FROM FABULOUS BROADWAY TO HOLLYWOOD’S REEL THING
The Fantasticks medley, September Song, Night and Day, It Might as Well be Spring, Mary Poppins medley, Fiddler on the Roof medley and 24 other tracks
Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra (Deutsche Grammophon, 4776124) 150:56
This is the fourth volume in the 2-CD sets in the Arthur Fiedler Legacy Series and the one most likely to appeal to JIM readers. The first three are largely classical ? albeit mostly light ? and volume five is out-and-out symphonic pop from the 60s and 70s; although all are recommendable in their way. On the first CD, in addition to those listed above, there are medleys from "Man of la Mancha", "Company" and "Hair", as well as individual items from "State Fair" and "Godspell". The opening medley includes the lovely Try to Remember. Among the items on the second CD are medleys from Disney’s "Robin Hood" and " The Happiest Millionaire" together with Michel Legrand’s themes for "Portnoy’s Complaint" and "Summer of ‘42", Nino Rota’s love themes for "The Godfather" and Zeffirelli’s "Romeo and Juliet", and Henry Mancini’s Days of Wine and Roses. Paul Simon’s Mrs Robinson is particularly bouncy. It is interesting, too, to hear Fiedler’s only take on his successor John Williams’ themes for "Star Wars" and "Jaws". The majority of the arrangements are by Richard Hayman with a handful by Eric Knight. Everything is performed in the manner one would expect from the renowned Boston Symphony Orchestra’s second chair players under the man who conducted them and their predecessors from 1930 until 1979, and who opined that the most thrilling sound was that achieved by a full orchestra. If you subscribe to Mr Fiedler’s philosophy of big orchestral arrangements of popular music you will love this ‘twofer’. The majority of tracks were recorded in the early ‘70s; some are previously unreleased on CD. With good sound, available online for around a tenner (including postage), these are immensely desirable discs.
GYPSY SOUL/STEREO SHOWCASE
The Heart of Budapest, Czardas (Monti), Golden Earrings, Theme from "Villa Rides", "Carmen": Gypsy Dance, Gypsy Carnival, The Singer Not the Song, Hejre Kati, Gypsy Flower Girl, Hora Staccato, Zapateado, Hungarian Rhapsody No.2 and eight other tracks
Mantovani and his Orchestra (Vocalion, CDLK 4351) 75:49
"Gypsy Soul" is the CD I have been waiting for. Recorded in 1968, but not issued in the UK, (as "Gypsy") for two years ? five in the USA ? it is a fine mix of melodies associated with the gypsy people, some Roland Shaw film orchestrations (Maurice Jarre’s Theme my favourite), and choice items from Bizet and Liszt. Monty’s biographer Colin Mackenzie quotes album producer Tony D’Amato on Hungarian Rhapsody: "(Ronald) Binge, who seemed to know how far pyrotechnically he could take an orchestra, stretched the ensemble to the limit in this instance, secure in the knowledge that Mantovani’s skills as a conductor and interpreter of music would match with bravura all the many technical challenges set forth." The evocative opening number uses the cimbalom, a sort of Hungarian dulcimer. Monty’s own Gypsy Flower Girl is not out of place in this company. Mr Mackenzie contributes his usual informative booklet notes ? something entirely absent from the original release. "Stereo Showcase" is a fascinating ‘sampler’ album from 1959 which Decca asked Monty to record exclusively for the American market. This was done in order to exploit the then new stereo recording process and gain all important stereo album sales in that territory. We hear the great man himself presenting each piece and explaining how the stereo process enhances his music. Among the tracks are three on my Desert Island short list: Greensleeves, Some Enchanted Evening and Village Swallows.
SONGS HITS FROM THEATRELAND/THEME FROM "CARNIVAL" AND OTHER GREAT BROADWAY HITS
If I Loved You, Wunderbar, I’ve Never Been in Love Before, Bewitched, I Talk to the Trees, Some Enchanted Evening, Out of My Dreams, Stranger in Paradise, C’est Magnifique, Almost Like Being in Love, Hello, Young Lovers, They Say it’s Wonderful / Theme from "Carnival", I Feel Pretty, You are Beautiful, Shall We Dance?, Till There Was You, I Know About Love, Do Re Mi, Till Tomorrow, So in Love, Ascot Gavotte, My Heart is so Full of You
Mantovani and his Orchestra (Vocalion, CDLK 4356) 71:31
This 2-on-1 is superior standard Mantovani fare ? carefully selected compilations of choice material immaculately played. The first album was a 1958 stereo re-recording of a best-selling mono LP from three years earlier ? I think this may have been the very first 12-inch LP that I bought! Some of the tracks, like the Cole Porter "Kiss Me Kate" number, have remained favourites to this day. The rarely heard soprano saxophone is used on Bewitched. The second album appeared Stateside in 1961. What wonderful tunes the shows of that era contained and how Monty does them full justice. The"Theme from "Carnival", I Know, So in Love and If Ever are all new to the UK on CD. Colin Mackenzie’s immensely informative liner notes complete the package.
Serenade op.6 no.1(Toselli), Serenade from "The Fair Maid of Perth", Serenade "The Student Prince", Serenade "Don Giovanni"(Der Vieni Alla Finestra), Serenade (Pierne), Barcarolle "Tales of Hoffman", Love theme "Romeo and Juliet", Serenade "Les Millions d’Arlequin, Serenade "Don Pasquale (Act III), Serenade "Ständchen" from "Schwanengesan", Serenade "Angel’s", Serenade to a Mandarin, Mephistopheles’ serenade, Siciliano "Cavelleria Rusticana"
Frank Chacksfield and his Orchestra (Vocalion, CDLF 8132) 42:14
Mr Dutton has done it again and chosen for reissue on this CD at budget price one of my all-time favourite albums, released in 1959, and one of the best Frank Chacksfield ever recorded. Here are some gorgeous melodies from classical greats like Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Schubert and Berlioz, as well as Bizet, Toselli, Romberg, Pierné, Offenbach, Drigo, Donizetti, Braga and Mascagni, arranged by Leon Young, who also has his own Serenade to a Mandarin included, played by a light orchestra on top form. Every track is a standout one for me and I doubt if any album will give me more pleasure in 2008. Pity there are no liner notes.
OUR MAN IN LONDON/LISBON AT TWILIGHT (HIGHLIGHTS)
Greensleeves, A Foggy Day, A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, Sally in Our Alley, The White Cliffs of Dover, Waltz Medley from "Blithe Spirit", Roses of Picardy, The Haunted Ballroom, Small World (from "Gypsy"), Beautiful Dreamer, Moon River, Starlight, Tennessee Waltz, Body and Soul, The Sweetest Sounds/ Lisbon at Twilight, Barco Negro, The Lonely Beach, Song of the Sea, April in Portugal, Villa Villa, Ladies of Lisbon, Una Casa Portuguesa
The Melachrino Orchestra conducted by George Melachrino (Vocalion, CDLK 4337) 76:09
What a joy to find two Melachrino RCA albums, from 1963 and 1958 respectively, reissued on a Vocalion 2-on-1. As you can see from the listings above, the original LP of "Our Man in London" had British tunes on one side and American ones on the other. It is a very attractive programme of alluring tunes. Richard Addinsell wrote the Waltz Medley. The sonics are rich and spectacular. Completing the CD are eight tracks from "Lisbon at Twilight" featuring the guitars of Ivor Mairants and Raul Nery. A couple of inaccuracies have crept into the composer credits but not in the liner notes ? there are none! I would like to have known the name of the occasionally used pianist. Can we now expect further Melachrino albums like "Under Western Skies" and "Music for Dining"?
The theme from "Limelight", Incidental music from "Limelight", Luxembourg Polka, The Shadow Waltz, Tango Tonight, Deep Purple, The Theme from "The Glenn Miller Story", Footsteps in the Fog, Spellbound, The Bandit, The Song of the High Seas, How Deep is the Ocean?, All the Things You Are, Venezuela, Postman’s Knock, Romance (from "The Magic Bow"), The Last Rose of Summer, A Kid for Two Farthings, The Lily Watkins Melody, Mr Pastry’s Polka, The Dizzy Duckling, Catwalk, Teenager, The Night Ride, The Cat from Coos Bay, Cat Slick, Lucky Strike
Wally Stott and his Orchestra (Vocalion, CDEA 6127) 77:42
Until now the only Stott CD I could find listed on the internet has been the classic "Christmas By the Fireside". So it is great that Mike Dutton has brought us this compilation of 27 instrumental tracks (I understand that seven have appeared on Guild) recorded between 1951 and 1956.mStellar trumpet player Kenny Baker and violinist Max Jaffa are featured on two tracks each ? Kenny’s contribution being worth the price of the CD ? and the Rita Williams Singers are the vocalists on Tango Tonight, one of four Stott originals, the others being The Night Ride, Cat Slick and Lucky Strike. I believe the last track was often used to play out "The Goon Show". The Wally Stott Novelty Ensemble performsMr Pastry’s Polka and The Dizzy Duckling. The arrangements are invariably imaginative throughout the disc. Other top tracks for me include The Cat from Coos Bay, which I’ve not heard since it was regularly played on Radio (RAF) Wyton over 50 years ago, the Chaplin melodies, the smile inducingLuxembourg Polka, the stirring melody from Richard Rodger’s "Victory at Sea" and the engaging A Kid for Two Farthings. An immense welcome then, for this budget-priced disc by the artist we now know as Angela Morley. Its reissue encourages me to think that there may yet be a chance of getting "London Pride" on CD. With nearly 80 minutes music for around £6, it seems churlish to mention the absence of liner notes. Are they, like neckties, going out of fashion?
STRINGS AND THINGS
Body and Soul, Chinatown My Chinatown, By the Fireside, Zither Rhythm on Anton Karas, The Girl Without a Name, Cuckoo Cuckoo, Shuffle to Buffalo, Stardust, Red Wing, I Go Rhythm and more
Various artists (Rex, Rexx115) 65:16
A real cornucopia of tracks ranging from the violin to the zither! Sound quality varies from track to track and it is an interesting mixture of sounds. It is certainly not one of the best compilations I have come across and it does become rather tired if listened to from start to finish. However, a highlight for me is the lively version of Chinatown My Chinatown by Bobby Maxwell and his Swinging Harps. It is good to have a few more tracks by Semprini and another version of one of my favourite songsLittle Red Monkey. Artists include Joe Venuti, Bob Haggart, Arthur Young and more. Buy a copy and judge for yourself!
A LEGENDARY PERFORMER
Moonlight Serenade, Sunrise Serenade, Little Brown Jug, In the Mood plus eighteen other selections.
Glenn Miller (RCA Bluebird, 0693-2-RB)
For many true music lovers, the Glenn Miller big band was simply the greatest. To still more, it typified an era filled with optimism about the future. This energy is captured faithfully on this re-issue of the original late 1970's ‘Legendary Performer’ series save that two numbers have been inexplicably left out: Elmer’s Tune and Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Still, this remains one of the best releases of this band which always managed to sound even more impressive on its live dates. Take, for example, In the Mood, a time honoured classic played with more potency and life than the plodding original studio recording. The last Chesterfield broadcast of September 1942 is heard here with Juke Box Saturday Night, highlighting the various styles of the Ink Spots and Harry James himself playing on trumpet. An extra addition to Glenn and the band’s efforts is the audience. Nothing will ever replace the rhythmic hand clapping to the intro of Tuxedo Junction or band mates yelling encouragement to each other during Little Brown Jug. This CD constitutes a valuable introduction to one of the most musical icons of the big band era: Glenn Miller.
THAT SENTIMENTAL GENTLEMAN
Hawaiian War Chant, Song of India, Marie, Well Get It! plus 21 other selections.
Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra (Collectables, COL-CD-2813)
Tommy Dorsey may have been called "That Sentimental Gentleman" but when called upon, he could provide a hard swinging ‘killer diller’. This particular collection is made up of live radio broadcasts spotlighting that hard driving style with a few of the lovely mood settings that made up the sentimental side of Dorsey’s recordings. Buddy Rich is heard to great advantage on Hawaiian War Chant and a dynamically frenzied Quiet Please. Ziggy Elman is heard playing his signature piece And The Angels Sing while Frank Sinatra is heard at his early crooning style on Marie as well as his last broadcast performance with TD, a superb The Song Is You followed by the only Dick Haymes vocal with the band on Daybreak. Even Sy Oliver gets a chance to sing on Jimmy McHugh’s Exactly Like You while Jo Stafford shares the spotlight as one of The Pied Pipers on Margie and as the end attraction of a medley which ends with I Can’t Give You Anything But Love. This CD is taken from a near mint LP pressed by RCA’s Black Label in 1956 and this is apparent by some bumps and a very bad needle skip on Zonky - so don’t throw out your LP of this set just yet! The sound follows the misguided practice of swamping everything in echo to get rid of any crackle and bump making this an almost shrill sounding CD. By turning back the treble, the listener will be satisfied by this marvellous collection by one of the top bands of a great era in all music.
Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2, Escenas Campestres Cubanas, Célèbre Tarentella, etc.
Hot Springs Festival Symphony Orchestra conducted by Richard Rosenberg with Soloists (Naxos 8.559320)
This is something of a discovery. Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829-1869) was an American child prodigy pianist as well as a composer; dubbed, among other things, "the Chopin of the Creoles". There is great variety in his works, some anticipating the ragtime and jazz of half a century hence. This 77-minute disc is absolutely chock-full of memorable and catchy tunes. I doubt whether you will ever have heard symphonies like the two here, and La Casa del Joven Enrique por Méhul – Gran Overture is particularly fine. Escenas (13:23) is a one-act opera and Ave Maria is nicely sung. Although you will find this in the shops in the classical browser, I hope that other JIM readers will give it a spin at the low Naxos price and not be disappointed.
West Side Story medley, Memory, There’s No Business Like Showbusiness, Sunrise Sunset/If I Were a Richman, Phantom/All I Ask of You, Deadwood Stage/Secret Love, Les Miserables medley, Hello Dolly!, Miss Saigon medley, Close Every Door/Any Dream Will Do, Food Glorious Food/As Long As He Needs Me and The Sound of Music medley
Jean Martyn (Jean Martyn Records) 66:08
This new CD is a release by Jean Martyn playing the Yamaha EL 900 organ. "Queen of the Keyboards" is the name by which Jean has become known by her legion of fans both at home and overseas. Jean’s range of music is vast, ranging from classical composers to modern day music and her many recordings demonstrate her talents on piano and electronic and theatre organ. This latest instalment in her collection of albums is excellent, and clearly displays her versatility in the world of show business. She herself is celebrating 25 years as a professional musician and this is captured as the music unfolds from these spectacular shows.
Jean Martyn’s list of available CDs can be seen at www.jeanmartyn.co.uk If you do not have access to the internet, the CD can be purchased by sending a cheque to the value of £11.00 (including P&P) – made payable to Mr Bob Ware, 7 Westhall Close, Brewood, Staffs ST19 9EY.
HITTING THE HAMMOND
A Skye Blue Shirt and a Rainbow Tie, Goodbye Sweetheart, American Patrol, Delaway’s Dilemma, Tiptoe Through the Tulips, Small Talk, Gitanerias, Some Like It Hot, Sunny Side Up, Rag medley, Over the Rainbow, When I Needed You Most, Mean to Me, A Little Bird Told Me, S’posin’, Opus 1, Organising the Blues, Beyond the Blue Horizon, Face of an Angel, The Candy Dancers Ball, Hysterics Rag, Kind, Painting the Clouds With Sunshine and The Golden Ring
Various artists (Rex, Rexx117)
It maybe a new CD but the historic recordings are from over 35 years ago – as stated in the sleeve notes by Bernie Tyrrell as a "golden musical era!" This compilation will be liked by readers who enjoy the Hammond organ accompanied with other instrumentalists and vocalists, but disliked if bought to enjoy pure Hammond organ. It is a reasonably priced compilation disc released by Rex Recordings and artists include among others Jerry Allen, Robin Richmond, Chris Hamalton and Harry Farmer.
Take the ‘A’ Train, All the Things You Are, Evelyn Queen of the Racquet Club, Phyllis, Chelsea Bridge, How Deep is the Ocean?, The song from "Mash", The Shining Sea, You Are There, You Must Believe in Spring, Laura, Stella By Starlight, Emily, I’m Getting Sentimental Over You, Sentimental Journey, A Mirror Image, Elegy, Westlake, Take Me Home, The Trouble with Hello is Goodbye, I Will Say Goodbye and Auld Lang Syne
Bob Florence (Mama, MMF1029) 53:48
Available from Jazz n’ Blues Records (see Big Band Roundup). Bob Florence, a piano and a well chosen set of songs by some of his favourite composers. Bob’s playing is delicate and sometimes dreamy but holds you enraptured throughout – one to play in your quieter more reflective moments. Bob does not copy anyone but fans of Bill Evans will relish this recording.
THE LISTEN AND DANCE COLLECTION Phil Kelsall at the Wurlitzer Organ of the Tower Ballroom, Blackpool Grasmere GRCD 128. Yet another 2-CD collection from the talented Phil Kelsall, who has now produced so many recordings and videos that even his most loyal fans much be wondering what on earth he will do next! By now you’ll know what to expect. David Ades
Besame Mucho, Fast Forward, Old Friends, Free Parking, Night Walk, A Tribute to Bud, Winter Landscapes, Tin Tin Daeo and Hymn to Freedom
Lalo Schifrin (Aleph) 63:21
Available from Compact Disc Club. Lalo has written so much to enjoy over many years, many will forgive the over indulgence of this album. To me, it sounds like a private party where musicians of high calibre just enjoy playing. As a listener, I found the pointless drum rolls and double bass solos a little wearing. James Moody’s sax playing raises more interest than the other six players, Lalo’s piano playing only peaks occasionally and the originals chosen do not linger in the mind in the same way as his big band outings but that is just me!
The George Shearing / Robert Farnon album, "On Target" has been re-issued by Universal
as part of a 4 CD set "George Shearing with Niels-Henning Orsted Peterson and Louis Stewart; THE MPS SESSIONS " Universal 1745068.
Sa Majesté L’Orgue de Cinema featuring Reginald Dixon, Sidney Torch and other famous Cinema Organists (France) Marianne Melodie 071861 2-CD set. This is the latest brainchild of Pierre-Marcel Ondher, who is doing a magnificent job in France keeping alive quality light and popular music from past decades. This time he is focussing on those great organists, mainly from the 1930s, who were such an exciting feature of visits to the cinema in those far-off days. The first CD contains many legendary names such as Reginald Foort, George Wright, H. Robinson Cleaver, Al Bollington, Joseph Seal, Terence Casey and Charles Smart. The second CD is devoted to Reginald Dixon and Sidney Torch, and it contains many of the titles that made them famous. The informative booklet contains detailed recording information, but I should mention that it is entirely in French. I hardly need to comment on the quality of the restorations, because our friend PMO always gives us a first rate product. Highly recommended for all organ enthusiasts. David Ades
TRAPEZE/THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH
Two original film soundtracks on one CD
Various artists (Sepia, 6001) 51:59
This limited edition CD (pressing of only 1500 copies) is a real joy and most particularly as it is the release of another Malcolm Arnold film score. "Trapeze", from 1956, tells the tale of two trapeze artists and Arnold certainly captures the sights and sounds inside the big tent at the circus. Lola’s Theme is a standout track for me and is both very melodic and haunting compared to the other end of the scale Juke Box is a lively piece of swing! Accompanying this soundtrack is "The Greatest Show On Earth", made in 1952, again set in the circus world. Victor Young was the Musical Director and it features two of his compositions. The score also sets the scene and you are back in the circus arena in your very own front room! This does not have such variety as "Trapeze" but enjoyable nonetheless. Sound quality is excellent and it comes with a lavish glossy colour booklet, which is the high standard we have come to expect from Sepia Records. The CD is available directly from Backtrack www.backtrackrye.com or through Sepia’s own website www.sepiarecords.com
"THE PRISONER" Original Soundtrack
Network 7959000 This 3-CD collection is strictly to enthusiasts only, because it is a collection of themes and underscores composed for the cult TV series, although some of it was never used. The first CD has 38 tracks by Robert Farnon, but apart from the titles music (rejected by Patrick McGoohan) this isn’t the Bob we know and love! Those who must have everything associated with this series have been well served with CDs and videos in the past, and they will lap this up – even with a price tag in the region of £30. The booklet contains reproductions of the original notes by Eric Mival, one of the Music Editors. David Ades
"THE BLOB" (Ralph Carmichael) plus production music from the Valentino Music Library by Roger Roger and others. MMM-1955.
"THE INTRUDER" (Herman Stein) plus complete score from "Career For Two" and other miscellaneous pieces. MMM-1956
These two latest CDs from Monstrous Movie Music offer world premiere releases of scores that movie buffs will welcome. As we have indicated before, this company employs high production standards, and their detailed booklets are almost worth the price alone! Sadly pressure on space precludes more detailed reviews this time, but you can find much more information (including how to purchase the CDs) by visiting the website: www.mmmrecordings.com David Ades
News has reached us of a new UK CD label dedicated to quality music at a price that gives value for money. Stage Door Records take pride in presenting nostalgic recordings with?top quality remastering, period artwork, unusual and rare selections. There first four titles are ‘Shirley Bassey: The Early Years’, ‘Wish You Were Here (OBC)’, ‘On Your Toes/Pal Joey (1950s studio recordings)’ and ‘New Faces of 1956/Selections from Mrs Patterson (featuring Eartha Kitt)’. Their website is www.stagedoorrecords.com
THE VERY BEST OF
It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Music To Watch Girls By, Can’t Get Used to Losing You, Moon River, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, On the Street Where You Live, Up, Up And Away, Happy Heart, Born Free, Spooky, The Impossible Dream and more
Andy Williams (Sony BMG, 08697211802) 72:29
Issued last Christmas on the back of the Marks & Spencer TV advert (incidentally the liner gives 2007 as the publication date for this track), there are no surprises here unless one needs a reminder of the quality of Andy’s singing. This budget-priced CD contains 25 largely quality songs, the earliest being a sprightly House of Bamboo from 1958. There is a very good 1995 version of Stranger on the Shore; most are from the ‘60s and ‘70s. Already owning a ‘Best Of’ album, I was surprised how little duplication there is here. It is well worth investigating as, apart from the vocalising, the accompaniments are never less than interesting. It is a shame that arranger(s) and MD(s) get no credit.
GET THE PARTY STARTED
Get the Party Started, The Living Tree, I Will Survive, I Who Have Nothing and nine other songs
Dame Shirley Bassey (Lock Stock and Barrel Records, LSBRCD005)
Some artists have a remarkable rapport with audiences of all ages and musical tastes. This is very true with Dame Shirley Bassey whose career has stretched over five decades. This particular recording is no exception! Aimed at a dance oriented, young, vital age group, Dame Shirley nevertheless shows us that age hasn’t slowed her down. Anyone who has the courage to do Pink’sGet This Party Started and deliver it convincingly deserves an award of the very highest order. Not only does Bassey sing with total understanding of the words but also with a devil may care attitude.The Living Tree is sung with a very deep poignancy underlining a bitter farewell to a useless relationship. The other songs are all retreads of favourites common to all of Dame Shirley’s worldwide fans updated with a dance beat. This is a great CD for either dancing (recommended for the young) or just as one more evidence that Dame Shirley Bassey remains one artist who will forever be changing yet remains a highly potent artist for generations to admire.
Used to Dream, Sap, Like They Care, Arms of Three, Captain of Me and five other songs
Beth Arentsen (Arentsen LLC)
Every so once in awhile, a superb vocalist emerges off the pop music scene. One of the finest is Beth Arentsen, lead singer of the Latin/dance group P-1. Following Alicia Keys’ example of piano based songs, Arentsen has written songs of a deeply personal expressing abuse (Like They Care), love lost and found (Sap), relationships (Used To Dream and Spider). One song, Ode is used as an opening verse to Conquistadora, a plea for a simpler meaning of life. These very probing songs may not be to everyone’s taste. However, for the brave, this CD represents a highly rewarding experience into a new world by an upcoming singer/songwriter/performer well worth more exposure. This CD is available from either CD Baby or from Beth Arentsen’s own website at www.betharentsen.com
ONCE UPON A TIME On the Street Where You Live, Call Me Irresponsible, A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square*, All Or Nothing At All, If I Love Again, Dancing In The Dark, I Could Write A Book, In The Wee Small Hours*, The Song Is You, An Affair To Remember, Day In Day Out, Even You And I*, You Brought A New Kind Of Love To Me, I’ll Take Romance, Tender Is The Night, How About You, Once Upon A Time Colin Dean OMM001, 52:30 mins. Every now and then something comes along to surprise you, and this CD certainly falls into this category. Chris Dean is a trombone player turned bandleader, and now it seems that he wants to add singing to his talents. The big surprise is the three tracks with the backing arranged and conducted by Robert Farnon (marked with a star*). You will have first heard them on the Eileen Farrell CD "Here" – note that Nightmood is now Even You And I. How has this happened? Derek Boulton probably knows the answer – he managed Bob and also Chris Dean! An interesting experiment, and Chris Dean has a pleasant enough voice. David Ades
LET’S GET LOST: THE SONGS OF JIMMY MCHUGH
Let’s Get Lost, Don’t Blame Me, On the Sunny Side of the Street, Where Are You plus eleven more songs
Wesla Whitfield (High Note Records, Inc. HCD 7065)
It’s always a pleasure to listen to a truly musical compact disc. What makes this one even better than most is the slightly edgy but always warm vocals by Wesla Whitfield, a great interpreter in the pantheon of great artists. She is backed by her husband, pianist Mike Greenhill and quintet of fine people: Ken Peplowski (clarinet and saxes), Gary Foster on saxes and clarinet, Michael Moore on bass and Joe LaBarbera on drums. McHugh was one of those fine songwriters whose melodies are instantly memorable. Whitfield and her husband provide unique and original performances which vary quite a lot from the norm. On the Sunny Side of the Street is performed at a slow, sensual pace which brings out all of the longing inherent in the lyrics. There are also some unknowns on this disc such as It’s Me Remember which receives its first recording. This poignant ballad was co-written with Dorothy Wayne and only exists in manuscript and a demo recording. As with all of her recordings, this one is very well recorded with no sense of claustrophobic miking and with clear, even balances between the voice and instruments. Words cannot describe just what a perfect CD we have for our ears. All that can be said is chalk up another great one by the great Wesla Whitfield.
SWINGIN’ ON BROADWAY Chim Chim Cheree, All I Need Is The Girl, This Can’t Be Love, Anything Goes, On The Street Where You Live, Who Will Buy, You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile, and8 more
Gary Williams Superbreak BOS6816. A new Gary Williams CD is always welcome, and this time he has picked some fine numbers by top composers such as Porter, Rodgers, Gershwin etc. There are also a few surprises (I’m undecided about the opening track Chim Chim Cheree – perhaps it’s still too soon to forget what Dick Van Dyke did to it!) This collection finds Gary in jazz territory, backed by a talented small group of musicians with the lion’s share of charts by Clive Dunstall and Andrew Cottee. Late night cocktail listening par excellence. David Ades
HERE I GO AGAIN Taking a Chance on Love, Let’s Eat Home, Lady Is A Tramp, Angela Eyes, Cheek To Cheek, The Nearness Of You, Just You and Me, You Are Too Beautiful, and five new compositions by Nicola Farnon.
Nicola Farnon "The more I know about Robert Farnon the more I realise what an amazing man he really was" - the words of Nicola in a note she sent us with her new CD. It seems that anyone with the name Farnon is bound to have some musical talent, and we know that Nicola was so pleased that she made contact with her famous relative a few years ago. Bob encouraged her, and he would have loved this new collection of lovely tunes sung with real feeling. There is also some exciting playing from the jazz musicians providing the backing, and Nicola really lets herself go on some of the tracks! Anyone wishing to know more about Nicola can visit her website at www.nicolafarnon.com If you’d like her new CD just send a cheque for £11.50 (payable to Nicola Farnon) to her at 71 Burcot Road, Sheffield, S8 9FD, England.
CD round-up by Wilfred Askew
THE SEARCHERS – MAX STEINER
The original soundtrack to the John Ford classic western with the score composed and conducted by Max Steiner. (Cherry Red ACMEM107) 68:34
DAVID NIXON’S THE THREE MUSKETEERS — MUSIC BY MALCOLM ARNOLD
Features Arnold’s music from The Three Musketeers ballet, symphonies, dances etc along with music from the films "Hobson’s Choice", "Roots of Heaven" and "David Copperfield".
(Quartz, QTZ2056) 79:52
GYPSY CREASM AND GINGER NUTS: SOUNDS THAT SWEPT THE SUPERMARKETS
Artists include Vic Flick, Alan Moorhouse, Pete Moore, Harry Stoneham, Howard Blaikely, Tony Evans and Tony Osborne. All original Rediffusion tracks. (RPM, RPM328) 72:12
HENRI RENE AND HIS ORCHESTRA – MUSIC FOR BACHELORS
Original RCA recording. Tracks include I’m Confessin’, I’ll See You in My Dreams, Be My Love, Easy to Love, Time On My hands, La Vie En Rose, I Cried For You etc
(Rev-Ola, CRREV223) 32:07
LES BROWN AND HIS BAND OF RENOWN: LES BROWN’S IN TOWN
Two original albums from 1956 and 1964. Tracks include Harlem Nocturne, Nina Never Knew, On a Little Street in Singapore, The Piccolino, Goodbye, Domino, PS I Love You, Till Then, One Note Sambaetc
(Jazzbeat, 518) 73:45
FRANKIE CARLE, HIS PIANIO AND ORCHESTRA: SILVER AND GOLD
Two disc set of original RCA Victor recordings. 55 tracks which include Beg Your Pardon, Loch Lomond, Please Mr Sun, Two Sleepy People, Young At Heart, Laura, Bewitched, I Could Write a Book, Nola, Half As Much etc
(Jasmine, JASCD462) 156:43
JANE MORGAN – AN AMERICAN SONGBIRD IN PARIS
Original recordings between 1949-1957. Tracks include: I’ll Be Seeing You, I Can Dream Can’t I?, It Might As Well Be Spring, Let’s Go Steady, Better Luck Next Time, I Didn’t Know What Time It Was, Eyes of Blue etc.
(Sepia, 1098) 77:07
ART MOONEY – GREATEST HITS AND MORE
Original MGM recordings between 1947-1956. Tracks include: Beautiful Eyes, The Big Brass Band from Brazil, Daydreams, No Regrets, Rock and Roll Tumbleweed, The Girl I Left Behind etc.
(Sepia, 1094) 69:56