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Friday, May 29, 2015

Tropicale - Tommy Morgan

Tommy Morgan
With Orchestra Conducted By Warren Barker
Warner Bros. Records 1214

From Billboard - October 20, 1958: An exciting harmonica virtuosos, Tommy Morgan, combines talents with maestro Warren Barker to capture the color and mood of the South Seas. Interesting instrumental wax.

From the back cover: All the harmonica arrangements were personally written by Tommy Morgan, with maestro Warren Barker contributing the exciting orchestral background, which at times blend and at other occasions seem to create a pattern of their own.

As the tile suggests, music with a tropical theme has been selected for this album, and yet there is a remarkable variety to the program. Selections range from hits of the Broadway stage to music from motion pictures, Latin rhythms and an unusual Japanese tune, "The Beach." The song from Nippon was picked up when Morgan was called upon for a Command Performance before the Empress and Royal Family in Tokyo. He sought a popular tune of that region to add to his repertory and to play for the Empress.

While serving a long engagement with Uncle Sam's Air Force Band, Morgan played several other Command Performances, including the King and Queen of Cambodia; the Shah and Empress of Iran, and for Syngman Rhee, President of the Republic of Korea. For his outstanding work as a musical ambassador in these countries, Mr. Morgan's Name has been entered in the Congressional Record.

Dance maestro Freddy Martin claims Tommy Morgan as his discovery back in 1950 and featured the harmonica virtuoso on his weekly television show from the famed Hollywood Palladium. This engagement led to assignments at motion pictures studios where his talent was employed on musical soundtracks. He has employed this experience and his excellent musical background to develop a sound unique in the conception of the harmonica and its presentation. At times he uses the harmonica in block harmony with the other instruments, such as in "Taboo," and at other times as a haunting obligate.

At present, Mr. Morgan has postponed his proposed European tour and has enrolled at his alma mater, University of California at Los Angeles, where he is studying for his Master's Degree in Music.

Bali Ha'i
Ebb Tide
Moon of Manakoora
Beyond The Reef
The Beach
The High And The Mighty
Off Shore

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