Samstag, Dezember 31, 2005
Another album from 1960 is Paul Weston´s "The Sweet and the Swingin´". A great record which is very hard to find these days. But now you´re lucky, ´cause you´ve found my website, right? Here it is, some more Mood-music from the master himself...
Montag, Dezember 26, 2005
Another one of Germany´s greatest composer, this time it´s an early one. "Combo Capers" from the year 1960 features melodies from all over the world, ranging from original compositions and arrangements of folk melodies to classical music and the "Jolly Peasant" (Fröhlicher Landmann) from Robert Schumann. Please enjoy this rarity, since it is Bert at his best. He played either clarinet or piano himself, by the way...
Shortly after Christmas, here´s another great album. Bob Thompson´s "Mmm Nice!" from the year 1960 is one of the greatest instrumental-with-vocals albums ever heard. Please enjoy this rare little gem. This is the Stereo-version, now you can consider yourself lucky, ´cause you may only have had it in Mono...
Dienstag, Dezember 13, 2005
This is another request from a supporter. "White Goddess" by Frank Hunter from the year 1959 is a perfect example of Exotica crossing over to the Space Age by using new electronic instruments of that time. Chromatic bongos and log drums, the "Buzzimba" and Chinese bells sit with wordless female swoons and Ondioline in a small orchestra and do the job. 8 of the 12 titles are original compositions, and standards like "Poinciana" and "Jungle Drums" add up to a nearly perfect record. That should give you a hint of the quality of this work, which made this record one of the holy grails of Exotica music. Very hard to find, but now the search has ended.
Mittwoch, Dezember 07, 2005
Paul Weston, born in 1912 as Paul Weststein, was one of the most diverse and talented arrangers and conductors of the '40s and '50s, moving from mainstream swing and jazz to instrumental easy listening pop in the course of his career. Though he began his career playing hard swing, Weston is considered to be the father of mood music. He worked as an arranger for Tommy Dorsey and was married to Jo Stafford. He also wrote arrangements and conduct sessions for artists like Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Shore, and Doris Day. During this time, he and Jo Stafford recorded a handful of albums as "Jonathan & Darlene Edwards". The "Jonathan & Darlene"-albums were comedy records that parodied nightclub acts. On each record Stafford sang offkey and Weston horridly played out of time and out of key. This album contains lush arrangements and is a perfect example for his so called "mood music". Paul Weston died in 1996...
Freitag, Dezember 02, 2005
This is THE record. Christmas record, I mean. This is exactly the music, my parents played on Christmas-eve, when me and my brother came into the living-room for the presents. Well, that one brings back so many memories... *sniff*... But anyway: After almost 40 (!) years, this one hasn´t lost a bit of its charme. Love it or hate it, but to me this is one of the greatest Christmas albums of all time. I added 1 Bonus Track to this album, because I think it fits. The "Petersburg Sleighride" is from 1966 too. You can cut it out if you want to. Now please enjoy James "Hansi" Last with the sound of my childhood...
And here´s the Tracklist:
01 Kling, Glöckchen, klingelingeling / Lasst uns froh uns munter sein / Oh, du fröhliche
02 Leise rieselt der Schnee / Schneeflöckchen, Weißröckchen / Auf dem Berge da wehet der Wind
03 Morgen, Kinder, wird´s was geben / Alle Jahre wieder / Fröhliche Weihnacht überall
04 Am Weihnachtsbaume die Lichter brennen / Es ist ein Ros´ entsprungen
05 Ihr Kinderlein kommet / Der Christbaum ist der schönste Baum / A, a, a
06 White Christmas / Midnight in December / Jingle Bells
07 Kommet ihr Hirten / O Tannenbaum / Christnacht
08 Morgen kommt der Weihnachtsmann / O Wunder über Wunder / Wenn der Schnee vom Himmel fällt
09 Süßer die Glocken nie klingen / In dulci jubilo / Joseph, lieber Joseph mein
10 Schlittenfahrt im Winterwald / Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht
11 Petersburger Schlittenfahrt (Bonus Track)
Donnerstag, Dezember 01, 2005
Just like the guy from Hipwax puts it: Christmas comes but once a career, in most cases, usually as a resuscitation attempt. When all else fails, when diehard fans have every song in every format, when DJs refuse to supersaturate the airwaves, along comes the Christmas album. Some are heroic, progressive efforts and mind-bending high points like this one, while others are sentimental snoozes like Christmas celebrations themselves. Since most Christmas records cannot be given away, looking through piles of dirt for a gem is a form of self-abuse. But the great ones are worth it, once a year anyway, and this one is such an album. Here they are again, the Three Suns with one of the craziest Christmas records ever heard. Happy Holidays!
Montag, November 28, 2005
Herbert Rehbein was a violinist who worked as an arranger and co-writer for Bert Kaempfert and his Orchestra, and recorded three LPs himself. He was also born in Hamburg, just like Bert. They were the team to write many hits for big stars like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Al Martino. This is his first album from the year 1964. It features very romantic and lush string-arrangements played in an extremely mellow and smooth way. I bet that you´ll prefer to listen to this cheek-to-cheek-music together with someone you like and with candlelight...
By the way: That´s what I call friendship: To come and to go together. This post is dedicated to Germany´s best composers: Herbert Rehbein, 1922 - 1979 and Bert Kaempfert, 1923 - 1980.
Freitag, November 25, 2005
Here they are again with one of my personal favorites! This album was originally issued in 1960 as a 20th anniversary package, with a dozen of the trio's most popular tunes of the previous two decades, including their own compositions "Twilight Memories" and first million-record seller "Twilight Time". Originally they consisted of a Hammond organ, guitar and accordion, but for some numbers a celeste, vibraphone, twin pianos, bass and drum were added to the instrumentation. "Moonlight and Roses" stands out as a wonderful arrangement, "Jalousie", "Delicado", "Anna" and "Jet" are highlights too, but my personal favorite is "Under Paris Skies". It sounds so french, it couldn´t be any frenchier at all! I´m sure, Mamie would have loved that one too...
Mittwoch, November 23, 2005
Les Baxter´s "Confetti" from the year 1958 features All-European tunes, I guess that´s why it was quite unpopular in the U.S. I´ve read some harsh critics on that, but I don´t think they are right. But hear for yourself, I will not lead you to a prejudice. But I bet You won´t get the first tune out of your head for weeks: "Ricordate Marcellino" (in English: "Remember Marcellino") is a tribute to Muzzy Marcellino, one of the greatest whistlers of all time. There are some other whistling tunes on it, some lush arrangements, and everything sounds quite continental, if I may say. So, please enjoy this forgotten gem.
Montag, November 21, 2005
Bernie Green was born in 1908 in New York. He studied music and then turned over to TV business, working as musical director for some more or less successful shows. Although he recorded only five records himself, they are all worth trying out. As far as I know, "Futura" is his last piece of work, and to me it´s his best. And it is possibly the best of the whole RCA Stereo Action series, which was outstanding. Just listen to his great interpretation of "Under Paris Skies", it will be worth it. Green died in 1975.
Mittwoch, November 16, 2005
Abbe Lane was born as Abigail Francine Lassman in 1932, became an actress and the third wife of Xavier Cugat. She appeared in such block busters as "Wings of the Hawk" (1953), "Ride Clear of Diablo" (1954) and "The Americano" (1955). No wonder she started singing, huh?. This record from 1958 features Sid Ramin´s Orchestra backing her up. Unfortunately my camera is down, so I´ll have to use this cover from the web until I got it fixed again... Please enjoy the former "sexiest Lady alive" singing standards.
Dienstag, November 15, 2005
Montag, November 14, 2005
Pianist Eddie Cano was born in 1927 and spent most of his career connecting the dots between jazz and Latin styles. He found an appreciative audience for a series of albums under his own name released in the '50s and '60s by labels such as Atco, Reprise, and RCA, his following similar to that of vibraphonist Cal Tjader and bandleader Les Baxter. Cano also drew on dance crazes such as the cha cha and the Watusi to promote his efforts. His family was musically gifted, Cano's father a bass guitarist, his grandfather a member of the Mexico City Symphony. He began his career in the band of Miquelito Valdes. This work is from 1958 and features the song "Honey Do", which was a cross-genre answer song to Carl Perkins' popular "Honey Don't". He died suddenly shortly after heart surgery in 1988.
Mittwoch, November 09, 2005
This is a repost for Mateo from Hamburg, who gave me two of my lacking Lasts. Thanks again, Mateo, and please enjoy some African Jazz, another gem by the great Les Baxter from the year 1959. It´s not extremely jazzy, so it is suitable for many listeners.
Dienstag, November 08, 2005
Zoo-zoo-zoo-zoo-zoo-zooooo... Yes, dear guests, this is definitely a classic one. The pioneer of Space-Age-Music. An original, as usual on this site. I don´t do DJ´s work by doing own compilations, trying to be an artist. I preserve the original work, because I´m sure, at that time, long ago, long before market research and other crap, the artists put tracks on their albums on purpose. And it all fits together, ´cause THEY were the Artists, not me. I will not be that blasphemic to compile tracks in any other way than it was planned by the musician / conductor himself.
By the way: The same cover background was used incidentially on "Destination Moon" by the Ames Brothers in the same year. I don´t remember who was first, but I guess it doesn´t matter anyhow. But it shows how poular other planets were at that time. This was the first record that Esquivel recorded in the U.S.A. It does not contain explicit space-music, it´s more the kind of music when stereo was about to start. Now please enjoy THE "Space-Age"-record!
Montag, November 07, 2005
Russ Garcia´s "Fantastica" from the year 1959 is a bold and spectacular musical journey for serious armchair-adventurers. Garcia masterfully composed and conducted this musical suite depicting "fascinating, exciting sounds from other planets". His unique ensemble omits violins and includes woodwinds, trombones, a harp, percussion and "electronic devices and effects created by Ted Keep, Liberty's chief engineer".
As Ken Saari says it in his review on Jeff Central: "The flutes sometimes flutter furiously, as in "Nova (Exploding Star)," to great effect. Occasionally, there are electronic beep-like sounds as on the pieces "Lost Souls of Saturn" and "Water Creatures of Astra." "The Monsters of Jupiter" paints a vivid, bone-chilling picture that begins with a fast-clicking sound panning back and forth between the stereo channels, and then bold trombones create an aura of impending danger. Strange electronic sounds follow, including a high-low-high frequency sinusoidal sound, and then kettledrums indicate the approaching footsteps of these leviathan beasts. The cover of this amazing album features a great Spiro graph and an Earth-like globe in space, with the title "Fantastica" emblazoned in comet-like lettering at the top. Without a doubt, this is one of the very best outer space records ever made." Have fun on your trip through space...
Freitag, November 04, 2005
This is French. Definitely. You can hear it. And it´s from the sixties. Cool. That´s an explosive mixture, I can tell you! Light jazz starring the famous Ondioline and Martenot with a touch of Louis-de-Funès-movies and some Twist added. The tracks are great, especially "Come Ray or Come Charles", which refers to a famous Soulman (guess who?), and "Di-Gue-Ding-Ding", which is one of the coolest songs ever written. Now put on your dancing shoes and start to twist...
Mittwoch, November 02, 2005
This is "Classic", even in the literal sense of this word. Just like Ray Conniff with his "Concert in Rhythm" Maestro James Last "popped" old music up. He did this 9 (!) times, not only twice like Ray. So, if you like this kind of "classical" music, you can consider yourself happy, ´cause I´m planning on putting up some more of this. For those who are not familiar with this kind of music, I´ve put the names of the original composers in brackets behind the title. Listen and learn that classical music can be fun, especially when tuned up by our "Hansi"...
Montag, Oktober 31, 2005
Well, well, who thought of that? Four votes ahead of Esquivel´s classic album, but the choice was yours... This is a late album by Les Baxter, from the year 1970, so it might be unfamiliar to many listeners, since I´ve read some reviews in which people are disappointed with this work. Not me, I´ll tell you! This is the perfect example of the so-called "Jet-Set-Music". When you listen to this, you are boarding a jet and you lift off to see the world. This is his second album with the fabulous "101 Strings". Highlights are "Tropicando" and the "Flight in the Andes". They show again the outstanding talents of Les Baxter as a composer, orchestrator and conductor. But hear for yourself and judge.
Mittwoch, Oktober 26, 2005
Yep, another one for this week, but this will be the Last one. Hoho, did you notice that? I wrote "last" with a capital letter. What a joke, huh? Yes, I think this happens to me from time to time since I joined the "Humor-Club" in my hometown...
Anyway, this is another gem from the maestro Sir James Last from the year 1967, another one from the "à gogo"-series, this time with a featured saxophone. I personally don´t like saxophones much, but this one is quite good. Please enjoy!
Another German musician, Werner Müller, has contributed several albums to the "London Phase 4"-series. He was the leader of the "RIAS-Tanzorchester" in Berlin and later became leader of the "WDR-Tanzorchester" in Cologne. Both were popular radio-stations at that time. Now, WDR still is a popular radio-station, especially "WDR 4", where sometimes you can listen to music like this. But they´re not connected to "Phase 4"...
Anyway, here´s one of his greatest works, "Percussion in the Sky" from the year 1962. On this record, he uses wordless vocals, sound effects, whistling, and other touches to lend an "other-world-feeling" to the numbers. Funny sound, especially "Don´t Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes", which was made popular by Perry Como, I guess...
Montag, Oktober 24, 2005
And here it is, last week´s poll-winner. Good choice, my guests! Latin beat goes Space-Age-Pop. This is the first album that he added a Conn and a Hammond organ to his music, I guess. On most tracks only one of these electric organs is used, but on "Carolina In The Morning", "You're Driving Me Crazy!", "Paper Doll" and "If You Knew Susie", both are used. What a sound! This is Latin rhythm with a touch of North American pop, plus his trademark-shout "Ugh!" on many tracks. Please enjoy this fine piece of music.
Donnerstag, Oktober 20, 2005
For all the fans of Mamie Eisenhower, here´s her favorite band again, although I doubt that Mamie loved those guys because of their wild and innovative arrangements. But nevertheless here´s an EP from the year 1958 which features four titles: "Harbor Lights", "The Message", "Kandy Kazoo" and "Smoke Rings". Some crazy stuff, especially the one with the kazoo. And we have a pretty tame one, "Harbor Lights". Yep, let´s just say Mamie would have loved that one...
Mittwoch, Oktober 19, 2005
This is one of my absolute favorite records when it comes to soft music and lush arrangements. This possibly is the most romantic music ever heard, but hear for yourself. By the way, this cover alone is worth having the album, it´s as beautiful as Les Baxter´s "Jewels of the Sea" (see below). Highly recommended for special occasions, THE music for home alone with someone...
Montag, Oktober 17, 2005
Woohoo, that was close. Only two votes ahead of Les Baxter´s "Ports of Pleasure", but what the heck: The people have chosen. And they made a good choice. Dick Schory´s Album from the year 1959 features the "Biggest Battery of Percussion West of Cape Canaveral". So, if You like percussion, this is your record. Percussion, percussion, percussion, nothing but percussion. Have fun!
Donnerstag, Oktober 13, 2005
I know, that you´ve been waiting for this one. But now the waiting has ended. Here´s the third part of the cool Hammond-Sound of James Last from the year 1969. It´s an all-time favorite and not only for dancing...
And here´s the tracklist:
1. Volare * You Do Something To Me * Calcutta
2. Dance Ballerina Dance * Strawberry Cha-Cha-Cha * If I Were A Rich Man
3. Ich hätt' getanzt heut' Nacht * When You're Smiling * Isabell
4. The Impossible Dream * Autumn
5. Salome * Sweet Sue * The Way You Look Tonight
6. Tequila * Papa Loves Mambo * Oh, Lonesome Me
7. It Had To Be You * Roses From Picardy * Half As Much
8. The Wedding Samba * El Cumbanchero * La Pachanga
9. September Song * Serenata
10. Mame * 'S Wonderful * Cherokee
Have fun with this grooooovy stuff! :o)
Dienstag, Oktober 11, 2005
I simply love this one. It´s a request and I´m proud to be able to fulfil my obligations. So, here they are again: Artie, Morty and Al, the favorite band of some president´s wife. This swell collection of summer-themes was released in 1961 between "Movin´ ´n´ Groovin´" and "Fever & Smoke". It´s really sunny and, of course, fun! October is the right time to put this album up, I guess... ;o)
Now, put yourself in a solarium and crank up the volume...
Montag, Oktober 10, 2005
Allright, here it is. Last weeks poll winner is Esquivel´s "Four Corners of the World" from the year 1958. Now, there are greater albums and even greater piano players than Esquivel, but this album is still good. Although it mainly features our hero on the piano, it still proves that he was a great, great arranger. So, don´t be disappointed that this piece of music doesn´t sound that much "out of this world" like it´s predecessor "Other Worlds Other Sounds". Let´s all keep our feet to the ground and enjoy this album!
Donnerstag, Oktober 06, 2005
I always wanted to put up this one, because it´s one of my favorites, and not only because of the beautiful cover. Unfortunately I only have the MONO-Version! Now let´s sink into the sea with Les Baxter!
Dienstag, Oktober 04, 2005
Some people mailed me about James Last (the guy from Bremen, remember?), they haven´t heard of him and how hard it is to get the old stuff in the U.S. But the question is not "Who is James Last?", the question is "What are you listening to while you´re having your Sunday morning breakfast on your porch if not to this tune?" This is an all-original James-Last-tune from 1971, inspired by the book "Morning´s at seven" by Eric Malpass. The title translates like "Morning´s at seven, the world is still in best order" or similar. This is THE sound for your breakfast, including seven churchbell-chimes at the end. And now you can fetch yourself a Brötchen... Or a bagle... Or simply a slice of bread... And pour yourself some coffee...
Montag, Oktober 03, 2005
This is a great record to celebrate Germany´s national holiday. One of the greatest german composers was Bert Kaempfert, who was born in Hamburg. He died all of a sudden 1980 from a heart attack. He wrote songs like "Spanish Eyes" (made poular by Al Martino) and "Strangers in the Night" (made popular by Frank Sinatra). This record from 1962 features some of his original tunes, amongst them is the all-time favorite "A Swingin´ Safari", made popular by Billy Vaughn and his Orchestra. Here it is, the unique and all-original Bert Kaempfert! And believe me: You cannot resist that happy feeling! :o)
Donnerstag, September 29, 2005
Allright, I´ll leave you for the weekend with a request. It´s the second part of the great James Last (born 1929 as Hans Last in Bremen, Germany) Hammond-works. So, let´s all celebrate the German National Holiday (Tag der Deutschen Einheit) on Monday, the Third of October with german music from a time when the world was still o.k.! I´ll be back on Tuesday and I hope, I can find some more gems of music for you on the weekend.
And here´s the tracklist:
1. On The Street Where You Live / I Love Paris / Bye Bye Blues
2. Patricia / Sweet And Gentle / Managua Nicaragua
3. Lights Out / Vier Worte möcht´ ich dir jetzt sagen / You Are My Sunshine
4. Bist du einsam heut´ Nacht / Candlelight-Waltz
5. Skokiaan / Stars in Your Eyes / Das Leben ist wunderbar
6. Singin' In The Rain/ Bell Bottom Trousers / Das gibt es nur in Texas
7. Estrellita / In Portugal
8. You're Driving Me Crazy
9. Sweet Georgia Brown
10. Danke schön / No Can Do
11. Samba Estrella / Baiao Cacula / The Peanut Vendor / La Bostela
Have fun! :o)
Mittwoch, September 28, 2005
The Three Suns were the favorite band of whom? It was a president´s wife, but I don´t remember anymore. It was not Hillary Clinton, that´s for sure. If you can guess it, and if you guessed right, you can get this record as your price in three "sunny" steps. Have fun with the Suns! :o)
Born as Horst Wende in Germany, he always felt attracted to Tequila and brown eyed girls. Plain old Horst Wende became known as Roberto Delgado in the late 1950's when Polydor launched his Latin big band stylings on an unsuspecting German public. During the 60´s and 70´s, Wende (under the pseudonym of Roberto Delgado) recorded dozens of albums of Latin music. Here´s a nice example of South American music from the late 70´s. Please enjoy Mr. Wende´s resp. Mr. Delgado´s work!
Montag, September 26, 2005
Etwas Klassik gefällig? Aber nicht wie im Konzertsaal, sondern lieber auf die leichte Tour? Da seid ihr hier genau richtig. Mit Ray Conniff und seinen Singers verlegt ihr den lästigen Konzertbesuch ganz easy in die schwülstige Lounge von 1959. "Concert in Rhythm Vol. 1" gibt´s auf CD, deshalb darf ich das hier nicht posten, aber Nr. 2 ist schon Out Of Print und zur Zeit nur hier zu bekommen. So schön kann Klassik sein...
Jahaaa! Endlich einmal groovige Sounds aus deutschen Landen. FRÜHER! Ja, früher war der alte Rochen mal richtig gut, auch wenn er bei den "Party"-Alben dieses furchtbare synthetische Publikumsgejohle drin hatte. Hier ein besonders schönes Exemplar aus dem Jahre 1965: Hammond, Hammond, Hammond bis zum Abwinken. Also: Ab an die Hausbar, Whisky, Martini und Persico auf den Tresen und Auf Last geht´s Los! (für alle, die diesen Witz verstehen...)
Hier noch die Tracklist:
1. Hello, Dolly * Milord * C'est magnifique
2. In A Little Spanish Town * Benita * Wheels
3. Sole, Sole, Sole * Ich möcht' so gern mit dir nach Hause geh'n * Goody-Goody
4. True Love * Moon River
5. Letkiss * Norskejenka
6. America * If I Had A Hammer * Lucky Lips
7. Du, Du, Du * Blue Moon * Makin' Whoopee
8. Cavaquinho * Cumana * Sambarita
9. Melancholie * La Mamma
10. Red Roses For A Blue Lady * Bye, Bye Blackbird * Auf Wiederseh'n bei dir
Und hier noch ein cooles Album aus dem Space-Age: Les Baxter entführt uns hier 1958 in den Weltraum, mit bunten Weltraumanzügen und qualmenden Martinis. Cocktailparty auf einem fremden Planeten, warum eigentlich nicht? Allein dieses abgefahrene alberne Cover ist es schon wert, sich dieser Scheibe zu widmen...
Donnerstag, September 01, 2005
Die Form von Musik, wie man sich im Jahre 1968 vorgestellt hat, wie sie im Jahre 2000 und später klingen wird. 101 Strings haben unglaublich viele Scheiben aufgenommen, es ist auch ebensoviel seichter Schrott dabei, aber dieses Album ist der Hammer! Hippie-psychodelische Klänge und fantastische 60er-Musik. In den Liner-Notes heißt es: "...the most astounding trip ever to be taped..." Dem kann man nur beipflichten. Wer´s laut hört, der braucht keine Drogen mehr...