Malando and his Orchestra – Tango Time

Sleeve Notes:


No one knows — least of all himself — why Arie Maasland, as Dutch as the bulbfields, the wooden shoes and windmills of tourist-poster fame, should have taken to Latin-American music so completely and successfully that in Argentina, the land of the tango, he is regarded as the best tango composer in the world. Arie Maasland — Malando to the world of light music — has never been to Argentina. “Somehow I’ve never got down to it”, he says, “I’ve been too busy, but I hope to go there someday”.

The amazing thing is that not only is Malando a musical “emigrant” himself, but also an “exporter” of the tango and rumba to other countries besides the Latin-Americas. In 1959 he won an “Oscar mondial de l’accordeon” for the best performance at the Accordion Concours in Pavia, Italy. His repertoire was Latin-American pure and simple. The gramophone record dealers in Japan awarded him the bronze “Legendary Archer” in 1964 (on the occasion of his first tour of that country) to mark the phenomenal success of his record sales. It has been statistically demonstrated that twenty times more of his records are sold in Japan than in his own country! Currently there are twenty of his LPs on the market there. One of them consists entirely of Japanese melodies with a South American flavour, the most popular being “Furusato”, based on a Japanese lullaby.

Also in 1964 Malando was the winner of an Edison for the LP released to mark the 25th anniversary of his tango and rumba orchestra. In 1966 he was distinguished with the “Golden Harp” award by the Conamus Foundation for his services to light music in the Netherlands.

Malando himself once remarked to someone from Buenos Aires that he considered his “exports” to the Latin American countries as rather like taking coals to Newcastle, and was at a loss to understand why there was so much demand for his music there. The answer was: “Your orchestra is different. It has a special touch about it”. The Malando touch is indeed recognizable immediately the orchestra is heard. Each melody it plays is, as it were, a signature tune. It is South American music with a Dutch touch. Many of his tangos, for instance, are slower than those of the Argentine, and this seems to have a special appeal. He explains the difference in tempo by pointing out that, though his tangos are so popular in South America, they are written in a rhythm adapted to dancers for whom the Latin American rhythm is not just a matter of course. Malando’s strength lies, in fact, in his having made millions of people Latin American minded by suiting that type of music to their own taste, thus admitting them to a world which might otherwise have remained “foreign” to them for ever.

Malando and his Orchestra - Tango Time

Label: Fontana Special 6428 004

1969 1960s Covers

Oklahoma City Orchestra & Chorus – The Sound of Mason Williams

Sleeve Notes

In recent years there has been a plentitude of unorthodox performers who have made their mark in pop music, but non more versatile nor as colourful as Mason Williams. Expert guitarist, folk singer, comedy writer, poet, author, publisher, arranger and composer of well over a hundred songs including “Cinderella, Rockafella”. He is also very much a best-selling record star in his own right as his chart success “Classical Gas” proves.

Williams was born on August 24th, 1938, in Abeline, Texas. While studying mathematics at Oklahoma City University he learned to play guitar and formed a successful folk trio. After serving in the U.S. Navy he began singing in folk clubs during which time he was introduced to the Smothers Brothers. They used Mason and his material on an album they were then recording and he has written consistently for them ever since. Many of his songs, in fact, have been recorded by artists such as The Kingston Trio, Claudine Longet, Glenn Yarborough and Johnny Desmond.

He has written and published seven books. The biggest (literally!) is called “The Bus Book” and is a life-sized photograph of a Greyhound bus which folds up into a small package. This has been exhibited at The Pasadena Art Museum, in Life magazine and on the Joey Bishop TV Show. It now hangs permanently in the New York Museum of Modern Art.

Mason Williams is obviously a person who thinks big—his records, his songs and his whole talent prove it— but probably the most spectacular, not to mention eccentric, feat he has ever accomplished occured while at his desert retreat recently. He ‘painted’ a sunflower by hiring a plane to skywrite a stem and leaves below the rising sun. The result was a ‘temporary’ thing of beauty.

Beautiful, too, is the music contained in this album. But unlike the ‘sunflower’, this is fortunately of a more permanent nature.

Oklahoma City Orchestra & Chorus - The Sound of Mason Williams

Label: EROS 8060

1968 1960s Covers

Ferrante & Teicher – Reach Out For Love

Sleeve notes:

The artistry and the magic of Ferrante and Teicher is something almost unique in the heri-tage of the American concert platform today. This famous piano playing duo seems to have found the perfect blend of popular and classical music,which delightsthe hundredsof thousands of fans who attend the phenomenally success-ful concert tours undertaken by this talented twosome.

The record buying public also has shown its appreciation of these instrumental giants by consistently buying their albums in such numbers that they have rarely been out of the best selling lists for the past decade. It would take too long to analyse the reasons for the success of Ferrante and Teicher—suffice it to say that the collection of melodies on this album are some of the very best examples of the lush romantic music which has become synonymous with Ferrante and Teicher. The interpretations are vivid and sparkling, yet warm and tender—so reach out and switch on your gramophone, and prepare to listen to this collection of songs for lovers old and new—” REACH OUT FOR LOVE”.
Ferrante & Teicher - Reach Out For Love

Label: United Artists SULP 1187
1968 1960s Covers

Bert Kaempfert presents Love

Sleeve Notes:

Listening to music is a matter of time, place and, of course, — mood. Here we have music which is especially played for all lovers and for those who are falling in love, as the title says.
But not only lovers have tender moods, and so we think, that this is also music for listening if you are alone and want to relax awhile, or, if there is a party, people will enjoy some smooth and sweet background music.

This music, however, is also dedicated to connoisseurs of good light music. These performances — outstandingly presented by Bert Kaempfert and recorded under his direction, arranged and conducted by Herbert Rehbein — reach a high standard of quality, “light-musically” speaking. The idea of placing a solo saxophone in contrast to a background of strings was made popular by the great Charlie Parker. Since that time there is a tradition of arranging in this style which has mainly appeared in American light music. The present recordings appreciate the best of tradition in that field, and it is Bert Kaempfert’s merit to give it the following in Europe, which it so worthily deserves.

Listen to Emil Wurster’s tenor playing and note, how his figures blend with the sound of strings, although his tone and phrasing show a deep feeling for jazz. Now move into the mood of romance and listen to 12 beautiful and sweet melodies, which will enchant you time and time again.

Label: Polydor 237 644
1964 1960s Covers

London Symphony Orchestra – Bolero

Sleeve Notes:

Maurice Ravel was born on March 7, 1875, in Cibourne in the French Pyrenees. His family moved to Paris after his birth and, in 1889, he began study at the Conservatoire with Beriot (piano), Gedalge (counterpoint), and Faure (composition). He competed three times for the .Prix de Rome without success; a scandal ensued the fourth time when he was denied the right to participate in the competition — he had chosen to write a cantata in the style of an operetta. Moreover, many of his early performed works were ill-received.

During the First World War, Ravel served in the French Air Force, but after 1920 he lived withdrawn and alone in his villa, “Le Belvedere” in Montfort-l’Amaury, visited only by a small coterie of carefully chosen friends. He caused a further scandal in 1920 by rejecting the cross of the Legion of Honour. He did, however, accept an honorary doctorate from Oxford University in 1928. Earlier the same year he undertook a four-month tour of the United States, mainly as a conductor of his own works. Chronic nervous disorder became acute after the shock of a car crash in 1932. He never recovered properly and in 1937 he died after an unsuccessful brain operation.

Musically Ravel was highly influenced by Faure, Chabrier, and the “Five” of the Russian school, but he also felt himself drawn to modern composers like Stravinsky, whom he knew personally.

Towards the end of 1929, Ravel was asked to orchestrate the “Iberia” piano suite by Albeniz for Ida Fiubinstein’s guest performance at the Paris Opera. When he later learned that Enrique Arb6s had secured all rights for the work, he decided to write a new composition, although Arb6s had in the meantime agreed to waive his rights. Ravel avoided compositional difficulties by limiting himself to two characteristic Spanish dance themes which repeated themselves constantly, without any real development, in a long continuous crescendo. The successful premiere of the ballet took place on November 20, 1928.

“Ma Mere l’Oye”
Ravel loved children. His fairy-tale suite, “Ma Mere l’Oye” (Mother Goose) was originally composed as a piano duet for the children of his friends the Godebskis — Mimi and Jean. Four years later, in 1912, the five movements of the suite were rewritten as a ballet. The music is marked by a motivic simplicity, incorporating the traditional fairy-tale characters.

Even groomed for adult occasions, the work has not lost its innocence. We expect it at any moment to say something naively horrid but it is well-bred and never does. The 20 diatonic bars of the “Pavane of the Sleeping Beauty” are dignified and gracious in the trim rise and fall of their phrases.

In “Petit Poucet” a slight-social difficulty occurs as Hop-o’-my-Thumb, unable to find his way back by means of the bread-crumbs he had dropped to mark the trail (the birds, naturally, had eaten them all up)announces his panic first by two beats in the bar, then by three, and so on up to five. He is left bangjng doubtfully off the end of the music, partially consoled, it may be,
by memories of the waltz theme from “Beauty and the Beast,” or by anticipation of the dainty freshness of the “Empress of the Pagodas,” who, to the strains of a melody played entirely on the black keys in the piano version, proceeds to take her bath in the garden. After an interlude “The Fairy Garden” wakes up slowly in serene four-part writing before, at last, a little tolling bell makes us rub our eyes to meet reality once more.

“La Valse”
“La Valse” (1923) was created initially as a “choreographic poem” which paid homage to the waltz capital in its original title “Vienna.” Diaghilev expressed his willingness to present the work as a ballet but subsequently withdrew the offer. The final stage version was by Ida Rubinstein. While “La Valse” is primarily a Viennese waltz, an atmosphere of melancholy takes the place of the usual frivolity. The score carries the following inscription: “Drifting clouds give glimpses, through rifts, of couples waltzing. The clouds gradually scatter, and an immense hall can be seen, filled with a whirling crowd. The scene gradually becomes illuminated. The light of chandeliers bursts forth. An imperial court about 1855…”

Pierre Monteux
Like Ravel Pierre Monteux was born in 1875. He became famous as the conductor of Diaghilev’s “Ballet russe” and conducted the premieres of Ravel’s “Daphnis et Chloe” and Stravinsky’s “Petrouchka” and “Le sacra du printemps.” From 1917 to 1919 he conducted the Metropolitan Opera in New York before taking overthe Boston Symphony Orchestra. He was second conductor with the Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam, from 1924 to 1934. In 1929 he founded the Orchestra Symphonique de Paris and directed it in a series of famous concerts until 1938. Meanwhile, in 1936, he had become director of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra which he conducted until 1952. From 1961 until his death in 1964 he was chief conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra.

London Symphony Orchestra - Bolero

Label: Philips 6580 106
1964 1960s Covers

Cover photograph:@ Dick Horsman

International Hits Orchestra – Lightly Latin

Sleeve Notes:

As you tuck into your Chili con Carne, and the tang of Mexican spices tickles your tongue, you sip your sparkling Spanish wine and reflect —the flavour is perfect, your companion delightful —but surely an element is missing, the masterstroke that will conjure up the very spirit of the amorous South.

The candlelight flickers in your partner’s eyes as you rise, and crossing the room you lower the stylus deftly onto the solution to your problems—lightly Latin’, a stereo feast of musical delicacies from the Latin lands.

You glow as the International Hits Orchestra bring all their glittering but gentle finesse to Tijuana favourites such as ‘Spanish Flea’ and ‘The Lonely Bull’, you vibrate to the funky bass guitar of ‘Southern Festival’ and tremble to the beguiling percussion of ‘Cast Your Fate to the Wind’; you tingle to the Mariachi trumpets of ‘Lisboa Antigua’ and bask in the beauty of ‘A Day in the Life of a Fool’.

But before memories of Spanish sunsets swamp your brain, climb down from the table, put down your castanets, and clear up the wine. There’s one way you can save your evening. Play the first side again.

International Hits Orchestra - Lightly Latin

Label: MFP 1234

1968 1960s Covers

Al Martino – Wake Up To Me Gentle

Sleeve Notes:

“`Wake up to me gentle, sunrise in your hair …” are not only the enchanting opening lyrics of the title song, but also serve to create the vibrant romantic mood which permeates this entire program of fresh ballad excellence by Mr. Al Martino.

These opening lyrics, of course, belong to Wake Up to Me Gentle, written by young composer Ken Mansfield. This great new song emerges as an important ballad of the day when given the exciting Martino vocal treatment plus lush guitar and string accompaniment. Al also concentrates his special talents on If You Must Leave My Life and Didn’t We, two meaningful uptempo ballads by Jim Webb, a young composer already famous for By the Time I Get to Phoenix and Up, Up and Away. Here his songs gleam with the magnificent styling that AI Martino brings to every outstanding composition.

In addition to these great new songs, you’ll enjoy the Martino magnetism in one of the most powerful and popular show songs ever written, The Impossible Dream from “The Man of La Mancha.” Listen as the master of romantic ballads gives new splendor to My Own True Love, a most familiar love theme from the motion picture “Gone With the Wind”; Hank Williams’ great country hit / Can’t Help It (If I’m Still in Love With You) and The Look of Love, a Burt Bacharach tune that ranks among everybody’s favorites.

Arranger-conductor John Andrew Tartaglia lends new freshness and a “today” feeling to each of these selections, while Al’s rich-mellow baritone lights new fires under the vintage favorites and soars to the heights with the best of the new ballads. Listen … and as always, enjoy.

Al Martino - Wake Up To Me Gentle

Lebel: Capitol ST 2983
Cover Photo: Capitol Studio/Rick Rankin

1968 1960s Covers

The Royal Guitar Ensemble – Golden Guitar

Sleeve Notes:

Channel 20 Sound, a new process which realises in superbly lifelike stereo all the potential splendour of each instrument, was specially developed in the Tokyo studios of E.M.I.’s associates, Toshiba Musical Industries. Recordings are made in a new studio designed exclusively for high quality recording a multiplicity of solo microphones captures every subtlety of tone-colour from each instrument, and a specially developed control console blends, mixes and amplifies each microphone’s contribution with the delicacy, precision and engineering brilliance that characterise Japan’s present-day technological achievement.

Label: Regal SREG 2035

1967 1960s Covers

Ted Heath And His Music – Big Band Bash

Sleeve Notes:

The impact of Ted Heath’s first “phase 4” stereo album, “Big Band Percussion”, created a demand for more music similarly presented by England’s big band boss—and here it is, ‘Big Band Bash”, destined to follow in the footsteps of the last LP straight to the best-selling charts.

This entire LP was committed to the unique arranging talents of Johnny Keating. He has striven imaginatively and successfully to carry the big band sound and concept to the requirements of “phase 4” stereo which needs a special accommodation. The programme is spiced with several moods, but consistently there is the kind of writing for which big bands were made. “Hindustan”, “Cherokee” and “Out of Nowhere”—to single out a few—are masterfully arranged by Keating.

SIDE 1 1. HINDUSTAN (Wallace; Weeks)
With a brilliant and bright anacrusis from the trumpets (right), we swing into this big band classic with free-flowing ease. The brass (right). rhythm and saxes (left) wheel it along to a magnificently performed duet between two tenor saxes (one left and one right). In a splendidly realized section of the arrangement we hear, behind the saxophones’ passage, flutes and trumpets (right), trombones (right) and driving rhythm (left) all weaving independent threads into a richly textured pattern—a beautiful piece of big band scoring.
2. A-TISKET A-TASKET (Fitzgerald; Feldman) The curious needle-point chatter of the tight-skinned bongos is heard. with a crisp precision on the left; and setting off the latinate patter is the contrasting weight of the heavily struck timpani and sharp-edged sparkle of the finger cymbal (right). Intoning the melody is the piercing flute (right) and grumpy baritone sax (left). Occasional thick and humorous grunts are heard from the full-bodied bass trombone (right). From there, bright and playfully, “Tisket” moves happily along in a sprightly arrangement.
3. I DON’T KNOW WHY (Turk; Ahlert) The marimba speaks mellowly but firmly from the right as the rhythm is ushered in gently by a silken vibraphone run (left). The pattern breaks momentarily when the string bass is heard from (left). The saxophones on the left play the melody at the second chorus, and to that fine satin finish is added Be sound of the “bodiful trombones (right). Two muted trumpets are heard adding a bit of colour as well (right).The work is paced and prepared to meet an impressive flow of sound at the point of climax just before the return of the marimba (right)who recalls the pattern of the introduction and brings the title to rest.
4. CAPUCCINA (Masser., Sherman; Pallavicini) There is something prettily naive about the mandolin figure which is heard on the left; and, as one would imagine such a figure to be short-lived in a Heath LP, it is soon stopped by the intrusion of an exciting walking bass line (left) whose mood is jazzily supported by the sure hand of the drummer (right). The guitar carries the melody (left) as the mood is percussively punctuated by the light chords on the piano (also left). Briefly joined by the vibes (left), the melody passes to the saxophone section on the left. Slowly and with measured planning the trumpets and trombones (right) come into the picture as the whole arrangement moves toward a frenzied climax. 5. HERNANDO’S HIDEAWAY (Adler; Ross) Spook figures haunt the hideaway left and right as the piece opens up a barrel of fun colours and sounds. Instruments and effects are apparent throughout this title as the music jumps about between speakers. This is good listening fun.

SIDE 2 1. CHEROKEE (Noble) Tom-toms herald the war council (left and right) and are broken temporarily by saxes (left) and flutes (right). The tom-tom chatter continues behind the melody (played on the left by the bass clarinet and baritone sax.) Soon the fltites as flying arrows are hurled out of the right speaker. As Mr. Heath said at the session: “the saxes are cowboys and the flutes are the Indian arrows coming at them.” That done, the whole Heath band begins to swing like a band of winning Indians in this great, wide-open and bust arrangement.
2. HARLEM NOCTURNE (Hagen) The delicate tinkle of a finger cymbal and soft tapping of the bongos (right) strike a mood of midnight mystery as the walking bass (left) soft cymbal and muted trombones (right) weave a background pattern in which the melody-playing alto flute is darkly set. The saxophone section (left) and brass (right) each have a turn at this lovely melody before the plaintive solo sound of the alto sax is heard (left) against which a pleasant obbligato flute figure is moving. The mood of the piece, sustained by the spell of intrigue which the rhythm sets, is constant to the end.
3. SABRE DANCE (Khachaturian; Roberts; Lee)• Swinging and driving as ever a big band was meant to, this title gets off the ground brightly and sharply with the trombones hammering left, the trumpets attacking right, and the saxophones driving from the left. With a clean, precise performance, the arrangement moves this famous Khachaturian opus home dramatically.
4. IN A PERSIAN MARKET (Ketelbey) A magic carpet flys (right to left) across the market place, and the plaza comes to life in the form of a grumpy, hoarse bass clarinet and baritone sax (left). Soon awakened are the less sleepy time-keeping skulls (right) and the sharp percussive xylophone and piccolo (also right). A young Arab is heard selling his wares (right) and a chorus of saxophones sell every bit as loudly from the left. Soon the brass choir (right) gets into the act and before you know it the whole market place is jumping in a magnificent display of swing playing. The picture fades at the end amid the hub-bub of the market.
5. CLOPIN-CLOPANT (Coque., Duclan; Goell, Rome) A bit of French sentimentality is heard from on the right in the form of the balmusette. The horse cart is heard clip-clopping along (also right). Alternately the famous melody is sounded by the flute (right), contra-bass clarinet (left) and the guitar (left). Following a break into latin tempo, the opening pattern is again recalled as the horse clip-clops out of sight.
6. OUT OF NOWHERE (Heyman; Green) There would be such to call to your attention in this title: the various colours you hear emanating from your separate speakers, the instrumental patterns effected by the different band choirs, etc. But at the heart of this title is its arrangement and structure, its tonal blends and fine performance. The Heath band has never sounded better and Johnny Keating has turned in one of his finest scores.

Ted Heath And His Music – Big Band Bash

Label: Decca PFS 4018

1962 1960s Covers

Les Elgart – It’s De-Lovely For Dancing and Listening

Sleeve Notes:

The infectious, sophisticated sound of Les Elgart and his orchestra is a natural for either those who like dancing (to The Most Beautiful Girl in the World, The Continental, for instance) or those who prefer that relaxed, reflective mood (as in I Concentrate on You, or Sermon). Elgart’s orchestra and his distinctive approach to a melody have been immensely popular for some time.

Most recent evidence: he was twice voted Favorite Band in Disc Jockey Polls by the authoritative music trade paper Billboard, and in a poll by Cash Box, another music trade publication, Elgart was voted Most Programmed Band by disc jockeys.

How did this all come about? As a mere ten-year-old in New London, Connecticut, Les began playing the bugle; in high school he switched to a more widely-appreciated trumpet. An excellent baseball player, Les was also adept at organizing his own teen-age orchestras. But proficiency in more than one skill breeds its own problems and choices. Although three major league scouts spotted him, Les excused himself from baseball and chose instead to pursue a career in popular music.

In the Forties, Les played with the Bunny Berigan, Charlie Spivak and Hal McIntyre orchestras. When the Elgart orchestra was formed, an important step was taken in achieving distinctive quality of sound. On-stage seating of the musicians was re-arranged for better spread between the instruments; plywood reflector boards were placed behind them to focus the sound more sharply. These innovations resulted in an improved resonance and a richer sound.

On IT’S DE-LOVELY we can hear further developments Les has made in the famous “Elgart sound,” as well as his fresh arrangements of many “standards.” He proves, for example, that the venerable Trees could make good dance music, that Lerner and Weill’s Green-Up Time (from the Broad-way show Love Life) is irresistible. Newer tunes treated by Elgart are Off Shore, Scotch Hop, and Sermon.

Here, then, are Les’ latest offerings for those who enjoy either dancing or just listening – In the Still of the Night.

Curtis F. Brown

Les Elgart - It's De-Lovely For Dancing and Listening

Label: Columbia CL 1659

1961 1960s Covers