Keeping Track - Dateline March 2004
CHARLES WILLIAMS High Adventure; Model Railway; Young Ballerina; Bells of St. Clements; Dream of Olwen; Cutty Sark; Nursery Clock; The Night Has Eyes; Devil’s Galop; Starlings; Voice of London; Music Lesson; Girls in Grey; Humming Top; Destruction by Fire; Old Clockmaker; Little Tyrolean; Throughout the Years; Blue Devils; Jealous Lover; Rhythm on Rails; Sally Tries the Ballet; Cross Country; London Fair. BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Barry Wordsworth Sanctuary Group White Line WHL 2151, total timing 75:01 mins. Here, for the first time, is a CD of modern recordings by one of the finest ever light music composers. Those familiar with the original recordings from the maestro himself may at first find it a little difficult to adjust to the tunes in a contemporary setting. However, the many unfamiliar titles, some of which have not been heard for more than 50 years – if ever before – will present no such difficulties! Everyone involved in rescoring and recreating the latter are to be congratulated on their labour of love. Detailed liner notes by Charles Williams enthusiast, Tony Clayden, make this long overdue CD into a highly desirable purchase. Peter Worsley
This is the CD that collectors have been eagerly anticipating for years. With such a vast output during his distinguished career, it is almost inevitable that music lovers will feel that some of their favourites are missing, but there is still a great deal to enjoy. I am slightly surprised at the inclusion of London Fair since much of this work is taken directly from The Bells of St Clements. Many readers will already have spotted that the actor playing ‘Dick Barton’ on the cover is not Duncan Carse (as stated in the booklet), but the original DB, Noel Johnson (who later became ‘Dan Dare’ on Radio Luxembourg). Another minor niggle concerns the incorrect dates attributed to some of the compositions. The Voice of London was first recorded for Chappells at Abbey Road in 1942. Although it is difficult to be precise about the dates of the Levy’s Sound Studios sessions, Girls in Grey andRhythm on Rails were recorded some time in 1943, and Devil’s Galop in either late 1943 or early 1944. The Old Clockmaker was certainly recorded no later than 1945. Model Railway was recorded by Boosey & Hawkes in 1950, so all these works were composed earlier than the CD booklet states. But don’t let such matters put you off buying what is an essential purchase for everyone even remotely interested in light music. David Ades
The BBC Concert Orchestra is performing at its best with a slightly compacted tone, somewhat reminiscent of the Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra, especially in the less well-known and rarely heard pieces such as Nursery Clock, The Music Lesson and Humming Top. Splendid versions of The Old Clockmaker and Jealous Lover, too. The sleeve notes by Tony Clayden are very informative. Bill Watts
JOHN RUTTER Distant Land Distant Land, Five Meditations for Orchestra, Suite for Strings, Suite Antique, Beatles Concerto Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/John Rutter Universal Classics 476 124-2 78 mins. Although not promoted as such, this tastefully written disc of Rutter’s orchestral music is definitely of interest to the light music enthusiast. The piece that gives the album its title, originally written for choir, was inspired by the release of Nelson Mandela from prison. It features some very nice French horn playing. The Meditations are also based on Rutter’s own choral pieces, including the lovely Christmas carol What Sweeter Music. The Suite for Strings is a Rutter arrangement of four folk-songs including A-Roving and I have a bonnet trimmed with blue. We’re back with Rutter’s own music in the Suite Antique, six gentle tuneful movements for flute, harpsichord and strings. Chansonwas later turned into a Christmas carol. The Beatles Concerto is in three movements and features the piano duo of Peter Rostal and Peter Schaefer [remember them? They recorded the same work with Ron Goodwin conducting back in the late 70s]. It is a highly enjoyable 23’ 41" piece which, I feel sure like me, you will find yourself often coming back to. And something to play to friends asking the question, "Guess who wrote these arrangements?" Peter Burt
FRANK CHACKSFIELD AND HIS ORCHESTRA "South Sea Island Magic" South Sea Island Magic, The Moon of Manakoora, Drifting and Dreaming, Sweet Leilani, Aloha Beloved, Song of the Islands, On the Beach at Bali-Bali, Blue Hawaii, Blue Pacific Moonlight, Good-bye Hawaii, Moonlight and Shadows, To You Sweetheart, A Little Rendezvous in Honolulu, Aloha Oe "In the Mystic East"Japanese Sandman, Moon Above Malaya, Moonlight on the Ganges, By an Old Pagoda, Song of India, March of the Siamese Children, Rose Ros, I Love You, Caravan, On a Little Street in Singapore, Rickshaw Ride, La Petite Tonkinoise, Katsumi Theme, San Vocalion CDLK4207, 82:44. Once again Mike Dutton offers 2 CDs for the price of one, because the two original LPs last just too long to fit on one CD. Yet they make a perfect pairing for this new release, which will prove very attractive for Frank Chacksfield’s many admirers. His large orchestra plays some delightful arrangements (probably mostly by his chief arranger Leon Young – he is credited on a few tracks) – the only regret being that the LPs date from 1957 so they just miss being in stereo. But for goodness sake don’t let that stop you buying – it’s the music that’s important, not the technology! David Ades
ENGLISH OBOE CONCERTOS Concerto No. 1 for Oboe & Strings (Gordon Jacob); Soliloquy (Edward Elgar); Fugal Concerto for Oboe & Flute (Gustav Holst); Concerto in One Movement (Eugene Goossens); Oboe Concerto (Ralph Vaughan Williams). BBC Elgar Chamber Orchestra conducted by Stephen Bell Sanctuary DCA 1173. The gentlest of instruments the oboe is usually associated with lighter music and this new disc is an excellent example. The previously unheard Gordon Jacob concerto is as light as one could wish for, as are all the other four pieces. Charmingly played by Ruth Bolister, who is joined by flautist Kate Hill in Holst’s Fugal Concerto, it is good to know that tuneful British music is still being uncovered and recorded. Edmund Whitehouse
PHIL KELSALL playing the Technics SX-FA1 ‘The Sweetest Sounds’ Whistle Down the Wind, Joanna, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, Roulette, Music Box Dancer, Twilight Time, Spanish Harlem, These Foolish Things, etc… Grasmere GRCD 120. This time Phil has temporarily left behind his strict-tempo style for a collection of popular melodies with a distinct light music feel about them. Which isn’t surprising, when you note that the composers include Trevor Duncan (The Girl from Corsica), Steve Race (Faraway Music) and Albert Ketelbey (In a Persian Market). This Technics organ demonstrates just how far the technology has gone since the very early electronic instruments of long ago, and Phil Kelsall certainly knows how to explore all its possibilities. He really is a very gifted player, and this CD is packed with many delightful moments. If you enjoy the electric organ, you’ll be captivated. David Ades
FRANZ LEHAR – Overtures and Waltzes OVERTURES: Clo-Clo, Divine Spouses, The Merry Widow WALTZES: Adriatic, Grützner, Old Viennese Love Waltz, Wild Roses Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Michail Jurowski CPO 999 891/2, timing 51:00 mins. This interesting collection of Overtures and Waltzes by Franz Lehar is made the more welcome by the inclusion of the charming and delightful Wild Roses. Readers with long memories will recall that the piece surfaced from time to time in light music programmes on BBC Radio light years ago, and it’s good to have it at last in an excellent modern recording beautifully realised in this performance by the Berlin RSO. The waltzes here represent almost the last gasp of music expressly composed for the ballroom. Since by the early 1900’s these were considered too elaborate and lengthy for contemporary taste. Nonetheless such vagaries of musical fashion need not spoil our enjoyment of some lovely lilting Lehar melodies. Of the overtures on this CD, that to The Merry Widow is in fact a late work. The original operetta had no proper overture and for a performance in which he conducted the Vienna Philharmonic at the Festspielhaus in July 1940 Lehar produced a fully-fledged and cleverly constructed concert overture. The familiar tunes come tumbling out in rapid profusion and are subject to all kinds of clever rhythmic treatment and often broken up into small motifs. The overtures to Clo-Clo and Divine Spouses are much simpler in structure and are basically straightforward potpourri’s contemporaneous with their respective operettas. Despite the short measure on this disc – and surely quality is more important than quantity – this is self-recommending for anyone with a weakness for Viennese dance music. The recording is exemplary. You are certainly not in doubt that we have a large symphony orchestra with a substantial string section! Roger Hyslop
BERT KAEMPFERT IN LONDON Live at the Royal Albert Hall incl. Bye Bye Blues, Never my Love, A Song for Satch, Wonderland by Night, That Happy Feeling, Strangers in the Night, All I Ever Need is You, Blue Midnight, Tahitian Sunset, Afrikaan Beat, Take the ‘A’ Train, I Cover the Waterfront, Danke Schon, etc… (Germany) Universal/Polydor 981157-0 (2 CD set). Our member Volker Rippe had a hand in the production of this collection, which will be warmly received by Bert Kaempfert’s countless fans. The occasion was a memorable concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall on 22 April 1974, and around half of the tracks are previously unreleased. Most of Bert’s biggest successes are here, and the enthusiasm of the audience certainly adds to the sense of occasion (whether or not you want to have your music interrupted by applause when listening at home is another matter that I will not address here!). The CD booklet is splendid: the notes are in both English and German, it is generously filled with photographs and the members of the orchestra are listed in full. In other words, a top quality product in all respects. David Ades
PERCY FAITH AND HIS ORCHESTRA House of Flowers House of Flowers, I’m Gonna Leave off Wearing my Shoes, Waitin’, Smellin’ of Vanilla, etc… Adventure In the Sun Tropical Meringue, Bluebell, Carmellita, The Fiddling Bullfighter, Eleanora, Tambora, Hey Jose, Bahama Lullaby, Bubbling Over, Italiano, Tropic Holiday, The Bandit (USA) Collectables COL-CD-7612 65:51 minutes. Another 2-on-1 from the States of two albums originally issued in mono during the mid-50s. ‘House of Flowers’ was a successful Broadway show that I don’t believe ever made it to this side of the ‘pond’. The Caribbean influenced music was written by Harold Arlen, who was also responsible for such enduring songs as That Old Black Magic, Stormy Weather, and Over the Rainbow. The songs here, given the then familiar Faith instrumental treatment, are not of that calibre but pleasant enough. Some will prefer the string led numbers such as the title tune, I Never Has Seen Snow and A Sleepin’ Bee [the pick of the bunch] to the more upbeat numbers of which Two Ladies in de Shade of de Banana Tree is a good example. Mardi Gras Waltz and Smellin’ of Vanilla [Bamboo Cage] are fun pieces. ‘Adventure In the Sun‘ is a collection of singles, some of which reappeared in subsequent stereo versions. Included are Faith’s own The Fiddling Bullfighter, Carmellita, Hey José and Tropic Holiday. There is also Bluebell [shades of Jimmy Shand] and my favourite, the Swedish melodyBubbling Over. You won’t find a lot of lush string sound here but the selection is very bright and enjoyable. Peter Burt All Percy Faith CDs on Collectables are available from the RFS Record Service price £16 [US $32] each, plus the usual postage and packing.
THE BEST OF BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC 104 titles on 5 CDs Royal Ballet Sinfonia, BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Gavin Sutherland, Barry Wordsworth Sanctuary Resonance CD RSB 502. This bargain priced box set should appeal to anyone who does not already have all the British Light Music Discoveries and British Light Overtures series on ASV. Composers include Stanley Black, Brian Kelly, Philip Lane, Paul Lewis, David Lyon, Clifton Parker, as well as Arnold, Butterworth, Lambert and Rutter. Works include such gems as Maurice Johnstone’s Tarn Hows [much requested of Brian Kay], Eric Fenby’s Rossini on Ilkla Moor, David Fanshawe’s Fantasy on Dover Castle and Lionel Monckton’s The Arcadians. There is ample proof here that modern composers can still write good tunes. Peter Burt This collection is available from the RFS Record Service for £18 [$36].
The above collection should not be confused with the following, also released by Sanctuary and compiled from its Light Music archives:
‘HALCYON DAYS’ – A Treasury of British Light Music themed into five collections: ‘A Popular Concert’ (Montague Phillips, Delius, Ernest Tomlinson, Ronald Binge, Warlock, Elgar, etc.); ‘Around These Islands’ (Sir Malcolm Arnold, John Ansell, Haydn Wood, Angela Morley, Eric Coates, Philip Lane, Frederic Curzon, Ron Goodwin, etc.); ‘Sound and Vision’ (Charles Williams, Binge, Muir Mathieson, Richard Addinsell, Coates, Wilfred Josephs, Paul Lewis, etc.); ‘Composers Abroad’ (William Blezard, Max Saunders, Bryan Kelly, Coates, Peter Hope, Gilbert Vinter, Addinsell, etc.); ‘For The Dance’ (Arnold, Madeleine Dring, Geoffrey Toye, Paul Reade, David Lyon, etc.) Various orchestras and conductors Sanctuary White Line CD WLS 501. Pressure on space prevents us from giving full tracklisting details for this, and the previous collections. If you are a regular collector of Sanctuary/ASV White Line CDs you will probably have most of this material already, but for anyone new to Light Music this is an ideal way to commence a worthwhile collection. David Ades ‘Halcyon Days’ can be obtained from the RFS Record Service for £23 [$46].
SHIRLEY HORN May The Music Never End Forget me, If you go away, Yesterday, Take love easy, Never let me go, Watch what happens, Ill wind, Maybe September, Everything must change, This is all I ask, May the music never end. Verve 0044007602829, 57:48 mins. Shirley has a way of playing and singing that is unique. She was a devotee of Miles Davis and undoubtedly would have liked him to be present on this album. Here she utilises his favourite pianist Ahmad Jamal on two tracks and Roy Hargrove plays flugel on two others. It is a lusciously deep jazz take on some standards especially on "Never let me go" a song that has suddenly been dusted off and given second wind by several people (Bob Florence and Boz Scaggs to name two). What I missed was the sort of strings that Johnny Mandel provided on her album "Here's to life". Shirley produced the album so either she could not afford Mandel or he was too busy. Paul Clatworthy
BOZ SCAGGS But Beautiful What's new, Never let me go, How long has this been going on?, Sophisticated lady, But beautiful, Bewitched, bothered and bewildered, Easy living, I should care, You don't know what love is, For all we know. (USA) Gray Cat GCD 4000, 51:01 mins. Boz has paid his dues ever since 1969 mainly in the rhythm and blues market. An anthology recently released states "He is the son of the truest music America ever produced". His own quote says "My interest in music is broad and I'm exploring each of these elements each time I record". He made ten albums before really hitting the mainstream with the LP "Silk Degrees" winning a "Grammy" for the track "Lowdown" which topped both Pop and Soul charts simultaneously in the fall of 1976. His last album in this vein "Dig" reunited him with David Paich, producer of his best sellers. "But beautiful" stemmed from an old friend Jimmy Pierre who many years ago gave him a list of songs he thought Boz should record, all standards that had stood the test of time. March 2003 was when Boz met up with Paul Nagel who persuaded Boz to go back to that almost forgotten list. Paul played piano and wrote the arrangements, Eric Crystal sax, John Shifflett bass and Jason Lewis drums complete the group. I love Boz's voice but admit others may not; what nobody can fault is the choice of songs. I sincerely hope there will be another CD because the original list had "Lush life", "Round midnight", "Don't go to strangers" and "Drinking again" - all would fit well into this intimate setting. Sample "Never let me go" if you like to hear before buying, simply a divine interpretation. Paul Clatworthy
MONIA LITER AND HIS ORCHESTRA Lovers in Rome & Lovers in Paris [full tracklisting in JIM 157 – page 32] Vocalion CDLK 4220. Those of you who, like me, are devotees of the big string sound but thought of Monia Liter only as a soloist on some distinguished Mantovani tracks in the late 40s, hear this; it is an absolute delight. The strings sometimes reach thrilling heights but are faithfully captured in Mike Dutton’s remastering. Mention must also be made of the percussion department, while Monia himself occasionally contributes harmoniously from the piano keyboard. Beginning with Gerhard [Answer Me My Love] Winkler’s Chianti Song through a total of 28 tracks, mostly unknown to me and I suspect to you, through to Blue Blues by Helmut Zacharias, this is life-enhancing music. It seems unfair to pick out tracks but I must just mention Tumble Home by Ken Warner of Scrub Brothers Scrub fame. As well as quality you also get quantity: two CDs [85 minutes] for the price of one. Pity they could not have been in stereo but you can’t have everything. I have not enjoyed listening to anything so much for ages and will be surprised if this is bettered in 2004. Peter Burt
MANTOVANI AND HIS ORCHESTRA The Mantovani Scene Delilah, Those Were The Days, By The Time I Get To Phoenix, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Both Sides Now, A Man Without Love, Love Is Blue, Honey, If I Were A Rich Man, Come September, For Once In My Life, Les Bicyclettes de Belsize; The Mantovani Sound Dear Heart, People, Charade, Fiddler On The Roof, Who Can I Turn To, Helly Dolly, What Kind Of Fool Am I, As Long As He Needs Me, I Have Dreamed, The Sweetest Sounds, I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face, Climb Ev’ry Mountain Vocalion CDLK 4195 [70’52"]. It still seems strange to find Monty on a non-Decca label but Mike Dutton is serving us well with these re-issues and we look forward to ‘Collector’s Mantovani Volume 2’. For now we have these two albums from the 60s to enjoy for the first time on CD. I well remember how excited I was to hear ‘Scene’ on LP. Here were hit songs from 1968, such as Delilah, Those Were the Days, By the Time I Get to Phoenixand Les Bicyclettes de Belsize, and other contemporary pieces being played by Mantovani with the accent on brass and woodwind; the famed ‘cascading strings’ being used very sparingly. There was also one of my all-time favourite songs, Both Sides Now, featuring a delicious jangly piano. ‘Sound’from four years earlier is in more familiar style with music from stage and screen, including Mancini’sDear Heart and Charade, Fiddler on the Roof, What Kind of Fool Am I?, The Sweetest Sounds [they certainly are] and Climb Ev’ry Mountain. So this 2-on-1 has something both for those of us who tingle to the Mantovani string sound and those who are not so appreciative. Peter Burt
ISLEY MEETS BACHARACH arranged and conducted by Burt Bacharach. Alfie, Raindrops keep falling on my head, In between the heartaches, Make it easy on yourself, A house is not a home, The look of love, Count on me, This guys in love with you, Close to you, Anyone who had a heart, Love's still the answer, Here I am, Windows of the world. Dreamworks label 80001005-02 INOI, 58:19 mins. Ernie Isley has the most emotive falsetto voice in Soul music, with a massive string of hits with The Isley Brothers group. Teaming him with the Bacharach sound was a bold move and one that Bacharach initially resisted; years ago Isley wanted to record a Bacharach song but Bacharach said "No! you're not cutting this song!" He now claims amnesia to this story! This confrontation happened in 1962, and hearing what has resulted in this pairing makes me regret the time wasted! As so many other people were vying to record Bacharach's songs all those years ago, perhaps the wait was necessary for a new audience to get maximum entertainment from what have now become standards. Judging by the Orchestra’s personnel Bacharach was given a large budget, and he has come up with new arrangements that fully justify any costs. The album contains melodies full of languid statement and a great sense of "Joie de vivre" Excellent work from everyone concerned.Paul Clatworthy
NORTHERN SALUTE : Barnard Castle (Goff Richards); Yorkshire Overture (Philip Sparke);Brideshead TV Theme (Geoffrey Burgon); Northern Echoes (Gordon Harrison); Yorkshire Relish (Phil Evans); John Peel (Clive Richardson); Bedale Hunt (Frank Aston); York Chimes (Wayne Hopla); On Richmond Hill Baht’At (James Wood); Shipbuilders (Peter Yorke); Scarborough Fair (Hal Leonard);Three Dale Dances (Arthur Wood); Northumbrian Airs (Chris Attrill); On Ilkla Moor Baht’At (Clive Richardson); Stephenson’s Rocket (Nigel Hess); Bond of Friendship (J Mackenzie-Rogan). The King’s Division Waterloo Band D.O.M. Captain R. W. Hopla B.A.(Hons) A.R.C.M. B.B.C.M. psm CAMus. Bandleader BNA 5180. 69.00 mins The Northern Salute by the King’s Division Waterloo Band offers a number of attractions for the light music aficionado. Foremost in this interesting collection is a complete performance of Peter Yorke’s suite The Ship Builders originally commissioned by the BBC for the 1960 Light Music Festival. (those were the days!). The individual movements have suitably descriptive titles – the third All Hands at Work has some suggestive jazzy inflexions about it. Arthur Wood’s – he of Barwick Green fame – enchanting and delightful Three Dale Dances were beloved of light concert orchestras half a century or more ago and must be a worthy contender for inclusion in a future volume of Hyperion’s British Light Music Classics series. Also included in this compilation are two of the brilliant arrangements originally produced for the ITMA Radio Show by the much admired and sorely missed Clive Richardson transcribed for wind band by W.J. Duthoit. Also worthy of note is Nigel Hess’s fascinating and thoroughly entertaining descriptive piece Stephenson’s Rocketcommemorating the 1829 Rainhill Trials in which the Rocket carried off the £500 prize having attained a speed of 25 mph! The recordings were made on location at the Waterloo Band Complex Catterick Garrison and are a trifle over bright and dryish on quality but with plenty of impact in the louder sections. Any slight deficiencies in the engineering department are more than amply compensated by the enthusiastic and committed playing of these army musicians. In short there is much to enjoy on this disc particularly for those with affection for this part of England and a liking for some of its traditional tunes, who should certainly need no further urging to acquire this attractive CD. Roger Hyslop
Plenty even for a Lancastrian to enthuse about here! If you like atmospheric music then this will do very nicely, thank you. Excellent tunes based mainly on north Yorkshire and Northumberland withStephenson’s Rocket and John Peel arguably putting in an appearance for Liverpool and the Lake District respectively. It’s almost worth buying the CD for the wonderful colour picture of the band on parade outside Castle Howard. Edmund Whitehouse
THE MUSIC OF KENNETH ALFORD including the complete marches Colonel Bogey,The Great Little Army, H.M.Jollies, On the Quarter Deck, The Thin Red Line, Voice of the Guns, The Standard of St. George, Cavalry of the Clouds, The Middy, Holyrood, Army of the Nile, Dunedin, The Vanished Army, Old Panama, Eagle Squadron, By Land and Sea, The Vedette, The Mad Major, Fantasies: The Lightning Switch, A Musical Switch.Band of H.M. Royal Marines, Naval Home Command, Portsmouth, D.O.M. Captain J. R. Mason L.R.A.M. A.R.C M. Chandos Collect CHAN 6584, 73.00 mins. Anyone on the lookout for a complete set of the military marches of Kenneth Alford need look no further than this super budget CD on the Chandos Collect label. Rival versions exist by H.M. Royal Marines Band (Commandos) on Clovelly CL CD102 and the Band of the Army Air Corps on Bandleader BNA 5163. The Chandos disc - despite based on sessions originating from the 1970’s - yields nothing in terms of sonics to its more expensive digital counterparts. It also has the considerable advantage of including both of his Fantasias dating from the 1920’s. These are pot-pourris of coruscating brilliance with brief snatches of popular tunes tumbling out in bewildering profusion, managing to embrace both Haydn’s Miracle Symphony and Knocked ‘em in the Old Kent Road and are enormous fun. Alford’s career unusually began with the Army at the tender age of 14 and ended with the Senior Service, being compelled to retire from his appointment as D.O.M. of the Royal Marines, Plymouth Division Band because of ill health. His marches have the unusual qualities of being able to cheer and stir but often also to move the human spirit. The Royal Marines Band deployed here have a wonderful instinctive feel for this music and it is difficult to imagine performances more idiomatic or with greater sensitivity. A great bargain at the price and strongly commended. Roger Hyslop
"PAGANINI AFTER A DREAM" Pavane pour une infante defunte, Black Orpheus, Pavane, Oblivion, Reverie, Healing in foreign lands, Apres un reve, Excerpt from "Alexandra", Cinema Paradiso.Regina Carter (Violin) Conducted by Ettore Stratta. Verve 065554-2. Fellow member Regis Hubert sent me this CD which probably otherwise would have evaded me! It is one of those hybrids that although labelled "File under Jazz" has just as much appeal to lovers of Classical music! The first track sets the standard I would have preferred to have been continued, as it has a full string section (fully deserved for such a delectable Ravel composition). Two other songs get this full blown treatment but the rest are performed by a small group. Regina gets top billing but pianist Werner "Vana" Glerig deserves just as many plaudits. Werner also composed and arranged "Healing"; Regina arranged "Alexandra" the remaining are in the capable hands of Jorge Calandrelli. This is an album that deserves success for trying something different. I do not enjoy "perfect pitch" so the fact that Regina performs with the much treasured Paganini's legendary violin seems to me to be a "gimmick" to enhance sales, but don't let that put you off sampling, it is a very rewarding album.Paul Clatworthy
JO STAFFORD You Belong To Me Kissin’ Bug Boogie, Hawaiian War Chant, Jambalaya, Gambella (with Frankie Laine), Georgia On My Mind, Wunderbar (with Gordon MacRae), The Moment I Saw You (with Teddy Johnson), Shrimp Boats, A-round The Corner, etc.. 24 tracks Memoir CDMOIR 577, 68:32 mins. This is not the first CD of Jo Stafford’s early hits, but it is certainly one of the best. A good choice of material by Gordon Gray, plus intelligent booklet notes by Geoff Wilding and excellent digital remastering by Ted Kendall all combine to make this a fine memento of some of the best popular music from just over 50 years ago. Jo Stafford was in a class of her own, and her singles had that special extra touch because the musical director was the man she married, Paul Weston. There are just two exceptions here: Our Very Own features the Hal Mooney Orchestra, and the unique British connection can be found on The Moment I Saw You where Teddy Johnson sang with the Norrie Paramor Orchestra in London, and Jo added her part of the duet back home in the USA. It made the news at the time, although it wasn’t released in the USA. If you love Jo Stafford you’ve probably already bought this CD! David Ades
TIME FOR ACCORDION: 50 tracks including Dizzy Accordion; Ski Jump; Black Masks Waltz; Promenading Rhythm; Dicky Bird Hop; Dance of the Comedians; (Toralf Tollefsen) Indian Love Call; Rose Marie (attrib. to Tollefsen) The Very Thought of You; Just By Your Example; Over My Shoulder; (Billy Reid) (solo accordion), Maria Elena, Shepherd Serenade, Yours (Eric Winstone's Accordion Band). It's Been a Long Long Time; Crusing Down the River; (Accordion Serenaders). Remaining items by Primo Scala; Alexanders Accordions; Billy Reid, and the London Piano Accordion Bands. Rex (2 CD set) REXX 305. This is a highly commendable and enterprising issue of accordion music. Collectors will associate accordion bands more with dance music than with light music. However there are several light music items of particular interest on these discs. The issue also includes artists who have rarely been featured on CD before. The main interest for JIM readers will be the light music and novelty tracks played by that virtuoso of the accordion Norweigan born Toralf Tollefsen, who was very popular in the UK particularly during the 1940's and 50's, and possibly the Eric Winstone tracks. There are no UK CDs of Tollefsen currently available, so this issue is welcome if even for only 6 tracks!! There is also currently little available by Eric Winstone's delightful accordion orchestra. A Billy Reid solo medley is also included on the disc, and it is interesting to compare how different his style is to that of Tollefsen. Eric Winstone's accordion band (sometimes alluded to as "accordion orchestra" on the original 78 labels) has a lighter texture than most other accordion bands, by virtue of an added string section, etc. The Shepherd's Serenade featuring vocal by Alan Kane is a most delightful number. Maria Elena has vocalist Julie Dawn. The Accordion Serenaders are probably an anonymous George Scott Wood combination. There are a substantial number of items by Primo Scala as well as the London Piano Accordion Band, with the latter featuring singers such as Dorothy Squires; several tracks by Alexanders Accordions complete the discs. Indian Love Call, I suspect is wrongly assigned to Tollefsen. This number appears to feature George Scott Wood on the piano and it could even be his own accordion ensemble. A track on the second disc could also be wrongly attributed to Tollefsen. Listeners will have to judge for themselves. Many of the London Piano Accordion Band items, I imagine, are probably under Scott Wood's direction although no details are provided. In fact the talented George Scott Wood doesn't even get a mention and it is a pity that information contained in the CD booklet regarding the recordings and the artists is so sparse. Poorly transferred accordion recordings can sound horrid, but the transfers on this issue are full bodied and clear bringing a fresh vitality to these old classic recordings. More please! Brian Stringer
SECOND HOUSE with those wonderful comedians Comedy records featuring George Formby, Gert and Daisy, Tommy Handley, Cicily Courtneidge, Spike Jones, Joyce Grenfell & Norman Wisdom, Max Miller, Reginald Gardiner, etc.. Memoir CDMOIR 578, 73:06. If you want something a little out of the ordinary in your collection, do check this one out. Those ‘in the know’ will realise that Reginald Gardiner is included with his famous 78 Trains, and the two Spike Jones ‘classics’ are Chloe andCocktails For Two. Enough said! David Ades
SONG AND DANCE – The Musical Stars of Hollywood featuring Ann Miller, Lena Horne, Debbie Reynolds, Jane Powell, Fred Astaire, Jack Buchanan, Ginger Rogers, etc… Memoir CD MOIR 582, 76:08 mins. The 50-year copyright rule in the UK means that more and more 78s from the Golden Age of Hollywood musicals are now available to independent companies like Memoir to reissue as they wish – which is very good news for collectors whose precious 78s may be lying in a loft because a suitable turntable to reproduce them is no longer part of the family hi-fi system. I can remember when Debbie Reynolds’ 78 of A Lady Loves suddenly became popular – only to discover that MGM had deleted the original 78 with untimely haste, although I seem to recall that it was still briefly in their catalogue on an EP. Since then the complete soundtrack from I Love Melvin has been available on CD, but if you just want the best song from the film – here it is! Of course, there are many other priceless gems in this collection, and if you love the sound of the old musicals my advice is: don’t hesitate! David Ades
Memoir CDs are available through the RFS Record Service for £10 [$20] each, plus the usual postage and packing.
CLARINET KALEIDOSCOPE Lounge Suite (Gavin Sutherland; Serenata – Mother and Child (David Fanshawe); Meditation (Reginald Hunt); Song and Dance (Gilbert Vintner); Canto Populare (Elgar); Three Spanish Dances (Philip Lane); A Graceful Tune, A Humorous Fantasy, An Autumn Tune, Moods (Frederick Kell); Clarinet Cakewalk (Terence Greaves); Nostalgia - medley of tunes by Ray Noble, Manning Sherwin and Ivor Novello, In Party Mood (arr. Sutherland). Verity Butler (clarinet), Gavin Sutherland (piano) Campion Cameo 2022. For many of us light music means light orchestral music, but as this finely played and recorded disc shows, much pleasure may be had from music for solo instrumentalists. Most of the titles here are premiere recordings and there is a fair spread stylistically and chronologically (the Elgar, adapted by him from In the South, is the earliest), from Philip Lane’s fluent pastiches, Sutherland’s own jazz-inspired Lounge Suite (the movement titles relate to things found down the back of chairs or settees!) and Greave’s catchy Cakewalk to Hunt’s rhapsodic Meditation, Vintner’s four movement, five minute suite and Kell’s four charming miniatures, one dedicated to his son Reginald, arguably the greatest of British clarinettists. Verity Butler is an accomplished and committed player; we know Gavin Sutherland previously as a conductor but here he excels as pianist and arranger, especially enjoyable being his foot-tapping version of In Party Mood, made especially for the recording. Philip L. Scowcroft
LIVING STRINGS AND TWO PIANOS - The World We Knew/My Silent Love Inc: Dream of Olwen, Snowfall, My Silent Love, Falling Leaves, Dream Lover, Intermezzo, On the Trail, Canadian Sunset, Faithfully Yours, The World We Knew, Exodus, Temptation, My Heart Cries For You, There Must Be a Way, Poeme, Mattinata, etc. Frank Bristow XFB801 77:34. It was around 1960 that RCA producer Ethel Gabriel had the idea of forming The Living Strings for their Camden budget label, and asked the late lamented Johnny Douglas to lead the orchestra as arranger/conductor, which he did for something like 80 LPs. He shared the job with William Hill-Bowen who (as Billy Hill) had first made his name with George Melachrino’s ‘Orchestra in Khaki’, better known as the British Band of the AEF, during World War II, and later played with the Blue Rockets under Eric Robinson. This particular CD is somewhat short on names and credits, teaming the orchestra under whoever was leading it at the time with a completely anonymous 2-piano team in a well varied programme of standards and classical and semi-classical medleys. I must say the musical logic of combining Chabrier’s Espana Rhapsody in a medley with Floyd Cramer’s Last Date escapes me. As does Frank Bristow’s four biographical pages in the liner notes devoted to Geraldo, whose only connection is as co-composer with Bernard Ebbinghouse of My Summer Heart. Arthur Jackson Frank Bristow’s CDs can only be obtained direct from him in Australia: Frank Bristow, 2 Cross Street, Brighton, Victoria, 3186, Australia – e-mail:
GERALDO AND HIS ORCHESTRA – Summer’s End Inc: Man with the Mandolin, They Say, You’re As Pretty as a Picture, My Heart is Taking Lessons, Heart and Soul, My Own, If I Didn’t Care, You Couldn’t Be Cuter, Romany, Deep in a Dream, One Day When We Were Young, On the Sentimental Side, While a Cigarette Was Burning, Two Sleepy People, Summer’s End. Vocalion CDEA6064 75:50 This was the orchestra of 1938/9 when Geraldo was beginning to modernise, adding young swing musicians to the pre-war line-up, among the future Squadronaires Andy McDevitt, Eric Breeze and Clifton Ffrench along with other mainstays of the wartime Geraldo band like Harry Hayes and George Evans. The big selling point here, though, will be the late Al Bowlly on no less than 16 of the 24 tracks, with others being shared by Sam Browne, Cyril Grantham, Eve Becke and George Evans. So it will be obvious that the vocals are no anti-climax in the context of the band’s musicianship; on the contrary at this time Gerry had one of the strongest vocal teams of any British band. But, over all looms the presence of the great Bowlly, who never failed to impress, whatever his material. No complaints on that score here, however; some of the songs may be less known than others but there’s no diminution in quality. Arthur Jackson
MANTOVANI AND HIS ORCHESTRA Charmaine – 25 Original Mono Recordings 1940-1952Charmaine, Jealousy, Under the Roofs of Paris, La Cucaracha, Wyoming, Pavanne, Diane, Warsaw Concerto, Caribbean Calypso, Serenade, Dancing with Tears in My Eyes, Adios Muchachos, Mexicali Rose, Holiday for Strings, Greensleeves, Hear My Song Violetta, Symphony, Ramona, Gypsy Legend, Dreaming, The Legend of the Glass Mountain, Village Swallows, La Mer, I Live for You. Some Enchanted Evening Living Era CDAJA 5500.
THE ORIGINAL MANTOVANI AND HIS ORCHESTRA CHARMAINE Charmaine, Just for a While, Greensleeves, Love Makes the World Go Round, Dancing with Tears in My
Eyes, Dear Love My Love, Wyoming, Under the Roofs of Paris, For You, Kisses
in the Dark, Diane, Babette, Love Here Is My Heart, Moonlight Madonna,
Lovely Lady, Mexicali Rose, Was It a Dream, It Happened in Monterey, Some
Enchanted Evening, Gypsy Love Waltz, La Cumparsita, Tango de la Luna, Roses
from the South, Blue Danube. (Portugal) Remember RMB 75105.
MANTOVANI AND HIS ORCHESTRA PLAY STRAUSS WALTZES Blue Danube, Roses from the South, Vienna Blood, Voices of Spring, Artist's Life, Tales from the Vienna Woods, Emperor Waltz, Morning Papers, Accelerations, You and You, Wine Women and Song, Village Swallows, Gypsy Love Waltz, Tell Me You Love Me, Le Chaland Qui Passe (Portugal) Goldies GLD 63247.
With the original Mantovani "New Sound" recordings passing into the public domain there has been no shortage of re-issues of the music that sold millions of copies in the early 1950s. Of Portuguese origin, the Remember and Goldies CDs are issued under license from Intermusic SA, and have been dubbed from LP or 45. On the whole, they are praiseworthy issues, not everyone's cup of tea, I'll admit, depending on whether you like the overlapping string sound or not, but even if you don't, there's much to enjoy in the lush arrangements of Ronnie Binge and how they were interpreted by Mantovani. The Remember album includes some outstanding pieces which have not been available for a long time, among them Mexicali Rose, Babette (a terrific feature for trumpeter Stan Newsome),Some Enchanted Evening (boosted by the subtle vibraphone of Charlie Botterill) and Monty's own fine composition, Tango de la Luna. The Strauss Waltzes collection excludes inexplicably two tracks from Mantovani's fine 1952 LP, but includes two more, Vienna Blood and Artist's Life, which were not included at the time. The real bonus here, however, is the very first appearance of Tell Me You Love Me on any sort of album. Recorded on 6 February 1951, it was the first "New Sound" arrangement by Ronnie Binge, a really sensational one, which was never released in England because of copyright difficulties. The Living Era CD has gone further than the other two albums by laudably inserting several melodies from the 1940s previously unavailable on CD. Among them are the two partWarsaw Concerto, an early version of the Serenade from The Student Prince and Morton Gould'sPavanne. The 78 transfers are of a good standard, and it's a very worthwhile collection, marred only by some errors in the recording data, e.g. I Live For You was not recorded until January 1954 rather than late 1953, and Holiday for Strings in February rather than May 1944. Minutiae such as this should not detract from your listening pleasure, however, and I would commend all three albums to Mantovani enthusiasts. The Living Era CD, distributed by Sanctuary Records, should be obtained easily enough in the UK, and I have encountered copies of the Remember CD in HMV in Oxford Street; the Strauss Waltzes album is rather more elusive, but copies can be ordered on-line from Amazon in Japan. Colin Mackenzie
MARIAN McCPARTLAND Plays The Benny Carter Songbook (with special guest Benny Carter) When The Lights Are Low; I’m In The Mood For Swing; A Kiss From You; Key Largo; Plus 7 Other Songs. (USA) Concord Jazz CCD - 4412. There’s no more satisfying compliment for a composer than to have an artist of the calibre of Marian McPartland play their music. The composer, Benny Carter, plays alto sax with McPartland on 5 of the 11 tracks. McPartland is at her inspired best on "When The Lights Are Low." She hits a bossa nova groove on "Summer Serenade." Carter’s eloquent alto sax weaves magic on swingers such as "I’m In The mood For Swing," "Doozy," and "Easy Money." Both artists contribute a romantic mood on "Only Trust Your Heart." John Clayton on bass and Harold Jones on drums are the rock steady rhythm section on these 1990 sessions. The overall sound picture is one of warm depth with clinical clearness. A charming CD full of surprises which should be in every music lover’s library. Richard Jessen
HAL KEMP & HIS ORCHESTRA Got a Date With An Angel Moonlight Saving Time, Forty-Second Street, Shuffle Off To Buffalo, For All We Know, Lullaby of Broadway, etc…Sanctuary Living Era CD AJA 5399, 76:59. Hal Kemp and his staccato trumpets has been quoted as the inspiration behind the ‘sound’ of Britain’s Billy Ternent Orchestra, although having listened to this new CD I wonder if the influence was as strong as I imagined. These recordings date from 1929 to 1940, and this is the kind of compilation which is probably best sampled in small doses, rather than in one big chunk. Most of the tunes are still well-known, but I have to confess that I find some of the vocalists a bit disappointing. But I’m glad that this CD is available, because Hal Kemp was successful in his day, and he deserves to be remembered. David Ades
STEVE LAWRENCE SINGS SINATRA A Musical Tribute to the Man and his Music I’ve Got You Under My Skin; You Make Me Feel So Young; The Lady Is A Tramp; The Summer Wind; plus 10 other songs. (USA) GL Music Co. 60145. If there ever was a singer whose musical instincts are the equal of Frank Sinatra, it would be Steve Lawrence who gives an intelligent, thoughtful portrait of one of popular music’s giants. All of Sinatra’s major songs are present on this CD, using the original arrangements by the classic masters Nelson Riddle, Quincy Jones, Don Costa, and Billy Byers. Lawrence’s voice lies comfortably within Sinatra’s vocal range although he studiously avoids imitating Sinatra’s well remembered interpretations. Lawrence courageously attacks "I’ve Got You Under My Skin" (with a fabulous trombone solo by Chauncey Welsch) and actually makes an amazingly different spin on this well-remembered classic. Lawrence is aided by the presence of the West Coast’s best musicians: the afore-mentioned Welsch plus two former members of Sinatra’s touring band, Vinnie Falcone (Sinatra’s pianist and best music director after Bill Miller) and Ol’ Blue Eyes’ last successor to Irv Kottler’s chair, drummer Gregg Field. The added surprise is that Steve Lawrence’s son David is the conductor. David elicits crisp, clean playing throughout the disc, totally at home in every style represented on this session. This is a worthy tribute from one supreme singer to another.Richard Jessen
ROYAL SCOTTISH NATIONAL ORCHESTRA Conducted by David Lloyd-Jones DELIUS – Marche Caprice, Summer Evening, Winter Night (Sleigh Ride), Spring Morning, American Rhapsody, The Walk to the Paradise Garden, On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring, Summer Night on the River, A Song Before Sunrise, Fantastic Dance Naxos 8557143. The ten short orchestral works in this collection virtually span the whole of Delius’ creative life, illustrating his love of the four countries that most inspired him – England, America, Norway and France – and his love of nature in all its bittersweet transience. Displaying to the full Delius’ late Romantic mastery of chromatic harmony and orchestration, they constitute a perfect distillation of his very personal kind of genius. The chronologically programmed disc includes a relative rarity, the American Rhapsody, an early version of Appalachia composed in 1896 but not given its first performance until 1986. Taken from advance publicity supplied by Naxos.
"WE DIG DAHL" Pat Dahl arranged by Benny Carter, Billy May, Lyn Murray, Marty Paich, Shorty Rogers and Pete Rugolo - Stout-Hearted Men, I'm in love with the Honourable Mr So and So, It's all right with me, I who have nothing, On the good ship Lollipop, There's no fool like an old fool, Oh, Johnny, What now my love, Ten cents a dance, Show me, Lonely Woman, Someone to watch over me. Fresh Sound Records AF6157CD, 39:19 mins. A couple of decidedly "Iffy" songs but with arrangers of this calibre you cannot go far wrong. Marty Paich works wonders with "Lollipop" and Shorty Rogers does the same with "Oh, Johnny". The other ten songs are injected with a feel-good factor redundant in much of today's output. As a singer Pat falls somewhere between Betty Grable and a reined back Shirley Bassey! With several songs not thrashed to death elsewhere and well crafted arrangements there is plenty to savour on this CD first issued in 1966. This reissue is dated 1989, who has been sitting on it? Paul Clatworthy
COUNT BASIE AND HIS ORCHESTRA. "APRIL IN PARIS." April In Paris; Corner Pocket; Shiny Stockings; Sweetie Cakes plus 6 other selections plus 7 alternate takes. (USA) Verve Master Edition 314 321 402-1.
COUNT BASIE / THE COMPLETE ATOMIC BASIE. The Kid From Red Bank; Flight Of The Foo - Birds; Whirly - Bird; Li’l Darlin’ plus 8 other selections and 5 alternate takes. (USA) Blue Note / Roulette Jazz CDP 7243 8 28635 2 6. During the middle 1950's, Count Basie enjoyed a resurgence of interest due to his masterful recordings of arrangements by Neal Hefti, Frank Foster, Ernie Wilkins and Frank Wess. The Verve CD (recorded in 1955-6) catches the energy, the crashing contrasts in dynamic levels and the overall enthusiasm Basie instilled in his musicians. "April In Paris" (in this rousing "Wild Bill" Davis chart) finds the band at its all time best. "Corner Pocket" and "Shiny Stockings both have an undercurrent of urgency seething beneath their nonchalant atmosphere. The Roulette CD (recorded 1957) is made up of Neal Hefti classic charts such as "The Kid From Left Bank," "Flight Of The Foo-Birds," and the smoulderingly sexy composition "Li’l Darlin’." The remaining cuts are from an abandoned Jimmy Mundy project which includes two takes of "The Late Late Show:" one instrumental and the other featuring one of Basie’s greatest vocalists, Joe Williams, in a masterful performance. Both CD’s were remastered from their original mono tapes. The CD sound is superbly atmospheric and life like. All in all, a pair of vital introductions to the music and legend of Count Basie. Richard Jessen
VIKKI CARR: LOVE STORY / SUPERSTAR. Love Story; If You Could Read My Mind; For All We Know; Superstar plus 19 other songs. (USA) Collectables COL - CD - 7528. 78:14.
VIKKI CARR: EN ESPANOL / HOY (TODAY). Somos Novios (It’s Impossible); Grande, Grande, Grande; Historia De Amor (Love Story); Sin Saber Por Que (The Way We Were) plus 17 other songs.(USA) Collectables COL - CD - 7536. 72:45. Of late, Collectables has become the home of Vikki Carr’s classic LP’s. Producer Dick Glasser and arranger Ernie Freeman join Carr in these classic LP’s from her 1970-1975 Columbia Records era . "Love Story" was her first album in 1970 for Columbia. Such top 40 hits such as "I’ll Be Home" and "Six Weeks Every Summer" are present as are unforgettable accounts of "If You Could Read My Mind" and "For All we Know." The 1971 album "Superstar" is another best seller with great songs such as the title track as well as "Spanish Harlem." As an attractive extra, we have a scintillating "Cabaret" from 1972. The two Spanish language albums ("En Espanol / Hoy") are perfect examples of giving an artist the necessary freedom to record music which is best suited for their talents. Both are scored by Bob Florence and recorded at 1972 and 1974 sessions. Each explores the rise and fall in a love relationship. "En Espanol" has the break-through version of "Grande, Grande, Grande" which prefaced Shirley Bassey’s equally famous version by a year. "Somos Novios (It’s Impossible") compares favourably with Perry Como’s version with Carr sensitively limning every word. "Hoy" is a darker album scored by Florence for a dominant cello section. Everything about these two albums transcends their language barriers, a rarity in the annals of music. My personal hats off to Vito Cifaldi who writes the liner notes on both CD’s with thorough knowledge of his subject, as he should: he’s the President of Vikki Carr’s fan club! The CD mastering of these albums is superb. Nothing more need be said except that these are performances by a great vocalist who is still at her prime! Richard Jessen
NELSON RIDDLE AND HIS ORCHESTRA Romance Fire and Fancy Don’t Break My Heart, Costa Mesa, Midironde, Chemise Noir, Twilight Romance, Dancing Shadows, Nightingale, Sun Spots, Talk About Music, Beautiful Sunrise, Fireflies, Night Winds (Germany) Intersound ISCD 188, 34:18 mins. These tracks were recorded at Capitol Records Studio, Hollywood in 1979, and feature four Riddle originals – Costa Mesa, Chemise Noir, Dancing Shadows and Fireflies. Two others are by the chap who owns the record company, Gerhard Narholz (under his better known ‘Norman Candler’ pseudonym) and all the arrangements are by Nelson. His fans will recognise that these tracks represent the sort of work that he was doing later in his career, so you won’t find the kind of sounds from the 1950s that made Sinatra and Riddle so popular as a great team. The playing time is hardly generous, but remember that this is a production music CD not intended for sale to the general public. We mention it because quite a large number of RFS members have already bought it, so there may still be some of you out there who have not yet discovered that it is available. David Ades This CD is available from the RFS Record Service for £14 [US $28] plus postage and packing.
PERCY FAITH AND HIS ORCHESTRA Your Dance Date / American Waltzes / Carefree Rhythms Flight 33⅓, One Night Of Love, My Shawl, Ba-Tu-Ca-Da, What Is This Thing Called Love?, Beautiful Love, Nightingale, Brazilian Sleigh Bells, Carousel Waltz, The Girl That I Marry, Valse Hugette, I’ll Take Romance, Waltz In Springtime, A Kiss In The Dark, While We’re Young, When I’m Not Near The Girl I Love, Carefree, Kitten On The Keys, Nervous Gavotte, The Hot Canary, The Syncopated Clock, Dizzy Fingers, March Of The Siamese Children, Fiddle Derby (USA) Collectables COL-CD 7599, 72:44. Even better than a 2-on-1, this 3-on-1 is a real winner. The original albums were issued on three 10" LPs in the early 1950s. The first, ‘Your Dance Date’, is of a full concert orchestra playing in strict dance tempo eight numbers beginning and ending with Faith originals Flight 33⅓ and Brazilian Sleigh Bells. Fascinatingly, the tracks are segued together with short piano interludes. The second eight, American Waltzes, are all composed not by, but for, Americans "and in the American idiom". Among the composers are Rodgers [Carousel], Berlin [The Girl That I Marry], Friml [Valse Hugette], Kern [Waltz In Springtime] and Herbert [Kiss In the Dark]. All quality stuff. The third set – and to my mind the best of a good bunch – opens with Percy’s own Carefree and continues through the 1920s classic Kitten on the Keys, Nervous Gavotte, The Hot Canary [I could have done without the vocal], Syncopated Clock, Dizzy Fingers and March Of The Siamese Children to Faith’s amusing re-creation of the racetrack, Fiddle Derby. On Kitten and Dizzy we encounter for the first time on record the Faith innovation of the Magic Voices: a female chorus singing wordlessly as another instrument of the orchestra. Definitely one of the best of the recent Faith re-issues. Peter Burt
PERCY FAITH & HIS ORCHESTRA and MITCH MILLER It’s So Peaceful In The Country / European Holiday It’s So Peaceful In The Country, While We’re Young, Goodbye, John, I’ll Be Around, It Could Happen To You, Imagination, Love Among The Young, Moonlight Becomes You, Who Can I Turn To?, So Help Me [If I Don’t Love You], Darn That Dream, It’s Always You, Flyin’ Up To Europe, Dealer In Dreams, Trip Of Your Dreams, The Gourmet Song, Heavenly Holiday, Travelling Through Europe, Entre Nous, Under Paris Skies [Sous Le Ciel De Paris], Autumn Leaves, Without My Lover [Bolero Gaucho] (USA) Collectables COL-CD-7596, 67:52. This second 2-on-1 is really a 1-on-1 for Faith CD collectors as he and his orchestra only feature on the first 12 tracks along with the cor anglais/oboe playing maestro Mitch Miller. The album, originally released in 1956 is a follow-up to their very successful collaboration on ‘Music Until Midnight’ [Collectables COL-CD-6486]. Here we have Percy in lush pastoral mode with tunes written by Alec Wilder and Jimmy Van Heusen such as the title tune, I’ll Be Around, Moonlight Becomes You and Darn That Dream. No wonder this album is a favourite among many Faith fans. The remaining tracks, with three exceptions, is a travel dream set to words [many spoken] and music conducted by Miller which would, in my opinion, have been better left in the Sony vaults. But the CD ends well with Mitch’s versions of Under Paris Skies,Autumn Leaves and Without My Lover [Bolero Gaucho]. Peter Burt
TONY WHITTAKER Music Man Page Boy (Leonard), Beauty and the Beast, Ring Ding (Steve Race), 2 Gershwin Medleys, Sweet and Twenty (Gardner), Dindi, Westminster Waltz (Robert Farnon), Pink Panther Theme, Latin Lover (Tony Whittaker), etc. (17 tracks) TWMS 01/04. The advent of the CD has meant that it is now within the realms of possibility for many talented musicians to release their own material. Sometimes this is mainly for family and friends; on other occasions performers in clubs and theatres can make some extra useful income from sales after the show. Other musicians simply feel the urge to share their enjoyment of music with others, and I suspect that RFS member Tony Whittaker falls into this category. His latest CD features Tony on piano plus organ, electric piano, guitar, bass and drums; he confesses that putting it all together gave him some sleepless nights! The result is a very pleasing mixture of old and new favourites that ought to be promoted by the manufacturers of his equipment as an example of the wide variety of sounds that can be achieved. Page Boy and Ring Ding brought back some happy memories, although I must confess that I could personally have done without the three Andrew Lloyd Webber tunes (am I the only music lover who isn’t tuned in to his talents?). I particularly enjoyed listening to this CD on a long car journey, and it is a perfect example of the pleasing sounds that are possible from electronic equipment – in the right hands. David Ades This CD is available direct from: Tony Whittaker Musical Service, 83 St Helens Road, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV31 3QG, England – price £11 (including UK p & p).
SALON ORCHESTRA FAVOURITES Vol. 3 Florentiner (Fucik); Berceuse (Godard); Leise, ganz leise (Oscar Straus); Teufelsmarsch (Suppe); Im Chambre separée (Heuberger); Salut (Elgar); Czardasfürstin (Kalman); Humoreske (Dvorak); Libelle (Josef Strauss); Chanson de nuit (Elgar); Chanson de matin (Elgar); Sturmgalopp (Komzak); Liebesleid (Kreisler); Liebesfreud (Kreisler); Thais (Massenet) Salonorchester Schwanen Conducted by Georg Huber Naxos 8557048, 63:45 mins. This third volume in this popular series focuses mainly on dance music and operetta from Vienna, Prague and Budapest, although England is represented with the three familiar Elgar works. By now fans of this style of music will know what to expect, and they shouldn’t be disappointed. David Ades
KETÈLBEY CONDUCTS KETÈLBEY Volume 4 Men of England: In Holiday Mood (On the Promenade, Down the Stream, Illuminated Fete); Tangled Tunes Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4; Phantom Melody; My Heart Still Clings to You; Silver Cloud; Wildhawk; Sunday Afternoon Reverie; Canzonetta; Wonga; Vision of Fuji-San; Knights of the King; In a Monastery Garden. Jean Schwiller (cello), Albert Ketèlbey (piano), Edgar Coyle (baritone), Nellie Walker (contralto), Orchestras conducted by Albert Ketèlbey, Louis Voss, Claude Ivy, Harry Wood, Gustave Cloez, Lt. W. J. Dunn, M.C. Recorded 1912-1933. Naxos 8110870, 64:33 mins. The importance of this series is that it is turning up some rare items, and Ketèlbey deserves to have his work preserved for posterity. The only disappointing aspect (and I know that I am repeating myself) is that some of the tracks have excessive surface noise, which really could be largely eliminated using modern technology. David Ades
This final compilation contains quite the rarest Ketèlbey items yet, some of which are more than 90 years old. Given all the difficulties of pre-electric techniques, Naxos are to be congratulated on finally squaring the circle and those of us who enjoy the music should be grateful for this opportunity of hearing it as it was, warts and all. In Holiday Mood is good fun as is the jolly foxtrot, Christmas Medley. If you are really smart then you can unravel all the different melodies in four separateTangled Tunes. With the exception of the complete versions of Men of England, The Vision of Fuji-Sanand In a Monastery Garden, all the other pieces are single sided 78s in length and well worth a listen. Edmund Whitehouse
Forthcoming releases from Vocalion:
MANTOVANI Collectors Volume 2 CDLK4233
WERNER MÜLLER Wild Strings & Percussion in the Sky CDLK4235
Forthcoming releases from Sanctuary Living Era:
DAVID ROSE CDAJA5499
SIDNEY TORCH CDAJA5540
New from Shellwood Productions
Our friends at Shellwood are starting to expand the kind of repertoire offered on their new releases.The Youth Showchoir of London present a very varied selection of songs from musicals of the past 60 years (SWCD 30). And a remarkable young pianist Benjamin Grosvenor – aged only 10 when he made the CD – plays some well-known classics plus several Billy Mayerl novelties that test the most accomplished pianists (SWCD 31).
Some more new CDs just received …
TRIBUTE TO SIR FRED Ballet Music by ANDRÉ MESSAGER ‘Les Deux Pigeons’; FRANK LISZT ‘Dante Sonata’; ALAN RAWSTHORNE ‘Madame Chrysanthème’; FRANCOIS COUPERIN ‘Harlequin in the Street’Royal Ballet Sinfonia / Barry Wordsworth Sanctuary White Line CD WLS 273. Ballet Music shares many features with true Light Music and this 2-CD set features contains plenty of lovely melodies. The ‘excuse’ for the collection is that each work is closely associated with its choreographer Sir Frederick Ashton (1904-1988).
THE GOLDEN VOICE OF PERRY COMO It’s a Lovely Day Today, You’re Just in Love, A Dreamer’s Holiday, If Wishes Were Kisses, etc.. 25 tracks Memoir CDMOIR 580. Perry Como was certainly in his prime when these recordings were made just over 50 years ago. He still has many admirers today, and they shouldn’t hesitate to add this new release to their collections.
DANCE WITH THE SWEET BANDS featuring Ben Selvin, Leo Reisman, Ted Weems, Russ Morgan, Freddy Martin, Benny Strong, Hal Kemp, Sammy Kaye, Eddy Duchin, Guy Lombardo, Rudy Vallee, Gus Arnheim and Xavier Cugat 25 tracks Memoir CDMOIR 584. This collection is a great idea, because many people like to hear the melody and enjoy some good swing music at the same time.
HITS OF 1953 featuring Perry Como, Teresa Brewer, Outside of Heaven, Kay Starr, Percy Faith, Guy Mitchell, Joni James, Les Baxter, Nat King Cole, Frankie Laine, Frank Chacksfield, etc.. 28 tracksSanctuary Living Era CD AJA 5553. This is the latest in a long series of ‘Year’ compilations by ASV/Sanctuary. It is probably aimed more at the American market, because every track (except for the two Chacksfield sides which were Top Ten hits in the USA) originate from the USA, making collectors in Britain wonder if any home-grown records made the hit parade in 1953!