Keeping Track - Dateline June 2008
ERIC COATES "Sound And Vision" Sound And Vision (ATV March), From the Countryside – Suite, Holborn March, Moresque, Four Ways Suite, Valse from "The Three Bears", The Eighth Army March.Music for Voice and Orchestra The Mill O’Dreams, Song of Summer, Your Name, Green Hills of Somerset, I Heard You Singling, The Fairy Tales of Ireland, Bird Songs at Eventide. BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by John Wilson, with Sir Thomas Allen (baritone) and Richard Edgar-Wilson (tenor). Dutton Epoch CDLX 7198 71:03 mins. Michael Dutton’s wonderful support of British music seems to continue unabated. With the major record companies now largely part of huge international conglomerates, the days when the likes of EMI and Decca could be relied upon to foster British composing talent now seem just a distant memory – with the very occasional odd exception. The demise of Sanctuary, and the apparent reduction of new releases from Chandos and Hyperion could well have added to the gloom, were it not for Dutton’s Epoch label. Almost single-handedly this label is providing us with unexpected treats on a regular basis, and it is to be hoped that readers of this magazine are taking full advantage of what is on offer. John Wilson – in a matter of ten years or so – has become one of Britain’s brightest recording talents, and when he is teamed up with the magnificent BBC Concert Orchestra the results are always superb, and quite frequently astounding. The first twelve tracks in this new CD feature Eric Coates as the familiar master of light orchestral music. Where else could one expect to hear such a varied and delightful collection of 20th century music? The remaining ten tracks remind us that Coates launched his career as a writer of popular ballads, although he never completely abandoned the genre since there are two late examples – from 1938 and 1943. No self-respecting lover of Light Music can possibly fail to add this new release to their CD collection. David Ades This CD is available from the RFS Record Service.
CONTINENTAL ENCORES/MANTOVANI MANHATTAN
More Than Ever, La Vie En Rose, Under Paris Skies, O Mein Papa, April in Portugal, Arrivederci Roma, Anema e Core, La Mer, I Only Know I Love You, Autumn Leaves, Answer Me, Poppa Piccolino, Give My Regards to Broadway, Autumn in New York, The Bowery, Harlem Nocturne, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, Manhattan Serenade, Take the ‘A’ Train, Manhattan Lullaby, Maria, Somewhere, The Belle of New York and Tenement Symphony
Mantovani and his orchestra (Vocalion, CDLK 4370), timing 73:04 mins.
Another fine addition to Vocalion’s increasingly comprehensive series of Mantovani reissues. This release compiles two further albums from the light music’s legend vast Decca discography. "Continental Encores" was the very first stereo album I heard (49 years ago!), and its re-emergence on CD will be welcomed as overdue by many Mantovanians, for whom some of the tracks will be among their all-time favourites. Memories of the 1950s are stirred by Papa, Answer and Poppa – all tunes that are unlikely to be heard today. As one might expect, accordionist Emile Charlier is featured throughout. In addition to its musical merits, Colin Mackenzie describes the album in Monty’s biography (Melrose Books) as "technically an excellent recording, well balanced, well miked, in full stereo with a wide deep soundstage."
The second album, from 1964, is also atmospheric with every track a winner – the standouts for me being Cecil Milner’s arrangements of Rodgers Slaughter, Strayhorn’s Train, and The Bowery, a rousing waltz featuring a lovely jangle piano. Among the splendid Roland Shaw arrangements are the jazz-inspired Nocturne and the big final number conjuring up images of winding fire-escapes and TV antennas. The Lullaby is Monty’s own composition, as are the arrangements of the two "West Side Story" pieces.
Peter Burt All Vocalion CDs are available from the RFS Record Service.
LEROY ANDERSON: ORCHESTRAL MUSIC, VOL.1
Bugler’s Holiday, Blue Tango, The First Day of Spring, Belle of the Ball, Clarinet Candy, Chicken Reel, Fiddle-Faddle, China Doll, and more
BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin with Geoffrey Biegel, piano [Naxos 8.559313] 61:54 mins
One of the many musical centenaries marked this year is the birth of Leroy Anderson, the American master of light concert music, and here we have a very welcome addition to his discography. Nicely recorded at the Watford Colosseum in 2006, there is a good mix here with a number of familiar tracks as listed above, a couple probably not so well-known: Arietta and the brooding Balladette, and a quartet completely unknown, to me at least: Governor Bradford March [a first recording], The Golden Years, The Captains and the Kings and the Piano Concerto in C Major. Classical Jukebox is not an Anderson original composition but his amusing arrangement of Music! Music! Music!, which was a million seller for Teresa Brewer in the early ‘50s. Older readers may consider this track with its simulated "stuck groove," of unblessed memory, worth the low price of the CD. But the piece that will probably most encourage Anderson aficionados to buy is the 19-minute long concerto. It was first performed in 1953 but was withdrawn following mixed reviews and Anderson’s own dissatisfaction with the first movement. We are told in Richard Ginell’s detailed liner notes that the composer warmed to the work more in his later years and, after his death in 1975, his widow Eleanor decided to release the work as he left it. It is definitely worth a listen – the second and third tracks are both engaging. With the ever versatile BBC Concert Orchestra and its "big name" conductor, this new disc is strongly recommended, even as a supplement to whatever other Anderson albums you may already have. And if you like this … there is more to come.
LEROY ANDERSON: ORCHESTRAL MUSIC VOLUME TWO
Woodbury Fanfare, A Harvard Festival, Forgotten Dreams, Whistling Kettle, Horse and Buggy, The Waltzing Cat, Home Stretch, The Girl in Satin, March of the Two Left Feet, Waltz Around the Scales, Lullaby of the Drums, Jazz Legato, Jazz Pizzicato, Song of the Bells, Song of Jupiter and Suite of Carols for String Orchestra
BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin with Alistair Young, Piano and David McCallum, trumpet (Naxos, 8.559356) 54:51
So here’s more already – the next instalment of pieces including some the composer did not release and which his family have now made available. There are half-a-dozen items, some with very catchy titles that I looked forward to hearing for the first time. Fanfare features four trumpeters, Festival is a revision of the piece that gave Anderson his entrée to the Boston Pops in 1936 and definitely has a ‘classical’ feel, beginning with some telling celli and finishing on a super tune with added organ;Whistling was a student piece for violins and violas of 1:44 mins duration with a sound that reminds me of bagpipes; Waltz was the composer’s very last original orchestral work; and Lullaby is, perhaps, more a gentle march than a lullaby, and I think my favourite among the new items – but then I’m a sucker for the sound (however fleeting) of French horns. Richard Ginell’s expected exemplary notes refer to March, another piece unknown to me, as a ‘madcap fast polka’. Pizzicati, from 1938, is the earliest example of Anderson’s work extant. With a good mix of new, familiar and not-quite-so-familiar items this is another excellent compilation and one can only look forward to more of the same. At under an hour I suppose some may claim short measure, especially with the longest item, Carols (12:27), unlikely to be played a lot at this time of year, but at the price – I paid £3.99 including p&p online – for such a quality product one really can’t complain.
Peter Burt All Naxos CDs are available from the RFS Record Service.
Charles Williams – Girls In Grey, Space Ship, Quebec Concerto, Side Walk Exhilaration, The Beggar’s Theme; Philip Green – Ragamuffin, Pan-American Panorama, Running Off The Rails, Spinning Wheel, Stringopation, Gaelic Fantasia; London Promenade Orchestra – Dancing Dolls; Sidney Torch – Cornflakes, Domino, Elfinette, Fiddlin’ For Fun, All Strings and Fancy Free, Guaracha, Speakeasy; Ray Martin – Gipsy Fiddler, Muriella; Frank Chacksfield – Gin Fizz, Pulling Strings; Louis Levy – Moto Perpetuo; Kingsway Symphony Orch / Camarata – I Love Thee. Vocalion CDVS 1954, 73:49 mins. Twenty years ago we would have given our eye teeth to be able to buy a CD like this. The fact that keen collectors will probably have 90% of these titles in their collections speaks volumes for the way in which Light Music has been re-established as an important part of the musical scene. If only the BBC would wake up to what has happened! This is the second collection of Light Music Classics on offer from Michael Dutton at the bargain price of around £3. OK – you don’t get any booklet notes, but just be grateful that you can get your hands on this superb collection of Light Music for such a small sum. Even if you already have most of these tracks, I still recommend a purchase. Personally I like it when someone else selects music for me to hear; familiar favourites somehow seem fresh and new when played in a different order. This is a priceless ‘snapshot’ of the British Light Music scene in the middle of the last century, at a time when it seemed inconceivable that it would go into such decline by the 1980s. Happily that decline has been arrested, and collections like this can only help to alert new generations as to what they might be missing if they only rely upon the radio for their musical enjoyment. David Ades
SIX NEW GUILD RELEASES REVIEWED
Firstly, I must offer my sincere apologies for the lack of any GUILD reviews in JIM 175; this was entirely due to the pressures of earning a living, but I hope to make amends in the following paragraphs.
GLCD 5140 – MUSICAL KALEIDOSCOPE VOLUME II [full tracklisting in JIM 175, page 62]. Hard on the heels of Vol. I – and bearing the next consecutive number – comes its splendid new companion. The beauty of the KALEIDOSCOPE format is that it enables compositions of so many styles, different orchestras and time-eras to be assembled into a very enjoyable programme without any of the constraints which, perforce, are imposed on a ‘themed’ CD. All of the recordings date from the period 1946-1956, surely THE ‘Golden Age’ of Light Orchestral Music. There is a reasonable mix of Commercial and Publishers’ material, roughly ?rd and ?rds respectively. The selection begins appropriately enough with another composition entitled Kaleidoscope, (this one being by Dolf van der Linden) and includes a few real gems of a slightly more ‘serious’ nature, e.g. the Overture Down The Solent (Rapley), the Theme from the film The Broken Horseshoe (W. Burns), Sea Reivers andOriental Dances (G. Bantock), Columbine (Leighton Lucas) and three pieces from Edward McDowell’sWoodland Sketches – (but curiously not this composer’s best known tune To A Wild Rose, which is taken from that suite). Worthy of particular mention is Bewitched (Rodgers and Hart) by Felix King, his piano and orchestra; this appears to be a note-for-note replication of the famous Bill Snyder c. 1949 interpretation of the well-known song from the show Pal Joey. Was this a deliberate attempt to produce a British ‘cover version’ of the USA hit recording, bearing in mind that it was then virtually impossible to obtain 78s from the States, due to post WWII import restrictions? On a lighter note, there are some old favourites, like Maurice Grew’s Jay Walker and George Melachrino’s Bobby Sox Bounce. There is a group of ‘shorts’ – pieces which would often be used in film and TV advertising and promotional features, and the disc concludes with four items under the heading Drama, Menace and Excitement. (Any resemblance to RFS meetings is purely coincidental!). These were used in melodramatic and even horrific moments in drama productions – e.g. Trevor Duncan’s Inhumanity, which was the closing music for the first two series of the famous 50s BBC TV serial Quatermass. I am bound to say that this particular format works so well that I hope there will be more similar volumes in due course.
GLCD 5141 – GLOBE TROTTING [tracklisting JIM 175, page 65].
The next release returns to the Themed format and commences with a very typical – and appropriate Trevor Duncan composition, Broad Horizon, which – with its high-register strings and big, heroic, orchestration – beautifully sets the scene for a 77 minute round-the-world trip. This takes in France, Switzerland, Italy, Spain and Portugal, then ventures farther afield to Egypt, the Orient, Madagascar, India, then on to Cuba, Mexico and finally Manhattan, before returning to England – via Norway – and closing with Jack Beaver’s Journey’s End. David Ades has managed to combine a good variety of styles, orchestras and conductors, including one or two making their GUILD debut. The booklet notes mention the song Faraway Places With Strange Sounding Names (not included on the CD however). It’s true that when these recordings were made – mostly in the 50s but a few date from earlier – the pieces in this collection were just that; merely names. These days ‘Globetrotting’ has become a favourite pastime for millions! On the face of it, some of the titles might seem to make strange bedfellows e.g. Lovers in Paris (Logist), Flamenco Love (L. Wagner) and Tahiti Tango (Martin) are in distinct contrast to pieces like Ketelby’s In The Mystic Land Of Egypt, Victor Herbert’s Chinese Serenade, and a particular favourite of mine, the Three English Dances by Roger Quilter, but it all works surprisingly well. It’s good to hear Jimmy McHugh’s Cuban Love Song in a different arrangement from the well-known version which was the signature tune of Edmundo Ros, whilst the inclusion of the selection from the show Song Of Norway, based on melodies by Edvard Grieg, is most welcome. This is another carefully-crafted programme which deserves to find many new friends.
GLCD 5142 – The 1950s – Volume 5 SUNNY SIDE UP [JIM 175, page 67]
To quote from the booklet notes, "this selection has been chosen with the aim of recalling the cheerful, bright and breezy style of music that ..... seemed prevalent in the 1950s". Although the decade was not without its downsides, (rationing and shortages at the beginning, the threat of global nuclear war at the end), the compositions – and orchestras – of the period have, as I have remarked before, a glossier, more sophisticated and often more optimistic sound than their predecessors of the 40s; truly children of their respective times. On this CD, the balance is tipped in favour of ‘consumer’ recordings, with 18 of the 30 tracks having originated on British and American commercial labels; the remainder started their careers in the recorded music libraries of Synchro, Chappell, Weinberger, Impress, Paxton and Bosworth. The selection "kicks off" with the eponymous title Sunny Side Up (De Sylva, Brown and Henderson) in that wonderful Farnon arrangement which became famous as the playout tune for many of Kenneth Horne’s shows on the late-lamented BBC Light Programme. Next up is an early, and excellent, piece by the gifted German composer and arranger Bert Kaempfert –Las Vegas – (not to be confused with the Laurie Johnson opus of the same name) – although here Mr K is masquerading under the pseudonym of ‘Bob Parker’. DA’s notes also refer to Kaempfert’s "... easy listening style that .... often relied upon a rhythmic beat described in Germany as ... ‘crackling bass’ ". I would add that I have also seen it referred to as ‘click bass’ and I believe that it was pioneered by virtuoso bass-guitarist Lasli Geisler. The conductors form a truly international lineup:- Dolf van der Linden from the Netherlands, Johnny Gregory (of Italian extraction), Ray Martin, who hailed originally from Vienna, the Odessa-born Monia Liter, the French Franck Pourcel, together with Americans Van Phillips, Mahon Merrick, Bernie Wayne, George Liberace, David Rose – and Frank Sinatra, (in an unlikely but apparently successful role) – all rub shoulders with the home-grown talents of Ron Goodwin, Ambrose, Louis Voss, Elliott Mayes and Geoff Love. This is an imaginatively-assembled and very enjoyable CD, which has all the makings of another GUILD winner.
GLCD 5143 ANIMAL ANTICS [JIM 175, page 70]
As the booklet notes are quick to point out, the title of this collection is misleading; not all the tracks refer to animals, as there are plenty of birds and insects thrown in for good measure! Never mind, the resulting programme is another example of the prolific programming skills of David Ades, aided and abetted by Alan Bunting who, apart from his main task of technical supremo restoring these recordings – (and as has been remarked upon several times before, doesn’t he make a superb job of it?) – has an important second role in collaborating with David to select the contents of each new release. So here we have, in the menagerie department, a Little Pink Horse a Waltzing Cat, Donald Thorne’s ‘take’ on those three well-known sightless rodents, two different frogs and Sidney Torch’s arrangement of Friml’s Donkey Serenade, with a little Sympathy thrown in for good measure. Then we come to a veritable aviary, including a Nightingale, a Flamingo, a Meadow Lark and a Skylark,Gilbert The Goose, a whole Reel of Chickens (!) and some Marching Penguins. The insect world gets a look-in too – David Rose’s My Dog Has Fleas is in good company with Paul Linke’s Glow Worm, Ettore’s Butterfly Fantasy and Whitney’s Mosquitos’ Parade. This list is by no means exhaustive, (see full track listing elsewhere), but it gives more than a flavour of this excellent collection, which concludes with the eponymous track Animal Antics (Colin Wark), in a recording by the London Palladium Orchestra made in 1931 – except that you’d never know, because it sounds so amazingly good.
I often take new CDs for review in the car on long business trips, and these four have kept me more than happy on a recent lengthy journey from North London to South Wales and back again.
GLCD 5144 CHILDHOOD MEMORIES – VOLUME 2 [please see full tracklisting elsewhere in this issue].
There is always a danger with a second volume of a CD on a particular theme that it will suffer from ‘the second cup of tea’ syndrome (i.e. it doesn’t taste as good as the first one!) – but thankfully this never seems to happen with the GUILD series. Volume I of CM is often to be found in my CD player and I have to confess to having badgered DA for many months to create a follow-up! Well, he’s certainly ‘come up trumps’ again with this one, and we are treated to another 27 wonderful tracks, a few of which were suggested by yours truly. Amongst those are Josef Engelman’s Tales From A Fairy Book, a worthy stable-mate to his Children’s Playtime Suite featured on the earlier CD. I have been in contact with musician Guy Rowland – (who knew Engelman’s son Harry, also a composer) - and he has a copy of the original sheet music of this work. He was able to confirm that the title of track 12 – shown as Rumpelstickins is just a tad incorrect. Although the generally accepted form of this fabled character’s name is RUMPELSTILTSKIN, for some unaccountable reason it is shown on the printed music as Rumpelstilkins. When Bosworth issued it on their 78 disc, (BC1009), they then managed to turn a letter ‘l’ into a ‘c’. It, therefore, reads Rumpelstickins on the label; it was also registered with the PRS in this form, and has been faithfully copied into the booklet notes! However, it doesn’t detract from another excellent little opus from this almost forgotten composer. Other particularly notable tracks include José Fontaine’s Dance Of The Pirates, Bob Farnon’s Toyland Tattoo, See-Sawby Douglas Brownsmith, Pirouette by Henry Croudson and Charles Williams’ Drummer Boy. We are treated to three different marionettes:- Gilbert Vinter’s Dance Of The Marionettes; Sleepy Marionette, another Charles Williams’ composition (which I fancy is a re-incarnated Funeral March Of A Marionette by Charles Gounod); and Dolf van der Linden’s Marionette March. I must plead ‘guilty’ to having had more than a little bit to do with the final track; this is Fred Hartley’s Scherzetto For Children, which was the warm-up ‘intro’ music for BBC Children’s Television in the early 50s. DA was very anxious to include this item and AB has magnificently improved my rather sub-standard recording, which was originally made available to me by Andrew Emmerson. Whilst profuse apologies are tendered in the notes for including a recording which is ‘...far from perfect’, these are totally superfluous! Anyone hearing this restoration will wonder what all the fuss is about, so successful is the final result; methinks they protesteth too much!! This CD is a more-than-worthy companion to Vol. 1, and a fine addition to the GUILD series.
GLCD 5145 SCENIC GRANDEUR [tracklisting earlier in this issue]
Here we have another example of a very definite theme, again with an eponymous title – track 3Scenic Grandeur by a certain Mr Farnon! Yet again DA has ‘pulled out all the stops’ and put together an impressive collection of descriptive pieces, which conjure-up images of mountain ranges, seascapes, morning mists and sunsets – or indeed many other manifestations of natural beauty. Light Music composers such as Bob Farnon and Trevor Duncan poured out many such pieces to satisfy the enormous demand for this type of mood music, and many others ‘had a go’ too – Len Stevens, Ernest Tomlinson, Gideon Fagan, Tony Lowry, Peter Yorke, Bruce Campbell, Charles Williams, Clive Richardson, Jack Beaver and Dolf van der Linden are all represented here, and there are more besides, with a total of 23 tracks. It will come as no surprise that the majority of these (15) are taken from publishers’ discs, with the balance being made-up of commercial recordings largely from the USA. Of particular note are another Farnon track, Open Skies, Great Panorama (Perry – actually Ernest Tomlinson), Gideon Fagan’s Pastoral Montage (used for the BBC TV Windmillinterlude), Tony Lowry’s Seascape and Bruce Campbell’s Cloudland. In fact they’re all fine pieces, although because of the very specific nature of the subject matter, there is a markedly similar ‘feel’ to many of the compositions. It may be that listeners would wish to ‘dip-in’ to individual tracks, rather than play the entire CD from start to finish. It’s rather like having a box of posh liqueur chocolates – lovely as they are, you might not want to eat the whole lot in one go! The programme is not unlike the earlier CD Reflections Of Tranquility; it’s certainly in marked contrast to some of the more upbeat offerings in this series, and is another fine addition to the GUILD series. Tony Clayden
All Guild Light Music CDs are available from the RFS – price £8 each [US $17] plus postage.
HOLLYWOOD RHAPSODIES & NIGHT MUSIC
Love theme from ‘The Robe’, Selena’s waltz, Nightfall, Thème romantique, Jubilee trail, The moonlight song, Love theme from ‘The Glenn Miller Story’, Spring madness, Theme for Cynthia, Geraldine, Lost moment, BonSoir / The High and the Mighty, Moonlight and roses, Passion tango, Never say goodbye, Smile, The ‘Rear Window’ theme, The song from ‘The Caine Mutiny’, Magnificent obsession, Glamour waltz, Rendezvous in Tunis, Last night when we were young, Twilight interlude
Victor Young and his Singing Strings [Vocalion CDNJT 5201]
It is good to have this new 2-on-1 of the Chicago born composer, arranger, violinist and conductor recorded in 1954 and 1956, the year of his passing. Victor went to Hollywood in 1935 to form his own orchestra for film work and made many recordings with the orchestra of light music and as backing for singers. He also composed such well-known pieces as Golden Earrings, My Foolish Heart, The call of the faraway hills and Around the World in Eighty Days. Although he wrote many songs and for around 350 films, Young the composer is only represented on this CD by three items – Jubilee trail[from the film of the same name], Geraldine, and Bon Soir [from ‘Perilous Journey’] – but there are tracks from other film music luminaries: Arlen, Korngold, Newman, Mancini, Steiner, Tiomkin, Waxman and the underrated Chaplin. I must admit to not recognizing many of the films for which the music was composed but that has not stopped me enjoying the music. Composer Harry Sukman is the piano soloist on Spring madness [from ‘Belle La Grande’], Theme for Cynthia, Lost moment [from the film of the same name] and Twilight interlude as well as his own Nightfall from ‘Gog’, a 1954 low-budget sci-fi movie. The alto sax of Benny Carter can be heard on Rendezvous in Tunis. Written in 1925, Moonlight and roses has been a favourite tune of mine since I were but a lad. An all-round recommendable release.
AMBROSE AND HIS ORCHESTRA Arranged and Conducted by LAURIE JOHNSON
"Latin America After Dark" Siboney, Walter Winchell Rhumba, Vuelve, Tenacion de Amor, Cae Cae, Volvere, etc… 12 tracks "Starlit Hour – the Music of Peter DeRose" Deep Purple, Autumn Serenade, Let’s Dream Together, American Waltz, Lilacs In The Rain, Blue September, etc… 12 tracksEP: Slide Rule, Whistlin’ Willie, Marching Through Georgia, Bluebell Polka. Vocalion CDNJT 5202. By the mid-1950s music lovers in Britain were starting to take note of Laurie Johnson. We had several 78s on Polygon, plus a few singles on HMV (some on their International label) then a batch of interesting releases on MGM. It turned out that these latter ones were recorded specially for the American market, and when the two LPs on this CD came out in Britain they were in EMI’s MGM International catalogue. I am very pleased to see that Mike Dutton commissioned booklet notes from Tony Middleton. The Wally Stott collection (CDEA 6127) was issued without any notes at all, and it would have been a crying shame if Laurie Johnson’s massive contribution to these recordings had gone uncredited. Observant collectors will notice that a few of the tracks on this new CD have already appeared in the Guild Golden Age of Light Music series, but I would urge everyone who shares my admiration for Laurie Johnson not to hesitate, but snap this one up as quickly as you can! The arrangements and the playing are simply superb, and to make them sound even better try giving the bass control on your amplifier a slight boost! David Ades All Vocalion CDs are available from the RFS.
‘ORIGINALS’ FRANCK POURCEL
Volume 1 25 tracks from 1952 to 1956 including Limelight, Blue Tango, Moulin Rouge, Wonderful Copenhagen,Grisbi Blues, Mon Coeur est un Violin, April in Paris, Madamoiselle de Paris, etc… EPM [France] 986232
Volume 2 Frou Frou, Una Casa Portuguesa, Johnny Guitar, I Love Paris, Lisbon Antigua, etc… 22 tracks EPM 986402
Volume 3 Port au Prince, Carousel Waltz, Malaguena, Around the World, etc… 21 tracks EPM 986412
Volume 4 Whatever Lola Wants, Clown on the Eiffel Tower, Just a Gigolo and the Les Baxter suite"La Femme" 22 tracks EPM 986422
In recent years some of Franck Pourcel’s reissues have been the subject of litigation in the French courts, but hopefully these four new collections are legitimate. Indeed the brief notes inside each CD state that the recordings have been remastered by his estate, and are therefore the originals (hence the title of the collection). Volume 1 concentrates on Pourcel’s early years; Vol. 2 also harks back to the 1950s, with tracks from 1950 to 1957; Vol. 3 comes from 1957 in the series "Amour, Danse et Violons" and the LP "L’Inimitable"; finally Vol. 4 reflects Franck’s ‘musical journey in America’. Somewhat unusually the promotional copies received were in the form of a single CD for volume 1, whereas vols 2, 3 & 5 were combined in a (flimsy) box with the catalogue number EPM 986392. It appears that these three volumes are not available separately – at least not at the time of writing this review. David Ades These CDs are available to special order from the RFS.
MILITARY BAND FAVOURITES - BANDSTAND FAVOURITES
Strike Up the Band, The Golden Mile, Calling All Workers, The Westminster Waltz,
Sabre Dance, Anything Goes, Stage Centre, Rhapsody in Blue, La Rejouissance, Skye Boat Song, Czardas, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Scarborough Fair, Greensleeves. Tie a Yellow Ribbon, The Polecat Polka, Bells Across The Meadow, Adagio, Alexander's
Ragtime Band and Nessun Dorma
Various Bands (MusicMasters)
This review departs a little from the usual, in that the CD is not really new (released in January 2007), and your reviewer downloaded it from the Internet which didn't include its catalogue number! However, it is a British release and should be tracked down with ease or it can be downloaded from www.emusic.com for a very reasonable fee. The CD is an interesting and wide variety of music genres, including Farnon's Westminster Waltz and Coates' Calling All Workers - all given the military band treatment; brass and woodwind replacing the strings. The bands used in this selection are all well-known and top class British bands, including The Blues and Royals, Coldstream Guards, HM Royal Marines, Royal British Legion, Life Guards, Royal Yeomanry and the Queen's Lancashire Regiment. It’s quite a musical treat for military/brass band buffs to jump from Sabre Dance to The Polecat Polka! I was delighted to hear Alexander's Ragtime Band played in true ragtime style by the Band of the British Legion. The producers have done a great job getting this material together, they are all recent stereo recordings and I can't say I was disappointed with any of the selections.
The Presidents Own United States Marine Band (Naxos, 8.570727) 79:00
Well Naxos keep surpassing themselves in quality and unexpected finds! This is a stunning band record that I have recently purchased. This CD is a real pleasure - just listen to track 22 - it takes your breath away with a live performance of the Stars and Stripes including a flute solo played by Master Sergeant Gail Gillespie. Superlative is the only word that comes to mind - put this track on full volume to start the day!
The Black Dyke Mills Band (Naxos, 8.570726)
If anybody ever thought that we didn’t lead the world in this genre, then just listen to this recording made in Morley Town Hall. The sound is exceptional and even more so when you have the conducting and arranging honours by Nicholas Childs and his brother Robert - pure gold. Just listen to the 1812 Overture arranged by Robert and you have a rival for the old classic Mercury recording conducted by Dorati. I would add, in my opinion, that the guns are more realistic.
"A Dream Realised" The Music of LESLIE STATHAM [Arnold Steck] The Band of the Welsh Guards Specialist Recording Company SRC 112, 71:38 mins.
For some years as a longstanding admirer of the Band of the Welsh Guards I have been agitating for a recording devoted to the music of Leslie Statham, their Director of Music between 1948 and 1962, who wrote many of his compositions under the name of Arnold Steck.
The original dream was that sufficient of his music could be brought together to fill an LP but just as that seemed a possibility we moved into the CD era with its much greater capacity. All seemed lost but gradually more pieces were found and then through the good offices of Mrs Statham we discovered that there were over 80 published items. Major Statham had given me so much pleasure, without ever knowing it, and continued to do so with the legacy of his fine music that it is was my wish to see as much of his music as possible brought together on one CD as a tribute to him and for the public of today and tomorrow to enjoy.One of the major concerns was the commercial viability of such a CD but after careful thought and running through most of the music Major Davd Cresswell rose to the challenge and set up the sessions with Mike Purton of Specialist Recording Company who have already issued a number of single composer CDs by the Band including one of Edward German.Mike is renowned for the care and accuracy of his recordings and this was rapidly confirmed as he picked up details and nuances which were inaudible to most but which will ensure that the finished product is of the highest quality. He has used the chapel at Chelsea Barracks for other recordings and this was again the venue. The first item was a haunting arrangement of Men of Harlech, still as a march but far removed from the usual brash approach. There followed a succession of marches in various styles and descriptive pieces, some well known but others being heard for the first time by all concerned.Although tiring, Monday’s session on 5 February 2007 ran smoothly with some 60 per cent of the intended music "in the can" by the end of the day. This promised an early finish on Tuesday but it was to prove rather more eventful despite starting quite normally. We were warned to expect three parties who wished to view the chapel as part of the sales process for Chelsea Barracks and it was agreed that these would be accommodated in breaks in the recording.?What was not expected was a helicopter which seemed to hover, move away only to return followed a little later by a second, both landing on the Parade?Square. This held up proceedings for some minutes but having just resumed a 21 gun salute to mark the anniversary of the Queen’s accession started. To add to the interest we had a planned visit by Sian?Price who was filming one of a series of TV documentaries for BBC Wales, this one featuring the Band with whom she will be going to Bosnia shortly. She took a number of shots mainly in close up whilst Royal Review was being played; it appeared in the broadcast as the band preparing for an important concert in front of the Prince of Wales! We assumed the afternoon would be quiet – until an over enthusiastic drill sergeant decided that the ideal place to put his squad through their paces was right outside the chapel. The band sergeant-major, resplendent in full practice dress (extremely unmilitary!), despatched himself rapidly and persuaded the culprit of the error of his ways! Some real gems were revealed. Marches such as Birdcage Walk and The Guardsman are well known butFreedom of the City was a real revelation and Heroes Return could have come from Sousa’s pen so well was the style captured. Of the descriptive pieces Broadacres and Skeleton in the Cupboard were outstanding with the Happy Days Suite conveying perfectly the atmosphere of such times. The band produced a splendid sound and purchasers of the CD are in for a treat when they hear it. From time to time there have been calls for recordings devoted to a single military composer other than Sousa or Alford and here we have just a production; it is hugely entertaining in its own right, but if record companies are to produce more of this type they need support from the buying public. All concerned are to be congratulated on their efforts and the hope must be that this CD will open the eyes of a wider public to the quality of the music of Leslie Statham, one of the Army’s most significant composers. Light music of the mid 20th century it unashamedly is, but superbly crafted and beautifully executed; the faithful recording and caring production of Mike Purton and his team should ensure that here is a CD which will find a place in the library of every lover of military band music – as well as those who are already familiar with light music arrangements of Statham’s compositions.
Alan Hardwick[Reprinted from Band International (IMMS) by kind permission of the Editor and the Author]
Editor: orchestral versions of works by Leslie Statham (under his pseudonym Arnold Steck) have appeared on the following Guild CDs:
GLCD5143 Morning Canter
GLCD5132 Riviera Rhapsody
GLCD5147 Royal Review
GLCD5126 Skeleton In The Cupboard
Pedro the Fisherman, French Café Medley, Cuban Boy, All the Things You Are, Port Au Prince, Film Medley, Autumn Leaves, The Avengers Theme, High Wire, Early Autumn, Sunrise Sunset, Another Day Tomorrow, Can You Feel the Love Tonight and Cinderella Samba
ORGAN-ized is an organ/piano-based easy listening album, this is stated at the top of the front CD inlay card and it certainly lives up to its statement! Tony effortlessly moves from tune to tune with his own musical arrangements making this a CD to sit back and enjoy, with certain tracks that are not usually or rarely heard. The only track I, personally didn’t enjoy was Can You Feel the Love Tonight – the combination of keyboards did not sound up to the standard of the rest of the CD. His own compositions Another Day Tomorrow and Cinderella Samba made delightful additions. The tunes were recorded entirely on Kurzweil and Korg Keyboards.
Jolson medley, Pure Nostalgia medley, South of the Border/Bluesette medley, It's All in the Game, Blue Danube Waltz, Baby Elephant Walk, Phantom of the Opera medley, Days of Wine and Roses, Out of Town/Candy Man medley, Masquerade, Scottish medley, The Skye Boat Song, Moonlight Serenade, Wartime medley, Summertime, Warwick Waltz, They Can't Take That Away from Me, Rosina, As Time Goes By and South Pacific medley
Tony Whittaker playing the Compton 3/11+Melatone at Fentham Hall, Hampton-in-Arden, Solihull
This entertaining CD is Tony’s debut recording on the theatre pipe organ and would make an excellent addition to anyone’s collection of keyboard CDs. His style and interpretation of the varied tunes on this CD make for easy listening and a must for the ipod owner. Again Tony has included two of his own compositions Rosina and Warwick Waltz on this 2007 release.
Both the above albums can be purchased directly from Tony Whittaker - £11.00 per CD including P&P (UK only) Send cheque/PO to: Tony Whittaker Musical Service, 49 Hollystitches Road, Nuneaton, Warwickshire, CV10 9QA, England.
NIGHTINGALE FROM SAVANNAH
Connie Haines (Sepia, 1107) 75:10
It has been a real delight to discover the singing talents of Connie Haines on this excellent release from Sepia Records. Although her recordings with the orchestra of Harry James and Tommy Dorsey have been readily available, few of her much sought after titles as a single artist have seen the light of day – until now! The CD highlights her versatility as it offers 27 numbers from across the musical spectrum ranging from Stormy Weather, The Man I Love and My Man through to Silly No- Silly Yes,Ol’ Man Mose and Pink Shampoo. Recordings date from 1946 to 1953 with accompaniment by such names as Ray Bloch and his orchestra and Bob Crosby and the Bobcats. All in all a great CD to dip into when you are feeling down as Connie, with her subtle southern twang, radiates warmth and sings with great joy. Top marks once more to Sepia for sound quality, informative liner notes and stylish design.
SONGS FROM YEARS GONE BY
Swing Low, Steal Away, Deep River, Were You There, Go Down Moses, Nobody Knows The Trouble I See, The Ashgrove, Idle Days In Summertime, Speak To Me My Own Beloved, Ye Banks And Ye Braes, Oh My Love Is Like A Red Red Rose, Barbara Allen, Drink To Me Only, A Brown Bird Singing, The Lark In The Clear Air, The Old House.
Ramon Remedios (Tenor) David Snell (Piano) President Records PRCD 161
Liverpool-born and Guildhall School of Music–trained, Ramon Remedios has sung with the Welsh National and Scottish Opera companies, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden – and many European Opera Houses. He has made several UK television appearances and a number of CDs – in both cases often in association with Rick Wakeman. This recording takes him in a new direction and is his first collaboration with RFS member David Snell, who has swapped his harp – and conductor’s baton – for the role of arranger and accompanist. The programme combines mostly traditional songs from the British Isles with six spirituals; the latter are unusual, inasmuch as they are rarely – if ever – performed by a Tenor. It’s a novel idea and, helped by David’s sensitive arrangements, the pieces are certainly shown in a different light from the conventional basso profundo renditions with which we are all so familiar. These days, songs such as these are seldom performed or recorded and it’s, therefore, heartening to see two such fine artists reviving a sadly neglected and almost forgotten genre with this very enjoyable selection.
THE BLUEST KIND OF BLUES
Denny Dennis (Sepia, 1108) 77:18
A double treat from Sepia as not only do we have 26 tracks showcasing the smooth vocals of Denny Dennis (1913-1993) but six of them are with Robert Farnon and his orchestra dating from March 1948. These tracks may now be sixty years old but they sound timeless. The numbers arranged and conducted by Robert Farnon are After All, Judaline, Every Time I Meet You, Glen Echo, I’d Love To See You Home Tonight and By the Way. Denny is a versatile vocalist and the songs on this CD reflect this highlighting his baritone voice and relaxed vocal style. The recordings date from between 1939-1949 and the other main orchestras featured are those of Stanley Black and Phil Green. Congratulations to all involved on a class production which is stylishly presented.
THE MAGIC OF BELIEVING
Jane Russell (Sepia, 1110) 65:41
One of the last surviving Hollywood leading ladies of the ‘Golden Age’ of Hollywood - Jane Russell and it is her vocal talents which are spotlighted in this new release from Sepia Records. The title track is a great opening and is one of twelve tracks from a 1957 album entitled The Magic of Believing that Jane recorded with her good friends Connie Haines and Beryl Davis. All ‘inspirational’ songs ranging from religious ballads to rocking numbers with a message, these sound fresh and lively and are infectiously enjoyable. The three ladies harmonize beautifully and the sound quality is excellent – it could have been recorded yesterday. The remaining thirteen tracks offer a great variety of songs which Jane performs in her attractive and clear vocals – all lyrics can be heard. Excellent sound quality again with catchy arrangements from the likes of Nelson Riddle and George Cates. Particular favourites of mine were One Arabian Night and If You Wanna See Mamie Tonight plus two duets with Johnny Desmond from 1954. As expected from Sepia, there is a well illustrated and informative inlay booklet. Highly recommended.
SONGS FROM THE ZIEGFELD FOLLIES
Vivian Blaine (Sepia, 1106) 75:23
Hats off to Sepia Records who added another excellent title to their ever-growing catalogue in the form of a 2 on 1 from Vivian Blaine (1921-1995); the popular star of 20th Century Fox musicals of the 1940s and best known for creating the role of Miss Adelaide in "Guys and Dolls". "Songs from the Ziegfeld Follies" and "Songs from the Great White Way" are to companion albums that were recorded in September/October 1956 for the Mercury Records label with orchestra conducted on both by the talented Glenn Osser. Blaine adds her own unique touch to the 24 show tunes featured bringing warmth to the more intimate numbers whilst not afraid to sing out the more up-tempo songs m- she is aided by some very good orchestrations. As suggested, the first album offers songs featured in the various Ziegfeld Follies shows from 1912-36. A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody is the opening track and contains a charming spoken introduction from Vivian. Other well known numbers include I Can’t Get Started, Shaking the Blues Away and Mandy. I much enjoyed Suddenly (Rose-Harburg-Duke) which was a new tune to me.
The second album showcases a host of well known songs such as People Will Say We’re in Love, But Not for Me and How Are Things in Glocca Morra which are all performed to the same high standard. With the added bonus of three songs plus excellent CD remastering by RFS member Robin Cherry and an extremely well designed and attractive booklet, this release is a real winner and a worthy tribute to the talents of Miss Blaine.
Buttons and Bows, Maybe You’ll Be There, Nature Boy, Dark Moon, Cock-Eyed Optimist and many more
Bing Crosby (DSOY746) 81:30
These tracks, on a double CD and totalling 33 in all, are taken from air checks that Bing made with the John Scott Trotter orchestra whilst the US musicians were on strike in 1948. I expect Cab Smith has this already, but if not, he will be heading for his nearest record store!
Continental and International
FETE AU VILLAGE SICILIEN ET NAPOLITAIN (OVER MOUNTAINS AND THROUGH VALLEYS)
49 tracks including Terra mia Pupetta inamorata; De Riposto à Mascali, Piccola Monella, Meluccio, Sicilia mia, La Danza Antica. Il Bacio, Scintille Sérénade Napolitaine Tarantella per Fischiett, Marche Florentine, Canzoniero Napolitano, Oride Canzoniero Napolitan; Florentine March
Various artists (Marianne Melodie 061591)
Another winner from Pierre-Marcel Ondher’s collection. Some of the tunes will be familiar to readers; but there are a host of unfamiliar but appealing tracks. There is a very distinct cosmopolitan flavour about this set with delightful ocarina flutes, orchestras, string ensembles and mandolin orchestras playing beautiful melodies. Listening to Florentine March by a mandolin orchestra, make a refreshing change from hearing versions by military bands or orchestras. The compilation focuses on music from South Italy, Naples and Sicily. Many of the tracks feature folk dances with very melodic catchy tunes. There are two rather unusual tracks from an early Decca LP, Il Bacio and Napolitan Nights by the Marimba Serenaders. These were originally issued on Decca LF 1044. This group features several marimbas accompanied by mandolins and various other instruments. Much of this compilation is drawn from continental 78 labels or early LPs such as Odeon, Durion, Fonit etc which would be very hard to find today. There is a short set of notes by Ralph Harvey, the remaining documentation being provided in French. A very attractive period style painting similar to the excellent Guild covers, adorns the front of the booklet. The transfers have been made with great care to a high standard. A bargain, if this kind of continental light music appeals.
Brian Stringer This collection was also previously reviewed in JIM 168, June 2006. Available to special order from the RFS Record Service, or direct from www.mariannemelodie.com or from Marianne Melodie BP 102 – 78372 Plaisir Cedex, France. Tel 00 33 0892.350322 preceded by country code.
FETE AU VILLAGE BAVAROIS (VILLAGE FAIR IN BAVARIA – OVER MOUNTAINS AND THROUGH VALLEYS VOLUME TWO)
44 tracks including Ländler de Hallertau, Schützenliesl Polka, Le Chemin du Coeur, Danse du Berger Munichois, Rheinländer du Coucou, Clarinette-Polka, Les Violettes du Kochelsee, Polka d'Egerland, Hoppla! Hoppla! Troupeau de chamois, Polka de Hacketau, En route vers le Tyrol, Riante Münich, Petite Suzanne, Salut à Oberammergau
Various artists including Rudi Knabl, Alfons Bauer their zithers and orchestras, Max Greger’s Sextet, Orchestre Munichais de Thomas Wendlinger etc. (Marianne Melodie 031 084)
This is yet another set in the series from Pierre-Marcel Ondher’s collection. In the early 1950’s, I remember calling in at my local record store and seeing all the wonderful distinctive orange labeled popular Polydor 78’s and mono LPs (which I couldn’t afford) displayed in the shop window. It is good to have in this collection many of the orchestras and ensembles of that period which have been sadly neglected over the years. Munich based Alfons Bauer and Rudi Knabl, were very competent zither players and recorded with their own excellent orchestras. There are also items by Max Greger’s sextet, presumably an offshoot of his orchestra. There is a generous sprinkling of ‘oompah bands’ and various virtuoso accordion ensembles but little in the way of yodeling, (fortunately!!) the CDs being mainly instrumental. Although you may think that you are not familiar with many of the listed titles it is quite likely when you start to listen you will recall tunes you heard on the radio in the dim and distant past or on a trip to Bavaria. If Tyrolean/Bavarian cum Viennese music is to your taste then this attractive set is a must. It would take a million years to find the recordings assembled here at 78 record bazaars etc. Again the booklet contains a short English summary by Ralph Harvey who had some involvement in the compilation plus a delightful period style painting on the booklet front.
Brian Stringer Available from www.mariannemelodie.com or from Marianne Melodie BP 102 – 78372 Plaisir Cedex, France. Tel 00 33 0892.350322 preceded by country code.
Tango Delle Rosa, The Woodpecker Song, Torna a Surriento, Only Love Me, Arriverderci Roma, Como Prima, Chitarra Romana, Volare, Mattinata, Sicilian Tarantella, Nights of Splendor, Torero, Chitarra Romana, Just Say I Love Her, Mattinata, I Have But One Heart, Tra Veglia E Sonno, You’re My Treasure, Oh Marie, The Woodpecker Song, Tango of the Roses, Gilda, Anema E Core and Luna Rosa
The Guitar Kings directed by Al Caiola (Cumquat Records)
Under the direction of Al Caiola, the guitars and mandolins of the New York Guitar Kings transport?us back to sunny Napoli, Here are melodies delighted music lovers through the 1950s. The recording is splendid.
Brian Stringer Available directly from Australia: http://www.cumquatrecords.com.au
SOUTH OF THE BORDER
Besame Mucho, Mambo Jambo, My Shawl, Piel Canela, You Belong to My Heart, Jungle Drums, El Rancho Grande, Poinciana, Magic is the Moonlight, Serenata, Ritual Fire Dance, Yours, Adelita, Sabras Que Te Quiero, Quien Sera, Duerme, Jurame, Amor, Tres Palabras, La Malaguena, Coo Coo Roo Coo Coo Paloma, Jesuita En Chihuahua, Cuatro Vidas and Estrellita
The Guitar Kings directed by Al Caiola (Cumquat Records)
Spanish and Mexican standards performed by a ten piece guitar ensemble. Members may recall the mid 1950’s when Al Caiola’s records were heard on the radio so this CD will bring back happy memories. The mellow sound is far removed from the wailing electronic guitars that we have to suffer today. Very pleasant summertime music attractively arranged. As this CD won’t be around too much longer, if this appeals, don’t delay ordering.
Brian Stringer Available directly from Australia: http://www.cumquatrecords.com.au
ON THE SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREET
This is Romance, You Oughta Be in Pictures, Fair and Warmer, All I Do is Dream of You and many more
Ray Noble featuring Al Bowlly (DSOY742) 52:22
Yet another dusted off ‘oldie’. Ray started as principal arranger for the BBC Dance Orchestra led by Jack Payne and was later made Director of light music for HMV Records. This CD, containing 18 tracks, focuses on his career as one of the leading Dance Band Orchestras of the 1930s and really is nostalgia with vengeance along with the added vocals of Al Bowlly.
MUSIC WHILE YOU WORK – Vols. I and II
Issued by Frank Bristow – Victoria, Australia
These CDs have previously been the subject of brief reviews in JIM by Edmund Whitehouse. However, not all details were given. In particular, incomplete information was provided about titles and performers; some of the latter are making their debut on CD, although they all appeared on the programme during its twenty-seven year run.
Calling All Workers (Coates)
Band of the Grenadier Guards/Major F J Harris
Toytown Tattoo (Cardewe)/Louis Voss Grand Orchestra
Polly (Zamecnik)/Harold Collins Orchestra
Coon Band Contest (Pryor)/Troise and His Banjoliers
Harry Wood Hits/Primo Scala
Double or Nothing – selection (Johnson, etc.)/Jack Simpson
Samun – Symphonic Foxtrot/Harry Fryer Orchestra
Alpine Festival (Hartley)/Fred Hartley Orchestra
Tessoro Mio (Beccuci)/Ronnie Monro Orchestra
Knuckledust (Blackmore)/Harold Collins Orchestra
Corn On The Cob (Scott-Wood)/George Scott-Wood Band
Those Were The Days/Jack Coles Music Makers
Dance With A Dolly (Shand etc.) )/Al Collins Band
Trolley Song (Martin etc.) George Elrick Band
Boo Hoo (Lombardo etc.) George Elrick Band
A Feather In Her Tyrolean Hat George Elrick Band
Coon Corn Rag (Vecsey)/Troise and his Banjoliers
A Little On The Lonely Side (Robertson) /Oscar Rabin Band
There Goes That Song Again (Styal etc.) Oscar Rabin Band
East Of The Sun (Bowman) /Cecil Norman and Pat Dodd
Careless (Quadling etc.) Cecil Noprman & Pat Dodd
Light And Shade/Harold Collins Orchestra
Leroy Steps Out – Selection (Kreisker/Zalva) Richard Crean Orchestra
Six Hit Medley/Primo Scala
With A Smile And A Song (Churchill etc.) Reg Pursglove Orchestra
Sing Song Medley No. 3/Jimmy Leach Organolions
Gung’l In The Ballroom/W Reynolds Orchestra
Love Dance Intermezzo (Felix etc.) David Java Orchestra
Calling All Workers (Coates)/Fred Alexander Players
In The Arena (Groltzsch)/Louis Voss Orchestra
Last Tango (Mulka)/Bernard Monshin Orchestra
Songs Of Old England/Troise Banjoliers
Showboat – Selection (Kern) Jack Leon Orchestra
Kiss In The Dark (Herbert) Ronnie Munro Orchestra
Parade Of The Pirates (Brotton)/R & MW Band
Temptation Rag (Lodge)/George Scott-Wood Band
Wood Nymphs (Coates)/London Coliseum Orchestra
Careless Cuckoo (Bucalossi)/Harry Davidson Orchestra
Linger Awhile – Medley/Roland Peachey Orchestra
How Soon (Lucas etc.) Jack White Band
Memories Of The Early Twenties/Primo Scala Band
Salad Days – Medley (Slade etc.)/Tommy Kinsman Band
Friml In The Ballroom/W Reynolds Orchestra
Marigold (Mayerl) Jimmy Leach Organolions
Teddy Bears’ Picnic (Brotton) Troise Banjoliers
Tick Of The Clock (Perry) Harry Davidson Orchestra
You Are My Sunshine (Davis etc.) /Cecil Norman and Pat Dodd
Dardenella (Bernard etc.) Cecil Norman & Pat Dodd
Singalong Medley/Primo Scala Band
Mad About Music – Film Selection/Coventry Hippodrome Orchestra
Choristers’ Waltz (Phelps)/Harry Davidson Orchestra
Waldmere March (Casey etc.)/Harry Foyer Orchestra
Lonely Troubadour (Miller etc.) /Falkman and His Apache Band
In Caliente (Dixon etc.)
Whilst these two fine releases neatly compliment the two GUILD MWYN discs – (there is no duplication of recordings) – there is one significant difference. i.e. the FB CDs contain material from both commercial recordings and the special DECCA MW series, whereas the GUILD issues contain only recordings in the latter category. I should also mention the booklet notes, which provide comprehensive details about the performers and indeed the BBC programme itself; this was so much a part of the daily lives of so many and is sadly missed to this day by enthusiasts of broadcast radio.Tony Clayden
Frank Bristow’s CDs are ONLY available direct from him at 2 Cross Street, Brighton, Victoria, 3186, Australia. Tel. 03-9528-3167. E-mail: Credit cards and PayPal are accepted, but no cheques – details on request. Please visit Frank’s website for details of other CDs in his catalogue: www.musicfromthepast.com
THE GENIUS OF GEORGE GERSHWIN
Various artists (DSOY741) 120:00
Most, if not all, of the Gershwin music contained in this two CD package have been recorded in many new issues. For me, this compilation is a historical document! Twelve of the tracks are Gershwin himself playing piano solo, the remainder with various orchestras. The groundbreaking orchestral pieces Rhapsody in Blue, Concerto in F and An American in Paris are here along with many of the tunes that Gershwin wrote for stage and screen.
FRANCES DAY "Golden Girl of the 1930s" featuring recordings with Geraldo, Ray Noble, Carroll Gibbons, Louis Levy, Benjamin Frankel, Jay Wilbur, Al Bowlly, Bud Flanagan, John Mills, etc… 49 tracks, AVID Easy AMSC 926 - 2 CDs 157 mins. This warm tribute to a lady who seemingly had the world at her feet – particularly during the 1930s – has been compiled by Hugh Palmer, who has been responsible for so many enjoyable collections on LP and CD of music from this period. Frances was American, but she came to London in 1924 where she found her fame and fortune in London. These well-filled discs include her commercial recordings, radio broadcasts and film soundtracks. The singers and orchestra leaders with whom she worked read like a ‘who’s who’ of British show business of the mid-20th century, up to 1955 when she attempted to get into the hit parade with Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road accompanied by Frank Cordell. If you remember Frances you’ll love this collection. David Ades
"The real sound of R.& B and Boogie Woogie" (DSOY 737) 21 tracks. 61:28 "More of the real sound of R & B. and Boogie Woogie" (DSOY 739) Also 21 tracks. 60:38. Two albums exploring the sounds of the Forties and Fifties forerunners of the "Rock and Roll" that followed, cursed by many in this Society but nevertheless a good insight into people who later found fame by moving on into more modern sounds such as Lionel Hampton, Woody Herman, Ray McKinley, Benny Goodman, Buddy Collette, Helen Humes and Count Basie. Unless you follow this style of music other names involved have been lost along the way! The first named CD has a track "Down the road apiece" which I doubt Henry Mancini ever heard, but the opening notes are very "Peter Gunn". Helen Humes sings "St Louis blues" with a small jazz group. A bigger band led by Andy Kirk steam through "Hey! lawdy mama" with a vocal by June Richmond. The second collection has not the interest of the first, obviously the compiler’s second choice! "Tempo and swing" is well named, fast and furious! The amusing lyrics of "Vote for Mr Boogie" sound like parts of Labour’s election manifesto. I have not followed this style of music very much but it certainly was unexpected to hear a harp used on "With a twist of the wrist"! Both collections sound as if put together in a hurry as some titles do not match their allotted number and "Down the road again" appears on both! Paul Clatworthy
MARCHES IN SWINGTIME
Ted Heath – Entry of the Gladiators, Blue Skies March, Cossack Patrol; Ray Anthony – National Emblem March, Sound Off; Ralph Flanagan – Stars and Stripes Forever; Tex Beneke – St Louis Blues March; Sauter-Finegan – Doodletown Fifers; The Squadronaires – March of the Movies; Jack Parnell – When the Saints Go Marching In; Phil Green and his Basin Street Band – Anchors Aweigh; etc… 26 tracks. Memoir CDMOIR 594, 72:26 mins. The abridged tracklisting details above will give a clue of what is on this CD, and I must say that the novel idea works very well! This is a fun collection, which not only reminds us of some great swing marches of the past, but also springs a few welcome surprises. John Snell was responsible for the original idea, and Ted Kendall has performed his usual magic with the remastering. As if all that wasn’t enough, there is an informative and entertaining booklet note by Malcolm Laycock, which is a model of what such things should be – but often aren’t! Most enjoyable. David Ades Memoir CDs are available from the RFS Record Service.
"Fine and Dandy" BENNY GOODMAN quintet and sextet (DSOY 745) 14 tracks"39:41. I cannot honestly say I was agog with excitement when I received this because I am not a fan! Some tunes are taken at such.a pace they sound like 33 played at 45 also some tracks employ, the dreaded "Squeeze box" making it even more Iess appealing. The only Goodman I really enjoyed was his London date arranged by Wally Stott and Peter Knight. This outing was recorded between 1946 and 1947 all on the transcription service complete with announcements. For followers only! Paul Clatworthy
"Penny serenade" (Rare recordings from the nineteen thirties) (DSOY 738) 20 tracks 66 (Various artists) Singers involved Al Bowlly, Cyril Grantham, Dorothy Carless and Sam Browne. Ten titles feature the Geraldo orchestra which fans may have versions elsewhere. Undemanding pleasant listening for 80 to 90 year olds who probably remember first time around. 70 year old recordings painstakingly restored from acetates or lacquers, was it worth the effort? Ill get back to you on that!Paul Clatworthy
A few late arrivals …
"Bugatti Step" ALEX HASSAN, piano A mixture of syncopated marvels including works by the likes of Harry Engleman, Billy Mayerl, Roy Bargy, Carroll Gibbons and Lennie Hayton. Shellwood SWCD35.
"Fidgety Digits" Digitally restored 78s featuring some of the best pianists of the light music idiom from the 1920s to 1940s. Virtuoso performances from Lothar Perl, Donald Thorne, Billy Mayerl, Raie De Costa, Arthur Sandford, Monia Liter and many more. Shellwood SWCD36.
TOMMY STEELE Some of his hit singles plus LPs "The Tommy Steele Story" and "The Tommy Steele Stage Show". Rex REXX 118.
SKIFFLE AT ITS BEST A particularly British phenomenon of the 1950s featuring Lonnie Donegan, Ken Colyer, Johnnie Duncan and all the rest. Rex REXX 316 [2 CDs].
Finally some recent releases noted by Wilfred Askew
HOW THE WEST WAS WON
Featuring Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney and Jimmie Driftwood. Tracks include Shenandoah, Bound for the Promised Land, Green Grow the Lilacs, Billy the Kid, Skip to My Lou, Red River Valley etc (Bear Family, BCD16634) 83:35
CARMEN CAVALLARO — THE EDDY DUCHIN STORY/EDDY DUCHIN REMEMBERED
Two albums from 1956. Tracks include Shine On Harvest Moon, Chopsticks, Dizzy Fingers, La Vie En Rose, I Won’t Dance, Ill Wind, Love Walked In, The Way You Look Tonight etc (Fine and Mellow, FM604) 75:27
MICHEL LEGRAND AND HIS ORCHESTRA – CASTLES IN SPAIN
Original 1956 recording. Tracks include Espana, Jungle Drums, El Gato Montes, Malaguena, El Chocloetc (Cherry Red, ACMEM116) 44:04
LEO REISMAN AND HIS ORCHESTRA – PUTTIN’ ON THE RITZ
Featuring vocalists Fred Astaire, Lee Wiley and Sally Singer. Tracks include Lost in a Fog, I’ve Got You On My Mind, Easter Parade, St Louis Blues, The Piccolino, Lucky Seven etc (Flare, ROYCD254) 71:50
DANNY POLO AND HIS SWING STARS – THE COMPLETE SETS
24 tracks which include That’s A-Plenty, Mozeltov, China Boy, Jazz Me Blues, Mr Polo Takes a Solo, If You Were the Only Girl in the World etc (Retrieval, RTR79051) 69:48
URBIE GREEN BIG BAND AND SEXTET – THE COMPLETE PERSUASIVE TROMBONE
Original Command recordings. Tracks include At Last, My Silent Love, I Can’t Get Started, It Could Happen to You, Skylark, No Moon At All, Love Letters etc. (Lonehill Jazz, LHJ10308) 71:47
WAYNE KING AND HIS ORCHESTRA – THE WALTZ KING
Two CD set. Tracks include My Buddy, Moon Love, Lonely Acres, Close, Trees, A Kiss in the Dark, The Blue Skirt Waltz, I Love You Truly, Sleepy Time Gal, Carolina Moon etc. (Jasmine, JASCD467) 134:48