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".