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Chet AtkinsEclectic Guitar ... CD
RCA/El (UK), Mid 50s. New Copy ... $8.99
Incredible, indelible guitar instrumentals from the early years of Chet Atkins – later to conquer civilization with his 60s Nashville Sound – here with mid 50s guitar exotica that really is eclectic and well ahead of its time! Chet's 60s production work ranges from absolute genius, with interesting writers and vocal talent (Bobby Bare, Roger Miller), to sappy mediocrity with less adventurous artists – but his own records hardly ever lacked imagination. These countryish & jazzier early recordings are by no means an exception! Recorded in both Chicago and Nashville and pulled from his wonderful early LPs for RCA, titles include "Sunrise Serenade", "Honeysuckle Rose", "Caravan", "Mister Sandman", "Minute Waltz", "St Louis Blues", "Alice Blue Gown", "Waltz In A-Flat", "Petite Waltz", "Tenderly", "Intermezzo", "Indian Love Call", "Gavotte In D" and much more. CD

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New Burt BacharachReach Out (plus bonus tracks) ... CD
A&M (Japan), 1967. New Copy ... $13.99
Fantastic! We love Burt Bacharach in so many ways that it's easy to forget the genius of these early A&M sides – but going back to them is always a treat, and it's wonderful to hear the way that Burt lays down his own work when given the chance! You know the tracks – "House Is Not A Home", "Bond Street", "Reach Out For Me", "Are You There", "Windows Of The World" – but you may not know the arrangements, which are superb – quite different than the more famous vocal versions you've probably heard ad infinitum, and recorded at a level that brings a whole new magic and majesty to 60s pop! An essential record for any fan of all things groovy – and an album of new pleasures each time we hear it! Special CD features both mono and stereo mixes of the album – 22 tracks in all! CD

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New Les BaxterFruit Of Dreams (Ports Of Pleasure/The Sacred Idol) ... CD
Capitol/El (UK), 1957/1960. New Copy ... $3.99
2 rare slices of exotica by Les Baxter – back to back on one CD! The first half of the set features material from the album Ports Of Pleasure – a dreamy exploration of south sea ideals that's got a more lightly drifting quality than some of Baxter's more percussive exotica albums, and which is awash in dreamy soundscapes penned by Les himself! The orchestrations are large and bold throughout – mixing strings and woodwinds almost in a soundtrack-y mode – but always with the light sense of interplay that makes Baxter's work so great. Titles include "Monkey Dance Of Bali", "Pearls Of Ceylon", "Tahiti A Summer Night At Sea", "Hong Kong Cable Car", "Tramp Steamer To Singapore", "Harem Silks From Bombay", and "Sidewalk Cafes Of Saigon". The Sacred Idol is a real standout set from the end of Les Baxter's run at Capitol Records – originally scored for a film that was never released, but a great set of tracks that more than stands strongly on its own! The theme here is a Mexican/Latin American one – explored by Baxter with his trademark blend of larger orchestrations and lighter exotica touches – often swirling around in an extremely evocative mode that makes us wish the film had been issued to the public, and at a few key moments even hinting at the funkier modes that would follow on some of Les' later work for other labels. Titles include "Aqueducts", "Gardens Of The Moon", "Pyramid Of The Sun", "Temple Of Gold", and "Procession Of The Princes". CD
 
 
 
 



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