HERE COME THE CLASSICS VOL. 8 – LIGHT MUSIC LEGENDS. MALCOLM ARNOLD English Dances : Set 2 Op. 33, No.1); ERIC COATES By the Sleepy Lagoon, Calling all Workers, Dambusters March; ARTHUR WOOD Barwick Green; VIVIAN ELLIS Coronation Scot; HAYDN WOOD The Bandstand, Hyde Park (Frescoes Suite); HUBERT BATH Cornish Rhapsody; ROBERT FARNON Westminster Waltz, Portrait of a Flirt; TREVOR DUNCAN March (Little Suite); CHARLES WILLIAMS Rhythm on Rails, Devils Galop, Heart o’ London; ARTHUR BENJAMIN Jamaican Rumba , EDWARD WHITE Puffin’ Billy; ANTHONY COLLINS Vanity Fair; EDWARD ELGAR Chanson de Nuit. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Barry Wordsworth with Roderick Elms (piano). RPO 008CD, total timing 59:28 mins. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra are in the midst of producing ‘in house’ a series of CD’s under the generic title of ‘Here comes the Classics’ and Volume eight which has just appeared focuses on ‘Light Music Legends’. Many of the pieces included here will be perhaps overly familiar to the seasoned collector who will almost certainly have already various other alternative modern recordings in his collection, but the present disc is nonetheless worth considering on several counts. The novelty here is Charles Williams’ Heart o’ Londonconsisting of a medley of popular tunes ranging from Cherry Ripe to Noel Coward’s London Pride.Also included here and having a comparatively rare outing is Haydn Wood’s ‘The Bandstand, Hyde Park’ from ‘Frescoes’ – a splendid piece and played here with a marvellous sense of style and panache. This disc has the added advantage of featuring one of London’s premier symphony orchestras, a conductor with an innate sense of how this music should be played and an excellent recording made in the Henry Wood Hall, London. So no matter how many versions of The Dambusters March you have already lurking on your shelves, this CD is more than worth seeking out! Available from : Recordings Dept. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, 16 Clerkenwell Green, London EC1 0GT. Phone ; 020 7608 8800 www.rpo.co.uk Roger Hyslop
GUILD LIGHT MUSIC The Golden Age of Light Music A new series of CDs compiled by David Ades, with digital sound restoration by Alan Bunting. The first three CDs were released in April, with two more at the end of May. For full tracklistings please refer to pages 20, 21 & 22 of JIM 158 [March 2004] and pages 26 & 27 in this issue.
GLCD5101 An Introduction
GLCD5102 The 1940s
GLCD5103 The 1950s
GLCD5104 Great British Light Orchestras
GLCD5105 Great American Light Orchestras
A comprehensive description of this important new series, plus full tracklistings, appeared in JIM 158, to which readers are referred. This has obviously been a major undertaking, and it is evident that a great deal of care has been taken, both in the choice of programmes, and the quality of the sound restoration. Inevitably there are a fair number of tracks which have already appeared on other recent CD reissue compilations, but these are balanced by the inclusion of either [a] different versions of familiar pieces, or [b] compositions which have made it on to CD for the first time. There is a good mix of commercial and publishers’ recordings, and the great attraction lies in the actual sequencing of the items; play any of these CDs and you will immediately be transported back to the ‘good old days’ of the BBC Light Programme. Whilst writing this I am listening to Volume 2 (being reproduced through a superb 1950s restored Grundig table radio) and it is difficult to believe that it is really 2004 – it is as if David Ades and Alan Bunting have indeed created the proverbial time machine! We are promised more to come, but in the meantime these three new CDs cannot be too highly recommended. Tony Clayden Guild Light Music CDs can be purchased from the RFS Record Service for £7 each [US $14]; the first three are offered at a special price of £18 [$36] for all three (plus postage and packing), if ordered before 30 June 2004.
PERCY FAITH AND HIS ORCHESTRA ‘Delicado’ 2-CD collection of early recordings for full tracklisting please refer to page 11 of JIM 158 [March 2004]. Sanctuary Group Living Era CD AJS 278. A word of warning to the reader: this is a biased review. Percy Faith is my favourite composer/ arranger/ conductor, and Alan Bunting is a personal friend, so any time Alan turns his attention to Faith the results are likely to be pleasing. In the present instance, they are spectacular. Alan has filled a great void by collecting the scattered early commercial recordings of Percy Faith, from roughly 1944 to the early 1950s, from four different record companies, and most are appearing on CD for the first time -- an event that ten years ago would have seemed impossible. If you are a dedicated fan, you have possibly managed to round up many of these selections on ancient, hissy vinyl (or perhaps even 78) but you have never heard them like this. With the touch of the magic Bunting wand, these 60 year old recordings glow with a warmth and detail never before heard. Faith did not make concessions to the limitations of the recording technology of the period, and frankly in the past I have never been able to even hear much of what was really going on in these arrangements. It is a revelation to hear the 1944 Decca recordings in particular. A fan of Faith's Latin American arrangements has to love these; although a couple (Bim, Bam, Boom! and Tico-Tico) were later heard on stereo albums, most are unique. (Negra Consentida remains one of my favourite arrangements.) The cello solo in If There Is Someone Lovlier Than You is by itself worth the price of the entire set. In some respects, the older versions seem superior to the later stereo recordings; for all the technical limitations, I think I prefer the 1940s version of Tia Juana to the 1960s recording. But this is far from a collection which would be of interest only to hardcore fans; it also contains some gems that were only out as singles at the time, and have been neglected because they are out of the mainstream. Most notably, there are two selections with then-famous cabaret singer Hildegarde (no surname needed, evidently). Not only does Hildegarde have one of those "warm, down-around-the-ankles" voices (in Raymond Chandler's phrase) – it’s easy to see why she was so popular - the arrangements are a complete delight, as Faith sends the orchestra nipping and tucking at her heels like a kitten playing with a ball of yarn. Another surprise is a vocal version of the Alec Wilder melodyGoodbye, John, which Faith memorably recorded with Mitch Miller on the oboe; undoubtedly the right choice, since the lyrics are pedestrian, but who knew there were any? The second CD ends with a rather playful trick. Faith recorded an extended instrumental variant of the Song From 'Moulin Rouge' for the album "Music From Hollywood", and Alan has combined this with the familiar, frequently-anthologized Felicia Sanders vocal version which will no doubt become the standard we all will listen to from now on! The only negative thing you should know is this: if you buy this collection, you may have a hard time getting it out of your CD player. It's that good. If only there could be more... but we're lucky to have what we do. Congratulations to all of the people involved in making it possible. John Cutcher
Complementary to the five new Collectables issues is ‘Delicado’, Percy Faith’s double album on the Living Era label [CD AJS 278]. Here we have all of his earliest commercial recordings, made for the Majestic, Decca and RCA Victor labels, plus a selection of those he made after joining Columbia – a total of 50 original mono recordings spanning the years 1944 to 1953. Alan Bunting has done all the compilation, transfers, audio restoration and re-mastering, and the booklet notes, and it was obviously a labour of love. This is my kind of Percy Faith and these 2 CDs have given me more pleasure than many of the other re-issued examples of his work from the later years of his wonderful career. Peter Burt
This 2-CD set is available from the RFS Record Service for £11 [US $22] plus postage and packing.
JOHN PHILIP SOUSA : MUSIC FOR WIND BAND – Vol. 4 Marches: Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, Sesqui-Centennial Exposition, Riders for the Flag, Ancient and Honorable Artillery Co., Pathfinder of Panama, The Glory of the Yankee Navy, The Aviators, The Stars and Stripes Forever, Selection Bride Elect, Suite: Tales of a Traveller, Waltz: Co-eds of Michigan. Band of the Royal Artillery conducted by Keith Brion. Naxos 8.559093 59mins. Volume 4 in the Naxos American Classics series of the complete Wind Band music of John Philip Sousa which incidentally includes a staggering 136 marches (!) fully upholds the superb production values of this series with regard to both performance and recording, aided no doubt by the splendidly spacious acoustic of Woolwich Town Hall. Indeed under the experienced and highly skilled tutelage of Mike Parton of the Specialist Recording Company, this disc is a model of how good a military band recording should sound – the results are deeply impressive. Much of the contents of this latest instalment consists mainly of notable rarities although decidedly not of course ‘The Stars and Stripes Forever’ – probably the most famous military march ever written, which here receives a suitably resplendent performance to bring this CD to an excellent conclusion. One of the joys of Sousa marches is their sometimes gloriously over the top titles and included here we have ‘Nobles of the Mystic Shrine’ and ‘‘The Glory of the Yankee Navy’- it’s difficult not to raise a wry smile at such appellations! The Ancient and Honorable Artillery Co. of Boston is apparently the oldest military organisation in the USA and the resultant march composed at their request includes their marching song ‘Auld Lange Syne’. ‘The Aviators’ a late piece composed a year before Sousa’s death in 1931 is dedicated to William J. Moffett who Keith Brion tells us in his informative notes is considered to be the father of the aircraft carrier. During the performance of this piece, you are well advised to duck down since it comes complete with low flying aircraft. The most substantial work in this collection is the 1911 Suite, ‘Tales of a Traveller’which will certainly be of some interest to those of us on this side of the pond, since the final movement is an imposing and fairly lengthy coronation march apparently intended to be used at the coronation of King George V. Its subsequent non-appearance within the hallowed walls of Westminster Abbey may have been due to the fact that the rather staid British Establishment considered it lacked a degree of dignity and gravitas appropriate for such a solemn ceremony. If you haven’t been tempted to invest in this outstanding series, I can only suggest in suitable military parlance that you now get ‘fell in at the double’ behind the Royal Artillery Band – surely one of the brightest jewels in the crown of British Army music - for an exhilarating , often exciting and hugely enjoyable musical adventure! A brilliant disc and superb value! Already issued in this Naxos series are : Vol.1 8.559058, Vol.2 8.559059, Vol.3 8.559092 (reviewed in JIM No.155 06/03). Roger Hyslop
(1)THE BEST OF PALM COURT, LINKE: Gavotte; Softly Unawares! ANCLIFFE : El Saludo; Fragrance; Nights of Gladness; P.CASSANO : Czardas , P.FAHRBACH: Comedy Gallop, J.HURST : Melodie d’Amour, J.S.SCHONBERGER: Whispering Foxtrot, M. EWING : Woodland Shadows, S.R.HENRY/D.ONIVAS: Indianola, M.BILTON: Anita (2) TOO BEAUTIFUL FOR WORDS, W.H.MYDDLETON: Down South, M.LENNARD: Billy Possum’s Frolic, ALETTER: Rendezvous, J.RIXNER: Ragamuffin, R. COLUMBO et al: Too Beautiful for Words ANCLIFFE: The Valley of Poppies, N. MORET:Silverheels, KETELBY: In a Persian Market ,VERDI arr. Bell:Quartet from Rigoletto, Y.KREIN: Glory of Russia, A.MALANDO: Ole Guapa, A. GRUNFELD: Romance, P.FLETCHER: Bal Masque. THE ASPIDISTRA DRAWING ROOM ORCHESTRA. £10.00 per disc, £15.00 if both ordered together plus £1.00 p&p from Adam Bakker, Cardinals Wharf, 49 Bankside, London SE1 9JE tel. 020 7633 9313, E-mail – . The Aspidistra Drawing Room Orchestra (comprising 7 to 8 players: flute, oboe, piano and strings) are helping to keep alive the "light music salon orchestra" tradition by concerts and CD’s. These latter, recorded in 1998 and 2003 respectively, each contain an enjoyably varied selection of light orchestral repertoire. The later one includes popular numbers like the Ketelby and Fletcher pieces, perhaps also Aletter’sRendezvous (a trifle heavy in touch here for my taste), the Myddleton ‘sketch’ and Joe Rixners livelyRagamuffin polka. But less well known are the foottapping Billy Possum’s Frolic, (an "irresistible twostep" !), Ancliffe’s delicious Valley of Poppies and Grunfeld’s shapely Romance, Roy Bell who arranges the Rigoletto Quartet, is the orchestra flautist. The earlier disc features three more Ancliffe’s including the popular Nights of Gladness, ebuilliently done.; also of much charm are the items by Jan Hurst (who once conducted so many resort orchestras either side of 1939-45) Montague Ewing and from the continent Fahrbach and Paul Linke. Playing time is scarcely generous but all lovers of this repertoire should be delighted with the varied programmes and stylish execution. Philip L. Scowcroft
SOUSA MARCHES Band of HM Royal Marines [Royal Marines School of Music] conducted by Lt Col G A C Hoskins, MVO, ARAM, RM EMI 5855352 [65’07" & 64’49" mins] Having only bought this budget-priced 2-CD set because I’d heard the conductor give a talk about serving on the Royal yacht ‘Britannia’, and just expecting to dip in and out of it, I found myself playing each CD at a sitting and my attention was retained throughout. There are a total of 43 tracks [too numerous to list here] but even this is less than a third of the March King’s output. His big popular successes are here, likeThe Gladiator, Semper fidelis, The Washington Post, The Liberty Bell, The Stars and Stripes Forever and Hands Across the Sea. In addition there are exotically entitled works such as Kansas Wildcats, Solid Men to the Front, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, The Gridiron Club, The Charlatan andLa Flor de Sevilla. I particularly enjoyed Jack Tar, premiered at London’s Albert Hall in 1903 in the presence of Royalty. The playing is of a high standard and the 20-year-old recording sounds fine. If you are not "into" military bands, let me encourage you to try this one – you may be pleasantly surprised.
THE MUSICAL WORLDS OF LAURIE JOHNSON Concerto for Trumpet, Tenor Saxophone and Orchestra The London Big Band and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Laurie Johnson Soloists: Guy Barker, Trumpet, Tommy Whittle, Tenor Saxophone; The Wind in the Willows (Tone Poem for Small Orchestra after Kenneth Grahame) London Studio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jack Parnell; Irma La Goose Overture Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Laurie Johnson; Symphony (Synthesis) London Jazz Orchestra and London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Laurie Johnson, leader, Rodney Friend. Soloists, Stan Roderick, Kenny Wheeler, Trumpets, Don Lusher, Trombone, Joe Harriott, Alto Sax, Tony Coe, Tubby Hayes, Tenor Sax. AVID CD AVHN 102 72:26 mins. The title of this CD is slightly confusing, because it's the same as another album issued by the Polygram REDIAL label in 1998. Two of the above items were included in that issue: Laurie's spectacular jazz Symphony, recorded in 1970 , and The Wind in the Willows from 1971. But the Suite from the movie "Hedda" has been discarded to make way for two new compositions. Laurie presented his Concerto at a Royal Albert Hall Concert in 1999, and, until the issue of this CD, it has been available only on the Videotape of that concert (Golden Times GOL 11134). The version here is a new studio recording. Also appearing for the first time on CD is the delightful Irma La Goose Overture. Any new album by Laurie is a must for the collection, and this one includes useful sleeve notes by Laurie himself, plus some by the late Christopher Palmer reproduced from the original CD. Don't let the inadequate numbering of the tracks printed on the back cover prevent you from enjoying an exploration of these new musical worlds.Richard Hindley
SEVEN A SUITE FOR ORCHESTRA by Tony Banks, LPO conducted by Mike Dixon, Naxos 8.557466. No, it’s not the British Labour MP but yes, it is the former member of Genesis pop group. No, it’s not pop music but yes, it is light classical, somewhere in between Vaughan Williams and Stanley Black! Eminently pleasurable and soothing this is something new to the repertoire. Based on four modern themes and three others he had mused over in previous decades, Banks asked Simon Hale to orchestrate them into a whole suite. The result is most satisfactory and with the London Philharmonic doing the honours Naxos can congratulate themselves. In order, the seven movements are Spring Tide, Black Down, The Gateway, The Ram, Earthlight, Neap Tide and The Spirit of Gravity. If you are looking for music which is easy on the ear you will not be disappointed. Edmund Whitehouse
LOUIS LEVY The musical giant of Gaumont British films March of the Movies; Sing as we go; Who’s been polishing the sun?; Where there’s you there’s me; What a little moonlight can do; Without rhythm; This’ll make you whistle; Things are looking up; The eyes of the world are on you; Aunt Sally medley; Meet the sun halfway; Jingle of the jungle; Turning the world upside down; From one minute to another; Empire builders; Don’t you cry when we say goodbye; Cole Porter medley.Evergreen Melodies C92. At one time you were lucky to find the occasional Louis Levy track on a compilation CD, despite the fact that the late Alan Dell often featured him in his ‘Dance Band Days’ programme on BBC Radio-2. Then a few CDs started to appear, including the comprehensive set by Frank Bristow in Australia. More recently has been the Living Era CD, and now our friends at This England/Evergreen magazine have come up with an entertaining collection to accompany the article on Louis Levy in the Spring 2004 issue of Evergreen. All the tracks are listed above, so you can quickly see if there are any you need to complete your Levy collection. David Ades This CD is only available direct from Evergreen – telephone 01242 515156 – major credit cards accepted. A cassette version is also available.
Boosey & Hawkes Volume 1 The New Concert Orchestra for full tracklisting please see page 16 of JIM 156 – September 2003 Vocalion CDLK 4192 74:34 mins. Seldom can such a mundane titled CD have yielded so much treasure. If it has passed you by, I urge you to get a copy. Apart from Monia Liter, also on Vocalion, you will not better spend a tenner all year. And, singularly, a Monia Liter composition, The Bullfighter, is for me the standout track. But the whole CD of background music specially recorded for film, radio and television crackles with "joie de vivre". Twelve of the 26 numbers are by Trevor Duncan, including his Four Old Fusspots and Little Suite: Folk Tune, the first time this has been given a commercial release. Our friend Ernest Tomlinson has contributedRomantic Journey and Exuberant Youth. The other composers represented are Vivian Ellis, Frederic Curzon, Cyril Watters and Sam Fonteyn. Many of the numbers will be new to quite a few of us and David Ades is to be congratulated on his selection. The recording quality is superb. If future volumes [and there will be if enough of us buy Volume 1] maintain this standard we are going to be delighted over and over again. Peter Burt
ERIC PARKIN The Piano Music of William Blezard Vol. 2 A Miscellany of Miniatures, Two Promenades for Eric Parkin, Tow Fantastic Dances, Three European Dances, etc… Shellwood SWCD27, 70:33 mins. In his later years, William Blezard (1921-2003) became known to the British public as the accompanist to Joyce Grenfell, and he was also associated in the same acapacity with Marlene Dietrich. Eric Parkin treats his music with the respect and charm that one would expect from a fellow pianist who is in a class of his own. It is nice to see that two tunes were specially composed by William for Eric, which adds a certain poignancy to this delightful collection. Apparently William approved the master of this CD the day before he died last year. David Ades
DORIS DAY / ANDRE PREVIN: DUET. Close Your Eyes; Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear To Tread); Yes; PLUS 3 Alternate Takes and 2 Bonus Tracks. (US Issue) Collectables COL-CD-6874. 55:37. Although this recording was mentioned in Richard Hindley’s great article in the last issue, Collectables has added 5 bonus tracks. This recording is a definite reminder of how great of a singer Doris Day was in music usually not associated with her name. Not only this, but we also get the rare opportunity to hear how hard Day and her accompanist Andre Previn worked on these songs. The released take (16 December, 1961) of "Close Your Eyes" sets the intimate nature of this album with a sexy, inviting quality in Doris Day’s interpretation. A perfect meeting of the minds. The alternate take of 30 November, 1961 shows both artists struggling with the music. Previn especially seems to be having very real problems with keeping things together as this take gradually disintegrates before our ears. The same isn’t true of "Fools Rush In" where the alternate take is actually far superior to the released version. The same goes for "Nobody’s Heart" where Doris Day sings with a heart breaking intensity. The other songs are sung with great warmth and excellent phrasing by Doris Day. There are three songs by Andre Previn and his then-wife Dory of which "Daydreaming" elicits a wistful performance from Day while she displays her jazzy feel for the saucy "Control Yourself" in a performance that’s right in the pocket and which ends with a playful "Whew!" Day adds to the jewels in her crown with a meltingly beautiful performance of Alec Wilder’s autumnal song "Give Me Time." Andre Previn is ably assisted on a few numbers by Red Mitchell on bass and master drummer Shelly Manne. This recording remains a wonderful document of timeless masterpieces from two master performers. Richard Jessen
DORIS DAY: SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY / LATIN FOR LOVERS. Come To Baby, Do!; It Could Happen To You; Sentimental Journey; Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars; 19 Others. (US issue) Collectables COL-CD-6867. 69:50. Both of these albums come late in Doris Day’s career (1964), yet they contain proof that Day was one of the best singers of all time. "Sentimental Journey" is a tribute to songs popular during the big band era updated for a new, fresh look. The Glenn Miller influence is present on two songs, "Serenade In Blue," and "At Last," both sung with crushing beauty by Day against a lush background of strings, woodwinds and voices provided by Mort Garson. There are two fine examples of Doris Day the jazz artist in effervescently bubbly performances of "Come To Baby, Do!" and "I’m Beginning To See The Light." There are three visits to songs recorded by Doris Day when she was singing with Les Brown’s band, the standout performance being a steamier rendition by Day of "Sentimental Journey" which is more a journey of the heart than of a train ride! Two months after this album was finished came "Latin For Lovers," a wonderfully smooth journey through the chacha, tango and the ever popular Bossa Nova. Mort Garson provides delicately romantic scores for this LP which covers four of Jobim’s songs on which Day lavishes great warmth and emotionally sensitive care to every twist and turn of the lyrics. "Summer Night" is the sleeper of this set for it was co-written by Bill Comstock (the tenor/guitarist with The Four Freshmen from 1960 - 1973) and noted jazz pianist Eugene DiNovi. Day successfully suggests the forlorn feeling of the lyrics. "Be True To Me" is another great song with another great performance by Doris Day who tries out her Spanish in a playful mood. And we must not forget "Por Favor," an overwhelming favourite of mine endearingly sung by Doris Day. With her immaculate, well-timed phrasing and her experience as an actor, these performances stand out as more than welcome reminders of a great vocalist - Doris Day. Richard Jessen
AN IRISH GUARDS BANDSTAND : WILLCOCKS : March : Sarafand, STANFORD : Overture: Shamus O’Brien, ANDERSON: Irish Suite – The Girl I Left Behind Me, The Minstrel Boy, B.W.O’DONNELL: Two Irish Tone Sketches, GRAHAM : Quick March : The Champion, ANSELL: Three Irish Dances, SULLIVAN: Quick March: Iolanthe, BRIGDEN: Celtic Dances, GRAINGER: Irish Tune from County Derry, BRASE: Irish Fantasia: Let Erin Remember. The Band of the Irish Guards D.O.M. Major Andrew Chatburn BA. ARCM psm. Specialist Recording Company SRC121, 70:50. Production values are as ever exceedingly high here and make no mistake, SRC’s claim that they record premier military bands with hitherto unheard of care and attention using the state of the art equipment in fine locations to produce the world’s best military band recordings is no idle boast. That they succeed spectacularly in their endeavours cannot be in doubt. The results are certainly deeply impressive and reflect great credit on the company’s commitment to this specialist niche in the music industry. An ‘Irish Guards Bandstand’ is to be the more warmly welcomed not least because after several recordings of John Ansell’s fine concert overture ‘Plymouth Hoe’ this collection commits more of this undervalued composer’s music to disc with the engaging ‘Three Irish Dances’. One might have thought this a worthy contender for Sanctuary Classics British Light Music Discoveries. Never mind, the Irish Guards Band more than make ample amends for such an omission. There’s a rollicking overture to Sir Charles Villiers Stanford’s comic opera Shamus O’Brien,contrasting nicely with the more reflective and atmospheric Two Irish Tone Sketches by Bertram Walton O’Donnell who held appointments as Musical Director of Royal Marine Bands at Portsmouth and Deal before subsequently moving to the BBC Military Band. Leroy Anderson’s Irish Suite is represented by three movements in an arrangement he himself made of the whole suite for military band. In J.D. Brigden’s Celtic Dances the band is joined surprisingly by the appearance of a solo violin played more than capably by Musician Victoria Evans who fully deserves her credit. The disc ends with an extended Irish Fantasia Let Erin Remember by Wilhelm Fritz Brase who despite the name was a colonel in the Irish Army! Many of the melodies in this pot-pourri may be unfamiliar to many of us but nonetheless brings the concert to a highly satisfying conclusion. In summary, an imaginative and refreshingly unhackneyed collection of music associated with the Emerald Isle and given the assured and skilful playing of the Irish Guards, should have deservedly wide appeal and not only to military band enthusiasts. The good news is that this is merely the first instalment in a series featuring a programme format much associated in the past with park and seaside bandstands. Oh! I nearly forgot. In case you are still wondering about the relevance of the inclusion of the Iolanthe quick march, well that has a somewhat tenuous Irish connection; it appears that Sir Arthur Sullivan’s father, professor of euphonium at Kneller Hall came originally from Tralee, County Cork! Roger Hyslop
NAT KING COLE SINGS / GEORGE SHEARING QUINTET PLAYS. September Song; Pick Yourself Up; I Got It Bad And That Ain’t Good; Let There Be Love; Plus 8 other songs and 3 bonus tracks. String Choir arranged and conducted by Ralph Carmichael. 46:47. (US issue) Capitol Jazz 7243 5 25250 2 7. If ever there was a meeting of minds on a recording date, it would have be Nat King Cole and George Shearing. This lovely album was recorded December 19-22, 1961 and quickly became one of the classics in everyone’s record collection. Cole had originally recorded "Pick Yourself Up" at a break-neck tempo. Here, Shearing and Cole take things at a slow middle tempo which brings the full meaning of the lyrics into the light. "Let There Be Love" receives a rendition full of light optimism from both Cole and Shearing with drummer Shelly Manne’s softly driving support. The most challenging song must surely be "Azure-Te" with a highly inventive angularity. Praises go to Cole and Shearing for bravely going through this song. And there is surely nothing more heartbreaking than to listen to Cole’s poignant performance on "I Got It Bad And That Ain’t Good" and "Lost April." The Latin rhythms influence Ralph Carmichael’s chart for Anderson’s "Serenata," scored for woodwinds and percussion added to the strings cushioned by Shearing’s Quintet and Cole’s involving vocal. The added 3 tracks are welcome additions to this marvellous album of which "The Game Of Love" and "Everything Happens To Me" receive Latin influenced performances of great verve from both Cole and Shearing. The CD ends in a lovely way with a haunting ballad "Guess I’ll Go Home." The remastering of the original stereo masters is superbly lifelike. Nothing could be a better tribute to two supreme masters than this wonderful recording.Richard Jessen
NELSON RIDDLE Sea of Dreams Out of the Night, My Isle of Golden Dreams, Tangi Tahiti, Dream, There’s No You, Drifting and Dreaming, Easter Isle, Let’s Fall in Love, Polka Dots and Moonbeams, Put Your Dreams Away, Autumn Leaves, Sea of Dreams Love Tide Bali Ha’I, Ill Wind, East of the Sun, Till the End of Time, Caravan, Sweet Leilani, Take Me in your Arms, Solitude, Santana, Honeysuckle Rose, Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me, Love Tide EMI 7243 5970532, 67:41 mins. Nelson Riddle fans will give this new CD a warm welcome, since it makes available again two of his great Capitol orchestral albums. Our friend Ray Purslow (of The Record Centre, Birmingham) suggested this release to EMI, so you can be sure that it is one which has been on many collectors’ ‘wants’ lists. The booklet reprints the original LP sleeves, both front and back, but you’ll probably need a magnifying glass to read the notes! Therefore it would have been nice to have a few paragraphs with some biographical details praising Nelson’s work in popular music, otherwise how will people coming across this CD in 20 or even 50 years hence realise just how great he was? David Ades
VIKKI CARR; DISCOVERY! / DISCOVERY II. Surrey With The Fringe On Top; How Insensitive (Insensatez); Cuando Calienta El Sol Plus 21 Other Songs. EMI Two On One 7243 5 92653 2 2. The hallmarks of Vikki Carr’s recording career of forever searching for the best in music are ever present in this very welcome pairing of her second and third albums, originally released in April and October 1964 respectively. Things begin with a seductively swinging performance by Vikki Carr of "Surrey With The Fringe On Top," followed by a Burt Bacharach song "Cry Alone," performed with an appropriate torchiness by Carr. She really sparkles with bubbly performances of "Bluesette" (singing with the band in a beautiful if off mike vocalise) and "Goodbye, Charlie." Her poise and control are heard to great advantage in the medley of two songs separated by 50 years: "Poor Butterfly" and "Stay." Carr adds to her Bossa Nova songbook by singing a beautifully polished version of "Insensitive" by Jobim. A welcome addition is her second recording of a song in Spanish, a marvelously elegant "Cuando Calienta El Sol." A nod to Frank Sinatra comes with "My Melancholy Baby" on which Carr sings only the opening verse much as Sinatra did with "Stardust." Among the standout selections is a version of "Invitation" on which Carr meets the vocal challenges bravely and successfully. Bob Florence writes brilliantly timeless arrangements which gracefully support Vikki Carr’s efforts with intelligence and understanding as well as imagination. The remastering onto CD is simply fabulous. The accompanying booklet reproduces both album covers and their liner notes, giving an endearing charm to what is essentially a wonderfully reminder of not only how great of singer Vikki Carr was at this time but also just how this greatness is still there in abundance galore!Richard Jessen
GLENN MILLER Masterpieces String of Pearls, Johnson Rag, Chattanooga Choo-Choo, Perfidia, At Last, American Patrol, Little Brown Jug, Moonlight Serenade, etc… 24 tracks Vocalion CDVS 1941, 77:19 mins. This attractive collection is superb value for money. Costing around £3, it includes booklet notes plus – of course – sound restoration by Mike Dutton to the standards we have all become accustomed to expect from him. The cheap price probably recognises that many collectors will already possess all the music, but at such a bargain price (and sounding so fresh) it should happily sell in its thousands. David Ades
And still they come! When I first joined the Robert Farnon Society in 1997 a new Percy Faith CD was a real "event" trumpeted in these pages by the estimable Alan Bunting. Now with these five new releases the number of CDs available on the Collectables label alone amounts to 34.
I know that several RFS members were eagerly looking forward to Music For Her [COL-CD-7562] and I can understand why. This is an archetypal Faith mid-50s issue featuring radiant string dominated arrangements of such marvellous melodies, mostly slow and romantic, as You’re My Everything, I’ll Be Seeing You, Take Me In Your Arms, The Nearness Of You, my favourite You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To, I’ll see You In My Dreams, I Concentrate On You, Everything I Have Is Yours and The Way You Look Tonight. No need to ask why the album is so called. The sound strikes me as being very rich for a mono recording. As this is the longest LP Percy ever recorded it could not be paired with any other to form the customary 2-on-1, so we are given "bonus tracks" of five singles – True Or False and Song For Sweethearts [Come Close], both written by Faith, Blue Mirage [Don’t Go], Not As A Stranger, The World Is Mine and We Won’t Say Goodbye – to make the playing time up to a tad under 67 minutes.
Of the same vintage is Swing Low In Hi Fi [Col-CD-7611]. This is subtitled Spirituals For Orchestra and bears some comparison with Percy’s first two classic Christmas albums. The orchestra without vocals captures the deep emotions of the originals. I especially liked It’s Me Oh Lord ["standing in the need of prayer"] and you can almost smell the steam in Get On Board. There are 12 other equally well-known pieces here including Swing Low Sweet Chariot, Deep River, Steal Away and Go Down Moses; all are enhanced by Percy’s panoply of sound. For the first time with a Faith issue, Collectables have taken a leaf out of Vocalion’s book and given us a second CD for the price of one. It is something of a curiosity: A Look At Monaco, the soundtrack of a 1962 CBS television special with Percy conducting the Orchestra National De L’Opera De Monte Carlo playing his own music. Another attraction is the narration by none other than Princess Grace herself, although this may inhibit repeated listening. But I wouldn’t mind how many times I heard Percy’s impression of an Elephant inThe Zoo segment.
Moving on to the 60s and stereo, we have our first 2-on-1: Held Over! Today’s Great Movie Themes / Leaving On A Jet Plane [COL-CD-7607] 68’20". The first album was the final Faith foray into film [specifically Hollywood] music. It is a fairly lush affair with the strings, possibly, sounding a bit thinner than usual. Standout track for me is Come Saturday Morning, music by Fred Carlin [words written by Dory Previn for ‘The Sterile Cuckoo’]. Also enjoyable are Jerry Goldsmith’s Patton Theme,The Theme From "Z" [To Yelesto Pedi] by Mikis Theodorakis, Alfred Newman’s Airport Love Themeand George Delarue’s atmospheric closing number Theme From Anne Of The Thousand Days. Interestingly, in his original liner notes Gene Lees likens Faith to Robert Farnon, "hearing his inner melodic lines, hearing how perfectly he ties up every loose end". The album is purely orchestral but its pairing has the Percy Faith Chorus on every track. It is fascinating to compare the two versions ofRaindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head and Ballad Of Easy Rider that feature on both albums. Other tracks on the second album include Everybody’s Talkin’, Wedding Bell Blues, George Harrison’sSomething, and Colours – all very pleasant.
Two more albums with, this time, female only chorus throughout - maybe too much for some of us - are Those Were The Days / Love Theme From "Romeo And Juliet" [COL-CD-7608]. As well as the title tracks we get 20 numbers including a wordless choral version of Theme From "A Summer Place", Bacharach’s Promises, promises, Zorba, For Once In My Life, Little Green Apples, a bouncyAquarius and Good Morning Starshine, Fool On The Hill, and Joni Mitchell’s lovely Both Sides Now.
Country Bouquet [COL-CD-7606] is a classic featuring the Percy Faith Strings first issued in 1974, nine years after its illustrious predecessor, ‘Broadway Bouquet’, with which it was coupled on a UK reissue [Sony 4930472] in 1998. Here it is paired, less appropriately, with Disco Party, which includes Cherry Cherry, El Bimbo, The King Is Dead, 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 [Blow your Whistle], Mongonucleosis, Coldwater Morning, Hava Nagilah, and a previously unreleased Sabre Dance. Mercifully, ‘though, no vocals. The first album is gorgeous with such titles as The Most Beautiful Girl, El Paso, a dreamy Songbird, quite unlike its usual treatment, Annie’s Song, Behind Closed Doors, Sundown, For The Good Times and to end, Orange Blossom Special, a "tour de force" for strings almost worth the price of the disc.
Altogether, then, a quality quintet with something for everybody.
Collectables CDs are issued in the USA and are available from the Robert Farnon Society Record Service. Full track listings may be seen at htttp:/homepages.tesco.net/~alan.bunting/
Some Vintage Sounds from Living Era
Readers will know that the Sanctuary Group Living Era catalogue contains a large number of CDs featuring music from the 1920s to the 1960s, and most of them fall outside the normal scope covered by this magazine. However we know that some of you like to know what is new in this department, so we draw the following to your attention. We should add that they are all supported by comprehensive (and intelligent) booklet notes with detailed documentation, and an added bonus is the superb sound restoration by Alan Bunting.
JAN GARBER AND HIS ORCHESTRA A Melody from the Sky recordings from 1924 to 1949 Living Era CDAJA5326, 73:30 mins.
AL JOLSON Let Me Sing and I’m Happy 58 tracks recored between 1945 and 1950 Living Era CDAJS272 [2 CDs] 149 mins.
BILLIE HOLIDAY Moanin’ Low new 2-CD set comprising CDs first issued in 1996 & 1999 (not featuring Alan Bunting’s sound restoration) CDAJS282, 151 mins.
GUY MITCHELL My Truly Truly Fair 27 tracks from 1950-1953 also featuring Mindy Carson, Doris Day and Rosemary Clooney CDAJA5532
All Living Era CDs are available through the RFS Record Service.
New from Memoir
Another company which produces high quality compilations is Memoir. Like Sanctuary Living Era (above), not all their releases contain the kind of music usually featured in this magazine, but many of you like to know what is new.
HITS OF 1953 faces competition from some other companies who have had the same idea, but the inclusion of several orchestral tracks helps to make this particular collection a more accurate reflection of the music scene 50 years ago. Among the usual names (Guy Mitchell, Jo Stafford, Nat King Cole etc.) you’ll find Leroy Anderson, Frank Chacksfield, Mantovani, Les Baxter and Ray Anthony. Memoir CDMOIR 585 [2 CDs], 139 mins. Memoir CDs are available from the RFS Record Service.
New Compilations from EMI
It is sometimes difficult to find something new to say about compliations. Usually they contain the ‘greatest hits’ of the artist concerned, and the inevitable question that crops up is: will the fans find anything new that they haven’t already got? To give an authoritative answer a reviewer needs some expert knowledge about what is already in the catalogue, which can cause problems if the CDs received are outside the normal scope of the writer or the magazine concerned. Which is a roundabout way of saying that I cannot be sure if the following CDs contain any gems that keen fans have been seeking for years, or if they are merely an attempt by the record company to make more money out of its back catalogue. However, EMI are one of the few friendly companies who are willing to send out promotional copies that haven’t been requested, and I have to admit that I have enjoyed listening to just about all of the following new releases, which I list in case they happen to be your favourites, too. Sorry – there isn’t space to list the titles, but you’ll probably find most of them in your local record store.
SHIRLEY BASSEY ‘Finest Collection’ 36 tracks on 2 CDs featuring some fine popular and film songs from recent decades, all performed in Shirley’s inimitable and immaculate style EMI Gold 577 5852.
MATT MONRO ‘The Collection’ Like the Shirley Bassey collection above, this is a 2-CD 36 track selection of superior songs, performed by a singer in a class of his own EMI Gold 577 5942
GLEN CAMPBELL ‘Collection’ 34 tracks on 2 CDs, with a selection of songs that are indelibly linked to the 1960s and 1970s. EMI Gold 577 5072.
PEGGY LEE – ‘The Very Best’ This appears to be a reissue of a 1997collection – just one CD, but many of Peggy’s big numbers are here. The music is wonderful, but the booklet contains no notes and does not even mention the names of the backing orchestras or arrangers. Shame on you, EMI!EMI CDMFPE 6342.
GEORGIAN CHANTS ‘The Best Georgian Chant Album in the World … Ever’ featuring The Monks and Choirboys of Downside Abbey, St Dominic’ Priory Choir and Monjes Monasterio Benedictino de Santo Domingo de Silos. 36 tracks on 2 CDs. EMI Gold 576 9042.
HOT CHOCOLATE ‘The Essential Collection’ 36 tracks on 2 CDs EMI Gold 577 4132.
ROCK ‘n’ ROLL JUKEBOX 75 tracks on 3 CDs selling for under £9 – even if some of the tracks are cover versions, there are enough ‘real’ hits here to make this good value for money. EMI Gold 597 7742.
RELAXING CINEMA CLASSICS featuring music by Brian Eno, Michael Nyman, James Horner, John Williams, Samuel Barber, Satie, Debussy, Mozart etc… Some of the tracks are not exactly what one would recognise as classical music, but their association with recent films at least makes them accessible to people who would not normally contemplate buying such a CD. Unfortunately there are no notes, and even the modern composers do not have their first names quoted. EMI Gold 592 6922.