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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Songs Of Friendship and Manners

I Have A Little Friend
Songs Of Friendship Safety, Health and Manners
Golden Records Vol. 12

Turkish Delight! - Mike Sarkissian And His Cafe Bagdad Ensemble

Atamee Baghladan
Turkish Delight!
Mike Sarkissian And His Cafe Bagdad Ensemble
Audio Fidelity AFLP 1867

From the back cover: Michael Sarkissian, in addition to boasting a vast knowledge of oriental and Middle Eastern art, is one of America's foremost directors and interpreters of music of this part of the world. He has appeared as singer and conductor on many television and radio programs with top personalities such as Bob Hope, Jerry Colonna, Pat O'Brien and Frances Langford. Born in the United States of Armenian parents, he learned the rudiments of Armenian music and Middle Eastern dancing at an early age. When he was 14, he formed his own orchestra. During the second World War, he served in the special service branch of the Air Corps, appearing as soloist, orchestra member and musical director in many shows. Following the war, he appeared in numerous night clubs, until he decided to open his own club. This he named Cafe Bagdad, and it has become a kind of diplomatic center for the furtherance of Middle Eastern music and dance. As Sarkissian puts it, "We created a sort of musical Mecca for our people, but soon found out that not only our people but those of other lands appreciated our music and traditional dance."

Legend Of The Jivaro - Yma Sumac

Legend Of The Jivaro
Yma Sumac
Capitol T770

Available from online vendors so I will not be posting a sample. Presented here to share the cover.

This from the back cover: To unearth the Jivaro music – the stories their ancient songs tell, the musical instruments of their culture – Yma Sumac and her husband, Moises Vivanco, one of the foremost authorities on ancient music, travelled deep into the headhunters' native territory. There, her mastery of the Jivaro dialect (she was reared less than one hundred miles from their land) helped facilitate the research in that strange and obscure society.

Dang... that makes for a great story and creative platform for this terrific concept album! However I don't see Sumac, at this stage in her career, hovering over a cauldron of mystery meat to gather inspiration for a new album. Sumac and Vivanco divorced in 1957, remarried the same year and divorced again in 1965.  None-the-less, Billboard was convinced  that the couple did, indeed, make a trip into the back country even though they were unclear about her marriage status.

From Billboard - January 26, 1957: Miss Sumac takes off on a wild series of vocal calisthenics in which she portrays a series of authentic native melodies and dances of the Jivaro headhunters of South America. Miss Sumac and her husband, Moises Vivanco, obtained the basic material via a trip into the savage territory with a tape recorder. This was then arranged for the singer, choral group and drums. Notes explain in some detail what each of the selections signifies and for those who want to increase their own cultural knowledge this can prove an interesting addition to a collection.

Sejollo (Whip Dance)
Yawar (Blood Festival)
Shou Condor (Giant Condor)
Sauma (Magic)
Nina (Fire Arrow Dance)
Sansa (Victory Song)
Hampi (Medicine)
Sumac SorateƱa (Beautiful Jungle Girl)
Aullay (Lullaby)
Batanga-Hailli (Festival)
Wanka (The Seven Winds)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Pervasive Percussion

Pervasive Percussion
Omega Records OSL-118

Out of all the unbelievable records I've found, this Omega release takes the cake.

Look at this cover. Nice huh? Are you ready for a little jungle rhythm? Yeah, me too!

Look at the back cover. The album title, catalog number and songs titles on the back cover match the record label and cover information. Now listen to the music sample! WTF?!!!

When I bought this album, I only glanced at the track list and it didn't sink in that the titles are in Spanish! I think the titles are correct. What in the name of all-that-is-good-but-way-stupid happened during production?!!

I was pissed because I thought that someone had slipped the wrong record in this cool jacket. I was still pissed when I thought that Omega had pasted the right label on the wrong record. Then I stopped being pissed because how could I continue to hate a record/album that is this absurdly wrong?

I did find this same exact same cover online with a "Sutton" label brand in place of the Omega brand, bottom right... but it is apparent that Omega removed the Sutton brand and printed their logo type in it's place.

Hawaiian Enchantment - Your Passport To Hawaii

Beautiful Girls And Sunshine (stereo)

Hawaiian Enchantment
Your Passport To Hawaii
Luke Leilani
Spinorama MK 3040 & S-26
A Product Of Premier Albums, Inc.

Hawaiian Wedding Song
Mood In Hawaiian
Pineapples, White Sands And Coconuts
Island Maid
Hawaiian Promenade
High Tide
Stars Over Hawaii
Hawaiian Serenade
Beautiful Girls And Sunshine
Hawaiian Moon
Lost Love

Favorites From Italy

Anema E Core
Favorites From Italy
Nestor Amaral And His Continentals
Craftsmen A Division Of PRI

Craftsmen? This is the first record I've found on that label. PRI stands for Precision Radiation Instruments, a company who owned the Tops label.

All of the short-lived Craftsmen label albums featured this jacket design which featured a circle inside of the jacket shape. Some records were pressed on colored vinyl. This record was not.

The music is pretty budget. The rest of the set isn't nearly as sweet as the sample I cherry picked.

Music From Close Encounters Of The Third Kind

Theme From "Close Encounters Of The Third Kind"
Music From Close Encounters Of The Third Kind
Produced by Joe Saraceno & Heyward Collins
Arranged by Pat DeVuono
Background Vocals: Bonnie Licelli
Engineer: Michael Lietz
Special Thanks To Kim Espy
Illustration: Clinton Stockwell
Pickwick SPC 3616

The budget "Not An Original Soundtrack" Close Encounters soundtrack.

Sometime moog, sometimes disco and sometimes sci-fi mystery cheese, this set blends all three into a danceable cosmic stew.

Hi-Fi For Small Fry

In The Middle Of The Island
Hi-Fi For Small Fry
Diplomat Pops
The Gold Record For Children
Diplomat 5010

Children records can be charming and sometimes funny as content can age poorly. On rare occasions, for my tastes, is  the music fun. This record, for the most part, is like a slice of space age Hi-Fi easy listening geared towards kids. Nice and you have to love the cover illustration.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Evalyn Tyner Night

Evalyn Tyner Night
Port Royal Beach Club
Benefit Of Naples Community Hospital Auxiliary
Naples, Florida
March 25, 1966

Presented for your enjoyment is a record I found at a thrift in a silver cardboard jacket blank. The record was apparently a part of a two record set recorded live for the benefit as mentioned above. I only found sides 3 and 4.

Not much to be found on Tyner. She get a brief mention in Billboard, June 18, 1949 as one of the opening acts for a show at the "Capitol" in New York.

It appears like someone complied a CD of her recordings along with those of a performer named Rose Murphy.

Java, Cotton Candy, Sugar Lips

Whenever I'm Feeling Low
Java, Cotton Candy, Sugar Lips
By Jim Collier
Wyncote W 9036

Budget set featuring the "Tijuana Brass" sound and one groovy sixties go-go tune.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Proud American

Six Klicks
An American Dream
The Proud American
Hershel Gober
Patriot Records, Dermott, Arkansas

This obscure recording is a great time capsule featuring a soldier's patriotic, sometimes questioning, bitter sweet and honest message.

I can find no bio information on Gober.

Ralph Marterie

Blue Mirage
The Hits That Made
Ralph Marterie And His Orchestra Famous
Mercury MG 20336

This is a great album if you are looking to collect Marterie's most popular tunes. Tunes he charted with including Skokiaan, Pretend, Shish-Kebab (great fun) and an excellent cover of Caravan are on this release. Nice swing with some exotica/space pop mixed in.

Tempos Of Tahiti

Theme From Mutiny Of The Bounty
Tempos Of Tahiti
The Catamaran Serenaders
21 Channel Sound
MGM E 4091

I didn't have high hopes for this record. The cover just didn't spark the collecting juices, however, this is the typical layout for a 21 Channel Sound cover. The album is designed as a book-fold after a trend set by Enoch Light's Command label. However, the set is good space-age fair.

From Billboard - December 8, 1962: Spectacular sound and orchestration make this one of the top collections of Island music, perhaps in part because of the 21 separate channels used by MGM in taping. Most of the tunes are Hawaiian rather than Tahitian in origin, but all are done in lively and listenable fashion that should earn plenty of air play. Included are two themes from "Mutiny On The Bounty."

Love Songs From 'Mutiny On The Bounty'
Little Brown Gal
Pagan Love Song
My Little Grass Shack In Kealakekua, Hawaii
The Hawaiian Wedding Song [Ke Kali Nei Au]
Yaaka Hula Hickey Dula
Theme From 'Mutiny On The Bounty
Hawaiian War Chant
Paradise Moon
Steel Guitar Hop
Steel Guitar Hop
Aloha Oe [Farewell To Thee]

Orientale - Carmen Dragon

Carmen Dragon
Capitol P8453

I can't say that this version of Orientale takes space age risks, but it is a pleasant listen and worth collecting if only for the cover art.

This album apparently was released, if I can believe the post I found, on Capitol in the UK in 1958 with a different and less effective cover.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Oriental Fantasy

Oriental Fantasy
Gianni Monese and his Orchestra
Vox ST-VX 25 780

This was a great find today. Needless to say that cover image is a great collectible.

The musical content not at all like I expected. Side one and two are singular pieces of music that blend into one another with no track separation. Like any good exotica or soundtrack recording this LP is an auditory adventure that holds your attention from start to finish.

There are several, probably mono covers posted on the web, but this is the only stereo cover. Both the same with the exception of the stereo logo. But I thought that is would be nice to know the release also came in stereo.

I can't find any hard bio info on Monese. There is a mention of him in the August 11, 1956 Billboard in an article about VOX releasing a Monese album titled Cook's Tour Of Venice.

I usually only post a track by way of sample, but will post side one for you enjoyment.

Side 1: In A Persian Market (Ketelbey), Theme From Polovetsian Dances (Borodin), Alla Turca (Mozart), Nel Sahara (Langosz), Arabian Dance From Nutcracker Suite (Tchaikovsky), Serenata Araba (Frontini)

Side 2: Marcia Turca (Turkish March - Beethoven), Orientale (Cui), Aranian Dance (Grieg), Theme From Strings Quartet (Borodin), Theme From Scheherazade (Rimsky-Korsakov), Serendade Orientale (Gangloff)

Percussion Espanol - Pirouette

Percussion Espanol
The Big Sound
Pirouette Records RFM 54

I can't find a release date for this album, but my guess would be 1960. A while back I blogged an album on the TIME label featuring the same title and stylistically similar cover art. I have to assume that one label was following the others lead. In this case, many of the songs lead in with ping-pong percussion, an effect Enoch Light developed in the early 60s.

No artists are credited. There really isn't much percussion other than the ping-pong effect. And the percussion effects are only found on side one. Apparently that's was all the budget called for. Side two features no percussion at all.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Music Of America

My Momma Didn't Raise No Dummy - Louise Holmes/Erica Laine
Exotic Dancers - Raymond L. Fields/Erica Laine
I Found My Love - Robert Roth/Carlton St. John
Music Of America
Hollywood Artists Recording Co.

Song poems strike again...

Hollywood Studio Orchestra

Hackett Funeral And Fight
Hollywood Studio Orchestra
Main Theme From Spectacular Movies

Over all this "Hollywood" budget record, released towards the end of the Wyncote label life span, is good easy listening fare with that 60s light pop touch. The Impossible Lover is actually cool and Hackett Funeral And Fight? I know nothing about the movie that this tune came from (The Wrong Box, 1966), but I love this tune and it is a standout on this album.

Belshazzar's Feast - William Walton

Belshazzar's Feast
William Walton
London Philharmonic Choir
Dennis Noble Baritone
Philharmonic Promenade Orchestra Conducted By Sir Adrian Boult
Westminster XWN 18253

I bought this record because I was drawn to the outstanding illustration. But the music, if you are into exotica and or soundtrack, is an interesting listen. A few passages remind me of the mutants singing to the bomb in the movie Beneath The Planet Of The Apes. Well... it just does!  I sampled the first part of the record. Sorry, that's just the way I do things here in The Attic... just a taste.

This from the Belshazzar's Feast wiki page: Musical structure: The music throughout is strongly rhythmic, and richly orchestrated. The rhythms and harmonies reflect Walton’s interest in jazz and other popular music, pressed into service to tell a religious story. Despite its jagged rhythms and strident orchestral effects, the work is essentially conventional in its tonality. Walton's biographer Michael Kennedy writes, "diatonicism is at the root of the matter ... stringtremolandi, brass fanfares, and masterly use of unaccompanied declaration work their customary spell." Kennedy adds that the chilling orchestral sounds which introduce the writing on the wall derive from Richard Strauss's Salome.

The World At My Fingers - Hal Shutz

The World At My Fingers
Hal Shutz
Hammond Extravoice
Epic Stereorama BN 582

From what I can tell, Shutz made one other album, Organ And Firelight (Columbia, 1956). It was offered by The Hammond Organ Company as a demonstration record.

This record seems way more obscure. The only other instance I could find was a listing in an Epic ad that ran in the November 7, 1960 Billboard.

Valley Of The Dolls - Hollywood Sound Stage Orchestra

Vally Of The Dolls
Theme From Valley Of The Dolls
Hollywood Sound Stage Orchestra
Somerset SF-30400

Here's a gem. Apparently 101 Strings wasn't enough for Somerset and D. L. Miller so they created the lesser known Hollywood Sound Stage Orchestra. From the cover notes the orchestra was a 70 piece affair.

It's difficult, or impossible for me to piece together how many "Sound Stage" albums were released. I've got several. They seem to be way budget, more so than 101 Strings, which was a successful franchise for Somerset.

This music is lackluster 60s easy listening that is thematically all over the place. But you can't beat the budget cover! The cover model looks strikingly like Susan Hayward from the movie, Valley Of The Dolls.

Rhapsody - Ferrante and Teicher

Swedish Rhapsody

Ferrante And Teicher
And Their Magic Pianos
Urania USD 1009

From the back cover: Arthur Ferrante and Louis Teicher, two enterprising pianists, have fused their talents to produce a new commodity in the world of music and sound. They tailor a wide variety of concert, semi-classical and pop compositions to their instruments, and on occasion, to ginger up pop selections, they even tinker with their instruments to produce novel sound effect. In serious repertory, however, they cut no capers. There they are noted for lucidity, precision, adaptability to many styles of music, and fingers that are fleet far beyond the ordinary. In the past ten years, they have come to  be admired by countless thousands on nation-wide concert tours, on radio and TV, and on several notable record releases. Their clever arrangements of Brahms, Schumann, Debussy, Saint-Saens or of Porter, Kern, etc. endow familiar compositions with new vitality and enrich sonorities. As for the various ways in which they "prepare" the piano for programs, they justify their innovations by maintaining that historically "the piano contains its ancestors – harp, lute, dulcimer, zither, clavichord and harpsichord," and they are only attempting to bring these submerged sonorities to the fore. Although only in their thirties, Ferrante and Teicher have appeared as performers of serious music with the New York Philharmonic, Rochester Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Toledo Symphony and New York City Symphony Orchestra. On the airways, in serious as well as light classics, listeners have heard them regularly on ABC's Piano Playhouse, NBC's Eddie Dowling Show, or NBC's Carnation Hour. Sophisticated m.c.'s such as Steve Allen, Garry Moore, Ernie Kovacs and Mitch Miller have been proud to introduce them on their TV shows. In all the media, they have received rave notices for their thorough mastery of their craft, their versatility, and the artistic rapport which transforms them into a excitement in the modern manner. They are ideally suited to the diablerie which is the breath of ice to most rhapsodies.

Charles Wildman - Swedish Rhapsody
George Enesco - Roumanian Rhapsody in A Major, Op. 11, No. 1
Franz Liszt - Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2
Hubert Bath - Cornish Rhapsody
George Gershwin - Rhapsody In Blue
Ferrante And Teicher - Hollywood Rhapsody