Keeping Track - Dateline September 2011
JOHN BARRY Revisited 4 CDs: ‘Elizabeth Taylor in London’; ‘Zulu’; ‘Four in the Morning’; and ‘The Ember Singles’ Fantastic Voyage FVQD034 (60:40, 31:44, 68:37 & 35:55) The first was a 1963 US TV documentary, arranged and conducted by Johnnie Spence, and the six music-only tracks are reprised in stereo. Liz Taylor adopted a mid-Atlantic accent for her delivery, and I suspect that it worked better as an integral part of the TV programme. The second CD is the original stereo soundtrack of the 1964 epic film ‘Zulu’, including the narration by Richard Burton, plus six Zulu stamps performed by the John Barry Seven. The score of the 1965 feature film ‘Four in the Morning’ is dark and atmospheric. It comprises fifteen tracks, four of which are excerpts of dialogue only by the actors involved. The eleven music-only tracks are reprised in stereo. The music incorporates a recurring theme, which may become repetitive heard in isolation. Despite its title ‘John Barry Plays 007’, only four of the Ember singles are connected with James Bond films. The first two tracks were a best-forgotten attempt to exploit the 1963 Profumo affair; tracks 7 & 8 are commercial recordings of numbers from the first CD, and tracks 9 & 10 duplicate two tracks from the second. If you can ignore those drawbacks, this is a well-produced and presented boxed set which should appeal not just to John Barry enthusiasts, but also to collectors of esoterica, particularly relating to the Swinging Sixties. Barry McCanna
PERCY FAITH Delicado 54 tracks incl. Many Times; Oodles of Noodles; Syncopated Clock; The Bandit; Fiddle Derby; Bubbling Over; Deep Purple; Tropical Merenge; Sleigh Ride: Little Lost Dog ..Jasmine JASCD 677 (78:39 & 79:44) Many of these tunes are associated irrevocably with Percy Faith, but what you'll find here in addition are six recordings on which he accompanied Champ Butler, including Henrietta’s Wedding and I’m Walking Behind You, together with his accompaniments to Marion Marlowe's If You Love Me, and Mahalia Jackson's Away in a Manger, plus a fair few singles that you may well have forgotten. The term Mood Music has become somewhat discredited, but Percy Faith's arrangements had the ability to create an atmosphere which transported the listener. This he achieved by aiming for a more mellow sound, damping down the normally predominant brass and woodwind sections, and overlaying them with strings. The remastering does full justice to that sound, and Robert Nickora's liner note outlines his career, but as with other Jasmine releases I wish there were more information in the track list. Barry McCanna
GRAND HOTEL Tom Jenkins (violin) directing the BBC Grand Hotel Orchestra with Reginald Kilbey (cello) and Jack Byfield (piano) Mazurka de Concert; By the Sleepy Lagoon; Melodies of Britain; If My Songs Were Only Winged; Parlez Moi D’Amour; Fascination; ‘Dear Miss Phoebe’ – Selection; The Laughing Violin; Jealous Lover; ‘Because You’re Mine’ – Selection; Gipsy Carnival; Dream Serenade; Pizzicato from ‘Sylvia’ (Delibes); ‘Waltzing Thru’ Filmland’; Meditation from ‘Thais’; Air on the G String; To a Wild Rose
Dinmore DRD 056 (76:29) A blast from the past except there is no blast! These are beautifully played highly civilized versions of pieces typical of what so many people – some 10 million in the early ‘50s – enjoyed week by week on BBC radio from the 1930s through to the 1950s. The first 15 tracks were recorded by EMI in 1951 and the last two tracks are live performances from a year later. The Stradivarius-playing Tom Jenkins took over as leader from Albert Sandler in 1948 and left the programme in 1954. I was surprised to read that he was only forty-seven when he died of lung cancer in 1957. A fine memento of a truly popular musical entertainer. Remastering is by Paul Arden-Taylor, whose presentation at the RFS London meeting in May was so greatly appreciated, and is issued on his own label: Dinmore Records, 11 Romsley Hill Grange, Romsley, Worcs, B62 0LN, orwww.dinmore-records.co.uk for £7.50 incl.p&p. Peter Burt
RICHARD HAYMAN Misty 59 tracks incl. Blue Tango; Tammy; Sadie’s Shawl; Off Shore; Summertime; Golden Earrings; Moonlight Serenade; Winter Wonderland; Turkey Mambo; Carol …Jasmine JASCD 676 (78:00 & 79:18) This compilation includes the complete Mercury album‘Richard Hayman Conducts the Great Motion Picture Themes of Victor Young’. Other tracks are drawn from ‘Music for People Who Can't Sleep’, ‘Only Memories’, and ‘Let's Get Together’, as well as his accompaniment to Bobby Wayne's singles Snow, Snow, Beautiful Snow and The Jones Boy. Robert Nickora's liner note includes the comment that Hayman was largely responsible for popularising the harmonica in the 1950s, which ignores the influence of Larry Adler. On the other hand, it is instructive to compare Richard Hayman's approach to that of Larry Adler. The latter played in a very assertive style, so that no matter who (if anyone) was accompanying him, you were never allowed to forget that his playing was central to the exercise (in art as in life!) In contrast, Richard Hayman's style is softer, and he blends his instrument into the accompaniment, so that it complements rather than dominating. Barry McCanna
JAMES LAST Voodoo Party & Well Kept Secret 20 tracks incl. Se A Cabo; Sing a Simple Song; Heyah Masse-Ga; Mamy Blue; Jin-Go-Lo-Ba … Jubilation; I Can’t Move No Mountains; Love for Sale; Bolero ’75; Question … Vocalion CDSML 8477 (74:35) ROGIER VAN OTTERLOO On The Move & The French Collection 18 tracks incl. Go on Forever; Alfie’s Lullaby; Alone at Last; My Dearest Fluffie; The Eternal Triangle … Les Plaisirs Démodés; The Old Fashioned Way; Summer of ’42; La Gars de Rocherchouart; Mourir au Soleil … Vocalion CDSML 8474 (78:09)
Both of these releases originally made their appearance on the Polydor label in the early/mid Seventies. At this time US West Coast ‘Jazz-Funk’ became very popular and still has many devotees to this day. That influence is much in evidence in these four albums. For those whose knowledge of James Last is confined to the ‘Non-Stop’ and the so-called, ‘a-Gogo’ series, (which by 1973 had sold forty-seven million LPs world-wide and made a vast fortune for Last and the record company) these two albums show him in a somewhat different light. ‘Voodoo Party’ features twelve tracks, mostly Latin–inspired, including three numbers previously recorded by Carlos Santana. Driving, pulsating rhythms dominate, and the excellent and very comprehensive liner notes speak of "enough Latin-American percussion to sink a battleship". ‘Well Kept Secret’ was a rare excursion away from the German recording studios; Last travelled to Los Angeles, and worked with the cream of the West Coast musicians, including Larry Muhoberac and Wes Farrell, who also produced the sessions. Highlights of the eight tracks (for this reviewer) are Summertime (with some frenetic flute playing by Tom Scott) and Slaughter On Tenth Avenue – two pieces played like you’ve never heard them before and well worth a listen! Dutch-born Rogier van Otterloo was the eldest son of the renowned conductor Willem van Otterloo. Having made dozens of arrangements for the famous Metropole Orchestra and guest-conducted that ensemble on many occasions, he eventually succeeded Dolf van der Linden as their MD. I first encountered Rogier on an excellent series of albums ‘Introspection 1 – 4 ‘ (on which he worked with the flautist Thijs van Leer). His career was cut short at the age of 46, after losing a prolonged battle with cancer. Both of the albums on this CD were made in London, using an ensemble largely made-up of the very best session musicians. ‘On The Move’ takes its title from track 3. Seven of the eight tracks were penned by van Otterloo and the wonderfully lush and sometimes dramatic arrangements often feature pulsating rhythms, with brass, wind and electric piano very much to the fore. ‘The French Collection’ uses many of the same musicians, including Don Lusher, Roy Willox, and this time "our own" David Snell. A change is to be found in the programme: the eight tracks here are not original compositions but a tantalising menu of French popular melodies, treated to van Otterloo’s modern orchestrations. These are very distinctive and illustrate just what a consummate musician this man was; it is a tragedy that he never lived to gain the international recognition which he undoubtedly deserved. The sound quality on both CDs is up to Mike Dutton’s usual superlative quality, and the already-referred-to liner notes, by Oliver Lomax, are a model of their kind. All-in-all, highly recommended! Tony Clayden
GEOFF LOVE & HIS ORCHESTRA Themes For Super Heroes & Big Terror Movie Themes 24 tracks incl. Superman; The Incredible Hulk; The Bionic Woman; Spiderman; Blakes 7 … Jaws; The Poseidon Adventure; The Exorcist – Tubular Bells; Rollerball – Toccata in D Minor; Psycho …Vocalion CDSML 8476 (76:36) Although I would not have got out of my chair to turn on the "telly" or gone to the cinema to see any of the TV progs or movies listed on this disc (I was a big fan of Dick Barton – Special Agent, however), I enjoyed this compilation of themes, including as it does five standout tracks from the pen of John Williams, as well as the likes of Charles Williams (who wroteDevil’s Galop used for the radio series mentioned above), Jerry Fielding, Neil Hefti, Ron Grainer, J S Bach (sic) and Bernard Herrmann. The Executioner title music written by Ron Goodwin was unknown to me and, albeit good, in its dissonance not typical of his output. Both these albums were produced by the legendary Norman Newell on EMI’s Music for Pleasure label in 1979 and ’75 respectively. Null points for the designs of the original LP sleeves nor the CD label, but full marks to Oliver Lomax for his booklet notes covering not just the background to the music but the life of a much-loved conductor and the history of the original MfP series. There is too little of Geoff’s work available nowadays and, hopefully, this will be the forerunner of much more. Peter Burt
CD Choce for September
STEVE RACE & HIS ORCHESTRA Take One & Dance To The TV Themes 25 tracks incl. Around the World; Around the World in 80 Days; Over the Rainbow; Lawrence of Arabia; On Green Dolphin Street; Maria; Summertime; Days of Wine and Rose; A Hard Day’s Night; I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face; Never on Sunday; Moon River; The James Bond Theme; Maigret; Naked City; Startime (Sunday Night at the London Palladium); Man of the World; Here and Now; Willow Waltz (The World of Tim Frazer); Route 66; Stranger on the Shore; Doctor Kildare … Vocalion CDLK 4439 (68:33) Steve Race was one of my musical heroes since the early 1950's whether on children's TV or on radio (Mine, too, May we now have ‘Late Race’? – KT Ed.) Mike Dutton has given us the chance to re-live those memories in issuing this CD taken from two World Record Club LPs. Arrangements are all by Steve and his orchestra is made up of the best of British session men including Tubby Hayes, Johnny Scott, Stan Roderick and Dave Goldberg. The album is full of superb tracks including thundering solos from Tubby Hayes on Z Cars and Perry Mason. Many readers will be surprised at the late night André Previnesque arrangement of Coronation Street – "smooching on the Street", I call it – and the ITV soap will never be the same again. Mike has woven his usual magic of remastering and the release has retained the original sleeve notes including those by Steve Race with his wonderful dry and gentle humour. Surely a release for the "Desert Island" or Christmas stocking. Mike Crowther
A RETURN TRIP TO THE LIBRARY For full tracklisting please see page 73 Guild GLCD5183[77:28]. This latest Guild release is just up my alley, and it begins with a real corker, King Palmer’s majestic theme With Pomp and Pride from the Paxton Library. This was the very first Paxton 78 I bought from a local record and piano store and I’m sure UK readers from the Birmingham area will remember Dale Forty’s shops and they had a branch here in Leamington. I still have that 78 and I was thrilled to bits that I could buy Paxton discs locally over the counter. Paul Fenoulhet’sHappidrome on track two is a perfect picture of variety acts rushing on and about the stage in frantic haste, but Tom Wyler’s Lovely Day which follows is a perfect relaxing antidote. Laurie Johnson’s Rue De La Paix first came into my possession on an LP of mood pieces issued by Amateur Movie Magazine in the 1960s with a photo of a young couple and a Eumig 8mm Projector on the sleeve front, the same model as I still have. Another good old’un, Looking Around by Colin Smith (Lloyd Thomas) and Cyril Watters’ Making Merry keep up the momentum on this ‘Library Trip’, quietening down somewhat as The Symphonia Orchestra conducted by Curt Anderson play Cecil Milner’s Wide Horizon. Two cracking pieces follow: Dog Gone by George French and a scintillating number from Trevor Duncan, Little Debbie, dedicated to his daughter. The Club Quintet, whoever they were, on the Conroy label continue the programme with Reg Owen’s Secret Serenade, a familiar tune but I’m blowed if I can remember where I’ve heard it before. Robert Farnon’s Dixielander played by The Dance Orchestra and conducted by him is the sole dance number on the disc under that classification because the items are listed under "moods" as they would be in a publishers catalogue, so under "modern movement" are Anthony Mawer’s Transcontinental from Conroy and Holiday Excursion by Peter Yorke from Chappell, both pieces bringing to mind Rank’s series ‘Look At Life’. During the lifetime of radios ITMA arrangements of well known numbers were written by various composers and Clive Richardson was one of them, and it’s his version of This Old Man Came Rolling Home played by The Group Forty Orchestra from KPM under "humorous" which I suppose it is if you like that sort of thing. However two more Paxton records caught my eye: Le Cabaret by John Foulds and Jack Strachey’s Ascot Parade, both of which I have in their 78 form and played by The London Promenade Orchestra conducted by Walter Collins who remains (to me) a mystery figure. Apart from his connection to the De La Warr Pavilion of Bexhill-on-Sea in I think the 1930s and his own compositions, I know nothing else about him but I’d like to. Two quirky numbers by Van Phillips and Dolf Van Der Linden, Buffoonery and Man from Mars, keep the tempo moving as the library shelves begin to empty. "Space, the final frontier"…no, really it’s just that we’ve reached Stratosphere by Eric Spear (wonder if he called it that to rhyme with his name?) and played by The New Century Orchestra conducted by Sidney Torch who also do the honours with Ronald Hanmer’s warlike Blood and Sand March and I suppose you could couple it with Shades of Destiny by Wilfred Burns, equally dramatic, and played by the Regent Classic Orchestra from the Bosworth library. But we end with a cracking piece of "Industrial" mood music by Charles Williams, A Machine Ballet played by the Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra conducted by him. I have three British Rail LMS Gaumont-British Instructional Films and one of them, ‘The Wheels Behind the Walls’ features a factory making steel window frames and A Machine Ballet is used to good effect behind this sequence. The other two films are ‘The Butcher, The Baker’ and ‘The Highway of Steel’, all in colour and made around 1947, needless to say very interesting and like this CD packed with libraries’ vintage mood music. I believe a small amount of distortion was supposed to be on the original 78 but thanks to Alan Bunting’s restoration technique, you wouldn’t know it. Ken Wilkins
ROBERT SHARPLES In A Monastery Garden The Immortal Works of Albert Ketelbey The New Symphony Orchestra of London conducted by Robert (Bob) Sharples In a Monastery Garden; Wedgwood Blue; In a Chinese Temple Garden; Sanctuary of the Heart; ‘Appy ‘Ampstead; In a Persian Market; The Phantom Melody; Bells Across the Meadow; In the Mystic Land of EgyptVocalion CDLF 8143 (50’) This a terrific re-release of an LP with, as usual, excellent remastering by Mike Dutton. The pieces will be mostly familiar but not the speed at which ‘Appy ‘Ampstead scorches along, singeing the grass, swing boats, roundabouts and everything else which took place on Bank Holidays looking down over London from Hampstead Heath. If you like Ketelbey well expressed then you will certainly enjoy this offering. Edmund Whitehouse
ILD is a well-established French record company which releases its own CDs, as well as distributing releases from other labels such as Vocalion and Guild. The following ten CDs, reviewed by David Ades, give a good idea of the wide repertoire covered.
GERARD CALVI AND HIS ORCHESTRA Le Bal Chez Madame de Mortemouille Le Bal de Madame de Mortemouille (Madame de Mortemouilles Ball); Courses De Toros (Bull Fights); Tonnerre Sur La Louisiane (Thunder In Louisiana); La Polka Des Menottes (Polka Of The Handcuffed Men); Les Demons De La Nuit (Devils Of The Night); Vacances (Holidays); Chats De Gouttiere (Alley Cats); Madamoiselle Robot (Miss Robot); Gigue Ecossaise (Scottish Jig); Ballet Moderne (Modern Ballet); Sur La Plage (On The Beach); Muguet Polka (Lili-Of-The-Valley Polka); Bonus tracks - Cop And Lea; Dugudu Follies; Hyde Park; Sur La Plage (sung by Claude Goaty). ILD 642313 [60:42]. Gerard Calvi’s memorable French Vogue LP ‘Le Bal Chez Madame de Mortemouille’ won the French Grand Prix du Disque in 1958, and four titles from this album have already reappeared on Guild Light Music CDs. If they have whetted your appetite for more, then this is your opportunity to acquire the complete LP, together with four bonus tracks. Like all of the ILD CDs being reviewed this time, the attractive 8-page booklet is in French. This LP caused quite a stir in UK light music circles when originally released by Pye, and this CD reissue is warmly recommended.
HELMUT ZACHARIAS AND HIS MAGIC VIOLINS La Fete Aux Violons La Fete Aux Chapeaux; Que Sera Sera; Paris Palace Hotel; Autumn Concerto; Princess De Glace; Le Tapis Volant; Fiddlers Boogie; The Whistler And His Dog; Meet Mr Callaghan; The Tipsy Piano; Scotch Polka; Je Vous Adore; and 12 more. ILD 642273 [67:24]. Helmut Zacharias achieved international fame from the 1950s onwards, and these early recordings are good examples that explain his popularity.
MICHEL LEGRAND AND HIS ORCHESTRA Cole Porter And His Friends... Paris In The Spring; I Love Paris; Paris; Autumn Leaves; April In Paris; The Last Time I Saw Paris; The Jitterbug Waltz; Night And Day; Love For Sale; Close; I Get A Kick Out Of You; Too Darn Hot; Round Midnight; Begin The Beguine; In The Still Of The Night; Ridin' High; All Through The Night; Just One Of Those Things; Anything Goes; Blow Gabriel Blow; Wild Man Blues. ILD 642274 [70:19]. Again, notes are not really necessary. Michel Legrand became a major player internationally, and here we can sample some of his early work.
EDDIE BARCLAY AND HIS ORCHESTRA Hit Parade 56 The Portuguese Washerwomen; Un Petit Peu d'Argent; L'Homme Et L'Enfant; Tic Tac Tango; Corps A Corps; Laisse Moi Rever Un Peu De Toi; Tango Magique (Magic Tango); Stormy Weather; Papa Loves Mambo; La Danse Du Baiser; Unchained Melody; Elephant Tango; and 12 more. ILD 642299 [65:55]. Eddie Barclay (real name Edouard Ruault – he changed it in 1944 when he came into contact with American liberation forces) was famous in France for two reasons: his music, and his nine wives. His career took off at the end of World War 2 when he realised that his jazz with a French flavour was much in demand, and started his own band in 1947. Gradually he began extending his talents into conducting and record production for several leading singers, and eventually he formed Barclay Records. Thanks to his contacts with the American record industry he was able to take a leading role in the production and distribution of LP records in France where he became known as the "King of Microgroove". This CD captures the free and easy sound that was so appropriate for this kind of repertoire in the 1950s. His music usually features a full orchestra, with attractive strings and brass, and plenty of rhythm. Simply this is music to make you feel happy!
WAL-BERG AND HIS ORCHESTRA Original Recordings 1957-1959 Danse Ukrainienne; Joue Tzigane; Blue Danube; Volga Boatmen; Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka; Vienna Blood; Adieu Mon Petit Officier (Goodbye from ‘White Horse Inn’); Stenka Razine - Le Bouleau; Plaine Ma Plaine; The Third Man; Libesfreud; Valse De La Chauve-Souris; Two Guitars; La Danse Du Diable (Devil's Dance); and 8 more. ILD 642297 [71:38]. Wal-Berg was born in Istanbul, and his real name was Voldemar Rosenberg. He studied at both the Berlin and Paris Conservatoires of Music, and during the 1930s was closely associated with French recordings by Marlène Dietrich. As his career progressed he worked with many of the leading French artistes, and composed over 300 original works – his Danse Du Diable becoming known internationally (a recording by Mantovani is on Guild GLCD5181). His later recordings often had a Russian, Austrian or Gypsy feel, which is evident on many of the tracks on this CD. He had a large orchestra but, unlike Eddie Barclay, he made few concessions to changing musical tastes in the 1950s. This is pure orchestral light music which is almost dateless. It should appeal to many RFS members.
CARMEN DRAGON and the HOLLYWOOD BOWL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Echoes Of SpainEspana Cani; Cielito Lindo; Tico Tico; Siboney; Espana; Ritual Fine Dance; Andalucia; Jealousy; Estrellita; Malaguena; El Relicario; and 7 more. ILD 642279 [78:16]. Many readers will be familiar with these recordings, which were warmly received upon their original release over 50 years ago.
ADOLPHE SIBERT AND HIS DANCE ORCHESTRA Les Plus Celebres Quadrilles Francaise Et Viennois (The Most Famous French And Viennese Quadrilles) Les Lanciers; La Fille De Madame Angot; Les Cloches De Corneville; Orphee Aux Enfers; La Mascotte; La Vie Parisienne; and 11 more tracks. ILD 642307 [73:12]. Adolphe Sibert was born in Vienna, so he would have been brought up in a strong tradition of dance music. Like the Wal-Berg CD reviewed above, his orchestra ignores the post-war influences of pop music, making this a charming reminder of the kind of music that was the staple fare of concertgoers in the early years of the last century. The orchestra is a purely concert ensemble, even though it is called Orcheste de Bal. There are faint resemblances to Harry Davidson, but he played in strict tempo which this is definitely not! This is more like the style of music we hear from Vienna each New Year’s Day.
EMILE NOBLOT AND HIS ORCHESTRA Les Jardins De Grenade; La Polka Chinoise; La Gavotte Des Vers Luisants (The Glow Worm); Revil Du Printemps; Music Box Tango; Bucaro; Refrains; In Old Lison; Les Amants D'Un Jour; Les Maraicheres De Bahia; Gaillardo; Pour Un Reve D'Amour; Domani; Dans Les Jardins De Valencia; Czardas Tango; and 10 more. ILD 642284 [73:33]. These tracks all date from 1953 to 1957 and feature a small orchestra which, in the booklet photos, looks like a Gypsy ensemble, but also often sounds like many of the smaller salon light orchestras of pre-war years. Yet at times it takes on the atmosphere of many 1950s light orchestras with a larger string section, so it seems likely that the personnel varied in size and style to suit the repertoire being recorded. Every so often the world of Light Music throws up previously unknown musicians who were clearly very talented, and who produced some pleasing music. Emile Noblot certainly falls into this category.
JERRY MENGO AND HIS ORCHESTRA Club De Danse Carroll's; Lullaby Of Broadway; Lillette; J'Aime Tout, Tout, Tout (In The Cool, Cool, Cool Of The Evening); Anthony's Cat Boogie; Les Oranges De Jaffa; Un P'tit Coup de Chapeau; Tire L'Aguille; Faut Aimer Ca; Oui Mon Amour; Tout Mais Pas Ca; Bing Bang Blues; and 12 more. ILD 642260 [68:01]. The smooth sound of a French swing band of the 1950s.
AIMÉ BARELLI AND HIS ORCHESTRA Charmaine Charmaine; Limelight; Vaya Con Dios; Clair De Lune; The Continental; Quel Temps Fait-Il A Paris ( What's The Weather Like In Paris? from the film "Mr Hulot's Holiday"); Le Monsieur Aux Lilas; Judas; Sanguine; Lady Of Spain; Laura; Gelsomina (from the film "La Strada"); Le Grisbi; Grisbi Blues; Mon Couer Est Un Violon (Love Is Like A Violin); Je Sais Que Vous Etes Jolie; Comedie; Va Mon Mai Va; April In Paris; Siboney; Flirt; An American In Paris. ILD 642248 [72:18]. Like the Jerry Mengo CD above, this is easy listening swing music, with many tracks featuring Aimé Barelli on trumpet. A few tracks are vocal. Ideal for the ballrooms of the 1950s!
ILD CDs can be purchased direct from their own website in France: www.ild.tm.fr Alternatively copies can be supplied to special order from the RFS Record Service. The UK price of the above ten CDs is £10.50 each, plus usual postage and packing.
PHIL KELSALL Waltzing In The Clouds 21 tracks incl. Good Morning; My Isle of Golden Dreams; Tammy; It’s the Talk of the Town; Penny Serenade; Born Free; Says My Heart; Waltzing in the Clouds; Honey; Upstairs Downstairs Theme; Garden in the Rain; I Won’t Send Roses; Night and Day; A Paradise for Two; Little Old Lady; When You’re Smiling; Over My Shoulder … Grasmere GRCD 136(72:44) Following his album reviewed in our last issue Mr. Kelsall is back at the Wurlitzer Organ of Blackpool’s Tower Ballroom for this release of 51 numbers all played in strict tempo and sequence, comprising 14 selections for Modern Ballroom Quickstep to Mayfair Quickstep, Cindy Swing by way of Tango, Square Tango; Cha Cha Cha; Viennese Waltz; Bossa Nova; and Gavotte, etc. Album producer Tim Wills tells me that the liner listings should not have credited Shadow Waltz as being composed by Dubin and Warren but by Paul Dubois, the pen name of Clive Richardson! Now I can’t dance a step but I enjoyed this well-played tune selection so redolent of balmy days past sitting in the sun at a favourite UK seaside resort. Peter Burt
LES PAUL & FRIENDS How High the Moon 76 tracks incl. Lover; Tennessee Waltz; Jazz Me Blues; Meet Mister Callaghan; Bye Bye Blues; Vaya Con Dios; Nuevo Laredo; Out of Nowhere; It’s Been a long, Long Time; Rumors are Flying; Rosetta … Fantastic Voyage FVTD035 (64:57, 61:40 & 73:41) This bargain triple pack is subtitled ‘Hits & Rarities from the Wizard of Waukesha’, and it lives up to that billing. Chronologically the third disc is the earliest; titled ‘Pickin’ & Swingin’ it spans 1937 to 1947, when Les was performing first as Rhubarb Red, then set up the Les Paul Trio. This was a jazzy combo which recorded for Decca, both solo and accompanying various vocalists, including Helen Forrest, Bing Crosby, the Andrews Sisters, and the Delta Rhythm Boys. Also included are eight rare transcription recordings dating from 1947, and two numbers from the 1944 JATP concert. The remaining 52 tracks cover the Capitol years from 1948 to 1958, when he specialised in the multi-tracked recordings which he pioneered, including vocals by his wife Mary Ford, and which established his reputation. Barry McCanna
TWO GRANDS – FOUR HANDS Spectacular and Rare Novelty Piano Duos of the 1920s and 1930s 26 tracks Rivermont BSW-1152 (78:02) Sadly, the piano’s popularity has waned in recent years, but at one time accomplished players were in abundance, and this compilation features a dozen pairs. They include the young Carroll Gibbons, who teamed up with Arthur Young in 1925 to record four exuberant tunes for Vocalion, including Alabamy Bound and Charleston. The latter also recorded with Reginald Foresythe, and in 1939 they produced hot versions of Tiger Rag and St. Louis Blues. Maryan Rawicz and Walter Landauer are featured playing their own tunes for the 1937 filmThe Street Singer, in which they appeared. The playing throughout is of a consistently high standard, and the differing styles and diversity of material ensure great variety. The compilation has drawn on a variety of sources, many quite rare, but the remastering has produced an excellent consistency of sound. Add to that a very informative liner note by Alex Hassan, together with a full discography, and you have a reissue to treasure. Barry McCanna
DEBBIE WISEMAN Piano Stories Music composed and performed by Debbie Wiseman:Isolation Theme from ‘The Hide’; Portal to the Past from ‘Tom’s Midniqht Garden’; Thorn to the Heart from ‘The Nightingale and The Rose’; High Walled Garden from ‘The Selfish Giant’; Oscar from ‘Wilde’; Silver Stream; Fields of Hope from ‘Land Girls’; Joe and Diana from ‘The Upper Hand’; Ray of Sunshine from ‘Children’s Hospital’; Succession from ‘The Throne’; Mists of Edbrook from ‘Haunted’; Journey of a Lifetime from ‘Joanna Lumley’s Nile’; Travels with Uncle Sam from ‘Stephen Fry in America’; Affairs Current from The Andrew Marr Show; Man of Law from ‘Judge John Deed’; Peacekeeper from ‘Warriors’; Occupation from ‘The Promise’; The Quiet Room; The Honeymoon’s Over from ‘Tom & Viv’; Echoes of Carmilla from ‘Lesbian Vampire Killers’; Fall of the Last Barrier from ‘Flood’; Christina’s Minuet from ‘Haunted’. Warner Classics 265467188-8 [79:28]. Debbie Wiseman is one of Britain’s most in-demand composers for film and television, and a glance through the list of titles on this CD surely confirms her pre-eminence in this field of the arts. Not only is she a gifted composer, but she is also an accomplished arranger and conductor, as well as being a fine pianist. It is the last of these talents that comes to the fore in this new CD (scheduled for release on 19 September), allowing us to hear how composers originally conceive some of their greatest works on the piano, before they are subjected to the full forces of a large orchestra. In the booklet notes Debbie writes that this album is the most personal of all that she has released so far, because it features her music as it first appears in her mind. The venture has been very close to her heart; her piano conveys such emotional feelings, both tender and sometimes quite strong, and her beautiful playing will surely touch everyone who hears it. David Ades
BRYAN WRIGHT Breakin’ Notes : Ragtime & Novelty Piano Solos Efficiency Rag; Kinklets; Hoosier Rag; Nove de Julio; Key-Stone Rag; The Harbour Rag; Euphonic Sounds; Red Elephant Rag; Soliloquy; Candlelights; Flashes; In the Dark; In a Mist; Breakin’ Notes; Cottontail Rag; Roberto Clemento; Upright and Grand; The Legend of Lonesome Lake Rivermont BSW-2212 (65:18) Bryan Wright’s first CD ‘Syncopated Musings’ (BSW-2204) was devoted to the classic rags of Scott Joplin and his contemporaries, but here he’s broadened that repertoire, and the result is a stunning success. The moment the first notes rang out I was entranced, and I remained captivated throughout. His touch produces a beautiful tone, and the recording is spacious and clear, enabling every nuance to be appreciated. Each of these compositions presents its own challenge, and some are extremely complex. His performance seems effortless, and captures the essence of each piece, not least the four Beiderbecke compositions. Bryan has provided an extensive illustrated liner note on the composers and their works, thereby adding to the disc’s appeal. Barry McCanna
NOTE: These Rivermont CDs are available from Amazon, but you’ll get a better deal direct athttp://www.rivermontrecords.com/ where you can see the full range. International cost is 20$ each including postage. Postal address is PO Box 3081, Lynchburg VA 24503, USA.
ABSOLUTELY THE BEST OF THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK 60 tracks incl. Come Rain or Come Shine; Stardust; Mood Indigo; Blue Moon; Ten Cents a Dance; Some Enchanted Evening … Delta 60363 (59:41, 61:29 & 70:23) This is one of a new series from Delta which, like its associate Bygone Days, specialises in good-quality budget CDs. The choice of material is excellent, and the range of vocalists includes a track apiece by Cliff Richard (Embraceable You), Shirley Bassey (Night and Day), Elvis Presley (Blue Moon) and Edith Piaf (Autumn Leaves) as well as the more obvious choices of Bing, Frank, Ella etc. Sound quality is excellent, although tracklist information is quite minimal. Barry McCanna
THREE EVENINGS WITH FRED ASTAIRE CD 1 ‘An Evening with Fred Astaire’ (1958) 8 tracks incl. Introduction/Morning Ride; Svengali/Frantic Holiday; Change Partners; Baubles, Bangles & Beads/Mack the Knife … ‘Another Evening with Fred Astaire’ (1959) 9 tracks incl. Like Fast; The Afterbeat; That Face; My Blue Heaven; A Girl in Calico … CD 2 Astaire Medley Two; The Afterbeat (reprise); ‘Astaire Time’ (1960) 10 tracks incl. Romeo & Juliet Overture; Miss Otis Regrets; Not Now, I’ll Tell You When; Sweet Georgia Brown; Valse Triste … ‘Bonus Rare Tracks’ 8 incl. I’ve Got You On My Mind; A Fine Romance; Waltz In Swing Time; They Can’t Take That Away From Me … SEPIA 1168 (71:46 & 77:31) As Dominic McHugh reminds us in his extensive booklet notes, the great dancer was also an actor and musician, playing the piano, the accordion and drums, as well as composing and. singing. Not surprising that these performances won awards – pity we can’t have a DVD. Each show closes with a classic 8/9 minute Astaire medley and there are contributions from Count Basie and his Orchestra, The Jonah Jones Quartet, Barrie Chase, and Joe Williams. Mr. Astaire’s MD is the celebrated David Rose, whose orchestra also has a number of tracks to themselves including several pieces composed by the maestro and three classical items. The majority of the last eight tracks were previously un-issued. Remastering was in the capable hands of Robin Cherry. Unfortunately, as with many similar CDs, introductions, sponsor’s messages and applause – often imposing on the music – pall somewhat with repeated hearings. Ray Pavene
TONY BENNETT & THE GENE KRUPA QUARTET Guard Sessions Just In Time; September Song; I Left My Heart In San Francisco; Big Noise From Winnetka; Dark Eyes; Have I Told You Lately; April In Paris; Flyin’ Home; Sometimes I’m Happy; I Got The World On A String; Small World Isn’t It; Stompin’ At The Savoy; Caravan; Sunday; Tenderly; Fascinatin’ Rhythm; Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY 838 [59:25]. Interspersed with twelve conversations between Tony Bennett and Martin Block plus instrumentals, all "live" radio performances designed as recruiting tools for the American National Guard. Paul Clatworthy
BRITAIN’S FIRST NUMBER ONES 1939 – 1945 64 tracks incl. Arm in Arm; Bless ‘Em All; The Last Time I Saw Paris; Amapola; Jealousy; Whispering Grass; Coming Home; I Taut I Taw a Puddy Tat …Fantastic Voyage FVTD 104 (66:09, 66:07 & 67:26) Although the British singles chart did not begin until November 1952, weekly charts based on sheet music sales made their first appearance in 1939, albeit confined at first to US trade magazines. This 3-CD set has been produced by drawing on that information to present a pastiche of those hits, given that at this remove which artist sold the most records of a particular song is largely a matter of guesswork. The outbreak of the Second World War is generally regarded as having spelt the end for the dance band era, but Ambrose, Geraldo, Jack Hylton and Carroll Gibbons all scrape in, together with Hal Kemp, Tommy Dorsey and of course Glenn Miller. But this compilation is on the cusp of a transition from a band-led culture to one where the vocalist reigned supreme, represented by the likes of Gracie Fields, Dick Todd, Anne Shelton Vera Lynn and Bing Crosby. This is a very classy production, beautifully designed and packaged, and although the liner note contains a number of elementary mistakes that is a minor fault in a major production. Barry McCanna
BROOK BENTON The Silky Smooth Tones of 54 tracks incl. The Nearness of You; When I Fall in Love; Blue Skies; Moonlight in Vermont; September Song; I Believe … Jasmine JASCD 687 (77.12 & 77.20) This is made up of three complete and two partial Mercury LPs from the late 50s/early 60s, namely ‘It’s Just A Matter of Time’, ‘Endlessly’ and ‘Songs I Love to Sing’, plus edited versions of ‘The Two of Us’ (which paired him with Dinah Washington) and ‘The Golden Hits of Brook Benton’. I would like this more, but for an imbalance between vocalist and orchestra, particularly on ‘Endlessly’. Given the soft timbre of Brook Benton’s voice, this is more critical than would otherwise be the case. Apart from that, it’s an excellent reissue. Barry McCanna
PAT BOONE I’ll Be Home 62 tracks incl. Ain’t That a Shame; Tutti Frutti; Friendly Persuasion; Don’t Forbid Me; April Love; Walking the Floor Over You … Jasmine JASCD 159 (79.55 & 73.28) This is subtitled ‘The Singles, As & Bs, 1953-60’. According to the liner note, he’s "nowadays remembered as a crooner …rather than a Rock’n’Roller", but his relationship to the rock & roll genre was always ambivalent. Even when he was covering R & B songs (for which he drew some criticism, although cover versions were commonplace) his performance was measured, not abandoned. One reason was his strict Christian upbringing, which meant his image was atypical of the average rocker, and one he was determined to preserve. As a result, his songs appealed both to teenagers and their parents. For me, the best-remembered fall in a bloc between December 1955 and January 1958, during which period Pat Boone had a dozen recordings that charted in the UK. Barry McCanna
MARLENE DIETRICH Falling in Love Again 25 tracks incl. Ich bin die Fesche Lola; Give Me the Man; The Boys in the Back Room; Lili Marlene; Falling in Love Again … Retrospective RTR 4180(77:34) This begins with three 1930 Berlin recordings of songs from ‘The Blue Angel’, followed by two of the six songs she recorded in Paris in 1933. Unaccountably she did not make another commercial record until December 1939, when she cut six songs with Victor Young, all of which are included. In November 1951 she made a series of recordings of well-known songs accompanied by Jimmy Carroll & his Orchestra, of which the German versions are included. The penultimate track is a duet with Rosemary Clooney on Too Old to Cut the Mustard, which title she continued to disprove. Barry McCanna
BILLY ECKSTINE & SARAH VAUGHAN Dedicated to You 48 tracks incl. Cheek to Cheek; Summertime; They All Laughed; A Foggy Day; April in Paris; Of Thee I Sing; The Man I Love ... REXX 342 (77.08 & 78.04) This follows on the success of ‘Passing Strangers’ (REXX 314) and comprises twelve solos by Billy and twenty-six by Sarah, some of the latter from her Broadway and George Gershwin albums, plus nine duets, predominantly from the pair's Irving Berlin Songbook album. Billy Eckstine’s husky voice was enhanced by his judicious use of an instantly recognisable controlled vibrato, and Sarah Vaughan’s silky tones are no less individual. Here you can enjoy them separately, and when they duet it’s like coffee and cream. These are sterling performances of classics from the Great American Songbook which should appeal across the board. Barry McCanna
FRANÇAIS CLASSIQUE 90 tracks on 5 CDs incl. Boum! - Charles Trenet; Les Feuilles Mortes - Yves Montand; J’Attendrai - Tino Rossi; La Vie en Rose - Edith Piaf; La Petite Tonkinoise - Josephine Baker; La Fiacre - Jean Sablon; Nuages - Django Reinhardt; Parlez-Moi d’Amour - Lucienne Boyer;Walkin’ My Baby Back Home - Maurice Chevalier … Bygone Days 50200 (52:18) (54:19) (54:00) (55:58) (54:15) Given that music is the food of love, and French the language of romance, it’s easy to understand why Gallic charmers have always had them swooning in the aisles. This generous compilation presents some of the best-loved songs in the genre, and should appeal to Francophiles everywhere. I confess to a blind spot where Maurice Chevalier is concerned, which his contribution does nothing to overcome. The track list is quite basic, and the odd inclusion of Georges Thill’s rendition of the aria O Paradis from Meyerbeer’s opera ‘l’Africaine’ is listed as unidentified. But you gets what you pay for, as the old saying goes, and this is certainly a remarkable bargain. Barry McCanna
GEORGE GERSHWIN ’S Wonderful 51 tracks incl. Swanee; Clap Yo’ Hands; Strike up the Band; Summertime; By Strauss; Nice Work if You Can Get It … Retrospective RTS 4176 (76.50 & 75.57) George Gershwin grew up in New York during the ragtime craze, which like its successor jazz, depended heavily on syncopated rhythms. So it was natural for him to incorporate that new musical alphabet into his own compositions. Most of the lyrics were written by his older brother Ira. The combination of George’s tunes and Ira’s lyrics were a knockout. Brimful of vim and pep, they were perfectly suited to the musical theatre for which they were commissioned. This portfolio presents fifteen Broadway shows, including the opera ‘Porgy and Bess’, which span the period 1919 to 1936, and four subsequent Hollywood films. Some feature members of the original cast, including Fred & Adele Astaire, Cliff Edwards, and Gertrude Lawrence. Others are later cover versions, by such great singers as Dinah Shore, Ella Fitzgerald, Lee Wiley, Sarah Vaughan, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, and Dick Haymes. Barry McCanna
THE HUMAN ORCHESTRA 50 tracks incl. Moonglow; Fit as a Fiddle; Just a Jitterbug; Heebie Jeebies; Coming in on a Wing and a Prayer … Jasmine JASCD 685 (69:44 & 67:22) Taking as its starting point the 1985 LP of the same title, which constitutes the first 16 tracks, this features vocal groups like the Mills Brothers and the Ink Spots, in the sense that they used minimal or no instrumental accompaniment. Some are quite obscure, but the Three Keys, the Cats and the Fiddle, and Three Sharps and a Flat (who provide a riotous version of I’m Getting Sentimental Over You) will be familiar to many. The recorded in the thirties and early forties, and the later tracks reflect the emergence of doo-wop. Barry McCanna
JOHNNY MATHIS The Rhythms & Ballads of Broadway 24 tracks incl. I Wish I Were in Love Again; Let’s Do It; Moanin’ Low; My Romance; Don’t Blame Me … Delta 26656 (75:43) This dates from 1960, when Columbia recognised Johnny Mathis’ burgeoning talent by producing two concept albums as a 2-LP set. ‘Rhythms of Broadway’ presents a dozen pulsating showstoppers, played con brio by Ralph Burns & his Orchestra, and delivered with gusto by Johnny, who seems fired up by the accompaniment, as well he should be. The mood changes with the smoother ‘Ballads of Broadway’, and Glenn Osser's beautifully relaxed orchestral sound, against which Johnny's velvet voice glides like a caress. Barry McCanna
NEW ONES, OLD ONES Light Music and Songs for Piano and Voice Gordon Pullin (tenor), John Asher (piano) 24 tracks incl. McLain: Tyger, Tyger; Hippo, Hippo; Adelstrop; Adelstrop Revisited; Ellis: Ma Belle Marguerite; Granados: Andaluza; Johnston: I’ll Remember April; Grieg: Borodin: This Is My Beloved; Coleridge-Taylor: Demande et Reponse; Mayerl: Bats in the Belfry;Lehar: You Are My Heart’s Delight; Tauber: My Heart and I; Rodgers: Younger Than Springtime;Fibich: Poème; Leroy Anderson: Forgotten Dreams … This CD can be generally described as easy listening songs from musicals, popular and light music classics, and 12 tracks by RFS member Johnny McLain, showing that people are still writing new light music. The 12 are divided between gently up-tempo piano solos (Valse Azure, Study in Blue, Busman’s Holiday, Smarty-pants; Feeling Bluesy Waltz and Song to Kirsty), and art songs in the English song tradition (the rest), best among them being the lilting Hardy songs (Yellowhammer, And So Do I). Gordon Pullin’s delivery is notably clear in line and diction; John Archer, clearly a fine all-round musician, plays splendidly. Philip L Scowcroft
Obtainable for £5 (plus £1 postage) from McLain Music, 42 Osidge Lane, Southgate, London N14 5JG
THE NORMAN LUBOFF CHOIR Rise to Fame 43 tracks incl. The Lamp Is Low; No Other Love; If You Are But a Dream; My Reverie; Joy to the World; Silent Night, Holy Night; Calypso Carnival; Yellow Bird; Dansez Calenda; Red River Valley; Tumbling Tumbleweeds; Home on the Range …Jasmine JASCD 683 (73:17 & 71:39) This 2-CD set is made up of four albums, each of which has its own distinctive flavour. The 1959 LP ‘Reverie’ contains a dozen tunes which were lifted from classical works, of which Ossie Dales' liner note identifies the source for six, but they are omitted from the composer credits. The 1956 ‘Songs of Christmas’ contains six medleys with a total of 22 carols, and is in stereo. The second disc opens with the 1957 LP ‘Calypso Holiday’, and concludes with the album ‘Songs of the West’, the latter also in stereo. Sound quality is excellent, and I was particularly impressed by the arrangements for the classical themes. This compilation contains a wide choice of music, offering something for every mood. Barry McCanna
THE SISTERS ANTHOLOGY A Celebration of Four Decades of Singing Sisters 38 tracks incl.He’s the Last Word; Fit as a Fiddle; Dinah; Missouri Waltz; Buttons and Bows; Wheel of Fortune; Take the ‘A’ Train … Fantastic Voyage FVDD094 (50:42 & 50:49) Given the amount of publicity generated by so-called girl bands, this comes as a timely reminder that the concept is by no means a new one. All the usual sister suspects are here (Andrews, Fontane, Boswell and McGuire, etc.), plus some that in all probability you won't have heard before: Duncan, Stafford and Moylan, for example. They enter the ear in varying degrees of mellifluousness, but if you harbour uncharitable thoughts under the young Gumms' assault, remember that had they not prevailed we should have been denied the later Judy Garland. The first CD runs from 1924 to 1946, and the second continues on up to 1959, which gives a fascinating study of an evolving style. A few numbers come from film soundtracks and radio broadcasts, and accompaniments include Ben Pollack, Jean Goldkette, and the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra, not forgetting the Gilt-Edged Four, the Nat King Cole Trio, and Chet Atkins. Running time is on the short side, but remastering is excellent, and the two CDs are attractively presented in a gatefold blister pack with comprehensive illustrated liner note and full discography. Barry McCanna
JO STAFFORD At the Supper Club Part II All The Things You Are (Orchestral) What A Deal; I Can’t Begin To Tell You; Love Letters; Yesterdays; Patience and Fortitude; Down Honeymoon Lane; I Didn’t Mean What I Said; Aren’t You Glad You’re You; I Can’t Give You Anything But Love Baby; Sweet Georgia Brown; If I Had A Dozen Hearts; It’s A Grand Night For Singing; Old Man Harlem; Falling In Love With Love; A Little Consideration; Oye Negra; Day By Day; I’ll Remember April; My Romance; Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief; They Say Its Wonderful; All The Things You Are … Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY 841 [57:22]. Two orchestras, one led by Lloyd Shafer the other by Carl Kress, Helen Kress vocal group plus guests Bob Eberley, Benny Goodman, Mel Powell, Cozy Cole and Xavier Cugat. Jo made many V discs keeping up the morale of the American armed forces, leading her to become known as "GI Jo" the soldiers’ "girl next door". Johnny Mercer realised her potential signing her to Capitol records and she spent seven years there before following her musical director Paul Weston to Columbia; they later married. The live recordings contained on this CD were made in the 1940s complete with announcements – Jo’s delectable voice the highlight. Paul Clatworthy
DAVID WHITFIELD The Hits and More - The Ultimate Collection 53 tracks incl. I Believe; Answer Me; Cara Mia; Santo Natale; Beyond the Stars; Open Your Heart; Mama; Lady of Madrid; The Adoration Waltz; Marta; Mardi Gras; If I Lost You; When I Grow Too Old to Dream; … Jasmine JASCD 585 (65:14 & 67:06) Many of these tracks have been reissued already on CD, some more than once, but there are six numbers for which, to the best of my knowledge, this is the first digital outing. It's obvious that much thought has gone into this 2-CD set, but I find the packaging somewhat disappointing. The track list shows only a year against the tune, with no indication of accompaniment or original catalogue number. The text itself contains a number of elementary mistakes, and David's career is dealt with in a quite cursory fashion. It is pertinent to mention that David was inspired by two great operatic tenors, Lauritz Melchior and Richard Tauber. He took his art very seriously, and received voice training from Professor Georges Cunelli. All of which is reflected in the majestic timbre of his voice, his control of dynamic and vibrato, and the beauty of his vocal line. David was far more than a singer of popular songs, and his choice of repertoire included standards, songs from the stage and screen, and operetta. Despite my reservations, I rate this new set very highly indeed, and recommend it unreservedly to anyone who is devoted to the tenor voice. Barry McCanna
‘DANCE BAND DELIGHTS’
AMBROSE Limehouse Blues; B’Wanga; Caravan; Copenhagen; Cotton Pickers’ Congregation; Deep Henderson; Early Morning Blues; Embassy Stomp; Hors d’Oeuvres; Hick Stomp; Hullabaloo; Night Ride; Man About Town; Blue Romance; Plain Jane; Streamline Strut; The Penguin; Champagne Cocktail; Tootin’ Around; Swinganola; War Dance of the Wooden Indians; Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life; When Day is Done CDB01 (66:30)
LEW STONE Look What I’ve Got; The Bouncing Ball; Aunt Hagar’s Blues; Blue Jazz; Dinner and Dance; Canadian Pacific; Ebony Shadows; Ja Da; Lazy Rhythm; Milenberg Joys; Plastered in Paris; Solitude; St. Louis Blues; The Call of the Freaks; Vilia; White Jazz; Tiger Rag; Missouri Scrambler; Serenade for a Wealthy Widow; House Hop; Canadian Capers; Etude; Oh Susannah/ That’s a PlentyCDB02 (69:19)
ROY FOX Radio Luxembourg Broadcasts Singing in the Bath Tub; Whispering/Put on Your Old Grey Bonnet; My Heaven on Earth; Big Dipper; Lost and Found; Black Eyes; Singing in the Bath Tub; Mr. Sweeney Learned to Swing; Ooh! Boom!; Two Shadows; Congo; Let’s do it, Let’s Fall in Love; Margie; Finale; Singing in the Bath Tub; Whispering; Happy Feet; You Took the Words Right out of My Heart; Mean to Me; Bob White; Me, Myself and I; Nobody’s Sweetheart; Finale; Singing in the Bath Tub; Whispering; Singing in the Rain; You Appeal to Me; Dizzy Daisy; Someday Sweetheart; Whistle While You Work; Rosalie); Everybody Loves My Baby; Finale CDB03 (62:37)
RAY NOBLE Copper Blues; Mad About the Boy; Blue Danube; Baby, You got the Right Idea; Every Day Away from You; Jog Along; My Heart is Saying; So the Blackbirds and the Bluebirds got Together; Terribly Fond of You; Japanese Sandman; Tiger Rag; What a Perfect Combination; When the Real Thing Comes Your Way; The Sun is Round the Corner; Way Down Yonder in New Orleans; Sleep; El Relicario; Dinah; Chinatown; California Here I Come; Footprints in the Snow; You’re Everything Sweet; Allah’s Holiday; The Very Thought of You CDB04 (68:55) These four CDs from This England () are the first of a new series labelled ‘Dance Band Delights’, and apart from the Roy Fox feature only instrumentals. Most of the individual tracks have been reissued hitherto within LP and/or CD compilations, but I think this is the first time they’ve been grouped together in this way. The Ray Noble album includes ten of the US recordings, four of which are radio transcriptions. The Roy Fox compilation comprises four Radio Luxembourg broadcasts (which were sponsored by Reckitt’s Bath Cubes, hence the recurrence of one particular number) and vocalists include Denny Dennis and Mary Lee. There is a needle skip on track 3, but otherwise these are well remastered and attractively packaged, and a welcome addition to the dance band catalogue.Barry McCanna
THE HOTTEST OF THE PHILIP LEWIS / RHYTHM MANIACS RECORDINGS 1928-1930 Featuring Arthur Lally, Syvester Ahola and Danny Polo 24 tracks incl. My Kinda Love; My Troubles are Over; Doin’ the New Low-Down; Down Among the Sugar-Cane: Building a Nest for Mary; Diga Diga Doo; What is this Thing Called Love?; I’m Crooning a Tune about June; Imagination Goes a Long, Long Way; Little Pal: Red Hair and Freckles … Retrieval RTR 79064 (70:23) This Decca studio group created some uncompromisingly hot sides between mid-1929 and early 1930. All of the musicians involved were masters of their craft, and some played together in the Ambrose orchestra, but these were obviously more informal sessions, where they could play as they wished, and it shows. Trumpeter Sylvester Ahola set a clear lead, and his highly individual style included fast flurries of notes, often creating highly complex effects, such as in his solo in There's One Thing Remains. This he called his "paradiddle rhythm" which he achieved by double tonguing in double time and executed as if it were just a matter of course. Arthur Lally’s full-bodied contributions on most of the sax family and the standard of percussion work, for much of which Max Bacon was responsible, contributes to a CD without a dull track, and on which the quality of playing is quite superlative. Most are vocals, but two instrumentals deserve special mention, both taken at a fierce pace. The old warhorse Tiger Rag is given a facelift by some splendid ensemble playing, which develops to accompany the obligatory smears produced on bass sax rather than trombone, after which Max Bacon takes an extended cymbal solo against a background of riffs. Max is also much in evidence onThat’s a Plenty, and if there’s a hotter version of this number I have yet to hear it. Nick Dellow has worked wonders in coaxing a very full sound spectrum from these early Decca 78s, including a wax master for the previously unissued final title. It should be an essential purchase for devotees of the golden age of British dance bands, particularly those who like their music piping hot. Barry McCanna
GEORGE SHEARING Lullaby of Birdland 52 tracks incl. More Than You Know; Cherokee; September in the Rain; Jumpin’ with Symphony Sid; Isn’t it Romantic? … Retrospective RTS 4178(78:38 & 77:28) This timely tribute spans the period 1939 to 1960. It includes early piano solos, a collaboration with Leonard Feather where George plays accordion, and one apiece of his recordings with Hatchett’s Swingtette, Stephane Grappelli’s Quartet, and Harry Parry & the Radio Rhythm Club Sextet, plus two sextet and one trio recording from 1944. His January 1949 recordings for the Discovery label feature another performance from George on accordion, playing Ray Noble’sCherokee. Thereafter he signed with MGM, and stayed for five years, before switching to Capitol in 1955. The later 50s recordings include backings by Billy May, and four vocals by Peggy Lee (from the famed Miami concert) and one by Nancy Wilson. Barry McCanna
JACK TEAGARDEN BIG T A Hundred Years from Today 46 tracks incl. Makin’ Friends; You Rascal, You!; Christmas Night in Harlem; Jack Hits the Road; Stars Fell on Alabama; High Society …Nimbus RTS 4182 (77:31 & 76:10) Jack Teagarden’s trombone playing was deceptively simple; it favoured the upper register, and wove mellifluous patterns with apparent disregard to the ground beat. His bluesy playing was reflected in the lazy bonhomie of his vocals, enhanced by his southern drawl. His earliest recorded solo was She’s a Great, Great Girl with the orchestra of Roger Wolfe Kahn, and he joined Ben Pollack's Park Central Orchestra soon after. He also recorded with Eddie Condon, Louis Armstrong, Red Nichols and Benny Goodman; all are represented here, together with later recordings under his own name, of which the most evocative is Davenport Blues with its ethereal introduction. This superb sampling of Jack's art spans 1928 to 1954, and has been beautifully remastered with a full discography. It's memorable for the consistently high quality of his playing (to quote from the Penguin Guide "there are scarcely any moments when he sounds less than wonderful"). If you're not a devotee already, buy this and be converted. Barry McCanna
MORGANA KING Four Classic Albums 47 tracks including There’s a Lull in My Life; Mean to Me; Body and Soul; I Can’t Get Started; How High the Moon; I’ll Remember April; That Ole Devil Called Love; … Avid AMSC1021 (70:26 & 72:25) This 2-CD set gathers together four ‘50s LPs by Morgana King, namely ‘For You, For Me, For Evermore’ from March 1956; ‘Sings the Blues’ from January 1956;‘The Greatest Songs Ever Swung’ from 1959; and ‘Let Me Love You’ from July 1958. My own preference is for the 1956 recordings, where Morgana's silky cream-smooth voice is the centrepiece and is embellished by the restrained playing of the musicians in her backing group. On the later sessions some of the accompaniments sound at odds with the song and she seems to be striving for effect, as a result of which her vocals are more mannered. However, this is a matter of personal taste, and what strikes me as a slight falling off will appeal to others. Overall this is a superb reissue, and my reservation about the second CD is only in comparison with the very high standard set by the first. It is also a considerable bargain, which you'll appreciate if you try to acquire these four albums separately. Barry McCanna
ANNIE ROSS Four Classic Albums Plus 48 tracks incl. The Way You Look Tonight; Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea; Gypsy in My Soul; I Love Paris; Manhattan; Everything’s Coming Up Roses; You Took Advantage of Me; I Feel Pretty; Give Me the Simple Life … Avid AMSC1015 (78:44 & 78:17) This comprises a variety of riches from seven different sources, including the album ‘Annie by Candlelight’ recorded in London in 1956 with the Tony Crombie Quartet; the 10 numbers from the LP ‘A Song with Mulligan’ which was recorded in New York in December 1957; and the albums ‘It’s A Gasser’ and ‘Gypsy’ both recorded in Los Angeles in 1959. Annie is in fine fettle throughout, interpreting the lyrics in her highly individual manner, but always respecting the songwriter's intention. Her rendition of Skylark is a thing of beauty, and I've Told Every Little Star, recorded at the same session, is a delightful exercise in droll vocal delivery. Buddy Bregman, the arranger on the‘Gypsy’ album, was the nephew of Jule Styne, the score's composer. I doubt this was a big seller when it first came out, but it's certainly stood the test of time. Good as the first CD is, it's merely the curtain-raiser for Annie's recordings with two of the heavyweights of the then contemporary jazz scene. Despite the prominence of Zoot Sims' name on the original LP sleeve of ‘It's A Gasser’, he was replaced on three numbers by Bill Perkins, and the backing quintet was led by pianist Russ Freeman, who also produced the arrangements. Apart from a couple of up-tempo songs, it's lovely, smoky, small-hours jazz with a perfect understanding between all concerned. It's Annie's partnership with the Gerry Mulligan Quartet that produces her jazziest performances. In addition to the leader, it features either Chet Baker or Art Farmer on trumpet, Bill Crow or Henry Grimes on bass, and drummer Dave Bailey. The choice of material is excellent. All concerned play their socks off, and produce jazz of a very high order. Barry McCanna
ANYTHING GOES Criswell, von Stade, Hubbard, Groenendaal, Gilford, Ambrosian Chorus, et al. London Symphony Orchestra / McGlinn 22 tracks incl. Anything Goes; I Get a Kick Out of You; You’re the Top; All Through the Night; Blow, Gabriel, Blow … EMI Classics 9489442 (74:22) I understand that theatre historians have long considered this to be the quintessential ‘30s musical. Both music and lyrics are from the pen of the incomparable Cole Porter. (It has been suggested that buying this CD should be a requirement for all history students as Porter’s lyrics tell us about the decade’s current events). Ethel Merman was the star of the show in 1934, and on this 1988 recording Kim Criswell is in fine form belting out Ethel’s numbers but with more sweetness. The lovely Frederica von Stade, from the world of opera, sings beautifully although she is not ideally suited to her role. Chris Groenendaal and the African-American operatic baritone, Bruce Hubbard, are in good voice. Jack Gilford provides the humour with Be Like A Blackbird. John McGlinn, who helped reconstruct the original orchestrations by Robert Russell Bennett and Hans Spialek, conducts the LSO and oversees the entire joyous proceedings with élan. For me, Mr Porter, YOU are the top! Ray Pavene
GILBERT & SULLIVAN The Mikado D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, New Symphony Orchestra of London / Isadore Godfrey; SULLIVAN Overtures Boston Promenade Orchestra / Arthur Fiedler; Pineapple Poll Pro Arte Orchestra / John Hollingsworth Magdalen METCD 8002(73:33 & 73:31) Recorded under the direction of Bridget D’Oyly Carte at London’s Kingsway Hall in October 1957 and originally released on a Decca SKL double LP, this performance of ‘The Mikado’(without dialogue) was opined at the time as the most desirable of all versions. It may have been superseded over the years but with Paul Arden-Taylor’s remastering it still remains a recommendable disc. For people who prefer Sullivan solo the second CD is completed by three overtures – The Pirates of Penzance, H.M.S. Pinafore, Iolanthe – never before issued on CD; and a lively version of Pineapple Poll, recorded by Pye in 1958. This is a generously timed, well-produced issue in every respect. Ray Pavene
GILBERT & SULLIVAN The Pirates of Penzance D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, New Symphony Orchestra of London / Isodore Godfrey; Medleys and Choral Arrangements Magdalen METCD 8007 (77:04 & 77:13) Another extremely well-filled and well-presented 2-CD set at a very favourable price. Like the issue above this recording, also from 1957, has always been considered to be one of the work’s liveliest and best sung performances. The stellar cast includes Thomas Round, Peter Pratt, Donald Adams and Jean Hindmarsh. Included for those who like their Sullivan sans Gilbert is another overture in mono and new to CD, The Mikado, by Fiedler and the BPO, as well as three ‘Gilbert and Sullivan Medleys’ – Pirates, Pinafore and Patience – arranged by Cruikshank, from 1955 and also new to CD, played by Harry (‘Those Were The Days’) Davidson* and his Orchestra, which are really rather good. The final 13 tracks are an engaging ‘A Gilbert and Sulllivan Songbook’ arranged by Ralph Hunter and performed by his Choir and Orchestra. This was recorded in 1959 and is another new to CD. James Murray’s first-rate notes inform us that Mr Hunter was a church organist before studying at Juilliard. He worked with Toscanini, NBC and Radio City Music Hall prior to forming the Ralph Hunter Choir. He also provided arrangements for Harry Belafonte and Miriam Makeba. Ray Pavene
(* "Harry Davidfils et Son Orchestre de Vieux Temps", as we used to call him as teenagers! – KT Ed.)
MY FAIR LADY & GIGI Original Casts 1956 & 1958 42 tracks Retrospective RTR 4181 (79.08)This reissue celebrates Alan Jay Lerner and Fritz Loewe, whose partnership reached its pinnacle in 1956 with ‘My Fair Lady’. Shaw opposed the transformation of ‘Pygmalion’ into a musical, but had he lived to see the result he would surely have been delighted. Everything about it was judged to be perfection; Shaw’s play remained unaltered as the basis, casting was superb, and many of the songs have become standards. The play enjoyed phenomenally long runs, both on Broadway and in the West End, and a hugely successful film version was made in 1964.
‘Gigi’ required a more elliptical approach, being based on Colette’s 1945 novella about the training of a courtesan, a subject acceptable in Parisian society but unmentionable in the supposedly more moral Hollywood! The quality of the songs was matched by the casting, albeit that Leslie Caron’s singing voice had to be dubbed by Betty Wand. Cast details are set out with the soundtrack, and the liner note provides background to the two productions, and a synopsis of the plots. They have been beautifully remastered and sparkle as if recorded yesterday. Barry McCanna
JOHAN HALVORSEN Orchestral Works Vol. 3 Ragnhild Hemsing (Hardanger fiddle); Marianne Thorsen (violin); Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra / Neeme Järvi Chandos CHAN 10664 (79:53) This release embraces the composer’s final 3rd Symphony, which was sketched in the summer of 1928 and completed the following autumn and winter. The work does not appear on first acquaintance to possess quite the same appeal as its two predecessors (see JIM 185 & 187) but these are, I stress, first impressions. The longest item here is incidental music to ‘Fossegrimen’, the mythical music master of all underground creatures from which Halvorsen extracted a 30-minuteDramatic Suite that prominently features the Hardanger fiddle, the Norwegian "national instrument", which I suspect may be something of an acquired taste. The most immediately appealing music here is undoubtably Bergensiana, an attractive set of variations probably based on a minuet by the French composer Jean-Baptiste Lully; and according to the informative booklet notes performed during the opening ceremony of the annual Bergen International Festival. With excellent recording and with the shorter pieces included on this disc (Black Swans, Wedding of Ravens in the Grove of the Crows, andWedding March Op.32 No.1) well worth having, plus maximum playing time and not withstanding my reservations on the Symphony, which will I am sure grow in appeal on repeated hearings, anyone collecting this series will want this latest offering. Roger Hyslop
EDUARD KÜNNEKE The Prof & The Show Girl Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra / KünnekeDance Suite; Glückliche Reise (Bon Voyage) Highlights EVELYN KÜNNEKE Swings Songs of the 1940s Magdalen METCD 8005 (74:02) At the risk of some readers wondering "Where has he been?", I admit that here is a composer, singer and label all new to me. I gather that Eduard (1885-1953) was a successful composer of 1920s and ‘30’s operettas using dance forms. He also wrote the well-known song I’m only a strolling vagabond. His daughter Evelyn (1921-2001) was unfortunate in rising to fame as a singer, dancer and actress during WWII and her comments on the Nazi regime almost resulted in an early death. She remained popular even through the rock ‘n’ roll years and in old age toured in cabaret with two others in an act called Three Old Bags! The Dance Suite is subtitled Concerto Grosso in Five Movements for Jazzband and Large Orchestra. Each movement features a popular dance form such as tango, slow waltz and foxtrot. Including the overture to Glückliche, the disc contains 32½ minutes of orchestral music. More please! The nine songs are not really my thing but, apart from the attractively wistful Sing, Nachtigall, Sing (Sing, Nightingale, Sing), a German The White Cliffs of Dover, they maintain the jollity of the album. Paul Arden-Taylor has remastered the original mono recordings from Telefunken, Philips and Odeon; and the liner notes by James Murray are a mine of information. Edward Trub
(There are three tracks by Künneke from the "Dance Suite" already reissued on Guild – KT Ed.)
LEOPOLD MOZART Kammerorchester Berlin / Koch Toy Symphony; Peasant Wedding; MusicalSleigh-Ride WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART Staatskapelle Dresden / Suitner A Musical Joke - Sextet for Small-town Band Berlin Classics 0300137BC (71:35) Another album that will appeal to anyone who appreciates humour in music. Father Leopold’s Peasant Wedding credits soloists on bagpipes and rattle! The boy genius son’s last track of his Joke will be familiar to those who have watched BBC’s show jumping coverage on TV. This is Mozart-lite, costing around £5 online, to put a smile on your face in these straitened times. Edward Trub
SULLIVAN Pineapple Poll; Henry VIII; Victoria and Merrie England Philharmonia Orchestra / Sir Charles Mackerras; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra / Royston Nash Eloquence ELQ4801284 (66:12) This reissue features the third and final recording Sir Charles Mackerras made of his ‘Pineapple Poll’ ballet captured in 1982 in gloriously full vivid vintage Kingsway Hall sound: an object lesson for any of today’s aspiring recording engineers. The ballet was originally premiered on the 13th March 1951 as part of the Festival of Britain and, apparently, Mackerras used tunes from all of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas save ‘Thespis’, ‘Utopia Limited’ and ‘The Grand Duke’. The resultant tuneful score and exuberant orchestration makes this a self-recommending disc, although as makeweights there are further attractions of short excerpts from ‘Henry VIII’ and the ballet‘Victoria and Merrie England’ in performances by the RPO under Royston Nash recorded in a noticeably smaller acoustic, Decca’s West Hampstead studios. For the curious there is still available a recording of the ballet complete on Marco Polo 8.223677 – 78 minutes of music well worth investigating. Roger Hyslop
TCHAIKOVSKY Orchestral Favourites London Symphony Orchestra / Kenneth Alwyn Magdalen METCD 8007 (58:48) 1812 Festival Overture; Marche Slave and Capriccio Italien are from a legendary album: Decca’s very first stereophonic LP in 1958 (costing 28s 9d plus Purchase Tax). The booklet notes tell us that prospective purchasers were advised to warn their next-door neighbours before playing! It still sounds magnificent, with the addition of the Band of HM Grenadier Guards for the 1812. Kenneth Alwyn, Principal Conductor of the Royal Ballet, was a Tchaik specialist. (He also had a feel for light music and should have been better used by the record companies of the time). Romeo and Juliet Overture-Fantasy features the great Sir John Barbirolli and his beloved Halle Orchestra in a 1957 version from Pye described as "white hot". This re-issue should be in your collection. Edward Trub
THE ART OF JULIAN LLOYD WEBBER 37 tracks on 2 CDs incl. Saints Saëns The Swan; DebussyClair de Lune; Massenet Mėditation (from Thaļs); A Lloyd Webber Pie Jesu (from Requiem); Music of the Night (from The Phantom of the Opera); Theme from the South Bank Show; Elgar Chanson de Matin; Brahms Lullaby; Albinoni Adagio; Franck Panis Angelicus; Rutter Mary’s Lullaby; Rimsky-Korsakov Flight of the Bumble-Bee … ClassicfMfullworks CFMGA12 (77:58 & 77:32) The master of that beautiful but sometimes rather melancholic instrument, the cello, personally choose this selection on two packed albums available exclusively from HMV stores at a budget price. Julian’s ownSong for Baba was inspired by the birth of his son. There is the added attraction of a new recording: Menotti’s Arioso for Two Cellos and Strings on which Lloyd Webber is joined by his wife Jiaxis Cheng, with John Wilson conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. All the pieces are melodic and the majority are ideal for quiet reflection or to help one "wind down". Edward Trub.
Recently received by Wilfred Askew including releases held over from our last issue
RAY CONNIFF The Singles Collection Vol. 3 26 tracks incl. Midnight Lace (Part II); Wednesday’s Child; Winds of Change; A Banda; It’s Only a Paper Moon; I Will Follow Him; Never Gonna Fall in Love Again … Collectables COL-CD-7943 (70:44)
RON GOODWIN Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 2-CD set; 33 tracks Intrada Volume 161 (112:07) Limited to 2,000 copies
SKIP MARTIN AND HIS ORCHESTRA Speakeasy Blues 23 tracks incl. Truckin’; East of the Sun; Bye Bye Blackbird; You Turned the Tables on Me; Vilia; The Untouchables; Chicago; Charleston …
Montpellier MONT CD 073 (66:57)
THE McGUIRE SISTERS May You Always 28 Coral tracks incl. Volare; One Fine Day; Sugartime; Around the World; Weary Blues; Kiss Them for Me; The Last Dance; Anniversary Song; Shuffle Off to Buffalo … SEPIA 1152 (73:10) With Dick Jacobs, Neil Hefti, Lawrence Welk and Skip Martin.
THE MILLS BROTHERS Sing Their Great Hits In Stereo 48 tracks on 2-CD set incl. Paper Doll; Till Then; Lazy river; Margie; My Buddy; My Mother’s Eyes; Sleepy time Gal; My Wild Irish Rose; I’ll See You in My Dreams; Stardust; Once In a While … Jasmine JASCD 555 (125:56) Four original Dot albums.