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Monday, December 13, 2010

Felix Slatkin - Fantastic Percussion

Caravan (LRP 3150)
Caravan (LST 7150)
Fantastic Percussion
Felix Slatkin
Producer: Si Waronker
Engineer: Bill Putnam
Photography: Garrett-Howard, Inc.
Cover Design: Pate/Francis & Associates
Liberty Records LRP 3150 & LST 7150

From the back cover: Conductor Felix Slatkin makes an auspicious debut into the field of popular music with this excellent display of the drummer's art. He is no stranger to percussions, however, having recorded two pervious classical albums in that vein.

His history and background are mainly classical – and to such a degree of mastery that he won two "Grammy" awards from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences in 1958. One was for the best orchestral classic recording, won by Mr. Slatkin and the Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra which he conducts. The other was for the best chamber music recording, awarded to him for his Hollywood String Quartet.

This album is the fulfillment of a long awaited desire of Mr. Slatkin. "When I first wanted to do an alum like this," he says, "the limits of technical achievement in the recording field made it impractical. But because of the recent advances in electronic engineering, we can now reproduce the true sound of these various instruments, heretofore very difficult to record and, only a few years ago, impossible to record. Now, in either hi-fi or stereo, the total sound and the individual instrument sounds are present in a clarity and balance that must satisfy even the most discriminating perfectionist."

The following types of percussion instruments are heard in these arrangements:

Drums – snare, tenor, bass, tympani, concert bass, bongo, conga, tom-tom. Accessories – cymbals, rhythm log, glass bells, woodblocks, gong, tymbalis, claves, triangle, gourd, tambourine, orchestra chimes. Instruments – glockenspiel, vibraphone, marimba, xylophone. Exotic – Kenya hand drums, Chinese dinner gong, bamboo wind chimes, Sarna bells, boo-bass, Balinese ceremonial bells, finger cymbals, crotales, loo jon drums, Indian ankle bells, Korean temple blocks, Indian rattles.

From Billboard - January 18, 1960: The accent on these inventively arranged standards is on percussion and Slatkin serves a listenable and attractive adventure in sound and listening. The set has been well recorded to take full advantage of the exciting orchestra. Sound addicts will enjoy for the range in sound, and pop fans will also find the music to their liking. Numbers include "I Get A Kick Out Of You," "Autumn In New York" and "Opus No. 1."

I Get A Kick Out Of You
A String Of Pearls
The Happy Hobo
I Love Paris
Autumn In New York
Blues In The Night
April In Paris
On A Slow Boat To China
Opus #1
Blue Tango
Night Train

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