Keeping Track - Dateline June 2010
The KT Editor’s CD Choice
CAROL JARVIS Smile What are you doing on New Year’s Eve; When you wish upon a star; Carol’s Tune; How high the moon; Polka dots and moonbeams; But beautiful; Caravan; Sång till lotta; Night and day; Alfie; For absent friends; Tico-Tico; Principal uncertainty; Spain; In the wee small hours of the morning; Smile Divine Art Diversions DV 24150 [62:47] This is something special. Acclaimed trombonist Carol, who our 12-year-old granddaughter describes as "well pretty", graduated from the Royal Northern College with the highest qualification possible and is now a member of the faculty at Trinity College in London. Since 2004, when she was in her mid-20s, she has been fighting ? and how ? the disease of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma involving pioneering treatment. Yet she has maintained her position as one the UK’s leading instrumentalists. She recently learnt that a school in London has a class named after her due to her story. Carol herself says "that a cancer diagnosis doesn’t have to be a death sentence. It can be a very dark and lonely place but it also opens your eyes to the world. If anything my life is so much better since that diagnosis as I don’t take anything for granted anymore and treasure even the smallest things." Miss Jarvis’s rich as molasses timbre is well suited to a choice selection of tunes, some jazz tinged. The languorous opening track is a Frank Loesser number new to me. Sång till lotta was written by Jan Sandstrom for a friend’s young trombone playing daughter on her birthday. [I understand she now works for the United Nations sanstrombone!] Jimmy Van Heusen’s But beautiful is arranged by Miss Jarvis. She is accompanied throughout by 34 hand-picked musicians, including her pianist brother James, led by Cynthia Fleming. The conductor is Roderick Dunk, who also wrote Carol’s Tune and arranged a number of the tracks: my favourite being the Ellington classic with its clever quotation from Borodin’s In the Steppes of Central Asia used as an intro. I like, too, the staccato start to Tico-Tico. The front of the CD booklet has a Rolf Harris painting of Carol called "Golden Girl" donated by the artist. At least £1.50 + VAT of each CD sold will go towards Macmillan Cancer Support. On grounds of both musicality and contributing to such a worthwhile cause, I hope that JIM readers will not think twice about adding this admirable mid-price album to their collection.
BRITISH CINEMA AND THEATRE ORCHESTRAS – Volume 3 For full tracklisting please see pagexx of this issue GLCD 5168 [79:23] In this latest of the Guild Light Music Series to come my way, prepare yourself for a feast of "get-up-and-go" light music that was an every day "listen to" once ? but sadly has gone the way of the dinosaur as far as the BBC is concerned. The London Palladium Orchestra conducted by Clifford Greenwood gets the show on the road with a bright and breezy selection of music from productions that have graced the Palladium stage up to when the original recording was made in 1939. It was issued as Palladium Memories but compiler David puts forward the theory that the two sides of the 12" HMV 78 were accidentally reversed in the pressing stage. His full notes in the booklet make interesting reading. After this energetic ‘overture’ the Commodore Grand Orchestra conducted by Joseph Muscant on an Edison Bell Winner recording of 1932 (yes, really) play Leon Jessell’s well known Wedding of the Rose, followed by Arthur Anton conducting the Paramount Theatre Orchestra of London in Waldteufel’s valse militaire, The Grenadier, with Al Bollington at the organ. Another selection, Vincent Youmans’ Hit the Deck is next, played in a spirited performance by the London Hippodrome Orchestra conducted by Joseph Tunbridge and recorded, would you believe, in 1927? It ran for 277 performances. Walter Collins was a composer/conductor I’d love to know more about as he composed and conducted a varied selection of attractive and catchy pieces for the Paxton Library in the 1940s, and I believe he was the musical director of the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea earlier in his career. This digressing is caused by track five which has Richard Crean and The London Palladium Orchestra playing what must be Walter Collins’s most popular light composition, Moontime. I’ve got two or three different recordings of it. Now here’s one to take note of on track six: Perfection by J H White, (unknown to me) and played by the Commodore Grand Orchestra, again conducted by Joseph Muscant ? but it’s the brilliant solo trumpet playing of Albert Coupe, coupled with Alan Bunting’s restoration of this 1933 Edison Bell Winner disc that really makes one sit up. Quite stunning! Another bright and breezy selection played by the Adelphi Theatre Orchestra conducted by Francis Collinson, Home and Beauty by Nicholas Brodszky, is next and it ran for 128 performances, although I think most people would associate Brodszky with the film world. A novelty number by Theo Bendix, The Busy Bee, (nothing to do with Arthur Askey) and played by The Plaza Theatre Orchestra conducted by Frank Tours is a catchy piece as is Les Sylphides by Oliver Cussans and played by The London Palladium Orchestra, Richard Crean conducting. This piece is also in the Boosey and Hawkes Mood Music catalogue. Eduard Kunneke’sThe Song of the Sea selection is played by His Majesty’s Theatre Orchestra, the composer conducting, and regular purchasers of Guild Light Music discs will already have three movements from his Dance Suite. The music from this show is, I think, most impressive and the production ran for 158 performances in 1928. Herman Finck was a prolific composer of highly tuneful light music and the Plaza Theatre Orchestra conducted by Frank Tours recorded his A la Gavotte on a Columbia disc in 1929. It’s one of Two Little Dances, the other being A La Minuet. Really delightful! The Commodore Grand Orchestra with regular conductor Joseph Muscant, but this time from a Regal Zonophone recording of 1934, gently waltz onto the stage with Carl Zimmer’s What the Forest Whispers; then the London Palladium Orchestra play The Valley of the Poppies ? a catchy number by Charles Ancliffe, usually known for his marches and waltzes although, as noted previously, he has a number of "mood" pieces in the Bosworth Archive catalogue. Frantisek Drola’s Serenade played by The Paramount Theatre Orchestra and Chanson (In Love) by Rudolf Friml from Frank Tours and the Plaza Theatre Orchestra lead up to the penultimate track which is Paul Lincke’s Beautiful Spring, played by the Regal Virtuosi conducted by Emmanuel Starkey with Sidney Torch at the organ. David’s booklet notes tells us that the Virtuosi is actually the second orchestra used by the Regal Cinema and half the size of the original ? and doesn’t seem to have lasted long. Finally, the curtain comes down on a selection of Emmerich Kalman’s score to Countess Maritza, played in fine style by the New Coventry Hippodrome Orchestra conducted by William (Bill) Pethers. But, unlike the Regal Virtuosi, this theatre orchestra lasted much longer ? after which the Hippodrome became a Bingo Hall, finally being demolished in 2002. Rather a sad note to end on but a super selection of tunes all the same! Ken Wilkins
Carol is thrilled to have the opportunity
THETTOMMY DORSEY ORCHESTRA starring WARREN COVINGTON Tea For Two Cha Chas Tea for two cha cha; Por favor [Please]; Patricia; I still get jealous – Cha cha; Corazon de melon; Dardanella – Cha cha; Rico Vacilon; I want to be happy cha cha; Together 1-2-3; Trumpet cha cha cha; Dinah- Cha cha; Cha cha for Gia/ More Tea For Two Cha Chas Tea for two cha cha No.2; An occasional man; Santa Isabel De Las Lajas; Dream; Everybody’s cha cha; Santiago de Cuba; Sweet and gentle [Me lo dijo adela]; Nunca; Don’t worry ‘bout me; Silencio; The Sheik of Araby – Cha cha; Esto es Felicidad Sepia 1142 [63:05] I think this is the first orchestral CD I have encountered from this source and it’s a good ’un. Tommy Dorsey died in 1956 and a couple of years later the brilliant trombonist Warren Covington was invited to succeed him. The first album on this 2-on-1 was their first LP recording and the second came in 1959. The orchestra comprises four trumpets [including Covington], three trombones, four saxophones, clarinet, piano, bass and drums. They make a fine sound, brilliantly re-mastered by Robin Cherry. Some might think that just over an hour of cha cha rhythm is too much of a good thing but you don’t have to play all the tracks straight off. I enjoyed every minute of it and if I did not have two right feet [I’m a "leftie"] would probably appreciate it even more for being eminently danceable to. Peter Burt
DENNIS FARNON AND HIS ORCHESTRA Caution! Men Swinging & The Enchanted WoodsCaution! Men Swinging; Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year; Lover Come Back To Me; Shoo-Shoo Baby; Just You, Just Me; Isle Of Capri; South Of The Border; It Don't Mean A Thing (If it..); Why Don't You Do Right; Three Little Words; Resume Speed / Among My Souvenirs; Moonlove; Cecilia; Right as Rain; Fools Rush In; The Lady Is a Tramp; Snowfall; Winter Wonderland; If You Are But a Dream; I Hear a Rhapsody; Day by Day Vocalion CDNJT 5312 [77:44] Dennis Farnon recordings have always been scarce, and vinyl copies of the these two albums have been notching up some fair prices on Internet dealer sites, so this new 2-on-1 reissue from Dutton is particularly welcome. ‘The Enchanted Woods’ is an intriguing collection because Dennis uses only woodwinds and rhythm on a fine collection of standards featuring on one track, Right as Rain, a sax solo from brother Brian Farnon. There is humour to be found on Cecilia and The Lady is a Tramp. In contrast ‘Caution! Men Swinging’ is pure jazz and features two original numbers from Dennis [Caution! and Resume] plus great standards all played immaculately by some of the best West Coast musicians of the time, many of whom featured on so many recordings of the day. Faultless re-mastering by Mike Dutton brings out all the detail. It's sad that Dennis never returned to big band recordings of this nature, because this is an example of just how good it can get. This CD deserves a place in your Farnon collection.Albert Killman
ANDRE KOSTELANETZ & HIS ORCHESTRA Gershwin, Kreisler, Rachmaninov Love walked in; A foggy day; S’wonderful; Fascinatin’ rhythm; The man I love; Someone to watch over me; Medley: I got rhythm, But not for me, Embraceable you, Wintergreen for President, Promenade; Porgy and Bess Medley; Strike up the band; Tambourin Chinois; Caprice Viennois; The old refrain; Stars in my eyes; Melodie in E; Piano Concerto No.2; 18th Variation on a Theme of Paganini Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY 798 [67:44] Listening to this lush recording brought back happy memories of playing my father’s 78s back in the early fifties. All memorable tunes with one in particular, Fritz Kreisler’s Stars in my eyes, played many times with steel needles becoming almost transparent. Michael Highton’s informative notes worth the price of the CD alone! As I said when reviewing Kosty’s‘Richard Rodgers’ CD, Dick O’Connor’s article on Kostelanatz arrangers in JIM December ‘07 is a mine of information. Paul Clatworthy
STRINGS IN RHYTHM For full tracklisting please see page xx of this issue Guild GLCD 5167[77:57] I thought this sounded a good collective title for this Guild release and it certainly begins with a fiery opening courtesy of Percy Faith and his Orchestra and Victor Herbert’s Habanera from ‘Natoma’ ? a cracking start. Frank Chacksfield and his Orchestra follow with a fine arrangement by Roland Shaw of Swinging on a Star. If you only remember Victor Silvester’s strict tempo dance style, his Silver Strings make a really super job of Cole Porter’s You do Something to Me on track three, followed by Gordon Jenkins and his Orchestra with his own composition In the Heat of the Day. There are names that crop up on these Guild Light Music releases that I’m afraid I’ve never heard of and the next two are prime examples of my ignorance: J. George Johnson whose composition Greenwich Village is played by the New World Theatre Orchestra, and Eros Sciorilli. His (?) lively tuneful piece,La Colpa Fu, is played by the Orchestra of the 6th San Remo Festival conducted by George Melachrino. Brass and piano vie with the strings of the Philip Green Orchestra in a relaxing version ofIn a Sentimental Mood; however, the mood changes abruptly with Georges Boulanger’s Da Capo, in a spirited performance by Hans-George Arlt and his Orchestra ? it really sets the pulses racing. Paul Weston and his Orchestra play In Love in Vain by Jerome Kern from the 1946 Technicolor filmCentennial Summe, starring Jeanne Crain and Cornel Wilde, "a pleasing family comedy with music" according to Halliwell. Noel Coward’s well known Poor Little Rich Girl, in an arrangement by Peter Yorke and played by his Orchestra, is next; but this is followed by a not so well known piece, Sunset on the Tiber, by Dave Dexter (and here’s another example of my ignorance) neither of which I’ve heard of, but the music is a nice catchy piece played in a very smooth manner by Norrie Paramor and his Orchestra, from 1959. While listening to Carmen Dragon and the Capitol Symphony Orchestra playing La Cumparsita, I noticed in the play list Neapolitan Nights Mambo, played by Monty Kelly and his Orchestra, one of the composers being Zamecnik, a name that crops up frequently in early recorded mood music. So I was rather interested to read more about him and to discover John Stepan Zamecnik had written over 2,000 compositions, mainly for the Sam Fox Co. during his lifetime, 1872 to 1953. This particular number was used as the theme music for a silent film, "Fazil" (1925). Pepe Gonzalez and his Orchestra set the feet a-tapping with a spirited performance of La Cucaracha on a Brunswick disc of 1957 as does Otto Cesana with his own piece Let’s Beguine on a Columbia recording of two years earlier. Wonderful sound recording from that era, enhanced by Alan Bunting’s magical touch. Dolf van der Linden and his Orchestra (as Van Lynn) with a delicate piece by Joseph Francois Heyne La Petite Gavotte, is on track twenty two. Would they be the same players who formed the Metropole Orchestra and also recorded for the Paxton Library? Werner Muller and his Orchestra (as Ricardo Santos and his Tango Orchestra) bring this fine collection of light music almost to a close with Jacob Gade’s Glamour-Tango, a worthy successor to his Jealousy. Lastly, theFireworks Polka by Johann Strauss arranged by Robert Farnon (on the label, Jack Saunders) and played by his Orchestra. As the orchestra struck up I thought we were in for The Loveliest Night of the Year, then the fireworks really began. It wouldn’t have been out of place in a New Year’s Day Concert from Vienna. Great stuff! Ken Wilkins
WERNER TWARDY The Fantastic Sound of Werner Twardy 26 tracks incl. Merry Go Round; Ramona; Blueberry Hill; Siberia; Lovely Lady; It’s a lonesome old town; On a Persian market; I’m in the mood for love; Avant de mourir; The more I see you; Always; Old Man Moses … Polydor 06007 5324561 [77:01] Most of the CDs I review have to be bought [a fact reflected in my bank balance!] but sometimes a "freebie" comes my way and this is one of them. The liner notes are nearly all in German but I have discovered that Herr Twardy [1926-77] worked with the Kurt Edelhagen Band as arranger and composer before leading his own orchestra. It seems that only two tracks are by Orchester Werner Twardy [my German not being up to finding out whether they accompany on the others] but the maestro is responsible for all the arrangements, which are mainly tracks taken from Polydor’s ‘In Gold’ series with Hammond organist T.W.Ardy (sic), trumpeters Horst Fischer, Heinz Schachtner and Leif Ulvemark, trombonists Otto Bredl and Jiggs Whigham, clarinetist Henry Arland, and pianists Fritz Schulz-Reichel and Werner himself, with the Gunter-Kallman Choir on nine tracks. The spine of the jewel-box spine refers to "Jazzclub/Easy" and the fact that the album found a degree of favour with two visiting pre-teen grandchildren for dancing to will give you some idea of what to expect. It’s sorta-James Last and at budget price I’ll be surprised if the album does not make you feel happy, too. Peter Burt
JOSHUA BELL At Home With Friends I loves you Porgy; Come again; Oblivion; Cinema Paradiso; Para Ti; My Funny Valentine; Maybe so; Grieg: Violin Sonata No.3, Movement II; Eleanor Rigby; Rachmaninoff: O, cease thy singing, maiden fair, Op.4, No.4; Il Postino; Left Hand Song; Chovendo Na Roseira; Look away; Variant moods: duet for sitar and violin; I’ll take Manhattan; White Christmas Sony Classical 88697554362 [77:37] Chosen by David Mellor on Classic FM as his "Crossover CD of the Year" for 2009, you get what it says on the tin. Classical violinist Joshua Bell joins with some friends on 17 eclectic tracks including Sting [singing Dowland], vocalist Josh Groban, sitar player Anoushka Shankar, trumpeter Chris Botti and pianist/arranger Marlin Hamlisch. Oblivionby Astor Piazzola and Il Postino both feature Carel Kraayenhof playing the bandoneon [a type of concertina popular in South America]. The most fascinating track is the Grieg piece which, by the wonders of modern technology, Bell recorded in July last year with accompaniment at the piano by one Sergei Rachmaninoff, recorded in September 1928! Altogether a disc that is a bit "different" but musically rewarding. Peter Burt
A TOUCH OF CLASS [Four Hands At One And Two Pianos] Rachel & Vanessa FuidgeMilhaud: Scaramouche; Gershwin arr. H Levine: Rhapsody in Blue; Saint-Saens arr. composer: The Carnival of Animals; Philip Lane: Badinages 1 - Mouvement Perpetual; Grieg: Norwegian Dance No.2; Anitra’s Dance; Casella: Puppets; Camilleri: Paganiana; Paola di Biase: Duo Tango; Leroy Anderson:Fiddle Faddle Divine Art DDV 24146 [70:40] Whether to play or hear, piano duets are fun. These players, identical twins born in Glossop in 1988, clearly find them so and the freshness and bloom of their work ensure that we do, too. The Milhaud, unique here in being a two piano work, Gershwin and Saint-Saens are the most recent recordings . By themselves they would have offered short measure, so the other tracks are taken from an earlier CD, now deleted, made by Dunelm Records in 2005 when the twins were still at school. These latter tracks offer less well-known but equally tuneful items from the duet repertoire. Fine recording; the sense of musical enjoyment is something to treasure. Philip L Scowcroft
PHIL KELSALL Welcome To My World Imperial Echoes; Second Waltz [Shostakovitch]; The Cactus Polka; Vera Lynn Medley [Part 1]; George Gershswin Medley; You raise me up; I’ve got the world on a string/Welcome to my world/What a wonderful world; La Danza; That’s amore/My resistance is low/Que sera sera; Limehouse Blues/Vera Lynn Medley [Part 2]; Wurlitzer March; Jerome Kern Medley; Russian Rag; Jerry Herman Medley; Noel Coward Medley; Twelfth Street Rag Grasmere GRCD 132 [70:08] This album, only recorded in January, celebrates 75 years of the distinctive sounding Blackpool Tower Wurlitzer organ from the current ? and for the past 35 years ? king of its keyboard. Available at mid-price, it is a very pleasant selection of nicely varied items. What a potent tune You raise me up is. Based on the Londonderry Air, it has been recorded more than 125 times and become popular at funerals and memorial services, and is well-suited to the Wurlitzer. Peter Burt
A BREEZY BALLAD Songs and Ballads of Haydn Wood Shae Apland [bass-baritone], Sharon Wishart [piano], Marissa Famiglietti [soprano], Marjorie Cullerne [violin] A Breezy Ballad; The Little Ships [Dunkirk 1940]; The Stars Looked down; Khaki and Gold; Casey the Fiddler; Think on these Things; I Bless the Dawn; I Love Your Eyes; Roses of Picardy; Memories of Yesterday; Bird of Love Divine; Three Sea songs: The Call, Ship o’ Mine, The Sea Road; Fairy Water; This is My Dream; Prayer in the Desert [A Soldier – His Prayer]; A Rose Still Blooms in Picardy; Somebody’s in Love With You; Love’s Garden of Roses; The Foray; The End of the World [A Manx Spiritual]; Your Prayers Are Asked; This is the Song of Life [67:39] Haydn Wood wrote many ballads and some more serious songs [his wife Dorothy Court was a popular soprano]. His 50th anniversary last year brought forth two song CDs, by Peter Dempsey and Guy Rowland and this one, from Canada, which luckily overlaps relatively little ? even Roses, present on both, appears here in its otherwise unavailable duet version. The principal singer, Shae Apland, a virile-sounding bass-baritone clear and fresh in delivery, is positively accompanied by Sharon Wishart. I could have done with hearing more of Miss Famiglietti ? perhaps in songs written for Dorothy Court ? as she is only heard in the Roses duet, but the CD is pleasantly varied: many "outdoor" songs like the grimly portentous The End of the World and others [Khaki, Ships and Prayer] which between them recall two World Wars; the disc spans the period 1910-50. We hear Bird with Wood’s violin obbligato played by his great-niece Marjorie Cullerne, who has devised obbligati for Casey and Love’s Garden. Recommended heartily. Philip L Scowcroft
[Available at £15.00 from www.haydnwoodmusic.com]
GRACIE FIELDS Our Gracie : The Best Of Gracie Fields Gracie’s Requests: Sally – My Blue Heaven – Looking on the bright side; When I grow too old to dream; Wish me luck [as you wave me goodbye]; Walter, Walter lead me to the alter; Red sails in the sunset; Danny boy; A nice cup of tea; Indian Love Call; Little old lady; Love walked in; Sing as we go*; That old feeling*; Irving Berlin Medley*: This year’s kisses – The song is ended – How deep is the ocean; Lancashire Blues*; Smile when you say goodbye*; The biggest aspidistra in the world; Pedro the Fisherman; Bless this house; Oklahoma! Part 1: Oh, what a beautiful mornin’! – The surrey with the fringe on top – People will say we’re in love; Oklahoma! Part 2: I cain’t say no – Out of my dreams – Oklahoma!; How are things in Glocca Morra?; He wooed her and wooed her and wooed her; Take me to your heart again [La vie en rose]; Now in the hour; Gracie Fields featuring Jane Horrocks "Now is the hour" Decca 5324560[79’43"] Following the very successful showing last autumn of the BBC4 drama ‘Gracie’, starring Jane Horrocks, and no doubt hoping to emulate their 2009 best-selling collection from Vera Lynn, Decca bring us a selection of Miss Fields’ best known recordings, plus five [see * above] which have never been released before. These new tracks were taken from Fairy Soap radio programmes made in 1938 that were discovered in a storage facility and saved from destruction. The last track is also fascinating: a duet of Gracie’s biggest chart success, her voice combining with that of Jane Horrocks. Nine of the first ten pre-war tracks were originally on the old Rex label with MDs Jay Wilbur or Fred Hartley. Wish me luck is from a film soundtrack issued by Regal-Zonophone. On the majority of the original Decca tracks the MD is Phil Green although Victor Young wields the baton for Aspidistra, and on La vie en rose Gracie is accompanied by our own Bob Farnon and his Orchestra. Where this new collection scores over previous releases is in the first-rate final restoration and remastering by RFS member Alan Bunting. He was most pleased to be able to do something about an extremely bad edit on the 78 of Wish me luck. Ray Crick is responsible for the compilation and very good booklet notes, although it’s a pity that among other listing errors The Lord’s Prayer track referred to seems to have got lost somewhere along the way! Surprisingly there is not a lot of duplication with the two albums featured in Back Tracks in our March issue. Most enjoyable. Peter Burt
JUDY GARLAND Over The Rainbow : The Very Best Of Judy Garland Over The Rainbow, Stompin’ At The Savoy, You Made Me Love You, Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart, I’m Just Wild About Harry, Embraceable You, Swanee, I’m Nobody’s Baby, I’m Always Chasing Rainbows, How About You, Blues In The Night, On The Sunny Side Of The Street, For Me And My Gal, When You Wore A Tulip, That Old Black Magic, But Not For Me, I Got Rhythm, The Boy Next Door, The Trolley Song, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, Love, You’ll Never Walk Alone, On The Atchison Topeka And The Santa Fe, Look For The Silver Lining, A Couple Of Swells, Get Happy, Can This be The End Of The Rainbow? Decca 75326184 [77:58] Ray Crick, former manager of ASV’s Living Era label, has already compiled two big sellers for Universal/Decca with his Vera Lynn and Gracie Fields collections. Now it is the turn of Judy Garland, and if Universal fund a similar amount of TV advertising this could well prove to be the most successful of the three. Once again the sound restoration is in the safe hands of Alan Bunting, so I hardly need comment upon the fine quality of the recordings ? some now incredibly 70 years old (the second track is actually her very first release from 1936 when she was just 14). As for the music, it is a delightful mix of studio recordings and film soundtracks, and many of your own favourites must surely be included. Along the way Judy sings with Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire, and the forthcoming West End production of "The Wizard Of Oz" will certainly rekindle the public’s interest in the original Dorothy. My promotional copy did not include the CD booklet, but I am confident in predicting that it will be full of useful information about her recording career. Top marks to Ray Crick for a delightful collection. I wonder who he will choose next time? David Ades
MARIO LANZA Serenade: A Mario Lanza Songbook 22 tracks incl. Tosti: Marechiare; Toselli:Serenade; Tosti: A vucchella; Di Capua: O sole mio; Fusco: Dicitencello vuie; Padilla: Valencia;Cottrau: Fenesta che lucive … RCA Red Seal 88697573892 [66:34] This is rather a splendid new collection at budget price [I paid under £6 online] of reissues with seven previously unreleased recordings by the celebrated romantic tenor prematurely lost to us at age 38 in 1959. As well as the lovely melodies with titles we may not recognize, included are songs such as Siboney, Granada,Besame mucho, Mattinata, Ay-ay-ay, Because and Arriverderci Roma. A number of the tracks were originally recorded for ‘The Mario Lanza Show’ on radio; three of these being introduced by Lanza himself in a voice as mellifluous speaking as it is singing. Conducting duties are shared by Constantine Callinicos and Ray Sinatra. The remastering brings the sound up as fresh as the proverbial paint, and the excellent booklet notes by album compiler Derek Mannering help make a most desirable package. Peter Burt
VERA LYNN Songs From ‘The Vera Lynn Show’ 27 tracks incl. I love to sing; In the middle of an island; When I fall in love; Hey there; Mr Wonderful; No, not much; With all my heart; In the wee small hours of the morning; Witchcraft; Put your arms around me, honey; The last time I saw Paris; Sometimes I’m happy; Only you, I’ll be seeing you … Sepia 1143 [77:15] On 13th September last year, Dame Vera became the oldest living artist to top the UK album chart, at the age of 92. This album of transcribed radio show numbers, the majority of titles never having been recorded commercially, date from 52 years ago ? although you would never think so from Robin Cherry’s re-mastering. She did, however, record How green was my valley no less than three times: with Mantovani , Robert Farnon , and Geoff Love . These are tiptop interpretations from one of the finest vocalists this country has ever produced. It is interesting to hear Vera’s "take" on songs associated with other singers, such as True love, Mangos, Tammy, and Love letters. No standout tracks ? they’re all good! Vera receives stellar support throughout from the well-remembered Eric Robinson and his Orchestra. If you, like me, are a Lynn fan you will need no encouragement to buy this disc. If you have nothing of hers in your collection, then note Tony Middleton’s reference in his detailed booklet notes to Vera’s "perfect diction, attention to lyrics and overall sincerity" and give this disc a spin. You’ll not regret it. Peter Burt
RUNAWAY LOVE Billy Mayerl’s 1930s Show Songs Alex Hassan [piano], Rachel Barrell [soprano], Colin [baritone] 24 tracks incl. Hand in glove; I feel so safe with you; I’ve got a sweetie on the radio; It’s not fair; I know something that you know; Song of the fir tree; Just a little love; A house on a hill-top; Over she goes, Why not, Madame?; Your sunny disposition and mine; Miss Up-To-Date … Shellwood SWCD39 [70:27] Another new release that has come my way, I’m afraid that there is not a track here that I recognize and the shows they come from ? ‘Charlotte’s Revue’, ‘Love Lies’, ‘Darling I Love You’, ‘Silver Wings’, ‘Nippy’, ‘Over She Goes’, ‘Runaway Love’, etc. ? are all equally unknown. But I enjoyed it quite a bit with the performers sounding eminently matched to the material. Alex Hassan in his liner notes writes: "There are some soaring melodies here, mixed with a healthy dollop of toe-tapping syncopation." Agreed! It is for the latter, of course, that most of us will know the name of Billy Mayerl. I understand that this album is a follow-up to an earlier release ‘Honeymoon For Three’ [SWCD28]. So if you liked that, you’ll want this. And if Billy Mayerl the songwriter is new to you, then this is another disc to try. Peter Burt
A SONG FOR YOU Favourite Ballads, Songs of Cabaret and Screen and Piano Solos Peter Dempsey [tenor], Guy Rowland [piano] Trotère: I Did Not Know; E. Purcell: Passing By; Bartlett: A Dream; Lohr: Where My Caravan Has Rested; Silesu: A Little Love; Gartner: Trusting Eyes; Brahe: I Passed By Your Window; Penn: Smilin’ Through; Openshaw: Love Sends a Little Gift of Roses; Kennedy Russell: Just Because the Violets; "Lozanne": Dark-Haveh Marie; Schonberger:Whispering; Strickland: Mah Lindy Lou; Grofe: Wonderful One; Donaldson: My Blue Heaven; C. Gibbons: A Garden in the Rain; Lenoir: Speak To Me of Love; Cole Porter: In the Still of the Night; R. Noble: By the Fireside; Spoliansky: My song For You; Piano solos: Coates: Bird Songs At Eventide; F. Hartley: Starry Night; Mayerl: The Song of the Fir Tree ASFY1 [66:30] Fresh from their success with the CDs of Coates, Haydn Wood and Ketèlby songs, Messrs Dempsey and Rowland enjoyably turn their attention to a miscellaneous disc of ballads, etc. by English composers ? I like particularly those by Trotère, really Trotter [!], Kennedy Russell and Ray Noble ? and, even more so, American ones, not to mention Italian [Silesu] and French [Lenoir]. Several were written for or incorporated in films; the time scale of the vocal items is 1890-1937. Mr Dempsey’s passionate, incisive tone and clarity of diction [the French in the popular Lenoir song is not quite idiomatic] do well for this repertoire and he is well supported by Mr Rowland, who extends the CD’s scope with three solo tracks, all by British composers. "Lozanne", incidentally, was Canadian-born Alma Rattenbury, accused in 1934 of murdering her husband but acquitted, ‘though she later committed suicide. Philip L Scowcroft[Available from Mr P Dempsey, 44 Victoria Road, Bedford-on-Avon, Warwicks. B50 4AR [e-mail Demsini @ aol.com] at £9.95 incl. p&p]
THE BEST OF THE COLLIERY BANDS The Music Lives On : Now The Mines Have Gone The Champions – Desford Colliery Band; Gallop from William Tell – Grimethorpe C B; Russian Dance – Point of Ayr C B; Concierto de Aranjuez – Betteshanger Brass Band; Songs of the Tyne – Bearpark & Esh C B; He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother – Hatfield Powerfuel C B; New World Symphony – Grimethorpe C B; The Day Thou Gavest – Newbridge Celynen B B; La Danza – Northumbrian Water Ellington C B; Bayview – Buckhaven & Methil B B; Jerusalem – Grimethorpe C B; You Needed Me – Thorseby C B; Lightwalk - Carlton Main Frickly C B; Songs of the Quay – Thorseby C B; MacArthur Park – Grimethorpe C B Island 2732604 [63:25] This would be a good representative album of the genre to have in your CD collection. It comes to mark the 25th anniversary of the end of one this country’s bitterest and most decisive industrial disputes. Subsequently Margaret Thatcher’s government decimated the pits and the only ones named above still operational are Thoresby and Hatfield, the latter closing in 1994 but re-opening in 2006. Here is quite a varied mix of music with the best pieces being those, like the opening track, written specifically for bands to perform. Most of the items are upbeat with little of the longueurs non-aficionados sometimes associate with brass band music. Barrie Gott’s Lightwalk really swings. New World Symphony is a felicitious rendering of theGoin’ Home theme from that work. The day after this disc arrived I read in The Times that "The British brass band tradition is under threat from all sides." By buying this mid-priced album we could be helping the struggle to keep it alive. Peter Burt
DINNIGTON COLLIERY BAND A Band For Britain Largo; Death Or Glory; Abide With Me; Floral Dance; Annie’s Song; Pirates Of The Caribbean; Jerusalem; Great Escape; Danny Boy; Slaidburn; Conquest Of Paradise; Born Free Decca 2732796 [41:30] 35 years ago there were 35,000 registered brass bands playing in the UK, today there are only 700. The South Yorkshire based aggregation playing here has only survived the demise of the local pit in 1992 thanks to a 3-part BBC television documentary leading to a £1M record deal with Universal. However, they do the band no favours by providing only 41½ minutes of playing time for a tenner. What we do have, conducted by MD Jonathan Beatty, are spirited versions of standard band fare including the ubiquitous ‘Hovis’ theme, the hymn tune beloved by the FA Cup Final crowd, echoes of another band of years past and a Terry Wogan singalong, the John Denver song adopted by Sheffield United ["The Blades"] football team as their signature tune, a quartet of toothsome film themes ? Conquest by Vangelis stands out for me ? and a couple of items written to be performed by brass bands. From a revitalized group of musicians, this is an album with soul and a good listen. Ashley Studdal
BAND OF THE COLDSTREAM GUARDS Music From Trooping The Colour 1952?2008 Ketèlby:With Honour Crowned; Bidgood: St Patrick’s March; Wright: Whitehall; Jansea: The Ambassador;Wagner: Rienzi; Siebert: Marching Sergeants; Jaeger: Freedom of Windsor; Double X; Howe: Scottish Colours; Bellini: Grand March from ‘Norma’; Renton: Guards Independent Parachute Company; Eley:Royal Heritage; Machin: Advance to Glory; etc. … Bandleader BNA 5199 [75:00] This recording brings to an end a series of releases featuring marches played at various Trooping the Colour Ceremonies since 1864, and all have been judiciously selected by the Director of Music, Lieutenant Colonel Graham Jones, to minimize duplication for even the most avid collector of military music ? so there’s not an Alford or Sousa march in sight on this collection. Instead we have contributions from such luminaries as "Jigg" Jaeger, long-term and celebrated DOM of the Irish Guards, Jimmy Howe, long-associated DOM of the Scots Guards, Frank Renton, still happily presenting ‘Listen to The Band’ on BBC Radio 2, and to bring as right up-to-date a march by Greg Machin: Advance to Glory played for the first time in 2008. Also of particular interest is the inclusion of an example, Royal Heritage,composed by the Coldstream Band’s first Music Major, Christopher Eley [1785-1794], in an effective rescoring for modern military band by Graham Jones. Particularly welcome is the first track from a composer usually associated with penning romanticized musical postcards depicting exotic places such as Persian markets and Chinese temple gardens. With Honour was written to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of King George V in 1935 and featured in the Birthday Parade that year. The only other recording I possess of this piece is in an orchestral version by the London Promenade Orchestra under Alexander Faris on a Philips CD. In sum this is a magnificent cornucopia of military marches, uplifting and stirring, and played by a band at the top of their very considerable form. The album is a superb testimony to the skill and talent of young military musicians who do not always receive the recognition they deserve. With vivid recording and generous playing time this disc is self-recommending. Roger Hyslop
HOLST IN CHICHESTER The Band of HM Royal Marines Portsmouth [The Royal Band] directed by Principal Director of Music, Lt Col Nick Grace RM; Chichester Cathedral Choir directed by Sarah Baldock; Mark Wardell [organ] Holst: First Suite in E flat for military band Op.28 No.1; Second Suite in F for military band Op.28 No.2; Hammersmith Op.52; Turn Back O Man, Planets Suite – Jupiter Op.32; Parry: I Was Glad; Stanford: Te Deum in B flat; Vaughan Williams:English Folk Song Suite Chevron CHVCD30 [71:00] Having acquired some three years ago Gordon Jacobs’ orchestration of the two suites by Gustav Holst ? available on Lyrita SRCD210 [LPO/Nicholas Braithwaite] ? I was particularly delighted by this latest and imaginative release from the "in house" label of the Royal Marines Band Service that includes the original military band versions, especially in such outstanding performances as these. Both are delivered with incisive, crisp and stylish playing, as are Vaughan Williams’ attractive and jaunty Suite, a 1923 commission from the Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall, and Jupiter; whilst the sombre strains of the brooding atmospheric and rarely performed Hammersmith are vividly conveyed by a band that possesses a rich tonal palette. Some slight reservations creep in with regard to the purely choral items. The modest-sized choir seems a little backwardly balanced and thus rather lacking in impact and presence, whilst the organist rarely makes his presence felt. But getting everything into perfect balance within the difficult cathedral acoustic is a well nigh impossible task and I’m sure the Royal Marines engineering team in charge of this production made valiant efforts to obtain the best possible results in attempting to blend together band, choir and organ. So the highlights on this disc are undoubtably the purely wind band items, vividly recorded and reflecting good inner details, and it’s difficult to imagine they could easily be bettered for some considerable time ? if at all. One final small quibble: it would have been helpful to have included individual track timings. Otherwise strongly recommended. Roger Hyslop[Available from The Blue Band Magazine HQBSRM, HMS Nelson, Queen Street, Portsmoth, Hants PO1 3HH, enclosing a £10 cheque made payable to "The Blue Band", or order online at www.royalmarinesbands.co.uk]
RED NICHOLS AND HIS FIVE PENNIES featuring MARION MORGAN The Navy Swings Dixie; A foggy day in London Town; Corky; Marry a rich woman; Fidgety feet; Come rain or come shine; Buglers Lament; I’m shooting high, Lassus Trombone; Stardust; Blues at midnight; Almost like being in love; Parade of the Pennies; My funny valentine; Maple Leaf Rag; I’ve got a crush on you Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY 797 [59‘51"] Featuring jazz veterans of the 1920s who made thousands of records, sometimes under different names. It is complete with all the usual recruitment announcements of the 1950s. Paul Clatworthy
THE OSCAR PETERSON TRIO The Complete World Transcriptions 24 tracks incl. Fine and dandy; Someone to watch over me; Heatwave; Makin’ Whoopee; Just you, just me; Sweet Georgia Brown; A fine romance; Should I?; How about you; Zing went the strings of my heart, September in the rain; Imagination; Don’t blame me … Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY 800 [58’06"] Three fine musicians working steadily through a good collection of standards. Of not a single track could I honestly say, "I’ve got to hear that again." One for Peterson completists only. If you have your arm twisted into helping wash-up, good background sound but still conveyer-belt music. Sounds of Yesteryear discs are available from The Woods and other good retailers. Paul Clatworthy
CHOPIN 14 Waltzes, etc. Dinu Lipatti 17 tracks EMI 9659302 [64:48] This year marks the 200thbirth anniversary of the Polish composer Frederic Chopin, who is described in Classic fM’s ‘Classic Ephemera’ miscellany [Elliott & Thompson ISBN 1904027814] as "sort of a Henry Ford of composers, whose catchphrase might have been ‘you can have any instrument as long as it’s the piano.’" The waltzes recorded in 1950, the year the brilliant 33-year-old Romanian-born pianist tragically died, have never been out of the catalogue and here they are re-mastered in EMI’s new low-priced Masters series. Included are the best-known waltzes Minute [as in tiny] and Brilliant. Delightful!Edward Trub
TCHAIKOVSKY Sleeping Beauty Ballet Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden, conducted by Mark Ermler Sony 88697575302 [172:01] Tchaikovsky’s ballets are surely in a class of their own in possessing a symphonic breadth and sweep unrivalled or surpassed, in my view, either before or since. The Sleeping Beauty received mixed reviews on its first appearance in Russia and its popularity didn’t really begin to take off until Diaghilev staged it with his Ballet Russe in London in 1921. These CDs are a new reissue of an account recorded in 1989 at St-Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb [a church designed by the famous architect Sir Edwin Lutyens]. It straddles three discs simply because it is commendably played absolutely complete whereas most rival accounts are contained on two CDs, making some cuts unavoidable. This is a magnificent and compelling score, made the more so with melodies pouring from the composer’s pen in a veritable flood and, with sumptuous recording quality and a price tag of around £15 [less online], is treasure trove indeed. Roger Hyslop
SIR ARTHUR SULLIVAN Ivanhoe BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by David Lloyd-Jones Chandos CHAN 10578 Sullivan always wanted to break free of his less serious mode and succeeded with Ivanhoe, one of the very few patriotic English grand operas, neatly shown in the packaging which represents the Cross of St. George. Dedicated to and therefore possibly commissioned by Queen Victoria, it deserves a listing because of its epic story and three hour duration, not to mention its links with the Royal Opera House built specially by Richard D’Oyly Carte but ultimately turning into the Palace Theatre. If you like grand opera then this is for you. Mid-price for a 3-CD boxed set. Edmund Whitehouse
More releases noted by Wilfred Askew
COUNT BASIE AND HIS ORCHESTRA Play Music by Neal Hefti : On My Way and Shoutin’ Again! 10 tracks incl. Dirty Bumps; Jump for Johnnie; Shanghaied; Skippin’ with Skitch; Rose Bud; Together Again … Verve 1790904 [34:21] Recorded in 1962.
TONY BENNETT For Once In My Life ; I’ve Gotta Be Me Something in your smile; Out of this world; Baby, dream your dream; How do you say Auf Wiedersehen; Keep smiling at trouble … and 4 more Arranged/conducted by Marion Evans, David Rose, Torrie Zito & Ralph Burns / Play it again, Sam; Alfie; What the world needs now is love; They all laughed; A lonely place; Theme from ‘Valley of the Dolls’ … and 5 more Arranged/conducted by Terrie Zito. Original Columbia [CBS] recordings from 1967 and 1969. Beat Goes On Records BGOCD 886 [64:11]
CLASSIC WESTERN SCORES FROM M-G-M, Vol.2 Original Motion Picture Soundtracks Disc 1:Northwest Passage  Herbert Stothart 31 tracks; Disc 2: Many Rivers To Cross  Cyril J Mockridge [cond. Miklos Rozsa] 30 tracks; Escape From Fort Bravo  Jeff Alexander; Disc 3: A Thunder Of Drums  Harry Sukman 25 tracks; The Godchild  David Shire 14 tracksF.S.M. Vol.12 No.18 [217:16] Limited to 2,000 copies.
JOHNNY DANKWORTH Let’s Slip Away Film & TV 1960-1973 [2-CD set] Disc 1 – Big Screen 20 tracks incl. Saturday Night and Sunday Morning; The Servant; Darling; Sands of the Kalihari; Accident; Modesty Blaise … Disc 2 – Home Entertainment 19 tracks incl. The Avengers; Little Nell; Pickwick Club; Aquarius; The Frost Report; Off Duty; Night Owl; Tomorrow’s World; Bitter Lemons …Universal – Eclipse 531761 [107:29] The majority of tracks appeared originally on Fontana between 1960 and 1973; Cleo Laine is on nine of them.
KEN GRIFFIN [Organ] Drifting & Dreaming [2-CD set] 52 tracks incl. Ebb Tide; Green Eyes; Until Tomorrow; Marie; Jealous; Isle of Capri; Always; Valencia, Whispering; All Alone; Now is the Hour; I’m Lost in the Clouds; When Irish Eyes are Smiling; April in Portugal; In the Chapel in the Moonlight … Rex REXX 334 [132:52]
QUINCY JONES Explores The Music Of Henry Mancini 12 tracks incl. Baby Elephant Walk; Dreamsville; Mr Lucky; [I love you] and don’t you forget it; Soldier in the Rain; Moon River; Peter Gunn Verve 1799574 [38:22]
THE MASTERSOUNDS : WES MONTGOMERY Kismet and The King And I 17 tracks Cherry Red ACMEM174CD [78:49] Genteel, chamber jazz reminiscent of the MJQ; and of the Previn/Manne/ Vinnegar recordings of show tunes on Contemporary.
SHIP MARTIN’S ALL STAR JAZZ BAND Symphonies In Jazz Scheherajazz – adapted from Rimskky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade [4 movements]; Swingin’ with Prince Igor - adapted from Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances [4 dances]; Tannhäuser – adapted from Wagner’s overture. Flare ROYCD302 [62:13] The big band alternates with a concert orchestra on all nine tracks, recorded in stereo in 1959.
MIKLÓS RÓZSA TREASURY [1949 – 1968] Original Picture Soundtracks: Madame Bovary; The Red Danube; The Miniver Story; The Ashphalt Jungle; East Side, West Side; The Light Touch; Quo Vadis [on 2 CDs]; The Story Of Three Loves; Young Bess; All The Brothers Were Valiant; Knights Of The Round Table [UK recording]; Crest Of The Wave; Beau Brummell; Something Of Value; Crisis; Tip On A Dead Jockey; King Of Kings; El Cid; Ivanhoe; Knights Of The Round Table [US recording]; The V I Ps; The Power FSM Box 04 [19:13:31] 15-CD set, in 3 cases in a sturdy box with 48pp booklet. Limited to 2,000 copies.