Keeping Track - Dateline December 2005
BRITISH LIGHT CLASSICS The Merrymakers, Knightsbridge, By the Sleepy Lagoon, Calling All Workers, Oxford Street (Coates); Elizabethan Serenade, The Watermill (Binge);In a Persian Market, In a Monastery Garden (Ketèlbey); Country Gardens, Irish Tune from County Derry, Mock Morris, Shepherd’s Hey (Grainger); Dusk (Armstrong Gibbs); Devil’s Galop (Williams); Barwick Green (Arthur Wood); Marching Strings (Ray Martin); Sailing By (Binge); Portrait of a Flirt (Farnon). HMV 5 867952. The last five tracks are labelled ‘bonus tracks’, since they are taken from famous singles. The other works all first appeared on various EMI LPs from the 1950s onwards, and it has to be said that all self-respecting light music collectors will have them already – in some cases, probably more than once! But if you missed out before, or you are searching for the perfect Christmas present, then this could be just for you. The quality of the music – and the performances – is of the highest order.
David Ades This CD is available from HMV Shops and from the HMV website on the internet.
FRANCK POURCEL 4-CD box set – Golds of the 20th century Angie, My Way (Comme d'habitude), Imagine, Lay all your love on me, Aranjuez mon amour, I've Got You Under My Skin, Love Me Tender, Chariot (I will follow him), Yesterday, Les Feuilles mortes, Cielito, lindo, Concorde, Le Premier Pas, Yesterday Once more, Bahia, Let it be, Georgia, Hymne D'amour, Saint-Nicolas, Without You, Isn't she lovely, Misty, Blue tango, Song for guy. De Cannes Hollywood Star Wars, Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Moon River), Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid (Raindrops keep fallin' on my head), Born Free, La Dolce Vita, Live and let die, The Godfather 1 (Speak softly love), Dr Zhivago, Love Story (Une histoire d'amour), Orfeu Negro (Manha de carnival), The Third Man, Midnight Cowboy, Mona Lisa, Les Parapluies De Cherbourg, Love Is a Many Splendored Thing, (La colline de l'adieu), All That Jazz (On Broadway), Un Homme Et Une Femme, The Graduate (Mrs Robinson), Porgy and Bess (Summertime), The Sandpiper(The Shadow Of Your Smile), West Side Story (Somewhere), Hello Dolly, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Marty (Hey Marty). French Fiddlers / Super Lounge Only You, Graves, Image, Casino blues, Cry Me A River, Anjou, When I fall in Love, Ilona, Ebb Tide, Too beautiful to last, My prayer, If, Les hanches, Laura, Les levres, Promises, In a nostalgia mood, Night and Day, Parchemin, My Special Angel, Anytime, I'm getting sentimental over you, A Top the Sacre Coeur, Stormy Weather, So many violins. Classics forever Danse hongroise #5, Le Lac De Come, Carmen: Chanson Boheme, Jesus Que Ma Joie Demeure, Nabucco:Va pensiero - Choeur Des Esclaves, Czardas, Tosca: Vissi d'arte, Acceleration, Allegro en re Mineur, La Danza, La Traviata: Sempre libera, Aida:Marche Triomphale des Trompettes, Les Mille et une nuits, Mouvement Perpetuel, Turandot: Nessum Dorma, Grande Valse "Les Patineurs", Golliwog's Cake-Walk, Plaisir d'amour, Valse de la Belle au Bois dormant, La Moldau. EMI W3362462. There are very few Pourcel CDs released these days, and here are a number of rare tracks appearing on CD for the first time. Pourcel's daughter Francoise has been instrumental in getting EMI France to release this special collectors' edition 4-CD boxset. The CD booklet includes a biography in French and English, and this set has already been called the best Pourcel collection ever released!
JOHNNY DOUGLAS "The Railway Children" Dulcima DLCD 120 [2 CDs]. Johnny Douglas was truly inspired when he composed the music for this magical film in 1970. Everything about the movie was just right – the cast, the scenery and, of course, the music. This new release offers again two LPs: firstly the Johnny Douglas Orchestra playing his themes from the film (on EMI’s Columbia label), and secondly Lionel Jeffries introducing soundtrack excerpts (originally on Music for Pleasure). Johnny’s memorable main theme will be familiar to many, but this CD reveals that this was only one of several pleasing melodies created for the various characters. As a bonus the final track on CD1 is the vocal version of the main theme, retitled More Than Ever Now and sung by Vince Hill. Hugely enjoyable! David Ades This 2-CD set is available from good record shops; it can also be ordered direct from Dulcima Records, 39 Tadorne Road, Tadworth, Surrey, KT20 5TF, England – price £13.00 plus £2 p&p.
STEFANIE POWERS – On The Same Page They All Laughed, Where Are You?, Last Night When We Were Young, Autumn In New York plus 8 other songs (37:00) Jambo Music JM-100. With a growing volume of CDs recorded by people outside of the orbit of the classic American songbook, this one by actress Stefanie Powers is simply the best. Ably accompanied by veteran pianist and singer Page Cavanaugh and his quartet, Powers proves to be a surprisingly accomplished vocalist. All of her performances on this CD are full of the charm she always exhibited in her television, stage and screen appearances to millions around the world. Where Are You? is very poignant, as is her rendition of Autumn In New York. I’ve Got A Feelin’ You’re Foolin’ is a really funny, mischievous duet with pianist Page Cavanaugh. This is a winning album by a well-loved personality, bringing to we lucky listeners another wonderful facet of Stefanie Powers’ artistry. Richard Jessen
MANNY ALBAM, BILL RUSSO, TEO MACERO, TEDDY CHARLES – Something New, Something Blue (30:40) Freshsound Records FSR-CD381. Short on playing-time made worse by the fact that the two tracks by Manny Albam (Night Crawlers and Tin Roof blues are on Manny's own album (see Big Band roundup). Teo arranges Blues for Amy and St Louis blues, Bill Russo East Hampton bluesand Davenport blues, Teddy Charles Swinging Goatsherd blues and Blues in the night. Each contributor was given the brief: arrange one standard and write one original. The two that grasp this task to my liking are Teo having fun with some tempo changes on St Louis blues where pianist Bill Evans excels and Bill Russo on East Hampton blues; a mournful start but soon chugging along at a nice pace. As a blues album this one really hits the spot.
THE TEND’REST BREAST: Settings of Women’s Poetry Songs by Frank Bridge, Ivor Gurney, Lennox Berkeley, John Ireland, Alistair King, Roger Quilter, Madeleine Dring and Montague Phillips.Georgina Colwell (soprano) and Nigel Foster (piano). Durelm Records DRD 0237 from Dunelow, 2 Park Close, Glossop, SK13 9RQ (email: , website www.dunelm-records.co.uk at £10.95 incl. P&P) This CD, devoted to settings of poems by women (though one exception, all the composers are, or were, male) ranges over 20th Century English song including iconic figures like Gurney, Ireland and Frank Bridge, but does include several we may classify as ballads: Quitter’s Tune and Wild Cherry, Bridge’s Love Went a Riding and three songs by Montague Phillips. It has been said that Phillips’s songs, of which, like Coates and Haydn Wood, he composed many (he was married to a professional singer) that they were too good as ballads, not good enough as art songs. However that may be, it would be a stony heart which was not roused by the fiercely exultant Sing Joyous Bird. And Madeleine Dring contributes one of her cabaret songs (with words by herself) which has some delicious doubles-entendres. Performances from both artistes are affectionate and skilful; the insert prints all the words, though Miss Colwell’s crystal clear diction hardly needs them. Philip L Scowcroft
HELEN O’CONNELL – The Sweetest Sounds Taking A Chance On Love, Fly Me To The Moon, Tangerine plus 12 other great songs (35:05) Hindsight HCD-251. Sweet sounds, indeed, emanate from this charming collection of songs performed by vocalist Helen O’Connell for the United States Marines in 1953 and The Navy Swings shows from 1961 and 1963. O’Connell here shows her innate jazzy side, especially on the opening Sweetest Sounds and Fly Me To The Moon where she shows total enjoyment of singing. Although the songs are, unfortunately, brief to accommodate the time restrictions of 15 minute shows, there are some startlingly long versions such as achingly beautiful renditions of A Beautiful Friendship and Embraceable You. The groups are all small with multi-instrumentalist Murray McEachern playing trombone and saxes with his septet in 1963. A surprisingly great but unknown group adds to the tasty backgrounds: the Red Blount Quartet of 1961 plus the familiar settings by Page Cavanaugh in 1953. The booklet notes by Eliot Tiegel cover every aspect of Helen O’Connell’s career accompanied by two photos supplied by Frank DeVol. Although a brief CD, it more than qualifies as another fine example of the artistry of the fondly remembered personality of Helen O’Connell, the sweetest sound we have ever heard. Richard Jessen
Modern sounds from California Freshsound Records FSR2202. Two and a half hours of West Coast jazz at its finest, recorded 1954 to 1957, with so many tracks I for one have never seen elsewhere! Freshsound deserve plaudits for this release which gathers together compositions by almost everyone of note on the West Coast: Shorty Rogers, Jimmy Giuffre, John Grass, Marty Paich, Jack Montrose, Al Cohn, Pete Rugolo, Leonard Feather, Howard Lucraft and one from Dave Brubeck – Shorty and Marty getting the lion’s share! Almost all the soloists active at the time are on board making this set a must-buy!
BMG Zomba Production Music – Italian Life BPM 3019 , Horror & Sci-Fi BPM 3020 , Jazz & Big Band BPM 3021, Historical BPM 3022 , Tension & Suspense BPM 3023, Holiday TravelsBPM 3024, Big Screen BPM 3025 , Classical Heritage BPM 3026 , Tango & Ballroom BPM 3027 .Composers include Ennio Morricone, Stelvio Cipriani, Gian Piero Reverberi. Gian Franco Reverberi, Armando Trovaioli, Angelo Francesco Lavagnino, Manuel De Sica, Pino Donaggio, Luis Bacalov, Carlo Rustichelli, Piero Piccioni, Alessandro Alessandroni etc... These CDs are available from the RFS Record Service, price £9 [US $18] each, plus p+p. Atmosphere (part of BMG Zomba Production Music) have released a further nine CDs in their BMG Score Music series. This music is taken from RCA Italy's famous film music archives, most appearing on CD for the first time. There is approximately an hour of music on each CD and the sound quality is superb. I should mention that although generally the music on these CDs is melodic, there is some that may be described as harsh or atonal, mainly on the Horror & Sc-Fi CD. This series will appeal to anyone who enjoyed the previous CDs in this series and anyone who enjoys film music (especially Italian film music). It features some wonderful original compositions; in my opinion the BMG Score Music series has to be one of the most exciting ranges of discs currently released by any production music company. I have already heard some of the music being used by both BBC and ITV. There are now 27 CDs in this series and I am sure more will follow.
Chris Landor These CDs are only available through the RFS Record Service, price £9 each (plus postage and packing)
DORIS DAY sings – 22 original recordings (1952-53) I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, Sentimental Journey, Just You Just Me, I’m In The Mood For Love plus 18 other great songs (48:47) Hindsight HCD-411. Not much need be said about Doris Day except that she is one of those vocalists whose records never fail to amaze one in their superb choice of songs. This CD release emphasises the years 1952-3 in small jazz group settings by Page Cavanaugh and octet, and also as big orchestral recordings arranged by the ever reliable Van Alexander. The perkiness of the Page Cavanaugh group inspires Day to her best efforts, particularly in Just You, Just Me, Singin’ In The Rain and Light Your Lamp. The booklet notes by David Dexter Jr. include interviews with Doris Day and Van Alexander. The sound of these recordings is as beautiful as the inner booklet photo of Doris Day with one of her adorable four legged friends. A wonderful souvenir of a great singer. Richard Jessen
JUNE CHRISTY – Something Cool (1955 and 1962 versions). It Could Happen To You, Lonely House, This Time The Dream’s On Me plus 18 other great songs (68:39). June Christy was always a musician’s singer. Her phrasing and shading resembled the way a horn player would phrase and bend a note. This particular issue proves that Christy became a much greater artist after the seven intervening years. The arrangements are virtually the same with nearly the same players. Arrangements are by Pete Rugolo who first worked with June when both were employed by Stan Kenton. Something Cool was Christy’s signature tune, becoming a necessary inclusion in all her solo concerts. The 1955 version is startlingly good but the 1962 version measures up well with much added expressiveness and depth in Christy’s reading. The melancholy mood established at the beginning pervades both the mono and stereo versions although there are up tempo songs to vary the mood such as I Should Care and Softly As In A Morning Sunrise which is swung more like an Artie Shaw chart. The remastering is a dream; the mono has not been reprocessed into fake stereo and the succeeding stereo version has absolute quiet surfaces. This is a highly recommended introduction for those who have never heard June Christy. Paul Clatworthy
STANDBY FOR SWING – The Oscar Brandenburg Orchestra, The Gentle Giants Like Cute, Moonglow, Charmaine, Hometown, Organ Grinders Swing, Leagueliner, Wot Cher, Stay With It, Colonel Bogey, I Dream Of You, Black Satin Ribbons, 9.20 Special, Blue Lou, Puppet On A String, My Prayer, I’ll Be Around, These Foolish Things, High Flyer, A Handful Of Songs, Fools Rush In, Tuxedo Junction, Lady Of Spain, Bedtime For Drums, Delicado, Big Noise From Winnetka, Harbour Lights, Come Swing With Me. Codename Music (Winchester Hospital Radio Label) WHRCD 502. This album is colourful. It combines the talents of Ray Davies, Neil Richardson, Alan Moorhouse and others in a mix of popular standards played in big band fashion. Colourful for the way these excellent musicians transform the standards into a classy swing format. Like a rainbow, one colourful tune is followed by another reflecting a cathode of melodic rays. Who would have believed in this day and age that many of these actual versions were played day-in, day-out on BBC-television in the mornings and afternoons when people were at home testing their new colour sets during the late sixties and early seventies. Yes, you would hardly call this testcard music nowadays. It proves there were some superb pieces being aired then. If you hadn’t known they were on then you would probably have bought a ticket for this sort of fayre and sat down at the Local Civic Hall to enjoy it. Fans of traditional big band music here will love these renditions. Fresh, sharp colourful playing. Music to savour and enjoy; not music to twiddle your knobs to!
Malcolm Batchelor For details of how to obtain this CD please see the advertisement on page 87 of this issue.
HITS OF 1954 – The Crew Cuts, Les Paul & Mary Ford, Dean Martin, Doris Day, Frankie Laine, Perry Como etc.. (52 tracks, 2 CDs) Memoir CDMOIR 590. Memoir collections are always enjoyable, thanks to the good taste of Gordon Gray (who compiles most of them), and the expert remastering of Ted Kendall. It’s incredible to think that some of the tracks here are now over 50 years old – especially when some of us can remember when they were originally released! There are only a few non-vocal items – Ebb Tide (Frank Chacksfield), Young at Heart (Billy May), Shadow Waltz (Nelson Riddle), Dream Dream Dream (Percy Faith), The Creep (Ken Mackintosh) and Skokiaan (Ralph Marterie).
David Ades Memoir CDs are available from the RFS Record Service, price £10 each plus postage and packing.
THE SHADOWS Platinum Collection (48 tracks, 2 CDs) EMI 334 9382. Perhaps not of interest to all readers, but with Christmas approaching this could be a present for an ageing Shadows fan. The set comes with a DVD featuring a live performance from the NEC, Birmingham, in 1986.
DON’T FORGET: Other new CDs are mentioned on our Light Music CDs page.
ROGER ROGER – The Magic of Roger Roger (4 CD box-set, CDs also available individually) Just A Smile GAL066, Pour vous madame GAL 067, Cityrama Galerie GAL 068, Newsreel / Actualites GAL 069. These CDs are available from the RFS Record Service, price £9 each plus p+p.A recent release earlier this year by French production music company Koka Media (part of BMG Zomba) on their Galerie label. The discs were released to mark the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the death of Roger Roger. If you buy all four CDs they come in an attractive CD box with an informative 14 page colour booklet. There are far too many tracks to list them all, with over an hour of music on each CD. Almost all the music was composed by Roger Roger apart from six tracks which were composed by Roger's son-in-law and childhood friend Nino Nardini. The recordings are taken from the Chappell archives. Unlike other production music CDs there are no 30 or 60 seconds cuts; all the tracks are full-length. Just A Smile - this is the definitive collection of Roger Roger's fun and light-hearted compositions: covering jaunty TV comedy themes, hilarious vaudeville and silent movie pastiche, kid's music, circus, music-hall, fairground, puppets and teddy bears! Pour Vous Madame - classic 50's latino, Hollwood glamour, romantic liaisons and seduction. Cityrama- swinging big band and full orchestral to beat combos; themes including ‘promenade’, ‘by night’ and ‘the city in motion’. These classic tracks remind the listener of how timeless the music of Roger Roger is. Much more than an historical snapshot of an era gone by, this collection portrays the talent of a fine composer whose work is as relevant and fresh today as it was on its first release. Newsreel / Actualites - These classic recordings come from the era of cinematic newsreel and early TV broadcasts. From serious political affairs to fun on the piste, and from heavy industry to exotic holidays. These Roger Roger compositions display his love of combining old and new instruments and styles to create unique soundscapes. Themes include sports, industry, history and conflicts. All these recordings were produced between 1954 and 1975. All the tracks have been digitally remastered, and the sound quality is superb. Each CD comes in an attractive fold out CD sleeve. A fine box-set for connoisseurs of Roger Roger's music; highly recommended.
Chris Landor These CDs are available from the RFS Record Service price £9 each plus postage and packing.
KATHY KIRBY – The Complete Collection Let Me Sing And I’m Happy, I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, Someone To Watch Over Me, I’ll Get By, Acapulco 1922, Following In Father’s Footsteps, Waiting For Robert E Lee, Bill, Happy Days And Lonely Nights, Who’s Sorry Now?, Can’t Help Loving That Man, If You Were The Only Boy In The World, The Man I Love, Miss Dynamite etc… (2 CDs, 38 tracks) Spectrum 9824795. I had forgotten how good a singer Kathy Kirby was. What a pity this Ambrose protégé’s personal problems brought her recording career to a premature end. Hearing these tracks in stereo for the first time I have been struck, too, by how terrific the arrangements are, particularly on the second disc. Although unaccredited in the liner notes, I understand the majority of them are likely to be either by Charles Blackwell or Ivor Raymonde, who were her musical directors. Most of Kathy’s best known tracks are here such as her first Top 20 smash Dance On and Secret Love that took her to the Top 5, both in 1963 ─ the year she won the title of Top British Female Singer in the NME reader’s poll. Then there is her Top 10 cover version of Theresa Brewer’s Let Me Go Lover, You’re The One, I Want To Be Happy, [All Of A Sudden] My Heart Sings, and the 1965 British Eurovision Song contest entry, I Belong. A number of great standards composed by the likes of Arlen, Rodgers and Youmans are also included. Both issues are budget priced [I found them at £3.49 a disc online] and both are rather special. Ideal stocking fillers, maybe?
SOUND OFF DIVISIONS – Band of HM Royal Marines / Captain R.P. Long Fanfare for a Festival (Arnold), The Middy, Army of the Nile, HM Jollies (Alford), Heart of Oak (Boyce), March and Air (Handel), Golden Spurs (Rhodes), Chimes of Liberty (Goldman), War on the Big Screen (arr Brown & Cunningham), Duke of York (arr Balfour), Cavalry of the Steppes (Knipper), Navy Blue (Brown), Sailing (Sutherland), The Melody Shop (King), Trafalgar (Zehle), Glorious Victory (Kendell), Will ye No Come Back Again, Auld Lang Syne (Trad), A Life on the Ocean Waves (Russell) (72:00) Chevron CHVCD 20. Several months ago BBC 2 screened the 1939 British film Sons of the Sea, made in colour and starring Leslie Banks, Kay Walsh and Cecil Parker. It deals with life at the Royal Naval College Dartmouth just before the Second World War, with a dangerous spy on the loose to boot! Much of the film appeared to have been made on location at and around the College and affords a fascinating insight into the style and presentation of Ceremonial Divisions held at this establishment in the late 1930s. The title of the film borrows from a popular song of the time which makes a number of appearances during ‘The Divisions’ sequences but alas sadly does not appear on this new release Sound off Divisions from Chevron. To compensate however we have Richard Baker, a former navy man himself, who gives a brief and succinct history of the Naval College and interjects from time to time to set the scene during the various key moments of the complete Naval Officers Passing In / Passing Out Parade. The musical compensations are considerable too, notably a trio of fine marches by English ‘March King’ Kenneth Alford and a particularly imposing slow march Golden Spurs by Sarah Rhodes, a distinguished DOM 1111 of the Scots Guards. War on the Big Screen takes its inspiration from such film classics as The Great Escape, 633 Squadron, Battle of Britain and The Dambusters. The rather unusual title of The Melody Shop is explained by the fact that the youthful composer Karl King dedicated the piece to the owners of the Powell Music Company. He went on to write many more marches with possibly Barnum and Bailey Favourite among the best known. Sailing - and this I hope will not raise too many hackles from his fans - is, I think, better played here by the Royal Marines than when sung by Rod Stewart! There are a number of intermittent shouted orders at various points in the ceremony, apparently recorded on the parade ground itself as there is a hint of an ambient background which helps foster a great sense of atmosphere and occasion. The specialist collector with a particular interest in the Royal Navy and its traditions and ceremonials will be readily attracted to this disc, whilst for the more general listener there is a veritable feast of great music simply to sit back and enjoy. In many ways this disc is a companion one to Passing In available on Clovelly CLCD 13604 - reviewed in JIM no. 164 p 83 - which focused on the various ceremonies relating to junior entrant rates. The recording as usual from this source is vivid and immediate and this is another home grown product for which the Royal Marines Band Service can feel justly proud.Roger Hyslop This CD is available at www.royalmarinesbands.co.uk or from Discurio, Unit 3, Faraday Way, St Mary Cray, Kent BR5 3QW. Tel/Fax: 01689 879101.
ENNIO MORRICONE – Soundtrack from La Casa Bruciata RAI Trade FRT 410. This terrific score for a 1998 TV thriller set in Brazil tells the story of a fearless priest who protects a child who has witnessed a murder. If you enjoyed Morricone's beautiful music to The Mission, you will love the score to La Casa Bruciata. This is one film music CD I can happily recommend to all RFS members. The CD runs for just over 46 minutes and features 14 tracks including the wonderful, powerful main theme. There are many other exciting melodic themes on this CD. The music on this CD is beautiful, melodic, uptempo and exciting. I’ve been enjoying it so much I just can't stop playing the CD at every opportunity! Highly recommended. Unlike other soundtrack CDs where you frequently get just one main theme and endless variations La Casa Bruciata features many different melodic themes.
Chris Landor This CD is available at £10.95 from First Contact Records, 31 Veronica Road, London SW17 8QL. Tel 020 8675 4733 and online at www.firstcontactrecords.com.
THE PALM COURT ORCHESTRA / Charles Job – Grand Hotel Secrets, The Lost Chord, Silverheels, Idylle, Fascination, Folies Bergeres, Kashmiri Song, Narcissus, Wedgewood Blue, Hetty Wainthropp Theme, Serenade Pasionnee, etc… 19 tracks (71:36) Canada CD003. In British Columbia Charles Job and his talented musicians are fast becoming something of a musical institution, and the fact that their CDs are reaching a wider audience is certainly doing no harm to their hard-earned reputation. Their latest offering boasts several top composers who will need no introduction to admirers of the kind of music associated with the ‘Palm Court’ style – among them Charles Ancliffe, Arthur Sullivan, Edward Elgar, Paul Lincke, Albert Ketèlbey, Rudolf Friml and Percy Fletcher. There is much to admire in this recent release, and the playing is well up to this ensemble’s usual high standards, which is praise indeed. Nodding towards more recent offerings is Nigel Hess’s theme music for the Hetty Wainthropp TV series, which I gather has received the composer’s own seal of approval. But the balance is firmly in favour of the kind of genteel music favoured during the early years of the last century, and it would be hard to find a more satisfying release than this among recent CD offerings.
David Ades This CD is available from the RFS Record Service for £9 [US $18] plus p+p.
TUBBY HAYES – On the air 13 tracks (50:36) Harkit Records HRKCD8156. Tubby would have been seventy this year. He was a leading light on the jazz scene in the sixties (I fondly remember him from the smoke-filled atmosphere of Ronnie Scott's first jazz club) These thirteen tracks are picked from broadcasts never before released. Tubby plays tenor, flute and vibraphone. Gordon Beck plays piano, Jeff Clyne is on Bass and Johnny Butts plays drums. Tubby's blues and In the night are originals composed by Tubby. Elsewhere a well-produced selection of popular songs including A taste of honey, Speak low, The more I see you, Bye bye blackbird and Time after time. Tubby's vibes playing is well featured on this CD. He joked "I sometimes wish I had never started playing vibes! I lug the bloody thing around, set up and then play sax all night! Hearing his vibe playing you would never know he was self taught; excellent! On most of Tubby's recordings he blew the competition away; here he is in a more relaxed mood but he still enthralls.
Royal Scottish National Orchestra / David Lloyd-Jones – SIR ARNOLD BAX Tintagel, Garden of Fand, Happy Forest, The Tale the Pine Trees Knew, November Woods (74:11) Naxos 8557599. Naxos appear to be repackaging a number of performances that have previously appeared on the Naxos and/or Marco Polo labels, but to be fair to them the fact is usually stated in the notes. Of course, if you have already purchased ‘on spec’ you could get caught out, but hopefully keen collectors of a particular artist or composer will always check first before adding fresh releases on the same label. In this particular case, these symphonic or ‘tone’ poems were recorded between 1995 and 2002, and together they form an attractive package of some of the composer’s most popular works. If you have yet to discover the beauty of Bax’s writing, this could be the ideal introduction for you.
David Ades Please note that Naxos have recently increased the price of their CDs by 20%.
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra / Alan Barlow – THIS ENGLAND Elgar – Serenade for Strings; Delius – Irmelin prelude, Two Pieces for Small Orchestra; Holst – St Paul’s Suite, Brook Green Suite; Warlock – Capriol suite (64:02) Sanctuary Resonance CD RSN 3049. There are times when I envy young people; they still have their lifetimes ahead of them, and one of the glories they will discover (should they choose) will be a whole world of marvellous music. Many of us can remember the excitement we felt the first time that we heard some of the works in this collection. Perhaps some readers may still be unfamiliar with a few of them. Incredibly there are people who are completely unmoved by music … how sad I feel for them! Like the Bax CD mentioned previously, these recordings have been around for some while; it’s good to know that they are available once again.
LALO SCHIFRIN – Les Felins (34:50) Aleph Records 031. Lalo's sound track for Rene Clements’ film contained the seeds of Dirty Harry, Bullitt and Enter the Dragon (his words). The main title music illustrates this description with some force; an underlying sense of foreboding and menace in its makeup. Sweeter sounds are used on Searching and Detecting but still mixed with suspense. Lalo was handed the completed film before writing, which took him two months, time well spent! I never saw the film but the music is so descriptive I feel I have! The pizzicato opening of Mediterranean chase is light music at its finest. The production is tasty and highly varied.
PERCY FAITH - The Oscar Soundtrack Collectables COL-CD-7815. Thirteen mostly up-beat tracks composed and conducted by the man himself that stand up well away from the action of the movie. Titles include Swingin’ Village, Mexican Hoedown, Tijuana Tourists, and Posh Party. A bonus is a version of Song from The Oscar [Maybe September] by Tony Bennett. The Maestro’s music was generally regarded as more memorable than the movie which was described by one critic as "a picture that attains a perfection of ineptitude quite beyond the power of words to describe". But at just under 34 minutes the CD is disgracefully short measure – not the usual 2-on-1 from this label; more like ½-on-1. It will have to do, though, for Faith aficionados who are still awaiting Columbia Singles Volume 3. Now that is worth getting excited about.
ASPIDISTRA DRAWING ROOM ORCHESTRA – The Best of Palm Court Softly, Unawares!, El Saludo, Czardas, Melodie d’Amour, Nights of Gladness, Whispering, Indianola etc... Too Beautiful for Words Down South, The Billy Pssum’s Frolic, Ragamuffin, The Valley of Poppies, Silverheels, In a Persian Market, Bal Masqué etc... Both CDs available direct from The Aspidistra Drawing Room Orchestra, Cardinal’s Wharf, 49 Bankside, London SE1 9JE, email . Price £10 for one CD, £15 for both, plus £1.20 p+p. Cheques payable to the Aspidistra Drawing Room Orchestra.Two splendid discs from one of the few remaining ‘Palm Court’ ensembles, including a selection of light-classical and lighter music in finely balanced chamber arrangements. The orchestra consists of piano, three violins, viola, cello, flute and oboe/cor anglais, producing an ambience perfect for the atmosphere of Imperial tea-time elegance. Personally I miss a little brass, percussion and a bass (the piano struggles on its own), and yet this is part of the ensemble’s unobtrusive quality. The playing is sensitive and the melodies beautiful. I think this kind of music should be experienced live and in context rather than on disc.
STANLEY BLACK, His Piano and Orchestra – Digital Magic Chiquitita, California Suite, Theme from ‘Bilitis’, Tomorrow from ‘Annie’, Just when I Need You Most, Rise, Here’s that Rainy Day, Theme from ‘The Deerhunter’, Theme from ‘The Way we Were’, I Will Survive. Vocalion CDLF 8119. Although the title is perhaps a little misleading, this is a good mix of music highlighting Stanley Black’s intensely colourful arrangements and individual mastery of the piano.
CHERYL BENTYNE – Let me off uptown (48:34) Telarc Jazz CD-83606. Cheryl used to be part of the supergroup Manhattan Transfer. Here she goes solo on songs made famous by Anita O'Day. She gets wonderful arrangements from Bill Holman on three tracks, using his Mighty little Big Hornscomprising of Bob Summers, Carl Saunders, Chris Tedesco and Jack Sheldon (trumpets), Bob McChesney (trombone), and Lanny Morgan, Pete Christlieb and Bob Efford (saxes). Jack Sheldon duets on the title track taking on Roy Eldridge’s original part with Anita. Corey Alien (who arranged the remaining tracks) and Cheryl and Bill Holman listened to almost every O'Day record before choosing the songs, so no duds here! Let’s face the music and dance has Larry Koonse on guitar joining in on the fun. Man with a horn displays Jack Sheldon's virtuosity on a ballad. Boogie blues is a joyous romp and a real mover scored by Bill Holman. If you have the original Anita O'Day recordings there are some interesting comparisons to be made; these are very effective remakes.
EDMUNDO ROS in Concert Brazil, I Adore You, El Gallo, Night of Adventure, Co Co Seco, London is the Place for Me, El Gato Montes, How Insensitive, Pancho de Bull, Yes Teacher, Alma Llanera, The Coffee Song. Vocalion CDLF 8121. If anyone is looking for a first Ros album to buy, this would be a splendid start. A good mix of the classics and the less-familiar, this was recorded live in Monaco in 1972. The recording quality is intimate and there is no obtrusive audience noise.
There are some splendid new CDs among the October releases from Mike Dutton’s labels:
EDWARD GERMAN Symphony no.1 in E minor; Overture – The Tempter; Prelude – Romeo and Juliet; Hamlet – Symphonic Poem; The Willow Song BBC Concert Orchestra (John Wilson), Cynthia Fleming (leader) Recorded at The Colosseum, Town Hall, Watford, 24-25 May 2005, Epoch CDLX 7156
MONTAGUE PHILLIPS VOLUME 2 Festival Overture (‘In Praise of my Country’) op.71, Hillside Melody op.40, Hampton Court op.76*, Phantasy for violin & orchestra op.16, Charles II Overture op.60, In Old Verona: a serenade for strings, In May Time op.38, Empire March op.68 BBC Concert Orchestra (Gavin Sutherland), Matthew Trusler (violin), World premiere recordings, except* Recorded at The Colosseum, Town Hall, Watford, 3-4 August 2005, Epoch CDLX 7158
RICHARD TAUBER • INTERMEZZO Vienna city of my dreams, Let me awaken your heart, My heart and I, Serenade from The Student Prince, Roses of Picardy, Can I forget you, The English Rose, One day when we were young, I’m in love with Vienna, Don’t be cross, Only a rose, One alone, My hero, Come back my love, Intermezzo, Ideale, Long ago and far away, We’ll gather lilacs, Au revoir (J'attendrai), Pedro the fisherman, Love lost for evermore, My curly headed baby (in German), The song is done (in German), Good-bye (in German) Recorded in the 1930s and ’40s CDVS 1910
LEONARD BERNSTEIN CONDUCTS BERNSTEIN Facsimile A Choreographic Essay RCA Victor Orchestra (Leonard Bernstein); On the Town Ballet Music "On the Town" Orchestra (Leonard Bernstein); Jeremiah Symphony with Nan Merriman (mezzo-soprano) St Louis Symphony Orchestra (Leonard Bernstein); Ravel Concerto for Piano & Orchestra Philharmonia Orchestra (Leonard Bernstein). Recorded in the 1940s CDBP 9758
ORCHESTRAL JEWELS • THE COMPOSERS CONDUCT Wolf-Ferrari The Jewels of the Madonna: Act III Intermezzo, The Secret of Suzanne: Overture The Four Peasants: Act II Intermezzo, The Curious Women: Minuet and Furlana Recorded in 1947 Zürich Tonhalle Orchestra (Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari); Straus From Strauss to Straus: Selection, The Waltz Dream: Overture, The Chocolate Soldier Recorded in 1947 The New Symphony Orchestra (Oscar Straus); Scott-Wood Serenade to Evening Arthur Dulay (piano), London Caprice Recorded 1949 The New Promenade Orchestra (George Scott-Wood); Wildman Vienna Concerto Jacqueline Blanchard (piano) Recorded 1949 L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (Charles Wildman) CDBP 9760
THE ART OF CONSTANT LAMBERT A CENTENARY TRIBUTE Bliss Miracle in the Gorbals 1946 Royal Opera House Orchestra (Constant Lambert); Gordon The Rake’s Progress 1945 The British Ballet Orchestra (Constant Lambert); Lambert Music for Orchestra 1948 Philharmonia Orchestra (Constant Lambert); Walton Façade excerpts 1929 Edith Sitwell; Constant Lambert Ensemble (William Walton) CDBP 9761
CHRISTMAS WITH RONNIE ALDRICH White Christmas, Let It Snow, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Winter Wonderland, Silver Bells, Toyland, Sleigh Ride, The Christmas Song, I’ll Be Home for Christmas, By the Fireside, Count Your Blessings, The Christmas Waltz. Ronnie Aldrich, piano with the Strings of the London festival Orchestra Vocalion CDLF 8126.