RFS members & others in many countries may recall an excellent publication of the 1980s & 90s, ‘New Zealand Film Music Bulletin’ produced by Colin Adamson. In a period before widespread internet it was a great source of information about who was composing what, new soundtrack releases, & profiles of the top composers of the day.
Sadly, Colin passed away at his home in New Zealand on 12 June after a long illness. He lived in my city & we had known each other since teen years in the late 1950s. His love of Bob’s music & knowledge of light orchestral & film music was encyclopaedic & we shared many happy hours just listening.
GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD5217
By Special Request : Percy Faith and Robert Farnon
Percy Faith and his Orchestra
All arrangements by Percy Faith
1 Ride Through The Night (from "Subways Are For Sleeping") (Jule Styne)
Columbia CS 8533 1961
2 Carefree (Percy Faith)
Columbia CS 8360 1961
3 La Golondrina (The Swallow) (Traditional)
Columbia CS 8038 1957
4 Granada (Augustin Lara)
Columbia CS 8038 1957
5 Over And Over Again (from Billy Rose’s "Jumbo") (Richard Rodgers)
Columbia CS 8583 1962
6 Fascination (Fidenco Dante Marchetti)
Columbia CS 8124 1959
7 Sixteen Going On Seventeen (from "The Sound Of Music") (Richard Rodgers)
Columbia CS 8215 1960
8 Duet (Percy Faith)
Columbia CS 8481 1962
9 A Cock-Eyed Optimist (from "South Pacific") (Richard Rodgers)
Columbia CS 8005 1958
10 Chico Bolero (Percy Faith)
Columbia CS 8702 1962
11 Bess You Is My Woman Now (from "Porgy and Bess") (George Gershwin)
Columbia CS8105 1959
12 I Enjoy Being A Girl (from "Flower Drum Song") (Richard Rodgers)
Columbia CS 8583 1962
Robert Farnon and his Orchestra
(except where stated that Robert Farnon is conducting other orchestras)
All arrangements by Robert Farnon
13 The Girl On The Police Gazette (from the show "Star And Garter") (Irving Berlin)
(LP label credits ‘Jack Saunders Orchestra’)
Everest SDBR 1011 1958
14 Moon Over Hong Kong (featured in the film "The Road To Hong Kong") (Robert Farnon)
Liberty LOS 17002 1962
15 St. Patrick’s Day; The Gentle Maiden (Traditional)
Decca SKL 4096 1959
16 Seventh Heaven (Robert Farnon)
DANISH STATE RADIO ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON (‘Melodi Light Orchestra Conducted by Ole Jensen’ on 78 label)
Chappell C 410 1952
17 All Sports March (Robert Farnon)
QUEEN’S HALL LIGHT ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON
Chappell C 339 1948
18 Tangerine (Victor Schertzinger; Johnny Mercer)
London BEP 6071 1955 (recorded 1952)
19 Blue Moment (Robert Farnon)
DANISH STATE RADIO ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON (‘Melodi Light Orchestra Conducted by Ole Jensen’ on 78 label)
Chappell C 606 1958
20 Dominion Day (Robert Farnon)
QUEEN’S HALL LIGHT ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON
Chappell C 616 1958
21 In The Blue Of The Evening (original title "Footnote To A Summer Love") (Alec Wilder)
featuring FRANK REIDY, clarinet
Decca LK 4067 1953
22 City Streets (Robert Farnon)
QUEEN’S HALL LIGHT ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON
Chappell C 629 1959
23 The Touch Of Your Lips (Ray Noble)
Philips 852011 BY 1962
24 "Captain Horatio Hornblower, R.N." Title theme from the film (Robert Farnon)
THE LONDON FESTIVAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON
Delyse DS 6057 1960
Stereo tracks 1 – 15 & 23, 24; rest in mono
Canada’s largest city, Toronto, has the honour and distinction of being the birthplace of two of the 20th Century’s finest composer/conductor/arrangers in the world of Light Music. Ironically both of them achieved worldwide recognition and fame when they left their homeland and established their glittering careers in other countries. In the case of Percy Faith he responded to many offers of work and moved south of the border into the United States. Robert Farnon was sent to Britain during the Second World War, where he realised that the entertainment scene offered him more scope than back home to develop his skills. In each case they had been recognised in Canada for their music before they left, but it can be argued that they might not have achieved their universal acclaim had they not developed their careers elsewhere.
Percy Faith was born on 7 April 1908, the oldest of eight children. As a child he learned the violin and piano, and originally he expected that he would pursue his music career as a concert pianist. Aged only 15, he gave a piano recital at Toronto’s famous Massey Hall, but he injured his hands in a fire which forced him to turn to composing, arranging and conducting.
During the 1930s he was regularly heard in live music broadcasts on Canadian radio, and his programme "Music By Faith" was carried by the Mutual network in the USA, prompting offers of work south of the border. He eventually succumbed in 1940 and moved to Chicago, leaving Robert Farnon (previously his lead trumpeter) to conduct his Canadian orchestra. He became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1945.
Initially Faith concentrated on broadcasting, although he did make some commercial recordings for the Majestic, Decca and RCA labels, several of which have featured on previous Guild CDs. However, many other recordings, mainly derived from his radio programmes, were issued by Voice Of America on transcription discs, but these were not available to the general public. Some of them may now be heard on Guild GLCD5174 and GLCD5181. Things were to change dramatically when he signed a Columbia (CBS) contract in 1950 to provide backings for the label’s top singers which also allowed him to begin a regular programme of recording singles and albums of his own.
He soon discovered that his singles sold well and the new long playing records needed the kind of popular instrumental sounds that had formed the basis of his broadcasts for so many years. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Faith arranged all his own material, and his exciting and vibrant scores made his work stand out among the rest. He accompanied Columbia’s contract singers, and even contributed the odd popular song, such as My Heart Cries For You for Guy Mitchell. One of his best-selling singles was Theme from "A Summer Place" (on Guild GLCD5165) which is still frequently heard today. It won the Grammy Award for ‘Record Of The Year’ in 1961. A second Grammy followed in 1969 for his album Love Theme from "Romeo and Juliet".
Percy Faith’s recordings usually concentrated on the rich source of popular music of the time, which was available in abundance in musicals on Broadway and Hollywood films. But he also had a penchant for the exotic sounds of Latin-American music, and some of his best-selling collections featured his distinctive arrangements of the music of Mexico and Brazil. Like his fellow orchestra leaders, he had to acknowledge the changing tastes in popular music during the 1960s, and for a while he managed to attract a younger generation of listeners with albums devoted to lush orchestral versions of current song successes.
Although his recording career was always paramount, his composing and arranging abilities naturally attracted offers of work elsewhere. He composed the popular theme music for the television series "The Virginian", screened by NBC in the US and also shown in many countries around the world. In Hollywood he received an Academy Award nomination for his arrangements of the songs in the Doris Day film "Love Me Or Leave Me" (1955). Other Hollywood commissions included "Tammy Tell Me True" (1961), "I’d Rather Be Rich" (1964), "The Love Goddesses" (1964) and "The Third Day" (1965). The following year he provided a beautiful score for the much criticised film "The Oscar", although it did produce the song Maybe September which was recorded by Tony Bennett.
But today it is his numerous albums that have created a resurgence of interest in his work, thanks to their reissue on CD. Faith was always busy, whether working in the recording studios, radio, television or films. He died at Encino, California, on 9 February 1976, aged 67.
Percy Faith’s music has already been widely represented on Guild Light Music CDs. Some of the most memorable tracks include:
Blue Is The Night [GLCD5194] Brazil [GLCD5213] Brazilian Sleigh Bells [GLCD5105] Edelma [GLCD5182] Falling In Love With Love [GLCD5181] Fiddle Derby [GLCD5187] Go-Go-Po-Go [GLCD5199] Mademoiselle De Paris [GLCD5136] March Of The Toys [GLCD5159] Mucho Gusto [GLCD5214] Petite [GLCD5199] Show Me [GLCD5152] Swedish Rhapsody [GLCD5191] Temptation [GLCD5188] Theme from ‘A Summer Place’ [GLCD5165] Why Do I Love You [GLCD5181]
Robert Farnon was widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest composers of Light Orchestral music during the second half of the twentieth century. He was also revered as an arranger of quality popular songs, having influenced most of the top writers on both sides of the Atlantic. A great lover of jazz, two of his closest friends were trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and pianist Oscar Peterson.
Robert Joseph Farnon was born on 24 July 1917, and while still in his teens, he became a household name through his many programmes on radio, especially the long-running "Happy Gang". He occupied the lead trumpet chair in Percy Faith’s Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Orchestra, also contributing vocal arrangements for the show. In 1940 Faith decided to leave for greener pastures in the USA, and Farnon was invited to take over the baton. World War 2 eventually interrupted his promising career, which had included the composition of two symphonies by the age of 25. It was as conductor of the Canadian Band of the Allied Expeditionary Forces that Farnon arrived in England in September 1944, working alongside Glenn Miller and George Melachrino, who fronted the American and British bands.
At the end of the war Farnon took his discharge in Britain, finding the musical scene more suited to his talents, so that he could work in films, radio and the recording industry. He realised that he had a talent for Light Music, but he did not confine himself to it. After all, he had been brought up in an atmosphere of big bands and show music. While living in Toronto he made frequent visits to New York, where he would call in at Minton’s, generally regarded as the birthplace of "bebop". It was not rare for him to be asked to join a jam session, with the likes of Dizzy and Oscar.
Farnon’s inventive ideas were soon noticed by British bandleaders Lew Stone, Ambrose and Ted Heath who were not slow to add Farnon scores to their libraries. Farnon joined the Geraldo Organisation as an arranger, and when Geraldo travelled to the USA in 1947 for a while Farnon took over the band for its broadcasts and recordings.
The Robert Farnon Orchestra began to appear regularly on BBC radio and television, both in its own programmes and also supporting big British stars such as Vera Lynn and Gracie Fields. Thanks to his radio broadcasts, British listeners were starting to notice the bright, fresh Farnon sound, and towards the end of 1948 Decca released one of the finest Light Music 78s ever recorded - "Jumping Bean" coupled with "Portrait Of A Flirt". These two Farnon originals have become part of the folk lore of British Light Music, and they undoubtedly influenced a generation of composers in this genre.
His first important film score was for "Spring In Park Lane" (1948), and it was hardly surprising when Warner Bros commissioned him to write the score for their prestigious maritime saga "Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N." (1951). The stars were Gregory Peck and Virginia Mayo, and Farnon’s score reflected the attraction they both felt for each other, as well as the many dramatic swashbuckling scenes throughout the film. The title music is the final track on this CD.
In 1962 cinema audiences saw the last film in the famous ‘Road’ series which had begun in Singapore way back in 1940. Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour were reunited for "The Road To Hong Kong" which was filmed at Shepperton Studios in England with Farnon as musical director. Some other major film scores included "Maytime In Mayfair" (1949), "Gentlemen Marry Brunettes" (1955), "The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw" (1958), "Shalako" (1968) and "Bear Island" (1979).
Although it has to be said that he never received the promotional support he deserved from his record company, his contract with Decca produced many fine albums which became models of orchestration. Leading international recording artists engaged him to arrange and conduct for them, such as Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan, Tony Bennett, Lena Horne and George Shearing. Farnon’s work has often been recognised by his peers. In Britain the foremost long-running recognition for excellence in the music industry are the Ivor Novello Awards. Farnon’s tally: "Westminster Waltz" in 1956; "Sea Shore" 1960; "Colditz March" 1973; and the major citation "Outstanding Services to British Music" in 1991. Across the Atlantic Farnon received Grammy nominations for arrangements in 1976 for "Sentimental Journey" (on a Singers Unlimited album) and in 1992 "Lush Life" (sung by Eileen Farrell). He finally reached the top for Best Instrumental Arrangement of 1995 - "Lament" on the J.J. Johnson album "Tangence". His importance was finally acknowledged by his homeland when he was awarded the Order of Canada early in 1998.
Robert Farnon lived on the beautiful island of Guernsey in the English Channel for almost half a century. He was still actively working on new composing and arranging projects right up until the time when he passed away peacefully on 23 April 2005, just three weeks before the premiere of his third symphony in Edinburgh.
The following compositions by Robert Farnon are a few of the fifty to be found on previous Guild CDs:
Derby Day [GLCD5160] Gateway To The West [GLCD5215] Goodwood Galop [GLCD5104] How Beautiful Is Night [GLCD5196] In A Calm [GLCD5112] Journey Into Melody [GLCD5214] Jumping Bean [GLCD5162] Malaga [GLCD5132] Manhattan Playboy [GLCD5175] Melody Fair [GLCD5170] Peanut Polka [GLCD5160] Pictures In The Fire [GLCD5212] Poodle Parade [GLCD5111] Portrait Of A Flirt [GLCD5120] Sea Shore [GLCD5180] A Star Is Born [GLCD5149] State Occasion [GLCD5178] Westminster Waltz [GLCD5158]
Pictures from Robert Farnon Society London Meetings, 1997
|RFS Secretary David Ades
and Angela Morley
|Angela Morley,Christine Parker
and Charles Gerhardt
|Robert Farnon, Jackie Hockridge,
Edmund Hockridge and Angela Morley
|Robert Farnon, Angela Morley
and Christine Parker
|Rosemary Squires and
|Robert Farnon arrives
at the meeting
|David Ades and
|Robert Farnon and
|Geoffrey Butcher and
|John Fox and
|Robert Farnon and
|Edward Cole, Robert Walton
and Robert Farnon
|Ernest Tomlinson and
|John Wilson and
|Robert Farnon, Don Furnell
and David Farnon
|Tony Clayden, David Ades
and Robert Farnon
|John Wilson and
|David Ades and
|Ron Goodwin, Derek and
Siv Boulton, Robert Farnon
and Derek Boulton
|The Top Table toasts Robert Farnon
on his 80th birthday
|Rosemary Squires and
thanks his friends
|Derek Boulton, Sin Boulton
and Robert Farnon
and Robert Farnon
|David Ades and
|Edmund and Jackie Hockridge
with Robert Farnon
STANLEY BLACK & HIS ORCHESTRA 'Carnival In The Sun' & 'Compilation' El Cumbanchero; Morocco; Jungle Bird; The Cactus Polka; Flamingo; The Baión; Cascade of Stars; Sugar Loaf Samba; The Breeze and I; Cielito Lindo; Tango; Rumba Rhapsody; Pianolo; Condeña; Mexican Hat Dance; Rumba-tambah; Maria La O; Alma Llanera; A Media Luz; Gaviotta; Siciliano; Estrellita del Sur; Back Track; O Dear, What Can the Matter Be?; Pop Goes the Mambo; Mon Coeur est un ViolonVocalion CDVS 1971 (72:11) We have not had a new Black re-issue for some time so this is especially welcome – particularly at the super-bargain price of £2.99! The first album with Stanley on piano and The George Mitchell Choir was first released on a Decca mono LP in 1955. The compilation tracks were all recorded between 1949 and 1960; some being issued as singles, others taken from Ace of Clubs LPs. The traditional O Dear and Pop Goes were arranged by John Gregory. Stanley's piano touch is well to the fore, as one would expect, and on the last track he is accompanied by Latin American Rhythms. A best buy! Peter Burt
BOTTICELLI & HIS ORCHESTRA 'The Sound Of Today' & 'Classics In Latin' 23 tracks incl. Botticelli's Theme; Fernando; Save Your Kisses for Me; This Melody; Besame Mucho; Je Vais T'Aimer ... Eine Kleine Nachtmusik; Liebestraum; Menuet; Bolero; In a Persian Market; Nabucco Slaves (Va Pensiero) ... Vocalion CDLK 4450 (73:14) David Ades was enthusiastic about this outfit in JIM 186 and disclosed that the man behind "Botticelli" was Dick Bakker, the Dutch arranger, producer, director, conductor and composer – his Eternal Cycle is on the second album – who has been associated with the renowned Metropole Orchestra for many years. These Phase 4 albums from 1977 and 1978 are both enjoyable with interesting arrangements; wordless chorus and the pop beat tolerable. The Latinised classical works are fun and start off at a cracking pace with Mozart's Little Night Music accompanied by a full set of percussion. Peter Burt
'BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC' Various Orchestras & Conductors Devil's Galop; Portrait of a Flirt; Sunny Side Up; Marching Strings; Barwick Green; Red Cloak; London Transport Suite; Starlight; Boomps A Daisy; By the Sleepy Lagoon; Television March; Merrymakers Overture; Calling All Workers; Oxford Street; Country Gardens; Shepherd's Hey; Molly on the Shore; Londonderry AirRegis RRC 1381 (62:04) This is an example, and good of its type, of an introduction to light music, taken from remastered recordings of originals from 1931-60 and still sounding well. We have six Eric Coates tracks, four of them marches, and four Percy Grainger's in those Frederick Fennell Eastman-Rochester "Pops" recordings, superb in their day, arguably the best things on the disc. Generally most of the music is very well-known, though I may not have heard Ron Goodwin's Red Cloak or the Siravo Boomps A Daisy – I am told he was, strictly, American! In many cases it is good to have the composer as conductor: Coates, Bob Farnon, Ray Martin, Charles Williams and Goodwin. One of the Farnon tracks is of Sidney Torch's engaging London Transport Suite I first heard at a 1950's BBC Light Music Festival, and another is Angela Morley's Starlight. At least half the tracks are BBC connected. Recommended as a present (price circa £5) for someone one wishes to introduce to light music. Philip L Scowcroft
KT Editor's CD Choice
ROBERT FARNON & HIS ORCHESTRA 'The Hits Off Sinatra' & 'A Portrait Of Johnny Mathis'Second Time Around; All the Way; Come Fly with Me; A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening; In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning; Only the Lonely; Young at Heart; Call Me Irresponsible; (Love is) The Tender Trap; All or Nothing at All; Nancy (with the Laughing Face); My Kind of Town; Misty; The Twelfth of Never; It's Not for Me to Say; What Will My Mary Say?; When Sunny Gets Blue; Maria (from 'West Side Story); Chances Are; A Certain Smile; Gina; Small World; Wonderful, Wonderful; Someone Vocalion CDLK 4455 (77:00)
'My Fair Lady And Other Musical Bouquets' & 'The Sensuous Strings of Robert Farnon' Get Me to the Church on Time; Wouldn't it be Loverly; On the Street Where You Live; I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face; Button Up Your Overcoat; Black Bottom; Dancing in the Dark; The Best Things in Life are Free; I'm a Dreamer, Aren't We All?; Sunnyside Up; The Touch of Your Lips; To a Young Lady; Isn't It Romantic?; La Casita Mia; Moonlight Becomes You; When I Fall in Love; I'm in the Mood for Love; Hey There; Something to Remember You By; Just a Memory; Alone TogetherVocalion CDLK 4462 (72:11) Long-time Farnonians will have been hoping for these releases.Readers who are comparative latecomers to Bob's music and only know him through re-issued Decca mono recordings on Vocalion may be pleasantly surprised. The four albums were recorded at the behest of Quincy Jones and issued in Britain on vinyl by Philips in the early-mid '60s. The Farnon orchestra featured such instrumental luminaries as Raymond Cohen, Shake Keane, Bob Burns, Kenny Baker, Don Lusher, Dave Goldberg and Johnny Scott. On 'The Sensuous Strings' (my favourite among the four albums) listeners will appreciate Bob's stereo re-recordings of tracks from his days at Decca. On 'My Fair Lady' he brings us some exciting big band sounds; and on 'A Portrait Of Johnny Mathis' there is more of what Mr Ades' admirable liner note describes as the "ethereal string sound that so mystified Farnon's peers". 'The Hits Of Sinatra' was produced by Harold (Hal) Mooney, A&R Director at Mercury Records. You can read more in a feature on page ??. Mike Dutton's usual high standard digital restoration pertains. Suffice to say that no self-respecting Farnon collector should be without these discs – at the time of writing available online from HMV for £5.99 each.Peter Burt
JACKIE GLEASON presents 'Champagne, Candlelight and Kisses' & 'Love Embers and Flame' Orchestra conducted by Jackie Gleason 24 tracks incl. Theme from 'Bus Stop'; Undecided; I Double Dare You; A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody; A Little Love, A Little Kiss; All by Myself ... What Can I Say After I Say I'm Sorry?; Lady of the Evening; How About Me?; Would You?; Now that You're Gone; For All We Know ... Vocalion CDLK 4459 (67:25) Mr Gleason (1916-87) was a man of many parts: actor, comedian, composer (the title tune and The Lovers' Waltz on the second album, are from his pen), conductor, designer of clothes, jewellery, games, etc. Mantovani guru, Colin Mackenzie, has written really excellent liner notes throwing light on the music of the man known as "The Great One", which is very helpful if, like me, you know his name but have not come across his recordings. The variety in George Williams' arrangements hold the interest throughout – I particularly enjoyed the five tracks on the first album where a Dixieland band plays in front of the string orchestra. But, basically, Mr Gleason's signature sound is lush strings backing solo trumpet, trombone or alto and tenor saxophone, with sometimes piano and rhythm. Definitely a disc to add to your shelves. Peter Burt
ANDRE KOSTELANETZ & HIS ORCHESTRA 'Waltzing and Marching' "Sari" Waltz; Vienna City Of My Dreams; Gold And Silver Waltz; Two Heart In Three Quarter Time; Waltz Dream; "Gypsy Baron" Waltz; "Zigeunliebe" Gypsy Love Waltz; Emperor Waltz; Strike Up The Band; Colonel Bogey; Seventy Six Trombones; American Patrol;: El Capitan; The Yellow Rose Of Texas/The Eyes Of Texas Are Upon You; Stars And Stripes For Ever; National Emblem March; Washington Post March; Semper Fideles; Anchor's Away/The Marines Hymn; The Caissons Go Rolling Along/The Army Air Corps Sounds of Yester Year DSOY 861 (63:05) The waltzes were recorded in the Liederkranz Hall, New York, in December 1947, with studio quality, no audience, originally on 78rpm in the USA but on a 10-inch vinyl in the UK. The marches are from a 1961 LP. The distinctive blend of ecstatic energy music Kostelanetz always produced is in abundance. Once again Michael Highton's sleeve notes deserve praise for their detail. Paul Clatworthy
GEOFF LOVE & HIS ORCHESTRA 'Big Suspense Movie Themes' & 'Big Bond Movie Themes'24 tracks incl. Also Sprach Zarathustra from '2001 Space Odyssey; Love Theme from 'The Godfather'; The French Connection; Paris by Night (Le Rififi) from 'Rififi'; Theme from 'Z'; The High and the Mighty; Shaft; The Harry Lime Theme; In the Heat of the Night; Love Theme from 'Airport'; Diamonds are Forever; Frenzy; The James Bond Theme from 'Dr No'; From Russia with Love; Goldfinger; Thunderball; Mr Kiss Kiss Bang Bang from 'Thunderball'; Casino Royale; You Only Live Twice ... Vocalion CDLK 4461 (72:08) In reviewing the Love disc of 'Themes For Super Heroes' & 'Big Terror Movies' (CDSML 8476) last September I hoped that it would be the forerunner of many more and, lo, here are four albums on two 2-on-1 discs for starters. This first album dates from 1972 and along with the other three was originally issued on EMI's best-selling Music for Pleasure label. (Geoff's 'Big Western Movie Themes' made it into the label's top twenty titles; so hopefully we can expect that in due course). From Richard Strauss through Rota, Tiomkin, Newman, Barry et al to Ron Goodwin, the first dozen tracks are both very well played and recorded. With the second MfP album from 1975, of equal merit, there is arguably less variety but you get what it says on the tin. A good listen, then, all round Peter Burt
'Latin With Love' & 'Dreaming With Love' 24 tracks incl. La Bamba; Spanish Harlem; Guantanamera; Sucu Sucu; The Girl from Ipanema; One Note Samba ... Dream; I'm a Dreamer, Aren't We All? You Stepped Out of a Dream; Drifting and Dreaming; Dream a Little Dream of Me; Out Of My Dreams from 'Oklahoma' ... Vocalion CDLK 4452 (73:05) Another good 'un and although I prefer a bit more fire with my Latin music, in fairness it is sub-titled "in the mood for dancing." The second album, a collection of lovely melodies from the great American songbook, is ideal for lazy afternoon or late night listening – which it has been getting in our house. The famed Norman Newell produced the original LPs, from 1973 and 1976 respectively, as he did those above. The quality of the remastering by Mr Dutton is a given, and the discs are each enhanced by six-and-a-bit pages of knowledgeable liner notes from Oliver Lomax. Peter Burt
FRANCK POURCEL & HIS ORCHESTRA '1925-30' & '1930-35' 24 tracks incl. Charleston; Valentine; Pas Sur La Bouche; Mon Paris; Le Black Bottom; I Want to Be Happy... Parlez-Moi D'Amour; I Got Rhythm; Les Gars de la Marine; Ville D'Amour; Miette; The Day You Came Along ...Vocalion CDLK 4464 (58:25) The maestro whose sum total of record sales piled one on top of the other would be twenty times the height of the Eiffel Tower is responsible for a couple of late '60s albums featuring some marvellous songs from the mid-20s to mid-30s. In her affectionate liner notes that give an added appeal to this disc Franck's daughter, Françoise, tells us that her father was "A perfectionist, he wrote the arrangements, chose the songs, the musicians, the studio and did the editing as well as the design of the album covers." I am a sucker for the Pourcel high string sound, so very interested to read him quoted as saying that "For me, the violin is the instrument closest to the human voice. I don't play it, I make it sing. It should be considered a vocal instrument, an instrument that speaks to the heart of man." Joie de vivre aboundshere. Peter Burt
ROGER ROGER ORCHESTRA – Volume 1 Happiness Day; En Carriole (Horse and Buggy); Haute Couture (Paris Fashions); Vive le Sport; Grands Travaux; Paysage (Landscape); Romany Girl; Clowneries; Menuet; Holiday Party; Feux-Follets (Jack O'Lantern); Traffic Boom; Interlude Dramatique; Tension No. 1; La Vitrine aux Jouets (The Toy Shop Window); Pres des Flots (Seashore); Music Hall; Concerto Jazz pour Harpe et Orchestre; Le Dernier Metro (The Last Metro); Danse des Oizeaux (Birds' Dance); El Muletero; Le Grand Derby; Suite Tropicale; Marche Royale; Tour de France; Tourbillon de Paris Orphee 58 ORP58002/1 (73:21). I got quite excited when I first learned about this new French CD. Roger Roger has written many appealing melodies, and he deserves to be remembered with new collections of his music. But I have to confess that when the copy I ordered from France arrived I was slightly disappointed. Being a CD producer myself, I like to know the origins of recordings, but there are no details of the original catalogue numbers or the dates (the latter is important because of sound copyright, and the inclusion of one track came as a surprise). There is one spelling mistake I spotted – track 17 should be Music Hall (not Music all!) The sound quality is generally good, although some tracks do seem a bit different from others. The majority come from the Chappell Recorded Music Library, and many of them are already available on Guild CDs. The booklet is a disappointment – only four pages with text on just one, in French, of course. Personally I think Roger Roger deserves better than this. But the biggest shock is the price: unless someone starts discounting UK buyers can expect to pay almost £20. With only MP3 downloads available from Amazon, I had to order my CD copy from the record company itself, and if readers wish to do the same they will need to visit the website ...www.orphee58.com... This is Volume 1: I hope I can be a bit more positive about Volume 2 when it is released. David Ades
DAVID ROSE 'King of Strings' Jasmine JASCD 597 Double CD (78:46 & 78:32) Peter Burt beat me with his excellent review in the last issue but I would like to add that way back in 1985 I collated articles on David's recordings. With the help of five other members we put together a large list of LPs sadly mostly unavailable. With the advent of CDs a little of the music was reissued (usually the same tracks!) Here we have 55 wonderful tracks doing some justice to David's magnificent catalogue, admittedly still containing some familiar tracks but a collection to be treasured. Hopefully some of David's other MGM albums will be resurrected, in particular 'The Music of Harold Arlen' my particular favourite. Paul Clatworthy
PHIL KELSALL 'Strictly Blackpool' 20 medleys incl. Say It With Music; Music, Music, Music, Forty Second Street; The Varsity Drag; Fascination; Lonely Ballerina; Cara Mia; Out of Nowhere (You came along from); You Stepped Out of a Dream; On The Sunny Side of the Street; Where are You?; Jealousy; Midnight Tango; Hallelujah; A Woman in Love; My Foolish Heart ... Grasmere GRCD 137(65:27) Here Mr Kelsall is on home ground at the Wurlitzer Organ of The Tower Ballroom, Blackpool. All tracks are in strict tempo and sequence. The album was recorded and released by AP Promotions in 2009 and has now been licensed to Grasmere. An entertaining listen as ever. Peter Burt
TONY WHITTAKER 'Medley Magic' 15 tracks – 41 tunes incl. You Started Something; At Sundown; I'll Never Say Never Again; Friends & Neighbours; Love & Marriage; Let's Do It; It's D'Lovely; Anything Goes; Oh! You Beautiful Doll; Louise; Ain't She Sweet?; Amapola; An Apple For the Teacher; Sing a Song of Moonbeams; A Wonderful Guy; Wunderbar; Dolores; A New Kind of Love; Little Old Lady ...
TWS2011 (50:14) This arrived on a lovely bright January morning, but it would brighten up the darkest of days. A strict tempo selection of tunes from 1930 to 1959 – the "Golden Era" of songwriting – it is played by the man who patrons of the Royal Spa Centre in Leamington Spa will know as the MD there for some 20 years. Here Tony, who is also active on the Concert Organ Circuit, plays duets with himself on the Kurzweil piano and Hammond organ with rhythm accompaniment. Of especial interest to readers will be that all the tunes have been adapted from our fellow member Harold Rich's original scores for his two-piano and rhythm group, Pianorama, late of BBC Radio 2. With good recording quality, an appealing album. Peter Burt
...Available priced £11.45 (incl. p&p) from MSS Studios, Rhiwias, Cae Deintur, Dolgellau, Gwyned L40 2YS. Further details at .........www.organs.co.uk ......
PAT BOONE 'Love Letters in the Sand' 61 tracks incl. Anastasia; April Love; That Lucky Old Sun; Harbour Lights; Ebb Tide; Solitude; Begin the Beguine; Secret Love; Moonglow ... Retrospective RTS 4192 (79:10 & 78:09) This follows hard on the heels of Jasmine's 2-CD set, reviewed in JIM 189, which presented a selection of his singles from 1953-60. This compilation focuses on 1955-60, and begins with 26 of his hits, which inevitably cover the same ground. In contrast, disc two features the complete 1958 'Star Dust' album, plus seven tracks from the subsequent album 'Tenderly', both of which include as fine a selection of standards as you could wish. They were backed by Billy Vaughn & his Orchestra, as were most of the 45s. Like all great artists, Pat Boone made what he did sound easy, and the result is quite simply a joy. Barry McCanna
BING CROSBY & BUDDIES 'Gone Fishin'' 53 tracks incl. Pennies from Heaven; Small Fry; An Apple for the Teacher; Don't Fence Me In; It's Been a Long, Long Time; Alexander's Ragtime Band; Sam's Song; True Love... Retrospective RTS 4184 (79:33 & 79:17) Paul Whiteman's best-remembered vocal group was the Rhythm Boys, who feature here in the earliest track, namelyHappy Feet from the 1930 film ‘King of Jazz', with Eddie Lang's guitar audible behind the vocal. That's preceded by a 1951 duet with Louis, the title of which seems to sum up Bing's philosophy, if you substitute golf or horse racing for fishing! All three of the recordings that Bing made with the Mills Brothers are included, and they alone would be worth the price of this set; Dinah in particular is a master class in scat singing. Other particular favourites include The Way You Look Tonight with first wife Dixie Lee, the Hawaiian song Sweet Leilani, two swinging duets with Connee Boswell, and the delightful joshing on two songs with Johnny Mercer, not forgetting the verbal duel with Fred Astaire on I'll Capture Her Heart. Singing solo, Bing was a class act; in company the result was more than the sum of their parts. On some of these tracks the chemistry is so strong that you can almost smell it! Mention should be made also of the accompaniments, which are consistently excellent as you'd expect, given that apart from the stalwart John Scott Trotter, they include the orchestras of Jimmy Dorsey, Victor Young, Bob Crosby, Louis Jordan, Carmen Cavallero, Vic Schoen, Matty Matlock, Louis Armstrong and Billy May. It's truly a star-studded cast, and the compilation carries a full discography and an excellent liner note. Barry McCanna
...DALIDA 'The Very Best Of ...'... ...50 tracks incl Romantica; ...... Histoire d'un amour; Itsi bitsi petit bikini; Garde-moi la derniere danse (Save the last dance for me); Marina; Les Gitans; Love in Portofino; Dans le bleu du ciel blue; (Volare); Ce Serait Dommage; La chanson d'Orphee; Adieu monsieur mon amour ...... ...Not Now Music NOT2CD412 (154.00) Dalida was born Iolanda Christina Gigliotti in 1934 in Cairo, Egypt to Franco-Italian parents and soon after being crowned Miss Egypt in 1954 moved to Paris where her distinctive mezzo voice and glamourous Mediterranean good looks captured the hearts of the audiences of the more prestigious night clubs which lead to regular appearances on radio. She was soon signed up by the emerging Barclay record label alongside other new talent including Charles Aznavour. Her first success was in 1956 with Bambino a French version of the Italian hit Guaglione (recorded in the UK instrumentally by Cyril Stapleton as The man who plays the Mandolino) and was followed by Come Prima, Ciao Ciao... ...Bambina and Le jour ou la pluie viendra (The day the rains... ...came down). However she achieved international success in 1960 with Le enfants du Pirėe - the theme to the film 'Never on Sunday' and thereafter enjoyed bumper album sales over the next 25 years or so until her untimely death in 1987 at the age of 53. This double-CD brings together fifty of her successes from her Barclay years and includes her big hits already mentioned. What distinguishes this album are the arrangements she used. During her early years she was accompanied by that doyen of French light music Wal-Berg and later on by the superb Raymond Lefèvre, both major recording artists in their own right. At a giveaway price this is ideal for fans wishing to replace their worn out 33s and 45s, and also for those newcomers wishing to sample the singing of one of yesterday's French greats. Mike Crowther...
DAVID HUGHES 'Serenade : The Best of ...' 26 tracks incl. Love is a Many-Splendoured Thing; Ev'rywhere; Begin the Beguine; Santo Natale; True Love...REXX 132 (74:26)Reissues of David Hughes' work have tended to concentrate on repackaging his later LPs. In contrast, this compilation spans the fifties, and focuses mainly on the recordings he made for Phillips, although his first recording ‘With These Hands' (made for HMV in 1951) is also included. David had a rich tenor voice which was suited ideally to ballads. In the early sixties he switched course, and concentrated his output on classical and operatic works, and this CD encapsulates his relatively modest output of popular songs. Both tracklist and liner note are quite basic, but at its budget price this is well worth searching out. Barry McCanna
JOHNNY MERCER 'Music Shop 2' Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby; San Fernando Valley; My Blue Heaven: Love Go Away; It Could Happen To You; Dream; Sugar; The Trolley Song; Sure Thing; I Woke Up And Started Dreaming; Dream; Exactly Like You; Goodnight, Wherever You Are; You Can Depend On Me; Crazy Rhythm; Alexander's Ragtime Band; Dream; I Can't Help It; Time Waits For No One; I Get The Blues When It Rains; I'm Not Jealous; Dream. Sounds of Yester Year DSOY 860(69:02) Jo Stafford, The Pied Pipers, Paul Weston's orchestra and guests smoothly work their way through another set recorded to cheer up the American armed forces. Johnny excelled as a prolific writer but his singing does not pass muster (as he admits). Jo and the Pied Pipers more than compensate. Paul Weston always came up with the goods and the announcements are not too long.Paul Clatworthy
THE MILLS BROTHERS 'Swing It' 83 tracks incl. Tiger Rag; Dinah; Sweet Sue, Just You; Lazybones; Big Boy Blue; Darling Nelly Gray; I'll Be Around; Paper Doll; Gloria; If I Had My Way; The Glow-Worm; The Jones Boy; Paper Valentine; Queen of the Senior Prom..... Fantastic Voyage FVTD 132 (78:55) (79:26) & (77:15) This is a generous package, which fulfils its promise of the best of the vocal quartet from 1931 to 1958. Each CD covers one decade, the first of which includes their earliest (and hottest) recordings, and features several collaborations; two with Bing, three with Ella, and three with Louis Armstrong. It's fascinating to hear how the Mills Brothers adapted their delivery to take account of changing musical tastes, without ever abandoning their high standards. The set comes in a handsome fourfold blister pack, the front cover of which houses a glossy 18-page illustrated booklet. The discography should have been checked for accuracy, but that is a minor criticism which detracts little from the appeal of this compilation. Barry McCanna
JO STAFFORD & GORDON MACRAE 'Yesterday - The Definitive Duo' 2 CDs: 57 tracks incl. Yesterday (Waltz Song); My Darling, My Darling; Bibbidi-Bibbidi-Boo; To Think You've Chosen Me; Whispering Hope; In the Gloaming; Near Me; I'll See You in Church on Sunday Morning; Last Night; Let the Rest of the World Go By; Down the Lane; The Pussy Cat Song (Nyot NYow); Hold Me, Hold Me; Love's Old Sweet Song ;The Rosary ... I'll String Along With You; Long, Long Ago; Dearie; Girls Were Made to Take Care of Boys; Near You; Juanita; When it's Springtime in the Rockies; My One and Only Highland Fling; "A" – You're Adorable (The Alphabet Song); Sweet and Low; Driftin' Down the Dreamy Ol' Ohio; Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday; Now the Day in Over ... Jasmine JASCD 165(79:20) (78:15) Another winning compilation from this label with, here, the lady many reckon to be the best American popular female singer ever, and her partner on a staggering number of recordings for Capitol Records between 1948 and 1950 – 44 of them on these two discs. As well as his own singles, Gordon MacRae was well-known for his film roles in 'Carousel' and 'Oklahoma', both among the best-selling albums of the mid-'50s. Their first joint recording was a two-sided hit, Say Something Sweet to Your Sweetheart and Bluebird of Happiness). Robert Nickora's interesting liner notes tell us that this was recorded during a musicians' union strike, the full accompaniment being provided by a choral group. Another hit was Whispering Hope (a song from 1868) that sold a million. The second disc includes the original LP of 'Kiss Me Kate' with eight of Cole Porter's matchless opuses. The last two tracks totalling just over nine minutes are 'Songs of Christmas': hymn/carol medleys originally issued on a 12-inch 78 rpm record. We also hear Jo singing Gesu Bambino and Gordon Adeste Fideles. All the seasonal tracks feature The Jud Conlon Singers and organist Buddy Cole. Directing is Paul Weston, who with his orchestra accompanies on the majority of the tracks on both discs. For content and duration this is a fantastic bargain. Peter Burt
...CATERINA VALENTE 'Olé Plenty Valente!' 2 CDs: 56 tracks incl El Cumbanchero; Babalu; Anna; Quiereme Mucho; Poinciana; Granada; Taboo; Kiss of Fire; Two ladies in the shade of the banana tree; Secret Love ... Jasmine JASCD 695 (79.5 & 79:00) Ossie Dales recalls in his excellent liner notes that Caterina Valente was born in Paris in 1931 to an Italian mother and Spanish father both versatile performers and musicians appearing in cabaret, theatres and circuses all over Europe. At the age of three Caterina was performing with the family act initially as a dancer but later as a singer and guitarist with her brother Silvio Francesco also a talented singer and guitarist with whom she enjoyed a successful partnership in recordings and cabaret for over 20 years specialising mainly in performing Latin-American standards for which both had a natural affinity. It was as a result of an audition with German bandleader Kurt Edelhagen that her solo career was born and eventually a recording contract with Polydor. I first heard Caterina on the record request programme 'Two Way Family Favourites' on the BBC Light Programme in 1956 singing Malaguena and immediately bought an EP which included it together with The Breeze and I and Jalousie, all on this wonderful compilation, brilliantly accompanied by the RIAS Dance Orchestra directed by Werner Muller. Another EP purchase includes her version of Mack the Knife but this time accompanied by the distinctive sound of the Kurt Edelhagen Big Band which is on Side 2. This album is devoted to her "Polydor Years 1954/59" (with their iconic orange label and record sleeves) and demonstrates her versatility in chosen material: Latin-American songs, American standards and even Caribbean nonsense (Somebody bad stole de wedding bell), not to mention her singing effortlessly in Spanish, German and English. Appropriately this set contains 24 tracks from two Latin-American albums duetting with her brother accompanying themselves on guitar – the highlight for me is their lovely performance of the Rene Touzet standard Non te Importe Saber. The remaining two complete albums, all wonderfully accompanied by Sy Oliver and RIchard Wess, include her classic performance of Flamingo. All told this is a lovely collection, remastered superbly, and can be warmly recommended to fans and newcomers alike – and enjoy. Mike Crowther...
RODGERS & HART : Songs From The Shows 'My Funny Valentine' Frederica von Stade London Symphony Orchestra / John McGlinn 17 tracks incl. My Funny Valentine; I Must Love You; I Didn't Know What Time It Was; Moon of My Delight; Everybody Loves You; A Ship Without a Sail; To Keep My Love Alive; Love Never Went to College; You're Nearer; Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered; Now That I Know You; Bye and Bye; Atlantic Blues; Where or When ... EMI 0829382(69:16) Albums of opera singers performing popular songs do not always work, but not so here. In fact, the critic Adrian Edwards considered the original 1990 release to be "a well-nigh indispensable collection ... imaginatively planned ... a recording that I shall return to many times." The delightful American diva (known as "Flicka" to her family, friends and fans) is recognised as one of the best-loved classical artists of our time and has been involved in a number of "crossover" albums, none better than this. The song selection is nicely balanced between well-known titles and those less familiar; and the late John McGlinn conducts the first-rate LSO with his customary brio. To quote Mr Edwards again: "...the period orchestrations (largely by Hans Spialek) don't miss a trick to underline the syncopations of Rodger's writing." The always excellent Ambrosian Singers are on a couple of tracks, Quiet Night and Falling in Love With Love, while on If I Were You the mezzo is joined bythree sopranos: Rosemary Ashe, Lynda Richardson and Peta Bartlett. In his heyday Lorenz Hart's lyrical dexterity was considered second to none (well maybe to Ira Gershwin), so you won't go wrong with this competitively-priced American Classics offering. Peter Burt
ERIC DELANEY & HIS BAND 'The Big Beat' 25 tracks incl. Big Noise from Winnetka; Hornpipe Boogie; Time for Chimes; Ripe Cherry Rock; Bristol Bounce...REXX 134 (76:10) This compilation of his early recordings is an excellent tribute to the drummer Eric Delaney, who died in July 2011. Having begun playing in the thirties, he served with the RAF during the war then established his reputation when he joined Geraldo's organisation. He formed his own band in 1955, competed successfully against the incoming tide of rock ‘n' roll, and was still playing in his chosen genre over 60 years later. He adopted earlier innovations like internally-lit drums, and linked twin bass drums, and imported others such as a revolving stand and tuned timpani, hitherto the province of the symphony orchestra. The French use the term “batterie” for the drums, and Eric created a battery of sound, putting himself at the heart of his orchestra. He combined the instincts of a showman with the artistry of a musician, and that is well showcased by this CD. Ten of the tracks are medleys of tunes, mainly from film musicals (‘Can-Can', ‘My Fair Lady' and ‘Oklahoma') some are arrangements of traditional tunes, the best-known being his hit single Oranges and Lemons, and there are a couple of jazz classics. I wish that the tracklist were more detailed, and the liner note less perfunctory, but that is more than compensated for by the contents, which sound as if freshly-minted. This should be an essential purchase for devotees of the drum-orientated big band sound. Barry McCanna
THE NORTHERN DANCE ORCHESTRA 'Diamonds : The Best of ...' 56 tracks incl. All of Me; A Raggy Waltz; Blaydon Races; Thoroughly Modern Millie; September Song; Doin' the Racoon; Eleanor Rigby; Theme from ‘The Pink Panther'; My Ain Folk; Louise; Cheek to Cheek (SB); Wouldn't it be Loverly?... CORRIAN 101/2 (79:33 & 79:17) This double CD has been compiled from extant recordings of the NDO, which have survived (or been hoarded) despite the edict that after being used twice the tapes should be erased. From the very first track it's apparent that recording quality is quite superlative; the sound is as vivid and the stereo separation as clear as you could wish. It's a generous package, with the emphasis on instrumental numbers, but fifteen songs feature vocals by Johnny Roadhouse, Norman George, Clinton Ford and others. On the face of it therefore it has much to commend it, but I do have reservations about the balance and some of the interpretations. I've always regarded the rhythm section as the engine room of an orchestra, but here it seems to be occupying the bridge. The result is quite unrelenting, to the extent that I would advocate listening in segments rather than in one sitting. There is a wide range of material included, from outright swingers to sentimental ballads and traditional numbers, but in my opinion not all of them have benefited from the NDO treatment. Just to take two examples; that lovely torch song All of Mesounds as if it's been re-arranged for the Tijuana Brass and Lazybones is almost unrecognisable. I'm sure that big band enthusiasts will disregard those caveats, but if so don't delay because this is a limited edition and a... small number of copies are kindly being reserved for JIM readers.... ...Please mention this review when ordering. ...The double-CD costs £12.98 incl. p&p and you'll find more details and how to order at ...www.northerndanceorchestra.org.uk.... ...Barry McCanna...
...'TEA DANCE'... ...26 tracks incl. Java Jive; Sugar; China Boy; Texas Tea Party..... Past Perfect PPWOC001... ...(77:12) A... new CD from this label (after far too long an interval) should be cause for celebration, but the title is misleading, conjuring up an image of a Palm Court orchestra. The content is much more dynamic, ranging from Hutch's Moonlight Cocktail via The Boswell Sisters gender-blind rendition of When I Take My Sugar to Tea to Jimmie Lunceford's stratospheric For Dancers Only. Most of the tracks should be familiar, and collectors of this genre will own most if not all of them already – indeed, some of them come from earlier Past Perfect releases. So I'm sorry that it lacks both a liner note and a detailed tracklist. Having said that, it's a generous collection of outstanding performances by some of the very best bands and singers of the big band and swing era, in the remastered sound that Past Perfect does so well. Barry McCanna
TEDDY WILSON TRIO 'At the London House Chicago' Sunny Morning; Liza; Stompin' At The Savoy; Medley: Sophisticated Lady/Misty/I've Got The World On A String; King Porter Stomp; Someone To Watch Over Me; Honeysuckle Rose; Lullaby Of Birdland; Stompin' At The Savoy; Tea For Two; Medley: There's Danger In Your Eyes/On The Sunny Side Of The Street/It's The Talk Of The Town; How High The Moon; Body And Soul; Liza; Rose Room; Sunny Morning. Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY 866 (60:51) Transcription from the early 1960s. Teddy worked with many swing musicians including Roy Eldridge, Red Norvo, Buck Clayton and Ben Webster. In 1935 he joined Benny Goodman's trio making him the first black musician to perform in public with a previously all white group. Paul Clatworthy
BUDDY COLE 'Swingin' at the Hammond Organ' 48 tracks incl. Memories of You; Blue Lou; Brazil; Frenesi; Georgia on My Mind; Accent on Youth; Judy; Lullaby of the Leaves ... Jasmine JASCD 185 (65:31 & 66.59) This comprises four stereo albums, namely 'Have Organ Will Swing'(1958), 'Powerhouse' and 'Hot and Cole' (both 1959), and 'Swing Fever' (1960), and fulfils the promise of those titles. Two of these have been reissued already, and either cost far more than this quadruple, which should be a must have for fans of the instrument. Barry McCanna
MICHAEL FRANKS 'Time Together' Now That The Summer's Here; One Day In St. Tropez; Summer In New York; Mice; Charlie Chan Egypt; I'd Rather Be Happy Than Right; Time Together; Samba Blue; My Heart Said Wow; If I Could Make September Stay; Feathers From An Angels WingShanachie 5189 (56:59) The opening notes, a sweep of sound arranged by Chuck Loeb, keyboards, guitar, you will really believe it is summer. Added attraction, the trumpet of Till Bonner and sax of Eric Marienthal. Every track is a delight, consistently imaginative arrangements, others provided by Gil Goldstein, Mark Egan, Charles Blenzig and Scott Petito keep the mood of the opening gem in their scores. All songs are originals by Michael, every album he has made display the art of a wistfully melodic composer, his vocals are soft and emotive, enhancing the overall liquidity of the songs, every album seems to outdo the previous. Paul Clatworthy
IRVING AARONSON & HIS COMMANDERS 'Let's Misbehave (1926-28)' 25 tracks incl. Wimmin Aaah!; Poor Papa; The Pump Song; Waffles; Hard-to-Get Gertie; Crazy Words – Crazy Tune; Let's Misbehave ... Rivermont BSW-1155 (77:58) This label produces reissues to a very high standard, and this latest offering is no exception. It comprises the first 25 sides cut by Irving Aaronson, four for Edison and the remainder for Victor, and includes three unissued items. This was a very fine band, which played for entertainment as well as for dancing, and these recordings present a set of highly polished and extremely dynamic performances. This is the first in a planned series of four volumes, but the one drawback to this chronological approach is that (as can be seen from the titles) their 1926 recordings contain a high proportion of novelty songs. That said, all are played con brio, and my initial reservation was overcome by the band's obvious enthusiasm. Remastering has produced a very clear and spacious acoustic, in which the band's arrangements resonate, and the accompanying illustrated 28-page booklet contains a potted autobiography of the bandleader, a history of the band, profiles of the individual musicians, and notes on each of the recordings. Available from Amazon. Rivermont's catalogue can also be viewed and orders placed at ...www.rivermontrecords.com...Barry McCanna
ROY FOX 'Night After Night' 25 tracks incl. Wheezy Anna; Till Tomorrow; Sweetheart; A Broken Rosary; Maria My Own; Let's Call it a Day; Panhandle Pete.... Vocalion CDEA 6192 (75:03)
JACK PAYNE 'That's You Baby' 27 tracks incl. So Blue; This is Heaven; I've Got a Feeling I'm Falling;A Little Old Cottage; Exactly Like You; Falling in Love Again.... Vocalion CDEA 6191 (75:26)
LEW STONE 'My Kind of Music' 24 tracks incl. Lonely; The Girl who Loves a Soldier; Transatlantic Lullaby; Boom! F.D.R. Jones; Undecided; Rhumboogie..... Vocalion 6189 (73:54)
PAUL WHITEMAN 'Without a Song' 25 tracks incl. Evening Star; Felix the Cat; Lover Come Back to Me; Louise; Reaching for Someone; S'posin'; At Twilight ...... Vocalion 6193 (77:01)
First, a disclaimer, insofar as I wrote the liner notes for these four reissues, but that was the extent of my involvement. The other thing they have in common is that they all highlight a somewhat neglected period of that particular band.
Reissues of Roy Fox have concentrated on his first residency, at the Monseigneur Restaurant, but this CD turns the spotlight on 1933, when he was ensconced at the Kit-Cat Restaurant, and presents twenty-five of the thirty-seven recordings made between January and August. They give ample evidence of what a superb outfit this was, playing with crispness and precision that must have been the envy of many other bands. There's a good mix of vocalists on offer, and The Girl in the Little Green Hat offers a tour-de-force in the shape of trumpeter Sid Buckman's verbal dexterity.
Other stand-out tracks are What a Perfect Combination and Black-Eyed Susan Brown, on both of which the vocal is provided by The Cubs (trumpeter Les Lambert, saxophonist Harry Gold, and guitarist Ivor Mairants).
The Lew Stone CD is focussed on the prewar period of March to August 1939, from which sixteen tracks are drawn, plus four apiece from both 1940 and 1941. The shadow of the war is reflected in several of the songs, but the pervading mood is one of good cheer, and the musicianship throughout is of a high order. Sam Browne supplies most of the vocals, but there is one song from Dorothy Alt, one from Hughie Diamond, and two from Benny Lee. The last two tracks are instrumentals by the Stonecrackers, which was a smaller jazz-oriented group of varying personnel which recorded a total of a dozen titles in late 1940/spring 1941.
Paul Whiteman began his recording career with Victor Records, but switched to Columbia in May 1928, remaining with that company until September 1930. This reissue draws on the first twelve months, plus a couple of numbers from autumn 1929. In between Whiteman had been cooling his heels in Hollywood, waiting unsuccessfully for filming to commence on ‘The King of Jazz'. Bix was still present to begin with, although less to the fore, but when he did solo, as on 'Tain't So, Honey, 'Tain't So his contribution transformed the proceedings. Bing Crosby's vocals can also be heard, solo on five tracks, and as part of the Rhythm Boys on three.
The fourth CD has a sizeable batch of the Columbia recordings made by Jack Payne's BBC Dance Orchestra, and also four of the Regal recordings made by his earlier Hotel Cecil Orchestra. With the exception of four instrumentals, all feature vocals by Jack himself, albeit one as a duet with ukulele player Sydney Nesbitt, and two as a trio with pianist Bob Busby and drummer Bob Manning. Vocals were not Jack's strongest feature, and I Can't Believe that You're in Love with Me lacks any attempt at a syncopated delivery. In fairness, that is the earliest recording on this compilation, and Jack's renditions improved over time. So far as the music is concerned, the band delivered a very full, satisfying sound which was well captured by Columbia's recording engineers. Barry McCanna
SOUSA 'Music for Wind Band Vol. 10' The Royal Norwegian Navy Band / Keith Brion 15 tracks incl. The Free Lance March; The Quilting Party March; When The Boys Come Sailing Home!; Myrrha Gavotte; Vautour Overture; The Beau Ideal March; Anchor and Star ... Naxos 8.5559397(59:58) Anyone who thought that Sousa penned only military marches – though he did produce something like 136 examples of those – will be somewhat confounded by this release that clearly demonstrates his varied and diverse musical output. Included on this disc of almost exclusively rarities are the seldom heard Jazz America, which despite its title is not strictly jazz but more emblematic of the Jazz Age and comes complete with harp and simulated train whistles. The 12-minute People Who Live in Glass Houses Suite replicates in musical terms various alcoholic beverages from around the world, whilst the somewhat outrageous Humoresque on Kern's Look for the Silver Lining features the sound of a Model T Ford careering along the road with its complement of Keystone Cops and wheezy sounding trombone intoning There is a Tavern in the Town. The Salvation Army March dates from 1930 and is a result of a request from Cmdr Evangeline Booth, daughter of William Booth, the Salvation Army's founder; the whimsical sounding Who's Who in Navy Blue was composed at the request of a US Naval Academy graduating class in 1920. Recording and production standards are up to the usual high standard of this series and anyone collecting it will not be disappointed. If this music doesn't coax at least an occasional smile to your lips then nothing will!Roger Hyslop
'ANOTHER NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS' & 'SCROOGE' RTẾ Concert Orchestra; Royal Ballet Sinfonia / Gavin Sutherland John Fox: Carol Fantasia; Bryan Kelly: Scrooge; Philip Lane: Old Christmas Music; Another Night Before Christmas; Matthew Curtis: Christmas Rush – Concert March;Rebikov: Waltz (from 'The Christmas Tree Suite'); Liszt: The Christmas Tree Suite; Adam Saunders:Fairytale Sleighride; Angela Morley: Snowride; Tchaikovsky: Troika (from The Seasons) (orch. Lane);Thomas Hewitt Jones: Christmas Cracker Naxos 8.572744 (79:20) Unfortunately this was not released in time for a review in the last JIM, so if you missed it make sure it goes to the top of your "wish" list for next Christmas. It is an album of good quality light music largely by composers well-known, indeed personally known, to many RFS members. One possible new name is Thomas Hewitt Jones who won the BBC Young Composer competition in 2003 and is writing the music for this year's Olympic Mascots animated films series. Both Scrooge (19:47) and Another Night (6:00) are narrated by the admired actor, Simon Callow – the icing on the CD cake! This album and the earlier highly recommendable 'The Night Before Christmas' (Naxos 8.570331) are both produced by our friend Philip Lane. Peter Burt
...BRAGA SANTOS Royal National Scottish Orchestra / Ấlvaro Cassuto Alfama Ballet Suite; Symphonic Overture; Variations for Orchestra; Elegy; Three Symphonic Sketches Naxos 8.572815(72:36) Although not well-known in the UK, Joly Braga Santos (1924-88) was an outstanding Portuguese composer whose works vary from light music through to full scale symphonies. TheAlfama Ballet Suite is linked to the ancient Arab district of Lisbon and was recently discovered and orchestrated by the conductor, a former pupil of the composer. There are also several symphonies on the Marco Polo label, so definitely worth investigating if you like tuneful contemporary music.Peter Worsley...
......'DAN GODFREY ENCORES' Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra / Ronald Corp...... ...... ......Zampa ......(Herold)......; Gee Whizz! ......(Brooke)......; Carillon ......(Percy Whitlock)......; The Boatswain's Mate ......(Dame Ethel Smyth)......; Clatter of the Clogs ......(Flynn)......; In an Eastern Garden ......(Sir Landon Ronald)......; 'The Betrothal' ballet music ......(Armstrong Gibbs)......; Dance of the Nymphs & ...... ......Pizzicati ......(Montague Birch)......; The Magic Harp ......(Ian Boyle)......; Karlsbad's Dolls Dance ......(Ludwig Pleier)......; Love Duet ......from...... 'The Immortal Hour' ......(Rutland Boughton)......; Sierra Melody ......(Cecil White)...... ......Dutton Epoch CDLX...... (67:27) This is a fine and most welcome collection of encores given by Sir Dan Godfrey with his Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra during the early years of the 20th Century. Most had been lost in the mists of times so it is really good to hear them resurrected and played, appropriately, by the current BSO. ......Peter Worsley......
GRIEG 'Music For String Orchestra' Malmö Symphony Orchestra / Bjarte Engeset 15 tracks incl. From Holberg's Time & Lyric Suite Naxos 8.572403 (71:13) Lovely works, often inspired by poetry or the composer's native Norwegian countryside, very well played as Edvard Grieg intended, not by a chamber or string group but by the string section of a full symphony orchestra. If you only know his Piano Concerto, then try this – a real bargain. Edward Trub
KALINNIKOV 'Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2' Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra / Kees BakelsBIS BIS-CD-1155 (77:29) One of the great tragedies of the history of Russian music was the early death through intractable ill-health, at the early age of 34 in 1901, of Vassily Sergeyevitch Kalinnikov. He displayed early signs of an impressive burgeoning musical talent revealed unmistakably in two youthful life enhancing and adorable symphonies written in quick succession in the 1980s. Very Russian in idiom with vivid attractive themes and brilliant assured glittering orchestration, it is little short of astonishing that music of this quality makes so few visits to the concert hall or recording studio. This new release can be warmly recommended with confidence. The orchestra was formed as recently as 1998 and its 105 members have quickly established an excellent reputation, having already recorded with their Dutch conductor laureate a 4-CD series of Rimsky Korsakov for BIS that was well received. If you only buy one classically orientated disc this year, I would strongly urge you to consider making this one, full of naturally flowing melodies of great charm and natural spontaneity, your choice. Roger Hyslop
......E. J. MOERAN & JOHN IRELAND Royal Scottish National Orchestra / Martin Yates Dutton Epoch CDLX 7281...... (59:13) Three major world premieres on one CD, the most important being the completion by the conductor of what would have been Moeran's ......2nd Symphony...... put together from sketches and fragments found after his untimely death in 1950. ......Overture for a Festival ......dates from the composer's pre-war period while ......Sarnia by...... John Ireland is an orchestration of a three movement wartime piano piece about the occupied Channel Isles. Serious music but in a lighter British vein. ......Peter Worsley......
'NEW YEAR'S CONCERT 2012' Wiener Philharmoniker/ Jansons Sony Classical 88697927102 2 CDs: 25 tracks Wielding the baton this year in Vienna at the Golden Hall of the Musicverein's Straussfest was the Latvian Mariss Jansons, who is in the top five of today's classical music conductors. As well as popular works by members of the Strauss family, with polkas predominating, we hear Ziehrer Viennese Citizens, Hellmesberger Diabolic dance, Lumbye ("The Strauss of Scandinavia") Copenhagen Railway Steam Galop and Tchaikovsky Panorama and Waltzfrom the 'Sleeping Beauty' ballet. The last three items were a "first" at these concerts, as were the three opening items: Patriotic March, Town Hall Ball Dances and Either – Or! The last two items in the first half, Albion Polka and Jokey Polka,look forward to this year's Olympic Games. The famous Vienna Boys Choir join in with the VPO on the Tritsch-Tratsch and Fireproof Polkas. On the latter the maestro not only conducts but also plays the anvil. There is also a DVD (88697927139) with four bonus features. Definitely life-enhancing music in whatever form. Edward Trub
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV 'Orchestral Suites' Seattle Symphony / Gerard Schwarz Suite from 'The Snow Maiden'; Sadko – Musical picture; Suite from 'Mlada'; Suite from 'Le Coq d'Or' Naxos 8.572787 (70.04)This is another winner from the team that gave us this composer's previous release (8.572788) acclaimed by Roger Hyslop in our last issue. All the suites are taken from operas. No wonder that the disc was chosen on a Classic fM 'New CD Show' in January as "CD of the Week." And, despite a price rise to £6.99 (less online), still a great bargain. If you like this you might be interested In Rimsky's best-known work, Sheherazade, in a version with the same forces (8.572693), described by one reviewer as "absolutely terrific". Peter Burt
...SVENDSEN 'Orchestral Works Vol.1' Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra / Neeme JärviChandos CHAN 10693 (80:00) If you liked the highly acclaimed series of Halvorsen's orchestral works on this label by the same performers you will also like this from his fellow Norwegian, a contemporary of the great Grieg. Johan Svendsen's works, which are characterized by vitality and a mood of festivity, include two symphonies, concertos for violin and cello and chamber music, but he is remembered mainly for his shorter works, like Carnival in Paris, Romance (Marianne Thorson is the solo violinist here) and Norwegian Rhapsodies. These are among the ten tracks on this disc, none of which exceeds 12:1 minutes. It is an album of approachable music, very well played, superbly recorded, and with the longest playing time I have come across so far. Edward Trub ...
GRAINGER 'Rambles & Reflections' Piers Lane (piano) The Carman's Whistle (Air and Variations)(Byrd); Hornpipe from Water Music (Handel); Handelian Rhapsody (Cyril Scott); Air and Dance(Delius); Four Irish Dances (Stanford); Beautiful Fresh Flower (Anon–Trad); Ramble on Love from Der Rosenkavalier (R Strauss); Cradle Song (Brahms); Après un Rêve; Nell (Fauré); Paraphrase on Tchaikovsky's Flower Waltz; The Man I Love; Love Walked In (Gershwin); Lullaby (Foster) Helios CDH55454 (75:19) These delightful pieces are piano transcriptions made by Percy Grainger (1882–1961) the Australian-born composer, arranger and pianist best know for his arrangement of the folk-dance tune Country Gardens. With an Australian mother, Piers Lane was born (and now lives) in London, but grew up in Brisbane. He has played at the BBC Proms on five occasions. His playing here is spirited and quite enriching. Edward Trub
HOLST 'The Coming Of Christ' ... ... Holst Orchestra, City of London Choir & St Paul's Girls School Chamber Choir / Hilary Davan Wetton with narrator Robert Hardy EMR CD004(57:00) This unusual choral piece was commissioned by the Dean of Canterbury Cathedral, where it was first performed in 1927, as a setting of a text by John Masefield and although some had misgivings about a modern mystery play, 6,000 people turned up to hear the various performances. This premiere recording is accompanied by four shorter pieces, including the Nunc Dimittis and two psalms. If you like serious and unusual choral works then you will enjoy it but in any event, check out the English Music Festival which is held annually each summer near Oxford and devotes itself to tuneful British composers with a... ...strong emphasis on the late 19th and early 20th centuries – the Golden Renaissance of English music.... ... Edmund Whitehouse
Wilfred Askew reminds us of some other recently received releases
LIBERACE 'I'll Be Seeing You – The Piano Stylings of ...' 51 titles incl. Fascination; Gigi; All the way; Bless this house; Smile; Mack the Knife; To each his own; Over the rainbow; Buttons and bows ... Jasmine JASCD 174 (154:58) Four original Coral albums on two CDs.
DAVE PELL 'I Remember John Kirby' 11 tracks incl. Rose room; Royal Garden Blues; Undecided; Blue skies ... 'The Big Small Bands' 12 tracks incl. Then I'll be happy; Summit Ridge Drive; At the codfish ball; Viva Zapata; Mountain greenery ... Fresh Sound FSR 2259 (70:47) Two original Capitol albums (1959/60)
DAVE PELL OCTET 'Swingin' In The Ol' Corral' 12 tracks incl. I'm an old cowhand; Gal in calico; Empty saddles; Wagon wheels; Oklahoma hills; Cool water; Across the alley from the Alamo...Fresh Sound FSR 1655 (40:50) Original RCA album of 1956.
TERRY SNYDER & THE ALL-STARS 'Persuasive Percussion, vols 1 & 2' 24 tracks incl. Whatever Lola wants; My heart belongs to Daddy; Aloha oe; Japanese Sandman; In a Persian market; Blue Tango; Lady of Spain; Brazil ... Sepia 1170 (66:08) Originally issued on Enoch Light's Command label (1959/60).
BOB THOMPSON, HIS ORCHESTRA & CHORUS 'Just For Kicks' 14 tracks incl. On the street where you live; Diga Diga Doo; Look for the silver lining; It might as well be Spring ... 'Mmm Nice!' 13 tracks incl. Hello, young lovers; Do it again; Joie de vivre; While we're young ... 'On The Rocks' 12 tracks incl. Happy talk; All the things you are; Breezin' along with the breeze; I'll see you again ... Blue Moon BMCD 819 (98:53) Three RCA albums (1958-59) on two CDs.
ED TOWNSEND 'New In Town' & 'Glad To Be Here' 24 tracks incl. The more I see you, Rockin' chair; Mam'selle; Symphony; Prisoner of love ... When my dreamboat comes home; Golden earrings; Brazil, Dinah; On the street where you live ... Blue Moon BMCD 1632 (77:12) Two Capitol albums from 1958, arranged/conducted by Nelson Riddle.
AL VIOLA 'Guitars' 24 tracks incl. When you're smiling; Moonlight in Vermont; And the angels sing; Route 66; Lover ... Lonesome Road; All star; Lemon Twist; Makin' whoopee; I'll remember April ...Fresh Sound FSR-CD 633 (60:34) Two Liberty albums of 1959.
FRANZ WAXMAN 'Sunset Boulevard' (Soundtrack) 22 tracks with bonus: The Paramount-don't-want-me-Blues (2:24) Counterpoint CPT-1001 (52:40) Also contains two booklets: The Making of Sunset Boulevard (28pp); Franz Waxman and the Road to Sunset Boulevard (40pp).
WERNER TAUTZ – Time for Music Bing Bang, The Better Idea, On the Road South, Your Tenderness, Piccadilly Walk, Portrait of a Dream, Black Velvet, Tokyo Tea Time, etc… 25 tracksVarious German Orchestras. (Germany) Bliss Records BRA 10011, 77:15 mins. Werner Tautz celebrated his 80th birthday last December, and this great collection of 25 of his compositions is a worthy tribute. Many readers of this magazine will already be familiar with Werner’s tuneful melodies through earlier Bliss Records releases, and they will be aware of his talent for composing bright and tuneful works that are so easy on the ear. This time the emphasis is more on dance and swing music, and once again Werner demonstrates that he is a master of this as well. The music simply bounces along happily from track to track, with some great big band sounds from various German radio orchestras that may well come as a pleasant surprise to collectors who think that the Americans (and perhaps a few British outfits) had a monopoly in this area. Not so! The likes of Kurt Edelhagen, Delle Haensche, Alfred Hause, Horst Jankowski, Erwin Lehn, Werner Müller and even Britain’s Reg Owen, all have a ball playing Werner’s great tunes. The recordings date from 1956 to 1977, and they seem to come from all the top radio stations in Germany. The booklet notes are in German and English, and I have no hesitation in saying that this new CD is going to give a lot of pleasure to folks who enjoy tuneful big band music from a few decades ago. David Ades Bliss CDs are available from the RFS Record Service for £14 [US $28] each.
MORE BEWITCHING PIANO Eddie Heywood – Sweet and Lovely, Who’s Sorry Now; Steve Race – So in Love; Ben Light – Perfidia, Tea For Two; Carmen Cavallaro – They Can’t Take That Away From Me, Some Enchanted Evening; Frankie Carle – Running Wild, Sunrise Serenade; Semprini – Kitten on the Keys; Stanley Black – Falling in Love with Love; Vivian Ellis – "Bless the Bride" selection; plus Diana Lynn, Jan August, Barclay Allen, Carroll Gibbons, Felix King, Ian Stewart, Frankie Froba and Eddy Duchin – 24 tracks Memoir CDMOIR 571, 76:38 mins. It would be hard to imagine a better choice of pianists than this, and this recent collection from Memoir will find its way into the hands of many appreciative piano lovers. The Vivian Ellis selection from his hit show "Bless The Bride" is a real gem. Digital sound restoration is in the safe hands of Ted Kendall, proving once again that the dusty grooves of those old 78s contained more magical sounds than we realised at the time. David Ades
THE BIG BEAUTIFUL MALE VOICE Edmund Hockridge – Just Say I Love Her, I Leave My Heart in an English Garden, If I Loved You; Howard Keel – The Girl That I Marry, My Defences are Down; Gordon MacRae – So in Love; Allan Jones – If, Falling In Love With Love; Lee Lawrence – So Ends my Search for a Dream, How Can You Buy Killarney?; David Hughes – With These Hands, A Beggar in Love; plus John Raitt, Teddy Johnson, Vaughan Monroe, Harry Dawson, Lester Ferguson, Georges Guetary, Reggie Goff and Bill Johnson – 24 tracks Memoir CDMOIR 572, 72:45 mins. The title of this CD is a bit of a mouthful, but then it features some very big voices! If you think of your favourite male singer from around 50 years ago, the chances are that he will be included in this collection.David Ades
THE MOZART LOUNGE Stanislaus, A Long Cigarette, Zottos, Halogene, Cindy’s Jump, Blues in Italy, Fake Three, Pluto, Arcadia, Midnight Shadow, Bamba, Jasmin, Wagtail, I’ll Wait for your Love, Three Cats, Moonshot, Haute Couture & You Have Gone Apollo Sound APSCD229, 44:55 mins. Apart from track 7 ‘Fake Three’ by Paul Lewis, the names of the other composers may be a little unfamiliar, although they will mean a lot to the aficionados of Test Card Music: W. Kubiczeck, H. Walther, J. Gleichmann, M. Peiper, M. Gutesha, G. Peguri, T. Schumann, Sapabo, H. Stuck … etc (pity their first names aren’t given in full). If you haven’t yet realised from the title, these recordings emanate from the Mozart Edition Production Music Library, which has already been ‘raided’ in previous releases from Apollo Sound (and ASV). This latest compilation is not really light music, but tuneful, rhythmic pop of the kind that tended to overwhelm us in the 1970s. Perhaps it is aimed more at the ‘serious’ collectors of this kind of repertoire, which will certainly ensure that sales are healthy. Sound quality is good, although I do wonder if some people might feel that the total running time of under 45 minutes is a trifle ungenerous. David Ades Apollo Sound CDs are available from the RFS Record Service for £12.75 [US $25.50] each.
SKYSCRAPERS – SYMPHONIC JAZZ Skyscrapers (John Alden Carpenter), Manhattan Serenade & Manhattan Moonlight (Louis Alter), Two American Sketches (Thomas Griselle), Song of the Bayou (Rube Bloom), New Year’s Eve in New York (Hans Werner-Janssen), Skyward (Nathaniel Shilkret), My Silent Love (Dana Suesse), Buffoon (Zez Confrey) Victor Symphony/Concert Orchestra conducted by Nathaniel Shilkret Naxos 8120644, 64:23 mins. I was attracted to this CD as soon as I read about it in the monthly Naxos list, and it certainly provides a fascinating insight into one aspect of the American recording scene way back around 1930, when jazz was making such an impact. Many of the works are new to me, particularly the opening number Skyscrapers by John Alden Carpenter, which runs to almost 22 minutes. When I first listened to it I considered it to be pretentious and boring, but then I took it with me on a long car journey, and found myself playing it repeatedly. There really is a lot going for this work, although the main reason why it isn’t better known could be because it lacks the kind of strong romantic theme that Gershwin, for example, would have conjured up. But I find it fascinating, none-the-less. On the other hand, Louis Alter’sManhattan Serenade is a well-known delightful standard, although this is a fragmentary arrangement which comes to annoying abrupt pauses, just when you think the melody is finally going to take off. The American Sketches by Thomas Griselle are far more satisfying, as is Rude Bloom’s Song of the Bayou and that lovely song by Dana Suesse My Silent Love. Perhaps the best-known work is the closing number Buffoon, by that ‘Kitten on the Keys’ man, Zez Confrey; this is a ‘fun’ arrangement! All in all this is an interesting collection, a bit disappointing here and there, but who can really complain at such a bargain price – around £5. Producer David Lennick and sound engineer Graham Newton have worked wonders with these ancient grooves. I urge you to sample it. David Ades
JEAN SABLON J’attendrai, These Foolish Things, La Chanson des Rues, Vous qui Passez sans me Voir, Paris tu n’as pas Change, Symphony, Pigalle, My Foolish Heart, C’est si Bon, etc… 20 tracksNaxos 8120641, 62:57 mins. I have always enjoyed the voice of Jean Sablon, one of the several talented singers of his generation whose fame spread well beyond his native France. So I didn’t hesitate to acquire this new CD, although my initial excitement quickly turned to disappointment when I started to listen. The sound restoration is poor, and I am surprised that a company such as Naxos would release such an inferior product. It makes a nonsense of the blurb inside the booklet, which informs us that … "Naxos has engaged a number of respected restorers who have the dedication, skill and experience to produce restorations that have set new standards in the field of historical recordings." This one certainly slipped through the net: it is simply not good enough. David Ades
VICTOR HELY-HUTCHINSON A Carol Symphony Improvisations on Christmas Carols (Brian Kelly); A Carol Symphony (Victor Hely-Hutchinson); Bethlehem Down (Peter Warlock, arr. Lane); Wassail Dances (Philip Lane); A Christmas Carol Symphony (Patric Standford). City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Gavin Sutherland. Naxos 8.557099. Surprisingly, this is only the third recording of Hely-Hutchinson’s wonderful Christmas piece but this CD also includes another fine Carol Symphony composed in 1979 by Patric Standford. Also delighting the Light Music ear are excellent works by Brian Kelly, Peter Warlock and Philip Lane. Don’t think for a moment that this disc is only suitable for Christmas because it is, without doubt, all-year round delightful fayre which will give great pleasure to many. Lane’s arrangements of the Warlock piece reminds one of the string version of John Ireland’s The Holy Boy and who is to say it does not deserve equal recognition? Peter Worsley
ENTENTE CORDIALE Light Classics Peter Warlock – Capriol Suite; Dame Ethel Smyth – Two Interlinked French Melodies; Peter Hope – Four French Dances; Joseph Jongen – Two pieces; Charles Lecoco – Overture, The Lady and the Maid; Paul Lewis – A Paris; Jean Gabriel-Marie – Mireio suite; Cesar Franck – Chorale. City of Prague Philharmonic conducted by Gavin Sutherland and Christopher Phelps ASV White Line CDWHL2147, 70:25 mins. Contrary to the expectation generated by the title, the inspiration for this CD is music with a purely French influence which is either composed by the French themselves, or Belgians or the British. Our friends at ASV are right to subtitle this CD ‘Light Classics’ because readers who have purchased previous Light Music CDs in the White Line series might feel that most of the music on offer here is somewhat on the serious side. Probably the best-known work is Peter Warlock’s Capriol Suite, and Peter Hope’s charming French Dances may also sound familiar through broadcast performances. Easily the most accessible piece of music in this collection is Paul Lewis’s delightful waltz A Paris which he composed in 1991. Jean Gabriel-Marie’s Mireio suite provençale is a very pleasant surprise, with the opening Prologueconfirming how much an influence Ravel exerted on composers of incidental music around 70 years ago. It would have been nice if the ‘Entente Cordiale’ idea had been exploited to its full potential by including some French musical impressions of Britain … but perhaps there aren’t any. David Ades
ORIENT EXPRESS: The Legendary Journey Captured in Music. DARYL GRIFFITH: Orient Express, KENNETH WRIGHT: Dainty Lady, F. CHARROSIN: Keep Moving, RENÉ POUGNET: Aubade, L. OLIAS: Paris Urchin, FRED HARTLEY: (arr) Five Minutes with Waldteufel, KRUGER HANSCHMANN: Farmer’s Breakfast; In the Park Café, G WINKLER: Spinning Top, KARL KOMZAK, snr: Munchen-Wien, MOZART: La Finta Giardiniera Overture, R STOLZ: Easter Parade in Vienna, KORNGOLD (Arr Artok): Marietta’s Song, SCHNEIDER: Lehar in Three Four Time, KÁLMÁN: Grand Palotas de la Reine, J. G. RENNER: Gypsy Blood, J. KNÛMANN: Roumanian Gypsy Fantasia, H. KROME: Bulgarian Dance, CECIL RAYNER: Fatina, An Eastern Waltz. London Salon Ensemble Meridian CDE 84466 (79'57") This desirable, very generously measured disc charts in light music the progress of the original Orient Express through France, Germany, Austria, Hungary and Rumania. We start in London with a specially composed piece of train music by Daryl Griffith, harmonium player in the LSE, and contrasting miniatures by Kenneth Wright and Frederick Charrosin. Paris Urchin is a perky number and along the way there is opportunity for all manner of dance music – waltzes by Waldteufel, Stolz, Lehar and Cecil Rayners (Constantinople, represented by an English writer for silent films!) a Bavarian peasant polka, Komzak’s delicious polka mazurka, Hungarian dances by Kalman and characteristic Rumanian and Bugarian examples (gypsy music has long been a standby of light orchestras). The transcription of Korngold’s famous song seems a touch long in this context, but Winkler’s Spinning top and Mozart’s elegant little overture are especial delights. This attractive, often unusual programme is executed in perfect style. Strongly recommended. Philip L. Sowcroft
New from Meridian is another sparkling CD from the London Salon Ensemble – this time recreating in music a journey on the original Orient Express which ran from London to Constantinople (Istanbul). The cities on the journey are represented either by title, composer, or both. The title tune Orient Express is really rather special as it is a first-rate piece of Light Music composed specifically for the Ensemble by their Harmonium, Celesta and Percussion player, Daryll Griffith. A versatile musician is Daryll, having not only played violin with the BBC Concert Orchestra, but having also conducted it! Having heard several of his many compositions, I have been amazed that for a relatively young man he has a marvellous understanding of the light music idiom. Before leaving London we are serenaded by Kenneth Wright’s delightful Dainty Lady. The theme of the CD provides the Ensemble with a wonderful excuse (as if one was needed) to include Charrosin’s scintillating string fresco Keep Moving– a piece that ‘brings the house down’ at their public concerts. In France we meet a Paris Urchin, a possibly unfamiliar yet enchanting piece of typically 1950s style light music, featuring the accordion of Neil Varley (who is the producer of Brian Kay’s Light Programme on Radio-3). Its composer, Lotar Olias, apparently once submitted an entry for the Eurovision Song Contest! Well, nobody’s perfect! We are then treated to some Waldteufel waltzes (Fred Hartley style). Fred was incidentally Head of Light Music at the BBC from 1940-1944 (not 1946 as stated in the booklet). Other delights include In a Park Café and Winkler’s Spinning Top. As we reach Salzburg, what more appropriate than Mozart’s tiny overture La Finta Giardiniera. On then to Vienna with waltz medleys by Stolz and Lehar, and then to Budapest and Bucharest with some typical gypsy music, including Renner’s Gypsy Blood. After aBulgarian Dance by Hermann Krome, we conclude our journey in Constantinople with an Eastern Waltz by Cecil Rayners – Fatima. There’s something for everyone on this CD, which is superbly played and recorded in natural acoustics. Howard Friend’s informative notes are of great interest; we are also treated to a picture of the London Salon Ensemble as well as a reproduction of an actual Orient Express timetable (assuming that it wasn’t cancelled for engineering works or leaves on the line!). Although this commendable CD is available in the shops for £14.99, it is suggested that you purchase it at a much reduced price direct from the Ensemble. You should contact: Lars Payne, 40 Durand Gardens, London SW9 0PP, England – or telephone him on 0207 735 7948. Brian Reynolds
DENNIS LOTIS Decca Singles Undecided, That’s-a-Why, Settin’ the Woods on Fire, Don’t Let the Stars get in your Eyes, Ma Says Pa Says, I Collect, Wild Horses, etc… 25 tracks Vocalion CDLK4150, 61:29 mins. Ted Heath was fortunate in having several top vocalists who became star performers in their own right. Vocalion has already reissued some classic tracks by Dickie Valentine (CDLK4147), and now it is the turn of Dennis Lotis – happily still appearing regularly on stage with Rosemary Squires. It seems incredible that he has been singing for over 50 years, and these early recordings reveal that he was one of the very best. He didn’t always have very good songs to sing, but it is fun to hear the best (and the worst!) once again in this enjoyable compilation. David Ades
TED HEATH Big Band Dixie Sound That’s a Plenty, I Wish I could Shimmy like my Sister Kate, The Darktown Strutters Ball, etc… Big Band Blues St. Louis Blues, Memphis Blues, Blues in the Night, etc… Vocalion CDLK4155, 77:14 mins. Vocalion continues to serve Ted Heath fans magnificently, with a steady stream of LP reissues. No doubt Ted’s legion of fans will add this latest to their CD collections. David Ades
BRITISH BY ARRANGEMENT Beatlecracker Suite (Tchaikovsky/Lennon & McCartney arr. Arthur Wilkinson); The African Queen (Allan Gray arr. Philip Lane); Nocturne (Borodin arr. Malcolm Sargent); Dances from Terpsichore (Praetorius arr. Philip Lane); Variations (Donizetti arr. Robert Irving), Mendelssohniana (Philip Lane). City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Gavin Sutherland. ASV White Line CD WHL 2142. Tchaikovsky and the Beatles may sound an unusual combination but after you have heard Wilkinson’s Beatlecracker Suite you will marvel at the juxtaposition of the eight short movements. Philip Lane is a master of arrangement and his continuing fruitful relationship with conductor Gavin Sutherland has again hit the Light Music bullseye. Who is next for the treatment? Edmund Whitehouse
BILLY MAYERL Marigold; Hollyhock; Four Aces Suite (Clubs, Hearts, Diamonds, Spades); The Joker; Hop-o’-my-Thumb; Jazz Master; Railroad Rhythm; The Song of the Fir Tree; Harp of the Winds; Three Dances in Syncopation (English, Cricket, Harmonica); Aquarium Suite (Willow Moss, Moorish Idol, Fantail, Whirligig) (all Billy Mayerl); Wake Up and Dream medley (Cole Porter); Baby’s Birthday(Ronell); Balloons (Magine), Here Comes the Bride medley (Schwartz), Limehouse Blues (Braham). Evergreen Melodies CL2. Released to celebrate Billy’s centenary alongside an article in This Englandmagazine, all the original tracks feature the "Nimble fingered gentleman" himself. Apart from theAquarium Suite which includes his own orchestra playing in the background, they are exciting piano solos, played mostly at the frenetic pace which made the maestro such an exciting entertainer. Also available in shortened cassette form. Eat your heart out, Liberace! Edmund Whitehouse
LITA ROZA Decca Singles The Blacksmith Blues, Allentown Jail, High Noon, Early Autumn, Walkin’ to Missouri, Half as Much, etc… 25 tracks Vocalion CDLK4160, 68:19 mins. Vocalion has already released a CD of two of Lita’s Decca LPs (CDLK4126), but now the spotlight falls on her singles. She had some big hits (Blacksmith Blues and Allentown Jail) and recorded many songs that have survived the years. Of course, this selection finds her with her boss Ted Heath, as well as Reg Owen, Johnny Douglas, Roland Shaw and Bob Sharples. Voted No. 1 Female Vocalist from 1952 until 1955, these 78s are part of Britain’s Pop History; it is important that they should be available. David Ades
CYRIL STAPLETON Decca Singles Collection for full tracklisting see page 48 of JIM 153 – December 2002 Vocalion CDLK4154, 77:57 mins. Fans with fond memories for the BBC’s "Show Band Show" have probably invested already; so these notes are aimed at potential first-time buyers. Much recorded in 1952, Eric Spear’s Meet Mr. Callaghan features Miller-type saxes in this version, while the treatment of Doll Dance could hardly be more Latin-Sixty-ish. Loads of variety in-between-times too; that corkingly brassy Elephants’ Tango and the catchy Italian Theme, the latter an instant recall by me after years, nay decades silence. More nostalgia, should one recall the march which introduced "Highway Patrol"; and more warmly romantic film/TV melodies by Max Steiner and Victor Young. Pop-inflected pieces present shorter, punchily-rhythmic melodic lines; and so on. Many tracks showcase brilliant engineering (Kenneth Wilkinson, perhaps?) as well as musical skills. Some traditionalists might object to the vocal ‘intrusions’, but they are few and one can skip them in the generous 30 tracks. Michael Dutton’s faithful exemplary transfers (I’ve compared where I could) add to an already strong recommendation. Finally, see if you can spot the tiny paraphrase on Great Little Army during track 9! John Govier
JOHNNY KEATING SOUND The Keating Sound Listen, Speak Low, Baghdad Blues, Serenata, etc…Straight Ahead The Preacher, Swing Low Sweet Chariot, Hey Girl, etc… Vocalion CDLK4165, 73:31 mins. Johnny Keating was chief arranger for Ted Heath, so he knew a thing or two about Dance and Swing Bands. He also knew that, by the 1960s, the days of the ‘traditional’ dance bands were well and truly numbered. Things had to change, and these two LPs from 1964 and 1965 illustrate graphically how Johnny felt they should change. My goodness, how people sat up and took notice when they heard the first track Listen! It still has the same effect today. Malcolm Laycock’s note puts everything into the right perspective, and if you had any doubts about the quality of the musicians a glance at the credits will reveal that only the top session men were good enough to play these adventurous charts. I missed these LPs the first time around; I am very glad to have them now!David Ades
JACK BUCHANAN Medley (Two Little Bluebirds, It’s Not You, There’s Always Tomorrow, Dancing Honeymoon, And Her Mother Came Too, Who); Everything Stops For Tea; Fancy Our Meeting; From One Minute to Another; Goodnight Vienna; I Think I Can; I’m In a Dancing Mood; etc... Evergreen Melodies CYC. The alleged comment made after Fred Astaire’s first audition was "Can’t act, can’t sing but can dance a little"! The same accusations were made about Jack Buchanan, Britain’s Fred Astaire lookalike. There were many similarities between the two and all these excellent songs from the Thirties go with a swing which make the listener hum along without even realising it. His main leading lady was Elsie Randolph who pops up on five of the tracks with a man she described as "Immaculate in dress and behaviour, totally and unselfishly dedicated to the theatre". Also available in shortened cassette form. Edmund Whitehouse
"Music At Sunset" Beating Retreat - DUNN: The Captain General and Fanfare, Salute for Heroes; HANDEL arr. DUNN: Where ere You Walk; McBAIN: Bugle March; Mechanised Infantry, plus drummings, Heart of Oak, Land of Hope and Glory, Cockaigne, Evening Hymn and Sunset, Rule Britannia and A Life on the Ocean Wave; Music at Sunset - ALFORD: Marches, By Land and Sea and The Vedette and Waltz, Thoughts, ZETHLE: Viscount Nelson March, BRIDGER: The Shanghai Sailor; CLIFTON PARKER: Sink the Bismarck TATTOO ALFORD: The Middy; RAUSCH: Bugle March, Sambre et Meuse; DUNN Royal Flourish No.2 and March, Passing By; HANDEL arr. DUNN: March and Air plus Drummings, Crown Imperial, Jerusalem, and Evening Hymn and Last Post.) Band of HM Royal Marines School of Music / Lt. Col. F. Vivian Dunn. EASTNEY COLLECTION RMHSEC 007, £12.00 each incl. p & p from 60 Mayford Road, London SW12 8SN, England. This is a superb tribute to that fine musician and great gentleman, Sir Vivian Dunn, one of several from Eastney, but this one shows his talent not just as a conductor, but as an arranger and composer. It falls into three parts, the first and third being a recreation of military ceremonies with appropriate music, mostly marches and fanfares, with snippets of Elgar, Parry, Walton and Handel - some moving moments here. In between we have a short concert comprising three marches, two of them by Alford and not among the more hackneyed ones, a film theme (and Sink the Bismarck does stir the blood), a charming waltz reminding us that Alford could compose things other than marches and the sprightly piccolo solo, The Shanghai Sailor. I like Dunn’s own compositions which skilfully incorporate popular melodies, rather as his great predecessor, Alford often did. Excellent performance and recording; need I say more.Philip L. Scowcroft
‘DAYDREAMS’ - The Chamber & Instrumental Music of Sir Arthur Sullivan String Quartet; Daydreams 1 to 6; Idyll for cello and piano; Allegro Resoluto; Slowly Slowly [cello/piano]; Berceuse, Romance for String Quartet; Thoughts 1 & 2; Twilight; Duo Concertante Yeomans String Quartet, James Watson [cello], Murray McLachlan [piano] SOMM CD 233. Sullivan composed so much more than his comic operas with Gilbert and CD companies, even performers, are gradually taking note of this. Indeed, he deserved to be known as a master of "serious" music, though much of this disc of his solo piano and chamber music is light and tuneful enough. The Daydreams are nicely varied, best being the fourth, a waltz re-cycled from a ballet. The two Thoughts are even briefer and lighter in touch. The Berceuse is Sullivan’s own transcription of an air from ‘Cox and Box’. Most substantial are the fairly recently rediscovered one movement Quartet – a student work like theRomance and both showing Mendelssohn’s example – and the Duo Concertante for cello and orchestra. Practically all the piano and cello works date from the 1860s; Slowly Slowly is a transcription by Berthold Tows of an excerpt from ‘The Golden Legend’. Performances are very good, with a special mention for the hard worked M McLachlan. Recording and presentation are first rate.Philip L. Scowcroft SOMM Recordings can be ordered direct from them at: 13 Riversdale Road, Thames Ditton, Surrey, KT7 0QL, England.
DAVID HUGHES Favourite Opera & Operetta Arias On with the Motley, Your tiny hand is frozen, Take a pair of sparkling eyes, etc… Songs You Love Where e’er you walk, Ave Maria, Angels Guard Thee, etc… Vocalion CDLK4166, 78:11 mins. The serious side of David Hughes is represented on these two LPs, the first with the City of Birmingham Orchestra conducted by Louis Fremaux, and the second featuring Gilbert Vinter and his Orchestra and Jack Byfield on the piano. David’s transformation from ‘Pop’ to ‘Opera’ is confirmed in these fine recordings, made not long before his sudden death from a heart attack in October 1972. Examples of his early rise to fame are already available on Vocalion CDLK4134. David Ades
‘NULLI SECUNDUS’ Burton: The Minstrel Boy; Goodwin: Second To None; Ellis: Op. Palllister; Jones: We Are The Music Makers; Barnwell: A New Start; Taylor: Wandering Minstrel; Meldrum: Decadian; Norley: Pegasus Bridge; Brydon: The Dalesman; Torrent: Excelsior; Wolfendale: The Minstrel Boy; Taylor: Oxbridge; Walters: The Castle Guard; Torrent: Flying Colours; Philbin: Crown & Lyre; Burton: Foggy Foggy Dew; Brown: Strident King, On The Countermarch; Hallatt: Scutad; Goodwin: Esprit de Corps; Hopla: The White Rose; Hamilton: Oath For All Corps Comrades; Allen: The Musical Ride; Forsyth: Band Ready; Sale: Duty Calls; Burton: The River Wide Band of the Prince of Wales Division [Clive], Band of the Royal Logistic Corps conducted by Lieutenant-Colonel Geoffrey A Kingston CA Mus Bandleader BNA 5173, 68:13 mins. On sampling this disc one could be forgiven for thinking that most of the existing "tunesmiths" representing the lighter end of the musical spectrum are to be found alive and well and residing within the ranks of the British Army musicians! Here is a splendid collection of 26 brand new rousing and essentially tuneful quick marches composed by various aspiring bandsmen and their more senior officers as entries for the Corps of Army Music March Competition. The vast bulk of the material here is completely original although there are a few borrowings from ‘Trad’ and, in one case, Sir Arthur Sullivan. Considering the limited amount of time available for both rehearsal and recording and the fact that the musicians were totally unfamiliar with the scores, the two bands under the skilful and expert guidance of their conductor, the Principal Director of Music [Army], acquit themselves with distinction and the overall results are pretty impressive. A stimulating, unusual and heartening disc which reflects great credit on the standards demanded and attained at the Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall, and well recorded there in the Morris Hall. As to which march subsequently won the Competition, I can only recommend you to buy this disc and find out! Roger Hyslop Bandleader CDs are available from DISCURIO, 46 High Street, Rochester, Kent, ME1 1LD. Tel/Fax 01634 845222, www.discurio.com, or from larger retail outlets such as the HMV Oxford Street stores in London.
KOMZAK, LANNER, MILLOCKER, STRAUSS (JOHANN AND JOSEF), SUPPE, ZIEHRER Overtures, Marches, Polkas, Waltzes Johann Strauss Orchestra of Vienna conducted by Willi BoskovskyEMI Double Forte 72435756762,total timing 120:37 minutes. Much of the material for this very generously filled pair of EMI Double Fortes -26 tracks in all -hails from a 4 LP box set issued during the mid -1970s under the title 'Viennese Enchantment'. Most of the first disc is occupied by fairly standard fare -Suppe's Light Cavalry and Poet and Peasant etc., although there is an unfamiliar Johann Strauss overture - Blindekuh (Blind Man's Buff) and one by Ziehrer entitled Die Landstreicher. The second disc however is a cornucopia of Viennese rarities including two waltzes by Carl Millocker -Carletta and the Traum Walzer from The Army Chaplain and a mouth-watering confection of dance music by Komzak, Lanner and Ziehrer whose sheer fecundity for producing attractive, lilting, enchanting and stirring melodies surely rival the great 'Waltz King' himself. Two minor technical quibbles: the recording sessions used two different halls with noticeably different acoustic characteristics. One, fortunately used for the minority of tracks, produces a bright shallow sound whilst the other venue reveals sound of greater opulence and depth with more warmth from the string section. There are also some disconcerting variations in sound level between individual items which some judicious adjustment of the volume control can easily remedy. Overall however these discs at mid-price are excellent value particularly with that doyen of Viennese musicians -Willi Boskovsky -at the helm! Roger Hyslop
SIR ARTHUR SULLIVAN Iolanthe: Overture & The March Of The Peers; Patience: Quick March; Three Sketches from ‘Kenilworth’; Princess Ida: Quick March; The Lost Chord; Danish March [Princess of Wales March]; The Yeoman Of The Guard: Quick March; The Golden Legend: ‘O Gladsome Light’; Pineapple Poll: Suites 1 & 2; The Pirates Of Penzance: March The Band of the Irish Guards directed by Major Andrew Chatburn BA ARCM, psm The Specialist Recording Company SRC106, 68 minutes. Particularly welcome in the compilation under review are the Three Sketches from ‘Kenilworth’ in an arrangement by Herman Finck – he of In The Shadows fame. This work was a masque for chorus and orchestra based on Sir Walter Scott’s description of Elizabeth I’s visit to the town. First performed at the 1864 Birmingham Festival, it was fatally flawed by a weak libretto and quickly disappeared from the repertoire. Herman Finck rescued some of the score in the form of the Three Sketches as heard here and Dennis Wright subsequently transcribed the music for band. As far as one can recollect there are currently no alternative modern recordings currently available. Other rarities are the Danish March [Prince of Wales March] and ‘O Gladsome Light’. The Lost Chord – decidedly not a rarity – comes as a splendidly played cornet solo and it’s good to have arrangements of Sullivan’s music for the Savoy Operas in the form of very convincing quick marches, especially as according to John Humphries’ notes they have lain in the British Library unplayed for well over 50 years! The Irish Guards under their DOM, Major Chatburn, are in particularly fine form whilst the recordings made in The Chapel, The Royal Hospital, Chelsea, are quite magnificent with full, vivid and detailed sound. Military band enthusiasts and Sullivan aficionados alike can buy with confidence. A quality product! Roger Hyslop [available from DISCURIO and larger outlets, as above] The Specialist Recording Company has been set up by Michael Purton, principal horn player with the Hallé Orchestra 1973-1986, with the express objective of recording military bands on state of the art equipment in carefully selected locations so that these fine ensembles can be heard at their very best. Initially SAC are concentrating on producing single composer CDs. For the curious, so far issued in this series are discs devoted to Elgar [SRC101], Bliss [SRC102], and Arnold [SRC103], all employing bands of the Household Division or Royal Artillery.
TONY MARTIN Make With The Magic Singin’ in the Rain, No Orchids for my Lady, Pagan Love Song, Domino, Fascination, At Last At Last, Music Maestro Please, Manhattan, etc… 26 tracks Vocalion CDUS3031, 75:10 mins. Tony Martin was a very good singer in his prime, and his fans will be delighted to have this new collection of his recordings from 1947-52. The thing that immediately strikes you when first playing this CD is the amazing clarity that Michael Dutton has achieved from these old 78s. I have read that there are critics of his work, saying that middle and bass are sometimes less than they would like, but if your own personal preference requires a fuller-bodied sound this can be easily achieved by increasing the bass control on your amplifier – after all, that is why you have bass and treble controls at your fingertips. It is surprising that new Tony Martin CDs are coming along without any duplications (I checked the recent Memoir release), illustrating how many fine recordings he made. Many tracks this time benefit from Henri René accompaniments, and there are also some nice sounds from Earle Hagen and Freddy Martin. Most enjoyable. David Ades
ANNE SHELTON Music Music Music! It Happened in Adano, Greensleeves, If You Ever Fall in Love Again, etc … plus three tracks arranged and conducted by Robert Farnon: Don’t Misunderstand, Come Back to Angouleme & Love Me My Love. 25 tracks, Vocalion CDEA6081, 72:07 mins. She tended to be overshadowed by Vera Lynn, but Anne Shelton had a very good voice and it is to Decca’s credit that they issued many records by both of these talented ladies. This latest selection from Vocalion contains many superb examples of her charm and sincerity. She had some good orchestras accompanying her – Robert Farnon (of course!), Paul Fenoulhet, Jay Wilbur, Caramata and others are included here. Some of the songs have deservedly long been forgotten, but Anne gamely gives of her best each and every time. Once again, the clarity of the transfers is outstanding.David Ades
RADIO & TELEVISION MEMORIES Volume One: Music While You Work Calling All Workers; Radio Newsreel Imperial Echoes Toytown Parade of the Tin Soldiers; Housewives Choice In Party Mood; Children's Choice Puffin' Billy; Sports Report Out of the Blue; Mrs Dale's Diary 1 Harp interlude; Mrs Dale's Diary 2 Dance in the Twilight; The Archers Barwick Green; Listen with Mother traditional chimes; Top of the Form Marching Strings; ITMA introductory theme; Dixon of Dock Green An Ordinary Copper; Meet the Huggetts Horse Feathers; Down Your Way Horse Guards, Whitehall; In Town Tonight Knightsbridge March; Blue Peter Barnacle Bill; Children¹s Newsreel Holiday Spirit; PC 49 Changing Moods No. 2; Grove Family Family Joke; The Appleyards Looking Around; What¹s My Line? Parisian Mode; Emergency Ward 10 Silks & Satins; Billy Bunter Sea Songs; Ask Me AnotherFlying Squad; BBC Film Unit credits Wellington Barracks. Evergreen Melodies CR2 (cassette TR2). This will bring back memories, there are 26 tracks in all, roughly equally divided between TV and radio, in reasonably good transfers from mostly 1940’s and 1950’s originals. Most will be familiar from other recent issues or re-issues – for example, twelve tracks were present, if not necessarily in these versions, in EMI’s 1997 collection "The Great British Experience." One or two of the shorter tracks here are less familiar on CD, like the introductions to ITMA and Dixon of Dock Green and the brief harp interlude (composed by harpist Sidonie Goosens ) from Mrs. Dale’s Diary. Three tunes –Out of the Blue ( Sports Report ), Barnacle Bill (Blue Peter), and Barwick Green (The Archers) still introduce the original programmes. Devotees who want this selection will hardly need my recommendation but irritatingly, as always from this source, there is little or no information as to the performers or date of recording. I suppose the release is aimed more widely at ‘Evergreen’ readers, rather than at specialists in British light music, and on that account I wish it well. Philip L. Scowcroft
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS – Complete Symphonies Numbers. 1 to 9. LPO Choir / Cameron /Baillie / Ritchie /Gielgud , LPO/Boult – DECCA " The British Collection " – 473241 – 2 5 CD Boxed Set (CD’s in individual card sleeves + booklet. While not ‘light music‘ as such , the very Englishness of these works shine through every bar. These classic recordings, originally on the Decca LXT LP label, resurfaced on CD (Decca London and Belfast ) while the Symphony no. 9 was taped by Everest Records in stereo in 1958. Here we get a far better presentation than previously, with good notes on each Symphony and for the first time as a set, the final Symphony is included.The new transfers at 96khz are outstanding: far better than the previous re-incarnations, with plenty of weight and clout. With a device that creates fake stereo on my processor switched in, the results for such early recordings (1952–1958 ) are superb, with reference to the mono recordings of Symphonies nos. 1 – 7. Symphony no. 3 ‘A Pastoral Symphony’ is still considered the best available recording and here the clarity beautifully reflects the composer’s wartime memories of the French landscape, not English, as some writers thought was the case. The organ entry in the ‘Landscape’ movement of Sinfonia Antartica is still magnificent and will interest readers, as the music is based on the composer’s film score ‘Scott of the Antarctic‘. There is some lack of range compared to the modern stereo recordings of Andrew Davis and Boult’s later EMI set, especially in nos. 1 ‘Sea Symphony‘ and 2 ‘London Symphony‘ but this set is well on top of any short list. As a youngster I lived in a house in Kew which belonged to a friend of Vaughan Williams and contained some keyboard instruments belonging to him. The composer visited the house and conversed with my parents. He was a warm hearted ‘big’ man in stature and that likeable nature is reflected in these scores, while good tunes abound. Give these classic recordings a try and you will, I hope, be delighted with them, especially at the modest price asked. Discount mail order suppliers are the most competitive on price. Max Harris
SANDY MACPHERSON I’ll Play to You; Down the Mall; Dancing With Tears In My Eyes; Seventeen Candles; Gaucho Serenade; A Little Rain Must Fall; It’s a Lovely Day Tomorrow; Who’s Taking You Home Tonight?; Over the Rainbow; I Don’t Want To Set the World on Fire; Sand In My Shoes; Yours;Londonderry Air; Melody in F; My Hero; Salut d’Amour; etc… Evergreen Melodies C85 (cassette E85). Sandy Macpherson was the BBC theatre organist for more than 25 years during which time he endeared himself to millions on the radio with his quiet unassuming Canadian accent which actually belied a large frame and busy manner. He was a pillar of broadcasting during the war years, particularly in the early days before his purpose-built organ at St. George’s Hall was destroyed in the Blitz. He then moved to Evesham and later North Wales where he inherited Reginald Foort’s giant concert Moller organ which the BBC bought and moved to London after the war was over. These recordings feature all the major instruments Sandy played during his long career. Edmund Whitehouse
"La Bicyclette Bleue" Original sound track from French TV series composed and conducted byMichel Legrand (French Emarcy 159 846-2). Back in the territory he excels in, Orchestral music, Legrand has scored music that is sometimes gentle, beautiful and persuasive, other times we get the epic music provided by Hollywood before hit records were lumped together to provide a film sound track. Forties styled jazz on titles such as "La voyage a Paris" and "Les abris" leads me to suspect the story line is set in wartime France (I have not seen the series!). This is further emphasised on a track like "Paris libere" where a large chorus augments the orchestra, this is music which needs a bigger screen than television can provide, full of string and brass splendour. The title song is destined to be a Legrand composition wheeled out as many times as some of his other classics, we get two versions, one solo piano the other the full might of a large orchestra. The building menace invoked in "La mort du pere" really stirs the soul. There is music for almost all tastes here, which I am sure will become a firm favourite with musical connoisseurs world-wide. I played it almost continuously after receiving it. If like myself you buy few sound tracks, put this one top of your "must have" list. I doubt anything will top it before the year is out. Paul Clatworthy
TV THEMES -Classic Themes from popular Programmes on ABC (Australian)Television -various composers and orchestras. (Australia) ABC Classics 472575-2 123:06 mins. This double CD set contains some sixty-three tracks of theme music from popular ABC TV programmes over the last four decades. Most are from ABC-produced programmes which have become firm favourites with the Aussi public. Many of the themes have not been released on record before. Several short tracks of music currently used with the various station idents we see each day, are also included. Many of the popular British programmes that we have grown to love are also featured - either the original version or one played by a local orchestra. The themes have been grouped together in several categories: News & Public Affairs, Drama, Comedy, Sci-Fi, Lifestyle etc. This reflects the wide variety of programmes we have on ABC TV each week and makes it interesting to hear. Heartily recommended for lovers of TV theme music and TV in general.
NATALIE COLE "Ask a woman who knows" I haven't Anything better to do, Tell me all about it, Ask a woman who knows, It's crazy, You're mine you, So many stars, I told you so, Soon, I'm glad there is you, Better than anything, The music that makes me dance, Calling you, My baby just cares for you. POLA 065470-2. Every British member who listened to the radio broadcast on November the 11th and 18th of last year of Natalie Cole in concert with the BBC Radio Big Band (augmented with strings) knows what delights this album contains! For the uninitiated Natalie and co-producer Tommy LiPuma have picked a group of songs, for the most part, not given many airings. The backings are impeccable, just as fine as when she recreated her father’s songs. Four tracks have the Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra, one has a duet with Diana KraIl others have Roy Hargrove, Gary Foster, Russell Malone and Joe Sample. Arranger credits include John Clayton, Alan Broadbent and Rob Mounsey. Natalie says she likes to grow and experiment "kicking the bar up a little." She certainly does on this album! Paul Clatworthy
JACK MILLMAN "Blowing up a storm" Four more, Khan, We'll be together again, Asphyxiated Swing, Yardbird suite, Stella by starlight, Now hear this, Easy to love, Where can I go without you, With the wind and rain in your hair, Back home in Indiana, Bag's groove, Tom and Jerry, So goes my love, Bolero De Mendez, Just a pretty tune, Cathy goes South, Bambi. Progressive Records PCD- 7085. I slipped a review of another Jack Millman in the December Big Band Roundup although it was not technically a Big Band! I'm playing by the rules this time! The first twelve tracks feature Jack on Flugel, Don Friedman, piano, Don Peterson, bass and Ray Tiedel, drums. Jack's playing and arranging not quite as good as one of his rivals of the time, Shorty Rogers, but still very listenable West Coast jazz, recorded in 1957. The last six tracks are more adventurous as more players are drafted in and Bill Holman, Pete Rugolo, Gerald Wiggins, Gene Roland and Johnny Mandel take over the arranging duties. These tracks were recorded in 1956, a date I will always remember as I spent Christmas stuck in a Devizes transit camp! I could have done with some of this music then! Paul Clatworthy
MÉMOIRES DE KIOSQUE (Bandstand Memories) The Phantom Brigade, The Acrobat, Buffoon, Fandango, Colonel Bogey, Stein Song, Children of the Regiment, etc… 58 tracks on 3 CDs Various Bands (France) EPM 980722. This is the latest enterprising collection from Pierre-Marcel Ondher (affectionately known simply as ‘PMO’), which focuses on the kind of music that could be heard frequently on bandstands and in town centres during the 1930s and shortly thereafter. The bands come mainly from Germany, France, Britain and Russia, and include such famous names as Wingates Temperance, Coldstream Guards, Royal Marines, Black Dyke Mills, American Legion, Fodens Motor Works, Fairey Aviation, etc… PMO has compiled a truly fascinating selection from his own massive private collection, and music lovers owe him a great debt of gratitude for making these historical 78s available once again. It is difficult to imagine that anyone else would be able to put together such an important collection from so many different sources. Perhaps this is aimed at serious collectors of band music; if you fall into this category you cannot fail to be pleased at having the opportunity to acquire so many rare recordings sounding fresh and bright, thanks to the modern miracle of CEDAR. The excellent booklet is only in French, but the very full recording details are not difficult for non-French speakers to understand. David Ades This 3-CD set can be obtained from the RFS Record Service for £23.00 [US $46.00].
NADJA SALERNO-SONNENBERG: HUMORESQUE. Music from the 1947 Warner Bros. film, directed by Jean Negulesco. Includes "Carmen Fantasie", "Tristan and Isolde Fantasie, " Humoresque by Antonin Dvorak plus 7 other selections.NADJA SALERNO-SONNENBERG, violin with the LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA conducted by ANDREW LITTON. 59:39. Nonesuch 79464-2. Warner Brothers’ 1947 expose of an artist's life, "Humoresque," gets a well deserved modern day digital recording. For this modern traversal, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg gives ample evidence of her enormous talent. The variety of the selections amply shows off Sonnenberg's genius. Along with selections by Bach, Lalo and Dvorak, all played with individual elegance come some interesting turns on two pop songs by George Gershwin in which Nadja's partner is impressive singer Judy Blazer. Franz Waxman's famous "Carmen Fantasie" is played with a dominating presence by Salerno-Sonnenberg. And to top things off is an emotionally shattering performance of Waxman's "Tristan and Isolde Fantasie" which has to be to be believed. Andrew Litton provides expansive yet sympathetic accompaniments. Every film music fan should own this amazing release! Richard Jessen
RETO PAROLARI and the GERMAN SYMPHONIC POPS ORCHESTRA Great Moments of Light Music Friedrich Schrőder – Overture ‘Hochzeitsnacht im Paradies’; Hans Bund – Erinnerung an ein Ballerlebnis’; Ernst Fischer – Eile mit Weile, Auf der Gamsjagd in Tirol; Willy Richartz – Waltz from ‘Kőlnisch Wasser’; Werner Heymann – Selection of his music for films; Gerhard Winkler – Chianti; Josef Rixner – ‘Bagatelle’ overture, Spanish March; Ludwig Schmidseder – Habanera. (Switzerland) Amos CD5967, 58:20 mins. Almost single-handedly, Reto Parolari is keeping the flag of Light Music flying in his native Switzerland, and it is good to know that his influence is spreading well beyond the borders, notably into Germany. The ‘great moments of light music’ in this collection will be better known to European ears, although readers of this magazine will not need any introduction to the works of Ernst Fischer, Gerhard Winkler and Josef Rixner. The other composers are equally capable of producing some beautiful sounds, and this entire CD is both a wonderful voyage of discovery and a pure joy. I think that this is the best CD I have heard so far by Reto Parolari, and the German Symphonic Pops Orchestra (of Leipzig) perform enthusiastically under his baton. Warmly recommended to all light music enthusiasts. David Ades
FIESTA! Tico Tico No Fuba; Granada; The Girl From Ipanema; Brazil; Besame Mucho; Sweet and Gentle plus 14 other selections. ERICH KUNZEL AND THE CINCINNATI POPS ORCHESTRA. Telarc CD-80235. 75:02. Erich Kunzel and his forces in Cincinnati have recorded a real pleasure packed CD! The majority of the arrangements are by Tommy Newsome with Warren Barker, Carmen Dragon, Charles Koff, Richard Hayman and John Bambridge contributing to this sparkling 1990 release. Tommy Newsome's best arrangements have a combination of suavity with a sly, dry wit which is evidenced in "Sweet And Gentle." "Tequila" is Newsome's most exotic score with only tuned percussion taking the lead. "The Girl From Ipanema" is a quietly sensual impression of that eternally young, tall, bikini clad woman. Bambridge turns in a beautifully score for "Besame Mucho" that charms as much as it beguiles. The Carmen Dragon/Warren Barker scores date from the Hollywood Bowl Symphony LP's of the 50' s with a visceral "Tico Tico" and a highly dramatic "Granada". Doc Severinsen plays with red blooded lustiness in "La Virgen de la Macarena". And let's not forget Eric Knight's pulsating score of "Lambada" which will win awards for most played track! Richard Hayman's hilarious "Mexican Hat Dance" is remarkably fresh and cheeky! Kunzel inspires vigorous and energetic performances from his excellent Cincinnati musicians. Richard Jessen
INTERNATIONAL NOVELTY ORCHESTRA plus Quartet, Harry Robbins (xylophone) and other Groups 5 CDs issued in Australia by FRANK BRISTOW FBCD86-90. In the notes accompanying these CDs (which are all available separately), Frank Bristow explains that the idea was first discussed some years ago with his friend, the late Stuart Upton, the then Editor of the now defunct Vintage Light Music Society magazine. For all his expertise and experience, Stuart was unable to provide any information about the 12 to 14 players who made up these groups. Respected French record producer Pierre-Marcel Ondher recently said that it is now impossible to discover anything about that combination. The name The International Novelty Orchestra has been used for both British and American ensembles over the years, but this CD series is specifically about a delightful British studioband who recorded for Regal Zonophone mainly during the 1930s. The group played novelty pieces, waltzes and occasionally hits of the period. Many are what is now regarded as ‘traditional’ light music of the ‘palm court’ variety, although occasionally some tracks will surprise with their infectious rhythmic vitality. Many tracks have (unnamed) vocalists; keen British dance band fans will recognise the likes of Sam Browne. Sadly there isn’t room to list the contents, but each and every CD contains many pieces that are sure to delight those who are attracted to this style of music. The transfers are clean and sympathetic to the original sound. This is the kind of mammoth recording project that could only be undertaken by a dedicated band of true enthusiasts. We are indeed fortunate that there are people around like Frank Bristow and his colleagues. David Ades
Frank Bristow’s CDs are only available from him in Australia, but you can also order and pay through his contacts in England and the USA:
PAUL DESMOND: BOSSA ANTIGUA. Bossa Antigua; The Night Has A Thousand Eyes; O Gato; The Girl From East 9th Street; plus 7 more slections. PAUL DESMOND, alto sax with JIM HALL, EUGENE WRIGHT, CONNIE KAY, others. RCA Victor/BMG 0902668689-2. 59:34. In the 1960's, Bossa Nova was a shot in the arm for both the jazz and pop music worlds. Nowhere else is that made more plain than on this legendary re-release by alto saxist Paul Desmond. Things begin in a softly engaging groove with "Bossa Antigua" which means "Old Thing" (a witty referral to the phrase "same old thing") which has an attractive solo by Paul Desmond and one of the best solos by Jim Hall on guitar. The alternate take of this selection ("Samba Cepeda") remains stuck in a static groove. The same problem occurs with "O Gato" which takes off magnificently on the released version but merely stands still in its tracks on the alternate take. The big surprises are the two takes of "The Night Has A Thousand Eyes": the first is an all out jazz treatment while the alternate is an overtly bossa nova version full of life. "The Girl From East 9th Street" is an Americanized version of "Ipanema" without a single reference to its famous sister. The booklet not only includes Desmond's facetious liner notes but credits Percy Heath, George Duvivier and Milt Hinton as session musicians (they do not appear!). This is a re-release of historic proportions worthy of the legend and artistry of Paul Desmond.Richard Jessen
TRIO TIME – How Beautiful Is Night Kerry Dances, Lulu’s Back In Town, Yesterdays, Small Talk, Solar, How Beautiful is Night, Sweet and Lovely, Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve seen, What is This Thing Called Love, Ask Me Now, Blues for Holly Ann, The End Of a Love Affair, Over The Rainbow, Beatrice, Oh, Lady Be Good, On Green Dolphin Street. Ted Beament Piano/ Adrian MacintoshDrums/ Paul Bridge Bass. Calligraph Records CLGCD 036. At the November RFS Meeting I introduced a recording of one of Bob’s compositions "How Beautiful is Night" in a setting that was both unusual and delightful; it brought about a number of enquiries regarding the album. Ted Beament has been around the British jazz scene for a good few years and has backed many a visiting American musician including Sonny Stitt and Harry Edison. In 1995 he joined Humphrey Lyttelton and recorded with "Humph" and Helen Shapiro. It was at a Humphrey Lyttelton gig, at a local jazz club, that I found out about this CD which Ted had for sale. I spoke to Ted about the album’s title which he readily admitted was a favourite of his "that guy writes such lovely tunes; I really would like to meet him". When I explained I would be sending Bob a copy his face beamed and he signed a copy with the words "I hope you like it". I hope I did it justice, he remarked to me. The album is a collection of standards, with one or two jazz favourites added to the mix. Nice to see Small Talk in a new recording, and Ted’s arrangement of Kerry Dances is a delight. This is a very accessible album, each member of the trio contributing equally to the whole and highlighting the detail of each piece. This is never more evident than in How Beautiful is Night which Ted begins as a straight piano solo. The bass and drums then enter with a gentle, almost latin beat, allowing the piano to explore the melody line, as "Humph" says in the CD notes: "it’s four and half minutes of enchantment". If you don’t usually buy this sort of album why not treat yourself. It really is a joy. Oh! and what of Bob Farnon’s reaction, I can tell you he was absolutely delighted; and did he do the piece justice ? – "Oh Yes" said Bob admiringly "he most certainly did". Albert Killman
Calligraph Records can be obtained for £12 from all good record shops,or by mail order from:3 Ainsdale Close, Links View, Northampton, NN2 7NQ, England; postage and packing £1.50 [outside UK £2.50].
CHARLIE BYRD: BRAZILIAN BYRD (Music Of Antonio Carlos Jobim). Jazz 'n' Samba; Corcovado; The Girl From Ipanema; Dindi plus 8 selections and one alternate take. CHARLIE BYRD, guitar with orchestra. Columbia Legacy CD CK 52973. 37:04. The Bossa Nova era of the 1960's had two highly popular guitarists before the public: Charlie Byrd and Laurindo Almeida. Both had been pioneers in the idiom in the 1950's as well as studying with Andres Segovia, famous Spanish classical guitarist. On this album, recorded on three dates in 1964 and 1965, Charlie Byrd is partnered with Tommy Newsome as arranger/conductor. Things get off to a rousing big band chart of "Jazz 'n' Samba" with Byrd swinging as hard as the big band behind him. Byrd's classical training is very much evident on a mournful "Corcovado" and "Dindi" which he imbues with a soft edged Romanticism. "The Girl From Ipanema" receives a perky arrangement that acts as a perfect foil for Byrd's rhapsodic rendition of the vocal line. For this recording, Byrd arranged three selections of which "Engano" is the most effect with its rolling chords set against a sparce orchestral background (the alternate take is taken at a way too fast tempo). Charlie Byrd and Tommy Newsome both were working magic at these sessions which is very apparent of their special rapport with one another. This highly recommended reissue comes with Dom Cerulli's original informative liner notes. Richard Jessen
Late Arrivals from EMI
Just as we were putting the final touches to this feature, a batch of new releases arrived from EMI Gold. Sadly space to list all the titles is a problem, but the following details should point you in the right direction.
BIG BAND MILLION SELLERS featuring Laurie Johnson, Colin Busby, Ted Heath, Don Lusher and Kenny Baker playing String of Pearls, Tuxedo Junction, April in Paris, Lullaby of Birdland and many more titles associated with the Big Band Era. 22 tracks, EMI 581 5972. These are not recreations of the original sounds of the bands that first made these tunes famous, but more recent interpretations.
THE VERY BEST OF KENNY BAKER Won’t You Come Home Bill Bailey, You Made Me Love You, Satchmo, Georgia, Carnival Time, And the Angels Sing, I Can’t Get Started, What’s New, etc… 18 tracks, EMI 581 4822. Here is the late, great Kenny Baker, fronting a fine big band, and you’ll also spot solos from the likes of Tommy Whittle, Don Lusher and Roy Willox.
BIG BAND CLASSICS C Jam Blues (Duke Ellington), Jumpin’ at the Woodside (Count Basie), One o’Clock Jump (Benny Goodman), In the Mood (Colin Busby), Cute (Don Lusher), Begin the Beguine (Joe Loss), What’s New (Kenny Baker), Red Silken Stockings (Sid Phillips & Betty Driver), Tampico (Stan Kention and June Christy) etc… 21 tracks, EMI 581 5982. Duke Ellington and Coronation Street’s barmaid Betty on the same CD? I’m lost for words … and I could quote some other amazing examples! Quite honestly, I think that the net has been cast far too wide in this collection, and whoever buys it (for whatever reason) is probably going to dislike at least half of the tracks.
THE VERY BEST OF TED HEATH Opus One, East of the Sun, Obsession, Intermission Riff, Hot Toddy, etc… 24 tracks, EMI 581 4802. We’re on safer ground here, although (like the CDs mentioned above) the promotional details give no clue as to the source of the recordings. If you want theoriginal Decca Ted Heath hits, going back to the days of 78s, you’ll discover them elsewhere. But if authenticity is not your hang-up, you’ll find much to enjoy here. The playing is impeccable, as you’d expect. David Ades
QUEEN’S HALL LIGHT ORCHESTRA conducted by Robert Farnon, Philip Green, Sidney Torch & Charles Williams - Volume 3 All Sports March (Robert Farnon), Paddle Boat (Joyce Cochrane), Melody of the Stars (Peter Yorke), Going for a Ride (Sidney Torch), State Occasion (RF), Soliloquy (Haydn Wood), Valse d’Amour (Tony Lowry), All the Fun of the Fair (Percy Fletcher), Music in the Air (Byron Lloyd), Sunset at Sea (Charles Williams), Waiata Poi (Alfred Hill), Comic Cuts (ST), Pale Moon (Frederick Knight Logan), Cubana (CW), Ecstasy (Felton Rapley), Grand Parade (Clive Richardson), Song of Capri (Mischa Spoliansky), Spring Song (HW), My Waltz for You (ST), Fiesta (Mark Lubbock), The Awakening (Robert Busby), Kings of Sport (Jack Beaver), Fiddler’s Folly (Len Stevens), Casanova Melody (Michael Sarsfield), Grandstand (RF), "Dan Dare" themes - Commandos (CW), Radio Location (CR), Searchlight (CW). Vocalion CDEA6094
BRITISH STRING MINIATURES Volume 2: Set of Act Tunes and Dances (Henry Purcell); Serenade for the Birthday of Frederic Delius (Peter Warlock); Air and Dance (Delius); Serenade (Matthew Curtis); Suite – The Spanish Lady (Sir Edward Elgar); Serenata Concertante (Philip Lane) Royal Ballet Sinfonia conducted by Gavin Sutherland ASV CDWHL2136
BRITISH LIGHT OVERTURES Volume 2: Plymouth Hoe (John Ansell); Overture 125 (David Gow); Farnham Festival Overture (Sir Richard Rodney Bennett); The Moor of Venice (William Alwyn); A Scots Overture (John Gardner); The Lamprey (Michael Gryspeerdt); Scaramouche (Peter Hope); A Cleveland Overture (Anthony Hedges); A Snowdon Overture (Gareth Glyn) Royal Ballet Sinfonia conducted by Gavin Sutherland ASV CDWHL2137
JOHNNY DOUGLAS ORCHESTRA I won’t dance, Yesterdays, A fine romance, The Carioca, They can’t takle that away from me, The way you look tonight, I’m putting all my eggs in one basket, etc.. (22 tracks taken from the Decca LPs ‘Cheek to Cheek’ & ‘A Handful of Stars’ Dulcima DLCD118
TRIBUTE TO ERIC COATES London Bridge, The Enchanted Garden, By the Sleepy Lagoon, Cinderella, Second Symphonic Rhapsody – Bird Songs at Eventide & I Heard You Singing, FootlightsEDWARDIAN FAVOURITES Melodies by Paul Rubens, Josef Strauss, Lionel Monckton & Edward German Pro Arte Orchestra conducted by Stanford Robinson Vocalion CDLK4183
MUSIC OF LECUONA Siboney, Danza Iucumi, Jungle Drums, Gitanarias, Maria my own, Malaguena, Always in my heart, Andalucia, La comparsa, High in Sierra PLACE PIGALLE Domino, Why do you pass me by, At last at last, Autumn leaves, C’est si bon, La mer, Waltz of Paree, Chez-moi, Boom, Mademoiselle de Paris, When the world was young, Au revoir Stanley Black, his Piano and Orchestra Vocalion CDLK4176
BRITAIN’S CHOICE March from ‘Colour Suite’ (Gordon Langford), A La Claire Fontaine (Robert Farnon), Suite of English Folk Dances (Ernest Tomlinson), March from ‘A Little Suite’ (Trevor Duncan), The Boulevardier (Frederic Curzon), The Watermill (Ronald Binge), Tabarinage (Robert Docker), ‘The Ring of Kerry’ Suite (Peter Hope) PERCY GRAINGER Country Gardens, Molly on the Shore, Londonderry Air, Handel in the Strand, Mock Morris, Shepherd’s Hey. Quilter Children’s Overture,Toye The Haunted Ballroom, Armstrong Gibbs Dusk, Balfour Gardiner Shepherd Fennel’s DanceThe Light Music Society Orchestra conducted by Sir Vivian Dunn Vocalion CDLK4182
MUSICAL MERRY-GO-ROUND The Carousel Waltz, Clowns’ Dance, Visions d’Art, Circus Polka, Masquerade – Waltz, La Ronde, Coney Island, Gopak, Prater Fest, Dance of the Comedians FAMOUS EVERGREENS Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, Ave Maria, Songs Without Words No. 4, Waltz (Brahms), Santa Lucia, ‘Sleeping Beauty’ – waltz, Jealousy, Clair de Lune, Moto Perpetuo, Intermezzo from ‘Cavalleria Rusticana’, Dance of the Hours Sinfonia of London conducted by Robert Irving and Douglas Gamley Vocalion CDLK4181
EVENING IN PARIS Mademoiselle de Paris, Love’s last word is spoken, My prayer, Vous qui passez sans me voir (Why do you pass me by?), Pigalle, La vie en rose, Boom, Ca c’est Paris, J’attendrai, Valentine, Clopin clopant, La Seine, Parlez moi d’amour, Can-can EVENING IN ROME Santa Lucia, Serenade in the night, Mattinata, Luna rossa, Tell me you’ll not forget, Mamma, Come back to Sorrento, La montanara, O sole mio, The echo told me a lie, Catari catari, Vieni sul mar, Anema e core, Funiculi funicular Frand Chacksfield and his Orchestra Vocalion CDLK4167
TRIBUTE TO RON GOODWIN CD 1: Jet Journey, Blue Star, Skiffling Strings, Lingering Lovers, Colonel Bogey and the River Kwai March, Summertime in Venice, Red Cloak, The Melba Waltz, The Messenger Boy, The Girl from Corsica, Swedish Polka, Under the Linden Tree, Concetta, On the Waterfront, The Headless Horsemen, Midnight Blue, The Song of the High Seas, The Laughing Sailor, Tropical Mirage, Handyman, Three Galleons, Guadalcanal March, The Little Laplander, Wagon Train, When I Fall in Love, Bluebell Polka, Song from the Moulin Rouge, Josita, Elizabethan Serenade. CD2:original Ron Goodwin compositions and film scores – final tracklisting still to be confirmed as we went to press Ron Goodwin and his Concert Orchestra EMI [full details in Journal Into Melody – June 2003]
NAT KING COLE Love Songs When I Fall in Love, Unforgettable, Very Thought of You, Too Young, Let’s Fall in Love, The More I See You, Stardust, These Foolish Things, etc… 24 tracks EMI 581 5132
TED HEATH AND HIS MUSIC
Hits I Missed & Al Jolson Classics Vocalion CDLK4168
Great Film Hits & Pop Hits Vocalion CDLK4170
BOB SHARPLES ORCHESTRA Contrasts in Hi-Fi & Dimensions in Sound Vocalion CDLK4169
MANTOVANI ORCHESTRA Italia Mia & Verzaubter Klang als Germany Vocalion CDLK4173
SYDNEY LIPTON ORCHESTRA Sweet Harmony & Dancing at Grosvenor House Vocalion CDLK4175
THE LATEST TONY BENNETT CHRISTMAS ALBUM
News of the latest repackaged reissue of Tony Bennett Christmas Music did not reach us until the end of November, which was far too late to catch our December issue. This was a pity, because it is an attractive collection, which features some fine tracks that Tony recorded with Robert Farnon.
The following numbers come from that great "Snowfall" LP, first released in 1968: My Favourite Things; The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire); I Love The Winter Weather/I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm; Winter Wonderland; White Christmas
There are also some arrangements that Robert Farnon did for Tony’s Hallmark CD that appeared in 2002. This time the London Symphony Orchestra was conducted by Don Jackson, and a choir was added to Bob’s scores – not entirely to his liking: Deck The Halls; O Little Town of Bethlehem; O Come All Ye Faithful; Silent Night.
Other tracks feature Tony singing arrangements by Bill Holman, Torrie Zito, Jorge Calandrelli, Lee Musiker and a previously unreleased What Child Is This (Greensleeves) arranged by Marion Evans.
The catalogue number is RPM Recordings / Columbia / Legacy 88697 955762. You might like to order a copy now to save for next Christmas, but maybe yet another Tony Bennett collection of reissues may come along later this year?!
It seems that Tony Bennett is never out of the news, and last September he received a lot of publicity for the release of "Tony Bennett: The Complete Collection", issued to commemorate his 85th birthday. It comprises 73 CDs and could cost you around £260 in the UK if you shop wisely! Undoubtedly good value at £3.56 a disc, provided that it doesn’t duplicate too much of your existing collection. The bonus, of course, is the inclusion of everything he has done with Robert Farnon, some of it previously unobtainable on CD.
THE BBC CONCERT ORCHESTRA CELEBRATES ITS 60TH ANNIVERSARY IN 2012
BBC Radio 2 is celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the founding of the famous BBC Concert Orchestra with an 11-part series of "Friday Night Is Music Night". From Friday 20 January until late in March, Ken Bruce is hosting a well-deserved tribute to one of the most famous radio orchestras in the world, broadcast on Radio 2 at 8:00pm.. Hailed as "a worthy instrument" presenting a "brilliant new era of entertainment music", they made their first broadcast on 11 September 1952. But their story began 20 years before, when they were known as the BBC Theatre Orchestra (conductor Leslie Woodgate), whose main role was to provide incidental music for radio plays, but who also gave light music and opera concerts. In 1949 for a few years they were renamed the BBC Opera Orchestra, conducted by Stanford Robinson. The series of eleven programmes features a different archive show each week, with performances from light music giants Sidney Torch, Vilem Tausky, Robert Farnon, Eric Coates and others. There are also performances with famous singers and soloists who have appeared with the orchestra, and interviews with players and conductors. Today the BBC Concert Orchestra is widely praised for its regular broadcasts on radio (both Radio 2 and Radio 3), its appearances at prestigious events such as the BBC Promenade Concerts, and its continually growing number of superb compact discs.
Once again Edinburgh’s music lovers will soon be treated to some of the finest light music, courtesy of RFS member James Beyer, conductor of the Edinburgh Light Orchestra. The next Concert will be on Saturday 26th May 2012 at the usual venue - The Queen's Hall, commencing at 7:30. The booking office opens on 26 March – Queen’s Hall booking hotline 0131 668 2019; bookings direct from Edinburgh Light Orchestra 0131 334 3140. Ticket prices range from £9.50 to only £6.00 – an absolute bargain these days! More on the orchestra’s website: www.edinburghlight orchestra.moonfruit.com. Guest soloist will be the Baritone Bruce Graham who is an old friend of James. Bruce was born and educated in Edinburgh and played in many local amateur productions before beginning his professional career in 1978. He joined the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company with whom he played many of the Gilbert and Sullivan character roles. Since his spell with the D’Oyly Carte, Bruce has appeared in a number of shows in London’s West End, such as ‘Me and My Girl’ and ‘Cats’. Other aspects of Bruce’s work have ranged from film and television to Old Time Music Hall and pantomime; and he has appeared all over the world as a principal with the Carl Rosa Opera Company.
Tony Bennett was interviewed by Aidin Vaziri for the San Francisco Chronicle on Sunday 11 December 2011. We repeat below one of the questions, and Tony’s reply:
Q: Barring the present moment, do you have a favorite Tony Bennett era?
A: Wow, that is a tough question. I loved the time I lived in London in the '70s, as I got to work with the master Robert Farnon.
Our thanks to Forrest Patten for sending this to JIM.
Colin Berry did Light Music fans proud on his BBC Three Counties Radio shows over the Christmas period. He made good use of the Guild ‘Christmas Celebration’ CD. On Christmas Eve his listeners heard Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer (Boston Pops), It Came Upon The Midnight Clear (Billy Vaughn), Christmas Alphabet (George Melachrino) and Nazareth (Mantovani). For his Christmas Day show Colin selected Christmas Sleigh Bells (Angela Morley) and Sleigh Ride (Boston Pops).
Last Christmas we didn’t get another TV show from the John Wilson Orchestra like "Swingin’ Christmas" in 2010, but we did enjoy a repeat of the "Hooray for Hollywood" Prom and a semi-documentary about great Hollywood dancers that included some fascinating glimpses of John recording the music in the famous Studio 2 at Abbey Road. The subject of the 90-minute programme (first shown on BBC 2, then repeated a few days later on BBC Four immediately before John’s Prom) was the famous ballerina Darcey Bussell who stepped into the shoes of her Hollywood heroes to celebrate the enduring legacy of classic dance musicals. To quote from the BBC’s own publicity: "In the age of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ and ‘Streetdance 3D’, Darcey, one of Britain's greatest living dancers and Hollywood musical superfan, discovers that the key to understanding where this dance-mad culture comes from lies in classic movie musicals. She takes famous dance routines from her favourite Hollywood musicals and reveals how they cast their spell, paying tribute to the legends of the art form and discovering the legacy they left. Darcey pays homage to Fred Astaire in an interpretation of Puttin' on the Ritz; plays Ginger Rogers in a rendition of Cheek to Cheek; pays tribute to the exuberant Good Morning from ‘Singin' in the Rain’; and stars in a new routine inspired by Girl Hunt Ballet from ‘The Band Wagon’. Darcey works with leading choreographer Kim Gavin and expert conductor John Wilson, who has painstakingly reconstructed the original scores, as she discovers how dance in the movies reached a pinnacle of perfection and reveals how the legacy of the golden age lives on."
Readers with internet access will know that there are many interesting sites out there at the click of a mouse. Nigel Burlinson has recently discovered that the 1945 film "I Live In Grosvenor Square" is available to watch at http://goo.gl/cnhhu. (Alternatively just visit YouTube and type in the title of the film). This was the film that featured Robert Farnon and the Canadian Band of the AEF, and it could be said to have firmly launched his working partnership with Anna Neagle and Herbert Wilcox. Only a few years later this produced "Spring In Park Lane", one of the most successful British movies of the last century.
Brian Reynolds has advised us of some interesting concerts during the next few months:
BBC Elstree Concert Band - Sunday 3rd April at 3.00pm Maida Vale (Studio 1) in a programme of music that would have been broadcast from the Maida Vale studios during their halcyon years.
Alassio Concert Orchestra - Sunday 10th. April 2.45pm at Worthing Assembly Hall. A programme entitled 'The Soul of Spain'. Programme to include Moskowski's Spanish Dances, Amporita Roca (Texidor), Tango in D (Albeniz), Le Cid ballet music (Massenet) Prelude to Act 1 Carmen (Bizet) and Espana (Chabrier)
Aspidistra Drawing Room Orchestra - Monday 30th May 2011 at 2.30 pm. Lauderdale House, Highgate Hill, London, N6
Top film composer John Barry died on 30 January following a heart attack. A full tribute to this outstanding composer and arranger will be included in our June magazine.
BBC Television is currently working on a documentary for BBC Four about the musicians and sound engineers involved in quality easy listening music from the 1960s onwards. We understand thatRobert Farnon will be featured in the programme, which is provisionally titled "Music For Pleasure".
EMI is now 100% owned by its bankers, Citigroup, having been unable to pay its debts.
Philip Farlow was present at Malcolm Laycock’s funeral on 19 November last, and he reports that there were certainly more than 130 people in attendance with standing room only. The service, lasting over 30 minutes was based on Humanist choices. Malcolm's sons Andrew (actor) and Dominic (teacher) conducted the service in a very professional, organised and yet equally compassionate way. The attendees entered to 'Cherokee' by the Syd Lawrence band. Andrew and Dominic's joint linking narrative presented firstly Dave Gelly followed by Chris Dean and then Malcolm's best buddy from College and 'best man' days at one another's Weddings. Like Dave and Chris he played a very important and personally reminiscent role in the proceedings. As we departed from the Crematorium Count Basie's 'Splanky' was played "...nice and loud please!" commented Andrew. The wake was held at the Park Tavern in Eltham and also reflected Malcolm's very wide ranging popularity; people from all walks of the entertainment profession to simply fans gathered in his name to help celebrate what he meant to them.
Fans of the BBC Midland Light Orchestra will be pleased to hear that the National Sound Archive at the British Library in London has obtained some more rare recordings. Featuring popular singer Barry Kent with guest artistes including singers Lita Roza, India Adams, Cheryl Kennedy, Elizabeth Larner and Roy Edwards, plus virtuoso instrumentalists Pearl Fawcett (accordion) and The Two Pianos of Christine & Sandy Blair, this popular 14-week show was broadcast on BBC Radio Two from Birmingham in 1970. The orchestra led by William Hand was conducted by Harold Rich. The producer was Ron Gardner.
‘Jumping Bean’ has heard a rumour that the BBC received 100,000 e-mail messages praising John Wilson’s MGM Prom last August. No doubt they would hate such a fact to become common knowledge, because we are always being told by them that listeners don’t like this kind of music – which is why they do their best to keep it off all their radio stations!
We are delighted to report that James Beyer’s return to the podium conducting the Edinburgh Light Orchestra last November resulted in a full house in the 800+ capacity Queen’s Hall. James tells us that he was pleased to see some younger faces in the audience, and one of the youngest was a 10-year old who insisted upon being added to the mailing list! The programme included a Tribute to Angela Morley, as well as pieces by Robert Farnon, Richard Rodgers, John Williams, Eric Coates, Haydn Wood and Henry Mancini. The next concert is only two months away, on Saturday 22 May, as usual at the Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh. Telephone contact: 0131 334 3140.
It seems that since he discovered RFS member Frank Comstock a couple of years ago, US bandleader Brian Setzer just won’t let the 87 year-old rest and enjoy his well-deserved retirement! The album "Wolfgang’s Night Out" caused quite a stir in 2007, and the same could happen for Setzer’s latest release "Songs From Lonely Avenue" inspired by his love for 1940s film noir. Frank has been assisting with horn charts on nine tracks, giving the CD its swinging old-school vibe. Brian wants Frank to write just as he did over fifty years ago when he was working with the top stars including, of course, the one and only Doris Day. Frank also wrote arrangements for Benny Carter, Stan Kenton, Les Brown, and Judy Garland, penned the theme songs for Rocky & Bullwinkle, Adam 12, and Dragnet, and recorded the cult classic ‘Music From Outer Space’.
Gavin Sutherland conducted the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in a "Ron Goodwin Gala Concert" at the Pavilion Theatre, Bournemouth on Saturday 30 January. Unfortunately we were advised of this less than a month before the event, which means that we could not advise RFS members in our last magazine. Sadly our frequently-repeated request that concert promoters should advise us well in advance is still failing to get through to many. However one forthcoming Bournemouth concert that will delight its audience is the Mantovani Spectacular on April 18th – see page xx of this issue.
Brian Travers recently left the following message on our website: "My father Gerry Travers was one of the lead vocalists of the Canadian Band of the AEF, with Paul Carpenter, and Joanne Dallas. He always spoke so highly of Bob Farnon as a musical genius, and they still kept in touch until my father passed away in 2003. It is nice to read this biography (on the RFS website) of Bob Farnon to get a more detailed insight of his musical career. I still have my father’s original live BBC recordings of the Canada Show broadcasts. They are wax covered metal LP size records, that play at 78 speed from the label out to the edge. In 2000 Cowtown Publications released on CDs these WW2 Canadian Band of the AEF recordings, as well as others they had found."
It is gratifying to know that, despite the indifference of many concert promoters and a certain national broadcasting organisation, there are still a lot of people who like to perform light orchestral music. If you are also a member of the Light Music Society you will know that they advertise forthcoming concerts by amateur ensembles, and David Mardon attended a concert by his local Hale Light Orchestra last July. Appropriately called "Light Music for a Summer’s Evening" the ambitious programme began with the march Light of Foot by C. Lattan, followed by Robert Farnon’s Jumping Bean. Other highlights included music from the film ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ (Klaus Badelt); Bows and Bells (Sydney del Monte) – frequently heard half a century ago on the radio, but sadly never recorded; Demoiselle Chic (Percy Fletcher); London Suite – complete (Eric Coates); Dodman Rock(John Holliday); Tabarinage (Robert Docker); and Francis Chagrin’s Beggar’s Theme from the film ‘Last Holiday’. Other composers featured included Lerner and Loewe, Sir Arthur Sullivan, Sir Henry Wood and Sir Edward Elgar. The Hale Light Orchestra’s conductor is Alan Nuttall and the leader is Andy Bate. You can find out more about them via their website: www.halelightorchestra.com
Several members have asked us why contributions from Reuben Musiker in South Africa have been missing from recent issues. Reuben’s strong loyalty to the RFS goes right back to the 1950s, and his encyclopaedic knowledge of light music has been of great benefit to us all. We are sorry to report that Reuben suffered a series of health problems last year, which were so serious that he was in intensive care for a while. On top of this, he downsized from the home where he had lived for 38 years, and with his wife Naomi he now lives in a one bedroom apartment in a retirement village. This forced him to give away his precious collections of books and records, so it is hardly surprising that he has been suffering from depression as a result. However he retains his interest in the RFS and I know that his many friends in the society will share our hope that he soon gets a lot better. When he was taken ill a year ago he had almost finished his second music book ("With A Song In My Heart") and he is now hoping to complete it this year. Obviously the contact address given in previous magazines no longer applies, but he still has the same email:
Last October BBC Four screened a series of programmes with a railway theme, and from subsequent feedback we know that many RFS members in Britain found them most enjoyable. Prompted by the 40th anniversary of the fateful ‘Beeching Report’ which forced the closure of around one-third on the railway network, the programmes were rich in nostalgia – especially to steam enthusiasts. British Transport Films were featured on 23 October (with later repeats) and members who regularly attend our London meetings will have spotted Alan Willmott towards the end of the programme. Alan was with BTF for over 30 years, and he has presented selections of their vast film library (over 700 titles) at RFS meetings. Much of their appeal to us lies in the orchestral scores that were commissioned from leading composers. Sadly the programme did not mention this important aspect, but maybe this was due to only 40 minutes being allocated to what is a vast subject. Alan tells us that his part of the programme was filmed at the National Railway Museum last July, and it would be nice to think that – one day – another producer will give us a more satisfying study (perhaps lasting around two hours) of the work of the BTF. But as a taster Alan’s programme was most welcome and enjoyable, and several BTF films were screened in their original form while the ‘railway season’ was running.
As we mentioned briefly in our last issue, Brian Reynolds has been providing a lot of interesting information about broadcasting orchestras for the Whirligig internet site – www.whirligig-tv.co.uk.. This started as long ago as 1999 by Terry Guntripp, who tells us that he had virtually stopped adding new information to his site because the supply of fresh material had virtually dried up – until Brian Reynolds took an interest! Details of vintage themes available on Guild ‘Golden Age of Light Music’ CDs have also been featured on a new page in the radio section – click on ‘Radio Days’ in the left hand column, and then ‘Audio Sources’ in the strip at the top of the new page. Because he has so much new material to add about broadcasting orchestras, Brian Reynolds has now been given his own website ‘Masters of Melody’: www.mastersofmelody.co.uk.
The following report dated 13 October 2008 comes from The Canadian Press, Toronto: Tony Bennett says it was the genius of the late Toronto-born composer Robert Farnon that led to his long break from producing Christmas albums. Bennett's new record "A Swingin' Christmas", being released this week, is just his second holiday album. The first was 1968's "Snowfall: The Tony Bennett Christmas Album", and the iconic crooner says the 40-year gap is a result of Farnon's superb orchestrations on that disc. 'When I did ("Snowfall") it was such a work of art, as far as I was concerned, that when Columbia/Sony ... would say to me every year, 'You've got to do a Christmas album because that's our season to really sell an album,' I said, 'No, no ... that's the album,' you know, it was very complete,' Bennett, 82, said in a recent interview. He explained that Farnon was widely revered in music circles and nicknamed 'The Governor' by Frank Sinatra. Bennett changed his mind about doing a second festive album earlier this year after his son/manager, Danny, proposed doing one that 'isn't as serious or religious as the first "Snowfall" album.' 'He said, 'Just a swingin' album, let's do one for parties ... it's such a festive time of the year. Just do an album that just has a good beat to it,'' Bennett said in his raspy New York accent, dressed to the nines in a slick, navy-blue pinstripe suit. "A Swingin' Christmas", recorded onstage at the Bergen Performing Arts Center in New Jersey, comprises old favourites including Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, I'll Be Home for Christmasand Winter Wonderland. The album reunites Bennett with the Count Basie Orchestra, with whom he performed in the 1950s. Some of the orchestra members are the same ones Bennett recorded with back in the day, he said. 'I was the first white singer that ever sang (with them), when it was shocking to have a white artist with a black band,' said the balladeer, who has won 15 Grammy Awards. 'It was great, it worked right away, there wasn't any problem at all but the corporations always questioned it because the black music never really sold down south in bigoted areas of the States and they would discourage it. They wouldn't promote it because of sales.'
On 29 October 2008 BBC Radio-3’s "Performance on 3" featured a concert of light music from the Colosseum in Watford. The BBC Concert Orchestra was conducted by Gavin Sutherland and they were certainly on top form. The varied programme included both modern and ‘classic’ pieces of light music, confirming that today’s composers are still attracted to the genre. Highlight for many people will have been the inclusion of Haydn Wood’s Violin Concerto brilliantly performed by Tasmin Little. The concert featured the following works: Joie de Vivre (David Lyon), Lakeside Idyll (Ernest Tomlinson), Violin Concerto (Haydn Wood), London Salute (Philip Lane), Kaleidoscope (Peter Hope),Summer Afternoon (Eric Coates), In The Moonlight (Albert Ketèlbey), The Night Has Eyes (Charles Williams), Jubilee Dances (Paul Patterson) – plus an encore Knightsbridge (Eric Coates). It was good to hear Gavin Sutherland interviewed during the concert and, although this was a radio concert, you were able to view it afterwards, on the BBC iPlayer for seven days via your computer … let’s hope the idea catches on! Unfortunately we were not advised of the concert until after our September magazine had gone to press, but we did include details in the Latest News section of our website, so we hope that some RFS members will have been alerted.
Filmharmonic 2009 takes place at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Friday 8 May commencing at 7:30pm. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will be conducted by Paul Bateman, and the concert includes music from Pirates of the Caribbean, Lord of the Rings, Gladiator, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Superman and Jurassic Park. There will also be a special tribute to great TV Themes Dallas, Dynasty, Cagney and Lacey and L.A. Law. Tickets £50 - £10. Telephone bookings on 020 7589 8212; online bookings: www.royalalberthall.com.
ROBERT FARNON BASSOON CONCERTO
World premiere Sept. 13, 2009
Legendary arranger/composer Robert Farnon dedicated his final composition of a jazz-oriented bassoon concerto to Daniel Smith.
Titled ‘Romancing the Phoenix’, this ground-breaking concerto, with improvisation included throughout the three movements, calls for enlarged wind sections as well as a jazz rhythm section on stage alongside the orchestra.
The World premiere will take place Sept. 13, 2009 at the Forum Theatre in Malvern, England, with the Chandos Symphony Orchestra, Michael Lloyd conducing. Warner Chappell has published the score and parts with Robert Farnon’s dedication to Daniel Smith on the title page.
The note in our last issue (page 74) about the last time Tony Bennett and Robert Farnon were together in the recording studios prompted calls from Fred Wadsworth and Mark Fox. Christmas in Herald Square was included as a final ‘hidden’ track on the Bennett CD "The Playground" – US Columbia CK69380. Sixteen tracks (mainly to appeal to children) were listed on the album, but when you continued playing the CD at the end a seventeenth track appeared. This was a gimmick used on a number of CDs released around this time – the late 1990s. Maybe readers are aware of other examples?
There are now many internet sites which could be of interest to readers, and one recently brought to our attention is that operated by the British music magazine Gramophone. It now contains a massive amount of information, including reviews going back decades, and those of you with access to the internet should take a look at: www.gramophone.net One word of warning: once you start surfing this site you won’t want to stop!
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra have taken over the management of the BBC Big Band. The connection here is that the RPO's MD, Ian Maclay, was formerly General Manager of the BBC Concert Orchestra and the Big Band. Hopefully this will do nothing but good in ensuring the survival of the Big Band, which currently only gets 25 minutes a week on Radio 2 plus the odd Radio 3 broadcast. It should get more outside concerts for a start.
Anne Shelton’s niece, Kelly Richards, is promoting a special concert on the 15th year (to the day) of her death on Friday 31 July. It is in aid of Anne’s favourite charity, the Not Forgotten Association, and will take place at The Winter Garden Theatre, Eastbourne, commencing at 7:30pm. Tickets cost £15 - £17; box office telephone 01323 412000. The New Squadronaires will be performing many wartime favourites, and they will be accompanying many singers who are adding their support.
The newly-formed Eric Coates Society (appropriately launched in the composer’s birthplace) is now up and running, and we wish it every success. Many people regard Coates as the finest English composer of Light Music during the first half of the last century, and this tribute to his memory is long overdue. In the Robert Farnon Society we will continue to keep our members aware of his great achievements, and all new recordings of his music will be publicised. Many of our loyal members also belong to other music societies, and we are sure that some of you will also want to be associated with the efforts being made to keep the music of Eric Coates alive in the 21st century. The person to contact is the Secretary, Peter Butler, 47 Farleys Lane, Hucknall, Nottingham, NG15 6DT, England. The subscription is £10 and cheques should be payable to ‘The Eric Coates Society’.
RETROSPECTIVE RISES FROM THE ASHES OF LIVING ERA
When Sanctuary Group was taken over by Universal in 2007 the Living Era label was a casualty. Under Ray Crick’s guidance it had become one of the UK’s leading nostalgia catalogues, and by carefully choosing the repertoire it had also achieved success in the USA. Some of the artists were little known in Europe, but their popularity in the USA ensured healthy sales. Ray also commissioned several collections of light music, including Robert Farnon, David Rose, Sidney Torch, George Melachrino, Peter Yorke, Percy Faith and Louis Levy.
After various new projects failed to materialise, Ray Crick launched the Retrospective label last October. Some of the best Living Era collections have been reprogrammed and subjected to fresh digital restoration by Alan Bunting, and the result is an exciting series that is quickly gaining a reputation for quality. Peter Dempsey (who compiled many collections and wrote numerous sleeve notes for Living Era) is also on board, and the initial releases included 2 CD sets by George Formby, Fred Astaire, Humphrey Lyttelton, Nat King Cole, Paul Robeson and Tony Martin, and single discs by Alma Cogan, André Previn, Eartha Kitt, Louis Armstrong, Perez Prado and Sammy Davis Jr. From January plans are for the label to release ten discs per month covering both Nostalgia and Vintage Jazz.
Ray Crick says: "I am delighted to be involved with RETROSPECTIVE because it gives me the chance to create CD programmes that will bring alive the finest recordings by those wonderful vintage entertainers of yesteryear, both popular and jazz, for people to enjoy here and now. The first 25 sets out our stall, with music stretching from the music hall to jugbands to rock ‘n’ roll! We anticipate that the entire project will total more than 400 releases, each with a smart series design, making for a highly collectable range."
RETROSPECTIVE is a joint venture between Wyastone Estate Limited and Retrospective Recordings Limited. All sets will be manufactured in the UK and the USA using the Nimbus disc and print 'on demand' production services and distributed world-wide by Wyastone Estate Limited. The in-house production facility ensures that titles are never overstocked or out of stock and that they can respond immediately to market demand. Website: www.retrospective-records.co.uk
The next concert by The Edinburgh Light Orchestra conducted by James Beyer will take place on Saturday 24 May in the Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh. For more information telephone 0131 334 3140.
Plans are still progressing for the premiere performance of Robert Farnon’s Bassoon Concerto.Daniel Smith tells us that he now hopes that this will take place in the spring of 2009, and we will naturally keep RFS members informed of developments.
Kym Bonython writes from his home in Adelaide to send warmest regards to his RFS friends, and say that he has started to write a sequel to his 1979 autobiography "Ladies Legs and Lemonade". His friend Barry Humphries suggested that it should be called "In ever decreasing circles…" probably alluding to the fact that Kym (born in 1920) has been forced to give up riding his beloved Agusta motor cycle. It has been sold to the Headmistress of a girls’ school in Britain! From being a highly decorated pilot in World War 2, Kym became one of the greatest jazz promoters in Australia, and he has also been an important patron of Australian art.
The inclusion of the BBC recordings of "Oranges and Lemons" on the Guild ‘Musical Kaleidoscope Volume 1’ collection prompted our good friend Frank Hare to remind us that using this piece to introduce the day’s broadcasting on the Light programme was following an established tradition. This traditional melody was also a ‘call sign’ for the BBC Allied Expeditionary Forces Programme, which commenced broadcasting on 7 June 1944 - one day after D-day. It then consisted of about 12 seconds of the tune repeated over and over again, with a short break between each, and played in single notes by the famous organist Charles Smart on a Novachord with a sustain. This can be heard at the start of the RFS CD featuring Captain Robert Farnon and the Canadian Band of the Allied Expeditionary Forces – still available from us for £6 (which includes p&p).
From Volker Rippe who discovered it in a German calendar for people learning English: Why is ‘our kind of music’ banned from radio and television? Too much sax and violins! (Say it out loud to yourself a few times and you’ll get the joke!)
Our thanks to Ann Adams who has sent us some nice colour photos taken at her Kensington Gardens Concert last summer. This time our colour reproductions had to be reserved for last November’s London meeting, but we hope to let you see Ann’s Ladies Palm Court Orchestra in the next issue.
Debbie Wiseman will be conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in a concert of her Favourite Film and TV Moments at London’s Cadogan Hall on Sunday 30 March. Telephone bookings: 020 7730 4500.
Mort Garson (born 20 July 1924), the composer of the popular song "Our Day Will Come" died in San Francisco on 4 January 2008. During a long and successful career he worked with the likes of Doris Day and Mel Torme.