Keeping Track - Dateline October 2006
THE GREATEST GIFT IS LOVE - Mantovani and his Orchestra The Greatest Gift, Solitude, Sing, Cool Summer Evening, The Day Of The Locust, The Entertainer, Send In The Clowns, Love Song "The Freak", She, selections from Oliver!, Once In A Lifetime, Gonna Build A Mountain, I Wanna Be Rich, What Kind Of Fool Am I?... (77.15) Vocalion CDLK 4324. The first album, well thought of sonically by Mike Dutton, was Monty’s last original LP – recorded in Paris with French musicians during May and June 1975. In his brilliant biography of Mantovani [Melrose Books], Colin Mackenzie tells us that Monty showed signs of being unwell during the recordings and had help from Roland Shaw to finalise the album which, as well as being theologically correct, includes some beautiful sounds and is indeed a fitting climax to a lifetime in music. The Aznavour and Legrand tunes inevitably conjure up images of the French capital; Locust is one of John Barry’s many film themes; Cool was Monty’s final composition, and among his best; Charlie Chaplin’s Love Song from his proposed film The Freak proves again that his music is underrated. And what an enchantingly evocative melody Sondheim’sClowns is. The second album is a 1962 release recorded for American ears only. Again, Mr Mackenzie tells us that a third medley, from Irma La Douce, recorded at the same time was not released. Pity, because I much enjoyed what we have here: two seamless suites from David Merrick produced British musicals of the day. The Bart score has remained a firm favourite down the years, and it makes a nice change [especially if you have young grandchildren] to hear the music divorced from the film. Both selections demonstrate once again that Monty was not just about strings alone as all sections of his accomplished orchestra are involved, with a special mention for the trumpeter onGonna Build A Mountain. Peter Burt
A GREENWICH BANDSTAND - Royal Artillery Band/Lt. Col. Malcolm Torrent March: Trafalgar(Zehle), Greensleeves (Trad/arr Reed), Folk Festival from the film The Gadfly (Shostakovich/Hunsberger), The Love of My Life (McPherson/G Bragg), Shepherd’s Song (Trad/Goff Richards), Marche Militaire (Marche la Ronde) (Gounod/Trevor Sharpe), The Joyful Skeleton (W G Lemon/W Duthoit), March: Prodana Nevesta (The Bartered Bride) (Smetana/Zavertal)... (76:01) Specialist Recording Company SRC124.The latest in the excellent ‘Bandstand’ series from the Specialist Recording Company visits Greenwich with its rich, naval heritage and thus it’s hardly surprising that the contents reflects something of this nautical dimension. Particularly welcome is the inclusion of John Ansell’s ‘other’ maritime overture The Windjammer receiving a rare stereo recording in which the composer makes effective use of the famous traditional sea shantyShenadoah. Philip Sparke is a much respected and admired figure in wind and brass band circles having written a considerable corpus of works for these ensembles. On this disc we can sample both an exhilarating ride on the Orient Express accompanied by suitable train noises and be transported north of the border for the opening movement Andross Castle from the Hymn of the Highlands suite which is based on the haunting atmospheric and well known melody Highland Cathedral. Jazz enthusiasts amongst us will be well served with a flawless and stylish account of Artie Shaw’sConcerto for Clarinet which, as Lt Col Malcolm Torrent mentions in the CD booklet, was featured in the 1940 film ‘Second Chorus’ starring Fred Astaire. The soloist is Sergeant Ben Woodgate and his proficiency on the clarinet is surely ample testament to the high standards achieved by our military musicians these days. Of the remaining items on this imaginatively planned anthology it is refreshing to have such pieces as the Folk Festival from the film The Gadfly (rather than the somewhat over played Romance) and the stirring Fantasy of British Sea Songs by former Royal Artillery bandsman Gordon Langford. Langford made his first broadcast with the band as solo pianist in 1951. It would be extremely amiss of me to conclude this review without a reference to Robert Farnon’s State Occasionwhich is always a popular march with military bands and it receives here a truly resplendent performance — one of the best I’ve ever heard. With SRC’s usual vivid and well detailed recording, made in Woolwich Town Hall, there is plenty of contrast in the style and mood of the music on this disc, with predictably fine and outstanding playing throughout by the band. This CD makes for a very satisfying and absorbing aural experience — I thoroughly recommended to all with enthusiasm.Roger Hyslop
ENGLISH STRING MINIATURES Volume 5 - Royal Ballet Sinfonia/Gavin Sutherland Suite for Timothy (Pamela Harrison), Renaissance Suite (Francis Chagrin), Folksong and Fiddle Dance (Percy Fletcher), Suite Navarraise (Paul Lewis), Giocoso (Albert Cazabon), Three Pieces arr. Humphrey Searle (Thomas Roseingrave), Downland Suite arr. Geoffrey Bush (John Ireland). Naxos 8.557752. By now we know what to expect from the Philip Lane/Gavin Sutherland partnership and this CD is no exception - delightfully tuneful light music from lesser-known composers who, in some cases were better-known for other musical genres or, in other cases not known at all. Only one way to find out about their music. Buy it! Edmund Whitehouse
GREAT FILM FANTASIES - Cincinnati Pops Orchestra/Erich Kunzel Including music from Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings... (61:48) Telarc CD-80664. Jeff Hall territory, really, but you can’t have too much of a good thing – and this is good. There are ten tracks from John Williams’ Star Wars, three from his Harry Potter and three from Howard Shore’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. If not exactly classical music [Classic FM, please note] it is classic film music and is certainly big on sound. The Main Theme from ‘Star Wars – A New Hope’ is still the star track in my opinion, although the jollyCantina Band from the same episode is one of those pieces one constantly replays. The booklet notes tell us that Erich Kunzel is the most successful Billboard classical crossover recording artist in history; this is his 82nd album with the Pops orchestra. The Telarc sonics are, as ever, almost worth buying the CD for. Peter Burt
BALLAD ESSENTIALS - Gene Harris Concord Jazz CCD-2170-2. (67:00). Made up of carefully chosen selections, this collection from the Concord catalogue of the 1989-1997 era provides a very welcome introduction to the great Gene Harris, a vastly underrated jazz pianist. His style is an engaging mix of funk with charismatic class. Sweet And Lovely explains this reasoning with a solid bass line by Ray Brown while Harris plays an elegantly modern styling of this classic song. Others in this quietly lyrical album include a misty This Masquerade with a great solo by guitarist Ron Eschete and a heart rending playing of That’s All which is another fine example of how hypnotic Gene Harris could be when he sat down at the piano. Ron Eschete is again finely lyrical as spun silk on this number. Together they lead the group in a swinging finale that defies words. Amidst these fine performers, there are some guests like Scott Hamilton on tenor in a gorgeous rendition of At Lastwith just Harris on piano. The late Jack McDuff is here on his Hammond B-3 organ, contributing an interesting contrast with Harris’ piano as they trade phrases back and forth. Although a great album for letter writing, this is also a much deeper album full of great feeling which were a highlight of Gene Harris’ artistry. Richard Jessen
ARRIBA/BONGOS FROM THE SOUTH - Edmundo Ros and his orchestra Vocalion. CDLK 4313. Another excellent release, 24 tracks all excellent and all standards; those that stand out are Siboney, Holiday for Strings and of course Brazil, great stuff but what is interesting is that there are two recordings of In a Little Spanish Town, one of which is 2:02 and the other 2:45 but I for one cannot tell the difference. I was hoping for some new releases of orchestras like Stanley Black but will have to be patient. At around £10 Vocalion recordings are exceptional value for money. Alec Hellyer
SINGS HER WONDERFUL SONGS - Rosemary Clooney 20 original recordings for under £3! (55.51) Disky SI 903626. Come On-A My House, Botch-A-Me, Hey There, Mambo Italiano, Wish I Wuz, Tenderly are all here. This Ole House should be but, although listed, has somehow been replaced by If I Loved You Half As Much. Guy Mitchell duets on You’re Just In Love and Rosie is joined on Too Old To Cut The Mustard by the great Marlene Dietrich. Another great, Percy Faith is credited on two tracks, Who Kissed Me Last Night and Mixed Emotions, that would have benefited from Alan Bunting’s audio attention. None the less something of a super bargain. Peter Burt
THE DIRECTOR’S CHOICE - Band of the Blues and Royals (Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons)/Major D. D. Robertson The Watch Tower (Herze), Action Front (Blankenburg),Glorious Victory (Kendall), Machine Gun Guards (Marechal, The Standard of St George (Alford),: Wellington (Zehle)... (77:00) Specialist Recording Company SRC 151. This impressive assemblage of parade marches with a satisfying blend of the familiar and less familiar promises to be the first volume in a new series by the Specialist Recording Company, whereby a band’s Director of Music is tasked with making his own personal selection of marches. On this new release they vary in mood from the ebullient General Mitchell to the rather more sombre strains of The Vanished Army. Of the Alford pieces, Eagle Squadron was the last march to flow from the pen of this talented man, appearing in 1942 and saluting the American pilots who joined the RAF in 1940, a year before the USA entered the Second World War. Interestingly and coincidentally, also in 1942 a feature film was released in the UK bearing the same title as Alford’s march, depicting American flyers who join the RAF, based on a story by the well-known Hornblower novelist C. S. Forester. Other attractions on this new disc include a bracing On the Square by the ‘March King’ of Pittsburg, Frank Panella, whilst Hermann Starke provides an irrepressible, foot-tapping example of the Parade March. The strains of Thomas Bidgood’s The British Legion will be instantly familiar to any of us who watch the annual televised Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance from the Royal Albert Hall, as this piece is invariably played during the muster of Standards at the beginning of this moving and poignant ceremony. The composer Lloyd Thomas appears to have been a somewhat shadowy figure and Major Robertson in the informative booklet notes comments that little information appears to exist about Thomas other than the fact that he frequently recorded for the Regal Zonophone label in the 1930s, playing on the mighty Wurlitzer organ in the Granada Cinema, Tooting. I wonder whether any of our readers can supply further information on this composer/performer? In sum, those with a zest for exhilarating, tuneful and stirring music splendidly realised by the Blues and Royals, and with vivid, well-balanced recording, produced at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, will be well rewarded here. If the excellence of this first in the series is anything to go by this promises to be an exciting, outstanding, and landmark contribution to the art of military music discography. Roger Hyslop
WEST COAST VIBES - Roy Ayers Sound And Sense, Days Of Wine And Roses, Reggie Of Chester, It Could Happen To You, Donna Lee, Ricardo’s Dilemma... (51:01) EMI MQP1107. Being a fan of big bands means small group jazz does not often feature on my wants list! Roy is an exception! I like to think I have most of his recordings. He has gained most fame as a purveyor of quality soul music but his early career was in jazz, influenced by his father (trombone) and mother (piano). At a very early age he was given a set of vibes by Lionel Hampton who was very impressed with his talent. In the early 1960s he joined Curtis Amy’s group. This recording was the first under his own name, backed by a three-piece rhythm section and supported by his mentor Curtis Amy on tenor and soprano sax. Two titles self-written, others by Benny Golsen, Charlie Parker, Leonard Feather, Theolonious Monk and pianist Jack Wilson. Roy has a rare feel for ballads, well displayed here. The group do not add much to the jazz regulars but unless you have the original issue this is well worth investigating. Two tracks have been added recorded the previous year when Roy was a member of the Vi Redd group.Paul Clatworthy
UPTOWN ELEGANCE - Joe Negri Featuring arrangements by Dr. John Wilson Including Sweet And Lovely; It’s A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood; The Best Thing For You... (52:11). MCDJ-1015. This CD is definitely one which comes under the heading of a nourishing meal and a half! With scores evenly divided between a big band and small group, Joe Negri has another fabulous CD with great charts by Dr. John Wilson. Starting off with a big band swinger Sweet And Lovely, Negri displays the quietly hard driving swinging style which is his alone. The big band backing him is hot and really cooking. Making unorthodox charts for How My Heart Sings and A Weaver Of Dreams, trombones provide a dark cushion for Negri’s gently flowing performance, full of light and sunshine. And it’s always a wonderful day when we hear Negri’s spirited playing of the famous Fred Roger’s song It’s a Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood. The two Duke Ellington offerings (Solitude and Caravan) are worth mentioning for the fresh treatment each gets, especially Solitude which in Negri’s hands becomes a beautifully swaying bossa nova. Nina’s Smile spotlights Negri’s lyrical abilities in this tenderly reflective work. And after this handsome feast we get a desert: jazz clarinettist extraordinaire Buddy DeFranco and vibist Terry Gibbs come on board for a rousing conclusion with the small group for Blues For Brody. Both DeFranco and Gibbs are in excellent form as is Negri who plays magnificently throughout. The big band charts remind one of the Alvino Rey big band of the middle 1940's. Which is enough incentive to buy this sparkling recording. Richard Jessen
THE LATIN SPLENDOUR OF…/ON THE MOVE - Werner Muller and his Orchestra Vocalion CDLK 4303. 26 tracks of which 12 are standards which have been recorded many times and none of which are new to me. But when it comes to the second 13 that is different as several are new to me and while I like the sound it is not as big as I expected. The version of my all-time favourite Brazil is some 6 seconds shorter than the Edmundo Ros version on his new album. While I would most certainly buy another Muller album it is not a must for me, which is certainly not the case with Edmundo Ros. Alec Hellyer
KOGA MELODIES/RYOICHI HATTORI MELODIES - Percy Faith and his Orchestra 24 tracks(69:21) Taragon TARCD-1106. These must be two of the rarest LPs ever to make it onto CD. Not only have they not been on CD before, they have never been issued in any format either in the US or UK. They were recorded in the 1970s especially for the Japanese market. Masao Koga [1904-1978] was Japan’s most popular song composer and Ryoichi Hattori [1907- 1993] was also highly regarded in his native land for, among other things, his film music. Maestro Faith has taken a dozen each of their compositions and arranged them in his customary immaculate style. Alan Bunting, who has compiled the CD, was a prime mover behind its release and relates in his liner notes how Hattori was stunned at the complexity and richness that Percy brought to his work. The re-mastered sound is of the high quality for which the American company Taragon is renowned. This is a beautiful disc which, given its provenance, should be a prime purchase for every Faith aficionado. Peter Burt
MARCHES AND CEREMONIAL Authentic sound recordings from the last century CARLIN CAS 029. This recent 2-CD set from Carlin Production Music offers an astonishing array of marches of all kinds. Just a few are familiar (such as American anthems) but the rest are seemingly from a variety of sources and cultures which enthusiasts of this kind of music should find intriguing. It’s fun to sample in small batches, and the catalogue number will alert collectors to the fact that this archive series from Carlin has now built up to an impressive body of repertoire spanning many different moods. David Ades Carlin CDs are only available from the RFS Record Service.
TO LOVE AGAIN - Chris Botti with the London Sessions Orchestra Various singers including: Sting (Embraceable You), Paula Cole (My One And Only Love), Michael Buble (Let There Be Love), Gladys Knight (Lover Man), Paul Buchanan (Are You Lonesome Tonight?)... (59:45) Columbia 826 7677 5052. As with his previous CD Chris employs top class arrangers and musicians. An amalgam of lyricism and stirring exploration, all the musicians impress individually and as a unit, again a cross of jazz and soul music, very hard to categorise. Jeremy Lubbock’s string writing is spellbinding, only one track let down by a weak vocal. Chris’s pianist Billy Child’s writes the Gill Evans ‘Chug’ intoPennies from Heaven. Greg Phillingans arrangement and Fender Rhodes playing on Good Morning Heartache provides real competition. Chris and his eloquent trumpet soloing has set a winning formula. I hope he keeps them coming! Paul Clatworthy
AFTERNOON IN RIO Joe Negri with Kim Nazarian, Duduka Dafonseca, Marty Ashby, Dwayne Dolphin, Jay Ashby O Grande Amor, Modinha, Red On Red, Lush Life... (40:55) Jazz MCG-1004. If difficulties arise in purchasing this CD, write to: Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, 1815 Metropolitan Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15233 or visit ww.mcgjazz.org. For those of you who may already know, Joe Negri was known to millions of children as Handyman Negri, working alongside Fred Rogers on the popular PBS show Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. What many haven’t known until recently that he is also a great jazz artist of the first rank. Starting off with Jobim’s O Grande Amor showcases Negri’s lyrical bent with this time honoured bossa nova classic. Kim Nazarian’s clear, vibrant voice comes over beautifully in her duet with trombonist Jay Ashby’s husky vocals. Above it all, Negri rides a high octane flying solo that’s so full of pulsing life. Nazarian is heard to excellent advantage onModinha with Negri’s deeply felt playing on his solo. Jay Ashby plays a great trombone solo during "Red On Red," interacting with Negri as well having more than enough room to stretch as a performer. Negri plays with a quietly driving energy that keeps everyone moving. And just in case you were wondering, Billy Strayhorn’s Lush Life does work as a bossa nova, with a long introduction by Negri alone before settling into the beat with strong yet light support by Duduka DaFonseca on drums. This is simply a magnificent set, short though it may be. It proves that Joe Negri is one great artist. Richard Jessen
ON THE HOLLYWOOD SOUND STAGE - Johnny Green and the MGM Studio Orchestra High society overture, Lili excerpts, Heather On The Hill, Silk Stockings, Glass Slipper, Barretts Of Wimpole Street... (77:48) Frank Bristow FBCD145. A wonderful selection comprising MGM soundtracks and studio recordings from the early 1950s, some of which I haven’t heard for years. One of these isSunday Jumps which I had on a 78 (backed with Fred Astaire’s Every Night at Seven which recalls Fred’s dance with a hat rack and gymnasium equipment...). Another is Serenade for a New Babywhich Marge & Gower Champion did in Everything I have is Yours, and which I remember because it came along at exactly the same time as our new baby. Other soundtracks of the musicals are self-evident, but what might not be so obvious are the dramatic scores by such as Bronislau Kaper (though his Invitation is a latter-day classic), Miklos Rozsa, Herbert Stothart and, of course, Green himself. But I don’t think that at this stage we need another An American in Paris as heavily re-edited by Green and Saul Chaplin to fit the screen action. This is a valuable contribution by the estimable Frank Bristow to the ever-growing library of orchestral music. Arthur Jackson
STRIKE UP THE BAND! - Band of the Royal Swedish Air Force/Jerker Johansson Wind Band Classics Series - Including Florentine March, Entry Of The Gladiators (Fucik), March Of The Toys(Alford), Anchors Aweigh (Zimmerman), Under The Double Eagle (J.F.Wagner), Military March No.1(Schubert)... (77:00) Naxos 8.557545. this latest new arrival from Naxos, described as ‘marches from around the world’, is a generously filled disc mainly of popular parade marches but with several less predictable choices. Thus included here are such famous and renowned personages as The Dambusters, whose outer sections are rather too briskly done, Old Comrades and the redoubtableColonel Bogey. The more unexpected items come in the form of Johann Schrammel’s Vienna will always be Vienna, reminiscent of the style of Johann Strauss, whilst Kurt Noaks’ Brownies’ Guard Parade, apparently his one big hit, is a real charmer. Semyon Tchernevsky is not widely known but in his own country is regarded as the Russian Sousa; his march Salute to Moscow is one of his most popular, and it begins with a quotation from Moscow Radio’s interval signal. Gounod’s engagingFuneral March of a Marionette, made famous by Alfred Hitchcock, is beautifully done, and who could not respond to Johannes Hansson’s infectuously tuneful Valdres March, described by composer Ole Olsen as the finest march he had ever heard? This thoroughly exhilarating and enthralling disc is rounded off to splendid effect with Paul Lincke’s exultant and joyous march The Air in Berlin (Berliner Luft ) which originally featured in the composer’s musical Frau Luna and was so successful that he used it again in a 1906 musical which was itself named Berliner Luft. The band of the Royal Swedish Air Force had some unlikely roots when in 1905 some employees of the Gothenburg Tramways Company started a brass sextet which gradually developed to become a fully fledged band owned by the company which, not unreasonably, expected the musicians to serve as tram drivers! From 1992 the name was changed to Goteborgs Musiken and since then has become a fully professional ensemble. Five years on it was commissioned to perform as required at ceremonial events as the Band of the Royal Swedish Air Force. Certainly on the evidence of this new disc there is more than ample evidence of their technical prowess producing a full sound with consistently spot-on intonation. As this impressive new release ticks all the right boxes – generous playing time, super-budget price, superb sound and high technical accomplishment, it earns an automatic recommendation. Rest assured you do not have to be a military band ‘junkie’ to obtain considerable pleasure and satisfaction from this thrilling disc! Roger Hyslop
TOUCHDOWN! - Percy Faith and his Orchestra Mr Touchdown, U.S.A., On, Brave Old Army Team!, Anchors Aweigh, Far Above Cayuga’s Waters, Fight On, Pennsylvania, The Olive And the Blue... 19 tracks. Taragon TARCD-1105. This is a fun and immensely enjoyable CD. It comprises American football songs of the ‘50s performed by Percy’s brass players and a male chorus. I am not surprised to learn that the originals were extensively used by many radio stations for intros to shows about or broadcasts of football games. I don’t suppose it will sell in great numbers outside the US – and even there 32 minutes might be considered short measure. But if like some Faith fans you buy everything he recorded, then you won’t be disappointed by this. Peter Burt
JAZZ/CONCORD/SEVEN COME ELEVEN - Herb Ellis with Joe Pass, Ray Brown, Jake HannaLook for the Silver Lining, Happiness is the Concord Jazz Festival, In a Mellow Tone, Seven Come Eleven... (78:58) Concord Jazz CCD2-2168-2. This CD set contains the very first performances recorded by Concord Records in 1973 and 1974 respectively. And what performers! When one has Herb Ellis and Joe Pass on guitars with Ray Brown on bass and Jake Hanna on drums, the experience is one which few people will ever want to leave out of their jazz collections. With an exquisite beginning played by Joe Pass, Look for the Silver Lining leads off the first CD Jazz/Concord with an eloquence seldom heard either live or recorded. Stuffy shows off the group’s cohesiveness whileGeorgia brilliantly displays the different characteristics of Pass and Ellis: the former with his bright, cleanly articulated playing while Ellis is a softer edged yet edgy attitude to his playing. The second disc Seven Come Eleven is a live 1974 performance at the Concord Summer Festival which Carl Jefferson, the Festivals’ president and general manager, sets the tone with a terse, "Have a good time and listen to some fine guitar interplay." An understatement if there ever is one! The first three tracks alone demonstrate what great performances come out of the Ellis-Pass Duo. There is some fine gelling between these two gentlemen on In a Mellow Tone with a delicious solo played by the world’s finest bass player, Ray Brown. But mellow, it’s not, with a fine driving beat. The title track,Seven Come Eleven is literally fireworks on the frets with Ellis, Pass, and Ray Brown burning it up with fiery solos and tight group work. Jake Hanna spurs everyone on with a quietly driving force. This essential classic is available in various formats. However, this two disc set is the best as the sound is clear with a fine sense of stage presence. Don’t miss it! Richard Jessen
HALL OF FAME Volume 2 - Various Artists Hard on the heels of Vol 1 of The Hall of Fame (GUILD GLCD5120 – JIM 168) comes its new companion – Vol II (GUILD GLCD5124). Once again we are presented with a compilation which, on its own admission, "mixes the familiar with – occasionally – the unknown". The disc opens with a version of Zes Confrey’s Dizzy Fingers by Percy Faith, which makes use of a small choir (billed as ‘The Magic Voices’), using a vocalese style which also became popular with other British and American orchestras during the ’50s. Another notable inclusion isPossession (from Harry Revel’s Perfume Set To Music) by the Les Baxter Orchestra, which features the electronic music instrument known as the "Theremin"; this track was discovered by our US-based RFS member Enrique Renard. Also worthy of special mention is the amazing Angela Morley arrangement of Victor Herbert’s March Of The Toys, performed by the Geraldo Tip Top Tunes Orchestra, which dates from 1949 – you’ve never heard it like this before! Whilst the majority of tracks are taken from commercial (USA and UK) sources, some publishers’ recordings have been included, providing an interesting contrast to the former. The featured composer this time is none other than the late lamented Leonard Charles Trebilco. Writing under the name of Steve Bretton as well as his usual pseudonym of Trevor Duncan he is accorded the honour of four tracks, including of course High Heels and Grand Vista (the famous Pearl and Dean theme). This is a carefully chosen programme which, aided by a particularly satisfying sound quality, will give a great deal of pleasure.Tony Clayden
CHILDHOOD MEMORIES - Various Artists The second new Guild Music offering brings the current total in the series to twenty-five – a quite remarkable achievement on the part of all concerned – and for me is a real winner. Although the title "Childhood Memories" (GLCD 5125) is a reference to the names of the various compositions which all have children’s connotations, a number of the pieces themselves evoke powerful memories of my own childhood. As described in Peter Luck’s excellent article on BBC Television Newsreel (also in JIM 168), the Corporation introduced a spinoff – BBC Children’s Television Newsreel – in 1950. I watched this regularly from the beginning; we had acquired our first TV during 1948. At least three of the tracks were often used behind the newsreel stories – Playbox (F. Charrosin), Toy Town Parade (A. Ferraris) and a piece I have waited more than fifty years to hear once again – one of the movements (Marbles) from Joseph Engleman’s delightfulChildren’s Playtime Suite. Unfortunately, the correct order of the four movements has not been followed on the CD (Ring O’Roses should be placed first, not last; the other three are as the composer intended), and I am grateful to RFS member David Mardon for providing this information. A probable fourth contender is Angela Morley’s Tinkerbell, which I am pretty certain appeared from time to time on Children’s Newsreel. UK readers of a certain age may also remember the series of "Whitehall Farces" staring Brian Rix, starting with the famous Dry Rot. These were screened during the ’50s and early ’60s directly from London’s Whitehall Theatre, and the intro music was always Roger Roger’s Clowneries, whilst another favourite of mine, Clockwork Clown (Edward White) was featured for a time around 1953/4 on the daily BBC demonstration film broadcast for the benefit of the Radio and Television trade. There are many other hugely enjoyable pieces on this absolute gem of a CD. Alan Bunting has worked his usual magic and these vintage tracks have never sounded so good. ‘Childhood Memories’ is highly recommended, especially to those who were amongst the first generation of "TV kids" in the pioneering days of post-war British television. For a full track listing for both of these new releases see JIM 168. Tony Clayden
With thanks to Wilfred Askew for the following details of recent releases...
THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT - Various Artists A 6-CD set celebrating the golden age of MGM musicals, 1929-58. 135 remastered soundtrack recordings from: Singin’ In The Rain, An American In Paris, High Society, Annie Get Your Gun, Show Boat, Kiss Me Kate, Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, Meet Me In St Louis, The Wizard Of Oz... With performances by Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, Doris Day, Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Lena Horne. Includes one disc of 25 newly discovered tracks, and a 108 page booklet. (7 hours 50 mins) Rhino 8122 73192-2.
JAZZ ACCORDION - Jo Basile and his Orchestra Original Audio Fidelity recording, includingLullaby Of Birdland, Don’t Blame Me, A Fine Romance, Pennies From Heaven, Taking A Chance On Love, On The Sunny Side Of The Street... (31:02) Blue Moon BMCD 1623, Distributor: Discovery.
LISTEN - The Hi-Los with Orchestra conducted by Frank Comstock Original 1955 Starlite recording, including June In January, I Don’t Want To Cry Anymore, Whatever Lola Wants, Fools Rush In, Have You Met Miss Jones?, Where Are You?... (27:56) Cherry Red ACMEM67CD
MAH-NA-MAH-NA - The Dave Pell singers Original 1969 Liberty release, including Oh, Calcutta!, Sugar Sugar, Keem-O-Sabe, Laughing, Get Together, Sweet Caroline... (34:17) Cherry Red ACMEM77CD
NAT: AN ORCHESTRAL PORTRAIT OF NAT KING COLE - Nelson Riddle and his OrchestraOriginal 1965 Reprise recording, including Straighten Up And Fly Right, It’s Only A Paper Moon, Mona Lisa, Pretend, Ballerina, Ramblin’ Rose... (34:21) Collectables COL-CD-6736
WHITE ON WHITE AND OTHER HITS OF 1964 - Nelson Riddle and his Orchestra Original 1964 Reprise recording, including Shangri-La, The Shelter Of Your Love, Java, Beautiful Obsession, I Wish You Love, My Heart Cries For You... (28:28) Collectables COL-CD-6737
PARIS WHEN IT SIZZLES/INTERPRETS GREAT MUSIC, GREAT FILMS, GREAT SOUNDS - Nelson Riddle and his Orchestra Original 1963 and 1964 Reprise recordings, including Gabrielle, Brandy Glow, That Face, Valse De Paris, Bastille Cha-Cha, Touch Of Tenderness, Charade, Saw Dust And Spangles And Dreams, Little Girl Blue, Over And Over Again, My Romance, This Can’t Be Love...(65:42) Collectables COL-CD-7493
THE SAVAGE AND THE SENSUOUS - The Don Ralke Oorchestra Original 1960 Warner Bros release, including Safradesia, Ju-Ju Man, Zulu Magic, Head Hunter, Poison Dart, Sacrifice Of The Maidens, Session Grande... (48:04) Harkit HRKCD 8207, Distributor: Pinnacle
THROUGH THE YEARS - Hugo Winterhalter and his Orchestra 2 CDs, 49 tracks. Original RCA recordings, including Blue Tango, I Understand, Blue Christmas, Smilin’ Through, Memory Lane, These Foolish Things, Mama, Land Of Dreams, Vanessa, Stairway To The Stars, My Destiny, Unsuspecting Heart, Always, Leave It To Your Heart, On The Trail... (155:22) Jasmine JASCD 436.
BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC PREMIERES Volume 3 - Royal Ballet Sinfonia/Gavin Sutherland, Paul Murphy Rhythmic Overture: Highway to the Sun (Ernest Tomlinson); Overture to a Pantomine(Victor Hely-Hutchinson); Elizabethan Express (Clifton Parker); Three Court Dances (Phillip Lord);Ballet Suite (James Langley).... Dutton Epoch CDLX 7170
MAYNARD FERGUSON HORN 2/THE BALLAD STYLE OF MAYNARD FERGUSON - Maynard Ferguson "Maynard Ferguson Horn 2" CBS 65027 (1972) Give it One (Downey; Ferguson arr Alan Downey); Country Road (Taylor arr Keith Mansfield); Theme from Shaft (Hayes arr Keith Mansfield);The Summer Knows (Legrand; Bergman arr Kenny Wheeler); Mother (Lennon arr Keith Mansfield);Spinning Wheel (Clayton-Thomas arr Adrian Drover)... "The Balland Style of Maynard Ferguson" CBS 63514 (1969) with the Keith Mansfield Orchestra. Born Free (Barry; Black); Girl Talk (Hefti; Troup);If He Walked Into My Life (Herman); The Fool on the Hill (Lennon; McCartney); The Impossible Dream (Leigh; Darion); Somewhere (Bernstein; Sondheim)...Vocalion CDSML 8421.
THE MOMENT OF TRUTH/EVERYBODY’S TALKIN’ ABOUT… Salena Jones "The Moment of Truth" CBS 63613 (1969) with the Keith Mansfield Orchestra. For Once in My Life (Miller; Murden); Alone Together (Schwartz; Dietz); For Me (Unknown); This Girl’s in Love (Bacharach; David); Just a Couple of Losers (Unknown); The Moment Of Truth (Satterwhite; Scott)... "Everybody’s Talkin’ About…" CBS 63901 (1970) Am I the Same Girl (Soulful Strut) (Record; Saunders); Everybody’s Talkin’ (Neil);Without Him (Nilsson); My Way (Anka; Thibaut; Revaux; Francois); The More I See You (Gordon; Warren); Morning Dew (Rose; Dobson)... Vocalion CDSML 8422
TERMINATOR - Nick Ingman Original 1976 recording. Brass Knuckles (Ingman); Come Together(Lennon; McCartney); That’s Fine (Ingman); Tricky Nicky (Ingman); American Pie (McLean); An Octave Faster (Ingman)... Vocalion CDSML 8423
THE RIGHT TIME - The Pete Cater Big Band You Don’t Know What Love Is (Raye; DePaul arr Kevin Wedrychowski); Getting There (Matt Wates arr Wates); Holland Park (Frank Griffith arr Griffith); Firm Roots (Cedar Walton arr Adrian Fry); Teach Me Tonight (Cahn; DePaul arr Frank Griffith); Yes and No (Wayne Shorter arr Adrian Fry)... Vocalion CDSA 6815