Keeping Track - Dateline September 2010
THE BEST OF BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC BBC Concert Orchestra, Martin Loveday [leader], conducted by Vernon Handley 633 Squadron; Coronation Scot; Westminster Waltz; London Suite - Knightsbridge: March; Covent Garden: Tarantelle; Nights of Gladness; Mexican Hat Dance; Sailing By; The Horse Guards - Whitehall; Elizabethan Serenade; Little Suite - March; Jamaican Rumba; Concert Jig; By The Sleepy Lagoon; Puffin’ Billy; Vanity Fair; Jumping Bean; Grasshoppers’ Dance; Barwick Green; Dam Busters March Sony Classical 88697707372 [68:24] Hot from HMV, this release plopped through my letterbox on the last date for reviews to be sent in. Although the last to arrive it is the first this quarter deserving an enthusiastic recommendation. The selection of mellow 1997 recordings here presents no big surprises for the light music lover ─ some of the British connections may raise a quizzical eyebrow or two ─ but it will make a wonderful introduction for someone who has little knowledge of or thinks they have no liking for our kind of music, conducted as it is by the acclaimed British classical conductor and champion of all British music, the late Vernon "Tod" Handley. And it is meat and drink to the orchestra involved. The Concert Jig is from Ernest Tomlinson’s ‘Silverthorn Suite’, the ‘Little Suite is by Trevor Duncan, and Peter Hope arranged theMexican Hat Dance. At a list price of £4.99 [I got it for a pre-release price of £2.99!] it is a great bargain. So, go on, buy it for yourself and treat an "unbelieving" friend. It’s not long until Christmas!Peter Burt
BUDDY BREGMAN CONDUCTS Symphony Of The Golden West The Brussels World Fair’s Pops Symphony Orchestra Song of the Golden West, The Streets of Laredo, Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie, Colorado Trail, The Cowboy, Whoopee-Ti-Yi-Yo, Billy Boy, Red River Valley, Home on the Range, The Old Chisholm Trail, No Use For Women, Jesse James ; A Lovely Afternoon The Conrad Salinger Orchestra The Continental, I Cover The Waterfront, Long Ago and Far Away, The Boy Next Door, Our Love Affair, That’s Entertainment, I Concentrate On You, Singin’ In The Rain, Let’s Fall In Love, The Trolley Song, I’ve Told Ev’ry Little Star, I’m In Love With A Wonderful GuyFrank Bristow EXCD 59 [67:19]. If you have bought a Guild ‘Golden Age of Light Music’ CD recently, the chances are that one of the tracks from the Conrad Salinger LP ‘A Lovely Afternoon’may have been included. Most of the inspired arrangements from this genius of MGM Musicals have already been made available again on Guild, but this should certainly not stop you from jumping at the chance to get the complete album. If you need any further encouragement, movie-buff Richard Hindley has updated his article on Salinger from JIM which now appears in full in the CD booklet. The LP has been remastered to a very high standard [the booklet doesn’t divulge his or her name] and listening to twelve great movie songs performed so immaculately is surely a great way to escape from the troubles of our modern world. The accompanying LP is almost a bonus. Its subject matter suggests it was aimed at the American market, but it avoids too much corny cowboy nostalgia. Billy Boy [which I had always assumed to be a traditional British air] receives a most melodic treatment that completely transforms it. If you share my enthusiasm for the great days of film musicals, don’t hesitate to get this CD while you can. David Ades For details of how to obtain the Frank Bristow CDs mentioned in this feature, please refer to the review for the Reg Owen albums.
TEX BENEKE ORCHESTRA Goodbye, Glenn Miller Strings 27 tracks incl. Just you just me; Blue champagne; Cherokee Canyon; The man I love; Saturday date; Can’t help lovin’ that man; A woman always understands; St Louis Blues March; A string of pearls; Until; Every day I love you; Little Jack Frost got lost; East of the sun; At last … Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY 811 [79:07] Glenn’s Army Band had a large string section but back in civvy street the economics became too much for its successor’s budget. Compiler Michael Highton has collated some of the last string outings made: some bought from the late Bill Holland, former secretary of The Glenn Miller Appreciation Society, others from broadcasts made by the late Jimmy Crawford. Enjoyable, with the highlights for me being Bill Finegan’s arrangement of My Buddy, Ralph Wilkinson’s setting of Laura, and Henry Mancini cutting the band loose on ‘S Wonderful Paul Clatworthy
JOHNNY DOUGLAS AND HIS ORCHESTRA & SINGERS On Broadway 10 tracks from ‘No, No, Nanette’ incl. Too many rings around Rosie; I’ve confessed to the breeze; Tea for two; Take a little one step; I want to be happy … ; I believe in you; Paris original; The brotherhood on man; To look upon my love; Inevitable; I’m just taking my time; Comes one in a lifetime; Shalom; Everything beautiful; His own little island Dulcima DLCD 123 [62:36] Our esteemed Editor heaped so much praise on the last Douglas release [JIM 182] he probably thought somebody else should have a bite at this latest cherry of a disc. It comprises two original RCA albums in their Living Strings Collection – the third from this label. The first album is of the 1925 Vincent Youmans’ stage show [filmed 1930, ’40 and ’50] regarded on its original release in 1971 as the best recording of the songs. Youmans went for simplicity and many of his tunes were just a repetition of three or four notes as in Tea for two. The second album, after which this CD is named, is a 1962 selection of unhackneyed hits from the Broadway musicals of the previous year: ‘How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying[Loesser]; ‘Kean’ [Wright/Forrest]; ‘Subways are for Sleeping’ [Comden/Green/Styne]; ‘Milk and Honey’ [Herman]; and ‘Let it Ride’ [Livingston/Evans]. All the arrangements are by the conductor, who captures the real show-music sound from a full orchestra. Although every track is vocal there are some superior string sounds surrounding the singing. Top marks, too, for re-mastering and recording. Peter Burt
A FIRST A-Z OF LIGHT MUSIC Guild GLCD5169 For full tracklisting please see page 66 of JIM 184 (June 2010)
This sounded an interesting title for the 69th Guild release promising more to come, alphabetically speaking, and it begins in great style with Vivian Ellis’s Alpine Pastures played by the Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra, arranged and conducted by Sidney Torch from the Chappell catalogue. I’ve often wondered why a programme producer chooses a particular piece of music [Alpine Pastures was the theme music for the BBC radio programme ‘My Word’ many years ago 1956-1990], considering the hundreds of musical themes available in mood music libraries. Alpine Pastures begins very gently for the first 31 seconds ─ not at all the theatrical opening you might expect a radio producer to look for. Then the main jolly tune comes in and I’ll bet Tony Shryane, the producer [I think it was he], sat back, lit up a cigarette and thought, "that’s the piece." Another very jolly tune is David Rose’s The Christmas Tree as played by his Orchestra. David [Ades] tells us in his notes that this was used each Yuletide on the Red Skelton TV Show, and it’s not hard to see why; it’s just the piece to get the audience in a festive mood. Hans-Georg Arlt and his Orchestra make another appearance on Guild with an attractive number, Through You This World Is Beautiful, on the Ariola label. A composer who’s intrigued me for some time since coming across her works in publishers’ mood music catalogues is Joyce Cochrane, and thanks to David’s notes we know more about her with the inclusion of Flowing Stream from the Francis, Day & Hunter catalogue. Another of her compositions I’d like to see included on a future Guild issue is Round the Square. I’ve got the Chappell 78 but it would be nice to have it on CD. Another mood music composer, very prolific in his lifetime, was Cedric King Palmer, and here’s one of his typically catchy numbers, Going Concern, played by The Grosvenor Studio Orchestra conducted by Dolf Van der Linden on track seven. The sort of happy carefree music that used to come off the soundtracks of short supporting cinema films such as the "Look At Life" series from the Rank Organization. Another composer whom we don’t hear too much about is Henry Croudson whose composition Jump For Joy, played by The Connaught Light Orchestra, is included in this collection. Philip Green [writing as Jose Belmonte] provides an exotic flavour with his number The Kiss played by Angela Morley and her Orchestra, while Hal Mooney and his Orchestra follow on track 12 with his own curious march-like rhythmic piece, Leo. Perhaps it was written in honour of the MGM Lion… who knows? Another curiosity is Moonlight on the Ganges by Sherman Myers [Montague Ewing] and Chester Wallace, played by Gordon Jenkins and his Orchestra. Not the sort of dreamy piece I expected from Mr. Ewing, having a number of his lighthearted pieces in my record collection. Joseph Kuhn was another prolific composer judging by the times his name crops up on the 101 Strings recordings, and here’s another of his sparkling contributions, Noche Amour, played by The Rio Carnival Orchestra. George Melachrino conducting the Orchestra of the 6th San Remo Festival play Parole E Musica by Silvestri, [don’t ask!] Back to my territory, a piece of Bosworth Catalogue Archive music from 1938, Rose-Beetle Goes A-Wooing by Jose Armandola and played by the Regent Classic Orchestra [Louis Voss and his Orchestra?] Still in "mood music" mode, but this time from 1959, the Group Forty Orchestra conducted by Eric Cook gives us Jack Cole’s Sunshine Express from the KPM Library. I first heard this on an LP collection of mood pieces from KPM issued in 1966 by Amateur Cine World magazine. It included a licence to re-record on film or tape without payment of additional dubbing fees and I’m looking at the LP now as I write this, with its photo on the front sleeve of a young couple and a Eumig Projector, the same model I still have. Good old cine days. Yet another library piece, the overture Vanity Fair by Percy Fletcher from Boosey & Hawkes with Jay Wilbur conducting the New Concert Orchestra, recorded at Levy’s Sound Studios I’m sure. It has what I can only describe as that distinct Levy sound, and it made me re-read Bill Johnson’s fascinating article "Memories of Levy’s Sound Studios 1955-1961" in the June 2004 issue [No.159] of Journal into Melody, although Vanity Fair was recorded in 1946. Getting to the end of the alphabet must have been a tricky move but the compilers have done it withXarafes, a tango arranged and played by Dolf Van der Linden and his Orchestra. This is followed by Jeff Alexander’s Yellow, a cheerful piece played by a Symphony Orchestra conducted by Frank Sinatra. And finally Z for Zingara by Cecile Chaminade, a charming number played by The Melachrino Orchestra, and arranged by Arthur Wilkinson. A spirited ending for yet another Guild Light Music CD. Ken Wilkins
MORTON GOULD & HIS ORCHESTRA Showtime ‘Famous Operettas’: The Waltz Dream; Sari; The Merry Widow; The Vagabond King; The Cat and The Fiddle; Why Do I Love you? … ; ‘Oklahoma – Suite’… 4 tracks // ‘Carousel – Suite’ … 5 tracks; Fanny; Why be afraid to dance?; Almost like being in love; I’m sure of your love; Three-quarter Blues; The perfume of your love; My best love; Merry Andrew; Love for two; Happy with the Blues; Lullabye time; Tonight I love you more; Once in a million moons; Nightwalk Frank Bristow FBCD 220/221 [77:49 & 73:57] Coming to this disc I was aware of Morton Gould [1913-96] for his classical compositions [the ballet Fall River Legend, Latin-American Symphonette, etc.] and The Deserted Ballroom, one of my all-time favourite Mantovani tracks. However, as arranger, pianist and conductor he bridged the musical worlds. This generously timed 2CD-set includes tracks from four albums [one Columbia, three RCA] and is easy listening melody all the way. Two of the operetta tracks, Cole Porter’s Silk stockings and All of you, were originally RCA 45 rpm promotional discs. The Harold Rome numbers, Fanny and Why be afraid to dance?, were also recorded on 45s. The most interesting tracks are the last ten listed above all featuring that master of the harmonica, Larry Adler. In his informative booklet notes [although it’s a pity no recording dates are given] Frank Bristow tells us that these had been discarded for one reason or another by their creators, and discovered only after their deaths, apart from those by Gould himself: Love for two and Nightwalk. Of particular note is George Gershwin’s Lullabye time[c.1919], which came to the attention of Adler and is transcribed here for orchestra with harmonica playing the first violin part. It was premiered by him at the 1963 Edinburgh Festival.
Time To Listen Love walked in; I’m in the mood for love; Let’s fall in love; Tell me that you love me; Speak to me of love; Easy to love; My silent love; I love you; I love Thee [Ich liebe Dich]; Mack the Knife; Speak low; Lost in the stars; Train to Johannesburg; My ship; I got a marble and star; September song; Mack the Knife; Mary Galante; Surabaya Johnny; Theme from ‘Mahagonny’; Polly’s Song; Bilbao Song; Morton Gould talks about Kurt Weill Frank Bristow FBCD 227 [77:52] Another well-filled RCA originated album arranged and conducted by the phenomenally talented Mr Gould. The first nine tracks are a nice selection of romantic titles; things move a bit up-tempo with some of the remaining Kurt Weill numbers. The first Mack the Knife track is based on the first New York presentation in April 1933, the second on the original Berlin production of 1928. The piece and its composer are the subjects of the last track: an interesting three-minute illustrated talk by the maestro. New to me and very enjoyable are Train, from the 1949 show "Lost In The Stars", andSurabaya, from "Happy End" twenty years earlier. There’s an occasional bit of roughness in the sound and some might have appreciated a little more warmth in the recording, but it’s not just time to listen … it’s time to enjoy. Peter Burt
THE GOLDEN AGE OF HOLLYWOOD Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by José Serebrier; Roderick Elms [piano] 15 tracks of themes & excerpts from ‘The Big Country’; ‘Casablanca’; ‘The Guns of Navarone’; ‘Spellbound’; ‘Psycho’; ‘Ben-Hur’; ‘The Sea Hawk’; ‘Dangerous Moonlight’; ‘Gone with the Wind’; ‘Taxi Driver’; and ‘The Magnificent Seven’ Royal Philharmonic Orchestra RPO017CD [77:26]
THE GOLDEN AGE OF HOLLYWOOD 2 Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by José Serebrier;
Clio Gould [violin]; Jamie Talbot [alto saxophone] 15 tracks of themes and excerpts from ‘Vertigo’; ‘Citizen Kane’; ‘The Godfather’; ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’; ‘North By Northwest’; ‘Dial M for Murder’; ‘The Caine Mutiny’; ‘The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes’; ‘Sunset Boulevard’; and ‘A Place in the Sun’ Royal Philharmonic Orchestra RPO022CD [73:38]
Composer-conductor José Serebrier continues to surprise. His career has not followed the institutional way of being principal conductor of this orchestra or that. Opportunities are instead offered to him, and sometimes taken, often refused. In this way a real freshness hangs over much that he does. The recording studio has yielded sessions for recording the new, the exotic and fairly often the unfashionable. Examples are legion and his Janáček and Chadwick [Reference Recordings] leap immediately to mind. In the case of these two discs Serebrier squares up to film music. It’s a serious selection too, charting the vintage Hollywood years from 1939 to 1976. While Hollywood film scores are not the be all and end all and the time will surely come to explore methodically the film scores of the USSR, of Germany and France the fact is that Hollywood has been the home of some of the most sumptuous music for the silver screen. That word "sumptuous" certainly applies to the sound secured by the Serebrier and the engineers for Volume 2 at Cadogan Hall in London. Herrmann’s ‘Vertigo’ has never sounded as ripe. There’s also real rosiny grit and the panicky heat of the chase in the violins of the ‘North By Northwest’ prelude. The sound of the music is reminiscent of the chilliness of ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’. Steiner’s ‘Caine Mutiny’ march has the requisite brazen blast and sheer excess ─ strangely at odds with the psychological dimensions of the film. That could never be said of the Herrmann music for ‘Citizen Kane’ with its sour Gothic afflatus contrasted with childlike nostalgia. Serebrier sustains the atmosphere without a single gasp or hesitation. The lush violins are superbly floated for the Korngold ‘The Adventures of Robin Hood’. Elmer Bernstein’s miniature suite from ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ has a Gallic lightness and yearning poignancy. Clio Gould cozies up close and husky for the Rozsa ‘Sherlock Holmes’ music which is drawn from the Violin Concerto. The Hungarian skirl is a Rozsa trademark on display again here. The Waxman ‘Sunset Boulevard’ is given a viciously urgent spur and is driven so hard that it moves into Herrmann territory. A year later Waxman turned in another signature score in ‘A Place In The Sun’ complete with world-weary saxophone and uncanny pre-echo of the Shostakovich Symphony No.11 in the chase music. Serebrier is especially good, in these moments, at unleashing a sort of controlled wildness. Tiomkin’s ‘Dial M for Murder’ is a lush romantic score but Tiomkin lacked the blazing genius of Herrmann or Waxman and this shows in what ends up being pleasantly intriguing rather than riveting. Nino Rota’s ‘Godfather’ music is pastoral shimmering in the Sicilian Pastorale, shiveringly doom-laden in Michael and Kay and operatic lump-in-the-throat tender in The Love Theme. There’s lovely legato playing by the RPO’s oboist. This is altogether a classy album. Volume 1 has its moments but seems a notch down from its successor in all settings. There is clarity about the sound but the well known Watford Colosseum, on this occasion, fails to yield the sort of lush amplitude balanced with a degree of transparency found on Volume 2. It’s intrinsically perfectly enjoyable but suffers in the comparison. I found this in the book-end Western themes especially ‘The Big Country’ by Moross, though the ‘Magnificent Seven’ Overture was less affected. Serebrier certainly knows how to accent this music and those eruptive golden horns in the Bernstein are matchlessly glorious. Steiner’s ‘Casablanca’ Suite suffers from what was already pretty much of a hokum score with much tired play made of national anthems. Steiner’s fault ─ I had the same problem with the RCA Gerhardt Steiner Classic Film Music album. Nothing has changed. The ‘Spellbound’ Concerto by Rozsa is nicely dispatched by Elms and the rest. The four movements from ‘Psycho’ have urgency, macabre cold atmosphere and tensely freighted threat ─ the latter wonderfully done in the Sibelian tremble that makes up most of The Stairs. The shrieking violins for The Murder are very sharply delineated. Tiomkin’s ‘The Guns of Navarone’ lumbers somewhat but soon develops a rather English film music style perhaps a little like Addison’s miniature masterpiece ‘A Bridge Too Far’ [Chandos; Ryko; EMI Classics]. Serebrier imparts real tenderness to the Love Theme from ‘Ben-Hur’ and plenty of swagger for the Charioteers’ Parade. Herrmann’s ‘Taxi Driver’ score was his last and was written contra torrentum in a world where cinematic scores seemed to be abandoning the orchestra. Phil Todd delivers a caramel smoochy saxophone solo. I have only recently heard Previn’s LSO ‘Sea Hawk’ music [Korngold’s ‘Sea Hawk’, ‘Prince and Pauper’, ‘Elizabeth and Essex’ and ‘Captain Blood’ - Abbey Road, July 2001, DG 289 471 347-2]. While Serebrier is often more than very good he is a rung down from Previn in terms of sheer sound. That said, the brass interlacing and terracing he secures is impressively and excitingly done. The Addinsell Warsaw Concerto is well executed but failed to stir me. ‘Gone With The Wind’ is more Steiner but this is Steiner at his personal best andTara’s Theme yearns very nicely indeed ─ at first in a delicacy worthy of Elmer Bernstein and later in swooping strings. Speaking of Bernstein I cannot praise too highly again those whoopingly exultant RPO French horns in the final ‘Magnificent Seven’ track ─ glorious glorious. There you have it: two generously packed CDs, well documented, each with great strengths and featuring sharply imaginative and challenging playing. CD 2 stands a step up in recorded sound terms over CD 1. They’re each a great way to survey the Hollywood classic scores. It’s what Serebrier brings to the podium that now makes me want to hear him tackle some of the complete film scores. I keep whitening on about recording Prokofiev’s war-time film music (not Nevsky and not Kijé) but its also well past time that Mario Nascimbene’s score for ‘The Vikings’ and Hugo Friedhofer’s ‘The Best Years of Our Lives’ were revived and recorded afresh; the latter has been done in modern sound but Frank Collura’s conducting on Intrada seemed flat and undifferentiated to me. Serebrier would be an ideal choice for these projects. Rob Barnett
The above two reviews are included by kind permission of Rob Barnett and www.musicweb-international.com
MANTOVANI & HIS ORCHESTRA Mantovani Presents His Concert Successes Charmaine; Die Fledermaus – Overture; Moon River; Hora Staccato; Aquarius; Autumn Leaves; Gypsy Carnival; Seventy-Six Trombones; Greensleeves; Capriccio Italian; Theme from ‘The Virginian’; Fantasy on Italian Melodies: Tarantella/ O Sole Mio/ A Frangesa/ Santa Lucia/ Maria, Mari/ Funiculi, Funicula; Charmaine Vocalion CDLF 8145 [51:23] It is good that Monty’s music lives on and hardly an issue of JIM passes without a review or a mention. This is the first of four new releases. Previously issued studio recordings are used together with actual concert sounds from the Royal Albert Hall. Mantovani introduces the music with what his biographer, Colin Mackenzie, calls "his usual whimsy." The arrangement of Moon River, featuring the soprano sax of Norman Baker, was a new one when the album first came out on LP in 1988. The disc is warmly recommended as a fine reminder of what a Mantovani concert was like. At budget price, it is my CD Choice for this issue.
The Magic Of Mantovani Double CD set 40 tracks incl. Charmaine; September Song; La Vie En Rose; Cara Mia; Exodus [Main Theme]; Swedish Rhapsody; Some Enchanted Evening; La Mer // Love Is A Many Splendoured Thing; Stardust; As Time Goes By; Till; And I Love You So; Moulin Rouge Theme; Tonight … Decca 5326904 I understand that this has proved something of a sales success thanks to TV advertising. We are told that it "takes a lifestyle approach to the original recording, presenting his best loved recordings via a new and accessible animated TVC treatment which references 1950s animation styles." If any reader can tell me what that means I’ll be grateful [and surprised]. There are no inlay notes and there is a bad error in that Summertime is played twice, the first time instead of the listed Summertime in Venice! For anyone not in possession of a Mantovani compilation CD, however, this with its good sound quality and low price could be the one to have.
Mantovani The Complete Collection 5-CD set 125 tracks … Spectrum SPECSIG 2046 For little more than the price of the set above you can get this, the biggest collection ever outside of Japan. Most of the tracks you would expect to find are here [there is, of course, some duplication with ‘The Magic Of’’] but there are many less familiar but well-remembered tracks such as Answer Me,Unchained Melody, Over The Rainbow, Vaya Con Dios, Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo, Sibony, Faraway Places, I Dream of Jeanie, Blue Star, Jamaica Farewell, A Walk In The Black Forest, The Missouri Waltz, The Yellow Rose of Texas, The Happy Wanderer, The Whiffenpoof Song, Tulips From Amsterdam, If I Only Had Time, The Anniversary Waltz, Little Green Apples, and Where Have All The Flowers Gone? This set does have good inlay notes, by Hugh Palmer, and would be the one I’d go for ─ it’s a veritable stringfest. And ordering from the likes of HMV online it works out at around 8p per track!
MANTOVANI & MARIO del MONACO A Song For You Serenade [from The Student Prince], Musica Prohibita; Love’s Last Word Is Spoken; To Voglio Tanto Bene; Tonight; Cateri, Cateri; Be My Love; Girls Were Made To Love and Kiss; Cara Mia; Lolita; White Dove [Lehár], Ciao Ciao BambinoVocalion CDLF 8145 This, recorded in London’s Kingsway Hall in 1962 and released in the UK a year later, was never the success it promised to be ─ except in Japan ─ and this is its first appearance here on CD. The last two tracks were not on the original album. Sadly, the once great tenor was past his peak; but not so Monty and his musicians or Cecil Milner’s arrangements, so this is worth acquiring at budget price. Peter Burt
GEORGE MELACHRINO Rendezvous In Rome & Memories Of The Ballet & Waltzes The Melachrino Strings and Orchestra Rome the City; Volare; Castel Sant’ Angelo from ‘Tosca’; Tesoro mio; Three Coins in the Fountain; View of the Vatican [St Peter’s]; Colosseum; Autostrada; Regazza romanza; Vista Roma; Italian Fantasy; Arriverderci, Roma; Memories of the Ballet … 9 titles; Waltzing through the Operettas … 9 titles; Woodland Revels Vocalion CDVS 1953 [58:20] This joins five other collectable Melachrino CDs on Mike Dutton’s wonderful label: ‘Begin the Beguine’[CDEA6014], ‘Soft Lights and Sweet Music’ [CDVS1956], ‘Our Man in London’ & ‘Lisbon at Twilight [Highlights]’ [CDLK3337], ‘Under Western Skies & ‘The Immortal Ladies’ [CDNJT5205] and ‘Music for the Nostalgic Traveller’ & ‘Music for Relaxation [Highlights]’ [CDVS1960]. Four of the tracks on this new CD’s first album, released as a stereo LP in 1959, are composed by Melachrino himself and are quite evocative of the Eternal City. The renowned oboe player, Leon Goossens, is featured on the ear-catching Vista. There are also some lovely string sounds throughout. Three Coins is given an especially fine arrangement. The dance tempo treatment in the reprise of Volare even makes my feelings towards that tune soften a little. The accordion, which I associate more with Paris than Rome, is used on several tracks. I have always considered Melachrino’s to be the most symphonic sounding of all the great light orchestras and so on the second album they have no problems with the Maestro arranged ballet memories of pieces by Gounod, Delibes, Tchaikovsky, Rossini, Respighi, Luigini and Ponchielli. The operetta waltzes come from the pens of Cuvillier, Stolz, German, Messager, Friml, Kerker and Coward. With these selections we are offered that old trick of the early electric recording era, the musical switch. Interestingly this 1956 album originated as a Stereosonic tape. Recording is good without being outstanding. The CD is priced at £2.99, but you try buying it for that [apart from Dutton direct where postage will cost you half as much again]. It is, of course, still worth adding to your collection at any bargain price. Peter Burt
REG OWEN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Music For Your Listening Pleasure featuring tracks from the RCA LPs ‘Dreaming’, ‘Cuddle Up A Little Closer’, ‘Coffee Break’ and ‘Holiday Abroad in Dublin’ FBCD229 [79:34].
Come Relax With Me featuring tracks from RCA LPs ‘Dream Time Waltzes’ (with Vienna State Opera Orchestra), ‘Holiday Abroad in Dublin’, ‘I’ll Sing You 1000 Love Songs’, ‘Candlelight & Wine’ and ‘Coffee Break’ FBCD230 [79:48].
Two Faces of Reg Owen featuring Bally LP ‘Swing Me High’ and Palette LP ‘Get Happy’. FBCD231[79:41].
Nice Knowing You featuring tracks from RCA LPs ‘Deep In A Dream’, ‘Girls Were Made To Take Care of Boys’ and ‘Coffee Break’ FBCD232 [78:42].
Parisian Flavoured featuring tracks from RCA LPs ‘Under Paris Skies’, ‘You Don’t Know Paree’ and ‘Deep In a Dream’ FBCD 233 [79:13].
Twixt England and Ireland featuring tracks from RCA LPs ‘Holiday Abroad In London’ and ‘The British Isles’ FBCD234 [79:42]
A Touch of Red, White and Blue featuring the RCA LPs ‘Fiorello’ and ‘The Best of Irving Berlin’FBCD235 [79:42]
Anyone who has previously purchased CDs from our good friend Frank Bristow will know that he seems to be on a mission to make available so much glorious music that the major companies persistently ignore. The latest "neglected" arranger/conductor to receive his attention is Reg Owen, and it is clear from the fact that almost all of these LPs were issued in the USA so it probably made Reg better known in the USA than in his home country of Britain. Unfortunately we don’t have enough space here to include all the track listing details, but you can find this on Frank’s website. You will have noted that each CD enjoys very generous playing time, which is achieved through Frank’s careful selection of extra tracks from certain LPs to fill each disc. The sound quality is consistently good and, although Frank confesses that it has proved difficult to discover a lot of biographical information about Reg, each booklet is well presented. If you want a comprehensive collection of Reg Owen’s music, these seven CDs will fill the bill admirably. Should you just want one or two you have a varied selection from which to choose, ranging from sultry mood music [FBCD229] to big band [FBCD231]. Top marks to Frank for saluting a talented musician who has been unfairly neglected.David Ades
Frank Bristow’s CDs are only available direct from him at 2 Cross Street, Brighton, Victoria 3186, Australia. Tel. 063-9528-3167 Email website: www.musicfromthepast.comCredit cards and Paypal are accepted, but no cheques – details from Frank on request.
ROYAL AIR FORCE SQUADRONAIRES In The Mood : The Glenn Miller Celebration In The Mood; Pennsylvania 6-5000; Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree; Moonlight Serenade; American Patrol; Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy; String of Pearls; Chattanooga Choo Choo; Little Brown Jug; Tuxedo Junction; At Last; St. Louis Blues March; Song of the Volga Boatman; Adios Decca 2736453 [46:27] Superlatives cannot do justice to these exquisite renditions of Glenn Miller classics; smooth trombones and saxophones that are the Miller trademark "chromium plated" by the Squads under the direction of their leader Sergeant Ken Miles. This is big band dance music at its best with the orchestral polish of the unique Glenn Miller arrangements. It is difficult to pick out favourites from such jewels, but String of Pearls [written personally by Glenn for his wife] and Adios are particularly evocative. Vocals also deserve an accolade; just listen to voices from the past, the Andrews Sisters, on Track 3. Finally of historical interest: The Squadronaires started out in 1939 as the Royal Air Force Dance Orchestra, which makes their performances span 71 years. Like good port wine they have matured superbly! Roger Chantler
WAR AND PEACE : LIGHT MUSIC OF THE 1940S Guild GLCD5171 [xx:xx] For full track listing please see page xx of this issue.
Another slice of nostalgia from this new Guild release and it begins in fine style with Charles Shadwell’s Orchestra and a real curtain raiser, Down The Mall, by Tony Lowry and Douglas Brownsmith writing as John Belton. I remember hearing this on the BBC World Service many years ago as intro music to a long forgotten programme. This piece has appeared twice before on previous Guild CDs by Philip Green and his Orchestra and also by Fodens Motor Works Band. Then Percy Faith and his Orchestra with an arrangement by him of Hoagy Carmichael’s Stardust which leads us into Eric Coates’s fine concert waltz Footlights, with him conducting the Light Symphony Orchestra [thought to be The London Philharmonic Orchestra]. The Fugue, divorced from the Spitfire Prelude is next, written by Sir William Walton for the 1943 film "The First of the Few", the moving tribute to the Spitfire designer Reginald Mitchell, with the composer conducting the Halle Orchestra, later reissued on an HMV45 7P 312. Amongst the many works by Charles Williams is Girls In Grey, which I think is one of his best and it’s included on this Guild CD played as usual by the Queens Hall Light Orchestra and conducted by him. Boogie Woogie Moonshine from the 1946 film "Piccadilly Incident" is a five minute ballet diversion devised by Wendy Toye and played by Louis Levy and his Music from the Movies, on track ten. The musical director of the film was Anthony Collins and Piccadilly 1944composed by Vivian Ellis was also in the film. The Voice of Industry by Jack Beaver on track 11 was a familiar theme in newsreels and documentaries of this period and it’s used to good effect in a British Railways LMS colour documentary film I have, made I think in 1947. About the same time as I became aware of this Beaver piece, so did I hear on the radio Willie the Whistler by Bob Farnon. Quickly writing to the BBC for information came back the dreaded news that it was"a Chappell recording – not available commercially". Not to be outdone I wrote to Bob Farnon c/o the BBC and lo and behold a copy of Willie the Whistler arrived from Bob, the first Chappell disc I had ever seen and I still have it among my 78s. And that first Bob Farnon composition for Chappells is included on this new Guild CD. The Prelude from the film "A Matter of Life and Death" and played by the Queens Hall Light Orchestra conducted by Charles Williams is among a handful of film scores Allan Gray wrote in his life time. He also wrote the music to the Gaumont British/UFA co-production film "FP1" and the 1938 London Film Production "The Challenge" about the climbing of the Matterhorn. I wish this film’s music could be issued…it was really great. Three very tuneful library pieces follow in succession: Ronald Hanmer’s Olympic Games March, The Fairy and the Fiddlers by Edward White and the grand march Bonaventure by Frederic Curzon. These are followed by Louis Alter’s American Serenadeplayed by Meredith Willson’s Orchestra and for some strange reason the actress Gene Tierney came to mind whilst listening to the piece. Perhaps there were echoes of Laura in the melody. A number from the not so well known EMI Mood Music Library is Marche Fantastique by Leighton Lucas conducting his Orchestra, included on this CD with Short Overture to an Unwritten Opera by Don Gillis and played by the New Concert Orchestra conducted by Rae Jenkins next. And the penultimate 1940s item is Royal Cavalcade by Albert Ketèlbey, played by the Grand Orchestra of Louis Voss. But to round off this 71st Guild CD is a piece of music from the film "The Phantom of the Opera", a piano concerto by Edward Ward, Lullaby of the Bells. The film starred Claude Rains, Susanna Foster and Nelson Eddy and came out in 1943. A fitting end to another fine collection of ignored light music. Ken Wilkins
ROSEMARY CLOONEY : JOHNNY GUARNIERI QUINTET Voice Of America I still get a thrill; Come rain or come shine; Grieving’ for you; It’s only a paper moon; A little bit independent; I didn’t slip, I wasn’t pushed, I fell; On an ordinary morning; I didn’t know what time it was; Count every star; I’ll always love you; I’ve got a crush on you; It had to be you; Them there eyes; I never had a worry in the world; Nice work if you can get it; Just you, just me; three little words; How deep is the ocean; Our very own; It’s love; Crying myself to sleep; Thou swell; I had a talk with the wind and the rain; Chicago; Can’t help lovin’ that man; If I were your girl; Bye Bye baby Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY 804 [62:32]. I did my National service with a Clooney fan; I am sure he would have given his right arm for this recording! Originally broadcast on the Voice of America so unless a resident of America or having a good radio he would have been deprived of this delightful set. Ably backed by the excellent Quintet of Johnny Guarnieri, Rosemary’s sweet voice works wonders with well known titles plus compositions not so well known but still worthy of a place. Paul Clatworthy
MARGOT HIELSCHER Hello Fraulein Double CD set 53 tracks incl. 4 with Mantovani: Why, I’ll Never Know; Ding Dong; Frere Jacques; Anette Bear Family BCD 16162 [86:39 & 83:43] Margot is a singer and actress who appeared in numerous German language films over a lengthy period, and this was issued on the occasion of her 90th birthday in September 2009. She sings with various orchestras and duets twice with Vico Torriani, who recorded with Mantovani in the 1950s and appeared in a couple of films with him. Of interest, too, is a German language version of Yours, the hit Monty recorded with Vera Lynn back in 1942; and even Bert Kaempfert turns up as producer of Margot’s Allein in Barcelona recording. But the bonuses for Mantovani completists are the four tracks she recorded with him at Decca in 1951. These perhaps are meant to show how well she could sing in English [she certainly could] but were never released commercially and appear here for the first time. The orchestra Monty used was a pre-Charmaine one, but the quality nevertheless shines through, and there is additional support from the Stargazers on the last two melodies listed above. It would be interesting to know whether Ronnie Binge did the arrangements. The actual record labels are illustrated in the notes and show that they were made in England and issued as samplers [not for sale] in 78 rpm format. Colin Mackenzie
TONY MARTIN and GOGI GRANT with DENNIS FARNON & HIS ORCHESTRA Gigi 11 tracks incl.Overture, Thanks Heaven For Little Girls, The Parisians, Waltz at Maxim’s, The Night They Invented Champagne, I Remember It Well … Gogi Grant Welcome To My Heart Title song, The More I See You, Paradise, So Do I, They Didn’t Believe Me, But Beautiful, With All My Heart, How Deep Is The Ocean, At Last At Last, If I Should Lose You Frank Bristow FBCD237 [78:45]. When was Tony Martin born? Certainly not in 1942 as the booklet notes state [obviously a misprint] but was his birthday 25 December 1912 or 1913? It could be either, according to which reference sources on the internet you choose to believe! His style of singing may not be emulated by today’s young popular entertainers [unlike Sinatra], but for many people he had a most pleasing tenor voice and he made a lot of very good recordings that have stood the test of time. In the ‘Gigi’ selection Martin shares honours with Gogi Grant – sometimes in duet while on other tracks each singer solos. This is a splendid album, beautifully arranged by Dennis Farnon with the bonus of a choir in the best Hollywood tradition. All in all this is a sumptuous production that has top quality stamped all through it. The second LP on this disc is entirely Gogi Grant, with a nice selection of carefully chosen standards. If you are unfamiliar with Miss Grant you may be tempted at times to wonder if she went to the Ethel Merman School of Singing, which is occasionally disappointing because she can handle the quieter moments with great charm and very clear diction – today’s singers please note! On both albums arranging and conducting credits belong to Dennis Farnon, the only remaining member of the three talented Farnon brothers, born in 1923. For three years he was Artist and West Coast Album Director for RCA Records, where his conducting and arranging assignments also included albums with Harry Belafonte, George Shearing and the Four Freshmen. Dennis was one of the five founders in 1957 of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, who present the annual Grammy awards. These two LPs form a most entertaining package, with both singers on top form. Farnon’s arrangements are also as good as they get. David Ades
JANE MORGAN Jane In Spain The moon was yellow; Adios; Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps; Perfidia; You belong to my heart; Baia; Granada; I get ideas; Be mine tonight; What a difference a day made; Let me love you tonight; Magic is the moonlight; Happy anniversary; C’est la vie, c’est l’amour; The sound of music; I’m in love; I’m new at the game; Love is like champagne; With open arms; Climb every mountain; Was it day, was it night?; My foolish heart; It’s been a long, long time; If only could live my life again Sepia 1147 [56:59] Although they are no longer able to supply review copies, I will be forever grateful to Sepia for introducing to me such a wonderful singer – surely one of the most undervalued popular music divas of our time. I recently consulted two leading encyclopaedias of popular music and she did not feature in either of them! Jane was born Florence Catherine Currier on Christmas Day in 1920 and began to train as an opera singer from the age of five, eventually enrolling at the Juilliard School of Music in New York City. When she started singing professionally it was considered that "Janie Morgan" was a more glamorous name. Her early opera training is reflected in the excellent quality of her singing, which has taken in night clubs, television and Broadway. This, the fourth compilation since 2007, finds her with orchestra conducted by Frank Hunter in Latin mood as the first 12 tracks comprise the 1959 stereo LP that gives the CD its title. So, for example, we get What a difference as a bolero and I get ideas as a tango. Most of the tunes will be familiar and are recorded in a mixture of original Spanish lyrics and English translations. The second dozen tracks recorded in 1957-59 bring Jane back to some of the American songbook classics that are probably her forte. Dominic McHugh maintains the high standard set by this label with his booklet notes. The CD gives unadulterated pleasure from beginning to end. Peter Burt
GARY WILLIAMS Gary Williams Meets Frank Sinatra All or nothing at all; I get a kick out of you; Moonlight Serenade; You bought a new kind of love; Dancing in the dark; Where or when; Brazil; The girl from Ipanema; Please be kind; Day in day out; How about you? I’ve got you under my skin; The way you look tonight; They all laughed; Luck be a lady; Let’s face the music BOS 6817[77:00]
The Best Of Abbey Road I remember you; Music to watch girls by; Anything goes; You’re never really dressed without a smile; Why shouldn’t I ?; Life is just a bowl of cherries; Always look on the bright side of life; Sweet Lorraine; I thought about you; This can’t be love; Surrey with the fringe on top; I can’t give you anything but love; More than you know; All I need is the girl; My buddy; You’re sensational; Isn’t it a pity; Save the last dance for me BOS 6808 [72:00] Has Britain got talent? Well, yes, but we don't need second rate TV shows purporting to tell us we have. Now there is a great British talent that has been on the music scene for many years and two new superb CD's have just been released that showcase the fine voice of Gary Williams. Gary played and sang the Sinatra role in the West End production of ‘The Rat Pack’ so he is familiar with "Ole Blue Eye's" songs. On the first CD we have no fewer than 17 selections. Many favourites here and all played in their original arrangements by the great Chris Dean and his Big Band plus strings. Nelson Riddle's arrangements feature prominently including some less often heard gems such as Moonlight Serenade, which Gary gives a lovely reading. The classic Sinatra recording of I've Got You Under My Skin is a tour de force for any singer; Gary handles it skilfully complete with classic trombone break here faultlessly re-created by Gordon Campbell. Nelson Riddle's daughter has personally endorsed this album and has written the sleeve notes ─ that’s praise indeed!
The second collection is a compilation of Gary’s sessions at the legendary studios during 2004 and 2008. It has to be said that Gary works with the best of British musicians and arrangers under the baton of John Wilson. Whilst the songs may be familiar, the inventive arranger can give them a new "coat of paint" and, with the likes of Richard Rodney Bennett, Clive Dunstall and Paul Campbell, be prepared to be surprised. The Monty Python classic Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life is given what must be the smoothest version ever. Small group tracks sit perfectly alongside the lush string ones. The Cole Porter song Why Shouldn't I? is quite stunning, an Andrew Cottee arrangement with a wonderful performance from Gary, is the standout track amongst many. How often have we remarked "they don't make records like that anymore." Well, they still do and here's the glowing proof. There are many so-called "tribute" singers who just seem to go through the motions. Gary, however, shows how it could be and should be done, but then it's Gary who has the talent and, boy, does it show. It seems like a sign of the times that these superb albums are not widely available but can be obtained by mail order from Dress Circle, 57-59 Monmouth Street, London, WC2H 9DG. telephone (+44 207 240 2227) or as a download from iTunes. Albert Killman
CLASSIC MARCHES A Grand Procession Of Orchestral Favourites Elgar; Verdi; Strauss; Beethoven; Bizet; Wagner; Tchaikovsky; Prokofiev; Coates; Sousa; Berlioz; Mendelssohn … & moreABC Classics 4763772 [CD1 79:06, CD2 78:59] This very generous 2-CD compilation set from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is culled from recordings made between 1980 and 2010 featuring mainly the Adelaide, Queensland and West Australian Symphony Orchestras under various conductors. Most of the choices are predictable enough, thus The Dambusters, Colonel Bogey, Pomp & Circumstance No.1, etc, but also included are some welcome surprises including Ron Goodwin’sPlymouth Hoe, a very good account of Mendelssohn’s War March of the Priests, one of the best accounts I’ve heard of Vaughan Williams’ breezy Sea Songs, the splendidly staggering Marche Militaire Français by Saint Saëns, and the quirky Gum-Suckers march by Melbourne born Percy Grainger. Of considerable interest is a piece with the somewhat cumbersome title of The United Australia Commonwealth March by James W Tate, who I believe contributed some of the music for ‘The Maid Of The Mountains’ and is certainly stylistically closely associated with the music of the Edwardian musical theatre. It’s sheer infectious tunefulness positively demands that once heard it demands instant repetition. An even more obscure choice is the Lifesavers March from the ‘Sydney Suite’ by one Tommy Tycho (see www.tommytycho.com.au - KT Ed.). Occupying the longest track at 9’:55" is Tchaikovsky’s glorious March Slave in a splendid performance by the MSO conducted by Hubert Soudant. One disappointment is that the two Sousa items, Washington Post and Stars and Stripes, are inexplicably played straight through without repeats, with the former clocking in at under 2 minutes. With recording dates spanning 30 years some variation in recording quality is inevitable but is never less than good and frequently approaches demonstration standard. The accompanying CD booklet describes the collection as "bold, inspiring and thrilling" and exhorts us to "lift your spirits and put a new spring in your step." At around £21 [cheaper online] this set boasting 40 tracks represents very good value for any connoisseur of the march. And I have nearly forgotten to mention that Eric Coates makes another appearance, not with his famous Knightsbridge but withLondon Calling conducted by John Lanchbery who made some well regarded recordings of all the Tchaikovsky ballets for EMI in the 1970s. Roger Hyslop
THE REGIMENTAL BAND OF THE COLDSTREAM GUARDS At Their Very Best : DOM Major R G Swift Walton: Crown Imperial; Alford: Army of the Nile; Colonel Bogey; Ward-Higgs: Sussex by the Sea; Reveille; Pope: Nightfall in Camp … etc. / Sousa: Semper Fidelis; King Cotton; The Stars and Stripes Forever; The Liberty Bell; Holzmann: Blaze Away; Bagley: National Emblem; Teike: Graf Zeppelin; Javaloyes: El Abanico; Texidor: Ampanto Roce; Verdi: Ceremonial March [‘Aida’]; The Slaves Chorus [‘Nabucco’] … etc. METRO 643 [122:36]
This 2-CD set is a reissue of material previously available sometime ago on the Japanese Denon label, and must surely constitute one of the bargains of the year. Available from HMV stores for a mere £8 [less online] and, if you are fortunate enough to track it down, in one of our larger supermarkets it will cost no more than a fiver. What we have here is one of the very best bands in the Household Division on top form recorded in stunningly good sound playing some of the best marches in the military band repertoire, too many to fully detail here. The first CD concerns itself with British Marches including those listed above plus all the Quick and Slow Marches of the Brigade of Guards. Contrast is afforded by Reveille and Nightfall, which are beautifully played and richly atmospheric. The second CD is devoted to American and European Marches, beginning with a group of eight Sousa marches played with tremendous verve and panache, before moving on to such American standards as Blaze Away. It’s refreshing to note amongst the European selection Carl Teike represented not by the very familiar Old Comrades but by the rarely heard Graf Zeppelin. Of the two Spanish items, El Abanico stirs distant memories that many years ago a section of this delightful march was often sung to words which, if I recall accurately, were "You’d be far better off in a home" [!] Does anyone know the origins of this refrain? As for the sprightly charm of Amparito Roce, there is some doubt as to its origin. It is thought that it was composed by a British Director of Music at Kneller Hall, Reginald Ridewood, who apparently failed to apply for the necessary copyright, and Texidor merely rescored the piece and claimed it as his own! Two of the concluding tracks visit Grand Opera. Much of the music here is redolent of a sunlit parade ground conjuring up all the glitter of pomp and pageantry vividly conveyed. These two discs are not just for the military band enthusiast but for the general collector as well, and are surely guaranteed to elevate even the lowest in spirit. Roger Hyslop
ELGAR The Fringes Of The Fleet Roderick Williams [solo baritone], Nicholas Lester, Duncan Rock, Laurence Meikle, [baritones], Guildford Philharmonic Orchestra cond. Tom Higgins Elgar: The Fringes of the Fleet [for four baritones & orchestra]; Elegy for Strings; Big Steamers [for four baritones unaccompanied]; Ireland: The Soldier; Blowout, You Bugles; German:Big Steamers [songs for solo baritone]; Ansell: Plymouth Hoe; The Windjammer; Wood: A Manx Overture; Elizabeth of England Somm 243 [61:26] The major work on this release is an Elgarian rarity: The Fringes of the Fleet, which duly salutes the contribution of the smaller warships of the Royal Navy in the First World War. Dating from 1917 with words penned by Rudyard Kipling the music, in Elgar’s lighter populist style, was a huge success with performances at the London Coliseum and subsequently at various music halls, and within weeks of the show’s opening a recording from HMV. Alas, Kipling, possibly affected by the death of his soldier son and feeling perhaps the piece was too jingoistic, forbade further performances much to Elgar’s distress. Therefore this new recording is the first orchestral version since the original one. To the light music enthusiast the value of the CD lays probably more in some of the attractive makeweights. Included are both of John Ansell’s nautical overtures and two items by Haydn Wood: the march that closes the disc was a late work ushering in the new Elizabethan age, and the A Manx Overture from the 1930s here receives what is claimed as a premiere recording. While we should be duly grateful to have so much of Eric Coates’ oeuvre in outstanding modern recordings, it is surely about time that the likes of Chandos and Dutton turned their attention more to his illustrious rival, Haydn Wood, and his many as yet unrecorded splendid orchestral compositions. On the strength of this excellently recorded disc, perhaps the Guildford Philharmonic, which is claimed to be the only orchestra in the U.K. completely owned, managed and financed by a local authority, might be just the vehicle for such a project. An interesting, rewarding and enterprising release, then, which can be recommended with enthusiasm and fully justifies a place in one’s CD collection. As an additional inducement, our own Philip Scowcroft gets a mention in the accompanying informative booklet! Roger Hyslop
LES BROWN & HIS BAND OF RENOWN featuring PEGGY LEE and GISELLE MACKENZIE Lets Go To Town Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY 809 [Double CD 58:52 and 61:05] Eight National Guard shows complete with announcements and enthusiastic audience. I have never heard a bad Les Brown outing, this is no exception but the commercials have no relevance today. I admit editing out would have been difficult as the announcer sometimes insists in talking over the opening notes. Paul Clatworthy
RALPH FLANAGAN ORCHESTRA Plays For Dancing Volume Two Linda, Stars fell on Alabama, Joshua, Ballin’ the Jack, Stardust, Shortnin’ bread, Some enchanted evening, Blue room, Hot toddy, My hero, Penthouse serenade, Joshua, Irving Berlin medley, Careless, Love is here to stay, Hot toddy Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY 810 [60:17] I had already submitted the Big Band roundup when this arrived. This second set consists of one night stands split between recordings at Steel Pier Atlantic City and the Starlight Ballroom, Hershey, PA. Vocalists are Kay Golding and Sandy Cee, this time complete with announcements. Paul Clatworthy
JOHNNY HODGES QUINTET with LALO SCHIFRIN Buenos Aires Blues Mama knows, I’m in another world, Dreary days, I can’t believe You’re in love with me, B.A. Blues, Wanderlust All too soon, Somebody loves me, Away from you, Something to live for, In a Sentimental mood, I didn’t know about you, Guitar Amour, You blew out the flame, Theme from "The eleventh hour" Love song from "Mutiny on the Bounty" Solitude, Satin doll, Don’t blame me, Prelude to a kiss, Warm ValleyLonehill Jazz LHJ 10373 [67:17] The first nine tracks are with a quintet, producer Creed Taylor taking advantage of the fact that Lalo was available. Lalo’s piano skills and Johnny’s ability to weave his tuneful sax into every song is particularly well captured. Second half of the CD has Johnny with an orchestra arranged and conducted by Oliver Nelson. Something to live for has a slightly "cheesy" string sound, Johnny saving the day with his beautiful tone and exemplary improvisation. The string work on I didn’t know you shows a good deal more potential. Johnny is on top form throughout but I suspect Oliver Nelson had to work to a short deadline because he has written better! Available from Submarine Records 0208-360-3486.
FRANK MANTOOTH Ladies Sing For Lovers If you could see me now [Karrin Allyson]; When did you leave heaven [Kirsten Gustafson]; You’ll see [Paula West]; You don’t know what love is [Sunny Wilkinson]; It never entered my mind [Jay Clayton]; Good morning heartache [Margaret Carlson]; My heart won’t lie [Oleta Adams]; Imagination [Rebecca Parris]; Why stars come out at night [Stacy Rowles; Ballad of the sad young men [Sheila Jordan]; The nearness of you/You’re nearer [Anne Hampton Callaway]; I got it bad and that ain’t good [Dianne Schuur] Meg Jazz MCGJ1OI8 [62:29] I wish I had heard this stunning album when it was first issued in 2005, then maybe it would be easier to obtain. I’ve always loved Frank’s big band writings ─ this was pastures new for him utilizing a full string orchestra. His vivid and moving orchestrations belie the fact! He never lived to see it issued but thanks to Carrie Mantooth and his many friends in the music profession the CD was completed. It is a fitting memorial to his musical talent. Search the Internet, beg, borrow or steal a copy or you will always regret not hearing such a treat in music. Paul Clatworthy
PHIL NAPOLEON AND HIS MEMPHIS FIVE That’s A Plenty Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY8O5[78:08]. Second volume of a CD I gave a pretty uncomplimentary review to a couple of issues ago so I was surprised to get this one for review! I am not a "Dixieland" fan but as with the first set my main grouse is the inordinate space taken up with commentary. Here there are 31 radio transcription recordings of "Dixie" music fans would probably enjoy without the social history lesson taking up so much space. Evidently the recordings are very rare so serious collectors will put up with narrator Dean Taylor’s sometime humorous commentary. Paul Clatworthy
LES PAUL & MARY FORD, WOODY HERMAN and HIS THIRD HERD Let’s Go To Town Sounds of yesteryear DSOY 806 [58:34]
LES PAUL & MARY FORD, RALPH MARTERIE AND HIS ORCHESTRA Let’s Go To Town Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY 807 [59:02] Two albums with the same format and title, the Marterie band play the sweeter sounds of the big band era, the Herman puts more meat on the bone! Both CDs contain four National Guard shows complete with announcements, commercials and applause. Les Paul and Mary Ford sing and play on their own, the bands also play separately. Both big bands are on good form. Les and Mary were very popular in the fifties; her singing still cuts it but despite Leslie’s dexterity on guitar today’s more advanced technologies make the sounds dated. Compere Eddie Carter’s strident introductions cut into some of the tracks, very annoying! Titles available if you phone me. All Sounds of Yesteryear CDs available from The Woods, Bognor Regis. Paul Clatworthy
ARTIE SHAW AND HIS ORCHESTRA The Complete Thesaurus Transcriptions 1949 52 tracks incl. They can’t take that away from me; Softly as in a morning sunrise; Things are looking up; Stardust; Tea for two … I concentrate on you; ‘S wonderful; Orinoco; Love walked in; Krazy Kat // I cover the waterfront; Carnival; Comes love; Together; Too marvellous for words … Time on my hands; Love for sale; Mucha De Nada; I get a kick out of you; Love walked in Hep Records HEP CD 89/90 [76:08 & 79:09] Arthur Jacob Shaw, once described as one of the two or three outstanding clarinetists in all of jazz, announced in 1948: "I’m through with dance bands. There are only so many times you can play Stardust". How come, then, he is here in 1949 with a new edition of his orchestra? Well, all this and much else is explained in James Langton’s 10½ page background notes for this generously timed 2-CD set. The very acceptable mono recordings were made for RCA/NBC Thesaurus, one of four major transcription services that leased libraries of radio shows to affiliate radio stations. The band line-up was four trumpets, four trombones, five saxophones, four rhythm and "girl vocalist". Five tracks are by a new edition of Shaw’s Gramercy Five [Shaw, the rhythm section and trumpet] and there are five vocals each for Pat Lockwood and Trudy Richards. Artie is heard introducing and signing off the music. I was surprised how much I enjoyed something I would not normally listen to ─ so recommended. Peter Burt
BLOSSOM DEARIE Four Classic Albums Plus Avid Jazz AMSC967 [155:20]. I have been a fan of Blossom since hearing Sweet Georgie Fame [still got the 45!] and seeing her perform at Ronnie Scott’s club clinched my devotion. Dave and Anne Bennett have put together four albums plus tracks from ‘The Blue Stars of France’ and ‘King Pleasure’ into one marvellous two-CD package, the re-mastering so good it could have been recorded yesterday. Blossom’s delectable voice and piano playing gets additional help from Ray Brown, Herb Ellis, Jo Jones, Mundell Lowe and Ed Thigpen. A recording to treasure! Available from Submarine Records – in case of difficulty you can telephone them on 020-8360-3486. Paul Clatworthy
NAT "KING" COLE & HIS TRIO The Forgotten 1949 Carnegie Hall Concert 15 tracks incl. Yes Sir, that’s my
baby; Sweet Lorraine; Tiny’s exercise; I used to love you [but it’s all over now]; Laugh cool clown; Lush life; Go bongo, For all we know / Embraceable you; Tea for two … Hep Records HEP CD 91[51:37] I did not get to know and appreciate Nat’s singing until his post trio years, so this is for me an interesting disc ─ with the added frisson of a live performance. Particularly entertaining is Cuba Libra, probably written by Cole, with its quotations from Stars and Stripes Forever, La Marseillaiseand Mendelssohn’s Spring Song. The trio joins up with the mighty Woody Herman Orchestra for the closing number, More moon. Jazz devotees will likely enjoy the album even more than I did. This and the Artie Shaw [reviewed above] are the first releases I have come across from Hep and they are both quality packages, including here half-a-dozen pages of closely printed but readable background notes by Will Friedwald. Peter Burt
LAURA COLLINS Introducing Laura Collins Ladies in Mercedes, On the street where you live, The night we called it a day, Too close for comfort, Baltimore Oriole, How deep is the ocean, But not for me, Wichita lineman, Go away little boy, Blizzard of lies, A beautiful friendship Spotlight Jazz SPJCD589 [50:33] The sleeve notes contain accolades from several musicians; I am not a musician but I know what I like and there is not a single track on this selection that made me think I must hear that again! In its favour you can hear every word, but the backing group have to drag her along, most times she seems a beat behind, cannot swing and when she "Scats" sounds like she has forgotten the lyrics. It’s almost amateur night down your local [if you still have one!] The recording was sent to me for review via another society member; if it had passed muster I am sure he would have kept it! Paul Clatworthy
JOHAN HALVORSEN Orchestral Works Vol.1 Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra cond. Neeme Järvi; Marianne Thorsen [violin] Entry March of the Boyars; Andante religioso for violin & orchestra; Suite from Mascarade; La Mélancolie; Symphony No.1 in C minor Chandos CHAN 10584[76:48] This release makes the bold claim that the native composer’s music is one of the best kept secrets in Norway; a claim amply vindicated as one progresses through a generously filled disc. He was associated for many years with the National Theatre in Kristianie [now Oslo] as conductor, and as a result composed a good deal of incidental music for its various productions including Ludvig Holberg’s ‘Mascarade.’ This may best be regarded as quality light music in a delightful inventive and tasteful pastiche style deftly and expertly scored. Halvorsen [1864-1935] turned to the symphony late in life. He was one of those brave and independently minded composers who remained completely unaffected and indifferent to prevailing modern trends in the first part of the 20th century. He continued to doggedly plough his own furrow, producing accessible and, above all, unashamedly melodic music. The shorter pieces are also well worth having and, since it is one of the few chances you will get to encounter this attractive and beautifully crafted music, better buy this excellently performed and brilliantly engineered disc. Roger Hyslop
FANTASY – A NIGHT AT THE OPERA Emmanuel Pahud, Juliette Hurel Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra cond. Yannick Nézel-Séguin Fantasies on ‘La Traviata’; ‘Rigoletto’; ‘Der Freischűtz’; ‘Die Zauberflöte’ [‘The Magic Flute’] ; and ‘Carmen’; Lenski’s Aria; Menuet & Dance of the Blessed Spirits; ‘Carmen’ ─ Entr’acte Before Act 3 EMI 4578742 [70:46] This is a very accessible classical album of gorgeous operatic melodies for people who don’t care for the words. It features the flute – the instrument closest to the human voice – played by the acclaimed Swiss born long-time principal flautist of the Berliner Philharmoniker, who is joined on two tracks by the Dutch orchestra’s solo flute. Pahud recently described the background to this album: "In the 18th and 19thcenturies, there was a tradition of salon music because people did not have CD or MP3 players as we have nowadays. They had no access to the internet or the radio so they would have to have transcriptions in order to hear this music in their homes." The enjoyment in the making of the disc is reflected in the listening. Incidentally, there is a lovely tune at the start of the Mozart Fantasy on ‘The Magic Flute’ that the KT Editor tells me Methodists use to sing the hymn Behold the servant of the Lord! Edward Trub
CHARLES MACKERRAS CONDUCTS ERIC COATES Favourite Music Of Eric Coates London Symphony Orchestra The Merrymakers Overture; ‘At The Dance Suite’ – Summer Days; The Man from the Sea from suite ‘The Three Men’; March: Oxford Street from suite ‘London Again’; The Three Bears [A Phantasy]; By the sleepy Lagoon; March: Queen Elizabeth from suite ‘The Three Elizabeths’; Sullivan Overtures Philharmonia Orchestra The Mikado; The Yeoman of the Guard; Iolanthe; Ruddigore Vocalion CDVS 1964 [68:04] The passing of the outstanding Australian-born conductor celebrated for his wide musical sympathies was announced just before we went to print. He had a well documented love of both the composers featured here. So this album taken from original stereosonic tapes [1956-57], released for the first time on CD earlier in the year, now makes a fitting light music tribute re-issue. Peter Burt
More releases noted by Wilfred Askew
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]
SKIP MARTIN’S ALL STAR JAZZ BAND Symphonies In Jazz Scheherajazz – adapted from Rimsky-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.
DAVID CARROLL Fascination : The Great Hit Sounds of David Carroll & His Orchestra 2-CD set of 64 tracks incl. Now is the hour; Till we meet again; It’s only a paper moon; The ship that never sailed; Sugar loaf; My Evening Star // It’s almost tomorrow; ‘The Swan’ Theme; Blue moon; All I do is dream of you; Tambourin Chinois; I’ll be home for Christmas … Original Mercury recordingsJasmine JASCD 536 [155:12]
COUNT BASIE Dance Along With Basie Count Basie & His Orchestra incl. It had to be you; Makin’ whoopee; Misty; Secret love; Give me the simple life; Back to the apple // M-Squad Theme; Moten Swing; Imagination; Gee baby, ain’t I good to you; Love me, baby; J & B … The original LP’s 11 tracks  + 10 bonus tracks [1957/8], arr. Thad Jones & Frank Foster Poll Winners Records PWR 27206 [75:15]
DIANA DORS Swingin’ Dors with the Wally Stott Orchestra The point of no return; That’s how it is; Let there be love; Namely you; Imagination; Roller Coaster Blues; The gentleman is a dope; April heart; I’m in love for the very first time; Crazy he calls me; Come by Sunday; Tired of love Original 1960 recording for Pye Records Universal-Sanctuary CMFCD 1554 [33:02]
JOE "FINGERS" CARR / LOU BUSCH Let’s Do It Again! 2-CD set of 62 tracks incl. Portuguese Washerwoman; Moonlight Bay; Sam’s song; Margie; Aloha Oe; Down Yonder; The Darktown Strutters Ball … // Zambezi; Eleventh-hour Melody; Sunrise Serenade; Cumana, Friendly persuasion; Nola; Rainbow’s End … Original Capitol recordings Jasmine JASCD 534 [157:34]
JERRY FIELDING ‘Straw Dogs’ Original Motion Picture Score 16 tracks Intrada Special Collection Vol. 126 [41:55] 2.000 copies
ALAN HAVEN [Organ] Haven For Sale & St Elmo’s Fire 10 tracks with Keith Mansfield’s Orchestra [guest Maynard Ferguson] incl. 1,2,3; Goin’ outa my head; Norwegian Wood; Exodus; Love for sale; What the world needs now …. 1969 CBS recording // 10 tracks incl. Charade; St Elmo’s Fire; Girl talk; Soliloquy [‘Carousel’]; Flying free; Air on a G String … 1971 CBS recording. Cherry Red/RPM Retro 864 [78:40]
HENRY MANCINI ‘The Hawaiians’ 2-CD set: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 26 tracks, Original United Artists Score Album 10 tracks Intrada Special Collection Vol. 124 [63:45 & 30:40] 1,500 copies
KEN THORNE ‘Inspector Clouseau’ Original Motion Picture Score 15 tracks Kritzerland KR 20013-9 [34:18]
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.