Reviewers in this issue: David Ades, Peter Burt, Paul Clatworthy, Mike Crowther, Roger Hyslop, Barry McCanna, Edward Trub, Edmund Whitehouse, Anthony Wills, and Peter Worsley
The KT Editor’s Choice for this issue
NIGEL HESS ‘New London Pictures’ The Central Band of The Royal Air Force / Nigel Hess Chandos CHAN 10767 (63:30) A new release from our fellow RFS member and friend is always welcome and this is a terrific album. Nigel is the composer of many TV scores such as award-winning themes for ‘Testament’, ‘Summer’s Lease’ and ’Hetty Wainthrop Investigates’ Here there are two premiere recordings: the title piece is a descriptive three-movement work (Millennium Bridge,London Eye and Congestion Charge), and The Lochnagar Suite, also in three movements, takes its inspiration from The Old Man of Lochnagar, a children’s book written for his two younger brothers by HRH The Prince of Wales. Then there are three premiere recordings in new arrangements: the lovelyLadies in Lavender theme from the film, Shakespeare Pictures (portraying ‘Much Ado About Nothing’, ‘The Winter’s Tale’: The Statue and ‘Julius Caesar: The Entry to the Senate’) and A Christmas Overture, which always gets a lot of airplay on Classic FM. The album is completed by the oldest piece, the evocative Monck’s March, a concert overture commissioned by the Band of the Coldstream Guards in 2002, telling the story of General Monck’s historic journey in 1660 from Coldstream on the Scottish border to London with a force of 5,000 foot and 2,000 horse. There is not a dull moment on this disc, with the playing of the 50-strong band – the first outside the USA to receive the John Philip Sousa Citation for Musical Excellence – and the recording both outstanding. PB
A descendant of the late Dame Myra Hess, Nigel Hess has much to be pleased about as a composer of accessible and tuneful music. New London Pictures was commissioned in 2003 and begins with a walk on the new pedestrian bridge across the River Thames near the Tate Modern, then enjoys a bird’s eye view over London from the nearby giant ferris wheel and ends with a London traffic jam with undertones of Gershwin’s An American in Paris. While the delightful Pictures will appeal to everyone, even if they don’t care for the bard. A Christmas Overture deserves to be heard every time the Christian festive season comes round. An excellent CD. PW
LEROY HOLMES ‘The Sophisticated Strings and Arrangements of …’ 2-CD set: 60 tracks incl. There’s a Small Hotel; At Last; The Hour of Prayer; Smoke Gets in Your Eyes; Humoresque; Sophisticated Lady; Lamento (Song of the Wind); Andalucia (The Breeze and I); Dolce Far Niente; Dansera; The Rain in Spain; Vaya Con Dios; Flying Home; Ciribiribin; Cherokee; Let’s Dance; Take the "A" Train; I’m Getting Sentimental Over You; Lucy’s Theme from "Parrish"; Where the Boys Are; The Parent Trap; April Love; Theme from "A Summer Place"; (Love is) The Tender Trap; Unchain My Heart; Hit the Road Jack; Hallelujah, I Love Her So; Georgia on My Mind; Just For a Thrill; RubyJasmine JASCD 734 (78:53 & 79:33) Once again this label has a winning compilation with this exceptionally well-filled release from another lesser known light music conductor and his orchestra. Named Alvin at birth, Holmes (1913-1986) was an American songwriter, composer, arranger and conductor who studied, among other places, at the famous Juilliard School in New York. He worked for a number of bandleaders during the 1930s and early ‘40s, including Ernest Toch, Vincent Lopez and Harry James. After serving as a lieutenant in the US Navy during WWII he moved to Hollywood, where he was hired by MGM Music Studios as a house arranger and conductor, before moving to United Artists. During his time at MGM he backed numerous vocalists including Judy Garland, and in 1954 made arguably the best-known recording of the theme to the film "The High and the Mighty"with its distinctive whistling. The tracks here are taken from five varied original stereo LPs featuring lush ballads, a Spanish selection, big band and movie themes, and a tribute to Ray Charles. I find it hard to understand how Holmes did not become a much bigger name in our kind of music. You get what it says on the tin, not all the arrangements involving strings, and this will make a most worthwhile addition to any CD collection. PB
MICHEL LEGRAND / JACQUES DEMY The Complete Edition Universal France 534 215 9 The French composer Michel Legrand’s output is prodigious: music has poured out of him for the last 60 years. This 11-CD box set (issued to coincide with a retrospective running at the Cinematheque in Paris until 4th August) is devoted to the nine movies he made with cult director Jacques Demy, beginning with Lola in 1960 and ending with Trois Places Pour Le 26 in 1988. Of particular interest are the ground-breaking "sung-through" films The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg (1964) and The Young Girls Of Rochefort (1968), both starring Catherine Deneuve, whose singing voice was dubbed by various artists. Umbrellas is an intimate romantic drama very much of its time whereas Rochefort is Demy’s big budget homage to the Hollywood musical (Gene Kelly makes a cameo appearance). Their soundtracks have been digitally restored and are presented here in their entirety with, in the case ofRochefort, a never before released English language version featuring skilfully translated lyrics by Julian More. In addition there are the orchestral backings on their own, giving us an opportunity to appreciate Legrand’s dazzling arranging skills on, for example, The Girl I’ve Never Met. A further bonus comes in the shape of transcribed cassette tapes featuring Legrand working on ideas at the keyboard with Jacques Demy. As a welcome addition there are symphonic suites of the scores and a CD devoted to interpretations of their most famous songs by the likes of Tony Bennett, Astrud Gilberto, Stephane Grappelli, Sergio Mendes and Bill Evans. The accompanying booklet includes some Sixties studio and location shots and a lengthy interview with Michel Legrand, helpfully translated into English. For lovers of Legrand’s work and French cinema this collection is an absolute must. AW
GEOFF LOVE & HIS ORCHESTRA ‘Waltzes With Love’ & ‘More Waltzes With Love’ Falling in Love with Love; Ramona; Anniversary Song; Always; Beautiful Dreamer; I’ll See You Again; Fascination; Wonderful One; Charmaine; Love’s Last Word is Spoken; The Last Waltz; Now is the Hour; Love’s Roundabout; The Desert Song; Around the World; When I Grow Too Old to Dream; Vaya con Dios; One Night of Love; Lover; Edelweiss; The Song from "Moulin Rouge"; Try to Remember; Ask Me Why I Love You; Waltz of My Heart Vocalion CDLK 4493 (60:15) After his venture into disco/funk reviewed in our last issue, Geoff returns to the music we know and love for this release of two more albums from the extensive number he made for EMI’s Music for Pleasure label, this time from 1975 and 1979. Here we can wallow in 23 of the 20th century’s best waltzes, plus the 19th century’s Stephen Foster title, played in stylish arrangements with no gimmicks. In his original sleeve note for the first album the noted Gramophone magazine critic, W A Chislett, refers to Geoff’s "sensitive and expert treatment and handling" of the music. So just sit back, listen and enjoy; or maybe roll back the carpet and dance! PB
MANTOVANI & HIS ORCHESTRA ‘Favourite Melodies From The Operas’ 12 tracks incl. Celeste Aida; One Fine Day; Caro Nome; Softly Awakes My Heart; M’appari; Musetta’s Waltz Song; O My Beloved Father … ‘The Immortal Classics’ 12 tracks incl. Prelude in C sharp major(Rachmaninov); Minuet from Divertimento in D (Mozart); Romance (Rubenstein); Simple Aveu(Thomé); On Wings of Song (Mendelssohn); Largo (Handel); Barcarolle (Offenbach) … Vocalion CDLK 4500 (40:17 & 43.30) Many light orchestral music lovers around the world would consider that the Venice born maestro and his orchestra were (are) incomparable. There have been imitators but no-one has matched, let alone surpassed, the unique and very special Mantovani sound. From the mid-Fifties to the mid-Seventies this inimitable quality made him a global household name. The unmistakeable hallmarks: the overall radiance, the shimmering and cascading strings (albeit used sparingly here), the skilfully orchestrated woodwind and brass – in short, all the original sounds so characteristic of Monty and Monty alone – are evident on these two mono albums from 1956 and 1954. All the arrangements are by Mantovani except for five on the first disc by Cecil Milner. I wonder how many people, like me, cut their classical music teeth on the original LPs alongside ‘An Album of Strauss Waltzes’ and ‘An Album of Ballet Memories’? PB
‘An Album of Ballet Melodies’ 10 tracks incl. Valse des Fleurs (Tchaikovsky); Invitation to the Waltz (Weber); Pas de Deux from "Giselle" (Adam); Le Cygne (The Swan) (Saint-Saëns); Dance of the Comedians (Smetana) … ‘The World’s Favourite Love Songs’ 14 tracks incl. And this is My Beloved; At Dawning; Drink to Me only with Thine Eyes; I Give My Heart; Night and Day; Ich Liebe Dich (I Love You); Parlez-moi d’Amour (Speak to Me of Love) … Vocalion CDLK 4503 No sooner had the above been written and along comes more of the same as this 2-CD set was announced for release shortly before we went to print. Ponchielli’s Dance of the Hours - Finale is in a Ronald Binge arrangement. My Old Dutch is a quirky choice for the second album. The original Decca mono LPs are from 1956 and 1957 respectively. We may well return to these albums in our final issue. PB
MANUEL & THE MUSIC OF THE MOUNTAINS ‘Viva Manuel!’ Viva!; Chiquitita; Tijuana Taxi; On the Night of a Thousand Stars; Cumana; Los Hombres; Mambo Jambo; Copacabana (At the Copa); Mexican Magic; One Note Samba; Can You Read My Mind?; Mambo No.5; Chante; Zorba’s Dance‘The Music of Manuel’ Princess Leia’’s Theme (from Star Wars); Il Cielo in Una Stanza; When I Need You; My Thanks to You; The Ways of Love; Noche de Ronda; Scheherazade; Mi Sono Innamorato de Te; Poldark (theme from the TV series); You Light Up My Life; Fantasy; Cuanto le Gusta Vocalion CDLK 4499 (42:49 & 43:15) Manuel is, of course, Geoff Love’s alter ego and you get the same quality music-making as you do from the albums made under his own name. EMI started issuing this series of albums in the early 1960s and these two are from the late 1970s. The Studio 2 Stereo recordings offer a wide soundstage with a rich string sound, Latin influenced orchestrations and the very occasional use of a wordless chorus. The opening track is a Love original composition. An all-round enjoyable listen. PB
BERNARD MONSHIN & HIS RIO TANGO BAND 32 tracks incl. Crepuscule; Mexican Carnival; Under the Bridges of Paris; Tango Caballero; Windows of Paris; Alcantara; Mountain Carnival; Lady of Spain; Red Sombrero; Lavoona.... Cottage Industry Records FBCD 364 (79.21) Brian Reynolds tells us in his superbly knowledgeable liner note that Bernard Monshin formed his original band in the 1930s but during the 1950s he was a regular broadcaster on the BBC Light Programme featuring on ‘Music While You Work’ 146 times together with his own programmes notably ‘Tango Time’. BM has already been featured in Guild's Golden Age of Light Music series but this is the first CD devoted to his music with recordings taken from three editions of ‘MWYW’ from Brian's library lovingly restored by Alan Bunting. The album includes a variety of Latin-American Rhythms such as the tango, rumba, beguine, paso doble and samba, etc. However many of the pieces are home grown: El Novillero(Edward Rubach), Josita (Philip Green), Tiptoe Tango (Eric Jupp); not forgetting Louis Voss (composing as Stefan Rogez) and Gerald Crossman, who both played in the band and contributeMasquerade in Madrid, Antonella and Poverino Mio. Our European friends are not forgotten either: the Dutch tango king Malando provides Primero and Helmut Zacharias Spanish Violins. We must remind ourselves that Maestro Monshin composed a wealth of Latin-American compositions and his joropo Caracas (composing as Antonio Alma) and Fascinatin' Tango are also included. My personal favourites are the lovely beguine treatment of I Talk to the Trees (from ‘Paint Your Wagon’), the Italian melody Luna Rosa (played as a tango) and George Scott-Wood's superb tango Revenge. The presentation is first class with photographs of many of the composers featured on the CD – an original touch together with photographs of the band taken from Brian's book Music While You Work - An Era in Broadcasting and a British Pathé short taken in the 1930's (including singer Monte Rey – that’s nostalgia for you). To quote from Brian's liner note this CD will bring back happy memories to people of a certain age but hopefully will introduce this fine orchestra to younger listeners. I played this album all the way through – that’s recommendation enough. MC
[Available from Frank Bristow, 2 Cross Street, Brighton 3186, Victoria Australia () price via Paypal Aust $26.35/ UK £16.00. A limited quantity also available from Brian Reynolds (contact details on inside cover) @ £12 including p&p].
HUGO MONTENEGRO & HIS ORCHESTRA ‘Loves Of My Life’ & ‘Ellington Fantasy’ 24 tracks incl. Girl of My Dreams; The Lady is a Tramp; Little Girl Blue; Jeannie I Dream of Lilac Time; Sophisticated Lady; My Old Flame … Black and Tan Fantasy; Sophisticated Lady (Alt Version); Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me; Solitude; Azure; Mood Indigo … Jasmine JASCD 217 (66:04) Montenegro (1925-81) was staff manager to Andre Kostelanetz at Columbia in his home city of New York, most notably conducting/arranging for Harry Belafonte, before fronting his own orchestra. Later on in his career, in the 1960s, he was primarily known for his movie work, largely of the Spaghetti Western variety. In 1968 he had a big hit with the single The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, reaching No.1 in the UK for four weeks, No.2 in the US, No.3 in Canada and selling more than 1,250,000 copies worldwide. He was also known for his work with electronic music. The two attractive mono albums on this release are from 1957. Using an orchestra of approximately 32 musicians and including a two-octave portable electric organ, the first dozen tracks focus on the ladies, including three superior tracks from the pen of Richard Rodgers. The accent is on sweeping strings with four sax and three flute solos. In his original sleeve notes Sam Hick calls Montenegro’s arrangements "deft and ingenious scores". The last dozen tracks are in tribute to probably the greatest jazz band leader ever. All are Ellington compositions and, again, are given the full-bodied string sound but this time with jazz-tinged solos from violin, trombone (Urbie Green), alto and tenor sax, and French horn (Caravan being a standout track). I feel sure "The Duke" would have approved. PB
REG OWEN & HIS ORCHESTRA ‘Obsession’ 28 tracks incl. ‘Coffee Break’ (1958) Oh But I Do; Ask Anyone Who Knows; Was That the Human Thing to Do; Every Day; Please Don’t Talk About Me; Twenty Four Hours of Sunshine … ‘Cuddle Up a Little Closer’ (1959) Title tune; What is This Thing Called Love; You Oughta Be in Pictures; It’s Only a Paper Moon; Pretty Baby; Thou Swell … ’Bonus Hits’ Manhattan Spiritual; Ritual Blues; Down By the Riverside; Obsession Jasmine JASCD 263(77:03) After playing saxophone in the RAF’s Bomber Command Band during World War II, on demob George Owen Smith arranged for Ted Heath and Cyril Stapleton. He changed his name to Reginald Owen in 1954, and began writing film scores in 1957. He became well-known two years later when he had a No.10 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and a No.20 in the UK Singles Chart withManhattan Spiritual. The single after which this album is named reached No.43 in the UK in 1960. Both are included on this release of two stereo albums originally recorded for RCA Victor, which make for good listening with some attention-catching arrangements. Moving to Brussels in 1971, Reg continued to work as composer, conductor and arranger (remember the Knightsbridge Strings?) but sadly died in 1978 at the early age of 57. PB
IAIN SUTHERLAND CONCERT ORCHESTRA ‘Manhattan Playboys – American Light Classics’ 20 tracks incl. I'm a Brass Band; Folks Who Live on the Hill; Marching Thro' Georgia (arr. Hope); Walking the Dog; Tiny Ballerina; Kentucky Love Song (arr. Hope); March of the Toys; On Golden Pond ... alto ALC 1206 (77: 30) Iain Sutherland's latest album takes us across the Atlantic for an attractive selection that includes light music specials along with music from the movies, Broadway and the Great American Songbook written by either American born composers or by composers who worked extensively in the States. The performances are excellent with lovely warm string playing blending with beautiful sounds from woodwind and brass. The album commences in stirring fashion with the Overture from Erich Korngold's score to Captain Blood evoking swashbuckling memories of Errol Flynn. It's followed by delightful performances of Robert Farnon'sManhattan Playboy and later on in the album his nocturne How Beautiful is Night in Bob's own original score. A selection of American music couldn’t be without the music of Leroy Anderson or Morton Gould and superb performances of the former's Forgotten Dreams and Trumpeter's Lullaby – admirable solo work in both pieces – with the latter's Pavanne and his raucious confection American Salute included. Richard Rodgers comes to the fore with his Song of the High Seas from his score of the NBC-TV series ‘Victory at Sea’ and we arrive on Broadway with the Carousel Waltz. Outstanding among the American standards featured is an especially lovely arrangement of Cole Porter's Night & Day by Reg Tilsley. We remain on Broadway when the album concludes in exciting style with Maurice Peress' concert arrangement of the Overture to Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story. However my personal favourite is the exhilarating performance of Jerry Herman's Mack & Mabel Overture – this is Maestro Sutherland on particularly superb form with memories of the "silent screen" and also reminding us of a wonderful Broadway show. At bargain price this album is a "must". MC
It is beginning to seem like Iain Sutherland has an almost endless supply of excellent recordings of Light Music, waiting to be packaged and offered to his many fans in attractive collections such as this one. What is particularly clever is that there are some unexpected – and very welcome – surprises among the familiar titles that you would expect to find when you see the name of the CD. As the above tracklisting shows, the British composer Peter Hope is represented by two of his memorable arrangements of American folk melodies. Reg Tilsley was a talented, yet often unfairly neglected, British musician. The "American" theme is, perhaps, stretched to the limit with the two Farnon pieces (!), although Manhattan Playboy is certainly firmly rooted in the New York of the immediate post-war years. It’s a great CD, with some outstanding performances from a conductor whose passion lies firmly in Light Music fields. Paul Arden-Taylor (Dinmore Records) has produced the fine restorations from these recordings dating from 1983-8, and the booklet notes by Iain himself are the icing on the cake. DA
BALALAIKA FAVOURITES! Osipov State Russian Folk Orchestra / Vitaly Gnutov & The Russian Balalaika Orchestra At Sunrise; The Linden Tree; Kamarinskaya; Midnight in Moscow; Snow Maiden; Evening Bells; Waltz of the Faun … Stepdastep: Steppe All Around; Semyonovna; Kalinka & more … alto Take:2 ALN 1936 (75:53) This is an album of mainly classsic Russian folk tunes that is a joy from start to finish. The first 14 tracks are a reissue of an historic album I’ve long prized, it being among the first recordings ever made in the old Soviet Union (Moscow, 13th and 16thJune 1962) by American technical and musical staff and equipment. It was put onto 35mm magnetic film for Mercury Living Presence and was a best-seller, especially with stereophiles, on vinyl, The principal instrument in the Osipov orchestra is the domra, a small stringed instrument with a rounded soundboard with a sound not unlike that of a mandolin. Among other instruments used are the balalaika (no surprise there!), Vladimir shepherd’s horns and goosli. I particularly enjoyed Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Buffoons and the final track is a brilliant 1’11" version of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumble Bee, but every piece is a winner. Equally delightful are the eight tracks that complete the album. Very informative liner notes by James Murray give added value. Production and mastering of the CD was in the capable hands of Paul Arden-Taylor. A more entertaining release it would be difficult to find. PB
EDDIE HEYWOOD ‘The Magic Touch of …..’ 2-CD set 47 tracks incl. Summertime; Cherry; The Man I Love; I Cover the Waterfront; Sitting on a Moonbeam*; All of You … Lies*; I’m Saving Myself for You*; Subway Serenade*; Rendezvous for Two*; Blues in a Happy Mood*; Heywood’s Beguine* … Winds in Autumn*; With the Wind and Rain in Your Hair; The Breeze and I; Whispering Wind*; Begin the Beguine; High on a Windy Hill … St Louis Blues; Hurricane*; Witchcraft; Virgin Isle Vamp*; All the Way; Rendezvous … Jasmine JASCD 736 (70:00 & 61.12) Eddie Heywood Jr (1915-89) was a pianist, arranger and composer. In the Thirties he worked with the orchestras of Wayne Carver, Clarence Love and Benny Carter before striking out on his own in 1940. Partial paralysis of his hands caused him to twice quit playing. Here are four of his stereo albums made after his first comeback:‘The Touch Of Eddie Heywood’ (RCA 1957), ‘Canadian Sunset’ (RCA 1958), ‘Breezin’ Along With The Breeze’ (Mercury 1959) and The Keys And I’ (RCA 1958). On the first he is joined by Al Lucas (bass) and Bobby Donaldson (drums), on the second possibly by the above for half the tracks with orchestral accompaniment conducted by Sid Ramin on the remainder, on the third by Al and Bobby with orchestra conducted by Frank Hunter and on the last with Joe Reisman and his Orchestra. All the tracks asterisked above are Heywood compositions. Another is the well-known title track, one of a dozen such on the second album. On album four there are a couple of particularly "play it again" arrangements of pieces called Caravan in the Night and Madeira. Although you’ll probably find this release listed under "Jazz" it is, unlike Eddie’s earlier albums, more leaning towards light music – that’s why it is reviewed here and not further on. Definitely well worth a hearing. PB
EDDIE LAYTON ‘Great Organ Hits From …’ 2-CD set 48 tracks incl. Pretty as the Moon; All of Me; I Love Paris; Ida (Sweet As Apple Cider); Vienna, My City of Dreams; Nola; Winter Wonderland; Summertime; Over the Waves; Bright Lights of Brussels; Tenderly; Hawaiian War Chant (Ta Hu Wa Hu Wa!) … The Happy Organ; My Lucky; Ain’t Misbehavin’; Tico Tico; You Can’t be True Dear; Granada; Patricia; Twilight Time; The Dipsy Doodle; The Perfect Song; When The Organ Played at Twilight; By the Waters of the Minnetonka … Jasmine JASCD 737 (60:31 & 65:19) Edward M. Layton (1925–2004) played the organ at Yankee Stadium for 31 seasons, earning him membership in the New York Sports Hall of Fame. He was a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and graduated majoring in meteorology with a minor in music. He began playing the organ when he was 12-years-old. While serving in the United States Navy during World War II, he learned to play the Hammond organ. After the war, he began a career as a professional organist writing scores for soap operas on CBS. In the liner notes absence of any such information, I think that the four original stereo albums here were probably recorded in the early Sixties on the Mercury label. Recommended as a nice memento of a very gifted musician whose work may be unfamiliar to JIM readers. PB
DIAHANN CARROLL ‘Easy to Love’ 46 tracks incl. I May be Wrong; You’re an Old Smoothie; Goody Goody; Heat Wave; But Not for Me; I Should Care; Runnin’ Wild; The Boys in the Back Room … Jasmine JASCD 720 (68:40 & 64:13) This reissue of four of Diahann’s first six LPs charts her early career as a singer. ‘Best Foot Forward’ was recorded in 1958 with orchestras conducted by Sid Bass, Marion Evans, and George Siravo, who take four tracks apiece. These are punchy big band arrangements, which Diahann clearly relishes, and the result is a great fusion. ‘The Persian Room Presents’ was recorded in 1960 with accompaniment provided by Peter Matz, and has the spontaneity and excitement of a live recording. The third album, with the Andre Previn Trio, dates from 1960; Diahann throttled back to produce a more subtle and distinctive vocal sound. Finally, it’s a return to the big band accompaniment of Peter Matz for the 1961 Atlantic album ‘Fun Life’. Sound quality is excellent throughout, and although not specified I think all but the first album are stereo. BMC
LENA HORNE ‘Unforgettable’ 44 tracks incl. Summertime; I’ll be Around; Mood Indigo; New Fangled Tango; The Man I Love; Some People; Don’t Commit the Crime; I Concentrate on You; I Want to be Happy … Jasmine JASCD 249 (73:58 & 77:22) This contains four RCA Victor albums, namely ‘Stormy Weather’ and ‘LH at the Waldorf Astoria’ (both 1957), ‘Lena at The Sands’ (1961 stereo) and ‘Lena Lovely and Alive’ (1962). On the first she was accompanied by a studio orchestra that included a number of famous jazzmen, including Charlie Shavers, Doc Severinsen and Shorty Baker on trumpet, Kenny Burrell on guitar, George Duvivier on bass and Shelley Manne on drums. All four albums present standards from the Great American Songbook, including Cole Porter, Jules Styne, Rodgers, and Hammerstein and Yip Harburg medleys. As with the two live albums, her husband Lennie Hayton conducted the orchestra. At the Waldorf Astoria she was accompanied by Nat Brandwynne’s Orchestra, and the resident orchestra of Anthony Morrelli provided the accompaniment at The Sands. The final album was arranged and conducted by Marty Paich, earned a Grammy nomination, and is noteworthy for the fact that all the songs begin with the personal pronoun. This is an exemplary reissue of one of the great female singers, but its appeal may be diminished somewhat if you bought the 2010 Avid set, which included the first two albums. BMC
AL MARTINO ‘Take My Heart’ 58 tracks incl. I’m Shooting High; I Still Believe; Close to Me; They Didn’t Believe Me; Three Little Words; Makin’ Whoopee … Jasmine JASCD 730 (78:15 & 79:52) Al Martino had a powerful tenor voice, and could belt a song with the best of them, but he could also throttle back for a tender ballad, and this mono compilation displays ample evidence of both approaches. It’s made up of singles recorded between 1952 and 1960, a significant number of which charted on both sides of the Atlantic, augmented by an early studio album, the 1960 ‘Swing Along’, arranged and conducted by Stanley Appelbaum. BMC
THE MODERNAIRES ‘So it Goes!’ 58 tracks incl. Only You; The Dipsy Doodle; Put Some Money in the Juke Box; The Great Pretender; Alice in Wonderland; Alright, Okay, You Win; As Long as I Have You; East of the Sun…. Jasmine JASCD 727 (79:03 & 78:02) This is sub-titled ‘Singles of the ‘50s’, a time when the group was recording for Coral Records. Having come into being in the early Thirties, their style was ideally suited to the big band sound, which led via recordings with Charlie Barnet and Paul Whiteman to their best-known association, with the Glenn Miller Orchestra. The group we hear on this compilation was a quintet, made up of Hal Dickinson, Ralph Brewster, Fran Scott, Johnny Drake and Paula Kelly. They are accompanied variously by the orchestras of George Cates, Neal Hefti, Alan Freed & his Rock ‘n’ Roll Band, Fran Scott, Les Brown & his Band of Renown, Bob Crosby’s Bob Cats, Sonny Burke, Charles Bud Dant, and Milton DeLugg. Four tracks include Georgie Auld on tenor sax, and on two the group is joined by Martha Tilton. The second CD includes a Let’s DanceMedley, a Salute to Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller. This delightful compilation showcases The Modernaires’ versatility and embraces swing, Dixieland, ballads, rock ‘n’ roll, and popular songs. Sound quality is excellent, and this should appeal across the board. BMC
FRANK SINATRA ‘Swings the Great American Songbook’ 48 tracks incl. A Foggy Day; Stardust; In the Still of the Night; Without a Song; Misty; A Fine Romance; All or Nothing at All; Prisoner of Love; Learnin’ the Blues … Delta 38364 (73:46 & 73:27) The latest in this series is culled from his early Sixties recordings with Capitol Records. Not every song is a swinger, but every one merits its inclusion. Frank’s wayward approach to the song as written tended to mar his later renditions, but at this stage such lapses were relatively minor. Accompaniments are unspecified, but both Nelson Riddle and Gordon Jenkins would have featured large. If I had to pick out one song which encapsulated Sinatra’s talent it would be The Tender Trap, the title song of the 1955 film in which Frank starred opposite Debbie Reynolds. The compilation also includes the theme tune of Frank’s former boss Tommy Dorsey. There’s no background information on the songs, but sound quality is excellent, and this is a superb salute not only to a great vocalist, but also to some of the greatest songwriters. BMC
BENNY CARTER • DIZZY GILLESPIE • QUINCY JONES ‘Journey to Next’
The Cosmic Eye Suite; Urbanissimo; Voyage To Next; Harlem Wednesday; People People, People; Adventures Of An *; Of Men And Demons Lightyear Entertainment 54168-2 (52:04) Few members of our Society are out and out jazz fans but they should not let this gem of intriguing film music pass them by. Segments of scores written by Benny Carter, Dizzy Gillespie and Quincy Jones from four animated cartoons have been carefully collated into a package to please most music lovers. To get your taste buds working I’ll mention some of the veritable Who’s Who of the music scene involved, such as Toni Scott, Pete Chrislieb, Ernie Watts, Lew Solon, Frank Wess, Maynard Ferguson, Dee Dee Bridgwater, Hank Jones and Lawrence Brown. Recorded between 1956 and 1985 this selection deserves a wide audience. PC
MARK de CLIVE-LOWE & THE ROTTERDAM JAZZ ORCHESTRA ‘Take the Space Trane’Relax..Unwind; Blues For Six; Filthy Fingers; Caravan; Money (Don’t Let It Catch Ya) El Dia Perfecto; Heaven; Take The Space Trane Tru-Thoughts TRU267 (47:34) www.tru-thoughts.co.uk Mark’s usual output is fusion jazz, here he delves into the big band sound on some tracks without straying too far from his usual territory. Caravan has been covered by so many it took a brave arranger to write a new setting. John Plomp gives it a shot but listeners used to the Duke Ellington version will probably steer clear – very discordant ending. Blues for Six is closer to what big band devotees expect; Filthy Fingers is a little wild. El Dia Perlecto is a climatic wall of sound written by Mark with his keyboard fleshing out an intriguing tune. Standout track for me is Heaven; the trumpet solo by Rik Mol is endlessly rich, a ballad sound to revel in. PC
LOUIS ARMSTRONG ‘Satchmo: A Musical Autobiography’ 100 tracks (alternate speech) incl. High Society; Cornet Chop Suey; Hotter Than That; When You’re Smiling; Body and Soul; That’s My Home … plus ‘Satchmo Plays King Oliver’ 18 tracks (6 alt. takes) incl. Dr. Jazz; Panama; Chimes Blues … plus ‘Louis and The Good Book’ 12 tracks incl. Go Down, Moses; Swing Low, Sweet Chariot; Jonah and the Whale … Avid AMSC 1082 & 1083 (78:44: 77:34: 79:03 & 79:26) This project may have been inspired by Bing Crosby’s earlier ‘Musical Autobiography’, but it’s closer in spirit to Jelly Roll Morton’s Library of Congress recordings. It was an opportunity for Louis to revisit his formative years and he grasped it with both hands. His enjoyment is palpable, in both his spoken introductions and the zest with which he tore into numbers he’d participated in (as a member of King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band, the Red Onion Jazz Babies, and Clarence Williams Blue Five), acted as accompanist (most famously with Bessie Smith, whose vocals were taken by Velma Middleton) or fronted as soloist. He was supported by his All Stars line-up of the time, augmented as required, mainly by saxes and guitar. They laid down a total of 43 new performances, and five earlier recordings were interpolated. The result is a triumph, with Louis in his mid-fifties proving that he was playing and singing with as much conviction as ever. There are relatively few tracks that fail to hit the spot, and they’re mainly confined to the twenties material. Velma Middleton’s vocals suffer from lack of a blues flavour, and the rendition of Potato Head Blues fails to capture the majesty of the original. The one surprising omission is West End Blues which recording is regarded as Louis’ crowning achievement. That said, what’s here is an unmitigated delight, and the two additional albums serve as the icing on the cake. BMC
ACKER BILK ‘Mr Acker Bilk Requests’ 2-CD set 50 tacks incl. Travelling Blues; Delia Gone; Gladiola Rag; Willy the Weeper; Dardanella; Franklin Street Blues; Easter Parade; Marching Through Georgia; In a Persian Market; I’m Going Home; Ory’s Creole Trombone; Let the Light From the Lighthouse Shine … Stranger On the Shore; Lullaby; Mean To Me; Grreensleeves; Take My Lips; Sentimental Journey; Nobody Knows; Is This The Blues?; Cielto Lindo; Deep Purple; I Can’t Get Started; Carolina Moon … Jasmine JASCD 739 (78:56 & 75:15) Somerset-born clarinettist, vocalist and bandleader, Bernard Stanley "Acker" Bilk, MBE, MA, began his jazz career working with Ken Colyer. He formed his own band in the mid-1950s and was highly successful in the trad boom years playing what has been described as "a polished sort of Dixieland shuffle-beat jazz featuring his skilful and individual playing." Acker, who is still performing in his 85th year, has been called "Great Master of the Clarinet" and spoken of in the same breath as Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw. The tracks here are from 1958 and 1959 (Disc 1) and 1961 (Disc 2). On the first 12 toothsome tracks of Disc 2 (all listed above) Acker is accompanied by the Leon Young String Chorale. His two biggest hits, which he co-wrote, are here: Summer Set reached No.5 in the British chart, the first of 11 top 50 singles;Stranger on the Shore stayed on the UK charts for 55 weeks, peaking at No.2, and was the UK’s top-selling single of 1962 – the biggest selling instrumental single of all time – and has sold 1.16 million copies as of November 2012. With this piece Acker became the first British artist to have a single at No.1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. This set is a lively listen and Mr Bilk’s idiosyncratic singing on a number of tracks has not spoiled my enjoyment. PB
TAL FARLOW ‘Three Classic Albums Plus’ Avid AMSC 1086 (80.00 & 78.22) presents four Verve albums of this guitarist in small-group settings, namely ‘Autumn in New York’ (1954), ‘The Swinging Guitar of Tal Farlow’ (1956), ‘This is Tal Farlow’ (1958) and ‘Music of Harold Arlen’ (1959). Tal Farlow deserves to be better-known, and this reissue of four of his best albums should help win a new legion of admirers. BMC
AL HIRT ‘Swinging Dixie’ 2-CD set: ‘Swingin’ Dixie!’ (1958) 12 tracks incl. Caravan; Tiger Rag; And the Angels Sing; Fidgety Feet; Tailgate Ramble; Hindustan … ‘Swingin’ Dixie! Vol.2’ (1959) 12 tracks incl. Darktown Strutters Ball; Wabash Blues; Stumblin’; Feet Draggin’ Blues; Wang, Wang Blues; Battle Hymn of the Republic … ‘Swingin’ Dixie! Vol.3’ (1960) 12 tracks incl. Dixieland One Step; Bill Bailey; When My Sugar Walks Down the Street; High Society; Sweet Georgia Brown Up a Lazy River … Jasmine JASCD 728 (74:55 & 64:59) One of the 20th century’s top popular music trumpeters, Alois Maxwell Hirt saw the light of day in Louisiana in 1922 and started playing the instrument when he was aged six. He studied classical trumpet and was influenced by Harry James’ playing. He was a bugler with several Army bands during WWII and afterwards free-lanced in swing bands including those of Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Ray McKinley and Benny Goodman. In 1950 he returned to New Orleans and formed his own group. These are three early albums made for Audio Fidelity Records with Hirt being joined by clarinet, double bass, drums, piano and trombone. The recordings are reckoned to be among the most rewarding of his career. It certainly sounds that a good time was had by all; and no lover of Dixieland need hesitate in acquiring this release. The Penguin Encyclopedia of Popular Music opines that "Hirt’s combo tantalised music lovers because they were obviously capable of more but he settled for a comfortable niche and made plenty of fans happy." He went on to have 22 albums on the Billboard charts in the 1950s and 1960s. ‘Honey in the Horn’ and ‘Cotton Candy’ were both in the Top 10 best sellers for 1964, the same year he scored a hit single with his cover of Allen Toussaint’s tune Java (Billboard No. 4), and later won a Grammy Award for the same recording. Both ‘Honey in the Horn’ and Java sold over one million copies, and were awarded Gold Discs. He was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame ten years after his death in 1999. If this release proves popular, maybe Jasmine will re-issue some of his later work. PB
DAVE PELL ‘Four Classic Albums’ Avid AMSC 1084 (76:23 & 74.25) is the second Avid reissue of his Octet, which was drawn initially from the ranks of the Les Brown band. The first CD features two early albums, featuring compositions by Rodgers & Hart (1953) and Irving Berlin (1954). The second CD features two Capitol albums, both from 1961. ‘The Old South Wails’ presents numbers from the Dixieland repertoire, and ‘I Remember John Kirby’ (which includes Benny Carter on alto sax) is a fitting tribute to what used to be called "The Biggest Little Band in the Land", and rounds off an exemplary reissue. BMC
CHARLIE SHAVERS ‘Four Classic Albums Plus featuring Maxine Saunders’ Avid AMSC 1085(76:28 & 789.49) is something of a mixed bag. ‘Horn o’ Plenty’ (1954) comprises just four tracks, the longest being Story of the Jazz Trumpet, in which Shavers produced impressions of other trumpeters. It’s something of a tour de force, but the vocal interjections detract from the music. ‘The Most Intimate Charlie Shavers’ (1955) features songs written by Harold Arlen and Johnny Green, backed by a string orchestra. ’Flow Gently, Sweet Rhythm’ (?1959) features Maxine Sullivan accompanied by former members of the John Kirby band. In August 1956 she recorded ’Tribute to Andy Razaf’, with Charlie Shavers leading a very similar studio group. ‘Blue Stompin’ (1959) features Charlie Shavers with tenor saxophonist Hal Singer. BMC
JACK PAYNE Vol.8 The Rex Recordings ‘Lazy Rhythm’ 24 tracks incl. Maybe I’m Wrong Again; My Heart is an Open Book; East of the Sun; The Rose in Her Hair; Lazy Rhythm … Vocalion CDEA 6212 (73:50)
JACK HARRIS At Grosvenor House ‘The Free and Easy’ 24 tracks incl. The Free and Easy; You are My Heart’s Delight; The Flat Foot Floogie; Jeepers Creepers; Swing Band; Little Drummer Boy …Vocalion CDEA 6213 (71:36)
ROY FOX Vol.10 At the Café Anglais ‘Roy Fox Chooses …’ 24 tracks incl. We’re a Couple of Soldiers, My Baby and Me; Big Ben’s Saying Goodnight; Sweet and Hot; A Million Dreams; Isn’t it Romantic? … Vocalion CDEA 6214 (74:30)
JACK HYLTON Vol.11 The Decca Years ‘This Is The Rhythm For Me’ 24 tracks incl. Can’t We Meet Again?; Moon Song; Little Miss Muffett; Hylton Stomp; The Clouds Will Soon Roll By … Vocalion 6216 (74:10) I need to declare an interest, having written the liner notes. That said, I rate all four very highly as prime examples of music from the thirties. Jack Hylton’s recordings date mainly from 1933 and Pat O’Malley took the lion’s share of the vocals; most of Jack Payne’s come from 1935 with Ronnie Scott Coomber sharing vocal hours with Ronnie Genarder and others. Both led show bands that could fill large venues with both capacity audiences and popular music. In contrast, the dance bands led by Fox and Harris played in more intimate settings, and their arrangements were more transparent. The Roy Fox CD covers the last three months of 1932, which he spent at the Café Anglais, with vocalist Jack Plant. Jack Harris spent the early Thirties at the Grosvenor House Hotel, and five previously unissued recordings are included; the remaining seventeen tracks come from the late Thirties, most but not all recorded while the band was playing at Ciro’s Club. Needless to say, the audio restoration is uniformly excellent. BMC
THE ANDREWS SISTERS ‘The Best of … Featuring Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy’ 25 tracks incl. Pennsylvania 6-5000; Rum & Coca Cola; Beat Me Daddy (Eight to the Bar); One Meat Ball; Strip Polka; Yes, My Darling Daughter … Delta 26700 (71:45) This features their Decca records, mainly from the early 1940s. The earliest is Bei Mir Bist du Schoen which dates from 1937 and their third recording session, and the latest is I Can Dream, Can’t I? from 1949, but the first track is Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy from the 1941 film ‘Buck Privates’ which became their signature song. There are a couple of gender-benders, namely Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree and I’ll be with You in Apple Blossom Time, and the lyrics of the calypso-based Rum and Coca Cola do not stand up to close scrutiny, but that did not prevent them from being hits. Their close harmonies were well supported by the accompaniments, most if not all of which were supplied by Vic Schoen & his Orchestra. The sound is clear and bright, and although the tracklist lacks detail this is an excellent reissue. BMC
JOHN PHILIP SOUSA ‘Music For Wind Band, Vol. 12’ Royal Swedish Navy Band / Keith Brion 17 tracks incl. Transit of Venus March; Marquette University March; Right Forward March; Right-Left March … Naxos 8.559691 (56:06) This long established series goes as far back as the beginning of 2001. The latest is the second to employ the services of the highly accomplished RSNB. Again, with the possible exception of the 1885 Sound Off March, all may be considered rarities and there is added interest here since this compilation includes some of the American March King’s earliest contributions to the genre. Two of them date from 1876 when Sousa was a mere stripling of 22: The Honored Dead was subsequently performed nine years later at the funeral of President Ulysses S Grant whilst the Revival March embraces the popular hymn tune "In the Sweet By and By." Of the others there is an effective treatment of the popular 1865 Civil War song Marching Through Georgia, and the Mikado March manages to incorporate virtually all the popular tunes from the famous Gilbert and Sullivan operetta during its brief span of under two-and-a-half minutes. We find Sousa in relaxed, carefree mood penning the attractive concert suites Maidens Three and Leaves from My Notebook but with the operetta Chris and the Wonderful Lamp, of which the Overture is included here, commercial success eluded him and it achieved only a short run in 1899. Sousa resourceful as ever wasn’t going to let good material go to waste and simply redeployed some of the music in other scores. Always keeping a keen and alert eye on changing musical fashions prompted him into producing in 1924 his charming Peaches and Cream foxtrot apparently after watching his granddaughter at a dance. So music to both gladden and stir the heart and, since both performances and sound quality are both in the premier league, this disc earns an automatic commendation. In a word simply unmissable! RH
‘AMERICAN BRASS!’ London Symphony Brass / Crees Copland: Fanfare for the Common Man;El Salón Mexico; Ceremonial Fanfare; Bernstein: Suite from "West Side Story"; Prelude Fugue & Riffs;Cowell: Fanfare for the Latin American Allies; Barber: Mutations from Bach; Ives: Variations on "America" alto ALC 1209 (63:37) "The very best in brass playing, brass-arranging, and brass-recording", wrote the Gramophone reviewer on the original release of this Collins full-price label album made at the Barbican in 1991. The London Symphony Brass comprises 29 of Britain’s finest brass and percussion players with clarinet, piano and double bass, all from the ranks of the London Symphony Orchestra. The works are well suited to arrangements for brass, five of which are by the conductor. Although I have most of the pieces in full orchestral form on individual CDs it is good to have them together on a single disc, especially one of this quality. Buy with confidence. ET
ATTERBERG Orchestral Works, Vol.1 Sara Trobӧback Hesselink (violin); Per Hӧgbeg (viola); Gothenberg Symphony Orchestra / Neeme Järvi Chandos CHSA 5116 (70:14) Having brought us from Norway two highly acclaimed recorded series of works by Halvorsen and Svendsen, Chandos now turn to Sweden and Kurt Attterberg (1887-1974), conductor and music critic, and one of his country’s leading 20th century composers. We are promised music that is "tuneful, accessible and charmingly folkoristic, even impressionistic in nature" – and so it is. This time the Estonian maestro conducts "The National Orchestra of Sweden" of which, after being in charge from 1982 to 2004, he is now Principal Conductor Emeritus. The story behind the opening and longest work, Symphony No.6 "Dollar Symphony", is a fascinating one. In 1928 it was the winner in a competition – attracting 500 entries from 26 countries – to mark the centenary of the death of Schubert that called for "original symphonic works in one of more movements presented as an apotheosis of the lyrical genius of Schubert and dedicated to his memory on the occasion of the centennial." The prize was $10,000 (a fortune back then), hence the nickname. Atterberg promptly bought a new Ford Model A! The great Sir Thomas Beecham was allowed by Columbia to record the symphony – the first work ever to be recorded before it had received a public performance. It is joined on this disc by Symphony No.4 "Sinfonia piccolo", En värmlandsrapsodi and Suite No.3, which only received its world premiѐre recording release in 2012. All are superbly played and recorded, and there are highly informative booklet notes by Stig Jacobsson to complement an engaging release of works by a composer who deserves to be better known. ET
HAVERGAL BRIAN New Russia State Symphony Orchestra / Alexander Walker English Suite No. 1; Symphonies 22, 23 and 24 Naxos 8.572833 (65:27) Three symphonies on one CD? Yes, but their average length is only around 12 minutes, thus leaving room for the splendidly atmospheric six movement English Suite No. 1 based on the Staffordshire and Shropshire countryside. Brian wrote 32 symphonies, most of which defy categorisation, and almost all composed late in life. These three date from the 1960s and are similar in sound to dramatic film music of the time. EW
CHABRIER Orchestre de la Suisse Romande / Neeme Järvi Joyeuse marche; Overture to "Gwendoline"; Habanera; España; Lamento; Bourrée fantasque; Suite pastorale & more … Chandos CHSA 5122 (78:42) In JIM 193 I recommended a mono compilation of Emmanuel Chabrier’s works. Here we have nine compositions, with some duplication, but in digital state-of-the-art sound. The Orchestra of French-speaking Switzerland is in fine form under the baton of its indefatigable artistic and musical director – Maestro Järvi certainly gets around. In 1879, after hearing a Wagner opera, Chabrier (1841-94) resigned his desk job at the French Ministry of the Interior to become a full-time composer. The spectacular success of España proved him to be a master orchestrator. As well as orchestral works, songs and piano works he composed two successful comic operas, L’etoile (‘The Star’) and Le roi malgré lui (‘King in Spite of Himself’), both represented on this disc. All Chabrier’s music has great melodic allure and relish and, as with the earlier disc, there’s a lot of joie de vivrehere. ET
ELGAR London Philharmonic Orchestra / Sir Georg Solti ‘Symphony No.1; In the South ("Alassio")’ Decca Virtuoso 4785155 (68:36) A wonderful re-issue from 1980 considered by many to be the best recording of the symphony extant and likened to that of the composer’s own. Whatever other versions you may have, don’t miss out on this one. ET
MOZART European Union Chamber Orchestra / Hans-Peter Hofmann (Director) Symphony No.29; Kassation K.63; Divertimento K.251 Barn Cottage Records bcro11 (79:02) Of Mozart’s 41 symphonies the last four are undoubtedly his finest but I have a soft spot for the earlier No. 29, as it was the first work by the composer that I came to know and love. This is Mozart at his happiest and is often regarded as his first really great work. It is very well-played here by the 18 musicians directed by Herr Hofmann on violin. The release comes from a relatively new small independent label based in Surrey, founded by the harpsichordist Robin Bigwood, which deserves our support as it is responsible for a gem of a disc. PB
RESPIGHI Philharmonia Orchestra / Geoffrey Simon & Jan Pascal Tortelier Church Windows; Brazilian Impressions; Belkis, Queen of Sheba; Metamorphosen; Pines of Rome; Fountains of Rome; Festivals of Rome Chandos CHAN 241 & 245 (77:12 & 80:14) Respighi was an unusual composer who managed to dovetail ancient airs with contemporary sound pictures of Rome which are truly superb. These LP transfers are most welcome and if you don’t know the composer’s music you should indulge yourself. Buy this double CD and you will be transported into a new world of colourful sound. Great value! EW
‘LATIN AMERICAN CLASSICS’ Orquesta Sinfónica de Venezuela / Theodore KucharHuapango; Danzón No.2; Tocata Bachiana y Pajarillo Aldermaroso; Janitzio; Four Dances from Estancia: Los Trabajadores agricolas, Danza del trigo, Los peoness de hacienda, Danza final (malambo); Kanaima; Batuque Brilliant Classics 9762 (55:43) This is a humdinger of a disc featuring works by Moncayo, Márquez, Romero, Revueltas, Ginastera, Hung and Fernández. The oldest musical ensemble in Latin America, founded in 1930, under the baton of its American conductor, who has appeared on over 100 CDs, is more than a match for the famous Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra. The playing is spirited, the conducting idiomatical, the recording good, and the price low (under £5 online). It is such an exciting release, a pity there’s not more of it. PB
JOHN IRELAND ‘Church Music’ Lincoln Cathedral Choir • Charles Harrison (Organ) / Aric Prentice Te Deum in F; Benedictus; Communion Service in C; My Song is Love Unknown; Elegiac Romance, Capriccio (Organ Solos); Evening Service in C; Christ The Lord is Risen Today; Four Unaccompanied Carols; Greater Love Hath No Man; I Am Trusting; Ex Ore Innocentium; Island Praise; Evening Service in F Naxos 8.573014 (77:05) If you are at all interested in church music and/or choral singing, and want a "taster" CD of the genre, look no further than this value-for-money release, well recorded in the cathedral last year to mark the 50th anniversary of the English composer’s death. ET
More recent releases recommended by Wilfred Askew
DEE BARTON ‘High Plains Drifter’ (1973) 27 tracks Intrada Special Collection, vol.217(54:27)
LES BAXTER ‘Jewels Of The Sea’ 12 tracks incl. Sunken City; Sea Nymph; Singing the Shells; The Enchanted Sea; Coral Castle; Dancing Diamonds; plus selections from: ‘The Sacred Idol’ (7 tracks);‘Ports of Pleasure’ (3); and ‘Tamboo’(3)
Cherry Red ACMEM 232 CD (79:25). Original Capitol album (1960)
TOMMY EDWARDS ‘The Hits and More’ ‘For Young Lovers’, ‘You Started Me Dreaming’, & ‘Step Out Singing’ 53 tracks incl. It’s All in the Game; Please, Mr Sun; Morning Side of the Mountain; My Melancholy Baby; Always; You’re a Sweetheart … Jasmine JASCD 196 2-CD set (136:36). Three original M-G-M albums (1959/60)
RUSS GARCIA AND HIS ORCHESTRA ‘Play the Music of Johnny Green’ 16 tracks incl. Body and Soul; Living in Dreams; Out of Nowhere; Easy Come, Easy Go; I Cover the Waterfront; Coquette; There’s a Ring Around the Moon; I’m Yours … Montpellier MONTCD084 (48:02)
BEVERLY KENNY ‘Complete Decca (US) Recordings’ ‘Sings for Playboys’ (1958) acc. by Ellis Larking & Joe Benjamin 16 tracks incl. It’s Magic; Time Was; Sing a Rainbow; Brooklyn Love Story … ‘Born to Be Blue’ (1958) w. Hal Mooney/Charlie Albertine cond. 13 tracks incl. Again; Beyond the Next Hill; You Couldn’t be Cuter; Somewhere Along the Way … ‘Like Yesterday’ (1959) arr./cond. Stan Freeman 12 tracks incl. Undecided; A Sunday Kind of Love; Tampico; Any Old Time … plusDecca single Your Love is My Love; ‘The Sesac Sessions’ (10 tracks); ‘Playboy’s Penthouse TV Show’ (6 tracks) Fresh Sound FSR-CD 721 2-CD set (154:41)
HENRY MANCINI ‘Condorman’ 28 tracks Intrada Special Collection, vol. 219 (60:28) Original Film Soundtrack (1981)
‘MOON RIVER AND ME’ Including More Music from ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ 29 tracks: Soundtrack (17*), Barney Kessel (5); Eddie Harris (3); Moon River by Danny Williams, Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers, Jerry Butler, Al Caiola, and *Audrey Hepburn Cherry Red ACMEM227CD (79:56)
LALO SCHIFRIN ‘Coogan’s Bluff’ 24 tracks plus 8 extras Intrada Special Collection, vol. 223(56:48) Original Film Soundtrack (1968)
ZOOT SIMS ‘ New Beat Bossa Nova, vols 1 & 2’ Original Coxpix recordings (1962) arr. Manny Albam and Al Cohn 23 tracks incl. Recardo Bossa Nova; Cano Canoe; Tickle toe; Lonesome Road; They Call the Wind Maria … American Jazz Classics AJC 99063 (78:01)
BILLY VAUGHAN AND HIS ORCHESTRA ‘’Chapel By The Sea’ (1962) & ‘Greatest String Band Hits’ (1961) Original DOT recordings 24 tracks incl. Petite Fleur; Exodus; Mon River; Midnight in Moscow; Route 66; Bonanza; Wonderland by Night; Carolina in the Morning; Japanese Sandman; Smiles; Baby Face; Happy Days Are Here Again; I’m Looking Over a Four-leaf Clover; In a Shanty in Old Shanty Town; plus 4 bonus tracks: Blues Stay Away From Me; All Nite Long; Whispering & Goodnight Sweetheart Sepia 1206 (64:51)
LAWRENCE WELK AND HIS ORCHESTRA ‘ Baby Elephant Walk’ & ‘Young World’ Original DOT recordings (1962) 24 tracks incl. Are You Lonesome Tonight?; Love Me Tender; Gigi; It’s All in the Game; The Brothers Grimm – Theme; Three Coins in the Fountain; Mona Lisa; Vaya Con Dios … Love Letters; Secret Love; April Love; Young at Heart; Young Love; Good Luck Charm; Too Young; plus 4 bonus tracks: Theme from My Three Sons; Out of a Clear Blue Sky; Night Theme; Zero-Zero Sepia 1207 (67:14)
BERT KAEMPFERT & HIS ORCHESTRA ‘Let’s Go Bowling’ (1964) 14 tracks incl. Holiday For Bells; Holiday in Scotland; Toy Parade; The Bass Walks; Sunday in Madrid; Love After Midnight; Danke Schoen Polydor 278648-2 (37:24)
CARMEN McRAE ‘The Complete Kapp Recordings’ 3 LPs on 2 CDs
‘Book of Ballads’ arr./cond. by Frank Hunter 12 tracks incl. By Myself; My Romance; Isn’t it Romantic; Please be Kind; ‘When You’re Away’ arr./cond. by Frank Hunter* & Luther Henderson 12 tracks incl. The More I See You; Willingly*; I’ll Be Seeing You; I Concentrate on You; ‘Something To Swing About’ arr./cond. Ernie Wilkins 12 tracks incl. Three Little Words; That’s For Me; A Sleepin’ Bee; Alone Together Fresh Sound FSR-CD 677 (11:05)
DAVID RASKIN "What’s The Matter with Helen?" Original Film Soundtrack (1971) Quartet Records SCE 049 (31:34)
RICARDO SANTOS & HIS ORCHESTRA ‘Song Of The Pearlfisher’ The cascading strings of Werner Műller 50 tracks from 1954-59 on 2 CDs incl. Ole Guapa; La Cumparsita; Tango Americano; Armen’s Theme; Guagliione; Adios Pampa Mia; Serenata; O Sole Mio; Elephant’s Tango; La Seine; Buona Sera; Donkey Serenade Koch 8061981 (141:01)
LEITH STEVENS "The War Of The Worlds" (1953) 2-CD set Intrada Special Collection : Vol. 202 (64:12 & 77:48)
FRANZ WAXMAN "Career" Music from the 1959 Motion Picture Kritzerland KR 20024-5 (49:33)
VICTOR YOUNG "Shane" Music from the 1952 Motion Picture La-La Land LLLCD 1224 (66:03)
"Run Of The Arrow" (1957) & "The Brave One" (1956) OSTs originally issued on LP by US DeccaDisques Cinémusique DCM 136 (73:31)
Corrections to KT in our last issue
HARRY GOLD ‘Parade of the Pieces’ My apologies for wrongly crediting Mike Crowther’s review to Barry McCanna, and for omitting him from the list of contributors. - KT Ed.
ANDRE KOSTELANETZ The correct details for this review are: ‘Andre Kostelanetz and His Orchestra On The Air with Perry Como and Gladys Swartholt’ DSOY 904
‘The Very Best of NEIL DIAMOND’ catalogue number is 8765405872
Reviewers in this issue: Peter Burt, Mike Crowther, Roger Hyslop, Ray Pavene, Edward Trub, Ken Wilkins and Peter Worsley
The KT Editor’s CD Choice
PAUL WESTON & HIS ORCHESTRA ‘The Great Hit Sounds of Paul Weston : Morningside Of The Mountain’ 52 tracks incl. Gone with the Wind; Dutch Treat; Shane; These Foolish Things; Ruby; A Streetcar Named Desire; Don’t Worry ‘bout Me; Memories of You; Across the Wide Missouri; The Glory of Love; Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen … Nevertheless; The Song from "Desiree"; So Long (It’s Been Good to Know You); Bimbo; Skylark; King’s Row Theme; Gigi; I Went Out of My Way; Autumn in Rome; Wonderful Copenhagen; Charmaine; My Funny Valentine … Jasmine JASCD 243 mono (79:46 & 79:34) Yet another winning two-disc compilation – possibly the longest yet – from this label, only on this occasion by one of the greatest names in the history of American light music. First there was Kostelanetz, then Faith, Rose and Weston. Born Paul Wetstein in 1912, he was not lost to us until 1996. He became the first MD for the new Capitol label in 1943 and was with Columbia Records (CBS) from ’50 to ’58. He built his success on arrangements with instrumental solos and countermelodies; the framework of a dance band but with added strings. One of his arranger’s tricks was to have the rest of the band play softly while using strings instead of amplifying the strings; the result was a chamber-music quality that went right to the heart of his (and our) kind of music. This release is the first time his hit singles of the 1950s and select album tracks have been combined on one set. Listening to these tracks has been an enjoyable journey of discovery for me, although readers of even more mature years will no doubt be familiar with a lot more of the recordings than I am. Nearly half the tracks contain vocals: the highly-accomplished Norman Luboff Choir is featured on 18 of them – Don’t’ Worry About Me and Easy Come, Easy Go with Jo Stafford – and the stellar songstress is on her own for Little Man with a Candy Cigar, I’m Always Chasing Rainbows, Dancing on the Ceiling, and Mountain High - Valley Low. Other performers with one or two tracks each are: Barney Kessel (guitar), Ted Nash (tenor sax), Clyde Hurley and Zeke Zarchy (trumpets), Thurl Ravenscroft and The Mellowmen (vocals). There are a couple of lively Rodgers and Hammerstein numbers, Where is Cinderella? and Ten Minutes Ago, from a CBS TV production of "Cinderella" that featured Julie Andrews. Weston is probably best known in the UK for his collaboration with Jo Stafford (remember the Jonathan and Darlene Edwards spoof albums?) and co-wrote her biggest hit, Shrimp Boats, also Day by Day and her favourite, I Should Care. They married in 1952 and as well as musically were active for many years in charities helping the developmentally disabled, giving more of their time to these groups after their retirement. PB
XAVIER CUGAT & HIS ORCHESTRA 'Cugat Plays Continental & Popular Movie Hits' featuring Abbe Lane 30 tracks incl. Petite Fleur; Volare; The Poor People of Paris; Love is a Many Splendored Thing; The Guns of Navarone; The Green Leaves of Summer; Over the Rainbow… Sepia 1233 (75.00) Xavier Cugat brings his own sophisticated brand of Latin-American sunshine to this selection of instrumentals and songs mainly from the 1950s and the early ‘60s. Whether it be Apache, The Green Leaves of Summer or Al di La (the San Remo Song Festival winner of 1960 and sung by Emilio Pericoli in the Warner Bros film 'Rome Adventure’) as a rumba, the cha-cha-cha treatment of Never on Sunday, The Third Man, Come Prima and Wonderland By Night or the samba rhythm to Calcutta, Guaglione and High Noon. My personal favourites among the instrumentals are Moon River in bossa-nova time and Sucu-Sucu (remember Laurie Johnson's version used for the ITV series 'Top Secret'?) played as a bajon. What makes this album special is the inclusion of vocals by Mrs Cugat – the glamorous Abbe Lane in superb form whether singing in Spanish or Italian. Her contribution includes Bob Azzam's French hit Mustapha, the Italian song Quando vien la Sera (another San Remo success from 1961) and the gorgeous rumba stylings of Historia de un Amour (a hit for Chilean star Lucho Gatica & French songstress Dalida) and on the closing track of Malaguena Salerosa (a huge hit for both French singing star Gloria Lasso and instrumentally by Franck Pourcel). Altogether a happy album ideal for BBQ time (this review being written on a sunny August afternoon) or warming up the lounge on a cold winter's night (when you are probably reading this last printed edition of JIM). These excellent Mercury stereo recordings have been lovingly restored by Robin Cherry. The presentation, as usual from this source, is first class. Recommended!MC
LES & LARRY ELGART ‘Elgart Au Go-Go’ & ‘Sound Of The Times’ 23 tracks incl. Thunder Shake; Downtown; Meditation; Come Rain or Come Shine; King of the Road; Jerkin’ Around; St James’ Infirmary … I’m Comin’ Home, Cindy; A Sign of the Times; Spanish Flea; A Taste of Honey; Michelle; Batman … Vocalion CDLK 4501 (55:06) Here are two quality albums of music designed for dancing but at the same time eminently listenable from the comfort of your armchair. Dance band leaders Les (1918-95) played lead trumpet; brother Larry (born 1922) lead alto later lead soprano sax. Theirs was a smooth sound with the emphasis on ensemble, sometimes featuring jazz musicians as they do on the second album. They recorded for Decca and MGM but mainly (mid-50s and after ‘63) on Columbia. The albums here, as on all Vocalion releases reviewed expertly remastered by Mike Dutton, are from 1965/66. The arranger on the first album is Charlie Albertine except for one track by Marty Manning. With no strings attached I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this release, so definitely worth a spin. PB
JACKIE GLEASON ‘Opiate d’Amour’ & ‘Rebound’ Orchestra conducted by Jackie Gleason 39 tracks Caress; When Your Lover Has Gone; Casa d’Amor; The Song is Ended; Pale Blues; You’re Changed; Melancholy Serenade; Yesterdays; Pink Lace; She’s Funny That Way; The Girl ("Tawny"); It’s All Right with Me / Do Nothin’ Till You Hear from Me; Satin Doll; Ain’t Misbehavin’; Nevertheless (I’m in Love with You); You Oughta be in Pictures; I’m Making Believe; All the Things You Are …Vocalion CDNJT 5215 (67:33) "Mood" music par excellence, the first dozen tracks from 1960 (all listed above) are played by either the celebrated Gleason strings or a brass orchestra featuring 24 trumpets ("large in size – subdued in sound", as the liner note says), with soloists including the former Ellington trombonist Lawrence Brown, and guitarist Al Caiola (more of whom further on). Starting with the opening number, alternate tracks are Gleason’s own compositions. The second album from a year earlier has those strings again throughout and features Bernie Leighton’s characteristic piano and the oboe d’amore of Romeo Penque. There’s nothing to get listeners overly excited here – just good tunes well played, well recorded and well remastered. PB
JAMES LAST ‘The Essential Collection’ CD1 17 tracks incl. Mamma Mia; My Heart Will Go On; Medley: Besame Mucho/A Gay Ranchero/Volare; Jigs and Reels; Candle in the Wind; Carmina Burana; Roses from the South; Don’t Cry for Me Argentina; CD2 18 tracks incl. Mambo No.5; Nature Boy; Beatles Medley: Can’t Buy Me Love/A Hard Days Might/Ob La Di Ob La Da; Over the Rainbow; Czardas Von Monti; My Way; Fanfare; Reach Out; DVD 26 tracks incl. Pulstar; The Way We Were; Tequila; Hero; G’schnichten Aus Dem Wienerwald; Greensleeves; Medley: Love is in the Air/Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps/Ave Maria No Moro; Downtown; Reel Express; Orange Blossom Special; Games That Lovers Play Metro Sound & Vision METRSV009 (72:59 & 77:53 + DVD) Once I came to terms with the audience participation throughout the two CDs – strange as only six tracks are listed as "live" – this proved to be quite an enjoyable package (and at under £5 online who can complain?) although the title still does not convince. The best tracks for me involve the strings but you have to admire the musicianship of all the members of the Last orchestra. Morning at Seven and Alle Vogelare good examples of Hansi (his birth name was Hans) the composer. The enthusiasm on the DVD of the 2007 Royal Albert Hall Concert is infectious. Hansi’s is such happy music in our often depressing times, it is surprising he has featured so infrequently in these pages. PB
ENOCH LIGHT & HIS ORCHESTRA 'Big Band Bossa Nova’ & ‘Let's Dance the Bossa Nova' 24 tracks incl. One Note Samba; Perdido; Galanura; Lullaby of Birdland; Sem Saudades de Voce; Take the "A" Train; Meditation; Tonight; Nola; Big Ben Bossa Nova; I Could Have Danced All Night; Fly Me to the Moon; What Kind of Fool Am I?; O Barquinho (Little Boat) … Sepia 1213 (70.00) Enoch Light was a prolific recording artist from the early days of LP onwards but came into his own in the late 1950s and early 1960s with the advent of stereo. This 2-on-1 release is from the early ‘60s and embraces the popularity of the bossa nova at that time. The album includes authentic bossa nova and Brazilian songs with mainly American standards together with four Enoch Light originals. The orchestra consists of the cream of US West Coast session men with Doc Severinsen leading the trumpets, Walter Levinsky the woodwinds, the percussion led by Don Lamond on drums superbly supported by guitarist Tony Mottola (remember The Perry Como TV Show of the 1950s and 1960s?) who contributes trademark solos throughout. The first album commences appropriately with Antonio Carlos Jobim's Desafinado, the tune that started the craze, and an album of this kind would not be without the compositions of Ary Barroso whose Brazil and E Luxo So are included. My personal highlights are the classy arrangements of Besame Mucho, and Henry Mancini's Days of Wine and Roses and Moon River. Also worth mentioning are two of Enoch Light's compositions, Rio Junction and Mi Adorado, together with Doc Severinsen's La Puerta del Sol – "The Doc" providing characteristic solos on the latter two pieces. The album concludes "tongue in cheek" with Eydie Gorme's hit Blame It on the Bossa Nova. The presentation is first class with original LP liner notes used and, what is refreshing, a list of the musicians included. The remastering of these excellent stereo recordings was in the hands of Robin Cherry who, as usual, has done a remarkable job. Warmly recommended to all lovers of Latin-American sounds and to those who love excellent big band albums – enjoy! MC
HENRY MANCINI & HIS ORCHESTRA ‘The Mancini Generation’ & ‘Hangin’ Out With Henry Mancini’ 21 tracks incl. The title tune; Joy (Jesus, Joy of Man’’s Desiring); The Swingin’ Shepherd Blues; Charade; A Bluish Bag; Amazing Grace … Medley: Love’s Theme, TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia); The Entertainer; Song for Anna; The Thief Who Came to Dinner; The Stripper …Vocalion CDSML 8499 (64:31) The musical versatility of "Hank" Mancini (1924-94) is demonstrated on this release as conductor, composer, arranger (all except Joy, which is by Brit keyboardist Tom Parker), pianist, synthesizer player, and siffleur with the Mouldy Seven on Hangin’ Out. It is a mixed bag compilation with a big band sound on the first album (all the personnel are listed) and strings added on the second. Both were produced by Joe Reisman and recorded at RCA’s Music Centre of the World, Hollywood, California in 1972 and 1974. In his extremely well-researched five-page booklet notes, Oliver Lomax points out that on both albums a prominent feature is the sound of the Arp synthesizer. Although all the tracks have their attractions, a standout for me is the theme tune to the US TV series Masterpiece Theatre by the French composer Jean-Joseph Mouret with its organ solo. Also particularly worthy of note is a refined treatment of Stan Kenton’s Eager Beaver, and the A Girl from Petrovka theme, a memorable Mancini melody from an unmemorable movie. This is the last of many high quality releases from this label I have had the pleasure of reviewing for our printed issues over the years. PB
EDMUNDO ROS ‘Rhythms of the South’ 2 CD set 48 tracks incl. ‘Ros on Broadway’: I Could Have Danced All Night; Some Enchanted Evening; Bewitched; Stranger in Paradise; June is Bursting Out All Over; I Whistle a Happy Tune; ‘Rhythms of the South’: Spanish Gypsy Dance; The Blue Danube; Barcarolle; La Maxixe; Capullito de Alexi; Siboney … ‘Ros at the Opera’: Toreador’s Song; The Quartet; Intermezzo; Caro Nome; Flower Song; Drinking Song; ‘Sing ‘N Clap Along with Ros Orchestra & Chorus’: There’s No Business Like Show Business; People Will Say We Are in Love; Heart; I Could Have Danced All Night; Get Me to the Church on Time; There’s Nothing Like a Dame …Jasmine JASCD 763 It is good to have a new collection of four reissued albums from a musician incapable of making a dull recording, who has not been featured enough in KT of late. Born in Trinidad in 1910 (he died just before his 101st birthday), Ros came to London in 1937 to study at the Royal Academy of Music, and the next year became known as the drummer on some Fats Waller recording sessions. He formed a rumba band in 1940, which was renamed Edmundo Ros and His Orchestra in 1946. His was a popular recording group with Decca for 30 years from 1944, and many of the LPs – 55 listed in Wikipedia – were best-sellers. Included here, the 1958 album ‘Rhythms of the South’ was one of the first stereo releases and sold a million copies. The "sing-along" tracks may be something of a surprise. Unfortunately my review copy had not arrived before we went to press, so I have only been able to listen to extracts from two of the original albums online; hence no timings. There is no doubt in my mind that the set will be well up to Jasmine’s usual high standard.PB
SAUTER–FINEGAN ORCHESTRA ‘Golden Memories of Sauter–Finegan’ 22 tracks incl. ‘Straight Down The Middle’ Surrey With the Fringe on Top; Paradise; Sunshine Girl; Have You Met Miss Jones?; Aren’t You Glad You’re You?; When a Woman Loves a Man; These Foolish Things … ‘Memories of Goodman and Miller’ Little Brown Jug; Sunrise Serenade; Swing Low, Sweet Chariot; Moonlight Sonata; Soft as Spring; Ramona … Jasmine JASCD 459 (77:59) An admired aggregation I don’t remember ever being reviewed before during my stretch as KT Editor. At some time during their careers Eddie Sauter (1914-81) was an arranger for Benny Goodman and Bill Finegan (1917-2008) for Glenn Miller, so it is appropriate that half the tracks on these albums should be some of those two giants’ biggest hits, but in new arrangements (six by Bill, five by Eddie) to suit the Sauter-Finegan sound. Whirlpool, Scotch and Sauter, Benny Rides Again, Clarinet á la King and Superman are Sauter originals, with Finegan composing Alright Already and the title tune of the first album. The line-up in 1958, when the two albums were made, was five saxes, three trumpets, three trombones, tuba, harp, piano, bass, guitar, drums and percussion. All told another release from this label to be applauded. PB
‘BRIGHT LIGHTS’ Full tracklisting details on page xx. Guild GLCD5212 (74:33) The idea behind this new Guild Light Music selection is to showcase those talented composers who have made it big in the light music world and in Library Music in particular. The album title is also the title of the first track by Den Berry and Stuart Crombie played in a bright optimistic manner by the Brussels New Concert Orchestra. As you would expect there are a number of well-known titles such as Beachcomber by Clive Richardson and Twentieth Century Express (Making Tracks) by Trevor Duncan but there are also some lesser known pieces and one in particular as far as I’m concerned, Main Event by Hubert Clifford, a real corker of a number played with great gusto by the Danish State Radio Orchestra conducted by Robert Farnon, which I think I might have opened the CD with. Another piece, by Charles Williams this time, is Hydro Project, not exactly new to me but great all the same. Cecil Milner is in there with a charming number he called Trysting Place on the Harmonic label followed by Bruce Campbell’s Tempo for Strings played by the Stuttgart Radio Orchestra, reminding me to ask, have these continental radio orchestras gone the same way as the BBC house orchestras or are they still playing light music? Two more cracking pieces that I have but pleased to see included are March Heroique by Walter Collins played by the London Promenade Orchestra and conducted by him with the added bonus of Levy Sound Studios unique sound, and Race Day by Roger Roger. Another jolly but powerful number is Jack Beaver’s Holiday Camp March played by the New Century Orchestra under the baton of Sidney Torch, who by the way is represented by My Waltz For You with him conducting the Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra. Vivian Ellis, always associated with Coronation Scot, has a really catchy number to his name, Procession played by the Danish State Radio Orchestra conducted by Hubert Clifford, as does King Palmer and Richard Mullan writing as Peter Kane with Walter Collins on the podium again and the Levy sound enhancing the very catchy Rhythm of the Clock. Jack Strachey, Ernest Tomlinson, Frederic Curzon and a host more light music backroom boys all make appearances on this fine release, and so they should. KW
AL CAIOLA ’The Caiola Bonanza : Great Western Themes and Extra Bounties’ 2 CD set 64(!) tracks incl. Bonanza; Laramie; The Ballad of Paladin; Bat Masterson; Law Man; The Deputy; Theme from "The Rebel"; Wagons Ho!; Maverick; Rawhide; Gunslinger; Theme from "A Summer Place"; Taste of Honey; Wheels; Tumbling Tumbleweeds … The Magnificent Seven; Two Guitars; Guns of Navarone; I Walk the Line; Take Me Home; Undecided; Martin Kane Theme; You Don’t Know Me; Apache; Ramblin’ Rose; Love is Like Champagne; Moon River; Jezebel; Big Guitar; Your Cheatin’ Heart … Jasmine JASCD 743 mono/stereo (78:40 & 77:55) Al Caiola (born 1920) is one of the USA’s finest guitarists. As well as being a session player in some of the best light music orchestras, he made over 50 albums of his own and accompanied an astonishing number of the biggest names of 20th century popular music. I would imagine that most RFS members will have examples of his work on their CD shelves – Paul Anka’s Diana, Petula Clark’s Don’t Sleep in the Subway, Rosemary Clooney’s Come on-a My House, Perry Como’s Don’t Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes, Percy Faith’sTheme from "A Summer Place", Andy Williams’s Butterfly, Johnnie Ray’s Just Walking in the Rain,and Hugo Winterhalter’s Blue Tango to name but a few. Having served his country in WWII, during which he was in the month-long Battle of Iwo Jima as a stretcher bearer, he was with United Artists Records in the late '40s and early '50s. After leaving UA he signed with RCA. In the early '60s, he went back to UA, which is where he scored his first hit with the theme to the film The Magnificent Seven followed in the charts by Bonanza. Three of the tracks here are Caiola compositions: Aegean Love Song, Straight Ahead and On the Merry Go Round. Several of the arrangements are by Don Costa with others by Al himself. Robert Nickora’s admirable liner notes tell us that Mancini’s Theme from "Experiments in Terror" and Billy May’s Sergeants Three March are particularly rare. Ear-catching tracks for me include Esquivel’s "Tall Man" Theme from the ‘Great Western’ album and Grieg’s souped-up Asia Minor but, although you possibly may not want to play both albums at one sitting, dip in anywhere and you won’t be disappointed. PB
CARLOS MONTOYA ‘Flamenco Fury’ 2 CD set 38 tracks incl. Rain on the Roof; Blues in the Night (My Mama Done Tol’ Me); Improvisation*; Que Sera, Sera; Zambrilla*; Tarantas*; Tango de los Ojos Negros (Tanguillo De Cadiz)*; La Cancion del Ole; Malaga … / Zambrilla*; Seguiriya*; La Virgende la Macarena ; Andalucia; Malaguena; Jerez*; Café de Chinitas*; Zapateo*; Alorno Y Verdial*; St Louis Blues … Jasmine JASCD753 (77:07 & 77:36) Nephew of Ramon Montoya, Carlos (1913-93) popularized the flamenco guitar in the USA. Born in Madrid of gypsy stock, he married an American and later acquired citizenship despite mistakenly answering "No" to the question. "Do you like the American form of government?" His peak of fame was in the 1950s – there is no indication when the two albums on the first disc were recorded. 18 of the 20 tracks on the second disc, however, are a combination of two live concerts from the early ‘60s. Many of the tracks (asterisked above) are Montoya compositions. A lot of flamenco guitar may not be for everyone but there is no denying the excitement in the performances throughout this set. PB
ROY SMECK ‘The Wizard Of The Strings’ 31 tracks incl. Twelfth Street Rag; Music Box Waltz; Melody in F (Mendelssohn); I Ain’t Got Nobody; Ain’t She Sweet; Uke Said It; June Night; Chinatown, My Chinatown;; Say It With Music; Toot, Toot, Tootsie!; Bye, Bye Blues; Begin the Beguine; Waltz Italiano; Blue’ N The Blues; Summer Shadow … Jasmine JASCD 270 (79:56) Here’s a release to put a smile on your face. Roy Smeck (1900-94) is a new name to me but is obviously a very fine instrumentalist. He is considered by many to be one of the truly great American popular musicians of the 20th century, whose name would be more recognizable if he hadn't specialized in a "minor" instrument, the ukulele. On the first 11 tracks here he plays his instrument of choice backed by four guitars (one played by Tony Mottola), bass and drums. The next 12 tracks feature him on banjo accompanied by His Dixie Syncopaters, and on the final eight tracks, playing the Spanish variety, he is part of a guitar trio again with bass and drums. Self-penned tracks include Honolulu Shuffle,Escape Tango and Happy Polka. Playing, recording and timing are all to be commended. Not normally my kind of strings but listening to this over the summer has given me a lot of pleasure. I feel sure it will do the same for you during the winter months and beyond. PB
RED PRYSOCK "Handclapppin’ Footstompin’ Rock ‘N’ Roll" 30 tracks incl. Happy Feet; Blow Your Horn; Little Jamie; Rock n’ Roll; Zonked; Shoe String; Jumbo; Zip; Rock & Roll Party; Pacuino Walk; Headsnappin’; Rooster Walk; 2 Point 8; What’s the Word? Thunderbird!; Ruffin’ with Red …Jasmine JASCD 274 mono (79:22) Wilburt "Red" Prysock (1926-93) was a R&B tenor saxophonist whose biggest hit was Hand Clappin’ in 1955 (track 7). You certainly get what it says on the tin: "30 Booting Platters from the King of the Honking Tenor Sax." All the tracks were recorded for Mercury between 1954 and 1957 when (Bob Fisher’s notes tell us) Red "was without doubt the greatest exponent of rock and roll sax playing." Although quite tuneful, it’s all far too unrelentingly raucous for this gentle reviewer. PB
DON GIBSON ‘Oh Lonesome Me’ Singles Collection 1956-1962 2 CD set 46 tracks incl. Run Boy; I Must Forget You; Sweet Dreams; The Road of Life Alone; I Ain’t Gonna Waste My Time; Ah-Ha; I Believed in You; Blue Blue Day; Give Myself a Party; Look Who’s Blue; Who Cares; A Stranger to Me ... / Lonesome Old House; Don’t Tell Me Your Troubles; Heartbreak Avenue; I’m Movin On; Big Hearted Me; Just One Time; Far, Far Away; A Legend in My Time; Sea of Heartbreak; Lonesome Number One; I Can Mend Your Broken Heart … Jasmine JASMCD 3642/3 mono/stereo (57:37 & 52:24) Don Gibson (1928-2003) American born country-pop singer and songwriter, writing hits I Can’t Stop Loving You (for Kitty Wells) and Sweet Dreams (for Faron Young). His own first smash hit was Oh Lonesome Me / I Can’t Stop Loving You (a two-sided hit – No.1 country, No.7 pop in 1958). All three are on this compilation. Gibson had 14 entries in the pop Hot 100 ’58-‘61 and 37 top 40 hits in the country chart ’58-‘71. The first dozen tracks here were on the MGM label (’56-‘57); all the rest were made for RCA, where from ’57 onwards Chet Atkins was a big influence on Don’s career direction. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1973, and in 2001 into theCountry Music Hall of Fame. With a few exceptions all the titles in this set are Don’s own compositions. A thoroughly agreeable listen and a great antidote to that honkin’ sax! PB
MARIO LANZA ‘Very Best Of …’ 24 tracks incl. Golden Days; If I Loved You; Serenade; Drink, Drink, Drink; Because; Ave Maria; One Alone; Londonderry Air: Danny Boy; You’ll Never Walk Alone; Flower song (Carmen); Vesti la giubba; Song of India; Santa Lucia … alto ALC 1231 (78:11) Reckoned to be one of the greatest voices of the 20th century and an inspiration to "The Three Tenors", this is an attractive compilation. The earliest recordings, Granada and O sole mio’, date from 1949 – two of several with the RCA Victor Orchestra conducted by Ray Sinatra. The latest isOnly a Rose from 1956. Lanza’s three million-sellers are here: Be My Love, The Loveliest Night of the Year and Because You’re Mine Around half the tracks are from films, notably ‘The Great Caruso’ (1950) with Constantine Callinicos wielding the baton. I notice that the "Final (and fine) Master" is by our friend Paul Arden-Taylor. If you are without a Lanza album in your collection, here is an opportunity to acquire an excellent one for around five pounds. PB
BRYN TERFEL ‘Homeward Bound’ Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra at Temple Square / Mack Wilberg 18 tracks incl. What a Wonderful World; Bound for the Promised Land; Faith’s Call; How Great Thou Art; Guide Us, O Thou Great Jehovah; Blow the Wind Southerly; Shenandoah; The Dying Soldier; Battle Hymn of the Republic … DG 4791073 (78:10) An album of eclectic items from the celebrated Welsh bass-baritone. With the 360-strong choir, 150 orchestral musicians, two guest singers, conductor and soloists, it employs the largest forces DG has ever brought together for a studio album. The Norwegian soprano Sissel joins Bryn on Shall We Gather at the River, and Give Me My Song by Benny Anderson of Abba; and by up-and-coming American mezzo Tamara Mumford on Karl Jenkins’ lovely Ave Verum Corpus. The title song is by Marta Keen, not Simon and Garfunkel. There are two classical pieces: Libera Me from Fauré’s ‘Requiem’ and Lascia Ch’io Pianga (you will probably recognise the tune) from Handel’s opera ‘Rinaldo’. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is a Grammy and Emmy award winning all-volunteer ensemble. Bryn has said how moved spiritually he was to hear the choir sing. The majority of the arrangements are by the conductor. For me a couple of tracks could have been a little livelier, but anyone with catholic musical tastes should love this release. PB
‘SHOW–STOPPERS Big Hits for the Musicals’ Top Stars with Hits from Hit Musicals! 23 tracks from ‘West Side Story’ (6), ‘Oliver!’ (4), ‘My Fair Lady’ (5), ‘Oklahoma’ (4), ‘Camelot’ (1), ‘Flower Drum Song’ (1), ‘Kismet’ (2) alto Take:2 ALN 1944 (79:20) I have not had anything to review for some time, so this is a terrific release to go out on. All the tracks are either from film soundtracks or original casts and there are some real classics here with names like Gordon MacRae, Shirley Jones, Ron Moody, Georgia Brown, Julie Andrews, Stanley Holloway, Rex Harrison, Pat Suzuki, Howard Keel, Ann Blyth and Vic Damone. My favourite track is Richard Burton sing-speaking the Loewe-Lerner How to Handle a Woman. On the Bernstein soundtrack we hear the voice of Marni Nixon (not Natalie Wood who acted the part of Maria) singing I Feel Pretty, Tonight and Somewhere (the last two with Jimmy Bryant). James Murray’s booklet notes give an excellent synopsis of each show. Project co-ordinator is Robin Vaughan and mastering is by Paul Arden-Taylor. This is a good value souvenir of some of the best performances in some of the greatest musicals ever. RP
‘CLASSIC BRITISH MARCHES’ British Imperial Military Band / Lieut-Colonel (Retired) Graham Jones MBE Jacob: March (Music For a Festival); March (An Original Suite(); The Earle of Oxford’s March (William Byrd Suite); Holst: March (Suite No.1); March (Moorside Suite); March Suite No.2; Lovell: Triumph of Right; Elgar: March of the Mogul Emperors (Crown of India Suite); Pomp & Circumstance March No.4; Imperial March; Ellerby: Blue, Red, Blue; Vaughan Williams: Sea Songs; Seventeen Come Sunday (English Folksong Suite); Fletcher: Heroic March; Bliss: March (Things to Come); Coates: Knightsbridge March (London Suite); Chandler: Imperial Britain Bandleader BNA 5207 (69:22) This band is a comparatively recent formation being created in 2009 primarily to provide additional employment for musicians who have served in Army, Marine and RAF Bands of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces; although having studied the personnel details in the accompanying booklet, one of the horn players hails from the US Marine Corps! Graham Jones retired from the Army in 2011 having attained the prestigious post of Senior Director of Music, Household Division. This debut disc offers a good and interesting selection off British marches, many well-known but others that may not be familiar to the general listener. It’s pleasing to have RVW’s salty Sea Songsinvoking distant memories for some of us as this music was indelibly associated with BBC TV’s ‘Billy Bunter’ series. All the items on this release are expertly played by the 31-piece band and are captured in detailed, well-balanced and vivid sound – recording venue not disclosed. One quibble I have is the complete absence of any programme notes concerning the music. Who, for example, would have heard of the likes of Hubert Benjamin Lovell or Thomas A Chandler other than those aficionados possessed of a detailed knowledge of military band repertoire? The latter gentleman provides the concluding march in a style suggestive of the early 20th century and not too far removed from a certain American "March King". Heartily recommended but could someone please step forward smartly next time with information on the music being played. RH
‘THE DEFINITIVE ERIC COATES’ Eric Coates conducts all of his commercial recordings 7 CD set Nimbus NI 6231 (8:50:0) For lovers of light music this has to be the most important CD release in years and an absolute bargain at only £29.99 (less online). A huge vote of thanks to Alan Bunting for his mammoth restoration task, which included locating all the records – no easy matter. Several of them were provided by other well-known names in the field of light music, including David Ades, Alan Heinecke, David Lennick, Forest Patten, Michael Thomas, Nathan Brown, John Govier and the late lamented Stuart Upton and Peter Dempsey. The music, almost entirely orchestral, covers 1923 to 1957 and comes with a detailed analysis of every piece by Michael Payne whose PhD thesis on Coates was expanded into a book published by the Ashgate Press. His liner notes also include everything else you need to know about the "Uncrowned King of Light Music". Everyone has their own favourite piece, or rather pieces (plural), because Ethel Smyth got it absolutely right when she described Coates as "the man who writes tunes". It would be a matter of choice to pick out even one of his many suites but to know that they are all here is simply fantastic. Coates did not record everything he wrote of course, especially his many songs, so Disc 7 covers contemporary recordings of other important orchestral pieces conducted by, among others, Ole Jensen (Robert Farnon), Charles Williams, Sidney Torch, Clarence Raybould, Jack Leon, Joseph Lewis, Jack Hylton, and Wing Commanders Sims and O’Donnell. A real bonus. This release is a winner and if you buy nothing else this year then you must acquire it. Brilliant! PW
DVOŘÁK: ‘Slavonic Dances’ᵅ • MASSENET ‘Le Cid’ᵇ • MEYERBEER ‘Les Patineurs’ᵇ ᵅLondon Symphony Orchestra & ᵇIsrael Philharmonic Orchestra / Jean Martinon Decca Eloquence 4762742 (78:08) Absolutely chock-full of tunes from beginning to end, both orchestras respond well to the conductor’s French flair. The second and third works are ballet music written for operas, the last orchestrated by Constant Lambert. For original recordings from 1958 and 1959 the CD sound is superb. The recording producer on the ballet tracks was the legendary John Culshaw. An outstanding album guaranteed to lift the spirits on the dullest of days, now at a low price. ET
GRIEG ‘Three Concerti for Violin and Chamber Orchestra’ Henning Kraggerud (violin) •Tromsø Chamber Orchestra Naxos 8.573137 (66:40) Following his ‘Nordic Violin Favourites’ ("a release to be savoured" - JIM 194) the internationally acclaimed Norwegian violinist turns his attention to another of his fellow countrymen. Edvard Grieg never actually wrote a violin concerto so Kraggerud, together with Bernt Simen Lund, has cleverly created three new concertos from his trio ofViolin Sonatas, evidently among the composer’s favourite works. The playing is outstanding as is the recording – one of the very best I’ve heard from this label. ET
HOLST Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra & Vienna State Opera Chorus / Karajan; London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic Orchestras / Boult Major Classics M2CD019 (108:26) With glittering playing, top-class recording and the German conductor at the peak of his powers, the 1961 version of The Planets on the first CD here is still considered to be among the best. Indeed, the Penguin Guide said on its release: "This is a disc not to be missed on any account." The second CD contains other similar vintage classic Decca recordings of The Perfect Fool, Egdon Heath and The Hymn of Jesus under Sir Adrian, and from 1959 the Oriental Suite Beni Mora under Sir Malcolm Sargent with the RPO. At the time of writing this set from a newish label is available online for around an irresistible £4 (check www.best-cd-price.co.uk). ET
MASCAGNI ‘In Concert’ Luciano Ganci (tenor), Fiilharmonica ‘900 Teatro Regio Torino / Gianandrea Noseda Chandos CHAN 10789 (61:44) Splendid! Pietro Mascagni (1863-1945) was an Italian opera composer who studied law before becoming a conductor – Karajan is reported as remembering him as one of the best he had seen or heard – and piano teacher. Mascagni devoted his earliest efforts at composition to sacred works but in 1890 he shot into the limelight with his prize-winning one-act opera Cavalleria rusticana, which received an unprecedented 60 curtain calls at its premiere. On this disc, Ave Maria is a vocal adaptation of the famous Intermezzo – one of three vocal items with a total duration of 11 minutes. These and the final track, Suite from "The Eternal City", are all premiere recordings. The six non-vocal items, none of them from operas, are not wanting for good tunes. The opening track, the quite dramatic L’apoteosi della cicogna, written in 1930 for a ballet, was his final orchestral work; there is some fine flute playing on the delightfulDanza esotica; and Mein erster Walzer, a rustic Strauss waltz sound-alike piece, is particularly attractive. With Chandos’ customary production values this release is something of a discovery and a delightful one at that. Confidently buy on disc or as a download. ET
SIBELIUS 2 CD set Tossy Spivakovsky (violin), Sinfonia of London, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Stockholm Radio Symphony Orchestra / Hannikainen / Collins / Ehrling Magdalen METCD 8024 (77:29 & 75:19) Back in 1959 theSymphony No.5 and Karelia Suite from World Record Club was one of the first LPs (possibly the first) I ever bought, and it’s still in my collection. The conductor was Tauno Hannikainen, who was approved by the composer himself and conducted at his funeral. It was at the express wish of Sibelius that in 1951 he left his post in Chicago to return home as conductor of the Helsinki Symphony Orchestra. He also conducts Symphony No.2, which received a rave review in The Stereo Record Guide. The Guide was not quite so enthusiastic about Symphony No.5 but opined that theKarelia Suite could "heartily be recommended on all counts." All are with the Sinfonia of London. TheViolin Concerto and Tapiola are played by the LSO; the original Everest LP from 1960 being described as a splendid bargain. Six years earlier the soloist, Nathan "Tossy" Spivakovsky, had been written of as "one of the most brilliant violinists alive." Anthony Collins and the RPO contribute two mono tracks: Romance in C Major, and Swan of Tuonela with the cor anglais of Leonard Brain. The set is completed by another mono track, Lemminkainen’s Return, from the Stockholm RSO conducted by Sixten Ehrling. With 7½ pages of James Murray’s booklet notes and Paul Arden-Taylor’s mastering, this is treasurable nostalgic release. PB
SIR ADRIAN BOULT ‘The Complete Conductor : From Tchaikovsky to Gershwin’ 10 CD setWarner Classics 0192702 A quite incredible bargain – surely it must be the year’s best – found atwww.sainsburysentertainment.co.uk for £16.99! Sir Adrian (1889-1983) was one of the finest British conductors ever, yet somewhat overshadowed by his flamboyant contemporary Sir Thomas Beecham. ("Boult came in, reeking of Horlicks," Beecham once allegedly said of his notoriously abstemious fellow musician). But his repertoire was exceptionally broad, as this box set attests. The Tchaikovsky include the 1812 Overture, Capriccio Italien, Marche Slave, Romeo and Juliet – Fantasy Overture and The Nutcracker Suite; and Gershwin is represented by his Cuban Overture. As well as some "heavier" works – although there’s nothing unapproachable – by such as Parry and Holst (The Planets: three of his five versions from 1945, ’66 and ’78), also included are plenty of other pieces that will appeal to light music enthusiasts, e.g. Trumpet Voluntary, Ritual Fire Dance, Ruslan & Ludmila Overture, Dance of the Hours, Procession of the Nobles, Danse Macabre, The Bartered Bride Overture & Three Dances, Circus Polka, and The Jewels of the Madonna excerpts. There are also 14 tracks devoted to famous marches including Crown Imperial, British Grenadiers, Royal Air Force March Past, Lilliburlero, Colonel Bogey, The Dambusters, Under the Double Eagle, The Stars and Stripes Forever, Liberty Bell, Anchors Aweigh and Victory at Sea. On these, as on most of the tracks throughout the set, Sir Adrian is conducting the London Philharmonic Orchestra. He was their Chief Conductor for seven years in the Fifties, and continued to work with them in concerts and recordings until 1978. There are hours of pleasurable listening here and would make an ideal Christmas present for someone wanting to discover the joys of classical music. PB
DANCES FROM HUNGARY Danubia Orchestra Obuda / Domonkos Héja 16 tracks by Listz, Erkel, Weiner, Dohnányi, Kodály & Bartók Apex 2564 64443-4 (62:14) A compilation of largely lively pieces beautifully played, and another disc to make you feel good. The opening track is probably the tune most people are likely to recognise: Intermezzo from Zoltán Kodály’s Háry János Suite. The longest track is Franz Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz (10:18). The Danubia Symphony Orchestra was only established 20 years ago; this was its first CD, a 2003 Warner Classics album excellently recorded in Budapest. In 1998, aged 24, Héja took his diploma in percussion instruments and conducting with honours, and was awarded first prize in Hungarian TV’s 9th International Conductors Competition. This is yet again a highly attractive buy at a bargain price. If you like this you may like to try an equally enticing companion volume by the same forces of ‘Brahms: Hungarian Dances Nos.1-21’ on Apex 2564 6443-1. ET
GYPSY BALLAD Eleftheria Kotzia, guitar 19 tracks Somm Céleste SOMMCD 0130 (67:00) What an interesting release! Ms Kotzia has been described as doing for the Greek soul what flamenco does for the Spanish. Born in Alexandroupolis, she finished the studies of her instrument at the Guildhall School of Music in London, where she was taught by Julian Bream among others. She herself now teaches at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. As well as the title piece by Czech-born Syvie Bodorová, and Frederico Moreno Torroba’s Suite Castellana – the first work ever written for guitar by a non-guitarist – this compilation includes pieces by two well-known composers for the instrument in Rodrigo and Villa-Lobos, and two famous tangos: La Cumparsita and El Choclo. The remaining nine composers and their works, not all from Spain or Latin America, will be less familiar but Graham Wade’s booklet notes are very informative. First-rate recording made in Holy Trinity Church, Weston, Herts, some tracks as recently as February this year. ET
PIERS LANE ‘Piers Lane Goes To Town’ 20 tracks incl. Down Longford Way; Toccata for Piers Lane; Marigold; Naila Waltz; Dizzy Fingers; A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square; Bach Goes to Town "Prelude and Fugue in swing"; Jamaican Rumba; The Tiger Tango; Irish Tune from County Derry … Hyperion CDA 67976 (76:08) Back in March 2012 (JIM 191) ET reviewed with approbation a budget-price reissue by this pianist. Here we have a brand new full-price release that is every bit as recommendable. As will be seen from the titles listed above, the programme is varied. There are a number of works by Australian composers written for Lane, and pieces by his father Alan and the actor Anthony Hopkins. The opening work is an attractive piece by Katherine (Kitty) Parker, and other particularly noteworthy tracks are Dame Myra Hess’s famous arrangement of Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring and Dudley Moore’s Beethoven Parody "And the same to you". Nil points for the front cover of the booklet but included inside are nine pages of very informative notes by the soloist. Sparkling piano playing perfectly captured in Hyperion’s best sound should help us to smile through our tears at the demise of the printed JIM. PB
More recommended releases from Wilfred Askew
LAURINDO ALMEIDA & BUD SHANK QUARTET ‘The Brazilliance of .… Volumes 1 & 2’ Vol.1 (1953) 14 tracks incl. Atabaque; Stairway to the Stars; Noctambulism; Speak Low; Blue Baiao ...;Vol.2 (aka ‘Holiday in Brazil’ 1958) 10 tracks incl. Simpatico; Little Blue; Mood Antigua; Carioca Hills … Jasmine JASCD 271 (77:31) World Pacific albums.
THE ANDREWS SISTERS ‘Greatest Hits In Stereo’ (1961) & ‘Great Golden Hits’ (1962) arr. & cond. by Billy Vaughan / Vic Schoen 28 tracks incl. I Can Dream, Can’t I?; Pennsylvania Polka; Down in the Valley; The Shrine of St Cecilia; Rhumboogie; Rum and Coca Cola … Ti-Pi-Tin; Near You; Pistol Packin’ Mama; Don’t Fence Me In; Aurora; Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy … (Bonus tracks) I’ve Got to Pass Your House to Get to My House; One, Two, Three, Four; Sailor; Good Dreaming Sepia 1219(71:15) Original Dot recordings.
BROOK BENTON ‘Let Me Sing and I’m Happy’ Four Original Albums plus Bonus Singles 59 tracks incl. ‘I Love You So Many Ways’ (1960) Hold My Hand; May I ; Someone to Watch Over Me; So Close; In a Dream … ; ‘The Boll Weevil Song & 11 Other Great Hits’ (1961) Careless Love; My Last Dollar; Frankie and Johnny; Four Thousand Years Ago … ; ‘There Goes that Song Again’ (1962) When I Grow Too Old to Dream; All of Me; I Love Paris; Breezin’ Along with the Breeze; Lie to Me … ;‘Brook Benton Sings the Blues’ (1962) Chains of Love; Valley of Tears; My True Confession; Send for Mme; Looking Back … Jasmine JASCD 744 (156:43)
BING CROSBY ‘A Southern Memoir’ (1975) Orchestra cond. by Paul Smith 12 tracks incl. On The Alamo; Alabamy Bound; Caroline in the Morning; Georgia On My Mind; Sleepy Time Down South; Sailing Down The Chesapeake Bay; plus six alternative versions and Bing’s South Texas Quail Hunting Medley: Galway Bay; Mack The Knife; Surrey With the Fringe on Top; The Pleasure of Your Company Universal 372 489-5 (56:40) OriginalIy issued on LP in the UK by Decca.
EILEEN FARRELL ‘This Fling Called Love’ (1961) w. Percy Faith & His Orchestra 12 tracks incl. Hello, Young Lovers; Out of This World; Where or When; The April Age; The Party’s Over; The Faraway Part of Town …; Bonus tracks from ‘Together With Love’ (1962) w. André Previn, His piano and Orchestra 9 tracks incl. But Not For Me; Spring is Here; By My Self; Where I Wonder; Love is Here to Stay … Sepia 1222 (77:41) Original US Columbia recordings.
FERRANTE AND TEICHER ‘In A Soulful Mood’ (1974) & ‘Killing Me Softly‘ (1973) 24 tracks incl. Love’s Theme; Ain’t No Mountain High Enough; I’m Stone in Love With You; My Cherie Amour; Midnight Train to Georgia … Send in the Clowns; Ben; "Lady Sings the Blues" – Love Theme; Seesaw; Living Together, Growing Together; Don’t Ask Me Why … Vocalion CDLK 4491 (79:27)
FRED KATZ (Cello) & HIS MUSIC ‘Soul Cello’ + ‘4-5-6 Trio’ + ‘And His Jammers’ 2CDs 32 tracks incl. Country Gardens; Wayfaring Stranger; Time After Time; I’m Glad There Is You; Intermezzo; Come With Me … Sophisticated Lady; Isn’t It Romantic; Delia; Perdido; I’m Getting Sentimental Over You … Imagination; Old Folks; Sometimes I’m Happy; Ruby, My Dear; Dexterity …Fresh Sound FSR-CD 744 (122:58) Three US Decca albums.
ORIGINAL FILM SOUNDTRACK … PLUS ‘The Hustler’ (composed by Kenyon Hopkins) (1961)15 tracks; ‘Paris Blues’ (composed by Duke Ellington) (1961) 14 tracks; ‘The Long, Hot Summer’ (composed by Alex North) (1958) 7 highlight tracks Cherry Red ACMEM 224 CD (79:51)
WILLIAM ALWYN 'Film Music' (arr. for wind band) Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra / Clark Rundell / Mark Heron The Crimson Pirate Overture; The History of Mr. Polly Suite; The Way Ahead March; State Secret Suite; The Million Pound Note Waltz; Swiss Family Robinson Suite; The True Glory March; Geordie Suite; In Search of the Castaways Suite; Desert Victory Suite Naxos Wind Band Classics 8.572747 (69.46) Surprisingly, because he was the re-creator and orchestrator of all these original film transcripts from half a century ago (except for Mr. Polly), no credit is given to Philip Lane. However, as all the new arrangements for wind band by Martin Ellerby have such an excellent pedigree it is not surprising they sound good. Varying in style from pp to ff and from eerie to theatrical, they recreate the picture palaces of the past when audiences flocked in to see the latest drama set against a musical backdrop later discarded by the film company. Edmund Whitehouse
THE FILM MUSIC OF ARTHUR BENJAMIN AND LEIGHTON LUCAS BBC National Orchestra of Wales / Ruman Gamba Benjamin: Conquest of Everest; The Man Who Knew Too Much; An Ideal Husband; Lucas: Yangtse Incident; Portrait of Clare; Dam Busters; Stage Fright; Ice Cold in Alex; This Is York; Target For Tonight Chandos CHAN 10713 (67:58) Many of these scores only exist in a fairly fragmentary state and it's thanks largely to the efforts of the indefatigable Philip Lane, who reconstructed much of the music here and also provided the fascinating and interesting booklet notes, that has made all this possible and to whom we are much indebted. One of the longest single tracks at 7:44 in Benjamin's The Storm Clouds Cantata from the 1934 film 'The Man Who Knew Too Much' scored for mezzo-soprano, chorus, organ and orchestra. When Hitchcock came to remake the film in 1956 it was subsequently redeployed. 'An Ideal Husband', from which we have Waltz and Hyde Park Galop, boasted the famous Alexander Korda as director. What commends this issue for me is the inclusion of Lucas's score for the 1957 film 'Yangtse Incident'. This includes The Amethyst March, a stirring, heart-warming piece and a worthy musical tribute to all those unfortunate "hearts of oak" caught up in 'The Incident'. Lucas also composed music for the British Transport film documentaryThis Is York, and Philip Lane makes the point that this is the only full film score of him to have surfaced to date. Having served in the RAF during WWII it is not surprising that Lucas was called upon to write a suitable march for the classic 1941 RAF documentary 'Target For Tonight' (currently available on DVD) and was perhaps a natural choice for making a major contribution towards 'The Dam Busters' – Eric Coates, of course, being responsible only for the perennially popular Dambusters March. This is a superbly played and engineered disc and will surely be wanted by anyone with an interest and fascination in quality vintage British film music. Roger Hyslop
Philip Lane strikes again, this time with a superb reconstruction of several old film scores which sound terrific, including 'Yangtse Incident' in which the official but false version of the remarkable escape was retold on celluloid. Against orders, HMS Concord secretly went upstream under cover of darkness to assist HMS Amethyst and the two escaped together, a secret which has been covered up ever since so as not to offend Communist China; the British government of the time having backed the wrong political horse. While HMS Amethyst took all the plaudits, the crew of HMS Concord was sworn to secrecy, something which has festered with them for decades! This is a great CD. Edmund Whitehouse
HOWARD BLAKE 'The Avengers' Music composed & conducted by Howard Blake 50 tracksSilva Screen SILCD1363 (57:56 & 36.06) Of all the television scores I hoped would become available on CD, Howard Blake's magnificent scores from 'The Avengers' 1968-69 Tara King Season, are the ones I least expected to see emerge. Thoughtfully released during the 50th Anniversary celebrations of the series, this collection was released during the autumn of 2011. This 2-CD set, but with different artwork, was previously released privately, and is now a collector's item. These scores represent the ten films for which Howard Blake was composer, by the request of Laurie Johnson, who at the time, was busy composing for films such as 'Hot Millions'. Howard succeeds magnificently in maintaining the Avengers style, although for those who are familiar with his later film scores, there are tell-tale signs of things to come. As the keyboard player on previous soundtracks for 'The Avengers', Howard knew exactly what was required, and he knew the other musicians involved, and many of them therefore, such as trumpeter Stan Roderick (who also provided the inimitable solo trumpet counter melody in this season's titles music), are heard here. The sound reproduction is quite superb. Included in this set are, of course, Laurie Johnson's second arrangements of the main and end titles theme, as well as his Tag Scene – an exquisite '60s bossa nova, which accompanied most of the humorous closing sequences with John Steed, and Tara King. At the time, 'The Avengers' was shown in 90 different countries. Today it is seen everywhere, and it remains the world's most famous television series, having opened the way for all other Cold War characters, such as James Bond, Napoleon Solo, and others. I would recommend buying this now, before you regret not doing so, as television soundtracks soon tend to soar in scarcity value. I would add that the booklet and backing insert for 'The Avengers' are produced very much for genuine fans of the series in mind, with beautiful colour photographs which I have not seen in publications before, and the notes include all recording dates, and a list of the musicians who took part. Howard had obviously had this project in mind for a long time.
Laurie Johnson's own soundtracks from 'The Avengers', 'The New Avengers', and 'The Professionals' are already starting to disappear, so look for these on Amazon. Hopefully, Howard Blake's scores might elicit a more complete set of Laurie Johnson's own 'Avengers' scores, and it would be wonderful to at last own his original colour series' main and end titles themes on CD. For those who remember the series from its inception, Johnny Dankworth's two separate versions of his ownAvengers Theme are still available on CD: 'The Best Of Johnny Dankworth' (Redial 546 135-2), and'Johnny Dankworth - Let's Slip Away' (Lost Tunes UMC 0-06007 - 5317621 - 4), and an excellent cover version of the Dankworth theme by John Gregory is included on 'John Gregory & His Orchestra – Mission Impossible' (Mercury 532 986-2). Franck Leprince
'BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC PREMIERES Vol. 6' Royal Ballet Sinfonia / Gavin SutherlandSaturday Market (Anthony Hedges); Welsh Nursery Tunes (Lullaby & Shoeing Song) (Alun Hoddinott); Five Lyric Dances (Philip Lane), Cinque Port Suite and El Tango Ultimo (Carey Blyton), Portrait of Diana (John Fox), Music for Children (Out for a Stroll, Pony Trap, Sweet Dreams, Rustic Dance) (David Morgan), Breton Suite (Little Dress, Clogmaker, Rosary) and Six Welsh Dances (Four Clogs, Red Cloak, Shepherd of Hafod, Hornpipe, Good Cheer, Shepherd’s Dance) (Mansel Thomas), André Charlot Show of 1926 (Addinsell/Gay) Dutton Epoch CDLX7283 (65:00) Working backwards, the André Charlot (pronounced Sharlow) extended piece transports us back to a different age of show business with jolly music from the pit orchestra back in the '20s. Mansel Thomas’s Six Welsh Dances simply fizz; John Fox pays homage to Princess Diana; David Morgan gives us four delightful children’s miniatures; Carey Blyton posts a musical portrait of a south coast port down the centuries; Philip Lane produces yet more splendid well rounded tuneful dances; Alun Hoddinott provides some Welsh culture; and Anthony Hedges shows us what Beverley Market was like on a Saturday morning 35 years ago. Another fine disc for Messrs. Lane and Sutherland. Long may they flourish! Edmund Whitehouse
As its name implies, this CD joins its five companions to comprise what has become a sizeable collection of music which, hitherto, has never made it onto any recording format. I suspect that this is probably the result of quite a lot of "midnight oil-burning" on the part of Philip Lane, aided and abetted by Lewis Forman. We have here a collection of very pleasant if at times somewhat unremarkable music which, inter alia, introduces us to composers David Morgan and Mansel Thomas. It should be noted that the last track is an "extra" by the BBC CO, conducted by Barry Wordsworth, whereas all others are by Gavin Sutherland and the Royal Ballet Sinfonia. A well-put-together programme, which certainly should appeal to those who like to try something new and a little "off the beaten track". Tony Clayden
CLEBANOFF & HIS ORCHESTRA 'Strings Afire' & 'Exciting Sounds' Millionaire's Hoe-Down*; You Do Something to Me; Nigrita*; Oye Negra; Blue Theme*; Bobsled*; Strings Afire*; Like Paganini*; Harlem Nocturne; Cherokee; Brazilian Polka*; Blue Mountain*: Cumaná; Orchids in the Moonlight; Hava Nagila (arr. Clebanoff); Cha Cha Cha Flamenco; My Shawl; What is this Thing Called Love; Golden Earrings; Quiet Village; Turkish Harem Dance*; Barranquilia*; Yours (*written, wholly or in part, by Clebanoff) Vocalion CDLK 4474 (66:35) A return appearance on this label for Herman Clebanoff with, arguably, his two best albums – both from 1961 in Mercury's famed Perfect Presence Sound Series that produced so many wonderful classical LPs. Son of Russian emigrants, Clebanoff grew up in Chicago and by the age of 20 was already the youngest member of that city's symphony orchestra. He was signed up by Mercury and moved to Hollywood around 1960. It is likely he was regarded by his record company as its answer to Decca's Mantovani. To boost Clebanoff's splendid string sound his arrangers Wayne Robinson and Caesar Giovannini engaged some stellar West Coast session percussionists. With its touches of Latin, I enjoyed this CD a lot. Peter Burt
RAY CONNIFF ‘All Or Nothing At All’ 56 tracks incl. Remember; Harbour Lights; Moon Song; Buttons and Bows; Besame Mucho; Summertime; Brazil; Tammy… Highnote REXX 344 (77:53 & 77:47) This generous package offers four Ray Conniff albums: ‘Young at Heart’ and ‘Somebody Loves Me’ (with the RC Singers & Orchestra), and ‘Say it with Music’ (sub-titled ‘A Touch of Latin’) and ‘Memories are Made of This’ (both with the RC Orchestra & Chorus). If that were not enough, there are eight bonus tracks, including five from the album ‘It’s the Talk of the Town’. As you might expect from these CBS stereo recordings, sound quality is excellent. Barry McCanna
FRANK CORDELL & HIS ORCHESTRA 'The Best Of Everything' & 'Hear This' Guantanamera; Alfie; A Man and a Woman; The Gentle Rain; Music to Watch Girls By; The Shining Sea; Somethin' Stupid; Once Upon a Summertime; Berimbau; And We Were Lovers; London Life (Cordell); Never on Sunday: So in Love; I Didn't Know What Time it Was; June is Bustin' Out All Over; My Funny Valentine; Kee-Mo, Ky-Mo (The Magic Song); My Heart Stood Still; Quiet Drive (Cordell);; I'm Old Fashioned; Caravan; Come Rain or Come Shine Vocalion CDLK 4469 (73:39) Frank Cordell (1918-80) was a composer, arranger and conductor who is sadly under-represented in the current CD listings. So congratulations to Michael Dutton for bringing two of his albums back into circulation. Let us hope that 'Sweet and Dry' and 'The Melody Lingers On' (my favourite) will follow. Frank first came to prominence with his arrangements on numerous HMV vocal singles in the 1950s. Later he was to write soundtrack music for films such as 'The Captain's Table', 'Cromwell', 'Khartoum', 'Mosquito Squadron' and 'Ring of Bright Water'. 'The Best of Everything' from 1967 is a nice compilation of film themes, Brazilian originating melodies, and pop chart pieces in Frank's fine arrangements, all very well played by star sounding musicians. The Stereo Record Guide for 1963 opined that 'Hear This'was "musically brilliant, but in spite of the dilution of style by the use of orchestrations derived from serious (sic) music (and the American musical) most is highly sophisticated written Jazz." The soloists are Eddie Blair (trumpet), Jack La Rock (violin), Don Lusher (trombone), Tommy Whittle (tenor sax) and Roy Willox (alto sax). Expect Tony Clayden to be revisiting this release next time. Peter Burt
'THE FINCK ALBUM' Orchestra of the Theatre Bel-Etage (Tallinn) / Mart Sander : Pirjo Levandi & Kelli Uustani (sopranos), Mart Sander (baritone) 13 pieces – 18 tracks incl. Cheerio!; Hullo, Girls!; Jocoso; Dear Old Fighting Boys; The K-Nuts Medley… Divine Art Diversions DDV 62402 (67:54) The light music revival seems to have largely bypassed Herman Finck (1872-1939), Dutch by extraction but a Londoner from birth; it has needed this disc from Estonia – a small but very musical country – to show us what a good tunesmith he was. He worked much of his adult life in London's Palace Theatre, as conductor and composer of operettas and ballets. His dance music is particularly delightful, as can be heard here in the My Lady Dragonfly Ballet Suite and single movements like Moonlight Dance, Pirouette, dedicated to Anna Pavlova, and the waltz songs Venetia(from the operetta 'Decameron Nights', also given a lengthy orchestral selection), My Waltz Queen, and Queen of the Flowers. Finck's best remembered tunes, In the Shadows and Gilbert the Filbert are here, too, both in vocal versions, of which there are six on the disc. The singing comes over well, perhaps a little too well as the singers are rather too forwardly balanced, but the clarity of the delivery and English diction are excellent. The orchestra, while not as polished as, say, the BBC Concert Orchestra or the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, put in some fine work, and I have no hesitation in recommending the CD, which hopefully may encourage a Finck revival. Philip L Scowcroft
EDWARD GERMAN BBC Concert Orchestra / John Wilson Dutton Epoch CDLX7285 (76:26) The conductor is on record as saying he has no nostalgia for light music because he is not old enough to remember it but he knows what he likes. Not many of us is actually old enough to remember Edward German (he died in 1936) but his delightful music lives on in recorded form, and none better than this fine CD. 'Much Ado About Nothing' – Incidental music is terrific while 'The Tempter' – Incidental music has a charming Berceuse followed by a lively Bacchanalian Dance. Marche Solennelle (Funeral March) is having only its fourth performance while 'Henry VIII' – Incidental music is offered in the form of a slightly longer overture and two preludes followed by three short famous dances (Morris Shepherd's and Torch), which later resurfaced in 'Merrie England'. 'Romeo and Juliet' – Incidental music is a Dramatic Interlude while the Coronation March and Hymn was composed for King George V. Great music, great composer, great value. Edmund Whitehouse
German Edward Jones (some accounts suggest his name was sounded with a hard "G", as in "got") was born into a musical family in 1862, and was always destined for a musical career. At the age of 18, he enrolled at the RAM, studying with the famous Ebenezer Prout, and becoming "Edward German" to avoid clashing with a fellow pupil also called Jones. By the age of 26 he had been appointed to the prestigious post of MD at London’s Globe Theatre. Many regarded him as the natural heir to Sir Arthur Sullivan and when it is considered that he wrote a fairly sizable canon of music, including three symphonies, it is both strange and unfortunate that most of his output, together with his very name, has become largely forgotten. German’s compositions have recently found a champion in the shape of the ever-enterprising Michael Dutton; this new release joins two previously issued Dutton Epoch CDs, also featuring John Wilson and the BBC Concert Orchestra, containing the aforementioned symphonies and various other orchestral works. The programme on this latest offering includes a number of World Premiere and First Digital recordings, so it is likely that much of the material will be unfamiliar. However, as with much of German’s work, it is immediately accessible and enjoyable, whilst John and the Orchestra deliver their usual superlative performances. Warmly recommended! Tony Clayden
'THE GREAT STARS OF LIGHT ORCHESTRAL MUSIC' ('Les Grandes Etoiles du Divertissement’) 147 tracks on 6 CDs featuring the orchestras of Ray Martin, Helmut Zacharias, Teddy Petersen, Werner Müller (Ricardo Santos), David Rose and Cedric Dumont Marianne Melodie (France) 480624 When you discover the names of RFS friends such as Serge Elhaik, Ralph Harvey and the legendary Pierre-Marcel Ondher in the credits, you can be assured that this is a collection worthy of the attention of all light music fans. Unlike some earlier French compilations, this time the spotlight falls upon just six major light orchestras, with each CD in the set specially themed – such as 'Characteristic Pieces', 'All the Colours of the World', 'International Successes', etc… Of course keen collectors are bound to possess many of the tracks already in other collections, but there are some pleasant surprises and there is a 44-page booklet crammed with information (mostly in French, of course). Great collections like this don’t turn up every day, and the restorations have been in the capable hands of Lionel Risler and his team Sofreson. Despite its title, this collection does not pretend to be an exhaustive study of the world of Light Music. You sense that care has been taken to avoid duplicating those orchestras who are already well represented elsewhere. It is very satisfying to know that various record companies are still prepared to make light music of this quality available on commercial discs. They all deserve our support to keep this niche in the world of music alive. David Ades
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ENOCH LIGHT & HIS ORCHESTRA 'Stereo 35/MM' & 'Far Away Places' 24 tracks incl. Heat Wave; The Man I Love; I've Got a Crush on You; All the Way; My Romance; You Do Something to Me; Zing Went the Strings of My Heart; Someone to Watch Over Me … Waltzing Matilda; Banana Boat Song; The Third Man Theme; Sunrise Over Sumatra; Bali Ha'I; Mimi; Calcutta … Sepia 1191 (71:16) Enoch Light (1907-78) was an American bandleader and record entrepreneur. He started the Command label and was always interested in the technical side of producing records, so stereo was made for him. He went on to be one of the first to record on 35mm movie film instead of tape, an advance at the time. The first album on this release was recorded in summer 1961 at Carnegie Hall with its natural acoustics as "the greatest sound chamber in the world." I expected something ultra gimmicky but it is all very classily done. The LP was U.S. No.1 for seven weeks and remained in the charts for 57 weeks – says it all, really! For his orchestra Light brought together more than 60 of the best musicians in New York (trumpeter Doc Severinsen and guitarist Tony Mottola were among those who regularly played for him) and it is apparent that great care was taken both before and during the recording. The second album, "Featuring Harpsichord and Exotic Percussion", was recorded earlier in the same year. It is an entertaining compilation of a dozen more Lew Davies arrangements, although I am not enthusiastic about the five singers' wordless contributions. Richard Tay's estimable label maintains its high standards with Robin Cherry's remastering and nine pages of detailed booklet notes. Well worth considering adding to your CD shelves. Peter Burt
GEOFF LOVE & HIS ORCHESTRA 'Big War Movie Themes' & 'Big Concerto Movie Themes' 21 tracks incl. Colonel Bogey - excerpt from The River Kwai March; Lawrence of Arabia; The Guns of Navarone; Battle of Britain; The Longest Day; Where Eagles Dare … Warsaw Concerto; Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Spellbound Concerto; Theme from Concerto in B flat minor (Tchaikovsky); Cornish Rhapsody … Vocalion CDLK 4468 (74:10) Another 2-on-1 from EMI's hugely popular Music for Pleasure series – both albums from the early 1970s. The "usual suspects" are in the first album's track choice, although Rózsa's The Green Berets and Jarre's Is Paris Burning are here. The final item is Addison's Reach for the Sky. The second album covers the films 'The Bridge on the River Kwai', 'Dangerous Moonlight', 'The Story of Three Loves', 'Spellbound', 'the Music Lovers', 'Love Story', 'While I Live', 'The Glass Mountain' and 'Song of Norway'. As well as Oliver Lomax's highly informative three-and-a-bit pages of liner notes we have extracts from the original LP sleeve notes. But I am still no wiser as to who the pianist is and something about the other musicians involved.Peter Burt
Among Vocalion's April releases are also albums from Chico Arnez, Martin Denny (2), Jackie Gleason (2), Syd Lawrence (2), Woot Steenhuis, and Si Zentner.
'NATURE’S REALM' For tracklisting please see page XX. Guild GLCD5194 (77:58). When I received this latest Guild CD I wasn’t sure if it was up my street or not because, although it includes several library pieces which I consider "my territory", the titles seemed to have a rather lethargic sound to them. However the first track is just the opposite, a rousing send-off courtesy of Sidney Torch and his Orchestra, Thunder and Lightning Polka. According to David‘s booklet notes Stormy Weather was reckoned to have been written in 1933 by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler …. I always thought it came from the 1943 film musical of the same name, lightly based on the career of Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. However, whatever its origins there‘s a very good arrangement on this CD by Morton Gould and played by his Orchestra. From inclement weather to more of the stuff with a catchy number played by Ray Martin and his Orchestra, Tango in The Rain by, according to David, the prolific German composer Lotar Leonard Olias. Sorry David, I’ve never heard of him but somebody whose music I am very familiar with is Frederic Curzon and his tuneful Over the Hills and Far Awayplayed by the New Concert Orchestra sits comfortably with Malcolm Arnold’s theme music for the 1961 British film 'Whistle Down the Wind' …. one star from Leslie Halliwell but the music’s nice. Another Halliwellism describes 'Whirlpool' (1959) as "a modestly attractive travelogue with the burden of a very boring melodrama" but again the theme by Ron Goodwin is rather good as played by his Concert Orchestra, and so is Clive Richardson’s mood music piece written for the Charles Brull/Harmonic Library, Saga Of the Seven Seas. Wandering The King’s Highway by Leslie Coward is more likely to be remembered as a Peter Dawson or Oscar Natzka rendition but here it’s played by the Melodi Light Orchestra from a Chappell disc and a fine tune it is too. Trouble is I can’t find out anything about the composer, even Google doesn’t help. Fireflies by Peter Yorke and Eric Spear’sWhirlwind, both played by the Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra, are very catchy indeed as is Bruce Campbell’s Trotting Class on a Paxton 78 played by Dolf Van Der Linden and his Orchestra. Gerard Calvi’s Thunder in Louisiana has a slightly hypnotic drum beat throughout – beginning quite quietly, which made me think the title was a bit of a misnomer, but it gradually gets louder and so fulfills its title. I mentioned not knowing anything really about Leslie Coward and almost the same thing can be said about George Trevare whose composition The Mad Mountain Ride is played by the Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra conducted by Sidney Torch. Mr. Trevare is mentioned on Google as having connections to the Australian ABC Network and there’s a recording of I’m Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover sung by Johnny Wade accompanied by George Trevare and his Southern Seven on Columbia DO 3241. However, I’m sure readers will come up with more information in both cases. Ken Wilkins
THE NEW FOXTROT SERENADERS with Simon Gledhill 'Say it with Music' Say it with Music,Paddlin' Madelin' Home (vocal, Graham Wright), Isn't this a Lovely Day, When you're Smiling (vocal Graham Wright and band members), Side by Side, Singing in the Bathtub (vocal Graham Wright), Look for the Silver Lining, Paddlin' Madelin' Home (non-vocal version) NFSCD05 (26.45) The idea of a band or orchestra performing with a theatre organist is by no means a new one. Many of the theatre orchestras of the thirties made records with the addition of a cinema organ and, of course, there was Billy Thorburn's The Organ, The Dance Band and Me. From the inlay notes, it is apparent that it was the latter combination that inspired the New Foxtrot Serenaders to team up with virtuoso organist Simon Gledhill, not just on this CD, but on some of the band's many concerts around the country. If you enjoy bouncy, tuneful music from the past, you are really going to love this CD. The performances are immaculate and the tight ensemble as good as you could wish to hear. The band's precision is probably due to the fact that some of the players have been members of top service bands. Trumpeter, Graham Wright (an ex-guardsman) adds a pleasing vocal touch to some numbers. My only criticism is that this is a rather short CD, but every number is a joy to listen to and I highly recommend it, as indeed I recommend you to go and listen to the band if it performs near you. You will be able to find this out from their very comprehensive websitewww.newfoxtrotserenaders.co.uk. You can also purchase the CD (£7+£1.50 p&p) through this website or by sending a cheque to Graham Wright, 7, Grosvenor Gardens, Carshalton, Surrey SM5 3EJ. Brian Reynolds
'STEREO INTO THE SIXTIES' For tracklisting please see page XX. Guild GLCD5192 (74:30). It says what it is on the CD case and that’s exactly what it delivers, so if stereo is your forte you’re in for a treat, beginning in "big picture" mode with Cole Porter’s Night and Day from the Astaire/Rogers 1934 musical 'The Gay Divorcee', originally titled 'Divorcee'. This particular recording is played in fine style by The Starlight Symphony conducted by Cyril Ornadel and arranged by Brian Fahey, followed by George Gershwin’s Bidin’ My Time with Frederick Fennell and his Orchestra. Quite a change from his usual band of musicians, namely the Eastman-Rochester Pops, but quite possibly the same players as they turn up on track 12 with Jaime Texidor’s rousing and well known Amparito Roca. The listener will quickly realise the strings are very much to the fore on this collection as they were all recorded when stereo was considered the way ahead and with speakers placed well apart. I suppose it was thought it enhanced the listening experience with the strings coming out of one speaker and, say, the brass emanating from the other. Did it? Anyway, that’s my rant over, back to the disc in hand .... Mantovani and his Orchestra make an appearance with a very pleasing composition of his own, Italia Mia, and this is followed by Ron Goodwin and his Orchestra playing his own sprightlyLondon Serenade, which could have come from any mood music publisher’s catalogue. Did it by any chance? Australian composer Don Banks paints a lively picture of Coney Island with "brush strokes" by The Sinfonia of London conducted by Douglas Gamley while Jack Shaindlin and his Orchestra playThe Carioca featured in a lengthy sequence from 'Flying Down to Rio', another Astaire/Rogers film but they weren’t the featured stars; it was their first pairing and they rated below Dolores del Rio and Gene Raymond. I have the soundtrack of this film issued in 1978 on the Sandy Hook label and on the reverse is the soundtrack of 'Carefree'. The strange bit about the LP from which Carioca has been taken is it’s called '50 Years Of Movie Music' which tries to replicate film music of that period yet it’s been recorded in stereo …. which rather defeats the object I would have thought. Luckily I’ve got the monaural issue. When I saw Jockey on the Carousel in the tracks listing I was reminded of Bob Farnon’s composition but this one is by Jerome Kern; it is a more gentler melody but none the less tuneful for that. Pedro The Fisherman is given a rousing performance by Johnny Douglas and The Living Strings …. very different from the Richard Tauber version which is usually played – if it’s played at all these days. The music was written by Harry Parr-Davies for the 1943 show 'The Lisbon Story' at the London Hippodrome and ran for 492 performances. Ferrante and Teicher make a very good job at two pianos with an unnamed orchestra of the Love Theme from One Eyed Jacks. The Living Strings make a second appearance, this time conducted by William Hill Bowen with a quirky arrangement of On the Beach At Waikiki by the conductor; but the next track was a big surprise although on reflection I don’t know why because he was an excellent pianist: Russ Conway and Michael Collins and his Orchestra play Charles Williams’ Dream of Olwen on a Columbia recording. I’m sure Charles Williams would have been highly delighted. A piece more up my street is on track 20, Walberg’s Fete Circassienne played by his own orchestra. I don’t know much about him apart from the info in David’s booklet notes but his name appears several times in the Harmonic/Charles Brull catalogue and I’ve got an LP of his with a Russian theme. A smashing performance of Eric Coates’ gentle waltz Mayfair from his 'London Again Suite' is played by an orchestra conducted by somebody I’d never heard of, Eric Johnson, on a Westminster LP. But this Guild CD is brought to a fine conclusion with another big picture theme, Away Out West from 'Around the World in Eighty Days' by the unusually named Victor Popular Young played in fine style by Robert Farnon and his Orchestra from an MGM LP of 1960. Another collection of superb light concert music just waiting to be ignored by Britain’s national broadcasting organisation. Ken Wilkins
KT Editor's CD Choice
FLOYD CRAMER 'Countrypolitan Piano' Four Original Albums 48 tracks incl. I'll Never Be Free; The Swingin' Shepherd Blues; Midnight; Have I Stayed Away Too Long?; Stormy Weather; Trouble In Mind … Last Date; I Need You Now; Moments To Remember; Tennessee Waltz; Too Young; Mood Indigo … On The Rebound; Wonderland By Night;; I Can Just Imagine; Faded Love; Let It Be Me; Two Of A Kind …Your Last Goodbye; Unchained Melody;; You Win Again; Someone Else, Not Me; Lonely Again; The Waltz You Saved For Me … Jasmine JASCD 694 (56:54 & 56:24) This 2-CD set has been in my player a lot lately – good cheery music for these troubled times. Tastefully melodic all the way, Cramer (1933-97) described his distinctive piano style as "whole-tone slur" or "slip note". He was a RCA session man from 1955 and, as well as hits with the likes of Elvis Presley and Jim Reeves, had his own big chart entries including Last Date (No.2 in the US), On the Rebound (No.1 in the UK, No.4 in the US) – both his own compositions – and San Antonio Rose (No.8 in US), all heard here. These are four albums from the very many he made for RCA, all produced by Chet Atkins: 'Hello Blues' and 'Last Date' (1960), 'On The Rebound' and 'America's Biggest Selling Pianist' (1961). A pity that the accompanying musicians are not acknowledged, even if the largely wordless girly singers add little to the proceedings. Nevertheless a very pleasant memento of one of the leading architects of the famed "Nashville sound." Peter Burt
HARRY FARMER : HAMMOND ORGAN 'Get Happy' 54 tracks inc South Rampart Street Parade, Muskrat Ramble, In The Night, Saturday Rag, An Apple For The Teacher, Mean To Me, Because, If I Had A Talking Picture Of You, Bach Goes To Town, Tip Toe Through The Tulips, I’ve Got A Pocketful Of Dreams REXX 338 (73:54 &71:05). Harry Farmer was part of the Jimmy Leach Organola team playing organ whilst Jimmy Leach played the piano and they made quite a number of 78’s which sold well. This double CD set is a bargain with 27 tracks per disc almost filling the capacity of the discs. Seven or eight tracks per side are utilised in bringing us Chris Hamalton and his Hammond organ….a pseudonym of Harry Farmer. Generally these tend to be the hotter numbers such as South Rampart Street Parade, Muskrat Ramble, In the Night, Saturday Rag. The Harry Farmer Rhythm Ensemble occupies the remainder of the discs. This ensemble comprises Harry on the organ, Harry Engleman on piano, Barry Fox on guitar and Pete Thomas on drums. Sometimes they are joined by Norman Parker on marimba. They make a very pleasant sounding ensemble with most of the tracks performed in a danceable style. Other tracks include Goodnight Sweetheart, Beyond the Blue Horizon, I’ve Got You Under My Skin, Moonlight Serenade and I Only Have Eyes for You. This is a bargain indeed and a programme of very listenable music. Restorations are outstanding so no problems there. The hand of Colin Brown is behind this issue; he has served the music industry well over the years. Get the CD whilst you can. Brian Stringer
BERT WEEDON 'The King of Strings' 25 tracks incl. Guitar Boogie Shuffle; Bongo Rock, Apache; Big Beat Boogie; Lonely Guitar; Jolly Gigolo; Stranger Than Fiction; Rippling Tango; Petite Fleur; The $64,000 Dollar Question; Sorry Robbie, Flannel Foot; Easy Beat Pegasus PEG CD 734 (58:31) This very popular British guitarist of the '50s and '60s was lost to us, aged 91, earlier this year. Here is a 2011 cheap-as-chips compilation of remarkably well-recorded numbers including two tracks with George Chisholm – Honky Tonk and D R Rock – that form a fitting memento of his work. Peter Burt
BING CROSBY 'Through The Years Volume Ten' 30 tracks incl. Love in a Home; Trust Your Destiny to a Star; Gigi; Church Bells; Rain; Someday Sweetheart; There's No Business Like Show Business; Go West, Young Man; Lullaby Land Sepia 1192 (76:53) With this release Sepia complete a project that has been running for over 25 years. It covers the years that Bing spent recording for Decca. However, as 19 of the tracks are from his 1956 'Á Christmas Sing with Bing Around the World'album and there are two other seasonal tracks, I shall return to this album later in the year. Meanwhile I would like to know how Bing came to have Dedham Choral Society from near my home town of Colchester singing God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen on his CBS radio special? Peter Burt
THE KING SISTERS ‘Imagination’ 71 tracks incl. Deep Purple; Memories of You; The Hawaiian War Chant; I’ll Get By; Pagan Love Song; Ebb Tide… Jasmine JASCD 183 (79:05 & 79:14) Unlike most sister groups, the King Sisters was a quartet, which used close harmonies rather than counter-point to achieve their effect. That approach chimed with the homogenous music of the swing era, and Alvino Rey’s band supplied the backing. They first recorded together in November 1940, but this compilation comes from a decade later, by which time they had recorded four albums for Capitol. Some tracks have been selected from the first three, augmented by a number of singles, but the 1960 album ‘Baby, They’re Singing Our Song’ that was recorded as a continuous medley, appears in its entirety. Barry McCanna
MILITARY WIVES Presented by Gareth Malone 'In My Dreams' Make you Feel My Love; In My Dreams; With Or Without You; Up Where We Belong (Love Lifts Us Up); True Love Ways; You've Got A Friend;; Eternal Father; Fix You; The Silver Tassie; On My Own; Wherever You Are Decca 2796665 (39:42) This is the first time – and, probably, the last – that I have reviewed a popular chart-topping album. The BBC2 series featuring the Chivenor Choir was a joy and here they are recorded alongside similar groups from Plymouth, Portsmouth, Lympstone, and Catterick Garrison. The harmony of all the choirs is remarkable. The title and final tracks are from the pen of the royal wedding composer Paul Mealor. The latter was No.1 single in the UK last Christmas and No.5 in this year's Classsic fM Hall of Fame, and features the beautiful voice of Sam Stevenson, as does Robert Burns' traditional Silver Tassie. Although the album has Decca's not unexpected short measure for their TV-advertised releases, at least £1 of each full-price sale will go directly to the Military Wives Choirs Foundation to help other military communities establish their own choirs … wherever they are. Most enjoyable! Peter Burt
GEORGE BEVERLY SHEA 'I'd Rather Have Jesus' 50 tracks incl. Amazing Grace; The Old Rugged Cross; What A Friend We Have In Jesus; It Is No Secret; How Great Thou Art; Be Still My Soul; Take My Hand, Precious Lord; Saviour, Again To Thy Dear Name Jasmine 701 (71.08 & 71.48) According to the Guinness Book of Records, this Canadian-born bass-baritone, affectionately known as "America's beloved gospel singer", holds the world record for singing in person to the most people ever with an estimated cumulative live audience of 220 million people. He won a Grammy in 1956 and at the age of 102 received the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award alongside the likes of Julie Andrews and Dolly Parton. He was associated with the great evangelical preacher Billy Graham from 1947 until comparatively recently. He recorded over 70 albums, some with orchestras conducted by, among others, Hugo Winterhalter and Ralph Carmichael. Unfortunately the musicians on the four mono LPs here – Evening Vespers', 'Inspirational Songs', 'Sacred Songs' and 'An Evening Prayer' – are not identified. Tenderly He Watches and Sunrise are two bonus tracks. Truly inspirational. Peter Burt
'STAND BY FOR ADVERTS' : Rare Jazz, Jingles and Advertising Electronics by Barry Gray81 tracks Trunk Records JBH039CD (57:26) This is a beautifully produced, and excellently restored compendium of advertising jingles composed by Barry Gray, better known for his themes and scores for most of Gerry Anderson's television Sci-Fi series, such as 'The Thunderbirds', 'Supercar', and 'Stingray'. Stylistically, these short pieces vary as much as the products they advertised. They are all from the early days of British Television, and were composed for such brands as Sunsilk, Shell, Esso, Tide, Horlicks, Gillette, Hoover, BOAC, Aspro, and a host of other products that I have either forgotten about, or were not aware of when I was a toddler. Anyone fortunate enough to have collected the entire Silva Screen series of Barry Gray's soundtracks, will want to add this to their collection. The booklet notes by Ralph Titterton are well-produced, well-written, and fascinating. All of the tracks are expertly remastered, sounding better than any television set of the time could have made them do. Many are preceded by a spoken introduction, but this does not detract from the overall enjoyment of auditioning them. A thoroughly delightful excursion into the realms of nostalgia. One wonders how many other tapes survive by other composers of jingles, such as John Barry, Cliff Adams, Tony Osborne, Robert Sharples, and others.Franck Leprince
BENNY CARTER 'Four Classic Albums Plus' 46 tracks incl. I’m Coming Virginia; Thou Swell; A Monday Date; And the Angels Sing; Moon of Mannakoora; I’ll Remember April; September Song…Avid AMSC1048 (79:58 & 79:58) This comprises four albums, namely ‘Jazz Giant’ which dates from 1957/8, ‘Swingin’ the ‘20s’ from November 1958, the 1960 ‘Sax a la Carter’ and the slightly earlier‘Aspects’. The first three are small group settings, but the last-named was recorded with a big band. Scott Yanow wrote of the first album "This timeless music is beyond the simple categories of "swing" or "bop" and should just be called "classic’." That comment could equally well be applied also to the three other albums included here. It’s a superlative reissue, in brilliantly remastered sound. Barry McCanna
QUINCY JONES ‘Strike Up The Band’ 41 tracks incl. Tuxedo Junction; Caravan; Cherokee; Love is Here to Stay; Under Paris Skies; Mack the Knife; Come Back to Sorrento Jasmine JASCD 696(69:22 & 66:20) This is a straight reissue of four Mercury albums recorded in stereo between February 1959 and February 1961, namely 'The Birth of a Band' (Mercury SR 60129), 'The Great Wide World of Quincy Jones' (Mercury SR 60221), 'I Dig Dancers' (Mercury SR 60612), all with 10 tracks apiece, and 'Around the World' (Mercury PPS 6014) which runs to eleven tracks. The first two albums are superbly played big band jazz, and feature amongst the soloists Zoot Sims, Clark Terry, Joe Newman, Harry Edison, Art Farmer, and Lee Morgan. The arrangements on the second album were by Ernie Wilkins, Bill Potts, Ralph Burns, and Al Cohn, and a number of standards are included. The third album begins well enough, and the standards are given a facelift by the arrangements, although not always to their advantage. In particular Moonglow which was written as a slow ballad suffers from being taken too fast and finally becomes incandescent, and the treatment of Chinese Checkers is irritating. The best track is Jones’ own composition The Midnight Sun Will Never Set. Finally, the "world tour" album, which relies on the gimmicky nature of the material, is something of an anti-climax. The liner contains a very full discography of the varying personnel and the session involved, and identifies the soloists on the first disc. Sound quality and stereo separation is excellent, and despite my reservations it is a real bargain. Barry McCanna
MAŘEK WEBER, HIS VIOLIN & HIS ORCHESTRA 'Café in Vienna – His 23 finest (1925/35)'Café in Vienna (JH); Valencia; Da Draussen in der Wachau; Estudiantina; Schoner Gigolo (MW); Japanischer Laternentanz; Rosen aus dem Suden; Fruhlingslust; Oh, Donna Clara (MW); Gold und Silber; Die Blume von Hawaii sel. (CH); Viennese Singing Birds; Spanish Gypsy Dance; I Want Nothing but Your Love; Rosa Mia (JP); Tonight Give Me an Hour of Love (JP); The Merry Widow Waltz; Her First Dance; The Music Comes; Dream of Love; Marie Louise (JH); Love’s Last Word is Spoken, Cherie; Song of Paradise. Key: CH – Comedian Harmonists; JH – John Hendrik; JP – Jack Plant; MW – Marcel Wittrisch Retrospective RTR 4196 (79:06) Marek Weber was born in Austria in 1888 and, as leader of a salon orchestra, established his reputation both on the Continent and in England well before arriving in London in late 1932. He was extremely well-served by his recordings, which won critical acclaim, and this selection of the popular foxtrots and tangos of the time, seasoned with Viennese waltzes and novelty numbers, has been lovingly remastered by Alan Bunting. Many of the tunes will be familiar, indeed Estudiantina must have served as the basis for Home, James and Don’t Spare the Horses. Peter Dempsey’s liner note mentions the phrase "a rare treat for three shillings" from a contemporary Gramophone review, and the same holds true in today’s money. Barry McCanna
'THIS IS LONDON' 25 tracks incl. The ‘Ampstead Way; Carry on London; Down the Mall; Bow Bells; London Melody Delta 26675 (71:16) This reissue includes a number of British dance band tracks, some of which don’t appear to have been reissued elsewhere. Personality recordings also feature, and although it lacks a liner note the result is a good old wallow. Barry McCanna
ELSIE CARLISLE 'With a Different Style' 23 tracks incl. Meadowlark; He’s a Good Man to Have Around; Cavalcade Pts.1&2; My Man of War; You’ve Got Me Crying Again; Smoke Gets in Your Eyes; One Little Kiss; Change Partners Memory Lane MLMCD 023 (72:46) This is a jewel of a reissue, which begins with an early rather tentative recording, and displays her transition to the assured singer she’d become by the late twenties. Two songs come from cardboard-based World Echo 78s, and two from plastic Filmophones, and I can only marvel at the fullness of sound that Alan Bunting has been able to coax out of them. Such recordings are rarities, as are others in this compilation, and most have not been reissued previously. Elsie Carlisle had a fresh, innocent voice, which transcended the limitations of contemporary recordings. Thanks to Memory Lane, her voice now shines more brightly than ever. You can find full details, and order this and others in the series, atwww.memorylane.org.uk Barry McCanna
The Bygone Days label has produced six more CDs aimed at the nostalgia market, all of which are well remastered with informative liner notes by Peter Dempsey. They are reviewed by Barry McCanna:
'BIG BAND DIVAS OF THE 1940s' 24 tracks incl. Three Little Words; Elmer’s Tune; My Guy’s Come Back; Alabama Bound; Trouble is a Man BYD77074 (73:05) Two dozen American songbirds are featured with 18 different bands. Many will be familiar but some, like Peggy Mann with Teddy Powell, Jane Harvey with Benny Goodman, Bea Booze with Andy Kirk and Delores Hawkins with Gene Krupa, have been somewhat neglected. What all have in common is the voice beautiful, and in some cases the tune most associated with a particular artiste has been bypassed in favour of a less well-known example.
FRANK CRUMIT ‘A Gay Caballero’ 24 tracks incl. The Girl Friend; And Then He Took Up Golf; The Prune Song BYD77076 (72:36) Like de Leath, Frank Crumit recorded extensively, and this concentrates on the period between 1926 and 1938. His style was often that of a raconteur, and it’s probable that this derived from his early start in a minstrel show, and his later progress in vaudeville. Highlights are his setting of Kipling’s poem I Learned About Women from Her and his hits Abdul Abulbul Amir and There’s No-one with Endurance (Like the Man Who Sells Insurance).
VAUGHN DE LEATH ‘The First Lady of Radio’ 24 tracks incl. Ukulele Lady; Kentucky Babe; Sometimes I’m Happy; I Must Have That Man; Button Up Your Overcoat BYD77075 (75:54) Thiscontains a selection of her recordings from between 1925 and 1929, including the Whiteman concert arrangement of The Man I Love. She began singing on the radio around the turn of 1919/1920, which made her one of the first female broadcasters, and began recording very soon after. Her voice was sweet, with a pronounced vibrato, and I suspect that her practice of gliding up (or down) to a note influenced Ruth Etting’s style.
'LAMBETH WALK – THE MUSIC OF NOEL GAY' 26 tracks incl. The Sun Has Got His Hat On; Happy; Meet the Navy; Let’s Have a Tiddley at the Milk Bar; Lonely: Run, Rabbit, Run; Hey, Little Hen! …BYD26668 (76:59) This is an eclectic selection of compositions by Noel Gay, whose pseudonym matched his cheery style. It features both dance bands and personalities, and the liner note places the songs in the context of the films and shows for which many were written.
'FAVOURITE MELODIES OF IVOR NOVELLO' Various Artists 22 tracks incl. Keep the Home Fires Burning; Music in May; My Dearest Dear; Waltz of My Heart; We’ll Gather Lilacs… BYD77073 (73:10)This compilation is sub-titled "Original Recordings 1935-1959" but only around half of the numbers are from the original productions, plus three contemporaneous recordings by other artists, and two from later film versions. With two exceptions the remainder date from the fifties. That said, it offers a well-remastered selection of songs from the eight shows he wrote between 1935 and 1951, the year of his death. They feature such artists as Dorothy Dickson, Richard Tauber, Elizabeth Welch, Mary Ellis, Vanessa Lee, Lizbeth Webb and Cicely Courtneidge. The CD has been made to look like a miniature 78, and the result is a treat for lovers of the musical theatre.
'VINTAGE CHARLESTON 1924-29' 25 tracks incl. Don’t Bring Lulu; Sweet Child; Fascinating Rhythm; The Chant; Blue Room; Miss Annabelle Lee … BYD77072 (74:58) Of all the various dances from the Roaring Twenties, it’s the Charleston which has come to of which epitomise the era, being played at a fast pace, in syncopated 4/4 time. This compilation favours American recordings (one isBlack Bottom, which was a different dance) and largely avoids duplication with other similar-based reissues. I’m not convinced that everything comes within the ambit of the title, but no matter, there are some splendid numbers here, from some of the top bands of the period. As regards the British dance bands, a couple of them are rarities, namely Chili Bom Bom by Nat Star, and My Cutie’s Due at Two-to-Two Today by Don Parker.
SOUSA 'Music for Wind Band Vol. 10' The Royal Norwegian Navy Band / Keith Brion 15 tracks incl. The Free Lance March; The Quilting Party March; When The Boys Come Sailing Home!; Myrrha Gavotte; Vautour Overture; The Beau Ideal March; Anchor and Star … Naxos 8.5559397(59:58) Anyone who thought that Sousa penned only military marches – though he did produce something like 136 examples of those – will be somewhat confounded by this release that clearly demonstrates his varied and diverse musical output. Included on this disc of almost exclusively rarities are the seldom heard Jazz America, which despite its title is not strictly jazz but more emblematic of the Jazz Age and comes complete with harp and simulated train whistles. The 12-minute People Who Live in Glass Houses Suite replicates in musical terms various alcoholic beverages from around the world, whilst the somewhat outrageous Humoresque on Kern's Look for the Silver Lining features the sound of a Model T Ford careering along the road with its complement of Keystone Cops and wheezy sounding trombone intoning There is a Tavern in the Town. The Salvation Army March dates from 1930 and is a result of a request from Cmdr Evangeline Booth, daughter of William Booth, the Salvation Army's founder; the whimsical sounding Who's Who in Navy Blue was composed at the request of a US Naval Academy graduating class in 1920. Recording and production standards are up to the usual high standard of this series and anyone collecting it will not be disappointed. If this music doesn't coax at least an occasional smile to your lips then nothing will!Roger Hyslop
VERDI 'Complete Ballet Music from the Operas' Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra / José Serebrier Naxos 8.572818-19 (01:55:24) The great Italian composer's "light" music from his opera ballets is appealing, melodious and lively. (It is also said he cooked a great risotto Milanese!) This 2-CD compilation is unique in that it is the first time all the ballet music from Giuseppe Verdi’s operas has been brought together in a singe recording. It is well-recorded and played con brio by the BSO under their distinguished conductor, who also wrote the booklet notes. A fine bargain available online in the UK for under a tenner. Edward Trub
'THE MUSIC OF CHARLES DICKENS AND HIS TIME' The Seven Dials Band 20 tracks incl. The College Hornpipe; Some Folks Who Have Grown Old; The Ratcatcher's Daughter; Home, Sweet Home; Begone, Dull Care; The Young Jolly Waterman; The Soldier's Tear; The David Copperfield Polkas;; Shiver and Shakery – The Man That Couldn't Get Warm; Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms … Warner Classics 2564661451 (66:09) This is an imaginative and entertaining album – a spirited and diverting compilation of Victorian songs and tunes ranging from polite parlour ballades to cockney ditties. Particularly interesting are several of Dickens' own songs: The Village Coquettes, The Ivy Green, Mr Wardle's Carol. and The Fine Old English Gentleman (New Version). The instruments played by the 11-strong band are concertina, clarinet, trombone, serpent, harp, fiddle, oboe, tuba, cello, piano and bass drum. Only five of the tracks are purely instrumental. The St Clements Chorus directed by Paul Sartin is also involved. All but five of the tracks are arranged by the MD Dave Townsend, who is also half of the "rough chorus." At a price that definitely won't break the bank, well worth investigating. Peter Burt
'RULE BRITANNIA' 18 tracks incl. Nimrod; Fantasia on Greensleeves; Abide with Me; Anchor’s Aweigh; Jerusalem Delta 26675 (73:30) Classical compositions, choral works, and military bands are mixed to good effect in this patriotic reissue. There is insufficient information about the recordings, and lack of space between tracks, but remastering is excellent, and some of the recordings are in stereo. Delta CDs obtainable for £4 online. Barry McCanna
'EVENING SONGS' Delius and Ireland songs arranged for cello and piano by Julian Lloyd Webber 21 tracks Naxos 8.572902 (63:28) The UK's leading cellist (Andrew's kid brother, of course) is joined by the highly praised pianist John Lenehan, who has recorded John Ireland works for Naxos with John Wilson conducting (see JIM 190). Both the composers (1862-1934 and 1879-1962 respectively) knew how to write a good melody. Birds in the High Hall Garden by Delius, and Ireland's Evening Song and In Summer Woods, on which Julian is also joined by his cellist wife Jiaxin Cheng, are all world première recordings. The arrangements are ideal for listening to at the end of the day but can be appreciated at any time. Edward Trub
Wilfred Askew reminds us of some other recently received releases, unavoidably held over from our last issue
LIBERACE 'I'll Be Seeing You – The Piano Stylings of …' 51 titles incl. Fascination; Gigi; All the way; Bless this house; Smile; Mack the Knife; To each his own; Over the rainbow; Buttons and bows … Jasmine JASCD 174 (154:58) Four original Coral albums on two CDs.
DAVE PELL 'I Remember John Kirby' 11 tracks incl. Rose room; Royal Garden Blues; Undecided; Blue skies … 'The Big Small Bands' 12 tracks incl. Then I'll be happy; Summit Ridge Drive; At the codfish ball; Viva Zapata; Mountain greenery … Fresh Sound FSR 2259 (70:47) Two original Capitol albums (1959/60)
DAVE PELL OCTET 'Swingin' In The Ol' Corral' 12 tracks incl. I'm an old cowhand; Gal in calico; Empty saddles; Wagon wheels; Oklahoma hills; Cool water; Across the alley from the Alamo …Fresh Sound FSR 1655 (40:50) Original RCA album of 1956.
TERRY SNYDER & THE ALL-STARS 'Persuasive Percussion, vols 1 & 2' 24 tracks incl. Whatever Lola wants; My heart belongs to Daddy; Aloha oe; Japanese Sandman; In a Persian market; Blue Tango; Lady of Spain; Brazil … Sepia 1170 (66:08) Originally issued on Enoch Light's Command label (1959/60).
BOB THOMPSON, HIS ORCHESTRA & CHORUS 'Just For Kicks' 14 tracks incl. On the street where you live; Diga Diga Doo; Look for the silver lining; It might as well be Spring … 'Mmm Nice!' 13 tracks incl. Hello, young lovers; Do it again; Joie de vivre; While we're young ... 'On The Rocks' 12 tracks incl. Happy talk; All the things you are; Breezin' along with the breeze; I'll see you again … Blue Moon BMCD 819 (98:53) Three RCA albums (1958-59) on two CDs.
ED TOWNSEND 'New In Town' & 'Glad To Be Here' 24 tracks incl. The more I see you, Rockin' chair; Mam'selle; Symphony; Prisoner of love … When my dreamboat comes home; Golden earrings; Brazil, Dinah; On the street where you live … Blue Moon BMCD 1632 (77:12) Two Capitol albums from 1958, arranged/conducted by Nelson Riddle.
AL VIOLA 'Guitars' 24 tracks incl. When you're smiling; Moonlight in Vermont; And the angels sing; Route 66; Lover … Lonesome Road; All star; Lemon Twist; Makin' whoopee; I'll remember April …Fresh Sound FSR-CD 633 (60:34) Two Liberty albums of 1959.
FRANZ WAXMAN 'Sunset Boulevard' (Soundtrack) 22 tracks with bonus: The Paramount-don't-want-me-Blues (2:24) Counterpoint CPT-1001 (52:40) Also contains two booklets: The Making of Sunset Boulevard (28pp); Franz Waxman and the Road to Sunset Boulevard (40pp).
Reviewers in this issue: David Ades, Peter Burt, Roger Hyslop, Barry McCanna, Edward Trub and Edmund Whitehouse
KT Editor's CD Choice
HENRY JEROME & HIS ORCHESTRA 'Brazen Brass' 2-CDs 48 tracks incl. 'Brazen Brass' Stompin' at the Savoy; Glow Worm; Dance of the Hours Cha Cha Cha; Blue Moon; Bugle Call Waltz; The Saints Go Marching In … 'Brazen Brass Goes to Hollywood' Around the World; Moonglow; Three Coins in the Fountain; High Noon; Gigi; The Third Man Theme … 'Brazen Brass Plays Songs Everybody Knows'Alexander's Ragtime Band; You Were Meant for Me; I Can't Give You Anything But Love; Margie; Near You; On the Sunny Side of the Street … 'Brazen Brass Brings Back The Bands' In the Mood; You Made Me Love You; Song of India; Sentimental Journey; Dipsy Doodle; Sing Sing Sing (With a Swing) … Jasmine JASCD 704 (55:30 & 64:37) Henry Jerome, born 1917, started as a bandleader in high school. From the mid-1930s until the end of the 1940s his was a "sweet" band, specialising in light ballads and moderate tempos. After breaking up the band Jerome went into record producing, and ended up forming a new studio band to release a series of LPs for Decca under the name of "Brazen Brass", inspired by the success of Enoch Light's "Percussion" albums and sound (see review in JIM 192 or online at www.rfsoc.org.uk). The trademark "brazen" sound was enhanced through stereo by recording an equal number of trumpets on each channel. According to Jerome, the technique was "To have my open brass section on left speaker talk musically to the muted brass section on the right speaker in musical phrases and be able to reverse them, which was unheard of in those days." He produced and conducted nine Brazen Brass albums for Decca (four of them, including the second album here, making the American Top 10) as well as several more sweet albums, until he left to become an A&R man for Coral in 1959. He released one more "brazen" style album in the late 1960s for United Artists. With good transfers and digital processing this first CD release is swing accented easy listening and, though apart from the rhythm section there is nary a string to be heard, I loved it. PB
MANUEL AND THE MUSIC OF THE MOUNTAINS 'Mountain Fire' & 'Beyond The Mountains' 24 tracks incl. Sailing; Evergreen from 'A Star is Born'; El Porompompero; Forever and Ever; Dancing in the Dark; Cachita … El Rancho Grande; Shangri-La; The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (I will wait for you); Stranger in Paradise'; Dancers of El Paso; Over the Rainbow … Vocalion CDLK 4476 (77:02)Readers who are enjoying the Music for Pleasure LP re-issues from Geoff Love and his Orchestra on this label will also want this release. Geoff used his "Manuel" moniker on 30 albums from 1960 to 1981. The first one here comes from 1977, the second from ten years earlier and they were originally on EMI's Studio 2 Stereo label. The album titles are both Love compositions. PB
EDMUNDO ROS 'Cuban Love Song' 28 tracks incl. Cuban Love Song; Los Hijos de Buda; Maria Elena; No Can Do Calypso; Tico-Tico; Come Closer to Me; The Coffee Song; A Rainy Night in Rio; The Wedding Samba; April in Portugal; Delicado; I Talk to the Trees; Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White; Spanish Gypsy Dance Retrospective RTR 4200 (79:20) This is a timely tribute to the highly popular Latin-American bandleader, who died last year just short of his 101st birthday! During his 36 years as a bandleader he did much to popularise such exotic rhythms as the bolero, the rumba, the mambo and the paso doblé, all of which rhythms and more are represented here. The compilation takes in his early forties recordings whilst resident at the Coconut Grove in Regent Street, his mid to late '40s recordings when at the Bagatelle, and those made in the early to mid-fifties with his expanded orchestra. It concludes with three tracks from his 1958 album 'Rhythm of the South', one of Decca’s early stereo LPs, and something of a trail-blazer in its day. The original recordings transported listeners to exotic sun-kissed locations; the splendidly remastered sound should have the same effect. BMC
'MERRYMAKERS – BRITISH LIGHT CLASSICS' Iain Sutherland Concert Orchestra Overture – The Merrymakers (Eric Coates); The Girl From Corsica (Trevor Duncan); Little Serenade (Ernest Tomlinson); Dance In The Twilight – from ‘Springtime’ Suite (Eric Coates); Sutherland’s Law Theme (Hamish McCunn); March – Things To Come (Arthur Bliss); The Watermill (Ronald Binge); Playful Scherzo (Peter Hope); Dusk – from ‘Fancy Dress’ Suite (Cecil Armstrong Gibbs); Seventeen Come Sunday (Ralph Vaughan Williams); Theme from ‘Limelight’ (Charles Chaplin, arr. Reg Tilsley); Overture – The Arcadians (Lionel Monckton, arr. Arthur Wood); The Dream of Olwen (Charles Williams); English Dance No. 6 (Malcolm Arnold); My Love Is Like a Red Red Rose (Trad. arr. Gordon Langford); Mexican Hat Dance (Trad. arr. Peter Hope); Suo Gan (Trad. arr. Adrian Staines); Dick’s Maggot – from ‘Suite of English Folk Dances’ (Ernest Tomlinson); Bells Across The Meadow (Albert William Ketèlbey); Overture – Tam o’Shanter (Malcolm Arnold) Alto ALC 1192 (78:29) CD collections like this make life so easy for the reviewer, because the contents automatically recommend themselves! We are blessed with a conductor who loves, and understands Light Music, and his passion shines through in every track. Whether he is dealing with the acknowledged "masters", such as Coates or Ketèlbey, or the slightly less familiar who were once heard frequently on the much-missed BBC Light Programme, the result is the same: polished performances that illustrate what a wonderful world of Light Music is out there for us all to enjoy. I don’t need to comment on the best known works, but I would draw your attention to the two tracks by Peter Hope. I well remember his Playful Scherzo from BBC broadcasts, but even more familiar is his brilliant arrangement of Mexican Hat Dance. It’s also nice to see our "own" new MBE – Ernest Tomlinson, with two of his most appealing numbers. Iain Sutherland has modestly restricted his own contribution to his arrangement of Land of the Mountain and Flood – perhaps he can be persuaded to delve deeper into his own archive next time; because there surely must be another CD like this. It is a pure joy from start to finish. The excellent remastering was in the hands of another of our RFS friends – Paul Arden-Taylor. DA
'CROSS-CHANNEL PACKET' Panorama Musical d’Outre Manche Marianne Melodie 635824 (2 CDs, total 157:29) What a delightful surprise, to discover a new box set of British music celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II – from a French record company! But when you look closely at the credits in the booklet you discover that our friend Ralph Harvey has had a big hand in it, and his wife Patricia has provided the striking cover picture. CD 1 focuses more on "pure" light music, with tracks such as Knightsbridge and other works by Eric Coates, Waltzes by Charles Ancliffe, and contributions from Albert William Ketèlbey and Edward German among others. Robert Farnon is well represented with his arrangements of traditional British airs: Strawberry Fair, Early One Morning, Drink To Me Only, Annie Laurie, All Through The Night and British Grenadiers. On CD 2 we begin with seven tracks by the great Jack Hylton Orchestra – surely one of the finest British dance bands from the 1920s onwards, although it had many fine outfits challenging its supremacy, such as Jack Payne, Henry Hall, Roy Fox, Geraldo, Carroll Gibbons and, finally, Ted Heath. In every respect this is an enjoyable and imaginative collection, cleanly remastered (some of the tracks from the 1930s are astonishing in their clarity), that will give hours of listening pleasure. The odd vocal has been removed by sympathetic editing – some purists may object, but I personally find it acceptable if the end result is a more satisfying listening experience. The bonus is the generous booklet, with notes in both French and English. Such fun! DA
MANTOVANI AND FRIENDS Memory Lane / Yesteryear GLM/Y-38-26a,b,c (3 CDs, total timing 179.18) This is a similar format to 'Yes, Milord!' [reviewed further on] except for the contents. This time the 60 tracks concentrate mainly on light orchestras, with the eponymous Annunzio Mantovani accompanied by Henry Mancini, Frank Chacksfield, George Melachrino, Leroy Anderson, Boston ‘Pops’, Ron Goodwin, Nelson Riddle, Ray Martin, Percy Faith, Edmundo Ros, Stanley Black, Ray Conniff, Bert Kaempfert, Helmut Zacharias, Norrie Paramor, MGM Studio Orchestra, 20thCentury Fox Studio Orchestra, Mitch Miller, Victor Silvester, Geoff Love and Robert Farnon – whose contributions are Westminster Waltz and Tea For Two. This is a vintage collection of top light orchestras that illustrates just how fortunate record buyers were in the 1950s. Great sound and a great choice of music, with the added bonus of a fine booklet. Just place any of these discs in the CD player, and sit back and wallow! DA
'THAMES DIAMOND JUBILEE PAGEANT – NEW WATER MUSIC' Ensemble H20 Fast – Slow – Fast (Anne Dudley); Gigue (Debbie Wiseman); Bourree (John Lunn); Rigaudon (Howard Goodall); Air On The River (Stephen Warbeck); Passepied (Gavin Greenaway); Overture & Allegro (Julian Nott); Jubilee Gavotte-Rock (Christopher Gunning); Slowish (Graham Fitkin); Alla Hornpipe (Adrian Johnston); London Bells (Jocelyn Pook) Silva Screen SILCD1385 (54:31) These new works were commissioned by the Thames Diamond Jubilee Foundation, and performed for the first time at the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on Sunday 3rd June 2012 as part of the celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II’s 60 years on the throne. The background was explained in a special feature in the last issue of this magazine, when it was hoped that this New Water Music would be prominently featured during the celebrations. Unfortunately the BBC’s television coverage of this event left much to be desired, so it is good to have this CD as a permanent memento of this historic occasion. The music is inspired by the earlier event almost 300 years ago when Handel composed his famous (and still popular) Water Music. Today’s composers were encouraged to use the original titles as inspiration, but (as Debbie Wiseman says in the booklet) "not to take this too literally, and to use our own musical voice." As a result we have eleven new interesting and contrasting works, which certainly deserve to have a life of their own. Each has been conducted by the composer, and the 17 top musicians forming the appropriately named "Ensemble H20" are all given their due credit in the booklet. Also there are explanations of each work by all the composers. It was a wonderful idea, brilliantly executed, and it is good to have this souvenir to enjoy over and over again. DA
DORIS DAY 'A Sentimental Journey With Doris Day : Her 53 Finest 1944-1960' incl. Sentimental Journey Day By Day; It’s Magic; Canadian Capers; Lullaby of Broadway; Moonlight Bay; Mister Tap Toe; Secret Love; Ready, Willing and Able; Singin’ in the Rain; Three Coins in the Fountain; Que Será Será Retrospective RTS 4198 (77:28 & 77:49) It’s rare for me to listen to such a lengthy compilation at one sitting, but this is an exceptional release. RFS member Doris is a tonic, whose voice projects her joie-de-vivre, instantly lifting the listener’s spirits. Her dulcet tones pour forth without strain, whatever the register, she’s a peerless interpreter of the song, and she enunciates the lyrics clearly. This is a superb compilation, which includes nine mid-40s recordings with Les Brown and a number from her many screen appearances. There are several duets; two with Buddy Clark, and one apiece with Frank Sinatra, Frankie Laine, Donald O’Connor, Johnnie Ray, and Paul Weston and Percy Faith figure prominently amongst her accompaniments. Remastering is excellent, and there’s a detailed discography and an informative liner note. BMC
SON YAMBU ‘La Maravilla’ 11 tracks incl. Baila Con Mi Tumbao; Co Co Mai Mai; Mujer Majadera; Cangrejo; Le Sumba El Mango … Apollo Sound APSCD238 (51:08) It’s been some while since our friends at Apollo Sound announced a new release, but one has just arrived, and what a fascinating CD it is! Billed in the press release as the "First Ever Cuban Son Album Recorded in the UK", it features seven distinguished Cuban musicians who are members of London’s growing Latin American culture. Toby Herschmann (the son of Apollo Sound’s founder Heinz Herschmann) writes: "we can’t wait to prove that extraordinary Cuban musicians are not limited to the island and that the potential for a continuation of the Buena Vista legacy can be found on London’s very own doorstep". Upon hearing the music for the first time the words "Tijuana Brass" immediately spring to mind, but you quickly forget that this is not a commercially produced sound for western ears, but a group of dedicated musicians happily making music for their own – and your – enjoyment. A knowledge of Spanish would be an advantage to fully appreciate the vocals, but it is really the infectious rhythm that carries this music along. One can imagine it being played in London clubs on a warm summer evening, with the drink flowing and couples unable to resist taking to the dance floor! This is far from the usual kind of CD you find reviewed in this feature, but if you want something completely different – and are planning a Caribbean themed party – you could do far worse than have this happily playing away in the background creating the perfect ambience. DA
IAN WHITCOMB 'Songs Without Words' 48 tracks incl. The Dickens Waltz; My Blues; Wigwam Wigwalk; Der Pussycat Walk; Montmartre; Tango of the Bears … Rivermont BSW-3136 (70:07 & 77:58) Ian Whitcomb has been a great proselyte for the vanished age of popular music, and this 2-CD retrospective provides a selection of his instrumental recordings from between 1964 and 2009. It features his piano, ukulele, orchestra and dance bands, and embraces ragtime, blues, tangos, waltzes, laments, and tone poems, and that doesn’t even begin to cover it. To paraphrase Ian’s engaging liner note, this is music to accompany activity, rather than for sitting passively listening. Music has charms, and they are captured here to perfection. BMC
BILLY BUTTERFIELD 'What’s New?' 24 tracks incl. Stardust; Jazz Me Blues; Stormy Weather; Little White Lies; I’ll be a Friend with Pleasure … Retrospective RTR 4203 (78:42) Billy Butterfield came from that stable of trumpeters who, having been influenced by the playing of Bix Beiderbecke, saw purity of tune as an essential part of their armoury. He was born in 1917, the year of the first jazz recordings, and this fine compilation spans the first two decades of his recording career from the age of 21. It kicks off with one of his first solos with Bob Crosby’s Orchestra, followed by one from the Bob Cats, and thence to Artie Shaw. One of the four numbers he recorded with a studio group led by Mel Powell in February 1942 is included, as are three numbers he recorded with trombonist Brad Gowans & New York Nine in 1946. There are three vocal accompaniments, to Margaret Whiting, Frank Sinatra, and Lee Wiley, and the final two tracks feature him in a Ray Conniff setting. Much of the rest is devoted to recordings made with his own orchestra, and two leading his Jazz Band in a tribute to Bix. Every track is a delight, enjoyment of which is enhanced by Alan Bunting’s audio restoration. The reissue was inspired by trumpeter Digby Fairweather, whose liner note outlines his career, and gives an expert commentary on his playing. BMC
STAN GETZ 'Four Classic Albums' 28 tracks incl. Pan; To the Ends of the Earth; Night in Tunisia; Nature Boy …. Avid AMSC 1058 (78:37 & 76:14) This 2-CD set presents the original contents of four vinyl albums. 'West Coast Jazz' dates from August 1955 and features a quintet, the others being Conte Candoli on trumpet, Lou Levy on piano, Leroy Vinnegar on bass and Shelley Manne on drums.'The Soft Swing' was recorded two years later, with Mose Allison on piano, Addison Farmer on bass and Jerry Segal on drums. 'Cool Velvet' was recorded in West Germany in March 1960 with a string orchestra conducted by Russell Garcia. It may not be jazz, but with playing of such quality who cares? Finally, 'Focus'" comes from late 1961, and features Stan improvising against a string orchestra playing arrangements by Eddie Sauter. Of all his recordings, and there were many, this was Stan’s favourite. 'Cool Velvet' and 'Focus' were both recorded in stereo, and the sound quality is quite breathtaking. BMC
TEDDI KING 'Four Classic Albums Plus' 54 tracks incl. That Old Feeling; I Can't Get Started; You go to My Head; The Touch of Your Lips; Porgy; Temptation; Flamingo ... Avid AMSC 1059 (79:58 & 79:58) This compilation features an undeservedly near-forgotten singer, who died in 1977, after a lengthy illness which kept her out of the limelight. 'All The King’s Songs' was recorded for Coral during 1953 with an orchestra directed by Lew Douglas & Johnny Richards. 'Storyville Presents Miss Teddi King' was a 10" LP recorded in 1954 with the quartet of Ruby Braff, Jimmy Jones, Milt Hinton and Jo Jones, and six of the eight numbers are presented here, split three aside between the two CDs. The remainder is three RCA albums, namely 'Bidin’ My Time' with Al Cohn & his Orchestra from mid-1955, 'To You from Teddi King' from mid 1956, and 'A Girl and Her Songs' from March 1957, both accompanied by George Siravo & his Orchestra. Teddi King had a glorious bell-like voice, with a controlled vibrato, and the ability to project the lyrics in an understated fashion, relying on dynamics and intonation to convey her interpretation. It’s an exquisite reissue, which will commend itself to Miss King’s devotees, and should help to swell their number. BMC
'BIG BROADCAST VOLUME 7' Various Artists 25 tracks incl. Tampeekoe; My Heart Stood Still; Happy Days & Lonely Nights; Nobody’s Sweetheart; Walkin’ My Baby Back Home; Smoke gets in Your Eyes; Lovely to Look at Rivermont BSW-1156 (74:56) Every year Rich Conaty, the host of WFUV’s long-running radio programme "The Big Broadcast", draws on jazz and popular music of the twenties and thirties to produce a generous compilation, including curios and rarities. The lavishly-produced liner booklet provides illuminating background information. Just to take a few examples, Moxie was a soda drink, and Arthur Fields’ recording was an advertising jingle for the product. They Satisfy by Mills Music Masters was more subliminal, but the song put across the slogan of Chesterfield cigarettes. Nicotine features elsewhere, with Harold Arlen taking the vocal on Leo Reisman’s Smoke Rings. And a young David Rose joined forces with Louis Prima and Norman Gast (as "The Hotcha Trio") for Chinatown, My Chinatown. Remastering is exemplary, and this is a real gem that I can’t recommend too highly. BMC
'BRITISH DANCE BANDS' 124 tracks incl. I Got Rhythm; The Swiss Bell-Ringer; The Chestnut Man; Rhythm Lullaby; My Idea of Heaven; Ride, Tenderfoot, Ride!; The Snake-Charmer; Zambezi; By the Lazy Lagoon; Harlem…… Delta 90522 (74:56; 75:42; 74:29; 73:35 & 74:53) On the face of it, a 5-CD set for £12.99 including p&p would seem too good to be true, but like Delta’s earlier 5-CD set'The Golden Age of Swing', the price is the only cheap thing about this compilation. Every CD is self-contained in a separate jewel case, with a comprehensive liner note and clearly annotated tracks, which are arranged in chronological order. Broadly speaking, it spans the thirties and forties, plus a handful of tracks from the fifties. One of the potential drawbacks with such compilations is duplication, so I’ve gone through all those that I can check with a fine-tooth comb. By my reckoning, 50 have never been reissued since their original appearance, and only 14 have been reissued on LP. Leaving aside about 20, only 40 are commercially available already, and you’d need to own a lot of CDs to cover all of them. Three tracks, namely Who Made Little Boy Blue? by Joe Loss, A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody by Tommy Kinsman, and Hands Across the Table by Eddie Wood, were issued on the extremely rare Octacros label. In addition, many groups have been overlooked by compilers, and included here are The Blue Mountaineers, Jack McCormick, Don Marino Barreto, Nat Star, Ben Frankel, The Four Bright Sparks, Syd Seymour & Joe Orlando. The remastering is crisp and clear, and I recommend this package whole-heartedly. BMC
CARROLL GIBBONS & THE SAVOY HOTEL ORPHEANS VOLUME 13 'Rustic Rhapsody' 24 tracks incl. The mood that I'm in; Goodnight, my lucky day; It's always you; Who am I?; Too romantic; The moon and the willow tree; Do I love you?; Journey's end … Vocalion CDEA 6200 (72:57)
ROY FOX AT THE CAFÉ DE PARIS VOLUME 9 'Spin A Little Web Of Dreams' 25 tracks incl. No more heartaches; no more tears; Midnight, the stars and you; You have taken my heart; Gee! Oh gosh! I'm grateful; Paddy; One morning in May; Aloha beloved … Vocalion CDEA 6201 (73:21)
THE NEW MAYFAIR DANCE ORCHESTRA DIRECTED BY CARROLL GIBBONS 'Encore' 25 tracks incl. All by yourself in the moonlight; You're in my heart; Shout Hallelujah! 'cause I'm home; Love me or leave me; One step to heaven; There's a blue ridge 'round my heart, Virginia; I'm a one-man girl; Anita … Vocalion CDEA 6202 (77:37)
These three CDs were issued the day before JIM’s deadline, which left little time to do other than concentrate on the highlights. The first spans 1937 to 1946, and features a number of vocalists, not least Anne Lenner, but also including Carroll himself. The second is set in 1934, March to May, and Denny Dennis is the vocalist on 18 of the tracks, Peggy Dell on all but one of the remainder. Finally, the NMDO compilation covers the twelve months from November 1928, and is weighted towards non-vocal recordings. I should declare an interest, having drafted the liner notes for all three. BMC
'ROARING 20s, CRAZY 30s: 200 Hot Tunes' incl. Rhythm King; Black Bottom; Tailspin; Aristocratic Stomp; Magnolia; Amapola; Harlem Shout… Membran 233377 (approx.60 mins. per disc) This 10-CD set merits a full review, but the space required merely to list 200 tracks makes that impossible. 74 four tracks feature British dance bands, most of which have been reissued elsewhere; the remainder comprises jazz and American dance bands and some outright jazz, and a few rarities are included. A high proportion of the set features vocals. The set has been compiled in quite random fashion, with no attempt at chronology, and some tracks fail to measure up, particularly those from the 1940s. As with other Membran 10-CD boxed sets, the discs are housed in cardboard slipcases, and tracklist information is minimal, and less than accurate. Those drawbacks pale into insignificance against a current price of less than £1 per disc, and my advice would be to snap up a set whilst you can. BMC
'YES, MILORD!' Memory Lane GLM/Y-36a,b,c (3 CDs, total timing 212:20) The sub-heading of this collection is ‘Charming Souvenirs from the Age of Elegance’ and it is a good description of the contents of 65 tracks on these three CDs. The booklet confesses that this compilation has been inspired by the success of the TV series "Downton Abbey" and the revival of the earlier "Upstairs, Downstairs", and each CD has its own separate theme: ‘Enchanted Evenings’, ‘Carefree Times – Reflective Times’ and ‘An Age of Charm’. There is an attractive mix of vocal and purely instrumental tracks, and it is good to see that the temptation to use the best-known (and previously readily available) versions of some well-known numbers has been avoided. As examples we have the Alfredo Campoli 78 of Teddy Bears’ Picnic (not the ubiquitous Henry Hall), Troise and his Mandoliers playing The Grasshoppers’ Dance and the Serge Krish Sextet performing Nola. There isn’t space to list the tracks, but the following names should give an indication of the wide variety covered: Mantovani, Boston Promenade Orchestra, Norman Luboff Choir, Jay Wilbur & New Light Symphony Orchestra, Jeanette MacDonald, Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth, Deanna Durbin, Boyd Neel Orchestra, Joan Hammond, Debroy Somers, Charles Ancliffe Orchestra, D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, Orchestra Mascotte, New Symphony Orchestra, Peter Dawson, Noel Coward, Fred Astaire, Al Bowlly, Sidney Torch, Eric Coates … the list is almost endless! For more information you can visit the website: www.memory-lane.co.uk. Martin Moritz has contributed some interesting booklet notes, but it is a pity that the catalogue numbers of each track have been omitted. I suspect that the music has been acquired from various sources, because there are a few slight variations in the (generally very good) sound quality. This is the kind of collection that you find in the shops at many tourist attractions, and it is ideal for collectors who may not already possess much of the music on offer, but wish to have examples of the kind of records that were once so popular with their ancestors over 50 years ago. You will have already learned more about the enterprise behind this collection in the article on page 14 of this issue . DA
'DIAMOND JUBILEE' The Band of HM Royal Marines, Portsmouth (The Royal Band) DOM Major A J Smallwood with The Medina Community Choir & The Senior Choir of St Catherine's School, Bromley 18 tracks incl. arr. Jacob: The National Anthem; Yates: Jubilee;Waterer: Royal Salute; McDermott: Salute to the Commonwealth; Purcell: Trumpet Tune; Koenig:Post Horn Galop; Boyce: Heart of Oak; Russell: A Life on the Ocean Wave Chevron CHVCD 34(62:02) This release is a celebration in music of the The Queen's Diamond Jubilee and is a well-chosen and deservedly familiar selection for such a significant and historical occasion, thus Walton's stirring Crown Imperial, composed for the 1937 Coronation of George VI, Holst's Jupiter from "The Planets" and Elgar's Nimrod so indelibly associated with the annual Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph. That two tracks, The Mountbatten March and Famous Songs of the British Isles – the latter cleverly woven into a march medley – carry the familiar name of Vivian Dunn who had a long and distinguished career as PDM of the Royal Marines and a champion of British light music, is particularly welcome. Robert Farnon's State Occasion, always very popular with military bands, finds a well-deserved place here; and also worthy of note is Douglas C Doble's (a former RNVR officer) Royal Occasion, music inbred with great natural dignity. The two choirs feature in Brian Knowles Diamond Jubilee Tribute; a re-working in rather more updated and modern idiom of The National Anthem andBritannic Salute: an amalgam of Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory. You don't exactly expect to hear the skirl of the bagpipes on a Royal Marines recording but Highland Cathedral, written for the 1982 Highland Games in Germany, is absolutely captivating – almost worth the cost of the CD alone! – expertly played by Musician Hannah Wright, and earns a place here as it was often played on board HMY Britannia. One minor quibble: at just over a hour space could have been found for more music appropriate to a Royal theme but it's quality rather the quantity that counts and you get the former here in spades. Furthermore the Ferneham Hall at Fareham offers an excellent soundstage and any purchaser of this excellent disc will be helping to support an eminently worthwhile charity that will help all these musicians now and in the future. The booklet includes a message from Princess Anne, and all the technical side of this recording was impressively handled entirely "in house" by the RM Band Service. RH
(This album was "CD of the Jubilee Weekend" on Classic fM – KT Ed.)
Available for £12 (incl. p&p) through The Royal Navy & Royal Marine Charity at Building 29, HMS Excellent, Whale Island, Portsmouth PO2 8ER; or the charity website: rnrmc.org.uk.
CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO Piano Concertos 1 & 2; Four Dances from 'Love's Labour's Lost' · Alessandro Marangoni (piano) Malmő Symphony Orchestra / Andrew Mogrelia Naxos 8.572823 (76:43) Unknown to me prior to discovering this disc, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco was born in Italy in 1895 (he died in 1968) and became one of the 20th century's foremost guitar composers with over 100 pieces to his credit, as well as writing for a number of other instruments and many other forms from opera to chamber music. He moved to the United States in 1939 – having been banned by Mussolini – where he composed for some 200 Hollywood movies, mainly MGM, and is said to have been an influence upon Messrs Mancini, Previn, Riddle and Williams. His music is melodious, sumptuously scored and immensely accessible, as the works here bear witness. The Four Dances (1953) are not just a first recording but a first performance. With excellent sound throughout I urge you to try this well-filled low-price album for yourself. PB
CHABRIER 'Favourite Orchestral Works' Gwendoline Overture; Espana; L'Étiole; Suite Pastorale Melodies & Piano Pieces; Ode À La Musique; Bourrée Fantasque; Joyeuse Marche; Le Roi Malgré Lui - Fête Polonaise Magdalen METCD 8015 (76:58) The music of French-born Emmanuel Chabrier (1841-94) has great melodic appeal and zest. The exciting Espana, a piece nearly everybody knows, shows him to be a masterly orchestrator. The mono recordings span the years 1936 to 1959. Sir Thomas Beecham and Sir John Barbirolli are among the maestros featured. The final item with Robert Irving conducting the Sinfonia of London appears on CD for the first time. This album should put a smile on your face. ET
GEORGE GERSHWIN Piano Concerto in F; Rhapsody In Blue; Second Rhapsody; Variations On "I Got Rhythm" · Freddy Kempf (piano) Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra / Andrew Littton BIS SACD-1940 (73:56) Arriving just in time for this issue of JIM, a superlative Super Audio CD of Gershwin's music for piano and orchestra from the Swedish label, The famous Rhapsody in Blue is in the original jazz band version orchestrated by Ferde Grofé for Paul Whiteman with three woodwind players (who play oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet and various sizes of saxophone), a pair of trumpets, horns and trombones, tuba (doubling string bass), accordion, banjo, celesta, orchestral piano, a variety of percussion and eight violins. Håkon Nilsen is the named clarinetist. The lesser known Second Rhapsody came about through the composer's involvement in one of the earliest Hollywood film musicals in late 1930, 'Delicious', starring Janet Gaynor. It is brilliantly played as are the Variations. In the Concerto Martin Winter is the fabulous featured trumpet player in the 2ndmovement. London born (1977) Freddy Kempf was in 1992 the youngest winner in the history of the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition and, although he did not win first prize, was the "people's choice" in the 1998 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow. Andrew Littton knows all about his fellow countryman's music and the Norwegian orchestra play to the manner born. The recording, made in Bergen in August 2011, is supported by the Grieg Foundation. If these works are not in your collection, you can hardly better this release. And even if you already have them, with superb playing and top drawer sound, this is worth adding to your shelves. PB
EDVARD GRIEG 'Grieg Favourites' Norwegian Dances; Holberg Suite; Peer Gynt Excerpts; Lyric Pieces Excerpts; Lyric Suite Magdalen METCD 8012 (77:49) Delighted to see the name of George Weldon on a new reissue (two of my great aunts were in service with his family in Bexhill) especially with a Gramophone quote that in the first item "[he] seems to fool the RPO that they are playing under Sir Thomas Beecham himself." The other conductors on these mono recordings are Karl Műnchinger, Nicolai Malko, Otto Dobrindt with soprano Emmy Bettendorf (Solveig's Song), and pianist Walter Gieseking (Lyric Pieces). A value-for-money release at under £10. PB
HALVORSEN 'Orchestral Works 4' Melina Mandozzi (violin) · Ilze Klava (viola) · Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra / Neeme Járvi Chandos CHAN 10710 (72:53) This, the last in the series devoted to the orchestral music of Johan Halvorsen, opens with the two Norwegian Rhapsodiesboth premiered by the composer in 1920 to enthusiastic acclaim. These make imaginative use of traditional Norwegian folk tunes, the outer lovely and more boisterous sections framing a more reflective middle portion. The following two pieces are not "pure" Halvorsen but take their inspiration from other composers, the Passacaglia for violin and viola – a somewhat curious choice that hardly comes within the province of orchestral music – being a reworking of a movement from a HandelHarpsichord Suite, whilst the preceding jaunty Norwegian Bridal Procession is merely an orchestration of a piano piece by fellow countryman Grieg. Incidental music to various theatre productions – a particular cachet of this composer – is much in evidence here featuring a Dance Scene from 'Queen Tamara' and the impressive and impassioned Symphonic Intermezzo from 'The King'. After the rousing Norwegian Festival Overture with its dazzling trumpet fanfares the disc concludes with the 18-minute Norwegian Fairy Tale Pictures, which contains some decidedly quirky music as befits the tale of a princess and a great troll. As to be expected from this series, production standards are uniformly high with an exemplary recording; and certainly in Neeme Jarvi is found a committed and doughty champion for Halvorsen's music. RH
HOLST Walt Whitman Overture; Symphony "The Cotswolds"; A Winter Idyll; Japanese Suite; Indra Symphonic Poem · Ulster Orchestra / JoAnn Falletta Naxos 8.572914(65:25) There is a great deal of early British music which is rarely played and this CD includes a substantial chunk of it. Each piece is a gem in its own right and worthy of repeated hearing. I have no hesitation in thoroughly recommending it to all lovers of good tuneful music as there is much more to Gustav Holst than The Planets. Splendid stuff! EW
RACHMANINOV Piano Concertos 1 – 3 ; 18 Preludes Dame Moura Lympany · Philharmonia Orch. / Nikolai Malko · New Symphony Orch. Of London / Anthony Collins Magdalen METCD 8016 (150:15) A 2-CD re-issue to cherish. "Rach 2" is No.1 in Classic fM's Hall of Fame and this fine 1953 recording is by the pianist born Mary Johnstone in Saltash, Cornwall in 1916. She was made a CBE in 1979 and a DBE in 1992, and died in France in 2005. Her agent once described her as "never late, not temperamental and with wonderful vitality. She never dropped her standards in any way." She herself said she played best after a good night's sleep and a good steak! The other two concertos were also recorded in the early '50s and are, rightly, highly regarded. Miss Lympany was the first Western artist to play in the Soviet Union after the war and in 1945 made the first complete recording of the Preludes. The splendid recording on this release was made by Decca six years later produced by that key figure in the world of the gramophone, John Culshaw. All recordings are in mono but it is the quality of the music making that matters here. ET
SAINT-SAËNS 'Neeme Járvi Conducts Saint Saëns' Royal Scottish National Orchestra incl. Danse Bacchanale (from Samson et Dalila); Le Rouet d'Omphale; Phaëton; La Jeunesse d'Hercule; March Militaire Française Chandos CHSA 5104 (77'40") This well chosen selection of Camille Saint-Saëns orchestral oeuvre features all four symphonic poems including the popular Danse Macabre,and some fascinating rarities. In the latter category are the sparkling Overture to La Princesse Jaune(a comic opera), a delightful miniature – lasting all of a little over 3½ minutes – Une nuit ả Lisbonne,and the substantial and unpublished Spartacus overture recovered apparently in the 1990's. Even more extraordinary is the concluding March du Couronnement written for the coronation of Edward VIII in 1902, which was accepted for the occasion and presumably played during the ceremony. With generous playing time, vivid recording in multi-channel stereo format and intensely likeable music that makes no great demands on the listener, this is well worth seeking out. RH
(This album was BBC Music Magazine's "Orchestral Choice" for August – KT Ed.)
SARASATE 'Music for Violin and Piano - 3' Tianwa Yang (violin) · Markus Hadulla (piano)15 tracks including Boléro; Sérénade andalouse; Introduction et fandango; Prière et berceuse; Airs ecossaise … Naxos 8.570893 (78:55) Do not be put off by the titles, the renowned Spanish violinist Pablo Sarasate was a great melodist. Among his best known works are Zigeunerweisen (Gypsy Airs) and Spanish Dances. The charismatic compositions on this disc are sensationally played by one of the most notable young violinists of today, critically acclaimed as an unquestioned master of her instrument. She is ably accompanied by another accomplished artist; the result a delightful disc. ET
'SCANDINAVIAN SMÖRGÅSBORD' Vienna S O / Øivin Fjeldstad · Danish State Radio S O / John Frandsen · Copenhagen S O / Lavard Friisholm · Halle Orchestra / Sir John Barbirolli 16 tracks incl. Entry of the Boyars; Norwegian Bridal Procession; Festival Polonaise; Herdgirl's Sunday; Midsummer Vigil; Last Spring … Magdalen METCD 8017 (78:34) With its enticing title this is a flavoursome compilation of superior lighter classical music from the pens of Halvorsen, Bull, Grieg, Svendsen, Kuhlau, Nielsen, Alfvén and Lumbye. The last named, of course, wrote The Copenhagen Steam Railway Galop, which is included here together with his equally appealingChampagne Galop and Britta Polka. Alongside some less familiar pieces there is the very well-known Alfvén Vigil, aka Swedish Rhapsody. The original recordings, mostly mono, date from 1955-61 and it is the first time on CD for the five Kuhlau pieces. As with all the recent releases on this label the disc is very well mastered by RFS member Paul Arden-Taylor, and James Murray's booklet notes are exemplary. PB
TCHAIKOVSKY : MENDELSSOHN Violin Concertos Ray Chen · Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra / Daniel Harding Sony 8697984102 (63:55) 23-year-old Taiwan born, Australian raised Chen is a winner twice over: of both the Menuhin (2008) and Queen Elisabeth (2009) Violin Competitions, respectively playing the two popular works here. Recordings of these abound, several in this coupling, but this is up there among the best. ET
LESLEY GARRETT 'A North Country Lass' The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra · Crouch End Festival Chorus / Paul Bateman 16 tracks incl. The Bold Grenadier; Once I Had a Sweetheart; Blow the Wind Souherly; He Moved Through the Fair; Suo Gan (Lullaby); The Raggle Taggle Gypsies; The Cuckoo; The Collier Lad; Dance to Your Daddy … Music Infinity INS500(64:20) Opera meets folk on this thoroughly enjoyable album. Although as Louis Armstrong once said: "It's all folk singing; I ain't never heard a horse sing!" Interesting arrangements (not all for the purists, maybe) are well played by an orchestra that knows a thing or two about folk music. My favourite track is All Around My Hat accompanied by the solo violin of Concert Master Lucie Svehlova, accordion, acoustic guitar, bodhran, washboard and Crouch End F.C. Recorders, a madrigal choir, harp, bamboo flute, kato, santur, shamisen, cimbaloms, lute, pipes and bagpipes give support on other tracks. (Did Henry VIII really write Pastime With Good Company?) The final "bonus track" is a conductor arranged On Ilkley Moor Baht'at, with a touch of Rossini, featuring the famous Black Dyke Band. As for the "Doncaster diva", the crystal clarity of her words is once again a hallmark of her performance. PB
'THIS IS THE DAY Music on Royal Occasions' The Cambridge Singers · Elin Manahan Thomas (soprano) Aurora Orchestra · Andrew Lucas (organ) / John Rutter This is the Day (Rutter); Laudate Dominum (Mozart); Psalm 23 (Schubert); How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place(Brahms); The Spirit of the Lord (Elgar); We Wait for Thy Loving Kindness (McKie); Ubi Caritas(Mealor); Ubi Caritas (Duruflé); Holy is the True Light (Harris); Song for Athene (Tavener); These Three (Bennett); Set Me as a Seal (Walton); God Be in My Head (Walford Davies); I Would BeTrue (Arr. Rutter); Touch Her Soft Lips and Part (Walton); Choral Dances from "Gloriana" (Britten);Let The Bright Seraphim (Handel); Let Their Celestial Concerts All Unite (Handel) Collegium COLCD 136 (75:21) This is a treasurable album that includes music sung at the Queen's marriage to Prince Philip in 1947, the Queen Mother's funeral, the wedding of Charles and Diana, the funeral of the Princess of Wales, the Queen's diamond wedding in 2007, and the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The pieces are glowingly sung throughout by the 28-strong choir with the very best left to the last two pieces by Handel featuring the gorgeous voice of Manahan Thomas (she also singsLaudate Dominum), the brilliant trumpet of Simon Cox and the unnamed percussionist. Sound quality – the recordings were only made in January this year – and documentation are both very good. I challenge anyone not to be moved by some part of this album, which I am likely to return to in our next issue as one of the CDs of 2012. PB
Some more recent releases recommended by Wilfred Askew
ERROLL GARNER with Orchestra conduced by Mitch Miller 'Other Voices' (1957) 10 tracks incl. Misty*; Dreamy*; On the street where you live; Solitaire*; It might as well be Spring*; The very thought of you … (*Repeated as six bonus tracks in solo and/or trio versions). Essential Jazz Classics EJC 55466 (62.48)
RON GOODWIN 'Sir Gawain And The Green Knight' Original Motion Picture Soundtrack(1973) CD1 12 tracks (46:33); CD2 11 tracks (40:16) Intrada Special Collection Volume 196
HOLLYWOOD SAXOPHONE QUARTET arr. by Garcia, Paich, Montrose & Niehaus 24 tracks incl. 'Sax Appeal' Wait till you see her; But not for me; Polka Dots & Moonbeams; Yesterday's gardinias; Four at liberty … 'Hollywood Saxophone Quartet' Nightcap; All the tings you are; You brought a new kind of love to me; Autumn in New York; Ghost of a chance … 2 Liberty LPs from 1955. Fresh Sound FSR 2253 (66:57)
ANITA KERR & The Little Dippers 'Forever' 'Velvet Voices' (1959) incl. Strange little melody; Greensleeves; Pop goes the weasel; Blue interlude … 'Voices In Hi-Fi' (1968) incl. You're my everything; Rockin' chair; Once in a while; Comes love; My love is a kitten … 2 US Decca LPs from 1960. Cherry Red ACMEM 219 CD (79:33)
JAYE P MORGAN 'Up North, Down South' 'Up North' 13 tracks incl. Yankee doodle Boy; Shine on harvest moon; The Whiffenpoof Song; Chicago … 'Down South' 12 tracks incl. The yellow rose of Texas; Kentucky babe; Old folks at home, Dixie … plus 6 bonus singles incl. I walk the line & Brotherhood of Man. 2 MGM albums from 1960. Jasmine JASCD 194 (77:43)
MIKLOS R0ZSA 'Ben Hur' Complete Soundtrack Collection Discs I & II: The Film Score 64 tracks (139:55); Disc III: The Savina Album 32 tracks (73:55): Disc IV: The First Kloss Album 27 tracks (77:34): Disc V: The Second Kloss album 41 tracks 75:24) Film Score Monthly FSM Vol.15, No.1 Limited to 2,000 copies.
DIMITRI TIOMKIN 'The Alamo' Complete Film Score City of Prague P.O. / Nic Raine 3 CDs – 57 tracks Prometheus XPCD 168 (164:21)
FRANZ WAXMAN 'Taras Bulba' Complete Film Score City of Prague P.O. / Nic Raine Limited 2-CD Collectors' Edition 25 tracks, 13 bonus tracks Tadlow Music TADLOW 013 (128:06)
LAWRENCE WELK & HIS ORCHESTRA 'Calcutta' (1960) 12 tracks incl. Sailor; Bombay; Ruby; Save the last dance for me …''Yellow Bird' (1961) 12 tracks incl. Runaway; Mockin' Bird Hill; Heartbreak Hotel; Harbour lights; Loch Lomond … plus 2 bonus tracks: Melodie d'Amour & MyGrandfather's clock. 2 original Dot albums. Sepia 1181 (60:01)
Reviewers in this issue: David Ades, Peter Burt, Tony Clayden, Barry McCanna, Mike Crowther, Roger Hyslop, Edward Trub, Ken Wilkins and Peter Worsley
KT Editor’s CD Choice for this issue
‘IN LONDON TOWN’ – a musical tour of the historic sights of London The Philharmonic Concert Orchestra Iain Sutherland, conductor Concert Overture: Me And My Girl; Knightsbridge March; Westminster Waltz; Rotten Row; Covent Garden; Overture: Yeoman Of The Guard; London Fantasia; Get Me To The Church On Time; Greensleeves; Four Dances: Merrie England; London Bridge Is Falling Down; Elizabethan Serenade; Prelude: Water Music (Handel); Three English Dances (Quilter); The Sea Hawk (Main Theme) Somm SOMMCD 0117 (70:45) In his review of Iain Sutherland’s ‘Merrymakers - British Light Classics’ (Alto ALC 1192) in the September issue of JIM, David Ades expressed the hope that the maestro might be persuaded to delve a little deeper into his valuable archive for a possible follow-up CD. Well, rather quicker than perhaps even David expected this mid-price album has materialised, digitally remastered as before by Paul Arden-Taylor, selected from the Iain Sutherland/Radio Clyde Archive. Many familiar titles appear here including a sprightly Wally Stott’s Rotten Row and a notably elegant and gracefully played Ronald Binge’s Elizabethan Serenade. What makes this compilation the more enticing, however, is Noel Gay’s Overture to the 1939 hit musical (arranged by the conductor), which King George VI and Queen Elizabeth reputedly went to see three times, Clive Richardson’s Fantasia extract not too far away from the idiom of the celebrated "Denham Studio" concertos, and the welcome inclusion of Sir Edward German’s FourDances, surely deserving of a revival in this Diamond Jubilee year. One puzzle is the apparent connection made between Roger Quilter’s Dances and "Historic Mayfair". The only London connection I can trace, thanks to Tim McDonald’s notes for the composer’s volume in Marco Polo’s British Light Music series (8.223444), is that they received their première at London’s Queens Hall in June 1910. The orchestration was actually by Percy Fletcher, and they are described as possessing an unmistakable "Englishness". Erich Korngold’s main title theme music for the 1940 feature film that ends the compilation makes for a somewhat odd choice with its somewhat tenuous link to the capital (Greenwich: Cutty Sark and the Maritime Museum) when one of the greats of British light music, Haydn Wood, is a notable absentee. Still, this is a minor quibble given the excellent performances, sound engineering and generous playing time; and this splendid disc is certainly deserving of the widest possible support – and what better Christmas present could you possibly give yourself! RH
"THE GOLDEN AGE OF LIGHT MUSIC"
GLCD 5199 Three Great American Light Orchestras
For track listing see ‘Light Music CDs’ pages on this website or visit guildmusic.com (78:46 mins)
GLCD 5200 A Glorious Century of Light Music
For track listing see ‘Light Music CDs’ pages on this website or visit guildmusic.com (78:37 mins)
It seems scarcely possible that it is eight years since the first GUILD Light Music CD made its debut – but if you look at GLCD 5101 the date definitely says 2004! I doubt if anyone involved – the proprietors of GUILD, together with David Ades and Alan Bunting – could have foreseen that the series would be the unparalleled success which it certainly has become. Much less that in 2012, it would reach its hundredth edition! And yet here we are, and I have been given the honour of reviewing these two new releases.
The Great American Light Orchestras features three of the best conductors in the business – Canadian-born Percy Faith, English-born David Rose, and someone whose work is perhaps slightly less well-known in the UK – Paul Weston, who hailed from Springfield, Massachusets, USA. The CD contains 24 tracks, neatly divided into three sections of eight, each representing one of the three orchestras. The programme ‘kicks-off’ with the orchestra of Percy Faith, in a selection of recordings made between 1950 and 1961, all from American Columbia (CBS or Philips in Britain) label. Five of these are in stereo including a very early (1958) track featuring a Victor Herbert composition Italian Street Song. All of the compositions are delivered in Faith’s usual faultless style and it is not difficult to see why this consummate musician had, and still has, such a devoted following. David Rose’s contribution features tracks from the MGM label – I imagine that he was a permanent artist in that company’s ‘stable’ - and like the Percy Faith selection, all of the arrangements (in fact all but one of the tracks) are by Rose himself. The recording dates range from 1953 to 1961, with three of the tracks being in stereo. Paul Weston’s main claim to fame (in the UK anyway) is the work he did with his wife, the singer Jo Stafford, and also for their ‘spoof’ performances as "Jonathan and Darlene Edwards". Originally a clarinet player, he began studying arranging whilst recuperating from a near-fatal train crash, and eventually became chief arranger for Tommy Dorsey. He worked in radio and TV and acted as MD to many top American stars. Over the years, Weston recorded for both Capitol and CBS, and examples of both are included on the CD. The dates range from 1954 to 1961, with five of the tracks being in stereo. One item, There Will Never Be Another You, features the conductor on piano. As a final bonus, on track 25, Paul Weston talks about his 1958 Jerome Kern recordings which were made for a special promotional feature album for Columbia. (This recording was kindly supplied by our good friend Kevin Stapylton in Australia). It is difficult to pick out specific items for special mention because they are all so good, in terms of the quality of the arrangements, the performances, the recordings, and, of course, Alan Bunting’s digital transfers. As I have remarked before in these reviews, I find myself running out of superlatives! This is a great addition to the GUILD series, and both David and Alan deserve many congratulations.
And so we come to number 100 -
A Glorious Century of Light Music. The task of this landmark collection is to feature some of the very best conductors and composers who created such a wealth of Light Music during the 20thcentury and to recognise that the GUILD series is dedicated to the preservation of all that is best from the ‘Golden Age of Light Music’. It was decided to concentrate on conductors who became ’ household names’ through their recordings and broadcasts, and the 26 tracks include some of the very best orchestras from the UK, the USA and Continental Europe, with 12 being in stereo. They span the years 1939 to 1961 excepting the final ‘bonus track’ which is a Jack Hylton recording from 1929, although you would hardly know it from the amazing sound quality! AB has worked his usual magic and has also seamlessly edited-out a small vocal section, in accordance with GUILD’s ‘instrumental only’ policy. The programme starts with a great Brian Fahey arrangement of the Jerome Kern number Look For The Silver Lining, by the Starlight Symphony conducted by Cyril Ornadel; this sets the tone for the whole disc. There is a good mixture of great orchestral arrangements of popular favourites, together with some excellent library pieces – in short, something for everyone. A couple of points to mention – track 17 - Butantan - by the Melachrino Orchestra is credited to ‘Wood’. This is neither Arthur nor Haydn, but Guy Wood (1911-2001), the Manchester-born but USA-domiciled composer, who is mainly remembered for his songs, including Till Then, My One And Only Love and The Wedding- a popular song from the ‘60s. I have not come across any other orchestral compositions by him, but they may exist. Track 7 features some great ballet music by Leroy Anderson from his musical Goldilocks, which will be new to most people; this is an almost unknown piece – where has it been hiding all these years? Every single item on this CD can be described as truly excellent, and the whole selection, which was arrived at after a great deal of careful consideration, is more than worthy of comprising the hundredth edition. The total tally of tracks so far is in excess of 2500; I understand that there is plenty more material in the pipeline waiting to be released, and I would like to wish this wonderful series continued success. TC
MAX JAFFA AND THE PALM COURT ORCHESTRA Flight of the Bumblebee; Black Eyes; Vagabond King: Forgotten Dreams; Dobra Dobra; Czardas; Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair; Gypsy Cha Cha; Edelweiss; On Wings of Song; Gypsy Hora; Beautiful Dreamer; Heyken’s Serenade; Hungarian Dances Nos. 1 & 5; Fantasy on Nursery Rhymes; The Last Rose of Summer; Londonderry Air; Barcarolle; Doina Voda; Come Back to Sorrento; All the Things You Are; I’ll See You in My Dreams; Waltzing in the Clouds Yesterday’s Music C141 (74:35) Max was an extraordinary character and his autobiography, A Life on the Fiddle, makes compelling reading. This tribute CD is available only from Evergreen magazine and complements a detailed article they published in their autumn issue. Pre-war the maestro was 90% a dance band leader but after flying bombers and fighters he switched entirely to light music. He appeared on several post-war radio programmes of his own and was also associated with Grand Hotel and Scarborough where he was resident for 25 years. Some of the tracks are with his trio of Jack Byfield and Reginald Kilbey and some with a full orchestra. All are most tuneful and enjoyable with the titles speaking for themselves. PW
This CD may ordered for £9.95 (including p&p) from Evergreen Magazine on 01242 537900.
BERT KAEMPFERT & HIS ORCHESTRA ‘The Wonderful World Of Bert Kaempfert - Four Original Albums’ 47 tracks incl. Wonderland By Night; As I Love You; The Aim Of My Desire; Stay With Me; Tammy; Lullaby For Lovers; Drifting and Dreaming; La Vie En Rose; Happiness Never Comes Too Late; On The Alamo; Dreaming The Blues; This Song Is Yours Alone; Dancing In The Dark; Twilight Time; Unchained Melody; Funny Talk; Only Those In Love … Tenderly; Cerveza; Ducky; Auld Lang Syne; Savoy Blues; Plaisir D’Amour; Don’t Forbid Me; Morgen (One More Sunrise); Catalina; Midnight Snack; Without Your Love; Louisa; I’ll See You In My Dreams; Yellow Bird; Midsummer Night In Gotland; Echo In The Night; Forgotten Melody; Symphony; There I’ve Said It Again … Jasmine JASCD 216 With generous amounts of trumpet and distinctive bass guitar sound to the fore, Bert Kaempfert (1923-1980), German orchestra leader and songwriter, was very popular in the Sixties and early Seventies, and reckoned by The Stereo Record Guide (1963) to be the most original musician in the field of European light music at that time. Among his successful self-penned numbers were Strangers in the Night, A Swingin’ Safari; Moon Over Naples (a hit for Al Martino asSpanish Eyes), The World We Knew and L-O-V-E (a hit for Nat King Cole). Almost There was a UK No.2 for the late lamented Andy Williams. Bert’s ‘Wonderland By Night’ album was US No.1 for five weeks in 1961 (the title track was also a US No.1 single), and is joined on this 2-CD set by three more of his earliest Polydor albums: ‘Dancing In Wonderland’, ‘The Wonderful World Of Bert Kaempfert’ and ‘With A Sound In My Heart’. A CD copy did not arrive in time for me to listen to but the aforementioned Guide opined that "Each offers excellent sound and varied and imaginative arrangements." PB
‘SCOTLAND’S TUNES OF GLORY’ Iain Sutherland conducting the City of Glasgow Philharmonic Orchestra with the City of Glasgow Pipes and drums and the City of Glasgow Chorus 17 tracks incl. Iona (The Pilgrim); Briochan And Columba (The Pilgrim); Alba: Fanfare Salute; Here’s Tae The Gordons; The Laddies Who Fought And Won; Flower Of Scotland Delta CD6844 (61:20) Here’s a collection to stir the hearts of patriotic Scots wherever they may be. Iain Sutherland’s latest CD is an unashamed tribute to his homeland, and it is good to see some familiar names among the credits. Firstly the maestro himself, with his compositions Edinburgh Castle, Dunvegan Castle and the theme for the BBC TV series "MacKinnon Country" – plus Iain’s arrangements of The Black Bear Salute, Amazing Grace Anthem, Sutherland’s Law Theme and Reel O’Tulloch. Ernest Tomlinson has arranged My Love She’s But A Lassie Yet/Cock O’ The North and Robert Docker’s name appears as the arranger of Abbey Craig. There is audience applause on some of the tracks, but this is not intrusive. This is a nicely balanced collection of traditional and more modern music that makes a welcome addition to the light music repertoire. DA
DIMITRI TIOMKIN ‘The Greatest Film Scores Of …’ London Symphony Orchestra ˕ London Voices / Richard Kaufman Cyrano de Bergerac; The Alamo; The Old Man and the Sea; The Four Poster Giant; The Fall of the Roman Empire; High Noon; Rawhide; The High and the Mighty; Dial ‘M’ for Murder & Strangers on a Train; Wild is the Wind; The Sundowners; Circus World; Land of the Pharaohs; Friendly Persuasion lsolive LSO 0720 (77:05) This is a splendidly produced and recorded album of movie music delights, played con brio by the LSO at a live Barbican concert. Tiomkin (born St Petersburg 1894, died London 1979) became one of Hollywood’s most celebrated and best-loved composers. He wrote for more than 100 feature films and received nearly two dozen Academy Award nominations over five decades, winning four Oscars: ‘Old Man and the Sea’, ‘The High and the Mighty’, ‘High Noon’, and Do not forsake me, oh my darlin’. The last-named is one of five tracks with vocals supplied by Andrew Playfoot and/or Whitney Claire Kaufman. I would have been happy with purely orchestral versions. There are ten packed pages of notes in minuscule print. Two fascinating bits of information I did gather, though, were that in 1928 Tiomkin was the first pianist to perform Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in Europe, and in 1999 became one of only six Hollywood composers to be honoured with a commemorative stamp issued by the US Postal Service. PB
JOHN WILLIAMS ‘A Tribute To John Williams – An 80th Birthday Celebration’ The Boston Pops ˕ The Skywalker Symphony Orchestra / John Williams Sound the Bells (‘American Journey’); Out to Sea/Shark Cage Fugue (‘Jaws’); Sabrina’s Theme (‘Sabrina’); March (‘1941’); Adventures on Earth (‘E.T.’); Dartmoor 1912 (‘War Horse’); The Adventures of Mutt (‘Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’); Harry’s Wondrous World (‘Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone’); Elegy for Cello & Orchestra; Going to School (‘Memories of a Geisha’); The Mission Theme (‘NBC News’); Schindler’s List Theme (‘Schindler’s List’); The Adventure Continues (‘The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn’); Throne Room & Finale (‘Star Wars’); Happy Birthday VariationsSony 88691942532 Fifteen tremendous tracks all from the man whose compositions invariably seem to stand out in compilations involving multiple composers. Winner of twenty-one Grammy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards and five Academy Awards. Williams is easily the most successful composer working in film today. This collection contains his personal favorites, chosen from film and television music as well as concert works and festive occasion pieces, and includes (for me, at least) some "discoveries" among his lesser-known works. Of special note is the previously unreleased recording of Williams’ joyous Happy Birthday Variations. All of the music on this album is both composed and conducted by John Williams, and also features two performances each by famous classical instrumentalists Itzhak Perlman (violin) and Yo-Yo Ma (cello). Unfortunately my CD copy is taking longer to arrive than any I have ever ordered, but I have been able to sample tracks online and the Sony sound is splendid. PB
THE JOHN WILSON ORCHESTRA ‘Rodgers & Hammerstein At The Movies’ Maida Vale Singers, Sierra Boggess, Anna-Jane Casey, Maria Ewing, et al. / John Wilson Oklahoma! Main Title / Oh! What a Beautiful Morning; People Will Say We're In Love; Carousel Waltz; If I Loved You; June is Busting' Out All Over; You'll Never Walk Alone; Soliloquy (all from ‘Carousel’); Twin Soliloquies / Some Enchanted Evening); I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Out Of My Hair ; Bali Ha'i (all from ‘South Pacific’); The King and I Overture (from ‘The King & I’); The Sound Of Music - Main Title / Rex Admirabilis; I Have Confidence; Climb Ev'ry Mountain (all from ‘The Sound of Music’) EMI Classics (75:00) John Wilson's latest album brings us into the world of the movie versions of the Rodgers & Hammerstein stage musicals released by 20th Century Fox from the mid-1950's onwards resplendent in Cinemascope, Todd-AO and Stereophonic Sound. Once again J.W. has had to re-create and edit the film scores and has brought together a company of singers drawn from the operatic stage and popular musical theatre magnificently supported by the Maida Vale Singers. The John Wilson Orchestra are in superb form, particularly in the Carousel Waltz and The King and IOverture, and play with élan and panache – a wonderful, wonderful tribute to the 20th Century Fox Studio Orchestra and their conductor Alfred Newman who supervised the music for most of the original films. As expected the singing is first class: Julian Ovenden brings the characters of Curly and Billy vividly to life in his contributions from ‘Oklahoma’ and ‘Carousel’, Joyce DiDonato (recorded in Kansas) brings her gorgeous operatic voice to bear on her songs from ‘Carousel’ and ‘The Sound of Music’. My own personal favourite is David Pittsinger's rich interpretation of Some Enchanted Evening. It comes as no surprise that he has performed the role of Emile de Becque in a recent US National Tour of ‘South Pacific’. The recording is Abbey Road superb and the accompanying booklet a model of perfection. Overall another J.W. success and surely bound for that Christmas stocking. MC
‘THE INSTRUMENTALS’ 75 tracks incl. Hit And Miss; Wheels; Zambesi; Midnight In Moscow; On The Rebound; Walk Don’t Run; Kon Tiki; Moon River; Misirlou; The Stripper; Ebb Tide; S’Wonderful; Canadian Sunset; Misty … Delta 60399 (65:59, 67:34 & 67:21) At first glance this latest in a series of budget reissues under the blanket title of ‘Sweethearts & Stolen Kisses’, and sub-titled ‘Because They’re Young’, is not an obvious candidate for JIM. The content of the first two CDs is fairly eclectic, and includes Chris Barber, Acker Bilk, Dave Brubeck, Russ Conway, Miles Davis, Duane Eddy, Billy May, and Arthur Lyman, plus a number of less well-known musicians from the late Fifties/early Sixties (tracklist information is minimal). In contrast, the third concentrates on light orchestral works, including several movie themes, by such as Percy Faith, Robert Farnon, Ron Goodwin, Bert Kaempfert, Mantovani and Perez Prado, which makes it well worth considering. BMC
‘MELODY MIXTURE’ For track listing see ‘Light Music CDs’ pages on this website or visit guildmusic.com. Guild GLCD 5197 (70:17). As it says at the start of the booklet notes this latest Guild Light Music CD doesn’t have any particular theme, hence the title ‘Melody Mixture’ (reminds me of the wartime BBC programme title Navy Mixture). However it begins in fine style with Cab Rank by Dolf van der Linden from the Charles Brull/Harmonic Library with The Symphonia Orchestra conducted by Ludo Philipp, followed by Henry Mancini’s theme to the US TV series Mr Lucky played by Frank Cordell’s Orchestra, although I must confess I’ve never heard of the programme … was it ever shown in Britain? From the film ‘The Sundowners’ comes Down Under played in fine style by Tommy Reilly, adapted and arranged by Dimitri Tiomkin with Wally Stott and his Orchestra. I checked with Halliwell and as I thought, Tiomkin wrote the film’s score. Getting away from films for a tick I jumped down the play list to three library pieces, firstly Trevor Duncan’s catchy humorous number With Tongue In Cheek followed by Peter Hope’s Spring Collection, perfect for a Pathé fashion news item, then Scurry For Strings by Lester B. Hart played by The Harmonic Orchestra conducted by Dolf van der Linden, under one of his many alias’s "David Johnson". I’ve seen the name Lester B. Hart before but I’ve no idea who he is (or possibly was) although it sounds American; or is it another name for somebody or other? Back to films and Laurie Johnson and His Orchestra play his title music to I Aim At The Stars the story of Werner Von Braun; no Halliwell stars for this one I’m afraid. Angela Morley’s Dear Old Pals is cracking turning-out-of-pub music with clients making very unsteady progress home, just the opposite to Cyril Watters’ Leaps and Bounds from Paul Franklin and his Orchestra (actually Dolf van der Linden again) on the Paxton Label. As you may have guessed library addicts (like me) have been provided with a fine selection of Gaumont British, Pathé and Movietone music not to mention Look At Life and Dave and Dusty (Pathé). There’s Peacock In Piccadilly by Wilfred Burns from Bosworth, Continental Highway by Harold Geller (KPM), Brandy Snaps by Peter Yorke (Charles Brull/Harmonic) but the last track surprised me. Although I’ve got the Paxton 78 ofOn Stage by Billy Mack, I’d no idea it was a pseudonym for Walter Collins and William MacDonnell. I’d like to know more about Walter Collins and I’ve never heard of William MacDonnell but there you are, you usually learn something new with every Guild Light Music release. Another fine collection of easy on the ear light music destined to be ignored by broadcasters supposedly paid to provide musical fare for every taste. KW
THE SOUNDTRACK GALLERY One Day One Night, Trombones and Trumpets, Sunshine Days, Latin Flutes, Saxy, Holiday for Two, Drive, Happymakers, Early Morning Mail, etc… (Gerhard Narholz); Just For You (John Fox); Merry Gerry (H. Egger) 29 tracks Winchester Hospital Radio WHRCD 1201(78:01). This is the latest collection from Steven Wills to support Winchester Hospital Radio, and it is good to see that copies now seem to be widely available (I got mine from Amazon). This time the music all comes from the Sonoton Production Music Library, based in Munich. This is owned by Gerhard Narholz (also known as Norman Candler and various other aliases), so you won’t be surprised to find that his works are prominently featured. But deservedly so, because this is the kind of happy 1960/1970s music that is still enjoyed by many collectors, especially those who like to collect music associated with BBC TV Test Cards from the days before TV was shown for 24 hours. It would have been nice to have had more than one track by our friend John Fox, because he has contributed a vast amount of delightful music to this library (maybe next time, Steven?). The titles probably won’t mean much unless you are a Test Card aficionado, but it is the happy music that is important. Steven has dedicated this CD to the memory of David Allan, who died in January 2012. He chose the music to accompany BBC TV Test Card transmissions during the 1960s and early 1970s, some of which are included in this collection. Only downside – no booklet. DA
TV SOUND AND IMAGE British Television, Film and Library Composers 1956-80 Condition Red (Barry Stoller); Three Days Of The Condor (Geoff Love Orchestra); Man Alive (Tony Hatch Sound); Tomorrow’s World (Richard Denton & Martin Cook); At The Sign Of The Swingin’ Cymbal (Frian Fahey Orchestra); The Contract Man (Bullet) Man Friday (Syd Dale); Echo Four-Two (Laurie Johnson Orchestra); The Persuaders (John Barry); Getting Nowhere In A Hurry (Roy Budd); Dawn To Dusk (Simon Park); New Avengers Theme (Laurie Johnson); Strike Rich (Reg Tilsley); Joe 90 (Barry Gray); Jaguar (John Gregory); Steam Heat (Barbara Moore); Angels (Alan Parker); Face Up (Alan Moorhouse)… 36 tracks on 2 CDs Soul Jazz Records SJR CD257 (110:17 mins). It may be surprising to find a collection like this on a label called ‘Soul Jazz Records’, which perhaps is an indication of the way in which production music (for want of a better name) is accepted in many quarters today, especially when it has either good rhythm, or is still associated with a fondly remembered TV show or film. Featuring music primarily (but not exclusively) sourced from the vaults of De Wolfe and KPM, this features 36 tracks - some commissioned by film and television studios between 1956 and 1980, while the rest was in production music libraries (or even on commercial discs) waiting for someone to choose it. Much of the music will be familiar to people of a certain age, and it covers a range of styles including orchestral, moody jazz, organ led upbeat numbers, and even folk. And as you’d expect, there is plenty of what people like to call ‘easy listening’. Highlights (and there are many) include the Brian Fahey Orchestra's At the Sign of the Swingin' Cymbal - the theme to Alan 'Fluff' Freeman's ‘Pick of The Pops’, and Roy Budd's theme to the original "Get Carter" film starring Michael Caine. Most of the big names are here - John Barry, Keith Mansfield, Barry Gray, Syd Dale, Roy Budd etc. The two CDs are presented in a jewel case that is housed in a cardboard slip case alongside a 48 page booklet. Featuring biographies on all of the featured artists (written by Jonny Trunk), a brief history of Library music, a short essay about de Wolfe Music and archive photos, it's of the standard people now expect from Soul Jazz Records. Confusingly, the introduction highlights a couple of theme tunes – "Mastermind" and "Match of The Day" - to explain how Library music has worked its way into the consciousness of UK television audiences even though neither tune features on the album. But the booklet is something to treasure, even though poor Neil Richardson has his face cut in half through being on two pages that only open flat with difficulty. Also it would have been preferable to see a photo of Barry Gray, rather than the puppet Joe 90 for whom he wrote the TV theme. But if only all CD booklets were like this. Jonny Trunk has done a great job with this collection. DA
THE ANDREWS SISTERS ‘Some Sunny Day’ 117 tracks incl. Heat Wave; Jolly Fella Tarantella; Count Your Blessings; Quicksilver; Tegucigalpa; Adios; Piccolo Pete; In the Mood Jasmine JASBOX 29-4 (78:37, 79:26, 78:40 & 78:25) This is a fantastic bargain, which samples the latter part of the Andrews Sisters’ career from the mid-forties until late 1953, plus reunions in 1959 and 1961. It includes the contents of five Decca LPs, namely ‘Irving Berlin Songs’, ‘Go West Young Man’ with Bing Crosby, ‘I Love to Tell the Story’ a collection of hymns with Victor Young, ‘My Isle of Golden Dreams’a collection of Hawaiian songs with Alfred Alpaka, and ‘Sing, Sing, Sing’. The sisters collaborated with other singers, and in addition to those already mentioned Al Jolson, Dick Haymes, Danny Kaye, and Jimmy Durante are included. There are a number of rarities here also, some of which were only issued in India, Argentina or the UK. Accompaniments include Vic Schoen, Guy Lombardo & his Royal Canadians, Gordon Jenkins, Russ Morgan, Skip Martin, Sy Oliver and Nelson Riddle. BMC
BING CROSBY ‘Through The Years Vol.10’ 30 tracks incl. Happy Holiday; Joy to the World; White Christmas; The First Nowell; Good King Wenceslas; Away in a Manger; Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly; O Little Town of Bethlehem; Silent Night … Sepia 1192 (76:53) This compilation was mentioned in our June issue but re-appears here in view of its content. The first 19 Christmas tracks (44’54") include the ten listed above that Bing recorded in 1955 with Paul Weston and his Orchestra and The Norman Luboff Choir. The remainder feature choirs from around the world, including those of the Mormon Tabernacle, Vatican and Dedham Choral Society in Essex (actually recorded in the UK), taken from the same year’s CBS radio special ‘A Christmas Sing with Bing’. A nice touch is also to have included Bing’s own introductions. There are two other Christmas tracks: a 1935 Silent Nightwith George Stoll and his Orchestra and The Crinoline Choir; and a Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Townfrom 1943 with Vic Schoen and his Orchestra and The Andrews Sisters. More information about the disc and a listing of the nine non-seasonal tracks are in JIM 192. Certainly a Crosby connoisseur’s choice! PB
ELLA FITZGERALD ‘The Voice of Elegance’ 55 tracks incl. Happy Talk; Lover Come Back to Me; My Happiness; Lazy Day; An Empty Ballroom; Come On-a My House; Baby Doll; Old Devil Moon….Jasmine JASCD 707 (79:46 & 79:52) This reissue concentrates on the last eight years of Ella’s recording career with Decca, which ended in 1955 when she switched to Verve. The earliest recording, That Old Feeling, dates from December 1947, as also does How High the Moon. You won’t find that out from Jasmine’s track list, which omits recording dates, although such information should be provided not just for today’s collectors, but also for the future. A number of these songs are well-known from previous reissues, but there are others which are new to me, and two (Soldier Boy and I Can’t Get Started) which don’t appear to have been issued at the time. Ella’s slightly throaty voice and effortless delivery imbued her songs with a feeling of warmth and joy, and she was well-served by her accompaniments, the excellence of which is enhanced by the quality of the remastering. There were occasions when the song became a vehicle for her voice, rather than the other way round, and the choice of material was sometimes less than ideal, but such occasions are minimal, and overall it’s a great compilation. BMC
THE GEORGE MITCHELL MINSTRELS ‘Meet The Minstrels’ The Two Original Albums ‘The Black and White Minstrel Show’’ (stereo 1960) "Meet the Minstrels"; "Leslie Stuart Melodies"; "In the Moonlight"; "Your Requests"; "Meet the Girls"; "A Tribute to Al Jolson"; "Memories of Stephen Foster"; "Grand Finale"; ‘Another Black and White Minstrel Show’ (mono 1961) "Meet the Minstrels"; "The Good Old Summertime"; "Alabamy Bound with Al Jolson"; "Western Style"; "Your Requests"; "Ay Ay Ay"; "Dry Bones"; "Goodbye-ee" Jasmine JASCD 219 (77:59) The Television Toppers, Leslie Crowther, Stan Stennett, George Chisholm, and the solo singing stars of the show: tenor John Boulter, bass Dai Francis and baritone Tony Mercer … ah, the memories! That the "blacking-up" is now considered racist should not detract from the quality of the product, which was required viewing on BBC Saturday night television for 20 years from 1958, and the highest rated variety show of the Sixties winning the Golden Rose of Montreux for Best TV Show in the World in 1961. The stage show ran for 6,477 performances in London’s West End, collecting a Guinness Book of Records entry for the live show seen by the largest number of people (your reviewer among them). It has been a real pleasure revisiting these (then) sales-breaking UK No.1 LPs and a big "bravo" to the label for bringing them back into circulation – with more promised. There is also a good liner note from Sam Hicks May. PB
CATERINA VALENTE ‘Classics with a Chaser’ 26 tracks incl. Tonight we love; Stranger in Paradise; The things I love; La Strada Dell’ 'Amore; Where; I love Paris; Ciao Ciao Bambina; La Canzone di Orfeo (Manha da Carnival); Nessuno al Mondo; Till; Stardust Sepia 1202 (70:00) The latest re-issue from Ms Valente is another winner. The first part of this album brings together a group of popular classical pieces that have been adapted as popular songs – Debussy’s Reverie becomes Larry Clinton's My Reverie and Chopin's Polonaise No 6 becomes Till the end of time – all beautifully sung in English with an instrumental prelude track to each classical piece provided by her regular M.D. Werner Müller and His Orchestra. The remaining bonus tracks are taken mainly from her early Decca years in the late 1950's and include her hits, Till, Personalita and Sucu-Sucu. The remastering by Robin Cherry is superb and the accompanying booklet first class with informative liner notes by Ossie Dales. MC
ANDY WILLIAMS ‘Very Best Of …’ 24 tracks incl. Moon River; Can’t get used to losing you; Music to watch girls by; Can’t take my eyes off you; The Impossible Dream (The Quest); Happy heart; Solitaire; Never can say goodbye; Raindrops keep falling on my head; It’s so easy; Born free; Up, up and away; May each day ... Sony 88697588282 The relaxed and friendly Andy was lost to us this September after almost an 84-year-lifetime in show business and most of his fans are likely to have at least one of his many easy going, middle-of-the-road albums in their collections. But if he does not have a place on your CD shelves and you would like a memento of one of the world’s finest ever popular singers, then look no further than this low-priced compilation from October 2009. PB
LOUIS BELLSON ‘Four Classic Albums Plus’ 34 tracks Avid AMSC 1066 (79:58 & 79.58) Avid has issued three 2-CD sets featuring drummer-led groups. This one comprises all but three numbers from five 1950s 10" LPs, namely ‘The Just Jazz All Stars featuring Louis Bellson’ (1952), ‘Concerto for Drums’ (1954), ‘The Hawk Talks’ (1955), ‘Louis Bellson at the Flamingo’ (1957), and five tracks from‘Drummer’s Holiday’ (1956). He was a dynamic drummer, who could calibrate his performance from a subtle accompaniment to powerhouse percussion, and the full spectrum of his talent is showcased here. BMC
BARNEY KESSEL ‘Three Classic Albums Plus’ 36 tracks incl. Sweet Sue; By the Beautiful Sea; Satin Doll; Nagasaki; Swingin’ the Toreador; Volare; Angel Eyes… AVID AMSC 1064 (78:17 & 79:08) This falls one track short of four original LPs, all recorded between March 1957 and April 1959. In 1956 guitarist Barney Kessel, bassist Ray Brown and drummer Shelley Manne headed the jazz polls of the Downbeat, Metronome and Playboy magazines, and teamed up subsequently to record 'The Poll Winners'. They repeated the hat trick the following year, and celebrated by recording 'The Poll Winners Ride Again' in August 1958, from which the number Foreign Intrigue has been omitted. The choice of material was more eclectic, but the result just as enjoyable. In December 1958, following the surprise success of Shelly Manne’s 'My Fair Lady' album, Barney Kessel assembled a group of musicians with whom to record his arrangements of the score of Bizet’s Carmen. There were three groups involved, with a rhythm section of André Previn on piano, Joe Mondragon on bass and Shelly Manne on drums as a constant. The result did not take off as well as its predecessor, or the subsequent 'West Side Story' album under Previn’s leadership. Nevertheless, it was an artistic success which merited this reissue. The 'Some Like it Hot' album dates from March/April 1959, and was based on the score of the Billy Wilder film of that title, with a modern facelift to songs based in the Prohibition era. This is a delightful compilation, which showcases one of the great bop guitarists in a varied programme, featuring first-class arrangements superbly played by some of the best around. Sound quality is excellent, with much if not all in stereo. BMC
GENE KRUPA ‘Five Classic Albums Plus’ 38 tracks incl. I’m Coming Virginia; Jungle Drums; Day by Day; Love is Here to Stay; China Boy; How High the Moon. Avid AMSC 1069 (73:54 & 79:17)This reissue presents three 10" LPs on CD 1, all by the Gene Krupa Sextet, recorded in April 1953, September 1953, and February 1954, with a varying line-up which included Charlie Shavers, Bill Harris, Ben Webster and Teddy Wilson. CD 2 begins with ‘Hey … Here’s Gene Krupa’ from mid-1957 with Eddie Shu, Dave McKenna & Wendell Marshall, continues with ‘The Gene Krupa Trio Collates’with Charlie Ventura and Teddy Napoleon from 1953, and concludes with the EP ‘Drum Boogie’ which was recorded in Tokyo in April 1952. As you’d expect, this well-planned compilation offers exciting hard-driving jazz, with high-quality sound restoration. BMC
SHELLY MANNE ‘Three Classic Albums Plus’ 37 tracks Avid AMSC 1067 (79:31 & 79:51) This label’s third drummer-led set contains two albums based on the soundtrack of the TV series ‘Peter Gunn’ and, but for two tracks, two albums of numbers from the 1956 musicals ‘Bells are Ringing’ and‘Li’l Abner’. It’s a most enjoyable set, which swings along in a relaxed fashion, under Shelly’s genial leadership. BMC
MEL POWELL ‘Four Classic Albums Plus’ 42 tacks incl. Makin’ Whoopee; You’re My Thrill; Ain’t She Sweet; Pennies from Heaven; Liza; Easy Swing; ‘S Wonderful; Hallelujah…. Avid AMSC 1063(79:58 & 78:58) Mel Powell had a prodigious talent, and his jazz credentials were impeccable, but his interest turned increasingly to classical music, which he studied at Yale under Paul Hindemith. Nevertheless, between 1953 and 1955 he recorded several excellent Vanguard albums, under John Hammond’s hands-off direction. This compilation assembles four and a half Vanguard albums, plus four tracks from a Septet album, and an EP 'Classics in Jazz' which dates from December 1947. The Septet album dates from December 1953, and includes Edmond Hall on clarinet, Buck Clayton on trumpet, Walter Page on bass, and Jimmy Crawford on drums. Avid has included the four jazz numbers from the A Side, and omitted the B Side of the solo Sonatina for Piano. 'Borderline' was recorded in August 1954, with Paul Quinichette on tenor sax and Bobby Donaldson on drums, and'Thigamagig' followed exactly a week later, with the tenor sax replaced by Ruby Braff on trumpet.'The Mel Powell Bandstand' dates from December 1954, and Joan Wile (subsequent founder of Grandmothers Against the War) made her recording debut with 'My Last Millionaire' and 'Soon'.Finally, 'Out on a Limb' was recorded in October 1955, and features two studio groups, in which Bobby Donaldson on drums is the common factor. These recordings showcase Powell’s superb sense of swing; the earliest reflect his Dixieland background, and the later ones chart the growing influence of bop, transmuted by his classical sensibilities. His choice of musicians was astute, and the whole compilation sparkles with variety. Given the scarcity of this material, to have so much made available all at once is a treat that should not be missed. BMC
‘BRITISH DANCE BANDS’ 124 tracks incl. Blue Mountaineers I Got Rhythm; Jack McCormick At the Café Continental; Don Marino Barretto Green Eyes; Billy Munn Night and Day; Nat Star Hummin’ to Myself; Ben Frankel The Donkey Serenade; Four Bright Sparks My Idea of Heaven; Syd SeymourJust Like Jack, Just Like Jill; Tommy Kinsman A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody; Joe Orlando Remember Me?; George Elrick Popcorn Man; Josephine Bradley Tea for Two; Felix Mendelssohn Cherokee; Ivy Benson Stardust; Eddie Wood Hands Across the Table; Len Fillis By the Lazy Lagoon … DELTA 9052(74:56, 75:42, 74:29, 73:35 & 74:53) On the face of it, a 5-CD set for £12.99 including p&p would seem too good to be true, but like Delta’s earlier 5-CD set 'The Golden Age of Swing', the price is the only cheap thing about this compilation. Each CD is self-contained in a separate jewel case, with a comprehensive liner note and clearly annotated tracks, which are arranged in chronological order. Broadly speaking, it spans the Thirties and Forties, plus a handful of tracks from the Fifties. In addition to the more esoteric groups listed above, the usual suspects are also represented, but the degree of duplication with other CDs is lower than I had anticipated. By my reckoning, only just over fifty are commercially available already, mainly in the Vocalion dance band series, plus fourteen on vinyl. Of those that are new to CD, three were issued originally on the extremely rare Octacros label. The remastering is crisp and clear, and I recommend this package whole-heartedly. BMC
CARROLL GIBBONS & the SAVOY HOTEL ORPHEANS Volume 13 ‘Rustic Rhapsody’ 24 tracks incl. The Mood that I’m in; Amor, Amor; Do I Love You? ; My Favourite Dream; It Might as Well be Spring; Cynthia’s in Love…. Vocalion CDEA 6200 (72:57)
ROY FOX at the CAFÉ de PARIS ‘Spin a Little Web of Dreams’ 24 tracks incl. Midnight, the Stars and You; Aloha Beloved; One Morning in May; My Sweet; True … Vocalion CDEA 6201 (73:21)
THE NEW MAYFAIR DANCE ORCHESTRA DIRECTED BY CARROLL GIBBONS ‘Encore’ 25 tracks incl. All by Yourself in the Moonlight; Spread a Little Happiness; Anita: Nobody’s Fault but Your Own; Dancing Goblin…… Vocalion CDEA6202 (77:37)
Again, a disclaimer insofar as liner notes for these three reissues were written by yours truly, plus amea culpa!
Reissues of recordings by the Savoy Hotel Orpheans tend to concentrate on the thirties, but apart from the first two numbers in this latest compilation, which date from 1937, all the rest were recorded between 1940 and 1946. By then the Orpheans were playing in the then popular homogenous orchestral style, but without any lowering of standards. Carroll took a rare vocal on the song Who Am I? and his delightful piano playing is much in evidence. It introduces Too Romanticwhich is one of nine numbers sung here by his long-time vocalist Anne Lenner.
In 1934 Roy Fox spent three months at the Café de Paris, from March to May, and this compilation contains two dozen out of the 32 sides which came out of that residency. I can find only two tracks which have been reissued previously, both on a Decca LP, so duplication is minimal. Most of the vocals were taken by Denny Dennis, who'd joined Roy Fox at the end of 1933, and show why he attracted the title of "The British Bing Crosby". Trumpeter Sid Buckman sings the swinging Swaller Tail Coat, and the remaining six vocals fall to the mezzo-soprano tones of pianist Peggy Dell. It's a very attractive compilation which features a good mix of ballads and up-tempo numbers, Over My Shoulder in particular underlining what a superb outfit this was.
The New Mayfair Dance Orchestra was the HMV house band, which was reconstituted in 1928 under Carroll Gibbons’ musical directorship, which lasted until mid-1929, when he handed over to Ray Noble. Reissues mainly feature the latter’s recordings, particularly those with vocals by Al Bowlly, but Carroll’s have much to commend them, not least for the presence on some of the great American trumpeter Sylvester Ahola. Many of the numbers reflect the twenties vogue for syncopation, and over half the numbers are instrumentals. Of the vocals, I have erred in crediting Good Little Bad Little You to Eddie Grossbart instead of Eddie Brandt. Mike Dutton’s remastering has captured a very full depth of sound, and many of these treasures will be new to collectors. BMC
FRANK BANTA ‘Upright and Grand’ 27 tracks incl. I Wonder Where My Baby is Tonight; Ain’t She Sweet; Nola; Go Home and Tell Your Mother; The Doll Dance Rivermont BSW-1142 (78:04) This CD gives a fascinating glimpse of a bygone era, through the recordings between 1923 and 1930 of virtuoso solo syncopator Frank Banta. His background and career is set out in the accompanying liner note by Alex Hassan (another piano virtuoso). He makes the point that Banta’s style of playing was perfect for the recording medium; a light touch, crisp and clear, and he made it sound as natural as breathing. Given the age and rarity of the original recordings, some residual surface noise is inevitable, but Bryan Wright’s remastering enables every nuance to be appreciated fully. BMC
‘DAINTY DEBUTANTES Female Novelty Pianists of the 1930s’ 26 tracks incl. You are My Heart’s Delight; Just by Your Example; Jazz up Your Lingerie; Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart; To a Wild Rose Rivermont BSW-1149 (78:38) This is a stunning compilation of recordings by Patricia Rossborough, the South African Raie de Costa, Renara, the American Edythe Baker, Australian Beryl Newell, and the Canadian Vera Guilaroff. All of the ladies concerned possessed keyboard skills of a very high order, whose artistry elevated popular songs of the day into minor works of art. The standout for me is Raie de Costa, and what Alex Hassan's liner note refers to as her amazing theme and variations on Cole Porter's ‘I've Got You on My Mind’. That alone is worth the price of the CD, most of which sounds as though freshly minted yesterday. BMC
ADAM ‘Giselle – Highlights’ Academy of St Martin in the Fields / Sir Neville Marriner Brilliant Classics 94354 (66:45) Music from the ballet is a good introduction to the whole wonderful world of classical music, and you will find no better value single album of the genre than this one.Giselle is the first ballet still regularly performed that was independent of opera, and is regarded as one of the great ballets of the romantic era. Written in 1841 by the Paris born Adolphe Adam (1803-56) it is now his best-remembered major work, although he is possibly even better known for his much-loved Christmas carol O Holy Night (Minuit, crėtiens!). This first-rate recording was made in December 1994 in the Church of St Jude-on-the-Hill in Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, and was originally issued on the Capriccio label. ET
‘BEETHOVEN FOR ALL’ Music of Power, Passion and Beauty West-Eastern Divan Orchestra ˕ Staatskapelle Berlin / Daniel Barenboim Decca B0016871-02 (143:14) Along with John Wilson, of course, another highlight of this year’s BBC Proms was the Beethoven Symphony series played by Maestro Barenboim’s remarkable orchestra of young musicians from Israel, Palestine and Arab countries of the Middle East. On this 2-CD set there are just over 72 minutes of extracts from the above series together with extracts on three tracks each of piano concertos (accompanied by the Staatskapelle) and piano sonatas with the conductor as soloist. This is an excellent release attractively priced and an ideal Christmas gift as an introduction to the greatest classical composer of them all. It would get my vote for being among the year’s best. ET
DELIUS Scottish National Orchestra / Sir Andrew Davis Chandos CHAN 10742 (75:35) If it had not been for Sir Thomas Beecham then we might never have heard of Delius, which would have been a great loss. Brigg Fair and Paris are lovely pieces in a lighter vein while Idylle de Printemps(English translation Springtime Idyll) has never been heard before, which is strange because it is excellent. The Piano Concerto is also enjoyable, especially as it is the rare original three movement piece as opposed to the one movement usually heard. A fine CD. PW
JOHAN SVENDSEN ‘Orchestral Works – Volume 2’ Truls Mork (cello) Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra / Neeme Jarvi Chandos CHAN 10711 (72:09) Svendsen (1840-1911) studied at Leipzig, and at one time was a friend of Richard Wagner. Norwegian by birth, he spent much of his career in Denmark, where he became chief conductor at Copenhagen’s Royal Theatre. For one who showed such early promise as a composer, it is sad to relate that by the end of his thirties he had experienced a decline in inspiration and productivity, and from his early forties until his death he completed only a few occasional works. The composer’s great strength lay in his ability as a superb orchestrator, and it was in the field of orchestral music that Svendsen really excelled. Although he wrote very much in the Nordic idiom, his masterly command of the orchestra reminds me of Brahms, and particularly at times of Dvorak. The two Norwegian Rhapsodies Nos. 3 and 4 on this disc make use of several Norwegian traditional folk tunes, and some of this material will be familiar to those who are conversant with the music of Grieg, who was a close friend and near-contemporary. TheConcerto for Cello and Orchestra, Op.7 is a brief work of about 19 minutes, and although written in a conventional three-movement form, these are played without a break, with the last movement reprising much of thematic material of the first. (It has been suggested that the E flat Piano Concertoof Franz Liszt was the inspiration for this format). Although not of the same stature as, say, the Dvorak or Schumann concertos for the cello, it is an interesting work, worth getting to know. TheSymphony No.2, Op.15, written in 1876, was an immediate and well-deserved success, warmly received by both audience and critics. Written at the peak of Svendsen’s composing career at the age of 36, it is at one and the same time (to my ears anyway) both Nordic and Germanic – there are more than a few overtones of Richard Wagner in the writing. The quality of both the orchestral performances and the recordings – made at the Grieghallen, Bergen, Norway – are of the highest standard. This new CD is a worthy addition to the Chandos catalogue, and is highly recommended to those who, like me, are keen to explore the undoubted treasures of Scandinavian 19th-century musical repertoire. TC
(You will find a review of Volume 1 in JIM 191. – KT Ed.)
‘NORDIC VIOLIN FAVOURITES’ Henning Kraggerud (violin) Dalasinfoniettan / Bjarte Engeset 21 tracks Naxos 8.572827 (74:48) Our listening pleasure has been enhanced again thisyear by many outstanding value-for-money releases from Naxos, and here is one of the best of them. There was a great deal of Nordic writing for the violin in the two decades from 1910 and this album has six fine examples by Olsen, Atterberg (a World Première Recording of Suite No.3), Stenhammar, Halvorsen, Sibelius and Sinding: Six Old Village Songs from Lom in Norway, Two Sentimental Romances, Norwegian Dance, Six Humoresques and Evening Mood, together with two pieces by "The Nordic Paganini", Ole Bull (1810-80): Memories of Havana and A Mountain Vision. They are all marvellously played by the Oslo-born violinist who has been a recipient of Norway’s prestigious Grieg Prize. He is sensitively supported by the 29-strong chamber orchestra conducted by his fellow countryman. Both have made several highly praised recordings for the label in the past. Be warned, the liner notes pack in so much information they are of necessity in very small print. The recorded sound from Sweden is extremely good and altogether this is a release to be savoured. ET
NICOLA BENEDETTI ‘The Silver Violin’ Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra / Kirill Kirabits15 tracks incl. Williams Schindler’s List – Main Theme; Korngold Tanzlied des Pierrot; Violin Concerto; Mariettas Lied; Gardel Por una cabeza; Shostakovitch Romance; Andante; Prelude; Hess Ladies in Lavender – Main Theme; Marianelli My Edward & I; Shore Concertino – Eastern Promises Tatiana;Mahler Piano Quartet in A Minor Decca 478 3529 (77:54) Voted Best Female Artist at this year’s Classic BRIT Awards and a star of the BBC’s Last Night of the Proms, the 25-year-old Miss Benedetti has been critically extolled as one of the foremost violinists of her generation. Here she turns her attention to film music from the 1930s onwards, with the main work being the Czech-born Hollywood composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s 25½ minute concerto for which he drew on themes from his movie scores. That this disc is as much about Korngold as the silver screen, his two shorter pieces are from an opera. On other tracks film buffs may recognise music from ‘Scent of a Woman’, ‘The Gadfly’, ‘Jane Eyre’ and ‘Shutter Island’, among others. Not surprisingly the album, released in late August, went straight to the top of the Official Classical Album Chart and was still there as I wrote this in late October. It also made the low 30s in the Top 40 UK albums chart. You will note that Decca’s timing is a lot more generous than for many of their lighter music releases I have reviewed in the past. PB
'THE COLOURS OF CHRISTMAS' 23 tracks incl. Ding Dong! Merrily on high; In Dulci Jubilo; Away in a Manger; Hodie Christus natus est; I wonder as I wander; Silent Night; In the bleak mid-winter; O Holy Night; Joy to the world; Deck the hall; The Christmas Song … Decca 2782129 (73:27) Received too late to review at this time last year is this album with fresh recordings of some of the best-loved Christmas music compiled by the Festive season’s popular man-about-music, John Rutter, including what was then his brand new carol that gives the album its name. Other artists are The Bach Choir, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, organist John Birch and Over the Bridge (a nine-voice close harmony group, mainly made up of Clare College choral scholars, featured on three tracks), all conducted by "Mr Christmas" himself. PB
Some more recent releases recommended by Wilfred Askew
COUNT BASIE & HIS ORCHESTRA ‘Broadway and Hollywood .... Basie’s Way’ ‘Broadway’(1966) 12 tracks incl. Just in time; Mame; On a clear day; From this moment on; People; Everything’s coming up roses … ‘Hollywood’ (1967) 12 tracks incl. Secret love; The shadow of your smile; The Trolley Song; Strangers in the night; Hurry sundown blues; Days of wine and roses …Fresh Sound FSA-CD 546 (65:45) Two original Command albums.
FERDE GROFẾ ‘Rocketship X-M’ (1950) 15 tracks mastered from the 1977 Starlog Soundtrack album. Bonus: Noodling On The Theramin MonsterMovie Music MMM-1965 (37:16)
LURLEEN HUNTER ‘The Velvet Voice’ 4 albums on 2 CDs ‘Lonesome Gal’ (RCA, 1955) w. Al Nevins’s Orch. 12 tracks incl. Brief encounter; A stranger in town; But not for me; On Green Dolphin Street … ‘Night Life’ (VIK, 1956) w. Manny Albam’s Orch. 12 tracks incl. Georgia on my mind; Gentleman friend; Moondrift; Sunday … ‘Stepping Out’ (VIK, 1957) w. Phil Moore’s Orch. 12 tracks incl. Old devil moon; Blues in the night; Under a blanket of blue; Some other time … ‘Blue And Sentimental’ (Atlantic, 1960)
w. Jimmy Guiffre’s Orch. 11 tracks incl. Blue turning grey over you; If you could see me now; Crazy he calls me; Then I’ll be tired of you … Fresh Sound FSRR-CD 662 (147:11)
HENRY MANCINI ‘Hatari’ Original Film Soundtrack 22 tracks Intrada Special Collection Vol. 200 (61:35)
‘Charade’ Complete Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 28 tracks Intrada MAF 7121 (77:51)
DIMITRI TIOMKIN ‘Fall Of The Roman Empire’ Expanded Motion Picture Soundtrack – limited to 2,500 units 27 tracks La-La Land LLLCD 1202 (65:00)
World Premiere Recording of the Complete Film Score on 2 CDs City of Prague Philharmonic / Nic Raine 37 tracks A Tadlow Music Production Prometheus Records XPCD 170 (138:14)
’55 Days AT Peking’ Expanded Original Film Soundtrack on 2 CDs – limited to 2,500 copies 57 tracks La-La Land LLLCD 1184 (114:25)
DAVID WHITAKER (1931 – 2012) ‘The Sword And The Sorcerer’ Original Film Soundtrack The Grounke S.O. / Whitaker 23 tracks BSX Records BSXCD 8910 (68:31)
EARL GRANT ‘Nothin’ But The Versatile Earl Grant’ 4 U.S. Decca LPs on 2 CDs 48 tracks ‘The Versatile Mr Grant’ incl. Blue star; Japanese Farewell Song; Dream; Ol’ Man River … ‘Nothin’ But The Blues’ incl. One for my baby; Basin St. Blues; St. Louis Blues … ‘Stormy Weather’ incl. Canadian Sunset; Ebb tide; Misty; "Exodus" Theme … ‘Paris Is My Beat’ incl. Under Paris skies; Bon soir; Beyond the sea; Two loves have I … Jasmine JASCD 197 (152:46)
PEPE JARAMILLO ‘Salud Pepé’ with his Latin-American Rhythm directed by Geoff Love 30 tracks incl. Cachito, Cachita; A woman in love; Romantica; Pepé; Delicado; Adios; Boy on a dolphin …Jasmine JASCD 193 (75:18)
BILLY VAUGHN AND HIS ORCHESTRA ‘Orange Blossom Special & Wheels’ and ‘Berlin Melody’ 2 Dot albums from 1961 25 tracks incl. Are you lonesome tonight?; The Whiffenpoof Song; Green green grass of Texas; It’s a lonesome old town … Wooden heart; Blue moon; Till I waltz again with you; Come September … 3 bonus tracks: Red River Valley; Side by side; You are my sunshineSepia 1183 (66:04)
NORMAN CANDLER AND HIS MAGIC STRINGS Try A Little Tenderness Don’t Cry For Me Argentina; Chanson D’Amour; A Sentimental Moment; Another Suitcase In Another Hall; Nancy (With The Laughing Face); Feelings, etc… Candler By Candlelight Candlelight Waltz; Petite Fleur; Spanish Harlem; With A Song In My Heart; The Way We Were, etc… 28 tracks. Vocalion CDLK4430 [78:44]. The name ‘Norman Candler’ hides the true identity of Gerhard Narholz, born in Vöcklabruch, Austria, on 6 June 1937. A classically trained composer, arranger and conductor, Narholz has also used the pseudonyms Otto Sieben, Sammy Burdson, Jurgen Jänner, Walt Rockman, Mac Prindy, John Epping, Jim Harbourg, Renato Pegado and Tony Tape for various aspects of his wide-ranging musical interests. In real life this charming, modest and talented musician is also a successful businessman. In 1965 Gerhard and his wife Rotheide founded the Sonoton Recorded Music Library [now based in Munich, Germany] which supplies music for professional users in films, documentaries, radio and television. Its sister label is Intersound, which was immediately successful upon its launch with recordings by Horst Jankowski, to be followed later by top international conductors including Billy May, Nelson Riddle and Franck Pourcel. Sonoton has grown into the largest independent production music company in the world. During the 1970s Gerhard made around 20 LPs as ‘Norman Candler’, specialising in gently rhythmic treatments of songs that were popular at the time. He also proved his ability to write appealing melodies, and his own works: A Sentimental Moment, The Other Way, Soft And Tender and Days Of No Return fit comfortably alongside some of the better known numbers. Special mention must be made of the great Richard Rodgers classic With A Song In My Heart. It is not surprising to find a superb arrangement by the English composer, arranger and conductor John Fox [b. 1924] included on a Norman Candler album. For many years, right up to the present time, John has been a major contributor to Narholz’s Sonoton library, creating a wide range of orchestral colours which have been widely accepted by the entertainment profession around the world. He is warmly remembered in Britain for his many broadcasts conducting the BBC Radio Orchestra during its glory years of the 1970s and 1980s. The John Fox Strings were regularly heard on Radio 2, and in concerts John often included a choir together with his glamorous singer Joy Devon. He was also welcome in Europe, notably conducting radio orchestras in Germany, and his "Easy Listening" recordings have gained him many new friends in the USA, partly through new internet radio stations specialising in this repertoire. During his mature years John Fox has devoted much of his time to composing a succession of charming orchestral miniatures, often extolling the virtues of the English countryside, especially his beloved Surrey. Fortunately for his many admirers a good number of his works are available on compact discs. In this collection we can admire John’s mastery of the orchestra with his sometimes dramatic treatment of the Richard Rodgers classic With A Song In My Heart. His score is full of interesting diversions which he weaves like the intricate patterns in a mosaic, with the added touch of a discrete, yet effective, wordless chorale. Few arrangers can match his command of the full resources of a modern concert orchestra with such appealing results. This CD is a pleasant reminder of the kind of music that was so prevalent in the 1970s – undemanding yet enjoyable, and perfectly suited as background to gentle pursuits where the attention can be happily allowed to wander. David Ades
THE COMPOSER CONDUCTS VOL.1 for track listing see Light Music pages on this website. Alternatively visit www.guildmusic.com. Guild GLCD5177 [79:05] As compiler David Ades says at the start of his notes you would expect the ensuing music to be as the composer intended seeing as he or she was on the podium and Ron Goodwin is no exception as it is he and the Concert Orchestra who open the proceedings with his Jet Journey, a scintillating start to the programme. Courses de Toros (Bullfights) by Gerard Calvi is as the title suggests a musical depiction of the Spanish appetite for blood letting, [no way can it be called a sport unless the enraged and injured bull can get its horns into its tormentor] but Gerard Calvi really brings the atmosphere of the arena to life. I’ve got a couple of Spanish CDs which include "bull-baiting" music and the engineers have mixed the cheers and clapping of the watching mob…mercifully that doesn’t happen on the Calvi Recording. Two library pieces follow, Angela Morley’s Fun in the Sun from Chappell, a typical lighthearted newsreel and documentary accompaniment, then Cedric Dumont’s more romantic Les Parfums de Paris played by the New Concert Orchestra though I suppose it’s his own Orchestra in Basle. Woolf Phillips’ Parisian Mode on track five, used by BBC Television as signature tune to the panel game ‘What’s My Line’ was originally on a Columbia disc but it sounds tailor made for inclusion in a Mood Music publisher’s catalogue. Was it ever? I don’t know but I’m sure David does [Editor – I have never seen it anywhere else]. Listening to Rudolf Friml’s Puppets on Parade made me wonder why he called it that….it’s a lively catchy number with strains of "city mobility" type music from a mood catalogue…nothing of an eccentric nature you might have expected from the title and an excellent recording by the 101 Strings conducted by Friml. Bad Timing on track eleven is definitely NOT my idea of light music and it comes from something called ‘Billion Dollar Baby’, a Broadway show co-written by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. Set in the prohibition era on Staten Island and in Atlantic City the score was written by Morton Gould. It opened in 1945 and ran for 220 performances. Not my cup of tea but maybe the rest of the music is more tuneful. More to my taste are the tunes of Roger Roger and one of them, Along the Avenue from the Chappell library is included here plus a couple of very cheerful and catchy numbers, Montana Round-Up by Kermit and Walter Leslie and Raymond Scott’sHuckleberry Duck. Neiani by Axel Stordahl, like Bad Timing is another piece that wouldn’t find shelf room in my CD collection. David says in the booklet notes that Stordahl realised that his style was more suited to slow sentimental ballads. If this one is anything to go by they’d be eminently suitable for putting people to sleep. However, things started looking up when André Popp and his Orchestra burst upon the scene with his lively and tuneful novelty La Bardinetta quickly followed by the sound of coconut shells and starting pistol introducing Percy Faith’s Fiddle Derby. And another track to keep one alert is Frank Perkins’ Fandango, guaranteed to keep the feet tapping. Now we dip once more into the world of newsreels, Pathe, Gaumont British, Movietone and other users of vintage background music with four tracks from Harmonic, Chappell, Boosey and Hawkes and Paxton. Sports Arena by Wilfred Burns conducting the Harmonic Orchestra, Charles Williams conducting the Queens Hall Light Orchestra in one of his best [I think] compositions Trolley Bus followed by Frederic Curzon’s Boulevardier and bringing up the rear Dolf Van Der Linden and his Metropole Orchestra with his catchy and clever Jack the Dancer…all of them just up my street. And to finish off Volume 1 of "The Composer Conducts" two Big Band type compositions…Blende Auf by Werner Muller conducting the RIAS Dance Orchestra and the First Movement of Otto Cesana’s Symphony in Jazz. Any listener with leanings towards Big Band music will certainly like these. Ken Wilkins
THE COMPOSER CONDUCTS VOL. 2 for track listing see Light Music pages on this website. Alternatively visit www.guildmusic.com. Guild GLCD 5178 [78:12] This is a honey of a disc, in repertoire and [with the possible exception of the Ewing selection] performances. It illustrates the fact that so many of our light music composers have been excellent conductors. Several of the 22 tracks are rousing marches: Things To Come [Bliss], the only one in stereo; State Occasion [Robert Farnon]; League of Gentlemen [Philip Green]; Salute the Soldier, not one of Eric Coates best known but thoroughly characteristic; Amethyst [Leighton Lucas] and Naval Occasion [Clifford], both suitably nautical; Sidney Torch’s busy International Sports; and March of the Bowmen, heard in abbreviated form in the Curzon selection. The Melachrino, Walter Collins, Ivor Novello and Arthur Wood items all exemplify lithe, skilful string writing [it is good to hear the Wood in its original orchestral guise, as nowadays, in my experience, it is usually heard in a brass band version]. Charles Ancliffe’s Thrillswaltz is clearly by the same composer as Nights of Gladness and Don Gilles’ Symphony for Funscherzo is worth revival. And we are reminded that the 1940s was the era of the light concerto with Peter Yorke’s Dawn Fantasy and Hubert Bath’s Cornish Rhapsody, from 1944 and stunningly played by Harriet Cohen, the equal of any performance I have heard of this popular piece. Recording dates are widely spread [1930 to 1959] and three are pre-war, but the customary Guild magic makes the best of the available sound. Generally the CD recommends itself without need for me to do so. I enjoyed it enormously, though. Philip Scowcroft
The KT Editor’s CD Choice for this issue
MATTHEW CURTIS : Orchestral Works [Volume IV] Royal Ballet Sinfonia cond. Gavin Sutherland A Festival Overture; Short and Suite; On the River; Striding Edge; Variations on a Theme of Verdi; Four Winds Suite; Autumn Leaves; Sterling Silver; Summer Serenade; Christmas Rush Campion CAMEO 2085 [79:47] I was quite excited when hearing of this latest recording in Campion’s British Composer Series, having greatly enjoyed RFS member Matthew’s previous discs. The CD plopped through my letter box on Christmas Eve so I immediately went to the last track, an effervescent concert march, which Matthew says in his interesting booklet notes he wrote "in order to fill what I saw as a vacancy in the Christmas repertoire for a light music piece capturing the spirit of anticipation unique to that season, yet avoiding overt references to carols, bells, Santa or snowfall." You will find out how successful he was when you hear the disc – for hear it you must. The obviously named Short and Suite and two other works on this disc were especially composed for the National Children’s Orchestra [under-13s] of Great Britain. The second of these, Striding Edge, a place well-known to Lake District climbers, is another concert march; although Matthew says that any attempt on the actual Edge at anything like the tempo of this piece would be to risk injury or worse! The 10½-minute Variations are on the chorus "Viva Simon!" from the original 1857 version of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra – the 1881 revision usually heard today leaves it out. Autumn Leaves is not the familiar standard but a small orchestra elaboration of a piano piece written for Gavin Sutherland. The conductor was a member of the trio that played on the premiere performance of Summer Serenade,also performed here by a small orchestra. Another spirited item, spotlighting the whole ensemble, isSterling Silver [the longest single track at 7:59], written in 2005 to mark the 25th anniversary of the amateur West Lakeland Orchestra. With nearly 80 minutes of music this album is every bit as good as its predecessors, being chock-full of melody well played by the RBS. What a joy it is to celebrate a modern composer who can consistently write such good tunes.
JIMMY DORSEY AND HIS ORCHESTRA WITH PATTI PAGE Lets Go To Town Manhattan ; That’s A Plenty; This Is My Song; Lets Fall In Love; What Can I Say After I Say I’m Sorry; Wimoweh; I Went To Your Wedding; South Rampart Street Parade; Lover; Jazz Me Blues; You Belong To Me; Just One Of Those Things; Sweet Georgia Brown; Muskrat Ramble; Hello, Good-Bye, Forget It. Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY 822 [59:20]. Four National Guard shows complete with all recruitment announcements, each with opening and closing signature tune So Rare. The Dorsey band sometimes plays Big Band, other times Dixieland. Patti Page, just starting on a solo career, is in fine voice. Paul Clatworthy
BENNY GOODMAN AND HIS ORCHESTRA, QUINTET & SEXTET AFRS Shows Vol.1 Let’s Dance; Somebody Stole My Girl; On The Sunny Side Of The Street; And The Angels Sing; More Than You Know; I Got Rhythm; I Don’t Know Enough About You; Sing Sing, Sing; Let’s Dance; I Know That You Know; Ain’t Misbehavin’; My Sugar Is So Refined; Blues In The News; Dizzy Fingers; I Don’t Know Why; Oh! Baby: Somebody Stole My Girl; I Know That You Know. Armed forces radio transcriptionsSounds of Yesteryear DSOY 818 [62:37]. Digitally mastered from original discs complete with announcements interspersed with very corny comedy dialogue from Peter Donald. Martha Tilton’s fine vocal on And The angels sing tries to compete with Benny illustrating how fast he can play the clarinet, Second half has guest Johnny Mercer singing My Sugar Is So Refined and Blues In The News. Paul Clatworthy
AFRS Shows Vol.2 Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY 828 [60:16]. Second volume of shows previously reviewed, this time containing twenty-six tracks in the same vein from shows three and four. Paul Clatworthy
HITS OF GLENN MILLER AND TOMMY & JIMMY DORSEY IN STEREO The All-Star Alumni Band conducted by Bobby Byrne - featuring original arrangements and musicians 24 tracks incl. Tuxedo Junction; Moonlight Serenade; Little Brown Jug; Sunrise Serenade; Johnson Rag; Marie[Loren Becker, vocalist]; Boogie Woogie; Song of India; Well, Git It!; Opus No.1 … Sepia 1160[77:56] The "big band sound" to people below a certain age probably signifies banks of Marshall or Vox amplifiers with thousands of watts of audio, played by modern pop bands in an open field full of liquid mud in the middle of June. For those above that certain age it evokes memories of ballrooms with sprung Canadian maple dance floors, strict tempo foxtrots, waltzes and jive, accompanied by a genuine no-nonsense high quality dance band orchestra. We danced to such classics as Stardust, In The Mood and String of Pearls [all on this CD] with that special lady with that heady perfume that lingers forever. Just like the perfume our big band sound has and will endure forever. So roll back the carpet, grab "that special lady" and dance, because this CD is irresistible! The two dozen tracks are a good mix of all the old favourite numbers one associates with Glenn, Tommy and Jimmy but with some individual musicality on some of the tracks. That said, the fact that so many alumni musicians came together after the original bands dispersed is in itself no mean feat. Bob Eberly is the vocalist on I understand and The breeze and I, and duets with Dottie Evans on Amapola and Green Eyes. In CD format the stereo remastering and noise reduction of the original recordings is good but not exceptional, particularly the spatial separation. The standout track for me, Stardust, is extraordinary but a lot of you will have your own memories of these recordings and, maybe, that special lady. As a postscript: it is a pity that some of these timeless classics have not been used on the BBC’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ series. Keep on dancing! Roger Chantler
THE HOLLYWOOD FLUTE Louise Ditullio [flute] with Sinfonia Toronto conducted by Ronald Royer Suite from "Hook" [John Williams]; Suite from "Dances With Wolves" [John Barry]; Themes from "Charlotte’s Web" [Danny Elfman]; Theme from "Sleeping With The Enemy" [Jerry Goldsmith]; The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn [Laurence Rosenthal – for unaccompanied flute]; Short Stories [Ronald Royer]; Le Papillon [David Rose]; Theme from ‘Rudy’ [Jerry Goldsmith] [USA] Cambria CD-1194 [72:54]. The track that persuaded me to buy this CD was the composition by David Rose. He wrote it for Louise DiTullio, who had been a regular member of his orchestra since she was eighteen, working on TV shows such as ‘Bonanza’ and ‘Little House on the Prairie’. The piece is calledLe Papillon [the Butterfly], and it is so appropriate for the flute – describing the short life of that most beautiful of insects through its many stages. It was premiered in 1980 and thereafter Louise had the opportunity to perform the work several more times with David Rose conducting. He must have been proud of the work, because he mentioned it in correspondence with us [he was a member of the RFS] in the years before he died in 1989. It is clear that David never lost his flair for composing; it is a beautiful work, and deserves a place in every light music lover’s collection. The other tracks are almost a bonus, and they contribute magnificently to a most enchanting collection. David Ades
JOURNEY INTO MELODY Journey Into Melody (Robert Farnon) - Robert Farnon; Red Shawl (Carr) - Philip Green; Enchanted April (The Olive Tree) (Trevor Duncan) - Norrie Paramor; The Waltzing Bugle Boy (Ray Martin) - Ray Martin; Ebb Tide (Maxwell) - Frank Chacksfield; The Road To Ballingarry (Mantovani) – Mantovani; The Elephant Tango (Landes) - Cyril Stapleton; Elizabethan Serenade (Ronald Binge) - Ron Goodwin; Port-Au-Prince (Bernie Wayne) - Frank Cordell; Faded Lilac(Peter Yorke) - Peter Yorke & His Silver Strings; Venezuela (Coleman) - Wally Stott; L'edera(Seracini) - Semprini (piano), conducting the New Abbey Light Orchestra; Swedish Rhapsody (Alfven) – Mantovani; Blue Grotto (Ron Goodwin) - Ron Goodwin; The Peanut Polka (Robert Farnon) - Robert Farnon; Sadie's Shawl (Carstens) - Frank Cordell; Forgotten Dreams (Leroy Anderson) - Cyril Stapleton; Autumn Concerto (Bargoni) - The George Melachrino Orchestra; China Boogie (Helmut Zacharias) - Sidney Torch with Bert Weedon (guitar); In Old Lisbon (Lisbon Antigua) (Portela) – Frank Chacksfield; Tango Of The Bells (Ray Martin) - Ray Martin; Blue Star (Victor Young) - Geoff Love; On A Spring Note (Sidney Torch) – Sidney Torch; Around The World (Victor Young) - Stanley Black; Under Paris Skies (Giraud) – Mantovani; Three Coins In The Fountain (Styne) – Alyn Ainsworth; April In Portugal (Ferrao) - Norrie Paramor; Summer Star (Cyril Ornadel) - Tony Osborne;Westminster Waltz (Robert Farnon) – Robert Farnon. Bygone Days BYD77058 [77:20]. This recent release from the Delta Music Group is welcome for several reasons: first of all it is a generous helping of light music; secondly its bargain price will help to ‘spread the word’ about light music and hopefully reach some people who do not realise how enjoyable it can be; and thirdly it is simply a top quality product in all respects. Although he receives no credit, we understand that the compiler is Peter Dempsey, who has been responsible for many entertaining collections of light music in recent years. He has made a good choice, picking some comparative rarities among the familiar titles which will ensure that the collection is sufficiently attractive to ensure healthy sales. Indeed we have learned that extra copies were pressed soon after release, so let’s hope that another collection will follow soon. The comprehensive booklet notes are by Ralph Harvey, who many readers will already know from his magazine articles and the collections of continental music released by the likes of EMI and French record companies in recent years. The more CDs like this that are issued, the better it will be for light music. The hope is that any casual purchasers will be encouraged to explore the many other CDs that are currently available – not only compilations of older material, but new recordings by top orchestras and conductors. Top marks all round! David Ades
MANTOVANI AND HIS ORCHESTRA Classical Encores & Christmas Album Track listing in JIM 186 Vocalion CDLK 4429 [41:24 & 42:09] We previewed this release in our last issue without any catalogue number or timings. Having now heard the 2-CD set I would include the first album with the beautiful seasonal offering as among the best Mantovani albums of all time, even if the latter does not quite give me the tingle I got from the original vinyl . Peter Burt
PALM COURT LIGHT ORCHESTRA [of Canada] conducted by Charles Job Silver Jubilee Little Serenade [Ernest Tomlinson]; Dancing Stars [Herman Finck]; The Mosquito’s Parade [Howard Whitney]; Love Sends A Gift Of Roses [John Openshaw]; The Mad Major [Kenneth Alford]; A Love Long [Haydn Wood]; Side Saddle [Trevor H. Stanford]; Jealousy [Jacob Gade]; Chanson de Nuit [Edward Elgar]; The Glow-worm [Paul Lincke]; In An Old Fashioned Town [W.H. Squire]; Shaftesbury Avenue [Jack Strachey]; Tango [Isaac Albeniz]; Lucy Long [Fred Godfrey]; In The Shadows [Herman Finck]; Fleurette d’Amour [Percy Fletcher]; Rumbolero [A. Marazit]; Humoresque [Anton Dvorak]; Sons Of The Brave [Thomas Bidgood] Palm Court CD05 [70:06] RFS member Charles Job has been organising and conducting concerts in British Columbia with his Palm Court Orchestra for almost 25 years – they actually celebrate this notable milestone next year. This new CD [dedicated to Ernest Tomlinson] features some of their most popular pieces, and it provides a perfect example of the kind of high quality light music of a traditional kind that is shamefully ignored by today’s broadcasters around the world. Happily we can choose to listen to CDs, rather than the radio, and this delightful collection is warmly recommended to everyone who appreciates this kind of repertoire. David AdesFor more information about the orchestra visit their website: www.palmcourtorchestra.com
ANDRẾ RIEU & HIS JOHANN STRAUSS ORCHESTRA Moonlight Serenade 17 track CD incl. Gold And Silver; Barcarolle; Theme from Romeo & Juliet; My Love Song Should Be A Waltz; Vienna, City Of Dreams; Roses From The South; Serenade; Eine Kleine Nachtmusik – Mozart Medley; O Mio Babbino Caro; Lara’s Theme; Romance:The Gadfly .... plus 28 track DVD incl. Seventy-Six Trombones; Blaze Away; Fächerpolonaise; Chianti Song; Nessum Dorma; Elyen A Magyar!; Sportpalast Waltz; The While Horse Inn; Emperor Waltz; Concerto Pour Une Voix; Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again; Botany Bay … Decca 533178 [Total running time 3:28:27] The Dutch violinist was described in The Times as "Today’s face of classical music" while other classical collectors are not so keen. Whatever … this album chart topping outfit has certainly achieved phenomenal success throughout the world in recent years. Mr Rieu is undoubtedly a very good musician and the orchestra play well for him. What I do not understand is why he feels the need to make his own arrangements of everything and does not sometimes leave well alone. Serenade is the beautiful Andante Cantabilefrom Haydn’s String Quartet Op.3 No.5. Moonlight Serenade itself is not played [another Decca slip-up? KT Ed.] Included in the modest price of the CD is a bonus DVD ‘Live In Australia’, which is quite something with its Rieu showmanship and razzmatazz. The enthusiasm from performers and large audience is infectious, giving the viewer a high feel good factor. Despite my initial reservations I found the music on both discs most enjoyable, although long term I shall probably prefer listening to looking. Edward Trub
* Readers who enjoy the music of the Strauss Family and their contemporaries should not overlook the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s Day Concert, conducted this year by Austrian-born Franz Welser-Möst, on a 2-CD Decca set 4782601 [46:18 & 54.55].
TEX BENEKE AND HIS ORCHESTRA Here’s To The Ladies [Who Sang With The Band] Lillian Lane; Shirley Wilson; Claire Chatwin; Mary Mayo; Helen Lee; Eydie Gorme; Shirley Jones; Lois Lane; Barbara Edwards; Joan Cavanaugh Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY 829 [77:21] Twelve tracks with Tex’s own orchestra, eight with The Glenn Miller Orchestra and six with Ray Martin’s Orchestra, all culled from many private collections of his fans. A bouncy version of The Tunnel Of Love has Helen Lee singing with Tex himself. Dreamin’ is my business sung by Helen is a tune well worth reviving. Evidently Eydie Gorme never sang on any of Tex’s MGM recordings because of "mike fright". Her joyful version of Orange Coloured Sky contained here, shows no sign of fright!Paul Clatworthy
PERRY COMO At the Supper Club featuring Lloyd Shafer and His Orchestra Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY 824 [74:43] Six Armed Forces radio shows, twenty-eight songs popular in 1946 with guests Nat King Cole, Spike Jones, Peggy Lee, Diana Lynn, Paula Kelly, The Modernaires and The Satisfiers. Putting this many into the programme ensures every listener gets something to enjoy. If you were a devotee of Perry’s later years on TV with the Mitchell Ayers Orchestra you will really notice the voice difference, far less intimate and relaxed. Paul Clatworthy
FAIRY TALES OF IRELAND : Favourite Ballads and Folksong Arrangements Peter Dempsey [tenor], Guy Rowland [piano] 25 tracks incl. Love thee dearest; Killarney; Sweet Emerald Isle; Little Brigid Flynn; The Kerry Dance; An Irish Lullaby; Maire my girl; Open the door softly; The little shawl of blue; The Mountains o’ Mourne; The Rose of Tralee; Irish Love Song; The banks of my own lovely Lee; Duna; Shannon river; Macushla; Ireland, Mother Ireland FT1 [73:07] Peter Dempsey follows his recent CDs of Balfe, Tosti, Ketèlby, Coates and Haydn Wood with this varied selection of Irish melodies. Many are well known, though not all in these arrangements – Down by the Sally Gardens is in a Herbert Hughes’ version not Britten’s, for instance. A few are less often heard. ForThe Fairy Tales he returns to Eric Coates, while the rare but delightful My Irish daddy knows is by Haydn Wood. These are two examples of many here where the songs, music or words, emanate from Englishmen. Whatever the provenance there are considerable differences of mood. Three of my favourites are the deftly sung [and played] Kitty my love, the adorable Star of the County Down and the delicious Dublin Saunter, which seems to have stepped from a World War II musical. There is no weak link here. Mr Dempsey’s razor sharp delivery and admirably lucid diction do all songs proud and Guy Rowland’s accompaniments and two piano solos [Irish Air from County Derry and The Dear Little Shamrock] sparkle. I urge you to explore and be delighted by this disc. Available for £9.95 including p&p from Mr Dempsey at 44 Victoria Road, Bidford-on-Avon, Warwicks. B50 4AR Philip L Scowcroft
FAVORITES IN STEREO Jeanette MacDonald & Nelson Eddy 12 tracks incl. Will you remember?; Rosalie; Giannina Mia, Rose-Marie, Italian Street Song; Indian Love Call; Ah sweet mystery of life … Nelson Eddy & Gale Sherwood 12 tracks incl. Wunderbar; One night of love; If I loved you; You and the night and the music; The song is you; Just for tonight; Shall we dance? …Sepia 1161 [67:21] Former opera baritone Nelson Eddy and soprano Jeanette MacDonald in duet were one of the biggest cinema attractions in the 1930s and 1940s, stars of eight operetta films including ‘Naughty Marietta’, ‘Rose-Marie’, ‘The Girl of the Golden West’, ‘New Moon’ and ‘Bitter Sweet’. Here, in stereo recordings made in 1957/8, they sing together on disc for the first time since 1938. And pretty good they sound, too, although MacDonald has never been among my singers of choice. They duet on Will you remember?, Indian Love Call, Ah sweet mystery, and Wanting you; the remaining eights tracks being shared equally between them. MacDonald gives us a Latinate version of The Breeze and I, and closes the album with Beyond the Blue Horizon, and it is nice to hear again an old favourite, Stouthearted Men, sung by Eddy. Orchestras are conducted by Dave Rose [8 tracks] and Engel Lehman. The Canadian soprano Gale Sherwood is the least well known of the trio and was chosen by Eddy to sing with him in his night club act. The dozen enjoyable tracks here were recorded in 1960 with an orchestra conducted by Harry Sosnik. The whole disc is a nice reminder of glamorous times gone by. Ray Pavene
NEW DEAL RHYTHM : Musical Cures For The Depression Blues Doug Bowles [tenor], Alex Hassan [piano] Shellwood Productions SWCD 41 [78:38] Here we have thirty songs, a majority sung by Doug Bowles to Alex Hassan’s ever lovely accompaniments, but some arranged as ebullient piano solos. They date from the America of the 1930s. Best known of them is Brother can you spare a dime? It has been said that over half the songs ever written are about love and even here we have titles like There’s no depression in love, I’m an unemployed sweetheart, Put a tax on love, My baby’s on strike and One big union for two. Bitter sweet some may be but all are entertaining, splendidly performed and excellently recorded. Recommended, though as most have a family likeness, the disc is perhaps best listened to a few tracks at a time. Philip L Scowcroft
PATTI PAGE Sings You Go To My Head and Songs from Manhattan Tower You Go To My Head; While A Cigarette Was Burning; I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart; Deep In A Dream; I Hadn’t Anyone Till You; Spring Is Here; I Thought About You; Darn That Dream; I Didn’t Know What Time It Was; What’s New; I’ll Never Smile Again; You Walk By; I Got It Bad And That Ain’t Good; Don’t Get Around Much Anymore; Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me; Under A Blanket Of Blue; New York’s My Home; Once Upon A Dream; Learnin’ My Latin; Happiness Cocktail; March Marches On; Never Leave Me; Married I Can Always Get; Repeat After Me; Indian Giver; This Close To The Dawn; The PartySepia 1100 [76:46]. Patti grew up to be the best-selling vocalist of all time. She crowned her career by winning a "Grammy" in 1999 at the age of 72. She was a skilled studio technician who could sing almost every kind of music. Some of the songs here beautifully arranged by Jack Rael were done again on a pure jazz album ‘Patti Page in the land of Hi-Fi’ arranged by Pete Rugolo [no doubt at her request]. The last eleven tracks are from Gordon Jenkins’ narrative tone poem Manhattan Towerarranged here by Vic Schoen and became one of her greatest successes high in the "Billboard" LP chart. Patti’s voice was definitely made in heaven, this issue displays it in all its glory. Paul Clatworthy
JERI SOUTHERN Romance In The Dark Imagination; Could’Ja?; Give Me Time; A Mighty Pretty Waltz; You Better Go Now; Baby, Did You Hear? That Old Devil Called Love; Miss Johnson Phoned Again Today; The Very Thought Of You; The Cabin; I’m In Love; Where Walks My True Love? You Forgot Your Gloves; My Ideal; I’ve Got Five Dollars; All Too Soon; If I Had You; What’s My Name; My Old Flame; Am I Blue; No Moon At All; Romance In The Dark; It Must Be True; Everything But You.Bygone Days BYD77042 [73:53]. Backed by orchestras led by Sy Oliver, Victor Young, Camarata, Ralph Burns and some small groups, Jeri works her magic on songs popular in the fifties, some well known others fallen by the wayside. Peter Dempsey’s informative sleeve states that she considered herself a pianist rather than a singer but her delectable intimate style won her many fans. Her last partner was the well known film composer Hugo Friedhofer, her skill at the piano helping him considerably in his studio work. She virtually retired from performance in 1961, in despair at declining standards in popular music, after which she spent most of her time teaching. Paul Clatworthy
JO STAFFORD At The Supper Club with Carl Kress & His Orchestra and Helen Carroll and The Satisfiers All The Things You Are; Personality; My Old Flame; Come Rain Or Come Shine; In Atlanta GA; I’m In The Mood For Love; Walking My Baby Back Home; I’ve Got The World On A String; Sioux City Sue; In The Moon Mist; Irving Berlin Medley; April Showers; S’posin, Cement Mixer; Oh! What It Seemed To Be; Strange Love; Great Day; All Through The Day; Just You, Just Me; I Love You-Zy; I’ve Got The Sun In The Morning; All The Things You Are. Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY 823 [59:12]. The delectable voice of Jo was featured on many of the V-discs sent to Service men overseas, a wonderful morale booster! The six shows on this CD were originally broadcast on American armed forces radio in 1946. After her first marriage broke up she teamed up with her musical director Paul Weston; two years later she married him and had a long career as a solo singer on the Columbia and Capitol labels. Paul Clatworthy
GARY STEVENS Sings Again with Tex Beneke and The Glenn Miller Orchestra [1946-1948]This Is The Night; The Old Lamplighter; Anniversary Song; Somewhere In The Night; Every So Often; The Heather On The Hill; Oh But I Do; To Each His Own; The Man Who Paints The Rainbow In The Sky; If My Heart Had A Window; At Last; Too Marvelous For Words; Melancholy; True; Two Loves Have I; The First Time I Kissed You; Don’t Call It Love; Passing Fancy; So Far; Night And Day; The Song Is You; Now Is The Hour; Sleepy Time Gal; But Beautiful; I Have But One Heart. Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY 820 [71:29]. A pleasant voice but no spark to separate him from other singers. Certainly nothing to rival his predecessors, namely Johnny Desmond and Ray Eberle. Very few of the songs have moved to the present time but as Cliff Richard and Matt Goss are moving into this mode of vocalising perhaps some will be resurrected. The audience is sometimes edited out but sound, obviously culled from several sources, varies. Michael Highton’s sleeve notes relive Gary’s ninety three years in detail. Paul Clatworthy
MEL TORME The Essence Of Mel Torme - featuring 40 of his greatest recordings Blue Moon; Night And Day; What Is This Thing Called Love; It Happened In Monterey; Born To Be Blue; You’re Driving Me Crazy; Until The Real Thing Comes Along; My Baby Just Cares For Me; Careless Hands; A Stranger In Town; All Of You; Blue Skies; Million Dollar Baby; You Leave Me Breathless; It’s A Blue World; I’ve Got It Bad And That Ain’t Good; Isn’t It Romantic; ‘Till The Clouds Roll By; How Long Has This Been Going On; Mountain Greenery; Lulu’s Back In Town; Fascinating Rhythm; Lady Is A Tramp; Lullaby Of Birdland; The Carioca; The Way You Look Tonight; Cheek To Cheek; Something’s Gotta Give; They Can’t Take That Away From Me; Lets Face The Music And Dance; A Fine Romance; Walkin’ Shoes; Cuckoo In The Clock; Hooray For Love; Waltz For Young Lovers; A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square; Gloomy Sunday; ‘Round Midnight; I’m Gonna Laugh You Right Out Of My Life The Christmas Song. Delta 33332 [Disc one 60:57; Disc two 62:12]. There is much of Mel’s vast catalogue available on CD but this is one of the best mixes. Along with some of the "West Coast" sounds provided by Marty Paich and various groups large and small, there are five tracks from the excellent recordings made in England: The Cuckoo In The Clock and Walkin’ Shoes with the Ted Heath orchestra; Hooray For Love with Cyril Stapleton’s orchestra; Waltz For Young Lovers with Roland Shaw’s Orchestra; and top of the list an absolutely superb version of A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square arranged by Wally Stott [Angela Morley]. Paul Clatworthy
V-DISC ALL STARS WITH THE SINGERS Bob Crosby; Martha Tilton; Jo Stafford; Billy Butterfield; Connie Boswell; Yank Lawson; Jack Leonard; Trummy Young; Buck Clayton: Monica Lewis; Betty Roche; Dave Mathews; Buddy Rich; Ella Fitzgerald; Jimmy Brown; Bob Haggart. Sy Oliver Sounds of Yesteryear DS0D827 [2-CD set 76:10 and 67:05] Above you’ll find just a few of the names on these thirty-three tunes carefully and beautifully mastered by Michael Arie from his collection. Nostalgia from the forties to suit just about every taste. Paul Clatworthy
ANDY WILLIAMS National Guard Shows Five Thru Eight Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY 826[58:25] Andy eases through 25 popular songs accompanied by Hank Jones, Mundell Lowe, Eddie Safraski, Bobby Rosengarden and Barry Galbraith. Main difference from other Guard shows, Andy does the short announcements and no audience intrusion. A relaxed unpressured set rather than out and out jazz. Paul Clatworthy
WILL BRADLEY AND HIS JAZZ OCTET Ridin’ A Rift Ridin’ A Riff; Lonely Night; Nimble Feet; When Gabriel Blows His Horn; Midnight Special; Silver Dollar Polka; Winter Time; Lady From Castile; Go Way, Love, Go Way; Hysterical Boogie; Dixie Party; Dust Bowl; Footprints; Tasty Dish; Who Cut The Gorgonzola; On A Boogie Beam; A Little Time To Dream; Jungle Magic; A Ia Carte; Roly Poly Polka; Conga Roo; Bayou Ballad; Slow Freight; On The Front Burner; Eight O’clock Date; On The South Side.Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY 819 [69:48]. Will’s smooth trombone graced many bands including Glenn Miller, Freddie Rich and our own Ray Noble before forming his own band. Will here features the trumpet of Billy Butterfield and piano of Stan Freeman. Of all the tracks the ballads set the high standard: Lonely Night, Winter Time and A Little Time To Dream are my pick, closely followed by three "bouncy" numbers: Ridin’ The Riff, Tasty Dish and A Ia Carte. The remainder are "Dixieland" numbers. Paul Clatworthy
DAVE BRUBECK QUARTET The Navy Swings Take The "A" Train; I’m In A Dancing Mood; St Louis Blues; Gone With The Wind; For All We Know; Sounds Of The Loop; Someday My Prince Will Come; In Your Own Sweet Way; Tangerine; Watusi Drums; Thank You; Nomad. Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY 830. [58:39]. Four three tune shows each preceded by Brubeck’s signature tune The Duke.Half of the playing time taken up with recruitment notices dated 1948. The sleeve states a "Live" recording. No audible audience on my CD. All the better in my book. Paul Clatworthy
CHRISTIAN CHEVALLIER The Prince of Jazz Night in Tunisia; Summertime; I Got Plenty O’ Nuttin’; It Ain’t Necessarily So; Stormy Weather; The Man I Love; Caravan, etc… 63 tracks on 3 CDsEMI France 5099964237329 [199:44]. No doubt our French friends will be familiar with the name Christian Chevallier; for the rest of us this Platinum Collection is a revelation. Compiled by RFS member Serge Elhaik, we are taken back to the 1950s when Christian’s band was paying homage to US giants such as George Gershwin, Duke Ellington and Neal Hefti with some charts that really swing. This continues through the second CD [many numbers are his own compositions], until the third finds him mainly in the 1960s with attractive vocal tracks featuring Henri Salvador, Richard Anthony, Gilbert Becaud and Line Renard, with some tasteful string backings – quite a contrast to the earlier big band numbers. In fact the third CD contains some excellent tracks, some of which are in light orchestral territory. I particularly liked the non-vocal versions of four Gilbert Becaud numbers: Le Mur, Si Je Pouvais Revivre Un Jour Ma Vie, Croquemi-toufle and Il Fait Des Bonds. At an RFS meeting a few years back we showed a video of Dolf van der Linden and the Metropole Orchestra playing the last named in a TV broadcast – I always wondered where it came from! I think it true to say that this is a very varied selection which no doubt provides an accurate portrait of Chevallier’s career. The press release says he merits rediscovery, and I certainly agree. David Ades
CHARLIE VENTURA SEPTET Bop For The People Whatta Ya Say We Go; Body And Soul; Lullaby In Rhythm; Birdland; Boptura; Yesterdays; High On An Open Mike; Embraceable/Blue Champagne; I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles; I’m Glad There Is You; 0-Go-Mo; How High The Moon; I Cover The Waterfront; Jam Session. Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY821 [75:04]. The first five tunes are preceded by a lesson on how to sing "Bop" by Charlie Ventura, Jackie Caine and Roy Kral. The second half includes rare broadcasts with among others Charlie Parker’s All Stars and The Miles Davis All Stars. Charlie’s deft sax playing really keeps things moving. A very enjoyable set. Paul Clatworthy
In Paul Clatworthy’s reviews, Delta, Sepia, Bygone Days and Sounds of Yesteryear CDs are available in the UK from usual outlets; in case of difficulty telephone Submarine Records 0208 360 3486. Also available from The Woods [see Big Band Roundup for further details].
FINEST MARCHES The Central Band of the Royal Air Force DOM: Squadron Leader Gordon Bain Imperial Echoes; The Liberators; Action Front; Under the Double Eagle; Wellington; Trafalgar; Blaze Away; The Children of the Regiment; The Britisher; Marche Lorraine; Skywatch; The Royal British Legion; National Emblem; The New Colonials; The Thunderer; Old Comrades; Arromanches; Out of the Blue; Glorious Victory; Royal Air Force March Past Royal Air Force Music RAF MRL008[68:36] Not a new release but a splendid and impressive collection of mainly popular British, American and European marches. The accompanying notes make the interesting point that the majority were composed before 1920 and yet all are still regularly performed at ceremonial occasions and on the concert platform and, until the sharp decline in their regular use, the park and pier bandstand. An exception is a fine modern march Skywatch by R.E.C. Davies dating from the mid-1970s, and it would have been useful to have some information on this piece but the notes are somewhat brief and generalised. All the tempi are superbly judged by the Director of Music who adopts the appropriately more sedate pace for Teike’s famous Old Comrades. The disc ends fittingly with the RAF March Past, which features George Dyson’s noble, dignified and poignant trio tune. The recordings made at RAF Uxbridge are uniformly excellent with production standards exemplary throughout. An undoubted "feather in the cap" for this outstanding band who can certainly look unflinchingly into the eyes of the Household Division and Royal Marines bands. Small wonder that last year they were signed up Decca! Strongly recommended. Roger Hyslop
SOUSA Music For Wind Band, Vol. 8 Band of the Royal Artillery cond. Keith Brion, Martin Hinton [cornet] The High School Cadets; The Northern Pines; Selections from ‘El Capitan’; Boy Scouts of America; Crusader March; Oh Warrior Grim [from ‘El Capitan]; On the Campus; Jack Tar; Comrades of the Legion; Pride of Pittsburgh; Suite: At the King’s Court; The Washington Post Naxos 8.559248 [58:48] If there is ever a composer to cheer one up on a bitterly cold bleak winter’s day [as it evidently was when Roger wrote this. KT Ed.] it must be John Philip Sousa. The most surprising thing about this 2010 release is that the recording sessions for it were held in Woolwich Town Hall as far back as January 2005. As usual with this series the familiar mingles with a considerable number of rarely heard or performed pieces. Thus the popular share the disc with an extended selection from Sousa’s operetta ‘El Capitan’ and a 16-minute suite At the King’s Court’, which Keith Brion tells us in his informative booklet was probably composed in preparation for the Sousa’s Band 1905 tour to England, where it was played for King Edward VII at a command performance. The march Jack Tarreceived its first performance at the Royal Albert Hall with both the King and Queen present and the not inconsiderable forces of the Coldstream, Scots and Irish Guards, Sousa’s Band, a band from New Zealand and the Queens Hall Orchestra – its amazing the roof of the venerable RAH remained intact. Martin Hinton, principal cornetist with the RA Band, takes centre stage with Warrior from the aforementioned El Capitan’ and Campus, an ebullient jaunty piece that comes complete with words by the composer’s daughter and vocalized presumably by the band. This latest release amply vindicates again the reputation of this Band as one of the best in the British Army; and if you haven’t already started collecting this outstanding series – it is not too late! Roger Hyslop
DVORAK Symphony No.6; Nocturne in B Major; Scherzo Capriccioso Baltimore Symphony Orchestra / Marie Alsop Naxos 8.570995 [68:19] The well received recordings by these forces of Dvorak’s Symphony Nos.7 & 8 [Naxos 8.572112] and the favourite 9th Symphony, ‘From the New World’, coupled with the Symphonic Variations [Naxos 8.570714] have been followed by the latest arrival, the magnificent 6th Symphony, which has been a "Desert Island" choice for me ever since I became acquainted with the classic account by the late Istvan Kertesz [Decca 473 798-2] in the mid-960s. Naxos have added the popular Scherzo and Nocturne, an arrangement for string orchestra of the slow movement from the Fourth String Quartet. Altogether extraordinary value and strongly recommended if you fancy this life enhancing musical masterwork. Roger Hyslop
HALVORSEN Orchestral Works, Vol. 2 Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra / Neeme Jarvi ; *Marianne Thorsen [violin] Air norvégien*; Chant de Veslemoy*; Three Norwegian Dances*; Suite ancienne*; Symphony No 2, ‘Fatum’ Chandos CHAN10614 [75:50] This from the Norwegian composer Johan Halvorsen follows hard on the heels of Volume 1 reviewed in JIM 185. It is a particularly attractive release since it includes one of the composer’s most adorable works. The Suite ancienne  was originally conceived as entrácte music for a play by Ludwig Holberg but it was always devised as an orchestral suite in its own right and to begin with was called the Holberg Suite, but to avoid confusion with Grieg’s composition Halvorsen finally settled on ‘From olden days’, which on publication was translated into the French equivalent. He regarded it himself as one of his finest compositions and certainly the 2nd movement, an Air with variations, is heartfelt and enchanting, and it is difficult to imagine anyone could be immune from its charms. The whole piece is simply bursting with melodic interest and thoroughly deserves to be better known. Also included are several short pieces for violin and orchestra, of which the Air norvégien is imbued with a delightful and unmistakeably Nordic freshness. The major work here is Halvorsen’s Second Symphony, to which on revision he attributed the nickname ‘Fatum’ or ‘Fate’. More challenging fare maybe but in no way can this be described as difficult music, with a notably cheerful third movement ‘intermezzo.’ An immensely likeable disc possessing great charm, integrity and above all melody, from a composer who thoroughly deserves a significantly higher profile in the musical firmament – and what better champion could he have than Neeme Jarvi? Well worth investigating. Roger Hyslop
Wilfred Askew reminds us of more recently received releases
CARL’S WAR Czech National Symphony Orchestra cond. Carl Davis The World at War [Concert Version 2010]; Goodnight Mr. Tom; Echoes That Remain; Anne Frank Remembered; Rhapsody on Themes from The Snow Goose Carl Davis Collection CDC 009 [67:58] All music composed by Carl Davis
FRANK COMSTOCK & HIS ORCHESTRA Changing Patterns 24 tracks incl. The Blue Room; One Morning in May; Isn’t it a Lovely Day; Street of Dreams; Sing Something Simple, Coffee Time; Small Fry; Smoke Rings; Adios … Montpellier Mont CD 069 [69:58] Recorded 1958/59
RAY CONNIFF Concert In Rhythm Vol.II  12 tracks incl. Liebestraum; Yours Is My Heart Alone; None But the Lonely Heart; I’ll See You Again; Warsaw Concerto; One Fine Day … The Perfect "10" Classics  11 tracks incl. Bolero; Lullaby for Tamara; A Bit of Beethoven; Theme for Elise; Boogie Woogie Humoresque; Mozart in Latin … bonus track: Moonlight SonataCollectables COL-CD 7878 [72:28] Original CBS recordings.
BING CROSBY El Senor Bing arr./cond. Billy May 20 titles on 10 tracks in stereo, followed by the same programme in mono, incl. I could have danced all night; Marta; Rose in her hair; Old devil moon; Cuban Love Song; Andalucia; Malaguena; Down Argentine way; What a difference a day made; Again … plus 6 bonus tracks [1954/5] with Buddy Cole and his Trio incl. Papa loves mambo; You belong to my heart; In a little Spanish town … Collectors’ Choice CCM 2108 [68:02] Issued in UK on LP by M-G-M as ‘Bing Crosby Goes Latin’.
On The Sentimental Side w. Ivor Raymonde Orch. & Chorus  24 titles [previously unreleased] on 12 tracks incl. My bonnie; Put on your old grey bonnet; All alone; Blueberry Hill, Beautiful dreamer, Roll on silver moon … plus 5 bonus tracks with Buddy Cole Because; Smilin’ through; Love’s old sweet song, Whither thou goest; Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral Collectors’ Choice CCM 2106 [51:36]
Return To Paradise Islands arr./cond. Nelson Riddle [Reprise 1963] 12 tracks incl. The old plantation; Love and aloha; Adventures in Paradise; Frangipani blossom; Forevermore; Farewell my tane … plus 6 bonus tracks w. Buddy Cole Trio incl. My little grass shack, Yaaka hula hickey dula; Ukulele lady; King’s Serenade … Collectors’ Choice CCM 2105 [51:45]
Seasons w. Pete Moore Orchestra  12 tracks incl. June in January; April showers; Summer wind; Autumn in New York; September song; Yesterday when I was young … plus 13 bonus tracks cond. by Gordon Rose incl. Feels good feels right; Nevertheless; The only way to go; As time goes by; Once in a while … Collectors’ Choice CCM 2104 [73:45]
THE FILM AND TV MUSIC OF CHRISTOPHER GUNNING BBC Philharmonic cond. by Rumon Gamba Poirot Variants; La Móme Piaf; Under Suspicion; Cold Lazurus; The Rosemary and Thyme Caprice; Rebecca; Pollyanna; Firelight; When the Whales Came; The Hollow; Five Little Pigs; Lighthouse Hill Chandos CHAN 10625 [75:57]
MAX GREGER AND HIS ORCHESTRA Greger’s Groove Party 18 tracks incl. Spinning Wheel; Memphis Tennessee; Good morning Starshine; Night Train; Big Train; I Feel Fine; Aquarius …Polydor 530 7296 [48:19]
NEAL HEFTI AND HIS ORCHESTRA ‘ …. and the winner is’ : The Award Winning Songs from 1934 to 1957 [1957 Stereo recordings] 24 tracks incl. The Continental; Lullaby of Broadway; Sweet Leilani; Thanks for the memory; Over the rainbow; You’ll never know; It might as well be Spring; Baby, it’s cold outside; Que sera sera; All the way … Montpellier MONTCD 067 [59:44]
THE ASPIDISTRA DRAWING ROOM ORCHESTRA Happy Frog and Hot Canary The Happy Frog (Hanf); You are Forever My Favourite (Schmitz); You're Too Pretty (Kreuder); An Eriskay Lovelilt (Trad. arr. M Kennedy-Fraser); The Hot Canary (Nero); Tambourin (Gossec); Dreaming (Haydn Wood); The Goosetrot (Glahé); Pǻ Vestlandsk Bondestemna (Grimstad); Mia Bella Napoli (Winkler); Romances de la Neva (Bakos); Fra Fredriksvǽrn (Bull); Aus Eigensinn (Munsonius); Dream O' Day Jill (German); Roter Teufel (Plessow); The Belle of Brazil (Rubach); I Love Your Eyes of Grey (Haydn Wood); Fiddle Faddle (Anderson) (55:04) The discs of this eight strong orchestra are always eagerly awaited and this latest one, offering many quite rarely issued pieces, is as entertaining as ever. The ADRO field two singers '- Liz Menezes doubles also as a violinist and indeed as arranger '- both of whom have several opportunities. The 18 tracks are varied: foxtrots, tangos and other colourful, exotic numbers (The Belle of Brazil is a delight), lovely songs by Haydn Wood and Edward German, an 18th century piece of popular music (Tambourin, an opportunity for Ray Bell" piccolo), plus Scandinavian items, and they end with a particularly rhythmic account of Fiddle Faddle. All in all spirited playing, nicely recorded. Strongly recommended. Philip L Scowcroft
Available for £8.50 (plus £2 p&p in UK) from ADRO, 49 Bankside,
London SE1 9JE. More details at www.aspidistra.org.
BRIGHT AND BREEZY Guild GLCD5180 (78:52). For full track listing please see the Light Music CDs section of this website, or visit the Guild Music site where excerpts from all the tracks can be auditioned. You could almost hear the call "Lights, Camera, Action" prior to the opening number of this latest Guild release 'Bright and Breezy' which is also the title track by Peter Dennis: a typical show bizz/film opening number and newsreel backing of the 1950s, followed coincidentally or perhaps on purpose by Charles Williams' Jealous Lover which was used as the theme for Billy Wilder" 1960 film 'The Apartment', musical director Adolph Deutsch. The recording on this CD is by Billy Vaughn and his Orchestra and very good it is too. I've always thought of Vaughn as a jazz/swing musician but this is pure concert orchestra and Charles Williams would have given the thumbs up at this version I'm sure. This isn't the first time Charles Williams' music has appeared in an American feature film; one of his many Chappell mood pieces Barrage on C234 was used in 'The Rocketeer' (1991) as backing to a supposed Nazi propaganda cartoon and his name appears on the end credits. This sequence can be seen on YouTube. Upping the tempo somewhat we have the Harry Warren/Bob Russell number Carnival played by Les Baxter and his Orchestra followed by the Robert Farnon Orchestra with Bob" own arrangement of They Call the Wind Maria from 'Paint Your Wagon' and you can almost "see the wagon train crossing the prairie". I'm not sure that Ragazza Romanza as played by The Melachrino Orchestra comes under the banner of "bright and breezy", or Misty played by The Knightsbridge Strings, but Painted Carousels from the De Wolfe Library by Anthony Mawer and Bill Davies" Toy Town Trumpeters from the Josef Weinberger library certainly do. Ernie Freeman, sometimes known as Sir Chauncey (where do they get these monikers from?) and his Orchestra play a piece called Midi-Midinette and as I'd no idea what a 'midinette' is I checked out my Chambers Dictionary: it" a "young female worker, especially in the Paris fashion or millinery business" from the South of France and after all that it" not a bad piece either, the music I mean. The Starlight Symphony conducted by Cyril Ornadel give a super performance of Begin the Beguine from 'Jubilee' by Cole Porter with what sounds like a wordless chorus, then the tempo perks up courtesy of Reg Owen and his Orchestra with Bambalina which needed three writers, Vincent Youmans, Otto Harbach and Oscar Hammerstein to pen it. Although not "bright and breezy" Bob Farnon" Players Cigarettes Commercials music Sea Shore played by Rawicz and Landauer and accompanied by Wally Stott" Orchestra make a pleasing contribution to the programme ... but back to the theme of the CD: Ivor Slaney" Stringendo, Dancing Daffodils by the Guy Luypaerts Orchestra and Up and Coming by the unsung Cyril Watters get the tempo back on track. Still up to speed is a topnotch recording on the Embassy Label of Marquina" Spanish Gypsy Dance by Jacques Leroy and his Orchestra, whoever he is or was. Go to the top of the class if you know. From the MGM 1936 film 'San Francisco' comes the title number in this splendid arrangement by Carmen Dragon who conducts the Standard School Broadcast Orchestra on a transcription disc recorded in Capitol Studios in 1960. The CD ends with a 1937 German recording of the Ernst Fischer suite 'South of the Alps' played by a Concert Orchestra conducted by Bruno Seidler-Winkler. A fine piece of Continental light music to end this 80th Guild Light Music release. Ken Wilkins
GORDON FRANKS AND HIS ORCHESTRA Orchestral In The Night Love in the Open Air; Brazil; It" Nice to Go Trav'ling; You Only Live Twice; Sweet Georgia Brown; La Ronde; The More I See You; A Girl in Calico; Ay Ay Ay; A Walk in the Black Forest; I Remember You; In Old Lisbon Strings In The Night La Dolce Vita; The Young Girls of Rochefort; Carnival; Les Parapluies de Cherbourg; Un Homme et Une Femme; Never on Sunda; Viva Maria; Jeux Interdits; Rocco" Theme; Mondo Cane; Rififi; La Strada Vocalion CDLK 4423 I bought this CD for the essential reason for me, the appeal of the songs. The sound quality is first-class. However my feeling is that for releases from 1967 the arrangements sound pleasant but dated, rather ten years back in time and as such somewhat uninspired. By comparison, for example, Frank Chacksfield and his arrangers had for me moved on better with interpretations of pop songs of the '60s era. Graham Self
RON GOODWIN & HIS ORCHESTRA Gypsy Fire & Rhythm and Romance CD 1: The Gypsy Fiddler; Black Eyes; The ritual Fire Dance; Adaluza; Hora Staccato; Gypsy Moon; Czardas; La Paloma; Bublitschki; Play Gypsy; Two Guitars; Hejre Kati; CD 2: South Rampart Street Parade; Temptation; Cherokee; Jealousy; I'll See You in My Dreams; Brazil; Stardust; Deep Purple; Laura; The Touch of Your Lips; Return My Love (Goodwin); Send in the Clowns Vocalion CDLK 4435 (45:42 & 42:50) After a long wait, how good to have not one but two of Ron" albums back in the catalogue, and both for the first time on CD. The first album, released in 1967, was produced by the legendary (now Sir) George Martin and has been described online as a "real light classic gem". I won't argue with that. The first track was composed by orchestra leader Ralph Elman. The second album, from nine years later, has an exhilarating opening that brings to mind Ron" Trumpet Volunteer on 'The Best of Sellers' 10" LP. The remainder of the album gives us Ron" stylish arrangements of three Latin American popular classics, and some of the best love songs in the business as well as Ron" own romantic number. The oboe led last track is as beautiful a version of Sondheim" evocative opus as I have ever heard. Liner notes by David Ades are as informative as ever. Among all the light music albums reviewed here, this release goes to the top of the pile and is my CD CHOICE for June. Peter Burt
CHRIS DEAN" SYD LAWRENCE ORCHESTRA A Night at the Movies Strike up the Band; Misty; Hooray for Hollywood; It" Magic; With a Song in My Heart; Laura; Put on a Happy Face; Marcel McTattie LeCoq; It" Alright with Me; Boulevard of Broken Dreams; Alexander" Ragtime Band; Tara" Theme; The Pink Panther; Smile; Bond Medley- Theme/You Only Live Twice/On Her Majesty" Secret Service/ Nobody Does it Better/From Russia with Love/For Your Eyes Only/Thunderball/ Live and Let Die/We Have All the Time in the World/Goldfinger Avid IMCD004 (60:45) Ever since the inception of the Hollywood musicals the movies have been a rich source of great songs for bandleaders, and this new release shows that the tradition is alive and well, and in good hands. Gershwin's opener was the title song for the musical play which made it to the silver screen in 1940. Like some of the other numbers it's played in the Roland Shaw arrangement, whilst Billy May and Nelson Riddle get a look in also. The selection provides plenty of variety, with a nice balance between instrumentals '- with precise ensemble playing punctuated by featured soloists '- and excellent vocals. I'm delighted at the inclusion of a number penned especially for the late much-missed Malcolm Laycock, which takes as its title his adopted soubriquet. I can pay this CD no greater compliment than to say he would have loved it. Barry McCanna
MANTOVANI & HIS ORCHESTRA An Album of Favourite Tangos and Waltzes Jealousy; A Media Luz; Araña de la Noche*; Besame Mucho; Tango de la Luna*; Red Petticoats*; Adios Muchachos; Blauer Himmel; El Choclo; La Cumparsita; Chiquita Mia*; Tango Delle Rose / Dear Love, My Love; Greensleeves; Mexicali Rose; It Happened in Monterey; Poème (My Moonlight Madonna); I Love You Truly; Lovely Lady; Love, Here Is My Heart; At Dawning; Was It a Dream; Love" Roundabout (Love Makes the World Go Round); Dancing with Tears in My Eyes [*composed by Mantovani]Vocalion CDVS 1967 (68:39) Having brought us all Monty" stereo output, Mike Dutton now looks as if he is turning his attention to the great man" mono albums. The 'Favourite Tangos' LP was originally recorded at Decca" West Hampstead studios between 20th June 1952 and 10th April 1953 '- the year in which it was released. It makes a fine companion to the later stereo compilation ('Old and New Fangled Tangos'/'Folk Songs Around the World' on Vocalion CDLK4265) with which it has four tracks in common. 'Favourite Waltzes' was the maestro" first 12-inch LP and comes from a year earlier although recording began in November 1951. It is an absolutely delightful compilation of melodies with that distinctive Ronald Binge orchestrated post-Charmaine "Marmite" string sound [love or loathe it] well to the fore but not excessively so. Once again Colin Mackenzie" liner notes enhance the listening pleasure. This is one of three Vocalion CDs priced at £2.99 although, as I have bemoaned before, virtually impossible to obtain at that price from the usual online suppliers. Orders direct to Dutton incur p&p charges. But, still, a great bargain! Peter Burt
PAUL MAURIAT & HIS ORCHESTRA Rhythm And Blues & The Paul Mauriat Orchestra 24 tracks incl. Respect; Unchain My Heart; I've Been Loving You Too Long; Natural Woman; Last Night; You Keep Me Hangin' On ... / El Bimbo; Mandy; Angie Baby; I Got a Name; Rock Your Baby; Have you Never Been Mellow ... Vocalion CDLK 4433 (72:46) One of "Les Grands Trois" of French light music maestros from the 1950s to the 1980s (the others being Franck Pourcel and Raymond Lefèvre), M. Mauriat will probably be quite well represented in our collections as there are over 220 of his albums listed at www.best-cd-price.co.uk. He had one of the largest recording catalogues featuring more than 1000 titles just from his Polygram years of 1965 to 1993. From this period here" a 2-on-1 disc of fairly undemanding Mauriat fare to add to your shelves. The conductor is responsible for all the arrangements on the second album, which features the Hawaiian guitar of Marcel Blanchi on Mauriat" own Pacific Holiday. Presumably Philips thought they knew what the public expected and did not bother with sleeve notes '- hence no liner notes here. Simon Peters
MELACHRINO & HIS ORCHESTRA The Music of Victor Herbert & The Music of Sigmund Romberg 24 tracks incl. Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life; March of the Toys; Gypsy Love Song; I'm Falling in Love with Someone; The Streets of New York; Italian Street Song ... Deep in My Heart, Dear; Lover, Come Back to Me; The Riff Song; One Alone; Wanting You; The Desert Song ... Vocalion CDVS 1968 (74:55) A further release at the lowest possible price point from another of light music" great conductors and orchestra. Both these RCA albums from 1960 are in stereo and it would be difficult to find a more melodic compilation. A review at the time described the playing as "splendidly vital and with an exceptionally live and immediate sound for the string choir". Herbert was born in 1859 (he died in 1924) and became the dominant and most influential composer, mainly in operetta vein, for the musical theatre in America. The selection here will be familiar to most. When I was growing up 'Desert Song, 'New Moon' and 'Student Prince' were standard fare for amateur operatic/dramatic societies throughout the land. All three shows are represented in the second album of best-known tunes from another American composer, the Hungarian-born Romberg (1887'-1951). Vocalion reprint Stanley Green" sleeve notes from the original LPs, and there is a most attractive booklet front. Fine stuff! Peter Burt
THE MELODY LINGERS ON 28 Radio Favourites 1952-1960 Marching Strings (Ray Martin" Concert Orchestra); Meet Mister Callaghan (Frank Chacksfield" Tunesmiths); Marianina (Norrie Paramor" Concert Orchestra); Violin Boogie (The Max Jaffa Quintet); Blue Tango (Ray Martin" Concert Orchestra); Theme From Modern Times ('Smile') (Ron Goodwin" Concert Orchestra); Delicado (Frank Cordell & His Orchestra); Gabrielle (Cyril Stapleton & His Orchestra); Little Red Monkey (Frank Chacksfield" Tunesmiths); Terry" Theme from Limelight (Ron Goodwin" Concert Orchestra); Jamaican Rumba (Mantovani & His Orchestra); Song Of The Sea (Canção do mar) (The Melachrino Orchestra); Serenade To Eileen (Stanley Black & His Orchestra); Carnavalito (Cyril Stapleton & His Orchestra); Cresta Run (Sidney Torch & His Orchestra); Violin Samba (The Max Jaffa Quintet); No Other Love (Ron Goodwin" Concert Orchestra); Zambezi (Joe Loss & His Orchestra); The Banks Of The Seine (Frank Chacksfield & His Orchestra); Stranger Than Fiction (Sidney Torch" Orchestra); The Lily Watkins Theme (The Melachrino Orchestra); Flamenco Love (Frank Cordell & His Orchestra); Lazy Cowboy (Ray Martin" Concert Orchestra); The Italian Theme (Cyril Stapleton & His Orchestra); Theme from Last Rhapsody (Stanley Black wIth Mantovani & His Orchestra); Red Cloak(Ron Goodwin" Concert Orchestra); The Windows Of Paris (Tony Osborne & His Orchestra); Theme from A Summer Place (Norrie Paramor & His Orchestra) Delta Bygone Days BYD77062 (73:00). This is the anticipated follow-up to the 'Journey Into Melody' CD reviewed in our last issue. Its success has prompted this speedy sequel, which contains a feast of splendid light music. If you regularly collect similar compilations you will probably have some of the numbers, but there should be sufficient new titles to encourage you to purchase '- especially as it is available at a bargain price. Congratulations to Peter Dempsey for compiling and annotating another entertaining feast of nostalgia. David Ades
WERNER MULLER & HIS ORCHESTRA Learn To Love & Sentimental Journey 22 tracks incl. Let" Stay Together; With You Gone; You're a Lady; Learn to Love; The Impossible Dream; Clair; Theme from 'Lost Horizon' ... / I'm in the Mood for Love; I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm; Moonlight Serenade; At Last; Mood Indigo ... Vocalion CDLK 4432 (77:03) Although he has around 90 albums listed, it seems that there is less information on Werner Muller than practically any other internationally known light music maestro, even with the help of Google! And the various Vocalion re-issues I've seen, good as they are, do not provide any liner notes on the man or his music. I have discovered that he was born in Berlin in 1920 and that he spent many years conducting two of Germany" most popular radio orchestras '- RIAS and WDR. He died in 1998. With this re-issue, on CD for the first time, we have two original Decca Phase 4 albums, the first from 1973, the second from four years later. The Muller concert orchestra is possibly more dominated by the brass section than some of its contempories and, although very well recorded (the recording engineer on both albums is Arthur Lilley, who played such a big part in the success of Mantovani" recordings), maybe does not have as strong a personality of its own as some others. The opening track, Mouldy Old Dough, is one of those tunes you find yourself constantly replaying. The second album is mellower as befits the tune selection, although there is variety as Rimsky-Korsakov" Song of India is followed by Duke Ellington" Satin Doll. One of the best tracks for me is Begin the Beguine. With a nice string sound throughout, this is an attractive release. Peter Burt
WOOLF PHILLIPS The Lullaby of Broadway (The Music of Dubin and Warren) & JACK PAYNE Say It With Music Lullaby of Broadway; I Only Have Eyes for You; You're Getting to be a Habit with Me; The Rose in Her Hair; Would you Like to Take a Walk; Forty Second Street; September in the Rain; Shuffle off to Buffalo; Shadow Waltz; You'll Never Know; Young and Healthy / Say in with Music; I'm in the Mood for Love; I'll Get By (As Long as I Have You); Try a Little Tenderness; Guilty; I Surrender, Dear; There" a Small Hotel; Just One More Chance; Blue Pacific Moonlight; Memories of you; Love in bloom; Love is the Sweetest Thing Vocalion CDVS 1970 (70:22) Another bargain at £2.99! When he died in 2003, aged 84, Woolf Phillips obituary in The Independent described him "as one of the last surviving major big-band leaders of the post-war British dance band scene". Not all our readers may realize that Sid Phillips was his older brother. After war service he had been an arranger for Geraldo" orchestra alongside Robert Farnon and Wally Stott (Angela Morley), and from November 1947 to September 1949 he led the famous Skyrockets orchestra. He is probably best remembered as bandleader, MC and comedy foil at the London Palladium during its heyday between 1947 and 1953. I seem to remember him, too, as MD for Vera Lynn on TV. His album here in full orchestral arrangements features the work of Al Dubin and Harry Warren who wrote some of the biggest hit songs of the 1930s. Jack Payne (1899-1969) may be remembered by our oldest readers as Director of Dance Music for the BBC at Savoy Hill, leading the BBC Dance Orchestra until he was succeeded by Henry Hall in 1932. He returned to the Beeb as Director of Dance Music for five years from 1941. I first became a fan in the early '50s when he was a notable radio disc jockey and in 1955 presenting his own TV show 'Words and Music', which ran for three series. The arrangers on this album are Dick Barrell, Brian Fahey and Tony Osborne. All credit to Mike Dutton (again!) for resuscitating these two immaculately played tuneful albums, with uncredited instructive original LP sleeve notes, from 1956 and 1958 respectively. Peter Burt
FRANCK POURCEL & HIS ORCHESTRA Magnifique & Girls 24 tracks incl. Un Jour Se Lève; Yesterday; Mon Coeur D'Attache; (Manuel Benitez) El Cordobés; Le Ciel, Le Soleil et La Mer; Quand on est Ensemble; Solenzara; Előise; Laura; Hello, Dolly!; Lili Marlene; Louise; Maria Elena; Maria; I Want to Be Happy; Mrs Robinson; Delilah; Brigitte; Pilar Vocalion CDLK 4441 [63.23]This superb new Franck Pourcel two-on-one is worthy of your attention not only for its terrific arrangements but also for the carefully crafted inlay notes which outline his distinguished career in some detail. Deservedly so, too, because Franck was one of the leading exponents of the modern orchestral format, making over 200 albums, a fraction of which, unfortunately, were made available in the British Isles. A masterly perfectionist in all he did, Pourcel highlighted the use of high-pitched strings, wordless female vocals and intriguing rhythms so well you could instantly recognise one of his recordings. A particularly good example of his ability to transform a good pop song into an instrumental gem is his treatment of Gilbert Bécaud's Seul Sur Son Ėtoile which later became the English language hit It Must Be Him, sung by Vikki Carr. Other highlights from this collection include the delightful Girl (where the strings reign supreme), Lara's Theme, Thunderball, Eloise and a hauntingly dramatic version of the continental hit Merci Cherie. This timely issue is a worthy testament to the memory of a truly great interpreter of the modern light orchestral album. Scott Raeburn
BARNABAS VON GÉCZY AND HIS SALON ORCHESTRA Volume 1 Cuban Dance; Poeme; Come With Me To Madeira; Blue Sky; Close Your Eyes and Dream; Ragamuffin; Quietly Comes the Night; Fresh Breeze; Siboney; Pony; Rustle of Spring, etc...26 tracks Frank Bristow FBCD262 (77:15).Volume 2 Sicilia; My Beautiful Hungary; Valse Triste; Artists Life; Bavarian Polka; Sparrow" Concert, etc...21 tracks Frank Bristow FBCD263 (78:21). Whenever light music buffs talk about German salon music of the inter-war years the name Barnabas von Géczy inevitably crops up. It seems that collectors simply can't get enough of his recordings, so many of them will be over the moon with these new CDs from our friend Frank Bristow in Australia. The repertoire ranges from catchy light novelties such as Josef Rixner" Ragamuffin (originally called Spitzbub) through familiar 'Palm Court' favourites like Im Chambre Separee to a few more substantial works by Haydn, Hellmesberger and Strauss. The booklets are packed with information, and Mike Redstone" digital restorations are top class. If this is your kind of repertoire, you'll want to snap these two up straight away! David Ades
Frank Bristow" CDs are only available direct from him at 2 Cross Street, Brighton, Victoria 3186, Australia. Tel. 063-9528-3167 Email: website: www.musicfromthepast.comCredit cards and Paypal are accepted, but no cheques '- details from Frank on request.
HELMUT ZACHARIAS & HIS MAGIC VIOLINS On Lovers' Road & Candlelight Serenade The Man I Love; Body and Soul; Moonglow; I've Got You Under My Skin; April in Paris; You Go to My Head; Makin' Whoopee; I Can't Give You Anything But Love; Love is Here to Stay; Dream; Embraceable You; Love for Sale / Le Chanson d'Orphée; Mare Nostrum; The Gypsy; Angentina Serenade; Namenlos; Adieu Tristesse; Windows of Paris; La Montaña ;The three Bells; Otra Puerta; Mona Lisa; Pernambuco Vocalion 4442 (66:06) The last but no means the least of, at the time of writing, the latest Vocalion re-issues of light orchestral music features Helmut Zacharias (1920-2002) who in the 1950s was considered to be one of the best jazz violinists in Europe and was dubbed "The Magic Violinist" and "Germany" Mr Violin", selling over 14 million records worldwide. His biggest hit with his orchestra was his own composition, Tokyo Melody,the theme for the 1964 Olympics. On this CD the first 12 tracks are standard songs given a lush smooth treatment by the massed strings. The second brace are not quite so familiar but are also highly listenable to in Zacharias" own arrangements. Peter Burt
THE FILM MUSIC OF DOREEN CARWITHEN BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Gavin Sutherland Boys in Brown; Three Cases of Murder; Mantrap; To the Public Danger; Men of Sherwood Forest; East Anglian Holiday; Travel Royal. Dutton Epoch CDLX 7266 (60:00) Doreen Carwithen was the amanuensis of William Alwyn whom she later married. Her music has a distinctive lyrical quality and is thoroughly approachable as light music; indeed had she been a man we would have heard a great deal more about her. This is a great CD and an excellent sequel to her Chandos disc (re-issued on CHAN 10365X) both of which you will want to play over and over again. Very highly recommended, especially as the music has been reconstructed by Philip Lane. The first five works are from dramatic films, the last two from travel documentaries. Edmund Whitehouse
THE FILM MUSIC OF BRIAN EASDALE BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Rumon Gamba The Red Shoes; Kew Gardens; Black Narcissus; Battle of the River Plate; Adventure On; Gone to Earth Chandos CHAN 10636 (75:00) British films from the 1930s to the 1960s often had superb background music, which complemented the storyline perfectly but many, if not most, were jettisoned as being of little or no value once the film was released. Philip Lane has spent a massive amount of time rescoring them for recorded performance and here are his latest offerings, supplemented by John Wilson. The Red Shoes starred Moira Shearer as a doomed ballet dancer;Battle of the River Plate starred John Gregson, Anthony Quayle and Peter Finch chasing the German pocket battleship Graf Spee; Black Narcissus starred Deborah Kerr and Jean Simmons as two nuns in a doomed wartime love story; Gone to Earth starred Jennifer Jones, David Farrar, Cyril Cusack and the semi-blind Esmond Knight chasing foxes and each other; Adventure On (the suite from which was dedicated to Sir John Barbirolli) was a documentary about Massey Ferguson farm equipment; whileKew Gardens does exactly what is says on the label, depicting changing horticultural scenes south of the River Thames. Older film buffs will love these sounds of reconstructed old film music. Edmund Whitehouse
DEBBIE WISEMAN 'The Promise' (Original Television Soundtrack) Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Conducted by Debbie Wiseman. Silva Screen SILCD1354 (74:41). During February Channel 4 in the UK screened an epic four-part drama documentary 'The Promise'. Debbie" score is performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and is one of her most ambitious scores to date which, alongside the traditional orchestra, includes a vast array of ethnic performers. The story of the film centres around a British girl who travels to Israel/Palestine and retraces the steps of her grandfather who was a British soldier stationed there in the 1940s. To bring this story to life musically Debbie has drawn on Arabic and ethnic influences, and has featured the Duduk, Kaval, Dud, Arabic violin, Arabic vocal, and ethnic percussion '- as well as a full symphony orchestra of strings and woodwind. In a press release accompanying the launch of the soundtrack album, Debbie said: "Working with director Peter Kosminsky again on 'The Promise' has been one of the most exciting and musically challenging projects of my career. Writing over 4 hours of music for the films, and weaving the western and ethnic eastern instrumentation together for this heartbreaking story was a massive challenge. It was a real delight to conduct the sessions with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the diverse solo performers '- I really didn't want it to end!" Debbie is also heard playing the piano, and the CD comes with a lavishly illustrated booklet that will delight viewers wanting a permanent souvenir of the series. This is the latest in a long series of prestigious projects by one of the finest composers working in television and films today, and it is warmly recommended to readers who like to include this kind of repertoire in their collections. David Ades
THE CLARINET CONNECTION In Accord Tanguisomo; Domino; Canzonetta, Op 19 (Pierné); Sicilienne (von Paradis); Organ Prelude No 8 [BWV560] (J S Bach); I Wiil Wait for You; Misty; Paris Medley; Un Homme et Une Femme; A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square; The Shadow of Your Smile; Second Waltz [Suite for Variety Stage Orchestra] (Shostakovitch); Extasis; Oblivion; Czardas (Monti) DJC Records DJC031 (42:05) The playing, production and presentation here are all excellent and this album has given me much pleasure. Andrew McCullough on clarinet and Peter Ayers on accordion are joined by the double bass of Christopher Finch and the percussion of Ian Chopping in a wide ranging programme including three pieces by Ấstor Piazzolla. Being a pushover for the evocative sound of the accordion, I found it and the tango rhythm irresistible. And who would have expected an accordion to play a Bach Organ Prelude? I also loved the instrument in musette mode on Paris Medley, written to entertain Orient Express passengers. Even one of my all-time unfavourite tunes, A Man and a Woman,composed by Francis Lai (himself an accordionist) is bearable. A slight cavil is that I would have been even happier with a playing time of nearer an hour '- quantity as well as quality. I urge you to get this CD and to share in the obvious enjoyment of the players. Peter Burt
PHIL KELSALL Plays The Technics SX-FA1 The Entertainer The Entertainer, Spanish Eyes; Side Saddle; Midnite Blue; Thunderbirds; Whistle Down The Wind; Music Box Dancer; Twilight Time; Morning Has Broken; Spanish Harlem; Aces High (from 'The Battle of Britain'); Vision On (Left Bank Two); Elvira Madigan; Belle Of The Ball; Peacherine Rag; Lonely Shepherd; Crazy; My Heart Will Go On (Love theme from 'Titanic'); España, My Way Grasmere GRCD 134 (76:20) A pleasant well-filled compilation of varied re-issues from the "King of Blackpool Tower Ballroom" for the past 36 years. But, nota bene, here he is not playing the famous Wurlitzer but his touring organ with its quite different sound. This album has grown on me with repeated hearings, although I still miss the resonance of the larger instrument. Music Box Dancer is delightful and the rather attractive JoplinRag is one I've not heard before. Evidently concert tour audiences are very appreciative of the instrument so good sales should ensue. The disc is produced by Mr Kelsall and our fellow RFS member Tim Wills. Even without the "big W", at under £6 online this is well worth a whirl. Peter Burt
NIGEL OGDEN Pure Nostalgia 14 tracks incl. The Middy; Guys and Dolls Selection; Deep Purple; Funeral March of a Marionette; Is It True What They Say About Dixie?; Tower Ballroom Classics; Quickstepping with Jerome Kern; Moonlight in Vermont; Television Themes ... Grasmere GRCD135(73:47) It is the Tower Ballroom Wurlitzer Organ but at the console the long-time presenter of Radio 2" 'The Organist Entertains' . The recording was evidently made on one of the coldest days in November last year. It arrived in early April on one of the hottest days so far this year. I have heard Nigel live in a nonconformist chapel and he is a fine player. (Interestingly, he includes two hymn tunes in his final selection Lest We Forget). One can only marvel here at his control over this super instrument. The album is an eclectic compilation that should give pleasure to all lovers of that special "Blackpool sound". Peter Burt
TONY BENNETT While We're Young 57 tracks incl. Cold, Cold Heart; Always; Just in Time; It" Magic; Boulevard of Broken Dreams; Stranger in Paradise; Rags to Riches; Blue Velvet; Sing You Sinners ... Jasmine JASCD 679 (79:00 & 79:31) This generous package presents Tony Bennett singing for the most part slow ballads. His rich full-throated voice is admirably suited to the material, and sound quality is excellent. The tracklist shows that he" aided and abetted by some of the best accompanists of the time, in particular Percy Faith. Robert Nickora" liner note hints that the compilation spans the middle to late fifties, but actual recording dates are omitted. Barry McCanna
BING CROSBY Through The Years : Volume Seven 36 tracks incl. Learn to croon; Thanks; Muddy water; Mississippi mud; My kinda love; I surrender, Dear; Oh! Tell me why; If you love me; Down the Old Ox Road; Black moonlight; The day you came along; After sundown; Temptation; Love thy neighbour; May I? ... Sepia 1167 (74:27) The latest volume of this comprehensive series by the great Bing reaches 1954. Most of the tracks between April and June (accompanied by Buddy Cole and his Trio) are from 'A Musical Autobiography', Decca" 20th anniversary celebration issue of five LPs in tribute to their most successful star. Standout tracks for me include two of my favourite songs,Love in bloom and It" easy to remember, and also What can you do with a General? and Count your blessings '- both from the 'White Christmas' movie. All the tracks are introduced by the man himself and, although extremely interesting, might not make this compilation ideal for repeated listening ...? A 12-page booklet of notes by Malcolm Macfarlane is a model of its kind. Peter Burt
BARBARA DICKSON The Essential Barbara Dickson 56 tracks incl: January February; Answer me; Memory; I don't know how to love him; Don't cry for me Argentina; Natural woman; Anyone who had a heart; My Lagan Love; Who knows where the time goes; Farewell to Whiskey; ... // Time after time; September song; Don't think twice it" alright; Sule Skerry; If you go away; She" leaving home; The times they are a-changin' (with Gerry Rafferty);I think its gonna rain today; The dark end of the street; Tell me it" not true; ... Metro CD650 (75:11 & 77:15)A few months ago in Back Tracks I encouraged you to buy a budget price disc by Barbara Dickson, actress, pianist, songwriter and singer. Now, alongside her latest album 'Words Unspoken' (Greentrax CDTRAX 353), on which she returns to her folk roots, we have a 2½ hour 2-CD compilation with good liner notes for around a fiver that must rate as the best bargain of the year so far. It contains a good mix of contemporary show tunes '- in 1985 she had a Top 20 hit with Another suitcase in another hall from 'Evita' and a No.1 with Elaine Paige on I know him so well from 'Chess' (still the all-time worldwide best-selling duet by two females) '- as well as folk numbers and excellent cover versions of other artists' hits. Barbara has a lovely voice, and it is no surprise to read that her debut album in the '70s sold more than 600,000 copies and stayed in the charts for more than a year. She received an OBE in the 2001 New Year" Honours List for her "service to music and drama." Not bad for someone whose early ambition as a wee Scots lassie was just to sing like Doris Day! Peter Burt
HUTCH (LESLIE A HUTCHINSON} Let" Do It - His 50 Finest 1929-1947 incl. Ain't Misbehavin'; Lover; Don't Blame Me; Night And Day; Dinner For One, Please, James; It" De-Lovely; Let" Call It A Day; The Woodpecker Song; These Foolish Things; Deep Purple; My Prayer; Whispering Grass; Let There Be Love; Jealousy; La Mer ... Retrospective RTS 4168 (78:58) & (78:41) a Although in essence this is a compilation that was issued in 2002 on the now defunct Living Era label, it deserves to be judged on its own merits, which are considerable. Between 1929 and 1947 Hutch recorded over 600 sides, initially for Parlophone (including some with Harry Roy, seven of which are included), changing to HMV in May 1940. They took in some of the greatest songs of the thirties and forties, and that" reflected in this selection. Hutch was a song stylist, and the combination of his husky throbbing voice and his accompaniment convey potent charm. Sound quality is excellent, as is Peter Dempsey" liner note. Barry McCanna
PEGGY LEE The Hits and More 53 tracks incl. Manana; Caramba it" the Samba; Riders in the Sky; Lover; Fever; My Heart Belongs to Daddy; Johnny Guitar; Sing a Rainbow; The Siamese Cat Song ...Jasmine JASCD 579 (76:55 & 77:02) This compilation spans just over a decade, from 1948 to 1959, when Peggy Lee was at the peak of her illustrious career. The tracklist shows year of recording and chart place but not accompaniment, although Ossie Dales' relatively brief liner note does refer to her album with George Shearing, from which You Came a Long Way From St. Louis has been included. Barry McCanna
MARGARET WHITING" Great Hits It might as well be Spring; A tree in the meadow; A wonderful guy; My ideal; Come rain or come shine; Baby, it" cold outside (with Bill Lee); That old black magic; Moonlight in Vermont; Now is the hour; Slippin' around; Faraway places; My foolish heart; Guilty; Let" go to church; Morgen; Lavender blue; I've been there; Till there was you; The Three Bells; Broken hearted melody; I loves you Porgy; What a diff'rence a day made; I only have eyes for you; My wish came true; Glad to be unhappy; Little girl blue; One for my baby Sepia 1163 (74:13) Margaret Whiting was a popular singer par excellence who died earlier this year, aged 86. She recorded for Capitol Records from soon after it was founded in 1942 for 15 years and had a string of more than 40 hits from '46 to '54. The biggest of these included Now is the hour, A tree in the meadow, andFaraway places, all Nos.1 or 2 in '48, then with Country & Western star Jimmy Wakely on Slippin' around, No.1 in '49. She joined Dot Records in 1957 and re-recorded in stereo her 'Greatest Hits',which comprise the first 14 tracks on this outstanding disc. She was fortunate in having as her arranger and conductor Russ Garcia, who was in the process of becoming a big name in Los Angeles jazz circles. The next ten tracks were issued as the album 'Top Ten Hits' in 1959. This time Milt Rogers does the honours as arranger/conductor. Great to hear The Three Bells again after many years, though it does not oust the version by Les Compagnons de la Chanson in my affections. Sepia has something of a coup with the last three tracks: the first-time release of rare performances accompanied by pianist Walter Gross. The CD booklet is well up to the high standard we have come to expect. This release is a wonderful memento of a beautiful vocalist singing quality songs, and has given me a great deal of listening pleasure. It will surely do the same for you. Peter Burt
GARY WILLIAMS Let There Be Love - A Celebration of Nat 'King' Cole 18 tracks incl. Let" Face The Music And Dance; It" Only A Paper Moon/This Can't Be Love; Nature Boy; Dance Ballerina Dance; Day In - Day Out; The End Of A Love Affair; Smile; L-O-V-E ... Bos Entertainment BOS6819 [47:49].Back in May 2004 a sound engineer at the Caxton Theatre in Grimsby happened to make a recording of Gary in concert with the James Pearson Trio. It was never intended for release, and Gary had forgotten about it until he came across it last year. Happily for his many admirers he decided that it deserved to reach a wider audience. Gary needs no introduction to readers of this magazine; his work has been praised by us on many occasions in the past. This time we find him in a sophisticated cabaret setting, with superb arrangements by Andrew Cottee. Gary sings in the kind of relaxed and confident manner that can only be achieved by a performer with plenty of experience and bucketfuls of talent. Both Gary and Andrew have deservedly enjoyed considerable success in their careers since 2004, and long may they both continue to regale us with top quality popular music. The future is bright with talents like this around on the scene. David Ades
75 GLENN MILLER MASTERPIECES Original Radio Broadcasts Glenn Miller and his Orchestra 42 tracks Sepia 1165 (67:42 & 65:51) The music of Glenn Miller has been with us for some 70 years and, like all things of quality, one never tires of the emotion that it evokes in one" musical soul. This 2 CD set certainly captures the nostalgia of the wartime austerity years of the early 1940s. What make the recordings even more evocative are the introductions to some of the tracks by Glenn Miller in person. The music is quite a surprise with many tracks unfamiliar to the average dance band listener. But that said, it is for you the listener to decide on your personal preferences. Some of the Miller classics are here but unless you are an avid Glenn Miller aficionado I would be very surprised if anyone has heard all the tracks played by the great bandleader" orchestra. My personal favourite is Perfidia, which incidentally was also played by The Shadows. Listen to both and compare. Another track that is particularly "smooth" is Blues in the night, with delightful vocal accompaniment and quite exquisite muted trumpet. To write too much about such famous people and their music cannot do justice to the listening experience. Suggest you buy and enjoy. Roger Chantler
THE SQUADRONAIRES The Royal Air Force Dance Orchestra : Twenty-Five Original Recordings from 1941 to 1953 Digitally Remastered incl. Amapola; Down Forget-Me-Not Lane; Anchors Aweigh; Harlem Sandman; A Journey to a Star; March of the Movies; No Name Jive; ... Bygone Days BYD77061 (77:55) The first sixteen tracks in this compilation were recorded in wartime, when the RAF Dance Orchestra recorded "by permission of the Air Council", after which it became known as The Squadronaires. But for the last three tracks, which were recorded under Ronnie Aldrich" leadership, Jimmy Miller was the director, and he takes some of the vocals, as do Beryl Davis and guitarist Sid Colin. Two tracks in particular will clinch the appeal of this reissue, namely Come Out Come Out, Wherever You Are/It Must be Jelly,and I Heard You Cried Last Night/I've Found a New Baby, both of which were recorded for ENSA in mid-1944. Barry McCanna
ALADDIN (ORIGINAL LONDON CAST) / CINDERELLA 23 tracks Sepia 1162 (66:22) 'Aladdin', with music and lyrics by Cole Porter in what was to be his final project, first saw the light of day as an American television musical. A substantially different stage show was produced by Harold Fielding at the London Coliseum for Christmas 1960. It starred a young Bob Monkhouse, Doretta Morrow and Ronald Shiner. Direction and choreography were by Robert Helpmann and Bobby Howell was MD. Songs include No wonder taxes are high, Come to the supermarket, Ridin' high, with Trust your destiny to your star and the witty Wouldn't it be fun,both sung by Ian Wallace. 'Cinderella', from the pens of Rodgers and Hammerstein, had also been a television musical, panned by the critics but seen by a record-breaking 107 million viewers in the States. Harold Fielding brought it to the Coliseum in December 1959. The studio cast on this album includes two stalwarts of the London West End stage, Denis Quilley and Elizabeth Larner. The show is orchestrated and the London Variety Theatre Orchestra conducted by Gilbert Vinter. Among the songs the best known is No other love, which withMarriage type love augments the original score. The whole CD is a pleasing listen, likely to be most appreciated by people who actually saw the shows. Well done to the label for bringing the recordings back into circulation and to Dominic McHugh for his admirable notes. Ray Pavene
AMERICAN CLASSICS : SOUSA The Great American Main Street Band / Timothy Foley 22 tracks incl. Gallant and Gay We'll March Away/Let" Hurrah!; The Pathfinder of Panama; The Gladiator; The Gliding Girl; Who" Who in Navy Blue; King Cotton; The Liberty Bell; The Stars and Stripes Forever!; Le Reine de la Mer; The Fairest of the Fair; Here" To Your Health, Sir! The Washington Post; etc ... EMI Classics 64112222 (66:33) This release is presumably a reissue since the recordings made at the Rye Presbyterian Church, New York, date as far back as 1990. No matter, this is a highly enjoyable compilation of mainly marches '- some not yet included in the excellent ongoing Royal Artillery Naxos series '- intermingled and contrasted with a polonaise, a tango, a waltz and a dance hilarious (!), With Pleasure, crisply played with tremendous verve and panache. The band is clearly a highly accomplished and expert ensemble, and it would have been helpful if EMI had furnished some information about when it was established, its size, instrumentation, etc. One novelty here particularly for British listeners is the Mikado March, an arrangement of themes from the G&S operetta that had apparently taken America by storm in 1885. And, whilst decidedly not a novelty, mention should also be made of the George Washington Bicentennial March, significant because it was premiered in February 1932, only a month before the composer" death. No self-respecting Sousa fan should pass this notable issue by and there is a good deal of interest here for the more general listener who simply has an ear for tuneful exuberant music. With superb recording quality '- strongly recommended. Roger Hyslop
THE WORLD OF BALLET Paris Conservatoire, New Symphony and Royal Opera House Orchestras / Anotole Fistoulari Eloquence ELQ4802391 (70:26 & 63:13) Melody abounds on this 2 CD set from the mid-price Australian Eloquence label '- now widely available in the UK '- under the baton of one of the best ballet and Russian music conductors of his time (he passed on in 1995). The original RCA vinyl of Lecocq" (arr.Jacob) La fille de Madame Angot: and Walton" Façade: Suiteswas enthusiastically reviewed for both performances and recording. And Gramophone opined that the J. Strauss II (arr. Dorati) Graduation Ball was "Strauss as Strauss is played in Vienna". The other equally attractive items are from four "opera-ballets": Mussorgsky" Dance of the Persian Slaves, Rossini" William Tell: Soldiers' Dance, Saint-Saẽns" Samson and Delilah: Bacchanale and Verdi" Aida: Dance of the Moorish Slaves - March, plusWeber"(arr. Berlioz) Invitation to the Dance, and Minkus"Don Quixote: Pas de deux described by a composer of today as "tunes just born to dance". This is real feel-good music and these are distinctly desirable discs from "Down Under". Edward Trub
Wilfred Askew" reminders of recently received releases
JUNE CHRISTY Something Broadway, Something Latin (1965) 12 tracks incl. Do I hear a waltz?; Come back to me; The shadow of your smile; What did I have that I don't have? Cast your fate to the wind; One note samba (bonus track) ... JERI SOUTHERN Meets Cole Porter (1959) 13 tracks incl. Don't look at me that way; Get out of town; It" alright with me; You're the top; After you; Love is the sweetest thing (bonus) ... DRG-CD-8507 (67:01) Original Capitol recordings.
BING CROSBY : LOUIS ARMSTRONG Bing and Satchmo arr./cond. Billy May Muskrat ramble; The Preacher; Brother Bill; Little ol' tune; Rocky mountain moon; Bye bye blues ... & 6 others incl. Lazy river (bonus track) DRG-CD-91515 (38:56) Released 1960 by MGM Records.
PEGGY LEE Jump For Joy with Nelson Riddle & his Orch. 14 tracks incl. I hear music; Just in time; Old devil moon; For or five times; Music! music! music!; The glory of love ... DRG-CD-94784(34:43) Issued in 1959 by Capitol ; first stereo release on CD.
KEN NORDINE : The Complete 1950s Recordings : 2CDs 3 original Dot LPs. Chrome Dreams CDCD5044 (109:33) 3 original Dot LPs. Nordine" narration is accompanied on 'Word Jazz' and on'Son of Word Jazz' by the Chico Hamilton Quintet, billed as The Fred Katz Group; and on 'Next!' by a combination led by Richard Marx.
ANDRÉ PREVIN QUARTET Previn" Touch 'Let" Get Away From It All' (1956) 13 tracks incl. It happened in Sun Valley; Island in the West Indies; Honolulu; Sidewalks of Cuba ... 'Hollywood at Midnight' 12 tracks incl. Invitation; Laura; You are too beautiful; My foolish heart ... Fresh Sound FSR-CD-551 (77:58) Two U.S. Decca LPs.
ANDRÉ PREVIN and DAVID ROSE Like Young : Secret Songs For Young Lovers 12 tracks incl. Blame it on my youth; You make me feel so young; Last night when we were young; A year of youth; Too young to go steady; Love is for the very young ... Hallmark 709472 (36:04)
Like Blue 12 tracks incl. The blue room; Serenade in blue; Little girl blue; The blue subterranean; Blue, turning grey over you; Born to be blue ... Hallmark 709682 (33:38)
Two classic M.G.M. mono recordings on a super-budget label.
JOHN WILLIAMS Cavatina : The Complete Fly and Cube Recordings : 2 CDs Disc 1: 19 tracks incl. Bach Changes; Theme from Z; Cavatina; Spanish Trip; Nuages; Sarabande; New Sun Rising, Pomegranite ... / Disc 2: 18 tracks incl. The Height Below; Horizon; The Swagman; Sheep May Safely Graze; Travelling; The River God; Romanza ... Salvo SALVODCD 215 (127:11)
NANCY WILSON How Glad I Am / Gentle Is My Love 'How Glad' (1964) 11 tracks incl. The grass is greener; The boy from Ipanema; Don't rain on my parade; People; West Coast Blues; Quiet nights ... 'Gentle' (1965) 11 + 3 bonus tracks incl. Who can I turn to; My one and only love; More; Time after time; If ever I would leave you; At long last love ... DRG-CD-8511 (64:34)
JOHN BARRY Revisited 4 CDs: ‘Elizabeth Taylor in London’; ‘Zulu’; ‘Four in the Morning’; and ‘The Ember Singles’ Fantastic Voyage FVQD034 (60:40, 31:44, 68:37 & 35:55) The first was a 1963 US TV documentary, arranged and conducted by Johnnie Spence, and the six music-only tracks are reprised in stereo. Liz Taylor adopted a mid-Atlantic accent for her delivery, and I suspect that it worked better as an integral part of the TV programme. The second CD is the original stereo soundtrack of the 1964 epic film ‘Zulu’, including the narration by Richard Burton, plus six Zulu stamps performed by the John Barry Seven. The score of the 1965 feature film ‘Four in the Morning’ is dark and atmospheric. It comprises fifteen tracks, four of which are excerpts of dialogue only by the actors involved. The eleven music-only tracks are reprised in stereo. The music incorporates a recurring theme, which may become repetitive heard in isolation. Despite its title ‘John Barry Plays 007’, only four of the Ember singles are connected with James Bond films. The first two tracks were a best-forgotten attempt to exploit the 1963 Profumo affair; tracks 7 & 8 are commercial recordings of numbers from the first CD, and tracks 9 & 10 duplicate two tracks from the second. If you can ignore those drawbacks, this is a well-produced and presented boxed set which should appeal not just to John Barry enthusiasts, but also to collectors of esoterica, particularly relating to the Swinging Sixties. Barry McCanna
PERCY FAITH Delicado 54 tracks incl. Many Times; Oodles of Noodles; Syncopated Clock; The Bandit; Fiddle Derby; Bubbling Over; Deep Purple; Tropical Merenge; Sleigh Ride: Little Lost Dog ..Jasmine JASCD 677 (78:39 & 79:44) Many of these tunes are associated irrevocably with Percy Faith, but what you'll find here in addition are six recordings on which he accompanied Champ Butler, including Henrietta’s Wedding and I’m Walking Behind You, together with his accompaniments to Marion Marlowe's If You Love Me, and Mahalia Jackson's Away in a Manger, plus a fair few singles that you may well have forgotten. The term Mood Music has become somewhat discredited, but Percy Faith's arrangements had the ability to create an atmosphere which transported the listener. This he achieved by aiming for a more mellow sound, damping down the normally predominant brass and woodwind sections, and overlaying them with strings. The remastering does full justice to that sound, and Robert Nickora's liner note outlines his career, but as with other Jasmine releases I wish there were more information in the track list. Barry McCanna
GRAND HOTEL Tom Jenkins (violin) directing the BBC Grand Hotel Orchestra with Reginald Kilbey (cello) and Jack Byfield (piano) Mazurka de Concert; By the Sleepy Lagoon; Melodies of Britain; If My Songs Were Only Winged; Parlez Moi D’Amour; Fascination; ‘Dear Miss Phoebe’ – Selection; The Laughing Violin; Jealous Lover; ‘Because You’re Mine’ – Selection; Gipsy Carnival; Dream Serenade; Pizzicato from ‘Sylvia’ (Delibes); ‘Waltzing Thru’ Filmland’; Meditation from ‘Thais’; Air on the G String; To a Wild Rose
Dinmore DRD 056 (76:29) A blast from the past except there is no blast! These are beautifully played highly civilized versions of pieces typical of what so many people – some 10 million in the early ‘50s – enjoyed week by week on BBC radio from the 1930s through to the 1950s. The first 15 tracks were recorded by EMI in 1951 and the last two tracks are live performances from a year later. The Stradivarius-playing Tom Jenkins took over as leader from Albert Sandler in 1948 and left the programme in 1954. I was surprised to read that he was only forty-seven when he died of lung cancer in 1957. A fine memento of a truly popular musical entertainer. Remastering is by Paul Arden-Taylor, whose presentation at the RFS London meeting in May was so greatly appreciated, and is issued on his own label: Dinmore Records, 11 Romsley Hill Grange, Romsley, Worcs, B62 0LN, orwww.dinmore-records.co.uk for £7.50 incl.p&p. Peter Burt
RICHARD HAYMAN Misty 59 tracks incl. Blue Tango; Tammy; Sadie’s Shawl; Off Shore; Summertime; Golden Earrings; Moonlight Serenade; Winter Wonderland; Turkey Mambo; Carol …Jasmine JASCD 676 (78:00 & 79:18) This compilation includes the complete Mercury album‘Richard Hayman Conducts the Great Motion Picture Themes of Victor Young’. Other tracks are drawn from ‘Music for People Who Can't Sleep’, ‘Only Memories’, and ‘Let's Get Together’, as well as his accompaniment to Bobby Wayne's singles Snow, Snow, Beautiful Snow and The Jones Boy. Robert Nickora's liner note includes the comment that Hayman was largely responsible for popularising the harmonica in the 1950s, which ignores the influence of Larry Adler. On the other hand, it is instructive to compare Richard Hayman's approach to that of Larry Adler. The latter played in a very assertive style, so that no matter who (if anyone) was accompanying him, you were never allowed to forget that his playing was central to the exercise (in art as in life!) In contrast, Richard Hayman's style is softer, and he blends his instrument into the accompaniment, so that it complements rather than dominating. Barry McCanna
JAMES LAST Voodoo Party & Well Kept Secret 20 tracks incl. Se A Cabo; Sing a Simple Song; Heyah Masse-Ga; Mamy Blue; Jin-Go-Lo-Ba … Jubilation; I Can’t Move No Mountains; Love for Sale; Bolero ’75; Question … Vocalion CDSML 8477 (74:35) ROGIER VAN OTTERLOO On The Move & The French Collection 18 tracks incl. Go on Forever; Alfie’s Lullaby; Alone at Last; My Dearest Fluffie; The Eternal Triangle … Les Plaisirs Démodés; The Old Fashioned Way; Summer of ’42; La Gars de Rocherchouart; Mourir au Soleil … Vocalion CDSML 8474 (78:09)
Both of these releases originally made their appearance on the Polydor label in the early/mid Seventies. At this time US West Coast ‘Jazz-Funk’ became very popular and still has many devotees to this day. That influence is much in evidence in these four albums. For those whose knowledge of James Last is confined to the ‘Non-Stop’ and the so-called, ‘a-Gogo’ series, (which by 1973 had sold forty-seven million LPs world-wide and made a vast fortune for Last and the record company) these two albums show him in a somewhat different light. ‘Voodoo Party’ features twelve tracks, mostly Latin–inspired, including three numbers previously recorded by Carlos Santana. Driving, pulsating rhythms dominate, and the excellent and very comprehensive liner notes speak of "enough Latin-American percussion to sink a battleship". ‘Well Kept Secret’ was a rare excursion away from the German recording studios; Last travelled to Los Angeles, and worked with the cream of the West Coast musicians, including Larry Muhoberac and Wes Farrell, who also produced the sessions. Highlights of the eight tracks (for this reviewer) are Summertime (with some frenetic flute playing by Tom Scott) and Slaughter On Tenth Avenue – two pieces played like you’ve never heard them before and well worth a listen! Dutch-born Rogier van Otterloo was the eldest son of the renowned conductor Willem van Otterloo. Having made dozens of arrangements for the famous Metropole Orchestra and guest-conducted that ensemble on many occasions, he eventually succeeded Dolf van der Linden as their MD. I first encountered Rogier on an excellent series of albums ‘Introspection 1 – 4 ‘ (on which he worked with the flautist Thijs van Leer). His career was cut short at the age of 46, after losing a prolonged battle with cancer. Both of the albums on this CD were made in London, using an ensemble largely made-up of the very best session musicians. ‘On The Move’ takes its title from track 3. Seven of the eight tracks were penned by van Otterloo and the wonderfully lush and sometimes dramatic arrangements often feature pulsating rhythms, with brass, wind and electric piano very much to the fore. ‘The French Collection’ uses many of the same musicians, including Don Lusher, Roy Willox, and this time "our own" David Snell. A change is to be found in the programme: the eight tracks here are not original compositions but a tantalising menu of French popular melodies, treated to van Otterloo’s modern orchestrations. These are very distinctive and illustrate just what a consummate musician this man was; it is a tragedy that he never lived to gain the international recognition which he undoubtedly deserved. The sound quality on both CDs is up to Mike Dutton’s usual superlative quality, and the already-referred-to liner notes, by Oliver Lomax, are a model of their kind. All-in-all, highly recommended! Tony Clayden
GEOFF LOVE & HIS ORCHESTRA Themes For Super Heroes & Big Terror Movie Themes 24 tracks incl. Superman; The Incredible Hulk; The Bionic Woman; Spiderman; Blakes 7 … Jaws; The Poseidon Adventure; The Exorcist – Tubular Bells; Rollerball – Toccata in D Minor; Psycho …Vocalion CDSML 8476 (76:36) Although I would not have got out of my chair to turn on the "telly" or gone to the cinema to see any of the TV progs or movies listed on this disc (I was a big fan of Dick Barton – Special Agent, however), I enjoyed this compilation of themes, including as it does five standout tracks from the pen of John Williams, as well as the likes of Charles Williams (who wroteDevil’s Galop used for the radio series mentioned above), Jerry Fielding, Neil Hefti, Ron Grainer, J S Bach (sic) and Bernard Herrmann. The Executioner title music written by Ron Goodwin was unknown to me and, albeit good, in its dissonance not typical of his output. Both these albums were produced by the legendary Norman Newell on EMI’s Music for Pleasure label in 1979 and ’75 respectively. Null points for the designs of the original LP sleeves nor the CD label, but full marks to Oliver Lomax for his booklet notes covering not just the background to the music but the life of a much-loved conductor and the history of the original MfP series. There is too little of Geoff’s work available nowadays and, hopefully, this will be the forerunner of much more. Peter Burt
CD Choce for September
STEVE RACE & HIS ORCHESTRA Take One & Dance To The TV Themes 25 tracks incl. Around the World; Around the World in 80 Days; Over the Rainbow; Lawrence of Arabia; On Green Dolphin Street; Maria; Summertime; Days of Wine and Rose; A Hard Day’s Night; I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face; Never on Sunday; Moon River; The James Bond Theme; Maigret; Naked City; Startime (Sunday Night at the London Palladium); Man of the World; Here and Now; Willow Waltz (The World of Tim Frazer); Route 66; Stranger on the Shore; Doctor Kildare … Vocalion CDLK 4439 (68:33) Steve Race was one of my musical heroes since the early 1950's whether on children's TV or on radio (Mine, too, May we now have ‘Late Race’? – KT Ed.) Mike Dutton has given us the chance to re-live those memories in issuing this CD taken from two World Record Club LPs. Arrangements are all by Steve and his orchestra is made up of the best of British session men including Tubby Hayes, Johnny Scott, Stan Roderick and Dave Goldberg. The album is full of superb tracks including thundering solos from Tubby Hayes on Z Cars and Perry Mason. Many readers will be surprised at the late night André Previnesque arrangement of Coronation Street – "smooching on the Street", I call it – and the ITV soap will never be the same again. Mike has woven his usual magic of remastering and the release has retained the original sleeve notes including those by Steve Race with his wonderful dry and gentle humour. Surely a release for the "Desert Island" or Christmas stocking. Mike Crowther
A RETURN TRIP TO THE LIBRARY For full tracklisting please see page 73 Guild GLCD5183[77:28]. This latest Guild release is just up my alley, and it begins with a real corker, King Palmer’s majestic theme With Pomp and Pride from the Paxton Library. This was the very first Paxton 78 I bought from a local record and piano store and I’m sure UK readers from the Birmingham area will remember Dale Forty’s shops and they had a branch here in Leamington. I still have that 78 and I was thrilled to bits that I could buy Paxton discs locally over the counter. Paul Fenoulhet’sHappidrome on track two is a perfect picture of variety acts rushing on and about the stage in frantic haste, but Tom Wyler’s Lovely Day which follows is a perfect relaxing antidote. Laurie Johnson’s Rue De La Paix first came into my possession on an LP of mood pieces issued by Amateur Movie Magazine in the 1960s with a photo of a young couple and a Eumig 8mm Projector on the sleeve front, the same model as I still have. Another good old’un, Looking Around by Colin Smith (Lloyd Thomas) and Cyril Watters’ Making Merry keep up the momentum on this ‘Library Trip’, quietening down somewhat as The Symphonia Orchestra conducted by Curt Anderson play Cecil Milner’s Wide Horizon. Two cracking pieces follow: Dog Gone by George French and a scintillating number from Trevor Duncan, Little Debbie, dedicated to his daughter. The Club Quintet, whoever they were, on the Conroy label continue the programme with Reg Owen’s Secret Serenade, a familiar tune but I’m blowed if I can remember where I’ve heard it before. Robert Farnon’s Dixielander played by The Dance Orchestra and conducted by him is the sole dance number on the disc under that classification because the items are listed under "moods" as they would be in a publishers catalogue, so under "modern movement" are Anthony Mawer’s Transcontinental from Conroy and Holiday Excursion by Peter Yorke from Chappell, both pieces bringing to mind Rank’s series ‘Look At Life’. During the lifetime of radios ITMA arrangements of well known numbers were written by various composers and Clive Richardson was one of them, and it’s his version of This Old Man Came Rolling Home played by The Group Forty Orchestra from KPM under "humorous" which I suppose it is if you like that sort of thing. However two more Paxton records caught my eye: Le Cabaret by John Foulds and Jack Strachey’s Ascot Parade, both of which I have in their 78 form and played by The London Promenade Orchestra conducted by Walter Collins who remains (to me) a mystery figure. Apart from his connection to the De La Warr Pavilion of Bexhill-on-Sea in I think the 1930s and his own compositions, I know nothing else about him but I’d like to. Two quirky numbers by Van Phillips and Dolf Van Der Linden, Buffoonery and Man from Mars, keep the tempo moving as the library shelves begin to empty. "Space, the final frontier"…no, really it’s just that we’ve reached Stratosphere by Eric Spear (wonder if he called it that to rhyme with his name?) and played by The New Century Orchestra conducted by Sidney Torch who also do the honours with Ronald Hanmer’s warlike Blood and Sand March and I suppose you could couple it with Shades of Destiny by Wilfred Burns, equally dramatic, and played by the Regent Classic Orchestra from the Bosworth library. But we end with a cracking piece of "Industrial" mood music by Charles Williams, A Machine Ballet played by the Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra conducted by him. I have three British Rail LMS Gaumont-British Instructional Films and one of them, ‘The Wheels Behind the Walls’ features a factory making steel window frames and A Machine Ballet is used to good effect behind this sequence. The other two films are ‘The Butcher, The Baker’ and ‘The Highway of Steel’, all in colour and made around 1947, needless to say very interesting and like this CD packed with libraries’ vintage mood music. I believe a small amount of distortion was supposed to be on the original 78 but thanks to Alan Bunting’s restoration technique, you wouldn’t know it. Ken Wilkins
ROBERT SHARPLES In A Monastery Garden The Immortal Works of Albert Ketelbey The New Symphony Orchestra of London conducted by Robert (Bob) Sharples In a Monastery Garden; Wedgwood Blue; In a Chinese Temple Garden; Sanctuary of the Heart; ‘Appy ‘Ampstead; In a Persian Market; The Phantom Melody; Bells Across the Meadow; In the Mystic Land of EgyptVocalion CDLF 8143 (50’) This a terrific re-release of an LP with, as usual, excellent remastering by Mike Dutton. The pieces will be mostly familiar but not the speed at which ‘Appy ‘Ampstead scorches along, singeing the grass, swing boats, roundabouts and everything else which took place on Bank Holidays looking down over London from Hampstead Heath. If you like Ketelbey well expressed then you will certainly enjoy this offering. Edmund Whitehouse
ILD is a well-established French record company which releases its own CDs, as well as distributing releases from other labels such as Vocalion and Guild. The following ten CDs, reviewed by David Ades, give a good idea of the wide repertoire covered.
GERARD CALVI AND HIS ORCHESTRA Le Bal Chez Madame de Mortemouille Le Bal de Madame de Mortemouille (Madame de Mortemouilles Ball); Courses De Toros (Bull Fights); Tonnerre Sur La Louisiane (Thunder In Louisiana); La Polka Des Menottes (Polka Of The Handcuffed Men); Les Demons De La Nuit (Devils Of The Night); Vacances (Holidays); Chats De Gouttiere (Alley Cats); Madamoiselle Robot (Miss Robot); Gigue Ecossaise (Scottish Jig); Ballet Moderne (Modern Ballet); Sur La Plage (On The Beach); Muguet Polka (Lili-Of-The-Valley Polka); Bonus tracks - Cop And Lea; Dugudu Follies; Hyde Park; Sur La Plage (sung by Claude Goaty). ILD 642313 [60:42]. Gerard Calvi’s memorable French Vogue LP ‘Le Bal Chez Madame de Mortemouille’ won the French Grand Prix du Disque in 1958, and four titles from this album have already reappeared on Guild Light Music CDs. If they have whetted your appetite for more, then this is your opportunity to acquire the complete LP, together with four bonus tracks. Like all of the ILD CDs being reviewed this time, the attractive 8-page booklet is in French. This LP caused quite a stir in UK light music circles when originally released by Pye, and this CD reissue is warmly recommended.
HELMUT ZACHARIAS AND HIS MAGIC VIOLINS La Fete Aux Violons La Fete Aux Chapeaux; Que Sera Sera; Paris Palace Hotel; Autumn Concerto; Princess De Glace; Le Tapis Volant; Fiddlers Boogie; The Whistler And His Dog; Meet Mr Callaghan; The Tipsy Piano; Scotch Polka; Je Vous Adore; and 12 more. ILD 642273 [67:24]. Helmut Zacharias achieved international fame from the 1950s onwards, and these early recordings are good examples that explain his popularity.
MICHEL LEGRAND AND HIS ORCHESTRA Cole Porter And His Friends... Paris In The Spring; I Love Paris; Paris; Autumn Leaves; April In Paris; The Last Time I Saw Paris; The Jitterbug Waltz; Night And Day; Love For Sale; Close; I Get A Kick Out Of You; Too Darn Hot; Round Midnight; Begin The Beguine; In The Still Of The Night; Ridin' High; All Through The Night; Just One Of Those Things; Anything Goes; Blow Gabriel Blow; Wild Man Blues. ILD 642274 [70:19]. Again, notes are not really necessary. Michel Legrand became a major player internationally, and here we can sample some of his early work.
EDDIE BARCLAY AND HIS ORCHESTRA Hit Parade 56 The Portuguese Washerwomen; Un Petit Peu d'Argent; L'Homme Et L'Enfant; Tic Tac Tango; Corps A Corps; Laisse Moi Rever Un Peu De Toi; Tango Magique (Magic Tango); Stormy Weather; Papa Loves Mambo; La Danse Du Baiser; Unchained Melody; Elephant Tango; and 12 more. ILD 642299 [65:55]. Eddie Barclay (real name Edouard Ruault – he changed it in 1944 when he came into contact with American liberation forces) was famous in France for two reasons: his music, and his nine wives. His career took off at the end of World War 2 when he realised that his jazz with a French flavour was much in demand, and started his own band in 1947. Gradually he began extending his talents into conducting and record production for several leading singers, and eventually he formed Barclay Records. Thanks to his contacts with the American record industry he was able to take a leading role in the production and distribution of LP records in France where he became known as the "King of Microgroove". This CD captures the free and easy sound that was so appropriate for this kind of repertoire in the 1950s. His music usually features a full orchestra, with attractive strings and brass, and plenty of rhythm. Simply this is music to make you feel happy!
WAL-BERG AND HIS ORCHESTRA Original Recordings 1957-1959 Danse Ukrainienne; Joue Tzigane; Blue Danube; Volga Boatmen; Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka; Vienna Blood; Adieu Mon Petit Officier (Goodbye from ‘White Horse Inn’); Stenka Razine - Le Bouleau; Plaine Ma Plaine; The Third Man; Libesfreud; Valse De La Chauve-Souris; Two Guitars; La Danse Du Diable (Devil's Dance); and 8 more. ILD 642297 [71:38]. Wal-Berg was born in Istanbul, and his real name was Voldemar Rosenberg. He studied at both the Berlin and Paris Conservatoires of Music, and during the 1930s was closely associated with French recordings by Marlène Dietrich. As his career progressed he worked with many of the leading French artistes, and composed over 300 original works – his Danse Du Diable becoming known internationally (a recording by Mantovani is on Guild GLCD5181). His later recordings often had a Russian, Austrian or Gypsy feel, which is evident on many of the tracks on this CD. He had a large orchestra but, unlike Eddie Barclay, he made few concessions to changing musical tastes in the 1950s. This is pure orchestral light music which is almost dateless. It should appeal to many RFS members.
CARMEN DRAGON and the HOLLYWOOD BOWL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Echoes Of SpainEspana Cani; Cielito Lindo; Tico Tico; Siboney; Espana; Ritual Fine Dance; Andalucia; Jealousy; Estrellita; Malaguena; El Relicario; and 7 more. ILD 642279 [78:16]. Many readers will be familiar with these recordings, which were warmly received upon their original release over 50 years ago.
ADOLPHE SIBERT AND HIS DANCE ORCHESTRA Les Plus Celebres Quadrilles Francaise Et Viennois (The Most Famous French And Viennese Quadrilles) Les Lanciers; La Fille De Madame Angot; Les Cloches De Corneville; Orphee Aux Enfers; La Mascotte; La Vie Parisienne; and 11 more tracks. ILD 642307 [73:12]. Adolphe Sibert was born in Vienna, so he would have been brought up in a strong tradition of dance music. Like the Wal-Berg CD reviewed above, his orchestra ignores the post-war influences of pop music, making this a charming reminder of the kind of music that was the staple fare of concertgoers in the early years of the last century. The orchestra is a purely concert ensemble, even though it is called Orcheste de Bal. There are faint resemblances to Harry Davidson, but he played in strict tempo which this is definitely not! This is more like the style of music we hear from Vienna each New Year’s Day.
EMILE NOBLOT AND HIS ORCHESTRA Les Jardins De Grenade; La Polka Chinoise; La Gavotte Des Vers Luisants (The Glow Worm); Revil Du Printemps; Music Box Tango; Bucaro; Refrains; In Old Lison; Les Amants D'Un Jour; Les Maraicheres De Bahia; Gaillardo; Pour Un Reve D'Amour; Domani; Dans Les Jardins De Valencia; Czardas Tango; and 10 more. ILD 642284 [73:33]. These tracks all date from 1953 to 1957 and feature a small orchestra which, in the booklet photos, looks like a Gypsy ensemble, but also often sounds like many of the smaller salon light orchestras of pre-war years. Yet at times it takes on the atmosphere of many 1950s light orchestras with a larger string section, so it seems likely that the personnel varied in size and style to suit the repertoire being recorded. Every so often the world of Light Music throws up previously unknown musicians who were clearly very talented, and who produced some pleasing music. Emile Noblot certainly falls into this category.
JERRY MENGO AND HIS ORCHESTRA Club De Danse Carroll's; Lullaby Of Broadway; Lillette; J'Aime Tout, Tout, Tout (In The Cool, Cool, Cool Of The Evening); Anthony's Cat Boogie; Les Oranges De Jaffa; Un P'tit Coup de Chapeau; Tire L'Aguille; Faut Aimer Ca; Oui Mon Amour; Tout Mais Pas Ca; Bing Bang Blues; and 12 more. ILD 642260 [68:01]. The smooth sound of a French swing band of the 1950s.
AIMÉ BARELLI AND HIS ORCHESTRA Charmaine Charmaine; Limelight; Vaya Con Dios; Clair De Lune; The Continental; Quel Temps Fait-Il A Paris ( What's The Weather Like In Paris? from the film "Mr Hulot's Holiday"); Le Monsieur Aux Lilas; Judas; Sanguine; Lady Of Spain; Laura; Gelsomina (from the film "La Strada"); Le Grisbi; Grisbi Blues; Mon Couer Est Un Violon (Love Is Like A Violin); Je Sais Que Vous Etes Jolie; Comedie; Va Mon Mai Va; April In Paris; Siboney; Flirt; An American In Paris. ILD 642248 [72:18]. Like the Jerry Mengo CD above, this is easy listening swing music, with many tracks featuring Aimé Barelli on trumpet. A few tracks are vocal. Ideal for the ballrooms of the 1950s!
ILD CDs can be purchased direct from their own website in France: www.ild.tm.fr Alternatively copies can be supplied to special order from the RFS Record Service. The UK price of the above ten CDs is £10.50 each, plus usual postage and packing.
PHIL KELSALL Waltzing In The Clouds 21 tracks incl. Good Morning; My Isle of Golden Dreams; Tammy; It’s the Talk of the Town; Penny Serenade; Born Free; Says My Heart; Waltzing in the Clouds; Honey; Upstairs Downstairs Theme; Garden in the Rain; I Won’t Send Roses; Night and Day; A Paradise for Two; Little Old Lady; When You’re Smiling; Over My Shoulder … Grasmere GRCD 136(72:44) Following his album reviewed in our last issue Mr. Kelsall is back at the Wurlitzer Organ of Blackpool’s Tower Ballroom for this release of 51 numbers all played in strict tempo and sequence, comprising 14 selections for Modern Ballroom Quickstep to Mayfair Quickstep, Cindy Swing by way of Tango, Square Tango; Cha Cha Cha; Viennese Waltz; Bossa Nova; and Gavotte, etc. Album producer Tim Wills tells me that the liner listings should not have credited Shadow Waltz as being composed by Dubin and Warren but by Paul Dubois, the pen name of Clive Richardson! Now I can’t dance a step but I enjoyed this well-played tune selection so redolent of balmy days past sitting in the sun at a favourite UK seaside resort. Peter Burt
LES PAUL & FRIENDS How High the Moon 76 tracks incl. Lover; Tennessee Waltz; Jazz Me Blues; Meet Mister Callaghan; Bye Bye Blues; Vaya Con Dios; Nuevo Laredo; Out of Nowhere; It’s Been a long, Long Time; Rumors are Flying; Rosetta … Fantastic Voyage FVTD035 (64:57, 61:40 & 73:41) This bargain triple pack is subtitled ‘Hits & Rarities from the Wizard of Waukesha’, and it lives up to that billing. Chronologically the third disc is the earliest; titled ‘Pickin’ & Swingin’ it spans 1937 to 1947, when Les was performing first as Rhubarb Red, then set up the Les Paul Trio. This was a jazzy combo which recorded for Decca, both solo and accompanying various vocalists, including Helen Forrest, Bing Crosby, the Andrews Sisters, and the Delta Rhythm Boys. Also included are eight rare transcription recordings dating from 1947, and two numbers from the 1944 JATP concert. The remaining 52 tracks cover the Capitol years from 1948 to 1958, when he specialised in the multi-tracked recordings which he pioneered, including vocals by his wife Mary Ford, and which established his reputation. Barry McCanna
TWO GRANDS – FOUR HANDS Spectacular and Rare Novelty Piano Duos of the 1920s and 1930s 26 tracks Rivermont BSW-1152 (78:02) Sadly, the piano’s popularity has waned in recent years, but at one time accomplished players were in abundance, and this compilation features a dozen pairs. They include the young Carroll Gibbons, who teamed up with Arthur Young in 1925 to record four exuberant tunes for Vocalion, including Alabamy Bound and Charleston. The latter also recorded with Reginald Foresythe, and in 1939 they produced hot versions of Tiger Rag and St. Louis Blues. Maryan Rawicz and Walter Landauer are featured playing their own tunes for the 1937 filmThe Street Singer, in which they appeared. The playing throughout is of a consistently high standard, and the differing styles and diversity of material ensure great variety. The compilation has drawn on a variety of sources, many quite rare, but the remastering has produced an excellent consistency of sound. Add to that a very informative liner note by Alex Hassan, together with a full discography, and you have a reissue to treasure. Barry McCanna
DEBBIE WISEMAN Piano Stories Music composed and performed by Debbie Wiseman:Isolation Theme from ‘The Hide’; Portal to the Past from ‘Tom’s Midniqht Garden’; Thorn to the Heart from ‘The Nightingale and The Rose’; High Walled Garden from ‘The Selfish Giant’; Oscar from ‘Wilde’; Silver Stream; Fields of Hope from ‘Land Girls’; Joe and Diana from ‘The Upper Hand’; Ray of Sunshine from ‘Children’s Hospital’; Succession from ‘The Throne’; Mists of Edbrook from ‘Haunted’; Journey of a Lifetime from ‘Joanna Lumley’s Nile’; Travels with Uncle Sam from ‘Stephen Fry in America’; Affairs Current from The Andrew Marr Show; Man of Law from ‘Judge John Deed’; Peacekeeper from ‘Warriors’; Occupation from ‘The Promise’; The Quiet Room; The Honeymoon’s Over from ‘Tom & Viv’; Echoes of Carmilla from ‘Lesbian Vampire Killers’; Fall of the Last Barrier from ‘Flood’; Christina’s Minuet from ‘Haunted’. Warner Classics 265467188-8 [79:28]. Debbie Wiseman is one of Britain’s most in-demand composers for film and television, and a glance through the list of titles on this CD surely confirms her pre-eminence in this field of the arts. Not only is she a gifted composer, but she is also an accomplished arranger and conductor, as well as being a fine pianist. It is the last of these talents that comes to the fore in this new CD (scheduled for release on 19 September), allowing us to hear how composers originally conceive some of their greatest works on the piano, before they are subjected to the full forces of a large orchestra. In the booklet notes Debbie writes that this album is the most personal of all that she has released so far, because it features her music as it first appears in her mind. The venture has been very close to her heart; her piano conveys such emotional feelings, both tender and sometimes quite strong, and her beautiful playing will surely touch everyone who hears it. David Ades
BRYAN WRIGHT Breakin’ Notes : Ragtime & Novelty Piano Solos Efficiency Rag; Kinklets; Hoosier Rag; Nove de Julio; Key-Stone Rag; The Harbour Rag; Euphonic Sounds; Red Elephant Rag; Soliloquy; Candlelights; Flashes; In the Dark; In a Mist; Breakin’ Notes; Cottontail Rag; Roberto Clemento; Upright and Grand; The Legend of Lonesome Lake Rivermont BSW-2212 (65:18) Bryan Wright’s first CD ‘Syncopated Musings’ (BSW-2204) was devoted to the classic rags of Scott Joplin and his contemporaries, but here he’s broadened that repertoire, and the result is a stunning success. The moment the first notes rang out I was entranced, and I remained captivated throughout. His touch produces a beautiful tone, and the recording is spacious and clear, enabling every nuance to be appreciated. Each of these compositions presents its own challenge, and some are extremely complex. His performance seems effortless, and captures the essence of each piece, not least the four Beiderbecke compositions. Bryan has provided an extensive illustrated liner note on the composers and their works, thereby adding to the disc’s appeal. Barry McCanna
NOTE: These Rivermont CDs are available from Amazon, but you’ll get a better deal direct athttp://www.rivermontrecords.com/ where you can see the full range. International cost is 20$ each including postage. Postal address is PO Box 3081, Lynchburg VA 24503, USA.
ABSOLUTELY THE BEST OF THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK 60 tracks incl. Come Rain or Come Shine; Stardust; Mood Indigo; Blue Moon; Ten Cents a Dance; Some Enchanted Evening … Delta 60363 (59:41, 61:29 & 70:23) This is one of a new series from Delta which, like its associate Bygone Days, specialises in good-quality budget CDs. The choice of material is excellent, and the range of vocalists includes a track apiece by Cliff Richard (Embraceable You), Shirley Bassey (Night and Day), Elvis Presley (Blue Moon) and Edith Piaf (Autumn Leaves) as well as the more obvious choices of Bing, Frank, Ella etc. Sound quality is excellent, although tracklist information is quite minimal. Barry McCanna
THREE EVENINGS WITH FRED ASTAIRE CD 1 ‘An Evening with Fred Astaire’ (1958) 8 tracks incl. Introduction/Morning Ride; Svengali/Frantic Holiday; Change Partners; Baubles, Bangles & Beads/Mack the Knife … ‘Another Evening with Fred Astaire’ (1959) 9 tracks incl. Like Fast; The Afterbeat; That Face; My Blue Heaven; A Girl in Calico … CD 2 Astaire Medley Two; The Afterbeat (reprise); ‘Astaire Time’ (1960) 10 tracks incl. Romeo & Juliet Overture; Miss Otis Regrets; Not Now, I’ll Tell You When; Sweet Georgia Brown; Valse Triste … ‘Bonus Rare Tracks’ 8 incl. I’ve Got You On My Mind; A Fine Romance; Waltz In Swing Time; They Can’t Take That Away From Me … SEPIA 1168 (71:46 & 77:31) As Dominic McHugh reminds us in his extensive booklet notes, the great dancer was also an actor and musician, playing the piano, the accordion and drums, as well as composing and. singing. Not surprising that these performances won awards – pity we can’t have a DVD. Each show closes with a classic 8/9 minute Astaire medley and there are contributions from Count Basie and his Orchestra, The Jonah Jones Quartet, Barrie Chase, and Joe Williams. Mr. Astaire’s MD is the celebrated David Rose, whose orchestra also has a number of tracks to themselves including several pieces composed by the maestro and three classical items. The majority of the last eight tracks were previously un-issued. Remastering was in the capable hands of Robin Cherry. Unfortunately, as with many similar CDs, introductions, sponsor’s messages and applause – often imposing on the music – pall somewhat with repeated hearings. Ray Pavene
TONY BENNETT & THE GENE KRUPA QUARTET Guard Sessions Just In Time; September Song; I Left My Heart In San Francisco; Big Noise From Winnetka; Dark Eyes; Have I Told You Lately; April In Paris; Flyin’ Home; Sometimes I’m Happy; I Got The World On A String; Small World Isn’t It; Stompin’ At The Savoy; Caravan; Sunday; Tenderly; Fascinatin’ Rhythm; Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY 838 [59:25]. Interspersed with twelve conversations between Tony Bennett and Martin Block plus instrumentals, all "live" radio performances designed as recruiting tools for the American National Guard. Paul Clatworthy
BRITAIN’S FIRST NUMBER ONES 1939 – 1945 64 tracks incl. Arm in Arm; Bless ‘Em All; The Last Time I Saw Paris; Amapola; Jealousy; Whispering Grass; Coming Home; I Taut I Taw a Puddy Tat …Fantastic Voyage FVTD 104 (66:09, 66:07 & 67:26) Although the British singles chart did not begin until November 1952, weekly charts based on sheet music sales made their first appearance in 1939, albeit confined at first to US trade magazines. This 3-CD set has been produced by drawing on that information to present a pastiche of those hits, given that at this remove which artist sold the most records of a particular song is largely a matter of guesswork. The outbreak of the Second World War is generally regarded as having spelt the end for the dance band era, but Ambrose, Geraldo, Jack Hylton and Carroll Gibbons all scrape in, together with Hal Kemp, Tommy Dorsey and of course Glenn Miller. But this compilation is on the cusp of a transition from a band-led culture to one where the vocalist reigned supreme, represented by the likes of Gracie Fields, Dick Todd, Anne Shelton Vera Lynn and Bing Crosby. This is a very classy production, beautifully designed and packaged, and although the liner note contains a number of elementary mistakes that is a minor fault in a major production. Barry McCanna
BROOK BENTON The Silky Smooth Tones of 54 tracks incl. The Nearness of You; When I Fall in Love; Blue Skies; Moonlight in Vermont; September Song; I Believe … Jasmine JASCD 687 (77.12 & 77.20) This is made up of three complete and two partial Mercury LPs from the late 50s/early 60s, namely ‘It’s Just A Matter of Time’, ‘Endlessly’ and ‘Songs I Love to Sing’, plus edited versions of ‘The Two of Us’ (which paired him with Dinah Washington) and ‘The Golden Hits of Brook Benton’. I would like this more, but for an imbalance between vocalist and orchestra, particularly on ‘Endlessly’. Given the soft timbre of Brook Benton’s voice, this is more critical than would otherwise be the case. Apart from that, it’s an excellent reissue. Barry McCanna
PAT BOONE I’ll Be Home 62 tracks incl. Ain’t That a Shame; Tutti Frutti; Friendly Persuasion; Don’t Forbid Me; April Love; Walking the Floor Over You … Jasmine JASCD 159 (79.55 & 73.28) This is subtitled ‘The Singles, As & Bs, 1953-60’. According to the liner note, he’s "nowadays remembered as a crooner …rather than a Rock’n’Roller", but his relationship to the rock & roll genre was always ambivalent. Even when he was covering R & B songs (for which he drew some criticism, although cover versions were commonplace) his performance was measured, not abandoned. One reason was his strict Christian upbringing, which meant his image was atypical of the average rocker, and one he was determined to preserve. As a result, his songs appealed both to teenagers and their parents. For me, the best-remembered fall in a bloc between December 1955 and January 1958, during which period Pat Boone had a dozen recordings that charted in the UK. Barry McCanna
MARLENE DIETRICH Falling in Love Again 25 tracks incl. Ich bin die Fesche Lola; Give Me the Man; The Boys in the Back Room; Lili Marlene; Falling in Love Again … Retrospective RTR 4180(77:34) This begins with three 1930 Berlin recordings of songs from ‘The Blue Angel’, followed by two of the six songs she recorded in Paris in 1933. Unaccountably she did not make another commercial record until December 1939, when she cut six songs with Victor Young, all of which are included. In November 1951 she made a series of recordings of well-known songs accompanied by Jimmy Carroll & his Orchestra, of which the German versions are included. The penultimate track is a duet with Rosemary Clooney on Too Old to Cut the Mustard, which title she continued to disprove. Barry McCanna
BILLY ECKSTINE & SARAH VAUGHAN Dedicated to You 48 tracks incl. Cheek to Cheek; Summertime; They All Laughed; A Foggy Day; April in Paris; Of Thee I Sing; The Man I Love ... REXX 342 (77.08 & 78.04) This follows on the success of ‘Passing Strangers’ (REXX 314) and comprises twelve solos by Billy and twenty-six by Sarah, some of the latter from her Broadway and George Gershwin albums, plus nine duets, predominantly from the pair's Irving Berlin Songbook album. Billy Eckstine’s husky voice was enhanced by his judicious use of an instantly recognisable controlled vibrato, and Sarah Vaughan’s silky tones are no less individual. Here you can enjoy them separately, and when they duet it’s like coffee and cream. These are sterling performances of classics from the Great American Songbook which should appeal across the board. Barry McCanna
FRANÇAIS CLASSIQUE 90 tracks on 5 CDs incl. Boum! - Charles Trenet; Les Feuilles Mortes - Yves Montand; J’Attendrai - Tino Rossi; La Vie en Rose - Edith Piaf; La Petite Tonkinoise - Josephine Baker; La Fiacre - Jean Sablon; Nuages - Django Reinhardt; Parlez-Moi d’Amour - Lucienne Boyer;Walkin’ My Baby Back Home - Maurice Chevalier … Bygone Days 50200 (52:18) (54:19) (54:00) (55:58) (54:15) Given that music is the food of love, and French the language of romance, it’s easy to understand why Gallic charmers have always had them swooning in the aisles. This generous compilation presents some of the best-loved songs in the genre, and should appeal to Francophiles everywhere. I confess to a blind spot where Maurice Chevalier is concerned, which his contribution does nothing to overcome. The track list is quite basic, and the odd inclusion of Georges Thill’s rendition of the aria O Paradis from Meyerbeer’s opera ‘l’Africaine’ is listed as unidentified. But you gets what you pay for, as the old saying goes, and this is certainly a remarkable bargain. Barry McCanna
GEORGE GERSHWIN ’S Wonderful 51 tracks incl. Swanee; Clap Yo’ Hands; Strike up the Band; Summertime; By Strauss; Nice Work if You Can Get It … Retrospective RTS 4176 (76.50 & 75.57) George Gershwin grew up in New York during the ragtime craze, which like its successor jazz, depended heavily on syncopated rhythms. So it was natural for him to incorporate that new musical alphabet into his own compositions. Most of the lyrics were written by his older brother Ira. The combination of George’s tunes and Ira’s lyrics were a knockout. Brimful of vim and pep, they were perfectly suited to the musical theatre for which they were commissioned. This portfolio presents fifteen Broadway shows, including the opera ‘Porgy and Bess’, which span the period 1919 to 1936, and four subsequent Hollywood films. Some feature members of the original cast, including Fred & Adele Astaire, Cliff Edwards, and Gertrude Lawrence. Others are later cover versions, by such great singers as Dinah Shore, Ella Fitzgerald, Lee Wiley, Sarah Vaughan, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, and Dick Haymes. Barry McCanna
THE HUMAN ORCHESTRA 50 tracks incl. Moonglow; Fit as a Fiddle; Just a Jitterbug; Heebie Jeebies; Coming in on a Wing and a Prayer … Jasmine JASCD 685 (69:44 & 67:22) Taking as its starting point the 1985 LP of the same title, which constitutes the first 16 tracks, this features vocal groups like the Mills Brothers and the Ink Spots, in the sense that they used minimal or no instrumental accompaniment. Some are quite obscure, but the Three Keys, the Cats and the Fiddle, and Three Sharps and a Flat (who provide a riotous version of I’m Getting Sentimental Over You) will be familiar to many. The recorded in the thirties and early forties, and the later tracks reflect the emergence of doo-wop. Barry McCanna
JOHNNY MATHIS The Rhythms & Ballads of Broadway 24 tracks incl. I Wish I Were in Love Again; Let’s Do It; Moanin’ Low; My Romance; Don’t Blame Me … Delta 26656 (75:43) This dates from 1960, when Columbia recognised Johnny Mathis’ burgeoning talent by producing two concept albums as a 2-LP set. ‘Rhythms of Broadway’ presents a dozen pulsating showstoppers, played con brio by Ralph Burns & his Orchestra, and delivered with gusto by Johnny, who seems fired up by the accompaniment, as well he should be. The mood changes with the smoother ‘Ballads of Broadway’, and Glenn Osser's beautifully relaxed orchestral sound, against which Johnny's velvet voice glides like a caress. Barry McCanna
NEW ONES, OLD ONES Light Music and Songs for Piano and Voice Gordon Pullin (tenor), John Asher (piano) 24 tracks incl. McLain: Tyger, Tyger; Hippo, Hippo; Adelstrop; Adelstrop Revisited; Ellis: Ma Belle Marguerite; Granados: Andaluza; Johnston: I’ll Remember April; Grieg: Borodin: This Is My Beloved; Coleridge-Taylor: Demande et Reponse; Mayerl: Bats in the Belfry;Lehar: You Are My Heart’s Delight; Tauber: My Heart and I; Rodgers: Younger Than Springtime;Fibich: Poème; Leroy Anderson: Forgotten Dreams … This CD can be generally described as easy listening songs from musicals, popular and light music classics, and 12 tracks by RFS member Johnny McLain, showing that people are still writing new light music. The 12 are divided between gently up-tempo piano solos (Valse Azure, Study in Blue, Busman’s Holiday, Smarty-pants; Feeling Bluesy Waltz and Song to Kirsty), and art songs in the English song tradition (the rest), best among them being the lilting Hardy songs (Yellowhammer, And So Do I). Gordon Pullin’s delivery is notably clear in line and diction; John Archer, clearly a fine all-round musician, plays splendidly. Philip L Scowcroft
Obtainable for £5 (plus £1 postage) from McLain Music, 42 Osidge Lane, Southgate, London N14 5JG
THE NORMAN LUBOFF CHOIR Rise to Fame 43 tracks incl. The Lamp Is Low; No Other Love; If You Are But a Dream; My Reverie; Joy to the World; Silent Night, Holy Night; Calypso Carnival; Yellow Bird; Dansez Calenda; Red River Valley; Tumbling Tumbleweeds; Home on the Range …Jasmine JASCD 683 (73:17 & 71:39) This 2-CD set is made up of four albums, each of which has its own distinctive flavour. The 1959 LP ‘Reverie’ contains a dozen tunes which were lifted from classical works, of which Ossie Dales' liner note identifies the source for six, but they are omitted from the composer credits. The 1956 ‘Songs of Christmas’ contains six medleys with a total of 22 carols, and is in stereo. The second disc opens with the 1957 LP ‘Calypso Holiday’, and concludes with the album ‘Songs of the West’, the latter also in stereo. Sound quality is excellent, and I was particularly impressed by the arrangements for the classical themes. This compilation contains a wide choice of music, offering something for every mood. Barry McCanna
THE SISTERS ANTHOLOGY A Celebration of Four Decades of Singing Sisters 38 tracks incl.He’s the Last Word; Fit as a Fiddle; Dinah; Missouri Waltz; Buttons and Bows; Wheel of Fortune; Take the ‘A’ Train … Fantastic Voyage FVDD094 (50:42 & 50:49) Given the amount of publicity generated by so-called girl bands, this comes as a timely reminder that the concept is by no means a new one. All the usual sister suspects are here (Andrews, Fontane, Boswell and McGuire, etc.), plus some that in all probability you won't have heard before: Duncan, Stafford and Moylan, for example. They enter the ear in varying degrees of mellifluousness, but if you harbour uncharitable thoughts under the young Gumms' assault, remember that had they not prevailed we should have been denied the later Judy Garland. The first CD runs from 1924 to 1946, and the second continues on up to 1959, which gives a fascinating study of an evolving style. A few numbers come from film soundtracks and radio broadcasts, and accompaniments include Ben Pollack, Jean Goldkette, and the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra, not forgetting the Gilt-Edged Four, the Nat King Cole Trio, and Chet Atkins. Running time is on the short side, but remastering is excellent, and the two CDs are attractively presented in a gatefold blister pack with comprehensive illustrated liner note and full discography. Barry McCanna
JO STAFFORD At the Supper Club Part II All The Things You Are (Orchestral) What A Deal; I Can’t Begin To Tell You; Love Letters; Yesterdays; Patience and Fortitude; Down Honeymoon Lane; I Didn’t Mean What I Said; Aren’t You Glad You’re You; I Can’t Give You Anything But Love Baby; Sweet Georgia Brown; If I Had A Dozen Hearts; It’s A Grand Night For Singing; Old Man Harlem; Falling In Love With Love; A Little Consideration; Oye Negra; Day By Day; I’ll Remember April; My Romance; Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief; They Say Its Wonderful; All The Things You Are … Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY 841 [57:22]. Two orchestras, one led by Lloyd Shafer the other by Carl Kress, Helen Kress vocal group plus guests Bob Eberley, Benny Goodman, Mel Powell, Cozy Cole and Xavier Cugat. Jo made many V discs keeping up the morale of the American armed forces, leading her to become known as "GI Jo" the soldiers’ "girl next door". Johnny Mercer realised her potential signing her to Capitol records and she spent seven years there before following her musical director Paul Weston to Columbia; they later married. The live recordings contained on this CD were made in the 1940s complete with announcements – Jo’s delectable voice the highlight. Paul Clatworthy
DAVID WHITFIELD The Hits and More - The Ultimate Collection 53 tracks incl. I Believe; Answer Me; Cara Mia; Santo Natale; Beyond the Stars; Open Your Heart; Mama; Lady of Madrid; The Adoration Waltz; Marta; Mardi Gras; If I Lost You; When I Grow Too Old to Dream; … Jasmine JASCD 585 (65:14 & 67:06) Many of these tracks have been reissued already on CD, some more than once, but there are six numbers for which, to the best of my knowledge, this is the first digital outing. It's obvious that much thought has gone into this 2-CD set, but I find the packaging somewhat disappointing. The track list shows only a year against the tune, with no indication of accompaniment or original catalogue number. The text itself contains a number of elementary mistakes, and David's career is dealt with in a quite cursory fashion. It is pertinent to mention that David was inspired by two great operatic tenors, Lauritz Melchior and Richard Tauber. He took his art very seriously, and received voice training from Professor Georges Cunelli. All of which is reflected in the majestic timbre of his voice, his control of dynamic and vibrato, and the beauty of his vocal line. David was far more than a singer of popular songs, and his choice of repertoire included standards, songs from the stage and screen, and operetta. Despite my reservations, I rate this new set very highly indeed, and recommend it unreservedly to anyone who is devoted to the tenor voice. Barry McCanna
‘DANCE BAND DELIGHTS’
AMBROSE Limehouse Blues; B’Wanga; Caravan; Copenhagen; Cotton Pickers’ Congregation; Deep Henderson; Early Morning Blues; Embassy Stomp; Hors d’Oeuvres; Hick Stomp; Hullabaloo; Night Ride; Man About Town; Blue Romance; Plain Jane; Streamline Strut; The Penguin; Champagne Cocktail; Tootin’ Around; Swinganola; War Dance of the Wooden Indians; Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life; When Day is Done CDB01 (66:30)
LEW STONE Look What I’ve Got; The Bouncing Ball; Aunt Hagar’s Blues; Blue Jazz; Dinner and Dance; Canadian Pacific; Ebony Shadows; Ja Da; Lazy Rhythm; Milenberg Joys; Plastered in Paris; Solitude; St. Louis Blues; The Call of the Freaks; Vilia; White Jazz; Tiger Rag; Missouri Scrambler; Serenade for a Wealthy Widow; House Hop; Canadian Capers; Etude; Oh Susannah/ That’s a PlentyCDB02 (69:19)
ROY FOX Radio Luxembourg Broadcasts Singing in the Bath Tub; Whispering/Put on Your Old Grey Bonnet; My Heaven on Earth; Big Dipper; Lost and Found; Black Eyes; Singing in the Bath Tub; Mr. Sweeney Learned to Swing; Ooh! Boom!; Two Shadows; Congo; Let’s do it, Let’s Fall in Love; Margie; Finale; Singing in the Bath Tub; Whispering; Happy Feet; You Took the Words Right out of My Heart; Mean to Me; Bob White; Me, Myself and I; Nobody’s Sweetheart; Finale; Singing in the Bath Tub; Whispering; Singing in the Rain; You Appeal to Me; Dizzy Daisy; Someday Sweetheart; Whistle While You Work; Rosalie); Everybody Loves My Baby; Finale CDB03 (62:37)
RAY NOBLE Copper Blues; Mad About the Boy; Blue Danube; Baby, You got the Right Idea; Every Day Away from You; Jog Along; My Heart is Saying; So the Blackbirds and the Bluebirds got Together; Terribly Fond of You; Japanese Sandman; Tiger Rag; What a Perfect Combination; When the Real Thing Comes Your Way; The Sun is Round the Corner; Way Down Yonder in New Orleans; Sleep; El Relicario; Dinah; Chinatown; California Here I Come; Footprints in the Snow; You’re Everything Sweet; Allah’s Holiday; The Very Thought of You CDB04 (68:55) These four CDs from This England () are the first of a new series labelled ‘Dance Band Delights’, and apart from the Roy Fox feature only instrumentals. Most of the individual tracks have been reissued hitherto within LP and/or CD compilations, but I think this is the first time they’ve been grouped together in this way. The Ray Noble album includes ten of the US recordings, four of which are radio transcriptions. The Roy Fox compilation comprises four Radio Luxembourg broadcasts (which were sponsored by Reckitt’s Bath Cubes, hence the recurrence of one particular number) and vocalists include Denny Dennis and Mary Lee. There is a needle skip on track 3, but otherwise these are well remastered and attractively packaged, and a welcome addition to the dance band catalogue.Barry McCanna
THE HOTTEST OF THE PHILIP LEWIS / RHYTHM MANIACS RECORDINGS 1928-1930 Featuring Arthur Lally, Syvester Ahola and Danny Polo 24 tracks incl. My Kinda Love; My Troubles are Over; Doin’ the New Low-Down; Down Among the Sugar-Cane: Building a Nest for Mary; Diga Diga Doo; What is this Thing Called Love?; I’m Crooning a Tune about June; Imagination Goes a Long, Long Way; Little Pal: Red Hair and Freckles … Retrieval RTR 79064 (70:23) This Decca studio group created some uncompromisingly hot sides between mid-1929 and early 1930. All of the musicians involved were masters of their craft, and some played together in the Ambrose orchestra, but these were obviously more informal sessions, where they could play as they wished, and it shows. Trumpeter Sylvester Ahola set a clear lead, and his highly individual style included fast flurries of notes, often creating highly complex effects, such as in his solo in There's One Thing Remains. This he called his "paradiddle rhythm" which he achieved by double tonguing in double time and executed as if it were just a matter of course. Arthur Lally’s full-bodied contributions on most of the sax family and the standard of percussion work, for much of which Max Bacon was responsible, contributes to a CD without a dull track, and on which the quality of playing is quite superlative. Most are vocals, but two instrumentals deserve special mention, both taken at a fierce pace. The old warhorse Tiger Rag is given a facelift by some splendid ensemble playing, which develops to accompany the obligatory smears produced on bass sax rather than trombone, after which Max Bacon takes an extended cymbal solo against a background of riffs. Max is also much in evidence onThat’s a Plenty, and if there’s a hotter version of this number I have yet to hear it. Nick Dellow has worked wonders in coaxing a very full sound spectrum from these early Decca 78s, including a wax master for the previously unissued final title. It should be an essential purchase for devotees of the golden age of British dance bands, particularly those who like their music piping hot. Barry McCanna
GEORGE SHEARING Lullaby of Birdland 52 tracks incl. More Than You Know; Cherokee; September in the Rain; Jumpin’ with Symphony Sid; Isn’t it Romantic? … Retrospective RTS 4178(78:38 & 77:28) This timely tribute spans the period 1939 to 1960. It includes early piano solos, a collaboration with Leonard Feather where George plays accordion, and one apiece of his recordings with Hatchett’s Swingtette, Stephane Grappelli’s Quartet, and Harry Parry & the Radio Rhythm Club Sextet, plus two sextet and one trio recording from 1944. His January 1949 recordings for the Discovery label feature another performance from George on accordion, playing Ray Noble’sCherokee. Thereafter he signed with MGM, and stayed for five years, before switching to Capitol in 1955. The later 50s recordings include backings by Billy May, and four vocals by Peggy Lee (from the famed Miami concert) and one by Nancy Wilson. Barry McCanna
JACK TEAGARDEN BIG T A Hundred Years from Today 46 tracks incl. Makin’ Friends; You Rascal, You!; Christmas Night in Harlem; Jack Hits the Road; Stars Fell on Alabama; High Society …Nimbus RTS 4182 (77:31 & 76:10) Jack Teagarden’s trombone playing was deceptively simple; it favoured the upper register, and wove mellifluous patterns with apparent disregard to the ground beat. His bluesy playing was reflected in the lazy bonhomie of his vocals, enhanced by his southern drawl. His earliest recorded solo was She’s a Great, Great Girl with the orchestra of Roger Wolfe Kahn, and he joined Ben Pollack's Park Central Orchestra soon after. He also recorded with Eddie Condon, Louis Armstrong, Red Nichols and Benny Goodman; all are represented here, together with later recordings under his own name, of which the most evocative is Davenport Blues with its ethereal introduction. This superb sampling of Jack's art spans 1928 to 1954, and has been beautifully remastered with a full discography. It's memorable for the consistently high quality of his playing (to quote from the Penguin Guide "there are scarcely any moments when he sounds less than wonderful"). If you're not a devotee already, buy this and be converted. Barry McCanna
MORGANA KING Four Classic Albums 47 tracks including There’s a Lull in My Life; Mean to Me; Body and Soul; I Can’t Get Started; How High the Moon; I’ll Remember April; That Ole Devil Called Love; … Avid AMSC1021 (70:26 & 72:25) This 2-CD set gathers together four ‘50s LPs by Morgana King, namely ‘For You, For Me, For Evermore’ from March 1956; ‘Sings the Blues’ from January 1956;‘The Greatest Songs Ever Swung’ from 1959; and ‘Let Me Love You’ from July 1958. My own preference is for the 1956 recordings, where Morgana's silky cream-smooth voice is the centrepiece and is embellished by the restrained playing of the musicians in her backing group. On the later sessions some of the accompaniments sound at odds with the song and she seems to be striving for effect, as a result of which her vocals are more mannered. However, this is a matter of personal taste, and what strikes me as a slight falling off will appeal to others. Overall this is a superb reissue, and my reservation about the second CD is only in comparison with the very high standard set by the first. It is also a considerable bargain, which you'll appreciate if you try to acquire these four albums separately. Barry McCanna
ANNIE ROSS Four Classic Albums Plus 48 tracks incl. The Way You Look Tonight; Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea; Gypsy in My Soul; I Love Paris; Manhattan; Everything’s Coming Up Roses; You Took Advantage of Me; I Feel Pretty; Give Me the Simple Life … Avid AMSC1015 (78:44 & 78:17) This comprises a variety of riches from seven different sources, including the album ‘Annie by Candlelight’ recorded in London in 1956 with the Tony Crombie Quartet; the 10 numbers from the LP ‘A Song with Mulligan’ which was recorded in New York in December 1957; and the albums ‘It’s A Gasser’ and ‘Gypsy’ both recorded in Los Angeles in 1959. Annie is in fine fettle throughout, interpreting the lyrics in her highly individual manner, but always respecting the songwriter's intention. Her rendition of Skylark is a thing of beauty, and I've Told Every Little Star, recorded at the same session, is a delightful exercise in droll vocal delivery. Buddy Bregman, the arranger on the‘Gypsy’ album, was the nephew of Jule Styne, the score's composer. I doubt this was a big seller when it first came out, but it's certainly stood the test of time. Good as the first CD is, it's merely the curtain-raiser for Annie's recordings with two of the heavyweights of the then contemporary jazz scene. Despite the prominence of Zoot Sims' name on the original LP sleeve of ‘It's A Gasser’, he was replaced on three numbers by Bill Perkins, and the backing quintet was led by pianist Russ Freeman, who also produced the arrangements. Apart from a couple of up-tempo songs, it's lovely, smoky, small-hours jazz with a perfect understanding between all concerned. It's Annie's partnership with the Gerry Mulligan Quartet that produces her jazziest performances. In addition to the leader, it features either Chet Baker or Art Farmer on trumpet, Bill Crow or Henry Grimes on bass, and drummer Dave Bailey. The choice of material is excellent. All concerned play their socks off, and produce jazz of a very high order. Barry McCanna
ANYTHING GOES Criswell, von Stade, Hubbard, Groenendaal, Gilford, Ambrosian Chorus, et al. London Symphony Orchestra / McGlinn 22 tracks incl. Anything Goes; I Get a Kick Out of You; You’re the Top; All Through the Night; Blow, Gabriel, Blow … EMI Classics 9489442 (74:22) I understand that theatre historians have long considered this to be the quintessential ‘30s musical. Both music and lyrics are from the pen of the incomparable Cole Porter. (It has been suggested that buying this CD should be a requirement for all history students as Porter’s lyrics tell us about the decade’s current events). Ethel Merman was the star of the show in 1934, and on this 1988 recording Kim Criswell is in fine form belting out Ethel’s numbers but with more sweetness. The lovely Frederica von Stade, from the world of opera, sings beautifully although she is not ideally suited to her role. Chris Groenendaal and the African-American operatic baritone, Bruce Hubbard, are in good voice. Jack Gilford provides the humour with Be Like A Blackbird. John McGlinn, who helped reconstruct the original orchestrations by Robert Russell Bennett and Hans Spialek, conducts the LSO and oversees the entire joyous proceedings with élan. For me, Mr Porter, YOU are the top! Ray Pavene
GILBERT & SULLIVAN The Mikado D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, New Symphony Orchestra of London / Isadore Godfrey; SULLIVAN Overtures Boston Promenade Orchestra / Arthur Fiedler; Pineapple Poll Pro Arte Orchestra / John Hollingsworth Magdalen METCD 8002(73:33 & 73:31) Recorded under the direction of Bridget D’Oyly Carte at London’s Kingsway Hall in October 1957 and originally released on a Decca SKL double LP, this performance of ‘The Mikado’(without dialogue) was opined at the time as the most desirable of all versions. It may have been superseded over the years but with Paul Arden-Taylor’s remastering it still remains a recommendable disc. For people who prefer Sullivan solo the second CD is completed by three overtures – The Pirates of Penzance, H.M.S. Pinafore, Iolanthe – never before issued on CD; and a lively version of Pineapple Poll, recorded by Pye in 1958. This is a generously timed, well-produced issue in every respect. Ray Pavene
GILBERT & SULLIVAN The Pirates of Penzance D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, New Symphony Orchestra of London / Isodore Godfrey; Medleys and Choral Arrangements Magdalen METCD 8007 (77:04 & 77:13) Another extremely well-filled and well-presented 2-CD set at a very favourable price. Like the issue above this recording, also from 1957, has always been considered to be one of the work’s liveliest and best sung performances. The stellar cast includes Thomas Round, Peter Pratt, Donald Adams and Jean Hindmarsh. Included for those who like their Sullivan sans Gilbert is another overture in mono and new to CD, The Mikado, by Fiedler and the BPO, as well as three ‘Gilbert and Sullivan Medleys’ – Pirates, Pinafore and Patience – arranged by Cruikshank, from 1955 and also new to CD, played by Harry (‘Those Were The Days’) Davidson* and his Orchestra, which are really rather good. The final 13 tracks are an engaging ‘A Gilbert and Sulllivan Songbook’ arranged by Ralph Hunter and performed by his Choir and Orchestra. This was recorded in 1959 and is another new to CD. James Murray’s first-rate notes inform us that Mr Hunter was a church organist before studying at Juilliard. He worked with Toscanini, NBC and Radio City Music Hall prior to forming the Ralph Hunter Choir. He also provided arrangements for Harry Belafonte and Miriam Makeba. Ray Pavene
(* "Harry Davidfils et Son Orchestre de Vieux Temps", as we used to call him as teenagers! – KT Ed.)
MY FAIR LADY & GIGI Original Casts 1956 & 1958 42 tracks Retrospective RTR 4181 (79.08)This reissue celebrates Alan Jay Lerner and Fritz Loewe, whose partnership reached its pinnacle in 1956 with ‘My Fair Lady’. Shaw opposed the transformation of ‘Pygmalion’ into a musical, but had he lived to see the result he would surely have been delighted. Everything about it was judged to be perfection; Shaw’s play remained unaltered as the basis, casting was superb, and many of the songs have become standards. The play enjoyed phenomenally long runs, both on Broadway and in the West End, and a hugely successful film version was made in 1964.
‘Gigi’ required a more elliptical approach, being based on Colette’s 1945 novella about the training of a courtesan, a subject acceptable in Parisian society but unmentionable in the supposedly more moral Hollywood! The quality of the songs was matched by the casting, albeit that Leslie Caron’s singing voice had to be dubbed by Betty Wand. Cast details are set out with the soundtrack, and the liner note provides background to the two productions, and a synopsis of the plots. They have been beautifully remastered and sparkle as if recorded yesterday. Barry McCanna
JOHAN HALVORSEN Orchestral Works Vol. 3 Ragnhild Hemsing (Hardanger fiddle); Marianne Thorsen (violin); Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra / Neeme Järvi Chandos CHAN 10664 (79:53) This release embraces the composer’s final 3rd Symphony, which was sketched in the summer of 1928 and completed the following autumn and winter. The work does not appear on first acquaintance to possess quite the same appeal as its two predecessors (see JIM 185 & 187) but these are, I stress, first impressions. The longest item here is incidental music to ‘Fossegrimen’, the mythical music master of all underground creatures from which Halvorsen extracted a 30-minuteDramatic Suite that prominently features the Hardanger fiddle, the Norwegian "national instrument", which I suspect may be something of an acquired taste. The most immediately appealing music here is undoubtably Bergensiana, an attractive set of variations probably based on a minuet by the French composer Jean-Baptiste Lully; and according to the informative booklet notes performed during the opening ceremony of the annual Bergen International Festival. With excellent recording and with the shorter pieces included on this disc (Black Swans, Wedding of Ravens in the Grove of the Crows, andWedding March Op.32 No.1) well worth having, plus maximum playing time and not withstanding my reservations on the Symphony, which will I am sure grow in appeal on repeated hearings, anyone collecting this series will want this latest offering. Roger Hyslop
EDUARD KÜNNEKE The Prof & The Show Girl Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra / KünnekeDance Suite; Glückliche Reise (Bon Voyage) Highlights EVELYN KÜNNEKE Swings Songs of the 1940s Magdalen METCD 8005 (74:02) At the risk of some readers wondering "Where has he been?", I admit that here is a composer, singer and label all new to me. I gather that Eduard (1885-1953) was a successful composer of 1920s and ‘30’s operettas using dance forms. He also wrote the well-known song I’m only a strolling vagabond. His daughter Evelyn (1921-2001) was unfortunate in rising to fame as a singer, dancer and actress during WWII and her comments on the Nazi regime almost resulted in an early death. She remained popular even through the rock ‘n’ roll years and in old age toured in cabaret with two others in an act called Three Old Bags! The Dance Suite is subtitled Concerto Grosso in Five Movements for Jazzband and Large Orchestra. Each movement features a popular dance form such as tango, slow waltz and foxtrot. Including the overture to Glückliche, the disc contains 32½ minutes of orchestral music. More please! The nine songs are not really my thing but, apart from the attractively wistful Sing, Nachtigall, Sing (Sing, Nightingale, Sing), a German The White Cliffs of Dover, they maintain the jollity of the album. Paul Arden-Taylor has remastered the original mono recordings from Telefunken, Philips and Odeon; and the liner notes by James Murray are a mine of information. Edward Trub
(There are three tracks by Künneke from the "Dance Suite" already reissued on Guild – KT Ed.)
LEOPOLD MOZART Kammerorchester Berlin / Koch Toy Symphony; Peasant Wedding; MusicalSleigh-Ride WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART Staatskapelle Dresden / Suitner A Musical Joke - Sextet for Small-town Band Berlin Classics 0300137BC (71:35) Another album that will appeal to anyone who appreciates humour in music. Father Leopold’s Peasant Wedding credits soloists on bagpipes and rattle! The boy genius son’s last track of his Joke will be familiar to those who have watched BBC’s show jumping coverage on TV. This is Mozart-lite, costing around £5 online, to put a smile on your face in these straitened times. Edward Trub
SULLIVAN Pineapple Poll; Henry VIII; Victoria and Merrie England Philharmonia Orchestra / Sir Charles Mackerras; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra / Royston Nash Eloquence ELQ4801284 (66:12) This reissue features the third and final recording Sir Charles Mackerras made of his ‘Pineapple Poll’ ballet captured in 1982 in gloriously full vivid vintage Kingsway Hall sound: an object lesson for any of today’s aspiring recording engineers. The ballet was originally premiered on the 13th March 1951 as part of the Festival of Britain and, apparently, Mackerras used tunes from all of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas save ‘Thespis’, ‘Utopia Limited’ and ‘The Grand Duke’. The resultant tuneful score and exuberant orchestration makes this a self-recommending disc, although as makeweights there are further attractions of short excerpts from ‘Henry VIII’ and the ballet‘Victoria and Merrie England’ in performances by the RPO under Royston Nash recorded in a noticeably smaller acoustic, Decca’s West Hampstead studios. For the curious there is still available a recording of the ballet complete on Marco Polo 8.223677 – 78 minutes of music well worth investigating. Roger Hyslop
TCHAIKOVSKY Orchestral Favourites London Symphony Orchestra / Kenneth Alwyn Magdalen METCD 8007 (58:48) 1812 Festival Overture; Marche Slave and Capriccio Italien are from a legendary album: Decca’s very first stereophonic LP in 1958 (costing 28s 9d plus Purchase Tax). The booklet notes tell us that prospective purchasers were advised to warn their next-door neighbours before playing! It still sounds magnificent, with the addition of the Band of HM Grenadier Guards for the 1812. Kenneth Alwyn, Principal Conductor of the Royal Ballet, was a Tchaik specialist. (He also had a feel for light music and should have been better used by the record companies of the time). Romeo and Juliet Overture-Fantasy features the great Sir John Barbirolli and his beloved Halle Orchestra in a 1957 version from Pye described as "white hot". This re-issue should be in your collection. Edward Trub
THE ART OF JULIAN LLOYD WEBBER 37 tracks on 2 CDs incl. Saints Saëns The Swan; DebussyClair de Lune; Massenet Mėditation (from Thaļs); A Lloyd Webber Pie Jesu (from Requiem); Music of the Night (from The Phantom of the Opera); Theme from the South Bank Show; Elgar Chanson de Matin; Brahms Lullaby; Albinoni Adagio; Franck Panis Angelicus; Rutter Mary’s Lullaby; Rimsky-Korsakov Flight of the Bumble-Bee … ClassicfMfullworks CFMGA12 (77:58 & 77:32) The master of that beautiful but sometimes rather melancholic instrument, the cello, personally choose this selection on two packed albums available exclusively from HMV stores at a budget price. Julian’s ownSong for Baba was inspired by the birth of his son. There is the added attraction of a new recording: Menotti’s Arioso for Two Cellos and Strings on which Lloyd Webber is joined by his wife Jiaxis Cheng, with John Wilson conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. All the pieces are melodic and the majority are ideal for quiet reflection or to help one "wind down". Edward Trub.
Recently received by Wilfred Askew including releases held over from our last issue
RAY CONNIFF The Singles Collection Vol. 3 26 tracks incl. Midnight Lace (Part II); Wednesday’s Child; Winds of Change; A Banda; It’s Only a Paper Moon; I Will Follow Him; Never Gonna Fall in Love Again … Collectables COL-CD-7943 (70:44)
RON GOODWIN Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 2-CD set; 33 tracks Intrada Volume 161 (112:07) Limited to 2,000 copies
SKIP MARTIN AND HIS ORCHESTRA Speakeasy Blues 23 tracks incl. Truckin’; East of the Sun; Bye Bye Blackbird; You Turned the Tables on Me; Vilia; The Untouchables; Chicago; Charleston …
Montpellier MONT CD 073 (66:57)
THE McGUIRE SISTERS May You Always 28 Coral tracks incl. Volare; One Fine Day; Sugartime; Around the World; Weary Blues; Kiss Them for Me; The Last Dance; Anniversary Song; Shuffle Off to Buffalo … SEPIA 1152 (73:10) With Dick Jacobs, Neil Hefti, Lawrence Welk and Skip Martin.
THE MILLS BROTHERS Sing Their Great Hits In Stereo 48 tracks on 2-CD set incl. Paper Doll; Till Then; Lazy river; Margie; My Buddy; My Mother’s Eyes; Sleepy time Gal; My Wild Irish Rose; I’ll See You in My Dreams; Stardust; Once In a While … Jasmine JASCD 555 (125:56) Four original Dot albums.
CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS(The Golden Age of Light Music)For full tracklisting, please refer to JIM 189 page 74 >Guild GLCD 5185(78:00) It is highly probable that, since the very inception of the recorded music industry, there have been records specially made for Christmas. Over the years hundreds if not thousands of titles must have been produced in both single and album format, and these have been extremely popular with the record-buying public. For performers and record companies alike, they have been a perennial and very lucrative money-spinner. But just like that famous brand of yeast extract spread, or the even more famous Irish beer, you either love ‘em or hate ‘em! Well now, if you happen to be in the latter category, you might just find this new CD to be the perfect antidote. In keeping with established Guild policy, all of the tracks are non-vocal featuring large orchestras fronted by some of the finest conductors in the business. The programme consists of fine arrangements of traditional carols and hymns, together with a selection of popular Christmas songs and a couple of other "seasonal" compositions. Much of the material has been taken from two 1958 LPs featuring the conducting and the arranging talents of Percy Faith and Billy Vaughn with their respective orchestras. They are joined by the orchestras of George Melachrino, Angela Morley, Annunzio Mantovani, and Arthur Fiedler with the Boston ‘Pops’ Orchestra. With the exception of the Mantovani items, which were issued on British Decca [London in the US], all emanate from US labels [Columbia, Dot, RCA, and Warner Bros.] They were obviously targeted at the enormous North American market; this style of big orchestral production was very popular over there at the end of the '50s. I have not been able to establish whether they were actually released in the UK, or were only available as imports. They nevertheless found their way into the vast collections of David Ades and Alan Bunting; the latter has done his usual superlative job of digital restoration. A further bonus is that all tracks are in stereo. As David’s booklet notes state " …In the hands of the top arrangers and orchestras assembled on this CD, there is every chance that the discerning listener will discover some new sounds that add a welcome vibrancy to old familiar friends". I was able to give the album several hearings on a recent lengthy car journey and, in my opinion, this is a very enjoyable compilation and a most worthy addition to the Guild series.Tony Clayden
KT Editor's CD Choice
THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT A Celebration of the MGM Film Musical Kim Criswell, Matthew Ford, Sarah Fox, Seth MacFarlane & Curtis Stigers, Maida Vale Singers, The John Wilson Orchestra / John WilsonMGM Jubilee Overture; The Trolley Song; Steppin' Out With My Baby; The Heather On The Hill; Barn Dance (Seven Brides For Seven Brothers); You're Sensational; I Got Rhythm; Singin' In The Rain; An American In Paris – Main Title; Love Is Here To Stay; Well, Did You Evah?; The New Moon (Sequence): One Kiss/Lover Come Back To Me; Broadway Melody Ballet; That's EntertainmentEMI Classics 0288452(77:52)> The much anticipated first album by JW under his new contract with EMI has arrived. Was it worth the wait – it certainly was! A celebration it is right from the start. The overture takes us back to the nostalgic world of the MGM musical and more importantly to the sound of the MGM Studio Orchestra of the 1940's and 1950's. The playing has a zing and pizzazz, which John has evidently instilled into his fine orchestra, and through his skilled re-construction of these wonderful scores. The soloists engaged for this recording are all excellent but special mention should be given to Kim Criswell on her superb performance of the two Judy Garland numbers,The Trolley Song andI Got Rhythm. Curtis Stigers is in suitably wistful mood forLove is here to stay which appropriately follows the Main Title music fromAn >American in Paris. The highlights for me are the two concluding numbers: the penultimate track with Matthew Ford in Gene Kelly mode and then the title track where all the soloists with the Maida Vale Singers take their final bow. The playing and singing on these tracks, as on the whole album, is absolutely electric. The album is also a tribute to the genius of Conrad Salinger (the principle arranger at MGM) and his team including Johnny Green and Lenny Hayton. This is my "Album of the Year" – and many thanks to John Wilson.Mike Crowther
THAT'S ENTERTAINMENTDeluxe Edition Disc 1:as aboveDisc 2 Bonus DVD:The Making of That's Entertainment; Interview with John Wilson; Music Clips: The Heather on the Hill(Matthew Ford), The Trolley Song(Kim Criswell); Singalong with the John Wilson Orchestra: The Trolley Song; I Got Rhythm; Singin' in the Rain; Love is Here to Stay; That's EntertainmentEMI Classics 0288432(40.00) The two discs are contained in a 84-page CD-size glossy hardback book. Although you are not likely to return to the DVD as often as to the CD, I reckon that it and the book are worth the extra £4 or so, not least in the case of the former for John's engaging personality!Peter Burt
Reviews of two more John Wilson releases on page ??
RUSS CONWAY The Hits And More … The Party Pop Stylings of Russ Conway2 CDs:70 tracks incl. Party Pops (Parts 1 & 2); Got A Match; Toby's Walk; More Party Pops (Parts 1 & 2); The World Outside; Love Like Ours; Side Saddle; Pixelated Penguin; Roulette; Trampolina; China Tea; The Wee Boy Of Brussels; Snow Coach; Time To Celebrate; More and More Party Pops (Parts 1 & 2) … /Happy Go Lucky Day; Loch Lomond; The Man Who Broke The Bank At Monte Carlo; Ma (He's Makin' Eyes At Me); Waiting For The Robert E Lee; Abie, My Boy; Pennies From Heaven; Don't Fence Me In; Easter Parade; Comin' Round the Mountain; It's A Sin To Tell a Lie; The Music Goes 'Round And Around; On The Banks Off The Wabash; April Showers; Isle Of Capri; Silver Dollar; Red Sails In The Sunset …Jasmine JASCD 182(78:22 & 77:10) Pianist and composer, Russ Conway made his first record in 1957 and became an immensely popular pianist/entertainer on radio and TV, frequently playing his own compositions. During 1959 he had his first big hit withSide Saddle, followed byRouletteandChina Doll.By 1961 he had sold 250,000 LPs. Disc 1 of this remarkable mono budget-priced compilation contains all the A and B sides of all his hits, with a few extras. Ten of the 34 tracks are medleys. Disc 2 has 36 tunes suitable for a super singalong. I don't suppose anybody will want to play both these discs straight off but they are ideal to dip into to raise the spirits.Peter Burt
ANDRE KOSTELANETZ & HIS ORCHESTRA On The Air With Lily Pons 20 tracks incl. Carefree; Tales From The Vienna Woods; Ay,Ay,Ay; Chanson De Marie Antoinette; Hymn To The Sun from 'Le Coq D’or': L ‘Invitation Au Voyage; Dancing Doll; Waltz from 'Romeo Et Juliette'; Kiss Me Again; Dreamland Rendezvous … Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY 856 (74:23) This should have been titled in reverse order as Kosty's wife Lily dominates the proceedings – impassioned soprano sometimes verging on parody! That’s probably because my idea of singing is Peggy Lee, June Christie etc. The few solely orchestral numbers bought back happy memories of my youth spending Sunday afternoons delving through my father’s Kostelanetz 78s, even with unforgiving steel needles sounding pretty good.
On The Air With Ginny Simms. 24 tracks incl. Carefree/That’s For Me; Slowly; I Concentrate On You; I’ve Got You Under My Skin; On The Atchison Topeka And The Santa Fe; In A Monastery Garden; I See Your Face Before Me/ Dancing In The Dark: I Concentrate On You; Full Moon And Empty Arms; It Might As Well Be Spring; The Man I Love … DSOY 858 (76:19). More nostalgic air checks, singer changed, still sounding a little stilted but I enjoyed this more than the Lily Pons as the orchestra gets more of the proceedings. Bonus for me was David Raksin’s composition Slowly – new to me, I’ve always loved his work. Michael Highton deserves high praise for his informative sleeve notes. Paul Clatworthy
MITCH MILLER It's Miller Time! – Come On And Join The Party!2 CDs:59 tracks incl. Song For A Summer Night; Autumn Leaves; Willie Can; March from The River Kwai and Colonel Bogey; Blackberry Winter; Silly Little Tune; Sabrina; Java; Song Of The Sparrow; The Bowery Grenadiers; Lisbon Antigua; The Sleigh …/ Sing Along; Hey Little Baby; Bonnie Eloise; Hey, Betty Martin; I'll Be With You In Apple Blossom Time; Beer Barrel Polka; Don't Fence Me In; Oriental Polka; Ginny, My Joy; Whistle Stop; Do-Re-Me; Dixie …Jasmine JASCD 167(77:58 & 79:38) As Robert Nickora reminds us in his liner notes, Mitch Miller (1911-2010) was an especially skilled oboist (also English Hornist), an orchestra and choral conductor with Columbia Records, and an executive who guided some of the most popular recording artists of the 1950s, among them Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, Mahalia Jackson, Guy Mitchell and Johnnie Ray. He became one of the most successful record producers of all time and was responsible for ten individual discs which hit the million mark: Frankie Laine'sMule Train,That Lucky Old Sun,Jezebel,I Believe, Guy Mitchell'sMy Heart Cries For Youand Tony Bennett'sBecause of Youamong them; and it is said he invented the "Greatest Hits" concept. Earlier in his career he had played in symphony orchestras and chamber groups, and later with Percy Faith on two LPs,'It's So Peaceful In The Country'and'Music Until Midnight'. On the two extremely well-filled compilation discs under review we have a wonderful selection of Mitch's work with his own instrumentalists and singers, including the big hits likeTheYellow Rose of Texas,Tzena,Tzena,Tzena,Meet Mister Callaghan,Under Paris Skies (the movie theme title), andThe Children's Marching Song(from 'The Inn of the Sixth Happiness'). I always associate the sound of this Miller with the French horn (e.g. his backings for Guy Mitchell) and for me a favourite track on the first disc isTira Lira Madeira, in which the horns combine with an insistent drum beat and Stan Freeman's fine harpsichord. Another good example of the horn sound is onGreensleeves. Most of the titles are in mono, being popular singles, but the sound is very acceptable. On Disc 2 there are also tracks from several of Mitch's'Sing Along'and'March Along'LPs. Definitely a most entertaining release at a very fair price and another release to cheer you up. Perfect for that Christmas stocking, I'd say.Peter Burt
TONY MOTTOLA & HIS ORCHESTRA Roman Guitar / Mr. Big24 tracks incl. La Strada; Anna; Arriverderci, Roma; Sorrento; Violetta; Volare … / Danger; Carioca; What's New; Dancing On the Ceiling; I Didn't Know What Time It Was; Carnival Time …Sepia 1174(63:53) This label only occasionally reissues non-vocal albums (I seem to have missed their earlier'Persuasive Percussion') but they are invariably highly entertaining. This one features "the brilliant and legendary guitarist" Tony Mottola (1918-2004). He was a presence on a lot of recordings and had a long association with Perry Como. (He can be heard on the new Jane Morgan disc reviewed below and, quite likely, was on the Mitch Miller discs above). The two albums here were both best sellers – imagine that happening today! The first dozen tracks are all typically evocative Italian numbers that are in his blood.'Mr. Big'(that's Tony, folks) has him performing with Al Caiola and three other guitarists on well-known American songbook standards together with three numbers he composed:Danger(written for the TV series),Carnival TimeandHumorescapade(an adaptation of Dvořák'sHumouresque). The sound is very good and, judging from the extravagant separation, probably comes from the early days of stereo on the celebrated Command label. Apart from an uncharacteristic lack of label and recording date information, Sepia keep up their high booklet standards by providing the original liner notes, which run to eight pages.Peter Burt
PIANO THEMES & RHAPSODIES 21 tracks incl. First Rhapsody; Tango (Albeniz); Liebestraum; Dream of Olwen; Theme from The Story of Three Loves; Warsaw Concerto; Rooftop Rhapsody …Bygone Days BYD 77067 (78:11) This compilation mainly features the pianist Semprini, who is featured conducting the New Abbey Light Symphony Orchestra in ten compositions, and on a further eight tracks he is the soloist with the orchestra of George Melachrino. Two other pianists have a track apiece, both with Melachrino’s Orchestra, namely William Hill-Bowen (Robert Docker'sLegend) and Monia Liter. The latter is the soloist inRhapsody in Blue, which performance suffers from a haphazard clarinet introduction. Apart from that, it’s a delight from beginning to end, with a full, rich acoustic, and Peter Dempsey’s liner note illuminates the music, the composers and the performers.Barry McCanna
NELSON RIDDLE & HIS ORCHESTRA The Joy Of Living & A Riddle of Contrasts2 CDs:58 titles incl. The Joy of Living; Moonglow; Birds Of Paradise; Around The World; There's A Gold Mine In The Sky; "Markham" Theme; Poor Jud Is Daid; All Er Nothin'; Somethin' Special*; I Speak To The Stars; Stowaway; Bonsoir Lisbon*; Midnight Blue … / "The Untouchables"*; Please Remember; Drive-In; Ill Wind; In The Mood; Idle Chatter; Green Leaves Of Summer; Pendulum Song; An Affair To Remember; Make Her Mine; Caravan; Three Little Stars …Jasmine JASCD 166(78:35 & 78:21) Another packed compilation from a label that invariably gives us value for money. Nelson Riddle was an arranger, conductor, composer and trombone player. In the '40s he played with Tommy Dorsey among others. It was, of course, working with Frank Sinatra from April '53 that Nelson became the best-known arranger in Hollywood. He first came to prominence as an arranger when he collaborated with Nat King Cole, and there are eight examples of their work here. Also featured are tracks with Margaret Whiting (4), Betty Hutton (2), The Lancers (2), The Andrews Sisters (4) and The Four Freshmen (1). There are, too, examples of his own compositions includingTing-A-Lay-O,"Pal Joey" Theme andSea of Dreams, as well as those asterisked above. All the tracks are in mono – apart from eight on Disc 2 that are presumably album tracks – and were Capitol releases with the exception of those with the Andrews Sisters for Decca in 1952. Although perhaps not quite so distinctive sounding as Nelson's later work, these discs contain some fine quality material and are to be unreservedly recommended.Peter Burt
DAVID ROSE & HIS ORCHESTRA King Of Strings - The Hits and More … 2 CDs: 55 tracks incl. Holiday For Strings (1955 version); Love Is A Many Splendoured Thing; Holiday For Trombones; Calypso Melody; Swingin' Shepherd Blues; September Song; Autumn Leaves; The Autumn Waltz; September In The Rain; Indian Summer; Blue Autumn; Shine On Harvest Moon … / Portrait Of A Flirt; Paris Oui Oui; The Flying Horse; Vanessa; Zing-Zing Zoom-Zoom; Theme From 'Wings Of Eagles'; Take My Love; Stars Shine In Your Eyes; Love Is Eternal; Summertime In Venice; Bordeaux; Pam Pam … Jasmine JASDCD 597 (78:46 & 79:32) If there has been a better compilation of reissues this year it has yet to come my way! Composer and conductor David Rose was born in London in 1910 but became a US citizen at age four when his parents moved to Chicago, where he attended the Chicago College of Music. In the mid-1930s he went to Hollywood and was MD of a radio network there. He joined the US Air Force and directed their official show, 'Winged Victory', and in 1943 wrote his big hit, Holiday for Strings, the original version of which ends the second disc. It has been said that this piece signaled a revival in light orchestral music and set a fashion for string section writing. He returned to Hollywood as MD of MGM movies and wrote numerous film scores. He recorded many albums in the 1960s and presented and conducted his own concerts at the Pasadena Pops and Hollywood Bowl. He died at Burbank in 1990. This impressive mono selection contains 21 of his own compositions, whose titles are invariably very descriptive of the music (On A Country Road In Switzerland, Parade Of The Clowns, Roman Holiday and A Frenchman in New York, for example), although unfortunately The Stripper is missing. I am intrigued by the marvellous Satan And The Polar Bear. André Previn is featured on his own Like Young and also on Young Man's Lament. The trademark Rose pizzicato is well in evidence throughout these discs. All the tracks, some of which have been provided by RFS members Philip Farlow and Brian Henson, are either 45s or from LPs on the MGM label. The two albums will, no doubt, give Mr. Rose's many admirers much pleasure and, hopefully, attract anybody who appreciates a good tune immaculately played. It is available online at under £7 – that's around 12p a track. Peter Burt
DON SESTA / TROISE MANDOLIERS / JACK SIMPSON Serenade in the Night Don Juan/Serenade in the Night/Napolitana; Evening Star; Don Estas' Corazon; Grinzing; Cupid's Army; Dreamy Serenade; All Through the Night; Santiago Waltz; Schubert's Serenade; Vienna in Springtime; Santa Lucia; Little Valley in the Mountains; Blue Danube; Raymonde Overture; A Girl Like Nina, Tonight (from 'The Queen's Affair'); My Heart is Calling You; Loch Lomond, My Antoinette; In a Sled; Song of the Rose; Moonlight Kisses; Goodnight Vienna; Hungarian Dance no.1 (Brahms); Old Bohemian Town. Cottage Industry Records FBCD282 (75.10) This CD is the result of another collaboration between Frank Bristow in Australia and our own Brian Stringer and, unlike most of the recordings of light music available these days, features speciality combinations rather than conventional light orchestras. I think that many members will be familiar with the name of Troise and his Mandoliers, perhaps less so with Don Sesta's Gaucho Tango Orchestra. There are also several tracks from a combination called the Marimba Serenaders led, we are told, by Jack Simpson, a distinguished exponent of the xylophone and marimba. This recording will appeal to lovers of traditional light music, of the sort that was popular in the 1930s and 1940's – sparkling tangos and novelties with a sprinkling of long established favourites. Some of the titles will not have been heard for decades and this recording gives them a richly deserved lease of life. I particularly enjoyedCupid's Army. The CD comes with detailed notes about both music and the musicians provided by Brian Stringer and Frank Bristow. Brian Reynolds
Available from Frank Bristow, 2 Cross Street, Brighton, Victoria 3186, Australia. Tel: Aus. (03) 9528 3167. E-mail: info@musicfromthe past. com. Website: www.musicfromthepast.com.
TOP DOG – A RETROSPECTIVE OF CLASSIC TV & RADIO THEMES 1960-1982 All tracks are mentioned below De Wolfe DWCR 004 (55.57) This release surely ranks as one of the best TV (& Radio) theme CDs on the market – with all 26 original tracks re-mastered from the session tapes held in De Wolfe’s vast library. Whilst some of the themes have already been released commercially, many are new to CD and two tracks have never previously been issued – not even as library discs. There are three themes from the series ‘Vision On’ which ran from 1964 to 1976: firstly Claude Vasori’s main theme, Accroche-Toi, Caroline; the lesser-known ‘Humphrey the Tortoise' Theme (Merry Ocarina) composed by Pierre Arvay and the well-known ‘Gallery’ Theme, Left Bank II, composed by Wayne Hill. One of the best-known composers of library music, Johnny Hawksworth, composed the famous Thames TV ident (Salute to Thames) and many other television themes; and on this CD alone we can hear Up To Date used as the theme for ‘Man About the House’ (1973-76);Ready to Serve the theme for the BBC series ‘Delia Smith’s Cookery Course’ (1978-9) – a series for which he composed the entire score; Roobarb from ‘Roobarb & Custard’ shown in 1974; and one of the standout tracks, the first series theme from ‘George & Mildred’ (1976). The latter are two of the shortest titles on the CD at less than 40 seconds! The title track, Ivor Slaney’s Top Dog, was used for a BBC Radio comedy, ‘The Men from the Ministry’, which ran from 1962-1977; and his Comedy Hourwas the theme for the BBC comedy ‘Here’s Harry’ (later called ‘Harry Worth’) throughout the 60s and 70s. There are three themes by another popular library composer, Jack Trombey. Firstly, Eye Level, the No.1 hit single from 1973 which opens the album and was the theme from ‘Van der Valk’ for its entire run from 1972; and Trombones on Parade used as the theme for Yorkshire TV's ‘Junior Showtime’ from 1969-74. The third contribution is Domino from ‘Never the Twain’ (1981-91). Simon Haseley (aka Simon Park, who conducted the aforementioned Eye Level single both on record and live on ‘Top of the Pops’) is represented by two tracks: Precinct is the gritty theme used from 1972-78 in the Thames TV game show ‘Whodunit’ – hosted by Edward Woodward and later Jon Pertwee – which is a particular favourite of mine; and the theme he composed with Peter Reno used for ‘Crown Court’ (1972-84). This tune, Distant Hills, was actually the B-side of the single Eye Level and was used as the end theme to the weekday ITV series shown in the 70s. Percussionist Reg Wale also contributes Fruity Flutes (used in YTV’s ‘Farmhouse Kitchen’ – 1971-89) and The Mugwamp, the ATV ‘Angling Today' theme (1973-1982). The album also contains strong themes by other composers. Sousa’s original Liberty Bell (arranged by A.W. Sheriff) was used in ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus’ between 1969 and 1974. It was De Wolfe who provided most of the soundtrack music used in the series. Herbert Chappell’s The Gonk was used as the theme for an ITV schools programme in the 60s called ‘Seeing and Doing’. Wayne Hill’s theme for ‘The Power Game’ won an Ivor Novello award and was recorded as a single on Pye in 1966 by Cyril Stapleton. This CD presents the original which was curiously released many years ago on a promotional Pascall Murray record. Peter Reno (aka Peter Taylor, the in-house composer at Granada) contributes The Greatest Show on Earth used for the ITV series ‘Queenie’s Castle’ between 1970 and 1972. Roy Budd had commercially recorded the theme for ‘Inspector Rose’ for Pye in the '60s but The Odd Man is released here in it’s original form composed by Granada musical director Derek Hilton under his pseudonym, J. Snow. There’s also a theme from French film composer, Georges Delerue – Radioscope – used for BBC Radio 4’s ‘Round Britain Quiz’ since 1947. Henry’s Cat (1982) by John Hyde and Flatrock composed by Willi Andrea, who is session guitarist Billy Bell, was used in ‘The Kids from 47A’. The two remaining tracks areTonight and Every Night by composer Frank Spencer, who was Hammer’s regular composer until 1952, for ‘Tonight’; and finally, who could forget the end title theme from the early 70s ATV series ‘Timeslip’ – Edward Michael’s Rite De La Terre – Earth, heard here in full. This CD is a sheer delight to listen to and De Wolfe must be congratulated for such a strong and varied track listing – offering some real gems. Whether you’re a fan of music from TV or Radio, or just light musical in general, this is a "must-have"! It’s hard to isolate my favourite tracks as there are so many. Gareth Bramley
'Dance Band Delights'
HARRY ROY 23 tracks incl. Bugle Call Rag; Canadian Capers; Limehouse Blues; Spanish Shawl; Tiger Rag; Twelfth Street Rag; San Sue Strut; Leicester Square Rag … CDB05 (64:43)
JACK HYLTON 23 tracks incl. Black & Blue Rhythm; Ellingtonia; Hylton Stomp; The Selfish Giant; Grasshoppers’ Dance; Morris Dance from Henry VIII; Bolero; Three Bears Suite … CDB06 (78:53)
GERALDO 23 tracks incl. It’s d’Lovely; In Charlie’s Footsteps; My Guy’s Come Back; Concerto for Drums; Rhapsody for Reeds; Taps Miller; Two Moods; Blues in the Night … CDB07 (71:40)
JACK PAYNE & HENRY HALL Jack Payne: 12 tracks incl. Yes Sir, That’s My Baby; Hot and Heavy; Hot Bricks; Lucky Me, Lovable You; Harmonica Harry; Choo Choo; Entrance of the Little Fauns;Henry Hall: 14 tracks incl. Five-Fifteen; East Wind; Thank You, Mr. Bach; The Waltz in Swingtime; Swing Patrol; Here’s to the Next Time… CDB08 (69:54) Four more CDs in this series have been issued by the This England magazine (), in the same instrumental groove. Most of these have been reissued previously, but a good proportion only in vinyl format.
The Harry Roy compilation features some of his best-known tunes, played in his inimitable barrelhouse style. The band’s exuberant approach can have the effect of overshadowing their musicianship, but here they give a good account of themselves, not least in Casa Loma Stomp. Incidentally, since the penultimate track is non-vocal it should be shown as dating from August 1944, not October 1936.
Jack Hylton had a broader approach, as befitted a show band, and as well as hot numbers the selection features arrangements of classical pieces and light music. Strictly speaking, Chaminade’sPas des Echarpes should be shown as recorded by the Kit-Cat Band, albeit that it was under Hylton’s control. It’s also worthy of note that My Melancholy Baby and Darktown Strutters Ball were arranged by Fletcher Henderson, and feature Coleman Hawkins.
By the late thirties Geraldo had metamorphosed from a faux Latin-American outfit into a smooth-sounding big band, and this is a varied selection which showcases the virtuosity not just of the ensemble, but also of the individual soloists. I’m pleased at the inclusion of Russian Salad by the Geraldo Swing Septet, but wish that its coupling Sea Food Squabble had not been omitted.
The Jack Payne tracks include one of his first recordings, with his Hotel Cecil Dance Orchestra, and the miniature 78 made to publicise his move to Imperial, but most of the remainder are drawn from his Columbia recordings. The stand-out track for me is She’s My Slip of a Girl with Frank Wilson’s Bixian solo. Some (including Syd Colin) have dismissed Henry Hall as a somewhat anodyne bandleader, but the remainder of this CD demonstrates the unfairness of that judgment. Just try outWild Ride (his own composition) for fast precision section playing, and his versions of Joe Venuti’sApple Blossoms and J. Russell Robinson’s Eccentric. This would be my pick of the bunch, followed closely by Geraldo. Barry McCanna
ROSEMARY CLOONEY Mixed Emotions Clooney Defined! 4 CD set 115 tracks incl. I Haven't Got A Worry; I Do, I Do, I Do; Lovely Weather For Ducks; Tenderly; Marrying For Love; You're Just In Love; I Could Have Danced All Night; You'll Never Know; In The Cool, Cool, Cool Of The Evening; When You Wish Upon A Star; On The Atchison, Topeka And The Santa Fe; Over The Rainbow; The Continental, It Might As Well Be Spring; Hello, Young Lovers; Come Rain Or Come Shine; Memories Of You; Beautiful Blue Eyes; I Could Have Danced All Night; It Don't Mean A Thing; If Teardrops Were Pennies; White Christmas; The Best Things Happen While We're Dancing; Sisters (With Betty Clooney); Love, You Didn't Do Right By Me; Gee, I Wish I Was Back In The Army; Mandy; Count Your Blessings … Jasmine JASBOX 27-4 (79:22, 79:47, 78:40, 79:41) Just in time for the Christmas market comes this competively-priced comprehensive compilation of Rosemary's clear, melodically styled singing, chiefly on Columbia, in the 1950s and early '60s. Included are all her major hit singles (Come on-a my house, Botch-a-me; Half as much, Hey there!, This ole house, Mambo Italiano,Mangoset al) with Percy Faith and his Orchestra having the lion's share of the accompaniments throughout but also featuring, among others, the orchestras of Paul Weston, Duke Ellington, Nelson Riddle, Mitch Miller, and the Benny Goodman Trio (including a toothsome Memories of you). There is also Rosie's standout eight track album of Academy Award Winners recorded with Harry James, and'Hymns From The Heart', a 14-track album with The Ralph Carmichael Singers and Orchestra from MGM Records. Other artists who join Rosie are Guy Mitchell, Thurl Ravenscroft, The Mellowmen, Jimmy Boyd, The Hi-Lo's, and Marlene Dietrich with harpsichordist Stan Freeman (Two old to cut the mustard and Dot's nice donna fight). Listeners will probably also recognize selections from three of her films: 'The Stars Are Singing', 'Red Garters' and 'White Christmas'. This is an outstanding memento of one of the great female singers of the 20th century whose art is timeless. Peter Burt
PERRY COMO At the Supper Club Part 3 29 tracks incl. All The Things You Are; Sweet Lorraine; Your Father's Moustache; Harriet; How Deep Is The Ocean; Just Sittin’ And A Rockin’; Rockin’ Chair; My Melancholy Baby; Here Comes Heaven Again; When You’re Away; Moonbeams; I’m Falling In Love With Someone; Tramp, Tramp, Tramp; Ah! Sweet Mystery Of Life; Blue Skies … Sounds of yesteryear DSOY 857 (72:01) More from Perry’s stint at the Supper Club* reviewed in a previous JIM, guests Helen Carroll and the Satisfiers, Anne Andre, The Mills Brothers; Kitty Kallen; Jo Stafford and Carol Landis. Recorded between 1945 and 1946. Paul Clatworthy
(* The Chesterfield Supper Club began in December 1944 as a live 15-minute NBC radio programme sponsored by Chesterfield cigarettes. Perry initially hosted it five nights a week. During WWII, the broadcasts were transcribed for re-broadcast on Armed Forces Radio Service. KT Ed.)
DORIS DAY My Heart Hurry, It's Lovely Up Here; Daydream; The Way I Dreamed It; Heaven Tonight; My One and Only Love; My Heart; You Are So Beautiful; Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries; Disney Girls; My Buddy; Happy Endings; Ohio Sony 88697927752 (41:39) All her fellow RFS member fans will want this, Ms Day's first studio album of previously unreleased material in nearly two decades. It was recorded from 1951 to 1994 and includes nine tracks from sessions originally produced by her late son Terry Melcher, with her newly recorded spoken introduction to his vocalizing on Happy Endings. I understand that Doris was fully involved with the musical selections for this special release – described by The Daily Telegraph critic as "lush and pure" – which reflect her love of animals and for her son. Peter Burt
Day By Day 60 tracks incl. Secret Love; The Black Hills of Dakota; The Deadwood Stage; No Two People; Love Me or Leave Me; Sentimental Journey; When I Fall in Love; I Can Do Without You; It Had to Be You; On Moonlight Bay; ‘Tis Harry I’m Planning to Marry; The Way You Look Tonight; I Enjoy Being a Girl… Delta 60385 (54:27)(53:19)(58:49) Doris Day has a warm, friendly personality, and those characteristics are reflected in her voice, which is clear and sweet without being cloying. During the course of her long career she has made a great number of songs her own, and many of them are included in this well-remastered budget compilation. Alternatively, you can buy just the first two CDs under the title 'The Best of Doris Day' (Delta 38337) or the first one only as 'With Love fromDoris Day' (Delta 6826).
Sings Hollywood & Broadway 40 tracks incl. Cheek to Cheek; That Old Black Magic; Pennies from Heaven; Three Coins in the Fountain; Over the Rainbow; When You’re Smiling; I’ve Grown Accustomed to his Face; Fit as a Fiddle; Let’s Fly Away… Delta 38336 (64:35)(56:05) The first CD draws in large part on two Columbia LPs entitled 'Hooray for Hollywood', which date from 1958/9 and on which the orchestra was that of Frank de Vol, and the second CD is partly based upon a 1960 Columbia LP entitled” 'Show Time' with Axel Stordahl providing the orchestral accompaniment. Although this and the CD package above are budget compilations they boast a “high quality luxury slipcase”, which duplicates the jewel case artwork and which I would happily forego in exchange for more detailed tracklists and liner notes. Barry McCanna
THE FORCES' SWEETHEARTS & HEART-THROBS OF WW2 : The 50 finest 1939-1945 Tracks incl. We'll Meet Again; I'll Be Seeing You; Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy; Skylark; Serenade in Blue; J'Attendrai; Stardust; Only Forever; When the Lights Go On Again …. Retrospective RTS 4186 (155:04) This features original mono recordings from both sides of the Atlantic, split evenly between male and female vocalists, including the British-based Vera Lynn, Gracie Fields, Anne Shelton, Chick Henderson, Denny Dennis, Al Bowlly, Donald Peers and Sam Browne. Some of the titles reflect the conflict then raging, others are suffused with the bitter-sweet mood of the times. At just over two-and-a-half hours of music, this is a veritable wallow in nostalgia, and as always with reissues from Retrospective presentation is exemplary. Barry McCanna
PEGGY LEE At The Supper Club 29 tracks incl. All The Things You Are; You Was Right, Baby; Waitin’ For The Train To Come In; I’ve Got A Walkie-Talkie; I Don’t Know Enough About You; I Can See It Your Way; I’m Glad I Waited For You; A Reasonable Facsimile Of You: All The Things You Are; Smoke Dreams; You Call Everybody, Darlin’ Love Your Magic Spell Is Everywhere; Love Somebody; Maybe You’ll Be There; Little Jack Frost … Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY 854 (68:04) Recorded live between 1946 and 1949 switching between the orchestras of Lloyd Shafer and Dave Barbour with guests Helen Carroll and the Satisfyers, The Starlighters, Frankie Lame, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.Paul Clatworthy
BETTY MADIGAN Am I Blue? & The Jerome Kern Songbook 29 tracks incl. I Get Along Without You Very Well; I'm A Fool To Want You; I'll Never Be The Same; Love, You Funny Thing; I Miss The Boy; The Lonesomest Girl In Town …/ They Didn't Believe Me; Bill; She Didn't Say Yes; The Song Is You; Smoke Gets In Your Eyes; I Won't Dance; A Fine Romance …Sepia 1177 (77:11) A name new to me and obviously one to conjure with. The label's website tells us that Miss Madigan (who is a bit of an Alma Cogan lookalike) became a musical sensation overnight following her hit recording of the ballad Joey in 1954, included here Evidently she was often seen on American TV and headlined posh supper clubs. She signed for MGM Records and then moved to Coral. Her recordings have been virtually impossible to find on CD, so Sepia have rectified that with these two albums, recorded in 1956 and 1957 respectively, plus five bonus singles of which four made the charts: Always You has a tasty tango backing, and Dance Everyone Dance is especially interesting to me in that it based on one of my favourite pieces, the Jewish folk song Hava Nagila. The Kern numbers are, of course, all classics – Ossie Dales in his liner notes reminds us that They Didn't Believe Me is 97 years old – and all are performed in a good strong musical voice with imaginative arrangements (e.g. the Bolero-like accompaniment to The Folks Who Live) from an orchestra conducted by Dick Jacobs. I have been pleased to make the lady's acquaintance and look forward to hearing more from her. Peter Burt
JANE MORGAN The Ballads of Lady Jane & The Second Time Around The Ballad of Lady Jane; The Riddle Song; Turtle Dove; Molly Malone; Ten Thousand Miles; Kisses Sweeter Than Wine; Scarlet Ribbons; Cotton Eyed Joe; The Foggy, Foggy Dew; I Know Where I'm Goin'; Come All Ye Fair and Tender Ladies; Greensleeves / The Second Time Around; My Favourite Things; Our Language of Love; Romantica; The Twilight Waltz; The Bells of St Mary's; The Angry Sea; Somebody; Love Is a Simple Thing; Odyssey; I Am a Heart; Why Should I Cry Over You?; Meme s'il arrivait quelque choses; Tete du bois; Fais-toi belle SEPIA 1176 (73:01) We have had to wait over a year for a follow-up to Ms Morgan's previous four well-received CDs on Richard Tay's enterprising label. But the current album – 24 tracks from two LPs remastered in stereo plus three bonus tracks – was well worth waiting for. The first dozen tracks, recorded in 1959/60, demonstrate the singer's versatility with her interpretations of traditional folk songs, and is an absolute delight from first note to last. There is minimal support from the orchestra conducted by Nick Perito with sometimes accompaniment just provided by the guitar of Tony Mottola, harpsipiano and bass. The second half of the album is a 1961 compilation of the singles she had made during the previous 18 months.Romantica was the Italian entry in the 1960 European Song contest, the march-like The Angry Sea is particularly ear-catching and Odyssey has a lovely melody. Jane's fluency in French can be heard on the final three tracks: Tete is from the pen of Gilbert Bécaud who wrote her UK No.1 hit, The Day the Rains Came, and on Fais-toi she sings in harmony with herself. Robin Cherry's remastering and Dominic McHugh's liner notes are as excellent as ever. I hope, like me, you look forward to more of the same from this super songstress who, until Sepia took her up, was so incredibly ignored. Peter Burt
FELICIA SANDERS I Wish You Love & That Certain Feeling 24 tracks incl. I Wish You Love; Said I To My Heart, Said I; If You Go; I'm Through With Love; Warm All Over; Lonely Town …/ It Never Was You; Dancing In The Dark; Music, Maestro, Please; A Woman's Love Is Never Done; Rabbit At Top Speed; I Happen To Like New York … Sepia 1175 (76:44) Miss Sanders was only aged 53 when she died of cancer in 1975. 22 years earlier she had a No.1 hit with The Song from Moulin Rouge with Percy Faith and his Orchestra. I understand that the two LPs here, from 1960 and 1958 respectively, have long been sought after by her fans. She performed mainly in nightclubs and cabaret and was much admired by other singers. She had an attractive rather seductive voice and this disc is a pleasurable listen with a number of unfamiliar songs. I especially enjoyed Cole Porter'sI Happen to Like New York. Irving Joseph is her MD throughout and also wrote all the arrangements on 'That Certain Feeling'. Robin Cherry's remastering is again exemplary. Peter Burt
JO STAFFORD At the Supper Club Part 3 32 tracks incl. It’s Only A Paper Moon; Come Back To Sorrento; My Guy’s Come Back; Tampico; Give Me The Simple Life; Thou Swell; I’m Always Chasing Rainbows; Catfish Take A Look At That Worm; Tumblin’ Tumbleweeds; Storybook Romance; 0l’ Man River; When Your Lover Has Gone; I May Be Wrong; I Don’t Know Enough About You; You Always Hurt The One You Love … Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY851 (75:49) More of the previously reviewed Jo Stafford sets, this time featuring Lloyd Shaffer and his orchestra, Paul Weston and his orchestra, Helen Carroll and The Satisfyers, The Starlighters, and guests: Woody Herman, Smiley Burnette, Phil Moore Trio and the Mills Brothers. Paul Clatworthy
THE STARGAZERS Plus … 30 tracks incl. Sugar Bush; The Happy Wanderer; Twenty Tiny Fingers; Hey There; Hernando’s Hideaway … This England C135 (69:15) You have only to play this compilation to be transported back to a more innocent time. The tracks radiate good cheer, and the themes include some of those silly songs that were all the vogue then (can you imagine Feet Up, Pat Him on the Po-Po or Close the Door catching on today?). The first 19 tracks are devoted to the Stargazers, the remainder to The Johnson Brothers and The Keynotes (who back Benny Lee & Petula Clark on Two Lips, and Dave King on Memories are Made of This). Accompaniments include Nat Temple, Syd Dean, Johnny Gray, Malcolm Lockyer, Harry Roy, Johnny Douglas and Roland Shaw.Barry McCanna
SARAH VAUGHAN It’s Magic 57 tracks incl. My Tormented Heart: Deep Purple; My Reverie; Whatever Lola Wants; And This is My Beloved; Maybe it’s Because; Misty … Jasmine JASCD 678(78:53 & 78:54) This generous compilation spans the fifties, and contains Sarah Vaughan’s hit recordings for Columbia and Mercury. She had a quite extraordinary voice, richly-textured and wide-ranging but without any need to strain for the high register. Her talents are on display throughout this superb set, which is worth buying not only for her classic vocals, but also for the accompaniments, which include the orchestras of Percy Faith, Paul Weston, Joe Lipman, Hugo Peretti and Hal Mooney, as detailed in the tracklist. Barry McCanna
MARGARET WHITING There Goes That Song Again! - The Songbook and the Legacy 4 CD set: 113 tracks incl. That Old Black Magic; Moonlight in Vermont; Far Away Places; Slipping Around; It Might As Well Be Spring; Guilty; A Tree In The Meadow…The Gypsy In My Soul; Sentimental Journey; Let's Fall In Love; Waltz To The Blues; Hit The Road to Dreamland; It Might As Well Be Spring; Like Someone In Love…Nobody But You; Time After Time; You're An Old Smoothie; If I Had You; Along with Me; Dream Peddler's Serenade; Solid As A Rock…There Goes That Song Again; Passé; Beware My Heart; Old Devil Moon; Someone To Watch Over Me; (We've Got A) Sure Thing; Ain't That Just Like A Man … Jasmine JASBOX 26-4 (78:20, 79:49, 78:20 & 79.39) Miss Whiting was a class act and rightly claimed by the label as one of the most respected pop singers of the 20thcentury. Here is a follow-up to what I understand was her earlier highly successful box set, 'My Ideal – The Definitive Collection' (JASBOX 17-4), which I missed, and is another great compilation. It includes many tracks appearing on CD for the first time as well as rare items and her million sellers re-recorded in stereo. Featured are her collaborations with, among others, Glen Campbell (he plays guitar on Let's Go to Church), Bill Lee (Baby, It's Cold Outside), trumpeter Billy Butterfield, and Jack Smith. There is a stellar line-up of conductors – some probably also being responsible for the orchestrations: Lou Busch (her husband from '50 to '53), Ralph Carmichael, Frank Comstock, Frank DeVol, Russ Garcia, Jerry Gray, Pete King, Johnny Mandel, Skip Martin, Marty Paich, Nelson Riddle, Milton Rogers, Pete Rugulo, Freddie Slack, Billy Vaughn, and Paul Weston. I have greatly enjoyed listening to these discs and reading Robert Nickora's extensive notes in the accompanying 12-page booklet. If you only want a single disc selection of this superior singer's work, please see Back Tracks. Peter Burt
BASEMENT JAXX Vs. METROPOLE ORCHESTRA. Battlement Jaxx; Red Alert; Raindrops; Mozart’s Tea Party; Bindo Bango; Hey U; Lights Go Down; Violin Solo; If I Ever Recover; Do Your Thing; Where’s Your Head At; Good Luck; Drill Loops; Hush Boy; Samba Magic. Atlantic Jaxx recordings(62:52) I’ve been a devoted fan of the Metropole since the fifties, then on the Paxton label under the name Dolf Van Der Linden. I also try to kid myself I’m still young, liking both dance and soul music by doing the occasional review in a mail order magazine The Soul Survivor. I can’t imagine how this will be catalogued – 71 players and a chorus of 16. A mixture of orchestral, jazz, voices (almost operatic in places), and a live audience revelling in all the excitement without spoiling the sounds. It’s a spellbinding album full of musical scope and emotional power, something for most musical tastes. If you only like one genre this may not fit the bill; as an emotionally infused mixture of sounds it will intrigue and fascinate anyone sampling it. Paul Clatworthy
NAT GONELLA The Early Recordings Featuring Nat Gonella & His Trumpet with vocals, Lew Stone & The Monseigneur Band Roy Fox & His Band I Can’t Believe You’re In Love With Me; I Heard; Rockin’ Chair; When You’re Smiling; Sing; That’s My Home; Stormy Weather: Nobody’s Sweetheart; Georgia On My Mind; Sweet Sue Just You; Moon Country; Troublesome Trumpet; Carolina; I Can’t Dance / (with Roy Fox) Whispering; Oh! Mo’nah; Jig Time; Georgia On My Mind; You Rascal You; Corrine Corrina; Kickin’the Gong Around; How’m I Doing; (with Lew Stone) Junk Man Blues; Lying In The Hay; Look What I’ve Got; Lazy Rhythm; Lazy Bones; Nagasaki; Blue Jazz; White Jazz; Eadie Was A Lady: Tiger Rag; Milenberg Joys; Emaline; That’s A Plenty; Isle Of Capri; Miss Otis Regrets; Judy; The Continental. Sounds of Yesteryear DOUBLE DS0Y859 (39:57 & 73:01) Traditional jazz from the thirties – many of the titles not having seen the light of day since! Paul Clatworthy
BENNY GOODMAN AFRS Shows Volume 7 (1946) After You’ve Gone; Pity The Poor Lobster: St Louis Blues: Prelude In C Sharp Minor; The Sheik Of Araby; King Porter Stomp; If You Were The Only Girl In The World; Hora Staccato; Warsaw Concerto; Honeysuckle Rose; I Know That You Know.Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY 852 (60:50) Interspersed with comedy spots by Victor Borge, Don Wilson, Edward G Robinson and Charlie Cantor, the music tracks use both orchestra and sextet. Paul Clatworthy
THE FRANK GRIFFITH BIG BAND Holland Park Non-Stop 12 tracks incl. Oh You Crazy Moon; Strollin'; Baby Won't You Please Come Home; Body And Soul; These Foolish Things … Hep 2005(66:48) This compilation is a no-nonsense album of loud brassy jazz, played with passion by the musicians. That said, I have personally never heard of Frank Griffith (he is an American jazz activist who is Director of Performance in the School of Arts at Brunel University in London) but the band is absolutely professional and for fans of the genre it will be a pleasant experience of really well-played music. There are three vocals included, all well performed by Tina May. The recording engineers have excelled on this CD and the recording throughout is superb. If you are a jazz fanatic this recording is undoubtably worth a “spin”. Roger Chantler
TOM HARRELL The Time Of The Sun The Time Of The Sun; Estuary; Ridin’ The Open Door; Dream Text; Modern Life; River Samba: Cactus; Otra. Highnote HCD7222. (62:17). Tom continues his consistently inventive music-making composing all titles and soloing on both trumpet and flugelhorn, backed by the same five piece who have been with him on the last three CDs, all masters of their instrument. The title track uses the musical harmonies of the magnetic field surrounding the sun, cleverly captured by scientists from America and the UK. I suppose it could be called a gimmick but merged with the other instruments the sound is arresting. Paul Clatworthy
ANDRĖ PREVIN Four Classic Albums 35 tracks Avid AMSC 1042 (159:57) Somehow Avid has managed to shoehorn four complete albums into two CDs. The earliest album is 'Collaboration', which and dates from 1954 and appears to be monaural. It features André and Shorty Rogers in a somewhat gimmicky formula alternating leadership of a group of nine. The three remaining albums are far more straightforward. 'Pal Joey' and 'West Side Story' date from October 1957 and August 1959 respectively, when André’s Pals were Shelly Manne and Red Mitchell; and for the November 1958 'King Size' Frankie Capp was on drums. Sound level is a bit on the low side, which is not a problem unless you're shuffling CDs. Barry McCanna
GEORGE SHEARING The Blind Genius (of) 26 tracks incl. Guilty; How’s Trix?; Nothing but D Best; So This is Cuba; Strolling; Bop, Look & Listen … This England C137 (76:59) This follows hard on the heels of Retrospective’s recent tribute album, and eleven of the tracks are duplicated. Even if you’ve bought the first it is still worth considering, because it fills in some of the gaps, including two 1941 numbers with Hatchett’s Swingtette: Wrap Yourself in Cotton Wool has a vocal by Billie Campbell, and Dorothy Carless sings Scrub Me Mama with a Boogie Beat. Barry McCanna
CAN-CAN Original Soundtrack 24 tracks Delta 6820 (62:55) This budget reissue presents the eleven numbers from the film sung by Frank Sinatra, Maurice Chevalier, Louis Jordan and Shirley MacLaine. This was not one of Cole Porter’s best scores, and the quality of the vocalists is variable. My preference is for the second half of the compilation, which presents Nelson Riddle’s separate instrumental arrangements. There’s not much of a gap between tracks, and the absence of a liner note is regrettable. Barry McCanna
NOËL COWARD A Talent to Amuse 22 tracks incl. Josephine; Sail Away; Uncle Harry; Mad Dogs and Englishmen; Matelot … Bygone Days BYD 77069 (77:02) This comes hard on the heels of Retrospective’s double album (RTS 4168), with which it duplicates four tracks, and needs to be viewed with some caution. Three of the tracks (Twentieth Century Blues (Al Bowlly), Regency Rakes, and The Stately Homes of England) are not sung by the "Master"; the opening Coward Hits medley and the last seven tracks all come from the celebrated 1955 Las Vegas concert. None of this is apparent from its cover, but if you’re aware of that before you buy it you shouldn’t be disappointed.Barry McCanna
MUSIC FOR REMEMBRANCE The Band of the Irish Guards / D.O.M. Lieut. Col. M G Lane 28 tracks incl. Heart of Oak; A Life on the Ocean Wave; Red, White & Blue; Great Little Army; Old Comrades; RAF March Past; Boys of the Old Brigade; Abide With Me; Eternal Father Strong to Save; Rule Britannia; Isle of Beauty; Nimrod; Solemn Melody; O God Our Help in Ages Past; March Past (Medley) … Bandleader BNA5014 (74:23) This is emphatically not a new release, being recorded way back in the late 1980's at CBS Studios in London, but one I have only recently caught up with. Included on this brilliantly recorded disc is much of the music performed at both the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall and the Cenotaph Ceremony on Remembrance Sunday. Valuable to have in itself but what adds greatly to the appeal here is no less than a 17-minute medley in march tempo of popular songs of the two World Wars. This includes It's a Long Way to Tipperary, Pack Up Your Troubles, There'll Always Be an England; Kiss Me Goodnight, Sergeant Major, Wish Me Luck (twice!), Beer Barrel Polka, Lili Marlene, etc. It is the music played as various contingents of veterans march past The Cenotaph at the end of the Act of Worship and, if you are watching the event on TV, is largely drowned out by the continuous drone of the non-stop commentary. A moving, heart warming CD. First rate! Roger Hyslop
THE MUSIC OF THE ROYAL LOGISTIC CORPS 32 tracks incl. A Foggy Day in London Town; Salamander; Sunset; Forming Corps Bugle Calls; Sugar & Spice … Specialist Recording Company SRC140 (72:18) The RLC is by far the largest corps in the British Army, being founded in April 1993 and absorbing five different corps including the Royal Corps of Transport and the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, thus inheriting a rich heritage of military music, some of it on display here. A number of the marches are of comparatively recent origin, many new to me, and all the more welcome for that. Lion, Sword and Crown is an impressive piece adopted as the Corps slow march in 2010, while Roger Swift's Royal Celebration contains a fine dignified and stately trio tune as befits the title. Terry Kenny is a superb composer of tuneful, foot-tapping marches and two fine examples are to be found here: Ship to Shore, with its echoes of All the Nice Girls Love a Sailor, and Air Despatch. In complete contrast On the Flip Side, written in swing style, features a saxophone solo (Musn. Anthony Kitchen) whilst the Gershwin number, suitably atmospheric, shows how quickly the band can transform itself into an authentic sounding "big band" demonstrating the remarkable versatility of military musicians. What makes this new disc particularly appealing is its generous salute to British light music by including Sidney Torch's descriptive London Transport Suite and Montague Phillip's charming, evocative if more sedate Surrey Suite – we are not exactly over endowed with recordings of either works. Appropriately the disc ends with On Parade by Albert Elms, which was adopted as the Regimental March of The RLC upon its formation. The recording was made in the Aldershot Royal Garrison Church that allows full, well detailed sound although a little discreet reverberation would have avoided the somewhat abrupt cut-off in sound at the end of each track. However this is a minor quibble and Director of Music, Major Philip Stredwick, and his excellent band are to be congratulated on an unusually interesting programme, well executed and deserving of the widest circulation. Roger Hyslop
SOUSA Music For Wind Band · 9 The Royal Norwegian Navy Band / Keith Brion ; Sarah Oving (Violin) From Maine to Oregon; The Charlatan – Overture; Flags of Freedom March; Nymphalin; The Dwellers of the Western World – Suite; Chris and the Wonderful Lamp:The Man Behind the Gun; The Lily Bells; The Chantyman's March; When My Dreams Come True – Fantasy; U.S. Field Artillery March; Harmonica Wizard March; University of Illinois March Naxos 8.559396(57:31) For this release in this notable series of recordings of Sousa's complete wind band music Naxos and Keith Brion have forsaken the Royal Artillery Band after eight volumes, taken a trip across the North Sea and engaged The Royal Norwegian Navy Band. Originally founded in 1820 and currently with some 29 musicians it's a smaller ensemble than the nearly 50 strong RA Band but that seems not to be a drawback here and is certainly not particularly evident in the glorious sounds produced for this recording. As will be gleaned form the details at the top of this review almost all the contents can be considered rarities although anybody with some knowledge of the American military may recognize the U.S. Field Artillery March as the official march of that nation's army. Intriguingly this compilation includes a rare violin solo by Sousa, Nymphalin, a salon piece dating from 1880 and beautifully played by Sarah Oving. The 16-minute Dwellers Suite is a musical depiction of the three major races who occupied America: The Red, The White and The Black Man. Notable also is the late fantasy When My Dreams Come True, a medley based upon popular tunes of the day but somewhat implausibly including He's Going to Marry Yum Yum from 'The Mikado' ….. I could go on but that might be risking the KT Editor's ire in taking up too much of his valuable space! Suffice to say, given splendid performances and recording, this disc earns a well deserved commendation. Roger Hyslop
BRAHMS / MENDELSSOHN Violin Concertos Henryk Szeryng ; Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam / Bernard Haitink Newton Classics 8802053 (70:06) Together with his illustrious contemporaries, Arthur Grumiaux and Salvatoré Accardo, Szeryng was one of the leading virtuosi on the much missed Philips label whose valuable back catalogue is now emerging principally on Decca but also here on the recently introduced Newton Classics label. This is a reminder of Szeryng's outstanding artistry in two staples of the violin concerto repertoire captured in glorious rich analogue sound from the mid-1970's. Anyone with a passion for superlative fiddle playing and a breathtaking purity of tone should seriously consider this outstanding disc. Roger Hyslop
ERIC COATES CONDUCTS ERIC COATES with The Philharmonic Promenade Orchestra, New Symphony Orchestra of London & Symphony Orchestra London Suite; London Again Suite; The Three Elizabeths – Suite; Four Centuries – Suite; Three Bears – A Phantasy; By the Sleepy Lagoon – Valse Serenade Heritage HTCD 222 (79:59) The English composer, the redoubtable Dame Edith Smythe, whilst rehearsing the Queen's Hall Orchestra in 1910 greeted Eric Coates (playing in the viola section) to his delight: “Good morning Mr Coates, the gentleman who writes tunes". And what tunes we have, recorded in 1940, ’49 and ’53, on this new album from Heritage with signature music from ‘In Town Tonight’, ‘The Forsyte Saga’ and, of course, ‘Desert Island Discs’. Eric Coates brings a lightness of touch to his music and the orchestras respond with playing of vitality and sheer joy. Special mention must be made of the light brisk tempo to Covent Garden and Oxford Street, whilst in contrast we have the suitably elegiac playing of Langham Place and the beautiful oboe solo in Elizabeth of Glamis when Coates pays his own tribute to Delius. As an "encore" we have By the Sleepy Lagoon with wonderful piano continuo and warm muted trumpets evoking not only tropical beaches but swaying palms from an Edwardian Palm Court – lovely. Even if you have these titles in your collection I am sure there is room for this magical album from the composer himself. Mike Crowther
DELIUS BBC Symphony Orchestra / Sir Andrew Davis with Tasmin Little (violin) and Paul Watkin (cello) Violin Concerto; Cello Concerto; Double Concerto Chandos CHSA 5094(68:59)With Delius you get what it says on the tin – tuneful music in an unmistakable manner. Purists on both sides of the serious/light music divide cannot agree exactly where he fits in but does it matter?Edmund Whitehouse
HAYDN Symphonies Nos. 94 & 100, BRAHMS Haydn Variations Vienna Philharmonic & London Symphony Orchestras / Monteux "Irresistible" said the Stereo Record Guide when the original RCA LP of the Haydn 'Surprise' and 'Clock' symphonies was released in 1959 – a genial conductor's take on a genial composer's work – and later when it appeared on Decca's Eclipse label it was described as "one of the finest bargains in the symphonic catalogue". Recording producer was the celebrated John Culshaw. A year earlier Gramophone called the Brahms "thrilling". (As an aside: it was an 86-year-old Pierre Monteux who insisted on a 25-year contract with the LSO). All three pieces still sound good in their CD incarnation and at budget price are a good introduction for light music devotees to the classical repertoire. Edward Trub
LOUIS FERDINAND HÉROLD Piano Concertos Nos. 2, 3 & 4 Jéan-Frédérick Neuburger (piano) Sinfonia Varsovia / Herve Niquet Mirare MIR 127 (61:00) In this digital age it is quite amazing how the record companies seem able to dig out from obscurity the works of composers which have either never been heard before or which have largely been forgotten. The excellent Romantic Piano Concertos series launched by Hyperion several years ago and which has continued to grow into a library of over 50 CDs of neglected works is a case in point. Here, courtesy of the centre of French romantic music Palazetto Bru Zane, a French research and educational foundation, comes three previously unrecorded piano concerti by Hérold, more popularly associated with La Somnambule and La Fille Mal Gardée ballets and various operas. He hid his concertos away during his lifetime so that they would not distract from what he regarded as his more successful works. The music, as one would expect, is extremely melodious and infectious with various catchy tunes. The pianist is very accomplished, if perhaps a tad heavy handed at times. The piano sound is very lifelike and the accompanying orchestra very polished. Unfortunately the manuscript for the first piano concerto was discovered to be so mutilated that it was impossible to use to make a performance, so hence the rather shorter than average playing time of the CD. However what is provided is extremely enjoyable. The CD comes with a glossy bookfold case rather than the usual standard plastic case, and is well provided with illustrations and notes regarding the music and the performers. The CD is available from the usual online retailers. Brian Stringer
HERRMAN Danish National Symphony Orchestra Moby Dick; SinfoniettaChandos CHSA 5095(63:24)This is the American composer Bernard Herrman, not the conductor of the BBC Northern Dance Orchestra, who has just had released a double CD of lost recordings, more of which at a later date. This is definitely not light music but if you like a dramatic edge to your films then it might be right up your street, especially if you like the original sounds which eventually surfaced in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.Peter Worsley
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Seattle Symphony/Gerard SchwarzCapriccio espagnol; Overtures to: 'May Night'; 'The Tsar's Bride'; 'The Maid of Pskov'; Overture on Russian Themes; Dubinushka; Russian Easter FestivalNaxos 8.572788(67:05) Anyone with a zest for brilliantly orchestrated and colourful music bursting with melodies will surely want this release showcasing the composer's not inconsiderable compositional talents. All this engaging and thoroughly entertaining music is played to the manner born by the orchestra, formed in 1903, under maestro Schwarz – and with full vivid recordingthis is a "dazzler" of a disc, worth every penny of its very modest asking price.Roger Hyslop
SOUNDS OF THE SEA Various artists classicfm CFMD21(73:51 & 69:38) Apart from pieces by the out-and-out classical composers, like Mendelssohn, Khachaturian, Debussy, Britten, Rimsky-Korsakov, Elgar, Ravel, Bax and Wagner, this 21 track 2-CD set of music inspired by the sea has Henry Wood'sFantasia on British Sea Songs: Sailor's Hornpipe, Ronald Binge'sSailing Bysung by a male voice choir, Einaudi'sLe Ondeplayed by Myleen Klass, Sullivan'sPirates of Penzance Overture, McCunn'sThe Land of the Mountain and the Flood, Coates'By the Sleepy Lagoonfrom the Frank Chacksfield Orchestra,Stanford'sSongs of the Sea: Homeward Bound, the hymnEternal Father, Strong to Save, andRule Brittania!It makes for good varied listening with the added incentive to buy that at least £1.84 of its modest cost will go to the RNLI.Edward Trub
John Wilson conducts the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
JOHN IRELAND with John Lenehan (piano) Piano Concerto; Legend; First Rhapsody; Pastoral; Indian Summer; A Sea Idyll; Three DancesNaxos 8.572598(77')
MADE IN BRITAINfor tracks see reviewAvie 2194(72')
John has already recorded a CD of Ireland’s music with the Hallė Orchestra, (Hallė CD HLL 7523, see JIM 183), and he is a great admirer of this composer, whose music he has described to me as "amazing". ThePiano Concerto in E flat (1930) is a work which I feel needs at least a couple of hearings in order to get to know it. It was originally dedicated to Ireland’s protégé, Helen Perkin, with whom he had a relationship, but when that broke down and she married another he subsequently withdrew the dedication. It became one of the composer’s most successful works, being performed over time by, amongst others, Clifford Curzon and Artur Rubenstein. Combining virtuosic piano writing with sparkling orchestration, it sometimes makes use of muted trumpets; this being suggested to Ireland by the famous dance band leader Jack Payne. There are at times some melodic and harmonic echoes of the French composer Maurice Ravel. Helen Parkin also gave the first performance ofLegend at the Queen's Hall in 1934. This is altogether a very different work, a dark brooding evocation of an ancient landscape. It tells the story of a strange experience the composer had whilst walking on his beloved Sussex Downs in which he imagined he saw a group of children dancing dressed in archaic white clothing. In addition to these two big orchestral pieces, the CD contains two extended compositions and some shorter works for solo piano, two of which are world premiere recordings The pianist on all the tracks is John Lenehan, whose diverse career has seen him working in both jazz and classical genres, and who has more than 60 CDs to his credit. John Ireland has always unfairly suffered from being rather overshadowed by some of his contemporaries. His music really deserves a wider audience; hopefully, this new budget-priced CD (together with the previous Halle recording) will help in that regard.
In the second new CD, which was released in early October at full price, John and the RLPO perform what is described in the liner notes as "A Harvest of English Music"; all the works were written at the end of the 19th / beginning of the 20th centuries. The programme opens with the Scapino Overture by William Walton, which positively ‘fizzes’ along under John’s baton. This is followed by some gentler music in the shape of two English Idyllsby George Butterworth. Had this composer not met his tragic end on the Somme in 1916, I am convinced that he would have undoubtedly become a second Ralph Vaughan Williams in the canon of English music. Vaughan Williams himself is represented on the disc by two works: the very popular The Lark Ascending (with a lovely performance by violinist James Clark), and the English Folk Song Suite. Although the latter was originally written for military band, it is more familiar in the orchestral arrangement by RVW's pupil Gordon Jacob heard here. In the first movement (Seventeen Come Sunday) John strangely omits the repeat of the tune Dives and Lazarus. I cannot imagine that this was done for space-saving reasons; perhaps he feels that a repeat is superfluous! Arnold Bax’s The Happy Forestis a little-known work which was originally written for piano and orchestrated later. It depicts an Arcadian scene of cavorting shepherds and satyrs, with a sumptuous string tune in the romantic central section. The Walk to the Paradise Garden is taken from the opera 'A Village Romeo and Juliet', and is probably amongst the most well-known pieces by Frederick Delius. The Paradise Garden in question is in fact the name of a pub! Sir Edward Elgar’s Salut d’Amourneeds no introduction; it was written as an engagement present for his wife-to-be, Caroline Alice Roberts. Elgar received a fee of two guineas for the solo piano version as well as the violin/piano and full orchestral arrangements; whilst his publishers must have grown considerably richer such has been the enduring popularity of this composition. The final item is theNell Gwyn Overture by Edward German, who became musical director of the Globe Theatre in London at the age of only 26; the boisterous outer sections of this piece are contrasted by a more reflective episode incorporating the folk tune Early One Morning. For those who enjoy English music, this CD is warmly recommended.Tony Clayden
A SONG REMEMBERED Ballads and Piano Solos by Eric Coates Peter Dempsey (tenor) Guy Rowland (piano) 27 tracks incl. Pierrette's Song; Three Burns songs; Dream o' Nights; By the North Sea; An Elizabethan Lullaby; The Stars Above; Through All the Ages; Since Yesterday; Song of the Wild; In Town; The Gates of If-Ever; A Song Remembered; Stars and a Crescent Moon; A House, Love Made For You and Me; I Looked For You; Ship of Dream … EC2* (69:34) This is the latest of Peter Dempsey's recorded revisiting of the ballad repertoire and the second such devoted to Eric Coates, who was as much a songwriter as a purveyor of light orchestral music. Of course many of these songs have a family likeness, but there is variety here. We have three Robert Burns settings, unpublished and previously commercially unrecorded, as are 18 of the tracks. Coates' Who is Sylvia?bears comparison with Schubert's famous version. There are "character songs" like The Widow of Penzance and Stone-Cracker John, Coates' first setting of Fred Weatherly, represented four times on the CD. The best known tracks are the title song and Homeward to You (both with words by Royden Barrie) and the heartbreakingly lovely Green Hills o' Somerset . Repertoire covers the years 1906 (the likely composition date of the Burns) to 1954 (The Scent of Lilac). Mr. Dempsey's ringing delivery and outstandingly clear diction do much for the album, and I like Mr. Rowland's positive accompaniments; his solo, Three Lyric Pieces (1931: the last a lilting Valse), a rare example of a Coates original piano item. Coates admirers should not be without this. Philip L Scowcroft
* Available at £9.95 from Mr P Dempsey, 44 Victoria Road, Bidford-on-Avon, Warwicks B50 4AR
Noted by Wilfred Askew
LES BAXTER Four Classic Albums : South Pacific; African Jazz: Jungle Jazz; Wild Guitars Real Gone Jazz RGJCD215 (121:43) 2-CD set Eight Classic Albums (Vol. 1) : Music Out Of The Moon; Perfume Set To Music; Arthur Murray's Favourites: Tangos; Waltzes; Ritual Of The Savage; Festival Of The Gnomes; Thinking Of You; The Passions Real Gone Jazz RGJCD261 (206:31) 4-CD set
BUDDY COLE Hot And Cole : The Swingin' Buddy Cole at the Organ 12 tracks incl. The Dipsy Doodle; Lullaby of the Leaves; Idaho; Amor; Opus One; I'll Remember April… Tartare T-8032(32:23) Original Warner Bros. album
CARL DAVIS The Beatles For Orchestra Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra / Davis 20 tracks incl. And I Love Her; Eleanor Rigby; Yellow Submarine; Yesterday; Blackbird; Norwegian Wood; The Fool on the Hill; A Day in the Life … Carl Davis Collection CDC 012 (69:27)
THE FIFTY GUITARS OF TOMMY GARRETT Border Town Bandido & Down Mexico Way 24 tracks incl. Love Me with All Your Heart; The Magnificent Seven; El Paso; Tangerine; Tico-Tico; Say Si Si; Cascada; Adelita …Garrett Music Enterprises GME1019 (59:52)
MAURICE JARRE Villa Rides! & El Condor (Soundtrack) 24 tracks Emarcy 2771362 (76:40)'Villa' originally Dot, 'El' 1st release.
ALFRED NEWMAN A Certain Smile : Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 2-CD set 39 tracks La-La Land Records LLL CD 1178 (54:04 & 44:41) Limited to 2,500 units
ANDRĖ PREVIN QUARTET Previn’s Touch ‘Let’s Get Away From It All’ (1956) 13 tracks incl. It happened in Sun Valley; Island in the West Indies; Honolulu; Sidewalks of Cuba … ‘Hollywood at Midnight’ 12 tracks incl. Invitation; Laura; You are too beautiful; My foolish heart … Fresh Sound FSR-CD-551 (77:58) Two U.S. Decca LPs.
ANDRĖ PREVIN and DAVID ROSE Like Young : Secret Songs For Young Lovers 12 tracks incl. Blame it on my youth; You make me feel so young; Last night when we were young; A year of youth; Too young to go steady; Love is for the very young … Hallmark 709472 (36:04)
Like Blue 12 tracks incl. The blue room; Serenade in blue; Little girl blue; The blue subterranean; Blue, turning grey over you; Born to be blue … Hallmark 709682 (33:38)
Two classic M.G.M. mono recordings on a super-budget label.
ROLAND SHAW & HIS ORCHESTRA James Bond In Action : Themes for Secret Agents CD1:24 Bond Themes CD2: Spy Thrillers – 13 tracks incl. Casino Royale; The Ipcress File; The Saint; The Avengers; I Spy; Our Man Flint; Peter Gunn; Wednesday's Child … Cherry Red – Poker DECKCD2 007 (107:20) Original Decca Phase 4 recordings
KAI WARNER The Fantastic Sound Of Kai Warner His Orchestra & Singers 26 tracks incl.Whispering; Flamingo; My Prayer; Sally; Canadian Sunset* ; Melody Fair*; Love is Here to Stay; Show Me the Way to Go Home …(* with Tommy Reilly) Universal 5322803 (71:15) Original Polydor tracks 1966-1970.
JOHN WILLIAMS Cavatina : The Complete Fly and Cube Recordings : 2 CDs Disc 1: 19 tracks incl. Bach Changes; Theme from Z; Cavatina; Spanish Trip; Nuages; Sarabande; New Sun Rising, Pomegranite … / Disc 2: 18 tracks incl. The Height Below; Horizon; The Swagman; Sheep May Safely Graze; Travelling; The River God; Romanza … Salvo SALVODCD 215 (127:11)
NANCY WILSON How Glad I Am / Gentle Is My Love ‘How Glad’ (1964) 11 tracks incl. The grass is greener; The boy from Ipanema; Don’t rain on my parade; People; West Coast Blues; Quiet nights … ‘Gentle’ (1965) 11 + 3 bonus tracks incl. Who can I turn to; My one and only love; More; Time after time; If ever I would leave you; At long last love … DRG-CD-8511 (64:34)
Correction to catalogue numbers (JIM 189) Tchaikovsky Orchestral Favourites MET 8006; Mills Bros. JASCD 577. Apologies.
CHAQUITO The Great Chaquito Revolution & Latin Colours Revolution; Aquarius; Carol of the Bells; Old devil moon; Echo of a Serenade; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly; Carioca; Mother Earth; Desafinado; Goin’ out of my head; Maria Elena; The Big Country ⁄ Meditation; Trains and boats and planes; Africaan Beat; La Paloma; Light my fire; La Peregrinación; Do you know the way to San Jose; Little Boat; Walk on by; One summer’s day; This guy’s in love with you; Upa, Neguinho Vocalion CDLK 4410 [73:13] Chaquito was the most notable of arranger-composer-conductor John Gregory’s alto egos and his first great aggregation was formed in 1958 as an "authentic" Latin American band. The creative arrangements and the band’s exciting style ─ many of the players coming from the Ted Heath orchestra ─ generated much interest. So much so that in the 20 years to 1977 the Chaquito band went on to record 14 LPs and, including compilations and re-releases, over 20 albums were released during this time, several of which featured in the charts. The first album here dates from 1970 and the second, a slightly gentler selection, from two years later. Everyone will have their favourite tracks: be it Gregory’s own title tune and One summer Day [Un Jour d’Ėté], the joyfulCarol, Carioca with its brilliant trumpet soloists or Bert Kaempfert’s bouncy Africaan Beat, but the whole CD has oodles of oomph and is my Best Disc for this issue.
JOHN IRELAND: ORCHESTRAL WORKS. HALLÉ ORCHESTRA Conducted by JOHN WILSON. Mai-Dun, The Forgotten Rite, Satyricon Overture, "The Overlanders" – Suite, A London Overture, Epic March. Recorded March 2007 at BBC Studio 7, New Broadcasting House, Manchester. Hallé Concert Society HLL7523. Born in Bowdon, Cheshire – just south of Manchester – John Ireland studied composition at the RCM under Sir Charles Villiers Stanford. He subsequently returned to teach at the college, where his pupils included E. J. Moeran, Geoffrey Bush, Helen Perkin (see JIM 182) and – so it is reported – a somewhat uninterested Benjamin Britten. These duties were combined with the post of organist and choirmaster at St Luke’s Church, Chelsea, London. Considering that he created a not insubstantial canon of compositions, which have been well represented on many recordings over the years, it is unfortunate that Ireland is not as universally known as he really should be. Rather, he has tended to languish on the sidelines, in the company of Alwyn, Bax, Finzi and others, all victims of a totally unwarranted prejudice against much of Twentieth Century British music, which has only really evaporated in recent times. As may be deduced from my comments above, all the compositions represented here have previously appeared on record. This new CD is nonetheless most welcome, featuring as it does the undoubted abilities of one of our finest orchestras, under the direction of a prodigiously gifted conductor. John Wilson has a real feel for this music and during a recent conversation said to me that he thinks it is "amazing". Although he lived in Chelsea for much of his life, Ireland was drawn to the countryside, particularly places of historical significance such as hill forts and burial sites. His frequent visits to Sussex, Dorset and the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey are reflected in his compositions, which often also have literary connections. The programme opens with the symphonic rhapsody Mai-Dun, which was inspired by Maiden Castle, a prehistoric fortification near Dorchester, Oxford, and also by the writings of Thomas Hardy. The music depicts the ancient Briton community at the castle, which was invaded by the Romans in AD43, and represents the fort at war and in peace. This is followed by The Forgotten Rite, an orchestral tone-poem which was influenced by visits to Jersey, where two sites were being excavated which were associated with ancient rituals, some sacrificial, some concerned with witchcraft. The overtureSatyricon is based on the eponymous book by the Roman writer Petronius, and is subtitled a recital of lecherous happenings, which include references to the whipping scene in Petronius’s book! Ireland’s first and only foray into the world of film music follows next – a concert suite (arranged by Sir Charles Mackerras in 1971) for the score of the 1946 Ealing Studios production The Overlanders . This patriotic movie tells of an epic journey in Australia, where thousands of cattle were moved great distances to protect them from possible Japanese aerial attack or invasion. The 1936 London Overture evokes a journey around the capital, rather in the spirit of Elgar’s Cockaigne Overture(although not really attaining the musical heights of the latter) and makes use of some of the classic hallmarks of British Light Music in the writing for strings, woodwind and percussion, which are somewhat suggestive of Eric Coates. The final work is entitled Epic March and was composed in 1942 as a patriotic piece of anti-fascist propaganda, in order to foster community spirit and a democratic aspiration for peace. It was written for the wartime Ministry of Information, which commissioned similar works from a number of other composers, including Ralph Vaughan Williams. Whilst much of this music is not on the regular RFS "bill of fare", it is well worth getting to know and this excellent new release deserves to make many new friends. As we go to press, I have just received another CD of British music conducted by John Wilson on the Dutton Epoch label, which I hope to review in the next edition of JIM. Tony Clayden
RON GRAINER & HIS ORCHESTRA The Maigret Theme & Other Film and TV Themes SinglesThe Maigret Theme; Bistro; Night prowl; Petit Louis; Arlette; Golden fleece; & 7 other tracks … / Petit Louis [from the TV series ‘Maigret’] [Grainer]; That Was The Week That Was [Grainer, Sherrin]; Indian Blues [Grainer]; Station Six Sahara [Grainer]; Theme from the film ‘Sparrows Can’t Sing’ [Bart]; The Seventh Dawn [Ortolani, Webster]; Main theme from the film ‘Lolita’ [Harris]; My Lost Love [from the film ‘Big Red’] [Sherman, Sherman]; Sky West and Crooked [from the film] [Arnold]; Madrigal [from the film ‘The Chalk Garden’] [Arnold]; The Kiss [theme from the TV series ‘Love Story’] [Parnell]; ‘The Hidden Truth’ theme [from the TV series] [Parnell]; The Iron Maiden [from the film] [Rogers]; Sweet and Sour [the ‘Bootsie and Snudge’ TV series film] [Franks, Rusby]; Theme from the TV series ‘Sam Benedict’ [Riddle]; ‘Hand in Hand’ theme [from the film] [Black]; The Last Tycoon [from the film] [Jarre] Vocalion CDLK 4044 [75:46] The album on this CD was issued in mono on Decca’s Ace of Clubs label 47 years ago. In stereo Ron Grainer’s pieces portraying Parisian low life in the ‘30s are even more effective; the French capital being the background for the classic 1950’s BBC TV drama of over 50 episodes based on Georges Simenon’s detective starring Rupert Davies in the title role. Ah, memories! The second set is a mixed bag of 17 Decca singles, the earliest being the Bart opus from May ’61 and the latest, the Jarre, from April ’77. Nothing much here to excite although I did enjoy the tuneful My Lost Love with soloist Tommy Reilly, the dramatic‘Hidden Truth’ Theme composed and conducted by Jack Parnell, and Stanley Black’s customary seductive piano on his ‘Hand in Hand’ Theme. Other orchestras involved are conducted by Roland Shaw, Ivor Raymonde, Eric Rogers and Gordon Franks. John Dankworth takes the solos on the last track with the Maurice Jarre Orchestra. Informative booklet notes are provided by Geoff Leonard and Pete Walker. I doubt that anyone would buy this disc for the compilation but it is an interesting addition to an eminently collectable album. Peter Burt
THE VOICES OF WALTER SCHUMANN La Danza, Shadow Waltz, Dancing In The Dark, Sentimental Journey, Orchids In The Moonlight, Spinning Song, Black Is The Colour Of My True Love’s Hair, Cecilia, That Old Black Magic, etc…58 tracks on 2 CDs Jasmine JASCD 670 [total time 154:04].Walter Schumann died in 1958, so his name is probably unfamiliar to most people today. His trademark sound was a small orchestra (often with solo instruments such as the harmonica or saxophone to the fore) backing a choir usually comprising nine girls and sixteen men. Some of the time not a word was sung or spoken: the choir wafts around each melody in a similar manner to many film musicals of the 1930s. Walter’s choir was well trained, and they gained considerable popularity through their concerts and recordings. The final eleven tracks are given over to a feature called "Exploring The Unknown" which is a fictional story about man’s first journey into outer space. It reminded me of Gordon Jenkins’ "Manhattan Tower" in the way that the narrator Paul Frees blended with the choir and orchestra. Certainly an oddity, complete with some sound effects! The composer was Leith Stevens and parts of it might be more enjoyable without the narrator. These two CDs offer a very generous amount of choral music in one go. I suggest you may want to dip into several tracks at a time, rather than leave the discs running without interruption. It is an interesting example of the wide variety of popular music that was around in the middle years of the last century, before rock ‘n’ roll became such an overwhelming force. David Ades
Jasmine Records has recently issued its latest catalogue, running to an impressive 114 pages (plus index). This company has produced many interesting collections (including Robert Farnon on JASCD 661!) and keen collectors should find many pleasant surprises. Through its mail order outfit ‘Jazmail’ you can also obtain CDs released by Sepia, Flare and other labels. If you would like a catalogue, write to: Jazmail, Unit 8, Forest hill Trading estate, Perry Vale, London, SE23 2LX – or email:
‘ORCHESTRAL GEMS IN STEREO’ Full tracklisting on page 72 Guild Light Music GLCD 5165[78:20 mins]. When I saw the title "Orchestral gems In Stereo" I didn’t exactly jump for joy – stereo doesn’t interest me one iota! Who cares which speaker the strings and brass are coming from? Anoraks – that’s who! There’s nothing wrong with a good mono recording and music you like played by a first class orchestra. Okay - rant over! But stereo or not, it is a first class orchestra that opens this Guild CD with Tolchard Evans’ Lady Of Spain arranged by Carmen Dragon, who conducts the Capitol Symphony Orchestra. It meanders a bit in the middle but, on the whole, a spirited performance. Paul Weston and his Orchestra follows on track 2 with Jerome Kern’s She Didn’t Say Yes’ from "The Cat and the Fiddle" – arranged by Weston. The show ran in London in 1932 for 219 performances. A track that caught my eye was Les Baxter’s Shooting Star, recorded in 1958 with the composer’s orchestra. Would it be anything like Sidney Torch’s piece of the same name – no, not a bit. I know which I prefer. Our Love Affair, a very nice piece from "An Affair To Remember", a 1957 CinemaScope release, gets a lush treatment from Conrad Salinger with an orchestra conducted by Buddy Bregman – but it is Bob Farnon’s Mr. Punch played by Leslie Jones and his Orchestra of London which gets the feet a’tapping! I’ve had the EP since its release in 1959. Peter Yorke and his Concert Orchestra provide a rather dreamy rendition of Ivor Novello’s Glamorous Night from the 1935 show of the same name. It ran for 243 performances at the Drury Lane Theatre. Another tune to set the feet a’tapping once again is Cole Porter’s After You on track 11 with an infectious performance by Victor Silvester’s Silver Strings. Quite a difference from his usual ballroom strict-tempo style. But it’s the David Rose Orchestra that really sets the disc alight with his own composition Majorca – a sparkling piece! And in similar lively mood is Ernesto Lecuona’s Damisela Encantadora (quite a mouthful!) played by Percy Faith and his Orchestra, who also arranged it. Billy Mayerl’s ever popular Marigold gets an orchestral treatment for a change, courtesy of Ronald Binge’s arrangement with him conducting his own orchestra. And lastly I was pleased to hear the 101 Strings in an effervescent form with Chabrier’s Espana – a fiery finale! Ken Wilkins
JOHN GREGORY Cascading Strings & Contrasts Raindrops keep falling on my head; Wand’rin Star; The green leaves of summer; Love is blue; Plaisir d’amour; Those were the days; Somewhere my love; The fool on the hill; Four of hearts; Light my fire; Londonderry Air; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly / Diamonds are forever, I don’t know how to love him; Look around and you’ll find me there; Where did they go?; The theme from ‘The Onedin Line’; Devils Highway; The theme from ‘The Persuaders’; Another time another place; Contrasts; My chérie amour; Sleepy Shores [theme from ‘Owen M.D.’]; Spinning wheel Vocalion CDLK 4407 [69:13] There have been a number of light orchestral CDs from Vocalion since our last issue with releases from Frank Chacksfield , Will Glahé, Ray Martin, Ricardo Santos, Roland Shaw and a Victor Young soundtrack in addition to those reviewed in this issue. This one is particularly welcome as John Gregory has been sorely neglected in the reissue stakes. Born Giovanni Gregori, he was rated one of the UK’s best ever light orchestra conductors for three decades from the Fifties, as well as writing numerous vocal arrangements and accompanying a range of singers. The success of his Cascading Strings bore witness to his talented writing for that section of the orchestra, likewise his Moods Orchestral series. With great expectations of this 2-on-1 release I can only give it a restrained welcome. All the arrangements are attractive but for my liking the strings don’t "cascade" enough and there is a tad too much rhythmic beat, although the inclusion on some tracks of what sounds like an electric harpsichord is appealing. The best tracks include maestro Gregory’s own compositions Four of Hearts and Contrasts. It is good, too, to hear again the Khachaturian [arr. Gregory], Johnny Pearson’s Sleepy shores, and Spinning Wheel is a fun piece. The orchestra sounds smaller than that fronted by Mantovani or Chacksfield, or it may be Philips not quite matching the legendary Decca sound. Enjoyable enough, these albums just do not "light my fire." Many of you, however, will be looking to add the disc to your CD collection, and will appreciate our esteemed Editor’s extensive booklet notes. Peter Burt
ROYAL LIVERPOOL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA Conducted by RONALD CORP Music by Ronald Corp: Guernsey Postcards, Piano Concerto No. 1 (featuring Leon McCawley, piano), Symphony No. 1 Dutton Epoch CDLX 7233 [65:57]. Ronald Corp has been a magnificent ambassador for light orchestral music, and there is no doubt that his landmark recordings for Hyperion have contributed to the revival of light music as an important part of the music scene. It is therefore only right that he should be given the opportunity to record his own music, which makes this CD especially welcome. Guernsey Postcards was a special commission in 2004, and the three contrasting movements must have delighted the locals at the premiere on the island. Ronald’s firstPiano Concerto dates from 1997, and it was also a special commission. Like many similar new works, the listener will gain much from repeated hearings. The most recent work is the Symphony, completed in 2009. I do not feel that I know the work well enough yet to be able to write a proper review; all I will say it that I look forward to becoming acquainted with something which, even on a first hearing, sounds impressive – especially the final movement. I’ve said it many times before, but it needs repeating: today’s lovers of exciting new music owe a great debt of gratitude to Mike Dutton, whose Epoch catalogue now contains some truly wonderful recordings. David Ades
MANTOVANI Golden Hits / More Golden Hits 24 tracks incl. Moon River; Summertime in Venice; Diane; Exodus Main Theme; True Love; La Vie en Rose; Around the World … / Stranger in Paradise; Gigi; Deep Purple; A Certain Smile; Limelight; The way you look tonight; Long Ago [And Far Away] …Vocalion CDLK 4409 [77:31]
Mr Music …. Mantovani / More Mantovani Film Encores 24 tracks incl. Smile; Ebb tide; Softly as I leave you; Spanish flea; Theme from ‘The Oscar’; How soon; Yesterday … / The high and the mighty; A certain smile; Friendly persuasion [Thee I love]; Whatever will be, will be; Tammy; Be my love; April love … Vocalion CDLK 4412 [74:49] It is hard to find anything new to write about Monty’s discs. What other orchestra maintained such a high standard of work over so many years? His arrangements were invariably interesting, not fussy or over-complicated, and the orchestral playing beneath his baton was impeccable. As a Gramophone reviewer [remember the days when they covered our kind of music?] once so rightly wrote about a trio of his albums: "These testify to his unique niche in the annals of international light music." If you are only going to have one Mantovani disc in your collection then I suppose the first 2-on-1 is the one to have with four of Monty’s six singles million sellers on the first album : Charmaine, The Moulin Rouge Theme, Greensleeves and Swedish Rhapsody, but not Wyoming or Lonely ballerina. Two other stand-out tracks are the string-laden Some enchanted evening ─ surely the best-ever orchestral version ─ and on the second album  the dramatic Love is a many splendored thing, although I don’t think this sounds any better than it did on the LP track I nearly wore out all those years ago! The second CD, with albums from 1966 and 1959, is almost worth its price alone for the spine-tingling string intro toWhen you wish upon a star. It is interesting to learn from Colin Mackenzie’s customary comprehensive booklet notes that two-thirds of the albums arrangements and the piano playing onCara Mia are by the Maestro himself. ‘Mr Music ….’ is less familiar to me than most of Monty’s output and I think is even more enjoyable a listen because of it. Peter Burt
"SHOWTIME – 25 Years of BBC Concert Orchestra Favourites" Crown Imperial (William Walton); Les Petites Valses Parisiennes (arranged by Sidney Torch); Farandole from "L’Arlesienne Suite No. 2" (Georges Bizet); The Two Imps (Kenneth J. Alford); A La Claire Fontaine (Robert Farnon); Aces High from "Battle of Britain" (Ron Goodwin); I Love Paris (Cole Porter, arr. Stanley Black); Main Titles & Love Theme from "Ben Hur" (Miklos Rozsa); Pops Hoedown (Richard Hayman); Showtime Carousel (arr. Gordon Langford); Calling All Workers (Eric Coates). BBC Concert Orchestra Conducted by Roderick Dunk. Dutton Epoch CDLX 7242 [64:41]. A quick glance at the title of this CD might lead some people to think that the BBC Concert Orchestra is only 25 years old, but we all know that it has already celebrated its half century. ’25 Years’ refers to the BBC Concert Orchestra’s Supporters Club who sponsored this CD to celebrate their 25th Anniversary. Rather than adhere to the usual format of "Friday Night Is Music Night", readers will be relieved to learn that this collection is entirely orchestral. And there are some great gems among some of the more familiar works. Sidney Torch’s arrangement of French waltzes is so typical of many similar delightful selections he created over the years. Another arranger of note is Gordon Langford, whoseShowtime Carousel provides over 14 minutes of great show tunes. Naturally we are pleased to find Robert Farnon’s A La Claire Fontaine appearing in a new performance; at eight minutes conductor Roderick Dunk takes it noticeably slower than the composer, whose Decca version lasts just under six minutes! I have to confess that I always felt that Bob could have slowed it down a bit (which he did in his 1991 recording with the RPO), and Roderick Dunk’s interpretation gives it an added majestic atmosphere. Members of the BBC Concert Orchestra’s Supporters Club received a free copy of this great CD. Everyone else should rush to buy theirs without delay! David Ades Contact details: BBC Concert Orchestra’s Supporters Club, PO Box 213, Baldock, Hertfordshire, SG7 6ZP, UK.
"MEXICO" Cielito Lindo, Pepe, The Three Caballeros,La Cucarache, La Paloma, etc. "WESTWARD HO!" Riders In The Sky, The Yellow Rose of Texas, High Noon, The Big Country, Don’t Fence Me In, The Magnificent Seven, etc. Roland Shaw and his Orchestra. Vocalion CDLK4402 [61:34]. Roland Shaw was one of the great arrangers, and his work provided a touch of class to many Decca LPs, notably for Frank Chacksfield. Perhaps Decca felt that he deserved to emerge from the shadows and have his name on the kind of albums he created for others. "Mexico" is probably what you would expect – some may think it a pity that there are some vocals. I prefer the "Westward Ho!" album, and although an annoying vocal occasionally creeps in most tracks are purely instrumental. No doubt both these collections were commissioned by Tony D’Amato for Decca’s US London label. It’s a shame that there are no notes to tell purchasers something about the talented Mr.Shaw. David Ades
HARD TO FIND JUKEBOX CLASSICS : FABULOUS FIFTIES INSTRUMENTALS & MORE Manhattan Spiritual / Reg Owen*; March From The River Kwai & Colonel Bogey / Mitch Miller*; The Yellow Rose Of Texas / Mitch Miller Orchestra & Chorus; Giant / Les Baxter Orchestra & Chorus; Honey-Babe / Art Mooney Orchestra & Chorus; Children’s Marching Song / Cyril Stapleton with Children’s Chorus*; Joey’s Song / Bill Haley*; Smiles / Crazy Otto; Glad Rag Doll / Crazy Otto; Yellow Dog Blues / Joe Darensbourg & His Dixie Flyers; Little Dipper / The Mickey Mozart Quintet; "Man With The Golden Arm" – Main Titles & Molly-O / Dick Jacobs Orchestra & Chorus; Petticoats Of Portugal / Dick Jacobs Orchestra & Chorus; Theme From "The Threepenny Opera" / Richard Hayman & Jan August; Ciao, Ciao Bambino / Jacky Noguez & His Orchestra*; The Italian Theme / Cyril Stapleton; When The White Lilacs Bloom Again / Helmut Zacharias; The Poor People Of Paris / Lawrence Welk; Theme From "The Threepenny Opera" / Lawrence Welk; The Bandit (O Cangaceiro) / Eddie Barclay; 11th Hour Melody / Lou Busch; Almost Paradise / Lou Stein; Autumn Leaves / Steve Allen with George Cates & His Orchestra; Around The World / Mantovani; My Beloved / Otto Cesana; Devotion / Otto Cesana*; Fascination / David Carroll*; It’s Almost Tomorrow / David Carroll (with chorus); Melody Of Love / David Carroll (* = Stereo) Hit Parade Records 12310 [72:00] Bill Buster of Canada’s Eric Records has put together this superb collection based on the 1950s American Billboard charts. All of the recordings are the original versions, not later re-recordings. Many of the tracks are orchestral, several with chorus, plus a sprinkling of instrumental and solo ones, some by artists not familiar to me such as Joe Darensbourg, Jacky Noguez and Micky Mozart. One or two tracks may come as a surprise to British listeners as different artists charted the songs in the UK. For example, although there are two excellent versions of Theme From The Threepenny Opera, we are probably more familiar with the one by The Dick Hyman Trio. Similarly I recall that, in my record shop days, we sold more copies of Henry Leca’s The Bandit than the equally good Eddie Barclay one featured here. Nor do I remember the Steve Allen/George Cates version of Autumn Leaves being very popular, although it deserves to have been. Several titles never featured in the UK charts at all so I enjoyed hearing them for the first time. Sound quality is first class with only Mantovani’s Around The Worldand David Carroll’s Fascination not quite attaining the 5-star rating I can give to the impeccable re-mastering on the other 27 tracks. A 12 page booklet with comprehensive and informative notes by Greg Adams completes this very attractive package, very little of which has previously been available on CD. I don’t know if it can be ordered from local record shops in the UK but it’s readily available from several on-line sources including Amazon and Play.com or direct from ericrecords.com. Alan Bunting
SHIRLEY BASSEY The Performance Almost there; Apartment; This Time; I love you now; Our time is now; As God is my witness; No good about goodbye; The Girl from Tiger Bay; Nice Men; After the rain; The performance of my life Geffen 2720780 [42:07] Despite some of the titles this is an album of all new compositions and the 73-year-young diva Dame’s first studio performance for over 20 years. Produced by David Arnold with songs by such popular music luminaries as Gary Barlow, John Barry, Don Black, The Manic Street Preachers and KT Tunstall, to my mind this album is up there with her best ─ a remarkable achievement. The track I have returned to the most, not least for the arrangement, has been Rufus Wainwright’s Cinderella fairytale song The Apartment. The orchestrations and conducting are in the hands of Nicholas Dodd, with a few stellar names among the musicians. No plaudits to Polydor for the short measure, though. Peter Burt
‘HIGHLY STRUNG’ Full tracklisting on page 76 Guild Light Music GLCD 5166 [79:38 mins]. This latest Guild offering begins in cracking style with Jack Mason’s Pops Polka – can’t say I’ve ever heard of him but I’m certainly familiar with the players – the Boston ‘Pops’ (I prefer ‘Promenade’) Orchestra with their long-time conductor Arthur Fiedler. In the notes David reckons his association with the orchestra began in 1930, but I have a 12" HMV 78 of Strike Up The Band which I thought was recorded in 1929, but I could be wrong. Steve Race keeps the rhythm going with one of those pieces that seem so familiar but the title unknown. Here it is – Ring Ding, played by the Knightsbridge Strings. George French wrote the CD’s title tune Highly Strung for the KPM Library and it’s played here by the Group Forty Orchestra conducted by Eric Cook. It dates from 1959 when the Musicians’ Union ban was briefly lifted, allowing production music libraries to record once again with British musicians for a while. It’s a great piece and I hope compiler David looks kindly on the idea of issuing another French composition – from the Paxton Library this time – his Parade Of The Championsplayed by Dolf van der Linden and his Orchestra. Eric Jupp and his Orchestra continue this lively concert with what sounds like a Spanish rhythmic number. But the inspiration comes from just over the border in Portugal, and Song Of Lisbon was a minor hit for Carlos Rocha – whoever he might be. Then a Synchro Library item Paris Pullman by Roger Roger and played by The Paris Studio Orchestra conducted by Philippe Pares, who also contributed library music. Philip Green’s theme from the film"Sapphire" played by the Pinewood Studio Orchestra, conducted by the composer, featuring Johnny Dankworth’s saxophone is next. On the other side of the Top Rank 45 from which this track was taken is Laurie Johnson’s theme to the film "Tiger Bay", and another Rank 1959 45 I have is the music by Tony Crombie for the TV series "Man From Interpol" conducted by the composer. It also appears in the first edition of the Ember Mood Music Library catalogue. The three pieces on the disc are Man From Interpol, Interpol Cha Cha and Interpol Chase. They’re a bit jazzy but might find favour with film and TV music buffs – are you listening, David? Two rather gorgeous pieces played by the orchestras of Boris Sarbek and Ronald Binge respectively – Le Soir (I’d Love To Fall Asleep) andAfraid To Dream (nice juxtaposition of titles) – are followed by Fred Hartley and his Music (a light orchestral name from the past) with his own catchy composition Jack In The Box from the Chappell Library. Gay Spirits by David Rose and played by his own orchestra on MGM could easily have come from a recorded music library catalogue, as does Kurt Schick’s Sheerline (Charles Brull) and Bob Farnon’s Little Miss Molly (Chappell) – two very contrasting items. Morton Gould’s orchestra has fun with Zez Confrey’s Stumbling with what sounds like a bar room piano and xylophone joining in – great stuff! Monty Kelly and his Orchestra spring a surprise part way through Life In New York with a wordless chorus, while Gerard Calvi’s catchy piece Gigue Ecossaise (Scottish Jig) really sets the feet a’tapping. I believe the Harmonic/Charles Brull Library went out of business some years ago (Editor: they were acquired by KPM in the mid-1990s) which seems hard to believe when they could issue such smashing recordings as Frank Chacksfield’s Sunshine Beguine played by the Symphonia Orchestra conducted by Curt Anderson, resplendent in Alan Bunting’s treatment. Ron Goodwin’s orchestra zips along nicely with his own composition All Strung Up, and I’m sure there are echoes of the "Miss Marple" films’ theme in there somewhere! Geoff Love’s orchestra gives a splendid performance of Rudolf Friml’s Ma Belle but it only emphasises the dearth of such light orchestras and programmes from the airwaves today. The string section of Percy Faith’s orchestra really work overtime with his composition Perpetual Notion as we head towards the end of this "strung up" collection of great light music. Irving Berlin’s A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody is the penultimate track played by Peter Yorke and his Concert Orchestra. And finally a piece from the soundtrack from "Some Like It Hot" – Park Avenue Fantasy scored by Adolph Deutsch conducting the Studio Orchestra. A fine way to end another great Guild Light Music compilation! Ken Wilkins
"DR. WHO AND THE DALEKS" & "DALEKS’ INVASION EARTH 2150 AD" Film soundtracks Silva Screen SILCD1244 [75:23 mins]. It is perhaps surprising that only two cinema films were made featuring Dr. Who, considering its huge popularity on TV back in the 1960s. UK readers will not need reminding that Dr. Who is again one of the BBC’s hottest properties in the 21st Century, after a sustained period of neglect during the closing decades of the last century. Today the music is electronic, but back in the 1960s it was felt that orchestral scores were more appropriate – at least, for the big screen. So those masters of the soundtrack genre, Silva Screen, have finally lovingly restored the only two big screen Dr. Who films ever made - the 1965 release "Dr. Who And The Daleks" and 1966 "Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.". The music was composed respectively by Malcolm Lockyer and Bill McGuffie with sections enhanced by electronic sounds created by Barry Gray. The album also includes contemporary single releases and a 20 page inlay booklet packed with memorabilia and detailed production notes. David Stoner at Silva Screen kindly invited me to contribute some biographical details on Malcolm Lockyer and Bill McGuffie, so fans of Dr. Who will learn something about the two talented composers involved. Malcolm has the larger share of the CD, and his music is more ‘traditional’ light film music: at times I am reminded of Miklos Rozsa’s superb score for "Double Indemnity". The more I hear it, the more I find it very appealing. As usual with releases such as this, the music is often fragmented to fit in with the on-screen action, and the music created for "Dr. Who And The Daleks" is presented in its entirety, including some pieces composed and recorded for the film, but not subsequently used. Sadly the score to "Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D." by jazz pianist and film composer Bill McGuffie no longer exists but some of the music has been retained via a music and sound effects master recording that was sent abroad for foreign dubs to be made on the film. This is used for the CD release and Mark Ayres (who deserves special credit for his restoration) has edited the material to remove sound effects where applicable. Included also on this release are the instrumental singles from the original records that promoted the two features and some of the sound effects (incorporating original material from the BBC Radiophonic Workshop) produced by Barry Gray - famous for scoring many of Gerry Anderson's series. Silva Screen releases are always notable for the very high standard of the booklets, and this one is certainly no exception. If you are a fan of soundtracks and/or Dr. Who, you will not want to pass this by! David Ades
BING CROSBY Through The Years Volume Four 1952─1953 26 tracks incl. On the 10-10 from Ten-Ten-Tennessee; Zing a little zong [with Jane Wyman], The moon came up with a great idea last night & Watermelon Moon [with Peggy Lee]; You don’t know what lonesome is; Open up your heart; To see you is to love you … Sepia 1139 [75:53] There was nobody quite like Bing Crosby and this is another fine selection from his œuvre over the years. As well as the above-named he is also joined by Bob Hope on three tracks from ‘The Road to Bali’, The Andrews Sisters [South Rampart Street Parade], Gary Crosby [Fatherly advice], and Connee Boswell [That’s a-plenty]. Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians are with him on Hush-a-bye and Mother Darlin’; the former earlier recording their part in New York with Bing overdubbing his vocals, allegedly using a portable machine at a golf course. Mitchell Parish’s words to Leroy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride fit Bing to a T ─ or should that be "tee"? Interesting, too, to hear the great crooner’s take on two Bernstein-Comden-Green songs from‘Wonderful Town’: Ohio and A quiet girl. Bing is accompanied on eleven of the tracks by John Scott Trotter and his Orchestra, which includes Red Nichols on cornet and Buddy Cole on piano. A 16-page booklet with authoritative notes by Malcolm Macfarlane gives added value to the disc. Peter Burt
ROSE MARIE 25 tracks incl. the Title tune, Hard-boiled Herman; The Mounties; Lak Jeem; Indian Love Call; Why shouldn’t we; Minuet of the minutes; Door of my dreams … Sepia 1140 [76:17] This is a well-filled disc of two contrasting halves. It has the pedigree of music by Rudolf Friml and Herbert Stothart with lyrics by Otto Harbach and Oscar Hammerstein 2nd. The first 11 tracks are from the 1958 RCA Victor early stereo studio cast recording made in London to accommodate Julie Andrews who was appearing in My Fair Lady. Her co-star is Metropolitan opera star Giorgio Tozzi who had provided the voice for Emile de Becque in the film version of South Pacific. The proceedings are under the direction of Lehman Engel conducting the New Symphony Orchestra of London with the Michael Sammes Singers. Equally enjoyable are eight tracks by the original 1925 London cast with the Drury Lane Theatre Orchestra conducted by Herman Finck. The last four tracks are the legendary duo Jeanette Macdonald and Nelson Eddy singing Indian Love Call from 1936, Marion Bell [sometime wife of Alan Jay Lerner] with Pretty things, and two in stereo, Totem Tom Tom and Finale, sung by Elizabeth Larner with [on the latter] Andy Cole, The Rita Williams Singers and Tony Osbourne and his Orchestra. Sepia’s usual well-produced booklet, notes by Rexton S Bunnett, complete an attractive package. Ray Pavene
FRANK CHACKSFIELD AND HIS ORCHESTRA
The Incomparable Jerome Kern: The Last Time I Saw Paris, All The Things You Are, The Folks Who Live On The Hill, Look For The Silver Lining, etc. FC Plays Hoagy Carmichael: Skylark, My Resistance Is Low, The Nearness Of You, Georgia On My Mind, etc. Vocalion CDLK4408 [75:27].
New York: Broadway Medley, Harlem Nocturne, Manhattan, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, Autumn in New York, etc. The Best of Cole Porter: I Love Paris, Easy To Love, Begin The Beguine, In The Still Of The Night, etc. Vocalion CDLK4413 [77:46]. Just before Christmas Mike Dutton added to his impressive list of Frank Chacksfield reissues with these two generously filled collections. The Kern collection (originally a Phase 4 stereo LP in 1974) was arranged by Roland Shaw, and features the talents of Kenny Baker (trumpet), Keith Bird (clarinet), and Ronnie Price (piano). There is also the occasional wordless choir, and several tracks have anonymous vocals. The arranger responsible in 1977 for Hoagy Carmichael’s melodies is not credited, but Kenny Baker is again featured on trumpet in Georgia On My Mind and a lady called Joanne Brown crops up with vocals on three titles. The original LP sleeve notes are reproduced in the booklet. Eric Rogers arranged the 1970 ‘New York’ collection (most enjoyable!), but we are left to guess who was responsible for Cole Porter’s timeless standards – the earliest LP of the four dating from 1959 before Decca introduced Phase 4. This second CD lacks any notes. The Cole Porter collection is not the same as the one released by Polygram in 1996. David Ades
"WHITE HORSE INN" Selections 23 tracks incl. Introduction/Yodel Speciality; White Horse Inn; I cannot live without your love; High up on the hills [In Salzkammergut]; We prize most the things we miss; It would be wonderful … Sepia 1141 [76:26] This disc is a fascinating compilation. The centrepiece is a 20-minute rare radio broadcast of the titles listed above from the first-ever American 1936 Broadway production of the international hit ─ it premiered at Berlin’s Grosses Schauspielhaus in November 1930 ─ with among others the legendary Kitty Carlisle and William Gaxton. By way of an overture the disc opens with Fox Trot and Waltz Medleys from Jack Hylton and His Orchestra. Later Alfred Drake sings It would be wonderful [from a BBC Radio broadcast of 1959], as does Pat O’Malley who also contributes Your eyes. There is then a track of ‘Vocal Gems’ from 1931 by The Light Opera Company with Orchestra conducted by Ray Noble, followed by Good-bye and My song of love sung respectively by Sam Browne and Cavan O’Connor, both with Rolando and His Blue Salon Orchestra. Max Hanson sings Im Weissen Rössl am Wolfgangsee with the Paul Godwin DanceOrchestra & Animal Imitations [sic], before the disc finishes with seven German language vocals never before heard on CD. Wonderful stuff! Ray Pavene
NEW YEAR’S DAY CONCERT 2010 Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra / Georges Pretre Decca [2CDs] 4782113
Readers who, like me, were glued to their radio/TV for the above will want this as a souvenir of the occasion. It was a happy return to the Austrian capital’s Musikverein for the 95-year-old French maestro who came to eminence conducting for the great opera singer Maria Callas. As well as the customary items by the Strausses [Johann I and II, Josef and Eduard] the programme, with four premieres, also includes pieces by Nicolai, Offenbach and Hans Christian Lumbye. There is also a DVD available. Edward Trub
TCHAIKOVSKY 1812 OVERTURE Mariinsky MARO503 [64:17] There are folk who are no great lovers of classical music but have this overture in their collection, and anyone wishing to join them could do a lot worse than this recent release conducted by the firebrand Ossetian conductor Valery Gergiev with the Orchestra, Soloists and Chorus of the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg. It is coupled with four other listenable Tchaikovsky compositions: ‘Moscow’ Cantata, Slavonic March [‘Marche Slave’], Festival Coronation March and Festival Overture on the Danish National Anthem. Good if not demonstration quality sound throughout. Peter Burt
PATTI PAGE with PETE RUGOLO orchestra Nevertheless, Out of nowhere, The lady is a tramp, The thrill is gone, A foggy day, Mountain greenery, I’ve got my eyes on you, My kinda love, I didn’t know about you, My sin, Taking a chance on love, Love for sale, No moon at all, I’m glad there is you, Nice work if you can get it, I never knew, The masquerade is over, What am I here for? Let there be love, Gone with the wind, They all laughed, I guess I’ll have to change my plan, Here I’ll stay, Lullaby in rhythm. (Fresh Sound Records FSR CD 544) 55:08. The first twelve tracks "In the land of hi fi "were issued on CD not long ago and reviewed in these pages. Here it is coupled with her second with Rugolo "The west side" I am now the proud owner of the original LP’s and the first CD transfer! Not something I regret, you never know how long such good material will be in circulation! "The west side" adds arrangers Marty Paich, Bill Holman and Shorty Rogers collaborating with Rugolo, that really is a star team! It’s a good guessing game trying to work out who arranged each tune on the second album! Were they used as presented or did Rugolo do a little tweaking? Definitely the best jazz Patti ever sung! Paul Clatworthy
TRAINCHA with the METROPOLE orchestra "Who’ll speak for love". Any day now, Love is still the answer, What the world needs now, One less bell to answer, In between the heartaches, This girls in love, God give me strength, Who’ll speak for love, Stronger than before, I just don’t know what to do with myself, Don’t go breaking my heart, Don’t make me over, Raindrops keep falling on my head, Painted from memory, On my own. (Blue Note 5099952055126) 62:07. Subtitled "The Burt Bacharach songbook two" this is something special! Given the magnificent Metropole orchestra to work with, arranger Pat Williams pulls out all the stops. Conducted by Vince Mendoza and mixing less familiar Bacharach songs with the hits of the past really is a treat. Evidently it has gone platinum in America, no mean feat nowadays when some pundits are saying CDs and DVDs are on the way out!Paul Clatworthy
JILL COREY with BILLY MAXTEDS Manhattan jazz band "Lets go to town". Another twenty four tracks culled from the National Guard show (see comments in Big Band Roundup) Sounds of yester year (DSOY 795) 61:35 The instrumental songs are firmly in Chris Barber territory of which I am no expert so I will make no other comment! Jill Corey sings with unnamed players with run of the mill arrangements. She has not got the sort of voice that merits repeated playing but that’s probably my fault! Paul Clatworthy
PHIL NAPOLEON and the Memphis Five "Memphis blues". Thirty tracks. Sounds of yester year ( DSOY 793) 70:29. "Dixieland" once again, not my bag! Ten of the tracks are just commentary which in my book is wasted space! Terrific if you want a social history lesson but not much in the way of music! Paul Clatworthy
PADDY ROBERTS Strictly for Grown-Ups. 29 tracks incl : Love Isn't What It Used To Be; Follow Me; Don't Upset The Little Kiddywinks; The Architect; The Big Dee Jay; L'anglais Avec Son Sang Froid; The Ballad Of Bethnal Green; Love In A Mist; A Short Song; Growing Old; I've Got The Blues; Lavender Cowboy; Poor Little Country Girl; I'm In Love For The Very First Time; Evermore; The Heart Of A Man; The Book; It's A Boy; Good Companions; Where There's You There's Me; 'Round The World In Eighty Minutes. Must Close Saturday Records MCSR 3046 [76:02]. This enterprising label mainly known for classic West End cast recordings, have recently re-issued one of their most successful non-cast recording titles. The original Decca LP was a surprise hit in the album charts (where it remained for five weeks, peaking at position 8) in September 1959. The best remembered track, and one that received the most airplay on the BBC Light Programme, was The Ballad Of Bethnal Green, winner of an Ivor Novello award for the most outstanding novelty song of 1959. The songs on this LP captured a witty, irreverent public mood, and although they then seemed a bit risqué, their effect today invokes nostalgia, with the self-effacing charm of Paddy Roberts delivery, accompanied by the rather quaint sounding small group arrangements of Dennis Wilson. This CDincludes the complete 1959 album, plus a generous selection of bonus tracks featuring earlier songs written (or co-written) by Paddy Roberts between 1954 and 1959, a period when he was one of the most successful British songwriters on Denmark Street. He had over 80 published songs (including several Top 10 hits) recorded by popular singers of the era including Anne Shelton, Ruby Murray, Frankie Vaughan, and David Whitfield, all artists included on this CD. There are also Paddy Roberts film songs from An Alligator Named Daisy, The Heart Of A Man, and especially The Good Companions. The five tracks from the latter (in excellent Alan Bunting restored sound) benefit from the arranging skills of Laurie Johnson, who skilfully arranges for large orchestral forces (the Associated British Studio Orchestra conducted by Louis Levy) and an angelic chorus in the 8 minute spectacular 'Round the world, arguably the finest song and dance number staged in a 1950s British musical film. This CD will make you feel very nostalgic about the 1950s, and will raise a smile or two as well. My favourite track (among many) has to The big dee jay - I cannot imagine this being written today! Roger Mellor
BERNARD HERRMANN: "Hangover Square", "Citizen Kane". Another release in Chandos’ acclaimed Film Music series. BBC Philharmonic conducted by Rumon Gamba. Chandos CHAN 10577.
More releases [not necessarily new] noted by Wilfred Askew
RAY CONNIFF The Singles Collection Vol.1 26 tracks incl. Moonlight brings memories; I’ve got my eyes on you; Dear world; La Felicidad; A walk in the Spring; Rain; Look homeward Angel; Sleepy shores; Singalong Song; Loss of love … Collectables COL-CD-7697 [68:37] Vol.2 26 tracks incl. Cuddle up a little closer; And this is my beloved; The world looks good again; Winds of change; Song of the Islands; Muskrat Ramble; Charlotte’s Web; Frost Festival; Delta dawn; Are you lonesome tonight? … Collectables COL-CD-7641 [70:50]
PERRY COMO The Scene Changes ─ Perry Goes to Nashville ─ with The Anita Kerr Quartet 12 tracks incl. Funny how time slips away; Here comes my baby; Sweet adorable you; I really don’t want to know; Stand beside me … Lightly Latin ─ conducted by Nick Perito with the Ray Charles Singers 12 tracks incl. How insensitive; The shadow if your smile; Meditation; Yesterday; Dindi; Baia … Collectables COL-CD-7880 [71:52]
BOBBY HACKETT The Most Beautiful Horn In The World w. Glen Osser’s Orchestral Pipe Organ Moods 12 tracks incl. Lazy afternoon; Love letters; Moonlight in Vermont; Polka dots and moonbeams; Chances are … Night Love w. Glenn Osser’s Midnight Strings 12 tracks incl. Themes from 2nd Piano Concerto [Rachmaninov]; 3rd Symphony [Brahms]; 5th Symphony [Tchaikovsky]; Prince Igor [Borodin]; Samson & Delilah [Saint-Saëns] … Collectables COL-CD-7881 [78:34] Original [US] Columbia recordings from 1962
NEIL HEFTI How to Murder Your Wife and Lord Love A Duck CD1: Original Soundtrack Recording of ‘How To Murder Your Wife’ 22 tracks CD2: Original Album Presentation of ‘How To Murder Your Wife’ and Original Soundtrack Recording of ‘Lord Love A Duck’ Kritzerland KR 20013-3 [54:27 & 57:19] – Limited to 1000 copies
ERNEST GOLD Exodus The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Nick Raine [2CDs] World Premiere Recording of The Complete Film Score; also music from ‘It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World’; ‘Ship of Fools’; ‘Judith’; ‘QBVII’; ‘Schindler’s List’; ‘Cast A Giant Shadow’; plus ‘Exodus’: Rhapsody for Cello & Orchestra; Concert Overture Tadlow Music: Tadlow 007 [132:36]
FERNANDO LAMAS With Love Original 1958 Roulette recordings conducted by Glenn Osser 24 tracks incl. You belong to my heart; Love is here to stay; Tenderly; I love Paris; Mam’selle; Anema e core; & 10 bonus tracks incl. The Merry Widow Waltz [with Trudy Erwin]; Indian Love Call [with Ann Blyth] … Flare ROYCD 288 [68:06]
JERRY VALE Time Alone Will Tell & Other Great Hits Of Today  Arr.Cond. Marty Manning10 tracks incl. My cup runneth over; Born free; Love me with all of your heart; Games that lovers play; This is my song … This Guy’s In Love With You  Arr./Cond. Jimmy Wisner 11 tracks incl. A man without love; Honey; Do you know the way to San Jose; The look of love; Can’t take my eyes off you; By the time I get to Phoenix … Collectables COL-CD-7877 [63:42] Original [US] Columbia recordings
We apologise that in our last issue the catalogue details for André Previn’s ‘Two For The Seesaw’should have read Kritzerland KR20012-5.