Mittwoch, März 29, 2006

Walter "Wendy" Carlos - Switched-On Bach (1968)

This is a classic. Not because it´s Johann Sebastian Bach, Germany´s second best composer (right behind Bert Kaempfert), but because this is the first LP, on which Robert Moog´s new synthesizer was played. He developed it a short time before. Carlos started studing piano at the age of 6 and won a scholarship for the building of a home computer. He graduated at Columbia University, taking his M.A. in music composition with pioneers Otto Luening and Vladimir Ussachevsky at the first electronic music center in the United States. You should know him also from movie scores like "A Clockwork Orange" and "Tron". I still don´t know where the name "Wendy" came from, but here (s)he is, where the phrase on the cover "Trans-electronic Music Production" becomes a new meaning...

Dienstag, März 28, 2006

Michel Magne - Tropical Fantasy (1962)

This is the one I planned to post first, but sombody else was faster... But now you can still enjoy the beautiful cover... ;o)

Mittwoch, März 22, 2006

Dick Hyman - The Man From O.R.G.A.N. (1965)

Throughout a busy musical career that got underway in the early 50s, Dick Hyman has functioned as pianist, organist, arranger, music director, and, increasingly, as composer. His versatility in all of these areas has resulted in well over 100 albums recorded under his own name and many more in support of other artists. Try to type in "Dick Hyman" at amazon or whereever you want, and you´ll see. His most famous production to people like us may be "Moon Gas" with Mary Mayo. He was an early staple of Enoch Light's Command label, for which he recorded light classical, swinging harpsichord, funky organ, and "now sound" combo albums. Here he is to delight us with some spy-themes, which were really popular at that time...

Mittwoch, März 08, 2006

Ferrante & Teicher - Blast Off! (1958)

Arthur Ferrante and Louis Teicher were one of the best-selling easy listening acts of the '60s, offering light arrangements of easily recognizable classical pieces, movie soundtrack themes, show tunes, and similarly compatible fare. While they were enjoying success on the concert circuit, Ferrante & Teicher had been experimenting with treated pianos, influenced by the ideas of avant-garde composer John Cage. By adding paper, sticks, rubber, wood blocks, metal bars, chains, glass, mallets, and other found objects to the string beds (among other techniques), the duo was able to produce a variety of bizarre sound effects that sometimes resembled percussion instruments, and other times produced a spacy, almost electronic sound. In the latter half of the '50s, they recorded several albums in this vein for Westminster, including 1958's Blast Off!, which you can enjoy here...

Sonntag, März 05, 2006

Leroy Holmes - Hawaii with a Bongo Beat (1961)

In this unique recording Leroy Holmes has successfully blended two, individually distinctive types of music: the tropically melodious themes of the Hawaiian Islands, and the popular new "Nashville" beat! Leroy approached this difficult combination of musical styles with the understanding that comes with knowledge gained from a long-time intimacy with popular music. He had to mold the fiery rhythm of the bongo drum into an arrangement that would pep-up the breezy music of the Islands. The result is amazing! You hear the well loved Hawaiian melodies in real modern rhythm.

You will happily recognize your favorite Island tunes, and you may even hear a few that are unfamiliar, for LeRoy has balanced his selection of well-known numbers by including a few which are heard less frequently.

Leroy's heavy string section keeps the orchestra from sounding like a dance band, while four trombones lend real brass excitement to the music. Voices without lyrics sing along with the melodic line to give the music personality - the women sing with the strings and the men with the trombones.

Donnerstag, März 02, 2006

Quincy Jones - Quincy Plays For Pussycats (1962)

Quincy Jones did really good music once. Long time before he produced pop-crap like Michael Jackson. This is from the same year as his famous album "Big Band Bossa Nova" with the "Soul Bossa Nova" on. A great version of "Satisfaction" and a great version of good old Germany´s Horst Jankowski´s "Eine Schwarzwaldfahrt", in English "A Walk in the Black Forest". Now, Ladies and Gentlemen, please enjoy Mr. Jones at his best, when he plays for your pussycat...