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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Norrie Paramor's Moods

Dream Lover
Norrie Paramor's Moods
Thirty-Three Sensuous Strings... And A Girl
Capitol Records T10130

From Billboard, March 1958: This is an intriguing change from run-of-the-mill mood or background music sets. Norrie Paramour, British composer, a&r man and arranger, has created a new sound by using strings, woodwinds and solo female voice (Patricia Clark). Tempo is relaxed and the sound is excellent.

I'll See You In My Dreams
Once In A While
(I'm A Dreamer) Aren't We All
If I Had You
You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To
Dream Lover

Cole Porter In Pleasing Percussion

Easy To Love
Cole Porter In Pleasing Percussion
Featuring The Lowery Organ
With Ted Sommer and Bill Lavorgna on Percussion
Grand Prix Series K-151

This album was a surprise. Inside the budget label, lackluster jacket there lives a pleasing atomic age recording. Apparently the LP was also release on another budget label, International Award.

The record features a small combo light jazz approach spiced with some ping-pong and enough unusual musical twists and turns to hold your attention.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Rainy Night In Tokyo - Hachidai Nakamura

Sado Okesa
Rainy Night In Tokyo
Arranged and Conducted by Hachidai Nakamura
Capitol Records T 10287

Produced when artists and record companies, noting good sales for "exotica" albums... set about experimenting with blends of musical styles. In this case, and for the most part, the blend is koto (traditional Japanese stringed instrument) and western easy listening.

According to Nakamura's wiki page he formed a jazz band in 1953. He charted #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for Sukiyaki in 1963.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Texas Woman's University Presents Tour '68

All You Need Is Love
And I Love Her
The Texas Woman's University Presents Tour '68
Century Custom Recording 32528

The Beatles Song Book - The Hollyridge Strings

She Loves You
The Beatles Song Book
The Hollyridge Strings
Capitol Records T 2116

One of a number of Hollyridge Strings "Beatles" cover albums.

Arranged and produced by Stu Phillips.

Provocatif - 9 Exotic Motifs by John McFarland

The Chimp And The Bumble Bee
Head Hunters
9 Exotic Motifs by John McFarland
United Artists UAS 5053

From the back cover: Provocatif is a mystical combination of oriental, african and latin instrumental sounds, plus natural effects gathered from the sea, sky and forest, all mixed with the whimsical genius of John Leslie McFarland. Although John McFarland has been at large in the Tin Pan Alley music jungle for some several seasons, and is a well-known composer, this album is the first full expose of his talent as pianist, and arranger.

I found a reference to McFarland in historical Billboard magazine (January 1986) article about The Brill Building. Apparently McFarland also may have worked as Johnny Jungletree.

There are other online references to a John Leslie McFarland as a song writer.

This record was reviewed in Billboard, November 1959 as having good sales potential: ...John McFarland's six man group plays some strikingly original numbers with jazz motifs, a couple of humorous items, and understated treatments of "Tangerine" and Where or When" that are truly lovely.

This album was released several years after Martin Denny's Exotica, Liberty 1957, but in the same year as the Denny's successful, Quiet Village. The number 1 A side track, Jungle Bells sound an awful lot like a Denny tune, but the recording then takes on a life of it's own.

The sample above, The Chimp And The Bumble Bee was composed by McFarland.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Polynesian and Hawaiian Music

Polynesian Rhythm

Polynesian and Hawaiian Music
Bernie Kaai & His Hawaiians
Varsity 6943 (10 inch, 33 rpm)

Moonlight In Hawaii

Hawaiian Music
Varsity Hawaiian Orchestra
Varsity Concertone 2022 (12 inch, 33 rpm)

Super budget label, Varsity, apparently in a moment of supreme cheapness... mated leftover Schumann Cello Concerto (Varsity 1312 and dated 1952) back covers to Hawaiian Music (Varsity 2022) front covers!

With that said, this is still a delightful "Island" set that features many sweet vocal numbers.

Steel Guitar Boogie

Polynesian and Hawaiian Music
Royale 1887 (below) 10 inch, 33 rpm


Largo from Chavez - Toccata For Percussion
Capitol P8299

Here's an interesting find. Side one is conducted by Felix Slatkin who would go on to produce space age pop stuff including this excellent LP: Fantastic Percussion.

The vibe is a blend of moody classical with some subtle percussion that comes across as an attempt to create and market a record that might appeal to early concept/avant grade album buyers.

The sample above is band from side one.

Darius Milhaud: Concerto for percussion and small orchestra - Concert Arts Orchestra conducted by Felix Slatkin

Carlos Chavez: Toccata For Percussion - Concert Arts Orchestra conducted by Felix Slatkin

Bela Bartok: Music for string instruments, percussion and celesta - Los Angeles Chamber Symphony - Conducted by Harold Byrns

Crosley Promotional Records - Shelvador

Crosley Kitchen
Crosley Refrigerator
Crosley Air Conditioner

Why Hi-Fi?

Why Hi-Fi?
A Consultant Record CR-102
MEIGS Of Cincinnati, Ohio

The sample above is side two. This side features an interesting general discussion of vintage Hi-Fi.

Sorry about the skip at the end.