Keeping Track - Dateline March 2009
LEROY ANDERSON Orchestral Music Volume 5
BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin; Kim Criswell, Soprano; William Dazeley, Baritone
Goldilocks [excerpts], Suite of Carols [version for woodwinds], Goldilocks: Lady in Waiting [waltz], Shall I Take My Heart [instrumental]Naxos 8.559382 [52:16]
New releases in this series from the man described as "one of the great American masters of light orchestral music" came regularly throughout 2008, Anderson’s centenary year, and very enjoyable they have been. As I write, Vol.3 is No.15 in the Naxos bestsellers list. Although equally welcome for some unfamiliar material, including four world première recordings, this is the last in the series and a less varied collection than its predecessors. ‘Goldilocks’ was a musical from 1958 which ran for 161 performances on Broadway and won two Tony awards. Pyramid Dance is probably its best known piece. To those who, like me, prefer their orchestral CDs voiceless there are three vocal numbers here. I can’t think why Naxos has separated the excerpts [tracks 1-11] from the other two numbers [tracks 18-19] with the Christmas carol arrangements. Richard S Gimell’s booklet notes are again hugely informative; and there is delightful photo of the composer on the cover. Incidentally, not one of this splendid series is reviewed in the latest Penguin Guide – shame on it! Peter Burt
FRANK CHACKSFIELD & HIS ORCHESTRA
Immortal Classics / Immortal Lullabies [Highlights]
Clair de lune, Minuet in G, The Swan, Salut d’amour, Waltz of the flowers, Liebestraum no.3 in A flat major, Melody in F, Morning song, Humoresque, Air on the G string, Valse d’Été / Sweet and low, Sleep, my baby, sleep, An Eriskay love lilt, Mighty lak’ a rose, Slumber Song, Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ra! [That’s an Irish lullaby], Lorelei, Golden slumbers, Viennese Lullaby, Brahms’ Lullaby
Vocalion CDLK 4384 [78:09]The first album is another foray into the world of classical music by a light music orchestra, as well played as you would expect from this source. And where else would you hear this kind of programme on disc nowadays? Both albums were originally released as mono LPs in 1951 and 1952 respectively on Decca’s ‘Ace of Clubs’ label. Here they are remastered from the stereo tapes and are quality late night listening material, even if not quite as good as ‘Immortal Serenades’ [reviewed in JIM a year ago]. There are no booklet notes, but the CD is very good value and warmly commended. P B
"The Golden Age of Light Music" : FROM STAGE AND SCREEN
For full tracklisting please refer to page 77 of JIM 178.
Guild GLCD 5152
With the Guild Light Music series up to the fifty-second issue, we’re well and truly into the world of Show Business, and opening with a cracking recording by Geoff Love and his Orchestra of June Is Busting Out All Over from a 1957 disc. Sounds great! Henry Mancini’s theme from "The Glenn Miller Story" played by Jackie Brown’s Orchestra is next, but track 3 for me is a ‘show stopper’ – Geraldo and his Concert Orchestra playing a selection of Frank Loesser’s score to "Guys and Dolls", arranged by Roland Shaw. I’d never given Geraldo much thought before, but this track really made me sit up.It’s Only A Paper Moon and Secret Love played by the orchestras of David Rose and Robert Farnon keep up the musical flow, until the Victor Young Singing Strings take over with Alfred Newman’s theme to the film "Anastasia" with the composer conducting. Not having seen the film I checked it out in Halliwell’s Film Guide and apparently it marked Ingrid Bergman’s return to Hollywood after several years in Europe, and it won an Oscar. Alfred Newman was nominated as musical director. Sidney Torch and his Orchestra follow with the maestro’s own arrangement of music from Ivor Novello’s "The Dancing Years" played in his usual fine style, and I’m positive that Alan Bunting’s restorative treatment gives the recording that extra ‘kick’ – apart from removing unwanted hiss and crackle. As Time Goes By, featured in "Casablanca", but written some years earlier, is played by Ron Goodwin and his Orchestra, then Morton Gould and his Orchestra follow on track 9 playing Old Devil Moon, opening almost in oriental style then turning to a more sophisticated mood. Frank Chacksfield jollies the programme along with The Wedding Of The Painted DollI from the early sound film "Broadway Melody". Percy Faith goes continental with the "Moulin Rouge" theme Where Is Your Heart in an extended version, after which he markedly changes tempo with Show Me from "My Fair Lady". It’s Alfred Newman’s turn again as composer with a smooth rendition arranged by Frank Cordell of theSong From ‘Desiree’ – a very attractive theme in waltz time. This is followed by Victor Young conducting his own theme for "Samson and Delilah" with a powerful performance by The Paramount Symphony Orchestra. ‘Blockbuster stuff’ years before the word was bandied about! George Melachrino’s waltz theme for the film "Dark Secret" deserves to be better known than the film appears to be. Once again I turned to Halliwell’s Film Guide (1999 edition) to see what the rating was, but it wasn’t even mentioned. But "So Long At The Fair" is listed, and Benjamin Frankel’s themes (especially Carriage And Pair) follow in the famous Charles Williams Columbia recording. "Obsession" (1948) does appear in Halliwell but the view is that "it was an implausible, overstretched thriller, but bearable". However, Nino Rota’s themes, as played by the Sidney Torch Orchestra, are more than bearable – in fact they’re very attractive, and was that Arthur Sandford on the piano? "The Passionate Friends" from the novel by H.G. Wells is another 1948 movie, with music by Richard Addinsell and played by the Philharmonia Orchestra under that marvellous film music man Muir Mathieson. And last, but not least, a lively score by Nicholas Brodszky, arranged by Albert Sendrey, to an Anglo-American Technicolor and CinemaScope movie starring Vera Ellen and Tony Martin, described in the afore-mentioned film guide as "a footling musical". Forget the description: just enjoy the music, played from the soundtrack by the Associated British Studio Orchestra conducted by Louis Levy. Another excellent, well-filled Guild Light Music ‘concert’ deserving a wide audience. Ken Wilkins
MANTOVANI & HIS ORCHESTRA
Strauss Waltzes / Mantovani Favourites
Blue Danube, Voices of Spring, Roses from the South, Emperor Waltz, A thousand and one nights, Treasure Waltz …and 6 other titles / Londonderry Air, A walk in the Black Forest, Dream, Dark eyes, Welcome home, The party’s over, The Happy Wanderer, Polonaise in A [Chopin], A trumpeter’s lullaby, The Whiffenpoof Song, Tulips from Amsterdam, Auld Lang Syne
Vocalion CDLK 4385 [78:19]Mantovani Magic / Concert Encores
Misty, Red roses for a blue lady, Chim chim cher-ee, Love me with all your heart, Goodnight sweetheart, Cara mia, I wish you love, Lover, Stardust, Mona Lisa, Most beautiful girl in the world, Auf wiederseh’n, sweetheart / Clair de lune, Spanish dance [Granados], Can-Can ‘La Boutique Fantasque’, Gipsy airs [Zigeunerweisen], Autumn, Song of India, Schön Rosmarin, Méditation, Perpetuum Mobile
Vocalion CDLK 4388 [77:51]Mike Dutton will never have to scrape the bottom of the barrel for Monty re-issues – they are all top quality – but there cannot be too many stereo albums left now waiting for him to release on CD. For‘Strauss Waltzes’ the wonderful melodies of the waltz king and the signature string sound of the master of light orchestral music were made for each other and the 1952 album, re-made in stereo in 1958, has been a best seller in all its formats. It will no doubt gain a lot more sales in its resurrection here. Arrangements are shared between Mantovani [seven] and Cecil Milner [five]. ‘Favourites’ was one of Monty’s last original issues and is a delightful amalgam from 1977 of material hitherto unreleased, or that had not achieved album status, or had only been issued on the Continent. ‘Magic’is from 11 years earlier and was described in Monty’s biography¹ as "a cracker of an album." Consequently, it went to No.3 in the LP charts – imagine that happening today! The great man himself is the piano soloist on his own composition of Cara Mia. Another early stereo release from1959, ‘Concert Encores’, is a nice souvenir for those of us who attended Monty’s live performances at the Royal Festival Hall and around the country. Mantovani again arranged seven of the items, Milner two, and Respighi the joyful Rossini Can-Can. With generous timings, both CDs are easily recommendable. P B
¹ A Lifetime in Music by Colin Mackenzie [Melrose Books]
BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC FAVOURITES CD 1: Runaway Rocking Horse, Calling All Workers, Melody On The Move, Muse In Mayfair, Jamaican Rhumba, Greensleeves, Waltz from ‘The Three Bears’, Manhattan Playboy, Pictures In The Fire, etc. 20 tracks. CD2: Portrait Of A Flirt, Peanut Polka, The Old Clockmaker, By The Sleepy Lagoon, Shooting Star, Bells Across The Meadow, etc. 22 tracks. CD3: Devil’s Galop, Jumping Bean, Goodwood Galop, Elizabethan Serenade, The Young Ballerina, Coronation Scot, etc. 20 tracks Reader’s Digest 0349623 price £29.99. A few years ago Reader’s Digest put out a British Music Classical CD set including some light music by Eric Coates, Frederic Curzon and Ronald Binge. The present 3-disc British Light Music set offers a very good transfer to CD of some old favourites from across the spectrum with an occasional transfer into light classical, including a complete performance of Elgar’s Nursery Suite conducted by the composer – well transferred, but with too little space between movements. As regards light music composers none of the 1924 birthday set are included, but Charles Williams, Robert Farnon and Sidney Torch are well represented. There are a couple of errors as regards the list of recordings - the version of Shooting Star is not the Columbia one as stated, but the earlier Chappell; also the performance of Edward White’s Caprice for Strings is not the London Promenade version, but the later replacement by Dolf van der Linden which Paxton substituted some years later. Generally, apart from a rogue sentence in the sleeve note, the whole set is very well produced although – as mentioned in the last issue – most (but not all) of the items are available much cheaper elsewhere. David Mardon
RAY MARTIN & HIS ORCHESTRA
Favourite TV Themes Volumes 1 & 2
European Football ["The World at Their Feet"], Kung Fu: Caine’s Theme, Ironside, Spring and Autumn, Mission Impossible, The High Chaparral, Kojak, Upstairs Downstairs, Hawaii Five-O, Emmerdale Farm, International Golf ["Red Carpet Ride"], Warship, etc. / Van der Valk ["Eye Level"], Nationwide ["The Good Word"], Match of the Day, Softly, Softly – Task Force, News at Ten … and 8 other tracks
Vocalion CDLK 4375 [76:47]Here’s a reminder of many happy hours spent in front of the old "goggle box" way back when. The two albums on this well-filled CD first appeared in 1973 and 1975 respectively. They were recorded following Ray Martin’s 15 year sojourn in the United States and in style bear little relationship to the two earlier ‘In the Martin Manner’ CDs on this label. In his informative booklet notes Oliver Lomax refers to "Martin’s skilful, hip arrangements", so you know what to expect. Film ’74, Sale of the Century, and Star Trek on Vol.2 are previously unissued. There is also a new arrangement of Martin’s [aka Marshall Ross] own Top of the Form ["Marching Strings"] that is not particularly to my liking. Although all well played and recorded, I felt a modicum of disappointment with this release. P B
GEORGE MELACHRINO & HIS ORCHESTRA
The Immortal Ladies / Under Western Skies
Sweet Sue, Liza, Mona Lisa, Dolores, Louise, Laura, Rosalie, Irene, Maria, Sally, Chloe, Dinah / Home on the range, Wagon wheels, Riders in the sky, The last round-up, Colorado River, Cool water, San Francisco, Tumbling tumbleweeds, The one-armed bandit [Nevada], Empty saddles, Red River Valley, Northwest trail
Vocalion CDNJT 5205 [71:17]
This is the third Melachrino CD we have had from Vocalion recently, so perhaps they are hoping to do for him what they have done so successfully for Mantovani. Although his music making is less distinctive, Melachrino might well be the connoisseurs’ orchestra of choice. First is a mono album from 1956 with an imaginative programme and good sound. The second is from a year later and in stereo apart from the last three tracks. The original LP was given three stars and rated demonstration-worthy in the old Stereo Record Guide, and I would imagine sounds even better here. The arrangements are never less than interesting and especially descriptive are the three pieces Melachrino himself composed [San Francisco, The one-armed bandit and Northwest trail] after visiting the American West. Top trombonist Lad Busby wrote the vivid Colorado River. The hornist’s contribution throughout is engaging and this is altogether a most enjoyable disc, possibly the pick of the CDs I have reviewed this time. P B
PALM COURT SOUVENIRS – Celebrating Victoria's Edwardian Heritage
Palm Court Light Orchestra Conductor Charles Job with Kenneth Lavigne [tenor]The Boulevardier, Moonlight Dance, Poem, Brown bird singing, Rendez-Vous, Bal masque, Karisma, Love's old sweet song, Down the Mall, Fairy on the clock, Piccadilly promenade, Phantom Melody, Macushla, In the shade of the palms, The Dicky Bird Hop, Dusk, Because, Colonel Bogey
The term "Palm Court" probably originates from the early days of radio when a small orchestra would give weekly concerts of light music from the Grand Hotel, Eastbourne, on a stage bedecked with palm trees. In later years these concerts would transfer to the studio and be broadcast under the title 'Grand Hotel.’ Traditionally the orchestra, which became known as the Palm Court Orchestra, consisted of about nine players with the leader playing his violin at the front of the stage. It was a programme of refined, genteel light music, perhaps at times a little insipid, with rather too much emphasis on nostalgic old melodies which appealed mostly to its older listeners. This recording, which has been privately produced in Canada, retains many of the elements of the Palm Court era and, whilst certainly including some of the sentimental numbers associated with the idiom, also gives us plenty of contrast with a wide range of light music, including many personal favourites such as The Boulevardier, Fairy on the clock, Bal masque, Henry Croudson's Piccadilly promenade and Reginald King's gorgeous In the shade of the palms. There is also a delightful Herman Finck compositionMoonlight Dance, which I must confess is new to me, but I considered one of the best items on the disc.The Palm Court Light Orchestra was formed by Charles Job in 1986 and is regarded as Canada’s Premier Light Orchestra. Charles is the first to admit that, despite its title, it really is a theatre orchestra rather than a Palm Court Orchestra, having twenty-six players and incorporating a brass section, which curiously includes a bass trombone rather than a tenor. Indeed their only tenor is the guest vocalist Kenneth Lavigne who sings four songs.
I have to say that, right from the outset, this orchestra really impressed me. The tight ensemble and crisp performance on this CD suggests an orchestra which not only enjoys what it is playing, but has complete confidence in its conductor. How nice to hear a contemporary orchestra which is happy to play music in the manner intended by its composers. Highly recommended to all light music aficionados! Brian Reynolds
Available from www.palmcourtorchestra.com
SIMPLY ACCORDION Light Music by Norvic Concordia [Accordion Ensemble]
Old Comrades (Teike), In Party Mood (Jack Strachey), Chanson de Matin (Elgar), The Phantom Melody(Ketelbey), Astor Piazzolla Suite, Misty (Garner), Canadian Capers (Chandler, White & Cohen), Longing (Oppenheimer), Heart of Paris (Auric), Spring in Tuscany (Gerhard Winkler), Evensong (Easthope Martin), Standchen (Heykens), March from A Little Suite (Trevor Duncan), The Grasshoppers’ Dance (Bucalossi), Manha do Carnival (Luiz Bonfa), Lazzarella (Domenico Modugno).DJC Records DJC 030, 64:12 mins.
Although always enjoying the occasional burst of accordion on a Mantovani or French music disc [or, indeed, on the Melachrino reviewed above], I have never had to review a complete album of accordion music and here there is not just a solo accordionist but five of them – all non-professional musicians. Although I missed the colouring of a full orchestra the music avoids sounding "samey" by the variety of the pieces played. They go from marches to waltzes, from tangos to swing. I especially enjoyed Jack Strachey’s Party Mood as a reminder of George Elrick on the BBC radio programme ‘Housewives’ Choice’, a fine Chanson de Matin [not a bad composer, that Elgar], the classic piano ragCanadian Capers, George Auric’s descriptive Heart of Paris and Heykens’ bouncy Stänchen [Serenade]. A reviewer in another place who, unlike me, is well-versed in all things accordion has written that "the music is very well arranged and the playing is of a high order." That’s good enough for me. And I rate the recording tiptop, too. P B
NELSON RIDDLE Sea Of Dreams / Love Tide
Out of the night, Tangi Tahiti, Dream, There’s no you, Bali Ha’i , East of the sun, Till the end of time, Caravan … plus 16 more
EMIGOLD 5970532 [67:43]
There simply are no adequate words to describe this superb pairing of classic albums arranged, composed and conducted by the great Nelson Riddle. ‘Sea Of Dreams’ has been my favourite album, describing a peaceful, restful getaway from the stresses of the day. The music is uniformly great withMy isle of golden dreams, Drifting and dreaming, and Nelson’s title number being the most beautiful tracks. And from ‘Love Tide’, another wonderful album from about 1961, we have the title track (also written by Nelson Riddle), Ill wind and the haunting Take me into your arms capping the list of musical therapy one could ever have in one lifetime. The transfer to CD preserves the original balances which were always great on Capitol. What Nelson Riddle could have accomplished had Capitol or Reprise let him write his soul! Unfortunately, EMI is deleting much of its magical catalogue in this series, including Paul Weston’s masterworks, as well as of this gentle master, Nelson Riddle. Maybe EMI can be persuaded to just let us have a few more times with these exquisite masterpieces in sound! Richard Jessen
[Although this is obviously not a new release and has been reviewed in JIM before, we share Richard’s enthusiasm for the CD and have included it in view of his concluding sentence.]
AMBROSE & HIS ORCHESTRA Hors D’Oeuvres
Plain Jane, Early morning blues, A Burmese ballet, Hullabaloo, Deep Henderson, Message from Mars, Swinganola, Hick Stomp. Embassy Stomp, Champagne cocktail, B’wanga … and 14 others
Vocalion CDVS 1959 [74:03]Here is another of this label’s reissues selling for an almost unbelievable £2.99. The tracks originate from the ten years up to 1945. Many of them were composed by Sid Phillips, including eight of those listed above. Fire Dance is by classical composer de Falla. The Rhythm Sisters are the vocalists on W.C. Handy’s Memphis blues, featured soloists are clarinettists Carl Barriteau on Dance of the potted puppet and Reginald Kell on Swing low, sweet clarinet. Although [Bert] Ambrose was always reckoned to use the best musicians around, I am unable to identify the personnel here as there are no booklet notes [understandably so at the price] but in his time Ambrose included such luminaries as Ted Heath, Lew Stone, Stanley Black, and George Shearing. P B
THE INTERNATIONAL STAFF BAND OF THE SALVATION ARMY Together
Largo [‘New World Symphony’], Nessun dorma, Somewhere over the rainbow, Nimrod, You raise me up, When I survey the wondrous cross – O Waly Waly, Let it be, Nearer my God to Thee, Wind beneath my wings, Make me a channel of your peace [with Aled Jones], O Christmas tree, In the bleak midwinter, You’ll never walk alone [with Lesley Garrett], Going home [with The Fron Male Voice Choir]UCJ 1782154 [53:32]It is good to see the Salvation Army’s premier band being taken up by a leading commercial label. I understand that good sales were achieved last Christmas and that the proceeds will help "The Army" in its so worthwhile charitable work. The playing is obviously of a very high standard and the repertoire is varied. The added percussion did at times come close to irritating me. The timing of the CD is nowhere near as generous as the cause it supports. P B
GALA NIGHT WITH NIGEL OGDEN
Nigel Ogden at the Wurlitzer Organ of Stockton Town Hall
Lover/ A wonderful day like today, Sons of the brave, Song of the bells, Selection from ‘The History Boys’: L'Accordioniste/ Bewitched/ Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye/ Bye bye blackbird/ Excerpt from Piano Concerto No.2 in C Major/ Happy birthday dear Eliza, Songs of the Sixties: Song of Mexico/ Apache/ Anyone who had a heart/ I remember you/ How do you do it?/ I want to hold your hand/ You don't have to say you love me/ March of the Mods, Georgia, Selection from ‘Mrs. Henderson Presents’: The girl in the little green hat/ All the things you are/ I'll string along with you/ Sails of the windmill/ Goody goody/ Doreen, Waltzing with Waldteufel: Estudiantina/ Dolores/ The Skater's Waltz/ The Sirens/ Mon rêve, Music from France: Ca c'est Paris/ Boom/ Windows of Paris/ Louise/ Pigalle/ I wish you love/ Farandole/ Under Paris skies/ Under the bridges of Paris/ Can-can, Celebration March, The Hour of Parting, The Best of Nacio Herb Brown: Broadway melody/ You are my lucky star/ All I do is dream of you/ Should I?/ Wedding of the painted doll/ You were meant for me
Grasmere GRCD 129 [75:53]The cinema or theatre organ, like the accordion, is an instrument which you either like or you don't. As an exponent (of sorts) of both instruments you can guess where I stand! Many people of my age group remember the regular cinema organ spots on the Light Programme – notably the 10am slot most weekday mornings in the Fifties featuring the likes of William Davies, Lloyd Thomas, Gerald Shaw, Robinson Cleaver and Robin Richmond, who later presented a weekly show entitled 'The Organist Entertains'. Well, that programme is still going but for many years it has been in the capable hands of Nigel Ogden, who is the featured artist on this CD which contains a plethora of tuneful melodies, mostly in the form of medleys. One such medley is ‘Songs of the Sixties’ which, in his accompanying notes, Nigel Ogden describes as "one of the greatest decades for popular song". Personally, I have always considered this period as being the beginning of the end of popular music. Fortunately, for this selection, Nigel has chosen [for the most part] some of the better tunes. There is a curiously titled item called Happy birthday dear Eliza which is based on Beethoven's Für Elise, that I have always disliked ever since being forced to play it in piano lessons as a child! I have often found over the years that cinema organists, [even some of the best known] have a habit of rushing passages and getting out of tempo. There is none of this, however, in Nigel Ogden's performances which are really first class! This is an entertaining and well-played recording, packed with good tunes which will appeal to all enthusiasts of this giant of musical instruments. Brian Reynolds
ARNELL The Great Detective / The Angels – Ballet Music
BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Martin Yates
Dutton Epoch CDLX 7208 [66:17]Richard Anthony Sayer Arnell, or Tony to his friends, is considered by many to be our leading symphonist. Beecham recorded his ‘Punch and the Child’ in 1950 with the RPO and described Arnell as "one of the best orchestrators since Berlioz…" Having been educated at the Hall School, Hampstead, and University College School, Arnell entered the Royal College of Music in 1935, where he studied composition with John Ireland and piano with St. John Dykes. Vaughan Williams was chair of the panel that awarded him the Farrar Prize for Composition in 1938. He spent a number of years in America where his music was championed by Bernard Herrmann and other conductors and a number of his major works received performances. Back in England after World War II, Beecham became a patron, but Arnell’s prominence eventually faded when composers of anything considered "tuneful" were consigned to near-oblivion by the musical fashion-police, principally William Glock, Controller of Radio 3 [1959-73].Both of these ballets were commissioned by Sadler’s Wells and appear for the first time on CD. ‘The Great Detective’  is a witty comedic ballet based on the great fictional detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The ballet opens in sparkling fashion and no one can be in any doubt as to the skill of the composer as an orchestrator. The humorousDistressed Ladies episode is reminiscent of the ballet music of Constant Lambert, while the melodramatic Fiends and Villains could well have been written for an old silent film. The Dance of Deduction is another witty episode and the whole work is eventually brought to a satisfying conclusion by a big tune and a few remaining musical heroic afterthoughts.
‘The Angels’ (1957) is more of a substantial piece which takes the form of a three movement symphony. The original scenario is abstract, but concerns a life-giving angel who brings men and women together, selects one of them for immortality and makes them shine with heavenly light. It is a powerful work and seems well suited for the concert hall. Of particular note is the extended centralRoundelay movement – one of Arnell’s most beautiful and inspired slow movements – and here the influence of his extended stay in the US is clearly evident, with echoes of his American contempories, Aaron Copland and Roy Harris.There is much to enjoy on this CD, and for those tempted to explore Arnell further I can thoroughly recommend the Third Symphony (Dutton Epoch CDLX 7161) – a stirring masterful work which has received universal praise. The artwork/sleeve design and copious liner notes make for an attractive package and both the recording and performance from Martin Yates and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra are of a high standard. An essential purchase for anyone interested in British orchestral repertoire of the "lost generation" and full marks to Vocalion for making Arnell’s music available to us after decades of neglect. Incidentally, Arnell is now in his nineties and lives in a Musicians’ Benevolent home in Kent where he continues to compose. Malcolm Osman
"The Golden Age of Light Music" : STRINGS AND THINGS GO STEREO!
For full tracklisting please refer to page 76 of this issue.
"Strings And Things Go Stereo" is the first 100% stereo selection in the Guild Light Music series but if, like me, sound technology isn’t your first priority – fear not – the music’s grand and so are the orchestras! Beginning with the curtain opening on Victor Young’s theme to "Around The World in Eighty Days" played by The Cinema Sound Stage Orchestra - and I’d suggest a brighter, breezier recording than the composer’s own version. Still with show music A Wonderful Guy from "South Pacific" (without Mary Martin!) played in fine style by Warren Barker’s Orchestra; I’m afraid I’d never heard of him but thanks to David’s inclusion, and his booklet notes, I have now! Following on from the Rio Carnival Orchestra’s rendition of Brazil is The Trolley Song, originally sung in a similar style by Judy Garland in "Meet Me In St. Louis" – this time played by Buddy Bregman and his Orchestra, but renamed for the original album ‘The Conrad Salinger Orchestra’ in honour of the esteemed arranger responsible. Two more film titles Love Is A Many Splendoured Thing and Change Partners(coupled with Mandy) played by Mantovani and Frank De Vol respectively continue this very entertaining programme; then a restful Tahiti: A Summer Night At Sea by Les Baxter is followed by a smoochie Harlem Nocturne with Norrie Paramor and his Orchestra. First Row Centre by Joe Reisman (any relation to Leo Reisman?) gets the feet tapping again before being lured into Alfred Newman’sStreet Scene with the New World Theatre Orchestra. Then in complete contrast we step straight into the Chappell catalogue with Tony Tamburello’s Saucy Sailor, although it first appeared several years earlier on a US Everest LP as Naughty Nautical, which is how it is listed on this CD. Robert Farnon is conducting his Orchestra in London, although at the time he was still under contract to Decca so the LP credited ‘The Everest Concert Orchestra under the direction of Derek Boulton’ (Bob’s manager!). A super piece of cheery mood music. There’s No You, a romantically tuneful concoction as played by Nelson Riddle, is followed by Morton Gould and his Orchestra with a seductive version of Orchids In The Moonlight written by Vincent Youmans from the RKO film "Flying Down To Rio". It was sung by Raul Roullen to either Ginger Rogers or Dolores del Rio, but I can’t remember which and it doesn’t say on the soundtrack LP I have! Track 14 has David Carroll and his Orchestra with Ron Goodwin’sSwinging Sweethearts but we in Britain know it as Skiffling Strings – thence to Victor Schertzinger’sSand In My Shoes with the Melachrino Strings. It was featured in the 1941 film "Kiss The Boys Goodbye" starring Don Ameche, Mary Martin and Connee Boswell. Hubert Bath’s Cornish Rhapsody, written for Margaret Lockwood to appear to play (but actually recorded for the soundtrack of the 1944 film "Love Story" by Harriet Cohen) is played here by pianists Rawicz and Landauer with Mantovani and his Orchestra – and a very nice performance and recording from all involved. And staying with Hubert Bath, I wonder if David would consider issuing his march Admiral’s All on Boosey & Hawkes 1930s Archive, and his other two nautical pieces on Paxton – Threatening Waves and Ode To the Sea. They deserve a wider audience for this neglected composer. Lucky In The Rain gets a really spirited performance from Robert Farnon and his Orchestra, as does Hal Mooney’s Orchestra playing his own composition Gemini - another piece that could easily come from a mood music catalogue – as could Pavement Pigalle from Joseph Kuhn, a name familiar to anybody with Golden Guinea 101 Strings LPs in their collection. It graces track 19 and is played by the Paris Theatre Orchestra. My LP copy is in mono, but on this CD – like all the tracks – it is in stereo. Canadian Sunset and Saraband are both pretty familiar, but Phil Boutet and his Orchestra playing Evening Starnot so – until I realised that it’s actually an arrangement of O Star Of Eve from Tannhauser by Wagner. The Clebanoff Strings play La Seduccion in a smoth manner, but Leo Shuken’s Spring Madness is alternately spritely then almost pastoral, ending as it began in vigorous style. And finallyThe Song Is Ended by Irving Berlin – a fitting tribute to another fine selection of concert items – which I’m sure the national BBC stations will ignore as usual, but anybody with any musical sense will add to their CD shelf immediately! Ken Wilkins
"The Golden Age of Light Music" : MUSICAL KALEIDOSCOPE - Volume 3
For full tracklisting please refer to page 77 of this issue.
Guild GLCD 5154
With expectations high I put "Musical Kaleidoscope – Volume 3" in the CD player and sat back – and I wasn’t disappointed. Three spectacular pieces to open, the first being Charles Williams’ Winged Messenger in which I thought I could detect strains of his Sons Of The Air on Chappell C209. David Ades writes in the booklet notes that Winged Messenger was used extensively by US networks NBC and ABC in the late 1950s and early 1960s as programme promo music and theme music for radio shows and I can understand why! A very powerful opener – as is track 2 Baden Baden, a grand theatrical-type march which develops into a galop, then simmers down to a definite finale. I’d never heard of the composer ‘Raymond’ but he (she?) wrote a good tune and it is very well played by the Baden Baden Symphony Orchestra – now known, according to David’s notes, as the South West German Radio Symphony Orchestra. The third ‘blockbuster’ on the CD is Holiday For Trombones by David Rose with him conducting in fine fettle. A novelty number by Kermit Leslie is next, which he calls Jalopy and includes a recording of one (a Model T Ford, perhaps?); then in complete contrast a smoochie piece Just For Two by Raymond Ellis and arranged by Angela Morley, rather similar to Dolf van der Linden’s Lady Of Leisure on Paxton. Track 6 is White from ‘Tone Poems Of Color’ by Victor Young; I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it turned out to be a delightful piece of concert music with a sleigh bells opening – very nice indeed. Another great novelty piece to follow – this time Ronald Binge’s Tales Of The Three Blind Mice played by Sidney Torch for the American transcription service Lang-Worth conducting what seems to me to be a slightly larger orchestra than usual, but I could be mistaken. Jack Strachey is another composer featured, and I’m very pleased that David included an unfairly neglected theatre march Shaftesbury Avenue from the Bosworth library – equal, I think, to his more famous Theatreland (already featured on two Guild CDs by B&H’s New Concert Orchestra – GLCD 5102, and Harry Fryer in Decca’s Music While You Work series – GLCD 5137). Irving Berlin’sLady Of The Evening is arranged by Peter Yorke and played by his Concert Orchestra in its usual immaculate manner, followed by Robert Farnon’s Playtime with the Telecast Ensemble and Bob at the piano (replacing the session pianist who wasn’t up to scratch!). I’ve got the Chappell 78 of this piece, and I wondered how long it would be before Alan and David included this number in the Guild Light Music series. Actually David tells me it was a special request from an RFS member! Forgive my ignorance, but I didn’t recognise Domani until Richard Hayman and his Orchestra struck up on track 14, and then the tune became very familiar; but Valse Bluette by Drigo sounds very different to my George Melachrino LP recording, as played here by Victor Young and his Orchestra with trumpeter Rafael Mendez doing his stuff. Harry Fryer was a great light music conductor and he makes a splendid job of Roger Barsotti’s march Banners of Victory. Between That’s All by Bob Haymes and Gershwin’s Swannee is Ecstasy by Otto Cesana and played by his orchestra. A lush melody that could easily find a place in any publisher’s mood music catalogue. Rudy Vallee co-wrote Deep Nightpresumably for himself to sing, and I have an LP of him doing just that – but here it’s played by the Pittsburgh Strings in fine form. Captain Of The Guard was new to me, but La Muse Legere wasn’t, as I’ve had the 78 since it was issued – but I particularly liked Captain Of The Guard and I’m told that it was also a special request, like several more in this collection. Alla Marcia from Sibelius’ ‘Karelia Suite’ and Sinding’s Rustle Of Spring are both very familiar concert items, but Gabriel Pierne’sSerenade not so – at least to me, but very tuneful all the same as played by the Andre Kostelanetz Orchestra. Henry Litolffs’ Scherzo played here by Winifred Atwell is a real eye-opener, especially as she was more identified with her honky-tonk ‘joanna’! And finally two ‘bonus tracks’: Desperate Moment and Sinister Street No. 1 from the De Wolfe library – two good examples of dramatic music used in the Two Ronnies’ comedy serial "The Phantom Raspberry Blower Of Old London Town". If David would like some more suggestions for dramatic items perhaps he’d consider East Of Malta by Ronald Hanmer and Jack Beaver’s The Sword Of Damocles – both from the FDH library for inclusion on future Guild CDs. This is altogether a very satisfying and melodic addition to the series and Alan Bunting’s magical restorations are first class as usual! Ken Wilkins
MAURICE BLOWER SYMPHONY IN C MAJOR
Havant Symphony Orchestra conducted by Peter Craddock
with Elgar: Wand Of Youth Suite No.2, and Brahms: Academic Festival Overture [57:00]
Strange bedfellows? Not really because all three offerings are tuneful delights but, while the latter two are well known, the former piece is a rarity indeed with a fascinating story behind it. Blower died in 1982 and some time later his son Thomas, pottering around in the loft, discovered a symphony which had lain unpublished and unperformed since it was completed in the pre-war summer of 1939. A few years ago he transcribed it into Sibelius software and, with the help of conductor Peter Craddock, set-up the full score for a première performance given in Fareham by the Havant Symphony Orchestra, which took place in March 2008. It was duly recorded for posterity and is now available for £8 from Sandra Craddock, 152 West Street, Havant, PO9 1LP; cheques payable to "HADOS." This is a jolly piece of music which will appeal to all Robert Farnon lovers. Edmund Whitehouse
STOKOWSKI BACH TRANSCRIPTIONS · 2
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra José Serebrier
Toccata and fugue in D minor, Wachet auf [Sleepers Awake!], Ein feste burg [A Mighty Fortress], Jesus, Joy of Man’s Desiring … etc
Naxos 8.572050 [64:59]Fans of the Disney film ‘Fantasia’ will be familiar with the opening track on this splendid budget priced disc. All the transcriptions by the old musical magician Leopold Stokowski are very come-at-able and as well as the 11 originating from Bach there are half-a-dozen others, eminently tuneful, by Palestrina, Byrd, Jeremiah Clarke [the Trumpet Voluntary tune], Boccherini [Minuet, used in Ealing Films’ ‘The Ladykillers’], Mattheson and Haydn [the well-known Andante Cantabile]. Buy and enjoy! P B
DAVID NADIEN Beethoven & Mendelssohn Violin Concertos [US] Cembal d’amour CD 137[67:31] To many readers of this review, David Nadien may seem an odd choice for inclusion. Yet he was the leader (or concertmaster) of the recording orchestra Robert Farnon arranged and conducted for Tony Bennett on his famous ‘Snowfall’ Christmas album of nearly 40 years ago. At the time of that distinguished recording, David Nadien had been the leader of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra since 1966 and would be at that post until 1971. Nadien is still with us and occasionally plays in public. On this CD he shows just how insightful of a performer he truly can be in the heavier forms of music. The Beethoven Concerto is considered (with the Brahms) as a test of endurance of the player, for it is nearly as long as a symphony and just as demanding. David lends a special insight and feeling into this very emotional performance. He was aided in this 1952 performance by Leon Barzin and his college level National Orchestral Association. The Mendelssohn Concerto is a case of the soloist bringing a group of unknown musicians, the Chappaqua Orchestra under Wolfgang Schanzer, up to his level of conception. Again, there is a very strong bond between orchestra members and soloist that gives us a rare moment of psychic purity in which each participant accompanies each other with perfect balance. Although this may be a hard to obtain CD, the musical rewards and soothing sound of David Nadien’s artistry combine to create a marvelous listening experience seldom found in today’s musical world. Richard Jessen
Available from www.cembaldamour.com
"RHAPSODY BY REQUEST" Por Una Cabeza, Mack the Knife, Souvenirs de Paris, The Girl From Ipanema, La Vie En Rose, Jazz Medley, Tasha’s Waltz, Anne of Green Gables medley, Processional, Viktor’s Tale, Schindler’s List, Heaven Can Wait, Caravan, Les Patineurs Valse, Um Momento, Bohemian Rhapsody Rhapsody Quintet. RHAP CD005, 65:32 mins. Available from Rhapsody Quintet, 1240 Edward Street, Halifax, N.S., B3H 3H4, CANADA. Website www.rhapsodyquintet.comRFS members who have bought previous releases by this versatile Canadian group of musicians will be pleased to learn that a new collection is now available. Familiar favourites are mixed with some less well-known numbers, and the players’ enthusiasm which they display towards their repertoire is certainly infectious. Unlike sixty or seventy years ago, there are few examples of small ensembles playing light music these days, so it is good to know that this more genteel style still survives today.David Ades
JOPLIN The Easy Winners & Other Rag-Time Music
PREVIN A Different Kind Of Blues
Itzhak Perlman [violin], André Previn, Shelly Manne [pianos], Jim Hall [bass], Red Mitchell [guitar]The Rag-Time Dance, The Easy Winners, Bethena [A Concert Waltz], Magnetic Rag, The Strenuous Life [Rag-Time Two-Step], The Entertainer, Elite Syncopations, Solace, Pine Apple Rag, Sugar Cane / Look at him go, Little Face, Who Reads Reviews, Night Thoughts, A Different Kind of Blues, Chocolate Apricot, The Five of Us, Make Up Your Mind
EMI Encore 2357272 [78:06]A well-filled low-priced disc with premium performers. Ragtime swept the world between c1897-1920, its syncopated melodies set against a march-type bass line. Scott Joplin was thought of as its greatest composer. Here the violin and piano of a classical "dream team" does him full justice on this 1974 album. The Previn piece, from 1980, anticipated the rash of "crossover" albums by classical artists from the late ‘80s onwards and is most enjoyable, with the violin virtuoso clearly taking to the jazz idiom at his first attempt. Previn is reunited with fellow pianist Shelly Manne, reminding us of their classic ‘My Fair Lady’ album [recently reissued with final restoration and remastering by Alan Bunting] on Retrospective RTR 4122. P B
"LE PIANO ‘BASTRINGUE’" featuring the pianos of Floyd Cramer [Fancy Pants, Five Foot Two Eyes Of Blue], Dolores Ventura [Celebration Waltz], Eddie Smith [Ragtime Melody], Johnny Maddox [St. Louis Tickle], Michel Legrand [La Pendule], Crazy Otto Rag [Will Glahe], Russ Conway [Chicago, The Lantern Slide, Buttons and Bows], Eddie Miller [Somebody Stole My Gal, Whispering], Joe ‘Fingers’ Carr [Maple Leaf Rag, Down Yonder, Entertainer’s Rag], plus Winifred Atwell, Crazy Otto and many more. 61 tracks on 2 CDs. (France) Marianne Melodie 081902. Once again our friend Pierre-Marcel Ondher has put together a varied selection that will delight everyone who enjoys the kind of piano music performed by the talented artists listed above. The 28-page booklet contains comprehensive notes, but you will need to understand French! However the full tracklisting details give alternate titles in English where appropriate and this is a wonderful opportunity to become acquainted with talented pianists from France and Germany that may be unfamiliar to you. Highly recommended for those who enjoy popular piano music from the 1950s. David Ades This collection is available from the RFS Record Service to special order. The price is likely to be in the region of £20 but may vary due to current volatility in the currency markets.
BENNY GOODMAN SEXTET Slipped Disc 1945 – 1946
After you’ve gone; Slipped disc, Rachel’s dream, I got rhythm … plus 14 more songs
Columbia CK 44292 [53:18]Probably one of the unique sounds in the history of jazz was Benny Goodman’s performances with small groups ranging in size from trios to quartets and finally into sextets. Although many prize the Charlie Christian sets (and they are justifiable classics), Goodman in the 1940's had lost none of his touch and continued to record for Columbia some magnificent performances. One that sticks out isAfter you’ve gone which has a great Slam Stewart singing solo on his bass along with crisp playing from vibist Red Norvo. Slipped disc is another fabulous item found on this disc, relating as it does to Goodman’s constant back pains. The music just ripples along like a happy, babbling brook aided in no small part by Teddy Wilson sitting at the piano and dispensing his famous crisp, articulate piano. The engineering from the original recordings is as perfect as can be had on this side of paradise. And of course, this is music for putting one in the mood for the happiest of all days Richard Jessen
DANIEL SMITH Blue Bassoon
The Jody grind, The double up, Sack of woe, Things ain’t what they used to be, My baby’s gone, Billie’s bounce, Nostalgia in Times Square, Equinox, Scotch and water, From four till late, Break out the blues, Footprints, Solid
Label & release date to be announced [47:50]
I am not a musician so maybe I am missing something. As I said when reviewing Daniel’s previous CD, ‘The Swinging Bassoon’, his technique is marvellous but as a solo instrument the bassoon in this setting sounds incongruous. The number of musicians has been increased and once again the compositions are all written by veterans of the jazz scene, most no longer around. I can only guess if they would approve of their music with this treatment. One thing is for sure, none of these tunes were written for a bassoon! The CD arrived with an impressive list of accolades from jazz critics with more knowledge than me. I can only repeat the first sentence of this review. Paul Clatworthy
AL BOWLLY This Is Romance
Double CD, 52 titles
Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY756 [77:05 & &9:14]Fans of Bowlly, who is believed to have influenced many singers in his short lifetime, really get their money’s worth here! The songs are with the bands of Lew Stone, Ray Noble and Geraldo. Most personnel are listed; interestingly the Lew Stone orchestra had Stanley Black and Monia Liter, who later found fame on their own, in its ranks. Recordings date between 1932 and 1939. I was not born until four years after the first was made, so the only titles I was familiar with were Ray Noble’s The touch of your lips, Irving Berlin’s Top hat, Harold Arlen’s As long as I live, and Mack Gordon’s Did you ever see a dream walking. Transfers are painstaking good by John Bennett. Put in on your shopping list for Grandma’s next birthday. Paul Clatworthy
[1936 was a very good year! - KT Ed.]
BING CROSBY Through The Years Volume Two 1951
25 tracks including Maria Bonita, Granada, Indian summer, The loneliness of evening, Sparrow in the treetop [with The Andrews Sisters], Here ends the rainbow [w. Betty Mullin], Moonlight Bay, When you and I were young, Maggie, Blues [w. Gary Crosby], I whistle a happy tune, Getting to know you, Gone fishin’ [w. Louis Armstrong], Shanghai, Row, row, row
Sepia 1122 [73:52]
Another entertaining selection of tracks from "The Old Groaner" with on hand the orchestras of John Scott Trotter [natch!], Vic Scoen, Lynn Murray, Victor Young and Dave Barbour; also The Bando Da Lua, Matty Matlock and his All Stars, and the Jud Conlon Choir. Popular singing par excellence. The music is enhanced by extremely comprehensive booklet notes. P B
DORIS DAY TODAY A Musical Comedy Special [DVD]BMG 88697176059 [1hr 30 mins]I must admit to having a fondness for music specials and especially anything with Doris Day makes my day. In the waning days of music specials, CBS-TV telecast ‘Doris Day Today’ in 1975. Sadly, this was to be Day’s last major network special. Happily, this is a fun special showing off Day’s talents as actress, comedian and, most importantly, singer. There are vibrant duets with John Denver including probably the greatest filmed performance seen anywhere of songs associated with each performer. There are also comedy sketches with Rich Little offering up his vast repertoire of celebrity impersonations (he was one of the best) as the leading man in the many films Day was involved with, with humour. Another great comedian was Tim Conway who was known for cutting up hilariously with the late Harvey Korman on ‘The Carol Burnett Show.’ Here he has a funny sketch with Doris Day where they are stuck out in the middle of nowhere close to the Grand Canyon. Not only are both hilarious but also there is a brief appearance by Day’s best friend Biggest (a very large but very dignified male poodle). But it’s the music and voice that carries this excellently produced show. There is an update with very fast, edited costume change of the Cole Porter classic Anything goes, a very soulful performance of Day by day from ‘Godspell’ done as only Doris Day could do with a song. The most moving performance is The way we were, where all of Day’s male co-stars are remembered in a deeply emotional performance. There are also extras such as Doris Day’s appearance on the John Denver Show in 1974, 1940's musical short with Les Brown as well as data on her movies and many recordings. This DVD is available on both sides of the Atlantic. Thank you Doris Day for being the wonderful performer and human being you have always been. Here’s hoping you will be around for a few years more! Richard Jessen
DICK HAYMES It’s A Grand Night For Singing
You’ll never know, It can’t be wrong, How blue in the night, Let the rest of the world go by, The more I see you, I wish I knew, They didn’t believe me, Love letters, Laura, Isn’t it kinda fun, It might as well be spring, That’s for me, It’s a grand night for singing, How deep in the ocean, Oh! what it seemed to be, Aren’t you kinda glad we did, For you, for me, for evermore … and 32 other tracks
Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY759 [74:40 & 72:27]A double album collecting the first nine years of the singer’s solo career with Decca, 1943 to 1952. Many of the titles were rushed through to beat the imminent recording ban of 1948. They do not sound rushed, his distinctive mellow voice coaxing the best out of each tune. Orchestra backing include Tommy Dorsey, Earl Hagen, Gordon Jenkins, Lyn Murray, Artie Shaw, Vic Shoen and Victor Young. Among the vocalists are The Andrews Sisters, Helen Forest, Judy Garland, Ethel Merman and Song Spinners.
The Unforgettable PAT KIRKWOOD Just One of Those Things, Save a Little Sunshine (with Dave Willis), Dinah, Nobody’s Sweetheart, My Heart Belongs to Daddy, Most Gentlemen Don’t Like Love, The Only One Who’s Difficult Is You, You’ve Done Something to My Heart, Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny, Oh! Where or When, This Can’t Be Love, In the Mood, My Kind of Music, The Victory Roll, South American Way, Listen to Me – and many more. AVID AMSC 966 2-CD set. 66 tracks, total timing 157:19 mins."Glamorous, dynamic, and an international sex symbol, Pat Kirkwood was for two decades the undisputed queen of British stage and screen musicals, with a voice rivalling that of Broadway’s Ethel Merman. Cole Porter, Noël Coward and Leonard Bernstein chose her to play the leading roles in their musicals, and her performances in 15 pantomimes caused a leading critic to hail her as ‘the greatest Principal Boy of the 20th century’. When she died on Christmas Day 2007, the world-wide media coverage focussed on two things: her fabulous legs, once described by Kenneth Tynan as ‘the eighth wonder of the world’, and her rumoured relationship with Prince Philip, a source of feverish speculation by royal biographers and gossip columnists for 60 years. This historic double CD, released by AVID Entertainment to mark the first anniversary of her death, spans 56 years of her glittering career, from her first film at the age of 17, to her last stage appearance in 1994. It features no fewer than 29 performances that have never previously been released on CD. These include a duet with her Hollywood co-star, Van Johnson, recordings she made in the United States, which were never issued in Britain, rare soundtrack footage from her 1950s screen musicals, and five songs in live performance in 1993.Along the way are superlative interpretations of all-time great standards by Cole Porter, Noël Coward, Rodgers and Hart, Irving Berlin, Leonard Bernstein, Jule Styne, Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse. This superb compilation not only encapsulates the magic of Pat Kirkwood, and of one of the great show business talents, but also the history of the musical in the 20th century." The above details (copied from Avid publicity) give a fair description of the wide-ranging repertoire to be enjoyed in this collection, expertly compiled by Hugh Palmer, who was also responsible for similar recent collections from Avid featuring Jessie Matthews and Frances Day. As well as commercial and private recordings, there are soundtrack excerpts which should delight film buffs. If you are a fan of Pat Kirkwood you will not hesitate to add this to your collection. The well illustrated booklet is packed with information. A top quality product at a very reasonable price.David Ades This 2-CD set is available from the RFS Record Service price £9.00.
KATHERINE JENKINS Sacred Arias
Abide With Me, Pie Jesu, The Lord’s My Shepherd, Down in the River to Pray, May The Good Lord Bless and Keep You, Hallelujah, Panis Angelicus, In Paradisum, Silent Night, Ave Maria, Misa Criolla: Kyrie, Agnus Dei
UCJ 476 697-2 [48:24]The lovely young mezzo-soprano returns to her Welsh church roots with this album. I guess the booklet’s photographic studies of Miss Jenkins add value to the package, but less than 50 minutes of music is a bit meagre for a top price disc. What we have, however, is very good. The Pie Jesus is by Andrew Lloyd Webber, and the Lord is my shepherd is the Howard Goodall version used in ‘The Vicar of Dibley.’ Meredith Wilson wrote May the good Lord and Hallelujah [versions of which were at Nos. 1 and 2 in the pop chart last Christmas] is by Leonard Cohen. Particularly winsome is the old spiritualDown in the river to pray, one of eight tracks enhanced by The Crouch End Festival Chorus. Another standout track is Simon Lindle’s Ave Maria with The Redolfus Choir, who also accompany on three others including the poignant Agnus Dei by Samuel Barber. P B
MARY MAYO Dancing In The Dark
Molly Malone, Waiting, Just a wearyin’ for you, It seemed so right last night, Dark is the night. Bring back the thrill, Memory book, My love an’ my mule, I can see you, Who but you, I never dreamt, A penny a kiss, a penny a hug, It only takes a minute, Come to baby, do, Heavenly feeling, This is the place … and 9 other tracks
Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY762 [69:19]Mary’s voice has a range of four octaves, well illustrated on CD but not in the "Sumac" manner. Whilst they were both members of the Beneke-Miller Band, bass player and arranger Al Ham fell under her spell and they married. Some of the songs have not been heard for many a year; five are from films, seven recorded with the Tex Beneke Band, the remainder with the bands of Al Ham, Glenn Osser and Ray Wright. Some tracks are a little "Rinky Dink"; others more worthy of her marvellous voice, especially when linked with a large orchestra. I was most intrigued to find a Pete Rugolo written Bring back the thrill, one I had never heard before. The last "live" track is obviously from her later years reunited with the Beneke Orchestra. Charming nostalgia most of the way. Paul Clatworthy
LIGHT MUSIC FOR PIANO AND VOICE – JOHN McLAIN Cat In A Flap, Into My Heart, Mamble, When June Is Come, The Willow, Renunciation (songs), Soliloquy, Kirsty – in Melancholy Mood, Serendipity, All In Good Time, The Forest At Dusk (piano solos), Templeton – Bach Goes To Town, Coates – Bird Songs At Eventide, Ireland – Sea Fever, Zez Confrey – Dizzy Fingers, Kitten On The Keys, Lehar – Girls Were Made To Love And Kiss, Cyril Scott – Danse Negro, Walforde-Finden – Kashmiri Song, Debussy- Golliwog’s Cakewalk, Coleridge-Taylor- Onaway Awake Beloved, Godron Pullin (tenor), Barbara Manning (piano). This excellently recorded CD is well worth its £5 price to RFS members. Admittedly John McLain’s undoubted lyrical impulse (John is an RFS member), whether in songs or piano solos (which are effectively songs without words) produces results which are very similar in mood and tempo, so it is perhaps as well that contrast is offered by vocals and instrumentals composed by others, which are among the classics of the light music genre. Performances are highly enjoyable; Mr. Pullin’s delivery and diction are notably clear (all tracks are sung in English – words are not supplied in the insert but are really unnecessary), and Miss Manning’s playing, whether solo or in accompaniment, is expressive, fluent and full of character. Available at £5.00 to RFS members from JOHN McLAIN, 42 Osidge Lane, Southgate, London, N14 5JG, England.Philip L. Scowcroft
"ROSES ALL THE WAY" Songs by Eric Coates The Palace of Roses, Sigh No More Ladies, Melanie, A Dinder Courtship, Asphodel, The Fairy Tales of Ireland, Roses All The Way, Yearning, Mendin’ Roadways, By The Sleepy Lagoon (piano solo), Sea Rapture, Little Snoozy Coon, Bird Songs At Eventide, Music of the Night, Little Lady of the Moon, Always, As I Close My Eyes, Your Name, A Song of Summer, Star of God, Today is Ours. Peter Dempsey (tenor) and Guy Rowland (piano). Eric Coates is mostly remembered as a composer of light orchestral miniatures but he began as a writer of ballads and continued as such for the rest of his life, albeit less so after the mid-1930s. Several of them can be heard today, but there are many which are not (there were about 130 in all); this disc concentrates on the less well-known of those written between 1912 and 1943. Only Bird Songs and (sung here appropriately in a ‘Mummerset’ accent) A Dinder Courtship are at all familiar to most of us, so this release does fill a gap. Further, Peter Dempsey has a limpid, fluent delivery and notably clear diction while Guy Rowland is a sympathetic, positive accompanist; his solo piano version of By The Sleepy Lagoon (presumably arranged by the composer) recalls that many light orchestral favourites could, at one time, be found in the domestic piano stool. Some of these songs sound like other, better known ballads by Coates, but this is common enough in balladry and there is much variety here. We catch an Irish flavour in The Fairy Tales of Ireland; there is a popular, up-tempo character in the title song and the splendidly non-PC Little Snoozy Coon. Sigh No More Ladies ranks high for me in the centuries of Shakespearian vocal heritage, and the last two songs – one to Coates’ own words – movingly recall that he continued penning songs into the Second World War. Recording is admirably clear, and presentation thoughtful. These tuneful imaginations are sure to give pleasure, as they have done to this reviewer. Philip L. Scowcroft This CD is available from PETER DEMPSEY, 44 Victoria Road, Bidford-on-Avon, Warwickshire, B50 4AR, England – price £11.99 [including p&p].
PIGS COULD FLY Children’s Choir Music
New London Children’s Choir conducted by Ronald Corp
Songs by Skempton, Britten, Corp, Bennett, Bliss, Tavener, Vaughan Williams, Maxwell Davies, Chilcott, Bliss, Rutter, Godfrey, Maw, etc.
Naxos 8.572113 [66:07]
The conductor is well known to tuneful music lovers for several CDs of light music and this choir, which he formed in 1991, is a companion to his New London Orchestra. The repertoire is wide and varied, ranging from lively short pieces to more serious sacred music, with several more in between; 35 different songs in all. The diction is good and for anyone who likes to hear children’s voices then this is a welcome addition to the relatively small catalogue of that genre. Edmund Whitehouse
AN EVENING WITH BEATRICE LILLIE Original Cast
20 tracks including Rhythm, Nanette, Folk Song Cycle, Weary of it all, Piccolo Marina, There are times, Paint, Maud, There are fairies at the bottom of our garden, The party’s over now
Sepia 1123 [78:51]A unique artiste but, possibly, something of an acquired taste. In addition to the above there are seven other tracks including Three little fishies, from the show ‘Auntie Bea’ with an orchestra directed by Eric Rogers. If you are not a Miss Lillie fan, the disc is worth acquiring for her co-star Reginald Gardiner’s classic Decca single Trains [ah, memories!] Nobody should complain about value for money here. Ray Pavene
IRMA LA DOUCE Original London Cast
Sepia 1120 [74:29]The original Parisian version of this show, music written by Marguerite Monnot, opened in November 1956 and ran for four years. This English language version opened on 17 July 1958 at London’s Lyric Theatre, where it ran for 1,512 performances starring Elizabeth Seal, Keith Michell and Clive Revill. The book and lyrics here are by Julian More, David Heneker and Monty Norman; Peter Brook directs; orchestrations are by Andre Popp; vocal arrangements by Bert Waller; and the orchestra is under the direction of Alexander Faris. Not being familiar with the show – the most recognizable track is probably Our Language of Love – I enjoyed it a lot. Also included on the disc are 11 "Bonus Tracks" in French. Sepia’s customary comprehensive booklet notes complete a well-filled package. Ray Pavene
‘THIS RECORD IS NOT TO BE BROADCAST’: 75 records banned by the BBC 1931-57 Acrobat Music ACTRCD9015 (3CDs with booklet).
It seems rather ironic that this album should appear at a time that the BBC has been forced to review its public broadcasting standards following the recent Ross/Brand affair. Three CDs and a 48 page booklet comprise a fascinating study of 75 recordings that were effectively black-listed by the BBC during the years 1931-57. With the hindsight of living 50 years on, some of the reasons given by the ‘Dance Music Policy Committee’ for their decisions now seem ludicrous and trivial – especially when judged by what is now considered ‘entertainment’. One such directive ran: "The BBC’s policy is to encourage a more virile and robust output of dance music to accord more closely with the present spirit of the country. To this end any form of anaemic or debilitated vocal performances by male singers will be excluded. Performance by women singers will be controlled to the extent that an insincere and over sentimental style will not be allowed. No numbers will be accepted for broadcasting which are slushy in sentiment or contain innuendo or other matter considered to be offensive." Thus George Formby’s With My Little Stick of Blackpool Rock (1939) and Johnny Messner’sShe Had to Go and Lose It at the Astor (1938), both fell foul of the committee. In the case of the latter, both the suggestive lyrics and the fact that mentioning the Astor was tantamount to advertising were more than enough reason for an outright ban. In 1942, the BBC’s Director of Music was none other than the eminent composer Sir Arthur Bliss. Bliss was staunchly against tunes borrowed from classical works. This view led to the banning of whole albums based on classical themes. Thus in 1938 Tommy Dorsey in an arrangement of Song of India (from Rimsky-Korsakov’s Sadko) was banned and in 1942 Glen Miller’s The Story of a Starry Night (from Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony), suffered a similar fate. In the words of the committee, "The Story of a Starry Night is not a parody, but a travesty of the original.” Not so much the Path?tique Symphony as the pathetic in fact…. Perhaps it is hardly surprising that the Spike Jones version of the Blue Danube (1945) was also banned, although this was lifted in 1947 when ‘burlesque’ became permissible but ‘dance tempo distortion’ did not! Sometimes songs were banned for purely practical reasons. Thus Bing Crosby suffered a double ban. Deep In The Heart Of Texas (1942), during working hours, in case factory hands used their tools for banging machinery to keep time with the infectious melody and in the following year I’ll Be Home For Christmas was banned for the reason that it would lower the morale of the fighting troops. There are many more such examples to be found in the lavishly illustrated informative booklet. A fascinating release and one that I think many of our members will find room for in their collection - if only as a curiosity. Copies can be obtained from Acrobat Music or from the RFS Record Service. Malcolm Osman
Other releases noted by Wilfred Askew
NELSON RIDDLE Let’s Face The Music
Among the 55 tracks are: Let’s face the music and dance, Put your dreams away, The love of Genevieve, Dreamer’s cloth, Darlene, The girl most likely, Younger than springtime, An affair of the heart, Where did he go? Port au Prince, Darn that dream, You and the night and the music, I’m gonna laugh you right out of my life, Lisbon Antigua, Volare, Easter Isle, Accordion Willy, Man on fire, Seven nights a week, Walkin’, Holiday in Naples, Rain, Vilia, Waltz of the blues, Can this be love, Robin Hood, I can’t believe that you’re in love with me …
Jasmine [2-CD set] JASCD 495 [158:18]
THE KEITH MANSFIELD ORCHESTRA
All You Need Is Keith Mansfield
All you need in love, You’ve lost that lovin’ feeling, Everlasting love, Whiter shade of pale, Soul thing, Moanin’, Walk on by, Lovin’ things, Reach out [and I’ll be there], Take five, Boogaloo, Rainbow and [Epic single] Soul confusion
RPM Retro 835 [69:15]1968 CBS recording plus seven tracks by Love Affair, Maynard Feguson, Alan Haven & Selena Jones with Mansfield’s Orchestra.
JUAN GARCIA ESQUIVEL & HIS ORCHESTRA Mexico Days
Debut album from 1957 including Collar of Perlas, Poppourri Curiel, Medley [Berlin, Rodgers and Hart], Universidad rock and roll, Una y otra vez, Sketch de Glenn Miller … & 6 other titles / Compilation of singles & EPs recorded in Mexico between 1954-56 including To live again, Port au Prince, AMOR, Moonlight enchantment, Nightingale, Nocturnal … & 6 other titles.
Cherry Red ACEM139CD [76:14]
MIKLOS ROSZA ‘EL CID’
The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus conducted by Nic Raine
World premiere recording of the complete film score on 3 CDs plus ‘Double Indemnity Suite’ [arr. Palmer].
Tadlow CD005 [182:04]
HENRY MANCINI & HIS ORCHESTRA
The Versatile Henry Mancini
Poinciana, Bali Ha’i, Flamingo, Whispering Sea, Return to Paradise, Naked sea, Breeze and I, Driftwood and dreams, Moon of Manakoora, Sleepy Lagoon, Ebb tide, Off shore; plus bonus tracks:What’s it gonna be, Young love, Free and easy, Cha cha cha for Gia
Cherry Red ACMEM155CD [79:59]His first album, ‘Driftwood and Dreams’, from 1957, appears here in both mono and stereo versions.
KEN GRIFFIN [Organ] Skate On
52 tracks including Cuckoo Waltz, Take me out to the ball game, Doodle Doo Doo, American Patrol, Little brown jug, If I had you, Bumble bee on a bender, Till we meet again / Louise, For all we know, There’ll be some changed made, The Sycopated Clock, The woman in the shoe, San Antonio Rose, Wunderbar … etc.
Jasmine [2 CDs] JASCD 471 [136:42]
NORRIE PARAMOR & HIS ORCHESTRA
The Zodiac Suite / Dreams and Desires with the voice of Patricia Clark
An Aries Aria, Taurus Tango, The Gemini Waltz, Cancerian Concerto, Lonely Leo, The Impatient Virgo, A Libra Rhapsody, Seductive Scorpio, The Sagacious Sagittarius, Capricious Capricorn, Mood Aquarius, Ode to Pisces / That’s my desire, You stepped out of a dream, If I had you, I’d love to fall asleep [and wake up in your arms], Once in a while, You’d be so nice to come home to …& 6 other titles
Vocalion CDNJT 5200 [78:20]EMI Columbia recordings from 1957.
THE WORLD OF SABU
Music [17 tracks] from Rudyard Kipling’s ‘Jungle Book’  narrated by Sabu with the Victor Symphony Orchestra, composed and conducted by Miklos Rozsa; ‘The Thief of Bagdad’ narrated by Hugh Gray with the Frankenland State Symphony Orchestra, composed and conducted by Miklos Rozsa; ‘Black Narcissus’  with the London Symphony Orchestra, composed and conducted by Brian Easdale
El ACMEM151CD [66:54]
VIVIAN BLAINE On Broadway
‘Songs from the Great White Way’: If I were a bell, People will say we’re in love, Hello, young lovers, Poppa, won’t you dance with me, But not for me, A wonderful guy … & 6 other titles / ‘Songs from The Ziegfeld Follies’: A pretty girl is like a melody, Row, row, row, I can’t get started, You’d be surprised, What is there to say, Shaking the blues away … & 6 other titles
Flare ROYCD 264 [67:45]Original Mercury recordings from 1956, with Glenn Osser’s Orchestra & Chorus.