A great collection of work from 60s UK maestro Laurie Johnson – best known for his theme to The Avengers
, but represented here by an even wider-ranging batch of material! Half of the CD comes from the album England's New Big Band Sound – a rare American outing on Colpix Records! The style on those tracks is a bit like that of John Dankworth on some of his American records – jazzy at the core, but also with larger orchestral flourishes that put the work somewhere between jazz and popular instrumental. But given Johnson's penchant for hip timing and a nicely swinging groove, the album's pretty nice all the way through – never sleepy, and done with a good sense of presence on some of the instruments. Titles include "Jenny", "By Myself", "Pagan Love Song", "Nevada", "South Of The Border", "Bali Hai", "Twango", and "My Favorite Things". The remaining part of the CD features some of Johnson's famous themes – including "Theme From Dr Strangelove" and "The Avengers
" – plus even better jazzy orchestral work pulled from sessions for Pye in the late 50s and early 60s – tracks that include "West End", "Limehouse", "Times Square", "Grand Central", "There's A Plot Afoot", "Lock Up Your Daughters", "Charmed Life", and "Minor Bossa Nova".