Elsa Popping & Her Pixieland Band (Andre Popp) —
Delirium In HiFi ... LP Columbia, 1957. New Copy (reissue)...
A lost HiFi gem! Released in America under the name of "Elsa Popping & Her Pixieland Band" – the record is actually a stunning collaboration between French orchestra leader Andre Popp and sound effects wizard Pierre Fatosme. The sound is wild and swinging, with a feel that's similar to Esquivel, but with a lot weirder effects, and a little bit less music-based sound overall. Popp cares less about swinging than Esquivel, and he's much freer with his music – as there's moments on here that sound like avant garde chamber pieces, which then swing into tight little bits with cool sounds made by editing and playing with tape. The album's wonderful all the way through – with very high quality material that makes a lot of the other cheaper lounge releases sound hollow! Titles include "Java", "La Paloma", "La Java Du Diable", "Java Des Bombes Atomiques", and "Adios Muchachos". LP, Vinyl record album
One of the best non-Winchester albums from the team of Ferrante & Teicher – not as crazy as some of their work, but still with some good elements of the piano trickery that made them famous. Titles include "Out Of This World", "East Of The Sun", "Over The Rainbow", "Stars In My Eyes", and "Stella By Starlight". Also features the original tracks "Serenade To A Star" and "Beyond The Moon". LP, Vinyl record album
The title's no lie, as the album's a lot jazzier than some of Arthur Lyman's other records – a bit more upbeat, and almost like some vibes-led combo from the LA scene of the 50s! Pianist Alan Soares has a strong role in the set – providing a bit more bite than usual for an Arthur Lyman session – and really matching the harder sound of Lyman's vibes and marimbas nicely. Drums are often a bit stronger too – more use of the regular kit instead of just percussion – and there's a nice mix of lyricism and stronger rhythms here that almost reminds us of a late 50s Cal Tjader date for Fantasy. Ethel Azama guests, with moody vocals on one track called "Lullaby of the Leaves – and other tracks include "Trigger Fantasy", "How High The Moon", "Leis Of Jazz", and "My Funny Valentine". CD
One of Arthur Lyman's first LPs –- a brilliant set of percussively grooving tracks, modulated at a low tempo, and recorded in the Henry J. Kaiser aluminum dome in Hawaii with a sound that inspired countless other exotic groups. Art plays vibes, and is augmented by percussion and piano, plus other bits of exotic instrumentation. Cuts include "Hilo March", "Sim Sim", "China Clipper", and "Sea Breeze". LP, Vinyl record album
One of the first few albums that Arthur Lyman recorded after his split with Martin Denny – and still very much in the best Denny mode – mixing vibes with percussion, and adding in lots of cool effects! There's a fair bit of exotic sounds in the mix – including birdcalls from group members – but Lyman's vibes are the real charm here – both metallic and warm at the same time, making for a nice degree of drama in ways that don't always show up on his later albums. Titles include "Jungle Fantasy", "Sakura", "Babalik Ka Rin", "Love Dance", and "Return To Paradise". CD
One of the grooviest albums ever from Brit Easy pianist Ronnie Aldrich – filled with groovy late 60s tunes, and handled with some slightly funky and mod-styled backings that make the album groove a lot more than most of Ronnie's other work! The set's played by Ronnie and his "two pianos" (wink, wink), along with the London Festival Orchestra – and has a rich, full sound that comes out to best effect on the album's uptempo numbers. Titles include "Theme From In The Dark", "Good Morning Starshine", "My Cherie Amour", "Aquarius", "Classical Gas", "Midnight Cowboy", "Quentin's Theme", and "The Windmills Of Your Mind". LP, Vinyl record album
The famous author/disc jockey/comedian/talk show host lays down an album of moody jazzy piano, with light tinkling ivories over a lush large orchestra. The music's mostly standards, but there's a couple Steve Allen originals: "Tonight", "Candlelight" and "Stay Just a Little While". 12 tracks in all, the set also includes "I'm Glad There Is You", "For The Very First Time", "The Man With A Horn", "Imagination" and "I Fall In love Too Easily". LP, Vinyl record album
Herb Alpert's first-ever album – a runaway hit that was the birthplace of so many groovy things – not just the start of the Tijuana Brass sound, also the birth of A&M Records! The album's the first to feature Herb's trademark take on the Mexican band style – done here with a bit more "jaunty" pop stylings than in later years, including a "rocking" electric bass that kicks along nicely at the bottom of some of the more chart-oriented tunes. The first full album on A&M – and the beginning of an empire – with titles that include "The Lonely Bull", "El Lobo", "Desafinado", "Mexico", "Never On Sunday", and "Struttin With Maria". LP, Vinyl record album
The genius of this set is summed up in the tune "Magic Trumpet" – perhaps one of the best estimations of Herb's talents we could think of! The tune, like the entire album, is a fluid bit of magic that takes an older brass-driven mode into the far groovier styles of the 60s – an approach that fuses all the horns around Herb's boldly stated lead, and slides them all around in jaunty rhythms that are a perfect blend of the A&M groove and an imagined Latin past! Titles include "Freckles", "Magic Trumpet", "Five Minutes More", "Shadow Of Your Smile", "Plucky", "So What's New", and "It Was A Very Good Year". LP, Vinyl record album
Herb Alpert & The TJB —
Coney Island ... CD A&M/Herb Alpert, 1975. New Copy Gatefold ...
Sweet mid 70s work from Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass – still at the height of their powers on Coney Island – rolling effortlessly between upbeat, jazzy numbers and more laidback and melodic ones! This one has a pretty big sound overall, all produced and arranged by Herb, who is in fine, re-energized form here. By this point, Herb could've simply coasted on nostalgia, but there's a more timeless feel on this one than on a lot of his 60s albums, honestly, and the band is really firing on all cylinders. Breezy fun on par with Herb's best of the 70s! Titles include "Coney Island", "I Have Dreamed", "Sweet Georgia Brown", "Catfish", "This Masquerade", "Carmine", "Vento Bravo", "I Belong", "Senor Mouse" and more. CD
Sweet mid 70s work from Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass – still at the height of their powers on Coney Island – rolling effortlessly between upbeat, jazzy numbers and more laidback and melodic ones! This one has a pretty big sound overall, all produced and arranged by Herb, who is in fine, re-energized form here. By this point, Herb could've simply coasted on nostalgia, but there's a more timeless feel on this one than on a lot of his 60s albums, honestly, and the band is really firing on all cylinders. Breezy fun on par with Herb's best of the 70s! Titles include "Coney Island", "I Have Dreamed", "Sweet Georgia Brown", "Catfish", "This Masquerade", "Carmine", "Vento Bravo", "I Belong", "Senor Mouse" and more. LP, Vinyl record album
Swingin' batch of instrumentals from films, like "Let It Be Me", "Little Old Lady", "Santa Lucia", and "The Three Bells" – all played by Chet on his groovy guitar, with backing by Dennis Farnon's swingin' orchestra. (Folk/Country, Now Sound)LP, Vinyl record album
OK, so you've got other Burt Bacharach compilations – but trust us, this one's a gem, and it's filled with totally excellent material that you may not have otherwise! First off, the set was put together by the folks at Germany's division of Universal – the people responsible for Mad Mad World Of Soundtracks, Get Easy, and other hip series. Second, it features some obscure tunes pulled from the whole of Universal's international catalog – mixed with some of the best-selected tunes by Burt himself. Lastly, the package looks great, and features 20 tracks that continually delight the ears! Titles include "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" by Bossa Rio, "Windows Of The World" by Scott Walker, "Alfie" by Dee Dee Warwick, "The Look Of Love" by TW Ardy, "Close To You" by James Last, "Nikki" by Vince Bell, "I'm A Better Man" by Engelbert Humperdink, "This Guy's In Love With You" by Tom Clay, "Do You Know The Way To San Jose" by Ramsey Lewis, "This Girl's In Love With You" by Brenda Lee, and "Freefall" by Burt himself! CD
Beautifully compressed pop from Herb Alpert – a session that's still got the traditional Tijuana Brass style, but which also displays a more restrained, more adult approach to instrumental pop! The rhythms are nicely changed out more than before here – stretching out with interwoven exotic touches and sweeter A&M pop – all coming together at a level that's far more sophisticated than you might guess if you've only got a version of Herb that's reduced to simple cliche! Herb also makes a key vocal appearance on the song "This Guy's In Love With You" – the group's first #1 single, and the beginning of a great run of Alpert vocalizations. Other tracks include "The Robin", "Slick", "Panama", "A Beautiful Friend", "She Touched Me", and "Thanks For The Memory". CD
(Out of print.)
Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass —
Going Places ... CD A&M/Shout Factory, 1965. Used ...
Just Sold Out!
Herb Alpert's definitely Going Places by the time of this set – and his trademark Tijuana Brass sound proves itself to be a great fit for just about any sort of number! The album kicks off with the wonderful "Tijuana Taxi", a sublimely jaunty tune that almost takes Herb into Bacharach territory – and which is followed up by the even-greater "Spanish Flea" – an ear-popping anthem that's one of the greatest bits of 60s instrumental pop ever recorded! And over and above those two tunes, the album's still got plenty more to offer too – a wonderful array of tracks all given the Tijuana touch, with titles that include "More & More Amor", "Mae", "Walk Don't Run", "Felicia", and "Cinco De Mayo". CD
Wonderfully jaunty and jagged work from trumpeter Herb Alpert – and a session that has him opening up the Tijuana Brass groove a bit more than usual! There's clearly an influence here of the Brazilian sound that was showing up strongly at A&M Records at the time – heard to greatest effect on the album's version of Chico Buarque's "A Banda", but also in gentler, more subtle ways that seem to emerge in other tunes that trade the group's older sound for one that has more of a bossa sense of subtlety. Also, there's some great A&M pop that's beginning to emerge here too – as in the album's great takes on "The Happening" and "Love So Fine" – both of which really sound beautiful here! Other tracks include "Cowboys & Indians", "Flea Bag", "Love Nest", and "Bud". CD
Sounds like Herb Alpert, but it grooves in ways that we hardly expected – playful, creative, and filled with so many more rhythms than just the Tijuana groove we might have thought! There's a real deepening sense of instrumental pop going on here – as Herb explores some of the darker strains brought into the market by younger groups and artists on the scene, and through some of the cross-cultural recordings that were opening up as the global music market expanded in the mid 60s. The Brass still get in plenty of their jaunty licks in the set, but there's also more of a sense of Herb as a standout man of his own – a mature, all-adult sound that's got some great brooding emotion from time to time. Titles include "Casino Royale", "Wade In The Water", "Shades Of Blue", "Bo Bo", "Lady Godiva", "Town Without Pity", "Gotta Lot Of Livin To Do", and "The Charmer". CD