Keeping Track - Dateline September 2007
BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC PREMIERES VOLUME 4 Ernest Tomlinson:Aladdin (1974) -Jewel Dances, Aladdin’s Dance of Joy, Young Man in Love; John Fox: A Surrey Rhapsody (2006); Jim Cooke: Concert Jig (2004); Phillip Lord: Nautical Overture (1965); Richard Valery: The Magic Carpet (1940); Lionel Sainsbury: Cuban Dance No.2 (1991); Adam Saunders: Overture - Pirates Ahoy! (2006); Carey Blyton: The Golden Road to Samarkand (1991); Peter Flinn: Cinema Suite (2006). Royal Ballet Sinfonia conducted by Gavin Sutherland and Paul Murphy (Dutton Epoch CDLX7190).
The advance publicity for this new release states: This is the latest instalment in Dutton Epoch’s prestigious series of light music CDs and, as with the previous volumes, features Gavin Sutherland conducting the Birmingham Royal Ballet Sinfonia through sparkling recordings of charming light music scores by some of the finest British composers working in the genre. Ernest Tomlinson’sAladdin opens the disc and bears the hallmarks of grace, elegance and melodic invention for which this figurehead of British light music is so well-known. Among the many other delights on offer include Surrey-born composer John Fox’s orchestral ode to his home county A Surrey Rhapsody, and Carey Blyton’s enchanting The Golden Road to Samarkand orchestral suite. As ever, Gavin Sutherland’s inspired conducting and the Royal Ballet Sinfonia’s impeccable and sensitive playing combine to bring this colourful, beautiful music to life in spectacular fashion. A review of this important new release will appear in our next issue.
NEW GUILD "GOLDEN AGE OF LIGHT MUSIC" CDs
5129 "Beyond The Blue Horizon" full tracklisting in JIM 170, page 15
5130 "Cornflakes" full tracklisting in JIM 171, page 80
5131 "Light Music On The Move" full tracklisting in JIM 171, page 82
Readers who remember the late pianist and composer Albert Semprini may recall how he introduced his regular BBC Radio programmes with what we would today term a ‘mission statement’ – ‘Old ones – New ones – Loved ones – Neglected ones’. This formula could well apply to the entire GUILD series and to these three CDs in particular. [The ‘new’ ones are not actually new, of course - just unfamiliar!]
Beyond The Blue Horizon is a collection of Light Music which presents ‘…a mix of likeable melodies featuring different colours.’ Not surprisingly, Blue definitely predominates here, as it seems many composers have a ‘thing’ about that colour, and it’s featured in 14 of the 27 tracks. Many of these originate from commercial 78s, although there are some interesting library pieces, including Out Of The Blue (Robert Busby) and Blue Mink (Peter Yorke), both of which I well remember were used in BBC tv demonstration transmissions during the early ’50s. Also included is, I believe, another first for GUILD – a rare BBC Transcription recording (The White Scarf by Edgar Bainton). There’s a wonderful Robert Farnon arrangement of Irving Berlin’s Blue Skies, which features the great Dave Goldberg on guitar, and an equally superb Angela Morley treatment of Deep Purple (Parish, De Rose). The highly enjoyable programme is rounded off with another rarity – George Melachrino’s Fantasy Ballet, based on the traditional Little Brown Jug. This is taken from a 1947 recording for the EMI library, which Melachrino was instrumental in setting-up in association with the record company in the early years after WWII.
Cornflakes was not necessarily designed to accompany your breakfast – although it would perform that duty admirably – but, like a number of other GUILD CDs, takes its name from the title of one of its tracks, in this case a Norrie Paramor composition. There are many familiar numbers featuring some leading ’50s musical directors, including Frank Cordell, the aforementioned George Melachrino, Werner Müller, Cyril Stapleton, Mantovani and Malcolm Lockyer. Almost half of the items are grouped together under the title The Polygon Legacy and included in this section are most of the latter company’s tracks which have not already appeared on other GUILD releases. There are some very informative liner notes detailing Polygon’s history and its subsequent demise, when it was subsumed into PYE Records in the mid ’50s. One unfortunate omission, however, is apparent in Song Of The Pearl Fishers’ Tango by the Laurie Johnson Orchestra, which is credited to ‘Heno Gaze – (arr Johnson)’. Whatever became of the actual composer of the tune in question – one Georges Bizet?!
Light Music On The Move is a compilation of mainly upbeat pieces depicting movement in many forms on Land, Sea and Air. Transport features prominently and besides several trains (inevitably!), we are treated to such delights as a Cycling Chimp (Pagan), a few horses and a donkey, a couple of fairground roundabouts and John Malcolm’s famous Non Stop, which must have earned him a penny or two as it was used for many years as the signature tune for Independent Television News on British TV [see also my comments towards the end of this feature]. In contrast you’ll find anAmsterdam Sleepwalker (Steggerda), a space journey, and if you hanker after a more relaxed form of movement, try Drifting On A Cloud (D’Artega - Syracuse ). As with all of these new offerings, LMOTM is a clever assemblage of excellent tracks with Alan Bunting’s digital transfers being of his usual superlative quality. Tony Clayden
BEST OF BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC 2CD compilation
CD 1 includes CURZON: Robin Hood Suite: March of the Bowmen; HEDGES: Overture: Heigham Sound; TOYE: Concert Waltz: The Haunted Ballroom; FARNON: Melody Fair; WOOD: Serenade to Youth; COLLINS: Vanity Fair; TOMLINSON: A Little Serenade; QUILTER: A Children’s Overture; WORLAND: Millennium — A Celebration March; KETELBEY: In a Persian Market; GRAINGER: Country Gardens; ADDINSELL: Goodbye Mr Chips: Theme; GOODWIN: Theme from 633 Squadron"
CD 2 includes BENNETT: Theme and Waltz from ‘Murder on the Orient Express’; WHITE: Puffin’ Billy; TORCH: ALL Strings and Fancy Free; MAYERL: Marigold; DUNCAN: High Heels; ELLIS: Coronation Scot; FARNON: Colditz March; KETELBEY: In a Monastery Garden; BINGE: Elizabethan Serenade; COATES: By the Sleepy Lagoon; COLERIDGE-TAYLOR: Hiawatha Overture; GERMAN: Tom Jones, Act III: For Tonight (Sophia’s Waltz-Song); COATES: Dam Busters’ March Various Orchestras Naxos 8570575-76 (2 CDs). Naxos decided to make this compilation ‘CD Of The Month’ for August, which demonstrates their faith in Light Music. The tracks are taken from previous Naxos and Marco Polo CDs, and represent some of the finest composers of the last century.
MUSIC FROM MOTION PICTURES
Exodus, Cimarron, King of Kings, Ben-Hur, The Bible, Butterfield 8, Colonel Bogey/River Kwai March, The Robe, Lygia, Julie, Romeo and Juliet, Spellbound, Spartacus and more
David Rose and his orchestra (Frank Bristow, FBCD161)
MUSIC FROM STAGE AND SCREEN
Humoresque, Great Pretender, Fascination, Love is a Many Splendoured Thing, Bewitched, Just a Memory, Take My Love, Serenade, What’s New Pussycat, Forbidden Planet, La Strada, I’ll Take Romance, And I Love Her, Pigeon and more
David Rose and his orchestra (Frank Bristow, FBCD162)
A DAVID ROSE COLLECTION
Intermezzo, Beautiful Ohio, Diane, Was It a Dream?, Remember, Satisfaction, King of the Road, Estudiantina, Every Time We Say Goodbye, Downtown, Are You Sincere? and more
David Rose and his orchestra (Frank Bristow, FBCD163)
Our Australian friend, Frank Bristow, has already issued a dozen or so David Rose CDs but he has found another 85 ex-MGM tracks to issue over the span of three CDs (all available separately) with a total playing time of nearly four hours! Without checking each individual track, I can’t say offhand whether there is any duplication with previously issued material, but I’d be inclined to say not. Taking the discs in numerical order, the first one is the best with works by the elite composers of Hollywood embracing works by Steiner, Rota, Tiomkin, Rozsa, Newman et al. It has such best sellers as The Green Leaves of Summer, Laura, Around the World, Summertime in Venice and Tara’s Theme. In fact there isn’t one dud track among them (well, you wouldn’t expect one, would you?)
"Stage and Screen" has more of the same (including the only Rose composition in the whole set, something called Pigeon) plus semi classical pieces, a Beatles hit and other songs of the late 50’s and early 60’s. There are also ten songs from the Moose Charlap and Norman Gimbel’s 1948 Broadway flop "Whoop Up" which, as far as I could hear from the selection, deserved better.
"The Rose Collection" is a hybrid (you could say a motley) melange ranging from Strauss and Romberg to Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones. Eleven tracks are devoted to jazzed-up versions of Tchaikovsky, Brahms and Grieg which (to be quite frank) are neither one thing nor the other!
Frank Bristow CD’s are ONLY available directly from him at 2 Cross Street, Brighton, Victoria 3186, Australia. Tel. 03-9528-3167. Email: Credit cards and Paypal are accepted, but no cheques — details on request. Please visit his website for further details on CDs in his catalogue www.musicfromthepast.com
SONGS TO REMEMBER/THE INCOMPARABLE MANTOVANI
With These Hands, Faraway Places, A Very Precious Love, Jamaica Farewell, Tenderly, Blue Star, Gigi, When I Fall In Love, No Other Love, Vaya Con Dios, Two Different Worlds, Tonight/I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now, As Time Goes By, Catch A Falling Star, Where Are You, (I Left My Heart) In San Francisco, I’ll Be Seeing You, Yesterdays, Fly Me To The Moon, I’ll Get By, September In The Rain, Long Ago, More
Mantovani and his orchestra (Vocalion CDLK 4347) 78.07
These albums were both originally issued in 1960 — neither have been issued on CD in Europe or America before — and the first includes some of the best songs of the previous decade in which Mantovani had become world famous. Monty-meister Colin Mackenzie tells me that it is in his top five of favourite albums. The well remembered Edward Rubach is the pianist on Blue Star, which was the theme for the US TV series ‘Medic’; Monty himself plays piano on the lovely When I Fall In Love. My favourite track is Jamaica Farewell with an arrangement by Roland Shaw which I have treasured in my mind for years but for some long forgotten reason did not buy on LP at the time! Richard Rodgers’ No Other Love is delicately played, the big Les Paul and Mary Ford hit Vaya Con Dios(meaning go with God in Spanish) has a nice touch of accordion, and the Bernstein piece is given a powerful rendition. In the June issue of JIM, I was highly enthusiastic about the last Vocalion reissue from Mantovani — my enthusiasm is maintained for this album. The second selection is also attractive with Monty’s trademark swoop of strings very strikingly used on Catch A Falling Star(catchy being the word to describe the Cecil Milner arrangement!), a couple of beautifully arranged Jerome Kern classics, and I Wonder with its effective use of Ivor Mairant’s electric guitar. Incidentally, I was surprised to learn from Colin’s comprehensive liner notes that the song dates from as far back as 1909! We all, including those readers who still resist the Venice born maestro, should be thankful to Mike Dutton for not only enabling Mantovanians to obtain well-loved recordings in a CD format, as well as filling a few gaps in our collections, but also for giving new light music enthusiasts an opportunity to hear someone who really was incomparable.
George Butterworth: 2 English Idylls, The Banks of Green Willow
Walter Leigh: Squadron 992, Overture — Jolly Roger, Harpsichord Concertino, The Fairy of the Phone
Kent Sinfonia/Malcolm Riley with Marion Whitehead (harpsichord)
‘Lost’ because both George Butterworth and Walter Leigh were killed in combat during the world wars. The Butterworth pieces have been recorded previously, and possibly better, but these thoughtful performances are worth having. The discs principle interest comes with the Water Leigh items as his music is little heard. Before his premature death, he composed chamber music (issued fairly recently on a Dutton CD), two operettas and some twenty film scores. Here we have the overture to one of the operettas, which is cheerfully nautical, the Harpsichord Concertino is light in touch, but with a hint of his study with Hindemith and two film scores lovingly reconstructed by Malcolm Riley. The Fairy of the Phone was written for a GPO film unit release on how to use the telephone; it is for six vocalists and ten instrumentalists (six of them woodwind) in an engaging ‘1930s popular’ idiom. Squadron 992 comes from a 1940 documentary on the move of an RAF balloon unit and recalls the music of Vaughan Williams and Sir William Walton. All told, a valuable issue well played by Kent Sinfonia whose fresh sound I like, and recorded with commendable clarity if less full toned than many modern releases. Strongly recommended.
Philip L Scowcroft
TOWARDS AN UNKNOWN LAND
Quay and Departure, Towards an Unknown Land, Stars My Compass, Song to the Sea, Dream in the Sun, Lifetime Ago, Eastern Waltz, Loch, Out in the Cold, Sirens
Michael Buck (Prestige, CDSGP9041) 54:40
Close your eyes and listen to the music and you are sure to be transported away on a unique musical journey. What has been achieved in the past with a full orchestra is created here by one man and his imagination. The composer of all ten tracks plays high quality samples that ‘live’ in his computer and are controlled by him from a digital piano (Yamaha P90). Michael also uses several virtual synthesizers (Spectrasonics Atmosphere Synthesizer and East West Symphonic Choirs) to get some of the lovely textured backgrounds. The entire album was produced and recorded in Michael’s own studio which is set-up in his home. Michael would love one day to record with a full real orchestra, but this is currently beyond his reach, but he is nevertheless very happy with this, his first album. Listening to the tracks is like watching a film in your mind, by simply sitting back, relaxing and hearing this musical story. This is a CD to dip in and out of, as listened to in full, readers may find this repetitive and the tracks merge into one. The title track is a highlight along with A Lifetime Ago which are both very reflective. There is certainly some influence from John Barry and Ennio Morricone in some of these tracks. So if you want something new to try, then you won’t be disappointed with this CD release.
SPIRIT OF VIENNA Overture "Reiche Madchen" (Strauss II), music from Operetta "Katz und Maus" (Strauss III), Traumverloren Waltz (Siegfried Translateur), march and waltz from Operetta "Casanova" (Paul Lincke), also works by Alfons Czibulka, Edmund Eysler, Richard Eilenburg and Joseph Hellmesberger Die Flotten Geister, Czech Republic Conducted by Christian PollackThe press release from The Johann Strauss Society of Great Britain describes this as a scintillating new recording of rare operetta & Viennese dance music which has been co-issued by the Johann Strauss Societies of Great Britain and the Czech Republic. This album features the renowned European orchestra ‘Die Flotten Geister’ and Viennese supremo Christian Pollack conducting. Warning — this is no ordinary Strauss & Co album — for a start there’s no ‘Blue Danube’ or ‘Radetzky March’! The music featured on this disc comprises worthwhile compositions which have until now escaped the recording studio, making it a premiere recording in every respect. Johann Strauss II (the Waltz King) is represented with two virtually unknown operetta overtures Reiche Mädchen and Fanny Elssler. The waltz is by no means forgotten and the transfix of three/four time is represented by the respective pens of nephew Johann Strauss, Siegfried Translateur, Edmund Eysler, Paul Lincke, and Joseph Hellmesberger. There are marches, polkas, and gavottes by Paul Lincke, Alfons Czibulka and Richard Eilenberg to fill up this jam packed disc which runs for a truly melodic 79 minutes. The recording was produced in the Czech Republic.
"Spirit of Vienna" is available online from:
The Johann Strauss Society of Great Britain www.johann-strauss.org.uk
or through Discovery Records Limited, Nursted Road, Devizes, Wilts. SNIO 3DY. www.discovery-records.com
Price £12.99 UK inc. P&P
Hiawatha, Fox Intermezzo, Marusja*, Yearning (Just for You), Musette, Da Capo,Londonderry Air*, Hello Ma Baby, Donkey Serenade, Serenata, Pizzicato Violins, Casino Dances, Sparrow Concerto, Monna Vanna*, Zigeuner Boogie, By the Waters of Minnetonka,Von der Puszta
Aspidistra Drawing Room Orchestra with Elizabeth Menezes* (soprano).
This CD seeks to recreate the sound of the once popular saloon orchestra with its seven players and follows their previous two CDs in the series. This is indeed a foot-tapping confection, mainly of less familiar material from the light music genre. The Londonderry Air is heard in a less usual version, by the composer Geoffrey O’Connor-Morris. Of the rest I particularly enjoyed Helmut Zacharias’ two gypsy-based titles and it is good to hear a Jacob Gade tango which is not Jealousy. Performances by the orchestra, which includes flute and oboe to add colour, are splendid and well recorded. Highly recommendable.
Philip L Scowcroft
This CD can only be purchased directly from the Aspidistra Drawing Room Orchestra; please see www.aspidistra.org for further details or send a cheque made payable to ‘Aspidistra Drawing Room Orchestra’ for £11 (incl. P&P) to 49 Bankside, London, SE1 9JE, England.
THE BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC COLLECTION Volume 1 2CD set Royal Ballet Sinfonia Conducted by Gavin Sutherland Sanctuary CD RSB 205. This is a reissue of two ASV White Line collections: the first was originally released on CD WHL 2113 as "Brian Kay’s British Light Music Discoveries" in 1998; the second CD first appeared in 2000 as "British Light Music Discoveries 2" on CD WHL 2126. The composers include Sir Malcolm Arnold (The Roots of Heaven and Little Suite No. 4), William Alwyn (Suite of Scottish Dances), Clifton Parker (The Glass Slipper – Overture), Sir Richard Rodney Bennett (Little Suite); David Lyon (Joie de Vivre), Paul Lewis (English Overture) and Philip Lane (Suite of Cotswold Folk Dances). These works (and there are more on these CDs) should be in every serious light music collection, so if you missed these the first time round this is your opportunity to remedy the omission. The booklet says there are two more similar volumes of reissues to follow – hopefully the purchase of Sanctuary by Universal will not disrupt these plans. David Ades
Saturday Night, All Night Tonight, Sll the Pussy, Papa Says, Margie, Limbo Bar, High Cheek Bones, Run for the Doctor, Melodie d’amour and many more
Edmundo Ros and his orchestra (Vocalion CDLK 4348). How pleasant it is to be able to hear every word on this album (unlike the music of today) especially so as every song tells a story, again unlike today’s music. This is Edmundo Ros at his very best and I highly recommend this release to add to your Latin American collections.
HIGH IN SIERRA
Tap Tap, Sururu, Chica Boa, Jamaica Way, To Be or Not To Be, High in Sierra, Off Shore, Wonderful, Latin Lady, When You’re in Love, So Deep My Love and many more
Roberto Inglez and his orchestra (Vocalion CDEA 6131) 75:39 This disc is great stuff and is the third CD that Vocalion have issued of Roberto Inglez — it is always a pleasure to listen to his orchestra. With 27 tracks this is certainly great value. With the so called summer weather we are having at the moment, it is nice to get this CD to bring some sunshine into the room.
Love is Blue, Hungarian Dance No. 5, Penelope, Sabre Dance, A Frenchman in Dublin, Paris Musette, Angelic Demon, Rio Forever, Le Piano Sur La Vague, A Whole New World, Great Brilliant Waltz Op 18, Entr’act of L’Arlesienne, Intermezzo from Carmen, Invitation to the Dance
Paul Mauriat and his orchestra (GLD GK38359)
Unchained Melody, Lara’s Theme, Calling You (from ‘Baghdad Café’), Beauty and the Beast, I Will Always Love You, Charade, Chariots of Fire, Colours of the Wind, Schindler’s List, Conquest of Paradise
Paul Mauriat and his orchestra (GLD GK38361)
Space Race, My Heart Will Go On, Invitation to the Dance, Etude in a New Form, Piano Concerto No. 21 Andante, Caravan, Thais Meditation, Czardas, Dolls and Dreams, Serenade a Coline, Begin the Beguine, Toccata, Penelope, Love is Blue/El Bimbo, Hungarian Dance No. 5
Paul Mauriat and his orchestra (GLD GK38360)
These three CD’s, released only in Argentina, contain a compilation of songs recorded by Paul Mauriat during the nineties. The ‘Serenata’ CD contains great hits of the sixties and seventies such asLove is Blue, Penelope and Le Piano Sur La Vague whereas the ‘Movie Themes’ CD has a repertoire of film songs of the nineties plus some remembered themes like Lara’s Theme from ‘Doctor Zhivago’ and Charade. The third CD is a live concert released in Osaka, Japan and dated 29 November 1998. Mauriat offers us an interesting selection of his best hits, world-known melodies and some classics. This is a collection of CD’s for every Mauriat fan and collector of his recordings.
Mario Luis Kocian Rossi
Que C’est Triste Venice, A Man Without Love, Lamento Borincano, My Sweet Lord, Mariachi, All of Me, Sunny, Aranjuez, Sentimental Paris, Brigitte, Mona Lisa, Unforgettable, Ecology, A Man and a Woman
Franck Pourcel and his orchestra (EMI 72434997278)
This is an interesting compilation released by EMI in Argentina with a total of fourteen tracks including great Pourcel hits. The songs are digitally remastered and the sound quality is excellent.
Mario Luis Kocian Rossi
Strangers in the Night*, My Sweet Lord^, Bridge Over Troubled Water~, Only You, Somewhere My Love*, The Most Beautiful Girl^, Last Tango in Paris~, Singing in the Rain, Melodie D’Amour*, Michelle^, Love Story~, Moon River
Ray Conniff*, Percy Faith^, Andre Kostelanetz~ and Caravelli (Columbia 2-470045)
A reissue product containing songs digitally remastered on CD by Columbia Argentina. This is a good release for lovers of good compilations.
Mario Luis Kocian Rossi
Sleepy Shores, Live and Let Die, Aranjuez Concerto, Killing Me Softly, The Morning is Broken, Brother Sun Sister Moon, Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree, Summer of 42, If, You’re a Lady, The Green Leaves of Summer, People, Sing, Zarathustra
Johnny Pearson and his orchestra (Carmusic 0203-02)
This rare recording of the composer of the remembered Sleepy Shores contains an interesting repertoire of songs from films of the seventies and great hits like Tie a Yellow Ribbon, Killing Me Softly and Green Leaves of Summer. Now available on CD in Argentina and also available (like the other Argentine releases) for members and collectors.
Mario Luis Kocian Rossi
RFS members who are interested in buying any of the CDs from Argentina reviewed above are invited to write to: Mario Luis Kocian Rossi, Sucre 2815, C 1428, DVY, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
THE COMPLETE MANHATTAN TOWER
Magical City, Happiness Cocktail, I’m Learnin’ My Latin, Once Upon a Dream, Never Leave Me, This Close to the Dawn, Repeat After Me, The Magic Fire, Married I Can Always Get, The Statue of Liberty, The Party, New York’s My Home and bonus tracks
Gordon Jenkins (Sepia Records, 1087) 76:00
Although I am not a fan of the work of Gordon Jenkins, I listened to this CD with a fresh mind and to reappraise his work. The Manhattan Tower work has quite a following and it is released here in its entirety, recorded back in July 1956. The music is well orchestrated and a very polished performance is given by the Gordon Jenkins orchestra but the linking narrative becomes dull and irritating for me. The highlight for me was Never Leave Me which is a very dramatic piece with Elliott Lewis and the Ralph Brewster singers. The bonus tracks are a range of vocal and instrumental pieces from 1953-55 with Gordon at the piano for Angel’s Lullaby. Remastered by RFS member Robin Cherry, the sound quality is excellent and accompanying CD booklet is very detailed and includes all recording dates and personnel. This is certainly for those who remember the Manhattan Tower with affection and for those not accustomed to the work of Gordon Jenkins.
ROMANTIC EUROPE Love in Madrid, Under the bridges of Paris, In old Lisbon, Swedish Rhapsody, London by night, Tulips from Amsterdam, Vienna, city of my dreams, Summertime in Venice, Wonderful Copenhagen, Stars over Crete, La Belle Suisse, Wonderland by night
GLAMOROUS HOLIDAY Evening in Paris, Ca c’est Paris, J’attendrai, Mademoiselle de Paris, Clopin-clopant, Parlez-moi d’amour, La vie en rose, Can can, Evening in Rome, Santa Lucia, Anema e core, Mattinata, Catari, Catari, The echo told me a lie, Mama, Come back to Sorrento Frank Chacksfield and his Orchestra (Vocalion CDLK 4345) 73:45. Another collectable 2-on-1 from one of Britain’s most popular ever orchestra leaders who, as another reviewer once wrote, "rarely, if ever, puts a foot wrong." The first album was originally issued on a Decca Eclipse album in 1972. In the complete absence of any booklet notes, I am left wondering if like some earlier Ace of Clubs budget issues it was aimed at the North American market. Among the highlights for me is the evocative French horn on London by night and Stars over Crete with its shimmering strings. La Paloma is not as overblown as it sometimes is, and it is interesting to hear Chacksfield’s take on items more associated with Riddle, Faith, Mantovani and Kaempfert. In old Lisbon is different from Frank’s 78 rpm version.
The second album was an early stereo issue in 1958. The titles had already appeared on the 1954/55 mono LPs ‘Evening in Paris’ and ’Evening in Rome’, the CD of which was recently deleted by Vocalion [CDLK 4167]. This has been a disc I have often returned to, and for anyone who missed it here is a chance to get half of the 28 tracks in twin-channelled sound. Chacksfield had a way with Italian melodies throughout his celebrated career. As far as I could tell from the limited time I had to compare them, the arrangements here are not exact copies of the earlier albums. The arrangements throughout the disc [only Leon Young is credited on two tracks] are always interesting and keep the listener involved. The use of accordion, guitar and mandolin is well-judged. The sound is enhanced by Mike Dutton’s customary fine remastering. Peter Burt
GUILD "GOLDEN AGE OF LIGHT MUSIC" CDs
5132 "Continental Flavour" full tracklisting in JIM 172, page 72
5133 "Amor Amor" full tracklisting in JIM 172, page 73
Continuing their successful policy of developing different themes for the series, David Ades and Alan Bunting have come up with one or two new ideas. New to GUILD, that is – both CDs are very much in a similar vein to many albums which made their appearance in the heyday of the LP, although naturally there is a wider variety of performing styles represented here than would normally be the case on a one- orchestra disc.
Continental Flavour provides a mix of European, British and American orchestras; a good number of pieces are by Continental composers, with some British notables (and a sole American) making up the balance. As usual, the familiar ‘rubs shoulders’ with the ‘rarely-if-ever-heard-of’ variety, but there are some most welcome surprises. Listening to this selection a few times, it struck me that there is often a marked difference between the ‘sound’ of British composers and their French, Italian, German and Spanish counterparts. It has a lot to do with the orchestration and sometimes the instrumental lineup employed.
The team is to be congratulated in putting together another very imaginative and thoroughly enjoyable collection, which I’m sure will win many new friends.
Amor Amor – Music For Romance again takes its title from an eponymous track, in this instance by the Frank Cordell Orchestra. The original plan was to call it Cocktails For Two after the opening number, a marvellous arrangement of the Johnson-Coslow composition (originally written to celebrate the end of prohibition in the USA); this could only have been created by Robert Farnon and is faultlessly executed under his baton. The full roll call of orchestras is impressive and includes those of Ron Goodwin, David Rose, Stanley Black, Werner Müller, Philip Green and Gordon Jenkins – several other equals share the honours, with a total of 24 tracks of the highest quality – they don’t come any better than this. The mood is very relaxed and the whole CD would undoubtedly make a perfect accompaniment to an intimate candlelit dinner for two; the only things missing are a suitably exotic meal and some appropriately fine wine - but regrettably, these items are not included in the price!
These two latest releases, together with the previous three reviewed at the top of this feature, were excellent company on a recent lengthy drive from my home in North London to the North West of England and back. They are all extremely worthy additions to the GUILD catalogue, which has now topped well over the 30-mark, but stand by for some more newcomers which I hope to review in the near future.
AT THE MOVIES
Over the Rainbow, Moon River, As Time Goes By, Somewhere (from ‘West Side Story’), The Shadow of your Smile, The Pink Panther, The Way We Were, The Summer Knows, It Might be You, Cinema Paradiso Suite, A Whole New World, Schindler’s List Dave Koz, saxophone (Capitol 383 6582). It’s always nice when something turns out to be so much better than you expect. When this CD arrived from EMI I took a quick glance though the booklet (with my magnifying glass!) and read the publicity blurb. Until I actually played the CD I had no idea that the talented jazz musicians were going to be supported by a lush-sounding concert orchestra performing some very pleasant arrangements. Dave Koz is obviously a talented player who solos on soprano, alto and tenor sax (at times supported by trumpeter Chris Botti), with guest singers on most of the tracks – among them Barry Manilow, Anita Baker, Johnny Mathis and Donna Summer. The opening track features an excerpt from Judy Garland singing her most famous song, while there are some spoken words from Ingrid Bergman to introduceAs Time Goes By. Rob Mounsey, Rob Mathes, Randy Waldman and Victor Vanacore share the arranging and conducting credits, and at times it seems that the great arrangers of the past half-century are looking over their shoulders. Two numbers – It Might be You and The Shadow of your Smile are reprised at the end in instrumental-only versions. A lot of money has been spent on this recording and the quality is obvious. If you enjoy popular music that is melodious and slightly jazzy, without being too abrasive, then you would do well to sample this. Of course, it isn’t light music in any sense, but I certainly like it and I suspect that many readers of this magazine might also welcome it into their collections as a fine example of today’s younger musicians. David Ades
BBC LEGENDS: SILVESTRI — ELGAR SYMPHONY NO.1 ETC
Cockaigne Overture, Symphony No. 1 (Sir Edward Elgar), Beckus the Dandipratt (Sir Malcolm Arnold), Symphony No. 2 (Tchaikovsky), Jeux (Debussy), Four Sea Interludes (Sir Benjamin Britten), Romanian Rhapsody No. 1 (Enescu)
Constantin Silvestri and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BBC Legends, BBCL 4182-2). I always tell people if they want to hear a piece of music done the right way, then listen to the old ones — such is the case with this breath taking two CD set! The heart of this release is the greatest single recording ever of Elgar’s First Symphony — it can be made to sound shapeless and formless in less caring hands. Here, Silvestri keeps everything in check with great attention paid to each individual strand and the result is a sharply focused performance with every player knowing their parts and executing them with confidence and assuredness. The same qualities are heard in another troublesome score that of Debussy’s Jeux which is very clear cut. The Tchaikovsky Second Symphony also benefits from Silvestri’s inspired leadership, matching many points brought out by this work’s greatest advocate, composer Igor Stravinsky. The Britten Sea Interludes come from an entirely different concept than Previn’s rather hasty, sloppy performance. Silvestri’s penetrating insight into the gnarled textures of this work result in one of the most satisfying readings available to the general public. The crowning glory was always a great favourite of Silvestri’s, Enescu’s fabulously colourful Roumanian Rhapsody No.1 in which images of a true Roumanian band are more vividly caught than in any other reading. Even if classical music is not your ‘bag’, buy this immensely rewarding set. It will become one of the jewels in your treasure box of favourites!
SONG OF THE BIRDS – ENGLISH CELLO MUSIC (Sanctuary White Line CD WHL 2153).
At JIM we do our best to make available details of interesting CDs as soon as they are released; unfortunately, this is one that got away! Published way back in 2004, it seems to have escaped the notice of our stalwart band of reviewers, and might still be in a state of limbo were it not for a chance remark made to me recently by Marjorie Cullerne, on the telephone from Canada, when I was preparing for the unveiling of the commemoration plaque to her great uncle, Haydn Wood (see more details on page ????). The strange thing is, I was aware of plans for a recording of Wood’sPhilharmonic Variations For Cello And Orchestra; it was being spoken about by Ray Crick, of Sanctuary Records, a good eight or nine years ago and forms part of this splendid collection. Although the CD box bears the label British Light Music, the four compositions are really at the ‘serious’ end of the genre. They were all published between 1936 and 1951, with the exception of the Rubra work. Herbert Murill (1909-1952) had become organ scholar at Worcester College, Oxford, by the age of 19 and after studying (and later teaching) composition at the RAM, became Assistant Head of Music and then Director of Music at the BBC, an appointment abruptly curtailed by his death at the age of only 43. Written for the composer’s cellist wife, Vera Canning, the Cello Concerto is dedicated ‘…in respect and affection…’ to the great Pablo Casals and features a Catalan folk melody Song Of The Birds which permeates the entire concerto and from which the CD takes its name. Sir George Dyson (1883-1964) was the son of a Halifax, Yorkshire, blacksmith and having gained his FRCO at 16, won an open scholarship to the RCM where he studied under Sir Charles Villiers Stanford. ThePrelude, Fantasy and Chaconne was written in 1936 for his daughter Alice who was a cello student at the time, and in effect is a miniature three-movement concerto. Edmund Rubra (1901-1986) hailed from Northampton and although originally a railway booking clerk eventually studied with Gustav Holst at Reading University and later went on to the RCM. His career as a pianist and composer flourished during the 1930s; the Soliloquy was written during WWII, when the composer was the pianist for the Army Classical Music Group. This is no miniature, but a full-blown symphonic movement scored for strings, two horns and timpani. And so to the jewel in the crown; Haydn Wood (1882-1959) also studied with Stanford at the RCM, and has been recounted before, produced a large canon of compositions in both ‘light’ and ‘serious’ genres. In the latter category are Piano and Violin concertos and these Philharmonic Variations, which were given for the first time in 1939 by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under the composer’s baton. After an introductory solo passage, which seems to allude to the Elgar Cello Concerto, the main theme is stated, followed by seven variations and an extended finale with an elaborate cadenza. The whole work has echoes of Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations; it lay forgotten for half a century until revived for a concert performance in 1990 at Eton College. This piece is further proof, if such were needed, of the undoubted composing talents of Haydn Wood, who is only now receiving the recognition which he so richly deserves. The performances are in the highly capable hands of cellist Rafael Wallfisch and the BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted this time by the greatly underrated Vernon Hanley, whilst recording engineer Paul Waton has worked the same magic with the acoustic at BBC’s Maida Vale studios that he would repeat some seven months later for the first Montague Phillips (Vocalion) CD.
SO WHAT’S NEW?
Calling All Workers, Estrellita, Waltz from Masquerade, Eternally, Temptation Rag, The Rose, Medley: Downtown/YMCA/Avenues and Alleyways, Serenade, Medley: The Girl from Ipanema/Moving South/Eso Beso, Medley: Almost Like Being in Love/May I Have the Next Dream with You/I've Heard That Song Before, Medley: Ragtime/And All That Jazz, The Whistler and His Dog, The Trolley Song, Medley: Under the Sea/You've Got a Friend in Me, Medley: Ciribiribin/Oh Maria Marie/Autumn in Rome/On an Evening in Roma, The Harry Lime Theme, Medley: I Wish You Love/If You Love Me, Medley: So What's New?/Jeepers Creepers/Everything's in Rhythm With My Heart
Phil Kelsall (Grasmere, GRCD127) 71:56
You can always rely on Phil Kelsall to release a CD with a variety of tunes and tempos and ‘So What’s New?’ will not disappoint with just over an hour of Wurlitzer at its best with all the stops pulled out. Tim Wills co-wrote Moving South and Eso Beso (although not credited after the tunes) and also produced this CD. Old favourites such as Calling All Workers, Waltz from Masquerade and The Harry Lime Theme mingle with lesser heard tunes. The Rose has an enjoyable church organ section. Covering three decades Downtown, YMCA and Avenues and Alleyways start the foot tapping and the medley of Italian related songs have you thinking of warm nights and holidays. Disney is not forgotten with Under the Sea and You’ve Got a Friend in Me. This CD was recorded in January 2007 on the Wurlitzer Organ at the Tower Ballroom, Blackpool.
ALFRED HOLLINS — ORGAN WORKS
Concert Overture in C major , Benediction Nuptiale, A Trumpet Minuet, Allegretto grazioso, Concert Overture in C minor, Evening Rest, Concert Overture in F minor, Andante in D, A Song of Sunshine, Maytime Gavotte, Theme with Variations and Fugue
Timothy Byram-Wigfield (Delphian DCD34044) 80:00 www.delphianrecords.co.uk
The composer, Alfred Hollins, born in Hull in 1865 had the very considerable handicap of being totally blind, but he enjoyed a high reputation as both a virtuoso concert pianist and organist. His compositions for the latter instrument despite the vagaries of musical fashion have always continued to feature in the repertoire of many organists. It is in this latter regard that a review of this new Delphian disc seems appropriate since Hollins was often dubbed ‘the Eric Coates of the organ loft’. He wrote a number of delightful, often delicate light miniatures, for the ‘king’ of instruments of which several are included here. There’s a radiant A Song of Sunrise, a charming Maytime Gavotte and a resplendent A Trumpet Minuet, Handelian in character and with highly effective use being made of the trumpet stop. As for the more overtly serious works such as the three Concert Overtures and the substantial Theme with Variations and Fugue, these are all highly accessible and attractive pieces in which good robust memorable themes are never far from the surface.
The attractions of this release are further enhanced by virtue of the fact that Timothy Byram-Wigfield plays on the three manual organ designed by Alfred Hollins himself which was installed in the Caird Hall, Dundee opened in 1923 . The recording and performances are superlative, unlike so much organ music on CD’s where much of the detail can be clouded by excessive reverberation — everything here is crystal clear with every detail telling. Timothy Byram-Wigfield incidentally holds the post of Master of Music at St Georges, Windsor. An outstanding recital of rewarding and essentially tuneful organ music and I do urge you to give Alfred Hollins a try. Roger Hyslop
Military and Brass Bands
THE MUSIC OF THE BLUES AND ROYALS
Overture — My Old Stable Jacket, The Windsorian, The Tangier Horse, Le Cheval Royal, Men of Kent, March of the Royal Horse Guards, Music for the Queen’s Birthday Parade and more
The Band of the Blues and Royals (Specialist Recording Company SRC133) 76:00
The SRC series featuring music associated with specific regiments of the British army continues with the Blues and Royals. There are no less than 39 tracks on this CD, principally trumpet calls and a selection of fast and slow marches and it is impossible to include comment on all of them, so I hope these highlights will give a sufficient flavour to persuade some readers to put it on their shopping list! Particularly noteworthy is Cavalry Brigade, a stately and imposing slow march officially attributed as anonymous but thought likely to be the work of G J Miller whilst by way of contrast, Thornburrow’sThe Windsorian has a distinctly jaunty air. Strauss makes something of a surprise appearance in this compilation with his March of the Royal Horse Guards — a refreshing change from his ubiquitous and much played Radetzky March! The Tangier Horse is a splendid march which flowed from the pen of a former DOM, Lieutenant Colonel G E Evans. A J North’s With Wings as Eagles is an impressive salute to the memory of all members of the Household Cavalry who have been killed whilst on operations. In complete contrast to the trumpet calls and marches comes Bach’s Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring and a popular piece of film music — the haunting strains of Gabriels Oboe by Ennio Morricone from ‘The Mission’ which is beautifully and sensitively played by Staff Corporal Mark Redman. The recordings were made in The Chapel, Chelsea Barracks and are fully up to SRC’s usual high standard and the CD booklet comes with detailed notes. There are many rarely recorded items in this compilation so that even the most avid collector of military band CD’s will duplicate very little in their collection and will find a great deal of interest. A notable and fascinating release which can be strongly recommended. Roger Hyslop CDs issued by Specialist Recording Company are available from: Discurio, Unit 3, Faraday Way, St Mary Cray, Kent, BR5 3QW, England tel/fax 01689 879101. You can also order via their website: www.tillystips.com/dis/
ONCE A MARINE
A Life On The Ocean Wave, Plymouth Hoe, The Captain General, The Padstow Lifeboat, Peter Rabbit and Tales of Beatrix Potter, HM Jollies, Adagio for Trumpet, Cockleshell Heroes, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, On the Quarterdeck, The Shanghai Sailor, Sarie Marais, Kalinka, Comrades in Arms, The Hounds of Spring, Once a Marine
The Royal Marines Association Concert Band (Clovelly CLCD15507) 66:00
The Royal Marines Association Concert Band is an entirely new ensemble formed in June 2006 in response to demand from retired members of the band service. This is their first CD and their versatility and accomplishment is amply demonstrated by the diverse range in style and mood of music included in this compilation, which they tackle with consistent commitment and whole hearted enthusiasm. There’s a fine selection of marches including several by Kenneth J Alford with On the Quarter Deck and HM Jollies and Sir Vivian Dunn with The Captain General and possibly his most popular and arguably one of his finest scores Cockleshell Heroes. Dunn’s march has a lively catchy first section followed by an appropriately poignant trio tune which suitably reflects the growingly somber mood in the latter part of the film. There is also a fine new march Comrades in Arms which has flowed from the pen of the band’s DOM Captain Whealing whilst Ray Woodfield’s Once a Marinewas written especially for the Royal Marines Association and makes clever use of two tunes intimately associated with the Corps namely A Life on the Ocean Wave and Sarais Marais. A good deal more music is featured here other than marches including two well chosen overtures. Alfred Reeds’ The Hounds of Spring is an easily likable piece, new to me, whilst the more familiar strains of the nautical overture by John Ansell, Plymouth Hoe, is a wonderfully invigorating piece based on several traditional tunes — the listener envisions a wonderful whiff of salt laden sea breezes which never fails to raise one’s spirits. A welcome item on this disc is the excerpt from Tales of Beatrix Potter and Slaughter on Tenth Avenue which gives the band a chance to demonstrate their big band credentials. Finally, and by no means least, there are two solo spots featuring members of the band. Jon Yates, principal trumpet, plays his own composition Adagio for Trumpet, an attractively lyrical and heartfelt piece whilst Steve Tanner takes centre stage with Donald Bridgers’ The Shanghai Sailor. This is an impressive debut disc with fine and consistently good wind playing throughout which, given the pedigree of this group of musicians, is hardly surprising. The recording sessions were held at the Clovelly St Edmund’s Studios, Dover and the resultant sound, if a trifle dryish, is very good. Roger Hyslop
For information on how to purchase this CD visit Clovelly at www.clovellyrecordings.com or telephone: 01304239356. This CD is also available from the RMA Concert Band c/o RMA Central Office, Whale Island, Portsmouth, PO2 8ER. The CD costs £12 incl P&P and cheques should be made payable to The RMA Band Fund.
A RIFLES BANDSTAND
Royal Windsor, Orpheus in the Underworld Overture, The Westminster Waltz, The Lines of Torres Vedra, The Watermill, Cornish Through and Through, Light Serenade, Lucy Long, Shepherd’s Hey, Scottish Dances, Mountain Song, Robbin’ Harry, High on a Hill, Rifles Review, Evening Hymn and Sunset, Mechanized Infantry
The Bands and the Bugles of the Rifles (Specialist Recording Company, SRC126) 78:00. The Band of the Rifles was formed in February 2007 and this release is particularly noteworthy as it is the band’s debut CD. The programme has plenty of contrast and interest, particularly for readers of this journal, with a selection which has certainly not ignored the area of British light music. There are two classics of this genre Westminster Waltz, sounding surprisingly effective in a wind band transcription and The Watermill beautifully played as an oboe solo. Two further solo spots on this disc are worthy of comment, a very accomplished bassoonist with Lucy Long and a xylophone impressively propelsRobbin’ Harry at a breathtaking speed. The concert opens with plenty of pomp and splendour with Frederic Bayco’s march Royal Windsor whilst the familiar Offenbach overture which follows combines sensitivity and exhilaration to satisfying effect. The two bugle marches included are calculated to both raise your rafters and annoy the neighbours if played at too high a volume! The recordings were made in Romsey Abbey, Hampshire and the resulting sound quality fully measures up to SRC’s consistently high standard. I recommend this to all admirers of fine wind band playing with confidence.
Overture, Just Around the Corner, My Darling Karolka, Once a Year is Not Enough, Cotton Tail, No-one Told Me, Murphy’s Pig, One Boy Sends You a Rose, Deep Blue Evening, I’ll Be Remembering and more
Original London Cast (Sepia Records, 1086) 78:00
This musical, from 1956, was penned by Anton Dvorak with lyrics supplied by Eric Maschwitz. Described as ‘a story of the new world’ this recording features a very appealing vocal performance by British actress and singer Sally Ann Howes and the male lead is taken by David Hughes. Orchestrations are by Ronald Hanmer and the orchestra is under the direction of Alexander Faris. The highlight of this CD is the Summer Song Selection which is performed by the Melachrino orchestra conducted by George Melachrino and recorded in April 1956 and lasts for over seven minutes — a real delight! Wally Stott also features in the bonus tracks as backing to three tracks from David Hughes, dating also from 1956, There But for the Grace of God Go I, Love is a Many Splendoured Thing and Two Different Worlds. The sound quality and remastering (by RFS member Robin Cherry) is of the highest quality, as expected by Sepia Records who are one of the lead CD labels in issuing rare and sought after material from the back catalogue. This is very nostalgic and takes you right back to the world of post war musical theatre.
"AS LONG AS THEY’RE HAPPY" & "AN ALLIGATOR NAMED DAISY"
You Started Something, Be My Guest, Hokey-Pokey Polka, In Love for the Very First Time, Midnight Madness and bonus tracks including A Kiss and a Cuddle, I Feel so Mmm, Close Your Eyes, What More Can I Do and many more
Original film soundtracks (Sepia Records 1092) 76:00
Two classic British film soundtracks are given new life on this very likable and enterprising CD. The main artistes are Jeannie Carson, Jack Buchanan, Jerry Wayne and Diana Dors who all give polished performances in these fun and romantic songs. For both films the musical score and direction is by Stanley Black with the Pinewood Studio Orchestra and his usual excellence shines through with lush orchestral links and arrangements which comes into its own in the reprise of I Don’t Know Whether to Laugh or to Cry Over You with Jack Buchanan. A sensational Diana Dors single (A Kiss and a Cuddle/I Feel So Mmm) from 1953 is included in the bonus tracks with the orchestra conducted by Frank Cordell. Other orchestras featured in the bonus tracks with Jeannie Carson are Reg Owen and Geoff Love. Wally Stott makes an appearance with Jerry Wayne for Lassoo and What More Can I dorecorded in 1953. I thoroughly recommend this CD which is a joy from start to finish. Remastering is again by Robin Cherry and of excellent quality.
Momento, Bring Back the Love, Close to You, Os Novos Yorkinos, Azul, Cacado, Night and Day, Tranquillo, Um Segundo, Cade Voce, Words
Bebel Gilberto (V2, VVR1044522) 42:37
The sweet summer sounds of her previous albums are still there but there are a few moments that do not gel! If the vibe of the first tracks had been maintained, then this outing could have topped her earlier recordings. Close to You is Bebel’s own composition (not the one made famous by The Carpenters). An intriguing rhythm is employed rivalling the beat of Bring Back the Love which uses a couple of instruments that I have never heard before — Repique and Gongue — intoxicating sounds! In fact, most tracks employ instruments new to me creating music that is decidedly different. I am not sure what Cole Porter would have thought of this version of his classic song Night and Day! The sax player has a stab at emulating Stan Getz but Bebel’s vocalising seems to lose the way! Tranquillois a live track and sounds like just a filler.
BEVERLY SILLS: PLAISIR D’AMOUR. Plaisir d’amour; Parlez-moi d’amour; Les filles de Cadiz; Plus 6 Other Songs in French and 3 Songs In Spanish. 48.26 Beverly Sills with Andre Kostelanetz and his Orchestra Sony Classical SMK 60576. For those who never heard her sing even on records, Beverly Sills was a most remarkable artist. Along with her technical mastery of her craft was a deep humanity and a heart breaking poignancy to her way of performing, no doubt coming from her triumphing over personal tragedies. The body of this CD comes from a pair of 1975 sessions when Sills began working with Andre Kostelanetz who provided all of these arrangements himself. Kostelanetz’s earlier experience as a vocal coach at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City pays off wonderfully with great understanding of his vocalist. With such a charming and soothing set of songs, it’s difficult to find favorites. A personal favorite is "La filles des cadix" which is the original chart written Lily Pons, Andre’s former wife. The programme is rounded off with three songs sung in Spanish and never before released in any format. Of particular interest in this group is a stellar performance of "Estrellita" which is sung very movingly by Sills. The orchestra performing behind Beverly Sills is the New York Philharmonic which adds to the high polish of the accompanying orchestra. This is without a doubt a worthwhile release spotlighting one of the most beloved of all opera stars, Beverly Sills who artistry is being rediscovered anew thanks to many releases of her great performances. Richard Jessen
JESSIE MATTHEWS (1907-1981): A Centenary Celebration 2CD compilation from 78s, film soundtracks and private tapes AVID AMSC 907. This enjoyable collection is the brainchild of veteran LP and CD compiler Hugh Palmer, and he has certainly assembled some rare and fascinating tracks in this well-deserved tribute to a great star of the 1930s. Over 50 of the best-known songs associated with Jessie Matthews are included, so it is highly unlikely that you will not discover your own personal favourites such as Over My Shoulder, Dancing on the Ceiling, When You’ve Got a Little Springtime in your Heart etc. From 1926, through to some private recordings from the late 1970s, we can enjoy her performances of popular songs plus selections from films such as "Out Of The Blue", "One Dam Thing After Another", "The Good Companions", "Evergreen", "It’s Love Again", "Gangway" and others. Among the musicians accompanying Jessie are Leslie Hutchinson (‘Hutch’), Carroll Gibbons, Louis Levy, Jay Wilbur, Fred Hartley, Peter Yorke, Debroy Somers, Bob Busby and Harold Geller. It would be silly to deny that this style of music now seems dated, but surely that is part of its charm. For those who remember how great Jessie Matthews was, and would like a lovingly-compiled souvenir of her career, this is the perfect answer. David Ades
Various artistes (Sounds of Yesteryear, DSOY732) 105:00. Grandad is seething in the corner, muttering under his breath, rubbish! It is his birthday party and the youngsters are playing the like of the Arctic Monkeys. Time to put a smile to his face by digging out this novel double CD — 36 tracks by bands of the 1930s. Billy Cotton, Carroll Gibbons, Jack Payne, Jack Hylton, Ambrose, Henry Hall and many others feature and all tracks concentrate on the humorous. I am a Grandad but only knew a few of the titles, three of which I did not know, The Pig Got Up and Slowly Walked Away, Airman! Airman! and What Can You Give a Nudist for Their Birthday, giving you some idea of the content. You also get the well known Laughing Policeman, I Like Bananas, Chinese Laundry Blues and many others well aired in the past on the Billy Cotton Band Show and Family Favourites. A fun collection for all the family, especially if those listening are well oiled!
CD round-up: some new releases noted by Wilfred Askew
HURRAH FOR MALCOLM ARNOLD
The Belles of St Trinian’s Prelude (Conducted by Muir Mathieson), The Sound Barrier —A Rhapsody For Orchestra Op 38 (conducted by the composer), The Captain’s Paradise: Postcard From the Med (MM), Trapeze: Prelude, Lola’s Theme, Juke Box, Mike and Lola’s Love Theme (MM), Hobson’s Choice Overture (MM), Beckus the Dandipratt — Overture for Orchestra Op 5, English Dances Op 27 & Op 33 (Conducted by Sir Adrian Boult), A Grand Grand Overture for Orchestra (conducted by the composer)
(Cherry Red ACMEM95) 54:12
ROY BUDD — BLUE BUDD
Original 1967-70 Pye recordings. Tracks include: Pick Yourself Up, Girl Talk, I’ll Remember April, On a Clear Day, Pavanne, Call Me, Bye Bye Blues etc
(Cherry Red ACMEM96) 63:52
SPIRAL/SOMETIMES — THE HARRY ROCHE CONSTELLATION
Two original 1973 Pye recordings. Tracks include: Rhapsody in Blue, Pinball Wizard, You Are the Sunshine of My Life, Watch What Happens, You’ve Got Possibilities, Carnaby Chick, My Romance, That’s Living etc
(Cherry Red ACMEM100) 79:54
PORTS OF PARADISE
Original Capitol recording from 1960 of instruments and voices by Alfred Newman and Ken Darby. Tracks include The Enchanted Sea, Whispering Wind, Forever More etc
(EMI Special Markets (US) 3670162) 39:03
CRIME SCENE USA: CLASSIC FILM NOIR THEMES
Music by Elmer Bernstein, Adolph Deutsch, Frank DeVol, David Raksin, Miklos Rozsa, Max Steiner, Franz Waxman and more. Tracks include: Street Scene, The Letter, High Sierra, Double Indemnity, Key Largo, The Big Heat, Strangers on a Train, Born to Kill etc.
(Giant Steps GSCR019) 63:47
HORACE HEIDT AND HIS MUSICAL KNIGHTS
Double CD. Tracks include: I’ll Love You in My Dreams, Clarinet Polka, I’ll Get By, South of the Border, Piggy Wiggy Woo, It’s a Blue World, The Singing Hills, Toy Piano Jump, Where or When, Because of You, The Hut Sut Song etc.
(Jasmine JASCD455) 139:32
ALMA COGAN — HER FABULOUS STORY
(Odeon, ODNM 009) 107:00 (Region 0)
The Alma Cogan story has been told in many different ways over the years and the main part of this DVD contains an excellent testimony in a documentary format about her all too short opportunity to entertain in her own unique way. It is very well produced and contains many personal contributions from those fortunate to have experienced the charm of knowing and working closely with her. Like most well thought out material available in DVD format there are some important extras. Very important in this case, for the producers have sought out two quite revealing Hammer cinema film shorts by the Eric Winstone band of the mid 1950’s, on which Alma is the main guest artist. The use of shorts by a great variety of performers were by no means new of course, but perhaps by the 1950’s peoples expectations were higher. A few enterprising film companies made up for this by producing what was in effect a completely self contained film version of the kind of show one may have still expected to find on the bigger variety stages of the time. Enter Hammer films who probably produced the best example of this craft in a series of band shows ranging from performers such as Cyril Stapleton, Johnny Dankworth, Edmundo Ros and, as found here, Eric Winstone. Our 21stcentury sophisticated eye will spot the fact that this is a canned series of ‘takes’ rather than a continuously live performance, but to the cinema audiences of the mid 1950’s it was often thrilling to be able to experience on the large screen (and in colour) performances of radio, television and record stars of the time. The first of the two shorts is "The Eric Winstone Bandshow" which is immediately interesting; in that Eric’s theme tune Stagecoach is performed over the opening credits using strings. The continuity in this film is created by the old film trick of captioned book page turning and the first number is Fanfare Boogie with all its customary excitement as an opener. Trumpeter Kenny Baker makes a centre stage appearance next on What Could Be More Beautiful followed by a sumptuous credited Wally Stott arrangement of These Foolish Things sung by Alma. Brian Fahey’s arrangement of Skyliner comes next followed by an intriguing Latin American medley performed by the George Mitchell singers and extras. Alma then returns for another Stott arrangement; this time it’s the ‘poppy’ Got’n Idea including some amusing 1950’s role playing by Mr Winstone. Opus one Mambo (another Stott arrangement) is up next featuring four uncredited percussionists and this first show finishes with another showcase including a string section — namely the Winstone arr. Stott titleHeartbreak. The second film short "Eric Winstone’s Stagecoach" is all linked ‘in vision’ by Eric himself and after the theme he welcomes us and incorrectly announces the first Brian Fahey number Curtain Call as Curtain Up! Alma puts in her first appearance this time round with another ‘poppy’ number,The Sycamore Tree and next is the Ray Ellington quartet being as ‘tongue in cheeky’ as ever on The Three Bears assisted by the lovely Marion Ryan, who takes us through a great typical piece of 1950’s band and stage action, one part of which is rather awkwardly mis-cast using Winstone as the fall guy but Marion saves the day though! Reg Owen’s gorgeous Slow Train Blues comes next and as during most of these two film shorts, the camera work accurately follows solos. (She Wore) A Little Jacket of Blue may not be a number which one may expect Alma to tackle, but here she is again doing just that with great aplomb followed by something that I feel could have been better thought out — an Irish sketch. This is all done in an ‘Irish cor blimey’ type of style that seems corny and wooden by any standards; maybe better performed live on stage but doesn’t do it for me here! To close this short there is something for everyone. Firstly, At the Woodchoppers Ball with some lovely section, unison and as always good camera work, then the entire cast rousingly sees us out with Riding on a Rainbow followed by a reprise of the same by the band. I’ve checked quite closely and it’s interesting to note that several of the titles mentioned above have also been recorded commercially by the Winstone band on Polygon or Pye-Nixa. Only one, Opus One Mambo, appears to use a dub of that issue. So, a brilliant DVD in my opinion; sound quality lets things down a bit in parts where I suspect over processing of film and noise removal at the expense of music quality. However, you’ll probably forget all that as you get wrapped up in the overall presentation. On the one hand this is a piece of pure 1950’s visual kitsch exotica; on the other, a wonderful historical document of just one very small part of popular music history showing how it used to be. Go, buy and enjoy!
Postscripts to previous reviews
British Light Music Miniatures – Vintage TV & Radio Classics (Naxos 8.570332 - JIM172)
Those who, like me, have become ‘hooked’ on the music of Montague Phillips will be pleased to learn that that this CD contains probably the first ever recordings of the three Dance Revels; these were not included on either of the Vocalion CDs, probably due to lack of space. It’s worth the asking price for these alone! Do I detect definite echoes of Haydn Wood’s Joyousness in number three? This CD also contains Non Stop by John Malcolm; I have seen a review in another publication which claims that this piece was used as a signature tune for ITV’s News At Ten. This is not the case – the piece was used for many years by ITN well before the advent of News At Ten, which used for its signature tune part of Johnny Pearson’s lengthy composition The Awakening; this is still employed in an amended form to this day.
Box Of Delights (Lyrita SRCD214 - JIM172)
Edmund Whitehouse mentioned the ‘…rarely heard complete Fancy Dress Suite of Cecil Armstrong Gibbs’, but once again I’m pretty certain that this is the first time that the whole work (not just Dusk) has appeared on any sort of recording. It is interesting to hear this composer’s most famous tune in the context of the whole suite, and the other movements are worth getting to know too!
English String Miniatures – Volume 5 (Naxos 8557752 –JIM 169)
This CD of new recordings contains another great favourite of mine, the Folk Song And Fiddle Danceby Percy Fletcher. Although this work has been recorded a couple of times before, it’s the first time that the Folk Song has appeared in full. This piece consists of a theme, followed by a number of variations, but on previous occasions one of the latter (a jig variation in the major) has been left out, presumably because there was insufficient space on a 78 rpm disc. Philip Lane has now remedied this situation, and it’s good to hear the whole piece as its composer intended. Tony Clayden
Finally some more new CDs
A listing here does not preclude the possibility of a full review in a future issue
TED HEATH: Big Band Themes Remembered Volumes 1 & 2 Vocalion CDLK 4345
EDMUNDO ROS: Calypso & Calypso Man Vocalion CDLK 4348
MAREK WEBER AND HIS ORCHESTRA: Musicale Vocalion CDEA 6130
ROBERTO INGLEZ: From the Savoy Hotel, London Volume 3 Vocalion CDEA 6131
THE STEPHEN FOSTER COLLECTION 2CD set which includes six tracks from the Decca LP by theRobert Farnon Octet (the complete LP is included on the Vocalion CD "Songs of Britain" CDLK 4174). Other featured artists include Bing Crosby, Sammy Kaye, Al Jolson, Frank Luther and the Andre Kostelanetz Orchestra. Jasmine JASCD 454
FRANKIE CARLE: Silver and Gold 2CD set Jasmine JASCD 462
DENNIS DAY: Serenade 2CD set Jasmine JASCD 662
SALUTING THE STARS 2CD collection featuring American stars of the 1940s and 1950s, such as Perry Como,Nat King Cole, Eddie Fisher, Andrews Sisters, Henri Rene, Sauter-Finegan Orchestra, Dinah Shore and many more. Jasmine JASCD 665
RICHARD ARNELL Symphonies 4 & 5 Royal Scottish National Orchestra conducted by Martin Yates. Dutton Epoch CDLX7194.
SID PHILLIPS BAND ‘Any Old Iron’ Bargain CD to celebrate his centenary year. Dutton CDVS1949.
JACK HYLTON BAND Volume 6 ‘Boomps-a-Daisy’ Vocalion CDEA6128.
PAUL WHITEMAN ORCHESTRA ‘If I Had a Talking Picture of You’ Vocalion CDEA6129.
In the last issue of JIM (172), the Bing Crosby CD ‘Good and Rare’ was featured. This was incorrectly credited to Sunflower Records. This CD and its sequel, ‘Good and Rare Volume Two’ have been produced by Sepia Records and both CDs feature recording from the 1940s and 50s, which have not been released on CD before. Combined, there are a total of 53 tracks ranging from The Big Movie Sky in the Show to What a Little Moonlight Can Do. The correct catalogue numbers for these discs are ‘Good and Rare’ (Sepia 1071) and volume two (Sepia 1091) Full details on these CDs, and more, can be found on Sepia Records website, www.sepiarecords.com