Keeping Track - Dateline September 2008
Orchestral ANDRE KOSTELANETZ PLAYS THE MUSIC OF RICHARD RODGERS
You Took Advantage of Me, Waltzes medley, Have You Met Miss Jones?, Little Girl Blue, Over and Over Again, I Could Write a Book, Loneliness of Evening, Oklahoma medley, Mimi, My Funny Valentine, South Pacific medley, With a Song in My Heart etc
Andre Kostelanetz Orchestra (Sounds of Yester Year, DSOY748) 2CD set 84:37
An album that should be played while reading Dick O’Connor’s excellent article ‘The Kostelanetz Arrangers’ in JIM December 2007. Kostelanetz had almost total control of the final recording so trying to pin down any arranger to a particular tune is almost impossible. The remastered recordings on this CD are his complete ‘Columbia Album of Richard Rodgers’ and is a fine sample of both the work of Rodgers and Kostelanetz. Some lesser known Rodgers tunes are included which is a bonus but as far as albums devoted to Rodgers music go, I still think Stanley Black’s album arranged by Roland Shaw takes some beating! Paul Clatworthy
LEROY ANDERSON ORCHESTRAL MUSIC VOLUME THREE
Harvard Sketches, Melody on Two Notes, Mother’s Whistler, The Penny Whistle Song, The Phantom Regiment, Plink, Plank, Plunk, Promenade, Sandpaper Ballet, Sarabande, Serenata, Old MacDonald Had a Farm, Seventy-Six Trombones, Sleigh Ride, Suite of Carols for Brass Choir, Wintergreen for President, The Typewriter, A Trumpeter’s Lullaby and The Syncopated Clock
Leonard Slatkin and the BBC Concert Orchestra (Naxos 8559357) 61:49
This could be reckoned the best yet in the excellent first complete cycle of Anderson’s orchestral music. The four world premiere recordings (the first three listed above and Wintergreen) fill 11½ minutes of the CD. There are some strange non-musical sounds on Mother’s Whistler, unexplained in Richard S Ginell’s otherwise comprehensive booklet notes. Most of the remaining pieces come into the ‘familiar’ category with Sleigh Ride probably being the most familiar of all. All have that imaginative Anderson touch, none more so than The Typewriter. It is interesting, too, to hear his arrangements of other people’s pieces in Old MacDonald - great fun this - and 76 Trombones. TheSuite of Carols comprises nine timeless numbers including In Dulci Jubilo, Lo, How a Rose E’re Blooming, I Saw Three Ships and We Three Kings. It is, again, a pity that the Christmas track was not put at the end of the disc. Slatkin’s conducting and the orchestral playing are as fine as ever. Although not initially intending to collect every volume, I am now hooked. They’re coming so fast now, number four may well be out before you read this! Peter Burt
JOHNNY DOUGLAS AND HIS ORCHESTRA "The Living Strings"
"Where Did The Night Go?"
In The Still of the Night: title track, Deep Purple,Whispers in the Dark, I Wished on the Moon, Unchained Melody, Wonderland by Night, Blue Velvet, Moon Over Miami, Under a Blanket of Blue, Serenade in the Night. Where Did the Night Go title track, Fanny, Anyone would Love You, F.D.R. Jones, Wish You Were Here, Have I Told You Lately, Restless Heart, Who Knows, Once of These Fine Days, I Have to Tell You.
(Dulcima DLCD 121) 69:50.
The late Johnny Douglas’s own label Dulcima has reissued these two RCS Camden LPs from 1964 and 1963 respectively, and very welcome they are. RCA producer Ethel Gabriel worked on the Melachrino Strings’ 'Moods in Music' series and in the late 1950s developed the Living Strings as a package for RCA’s budget label, Camden, using various orchestras, mainly from Europe. The albums were all centred on a theme: the sea, the West, Broadway, night music. The recordings made by The Living Strings became a mainstay of easy-listening radio and commercial venues. Johnny Douglas, one of England’s masters of string arranging, was the primary arranger and conductor for the series recorded in England. He brought great songs to a new life with his arrangements of a mass of pure velvety strings, mellow brass and superb solos played by the cream of the British musicians of that era. Collectors have waited a long time for these recordings to be made available again, so this new Dulcima CD is especially welcome. David Ades
MALCOLM ARNOLD conducting his own scores
Film music from "Nine Hours To Rama" and "The Lion"
(Vocalion CDLK 4371) 60:22
The earlier of these films, "The Lion" (made in 1962) is set in Africa, while the second "Nine Hours From Rama", covering the day in 1948 when Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated, comes from 1963. Therefore we have examples of Malcolm Arnold’s ideas of African and Indian music – rather different from St. Trinians! Both scores work well when experienced in the cinema, but for purely listening pleasure at home I personally prefer "The Lion", where the full-bodied Arnold sound from his film composing years is far more evident. This is an important addition to the currently available catalogue of film music. David Ades
Brass and Military Band
BANDSTAND IN THE PARK – VOLUME TWO
(See track listing page 65 of JIM 176) (Guild, GLCD 5147)
I eagerly awaited the arrival of this latest addition to the Guild series as older recordings by brass and military bands are as scarce as the proverbial hen's teeth! I wanted to see if volume two achieved the high standard of volume one (as Tony Clayden observed 'the second cup of tea syndrome’). I need not have worried; David Ades has come up trumps again (as usual) with a diverse and interesting collection from days when every town and village boasted its own band. William Lang's cornet playing on Jenny Wren is top class, but that is only to be expected from the Black Dyke Mills Band, magnificent 50 years ago and still going strong! However, the standout for me are the two offerings from the Band of the Royal Netherlands Navy; Royal Review by Leslie Statham under his 'Arnold Steck' guise; and Tony Lowry's rollicking Golden Spurs, tracks which, in their original form, were both sides of a Chappell 78. How good to hear these again. I'm pleased that Sousa's High School Cadets by the Grand Massed Bands is included. Australian collectors will have this on one of Frank Bristow's earlier CDs, but it deserves the wider audience, bringing together memories of Hanwell Silver, Lewisham British Legion, St. Hilda's and St. Pancras Brass under the masterful baton of James Oliver. Kenneth J. Alford is represented with The Great Little Army, and Bob Farnon, Ronnie Binge, Eric Coates and the well known Roger Barsotti all make the list with great bands like Fodens, Grenadier Guards and Central Band of the RAF all there. Borodin's Prince Igor Ballet Dances from the BBC Wireless Military Band brings up the rear with a memorable performance, having earlier featured on the CD with the restful Evensong. Devotees, please buy this in droves, then we can urge David for a volume three in due course. Graham Miles
WARM AND SINCERE
Kitty Kallen (Sepia, 1114) 74:10
Another welcome helping of Kitty Kallen from Sepia! This second volumes accompanies the 2003 release ‘Our Lady Kitty Kallen’. There are 27 recordings ranging from 1949-1957. With the usual fine remastering by RFS member Robin Cherry, this compilation features such favourites as In the Chapel in the Moonlight, True Love, East of the Sun and Little Things Mean a Lot along with some titles new to me such as Let’s Make the Most of Tonight, The Second Greatest Sex and Hideaway Heart. Kitty is accompanied by orchestras directed by Sid Feller and Jack Pleis, who both do sterling work. A very nice collection, with a certain resemblance to our very own Joan Regan in her vocals. Even includes a recent photo of the lady herself in the well designed and plush CD booklet. Adam Endacott
MEL TORMÉ MEETS THE BRITISH
Mel Torme with the Orchestras of WALLY STOTT, TED HEATH, ROLAND SHAW and CYRIL STAPLETON. (Sepia 1113) 56:58
Limehouse Blues, A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts, These Foolish Things, Geordie, My One and Only Highland Fling, White Cliffs of Dover, Danny Boy, Let There Be Love, Greensleeves, Try a Little Tenderness, London Pride – plus bonus tracks: Walkin’ Shoes, Cuckoo In The Clock, Hooray For Love, Shenandoah Valley, Waltz for Young Lovers, I Don’t Want to Walk Without You, Time Was, Ev’ry Which Way. (Sepia 1113) 56:58. Mel Tormé’s British recordings from 1956 and 1957 caused quite a stir in popular music circles at the time, and it’s good to be able to hear ‘the velvet fog’ once again in these fine digital restorations of that landmark Philips album. We may have lost the regular releases of vintage material from Sanctuary Living Era, but happily Sepia can be relied upon to keep coming up with interesting new issues. Furthermore, when they reissue an LP they always seem to add additional tracks so that buyers get value for money. On top of that the CD booklets are generously filled with notes and photos. The only missing element is information about the original catalogue numbers, but that is a minor criticism. This new CD will be warmly welcomed especially for the Wally Stott charts, which range from lush orchestral to exciting big band. David Ades
I had always imagined Mr Tormé’s singing to be a taste I did not wish to acquire but having listened to this CD sent to me for review [now there is a first!] I’m almost a fan. The label, too, was only a name to me and this is the first of their albums I have heard. It is a quality product at the upper end of the budget-priced market and they are to be congratulated. The first dozen tracks listed above are all enhanced by Wally Stott and his Orchestra, as are Time Was and Tormé’s own Ev’ry Which Way. The guitar of Ivor Mairants is featured on Tenderness. Ted Heath and his Music accompany onWalkin’ Shoes and Johnny Mercer’s The Cuckoo in the Clock. Cyril Stapleton and his Orchestra and the Roland Shaw Orchestra share the remaining four tracks. There are informative liner notes by Tony Middleton. And Robin Cherry’s re-mastering brings these tracks up as fresh as the proverbial paint. Peter Burt
ALAN DALE SINGS
Alan Dale (Sepia, 1115) 75:20
A compilation from an unknown vocalist to me, Alan Dale. Once again Sepia has issued a most enjoyable collection and has brought a long forgotten name back into the public domain. With 27 tracks, this CD is great fun with plenty of upbeat numbers and a good mixture of songs from the punchy first track, Waiting for the Robert E Lee, through to Moonlight and Roses and even Robin Hood (although I do prefer Dick James on this one!) Orchestras supporting include Dick Jacobs, Ray Bloch and Percy Faith and recording dates range from 1947-1956. Mentioning Percy Faith, it is I’m Late from the Disney film ‘Alice in Wonderland’ which is the stand out track and Mr Faith is doing his usual excellent job as the accompanying orchestra. An enjoyable crooner and another unique title to add to the Sepia Record range. Adam Endacott
THROUGH THE YEARS Volume One 1950-1951
Autumn Leaves, I’ve Never Been in Love Before, A Perfect Day, May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You, With My Shillelagh Under My Arm, Sentimental Music, Silver Moon, Copacabana, Quizas, Quizas, Quizas [Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps], and more
Bing Crosby [Sepia 1111] 74’43"
It’s a long time since I listened to a Crosby CD and this, as one would expect, is full of good things. In his detailed liner notes Malcolm Macfarlane tells us that in 1950 Bing had eleven records making the hit chart and he came third in the USA movie box office stars poll. 1951 marked the 20thanniversary of his debut as a solo act. Incidentally, it is interesting to read the quotes on the original recordings taken from reviews in The Gramophone magazine – imagine that happening today! Among the 25 tracks, finely re-mastered by Robin Cherry, Axel Stordahl provides an excellent orchestral arrangement on the opening classic, there are four with the Andrews Sisters, including the charming Hawaiian ‘green’ Christmas song Mele Kalikimaka, Frank Loesser’s If I Were a Bell with Patti Andrews, and a delightful Silver Bells [one of five seasonal titles] with Carole Richards, and Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra accompany on another quartet of tracks. Three titles feature John Scott Trotter and his Orchestra, a name associated with tasteful arrangements for Bing over 15 years. Other orchestras involved are those of Vic Schoen, Sonny Burke, Ken Darby and Matty Matlock. The Bando Da Lua accompany on the last two items. But it is not just the singing and playing that are the quality products here. Well done, Sepia, looking forward to more of the same. Peter Burt
The Sepia Records CD range are available directly from Sepia and cost £7.99 per CD (including P&P – unless otherwise noted). Cheques are welcome, made payable to Sepia Records Limited and Paypal payment only via their website www.sepiarecords.com which also features their entire catalogue. Sepia Records Limited, 96 Tubbs Road, London, NW10 4SB, England. They are also available from the RFS Record Service, price £8.50 each.
LIONEL MONCKTON : SONGS FROM THE SHOWS
Ronald Corp and his Orchestra and Chorus (Hyperion, A67654)
This new CD shows what a great composer and lyricist Lionel Monkton was – he is right up there with Sullivan and Kern! On this recording the two soloists could not be bettered just listen to Two Little Sausages, a patter song to stand the test of time with the best. Catherine Bott has a delightful voice but goes one better with her use of her acting skills with the accents she is able to bring to Try Again Johnnie from ‘A Country Girl’, set in Devon and the Yorkshire of Mary from ‘Our Miss Gibbs’. Add to this the style of Richard Stuart and the back up from Ronald Corp and his chorus and orchestra and you have a winning CD of the year! This CD should be in the Christmas stocking of all lovers of light music - play it after Christmas lunch, a pleasant joy for both old and young. Malcolm Lewis
BING AND BOB
You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby, Old Folks, My Reverie, Tea for Two, Yes Indeed, Jingle Bells, San Antonia Rose, It Makes No Difference Now, Delores, Pale Moon, Lazy, Let’s Start the New Year Right, I’ve Got |Plenty to Be Thankful For, I’ll Capture Your Heart, When My Dream Boat Comes Home, Walkin’ the Floor Over You, Big Noise from Winnetka, Two Sleepy People, Begin the Beguine, Long Time No See, Your Easy to Dance With, I Can’t Tell a Lie, Stompin’ at the Savoy and Swing Mr Charlie
Bing and Bob Crosby (Sounds of Yester Year DSOY749) 68:20
Compiler John Bennett has put together all the tracks Bing Crosby recorded with his brother Bob and his orchestra plus nine other tracks recorded between 1936 and 1942. Guests featured on five tracks are The Andrews Sisters, Judy Garland, Connee Boswell and Fred Astaire. A chance for nostalgia buffs to turf out well worn records (if so inclined!)
THE COMPLETE BOB CATS (Volume one of three)
Stumbling, Who’s Sorry Now?, Coquette, Fidgety Feet, You’re Driving Me Crazy, Can’t We Be Friends?, Martha, Home on the Range, Gypsy Love Song, Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life, March of the Bob Cats, Palesteena, Slow Mood, Big Foot Jump, The Big Crash From China, Five Point Blues, Speak to Me of Love, Big Bass Viol, I Hear You Talking, Call Me a Taxi, The Big Noise from Winnetka, Looping the Loop, Beguine, Hindustan and Long Time No See
The Bob Cats (Sounds of Yester Year DSOY750) 71:34
This collection takes in many titles I’ve never heard of! Not being a fan of jazz this old makes it hard to be objective! I can say it’s a very spirited jamboree well played by Yank Lawson, Matty Matlock, Nappy Lamare, Eddie Miller, Billy Butterfield, Bob Haggart and other players of the same calibre. I liked three of the slower tunes, Can’t We Be Friends?, Slow Mood and Five Point Blues but the same pattern that the more frantic numbers dished out left me cold! I will not be seeking the other two volumes!
Finally some recent releases noted by Wilfred Askew
GUYS AND DOLLS
Featuring Vivian Blaine and Frank Sinatra. Contains all the original music from the 1955 film and other bonus tracks. (Blue Moon, BMCD3507) 79:59
FERRANTE AND TEICHER — THE SOUND OF TOMORROW TODAY!
Two albums from 1956, not for the faint-hearted, more for space age/exotica fans. Tracks includeWhat is This Thing Called Love?, The Breeze and I, African Heroes, Lover, Brazil, Orchids in the Moonlight, Siboney, La Cucaracha etc (Cherry Red, ACMEM124CD) 68:17
THE BRASS RING – LOVE THEME FROM THE FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX/LARA’S THEME
Two albums from 1966. Tracks include My Foolish Heart, Moment to Moment, Moon River, Secret Love, Laura, California Dreamin’, Born Free, Dear John etc (Collectors’ Choice, CCM840) 56:31
CARMEN CAVALLARO – PLAYS ELLINGTON/COCKTAILS WITH
Two albums from 1965 and 1956. Tracks include I’m Beginning to See the Light, Satin Doll, Solitude, I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart, Till, All the Way, Just in Time, I Remember it Well etc (Fine and Mellow, FM603) 72:21
LAWRENCE WELK – INTO THE FIFTIES
Two CD set - tracks include Bubbles in the Wine, The Lingering Song, Devil Lips, Rice, The Game of Love, Namely You, Bells Are Ringing etc (Jasmine, JASCD477) 125:15
LENNY DEE – IN DEEMAND
Two CD set – tracks include My Buddy, Bye Bye Blues, When Day is Done, Where or When, I Get Ideas, High Tide Boogie, Crazy Organ Rag, Them There Eyes etc. (Jasmine, JASCD468) 145:57
JACKIE DAVIS – JUMPING HI-FI HAMMOND
Two CD set. Tracks include Time Was, I Hear a Rhapsody, Where in the World, Darn That Dream, Coffee Time, Long Before I Knew You, All of You, Wish etc. (Jasmine, JASCD472) 136:19