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Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Faraway Part Of Town - Andre Previn

Trav'lin Light
The Faraway Part Of Town
Andre Previn
His Piano and Orchestra
Produced by Irving Townsend
Cover Photo: Horst
Columbia Records CL 1786

Winning lush string mood arrangements back Previn's smooth jazz inspired piano passages.

From the back cover: When Andre Previn was a little boy in Berlin, where his father was a lawyer and amateur pianist, he would sit under the piano at family musicales while his father and friends played for their own amusement. "I was involved unconsciously with music as far back as I can remember." The father left Germany to get out of the way of the Nazis and took his family to California, where Andre was unceremoniously deposited in a public school without possessing a single word of English. He felt terribly embarrassed and awkward; it must have been a traumatic experience. Yet, to compensate for what he felt, he turned to music as a means to showing his worth. In his early teens he began hanging around radio stations, playing piano and, when he was allowed to, arranging for house bands. (The conductors allowed him to do this free. "I didn't have to pay them for the experience," Andre says, ironically.) Presently someone at MGM heard of "that kid" and sent for him to do some arrangements for Jose Iturbi, who was to play jazz piano in a picture but hadn't the slightest notion of how to do it. That assignment led to his doing the scores for about thirty films, including Three Little Words, It's Always Fair Weather, Invitation To The Dance, Gigi, Porgy And Bess, Bad Day At Black Rock, Elmer Gantry, and most recently, One, Two, Three and The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse. Scoring for films is only one of his many activities. He conducts and appears as piano soloist with symphony orchestras across the country, he leads a jazz combo in nightclubs and in concert appearances, he composes "heavy' music as well as popular, and he and his wife are working on a musical comedy. It is my suspicion that somewhere in his busy schedule he also finds time to make his own music. – Richard Gehman

From Billboard - August 18, 1962: Moody, wistful and introspective piano solos by Andre Previn, backed by a lush string ork, makes this a solid item for the market. The pianist turns in expressive and winning performances on a flock of standards, including "Where Are You," "Gone With The Wind," "Over The Rainbow" and "When Your Lover Has Gone." A tasteful and nostalgic set that should score throughout the fall.

Where Are You
Strangers When We Meet
A Place In The Sun
Trav'lin Light
Gone With The Wind
Lost In The Stars
Over The Rainbow
When Your Lover Has Gone
Where, I Wonder
Near To No One (Theme from "The Scapegoat")
Meet Me Halfway
The Faraway Part Of Town (From the Columbia Picture "Pepe")

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