A great illustration of the way that Martin Denny expanded his groove in the 60s – on some sweetly inventive records like this! On Latin Village, Martin Denny changes the rhythms from tropical to Latin – but the overall groove is still highly in his best exotica mode, and nicely augmented by some additional instrumentation! There's some traces here of the shift in production for instrumental music from the time – a bit of electric bass echoing out at the bottom of some cuts, more echo than usual on the piano lines, and a floating quality that's almost even more sublime than the original Liberty
sessions. But the core Denny elements are also still in place – tinkling piano, island percussion, and a playful approach to familiar rhythms that never fails to please. The Latin is more of a nod to harder Latin modes than anything else, but it does make for a nice, if subtle change – one that works especially well when Denny's piano is out front, but compressed a bit in the mix. Titles include "Flying Down To Rio", "Ho Ba La La", "Something Latin", "Girl From Ipanema", and "Latin Village". The Versatile Martin Denny definitely lives up to the versatile in the title – working through a whole host of different 50s and 60s easy tunes – played in ways that are much wider-ranging than usual! Some are percussive and slightly exotic, some have more strings and tinkling piano, and some get slightly playful instrumentation – in a very nice way. Titles include "Little Bird", "Theme From Mondo Cane", "Exotique Bossa Nova", "Quiet Village Bossa Nova", and "Strawberry Tree".