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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Dinner Music For A Pack Of Hungry Cannibals - Dave Harris And The Powerhouse Five

Twilight In Turkey
Dinner Music For A Pack Of Hungry Cannibals
Dave Harris And The Powerhouse Five
All Selections Composed by Raymond Scott
Decca Records DL 4113

From the back cover: Raymond Scott, the brilliantly unorthodox composer, carved a formidable career out of searching for, and finding new sounds in music. In this unique album, tenor-saxophonist Dave Harris – who, as featured soloist with the original Raymond Scott Quintet, played a key role in the success of the group – recreates some of the fabulous, wild and wonderful sounds so closely associated with the remarkable Mr. Scott.

Says Mr. Harris: "With recordings full of overworked formulas and cliches, I felt the music scene could stand a breath of fresh air. We have recorded these tunes with a new flexibility. We've made them swing and still haven't sacrificed any of the intricacies and nuances of the original compositions.

The titles, for the most part, are lucidly self-explanatory. There are exceptions, however.

Dinner Music For A Pack Of Hungry Cannibals, opening the album with the beat of tom toms, is just that. Power House, with its whirring conveyors, throbbing dynamos, and interwoven themes, suggests, as one might expect, the power of motion. Wreckless Night On Board An Ocean Liner is a festive potpourri of poppy champagne, the rushing sea and wind, and uninhibited revelry.

Our Happy Farmer, on the other hand, tends to be somewhat more whimsical than agricultural. The Boy Scout In Switzerland, who is quite obviously lost in the Alps, is confronted not with yodeling, but with trumpet, sax and clarinet. In An Eighteen Century Drawing Room is characteristically equipped with chamber music ensemble and Mozart theme, but fraught with surprises. The Toy Trumpet, in its turn, forgets for a magnificent instant that it is only a toy.

And, back to the obvious, Minuet In Jazz is quite precisely what one might expect to hear... had Igance Jan Paderewski been born in Hollywood. Twilight In Turkey is something of a tone poem; a portrait in camel caravan, snake charmer and sloe-eyed dancing girl – with a few broadly comic interludes. A Siberian Sleigh Ride is, quite simply, a Siberian sleigh ride, except that it occasionally isn't. The Penguin song is about as intimate a relationship as you'll ever have with one. And War Dance For Wooden Indians... well, you'll have to come to your own conclusions about this one.

"Dinner Music For A Pack Of Hungry Cannibals" is one part Dave Harris' salute to Raymond Scott and his music, and one part the most imaginative, entertaining collection of music you've ever heard.

Dinner Music For A Pack Of Hungry Cannibals
In An Eighteenth Century Drawing Room
Siberian Sleigh Ride
Wreckless Night Aboard An Ocean Liner
Minuet In Jazz
Twilight In Turkey
Power House
The Toy Trumpet
The Penguin
Boy Scott In Switzerland
The Happy Farmer
War Dance For Wooden Indians


  1. that music is a bit too fast and harsh sounding for my tastes. It does sound like there might be some hungry canibals dancing around a big bonfire.

  2. These are the titles and the number of the original issue. Pers. still unknown
    Decca DL74113
    Dinner music for a pack of hungry cannibals
    In an eighteenth century drawing room
    Siberian sleigh ride
    Wreckless night aboard an ocean liner
    Minuet in jazz
    Twilight in Turkey
    Power house
    The toy trumpet
    The penguin
    Boy scout in Switzerland
    The happy farmer
    War dance for wooden indians

    Jazzrealities (siehe blog)


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