shop window. It is good to have in this collection many of the orchestras and ensembles of that period which have been sadly neglected over the years. Munich based Alfons Bauer and Rudi Knabl, were very competent zither players and recorded with their own excellent orchestras. There are also items by Max Greger’s sextet, presumably an offshoot of his orchestra. There is a generous sprinkling of ‘oompah bands’ and various virtuoso accordion ensembles but little in the way of yodeling, (fortunately!!) the CDs being mainly instrumental. Although you may think that you are not familiar with many of the listed titles it is quite likely when you start to listen you will recall tunes you heard on the radio in the dim and distant past or on a trip to Bavaria. If Tyrolean/Bavarian cum Viennese music is to your taste then this attractive set is a must. It would take a million years to find the recordings assembled here at 78 record bazaars etc. Again the booklet contains a short English summary by Ralph Harvey who had some involvement in the compilation plus a delightful period style painting on the booklet front.
Brian Stringer Available from www.mariannemelodie.com or from Marianne Melodie BP 102 – 78372 Plaisir Cedex, France. Tel 00 33 0892.350322 preceded by country code.
Tango Delle Rosa, The Woodpecker Song, Torna a Surriento, Only Love Me, Arriverderci Roma, Como Prima, Chitarra Romana, Volare, Mattinata, Sicilian Tarantella, Nights of Splendor, Torero, Chitarra Romana, Just Say I Love Her, Mattinata, I Have But One Heart, Tra Veglia E Sonno, You’re My Treasure, Oh Marie, The Woodpecker Song, Tango of the Roses, Gilda, Anema E Core and Luna Rosa
The Guitar Kings directed by Al Caiola (Cumquat Records)
Under the direction of Al Caiola, the guitars and mandolins of the New York Guitar Kings transport us back to sunny Napoli, Here are melodies delighted music lovers through the 1950s. The recording is splendid.
Brian Stringer Available directly from Australia: http://www.cumquatrecords.com.au
SOUTH OF THE BORDER
Besame Mucho, Mambo Jambo, My Shawl, Piel Canela, You Belong to My Heart, Jungle Drums, El Rancho Grande, Poinciana, Magic is the Moonlight, Serenata, Ritual Fire Dance, Yours, Adelita, Sabras Que Te Quiero, Quien Sera, Duerme, Jurame, Amor, Tres Palabras, La Malaguena, Coo Coo Roo Coo Coo Paloma, Jesuita En Chihuahua, Cuatro Vidas and Estrellita
The Guitar Kings directed by Al Caiola (Cumquat Records)
Spanish and Mexican standards performed by a ten piece guitar ensemble. Members may recall the mid 1950’s when Al Caiola’s records were heard on the radio so this CD will bring back happy memories. The mellow sound is far removed from the wailing electronic guitars that we have to suffer today. Very pleasant summertime music attractively arranged. As this CD won’t be around too much longer, if this appeals, don’t delay ordering.
Brian Stringer Available directly from Australia: http://www.cumquatrecords.com.au
ON THE SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREET
This is Romance, You Oughta Be in Pictures, Fair and Warmer, All I Do is Dream of You and many more
Ray Noble featuring Al Bowlly (DSOY742) 52:22
Yet another dusted off ‘oldie’. Ray started as principal arranger for the BBC Dance Orchestra led by Jack Payne and was later made Director of light music for HMV Records. This CD, containing 18 tracks, focuses on his career as one of the leading Dance Band Orchestras of the 1930s and really is nostalgia with vengeance along with the added vocals of Al Bowlly.
MUSIC WHILE YOU WORK – Vols. I and II
Issued by Frank Bristow – Victoria, Australia
These CDs have previously been the subject of brief reviews in JIM by Edmund Whitehouse. However, not all details were given. In particular, incomplete information was provided about titles and performers; some of the latter are making their debut on CD, although they all appeared on the programme during its twenty-seven year run.
Calling All Workers (Coates)
Band of the Grenadier Guards/Major F J Harris
Toytown Tattoo (Cardewe)/Louis Voss Grand Orchestra
Polly (Zamecnik)/Harold Collins Orchestra
Coon Band Contest (Pryor)/Troise and His Banjoliers
Harry Wood Hits/Primo Scala
Double or Nothing – selection (Johnson, etc.)/Jack Simpson
Samun – Symphonic Foxtrot/Harry Fryer Orchestra
Alpine Festival (Hartley)/Fred Hartley Orchestra
Tessoro Mio (Beccuci)/Ronnie Monro Orchestra
Knuckledust (Blackmore)/Harold Collins Orchestra
Corn On The Cob (Scott-Wood)/George Scott-Wood Band
Those Were The Days/Jack Coles Music Makers
Dance With A Dolly (Shand etc.) )/Al Collins Band
Trolley Song (Martin etc.) George Elrick Band
Boo Hoo (Lombardo etc.) George Elrick Band
A Feather In Her Tyrolean Hat George Elrick Band
Coon Corn Rag (Vecsey)/Troise and his Banjoliers
A Little On The Lonely Side (Robertson) /Oscar Rabin Band
There Goes That Song Again (Styal etc.) Oscar Rabin Band
East Of The Sun (Bowman) /Cecil Norman and Pat Dodd
Careless (Quadling etc.) Cecil Noprman & Pat Dodd
Light And Shade/Harold Collins Orchestra
Leroy Steps Out – Selection (Kreisker/Zalva) Richard Crean Orchestra
Six Hit Medley/Primo Scala
With A Smile And A Song (Churchill etc.) Reg Pursglove Orchestra
Sing Song Medley No. 3/Jimmy Leach Organolions
Gung’l In The Ballroom/W Reynolds Orchestra
Love Dance Intermezzo (Felix etc.) David Java Orchestra
Calling All Workers (Coates)/Fred Alexander Players
In The Arena (Groltzsch)/Louis Voss Orchestra
Last Tango (Mulka)/Bernard Monshin Orchestra
Songs Of Old England/Troise Banjoliers
Showboat – Selection (Kern) Jack Leon Orchestra
Kiss In The Dark (Herbert) Ronnie Munro Orchestra
Parade Of The Pirates (Brotton)/R & MW Band
Temptation Rag (Lodge)/George Scott-Wood Band
Wood Nymphs (Coates)/London Coliseum Orchestra
Careless Cuckoo (Bucalossi)/Harry Davidson Orchestra
Linger Awhile – Medley/Roland Peachey Orchestra
How Soon (Lucas etc.) Jack White Band
Memories Of The Early Twenties/Primo Scala Band
Salad Days – Medley (Slade etc.)/Tommy Kinsman Band
Friml In The Ballroom/W Reynolds Orchestra
Marigold (Mayerl) Jimmy Leach Organolions
Teddy Bears’ Picnic (Brotton) Troise Banjoliers
Tick Of The Clock (Perry) Harry Davidson Orchestra
You Are My Sunshine (Davis etc.) /Cecil Norman and Pat Dodd
Dardenella (Bernard etc.) Cecil Norman & Pat Dodd
Singalong Medley/Primo Scala Band
Mad About Music – Film Selection/Coventry Hippodrome Orchestra
Choristers’ Waltz (Phelps)/Harry Davidson Orchestra
Waldmere March (Casey etc.)/Harry Foyer Orchestra
Lonely Troubadour (Miller etc.) /Falkman and His Apache Band
In Caliente (Dixon etc.)
Whilst these two fine releases neatly compliment the two GUILD MWYN discs – (there is no duplication of recordings) – there is one significant difference. i.e. the FB CDs contain material from both commercial recordings and the special DECCA MW series, whereas the GUILD issues contain only recordings in the latter category. I should also mention the booklet notes, which provide comprehensive details about the performers and indeed the BBC programme itself; this was so much a part of the daily lives of so many and is sadly missed to this day by enthusiasts of broadcast radio.Tony Clayden
Frank Bristow’s CDs are ONLY available direct from him at 2 Cross Street, Brighton, Victoria, 3186, Australia. Tel. 03-9528-3167. E-mail: Credit cards and PayPal are accepted, but no cheques – details on request. Please visit Frank’s website for details of other CDs in his catalogue: www.musicfromthepast.com
THE GENIUS OF GEORGE GERSHWIN
Various artists (DSOY741) 120:00
Most, if not all, of the Gershwin music contained in this two CD package have been recorded in many new issues. For me, this compilation is a historical document! Twelve of the tracks are Gershwin himself playing piano solo, the remainder with various orchestras. The groundbreaking orchestral pieces Rhapsody in Blue, Concerto in F and An American in Paris are here along with many of the tunes that Gershwin wrote for stage and screen.
FRANCES DAY "Golden Girl of the 1930s" featuring recordings with Geraldo, Ray Noble, Carroll Gibbons, Louis Levy, Benjamin Frankel, Jay Wilbur, Al Bowlly, Bud Flanagan, John Mills, etc… 49 tracks, AVID Easy AMSC 926 - 2 CDs 157 mins. This warm tribute to a lady who seemingly had the world at her feet – particularly during the 1930s – has been compiled by Hugh Palmer, who has been responsible for so many enjoyable collections on LP and CD of music from this period. Frances was American, but she came to London in 1924 where she found her fame and fortune in London. These well-filled discs include her commercial recordings, radio broadcasts and film soundtracks. The singers and orchestra leaders with whom she worked read like a ‘who’s who’ of British show business of the mid-20th century, up to 1955 when she attempted to get into the hit parade with Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road accompanied by Frank Cordell. If you remember Frances you’ll love this collection. David Ades
"The real sound of R.& B and Boogie Woogie" (DSOY 737) 21 tracks. 61:28 "More of the real sound of R & B. and Boogie Woogie" (DSOY 739) Also 21 tracks. 60:38. Two albums exploring the sounds of the Forties and Fifties forerunners of the "Rock and Roll" that followed, cursed by many in this Society but nevertheless a good insight into people who later found fame by moving on into more modern sounds such as Lionel Hampton, Woody Herman, Ray McKinley, Benny Goodman, Buddy Collette, Helen Humes and Count Basie. Unless you follow this style of music other names involved have been lost along the way! The first named CD has a track "Down the road apiece" which I doubt Henry Mancini ever heard, but the opening notes are very "Peter Gunn". Helen Humes sings "St Louis blues" with a small jazz group. A bigger band led by Andy Kirk steam through "Hey! lawdy mama" with a vocal by June Richmond. The second collection has not the interest of the first, obviously the compiler’s second choice! "Tempo and swing" is well named, fast and furious! The amusing lyrics of "Vote for Mr Boogie" sound like parts of Labour’s election manifesto. I have not followed this style of music very much but it certainly was unexpected to hear a harp used on "With a twist of the wrist"! Both collections sound as if put together in a hurry as some titles do not match their allotted number and "Down the road again" appears on both! Paul Clatworthy
MARCHES IN SWINGTIME
Ted Heath – Entry of the Gladiators, Blue Skies March, Cossack Patrol; Ray Anthony – National Emblem March, Sound Off; Ralph Flanagan – Stars and Stripes Forever; Tex Beneke – St Louis Blues March; Sauter-Finegan – Doodletown Fifers; The Squadronaires – March of the Movies; Jack Parnell – When the Saints Go Marching In; Phil Green and his Basin Street Band – Anchors Aweigh; etc… 26 tracks. Memoir CDMOIR 594, 72:26 mins. The abridged tracklisting details above will give a clue of what is on this CD, and I must say that the novel idea works very well! This is a fun collection, which not only reminds us of some great swing marches of the past, but also springs a few welcome surprises. John Snell was responsible for the original idea, and Ted Kendall has performed his usual magic with the remastering. As if all that wasn’t enough, there is an informative and entertaining booklet note by Malcolm Laycock, which is a model of what such things should be – but often aren’t! Most enjoyable. David Ades Memoir CDs are available from the RFS Record Service.
"Fine and Dandy" BENNY GOODMAN quintet and sextet (DSOY 745) 14 tracks"39:41. I cannot honestly say I was agog with excitement when I received this because I am not a fan! Some tunes are taken at such.a pace they sound like 33 played at 45 also some tracks employ, the dreaded "Squeeze box" making it even more Iess appealing. The only Goodman I really enjoyed was his London date arranged by Wally Stott and Peter Knight. This outing was recorded between 1946 and 1947 all on the transcription service complete with announcements. For followers only! Paul Clatworthy
"Penny serenade" (Rare recordings from the nineteen thirties) (DSOY 738) 20 tracks 66 (Various artists) Singers involved Al Bowlly, Cyril Grantham, Dorothy Carless and Sam Browne. Ten titles feature the Geraldo orchestra which fans may have versions elsewhere. Undemanding pleasant listening for 80 to 90 year olds who probably remember first time around. 70 year old recordings painstakingly restored from acetates or lacquers, was it worth the effort? Ill get back to you on that!Paul Clatworthy
A few late arrivals …
"Bugatti Step" ALEX HASSAN, piano A mixture of syncopated marvels including works by the likes of Harry Engleman, Billy Mayerl, Roy Bargy, Carroll Gibbons and Lennie Hayton. Shellwood SWCD35.
"Fidgety Digits" Digitally restored 78s featuring some of the best pianists of the light music idiom from the 1920s to 1940s. Virtuoso performances from Lothar Perl, Donald Thorne, Billy Mayerl, Raie De Costa, Arthur Sandford, Monia Liter and many more. Shellwood SWCD36.
TOMMY STEELE Some of his hit singles plus LPs "The Tommy Steele Story" and "The Tommy Steele Stage Show". Rex REXX 118.
SKIFFLE AT ITS BEST A particularly British phenomenon of the 1950s featuring Lonnie Donegan, Ken Colyer, Johnnie Duncan and all the rest. Rex REXX 316 [2 CDs].
Finally some recent releases noted by Wilfred Askew
HOW THE WEST WAS WON
Featuring Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney and Jimmie Driftwood. Tracks include Shenandoah, Bound for the Promised Land, Green Grow the Lilacs, Billy the Kid, Skip to My Lou, Red River Valley etc (Bear Family, BCD16634) 83:35
CARMEN CAVALLARO — THE EDDY DUCHIN STORY/EDDY DUCHIN REMEMBERED
Two albums from 1956. Tracks include Shine On Harvest Moon, Chopsticks, Dizzy Fingers, La Vie En Rose, I Won’t Dance, Ill Wind, Love Walked In, The Way You Look Tonight etc (Fine and Mellow, FM604) 75:27
MICHEL LEGRAND AND HIS ORCHESTRA – CASTLES IN SPAIN
Original 1956 recording. Tracks include Espana, Jungle Drums, El Gato Montes, Malaguena, El Chocloetc (Cherry Red, ACMEM116) 44:04
LEO REISMAN AND HIS ORCHESTRA – PUTTIN’ ON THE RITZ
Featuring vocalists Fred Astaire, Lee Wiley and Sally Singer. Tracks include Lost in a Fog, I’ve Got You On My Mind, Easter Parade, St Louis Blues, The Piccolino, Lucky Seven etc (Flare, ROYCD254) 71:50
DANNY POLO AND HIS SWING STARS – THE COMPLETE SETS
24 tracks which include That’s A-Plenty, Mozeltov, China Boy, Jazz Me Blues, Mr Polo Takes a Solo, If You Were the Only Girl in the World etc (Retrieval, RTR79051) 69:48
URBIE GREEN BIG BAND AND SEXTET – THE COMPLETE PERSUASIVE TROMBONE
Original Command recordings. Tracks include At Last, My Silent Love, I Can’t Get Started, It Could Happen to You, Skylark, No Moon At All, Love Letters etc. (Lonehill Jazz, LHJ10308) 71:47
WAYNE KING AND HIS ORCHESTRA – THE WALTZ KING
Two CD set. Tracks include My Buddy, Moon Love, Lonely Acres, Close, Trees, A Kiss in the Dark, The Blue Skirt Waltz, I Love You Truly, Sleepy Time Gal, Carolina Moon etc. (Jasmine, JASCD467) 134:48
Orchestral ANDRE KOSTELANETZ PLAYS THE MUSIC OF RICHARD RODGERS
You Took Advantage of Me, Waltzes medley, Have You Met Miss Jones?, Little Girl Blue, Over and Over Again, I Could Write a Book, Loneliness of Evening, Oklahoma medley, Mimi, My Funny Valentine, South Pacific medley, With a Song in My Heart etc
Andre Kostelanetz Orchestra (Sounds of Yester Year, DSOY748) 2CD set 84:37
An album that should be played while reading Dick O’Connor’s excellent article ‘The Kostelanetz Arrangers’ in JIM December 2007. Kostelanetz had almost total control of the final recording so trying to pin down any arranger to a particular tune is almost impossible. The remastered recordings on this CD are his complete ‘Columbia Album of Richard Rodgers’ and is a fine sample of both the work of Rodgers and Kostelanetz. Some lesser known Rodgers tunes are included which is a bonus but as far as albums devoted to Rodgers music go, I still think Stanley Black’s album arranged by Roland Shaw takes some beating! Paul Clatworthy
LEROY ANDERSON ORCHESTRAL MUSIC VOLUME THREE
Harvard Sketches, Melody on Two Notes, Mother’s Whistler, The Penny Whistle Song, The Phantom Regiment, Plink, Plank, Plunk, Promenade, Sandpaper Ballet, Sarabande, Serenata, Old MacDonald Had a Farm, Seventy-Six Trombones, Sleigh Ride, Suite of Carols for Brass Choir, Wintergreen for President, The Typewriter, A Trumpeter’s Lullaby and The Syncopated Clock
Leonard Slatkin and the BBC Concert Orchestra (Naxos 8559357) 61:49
This could be reckoned the best yet in the excellent first complete cycle of Anderson’s orchestral music. The four world premiere recordings (the first three listed above and Wintergreen) fill 11½ minutes of the CD. There are some strange non-musical sounds on Mother’s Whistler, unexplained in Richard S Ginell’s otherwise comprehensive booklet notes. Most of the remaining pieces come into the ‘familiar’ category with Sleigh Ride probably being the most familiar of all. All have that imaginative Anderson touch, none more so than The Typewriter. It is interesting, too, to hear his arrangements of other people’s pieces in Old MacDonald - great fun this - and 76 Trombones. TheSuite of Carols comprises nine timeless numbers including In Dulci Jubilo, Lo, How a Rose E’re Blooming, I Saw Three Ships and We Three Kings. It is, again, a pity that the Christmas track was not put at the end of the disc. Slatkin’s conducting and the orchestral playing are as fine as ever. Although not initially intending to collect every volume, I am now hooked. They’re coming so fast now, number four may well be out before you read this! Peter Burt
JOHNNY DOUGLAS AND HIS ORCHESTRA "The Living Strings"
"Where Did The Night Go?"
In The Still of the Night: title track, Deep Purple,Whispers in the Dark, I Wished on the Moon, Unchained Melody, Wonderland by Night, Blue Velvet, Moon Over Miami, Under a Blanket of Blue, Serenade in the Night. Where Did the Night Go title track, Fanny, Anyone would Love You, F.D.R. Jones, Wish You Were Here, Have I Told You Lately, Restless Heart, Who Knows, Once of These Fine Days, I Have to Tell You.
(Dulcima DLCD 121) 69:50.
The late Johnny Douglas’s own label Dulcima has reissued these two RCS Camden LPs from 1964 and 1963 respectively, and very welcome they are. RCA producer Ethel Gabriel worked on the Melachrino Strings’ 'Moods in Music' series and in the late 1950s developed the Living Strings as a package for RCA’s budget label, Camden, using various orchestras, mainly from Europe. The albums were all centred on a theme: the sea, the West, Broadway, night music. The recordings made by The Living Strings became a mainstay of easy-listening radio and commercial venues. Johnny Douglas, one of England’s masters of string arranging, was the primary arranger and conductor for the series recorded in England. He brought great songs to a new life with his arrangements of a mass of pure velvety strings, mellow brass and superb solos played by the cream of the British musicians of that era. Collectors have waited a long time for these recordings to be made available again, so this new Dulcima CD is especially welcome. David Ades
MALCOLM ARNOLD conducting his own scores
Film music from "Nine Hours To Rama" and "The Lion"
(Vocalion CDLK 4371) 60:22
The earlier of these films, "The Lion" (made in 1962) is set in Africa, while the second "Nine Hours From Rama", covering the day in 1948 when Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated, comes from 1963. Therefore we have examples of Malcolm Arnold’s ideas of African and Indian music – rather different from St. Trinians! Both scores work well when experienced in the cinema, but for purely listening pleasure at home I personally prefer "The Lion", where the full-bodied Arnold sound from his film composing years is far more evident. This is an important addition to the currently available catalogue of film music. David Ades
Brass and Military Band
BANDSTAND IN THE PARK – VOLUME TWO
(See track listing page 65 of JIM 176) (Guild, GLCD 5147)
I eagerly awaited the arrival of this latest addition to the Guild series as older recordings by brass and military bands are as scarce as the proverbial hen's teeth! I wanted to see if volume two achieved the high standard of volume one (as Tony Clayden observed 'the second cup of tea syndrome’). I need not have worried; David Ades has come up trumps again (as usual) with a diverse and interesting collection from days when every town and village boasted its own band. William Lang's cornet playing on Jenny Wren is top class, but that is only to be expected from the Black Dyke Mills Band, magnificent 50 years ago and still going strong! However, the standout for me are the two offerings from the Band of the Royal Netherlands Navy; Royal Review by Leslie Statham under his 'Arnold Steck' guise; and Tony Lowry's rollicking Golden Spurs, tracks which, in their original form, were both sides of a Chappell 78. How good to hear these again. I'm pleased that Sousa's High School Cadets by the Grand Massed Bands is included. Australian collectors will have this on one of Frank Bristow's earlier CDs, but it deserves the wider audience, bringing together memories of Hanwell Silver, Lewisham British Legion, St. Hilda's and St. Pancras Brass under the masterful baton of James Oliver. Kenneth J. Alford is represented with The Great Little Army, and Bob Farnon, Ronnie Binge, Eric Coates and the well known Roger Barsotti all make the list with great bands like Fodens, Grenadier Guards and Central Band of the RAF all there. Borodin's Prince Igor Ballet Dances from the BBC Wireless Military Band brings up the rear with a memorable performance, having earlier featured on the CD with the restful Evensong. Devotees, please buy this in droves, then we can urge David for a volume three in due course. Graham Miles
WARM AND SINCERE
Kitty Kallen (Sepia, 1114) 74:10
Another welcome helping of Kitty Kallen from Sepia! This second volumes accompanies the 2003 release ‘Our Lady Kitty Kallen’. There are 27 recordings ranging from 1949-1957. With the usual fine remastering by RFS member Robin Cherry, this compilation features such favourites as In the Chapel in the Moonlight, True Love, East of the Sun and Little Things Mean a Lot along with some titles new to me such as Let’s Make the Most of Tonight, The Second Greatest Sex and Hideaway Heart. Kitty is accompanied by orchestras directed by Sid Feller and Jack Pleis, who both do sterling work. A very nice collection, with a certain resemblance to our very own Joan Regan in her vocals. Even includes a recent photo of the lady herself in the well designed and plush CD booklet. Adam Endacott
MEL TORMÉ MEETS THE BRITISH
Mel Torme with the Orchestras of WALLY STOTT, TED HEATH, ROLAND SHAW and CYRIL STAPLETON. (Sepia 1113) 56:58
Limehouse Blues, A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts, These Foolish Things, Geordie, My One and Only Highland Fling, White Cliffs of Dover, Danny Boy, Let There Be Love, Greensleeves, Try a Little Tenderness, London Pride – plus bonus tracks: Walkin’ Shoes, Cuckoo In The Clock, Hooray For Love, Shenandoah Valley, Waltz for Young Lovers, I Don’t Want to Walk Without You, Time Was, Ev’ry Which Way. (Sepia 1113) 56:58. Mel Tormé’s British recordings from 1956 and 1957 caused quite a stir in popular music circles at the time, and it’s good to be able to hear ‘the velvet fog’ once again in these fine digital restorations of that landmark Philips album. We may have lost the regular releases of vintage material from Sanctuary Living Era, but happily Sepia can be relied upon to keep coming up with interesting new issues. Furthermore, when they reissue an LP they always seem to add additional tracks so that buyers get value for money. On top of that the CD booklets are generously filled with notes and photos. The only missing element is information about the original catalogue numbers, but that is a minor criticism. This new CD will be warmly welcomed especially for the Wally Stott charts, which range from lush orchestral to exciting big band. David Ades
I had always imagined Mr Tormé’s singing to be a taste I did not wish to acquire but having listened to this CD sent to me for review [now there is a first!] I’m almost a fan. The label, too, was only a name to me and this is the first of their albums I have heard. It is a quality product at the upper end of the budget-priced market and they are to be congratulated. The first dozen tracks listed above are all enhanced by Wally Stott and his Orchestra, as are Time Was and Tormé’s own Ev’ry Which Way. The guitar of Ivor Mairants is featured on Tenderness. Ted Heath and his Music accompany onWalkin’ Shoes and Johnny Mercer’s The Cuckoo in the Clock. Cyril Stapleton and his Orchestra and the Roland Shaw Orchestra share the remaining four tracks. There are informative liner notes by Tony Middleton. And Robin Cherry’s re-mastering brings these tracks up as fresh as the proverbial paint. Peter Burt
ALAN DALE SINGS
Alan Dale (Sepia, 1115) 75:20
A compilation from an unknown vocalist to me, Alan Dale. Once again Sepia has issued a most enjoyable collection and has brought a long forgotten name back into the public domain. With 27 tracks, this CD is great fun with plenty of upbeat numbers and a good mixture of songs from the punchy first track, Waiting for the Robert E Lee, through to Moonlight and Roses and even Robin Hood (although I do prefer Dick James on this one!) Orchestras supporting include Dick Jacobs, Ray Bloch and Percy Faith and recording dates range from 1947-1956. Mentioning Percy Faith, it is I’m Late from the Disney film ‘Alice in Wonderland’ which is the stand out track and Mr Faith is doing his usual excellent job as the accompanying orchestra. An enjoyable crooner and another unique title to add to the Sepia Record range. Adam Endacott
THROUGH THE YEARS Volume One 1950-1951
Autumn Leaves, I’ve Never Been in Love Before, A Perfect Day, May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You, With My Shillelagh Under My Arm, Sentimental Music, Silver Moon, Copacabana, Quizas, Quizas, Quizas [Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps], and more
Bing Crosby [Sepia 1111] 74’43"
It’s a long time since I listened to a Crosby CD and this, as one would expect, is full of good things. In his detailed liner notes Malcolm Macfarlane tells us that in 1950 Bing had eleven records making the hit chart and he came third in the USA movie box office stars poll. 1951 marked the 20thanniversary of his debut as a solo act. Incidentally, it is interesting to read the quotes on the original recordings taken from reviews in The Gramophone magazine – imagine that happening today! Among the 25 tracks, finely re-mastered by Robin Cherry, Axel Stordahl provides an excellent orchestral arrangement on the opening classic, there are four with the Andrews Sisters, including the charming Hawaiian ‘green’ Christmas song Mele Kalikimaka, Frank Loesser’s If I Were a Bell with Patti Andrews, and a delightful Silver Bells [one of five seasonal titles] with Carole Richards, and Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra accompany on another quartet of tracks. Three titles feature John Scott Trotter and his Orchestra, a name associated with tasteful arrangements for Bing over 15 years. Other orchestras involved are those of Vic Schoen, Sonny Burke, Ken Darby and Matty Matlock. The Bando Da Lua accompany on the last two items. But it is not just the singing and playing that are the quality products here. Well done, Sepia, looking forward to more of the same. Peter Burt
The Sepia Records CD range are available directly from Sepia and cost £7.99 per CD (including P&P – unless otherwise noted). Cheques are welcome, made payable to Sepia Records Limited and Paypal payment only via their website www.sepiarecords.com which also features their entire catalogue. Sepia Records Limited, 96 Tubbs Road, London, NW10 4SB, England. They are also available from the RFS Record Service, price £8.50 each.
LIONEL MONCKTON : SONGS FROM THE SHOWS
Ronald Corp and his Orchestra and Chorus (Hyperion, A67654)
This new CD shows what a great composer and lyricist Lionel Monkton was – he is right up there with Sullivan and Kern! On this recording the two soloists could not be bettered just listen to Two Little Sausages, a patter song to stand the test of time with the best. Catherine Bott has a delightful voice but goes one better with her use of her acting skills with the accents she is able to bring to Try Again Johnnie from ‘A Country Girl’, set in Devon and the Yorkshire of Mary from ‘Our Miss Gibbs’. Add to this the style of Richard Stuart and the back up from Ronald Corp and his chorus and orchestra and you have a winning CD of the year! This CD should be in the Christmas stocking of all lovers of light music - play it after Christmas lunch, a pleasant joy for both old and young. Malcolm Lewis
BING AND BOB
You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby, Old Folks, My Reverie, Tea for Two, Yes Indeed, Jingle Bells, San Antonia Rose, It Makes No Difference Now, Delores, Pale Moon, Lazy, Let’s Start the New Year Right, I’ve Got |Plenty to Be Thankful For, I’ll Capture Your Heart, When My Dream Boat Comes Home, Walkin’ the Floor Over You, Big Noise from Winnetka, Two Sleepy People, Begin the Beguine, Long Time No See, Your Easy to Dance With, I Can’t Tell a Lie, Stompin’ at the Savoy and Swing Mr Charlie
Bing and Bob Crosby (Sounds of Yester Year DSOY749) 68:20
Compiler John Bennett has put together all the tracks Bing Crosby recorded with his brother Bob and his orchestra plus nine other tracks recorded between 1936 and 1942. Guests featured on five tracks are The Andrews Sisters, Judy Garland, Connee Boswell and Fred Astaire. A chance for nostalgia buffs to turf out well worn records (if so inclined!)
THE COMPLETE BOB CATS (Volume one of three)
Stumbling, Who’s Sorry Now?, Coquette, Fidgety Feet, You’re Driving Me Crazy, Can’t We Be Friends?, Martha, Home on the Range, Gypsy Love Song, Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life, March of the Bob Cats, Palesteena, Slow Mood, Big Foot Jump, The Big Crash From China, Five Point Blues, Speak to Me of Love, Big Bass Viol, I Hear You Talking, Call Me a Taxi, The Big Noise from Winnetka, Looping the Loop, Beguine, Hindustan and Long Time No See
The Bob Cats (Sounds of Yester Year DSOY750) 71:34
This collection takes in many titles I’ve never heard of! Not being a fan of jazz this old makes it hard to be objective! I can say it’s a very spirited jamboree well played by Yank Lawson, Matty Matlock, Nappy Lamare, Eddie Miller, Billy Butterfield, Bob Haggart and other players of the same calibre. I liked three of the slower tunes, Can’t We Be Friends?, Slow Mood and Five Point Blues but the same pattern that the more frantic numbers dished out left me cold! I will not be seeking the other two volumes!
Finally some recent releases noted by Wilfred Askew
GUYS AND DOLLS
Featuring Vivian Blaine and Frank Sinatra. Contains all the original music from the 1955 film and other bonus tracks. (Blue Moon, BMCD3507) 79:59
FERRANTE AND TEICHER — THE SOUND OF TOMORROW TODAY!
Two albums from 1956, not for the faint-hearted, more for space age/exotica fans. Tracks includeWhat is This Thing Called Love?, The Breeze and I, African Heroes, Lover, Brazil, Orchids in the Moonlight, Siboney, La Cucaracha etc (Cherry Red, ACMEM124CD) 68:17
THE BRASS RING – LOVE THEME FROM THE FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX/LARA’S THEME
Two albums from 1966. Tracks include My Foolish Heart, Moment to Moment, Moon River, Secret Love, Laura, California Dreamin’, Born Free, Dear John etc (Collectors’ Choice, CCM840) 56:31
CARMEN CAVALLARO – PLAYS ELLINGTON/COCKTAILS WITH
Two albums from 1965 and 1956. Tracks include I’m Beginning to See the Light, Satin Doll, Solitude, I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart, Till, All the Way, Just in Time, I Remember it Well etc (Fine and Mellow, FM603) 72:21
LAWRENCE WELK – INTO THE FIFTIES
Two CD set - tracks include Bubbles in the Wine, The Lingering Song, Devil Lips, Rice, The Game of Love, Namely You, Bells Are Ringing etc (Jasmine, JASCD477) 125:15
LENNY DEE – IN DEEMAND
Two CD set – tracks include My Buddy, Bye Bye Blues, When Day is Done, Where or When, I Get Ideas, High Tide Boogie, Crazy Organ Rag, Them There Eyes etc. (Jasmine, JASCD468) 145:57
JACKIE DAVIS – JUMPING HI-FI HAMMOND
Two CD set. Tracks include Time Was, I Hear a Rhapsody, Where in the World, Darn That Dream, Coffee Time, Long Before I Knew You, All of You, Wish etc. (Jasmine, JASCD472) 136:19
GEORGE MELACHRINO: THE MELACHRINO STRINGS AND ORCHESTRA with SEMPRINI Soft Lights and Sweet Music
Introduction and Song of the orchid from the film "No Orchids for Miss Blandish", Rhondda Rhapsody, Love’s roundabout, Sleigh ride, Ecstasy Tango, The Melba Waltz, Golden violins, Park Avenue Waltz, A Girl called Linda, Vanessa, Meet Mister Callaghan, La Rosita, Waltz of Paree, Padam Padam, The sword and the rose, Shadows / Soft lights and sweet music, The touch of your lips, Theme from ‘The Last Rhapsody’, I’ll see you again, Love’s old sweet song, Beautiful dreamer, Ah! Sweet mystery of life, Theme from the film "The Story of Three Loves", Love walked in, Goodnight sweetheart
Vocalion CDVS 1956 [76:38]
With 26 tracks of classy numbers played by one of the leading light music orchestras of all-time given "the supreme magician of CD re-mastering" Mike Dutton’s treatment and all for only £2.99 in the shops [that’s 11½p per track], this must be a front runner to receive the accolade of "Bargain CD of the Year." The first 16 tracks are singles released between 1946-57 and the second 10 comprise the 1954 LP after which the CD is named. William Hill-Bowen, for many years Melachrino’s right-hand man, wrote Park Avenue Waltz, and is the harpsichordist featured on Vanessa and Meet Mr Callaghan– great to hear that particular piece again. The fondly remembered Albert Semprini ["Old ones, new ones, loved ones, neglected ones"] is the pianist on the themes from ‘The Last Rhapsody’, and the film "The Story of Three Loves" – Rachmaninoff, of course. No liner notes, although that is probably no surprise on such a low-priced album. Peter Burt
50 YEARS OF THE MUSIC OF LAURIE JOHNSON – Volume 2
CD 1 – Music from the TV series "The Professionals"; CD 2 – TV themes from "Jason King", "Top Secret", "Echo Four Two" and "Ren & Stimpy" ("Happy Go Lively" from the KPM mood music library); Early singles "Drum Crazy", "Jamboree", "Lullaby Of The Leaves" and "Winter Wonderland"; Film scores from "The First Men In The Moon Suite" and "Ibsen’s Hedda Suite"; Concerto for Trumpet, Tenor Sax and Orchestra. CD 3 – Royal Military Spectacular "Three Paintings by Lautrec Suite", "Colours for Concert Band Suite" and Concert Hall works "The Battle of Waterloo" and "The Wind In The Willows" (tone poem).
Edsel EDSD 2021 3 CDs (box set) [217:46].
Earlier in this issue you will have read Peter Burt’s praise for the first volume in this series in his "Back Tracks" column. I have been collecting Laurie Johnson’s recordings for over fifty years, so you could say I am also biased! But who can fail to be impressed by the sheer musicianship, and astonishing versatility displayed in these three CDs. And don’t forget that this is just the second volume in an ongoing project, which makes Laurie’s massive contribution to music even more astounding. Perhaps the big selling point for TV addicts will be the music from "The Professionals" stretching over 52 cues. Laurie has worked personally to unearth these from his own private collection, otherwise they would probably have been neglected and, perhaps, lost forever. The famous "Professionals" theme is there, of course, but it is all the other music cues that are so fascinating. The second CD focuses on Laurie’s TV themes, early singles, film scores and concert hall work. The final piece features The London Big Band and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Laurie Johnson, with Guy Barker (trumpet) and Tommy Whittle (tenor saxophone). Malcolm Laycock’s booklet note says it all: "The work received a standing ovation at the concert at the Royal Albert Hall. I think it is one of Laurie’s great achievements, a work of outstanding emotional depth and resonance which connected to everybody in the audience at the concert. It is simply sublime, it soars, it is triumphant, it is inspiring". Laurie had his grounding in military music and it is clearly very important to him. The third CD concentrates on this side of his creativity, and features The London Brass Chorale and The Band of the Coldstream Guards conducted by Laurie Johnson – Three Paintings by Lautrec Suite; RAF Central Band and RAF Squadronaires conducted by Laurie Johnson –Colours For Concert Band Suite and The Battle of Waterloo. The final track is actually orchestral, with Laurie conducting his tone poem The Wind In The Willows. I know that it is Laurie’s wish that his music should be available to those interested at a reasonable price. He is not out to make money from this project, which is obvious when you see that each CD inside the box set has its own booklet, crammed with notes and photographs. Many of us would happily pay £30 for a set like this, but you should be able to find it for a fraction of this price. On behalf of your legion of admirers, all I can really say is a heartfelt and sincere "Thank-you, Laurie – for everything". David Ades This 3-CD set is available from the RFS Record Service price £10.
LEROY ANDERSON Orchestral Music Volume 4
BBC Concert Orchestra / Leonard Slatkin; Kim Criswell [soprano], William Dazeley [baritone]
Irish Suite, To a wild rose, Summer skies, Scottish Suite, Blue Tango, Forgotten dreams, Belle of the ball, Alma mater, A Christmas Festival
Naxos 8559381 [60:26]
Among the highlights of 2008’s albums has been this series by the classically trained composer whose records made the pop charts. The, by now, familiar mix is here with concentration on Anderson’s arrangements, as well as revisions or alternative versions of his own output, includingAlma Mater, a reworking of his 1939 suite Harvard Sketches [recorded on Vol.3 - Naxos 8559357]. The Scottish Suite was written a handful of years after the better known Irish Suite. Three of its four pieces have been heard before but this is a world première recording for the complete suite. It’s good, with some rollicking horns on the ‘new’ piece, Bonnie Dundee. First time on disc, too, are the vocal versions of Anderson’s Tango, Ball and the Robert Wendell arranged Dreams – none of which are much to my liking on a first hearing. The lyricist is Mitchell Parish of Stardust, Deep Purple andSweet Lorraine fame. A fifth world première is Anderson’s orchestration of Edward MacDowell’s Rose. Leonard Slatkin has got the music just right and the BBC musicians excel throughout. For this release Naxos have sensibly put the seasonal music at the end of the disc. Richard S. Ginell’s liner notes are as admirable as ever. Peter Burt
THE MUSIC OF GRANT FOSTER
Novaya Rossia State Orchestra, conducted by Alexander Anissimov; featuring Mira Yevtich [piano], and Maria Safaryanc [violin]
Celebration Overture; Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra; Ballade for Piano and Violin; Four Voyages for Piano – Buenos Aires, Moscow, Venice, Marrakesh
Bel Air Music BAM 2041 [65:00]
I am indebted to Gramophone critic Andrew Lamb for making me aware of this wonderful music. Andrew began his review stating "This is amazing! Where has Grant Foster been all these years?" A more pertinent question may be why don’t we get the chance to hear and buy more lovely music like this? The answer is probably that it doesn’t suit the musical snobs to admit that anything hinting of melody is worthy of their attention. If some of the noise that invades the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall is anything to go by they must be in their element each summer; fortunately the rest of us don’t have to go along with them. Rant over ... now on to the music! The CD opens with Celebration Overture performed by the Orchestra. This establishes Grant Foster’s credentials as a composer capable of matching any of his contemporaries, especially those working in the movies. But Mr. Foster creates his music far from Hollywood – in Sydney, Australia, where he was born in 1945. In previous years he has lived and worked in Paris and London, but he is now back home where he teaches music and has a small, but enthusiastic following locally; hopefully this release may make the rest of the world sit up and take notice. The Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra features Mira Yevtich as the soloist, and it is particularly enjoyable watching her perform the work on the accompanying DVD, which must be considered as a kind of bonus (let’s hope the idea spreads!). Her playing is both gentle and dominant, and I suspect that the composer will have been delighted with her interpretation. This work certainly rewards repeated listening, although it is instantly appealing on the first hearing. The rest of the CD is without the orchestra, leaving Mira Yevtich to take centre stage. She is joined by Maria Safaryanc in the Ballade for Piano and Violin, but she is alone in theFour Voyages – reminding us that we are missing so much because we rarely hear solo piano playing of such quality these days. I make no apology for the length of this review – it simply deserves it. In fact I could say a lot more (and there are plenty of interesting facts in the booklet notes), but it is better to let the music speak for itself. If you are looking for something fresh and new to add to your collection – and you are willing to be adventurous – you need look no further. David Ades
[Available from Amazon and other retailers; or from the RFS Record Service for £14.] CD plus DVD of the Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra
MANTOVANI AND HIS ORCHESTRA Gems Forever/ Mantovani Memories
All the things you are, True love, I could have danced all night, You keep coming back like a song, A woman in love, This nearly was mine, Summertime, Something to remember you by, An affair to remember, Love letters, The nearness of you, Hey, there! / Smoke gets in your eyes, What a wonderful world, The Trolley Song, Sweet Leilani, Try to remember, Sunrise, sunset, The Anniversary Waltz, In the still of the night, Once upon a time, Embraceable you, How are things in Glocca Morra?, You’ll never walk alone
Vocalion CDLK 4374 [76:00]
Mantovanians, especially, are indebted to Mike Dutton as these two immaculate albums on one disc bring the number of the light music luminary’s CDs from Vocalion [mostly comprising two LPs] to 27.‘Gems’, in early stereo from 1959 [it had been issued in mono in 1958 under a different title], pays tribute to American composers and, probably thanks to Stateside fans, was a million seller by the mid ‘60s. The opening melody is, to quote Colin Mackenzie in his liner notes, truly "sumptuous." Other stand-out moments include the fine trumpet of Stan Newsome on the Gershwin classic, the combination of a vibraphone with the high strings on True love, and the bell effect from the strings on the alluring Something to remember.
‘Memories’ originates from a decade later and opens with a typically lush version, arranged by Monty himself, of what is often reckoned to be the greatest popular song ever written. I wonder why In the still of the night was omitted from the original CD? Cecil Milner has included a chorus in his arrangements of Wonderful, Sunrise, and Walk but it complements the orchestral sound. Trolley,Sweet and Try are three of the interesting Roland Shaw arrangements to be found on the album. On the Mantovani Fan Website [www.hallowquest.com], Scott Raeburn rates this as one of Vocalion’s best ever re-issues. If you are not normally in the market for Mantovani CDs, why not give yourself a treat for Christmas? Peter Burt
City of Prague Philharmonic arranged and conducted by Carlos Franzetti
Girl talk, Last tango in Paris, The voyage of the damned, I want to live, Still time, A place in the sun, Taxi driver, The bad and the beautiful, Tango Fatal , Alfie
Sunnyside SSC 1180 [45:31]
Superb choice of film music with evocative sympathetic scoring for a fine orchestra; only one flaw, the soloist, sax player Andy Fusco. He blows too hard and often gets lost in a flurry of notes trying to prove how fast his fingers are. Stan Getz is no longer with us but there are many players currently around who could do better justice to the thought put into the arranging. The times when Andy does not try to dominate the orchestra make for a better listen. Paul Clatworthy
NIGEL HESS: CONCERTO FOR PIANO AND ORCHESTRA
Lang Lang [piano], London Chamber Orchestra conducted by Christopher Warren-Green
UCJ 1774850 [23:57]
At last April’s London RFS Meeting Nigel Hess gave advance notice that this CD would appear during the summer, so many readers may already have been on the look-out for it. The work was commissioned by Prince Charles in memory of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth – affectionately known to the nation for five decades as ‘The Queen Mother’. According to the booklet notes Prince Charles wanted something that audiences would enjoy at a first hearing, and there is no doubt that Nigel Hess has succeeded brilliantly. But at the same time there is so much in this beautiful work that becomes more pleasing following repeated listening – it is certainly a work worth getting to know. The Chinese pianist Lang Lang demonstrates that he fully deserves his international reputation, and it is incredible to think that he made his debut as recently as 2003. This is a truly lovely piece of music, whether or not you are familiar with the influences that prompted its creation. Each new work from Nigel Hess further strengthens his claim to be one of England’s foremost contemporary composers, but he is such a modest man that such words would never pass his lips! The short total time of the CD (there are no other works included) is reflected in the price. UK readers should be able to find copies around £6. David Ades
‘DREAMTIME’ – Light Music Classics Volume 3
El relicario [My memoirs] – Morton Gould; Tic-tac-toe, On the Alamo, It had to be you – Hugo Winterhalter; The girl with the Spanish drawl [Wow! Wow! Wow!], Caribbean night – Percy Faith; Belle of the ball – Leroy Anderson; Sicilian tarantella [Fischiettando], Overnight – Victor Young; The call of the faraway hills, The Melba Waltz [Dreamtime] – Victor Young Singing Strings; Fiddlesticks, Rendezvous – Tutti Camarata; High Strung, Sadie Thompson’s song[Blue Pacific blues] – Axel Stordahl; I get a kick out of you – David Rose; ‘Dreamtime – The Strings of Stordahl’: As time goes by, A blues serenade, It’s easy to remember, That old feeling, Imagination, What is there to say?, Love letters, I’m getting sentimental over you – Axel Stordahl
Vocalion CDVS 1957 [71:55]
Another super bargain-priced CD from Vocalion, and all that David Ades wrote about ‘Stringopation’[CDVS1954] in the June JIM applies here. This time the spotlight falls on some great American orchestras recorded between 1950-57, with Axel Stordahl’s delightful 1953 late-night listening LP, after which the release is named, bringing the album to a close. Other highlights for me are the two exuberant Faith tracks, the French horns and pizzicato strings on Tic-tac-toe, the Irish-soundingTarantella, Victor Young’s haunting Faraway Hills, and the lilting Melba Waltz. But every track has something to commend it. Mike Dutton can keep this series going for as long as he likes. I did not expect any liner notes, so was not disappointed. Peter Burt
MUSIC FROM THE MOVIES
Gaumont British Symphony, Louis Levy; Hallé Orchestra, William Walton; London Symphony Orchestra, Muir Mathieson; Music from the Movies Orchestra, Louis Levy; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Muir Mathieson; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, John Hollingsworth; Philharmonia Orchestra, Ernest Irving
Music from the movies – march [Levy], Spitfire fugue [Walton] from film "The First of the Few"; Seascape [Parker] "Western Approaches"; Calypso music [Alwyn] "The Rake’s Progress"; The last walk [Williamson] "The Edge of the World"; Waltz into jig [Greenwood] "Hungry Hill"; Incidental music from "The Overlanders"[Ireland]; Prelude from "49th Parallel" [Vaughan Williams]; Theme music from "Cure for Love" [Alwyn]; Romance [Green] "The Magic Bow"; Theme from "Esther Waters"[Jacob]; Derby Day 1886 [Jacob] "Esther Waters"; London scene [Wilkinson] "The Weaker Sex"; Sleeping car train, Waltz from film "Sleeping Car to Trieste" [Frankel]; Dinner at Lady Datchett’s [Williamson] "Woman Hater"; Joanna’s theme, Alec’s theme, Title music from "High Tide at Noon, Title music from "The Spanish Gardener" [Veale]; Theme and incidental music from "Yangtse Incident" [Lucas]; Incidental music from "The Loves of Joanna Godden" [Vaughan Williams]
Vocalion CDEA 6146 [75:13]
All the music on this well-filled CD was heard in British movies [did we call them that in those days?] from 1937 to 1957; the earliest being the familiar first track and the latest being the two watery films, "High Tide at Noon" and "Yangtse Incident." Many of the items appear on CD for the first time. It is good that they should be remembered as there are some fine tunes here – melodic, dramatic, evocative – several by composers best known to classical music buffs, and probably many are more memorable than the films for which they were written. Lewis Foreman’s booklet notes are full of information; I was particularly interested to read about John Veale, a name previously unknown to me. Reginald Leopold, later of BBC Radio’s "Grand Hotel" fame, is the solo violinist on Philip Green’sRomance. Once again a Vocalion release commendable for its choice of material and digital re-mastering. And at budget price especially well worth acquiring. Peter Burt
BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC PREMIERES – VOLUME 5
Royal Ballet Sinfonia, conductor Gavin Sutherland, Barry Wordsworth¹; BBC Concert Orchestra, conductor Roderick Dunk ² Roy Budd – Tricolour Overture; Francis Chagrin – Aquarelles [Portraits of Five Children]; Paul Carr – Concerto for Oboe & String Orchestra, Air for Strings¹; Gavin Sutherland – Clarinet Concerto; Richard Addinsell – Ring Round the Moon Suite²
Dutton Epoch CDLX 7209 [79:37]
Yet again Mike Dutton has demonstrated his admirable dedication to contemporary British music. We are so fortunate to have the opportunity to add music like this to our collections. Each of these works is a most welcome addition to the available catalogue of recorded music, and they all have their own special appeal. To be precise, the Francis Chagrin Aquarelles and Richard Addinsell’s Invitation Waltzare not, strictly speaking, premières, but who can complain at these fine new recordings by the precious BBC Concert Orchestra. I say ‘precious’ deliberately, because this orchestra is so important to Britain’s musical culture, yet you sometimes get the impression that it does not receive the support from the musical establishment that it deserves. If we lost it, that would be a tragedy – hence my word ‘precious’. We must not allow a repeat of the act of cultural barbarism when the BBC axed the BBC Radio Orchestra. To return to the repertoire, who can ever have imagined that we would be offered Richard Addinsell’s full suite Ring Round The Moon. Heartfelt thanks to Philip Lane for reconstructing it. The booklet notes are both informative and revealing, and this entire production is top quality. We must support new releases like this. David Ades Dutton Epoch CDs are available from the RFS Record Service price £10.50.
THE GREAT SOUNDS OF THE PIANO ACCORDIAN BANDS –
Geraldo; Eric Winstone; Roberto (George Scott-Wood); Primo Scala; The London Piano Accordian Band
CD1: The Poor People of Paris (PS); So Tired (LPA) ; Wrap Yourself In Cotton Wool (EW) ; Bluebell Polka (PS); Jingle, Jangle, Jingle (EW); Moonlight Avenue (LPA); Isle Of Capri (PS); I Know Why(EW); Take Me To Your Heart Again (LPA); Jealousy/Romanesca (EW); Old Timer (G); Lullaby Of The Volga (PS); Medley: Flame Of Desire/Sunshine and Roses/Tom Thumb’s Drum/Rhymes (G); Roll Along Covered Wagon (PS); Memories Of Spain (EW); Sleepy Time In Sleepy Hollow (G) … and more
CD2: If Could Paint A Memory (EW); Johnny Ragtime; On Treasure Island (PS); Rose O’Day (EW), All For A Shilling A Day (R); The Rose In Her Hair (PS); When Night Is Through (EW); Alpine Valse (R); Grinzing; A Street In Old Seville (G); Underneath The Arches; Here Comes The Rainbow (PS); Medley: Sweet And Lovely/Put Your Little Arms Around Me/Cuban Love Song/You Forgot Your Gloves(G); Lady, Sing Your Gypsy Song; Hey! Mabel (EW) … and more
Rex REXX 321 [76:08 & 77.19]
In 2004 I drew attention to a two-CD set on the Rex label, ‘Time for Accordion’ (REXX 305), featuring various accordion bands and soloists that saw their heyday during the 1930’s/50’s. That set (still available) was notable for the inclusion of bands which had hitherto not seen the light of day since their original issue on 78’s. I ended my review "More please!!" My wish it seems has now been granted. The current set is a worthy successor, and focuses primarily on the bands listed above. Like Primo Scala and Scott-Wood, the Eric Winstone Accordion Band and his smaller accordion groups broadcast frequently on BBC radio during the 1940’s. It is high time these commercial recordings were reissued since the ensemble has been unjustly neglected. It has a very distinctive sound which sets it apart from standard accordion band fare since it includes strings and flutes, etc. Tracks have vocals by Cyril Grantham and a young Julie Dawn. Other singers on the CDs are Alan Kane, The Keynotes and Phil Phillips. The Geraldo ensemble also has a lighter touch and is a very different set up from the Latin-style Gaucho Tango Band of the 1930’s which also hosted three or four accordionists. Of the Primo Scala tracks one or two are duplicated on other CD issues by the artist. However some transfers from the Embassy label sold exclusively in Woolworths appear on CD for the first time. These represent some of the last recordings made by the band before Harry Bidgood’s untimely death in 1957. A significant proportion of the 50 tracks on this 2-CD set have never been released on LP or CD before and have been well re-mastered from the original shellacs. This is an enterprising issue and a welcome addition to the catalogue at budget price. Brian Stringer
JACK SIMPSON AND HIS SEXTET Jack’s the Boy For Work
Rise and Shine; Only Passing Clouds; Track 3; Once Upon a Winter Time; I Got Rhythm; Oasis; Take it Away; The Boogie Woogie Piggy; Stampede; The First Day of Summer; Chatanooga Choo Choo; I’d Give the World; Oh Lady Be Good; Mirage; Is It Too Late; Sweetheart We’ll Never Grow Old; Watch the Birdie; Time May Change; Stagecoach; Did You Ever Get That Feeling in the Moonlight; I’ve Got You Before My Eyes; I Cried for You; Jack’s the Boy For Work
Sunflower SUN 2176 [68:57]
Jack Simpson’s swing sextet/septet/band used to broadcast on the BBC’s "Music While You Work." He has been unjustly neglected by the music companies who have brought us so many other wonderful restorations in recent years; a CD was issued by Vocalion in 2007 (CDEA 6122), which was very welcome, and since this latest Sunflower release duplicates only a few of the tracks that appear on the Vocalion it is worth acquiring. For a sextet, Jack Simpson provides great diversity of styles. The group sometimes play in swing mood with a style reminiscent of Stephane Grappelli, at other times he reverts to a more romantic mode. Of course Jack is renowned for his dazzling renderings on both xylophone and marimba of which several examples are provided on this CD. He played in many of the outstanding bands of his day such as those of Phil Green, Ambrose and Freddy Gardner. The group comprised well-known musicians such as Reg Leopold, Oscar Grasso on violins, accordionists Scott-Wood or Phil Green plus guitarists such as Ivor Mairants from Geraldo’s band plus a double bass player. At a later stage Stanley Black joined the group on piano as did Aubrey Franks on sax. Betty Kent was one of the group’s regular vocalists, though some tracks on this CD are purely instrumental. The CD is woefully lacking in specific track details, although there are informative sleeve notes by Barry McCanna. The transfers are excellent with clear and full bodied sound. Unfortunately Sunflower CDs are not easy to come by. This one is not on the HMV or Amazon websites. If you require a copy I suggest you try The Great Music Company on 01280 823568 or go to their website at www.greatmusic.co.uk. It should only cost you around £5. Brian Stringer
LEE GIBSON Here’s to Love
Lee Gibson with Andy Panayi [flute and alto sax]; James Pearson [piano]; Sam Burgess [bass]; Chris Dagley [drums]
No moon at all, Easy to love, The nearness of you, Every little thing, Love dance, Joy spring, The shadow of your smile, Not like this, Come back to me, Here’s to life, Just friends
Spotlight SPJ CD 578 [56:06]
Although not really my kind of music [I received this in my new role as pro tempore Keeping Track editor] I can recognize an extremely musical singer when I hear one, whatever the form. Miss Gibson, who is an Associate Professor at the Guildhall School of Music, sings on this album what I would call fairly "straight" jazz, without too much improvisation, at which I understand she is "formidable." She is highly regarded in the jazz world and Sheila Tracy writes in the liner notes: "I have watched her progress from a good singer, which she always was, to a quite exceptional one who is now world class." The backing group sounds, too, are more than acceptable. Dave Gelly writes interestingly about the songs and Robin Cherry is responsible for the CD mastering. If you are not normally into jazz but fancy a representative album in your collection, then you could do a lot worse than to go for this one. I would think that readers of Paul Clatworthy’s column need not hesitate. Peter Burt
MY FAIR LADY Original Broadway Cast 1956
including bonus tracks ‘Lyrics By Lerner, Music by Loewe’: A jug of wine, Almost like being in love, The heather on the hill, There but for you go I, Love of my life
Naxos 8.120876 [72:07]
This is it, the original recording that took the musical theatre world by storm. It has come up as fresh as paint with transfers and production by David Lennick and digital restoration by Graham Newton. We can thrill again at Julie Andrew’s crystal clear singing voice and marvel at her transformation from guttersnipe to lady. We can admire anew the beautiful enunciation of Rex Harrison and Stanley Holloway’s wonderfully comical cockney portrayal of Higgins. Franz Allers conducts Loewe’s scintillating score, and there is a welcome additional item not found on the original LP: The Embassy Waltz played by Percy Faith and his Orchestra. So dim the lights, sit back, relax, and wallow in a joyous experience from beginning to end.
ALMA COGAN Ladies and Gentlemen, Miss Alma Cogan! Songs from "Take It from Here" and Other Gems
Intro: Take it from here, Isn’t life wonderful, What a perfect combination, If I had a golden umbrella, Mr Taptoe, The little fir tree, Sittin’ in the sun, A purple cow, Tennessee wig walk, Man, Pride of the Nancy Lee, Flirtation Waltz, and 60 other tracks
Sepia 8003 [2 CDs: 61:20 & 71:57]
Popular music was the poorer for the passing of Alma Cogan at the all too early age of 34 in 1966. A favourite from my late teenage years, Alma made her first record in 1952 and became known as "The girl with a laugh in her voice" from her bright and breezy style with such numbers as I can’t tell a waltz from a tango, The naughty lady from shady lane, Where will the dimple be?, Dreamboat [a 1955 No.1 hit], and Willie can – all may be found here. Alma became the first female vocalist to have her own TV series in Britain, 1959-61. The majority of tracks derive from the popular BBC radio show "Take It From Here" which starred Jimmy Edwards, June Whitfield and Dick Bentley, who duets with her on What a perfect combination. Included are previously never heard before versions of Alma’s more familiar recordings as well as songs making an appearance for the very first time. I was fascinated to hear Cornflake Jones, a vocal version of Sidney Norman’s (Norrie Paramor) novelty piece Cornflakes. Bandleader Billy Ternent [plus his orchestra] joins her on That’s what a rainy day is for and I love the way you say goodnight; and Banjo’s back in town was recorded in February 1956 unaccompanied due to a musicians’ strike! These well-filled CDs remind us that Miss Cogan was one of our greatest popular music divas ever. There is an excellent booklet, including a piece by Alma’s MD Stan Foster, to back up the music. Re-mastering is in the capable hands of Robin Cherry, and there is a modicum of surface noise. Unless you find of the sound of applause irritating, this is a recommendable release. Peter Burt
BING CROSBY AND FRIENDS
Sounds of Yesteryear [DSOY752]
This is culled from Crosby’s radio shows including Bob Hope, Patti Page, Judy Garland, Ethel Merman, Louis Armstrong, Jimmy Durante, Peggy Lee, Danny Kaye and many others. Judging by the audience laughter, some of the entertainment was visual. Many of the songs have now left the play lists but Crosby completists will love this CD. Paul Clatworthy
DEANNA DURBIN Mad About Music: Rarities and Gems
I love to whistle, A serenade to the stars, When I sing, Carmena waltz, The old refrain, Begin the beguine, Pale hands I loved, Say a pray’r for the boys over there, Russian Medley, Nessun Dorma, Always, Gimme a little kiss, will ya, huh? Night and day, Lover … and 9 other titles
Sepia 1117 [78:08]
Canadian born Deanna [Edna Mae at birth] Durbin had a big following in the late ‘30s and early-mid ‘40s and not for nothing was she known at one time as "The Queen of Universal Pictures." She wanted to be an opera star and her voice is a bit too operatic for my liking. Her many fans, however, will not be disappointed by this very well-filled album, all songs from movies. I loved the tango accompaniment on In the spirit of the moment. The glossy CD booklet is well up to Sepia’s high standards with very informative notes and mostly coloured photos/illustrations. Ray Pavene
JANE MORGAN Sings Showstoppers
Give my regards to Broadway/The Yankee Doodle Boy, Dancing in the dark, You’ll never walk alone, Toyland/Moonbeams, I love Paris/C’est magnifique, The Merry Widow Waltz, The surrey with the fringe on top, Hello young lovers, Hey there, A pretty girl is like a melody/Say it with music, So in love, They didn’t believe me … and 15 other titles
Sepia 1119 [76:06]
Before listening to this CD I must admit to knowing next to nothing about Miss Morgan, her earlier album ‘An American Songbird in Paris’ [Sepia 1098] not having come my way. What I know now is that this album gave me unalloyed pleasure from beginning to end. She has a remarkably pleasing lyric soprano voice that one could listen to for hours. Recorded in 1958, the selection of songs could hardly be bettered. The orchestra is directed by Frank Hunter, with some tasteful arrangements, and other musicians heard are The Troubadors [sic] directed by Marty Gold, and the piano duo of Ernest Bragg and Buddy Weed. On You’re just in love, from "Call Me Madam", the duettist is Michael Stewart. Since listening to this release I have discovered that Jane is a product of the Julliard School of Music and had chart success in the late ‘50s with Two different worlds, alongside Roger Williams,Fascination [from 1957 with three million sold by 1965], The day the rains came and With open arms. For me, then, quite a discovery and a release to treasure. Peter Burt
MARK MURPHY Love Is What Stays
Stolen moments, Angel eyes, My foolish heart, So doggone lonesome, What if, The interview, Once upon a summertime, Stolen moments, Love is what stays, Too late now, Blue cell phone, Did I ever live
Verve B0008906-02 [64:13]
The photo on the CD says it all: "I’ve been around but the music keeps me going." Mark’s singing has a sweet and sour contrast bringing a new layer of edginess to each song. The presence of awesome trumpet player Till Bronner, soloing and sometimes arranging, is a real bonus. Special accolades are due for the string arrangements of Nan Schwartyz, arranger for many American T.V. shows, the Boston Pops and many other singers, earning her Grammy nominations. She has obviously heard a few Johnny Mandel charts along the way! Paul Clatworthy
BOB CATS The Complete Bob Cats Volume 2
Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY751 [57:41]
BOB CATS The Complete Bob Cats Volume 3 It’s All Over Now
39 tracks on 2 CDs
Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY753 [56:31 & 50:51]
If my review of Volume 1 [see JIM 177] had already been published, these would probably not have been sent for review. Played back to back the compositions seem to merge into a steady relentless chug with little change in tempo. Your feet may start to twitch but the brain gets numb minute by minute. If you did get Vol.1 and enjoyed it, the music continues. Personnel are much the same; good players all playing their hearts out. Each to his own is all that I can add to my last review. Paul Clatworthy
Sepia 1118 [76:47]
Sepia’s customary high standard booklet notes claim that this is "one of the merriest and most unusual collections" in their catalogue. The first 14 tracks are from ‘Pinocchio’ televised on U.S. NBC Television in October 1957. It is narrated by Mickey Rooney, who starred in the title role, with Fran Allison, Jerry Colonna, Stubby Kaye, Martyn Green and Gordon B Clarke. The music is by Alec Wilder and the lyricist is William Engvick, who wrote the English words for The song from Moulin Rouge [Where is your heart]. ‘Mickey Rooney Sings’ on the next eight tracks includes Yankee doodle boy,Give my regards to Broadway and Top hat, white tie and tails. ‘Fran Allison Sings.’ completes the CD with six tracks, four of which are for the kiddywinks. Certainly a bit different but enjoyable nevertheless. Ray Pavene
JASCHA HEIFETZ VIOLIN VIRTUOSO
Korngold: Violin concerto; Lalo: Symphonie Espagnole; George Gershwin: Prelude Nos. 1-3, Summertime, A woman is a sometime thing, My man’s gone now, It ain’t necessarily so, Tempo di blue, Bess, you is my woman now; Trad.: Deep River; Weill: Moderato assai [from "The Threepenny Opera"]; Benjamin: Jamaican rumba
Regis RRC 1296 [74:07]
The main attraction of this disc for JIM readers will probably be the popular pieces occupying the last 27 minutes and I have found myself repeatedly playing these dozen tracks. Emanuel Bay is the pianist on the Gershwin and Weill [Mack the Knife] items, Milton Kaye on the Benjamin and trad. As the very good 8-page booklet notes by Peter Avis remind us, Erich Wolfgang Korngold provided the scores for some 20 films, two of which were to win him Academy Awards and two more, Academy nominations. In fact, the concerto is based on music contained in four of his film themes – although it is not clear which came first. What is clear is that Heifetz, who died in 1987 aged 86, was a fabulous musician and this disc, available at a giveaway price if you shop around, bears witness to his being truly the ‘King of Violinists’
WALLERMANIA - Tribute to Fats Waller ALEX HASSAN piano
Wallerama Medley, Palm Garden, Alligator Crawl, Happy Feeling, etc.. Shellwood SWCD 37 [68:13]
Alex Hassan has become one of Shellwood’s ‘regulars’, and this time he turns his attention to the great Fats Waller. Many of his famous hits form part of medleys, of which there are five in this collection, plus Waller’s 1940 "London Suite" with individual tunes honouring Piccadilly, Chelsea, Soho, Bond Street, Limehouse and Whitechapel. Hailing from Northern Virginia, Alex Hassan has immersed himself in popular piano music from the 1920s and 1930s, and the glorious sounds from that far-off era flow effortlessly through his gifted fingers. David Ades
JUST A LITTLE THING CALLED RHYTHM – Rhythmic Piano Rolls 1917-1936 Pianolist: Julian Dyer
Who, It’s De-Lovely, I’m Lonely Without You, Sweet Man, Moonlight on the Ganges, Sunny Side Up. Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man etc… 24 tracks
Shellwood SWCD 38 [75:39]
For the technically minded, Julian Dyer is playing a standard 88-note Aeolian Company ‘Pianola’. Piano rolls were the music industry’s answer to those aspiring pianists who simply weren’t very good! For us today they offer the chance to hear the kind of music that was enjoyed by our grandparents – and their parents – in the original arrangements. If you like syncopated piano this is just for you.David Ades
FRANCK POURCEL Platinum Collection
Chariot (I Will Follow Him), La Vie En Rose, Mon Dieu, The Magnificent Seven, Unforgettable, Blue Tango, Singing In The Rain, Saturday Night Fever, Concorde, Penny Lane, She, I Don’t Know How To Love Him, etc… 60 tracks
EMI France 3-CD box set 5099923570122 [178:44]
This latest offering of Franck Pourcel recordings has been compiled by RFS member Serge Elhaik, and it is taken from various LPs for Capitol USA from the 1960s to the 1980s. The informative booklet is in French, and some familiar numbers are listed only by their French titles, so you will encounter some surprises along the way! During this period Franck was adapting his earlier style to suit the changing music scene. As Ralph Harvey was quoted as writing in our last issue (page 66):
"Throughout the years Franck Pourcel has used imagination without gimmickry. It is true that his most recent recordings have introduced a ‘beat’ element which has disturbed some of his more traditionalist followers in France. Popular music, however, does not and cannot stand still and provided Franck keeps the sense of good taste he has shown over the past twenty-five years he has every reason to move with the times." Franck clearly did succeed in walking what some might call a musical tightrope, as his continuing popularity has confirmed. David Ades
The following new releases were noted just as we went to press. If any reviews are subsequently received, they will appear in a future issue. [Details taken from record company publicity].
DEBBIE WISEMAN – Different Voices
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Conducted by Debbie Wiseman
"How about composing a new Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra?" suggested Ian Maclay, the general manager of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. I’ve always loved composing for full symphony orchestra, so this was a challenge that simply had to be met! I conducted the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the first live performance at London’s Cadogan Hall with Hayley Westenra adding her special touch to the song and Stephen Fry narrating in his own inimitable fashion. The result of that live performance is this CD. It was a truly memorable and exciting experience, and I hope you enjoy listening to different voices as much as I enjoyed composing the piece. – Debbie Wiseman
MIKLOS ROZSA Orchestral Works Volume 1
Three Hungarian Sketches, Hungarian Serenade, Overture to a Symphony Concert, Tripartita.
BBC Philharmonic Conducted by Rumon Gamba
Chandos CHAN 10488
Miklós Rózsa is one of the giants of the film world with scores for Hollywood films such as Ben Hur,Quo Vadis, and El Cid. Once settled in Hollywood, Rózsa was able to negotiate a beneficial contract which allowed him to spend the summer months at his Italian retreat writing his concert music, while during the winter months composing music for films in Hollywood. The conductor Rumon Gamba comments, ‘Having made many discs of film music by composers whose concert works are well known, such as Malcolm Arnold and Vaughan Williams, I thought it would be interesting to turn to a very well-known film music composer and profile his concert works, which have perhaps been overshadowed by his big screen successes’. The film music of Miklós Rózsa is extremely exciting, passionate and intoxicating, and deserves to be better known. Gamba conducts the BBC Philharmonic in four works, all influenced in some way by Rózsa’s Hungarian roots.
BEST OF LONDON
2-CD collection of music associated with London. Light music tracks include: Eric Coates London Suite (excerpts), London Calling, London Again Suite (excerpts); Haydn Wood London Cameos Suite, Horseguards Whitehall; Sidney Torch London Transport Suite; Robert Farnon Westminster Waltz; Philip Lane London Salute -etc.
AARON COPLAND: Dance Symphony / Symphony No. 1 / Short Symphony
Bournemouth Symphony, Alsop
LEROY ANDERSON Orchestral Music Volume 5
Goldilocks; Suite of Carols (version for woodwinds)
BBC Concert Orchestra Conducted by Leonard Slatkin
Naxos 8559382 [52:14]
FREDDY GARDNER The Essential Collection
Avid AVC 947 2-CD set
"He embroiders his improvisations with lyrical phrases and ravishing glissandi"..... so wrote broadcaster and writer Hector Stewart way back in the fifties when men were actually called Hector! Seriously though, we at AVID just think he was a damn fine reedsman! Equally at home on clarinet as he was with the entire saxophone family, our latest Essential inductee is the superb, yet perhaps unheralded saxophonist Mr Freddy Gardner. Freddy was in huge demand as a session musician during his heyday in the thirties, he was indeed the man they all called for. Benny Carter used him to head up his reed session when he was in the UK recording for Vocalion. You can hear the results on a couple of tracks herein. As well as tracks with Benny Carter we also feature Freddy’s contributions alongside Ike Hatch and Valaida as well as six medleys recorded as Freddy Gardner & His Mess Mates. Also featured is work with The Royal Navy Mariners including three rare ENSA broadcast titles. 51 superbly re-mastered tracks in all reveal that Freddy could sure blow Sweet or Hot and we can witness his crowning glory as he takes it home with Peter Yorke & His Concert Orchestra featured on no less than eight magnificent tracks.
EDDIE BARCLAY Meet Mr. Barclay & Paris For Lovers
Vocalion CDNJT 5204
Eddie Barclay, Gallic orchestra leader and founder of Barclay records, is the subject of this Vocalion release, which compiles two of his mid-1950s light music albums. In "Meet Mr Barclay" the focus is, in the main, on music from the movies, and Mr Barclay runs his orchestra through impeccably played, spellbinding renditions of Hernando’s Hideaway (from the ‘The Pajama Game’), Merry-Go-Round (from ‘French Can-Can’), Rififi (from ‘Du Rififi Chez les Hommes’) and Le grisbi (from ‘Touchez pas au Grisbi’) among others. As you would expect, in "Paris for Lovers" the accent is on romantic French melodies, and maestro Barclay does not disappoint in his selection of tunes that include gorgeous arrangements of I Love Paris, Under the Bridges of Paris, Under Paris Skies, Paris Stay the Same, I’ll Be Yours (J’attendrai) and more.
Werner Müller & His Orchestra : Echoes of Italy & Great Strauss Waltzes
Vocalion CDLK 4373
German orchestral maestro Werner Mueller makes his ninth appearance on Vocalion with two further albums drawn from his extensive Teldec catalogue, both of which demonstrate that he was a master of light classical music repertoire in addition to the Latin and big band idioms for which he was best known. "Echoes of Italy" presents several timeless melodies from the land of song, including numbers that found international fame once English lyrics had been written for them: Quando, M’innamoro (A Man without Love), Ti Guarderò Nel Cuore (More), Alla Fine Della Strada (Love Me Tonight). Müller also turns his attention to works by composers such as Toselli (Serenade No.1, Op.6), Rossini (Finale from ‘William Tell’) and Tchaikovsky (Capriccio Italien, Op.45), and these and every selection in the album are treated to typically exquisite Müller orchestrations. "Great Strauss Waltzes" is, as the title suggests, dedicated to the undisputed master of the waltz, Johan Strauss. Classics including the Accelerations Waltz, Tales from the Vienna Woods, Roses from the South, Blue Danube Waltz and many more are given new leases of life under Müller’s expert direction.
Finally some more recent releases noted by Wilfred Askew.
BILL EVANS Piano and Orchestra Theme From "The VIPs"
Theme from "Mr Novak", Theme from "The Caretakers"; More, Walk on the wild side; The days of wine and roses; Theme from "The VIPs", Hollywood, Sweet September, On Green Dolphin Street, The Man with the golden arm, Laura, On Broadway
Verve 176135-7 [31:30]
THE VOICES OF WALTER SCHUMANN The Voices Of Christmas
Sleigh ride, God rest ye merry, gentlemen, The Christmas Song, Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, What child is this?, Rise up shepherd and foller, The first snowfall, Fum, fum, fum, Christmas tree, Christmas in Killarney, The First Noel, Frosty the snowman, Lully,Lully,Lu … and 6 other titles
Collectors’ Choice CCM-867 [41:02]
SY OLIVER AND HIS ORCHESTRA / BILLY MAY AND HIS ORCHESTRA Arrangements Of Jimmie Lunceford In Hi-Fi [Spanish Import]
[Oliver] Dream of you, Ain’t she sweet, Organ grinder’s swing, My blue heaven, By the river Saint Marie, I’m walking through heaven with you [May] Uptown Blues, Annie Laurie, Charmaine, Coquette, Well all right then, Blues in the night [Oliver and May separately] For dancers only, Margie, Four or five times, ‘taint what you do, Cheatin’ on me, Rhythm is our business
Lone Hill Jazz LHJ 10336 [77:47]
DICK STABILE AND HIS ORCHESTRA Many Faces
Who’s sorry now, Cloudburst, Just you, just me, Tenderly, Many faces, I’ll see you in my dreams, The gypsy in my soul, Dream, Hong Kong Cha Cha, Come back to Sorrento, Don’t blame me, Pavanne, Poor butterfly, We’ll be together again, For you, Do I love you … and 8 other titles
Montpelier MONT CD 046 [62:22]
BUDDY COLE Hammond Organ/ Bösendorfer Piano with Orchestra conducted by Pete King Have Organ Will Swing / Plays Cole Porter
That old black magic, Memories of you, Between the devil and the deep blue sea, Early autumn, I hear music, They can’t take that away from me …and 6 other titles / So in love, What is this thing called love, I get a kick out of you, All through the night, Get out of town …and 7 other titles
Warner Bros albums from 1958.
Collectables COL-CD-7865 [71:26]
THE BILLY COTTON BAND SHOW Saturday Night Sing-A-Long
Stick it on the wall Mrs Riley, I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts, The yellow rose of Texas, Friends and neighbours, Poppa Piccolino, A-hunting we will go, I love the sunshine of your smile, London calls, Big head, Domani, If I were a blackbird, Play me hearts and flowers, The petite waltz, Rain, The Dam Busters … etc.
Double CD with the Ember LP of the same name plus 40 bonus tracks.
Acrobat FADCD 2017 [148:15]NINA ROTA "La Strada" and "Le Notti Di Cabiria" Film Sountracks
Cherry Red ACMEM 123 CD [74:40]ELMER BERNSTEIN "Sweet Smell Of Success" Film Sountrack
Cherry Red ACMEM 132 [70:15]HENRY MANCINI "A Touch Of Evil" Film Soundtrack
Cherry Red ACMEM 134 CD [50:57]
ERIC COATES CONDUCTS ERIC COATES For Your Delight For Your Delight, Calling All Workers, Wood Nymphs, Summer Days – Suite, By The Tamarisk, The Three Bears, By The Sleepy Lagoon, Cinderella, A Song By The Way, London – Suite, Saxo-Rhapsody, Footlights, Sound And Vision, London Again – Suite, Springtime – Suite, The Jester At The Wedding – 2 movements, Last Love, The Three Elizabeths – Suite, Four Centuries – Suite, The Dam Busters Eric Coates conducting various symphony and concert orchestras Sanctuary Living Era Classics, 2CD set, AJD2013 total timing 156:49 mins. In 1994 Conifer released an excellent 2CD collection of recordings of Eric Coates’ music, compiled by Hugh Palmer and digitally remastered by Ted Kendall. Two years later the same team produced a second 2CD set and, once again, Coates’ own recordings were augmented by versions conducted by leading musicians such as Clarence Raybould, Basil Cameron, Emanuel Starkey and Charles Williams. These two releases provided a wonderful selection that demonstrated the wide range of Eric Coates’ composing talent, and they deserved to remain in the catalogue for many years since they represented such an important part of Britain’s musical heritage. But shortly afterwards BMG bought Conifer Records, and virtually the entire catalogue was deleted with indecent haste. A few years later Naxos released several CDs of Coates’ music (possibly trying to fill the gap left by the Conifer deletions) but the sound quality on some of the tracks was barely acceptable. Happily the situation has now improved dramatically, thanks to this new 2CD collection from Living Era Classics. Although it is obviously impossible to match the wide scope of the earlier Conifers (this new release is two CDs, not four), this is a superb selection of many of Coates’ greatest compositions, and it is obviously a great bonus to have the composer’s own interpretations. No worries about indifferent sound quality this time … Alan Bunting has expertly treated each and every track with the gentle care and love they all deserve – not always easy when you consider that the earliest 78 dates from 1933 with the most recent in 1955, just two years before Coates died from a stroke on 21 December 1957. It is not possible to discuss all the titles in detail, but it should be mentioned that the recording of By The Sleepy Lagoon comes from a 12" Columbia 78 recorded on 4 March 1935 with a larger orchestra, rather than the usual 1940 version on the reverse side of Calling All Workers. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Eric Coates’ passing, and it is to be hoped that his importance will be recognised by the BBC and other broadcasting organisations. Whatever you do, don’t miss this new release. It should have pride of place in every light music admirer’s collection, and these days you can never be sure how long CDs will remain in the catalogue. Remember what happened to Conifer … buy this CD now! David Ades
"Don’t look back" WARREN VACHE and The Scottish Ensemble. It was written in the stars, My Mistress’ eyes, Spring, My love and I, Molly on the shore, April in my heart, Valse Prismatique, I fall in love too easily, Love is for the very young, On the street where you live, Don’t look back. 58:45. Arbors Records ARCD19318). Some while ago I read a news snippet in "Crescendo" written by Duncan Lamont saying that Warren had managed to coax Bill Finegan out of retirement to write some string charts for an album. Excited by the news I intended to write to Duncan for further details but dallied longer than intended! Discussing the project with fellow member Malcolm Fraser he hit me with the surprise news that he had the CD! On first playing I wished the dozen strings had been augmented to a lusher sound but after repeat listening I realised the orchestra used perfectly suited Warren’s intimate style of cornet playing. As listed above you can see Warren knows a good tune! Two by David Raksin, "Love is for the very young" arranged by Warren and "My love and I" originally commissioned to Robert Farnon but with his sad passing (see ‘Jumping Bean’ in this issue) handed to Alan Barnes who grasps the opportunity with both hands! Bill Finegan arranged "It was written in the stars", "April in my heart" and "Don’t look back". Bill had not put pen to chart for ten years but it certainly does not show, especially on Johnny Mandel’s eloquent composition "Don’t look back". Yet another bonus contained here, a lost chart by John Carisi "Spring" which was left off of Charlie Parker’s string backed outing. Warren’s creditably emotional interpretation of good ballads clearly show; he likes a strong melody. CDs of this calibre always welcome in my player! Paul Clatworthy
LIGHT MUSIC WHILE YOU WORK – Various artists. Guild GLCD 5128 full tracklisting in JIM170. Those who are aware of my interest in the radio programme Music While You Work will not be surprised that I’ve been rather looking forward to this the 28th recording in Guild’s splendid series. They will also expect me to listen to it with a critical ear. Fear not, apart from one or two reservations I think it is really very good. The radio programme Music While You Work came about when the BBC was asked to provide programmes of morale boosting tuneful music to Britain’s wartime workers. During the programme’s 27 year run and subsequent revivals, hundreds of dance bands, light orchestras and groups were heard. To supplement the broadcasts in the factories, Decca instituted its own Music While You Work series of records, and it is primarily from this series that the tracks on this CD have been drawn – with the emphasis on light orchestral music – in line with the general theme of these Guild recordings. There is the added bonus of a couple of tracks which were probably earmarked for the Decca series but never issued. Included in this compilation are the orchestras of Richard Crean, Reginald Pursglove, Harry Davidson, Philip Green, Ronnie Munro and Mantovani with the Harry Fryer Orchestra taking the lion’s share with no less than ten items. Whenever I have suggested a CD of Harry Fryer I have been told he is not sufficiently well-known. Well, it’s true that many will be unfamiliar with his name, and even I am too young to remember his broadcasts, but a study of wartime editions of Radio Times shows that he was a big name in radio right up until his untimely death at the age of 50, often broadcasting three times a week, so this CD is partly a tribute to him, particularly as its release date of November 2006 coincides almost to the day of the 60thanniversary of his death! Another radio stalwart of many years standing was Richard Crean whose orchestra’s final broadcast, conducted by Reginald Kilbey, was actually a few days after the maestro’s death in 1955. His four contributions to this disc include a short but delightful version of theHaunted Ballroom which serves as an antidote to the dreadful rendering of this piece by a contemporary orchestra a few years ago. As most items on this CD are played by orchestras of similar instrumentation, i.e. theatre orchestras, the illusion of an actual MWYW broadcast is created, topped and tailed with an exhilarating version of Calling All Workers. I have to say that I felt it a mistake to use the whole piece at the end of the recording. On radio this signature tune always commenced at the trio section (letter c on the music). Perhaps it was decided that as this version by the Tivoli Concert Hall Orchestra has never appeared on CD it should be reproduced in full, but for me it really jarred, spoiling the authenticity of the recording. Nevertheless I applaud the use of this record as opposed to the hackneyed Phil Green Victory Band version so often used whenever a MWYW compilation has been produced. During radio’s golden years the BBC attached great importance to programme building and so do I – even on a CD where technology enables you to build your own programme. On radio an orchestra leader who included two consecutive waltzes in a broadcast, apart from in a medley, could expect a reprimand from the BBC. Four items out of five in waltz time, such as occur towards the end of this CD, would have seen the orchestra taken off the air! Surely a couple of them could have been used to break up the block of five marches / paso dobles in the middle of this recording? Apart from these minor quibbles I think that this is an excellent CD. Once again, Alan Bunting has worked his magic and produced recordings which sound as if they were performed yesterday. David Ades has again produced comprehensive and informative notes and I appreciate his comment to the effect that my recent book on MWYW was helpful in their preparation. Having said that, I hope he won’t think me churlish in pointing out one or two small discrepancies. The first – probably a typographical error – states that Harry Davidson appeared on MWYW 109 times in the first year of the programme. It was actually the number of programmes which Harry played in the series from 1940-46. Also, following his retirement, the programme Those Were The Days was conducted by Sidney Davey for ten and a half years, not twelve. Finally, Reg Pursglove’s Albany Strings were previously known as the Muted Strings, not the Albany Players, which was a larger and much earlier orchestra. Overall this is a super CD which will appeal to all lovers of traditional light music. Some will say, why were Wynford Reynolds, David Java, Harold Collins and Reginald Burston’s Coliseum Orchestra not represented on this disc? They all recorded on the Decca MWYW label. Well, perhaps they have been earmarked for Volume Two. There has surely got to be one! Brian Reynolds
DIANA KRALL – From This Moment On. It Could Happen To You; Isn’t This A Lovely Day; How Insensitive Plus 8 Other Selections 51:36 mins. Verve B0007323-02. This CD is a most welcome return from the controversial album of songs co-written with her husband Elvis Costello. The mood is, if anything, deeper and richer. This is aided by steamy, hazy arrangements by John Clayton who uses clusters of sound with remarkable Gil Evans-like textures. The opening cut "It Could Happen To You" shows this sound perfectly with sustained brass chords throughout while "Come Dance With Me" is more appropriately Basie / Hefti-like with soft brass and sax with a solid swinging beat. We hear more from Krall as a pianist on this CD than previously on songs such as "Exactly Like You" with a marvellous solo by this singer matching the ebulliently rhythmic vocal line she establishes. And what about the title track "From This Moment On"? The almost passionate arrangement brings practically steals the show! This is a very special CD for it shows off to splendid effect the very best that Diana Krall is capable of providing! Richard Jessen
XAVIER CUGAT – Cugat’s Favourite Rhumbas. Say "si si" (Para vigo me voy) (Lubon; Lecuona); Begin the beguine (Porter); Green eyes (Aquellos ojos verdes); (Utrera; Menendez); Estrallita (My little star) (Ponce); Rumba rumba (Valencia; Parfumy); La golondrina (The swallow) (Serradell); Besamé mucho (Kiss me much) (Velazquez); La paloma (The dove) (Yradier); Cielito lindo (Blue skies); No can do (Tobias; Simon); Bambarito (Rosell); You forgotcha guitar (McCarthy; Monaco); Cugat’s nugats from "Luxury Liner" (Cugat; Angulo); The wedding samba (Ellstein; Small; Liebowitz); Cha-cha-cha (Rizo; Morgan); Zing-a zing-a zing boom (Black-Out-Ze Maria; Moore); Mambo no.8 (Prado); I am a bum (Castro); Night must fall (Shaw; Cugat); Cariberia (Seri); Si si si Senor (Angulo); Para que? (Garcia; Silva); Un poquito de tu amor (Gutierrez); You can in Yucatan (Capullito de alell); (Drake; Shirl; Hernandez); Rio la yagua (Miranda). Vocalion CDVS 1948. This is most certainly my kind of music and my period too but quite a lot of tracks, when reading the titles, do not mean anything to me and it is quite unusual not to see that old standard Brazil listed – perhaps it is not the right rhythm. Outstanding for me are tracks Rhumba Rhumba, Zing-a zing-a zing boom, andUn poquito de tu amor – all titles which I seem to recall from those 40s days of my youth. A lot of these numbers I seem to recall he played when he was fronting his orchestra when appearing in those wonderful MGM musicals. A pity that none of the vocals seem to have the wonderful Lina Romay doing her stuff – a very sexy person was she! I just wonder how long it will be before some more excellent titles in the Latin vein come out. Vocalion certainly seem to have the monopoly in this field these days. Thank you Vocalion for two good CDs for me to end 2006 on. Alec Hellyer
MANTOVANI – Mantovani Today & Musical Moments With Mantovani Midnight Cowboy, Up, up, and away, I’ll never fall in love again, Blowin’ in the wind, Deserted shore, Without love [There is nothing], Everybody’s talkin’, Lemon tree, Good morning starshine, Leaving on a jet plane, Wand’ring star, Love is all / And I love you so, Eye-level, Le Chanson de Maria, For all we know, Tie a yellow ribbon round the ole oak tree, It’s diff’rent now, Say, has anyone seen my sweet Gypsy Rose?, Our last affair, Elizabethan Serenade, Fool, Dear father [70:44] Vocalion CDLK 4315. Another attractive 2-on-1 from the two maestros of music and remastering. The first album saw the light of day in the US in 1970 [there was a UK release of the same name with a slightly different track selection]; the second, recorded in Paris, appeared in the UK four years later on a Decca SKL vinyl. This is the first CD incarnation for both albums. The then newly written Deserted shore, and Our last affair are both Mantovani compositions. Up, up, and away is given a very up-tempo treatment by Roland Shaw. Bacharach’s I’ll never fall oozes class. In his indispensable biography of Mantovani, Colin Mackenzie remarks how in some pieces on the ‘Today’ album the woodwind play a more important role than before. On the second album Monty’s old associate Ronald Binge’s Elizabethan Serenade really is a choice composition. It is good, too, to be reminded of Eye Level, the signature tune for the excellent Dutch-based detective series ‘Van Der Valk’, a version of which by the Simon Park Orchestra topped the British singles chart in 1973. But my favourite track is the arrangement given Neil Diamond’sDear father that closes the programme. If not among his absolute best – using mainly modern pop songs rather than from the classic songbooks precluded that – these albums are two more fine examples of a consummate musician’s legacy to the world of light music. Please keep them coming, Mr Dutton. [NB The CD’s digital information is slightly awry in that there are only 22 tracks shown instead of 23, but it may have been corrected by the time you read this]. Peter Burt
THE MAGNIFICENT MARINES – The Band of HM Royal Marines School of Music / Lt-Col. Vivian Dunn; Frederick Harvey (baritone). Finale from 'Carillon', The Preobrajensky March, Famous Songs of the British Isles, Shenandoah, Up from Somerset, Trade Winds, Glorious Devon, Fleet Air Arm March, Sarie Marais, Lilliburlero, Barcelona, La Ritirata Italiana – Drescher, Marche des Parachutistes Belges, Ponderoso. The Alfalfa Club, The United States Marine Corps Hymn, Theme from 'The Great War', Theme and March Glorious, March of the Victors, The Finest Hours, Here Comes the Band, No Hiding Place, 1812 Overture. Eastney Collection RM HSE CO14. This latest release from the Eastney Collection concludes the series of the many distinguished recordings which Vivian Dunn made with the Royal Marines Band for EMI. They have again been subject to digital remastering by Brian Culverhouse, former EMI record producer, who was responsible for supervising the original sessions. Despite the fact that this compilation embraces tracks ranging between 1954-68, all are in stereo with consistently high quality. An excellent selection of marches includes a resplendent Preobrajensky March adapted as the regimental slow march of the R.M. during the corps’ tercentenary year and which was originally the march of the Preobrajensky Guards, of which a great uncle of Mountbatten was one of the last colonels. Subsequently Mountbatten received the score from King Alfonso XIII of Spain in 1934. Pierre Leemans’ Marche des Parachutistes Belges is a gloriously ear-tickling patrol march and a great personal favourite, whilst the lively Fleet Air Arm Marchemanated not from a professional musician but from Freddie Stovin-Bradford who wrote the march in 1963 whilst chief of staff to Flag Officer Air at Lee-on-Solent. He subsequently sent a copy of the manuscript to Vivian Dunn with a request that it be scored for military band, which was duly done. This disc is particularly valuable in incorporating three more tracks which the well-regarded and much admired English baritone Frederick Harvey made with this band – he has already featured on several other earlier discs in this series. Here he contributes songs which were immensely popular in the first half of the latter century – Up From Somerset, Trade Wins (words by Peter Masefield) and who better qualified than Frederick Harvey, a Devon man born and bred in Plymouth, to intone Edward German’s stirring Glorious Devon. His crystal clear articulation is impressive and surely an object lesson for many a contemporary singer. Any other compelling reasons for acquiring this disc? Well... there is a rarely heard piece here by a certain Robert Farnon whose title and music is quite unfamiliar to me. Mention is made in the CD booklet that the Guv’nor was a long-standing friend of Vivian Dunn and when Farnon settled in Guernsey he was a frequent visitor to the R.M. School of Music at Deal. Here Comes the Band is described as being, appropriately enough, in cheerful light-hearted style, but I wonder whether a kindly member of our society can provide any further information on this particular score? One or two TV theme tunes included here are notably Wilfrid Joseph’s music for The Great War which chillingly and vividly conveys the utter desolation and bleakness of the Flanders battle fields, and on a contrasting lighter note Laurie Johnson’s dramatic score for No Hiding Place, which conveys visual images to those of us of a certain age – of black liveried police cars hurtling at speed, accompanied by screeching tyres from the portals of New Scotland Yard. The disc is brought to a satisfactorily resounding conclusion by the final section of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture in which the Royds join the Bournemouth S.O. under Constantin Silvestri in a performance recorded at the resort’s Winter Gardens in 1966. An excellent indispensable addition to the ever-growing Eastney collection, well up to the production standards of its predecessors and recommended with all possible enthusiasm. Roger Hyslop
EARLY RECORDED MOVIE MUSIC LIBRARIES For tracklisting please refer to page 76 of JIM 170 – December 2006. This is a special CD, exclusively for members of the Robert Farnon Society, which has been compiled by Graham Newton to accompany his series of articles in Journal Into Melody. There are so many fascinating areas of recorded music during the 20th century, but surely this CD is truly unique. In every respect it is an historical document, and but for the dedicated research and enthusiasm of Graham Newton (one of the world’s leading sound restorers) it is likely that much of this music would have been lost to future generations. It is certainly a labour of love, and something which Graham felt needed to be done to illustrate the wealth of superb music that was written to accompany the early motion pictures. The sound quality of some of the cues is absolutely outstanding considering when the original recordings were made. As a good example compare The Conspirators on track 8 (from "Marked Money") with the same cue from the Victor Pict-Ur library found on track 37. These recordings were made by expert musicians, who were clearly incredibly good at their craft, in one take with no editing possible! Some tracks last only a few seconds, but others are full length. Clearly this music was not written in the expectation that people would listen to it in their homes, so it may not be something you will place regularly in your CD player. But, on the other hand, you are unlikely to find anything like this elsewhere, and anyone with an interest in the history of film music should have this in their collection. David Ades For details of how to order, please see page 37 of this issue.
SHERRIE MARICLE and the DIVA JAZZ ORCHESTRA present TNT: A Tommy Newsom Tribute. Titter Pipes; Pensativa; Three Shades Of Blue; Moonlight Plus 6 More Selections (1:04:13) . Lightyear 54698-2. There’s no more better tribute to one of the mainstays of The Tonight Show Orchestra than this CD release. Sherrie Maricle is the heartbeat of this CD and is one of the few drummers who truly understands the art of both driving a band without overwhelming everyone. Of all of the selections, "Titter Pipes" is the oldest number, dating from the Newsom’s Skitch Henderson days with the Tonight Show of the 1960s. "Pensativa" and "Three Shades Of Blue" represent the flowing eloquence of Newsom’s style with great solos Karolina Strassmeyer on flute on the former and playing soprano sax in a highly individual lyrical manner on the latter. Newsom’s wit comes through on the Nat King Cole medley with a vocal trio drawn from the orchestra singing "Straighten Up And Fly Right" while the entire ensemble makes "Nature Boy" sound more interesting than most would think. The Zoot Sims - Gerry Mulligan composition"Red Door" end everything on a solidly flowing groove with swinging solos by Anat Cohen on tenor sax and Barbara Laronga on trumpet. If ever there is both an enlivening and instructive CD, this is the one to own and cherish for years ahead. Bravos to both Sherrie Maricle and her superb band and for the arranger/composer Tommy Newsom. Richard Jessen
THE MUSIC OF THE ROYAL ENGINEERS – The Band of the Corps of Royal Engineers / Maj. E.H. Keeley. Sesqui-Centennial Celebration March; Imperial March / Mazurka Militaire (Flux); Public Duties (Pryce); On the Countermarch (Keeley); Royal Standard (Brigham); The Acrobat (Greenwood); Amazing Grace (Newton)... Specialist Recording Company SRC136. This disc represents some fine music associated with the Corps of Royal Engineers – popularly known as the Sappers, which may be largely unfamiliar to the general listener. It is nonetheless well worth his time and pocket to purchase this disc when he will be well-rewarded with an unhackneyed and refreshing collection of military music. The disc is timely as it celebrates 150 years of Royal Engineers music, the original band having been formed in 1856, and because it was one of Major Keeley’s last recordings with the band before he retired in August 2006. He has however not been lost to world of military music since he has subsequently taken up the post as D.O.M. of the Honourable Artillery Company (T.A.) band. Following the R.E. Corps Fanfare the first track is the R.E.’s Sesqui-Centennial Celebration March – rather unwieldy title this – composed by Peter Graham, Professor of Composition at Salford University, and proving convincingly that a modern march can be both contemporary and tuneful. Neville Flux became Bandmaster Royal Engineers in January 1905 on the personal recommendation of Sir Alexander McKenzie, Principal of the Royal Academy of Music, and since he was a civilian, caused a lot of adverse comments from both the military and musical press of the day. Two of his pieces are featured here and are testimony to the fact that he was a highly accomplished composer – an imposing Imperial March and a catchy Mazurka Militaire. Quite properly there are also two of Maj. Keeley’s own compositions – On The Countermarch and Spongs Leap, a distinctly unusual title inspired by a McSpong who lost control of his horse, careered through the arch to Brompton Barracks and horse and rider cleared a 6-foot iron fence and disappeared down a drop of 42 feet! Amazingly neither were seriously hurt and were able to continue on their way. There is even a plaque commemorating this bizarre incident at the R.E. HQ Officers’ Mess! One of the highlights on this CD is an outstanding slow march, Royal Standard, by Earl Brigham, a pseudonym of Maj. A.L.F. Young, D.O.M. of the band 1944-58. The piece has been used by the band as its unofficial slow march and for a while was also used as the Kneller Hall slow march, and deservedly so. John A. Greenwood’sThe Acrobat is one of those infernally irritating pieces you seem to have known forever but never discovered the title. The booklet notes remind us that it was Percy Thrower’s theme tune in his BBC radio gardening series back in the 1960s and it is delivered here flawlessly played on the trombone by L.Cpl. M.P. Lawday. The familiar strains of Amazing Grace come complete with piper in the person of staff Sgt. Kenny Kerr, a past Pipe Major of the Royal Highland Fusiliers. The vivid recording was made in an interesting and unusual location, the Royal Dockyard Church, Chatham. The band are on top form throughout, and the CD comes with usual high standard of artwork and excellent notes – so this production is something of which the recording company and the band can feel justly proud. A noteworthy and fascinating release; one not to be missed. Roger Hyslop
A SONG FOR CHRISTMAS Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly, Once in Royal David’s City, Jingle Bells, etc. 12 tracks Mantovani and his Orchestra 40:45 mins Vocalion CDLF 8122. Promised at our November 2004 meeting, this was announced too late for mention in the last JIM which was a pity because good sales might encourage Mike Dutton to release the earlier and even better million-plus selling ‘An Album of Christmas Music’. Monty is accompanied by the Mike Sammes Chorus & Singers on the first two tracks listed above as well as on The Holly and the Ivy, It Came Upon the Midnight Clear, The Twelve Days of Christmas, Mary’s Boy Child and I Saw Three Ships. All the tracks are a delight, especially so Monty’s own trademarked Christmas Bells and Charles Chaplin’s Toy Waltz, prompting thoughts again of what an underrated tunesmith he was. The standout track for me is Cecil Milner’s 4.42 minute arrangement of the Handelian O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings from ‘Messiah’. The unacknowledged organist for the recording, made in Holborn’s Kingsway Hall in August 1963, was Harold Smart. If the selection appeals, buy now for around a fiver – it will soon be Christmas! Peter Burt
STANLEY BLACK Conducting the London Festival Orchestra Film Spectacular Vol. 5Casablanca, A Man and a Woman, Intermezzo, Blood and Sand, La Strada, Love Story, Gone With The Wind Film Spectacular Vol. 6 Spitfire Prelude and Fugue, Bridge on the River Kwai, The Guns of Navarone, Victopry at Sea, 633 Squadron, The Longest Day, Western Approached (Seascape), The Great Escape, Mrs Miniver Suite. Vocalion CDLK 4328. These two LPs (now occupying two CDs for the price of one from Vocalion) were, in my humble opinion, highlights in Stanley Black’s career as a conductor (and on some tracks arranger) and I am delighted to see that they are available once more. Decca sound engineers were world leaders in 1975 (when both LPs were recorded) and it certainly shows. Superb music – and spectacular sound! David Ades
MULLIGAN MEETS MONK. ‘Round Midnight; Rhythm-a-ning; Sweet And Lovely; Decidedly Plus 4 More Selections (59:31). Riverside OJCCD-301-2. On paper, this looks like a definite clash of ideas. Yet it’s just the opposite. Gerry Mulligan, baritone sax virtuoso, was actually good friends with pianist / composer / arranger Thelonious Monk which resulted in this remarkably fine album. "‘Round Midnight" is appropriately stark whereas Rhythm-a-ning" is a delightfully crazy romp with a catchy theme as is Mulligan’s own "Decidedly." "Sweet And Lovely" is about as rough as this duo gets with Monk’s pungent chords and runs on the keyboard contrasting with Mulligan’s appealing lyricism. "Straight, No Chaser" refers not only to a drink but also to this relaxed swinger with plenty of room given to not only Mulligan but bassist Wilbur Ware. Everything winds up in everybody’s pocket with "I Mean You" by Monk, a swinging number showing off Monk’s striding pianistic skills while both Thelonious and Gerry accompany Wilbur Ware. Shadow Wilson provides the rock solid rhythm pattern for this session which was originally to be recorded in stereo with an expanding group of musicians. Such isn’t the case as all four men were playing so well that it was decided to keep things just the way they turned out. For 1957, the stereo effect by Riverside engineers is flawless with a good deal of presence and air surrounding the musicians. A truly remarkable recording for all music enthusiasts. Richard Jessen
MANTOVANI and his Orchestra play Strauss Waltzes Blue Danube, Roses From The South, Vienna Blood, Voices Of Spring, Artist’s Life, Tales From The Vienna Woods, Emperor Waltz, Morning Papers, Accelerations, You And You, Wine, Women And Song, Village Swallows, Gypsy Love Waltz, Tell Me You Love Me, Le Chaland Qui Passe [46:25] Goldies GLD 63237. Of Portuguese provenance and not the easiest to find [I obtained my copy online for a few pence under £4.50], this CD consists of ten tracks taken from one of Monty’s earliest and most popular LPs, recorded and issued in 1952, reckoned by some Mantovanians to be better than the subsequent stereo re-make. Although probably not for the purist, these wonderful flowing melodies are given the full Milner/ Mantovani treatment. The second "Bonus Track" is of great historic interest: Tell Me You Love Me being an adaptation of Puccini’s On With The Motley and the very first example of Ronald Binge’s "New Sound" for Monty from 1951 making its first album appearance. Despite rather veiled sonics this is definitely worth seeking out. Peter Burt Editor: to avoid correspondence, may I mention that "Tell Me You Love Me" has already appeared on a Guild CD – Mantovani By Special Request Vol. 2 GLCD 5113.
The Symphony Sessions – THE MANHATTAN TRANSFER. City of Prague Symphony Orchestra / Cory Allen. Route 66, Candy, Embraceable You, That’s the Way it Goes, A Nightingale Sang, Because you are all heart, To You, Vibrate, Clouds, The Quietude, The Offbeat of Avenues, Birdland. (56:49). Rhino 8122-74740-2), available Compact Disc Club. Six of the tracks are arranged by Cory Allen and he provides backgrounds of fine stimulation and subtlety – Embraceable You in particular, vocals arranged by Gene Puerling. Route 66 and Candy are arranged by Billy Byers, the first title with echoes of Nelson Riddle, and Vibrate is arranged by Gil Goldstein. This is group vocalising at its best! Vocals also arranged by Dick Reynolds, Al Capps and group members. Paul Clatworthy
VIKKI CARR: The Ultimate Collection. It Must Be Him (Sung In English, Spanish and Italian) Plus 78 tracks on 3 CDs. EMI Gold 0946 3 68615 2 4. The title explains itself more than adequately. What we get are 3 CDs full of songs exploring every facet by the well loved and honored lady of song, Miss Vikki Carr. And what a collection! Most of these song titles have not been available for more than 40 years which is a shame for they explore every style and genre of song this lady can sing with an overwhelmingly magnetic power. Her big international hit "It Must Be Him" is the thread on all 3 CDs and she sings it with conviction in three different languages (English, Spanish and Italian). The styles covered include the great American Songbook (Where Are You), Broadway (The Surrey With The Fringe On The Top), big band swing (Time After Time), jazz (Moanin’), Latin (Mas Que Nada), current pop standards (Can’t Take My Eyes Off You) and country (Make It Rain). This is not your usual Vikki Carr compilation. Instead, what you get is a collection of songs new and fresh interpreted with vibrancy by one of the truly great artists who is still very much around and performing at the same level of these recordings. No greater tribute need be added except that this record set is consistently beating out all others. The program notes are written with mastery by Randy Cordova and Vito Cifaldi with plenty of thank yous and a special note written by Vikki Carr. And as she so truthfully says, "the best is yet to come." Let’s hope there is a fresh release by EMI of this great artist!Richard Jessen
EDMUNDO ROS and his Orchestra – New Sounds on Broadway / Broadway Sing Along. New Sounds On Broadway (Decca LP PS 352 (1963) Stereo) The Cutty Wren from the show "Chips With Everything" (Farrell); High Is Better Than Low "Jennie" (Dietz; Schwartz); Gonna Be Another Hot Day "110 In The Shade" (Schmidt; Jones); Waitin’ For The Evening Train "Jennie" (Dietz; Schwartz); My Wish "Here’s Love" (Willson); Here And Now "The Girl Who Came To Supper" (Coward); That Man Over There "Here’s Love" (Willson); I’ll Remember Her "The Girl Who Came To Supper" (Coward); Is It Really Me "110 In The Shade" (Schmidt; Jones); London (Is A Little Bit Of All Right) "The Girl Who Came To Supper" (Coward); You Don’t Know "Here’s Love" (Willson); Where You Are "Jennie" (Dietz; Schwartz). Broadway Sing-Along (Decca LP SKL 4123 (1961) Stereo). (There’s No Business Like) Show Business from the show "Annie Get Your Gun" (Berlin); People Will Say We Are In Love "Oklahoma" (Rodgers; Hammerstein); Get Me To The Church On Time "My Fair Lady" (Loewe; Lerner); There Is Nothing Like A Dame "South Pacific" (Rodgers; Hammerstein); I Love Paris "Can Can" (Porter); Hey There "The Pajama Game" (Adler; Ross) Heart "Damn Yankees" (Adler; Ross); I Could Have Danced All Night "My Fair Lady" (Loewe; Lerner); They Say It’s Wonderful "Annie Get Your Gun" (Berlin); On The Street Where You Live "My Fair Lady" (Loewe; Lerner); Standing On The Corner "The Most Happy Fella" (Loesser) Almost Like Being In Love "Brigadoon" (Loewe; Lerner).CDLK 4330. What a terrific collection this is, especially New Sounds On Broadway. And it is nice to get 12 tracks of rarely if ever played numbers - and I for one would not expect many people to know many of them. For myself, I am lucky in that I have original cast recordings of them all, and just to see the titles like High Is Better Than Low, Waitin’ For The Evening Train and Where You Are fromJennie brings to mind Mary Martin in the show. Then there are numbers from 110 In The Shade,Here’s Love and The Girl Who Came To Supper - and in fact the only number on this collection I had not heard before is the first track The Cutty Wren from the show "Chips With Everything"; perhaps it is because I did not see the play or the film. When it comes to Broadway Singalong, I thought when I saw the list of numbers, oh no not again, but then get them dressed up as merengue and cha-cha-chas you can’t go wrong – they come out very well with this treatment. What a shame that the dances on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing don’t dance to these rhythms as the rhythms they dance to are unrecognisable. As usual the Ros rhythms are superb and I am glad to have this album at last. A must for all Ros fans. 24 tracks in all. Alec Hellyer
THE WORLD’S GREAT MARCHES – The Band of HM Royal Marines / Lt-Col. Vivian Dunn.Grand March from 'Tannhauser', Soldiers Chorus from 'Faust', Entrance and March of the Peers from 'Iolanthe', March Militaire from 'Suite Algerienne', All Marcia from 'Karelia Suite', The British Grenadiers, The Dashing White Serjeant, A Southerly Wind and a Cloudy Sky, Braganza, Espana, Le Pere de la Victoire, Belphegor, Under the Banner of Victory, Old Comrades, The Gladiators' Farewell, Under The Double Eagle, The Champion, National Emblem, On The Square, Blue Devils, Namur, Army and Marine, Glorious Victory, March from 'Little Suite' (Arnold). Eastney Collection RM HSE CO13. Eastney continue their trawl through the rich legacy of recordings which Sir Vivian Dunn and the Royal Marines Band made for EMI, concentrating on this new release on the years 1960-67. Like others in this series, Brian Culverhouse, who supervised the original recordings made at Abbey Road, has been responsible for the digital remastering of these valuable tapes. The first tracks are taken from the concert hall and opera house, thus the Grand March from Tannhauser, the Soldier’s Chorus from Faust and the Alla Marcia from Karelia. Particularly valuable, however, is the inclusion of Saint-Saens’ splendid march from his Suite Algerienne, of which there are not exactly a plethora of alternative recordings, and fascinating to listen to Chabrier’s Espana, cleverly transformed into an effective quick march. The remainder of the disc is a compilation of familiar parade marches with the exception of the concluding item, the march from Malcolm Arnold’s Little Suite. Despite the familiarity of such pieces as Old Comrades, Under The Double Eagle, National Emblem and On The Square, you will never hear them better played than here; they positively sparkle under the inspired baton of Sir Vivian. Look out especially for Charles Williams’ Blue Devils, composed early in his career and a great favourite with military bands. The Blue Devils of the title was the nickname given to a T.A. unit called the Kensington Rifles that had served in South Africa during the Boer War. Eastney’s claim that this disc features really stunning foot-tapping stuff is certainly borne out and if you want only one representative military band CD on your shelves – shame on you! – this quality production could be it. As with all this series of re-releases; strongly recommended. Roger Hyslop
PRODUCED BY GEORGE MARTIN Highlights from 50 years in recording including George Martin and his Orchestra – Theme One, The Pepperland Suite, Friends and Lovers; Ron Goodwin – Elizabethan Serenade; Tommy Reilly – Melody on the Move; plus various pop stars and comedy records EMI 375 4862. Five years ago EMI issued a 6CD box set of recordings produced by George Martin, from which the tracks on this CD have been extracted. As one would expect, the Beatles are included, together with Cilla Black, Gerry and the Pacemakers and Billy J. Kramer. A bit more up-market are Shirley Bassey and Matt Monro, and to provide variety we have Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan and Flanders & Swann. It is particularly nice to have Tommy Reilly’s 1952 recording of Clive Richardson’s Melody on the Move which, according to the booklet note, showed George Martin’s "position at the front of new recording technology with the first use of tape echo". Tommy’s widow Ena has told us that Tommy returned home from this particular Abbey Road session on the back of George Martin’s motorcycle! Full marks for the CD booklet – and the CD label which reproduces a familiar Parlophone 45. Even without his work as the Beatles’ recording manager, Sir George Martin has secured his place of honour in the British recording industry, and he fully deserved to be inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame on 14 November last year. David Ades
FRANK CHACKSFIELD AND HIS ORCHESTRA "KING OF KINGS" : King of Kings, Song of Delilah, The Robe, Quo Vadis, The Green Leaves of Summer (from 'The Alamo'), Exodus, Parade of the Charioteers and Love Theme from 'Ben Hur', The High and the Mighty,The Prodigal, The Sundowners. FILM FESTIVAL : The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Elvira Madigan, Doctor Zhivago, The Mercenaries, A Countess from Hong Kong, Zorba's Dance, Alfie, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Irina (from 'Shalako'), James Bond Theme, Rose of Saigon (from 'Tell Me Lies'), A Man and a Woman. Vocalion CDLK 4322 71:45 mins. For some years now the Vocalion label has been responsible for the very commendable reissue of several Frank Chacksfield albums from the 1950s and 1960s, and this particular disc, released in 2005 but not previously reviewed in this magazine, should also command your attention, as it encompasses this orchestra's excellent interpretations of selected film themes from the era in question. Included are several items not available elsewhere, thus adding to the attractions of this mid-price reissue. Of the LPs under consideration, the first to be issued originally was 'King of Kings', and this is by far the rarer - it appeared originally, in mono only, on the Ace of Clubs Label in 1962, with only ten tracks. Here we have an expanded version in stereo, available for the first time in Britain. As the title track suggests, we have Frank Chacksfield's lavish and tasteful recordings of music which dates from a time when 'road show' spectaculars were designed to lure people away from the ever-encroaching challenge of TV in the home. Many will be familiar with the two selections on offer from 'Ben Hur', of course, but the rest of the LP included several rarities such as 'The Prodigal' and 'Francis of Assisi', the latter being a particularly beautiful piece. Even the extract from 'Quo Vadis' contains music not normally found on any other soundtrack album for this film. Amongst the other highlights are a stirring rendition of Ernest Gold's magnificent theme from 'Exodus' (so much a part of the film music 'scene' in the early 1960s) and a beautiful realisation of Alfred Newman's theme from 'The Robe'. The sound has come up very well indeed, and Mike Dutton's usual wizardry has ensured that the best possible stereo spectrum has been derived from the original tapes, with particularly enticing string tone, as befits much of the scoring for these pieces. The second LP here reissued (actually placed first on the CD) dates from 1968, and the difference in mood is immediately apparent - epic lushness has been replaced by shorter, more varied melodies reflecting the change in cinematic tastes of this period. Frank Chacksfield's ability to alter his interpretations to 'suit the occasion' is immediately obvious, and we have an extremely colourful selection of items in arrangements by Roland Shaw. Robert Farnon enthusiasts will be delighted to have his 'Irina' (from 'Shalako') included - aptly described by Nicholas Briggs in his liner notes as 'a slow, swaying theme of deceptive simplicity'. Two other rarities are the themes from 'The Mercenaries' - a highly rhythmic yet memorable track - and the alluring 'Rose of Saigon' from the somewhat obscure feature 'Tell Me Lies'. Even the James Bond theme here sounds freshly minted, and the familiar main theme from 'Doctor Zhivago' is given a very effective 'piano concerto' treatment. The original LP was in the Decca Phase 4 format, and again the remastering has resulted in sound which is both clear yet comfortably full, with a wide stereo 'spread'. It is good to see that much time and effort has gone into providing extremely informative notes, as the original LPs were notably deficient in this regard; both the films and their music are placed in the correct historical context. This is therefore a significant release, which should be high on your list of priorities. Lawrence Preston
"LONDON TOWN" Film soundtrack: Overture, You Can’t Keep a Good Dreamer Down, Daffodil Hill – ballet music. My Heart Goes Crazy, If Spring Were Only Here to Stay, So Would I, The ‘Ampstead Way, Sid Field Plays Golf featuring Sid Field, Beryl Davis, Ann Sullivan, Scotty McHarg with Salvador Camarata and the London Town Orchestra plus 13 ‘bonus tracks’ featuring the film’s stars plus the Film Songs Selection by Peter Yorke and his Concert Orchestra on Columbia.SEPIA 1076, 79:26 mins. For many years I had noticed the 78s from "London Town" in the Decca catalogue but none of them ever seemed to come my way. So I was pleased to discover this recent release from Sepia Records, a small British independent producer that has built up an impressive catalogue since it was launched in 2002. They believe in giving full value for money, because the remaining time available is fully utilised with 78s from the same period by some of the stars who appeared in the film. Foremost among these (from a light music viewpoint) is the fine Peter Yorke non-vocal selection. Although J. Arthur Rank is reported to have spent £1 million on the film in 1946 (compared with around £50,000 for "Spring in Park Lane" which was a massive hit) it was a financial disaster, and is remembered today mainly because both public and critics panned it. It should have succeeded: it was in glorious Technicolour, and Rank hired top American talents Camarata (music director), Wesley Ruggles (director) and Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke (music and lyrics). Sadly Van Heusen and Burke failed to come up with a hit song – only So Would I being vaguely memorable. The ballet sequence Daffodil Hill composed by Camarata is similarly disappointing; a certain Robert Farnon would have been a much better choice! And as for Sid Field’s golfing sketch … words almost fail me. Over the years we have been told that Field was greatly admired within the profession, but maybe the big screen couldn’t capture the magic of his stage act. I’m pleased that Sepia has made this available, and the extra tracks are certainly entertaining (for example there is Beryl Davis with Stephane Grappelly and George Shearing in 1944). The booklet is excellent for a medium priced release, but it would have been nice to have included the original catalogue numbers of the records. David Ades
GORDON JENKINS – A Musical Prodigy Manhattan Tower, You Have Taken My Heart, Blue Prelude, When A Woman Loves A Man, With You So Far Away, Homesick That’s All, P.S. I Love You, Blue Evening, Goodbye, Alone Again, Marietta’s Waltz, The Lady And The Cellist, Mood At Midnight, California – a Musical Narrative, Maybe You’ll Be There, I Don’t See Me In Your Eyes Any More, Again, Don’t Cry Joe, My Foolish Heart, Bewitched, Seven Dreams – a Musical Fantasy Gordon Jenkins and his Orchestra plus soloists Jasmine JASCD 660, 2-CD set, 138:55 mins. In Britain many of us are probably unaware that Gordon Jenkins made a lot of 78rpm recordings featuring singers, because his name in later years was mainly associated with his orchestral albums plus, of course, his superb arrangements for the likes of Nat ‘King’ Cole and Frank Sinatra. The big exception is his ‘Musical Narrative’ Manhattan Tower which launches this collection. It was warmly received in the USA, where it was recorded more than once, and resulted in another similar tribute a few years later in praise of California. The other fascinating work in this collection is Seven Dreams which I have to confess is new to me. It is similar in style to Manhattan Tower and California but I do wonder how often people would wish to hear it since the narrative is something you’ll either love or hate. If you want an interesting collection of Gordon’s popular recordings from the 1940s and 1950s then don’t hesitate to add this to your collection, but if you prefer his purely orchestral offerings you’ll have to look at what is currently on offer in the Guild Light Music series. David Ades
FRANK SINATRA Romance – Songs from the Heart’ I’ve Got You Under My Skin, Time After Time, Day By Day, All The Way, Too Marvellous For Words, My Funny Valentine, Love Is Here To Stay, I’ve Got A Crush On You, Cheek To Cheek, Try A Little Tenderness, I Wish I Were In Love Again, Angel Eyes, Nice ‘N’ Easy (previously unreleased version), If You Are But A Dream (CD debut)etc 21 tracks EMI 363 3772. Released in February in time for Valentine’s Day, this collection is taken from Frank’s time at Capitol (1953-1960). Sinatra fans will already have most of these on various CDs or LPs, but EMI state that the tracks have all been remastered from the original tapes so you may find that the sound quality is better than your existing copies. As we went to press we had only received a promotional CD and list of titles, so we cannot comment on the booklet. David Ades
MIKLOS ROZSA : Selections from QUO VADIS and BEN HUR. Quo Vadis: Prelude, Marcus and Lygia, Fertility Hymn, The Burning of Rome, Petronius' Banquet, Ave Caesar, Chariot Race, Assyrian Dance,, Aftermath/Hail Galba, Finale, Epilogue. Ben Hur : Fanfare, Friendship, The Burning Desert, Arrius' Party, Rowing of the Galley Slaves, Parade of the Charioteers, The Mother's Love, Return to Judea, Ring for Freedom, Lepers' Search, Procession to Calvary, Miracle and Finale. Royal Philharmonic / National Philharmonic Orchestras and Chorus, conducted by Miklos Rozsa.Recording dates : 1977 / 1978. Vocalion CDLK 4332 (Two-disc set). During the late 1970s, the Decca Record Company invited Miklos Rozsa to London to record selections from two of his finest scores, using the cream of the capital's best musicians. The two resulting LPs originally appeared on Decca's Phase 4 label, but disappeared quite quickly when Decca was subsumed into the Universal group. Both titles did appear, apparently, in the very early days of CD, but were again quickly deleted and soon commanded the inevitable (and regrettable) inflated prices for interested collectors. This Vocalion reissue, therefore, represents quite outstanding value for money and should be eagerly snapped up by all those who appreciate some of the finest film music ever written in Hollywood's 'Golden Age'. The two LPs here reissued far surpassed in terms of sound quality and orchestral playing all previous selections of this material, and did much to cement the renewal of interest in classic film scores which had been growing throughout the 1970s, when several record companies spared no expense in releasing newly-recorded selections of vintage material which one could only vaguely appreciate when viewing the films in question. It is difficult to decide which is the finer of the two scores. 'Ben Hur' has always been regarded as Rozsa's 'magnum opus' - the composer, fully conscious of the fact that the future of MGM rested on this epic, certainly regarded this score as the apex of his career, and several of the themes (particularly the Parade of the Charioteers) became very well-known in the late 50s/early 60s. The score for 'Quo Vadis' was much less familiar, partly because much of the music was buried under the dialogue in the film, which certainly disappointed the composer at the time. The CD in question here revealed for the first time the extremely varied nature of Rozsa's score : not for him the writing of two or three main themes with endless reprises ( a fault of many modern scores) - the selection from 'Quo Vadis' on this CD is, if anything, more varied musically than its companion, but it was always difficult to choose ideal extracts from such an interwoven score as Ben Hur to make an ideally balanced LP. Rozsa's own selection for Decca was about the best that could be achieved for this purpose. Mike Dutton has worked his usual magic in re-mastering the two LPs. The sound quality on both discs was, and remains, extremely good, with none of the excesses of balance which sometimes marred earlier 'Phase 4' issues. We have here two of the best examples of orchestral sound in the late analogue era - resplendent brass, rich string tone and a wide stereo spread. Probably 'Quo Vadis' has the slightly finer quality in terms of clarity and presence. My own LP of the 'Ben Hur' selection was cut at such a high level that there was a tendency to overload, but this has been rectified for this CD reissue. The two-disc set is released at the cost of a single mid-price CD. As if all this were not enough, we also have five pages of exemplary notes by Alan Hamer of the Miklos Rozsa Society. It is almost certain that these two LPs will not be re-released again in such a convenient form, and Vocalion is to be congratulated for its enterprise in offering such high-quality material for such a reasonable outlay. Nicholas Briggs
ANTHONY COLLINS - Orchestral works. Festival Royal – Overture, Vanity Fair, The Song of Erin, Victoria the Great – suite, The Saga of Odette - Valse Lente, The Lady with a Lamp - Prelude & Valse Variation, Eire – suite, Santa Cecilia, Louis XV Silhouettes, Symphony for Strings. BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by John Wilson. Dutton 'Epoch' CDLX 7162. 73:52 mins. For most readers, the name of Anthony Collins (1893 - 1963) will be synonymous with either his much-praised set of the Sibelius symphonies recorded for Decca in the early 1950s (recently reissued on the Beulah label, incidentally) or else his own best-remembered composition 'Vanity Fair', which has indeed been recorded several times in the past. That 'bonne bouche' is, of course, included on this new CD under review, but a glance at the remaining titles will show that there was very much more to the man than this short calling-card. As the excellent notes by Lewis Foreman make clear, Anthony Collins pursued an extremely varied career within both the UK and the USA, which allowed him to make full use of his manifold talents as composer as well as conductor. A great deal of time and effort has gone into producing this most enterprising CD, as much of the music was difficult to source - indeed, were it not for the tenacity of all concerned, it is doubtful if several of the pieces on the disc would have surfaced at all, let alone have been recorded. Specifically, Collins was able to fuse a generous melodic gift with great clarity of orchestration, and the disc in question portrays an excellently-balanced programme in which the level of inspiration remains consistently high. The opening 'Festival Royal' overture has a magnificent central theme for strings (almost a cross between Elgar and Walton) framed by passages of brassy splendour, into which Collins subtly interweaves references to 'God Save the Queen' and the Westminster chimes - a marvellous start to the disc. My own favourite piece, however, is the short 'Song of Erin', which employs a haunting, wistful melody initially given to cor anglais and harp. The composer was also responsible for the scores of several well-known films of the period, the best remembered of which is probably the waltz from 'The Saga of Odette'. In all these pieces one notes again the subtle variety of mood and texture, underpinned by sharply memorable themes. Moving to the suite 'Eire', this is one instance where Collins does use existing melodies but is able to imprint his own characteristic arrangements on the material, resulting in another delightful short work. I also particularly enjoyed the 'Louis XV Silhouettes', which comprise a series of pastiche dance numbers - light music at its very best. I was rather reminded of the composer Gretry, whose often obscure pieces Sir Thomas Beecham used to dig out (and sometimes record) on his periodic visits to France later in his career - he would surely have approved of Anthony Collins's short work, which was published in 1939. The final item on the disc, 'Symphony for Strings', instantly belies its rather severe title by offering three short movements of immediate melodic appeal, of which the highlight for me was the wistful central 'adagio'. The recording quality, as one would expect from this source, is in the finest traditions of the house : it has a very wide dynamic range, great clarity of detail and broad stereo information, all set within a sympathetic acoustic - just right for appreciating the composer's flair for a colourful orchestral patina. In his notes, Lewis Foreman reveals that many of Collins's works are either missing or definitely lost, which is a pity, as the quality of what is on offer here would certainly justify a second CD. In the meantime, the combination of unhackneyed yet memorable material, excellent performances and recording quality, together with superb liner notes, leads me to conclude that this was one of the most significant new releases of 2006, which should be investigated urgently by all those who are looking for something quite special. Nicholas Briggs
... And with thanks to Wilfred Askew for news of the following releases
MIKLOS ROZSA – Three Choral Suites. Cincinnati Pops Orchestra / Kunzel; Morman Tabernacle Choir. Ben-Hur; Quo Vadis; King of Kings. Telarc CD-80631
NELSON RIDDLE and his Orchestra – Sing a Song with Riddle (1959) / Hey Diddle Diddle (1959, released 2005-6). Little White Lies Darn That Dream Near You; Day In-Day Out; The More I See You; My Baby Just Cares For Me; Everywhere You Go; I Had The Craziest Dream; Fools Rush In; You Make Me Feel So Young; It’s A Sin To Tell A Lie; You’re Driving Me Crazy! (What Did I Do?); The Farmer In The Dell; Little Jack Horner; Oh Dear What Can The Matter Be; Jack And Jill; Little Bo Peep; London Bridge; Tom, Tom, The Piper’s Son; Polly Put The Kettle On; Three Blind Mice; Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star; Hickory Dickory Dock; The Muffin Man. DRG Records DRGCD 19097
HORST JANKOWSKI – A Walk in the Black Forest (1967-69). Chitty Chitty Bang Bang; A Walk In The Black Forest; My Gerti; Moon River; By The Time I Get To Phoenix; Turkischer Marsch; Tiflis Melody; Our Beach Affair; Games Of Memories; This Guy's In Love With You; I Will Wait For You; Slick; Man & A Woman; Yesterday; Days Of Wine & Roses; Fly Me To The Moon; Lover's Concerto; Mcarthur Park; Violinkonzert D Dur; And We Got Love. Universal 983 776-2
GEORGE SHEARING – Swinging in a Latin Mood (1974). Lullaby Of Birdland; Continental; Do You Know The Way To San Jose; East Of The Sun And West Of The Moon; Thine Alone; Aquarius; We'll Be Together Again; I'll Be Around; Alone Again (Naturally); Nearness Of You; Hands Of Time; To A Wild Rose; Superstar; Eleanor Rigby; When Your Lover Has Gone; Roses Of Picardy; You Are The Sunshine Of My Life; Killing Me Softly With His Song; Someone To Watch Over Me; Way We Were.Universal 985 857-4
THE MARIACHI BRASS – A Taste of Tequila (1966) / Hats Off (1966). Featuring Chet Baker, Arrangements by Jack Nitzshe and George Tipton. Flowers On The Wall; Tequila; Mexico; Love Me With All Your Heart (Cuando Calienta El Sol); Hot Toddy; Twenty Four Hours From Tulsa; .Speedy Gonzales ; Come A Little Bit Closer ; El Paso ; La Bamba ; Happiness Is ;.Sure Gonna Miss Her; Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) ; The Phoenix Love Theme (Senza Fine) ; These Boots Are Made For Walking ; On The Street Where You Live ;.Armen's Theme ; Spanish Harlem ; Chiquita Banana ; When The Day Is All Done ; You Baby ; It's Too Late ; Colonel Bogey March (Bonus Track). Ace CD BGPD 178
LENNY DEE – Double Dee-Light: Hi-Fi Organ solos with a beat (1954-56). 2 CD compilation.Plantation Boogie ; Laura ;Yes Sir That's My Baby ; Birth Of The Blues ; Little Brown Jug ; September Song ; Ballin' The Jack ; Exactly Like You ; Siboney ; Sweet Georgia Brown ; World Is ; Waiting For The Sunrise ; Donkey Serenade ; Coquette ; I'm Beginning To See The Light ; Chinatown; Charmaine ;Five Foot Two Eyes Of Blue ; Out Of Nowhere ; Caravan ; That's My Weakness Now ; This Ole House ; Five O'Clock Whistle ; Twelth Street Rag ; Good Night Sweetheart ; Delicious ; Stompin' At The Savoy ; Diane ; Honky Tonk Train Blues ; Alabamy Bound ; Tarragona ; At Sundown ; Jersey Bounce ; Hawaiian War Chant (Ta Hu Wa Hu Wai) ; What Is This Thing Called Love ; Toot ; Toot Tootsie Goodbye ; Jumpin' On The Organ ; Avalon ; Somebody Stole My Gal ; Hot Foot Boogie ; Josephine ; Way Down Yonder In New Orleans ; Oh You Beautiful Doll ; Indian Love Call ; Ain't She Sweet ; Yodelin' Organ ; Let Me Call You Sweetheart ; China Boy. Jasmine JASCD 427
CARMEN CAVALLARO – Stairway to the Stars (1941-55). 2 CD compilation. You're Mine, you; Dancing In The Dark ; I'm Always Chasing Rainbows ; Oh, Marie ; I Love You ; Medley of hits from 1932 - In A Shanty In Old Shanty Town/Speak To Me Of Love/Play Fiddle Play/Paradise; Medley of hits from 1932 - Forty Second Street/Of Thee I Sing/Shuffle Off To Buffalo; Someone To Watch Over Me ; Tonight We Love ; If I Had You ; Medley of hits from 1921 - Peggy O'Neil/When Francis Dances With Me/Song Of Love ; Medley of hits from 1932 Louisiana Hayride/You're Getting To Be A Habit With Me/Alone Together ; Come Back To Sorrento ; A Bushel And A Peck ; I've Never Been In Love Before ; I'll Know ; Fugue For Tinhorns ; My Time Of Day ; Medley of hits from 1932 - April In Paris/I've Told Every Little Star/The Song Is You ; I'll Follow My Secret Heart ; My Reverie ; Moon Love ; Body And Soul ; Our Love ; It's All Right With Me ; Medley of hits from 1932 - Soft Lights And Sweet Music/Night And Day/Underneath The Harlem Moon ; Medley of hits from 1932 - Brother Can You Spare A Dime/Just An Echo In The Valley/Let's Put Out The Lights ; Dream Of Love ; Lover ; Medley of hits from 1921 - Say It With Music/Tuck Me To Sleep In My Old Kentucky Home/My Mammy ; Guys And Dolls ; More I Cannot Wish You ; Luck Be A Lady ; If I Were A Bell ; Sue Me/Sit Down You're Rocking The Boat ; Medley of hits from 1921 - Ma, He's Making Eyes At Me/Yoo-Hoo/I'm Just Wild About Harry ; Medley of hits from 1921 - Sweet Lady/Make Believe/April Showers ; All Through The Night ; I Concentrate On You ; Falling In Love With Love ; Stairway To The Stars ; Ain't Misbehavin' ; Will You Remember? ; So In Love ; Love, Your Magic Spell Is ; Everywhere ; P.S. I Love You ; Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea ; September Song ; Tenderly. Jasmine JASCD 430
DANNY KAYE In Selections From The Soundtrack Of MERRY ANDREW Arranged And Conducted By NELSON RIDDLE (1958) / Music Of The BIG TOP CIRCUS BAND Conducted By Nelson Riddle (1950). The Pipes Of Pan ; Chin Up, Stout Fella ; Everything Is Ticketty Boo ; You Can’t Always Have What You Want ;. The Square Of The Hypotenuse ;. Salud (Buona Fortuna) ;. Medley: Thunder And Blazes / Billboard March ; Hippopotamus Rag ; Circus Waltz ; Lassus Trombone ; Minor March ; Bozo’s Song (March). DRG Records DRGCD 19082
BING CROSBY – A Musical Autobiography. 4 CDs. AVID AMBX147. Includes the complete 1954 5-LP set with between-track chat by Bing, accompanied by Buddy Cole and his Trio, followed by recordings with co-stars Mary Martin, Bob Hope, Andrews Sisters, Judy Garland, Al Johnson, Louis Armstrong and Jane Wyman. Selections from Paris Honeymoon and The Star Maker complete CD3. The 4th CD has 20 tracks of film soundtracks and publicity discs.
Classic Rey – ALVINO REY and his Orchestra with the Four King Sisters. Original recordings from 1940-44. Tiger Rag ; Not a Star in Sight ; Rose Room [Instrumental] ; Cielito Lindo (Beautiful Sky) ; Oh! For Heaven's Sake ; Dearly Beloved ; Drowsy Old Riff [Instrumental] ; Lover's Lullaby ; He Wears a Pair of Silver Wings ; Strip Polka ; How Green Was My Valley ; Gobs of Love ; William Tell [Instrumental] ; Daybreak ; Woodland Sympathy [Instrumental] ; I'm Old Fashioned ; Army Air Corps Song ; Sand in My Shoes ; Liebestraum (A Dream of Love) [Instrumental] ; Yo Te Amo, Oh! Baby ; Ferris Wheel ; Having a Lonely Time ; My Buddy ; San Fernando Valley. Flare ROYCCD 242
LENA HORNE with ROBERT FARNON AND HIS ORCHESTRA and featuring PHIL WOODS saxophone: "Lena – A New Album" I’ve Grown Accusomed to His Face, Someone To Watch Over Me, My Funny Valentine, Someday My Prince Will Come, I’ve Got The World On A String, Softly As I Leave You, I Have Dreamed, A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing, I’ve Got To Have You, My Ship Vocalion CDLK 4342, 43:03 mins. Last February Mike Dutton asked me to pen some notes for this reissue of an album which – I must confess – I hadn’t listened to carefully for several years. To say it was a magical experience is something of an understatement. Around that time, in the mid-1970s, we were in the happy situation of receiving a steady supply of new Farnon albums, each one containing some priceless gems. To coin a familiar phrase, it was like being let loose in a sweet shop; there were so many treats all around that you didn’t always realise how wonderful some of them really were. I am facing the same situation today when I make selections for the Guild Light Music CDs. I often include individual tracks from Bob’s early Decca LPs (now out of copyright) and in many cases they stand out from the rest. In their original settings, among twelve or so of similar works all receiving his masterly touch, the orchestrations still sounded wonderful – but not as wonderful as they seem today when placed in the spotlight on their own. After several years of negligence I have now returned to the Lena Horne project, and it has been a true revelation. At times I struggled to find the words to express my overwhelming feelings of admiration for the way in which Bob treated each number – the only exception being A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing which Lena’s husband Lennie Hayton arranged. When three unique talents met at London’s Olympic Studios in April 1976, the result was bound to be something rather special. Lena Horne had already been at the top of her profession for almost forty years, beginning with her international fame in great musicals such as "Stormy Weather " and "Cabin In The Sky" (both in 1943), leading to her many concert appearances at the finest venues. She felt equally at home at the plushest nightspots in London, Paris, Monte Carlo, Stockholm, Chicago and New York, and the talented little girl who grew up in Brooklyn never short-changed her legions of doting admirers. By the time she was 16 she appeared at the famous Cotton Club, and this tended to set the tone for her life in show business. Lena was in her element entertaining the diners in nightclubs, yet to the millions who adored her around the world it was her films and recordings that were so magical. Her taste in choosing her material was undoubtedly helped by her marriage to Lennie Hayton, from 1940 to 1953 one of the leading musical directors at M-G-M. The third ingredient in the magical mix of unique talents was Phil Woods, a bebop-influenced alto-saxophonist whose impressive credits included working with Benny Goodman, Quincy Jones, Gene Krupa and Thelonious Monk – to pick just four at random. He honed his craft during four years at the Julliard in New York where he majored in clarinet. Critics and readers of Downbeat praised him with awards, and he received two Grammys around the time that he went into the studios with Lena Horne and Robert Farnon. The bonus of an album such as this is that it allows those involved to express the music in a way that may be completely different from the version that has already become familiar. Divorced from "My Fair Lady", I’ve Grown Accustomed to his Face takes on an almost doleful feel, bringing out the full meanings in Alan Jay Lerner’s lyrics which cleverly convey the realisation that familiarity has moved on to a new, higher plane. Composers must get frustrated when their carefully crafted verses get omitted by singers, but happily Lena Horne does not disappoint in Someone to Watch Over Me. This track marks the first appearance of Phil Woods, far removed from his bebop roots, but his saxophone provides the perfect foil to Lena’s complete grasp of the meanings in the lyrics. My Funny Valentine reveals the Robert Farnon strings in all their glory, with an almost religious feel encompassing the singer who clearly worships her lover. The earlier comment about familiar versions of well known tunes certainly applies to Someday My Prince Will Come. For a while after the release of Walt Disney’s 1937 masterpiece "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", Adriana Caselotti’s high soprano frightened off anyone else but by 1976 a new generation had emerged largely untouched by the original, and receptive to a new interpretation. Robert Farnon always knew when simplicity was best, and Lena begins with the intimate sound of Gordon Beck on piano, with the strings gently ushering in Phil Woods as the chorus ends. This is late night music par excellence. The simple theme is maintained in I’ve Got the World on a String with Phil Woods and Gordon Beck supported by Chris Laurence on bass, before the strings eventually shimmer in and alert us to the fact that the lady is about to sing – preceded by a suitable fanfare from the brass. Softly As I Leave You gets the tender treatment it deserves, with the strings providing a heart-rending backdrop before the piano provides just the right touch of perception.I Have Dreamed recreates the jazzy sound of saxophone, keyboard and bass, but the rich orchestral colours are never too distant. Lena’s husband Lennie Hayton provides the lovely string setting for A Flower is a Lovesome Thing, then I’ve Got to Have You is the one track that acknowledges that popular songwriters were still around in the 1970s, although styles had changed quite dramatically. Personally I feel that this is the one number that was out of place in this collection. Kurt Weill composed My Ship for the 1941 show "Lady in the Dark" and it now seems incredible that some bands at the time treated it as an up-tempo number (which you can find on a future Guild CD!), especially when you hear the magnificent setting created for Lena Horne and Phil Woods. Farnon always filled his orchestras with the top session players: his regular Concertmaster, and first violinist, was Raymond Cohen (for whom Farnon composed his "Rhapsody for Violin and Orchestra") and the usual choice of harpist was David Snell, today a leading composer and conductor for films. Each and every performer involved in this album was at their peak when this recording was created in 1976, and the sheer quality shines through in every track. I urge every reader to add it to their collection while they can. If you need an extra incentive, in the booklet there is a colour photo of Bob with Lena relaxing during a break in the sessions. David Ades This CD is available from the RFS Record Service for £10 [$20].
VINTAGE TV & RADIO CLASSICSSea Songs (Vaughan Williams), Marigold (Billy Mayerl), Waltzing with Sullivan (Gilbert Vinter), Sound & Vision (ATV March) (Eric Coates), Radio 4 Theme Tune (Fritz Spiegl), Holiday Spirit (Clive Richardson), Imperial Echoes (Arnold Sarfroni), Top Dog (Ivor Slaney),A Thousand Kisses (Archibald Joyce), Parisian Mode (Woolf Phillips), Willow Waltz (Cyril Watters),Non Stop (John Malcolm), Winter Sunshine (George Melachrino), Paris Promenade & Paris Metro(William Hill-Bowen), Out of the Blue (Hubert Bath), Barnacle Bill (Ashworth Hope), Galop (Alan Langford), Three Dance Revels (Montague Phillips), Widespread World (London Rediffusion Call Sign)(Johnny Dankworth). Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Paul Murphy and Gavin Sutherland Naxos 8.570332. These are all new recordings of old favourites and jolly good they are too. Try listening to them without first reading the liner notes and see if you can identify the programmes they introduced. Need a few clues? Oh all right then: try Billy Bunter, The Men from the Ministry, Children’s Newsreel and What’s My Line – but that’s only for starters. Edmund Whitehouse
While nothing can really match the original broadcast version of a famous signature tune, we have here a good varied collection of themes played by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. In particular, Vaughan Williams’ Sea Songs, the Radio 4 UK theme, Barnacle Bill and ATV’s Sound And Vision by Eric Coates are given rousing performances and, despite that ‘something’ which is nearly always lacking in the sound quality from Naxos, the whole package is very good value. The crowning glory is the quite outstanding reconstruction by Gavin Sutherland of Sir John Dankworth’s Rediffusion marchWidespread World. You can almost hear the voice of ITV’s Redvers Kyle introducing the TV station after the opening fanfare – great stuff! – well done the RPO (and Naxos).
Of special interest here for many will be Fritz Spiegl’s Radio 4 UK Theme for early wakers over which there was such a hoo-ha last year when it was axed by the BBC. Some of the other 21 pieces on this disc have not been heard since the shellac years – three even had to be reconstructed – and here they are all freshly minted and played by one of our leading symphony orchestras. It is refreshing to find, among others, well-loved pieces by Billy Mayerl, Clive Richardson, Ivor Slaney, Archibald Joyce, Hubert Bath, and Montague Phillips given such a sparkling modern treatment. Among the memories evoked are those of ‘Radio Newsreel’ by the Arnold Safroni [real name, A.S. Middleton] march,Imperial Echoes, and there are reminders of two defunct TV stations in Eric Coates’ Sound and Vision ATV March and John Dankworth’s Widespread World, the original call sign music for Rediffusion London. And who of a certain age has ever forgotten Ashworth Hope’s Barnacle Bill, long-time signature tune for ‘Blue Peter?’ A warm welcome and **** from me for a collection that will give much pleasure.
Peter Burt This CD is available from the RFS Record Service for £6 [$12].
FLORILÈGE DE MUSIQUES PITTORESQUES ("Bouquet of Picturesque Music") 4CD set - CD 1 features later recordings of old favourites Post Horn Galop (Orchestre Champetre), Teddy Bears’ Picnic (Teddy Petersen Orchestra), Doll Dance (Robert Maxwell, harp), Hot Canary (Florian Zabach), Fairy On The Clock (Reginald Foort, organ), In A Clock Store (JanCorduwener Orchestra), Tritsch Tratsch Polka (Johnny Nelson, whistler), Nola (Sidney Torch Orchestra), Toy Trumpet (Tommy Reilly, harmonica), Whistler And His Dog (Florian Zabach) 26 tracks; CD 2 includes separate sections with light music from Denmark , The Netherlands, France, Italy, Germany and the USA (Fiddle Derby – Percy Faith, Bugler’s Holiday – Leroy Anderson, On A Little Country Road In Switzerland – David Rose, Oriental Polka – Mitch Miller, Sandpaper Ballet – Leroy Anderson & Rainfall – Percy Faith) 26 tracks; CD 3 is a tribute to Britain’s contribution to Light Music from the late 1940s onwardsCoronation Scot (Sidney Torch), Messenger Boy (Ron Goodwin), Alpine Festival (Fred Hartley), Henpecking & Dancing Bells (Ray Martin), Comic Cuts & Song Of The ‘Maggie’ (Sidney Torch), Tic-Toc Tango (Ray Martin), Cornflakes (Sidney Torch), Jumping Bean (Robert Farnon), Waltzing Bugle Boy (Frank Chacksfield), Stringopation & Running Off The Rails (Philip Green), Flying Colours (Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra conducted by Robert Farnon), Strings On Parade (Ray Martin), Little Jumping Jack (Camarata – the one non-British conductor who crept in to this CD!), Tickled Pink (Ray Martin), Runaway Rocking Horse (Orchestre Raymonde), New Baby & Rip Van Twinkle (Norrie Paramor), Pied Piper (Frank Chacksfield), Elephant’s Tango (Cyril Stapleton), Ballet Of The Bells (Jackie Brown), Woodpecker’s Waltz (Ray Martin), Copenhagen Polka (George Melachrino), Little Laplander (Ron Goodwin) and Back Track (Stanley Black) 28 tracks; CD 4 focuses on virtuoso soloists Holiday For Strings (David Rose), Callahan’s Monkey (Norrie Paramor), Peanut Polka (Busketeers – Harmonica Group), Plink Plank Plunk (Florian Zabach), Galloping Comedians (Hotcha Harmonica Trio), Red Wings (Florian Zabach), Laughing Violin (Noucha Doina), Pizzicato Waltz (Helmut Zacharias), High Horse (Tommy Reilly), Fiddle Faddle (Wagn Sorensen, xylo-marimba), Fiddlin’ For Fun (David Rose) 23 tracks. (France) Marianne Melodie 071901 4 CDs not available separately. This incredible compilation is the brainchild of veteran French broadcaster Pierre-Marcel Ondher, and in the English section of the booklet Ralph Harvey accurately describes it as a ‘mini-anthology’. These four CDs contain a wide cross-section of so many music forms which PMO feels come within the umbrella of ‘light music’ in its widest sense. The emphasis is on what he calls ‘the juniors’, meaning the orchestras and soloists who carried the banner for light music following the second world war. PMO rightly believes that he has covered the earlier period (the 1920s and 1930s) comprehensively in his previous compilations such as ‘The Wonderful Music That Tells A Story’, and readers who have purchased his previous collections (following reviews in this magazine) will know that his immense knowledge of his subject is beyond doubt. He manages to find records that many of us simply didn’t know existed – for example, were you aware that a harmonica group called ‘Busketeers’ has recorded Robert Farnon’s Peanut Polka on the Tell Record label? It’s amusing to see Bob’s famous works listed as ‘Le Haricot Sauteur’ and ‘Cacahuète-Polka’ – alias Jumping Bean and Peanut Polka! Although there are some notes in English, the bulk of the highly informative booklet is in French. PMO has generously listed many of his friends in Light Music, including our own magazine. This collection – to put it simply – is a joyful celebration of the fun side of light music. It does not pretend to offer the more serious works in the genre that are widely available elsewhere, but the kind of bright pieces that make you smile when you hear them. The digital sound restoration appropriately provides clear, bright and crisp results that seem just right for this repertoire. Obviously the abridged tracklisting at the head of this review will alert you to the fact that you probably have many of these titles already in your collection. But at least one third – probably more like half – of the tracks are sufficiently rare to have eluded even the most assiduous collector over the years. A great deal of sheer hard work has gone into these four CDs, and everyone involved should be very proud of the finished product.David Ades This 4CD set is available to special order from the RFS Record Service – see page 96.
BOX OF DELIGHTS (British Light Musical Gems) London Fields- Springtime at Kew, Maze at Hampton Court, St. James Park, Hampstead Heath (Phyllis Tate), Three Waltzes (Samuel Coleridge-Taylor), Russian Scenes - At the Fair, Mazurka, Polka, Valse, Cossack Dance (Granville Bantock),Fancy Dress Suite - Hurly Burly, Dance of the Mummers, Dusk, Pageantry (Cecil Armstrong Gibbs),En Voyage - Golden Arrow, Channel Crossing, Yvette, Paris Soir (Elisabeth Lutyens). London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Barry Wordsworth and Simon Joly. Lyrita SRCD 214. 15 years is a long time to wait for a CD but gosh, it was worth waiting for. This is one of the Lyrita discs shelved in the early 1990s but now, happily, resurrected. The recordings are outstanding and the music superb. Phyllis Tate’s marvellous London Fields was composed for the 1958 BBC Light Music Festival, and is a shining example of what Light Music is all about. Joie de vivre pulsates through every movement with daffodils wafting gentry in the breeze at Kew and the xylophone running amok in the Hampton Court Maze. Meanwhile, swans glide along the pond at St. James Park and bank holiday makers go ape on the Hampstead Heath funfair during the exciting finale, subtitledRondo for Roundabouts. Samuel Coleridge-Taylor composed much wonderful light music during his short life, including the three rare waltzes heard here. Sir Granville Bantock is often regarded as austere but his Russian Scenes are real foot tapping eye openers. Armstrong Gibbs’ complete Fancy Dress Suite is rarely heard but this will hopefully now be redressed. Elisabeth Lutyens later eschewed her tuneful works, one of which is the rare En Voyage, a journey from London to Paris by boat and train. This "Box of Delights" really is a collection of "British Light Musical Gems"! Edmund Whitehouse
MATT MONRO From Matt Monro With Love When I Fall In Love, On Days Like These, From Russia With Love, Days Of Wine And Roses, Till Then My Love, Walk Away, Portrait Of My Love, etc 23 tracks EMI 3845212. This CD was released just in time for Valentine’s Day but beautiful music such as this deserves to be heard at any time of the year. He was one of the finest singers of his generation, and when you listen to his songs it makes you realise that today’s entertainment business seems to be lacking the kind of quality that Matt always exemplified. His daughter Michele has penned an excellent booklet note, but I would have liked to see his fine backing orchestras and arrangers given some credit in the tracklisting. David Ades
OLIVER CROMWELL Rutland Boughton 1st Symphony (Oliver Cromwell), Edgar Bainton 3rd Symphony. BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Vernon Handley. Dutton Epoch CDLX 7185. Recognise the orchestra and conductor? Then you will realise straight away that this must be tuneful music. Oliver Cromwell was composed as long ago as 1905 when British music was undergoing a renaissance, with Elgar a prominent figure championing his contemporaries. Bainton, a much underrated composer, was also active but was unfortunately interred during the First World war after being stranded during a European tour. He eventually emigrated to Australia as Director of the Sydney State Conservatory. This is a fine and timely CD premiering two forgotten works, made possible by generous separate donations from the Bainton, Boughton, and Oliver Cromwell Societies.Edmund Whitehouse All Dutton Epoch CDs are available from the RFS Record Service for £10 [$20].
THE MELODY LINGERS ON – 100 Unforgettable Memories on 4 CDs. Original Recordings, Original Artists. V2TV1031392. This is a stellar selection of songs largely from the early 1950s. Obviously not all the tracks can be listed here but from Nat ‘King’ Cole’s Pretend to Blue Tango by Ray Martin & His Concert Orchestra, from The Harry Lime Theme by Anton Karas to The Weavers’Goodnight Irene, from Judy Garland’s Over The Rainbow to Glenn Miller’s In The Mood, from It Might As Well Be Spring by Dick Haymes to Sinatra’s One For My Baby, this is a wonderful nostalgia inducing box-set. Most of the artists are from the U.S. but as well as the likes of Astaire, Clooney, Crosby, Day, Fitzgerald, The Ink Spots, Kelly [Gene], Lanza, and Waller there are contributions from, Calvert, Chacksfield, Mantovani, Josef Locke and Whitfield – not forgetting Chevalier, Piaf, and Trenet. If you shop around online the set can be found for less than £12.
THE FILM MUSIC OF JOHN ADDISON Themes from I was Monty’s Double; Centennial; Swashbuckler; A Bridge Too Far; The Maggie; Reach for the Sky; Strange Invaders; The Man Between; Tom Jones; Charge of the Light Brigade; Brandy for the Parson; Torn Curtain; Touch and Go; Sleuth; Carleton-Browne of the F.O.; Murder She Wrote. BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Rumon Gamba. Chandos CHAN 10418 Another fine film music CD from the enterprising Chandos label. You are sure to recognise many of the tunes on offer, especially from Reach for the Sky but probably also the jaunty melody called The Maggie based on a Scottish puffer boat adventure. The rest varies from sheer suspense and drama such as Strange Invaders, The Charge of the Light Brigade and I was Monty’s Double to the comedy of Carleton-Browne of the Foreign Office. Watch out for five other premiere recordings amongst this great offering. Edmund Whitehouse
I have always enjoyed John Addison’s scores; for me they always included that certain ‘something’ which was lacking from many other film composers. I was disappointed that commercial recordings were not always available, especially of catchy themes such as I Was Monty’s Double. Happily soundtrack albums started to become more commonplace as his career developed, and his music made Torn Curtain far more enjoyable, even though I always felt that Julie Andrews was badly mis-cast – despite that memorable scene with the two buses – what suspense! I have to admit to some disappointment with the Sidney Torch version of Reach For The Sky; I heard a different arrangement played by the BBC Concert Orchestra on radio about thirty years ago, and other themes were introduced which I felt gave it a better balance. For many people it will be the theme for TV’s Murder She Wrote which is now Addison’s most familiar work, although that memorable march from A Bridge Too Far (a film which made me despair of the ability of high ranking officers of all nations to make the right decisions in wartime) surely runs it a close second. John Addison was a superb composer of film (and TV) music, and this collection is long overdue. Bravo Chandos! David Ades This CD is available from the RFS Record Service price £12.50 [$25]. SIR EDWARD ELGAR Wand of Youth Suite No. 1 (Overture, Serenade, Minuet, Sun Dance, Fairy Pipers, Slumber Scene, Fairies & Giants); Wand of Youth Suite No. 2 (March, Little Bells, Moths & Butterflies, Fountain Dance, Tame Bear, Wild Bears); Nursery Suite (Aubade, Serious Doll, Busyness, Sad Doll, Wagon Passes; Merry Doll, Dreaming); Dream Children. Ulster Orchestra conducted by Bryden Thomson and Bournemouth Sinfonietta conducted by Norman del Mar. Chandos CHAN 10422 X. Unmistakably Elgar but unmistakably light music of a very high quality. Both the charming Wand of Youth Suites date back to Elgar’s early years when children playing make believe fascinated him as a young man while The Nursery Suite was a late work dedicated to the young Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret. Meanwhile Dream Children provided a perfect introduction to an E. Nesbitt children’s television series. This release of a previous LP (now at budget price) is very welcome indeed. Edmund Whitehouse
STANLEY BLACK & The London Festival Orchestra – France & Russia. France -
Original Decca LP PFS 4110 (1967) Stereo: I Love Paris (Porter) ; What now my Love (Becaud; Delanoe) ;Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo (Kaper; Deutsch) ; At Last! At Last! (Miles; Trenet) ;Gigi medley (Loewe; Lerner) ; Gigi medley - The night they invented Champagne; Thank heavens for little girls ; La Normandie – Can Can (Offenbach arr Black) ;Mademoiselle de Paris (Durand; Maschwitz; Contet) ;La Mer (Trenet; Mair; Lawrence; Lasry) ; Plaisir d’Amour (Martini arr Black) ; French Soldiers medley (arr Black) - Can Can (Offenbach); Aupres de ma blonde; Vive la Compagnie; Alouette; La Marseillaise. Russia - Original Decca LP PFS 4084 (1966) Stereo: Meadowlands (Trad arr Black) ;Two Guitars (Trad arr Black) ; Under Moscow Skies (Trad arr Black) ; At the Balalaika (Posford; Maschwitz) ; Sabre Dance (Khachaturian) ; Dark Eyes (Trad arr Black) ; Trepak (Tchaikovsky) ; Song of the Volga Boatmen (Trad arr Black) ;Baba Yaga’s Hut – The Great Gate of Kiev (Mussorgsky orch Ravel). Vocalion CDLK 4336 2 LPS on 1 CD. Some very familiar titles here, but given the Black treatment this a superb disc – especially his rendering of the Cole Porters. I Love Paris is pure joy, enhanced by its stereo effects. Alec Hellyer All Dutton Vocalion CDs are available from the RFS Record Service for £10 [$20].
Orchestral Sweets 4 – Emerald Concert Orchestra / Christopher Ball.
Eric Coates – Merrymakers Overture ; Dance In The Twilight ; Knightsbridge March ; Charles Williams – Rhythm On Rails ; The Old Clockmaker ; Devil’s Galop ; David Rose – The Tiny Ballerina ; Holiday For Strings ; Ernest Tomlinson – Dick’s Maggot ; Little Serenade ; Peter Hope – Jaunting Car ; Playful Scherzo ; Trevor Duncan – The Girl From Corsica ; High Heels ; March From A Little Suite ; Victor Herbert – March Of The Toys ; Wally Stott – Rotten Row ; Pink Champagne ; Ron Goodwin – The Headless Horseman ; Anthony Collins – Vanity Fair ; George Gershwin – Walking The Dog ; Ronald Binge – The Watermill ; Vivian Ellis – Coronation Scott ; Peter Yorke – Sapphires And Sables. Dimore Records DRD108. Orchestral Sweets 5 – Emerald Concert Orchestra / Christopher Ball.Robert Farnon – Portrait Of A Flirt ; Westminster Waltz ; Little Miss Molly ; Jumping Bean ; How Beautiful Is Night ; Peanut Polka ; Manhattan Playboy ; Leroy Anderson – Serenata ; Trumpeter’s Lullaby ; The Waltzing Cat ; Sandpaper Ballet ; Fiddle Faddle ; Sarabande ; Jazz Legato ; Jazz Pizzicato ; Chicken Reel ; Horse And Buggy ; Promenade ; Plink Plank Plunk ; Pennywhistle Song ; The Typewriter ; The Syncopated Clock ; Forgotten Dreams ; Bugler’s Holiday ; Sleighride ; Holiday For Trombones ; Belle Of The Ball. Dinmore Records DRD109. The above two discs are available from Dinmore Records, 11 Romsley Hill Grange, Romsley, Worcs. B62 0LN. Tel/Fax 01562 710 801.www.dinmore-records.co.uk Email: . £5 per disc inc p+p, cheques only. A glance at the titles at the head of this review will tell you that the essence of this pair of discs is primarily popular light music classics which exist already in a number of alternative versions available in various compilations, many of them boasting modern stereo recordings. Before you dismiss these new releases as non-essential additions to your collection and turn the page, may I suggest that they have a number of positive features going for them which might make you wish to reconsider? They of course have the advantage of modern recording technology resulting in very good sound and furthermore Dinmore display a decent sized professional concert orchestra with an adequate number of strings, so vital in this type of repertoire – and you certainly get all the appropriate special effects, notably in the Leroy Anderson pieces on the second disc. All the music portrayed here is played with satisfying elan and style and obvious affection – and when all these virtues are coupled with maximum playing time and a super budget price they do make an exciting proposition. Indeed some of the titles on these discs receive better and more attractive performances than rival accounts. I cite, for example, Anthony Collins’ Vanity Fair which receives a less distant and fragile interpretation than John Wilson’s version on his all-Collins disc – Dutton Epoch CDLX7162 – whilst Vivian Ellis’ famed Coronation Scott definitely has noticeably more impetus than Ernest Tomlinson’s somewhat under-powered performance on Marco Polo 8.223522. As an added inducement there are several novelties included here – disc 1 includes Peter Hope’s Playful Scherzoand The Tiny Ballerina by David Rose, whilst a rare Leroy Anderson piece, Holiday For Trombones, appears on the second disc, all of which were new to me. There are no booklet notes with these discs but it would be churlish to make too much of this in view of their exceptional value, although it would have been interesting to have at least some background information about the orchestra and conductor and where the recording sessions took place. All light music aficionados should support this imaginative and welcome venture, and let us hope that Christopher Ball and the Emerald Concert Orchestra may be emboldened and encouraged to go on to record more of our sort of music. Roger Hyslop
Songs of STEPHEN FOSTER – Ashokan Farewell / Beautiful Dreamer. Jay Unger, Molly Mason [guitar], Thomas Hampson [baritone], David Alpher [piano]. Ashoken Farewell, Bound for Another Harvest Home, Prairie Spring, Haymaker’s Hoedown, Solstice Hymn, Thanksgiving Waltz, Le Chanson de Mardi Gras, Boneparte’s Retreat/Hoedown, Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair, Hard times, come again no more, The Voice of Bygone Days, Foster Favourites Medley, Beautiful Dreamer, etc. 20 tracks EMI Classics for Pleasure 09463 382225 2 1 [77:21] What wonderful releases it has been my privilege to review recently and this is one of the very best. The title track, another version of which is much requested on a certain radio station, is almost worth the cost of this budget priced re-issue alone. It was written by Jay Unger who also plays fiddle and violin, as well as arranging and being musical director throughout the disc. The Nashville Chamber Orchestra under Paul Gambill accompanies on a couple of tracks. The first eight tracks [listed above] celebrate farming and the seasons: half of them are Jay Ungar compositions, one is by Mrs Ungar [aka Molly Mason] and three are traditional. If you can listen to Haymaker’s Hoedown without tapping your feet, I’ll be surprised. On La Chanson de Mardi Gras you’ll find an interesting line-up of instruments including Cajun accordion, horse clops and triangle. The classical composer Aaron Copland used the melody of Boneparte’s Retreat as the primary theme for the ‘Hoedown’ in his ballet ‘Rodeo’. There are a dozen Stephen Foster tracks, most of them being graced by the sensitive singing of the superb Thomas Hampson. Although Beautiful Dreamer, described by David Foil in his very full liner notes as "the consummate Foster love song", sets the standard every track has its merits. I can’t imagine anyone who appreciates heart lifting music of any genre will regret adding this CD to their collection.
EDMUNDO ROS and his Orchestra - Dancing With Edmundo & Heading South Of The Border. Dancing With Edmundo, Original Decca LP SKL 4100 (1960) Stereo: Cuban Love Song (Stothart; McHugh; Fields) Rumba ; Toku (Lecuona) Rumba ; Brasil (Barroso) Samba ;Lua do Brasil (Rios) Samba ; Spanish Gipsy Dance (Marquina) Paso Doble ; Te Quiero Y Ole (Laredo) Paso Doble ; Tony’s Cha Cha Cha (Osborne) Cha Cha Cha ; Pao Pao Cha Cha Cha (Monchito) Cha Cha Cha ; Te Quiero Dijiste (Grever) Rumba ; Divina Mujer (Moral) Rumba ; Copacabana (Ribeiro; De Barro) Samba ; Rio Brasil (Carvalinho; Monteiro) Samba ;La Morena de mi Copla (Catellanos; Villegas) Paso Doble ; Que me Estas Queriendo (Guijarro) Paso Doble ; Puerto Rican Peddler (Brandon) Cha Cha Cha ; Fanfare Cha Cha Cha (White) Cha Cha Cha. Heading South Of The Border, Original Decca LP PFS 4193 (1970) Stereo: Heading South (Rios) ; Mrs Robinson (Simon) ; Light My Fire (Morrison; Manzarek; Krieger; Densmore) ; What Now My Love (Becaud; Sigman; Delanoe) ; Forbidden Games (Yepes; Stellman) ; United We Stand (Hiller; Simons) ; Up, Up and Away (Webb) ; My Cherie Amour (Wonder; Moy; Cosby) ; I Was Kaiser Bill’s Batman ; (Greenaway; Cook) ; The Skaters’ Waltz (Waldteufel arr Ros; Hanmer) ; I’ll Never Fall in Love Again (Bacharach; David) ; Hey Jude (Lennon; McCartney). Vocalion CDLK 4334 - 2 LPS on 1 CD. There are some unfamiliar titles here among the familiar ones, all given the excellent Ros treatment. Alec Hellyer
ERIC COATES conducts ERIC COATES – For Your Delight. For Your Delight ; Calling All Workers ; Wood Nymphs ; Summer Days suite ; By The Tamarisk’ ; The Three Bears ; By The Sleepy Lagoon ; Cinderella ; A Song By The Way ; London suite ; Saxo-Rhapsody ; Footlights ; Sound And Vision ; London Again suite ; Springtime suite ; The Jester At The Wedding ballet concert suite ; Last Love ; The Three Elizabeths suite ; Four Centuries suite ; The Dam Busters. Sanctuary Living Era AJD 2013 – Double CD. This is another excellent collection which has received the magic touch of Alan Bunting. The sound quality is superb throughout. It is great to see five of Coates’ suites appearing complete in one package, including the infrequent Three Elizabeths and Four Centuries. Another gem from Living Era. Bill Watts This 2CD set is available from the RFS Record Service for £11 [$22].
THE DAY THE TV STOOD STILL – Winchester Hospital Radio WHRCD701. A double CD of melodic tunes compiled by Steven Wills, so you know the quality is going to be good. Here we have over 60 tracks from a wide range of composers, orchestras and bands. John Cacavas, Roger Webb, Angela Morley, Roger Roger, Syd Dale, Steve Race, Peter Yorke to name a few. But I’m sure of particular interest to Robert Farnon fans will be the tracks included here from the great man himself, namelyPleasure Drive, A Lonely Affair, Blue Moment, and Drum Dramatics No.13. This CD brings a host of lovely instrumentals together tunefully from those carefree "interlude" days when the TV stood still!Malcolm Batchelor
The advertisement on page 59 of this issue give you an idea of the contents of this 2CD collection, which mainly comes from original recordings in the Chappell Recorded Music Library from the late 1950s onwards, with the emphasis firmly in the 1960s. Thus the repertoire is mainly from a later period than that which is currently being covered in the Guild Light Music CDs, and the 61 tracks will provide many pieces which readers will not have had the opportunity to purchase previously. If you like this kind of repertoire, don’t hesitate to buy while this set is still available! David Ades Please refer to page 59 for details of how to purchase this collection. It is not available from the RFS Record Service.
ANDRẾ PREVIN Plays My Fair Lady & a dozen great standards – André Previn [Piano], Shelly Manne [Drums] and Leroy Vinnegar [Bass] 20 tracks including: I Got It Bad And That Ain’t Good, Take The "A" Train, This Can’t Be Love, Should I?, Hallelujah!, Just One Of Those Things, September In The Rain, Lullaby Of Broadway, Black And Blue, I’ve Got A Feeling I’m Falling, Honeysuckle Rose, Who’s Sorry Now? Sanctuary Living Era CD AJA 5656 [75’42"]. What a delight to find yet another fondly remembered recording resurrected on compact disc, with terrific tunes and immaculate instrumentalists. ‘Shelly Manne & His Friends: My Fair Lady’ was a hit LP recorded in August 1956, originally issued on the Contemporary Record label, that eventually became a classic of its genre. It also started the vogue for jazz treatments of Broadway scores. The ‘dozen great standards’ are all performed by the multi-talented Previn with either his Trio, Quartet or, in the case of the last track, Quartet plus Strings. The first six tracks listed above are from 1946-47, the rest from the ‘50s. If, like me, you are not in the habit of buying jazz CDs, then I urge you to make an exception for this one – it should be available online at £5.99. Sanctuary: I salute you for making an old[ish] man very happy.
Peter Burt Sanctuary Living Era single CDs are available from the RFS Record Service for £8 [$16].
GORDON JENKINS – A Musical Prodigy. Jasmine JASCD 660. Double CD. In his review of these recordings in JIM 171, David Ades rather damned with faint praise what arguably might be regarded as Jenkins' finest work, The Seven Dreams. I believe this is the first full version since the original LP on Decca DL9011, back in the early 50s (?) and, in my opinion, far outshines the earlier, more widely known and acclaimed Manhattan Tower, which here is a fair way short of the complete work. The Seven Dreams was wider in range and larger in scenario than he had previously attempted, with some memorable and beautiful melodies. There is indeed much narration, witty and highly original.The Blessing which ends The Pink Houseboat is gloriously uplifting. The whole theme of The Girl on the Rock is hauntingly enchanting. Even if you are not particularly a Jenkins' fan, this is well worth getting for The Seven Dreams alone. Ray Greaves This CD is available from the RFS Record Service for £12 [$24].
FRANK CHACKSFIELD – Frank Chacksfield in the Limelight Limelight theme & incidental music, Flirtation Waltz, Prelude to a Memory, Pulling Strings, Meet Mister Callaghan, Gin Fizz, Little Red Monkey, Golden Violins, Golden Tango, Dancing Princess, Pied Piper, Song of Canterbury, Misty Valley, Mademoiselle de Paris, Black Velvet, Someday I’ll Find You, Dance Little Lady, Twentieth Century Blues, Smile, Sur Le Pave de Paris, A Kid for Two Farthings, Cockleshell Heroes, Song of the Trees, Love is a Many Splendoured Thing, In Old Lisbon, The Donkey Cart, Memories of You, Waltzing Bugle Boy, Ebb Tide Sanctuary Living Era CD AJA 5655 [77:14]. If you have the 2001 Vocalion‘Presenting Frank Chacksfield’/’Dinner At Eight-Thirty’ [no longer in their back catalogue] there are over a dozen duplications here but if you are without a CD of early Chacksfield or no other copy of his mini-hit novelty number Little Red Monkey or The Donkey Cart – both UK chart entries – or the catchy Meet My Callaghan, which like Monkey features the clavioline, you will be interested in this. Many of the 30 mono tracks represent the late-flowering maestro [he achieved fame with Limelightand Ebb Tide in his 40th year] at his best. The aforementioned million sellers top and tail the collection. The lovely Song of Canterbury is from the pen of Ronald Binge, and Waltzing Bugle Boy is reckoned to be marginally superior to composer Ray Martin’s own version. Chaplin’s Smile is also included together with three Noel Coward numbers, two of Chacksfield’s own compositions, Georges Auric’s atmospheric Sur Le Pave De Paris, and a trio of 1955 movie themes. There are voices on four tracks which I would have preferred not to be there. The audio was in the hands of the masterly Alan Bunting and the informative liner notes are by David Ades, who gives due credit to arranger Leon Young – so what further recommendation to buy do we need?
JOHN PHILIP SOUSA - Music for Wind Band Volume 6. Royal Artillery Band / Keith Brion.Easter Monday on the White House Lawn; The Golden Star; The Dauntless Battalion; Sextet from The Bride Elect; The Federal March; Three Quotations (Suite for Band ; The Liberty Bell; The Gridiron Club; La Reine de la Mer; The Chariot Race; The Gladiator; New Mexico March; The Picador March. Naxos American Classics 8559132. Quite a time has elapsed since the appearance of volume 5 in this Sousa series, reviewed as far back as the December 2004 issue of JIM (p.85) – but with the arrival of this latest splendid addition we have I think been amply rewarded. By far the best known piece in this new release for the general collector is Liberty Bell which came even more to resonate in the public memory by its adoption as the signature tune for BBC television’s popular comedy seriesMonty Python’s Flying Circus. The disc gets off to a lively enough start with a piece composed in ragtime and bearing the extraordinary title of Easter Monday On The Whitehouse Lawn, replacing the stately Coronation March as the concluding movement of Tales Of A Traveller suite. Thereafter comes an abrupt change of mood as the succeeding march The Golden Star, dating from 1919 and dedicated to Mrs Theodore Roosevelt, is cast in the form of a solemn and poignant funeral march written in honour of members of the American military who fell in the first world war and displaying a less familiar and more serious side of Sousa. Track 3 restores a more light-hearted genial mood withThe Dauntless Battalion, a fine march dating from 1922 to honour cadets of Pennsylvania Military Academy. Keith Brion has recorded the enigmatically titled three quotations previously on a Marco Polo disc carrying the appellation volume 3 on Wings of Lightning with the Bratislava-based Razamovski Symphony Orchestra, (catalogue number 8.223874). The quotations seem to have a fairly obscure origin, two coming from the 16th century, and whilst the music is entertaining enough, the individual movements labour under some bizarre titles such as The King Of France (with twenty-thousand men marched up the hill and then marched down again) and I Too Was Born In Arcadie. Interestingly enough Keith Brion takes more than a minute longer over the former movement with the Royal Artillery Band than he does with the Razamovski Symphony Orchestra. Track 11 on this CD amply demonstrates the ease with which Sousa moves from 4/4 to 3/4 when the occasion demands with a lovely lilting Waldteufian waltz which appropriately bears a French title La Reine De La Mer. The lady Sousa had in mind, alas, was the rather prosaic figure of the wife of the secretary to the US navy! The chariot race is a vivid descriptive piece which could easily have lent itself as suitable background music to many an action sequence in a feature film down the years, whilst theNew Mexico March with its Spanish inflections is a product of his later years. All the marches in this collection are played as usual with superb panache and swagger and the recording sessions, based at Woolwich town hall dating as far back as January 2002, incidentally were produced and edited by Mike Purton of the Specialist Recording Company and the resultant sound can be best described in one word – magnificent! If you haven’t already embarked on this outstanding series I do urge you to give it a try, particularly as the super budget price of these discs won’t exactly break the bank, and let us hope that Naxos doesn’t keep us waiting quite so long for the next one!
Roger Hyslop Naxos CDs are available from the RFS Record Service price £6 [$12].
MANTOVANI – Waltz Encores & American Waltzes Charmaine, Wyoming, Love Makes The World Go ‘Round [La Ronde De L’Amour], Love, Here Is My Heart, Lovely Lady, The Moulin Rouge Theme, Greensleeves, Lonely Ballerina, The Kiss In Your Eyes, Dear Love, My Love, I Live for You, Dream, Dream, Dream/The Waltz You Saved For Me, Beautiful Ohio, When The Moon Comes Over The Mountain, The Sidewalks Of New York, Marcheta, The Whiffenpoof Song, Let Me Call You Sweetheart, Missouri Waltz, The Sweetheart Of Sigma Chi, Meet Me In St Louis, Louis, Clementine, Alice Blue Gown [74:45 ] Vocalion CDLK 4341. With this release "CD" could well stand for "cracker of a disc" – Mantovani and waltzes were made for each other. Neither album has been issued in the UK before or on CD in the States. ‘Waltz Encores’, recorded in 1958, features stereo recordings of old favourites [several from Monty’s very first album and including five million sellers] with the stereo intensifying the tingle down the spine feeling those early cascading strings still give. The second album, from 1962, includes tracks which I imagine have never been heard before by many of Monty’s admirers. For those who appreciate voices with their orchestra, the female Sammes Chorus provide support on five of the songs. There is a delicious jangle piano on Sidewalks and Meet Me. Mantovani guru Colin Mackenzie tells me of something that only came to light after he had written his extensive liner notes: that when London [Decca] issued the Let Me Call You Sweetheart track on LP they chopped all 19 seconds off the lovely intro to the tune. The mistake was subsequently repeated on the Japanese CD. Mike Dutton discovered the abandoned intro at the end of the tape supplied to him by Universal and has restored it to where it belongs. Monty never made a less than good album but this 2-on-1 brings us two that bear comparison with his finest. An obvious "must have" for all Mantovanians, I would like to think that anyone who is aiming to build a representative collection of the best in light music will also consider giving it a spin.
ERIC COATES – London Philharmonic Orchestra / Barry Wordsworth. The Three Men suite; Dancing Nights ; I Pitch my Lonely Caravan ; Birdsongs at Eventide / I Heard You Singing ; Summer Afternoon ; The Enchanted Garden ; Footlights ; Rhythm (from Four Centuries suite) ; London Bridge.Lyrita SRCD213. Lyrita has been busily engaged in recent months re-issuing much of their distinguished back catalogue, but this Coates compilation they have kept up their sleeves since this would appear to be its first appearance in any format. Further they have been somewhat coy regarding the details of this recording – no dates are given for the recording sessions or any indication where they took place. I would guess that they probably originate from the late 1980s or early 90s but Lyrita’s sense of timing is certainly impeccable since this year of course marks the 50thanniversary of the composer’s death. Centrepiece on this new disc is a splendid account of Coates’ longest single movement based upon a story suggested by his wife and briefly all about a princess menaced by the spirits of darkness and protected by the birds and animals in the garden until her prince returns – in the nick of time! The scenario of The Enchanted Garden is easy enough to follow through the genius of Coates’ vividly descriptive music and Barry Wordsworth’s beautifully structured and characterised interpretation which completely holds the attention from first bar to last. Also included is a complete The Three Men suite, the final movement of which – The Man From The Sea – finally resolves into a fugue in which Johnny Come Down To Hilo and Three Blind Mice are cleverly interleaved and two of Coates’ elegant and graceful waltzes Footlights and Dancing Nights, the latter sounding suitably and stylishly svelte. Alas, there is only room for the concluding movement of theFour Centuries suite with its emphasis on the dance rhythms of the 20th century, but Wordsworth compensates by bringing out the rich heady art-deco feel to this music. This disc is brought to a resounding conclusion by one of Coates’ inimitable marches, the stirring London Bridge, dating from 1934, and if memory hasn’t failed me completely, this was deployed as the signature tune of a daily BBC radio soap which predated Mrs Dale and I think might have been called The Robinson Family. This Lyrita release comes at premium price £15 although by shopping around a little you may find a cheaper copy – but nonetheless this is unmistakably a Rolls Royce product and you will be amply compensated by superb accounts of Eric Coates’ music, excellently recorded and with generous playing time. Unmissable!
NEW YEAR’S CONCERT IN VIENNA 1987 – Wiener Philharmoniker / Herbert von KarajanDie Fledermaus: Overture, Music of the Spheres, Anna Polka, Delirium, Pleasure-train, Pizzicat-Polka, Beloved Anna Polka, Thunder and Lightning, Voices of Spring, Without a Care!, The Blue Danube, Radetzky March. Emperor Waltz [80:29] DG Grand Prix 477 6336. Those for whom Mantovani’s‘Strauss Waltzes’ [reviewed in our last issue] would not have been to their liking, this is the "real" thing. Originally released in the year of recording it is now reissued at mid-price with an added "bonus" track of the glorious Kaiser-Walzer. The orchestra was, and still is, arguably the best in the world ─ certainly in this repertoire. Karajan was one of the greatest conductors ever and this live foray into the lighter end of the classical genre is still regarded as foremost in a long line of such recordings. The soprano Kathleen Battle is a charming soloist in Voices. I find the music of Johann Strauss the elder and his two sons Johann and Josef irresistible, and this release is highly recommended.
HALLÉ ORCHESTRA Conducted by MARK ELDER Claude Debussy (1862-1918) La Mer, Preludes Sanctuary/Hallé CD HLL 7513, 67:24 mins. Debussy completed the orchestration of La Meron the south coast of England at Eastbourne in 1905. This magnificent work is now regarded as a fine piece of classical music, and it has probably encouraged many listeners to explore further the riches on offer in similar vein. Yet the critics were less than favourable at its premiere – such is the way in which fashions change over time. I grew up listening to this work on a Decca 10" Medium Play LP (remember those?) by Ernest Ansermet and L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. In one’s youth there is a temptation to believe that the first, familiar version of a particular work becomes regarded as the definitive one. Later, when exposed to other conductors’ interpretations subtle changes in tempi and emphasis can add to the understanding of what the composer may have had in mind. Mark Elder’s reading of La Mer seems, to me, to be fairly similar to my familiar Ansermet, apart from a noticeable slowing of the tempo towards the climax which, in my humble opinion, adds to the majesty and grandeur of the work. The composer’s Preludes were written for piano, and in 2001 Mark Elder commissioned Colin Matthews to orchestrate them for the Hallé. The CD booklet explains that "…far from writing note-for-note transcriptions, Matthews has discovered the secret of each piece and in most cases translated it faithfully, which does not mean literally, into orchestral terms." London born Colin Matthews is Associate Composer with the Hallé, and he studied music at the Universities of Nottingham and Sussex, where he also taught, and subsequently worked with Benjamin Britten and Imogen Holst. Apart from the final movement, The Girl With The Flaxen Hair (now in a sumptuous string setting by Matthews) I have to show my ignorance by admitting that I am not familiar with these works; all I can say is that the orchestrations sound faithful to the style of Debussy. If any readers have not yet added La Mer to their collection, I have no hesitation in recommending this version. David Ades
WERNER MÜLLER and his Orchestra – Spectacular Tangos & Gypsy! La Cumparsita, Blue Tango, Jalousie, Tango Bolero, Carminito, Czardas, Hungarian Dance No.5, Zorba’s Dance, Gypsy Love, At the Balalaika, etc. 24 tracks [77:38] Vocalion CDLK 4318. Those of you who, like me, are pushovers for both tango and gypsy music will delight in this 2-on-I as much as I have. The tune selection is fairly predictable but there are some interesting arrangements and the playing is of a high standard. Even the inclusion of a wordless chorus on some of the first album’s tracks does not raise my usual hackles. [I wonder why four of the tracks from the original LP have been replaced.] It’s a pity that Vocalion is no longer giving us the total playing time and, in consideration of those new to Herr Müller’s music, the complete absence of liner notes is also to be regretted. Both the albums were originally issued in Decca’s famed Phase 4 format and have been spectacularly remastered. Enjoy!
With thanks to Wilfred Askew for bringing the following releases to our attention:
BING CROSBY – Good and Rare (recorded 1949-55). The Yodel Blues ; So In Love ; Someplace On Anywhere Road ; So Tall A Tree ; This Is The Time ; And You'll Be Home ; Milady - (with Dorothy Kirsten) ; The Best Thing For You ; Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo ; Silver Moon ; Don't Ever Be Afraid To Go Home ; On The 10.10 From Ten-Ten-Tennessee - (with Ben Lessey) ; Ohio ; Cela M'est Egal ; What A Little Moonlight Can Do - (with Gary Crosby) ; My Love, My Love ; Mon Coeur Est Un Violon ; La Vie En Rose ; Embrasse-Moi Bien ; Liebchen ; The River ; It's Mine, It's Yours ; The Search Is Through ; The Land Around Us ; Let's Harmonize ; Jim, Johnny And Jonas ; Farewell. Sepia 1071
CATERINA VALENTE – The Hi-Fi Nightingale (recorded 1954-55), original Polydor recordings.Just you, just me ; Istanbul ; Oho Aha ; Casanova ; El mosquito ; Ganz Paris ; I love Paris ; Gespensterblues ; The Breeze And I ; If hearts could talk ; Temptation ; This ecstasy ; Jalousie ; Fiesta cubana ; Malaguena ; The way you love me ; My Lonely Lover ; Begin the beguine ; Siboney ; This must be wrong. Cherry Red ACMEN87CD.
BILLY COTTON and his Band – Wakey Wakey! Featuring Alan Breeze and Doreen Stephens. I've Got A Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts ; Poppa Piccolino ; The Dam Busters March ; When You're Home With The Ones You Love ; Someone Else I'd Like To Be ; He's A Real Tough Guy ; Bring Your Smile Along ; Play Me Hearts And Flowers ; Yellow Rose Of Texas ; Hang On The Bell, Nellie ; When You Hear Big Ben ; The Petite Waltz ; Somebody Goofed ; I Only Saw Him Once ; The Ring Fell Under The Sofa ; Crazy Mixed Up Song ; This 'Ole House ; A Present For Bob ; The Whistling Song ; Where Did The Chicken Lay The Eggie? ; Big Head (Big 'Ead) ; Friends And Neighbours ; Domani ; I Miss My Darling ; Rain ; Two On A Tandem ; Can I Canoe You Up The River ; Oh Little Fish ; I Love The Sunshine Of Your Smile ; Dandelion Clock ; Have You Made The Day Worthwhile ; Longing For You ; Stick It On The Wall, Mrs. Riley ; Daddy's Little Girl ; If I Were A Blackbird ; The Flying Saucer ; London Calls ; The Night The Floor Fell In ; Star Of Hope ; A-Hunting We Will Go. Pulse PDSCD 645 – Double CD.
PAUL MAURIAT and his Orchestra – Blooming Hits. Somethin' Stupid; Penny Lane ; This Is My Song ; Alone In The World ; Inch Allah ; There's A Kind Of Hush (All Over The World) ; Puppet On A String ; L'Amour Est Bleu (Love Is Blue) ; Adieu To The Night ; Mama. Collectors’ Choice CCM-0710-2
MICHEL LEGRAND and his Orchestra – Paris, Rome Vienna. I Love Paris ; Mademoiselle de Paris ; Paris ; Autumn Leaves ; Under the Bridges of Paris ; Seine ; Paris in the Spring ; Paris Canaille ; April in Paris ; Paris ; Vie en Rose ; Under Paris Skies ; Paris, Je T'Aime ; Song from Moulin Rouge ; Last Time I Saw Paris ; I Love Paris (Reprise) ; Vieni Vieni ; Fiorin Fiorello ; Dicitencello Vuie! ; Neapolitan Nights ; Aveva un Bavero ; Munasterio 'E Santa Chiara ; Vola Columba ; Luna Lunera ; Funiculi Funicula ; ; Addormentarmi Cosi ; Torna a Surriento (Copme Back to Sorrento) ; Vilia ; 'Third Man' Theme ; Cafe Mozart Waltz.Cherry Red ACMEM73CD.
VICTOR SILVESTER and his Ballroom Orchestra – Strictly Ballroom Dancing.
Summer Sweetheart ; Rosalie ; Apple Blossom Time ; White Sails ; A Mist Is Over The Moon; Fragrant Flowers; Tears On My Pillow; Love Bells; Green Eyes ; Deep Purple ; Maria, My Own; So Deep Is The Night; I'll Write A Love Song; When You Wish Upon A Star ; Shy ; Begin The Beguine; Once In A While; Faith Forever; My Secret Love Affair; Cuban Lady ; The Lady Is A Tramp ; Mexicali Rose ; Give A Little Whistle. Sunflower SUN2170.
THE SQUADRONAIRES – Wolf on the Prowl. Ring Dem Bells ; Five Minutes More ; Reflections On The Water ; High Society ; Picnic In The Snow ; Somebody Stole My Rose Coloured Glasses ; Winter Wonderland ;Hobo's Prayer ; More Than Ever Before ; Jeeper's Creepers ; The Champ ; Slow And Easy ; Mudhopper ; Wine, Women And Song ; Wolf On The Prowl ; Set Me Free ; Hesitation ; Coach Call Boogie ; Lies ; Donegal Cradle Song ; Eventide ; The Last Waltz. Sunflower SUN2166.
CARROLL GIBBONS and the Savoy Hotel Orpheans – Sweet as a Song. On The Air ; My Romance ; You're A Sweetheart ; A Foggy Day ; My Love For You ; One Song ; Nice Work If You Can Get It ; Tears In My Heart ; Can I Forget You ; Francesca ; The Masquerade Is Over ; In The Still Of The Night ; Sweet As A Song ; With A Smile And A Song ; Over Wyoming ; Rosalie ; The Moon Got In My Eyes ; Please Be Kind ; Silver Wedding Waltz Sentimental Fool ; Goodnight My Love ; Wandering Along. Sunflower SUN2168
Mike Dutton continues to please critics and buyers alike with his interesting mix of new releases. In May it was the turn of his budget labels, and the following details are taken from the press release.
CDBP 9772 focuses on the 1940s Decca recordings of violinist Ida Haendel performing works by Mendelssohn and Stravinsky, as well as those of Szymanowski, De Falla and Albéniz. Malcolm Sargent conducting the National Symphony Orcehstra accompanies Haendel in a performance of Mendelssohn’s Concerto in E minor for Violin and Orchestra, while in contrast Stravinsky’s La Baiser de la Fée: Divertimento for Violin and Piano (arranged by violinist Samuel Dushkin and based on Stravinsky’s ballet music ‘The Fairy’s Kiss’) shows off Haendel in an intimate chamber setting. Among the other works on this disc are Szymanowski’s Tarantella and Albéniz’s Malagueña – the latter in an arrangement by Kreisler.
The legendary Busch Quartet are the subject of CDBP 9773, which contains two of their 1930s HMV recordings of Beethoven’s string quartets. Led by Adolf Busch and acclaimed as perhaps the finest interpreters of the composer’s work in that idiom, their recordings of the Quartet in C major No.3 ‘Rasumovsky’ and the Quartet in C sharp minor No.14 leave the listener in no doubt as to why they enjoy such exalted status among chamber music groups of their era. Also available: Dutton CDBP 9743 The Busch Quartet and Pro Arte Play Schubert and CDBP 9765 Busch Quartet Play Beethoven Vol.1
Several of the finest 1940s and ’50s recordings of Marian Anderson are contained in CDBP 9774, which is one of two discs in Dutton’s May 2007 batch of releases to feature singers. Subtitled Oratorio and Lieder, this release contains superlative examples of her recordings in those styles. Anderson is accompanied by pianist Franz Rupp in Schubert’s Ave Maria and by pianist Kosti Vehanen in Der Tod und Das Mädchen, and by Robert Shaw conducting the RCA Chamber Orchestra in an excerpt from Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and Zum Reinen Wasser from Cantata No.112, among other items.
CDBP 9775 concentrates on the voice of Helge Roswanege, known as ‘The Dane with the High D’. Recorded during the 1930s and ’40s, these remarkable performances show off his unique voice to telling effect in repertoire ranging from Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and Bizet’s Carmen to the works of lesser known but equally engaging composers such as Kattnigg (Balkanliebe) and Wille (Küss die hand, schöne frau). Also available: Dutton CDBP 9728 Helge Roswaenge - The Dane with the High D
CDBP 9776 sees the continuation of Dutton’s commitment to the music of Sir Edward Elgar, in a glorious programme of this giant of British music’s late 1920s and ’30s HMV recordings. Including works such as Falstaff: Symphonic Study in C minor, the charming Nursery Suite (the version presented here recorded in the presence of royalty) and the Cello Concerto in E minor, with Beatrice Harrison as soloist, we are reminded why Elgar was such a force to be reckoned with in 20thcentury music. On this disc the composer conducts the London Symphony and New Symphony Orchestras. Other Dutton Elgar discs include CDLX 7172 The Spirit of England and CDLX 7148Elgar/Walker Piano Concerto
CDBP 9777 is a particularly remarkable release, as it comprises recordings made in the pre-electric ‘acoustic’ era. Titled British Composers Conduct on Acoustic, it features recordings dating back as far as 1916 of charming orchestral works such as Sir Frederic Cowen’s The Butterfly’s Ball, Elgar’s Fringes of the Fleet recorded for HMV in 1917 and Holst’s Beni Mora – Oriental Suiterecorded in 1924. Music aside, it is quite astonishing to hear how incredibly clear these vintage recordings sound in the 21st century, owing to Michael J. Dutton’s exquisite remastering.
CDBP 9778 is the latest chapter in Dutton’s ongoing series featuring composers performing their own works, and in this instance the focus is on three very important names in 20th century music. Bartok plays piano in his fascinating Contrasts for Violin, Clarinet and Piano, which is also notable for featuring clarinettist Benny Goodman. Manuel de Falla is the harpsichordist in hisConcerto for Harpsichord featuring flautist Marcel Moyse, while Poulenc’s pianistic talents are on display in his Aubade concerto scored for eighteen instruments. Rounding off this programme is Jean Françaix’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra conducted by Nadia Boulanger, andConcertino for Piano and Orchestra conducted by Leo Borchard - both with the composer as pianist.
Several important HMV recordings by conductor Sir Eugene Goossens, spanning the 1920s to the 1950s, are compiled on CDBP 9779. In the main they focus on Goossens’s recordings of Bax’s works – a composer he championed – including Tintagel composed between 1917-19, and his Symphony No.2 in E Minor & C composed between 1924-26. The latter work was broadcast by the BBC in November 1956 as part of their memorial cycle of Bax’s symphonies, and is the recorded version presented here. Also included on this disc are Goossens’s recordings of Australian composer John Antill’s remarkable Corroboree ballet suite, which incorporated Aboriginal musical influences, and Goossens’s own work Tam O’Shanter, inspired by Robert Burns’s familiar poem.
Kenneth McKellar makes his fourth appearance on the Vocalion label with CDLF 8131, which is the first ever CD reissue of his 1965 Decca stereo album Songs of the British Isles. Here the famous Scottish tenor is heard giving unique and beautiful interpretations of traditional songs – in arrangements by Bob Sharples – including Cockles and Mussels, Greensleeves and Island Moonamong many others.
BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC PREMIERES VOLUME 4 Ernest Tomlinson:Aladdin (1974) -Jewel Dances, Aladdin’s Dance of Joy, Young Man in Love; John Fox: A Surrey Rhapsody (2006); Jim Cooke: Concert Jig (2004); Phillip Lord: Nautical Overture (1965); Richard Valery: The Magic Carpet (1940); Lionel Sainsbury: Cuban Dance No.2 (1991); Adam Saunders: Overture - Pirates Ahoy! (2006); Carey Blyton: The Golden Road to Samarkand (1991); Peter Flinn: Cinema Suite (2006). Royal Ballet Sinfonia conducted by Gavin Sutherland and Paul Murphy (Dutton Epoch CDLX7190).
The advance publicity for this new release states: This is the latest instalment in Dutton Epoch’s prestigious series of light music CDs and, as with the previous volumes, features Gavin Sutherland conducting the Birmingham Royal Ballet Sinfonia through sparkling recordings of charming light music scores by some of the finest British composers working in the genre. Ernest Tomlinson’sAladdin opens the disc and bears the hallmarks of grace, elegance and melodic invention for which this figurehead of British light music is so well-known. Among the many other delights on offer include Surrey-born composer John Fox’s orchestral ode to his home county A Surrey Rhapsody, and Carey Blyton’s enchanting The Golden Road to Samarkand orchestral suite. As ever, Gavin Sutherland’s inspired conducting and the Royal Ballet Sinfonia’s impeccable and sensitive playing combine to bring this colourful, beautiful music to life in spectacular fashion. A review of this important new release will appear in our next issue.
NEW GUILD "GOLDEN AGE OF LIGHT MUSIC" CDs
5129 "Beyond The Blue Horizon" full tracklisting in JIM 170, page 15
5130 "Cornflakes" full tracklisting in JIM 171, page 80
5131 "Light Music On The Move" full tracklisting in JIM 171, page 82
Readers who remember the late pianist and composer Albert Semprini may recall how he introduced his regular BBC Radio programmes with what we would today term a ‘mission statement’ – ‘Old ones – New ones – Loved ones – Neglected ones’. This formula could well apply to the entire GUILD series and to these three CDs in particular. [The ‘new’ ones are not actually new, of course - just unfamiliar!]
Beyond The Blue Horizon is a collection of Light Music which presents ‘…a mix of likeable melodies featuring different colours.’ Not surprisingly, Blue definitely predominates here, as it seems many composers have a ‘thing’ about that colour, and it’s featured in 14 of the 27 tracks. Many of these originate from commercial 78s, although there are some interesting library pieces, including Out Of The Blue (Robert Busby) and Blue Mink (Peter Yorke), both of which I well remember were used in BBC tv demonstration transmissions during the early ’50s. Also included is, I believe, another first for GUILD – a rare BBC Transcription recording (The White Scarf by Edgar Bainton). There’s a wonderful Robert Farnon arrangement of Irving Berlin’s Blue Skies, which features the great Dave Goldberg on guitar, and an equally superb Angela Morley treatment of Deep Purple (Parish, De Rose). The highly enjoyable programme is rounded off with another rarity – George Melachrino’s Fantasy Ballet, based on the traditional Little Brown Jug. This is taken from a 1947 recording for the EMI library, which Melachrino was instrumental in setting-up in association with the record company in the early years after WWII.
Cornflakes was not necessarily designed to accompany your breakfast – although it would perform that duty admirably – but, like a number of other GUILD CDs, takes its name from the title of one of its tracks, in this case a Norrie Paramor composition. There are many familiar numbers featuring some leading ’50s musical directors, including Frank Cordell, the aforementioned George Melachrino, Werner Müller, Cyril Stapleton, Mantovani and Malcolm Lockyer. Almost half of the items are grouped together under the title The Polygon Legacy and included in this section are most of the latter company’s tracks which have not already appeared on other GUILD releases. There are some very informative liner notes detailing Polygon’s history and its subsequent demise, when it was subsumed into PYE Records in the mid ’50s. One unfortunate omission, however, is apparent in Song Of The Pearl Fishers’ Tango by the Laurie Johnson Orchestra, which is credited to ‘Heno Gaze – (arr Johnson)’. Whatever became of the actual composer of the tune in question – one Georges Bizet?!
Light Music On The Move is a compilation of mainly upbeat pieces depicting movement in many forms on Land, Sea and Air. Transport features prominently and besides several trains (inevitably!), we are treated to such delights as a Cycling Chimp (Pagan), a few horses and a donkey, a couple of fairground roundabouts and John Malcolm’s famous Non Stop, which must have earned him a penny or two as it was used for many years as the signature tune for Independent Television News on British TV [see also my comments towards the end of this feature]. In contrast you’ll find anAmsterdam Sleepwalker (Steggerda), a space journey, and if you hanker after a more relaxed form of movement, try Drifting On A Cloud (D’Artega - Syracuse ). As with all of these new offerings, LMOTM is a clever assemblage of excellent tracks with Alan Bunting’s digital transfers being of his usual superlative quality. Tony Clayden
BEST OF BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC 2CD compilation
CD 1 includes CURZON: Robin Hood Suite: March of the Bowmen; HEDGES: Overture: Heigham Sound; TOYE: Concert Waltz: The Haunted Ballroom; FARNON: Melody Fair; WOOD: Serenade to Youth; COLLINS: Vanity Fair; TOMLINSON: A Little Serenade; QUILTER: A Children’s Overture; WORLAND: Millennium — A Celebration March; KETELBEY: In a Persian Market; GRAINGER: Country Gardens; ADDINSELL: Goodbye Mr Chips: Theme; GOODWIN: Theme from 633 Squadron"
CD 2 includes BENNETT: Theme and Waltz from ‘Murder on the Orient Express’; WHITE: Puffin’ Billy; TORCH: ALL Strings and Fancy Free; MAYERL: Marigold; DUNCAN: High Heels; ELLIS: Coronation Scot; FARNON: Colditz March; KETELBEY: In a Monastery Garden; BINGE: Elizabethan Serenade; COATES: By the Sleepy Lagoon; COLERIDGE-TAYLOR: Hiawatha Overture; GERMAN: Tom Jones, Act III: For Tonight (Sophia’s Waltz-Song); COATES: Dam Busters’ March Various Orchestras Naxos 8570575-76 (2 CDs). Naxos decided to make this compilation ‘CD Of The Month’ for August, which demonstrates their faith in Light Music. The tracks are taken from previous Naxos and Marco Polo CDs, and represent some of the finest composers of the last century.
MUSIC FROM MOTION PICTURES
Exodus, Cimarron, King of Kings, Ben-Hur, The Bible, Butterfield 8, Colonel Bogey/River Kwai March, The Robe, Lygia, Julie, Romeo and Juliet, Spellbound, Spartacus and more
David Rose and his orchestra (Frank Bristow, FBCD161)
MUSIC FROM STAGE AND SCREEN
Humoresque, Great Pretender, Fascination, Love is a Many Splendoured Thing, Bewitched, Just a Memory, Take My Love, Serenade, What’s New Pussycat, Forbidden Planet, La Strada, I’ll Take Romance, And I Love Her, Pigeon and more
David Rose and his orchestra (Frank Bristow, FBCD162)
A DAVID ROSE COLLECTION
Intermezzo, Beautiful Ohio, Diane, Was It a Dream?, Remember, Satisfaction, King of the Road, Estudiantina, Every Time We Say Goodbye, Downtown, Are You Sincere? and more
David Rose and his orchestra (Frank Bristow, FBCD163)
Our Australian friend, Frank Bristow, has already issued a dozen or so David Rose CDs but he has found another 85 ex-MGM tracks to issue over the span of three CDs (all available separately) with a total playing time of nearly four hours! Without checking each individual track, I can’t say offhand whether there is any duplication with previously issued material, but I’d be inclined to say not. Taking the discs in numerical order, the first one is the best with works by the elite composers of Hollywood embracing works by Steiner, Rota, Tiomkin, Rozsa, Newman et al. It has such best sellers as The Green Leaves of Summer, Laura, Around the World, Summertime in Venice and Tara’s Theme. In fact there isn’t one dud track among them (well, you wouldn’t expect one, would you?)
"Stage and Screen" has more of the same (including the only Rose composition in the whole set, something called Pigeon) plus semi classical pieces, a Beatles hit and other songs of the late 50’s and early 60’s. There are also ten songs from the Moose Charlap and Norman Gimbel’s 1948 Broadway flop "Whoop Up" which, as far as I could hear from the selection, deserved better.
"The Rose Collection" is a hybrid (you could say a motley) melange ranging from Strauss and Romberg to Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones. Eleven tracks are devoted to jazzed-up versions of Tchaikovsky, Brahms and Grieg which (to be quite frank) are neither one thing nor the other!
Frank Bristow CD’s are ONLY available directly from him at 2 Cross Street, Brighton, Victoria 3186, Australia. Tel. 03-9528-3167. Email: Credit cards and Paypal are accepted, but no cheques — details on request. Please visit his website for further details on CDs in his catalogue www.musicfromthepast.com
SONGS TO REMEMBER/THE INCOMPARABLE MANTOVANI
With These Hands, Faraway Places, A Very Precious Love, Jamaica Farewell, Tenderly, Blue Star, Gigi, When I Fall In Love, No Other Love, Vaya Con Dios, Two Different Worlds, Tonight/I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now, As Time Goes By, Catch A Falling Star, Where Are You, (I Left My Heart) In San Francisco, I’ll Be Seeing You, Yesterdays, Fly Me To The Moon, I’ll Get By, September In The Rain, Long Ago, More
Mantovani and his orchestra (Vocalion CDLK 4347) 78.07
These albums were both originally issued in 1960 — neither have been issued on CD in Europe or America before — and the first includes some of the best songs of the previous decade in which Mantovani had become world famous. Monty-meister Colin Mackenzie tells me that it is in his top five of favourite albums. The well remembered Edward Rubach is the pianist on Blue Star, which was the theme for the US TV series ‘Medic’; Monty himself plays piano on the lovely When I Fall In Love. My favourite track is Jamaica Farewell with an arrangement by Roland Shaw which I have treasured in my mind for years but for some long forgotten reason did not buy on LP at the time! Richard Rodgers’ No Other Love is delicately played, the big Les Paul and Mary Ford hit Vaya Con Dios(meaning go with God in Spanish) has a nice touch of accordion, and the Bernstein piece is given a powerful rendition. In the June issue of JIM, I was highly enthusiastic about the last Vocalion reissue from Mantovani — my enthusiasm is maintained for this album. The second selection is also attractive with Monty’s trademark swoop of strings very strikingly used on Catch A Falling Star(catchy being the word to describe the Cecil Milner arrangement!), a couple of beautifully arranged Jerome Kern classics, and I Wonder with its effective use of Ivor Mairant’s electric guitar. Incidentally, I was surprised to learn from Colin’s comprehensive liner notes that the song dates from as far back as 1909! We all, including those readers who still resist the Venice born maestro, should be thankful to Mike Dutton for not only enabling Mantovanians to obtain well-loved recordings in a CD format, as well as filling a few gaps in our collections, but also for giving new light music enthusiasts an opportunity to hear someone who really was incomparable.
George Butterworth: 2 English Idylls, The Banks of Green Willow
Walter Leigh: Squadron 992, Overture — Jolly Roger, Harpsichord Concertino, The Fairy of the Phone
Kent Sinfonia/Malcolm Riley with Marion Whitehead (harpsichord)
‘Lost’ because both George Butterworth and Walter Leigh were killed in combat during the world wars. The Butterworth pieces have been recorded previously, and possibly better, but these thoughtful performances are worth having. The discs principle interest comes with the Water Leigh items as his music is little heard. Before his premature death, he composed chamber music (issued fairly recently on a Dutton CD), two operettas and some twenty film scores. Here we have the overture to one of the operettas, which is cheerfully nautical, the Harpsichord Concertino is light in touch, but with a hint of his study with Hindemith and two film scores lovingly reconstructed by Malcolm Riley. The Fairy of the Phone was written for a GPO film unit release on how to use the telephone; it is for six vocalists and ten instrumentalists (six of them woodwind) in an engaging ‘1930s popular’ idiom. Squadron 992 comes from a 1940 documentary on the move of an RAF balloon unit and recalls the music of Vaughan Williams and Sir William Walton. All told, a valuable issue well played by Kent Sinfonia whose fresh sound I like, and recorded with commendable clarity if less full toned than many modern releases. Strongly recommended.
Philip L Scowcroft
TOWARDS AN UNKNOWN LAND
Quay and Departure, Towards an Unknown Land, Stars My Compass, Song to the Sea, Dream in the Sun, Lifetime Ago, Eastern Waltz, Loch, Out in the Cold, Sirens
Michael Buck (Prestige, CDSGP9041) 54:40
Close your eyes and listen to the music and you are sure to be transported away on a unique musical journey. What has been achieved in the past with a full orchestra is created here by one man and his imagination. The composer of all ten tracks plays high quality samples that ‘live’ in his computer and are controlled by him from a digital piano (Yamaha P90). Michael also uses several virtual synthesizers (Spectrasonics Atmosphere Synthesizer and East West Symphonic Choirs) to get some of the lovely textured backgrounds. The entire album was produced and recorded in Michael’s own studio which is set-up in his home. Michael would love one day to record with a full real orchestra, but this is currently beyond his reach, but he is nevertheless very happy with this, his first album. Listening to the tracks is like watching a film in your mind, by simply sitting back, relaxing and hearing this musical story. This is a CD to dip in and out of, as listened to in full, readers may find this repetitive and the tracks merge into one. The title track is a highlight along with A Lifetime Ago which are both very reflective. There is certainly some influence from John Barry and Ennio Morricone in some of these tracks. So if you want something new to try, then you won’t be disappointed with this CD release.
SPIRIT OF VIENNA Overture "Reiche Madchen" (Strauss II), music from Operetta "Katz und Maus" (Strauss III), Traumverloren Waltz (Siegfried Translateur), march and waltz from Operetta "Casanova" (Paul Lincke), also works by Alfons Czibulka, Edmund Eysler, Richard Eilenburg and Joseph Hellmesberger Die Flotten Geister, Czech Republic Conducted by Christian PollackThe press release from The Johann Strauss Society of Great Britain describes this as a scintillating new recording of rare operetta & Viennese dance music which has been co-issued by the Johann Strauss Societies of Great Britain and the Czech Republic. This album features the renowned European orchestra ‘Die Flotten Geister’ and Viennese supremo Christian Pollack conducting. Warning — this is no ordinary Strauss & Co album — for a start there’s no ‘Blue Danube’ or ‘Radetzky March’! The music featured on this disc comprises worthwhile compositions which have until now escaped the recording studio, making it a premiere recording in every respect. Johann Strauss II (the Waltz King) is represented with two virtually unknown operetta overtures Reiche Mädchen and Fanny Elssler. The waltz is by no means forgotten and the transfix of three/four time is represented by the respective pens of nephew Johann Strauss, Siegfried Translateur, Edmund Eysler, Paul Lincke, and Joseph Hellmesberger. There are marches, polkas, and gavottes by Paul Lincke, Alfons Czibulka and Richard Eilenberg to fill up this jam packed disc which runs for a truly melodic 79 minutes. The recording was produced in the Czech Republic.
"Spirit of Vienna" is available online from:
The Johann Strauss Society of Great Britain www.johann-strauss.org.uk
or through Discovery Records Limited, Nursted Road, Devizes, Wilts. SNIO 3DY. www.discovery-records.com
Price £12.99 UK inc. P&P
Hiawatha, Fox Intermezzo, Marusja*, Yearning (Just for You), Musette, Da Capo,Londonderry Air*, Hello Ma Baby, Donkey Serenade, Serenata, Pizzicato Violins, Casino Dances, Sparrow Concerto, Monna Vanna*, Zigeuner Boogie, By the Waters of Minnetonka,Von der Puszta
Aspidistra Drawing Room Orchestra with Elizabeth Menezes* (soprano).
This CD seeks to recreate the sound of the once popular saloon orchestra with its seven players and follows their previous two CDs in the series. This is indeed a foot-tapping confection, mainly of less familiar material from the light music genre. The Londonderry Air is heard in a less usual version, by the composer Geoffrey O’Connor-Morris. Of the rest I particularly enjoyed Helmut Zacharias’ two gypsy-based titles and it is good to hear a Jacob Gade tango which is not Jealousy. Performances by the orchestra, which includes flute and oboe to add colour, are splendid and well recorded. Highly recommendable.
Philip L Scowcroft
This CD can only be purchased directly from the Aspidistra Drawing Room Orchestra; please see www.aspidistra.org for further details or send a cheque made payable to ‘Aspidistra Drawing Room Orchestra’ for £11 (incl. P&P) to 49 Bankside, London, SE1 9JE, England.
THE BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC COLLECTION Volume 1 2CD set Royal Ballet Sinfonia Conducted by Gavin Sutherland Sanctuary CD RSB 205. This is a reissue of two ASV White Line collections: the first was originally released on CD WHL 2113 as "Brian Kay’s British Light Music Discoveries" in 1998; the second CD first appeared in 2000 as "British Light Music Discoveries 2" on CD WHL 2126. The composers include Sir Malcolm Arnold (The Roots of Heaven and Little Suite No. 4), William Alwyn (Suite of Scottish Dances), Clifton Parker (The Glass Slipper – Overture), Sir Richard Rodney Bennett (Little Suite); David Lyon (Joie de Vivre), Paul Lewis (English Overture) and Philip Lane (Suite of Cotswold Folk Dances). These works (and there are more on these CDs) should be in every serious light music collection, so if you missed these the first time round this is your opportunity to remedy the omission. The booklet says there are two more similar volumes of reissues to follow – hopefully the purchase of Sanctuary by Universal will not disrupt these plans. David Ades
Saturday Night, All Night Tonight, Sll the Pussy, Papa Says, Margie, Limbo Bar, High Cheek Bones, Run for the Doctor, Melodie d’amour and many more
Edmundo Ros and his orchestra (Vocalion CDLK 4348). How pleasant it is to be able to hear every word on this album (unlike the music of today) especially so as every song tells a story, again unlike today’s music. This is Edmundo Ros at his very best and I highly recommend this release to add to your Latin American collections.
HIGH IN SIERRA
Tap Tap, Sururu, Chica Boa, Jamaica Way, To Be or Not To Be, High in Sierra, Off Shore, Wonderful, Latin Lady, When You’re in Love, So Deep My Love and many more
Roberto Inglez and his orchestra (Vocalion CDEA 6131) 75:39 This disc is great stuff and is the third CD that Vocalion have issued of Roberto Inglez — it is always a pleasure to listen to his orchestra. With 27 tracks this is certainly great value. With the so called summer weather we are having at the moment, it is nice to get this CD to bring some sunshine into the room.
Love is Blue, Hungarian Dance No. 5, Penelope, Sabre Dance, A Frenchman in Dublin, Paris Musette, Angelic Demon, Rio Forever, Le Piano Sur La Vague, A Whole New World, Great Brilliant Waltz Op 18, Entr’act of L’Arlesienne, Intermezzo from Carmen, Invitation to the Dance
Paul Mauriat and his orchestra (GLD GK38359)
Unchained Melody, Lara’s Theme, Calling You (from ‘Baghdad Café’), Beauty and the Beast, I Will Always Love You, Charade, Chariots of Fire, Colours of the Wind, Schindler’s List, Conquest of Paradise
Paul Mauriat and his orchestra (GLD GK38361)
Space Race, My Heart Will Go On, Invitation to the Dance, Etude in a New Form, Piano Concerto No. 21 Andante, Caravan, Thais Meditation, Czardas, Dolls and Dreams, Serenade a Coline, Begin the Beguine, Toccata, Penelope, Love is Blue/El Bimbo, Hungarian Dance No. 5
Paul Mauriat and his orchestra (GLD GK38360)
These three CD’s, released only in Argentina, contain a compilation of songs recorded by Paul Mauriat during the nineties. The ‘Serenata’ CD contains great hits of the sixties and seventies such asLove is Blue, Penelope and Le Piano Sur La Vague whereas the ‘Movie Themes’ CD has a repertoire of film songs of the nineties plus some remembered themes like Lara’s Theme from ‘Doctor Zhivago’ and Charade. The third CD is a live concert released in Osaka, Japan and dated 29 November 1998. Mauriat offers us an interesting selection of his best hits, world-known melodies and some classics. This is a collection of CD’s for every Mauriat fan and collector of his recordings.
Mario Luis Kocian Rossi
Que C’est Triste Venice, A Man Without Love, Lamento Borincano, My Sweet Lord, Mariachi, All of Me, Sunny, Aranjuez, Sentimental Paris, Brigitte, Mona Lisa, Unforgettable, Ecology, A Man and a Woman
Franck Pourcel and his orchestra (EMI 72434997278)
This is an interesting compilation released by EMI in Argentina with a total of fourteen tracks including great Pourcel hits. The songs are digitally remastered and the sound quality is excellent.
Mario Luis Kocian Rossi
Strangers in the Night*, My Sweet Lord^, Bridge Over Troubled Water~, Only You, Somewhere My Love*, The Most Beautiful Girl^, Last Tango in Paris~, Singing in the Rain, Melodie D’Amour*, Michelle^, Love Story~, Moon River
Ray Conniff*, Percy Faith^, Andre Kostelanetz~ and Caravelli (Columbia 2-470045)
A reissue product containing songs digitally remastered on CD by Columbia Argentina. This is a good release for lovers of good compilations.
Mario Luis Kocian Rossi
Sleepy Shores, Live and Let Die, Aranjuez Concerto, Killing Me Softly, The Morning is Broken, Brother Sun Sister Moon, Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree, Summer of 42, If, You’re a Lady, The Green Leaves of Summer, People, Sing, Zarathustra
Johnny Pearson and his orchestra (Carmusic 0203-02)
This rare recording of the composer of the remembered Sleepy Shores contains an interesting repertoire of songs from films of the seventies and great hits like Tie a Yellow Ribbon, Killing Me Softly and Green Leaves of Summer. Now available on CD in Argentina and also available (like the other Argentine releases) for members and collectors.
Mario Luis Kocian Rossi
RFS members who are interested in buying any of the CDs from Argentina reviewed above are invited to write to: Mario Luis Kocian Rossi, Sucre 2815, C 1428, DVY, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
THE COMPLETE MANHATTAN TOWER
Magical City, Happiness Cocktail, I’m Learnin’ My Latin, Once Upon a Dream, Never Leave Me, This Close to the Dawn, Repeat After Me, The Magic Fire, Married I Can Always Get, The Statue of Liberty, The Party, New York’s My Home and bonus tracks
Gordon Jenkins (Sepia Records, 1087) 76:00
Although I am not a fan of the work of Gordon Jenkins, I listened to this CD with a fresh mind and to reappraise his work. The Manhattan Tower work has quite a following and it is released here in its entirety, recorded back in July 1956. The music is well orchestrated and a very polished performance is given by the Gordon Jenkins orchestra but the linking narrative becomes dull and irritating for me. The highlight for me was Never Leave Me which is a very dramatic piece with Elliott Lewis and the Ralph Brewster singers. The bonus tracks are a range of vocal and instrumental pieces from 1953-55 with Gordon at the piano for Angel’s Lullaby. Remastered by RFS member Robin Cherry, the sound quality is excellent and accompanying CD booklet is very detailed and includes all recording dates and personnel. This is certainly for those who remember the Manhattan Tower with affection and for those not accustomed to the work of Gordon Jenkins.
ROMANTIC EUROPE Love in Madrid, Under the bridges of Paris, In old Lisbon, Swedish Rhapsody, London by night, Tulips from Amsterdam, Vienna, city of my dreams, Summertime in Venice, Wonderful Copenhagen, Stars over Crete, La Belle Suisse, Wonderland by night
GLAMOROUS HOLIDAY Evening in Paris, Ca c’est Paris, J’attendrai, Mademoiselle de Paris, Clopin-clopant, Parlez-moi d’amour, La vie en rose, Can can, Evening in Rome, Santa Lucia, Anema e core, Mattinata, Catari, Catari, The echo told me a lie, Mama, Come back to Sorrento Frank Chacksfield and his Orchestra (Vocalion CDLK 4345) 73:45. Another collectable 2-on-1 from one of Britain’s most popular ever orchestra leaders who, as another reviewer once wrote, "rarely, if ever, puts a foot wrong." The first album was originally issued on a Decca Eclipse album in 1972. In the complete absence of any booklet notes, I am left wondering if like some earlier Ace of Clubs budget issues it was aimed at the North American market. Among the highlights for me is the evocative French horn on London by night and Stars over Crete with its shimmering strings. La Paloma is not as overblown as it sometimes is, and it is interesting to hear Chacksfield’s take on items more associated with Riddle, Faith, Mantovani and Kaempfert. In old Lisbon is different from Frank’s 78 rpm version.
The second album was an early stereo issue in 1958. The titles had already appeared on the 1954/55 mono LPs ‘Evening in Paris’ and ’Evening in Rome’, the CD of which was recently deleted by Vocalion [CDLK 4167]. This has been a disc I have often returned to, and for anyone who missed it here is a chance to get half of the 28 tracks in twin-channelled sound. Chacksfield had a way with Italian melodies throughout his celebrated career. As far as I could tell from the limited time I had to compare them, the arrangements here are not exact copies of the earlier albums. The arrangements throughout the disc [only Leon Young is credited on two tracks] are always interesting and keep the listener involved. The use of accordion, guitar and mandolin is well-judged. The sound is enhanced by Mike Dutton’s customary fine remastering. Peter Burt
GUILD "GOLDEN AGE OF LIGHT MUSIC" CDs
5132 "Continental Flavour" full tracklisting in JIM 172, page 72
5133 "Amor Amor" full tracklisting in JIM 172, page 73
Continuing their successful policy of developing different themes for the series, David Ades and Alan Bunting have come up with one or two new ideas. New to GUILD, that is – both CDs are very much in a similar vein to many albums which made their appearance in the heyday of the LP, although naturally there is a wider variety of performing styles represented here than would normally be the case on a one- orchestra disc.
Continental Flavour provides a mix of European, British and American orchestras; a good number of pieces are by Continental composers, with some British notables (and a sole American) making up the balance. As usual, the familiar ‘rubs shoulders’ with the ‘rarely-if-ever-heard-of’ variety, but there are some most welcome surprises. Listening to this selection a few times, it struck me that there is often a marked difference between the ‘sound’ of British composers and their French, Italian, German and Spanish counterparts. It has a lot to do with the orchestration and sometimes the instrumental lineup employed.
The team is to be congratulated in putting together another very imaginative and thoroughly enjoyable collection, which I’m sure will win many new friends.
Amor Amor – Music For Romance again takes its title from an eponymous track, in this instance by the Frank Cordell Orchestra. The original plan was to call it Cocktails For Two after the opening number, a marvellous arrangement of the Johnson-Coslow composition (originally written to celebrate the end of prohibition in the USA); this could only have been created by Robert Farnon and is faultlessly executed under his baton. The full roll call of orchestras is impressive and includes those of Ron Goodwin, David Rose, Stanley Black, Werner Müller, Philip Green and Gordon Jenkins – several other equals share the honours, with a total of 24 tracks of the highest quality – they don’t come any better than this. The mood is very relaxed and the whole CD would undoubtedly make a perfect accompaniment to an intimate candlelit dinner for two; the only things missing are a suitably exotic meal and some appropriately fine wine - but regrettably, these items are not included in the price!
These two latest releases, together with the previous three reviewed at the top of this feature, were excellent company on a recent lengthy drive from my home in North London to the North West of England and back. They are all extremely worthy additions to the GUILD catalogue, which has now topped well over the 30-mark, but stand by for some more newcomers which I hope to review in the near future.
AT THE MOVIES
Over the Rainbow, Moon River, As Time Goes By, Somewhere (from ‘West Side Story’), The Shadow of your Smile, The Pink Panther, The Way We Were, The Summer Knows, It Might be You, Cinema Paradiso Suite, A Whole New World, Schindler’s List Dave Koz, saxophone (Capitol 383 6582). It’s always nice when something turns out to be so much better than you expect. When this CD arrived from EMI I took a quick glance though the booklet (with my magnifying glass!) and read the publicity blurb. Until I actually played the CD I had no idea that the talented jazz musicians were going to be supported by a lush-sounding concert orchestra performing some very pleasant arrangements. Dave Koz is obviously a talented player who solos on soprano, alto and tenor sax (at times supported by trumpeter Chris Botti), with guest singers on most of the tracks – among them Barry Manilow, Anita Baker, Johnny Mathis and Donna Summer. The opening track features an excerpt from Judy Garland singing her most famous song, while there are some spoken words from Ingrid Bergman to introduceAs Time Goes By. Rob Mounsey, Rob Mathes, Randy Waldman and Victor Vanacore share the arranging and conducting credits, and at times it seems that the great arrangers of the past half-century are looking over their shoulders. Two numbers – It Might be You and The Shadow of your Smile are reprised at the end in instrumental-only versions. A lot of money has been spent on this recording and the quality is obvious. If you enjoy popular music that is melodious and slightly jazzy, without being too abrasive, then you would do well to sample this. Of course, it isn’t light music in any sense, but I certainly like it and I suspect that many readers of this magazine might also welcome it into their collections as a fine example of today’s younger musicians. David Ades
BBC LEGENDS: SILVESTRI — ELGAR SYMPHONY NO.1 ETC
Cockaigne Overture, Symphony No. 1 (Sir Edward Elgar), Beckus the Dandipratt (Sir Malcolm Arnold), Symphony No. 2 (Tchaikovsky), Jeux (Debussy), Four Sea Interludes (Sir Benjamin Britten), Romanian Rhapsody No. 1 (Enescu)
Constantin Silvestri and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BBC Legends, BBCL 4182-2). I always tell people if they want to hear a piece of music done the right way, then listen to the old ones — such is the case with this breath taking two CD set! The heart of this release is the greatest single recording ever of Elgar’s First Symphony — it can be made to sound shapeless and formless in less caring hands. Here, Silvestri keeps everything in check with great attention paid to each individual strand and the result is a sharply focused performance with every player knowing their parts and executing them with confidence and assuredness. The same qualities are heard in another troublesome score that of Debussy’s Jeux which is very clear cut. The Tchaikovsky Second Symphony also benefits from Silvestri’s inspired leadership, matching many points brought out by this work’s greatest advocate, composer Igor Stravinsky. The Britten Sea Interludes come from an entirely different concept than Previn’s rather hasty, sloppy performance. Silvestri’s penetrating insight into the gnarled textures of this work result in one of the most satisfying readings available to the general public. The crowning glory was always a great favourite of Silvestri’s, Enescu’s fabulously colourful Roumanian Rhapsody No.1 in which images of a true Roumanian band are more vividly caught than in any other reading. Even if classical music is not your ‘bag’, buy this immensely rewarding set. It will become one of the jewels in your treasure box of favourites!
SONG OF THE BIRDS – ENGLISH CELLO MUSIC (Sanctuary White Line CD WHL 2153).
At JIM we do our best to make available details of interesting CDs as soon as they are released; unfortunately, this is one that got away! Published way back in 2004, it seems to have escaped the notice of our stalwart band of reviewers, and might still be in a state of limbo were it not for a chance remark made to me recently by Marjorie Cullerne, on the telephone from Canada, when I was preparing for the unveiling of the commemoration plaque to her great uncle, Haydn Wood (see more details on page ????). The strange thing is, I was aware of plans for a recording of Wood’sPhilharmonic Variations For Cello And Orchestra; it was being spoken about by Ray Crick, of Sanctuary Records, a good eight or nine years ago and forms part of this splendid collection. Although the CD box bears the label British Light Music, the four compositions are really at the ‘serious’ end of the genre. They were all published between 1936 and 1951, with the exception of the Rubra work. Herbert Murill (1909-1952) had become organ scholar at Worcester College, Oxford, by the age of 19 and after studying (and later teaching) composition at the RAM, became Assistant Head of Music and then Director of Music at the BBC, an appointment abruptly curtailed by his death at the age of only 43. Written for the composer’s cellist wife, Vera Canning, the Cello Concerto is dedicated ‘…in respect and affection…’ to the great Pablo Casals and features a Catalan folk melody Song Of The Birds which permeates the entire concerto and from which the CD takes its name. Sir George Dyson (1883-1964) was the son of a Halifax, Yorkshire, blacksmith and having gained his FRCO at 16, won an open scholarship to the RCM where he studied under Sir Charles Villiers Stanford. ThePrelude, Fantasy and Chaconne was written in 1936 for his daughter Alice who was a cello student at the time, and in effect is a miniature three-movement concerto. Edmund Rubra (1901-1986) hailed from Northampton and although originally a railway booking clerk eventually studied with Gustav Holst at Reading University and later went on to the RCM. His career as a pianist and composer flourished during the 1930s; the Soliloquy was written during WWII, when the composer was the pianist for the Army Classical Music Group. This is no miniature, but a full-blown symphonic movement scored for strings, two horns and timpani. And so to the jewel in the crown; Haydn Wood (1882-1959) also studied with Stanford at the RCM, and has been recounted before, produced a large canon of compositions in both ‘light’ and ‘serious’ genres. In the latter category are Piano and Violin concertos and these Philharmonic Variations, which were given for the first time in 1939 by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under the composer’s baton. After an introductory solo passage, which seems to allude to the Elgar Cello Concerto, the main theme is stated, followed by seven variations and an extended finale with an elaborate cadenza. The whole work has echoes of Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations; it lay forgotten for half a century until revived for a concert performance in 1990 at Eton College. This piece is further proof, if such were needed, of the undoubted composing talents of Haydn Wood, who is only now receiving the recognition which he so richly deserves. The performances are in the highly capable hands of cellist Rafael Wallfisch and the BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted this time by the greatly underrated Vernon Hanley, whilst recording engineer Paul Waton has worked the same magic with the acoustic at BBC’s Maida Vale studios that he would repeat some seven months later for the first Montague Phillips (Vocalion) CD.
SO WHAT’S NEW?
Calling All Workers, Estrellita, Waltz from Masquerade, Eternally, Temptation Rag, The Rose, Medley: Downtown/YMCA/Avenues and Alleyways, Serenade, Medley: The Girl from Ipanema/Moving South/Eso Beso, Medley: Almost Like Being in Love/May I Have the Next Dream with You/I've Heard That Song Before, Medley: Ragtime/And All That Jazz, The Whistler and His Dog, The Trolley Song, Medley: Under the Sea/You've Got a Friend in Me, Medley: Ciribiribin/Oh Maria Marie/Autumn in Rome/On an Evening in Roma, The Harry Lime Theme, Medley: I Wish You Love/If You Love Me, Medley: So What's New?/Jeepers Creepers/Everything's in Rhythm With My Heart
Phil Kelsall (Grasmere, GRCD127) 71:56
You can always rely on Phil Kelsall to release a CD with a variety of tunes and tempos and ‘So What’s New?’ will not disappoint with just over an hour of Wurlitzer at its best with all the stops pulled out. Tim Wills co-wrote Moving South and Eso Beso (although not credited after the tunes) and also produced this CD. Old favourites such as Calling All Workers, Waltz from Masquerade and The Harry Lime Theme mingle with lesser heard tunes. The Rose has an enjoyable church organ section. Covering three decades Downtown, YMCA and Avenues and Alleyways start the foot tapping and the medley of Italian related songs have you thinking of warm nights and holidays. Disney is not forgotten with Under the Sea and You’ve Got a Friend in Me. This CD was recorded in January 2007 on the Wurlitzer Organ at the Tower Ballroom, Blackpool.
ALFRED HOLLINS — ORGAN WORKS
Concert Overture in C major , Benediction Nuptiale, A Trumpet Minuet, Allegretto grazioso, Concert Overture in C minor, Evening Rest, Concert Overture in F minor, Andante in D, A Song of Sunshine, Maytime Gavotte, Theme with Variations and Fugue
Timothy Byram-Wigfield (Delphian DCD34044) 80:00 www.delphianrecords.co.uk
The composer, Alfred Hollins, born in Hull in 1865 had the very considerable handicap of being totally blind, but he enjoyed a high reputation as both a virtuoso concert pianist and organist. His compositions for the latter instrument despite the vagaries of musical fashion have always continued to feature in the repertoire of many organists. It is in this latter regard that a review of this new Delphian disc seems appropriate since Hollins was often dubbed ‘the Eric Coates of the organ loft’. He wrote a number of delightful, often delicate light miniatures, for the ‘king’ of instruments of which several are included here. There’s a radiant A Song of Sunrise, a charming Maytime Gavotte and a resplendent A Trumpet Minuet, Handelian in character and with highly effective use being made of the trumpet stop. As for the more overtly serious works such as the three Concert Overtures and the substantial Theme with Variations and Fugue, these are all highly accessible and attractive pieces in which good robust memorable themes are never far from the surface.
The attractions of this release are further enhanced by virtue of the fact that Timothy Byram-Wigfield plays on the three manual organ designed by Alfred Hollins himself which was installed in the Caird Hall, Dundee opened in 1923 . The recording and performances are superlative, unlike so much organ music on CD’s where much of the detail can be clouded by excessive reverberation — everything here is crystal clear with every detail telling. Timothy Byram-Wigfield incidentally holds the post of Master of Music at St Georges, Windsor. An outstanding recital of rewarding and essentially tuneful organ music and I do urge you to give Alfred Hollins a try. Roger Hyslop
Military and Brass Bands
THE MUSIC OF THE BLUES AND ROYALS
Overture — My Old Stable Jacket, The Windsorian, The Tangier Horse, Le Cheval Royal, Men of Kent, March of the Royal Horse Guards, Music for the Queen’s Birthday Parade and more
The Band of the Blues and Royals (Specialist Recording Company SRC133) 76:00
The SRC series featuring music associated with specific regiments of the British army continues with the Blues and Royals. There are no less than 39 tracks on this CD, principally trumpet calls and a selection of fast and slow marches and it is impossible to include comment on all of them, so I hope these highlights will give a sufficient flavour to persuade some readers to put it on their shopping list! Particularly noteworthy is Cavalry Brigade, a stately and imposing slow march officially attributed as anonymous but thought likely to be the work of G J Miller whilst by way of contrast, Thornburrow’sThe Windsorian has a distinctly jaunty air. Strauss makes something of a surprise appearance in this compilation with his March of the Royal Horse Guards — a refreshing change from his ubiquitous and much played Radetzky March! The Tangier Horse is a splendid march which flowed from the pen of a former DOM, Lieutenant Colonel G E Evans. A J North’s With Wings as Eagles is an impressive salute to the memory of all members of the Household Cavalry who have been killed whilst on operations. In complete contrast to the trumpet calls and marches comes Bach’s Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring and a popular piece of film music — the haunting strains of Gabriels Oboe by Ennio Morricone from ‘The Mission’ which is beautifully and sensitively played by Staff Corporal Mark Redman. The recordings were made in The Chapel, Chelsea Barracks and are fully up to SRC’s usual high standard and the CD booklet comes with detailed notes. There are many rarely recorded items in this compilation so that even the most avid collector of military band CD’s will duplicate very little in their collection and will find a great deal of interest. A notable and fascinating release which can be strongly recommended. Roger Hyslop CDs issued by Specialist Recording Company are available from: Discurio, Unit 3, Faraday Way, St Mary Cray, Kent, BR5 3QW, England tel/fax 01689 879101. You can also order via their website: www.tillystips.com/dis/
ONCE A MARINE
A Life On The Ocean Wave, Plymouth Hoe, The Captain General, The Padstow Lifeboat, Peter Rabbit and Tales of Beatrix Potter, HM Jollies, Adagio for Trumpet, Cockleshell Heroes, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, On the Quarterdeck, The Shanghai Sailor, Sarie Marais, Kalinka, Comrades in Arms, The Hounds of Spring, Once a Marine
The Royal Marines Association Concert Band (Clovelly CLCD15507) 66:00
The Royal Marines Association Concert Band is an entirely new ensemble formed in June 2006 in response to demand from retired members of the band service. This is their first CD and their versatility and accomplishment is amply demonstrated by the diverse range in style and mood of music included in this compilation, which they tackle with consistent commitment and whole hearted enthusiasm. There’s a fine selection of marches including several by Kenneth J Alford with On the Quarter Deck and HM Jollies and Sir Vivian Dunn with The Captain General and possibly his most popular and arguably one of his finest scores Cockleshell Heroes. Dunn’s march has a lively catchy first section followed by an appropriately poignant trio tune which suitably reflects the growingly somber mood in the latter part of the film. There is also a fine new march Comrades in Arms which has flowed from the pen of the band’s DOM Captain Whealing whilst Ray Woodfield’s Once a Marinewas written especially for the Royal Marines Association and makes clever use of two tunes intimately associated with the Corps namely A Life on the Ocean Wave and Sarais Marais. A good deal more music is featured here other than marches including two well chosen overtures. Alfred Reeds’ The Hounds of Spring is an easily likable piece, new to me, whilst the more familiar strains of the nautical overture by John Ansell, Plymouth Hoe, is a wonderfully invigorating piece based on several traditional tunes — the listener envisions a wonderful whiff of salt laden sea breezes which never fails to raise one’s spirits. A welcome item on this disc is the excerpt from Tales of Beatrix Potter and Slaughter on Tenth Avenue which gives the band a chance to demonstrate their big band credentials. Finally, and by no means least, there are two solo spots featuring members of the band. Jon Yates, principal trumpet, plays his own composition Adagio for Trumpet, an attractively lyrical and heartfelt piece whilst Steve Tanner takes centre stage with Donald Bridgers’ The Shanghai Sailor. This is an impressive debut disc with fine and consistently good wind playing throughout which, given the pedigree of this group of musicians, is hardly surprising. The recording sessions were held at the Clovelly St Edmund’s Studios, Dover and the resultant sound, if a trifle dryish, is very good. Roger Hyslop
For information on how to purchase this CD visit Clovelly at www.clovellyrecordings.com or telephone: 01304239356. This CD is also available from the RMA Concert Band c/o RMA Central Office, Whale Island, Portsmouth, PO2 8ER. The CD costs £12 incl P&P and cheques should be made payable to The RMA Band Fund.
A RIFLES BANDSTAND
Royal Windsor, Orpheus in the Underworld Overture, The Westminster Waltz, The Lines of Torres Vedra, The Watermill, Cornish Through and Through, Light Serenade, Lucy Long, Shepherd’s Hey, Scottish Dances, Mountain Song, Robbin’ Harry, High on a Hill, Rifles Review, Evening Hymn and Sunset, Mechanized Infantry
The Bands and the Bugles of the Rifles (Specialist Recording Company, SRC126) 78:00. The Band of the Rifles was formed in February 2007 and this release is particularly noteworthy as it is the band’s debut CD. The programme has plenty of contrast and interest, particularly for readers of this journal, with a selection which has certainly not ignored the area of British light music. There are two classics of this genre Westminster Waltz, sounding surprisingly effective in a wind band transcription and The Watermill beautifully played as an oboe solo. Two further solo spots on this disc are worthy of comment, a very accomplished bassoonist with Lucy Long and a xylophone impressively propelsRobbin’ Harry at a breathtaking speed. The concert opens with plenty of pomp and splendour with Frederic Bayco’s march Royal Windsor whilst the familiar Offenbach overture which follows combines sensitivity and exhilaration to satisfying effect. The two bugle marches included are calculated to both raise your rafters and annoy the neighbours if played at too high a volume! The recordings were made in Romsey Abbey, Hampshire and the resulting sound quality fully measures up to SRC’s consistently high standard. I recommend this to all admirers of fine wind band playing with confidence.
Overture, Just Around the Corner, My Darling Karolka, Once a Year is Not Enough, Cotton Tail, No-one Told Me, Murphy’s Pig, One Boy Sends You a Rose, Deep Blue Evening, I’ll Be Remembering and more
Original London Cast (Sepia Records, 1086) 78:00
This musical, from 1956, was penned by Anton Dvorak with lyrics supplied by Eric Maschwitz. Described as ‘a story of the new world’ this recording features a very appealing vocal performance by British actress and singer Sally Ann Howes and the male lead is taken by David Hughes. Orchestrations are by Ronald Hanmer and the orchestra is under the direction of Alexander Faris. The highlight of this CD is the Summer Song Selection which is performed by the Melachrino orchestra conducted by George Melachrino and recorded in April 1956 and lasts for over seven minutes — a real delight! Wally Stott also features in the bonus tracks as backing to three tracks from David Hughes, dating also from 1956, There But for the Grace of God Go I, Love is a Many Splendoured Thing and Two Different Worlds. The sound quality and remastering (by RFS member Robin Cherry) is of the highest quality, as expected by Sepia Records who are one of the lead CD labels in issuing rare and sought after material from the back catalogue. This is very nostalgic and takes you right back to the world of post war musical theatre.
"AS LONG AS THEY’RE HAPPY" & "AN ALLIGATOR NAMED DAISY"
You Started Something, Be My Guest, Hokey-Pokey Polka, In Love for the Very First Time, Midnight Madness and bonus tracks including A Kiss and a Cuddle, I Feel so Mmm, Close Your Eyes, What More Can I Do and many more
Original film soundtracks (Sepia Records 1092) 76:00
Two classic British film soundtracks are given new life on this very likable and enterprising CD. The main artistes are Jeannie Carson, Jack Buchanan, Jerry Wayne and Diana Dors who all give polished performances in these fun and romantic songs. For both films the musical score and direction is by Stanley Black with the Pinewood Studio Orchestra and his usual excellence shines through with lush orchestral links and arrangements which comes into its own in the reprise of I Don’t Know Whether to Laugh or to Cry Over You with Jack Buchanan. A sensational Diana Dors single (A Kiss and a Cuddle/I Feel So Mmm) from 1953 is included in the bonus tracks with the orchestra conducted by Frank Cordell. Other orchestras featured in the bonus tracks with Jeannie Carson are Reg Owen and Geoff Love. Wally Stott makes an appearance with Jerry Wayne for Lassoo and What More Can I dorecorded in 1953. I thoroughly recommend this CD which is a joy from start to finish. Remastering is again by Robin Cherry and of excellent quality.
Momento, Bring Back the Love, Close to You, Os Novos Yorkinos, Azul, Cacado, Night and Day, Tranquillo, Um Segundo, Cade Voce, Words
Bebel Gilberto (V2, VVR1044522) 42:37
The sweet summer sounds of her previous albums are still there but there are a few moments that do not gel! If the vibe of the first tracks had been maintained, then this outing could have topped her earlier recordings. Close to You is Bebel’s own composition (not the one made famous by The Carpenters). An intriguing rhythm is employed rivalling the beat of Bring Back the Love which uses a couple of instruments that I have never heard before — Repique and Gongue — intoxicating sounds! In fact, most tracks employ instruments new to me creating music that is decidedly different. I am not sure what Cole Porter would have thought of this version of his classic song Night and Day! The sax player has a stab at emulating Stan Getz but Bebel’s vocalising seems to lose the way! Tranquillois a live track and sounds like just a filler.
BEVERLY SILLS: PLAISIR D’AMOUR. Plaisir d’amour; Parlez-moi d’amour; Les filles de Cadiz; Plus 6 Other Songs in French and 3 Songs In Spanish. 48.26 Beverly Sills with Andre Kostelanetz and his Orchestra Sony Classical SMK 60576. For those who never heard her sing even on records, Beverly Sills was a most remarkable artist. Along with her technical mastery of her craft was a deep humanity and a heart breaking poignancy to her way of performing, no doubt coming from her triumphing over personal tragedies. The body of this CD comes from a pair of 1975 sessions when Sills began working with Andre Kostelanetz who provided all of these arrangements himself. Kostelanetz’s earlier experience as a vocal coach at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City pays off wonderfully with great understanding of his vocalist. With such a charming and soothing set of songs, it’s difficult to find favorites. A personal favorite is "La filles des cadix" which is the original chart written Lily Pons, Andre’s former wife. The programme is rounded off with three songs sung in Spanish and never before released in any format. Of particular interest in this group is a stellar performance of "Estrellita" which is sung very movingly by Sills. The orchestra performing behind Beverly Sills is the New York Philharmonic which adds to the high polish of the accompanying orchestra. This is without a doubt a worthwhile release spotlighting one of the most beloved of all opera stars, Beverly Sills who artistry is being rediscovered anew thanks to many releases of her great performances. Richard Jessen
JESSIE MATTHEWS (1907-1981): A Centenary Celebration 2CD compilation from 78s, film soundtracks and private tapes AVID AMSC 907. This enjoyable collection is the brainchild of veteran LP and CD compiler Hugh Palmer, and he has certainly assembled some rare and fascinating tracks in this well-deserved tribute to a great star of the 1930s. Over 50 of the best-known songs associated with Jessie Matthews are included, so it is highly unlikely that you will not discover your own personal favourites such as Over My Shoulder, Dancing on the Ceiling, When You’ve Got a Little Springtime in your Heart etc. From 1926, through to some private recordings from the late 1970s, we can enjoy her performances of popular songs plus selections from films such as "Out Of The Blue", "One Dam Thing After Another", "The Good Companions", "Evergreen", "It’s Love Again", "Gangway" and others. Among the musicians accompanying Jessie are Leslie Hutchinson (‘Hutch’), Carroll Gibbons, Louis Levy, Jay Wilbur, Fred Hartley, Peter Yorke, Debroy Somers, Bob Busby and Harold Geller. It would be silly to deny that this style of music now seems dated, but surely that is part of its charm. For those who remember how great Jessie Matthews was, and would like a lovingly-compiled souvenir of her career, this is the perfect answer. David Ades
Various artistes (Sounds of Yesteryear, DSOY732) 105:00. Grandad is seething in the corner, muttering under his breath, rubbish! It is his birthday party and the youngsters are playing the like of the Arctic Monkeys. Time to put a smile to his face by digging out this novel double CD — 36 tracks by bands of the 1930s. Billy Cotton, Carroll Gibbons, Jack Payne, Jack Hylton, Ambrose, Henry Hall and many others feature and all tracks concentrate on the humorous. I am a Grandad but only knew a few of the titles, three of which I did not know, The Pig Got Up and Slowly Walked Away, Airman! Airman! and What Can You Give a Nudist for Their Birthday, giving you some idea of the content. You also get the well known Laughing Policeman, I Like Bananas, Chinese Laundry Blues and many others well aired in the past on the Billy Cotton Band Show and Family Favourites. A fun collection for all the family, especially if those listening are well oiled!
CD round-up: some new releases noted by Wilfred Askew
HURRAH FOR MALCOLM ARNOLD
The Belles of St Trinian’s Prelude (Conducted by Muir Mathieson), The Sound Barrier —A Rhapsody For Orchestra Op 38 (conducted by the composer), The Captain’s Paradise: Postcard From the Med (MM), Trapeze: Prelude, Lola’s Theme, Juke Box, Mike and Lola’s Love Theme (MM), Hobson’s Choice Overture (MM), Beckus the Dandipratt — Overture for Orchestra Op 5, English Dances Op 27 & Op 33 (Conducted by Sir Adrian Boult), A Grand Grand Overture for Orchestra (conducted by the composer)
(Cherry Red ACMEM95) 54:12
ROY BUDD — BLUE BUDD
Original 1967-70 Pye recordings. Tracks include: Pick Yourself Up, Girl Talk, I’ll Remember April, On a Clear Day, Pavanne, Call Me, Bye Bye Blues etc
(Cherry Red ACMEM96) 63:52
SPIRAL/SOMETIMES — THE HARRY ROCHE CONSTELLATION
Two original 1973 Pye recordings. Tracks include: Rhapsody in Blue, Pinball Wizard, You Are the Sunshine of My Life, Watch What Happens, You’ve Got Possibilities, Carnaby Chick, My Romance, That’s Living etc
(Cherry Red ACMEM100) 79:54
PORTS OF PARADISE
Original Capitol recording from 1960 of instruments and voices by Alfred Newman and Ken Darby. Tracks include The Enchanted Sea, Whispering Wind, Forever More etc
(EMI Special Markets (US) 3670162) 39:03
CRIME SCENE USA: CLASSIC FILM NOIR THEMES
Music by Elmer Bernstein, Adolph Deutsch, Frank DeVol, David Raksin, Miklos Rozsa, Max Steiner, Franz Waxman and more. Tracks include: Street Scene, The Letter, High Sierra, Double Indemnity, Key Largo, The Big Heat, Strangers on a Train, Born to Kill etc.
(Giant Steps GSCR019) 63:47
HORACE HEIDT AND HIS MUSICAL KNIGHTS
Double CD. Tracks include: I’ll Love You in My Dreams, Clarinet Polka, I’ll Get By, South of the Border, Piggy Wiggy Woo, It’s a Blue World, The Singing Hills, Toy Piano Jump, Where or When, Because of You, The Hut Sut Song etc.
(Jasmine JASCD455) 139:32
ALMA COGAN — HER FABULOUS STORY
(Odeon, ODNM 009) 107:00 (Region 0)
The Alma Cogan story has been told in many different ways over the years and the main part of this DVD contains an excellent testimony in a documentary format about her all too short opportunity to entertain in her own unique way. It is very well produced and contains many personal contributions from those fortunate to have experienced the charm of knowing and working closely with her. Like most well thought out material available in DVD format there are some important extras. Very important in this case, for the producers have sought out two quite revealing Hammer cinema film shorts by the Eric Winstone band of the mid 1950’s, on which Alma is the main guest artist. The use of shorts by a great variety of performers were by no means new of course, but perhaps by the 1950’s peoples expectations were higher. A few enterprising film companies made up for this by producing what was in effect a completely self contained film version of the kind of show one may have still expected to find on the bigger variety stages of the time. Enter Hammer films who probably produced the best example of this craft in a series of band shows ranging from performers such as Cyril Stapleton, Johnny Dankworth, Edmundo Ros and, as found here, Eric Winstone. Our 21stcentury sophisticated eye will spot the fact that this is a canned series of ‘takes’ rather than a continuously live performance, but to the cinema audiences of the mid 1950’s it was often thrilling to be able to experience on the large screen (and in colour) performances of radio, television and record stars of the time. The first of the two shorts is "The Eric Winstone Bandshow" which is immediately interesting; in that Eric’s theme tune Stagecoach is performed over the opening credits using strings. The continuity in this film is created by the old film trick of captioned book page turning and the first number is Fanfare Boogie with all its customary excitement as an opener. Trumpeter Kenny Baker makes a centre stage appearance next on What Could Be More Beautiful followed by a sumptuous credited Wally Stott arrangement of These Foolish Things sung by Alma. Brian Fahey’s arrangement of Skyliner comes next followed by an intriguing Latin American medley performed by the George Mitchell singers and extras. Alma then returns for another Stott arrangement; this time it’s the ‘poppy’ Got’n Idea including some amusing 1950’s role playing by Mr Winstone. Opus one Mambo (another Stott arrangement) is up next featuring four uncredited percussionists and this first show finishes with another showcase including a string section — namely the Winstone arr. Stott titleHeartbreak. The second film short "Eric Winstone’s Stagecoach" is all linked ‘in vision’ by Eric himself and after the theme he welcomes us and incorrectly announces the first Brian Fahey number Curtain Call as Curtain Up! Alma puts in her first appearance this time round with another ‘poppy’ number,The Sycamore Tree and next is the Ray Ellington quartet being as ‘tongue in cheeky’ as ever on The Three Bears assisted by the lovely Marion Ryan, who takes us through a great typical piece of 1950’s band and stage action, one part of which is rather awkwardly mis-cast using Winstone as the fall guy but Marion saves the day though! Reg Owen’s gorgeous Slow Train Blues comes next and as during most of these two film shorts, the camera work accurately follows solos. (She Wore) A Little Jacket of Blue may not be a number which one may expect Alma to tackle, but here she is again doing just that with great aplomb followed by something that I feel could have been better thought out — an Irish sketch. This is all done in an ‘Irish cor blimey’ type of style that seems corny and wooden by any standards; maybe better performed live on stage but doesn’t do it for me here! To close this short there is something for everyone. Firstly, At the Woodchoppers Ball with some lovely section, unison and as always good camera work, then the entire cast rousingly sees us out with Riding on a Rainbow followed by a reprise of the same by the band. I’ve checked quite closely and it’s interesting to note that several of the titles mentioned above have also been recorded commercially by the Winstone band on Polygon or Pye-Nixa. Only one, Opus One Mambo, appears to use a dub of that issue. So, a brilliant DVD in my opinion; sound quality lets things down a bit in parts where I suspect over processing of film and noise removal at the expense of music quality. However, you’ll probably forget all that as you get wrapped up in the overall presentation. On the one hand this is a piece of pure 1950’s visual kitsch exotica; on the other, a wonderful historical document of just one very small part of popular music history showing how it used to be. Go, buy and enjoy!
Postscripts to previous reviews
British Light Music Miniatures – Vintage TV & Radio Classics (Naxos 8.570332 - JIM172)
Those who, like me, have become ‘hooked’ on the music of Montague Phillips will be pleased to learn that that this CD contains probably the first ever recordings of the three Dance Revels; these were not included on either of the Vocalion CDs, probably due to lack of space. It’s worth the asking price for these alone! Do I detect definite echoes of Haydn Wood’s Joyousness in number three? This CD also contains Non Stop by John Malcolm; I have seen a review in another publication which claims that this piece was used as a signature tune for ITV’s News At Ten. This is not the case – the piece was used for many years by ITN well before the advent of News At Ten, which used for its signature tune part of Johnny Pearson’s lengthy composition The Awakening; this is still employed in an amended form to this day.
Box Of Delights (Lyrita SRCD214 - JIM172)
Edmund Whitehouse mentioned the ‘…rarely heard complete Fancy Dress Suite of Cecil Armstrong Gibbs’, but once again I’m pretty certain that this is the first time that the whole work (not just Dusk) has appeared on any sort of recording. It is interesting to hear this composer’s most famous tune in the context of the whole suite, and the other movements are worth getting to know too!
English String Miniatures – Volume 5 (Naxos 8557752 –JIM 169)
This CD of new recordings contains another great favourite of mine, the Folk Song And Fiddle Danceby Percy Fletcher. Although this work has been recorded a couple of times before, it’s the first time that the Folk Song has appeared in full. This piece consists of a theme, followed by a number of variations, but on previous occasions one of the latter (a jig variation in the major) has been left out, presumably because there was insufficient space on a 78 rpm disc. Philip Lane has now remedied this situation, and it’s good to hear the whole piece as its composer intended. Tony Clayden
Finally some more new CDs
A listing here does not preclude the possibility of a full review in a future issue
TED HEATH: Big Band Themes Remembered Volumes 1 & 2 Vocalion CDLK 4345
EDMUNDO ROS: Calypso & Calypso Man Vocalion CDLK 4348
MAREK WEBER AND HIS ORCHESTRA: Musicale Vocalion CDEA 6130
ROBERTO INGLEZ: From the Savoy Hotel, London Volume 3 Vocalion CDEA 6131
THE STEPHEN FOSTER COLLECTION 2CD set which includes six tracks from the Decca LP by theRobert Farnon Octet (the complete LP is included on the Vocalion CD "Songs of Britain" CDLK 4174). Other featured artists include Bing Crosby, Sammy Kaye, Al Jolson, Frank Luther and the Andre Kostelanetz Orchestra. Jasmine JASCD 454
FRANKIE CARLE: Silver and Gold 2CD set Jasmine JASCD 462
DENNIS DAY: Serenade 2CD set Jasmine JASCD 662
SALUTING THE STARS 2CD collection featuring American stars of the 1940s and 1950s, such as Perry Como,Nat King Cole, Eddie Fisher, Andrews Sisters, Henri Rene, Sauter-Finegan Orchestra, Dinah Shore and many more. Jasmine JASCD 665
RICHARD ARNELL Symphonies 4 & 5 Royal Scottish National Orchestra conducted by Martin Yates. Dutton Epoch CDLX7194.
SID PHILLIPS BAND ‘Any Old Iron’ Bargain CD to celebrate his centenary year. Dutton CDVS1949.
JACK HYLTON BAND Volume 6 ‘Boomps-a-Daisy’ Vocalion CDEA6128.
PAUL WHITEMAN ORCHESTRA ‘If I Had a Talking Picture of You’ Vocalion CDEA6129.
In the last issue of JIM (172), the Bing Crosby CD ‘Good and Rare’ was featured. This was incorrectly credited to Sunflower Records. This CD and its sequel, ‘Good and Rare Volume Two’ have been produced by Sepia Records and both CDs feature recording from the 1940s and 50s, which have not been released on CD before. Combined, there are a total of 53 tracks ranging from The Big Movie Sky in the Show to What a Little Moonlight Can Do. The correct catalogue numbers for these discs are ‘Good and Rare’ (Sepia 1071) and volume two (Sepia 1091) Full details on these CDs, and more, can be found on Sepia Records website, www.sepiarecords.com
FOUR DECADES OF LIGHT MUSIC – VOLUMES ONE AND TWO
Various artists (GUILD, GLCD 5134 and GLCD 5135) Full tracklistings of all Guild Light Music CDs can be accessed via the link on our home page, or by visiting Guild Music [this company and many other record labels can be found on our links page]. You can also visit the Light Music CDs page on this website.
These two new releases contain a wealth of different styles and sounds, and it becomes increasingly clear just how far compositions, arrangements and orchestras evolved during those four decades. The first volume contains the earliest tracks to appear on any Guild issue, dating from 1926. This is a sub-genre which has not been particularly prominent as far as the RFS is concerned, although of course, it was the core interest of the erstwhile Vintage Light Music Society. Whilst some of the tracks are well known such as Parade of the Tin Soldiers (Jessel), Teddy Bears’ Picnic (Bratton) andEstudiantina (Waldteufel), I believe there are quite a number making their CD debut. There’s a wonderful Percy Fletcher piece entitled Pearl O’Mine – Lyrical Melody and Charles Orth’s In a Clock Store; this is a superb novelty number with all sorts of effects which must have kept several percussionists busy! Following the success of Eduard Kűnneke’s Overture to his Dance Suite (GLCD 5106), this time another movement – Blues – has been included. From a 1937 Bosworth library recording, Frog King’s Parade (Kronberger; Marriott) makes a surprising, though welcome, second appearance on Guild, but this is very different from the arrangement to be found on the "Bandstand in the Park" CD. Pieces like Flapperette (Greer) and Lustspiel – Overture (Keler-Bela) have a wonderful ‘period’ feel to them, as does The Selfish Giant of Eric Coates, an early composition which was heavily influenced by the syncopated style of contemporary popular music of the time. I would also single out for special mention In A Merry Mood (Harringer), Raindrops – Pizzicati for Strings (T de la Riviera) and Montague Ewing’s Dancing Clock – timepieces were obviously an inspiration to light music composers! The whole programme is well assembled and highly enjoyable, more so with each listening. It’s from an era about which I am personally very keen to learn more, and I hope that there is further material available which could be incorporated into future releases.
Like the song What a Difference a Day Made, it’s extraordinary what a difference a few years made as far as our kind of music is concerned! Volume two covers the 1940s and 1950s and there is often a markedly different character to the compositions and indeed the orchestral performances. As with many other areas of creative activity, light music post-WWII seems to reflect a new order, with pieces like March For Americans (Grofé) and World Of Tomorrow (Beaver) embracing this. A rather surprising inclusion is the more-than-ubiquitous Charles Williams composition The Old Clockmaker. It’s good to hear Charles Shadwell’s signature tune Down with the Curtain again. As a child, I was taken on several occasions to Tom Arnold’s Circus at Harringay, in North London, where CS and his orchestra were the ‘resident band’ - and this piece always introduced the proceedings. Considering that, for many, the 1940s are the definitive era of light music; it’s a tad disappointing that we are offered a mere ten tracks, compared with seventeen for the 1950s selection. This may be because there is a great deal of 1940s material already available on previous Guild issues, whilst advantage can now be taken to include more recordings from the middle, and late, 1950s, as we approach 2008. I have remarked before that the music of this latter era (particularly from about 1953/54 onwards) is rather more ‘glossy’, more sophisticated, than its predecessors, and this is very evident in the programme presented here. Although several of the titles will be familiar, they are to be heard in wonderful arrangements of the highest quality; particularly worthy of mention are Song Of India(Rimsky-Korsakov) given the Laurie Johnson treatment, Wally Stott’s reading of the Theme from Spellbound (Rozsa) and Werner Műller with Forty Second Street (Warren) . With the orchestras of Geraldo, Farnon, Chacksfield, Stanley Black, Ray Martin, David Carroll, Roger Roger and more, this CD is yet another worthy addition to the Guild series.
LIGHT MUSIC FOR ALL SEASONS
Various artists (GUILD, GLCD 5138)
The seasons have provided inspiration for many light music composers over the years and I’m sure that there are dozens more season-related pieces than the 24 represented here. The programme is arranged chronologically (from a Northern Hemisphere perspective) starting with April in Paris(Vernon Duke) and continuing with several spring compositions. May, June and summer themes follow, through Autumn, September, (and even November) and so on, finishing up with George Melachrino’s A Christmas Fantasy. Most of the tracks are taken from commercial recordings, although there are some from the libraries of Paxton, Bosworth, Chappell and Boosey and Hawkes. The performing orchestras include those of Michel Legrand, Gordon Jenkins, Sidney Torch, Dolf van der Linden and his Metropole Orchestra, Ron Goodwin and Richard Hayman. There’s a very characteristic Robert Farnon arrangement of One Morning in May (Schertzinger) and a similarly distinctive version of Indian Summer (Victor Herbert) by George Melachrino and played by his strings. A slight departure from the usual is Ethel Smith’s version of Sleigh Ride (Leroy Anderson), played on the Hammond organ as only she could, and accompanied by a small ensemble. This is a very thoughtfully assembled and extremely enjoyable programme. It’s a definite ‘must-have’ for all those who love the kind of music which was the very backbone of the BBC Light Programme and BBC Radio 2 in its early days.
MUSICAL KALEIDOSCOPE – VOLUME 1
Various artists (GUILD, GLCD 5139)
In distinct contrast to the various ‘themed’ CDs in the Guild series, this new compilation brings together a wonderful array of pieces which do not necessarily fit into neat categories, but sets out to ‘offer a wide variety of styles and ensembles and hopefully spring a few surprises along the way’. The recordings span a period of nearly 25 years, from a Reginald King track of 1932- Roses At Dawning (Kahn, Moret), to three 1956 recordings, including the eponymous Kaleidoscope(Schreckenberger) from a FD&H library disc. As is so often the case, several of the items evoke a reaction of ‘I haven’t heard that for years’ – accompanied by a real ‘buzz ’! To single out just a few, I would mention Ballet of Madeira (Gregori, Freitas), Fiesta (Jack Coles), Policeman’s Holiday (Ewing) and Sailor’s Holiday (Martell). There are some lovely ‘vintage’ pieces like Cockney Girl (Melachrino),In Happy Mood (Mackey), Legend (Crowdson) and Keep Moving (Charrosin). A section entitled Seven Famous BBC Orchestras includes the two alternate versions of Oranges and Lemons, which were used to open the Light Programme every morning, and the selection closes appropriately with Billy Cotton’s ‘playout’ music – Legion Patrol (Simpson). I have played this CD so many times already that had it been a record, it would probably be beginning to wear out! Hugely enjoyable and highly recommended. With the next release the Guild series will reach the ‘Big Four-O’ – an amazing and unparalleled achievement on the part of David Ades, Alan Bunting, and the enterprising company behind the whole project – Guild GmbH of Switzerland.
BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC PREMIERES Volume 4
Ernest Tomlinson – music from "Aladdin"; John Fox – A Surrey Rhapsody; Jim Cooke – Concert Jig; Phillip Lord – Nautical Overture; Richard Valery – The Magic Carpet; Lionel Sainsbury – Cuban Dance No. 2; Adam Saunders - Overture: Pirates Ahoy!; Carey Blyton – Suite: The Golden Road to Samarkand; Peter Flinn – Cinema Suite.
Royal Ballet Sinfonia Conducted by Gavin Sutherland and Paul Murphy (Dutton Epoch CDLX 7190) 77:06 mins.
The music in this collection covers a wide range of styles, with the earliest piece dating from 1940 and the latest 2006. Ernest Tomlinson was certainly on form back in 1974 when he composed "Aladdin", and it is good to have three Jewel Dances plus Aladdin’s Dance of Joy and Young Man In Love. John Fox loves the county of Surrey – and especially the area around Banstead – where he has lived for many years, and his beautiful Surrey Rhapsody is his vision of a wonderful part of the world. From the dawn chorus at the opening, to the excitement of Epsom racecourse (and even a traffic jam on the M 25) we are transported musically around one of the loveliest parts of southern England. John is a master of melody and orchestration, and this work is an important addition to the light music repertoire of the 21st century. If John represents the older school of composers (we celebrated his 80th birthday with him at an RFS London meeting in 2004), then Adam Saunders is certainly an up-and-coming writer who promises to keep the fine traditions going in future years. His contribution is a lively piece Pirates Ahoy! which should appeal to concert promoters as a lively opener. The other varied works on this CD offer an interesting collection which will possibly make their composers better-known. Now that the Sanctuary White Line series has disappeared, we are fortunate that Michael Dutton is willing to continue supporting new light music on his Epoch label, and he deserves the support of us all. David Ades
LIGHT MUSIC WHILE YOU WORK VOLUME TWO
Various artists (GUILD, GLCD 5137)
It is encouraging to note that the success of ‘Light Music While You Work Volume One’ has prompted another selection of delights which, far from being a pale imitation of the first album, is even better! When reviewing the previous CD, I suggested that the London Coliseum Orchestra and the orchestra of Harold Collins, Wynford Reynolds and David Java should be included next time – and sure enough they are all here, together with old friends like Ronnie Munro, Richard Crean, Harry Fryer and Harry Davidson. Perhaps I should point out that Wynford Reynolds (no relation!) was appointed Music While You Work organiser late in 1941, over a year after the radio programme’s inception and contrary to suggestions in the booklet notes, he did not conceive the original idea for the programme. The show came about as a result of a directive from the War Office, who felt that a programme of uninterrupted and tuneful music would boost morale in industry. Although this CD is primarily of light music, the dance music aspect of the series is represented by several Phil Green recordings and one by Reg Pursglove – although Raymond Scott’s excellent Toy Trumpet was often heard played by light orchestras and military bands. Indeed I heard it on a park bandstand quite recently! I am told that when it comes to reviews, I have a reputation for being somewhat ‘picky’. Well, if that is the case, I offer no apologies as I think that a reviewer should give a truthful opinion. It is true that with volume one, I expressed some reservations relating to programme building, but on this occasion there is absolutely nothing to criticise. The programme has been built with great care and is full of contrast – a lovely mixture of marches, waltzes, selections and novelties. I like the way that Calling All Workers(this time it’s the Eric Coates version) has been tailored in such a way that the recording sounds almost like an extended MWYW broadcast. Indeed the opening signature tune has been effectively ‘clipped’ at the end so as to create a natural segue into Marche Lorraine. I think that my favourite item on the disc is Castles in Spain, a super piece which has probably not been performed in decades. It is customary, when reviewing Guild Records, to pay tribute to Alan Bunting for his fine restoration work, but as this goes without saying, I won’t mention it!
MARCHING AND WALTZING
Various artists (GUILD, GLCD 5136)
‘Marching and Waltzing’ was another famous radio programme from the golden years of radio. It started during the war, continuing intermittently until 1984. It soon developed into a studio production featuring an orchestra to play the waltzes – for many years Wynford Reynolds’ Raeburn Orchestra, alternating with a brass or military band to play the marches. I think that it should be stated at the outset that whilst this CD is inspired by the radio series, it is not intended to replicate it. There are no bands – everything is played orchestrally by some of the finest including Ron Goodwin, Sidney Torch, Cyril Stapleton and a certain Robert Farnon. One surprise inclusion is dance band leader Lou Preager, but on this recording fronting a large concert orchestra. I found this recording quite delightful and in some ways more interesting than the radio series with its broader range of music, particularly amongst the marches. However there is one point in the accompanying notes which is inaccurate. ‘Marching and Waltzing’ was actually probably the only radio series to use two signature tunes and shortened versions of King Cotton and Vienna Blood opened and closed every programme. This is an excellent selection of tunes, with the original recordings as always beautifully restored by Alan Bunting. It has to be one of Guild’s best yet!
MUSIC WHILE YOU WORK VOLUME 2
Calling All Workers, In the Arena, The Last Tango, Songs of Old England, Show Boat, A Kiss in the Dark, Parade of the Pirates, Temptation Rag, Wood Nymphs, Careless Cuckoo, Linger Awhile, Memories of the Early Twenties, Salad Days, Friml in the Ballroom, Marigold, Teddy Bears Picnic, Tick of the Clock, You Are My Sunshine, Sing-along Medley, Mad About Music, Choristers Waltz, Waldmere March, Lonely Troubadour
Various artists (Frank Bristow, FBCD 166)
This delightful new slice of nostalgia comes superbly remastered and therefore very highly recommended, as one would expect with Brian Reynolds, Brian Stringer and Alan Bunting behind it. You will recognise much of the music but some of it may be unfamiliar which is a good thing. Well done chaps!
Frank Bristow CD’s are ONLY available directly from him at 2 Cross Street, Brighton, Victoria 3186, Australia. Tel. 03-9528-3167. Email: Credit cards and Paypal are accepted, but no cheques — details on request. Please visit his website for further details on CDs in his catalogue www.musicfromthepast.com
ANY OLD IRON
Original Dixieland one-step, By Heck, Stumbling, Steppin’ in Society, Is it True What They Say About Dixie?, Johnson Rag and 22 other tracks
Sid Phillips and his band (Vocalion, CDVS1949) 77:14
This CD arrived on a lovely summery morning in August and seemed an ideal accompaniment to match the mood of the day. At only £2.99 (Yes, £2.99!), and to celebrate the 100th anniversary of this most accomplished musician’s birth, it will also make an excellent Christmas stocking filler! I have always had a soft spot for Dixieland music and ‘England’s King of the Clarinet’ was a master of the genre. He recorded more than 200 sides for HMV throughout the 1940s and 1950s, and we have here a selection of tracks made during the years 1951-1956. As well as the likes of The Birth of the Blues, Stardust, Tiger Rag, When the Red Red Robin, Alexander’s Ragtime Band, Wabash Blues and the title tune, there are Sid’s own compositions: The Clarinet Cadenza, Stratton Street Strut, High Jinks and The Jolly Jazzers. As a classical music enthusiast, I was fascinated to read in Oliver Lomax’s very informative booklet notes that in 1946 Sid composed a symphony entitled Symphony Russe, premiered and broadcast afterwards by Sir Adrian Boult.
Editor: Unless CDs are purchased direct from record shops, please note that postage may be charged on top of the prices quoted in reviews when buying by mail order or the internet.
Pineapple Poll, Irish Symphony
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by David Lloyd-Jones (Naxos, 8.570351) 78:26
This is Sullivan, without W.S. Gilbert, which is the way I prefer it. Here we have a marvellous melange of Sullivan’s melodies fashioned into a ballet score by the distinguished Australian conductor Sir Charles Mackerras back in 1951. Rightly does he write in his comprehensive liner notes of "eminently danceable tunes." Sir Arthur was of partly Irish descent and the 35-minute symphony originated from a holiday in Northern Ireland when he was 21. It, too, is very tuneful and approachable. I would think that the whole disc will appeal to quite a number of light music enthusiasts.
The New Friends of Rhythm (HPCD1086) 76:19
27 intriguing titles, brilliantly remastered, gathering together almost all the groups recordings both commercial and transcription. The group’s cellist and arranger Alan Schulman first started arranging for dance bands coming to the attention of NBC radio, where his group made their debut in 1939. Clever writing and very humorous retitling such as The Barbers Hitch (based on The Marriage of Figaro), Shoot the Schubert to Me Hubert, The Droschky Drag, Coo Dinny Coo are just a few samples. The group consisted of three violins, a viola, cello, bass, guitar, clarinet and a harpist way ahead of her time, Laura Newell. Schulman said "She put in fills I could never have thought of". One critic said "The group is recommended to those who are not adverse to highly arranged parodies of formal music". By 1940, the group had sold 20,000 records and got the title "Toscanini’s Hep Cats". During wartime service, Schulman met Nelson Riddle. Nelson’s later arrangements for Sinatra, Cole and Fitzgerald reflect Schulman’s influence. Schulman’s copyist named him "The classical guy on the jazz bus". Until the CD arrived, I admit that I had never heard of them but the groundbreaking group deserves your attention – you can then enjoy the music that has been circulating in various formats by those who were in the know! Executive Producer, Alastair Robertson deserves plaudits for putting all this delightful music in one package.
THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS AND OTHER SEASONAL MUSIC FOR ORCHESTRA
Classic Sleighride, A Christmas Overture, The Last Sleep of the Virgin, Overture on French Carols, The Night Before Christmas, Christmas Tree Suite, On the Twelfth Day
BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Barry Wordsworth (Naxos, 8.570331)
A truly original and magical Christmas record avoiding the predictable and would make an excellent stocking filler. The familiar name of Philip Lane features large, so enjoyment is guaranteed especially the Overture on French Carols. It is Philip’s piece in the style of ‘Peter and the Wolf’ which gives the disc its title with excellent narration from Stephen Fry. The longest piece on this well filled disc is On the Twelfth Day where the orchestra is joined by the BBC singers and written by film composer Doreen Carwithen. The only work with which I was familiar is The Last Sleep of the Virgin which receives a fine performance from soloist Matthew Lee on cello. All in all a thoroughly fresh and entertaining disc featuring stylish and idiomatic playing you would expect from this orchestra under the baton of Barry Wordsworth with excellent sound from the Watford Coliseum.
GRIEG AND GOLDMARK
Grieg: Symphony in C Minor, Goldmark: Symphony No 1 in Eb Major (Rustic Wedding) Op26
Bergen Symphony Orchestra conducted by Karsten Andersen/Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jesus Lopez-Cobos (Decca Eloquence, 4768743) 80:00
Reviews of recordings of symphonies don’t often appear in the columns of Keeping Track but this release of material emanating from the early 1980s is particularly valuable in featuring the first ever commercial recording of Grieg’s youthful Symphony in C Minor, composed mainly at the promptings of the Danish composer Niels W Gade and completed in 1864. The piece received several performances before Grieg subsequently set aside the score with the injunction that it ‘must never be performed’. After his death, it was lodged in the Bergen Public Library and it wasn’t until 1981 that this institution agreed to release the orchestral score and Decca subsequently recorded the symphony with Grieg’s own orchestra. Grieg’s critical judgement of the works worth seems to be have been unduly harsh since it undoubtedly possesses genuine stature and breath and memorable themes all attractively orchestrated and well worth more than an occasional airing.
What makes this disc an even more desirable acquisition is the inclusion of Goldmark’s adorableRustic Wedding Symphony simply brimming over with heart warming melodies. The structure is perhaps more closely related to a suite rather than a symphony with descriptive titles to individual movements such as Bridal Song, Serenade and the rapturous In the Garden; this could easily come within the compass of ‘quality light music’. Both symphonies receive exemplary performances and the recording retails for £5. Well worth investigating – you will be amply rewarded!
THE SWINGIN’ BASSOON
I’m Getting Sentimental Over You, Well You Needn’t, Hay Burner, Scrapple from the Apple, Mood Indigo, Summer Samba, Out of Nowhere, St Thomas, I Remember You, Home At Last, A Night in Tunisia
Daniel Smith (Zah, ZZCD9824)
When this arrived for review, I was hoping to find Bob Farnon’s last work Romancing the Phoenix on the disc, but alas it is not there but evidently still awaiting its premiere! Well chosen jazz vehicles, but I am afraid the only part that really swings is the rhythm section which is very little to please jazz enthusiasts! Daniel’s technical ability is wonderful but even his powerful lungs cannot make the bassoon a suitable jazz solo instrument! The slightly mournful sound is far better used as colouring in a bank of woodwind and brass scored by the likes of Farnon and Gil Evans, where it comes into context. A brave but misguided recording which will inspire other bassoon players to match the playing but still sitting into the novelty category.
THE ESSENTIAL COLLECTION 1954-55
Out of This World, There’s a Small Hotel, You Are Too Beautiful, When Your Lover Has Gone, Low Life, With the Wind and Rain in Your Hair etc
Bob Brookmeyer (AVC887)
Right from the opening track, 9:20 Special, Bob’s flowing solo shows he was a total master of the trombone even this early in his distinguished career. By track nine, on this double CD, the limitations of a small group start to become obvious to me as a big band fan. The playing is excellent by the varied line ups but each number seems to merge. Johnny Green’s Body and Soul changes the pattern but is a little too mournful for me. Bob switches to piano on his own Under the Lilacs and Berlin’sThey Say It’s Wonderful. Seven tracks include a small string section which I believe originally came out under Bud Shank’s name. Players involved include Red Mitchell, John Williams, Jimmy Rowles, Mel Lewis, Bud Shank, Conte Candoli, Zoot Sims and Stan Levy. 34 tracks essential for small group fans but for me Bob’s writing and playing in larger groups is far more rewarding.
Arietta, Norwegian Dance No. 2, Solveig’s Song, Anitra’s Dance, I Love Thee, etc. 27 tracks
Sigmund Groven, harmonica with Norwegian Radio Orchestra and soloists (Grappa GRCD4264) 64:56 mins.
RFS members have had the pleasure of meeting Sigmund at our London meetings, and he is especially remembered from the occasions when he came to the Bonnington Hotel with Tommy Reilly. Sigmund is now regarded as one of the finest exponents of the harmonica, and it is hardly surprising that he should choose the music of his famous fellow countryman for his latest CD. Somehow the often melancholic music of Grieg seems well suited to the harmonica, although it is equally suited to the brighter numbers, such as the perky Anitra’s Dance from ‘Peer Gynt’. Lovers of the harmonica will want to add this to their collection. David Ades
This CD can be purchased direct from Sigmund Groven,PO Box 5167, Majorstua, N0302, Oslo, Norway – email
Dizzy Fingers, Where’s That Rainbow?, Sahara, Waltz of the Gypsies, It All Depends On You, Swingin’ Down the Lane, A New Kind of Man with a New Kind of Love for Me, Lucky Day, Jerome Kern medley, Blue Skies, Indian Love Call and more
Piano Rolls selected and played by Philip Legg (Shellwood Productions, SWCD33) 71:24
The Pianola, the forerunner to the modern computerised electronic organ, where an individual can sit and play music like Sparky and His Magic Piano! I recall that a visit to my Aunt and Uncle’s meant I could play their Pianola and one of the secrets of playing this instrument is to be able to pedal your feet at the current speed to keep the music playing at the correct tempo.
Philip Legg on this CD has played all the piano rolls, which he also selected, to perfection. There is a varied selection of tunes to suit all tastes and having been originally played for the rolls to be made by different pianists’ results in varied piano styles. This CD comes with a comprehensive set of notes in the foldout booklet describing all the tunes. If you are looking for a CD purely of piano and no backing – this is the one for you with over an hour of entertainment.
SPORT MODEL ENCORE
Sport Model Encore, On a Spring Note, Colour Scheme, Maple Leaf Hora, Pixie Parade, Black Tulip, Chopins Charleston Dream, Ray Noble medley, Cottontail Rag, Goulash, Joy Jumping, Magia De Ritmi, Foxtrot, Chanuka medley
Alex Hassan (Shellwood Productions, SWCD34) 59:19
This fourteen track CD played by Alex Hassan, an American, takes on the syncopated style similar to Scott Joplin and a complete contrast to the Pianola playing as reviewed previously. Again this is a piano CD without any added backing and Alex has arranged and embellished quite a few of the tunes, with pieces ranging from 1928-1959.
An enjoyable CD to listen to if you champion this style of playing but to anyone who enjoys a relaxing piano CD with contrasting beats and rhythms, then this is not for you. On a Spring Notelooses its appeal through this version for my liking.
Original film soundtrack (Varese Sarabande, VCL03071062)
I am encroaching on Jeff Hall’s excellent pastures but I could not let this one pass without a mention, as regular readers will know that I am a dedicated fan of Johnny Mandel’s writing! The final score used was written by Dave Grusin, but record producer Nick Redman whilst delving in the vaults, was amazed to find two scores for this film! The second unused score was by Johnny Mandel! This is no reflection however on the quality of the writing as evidently the film’s producers had decided that they had a bit of a ‘Dodo’ and thought a more pop orientated score would increase the audience. I never saw the film or know if it ever saw light of day, all I know is I am more than a little pleased to get both scores! Grusin’s is good but for me Mandel makes the better of the two, intuitively he ushers melody into the soundtrack, sometimes with a tinge of jazz. Every track is a winner focused yet expansive lyricism, distinguished by quality composition. Another surprise for me was that I had heard some of the tantalising music before! A few years ago, Vic Lewis had visited Johnny Mandel in California whilst he was composing the score and had given Vic a taster of the music which he let me hear. I have no doubt Johnny got paid for his work but the thought that this could have languished in a 20th Century Fox music library does not bear thinking about!
Disc one: The Coral Years, Disc two: The ABC and Paramount Years
Eydie Gorme (Jasmine, JASCD450) 65:01 and 57:12
Excellent playing time with CD one as very pop orientated and CD two really bringing home the bacon starting on track ten where Eydie’s material is classic vocalising, rivalling the best ballad singers of the era. Backed by the wonderful Don Costa Orchestra on tracks such as I’ll Take Romance, Fine and Dandy, Too Close for Comfort, The Gentleman is a Dope, Be Careful It’s My Heart, Saturday Night is the Loneliest Night of the Week and the tear-jerking Guess Who I Saw Todayand ballads of similar quality Eydie really shows where she belongs – classic tracks! Other backing by Monty Kelly, Dick Jacobs, Neal Hefti, George Gates and Sid Feller make the pop tracks an enjoyable contrast even if some of the lyrics are slightly cringe making! There are enough excellent performances included here to entice new fans to seek out the many other outings she made solo and with her husband Steve Lawrence, many of them arranged by Don Costa (what a team!)
JUMP, JIVE AN’ WAIL: THE ESSENTIAL
Tracks include: That Old Black Magic, Pennies from Heaven, Sing Sing Sing, Just One of Those Things, Hello Dolly!, Cabaret, Civilization and more
Louis Prima (EMI, 3952662)
Another new hits collection featuring the best solo and collaborative work of the big band and swing musician. Most famously known as the voice of King Louie in Disney’s ‘The Jungle Book’ which is featured here for the first time on a Prima compilation. Not my cup of tea, but if you are a fan of Prima and or would like to add his work to your collection then this may be the one for you.
Tracks include: I Am a Cider Drinker, Morning Glory, Combine Harvester and more
The Wurzels (EMI GOLD, 3939022)
What can you say about this release? Certainly not ‘our kind of music’ but if you are a fan of novelty records, then this will add nicely to your collection.
THE CAVERN: THE MOST FAMOUS CLUB IN THE WORLD
Tracks include: Apache, Anyone Who Had a Heart, Stand By Me, I Think of You, It’s All Over Now, Go Now and more
Various artistes (EMI)
This three CD set celebrates The Cavern’s 50th anniversary with 50 tracks from artists who have all appeared at the club over the years and can be described as a who’ who of British pop music ranging from The Beatles to Georgie Fame to Arctic Monkeys. Well mastered recordings some of which still sound as fresh today as they did fifty years ago.
Various artistes (Sounds of Yesteryear, DSOY732) 105:00. Grandad is seething in the corner, muttering under his breath, rubbish! It is his birthday party and the youngsters are playing the like of the Arctic Monkeys. Time to put a smile to his face by digging out this novel double CD — 36 tracks by bands of the 1930s. Billy Cotton, Carroll Gibbons, Jack Payne, Jack Hylton, Ambrose, Henry Hall and many others feature and all tracks concentrate on the humorous. I am a Grandad but only knew a few of the titles, three of which I did not know, The Pig Got Up and Slowly Walked Away, Airman! Airman! and What Can You Give a Nudist for Their Birthday, giving you some idea of the content. You also get the well known Laughing Policeman, I Like Bananas, Chinese Laundry Blues and many others well aired in the past on the Billy Cotton Band Show and Family Favourites. A fun collection for all the family, especially if those listening are well oiled!
CD round-up by Wilfred Askew
WE LOVE NELSON RIDDLE – NELSON RIDDLE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Recorded between 1954 and 1956 for Capitol Records. Tracks include: Shadow Waltz, Robin Hood, Could You, All or Nothing At All, Body and Soul, Farmer’s Tango, Port Au Prince, The Deep Blue Seaetc
(Cherry Red ACMEM118) 73:58
LAURIE JOHNSON — YOU’RE NEEDED
Original Pye recordings. Tracks include: Bali Hai, My Favourite Things, It’s a Raggy Waltz, The Donkey Serenade, Lock Up Your Daughters, By Myself, South of the Border etc
(Cherry Red ACMEM112) 58:46
MAESTRO SOPHISTICATE — LEO REISMAN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Tracks include: You Do Something to Me, Time On My Hands, Night and Day, Poor Butterfly, My Sister and I, Mimi, Love Walked etc. With vocalists such as Lee Wiley, Fred and Adele Astaire, Jack Kitty and Frank Luther – original recordings from 1929-1941.
(Flare, ROYCD244) 76:00
RAY STARITA AND HIS AMBASSADORS BAND – VOLUMES 1 AND 2
Original recordings from 1928-32. Tracks include Spread A Little Happiness, It’s a Habit of Mine, I Call You Sugar, My Love Affair, Just a Crazy Song, Get Happy etc
(Mellotone Mello 012 and 013)
GORDON MACRAE – NEVER TILL NOW
Original Capitol recordings on two CDs. Tracks include: One Misty Morning, How Green Was My Valley, Stranger in Paradise, Last Night, Love’s Old Sweet Song, My Love etc.
(Jasmine, JASCD453) 156:19