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Now Sound

XLounge, exotica, bachelor pad, instrumental pop, and Hi-Fi gems!



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CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Art Van DammeOnce Over Lightly/Manhattan Time ... CD
Collectors Choice, Mid 50s. Used ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Two more groovy albums from Art Van Damme and his other-worldly accordion! Both records feature Van Damme's trademark jazzy style, with haunting breathy instrumentation, and a sound that's incredibly eerie. The album Once Over Lightly features guest vocals by Jo Stafford, who keeps things nice and mellow to match the group's icy sound – and the album Manhattan Time is the aptly-titled follow-up to Van Damme's classic Martini Time, with a similar sexy seduction-drenched sound (although steeped in bourbon, not vodka!) Titles include "Almost Like Being In Love", "But Not For Me", "Glory Of Love", "Poinciana", "Turnabout", "Polka Dots & Moonbeams", and "I Saw Stars". CD
(Out of print.)

Partial matches2
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
George ShearingWhite Satin/Black Satin ... CD
Capitol/EMI (Japan), 1956/1959. Used ... $11.99
The satin Shearing sound is in perfect form here – backed by added strings and woodwinds conducted by Billy May – and key proof that Billy could come up with some richly subtle arrangements when he wanted! Most prominent instrumentation comes from George's piano, and the group's trademark vibes, guitar, and wonderful percussion – but the backings also nicely compress some strings and reeds in ways that flesh out the sound, yet never take it over! It's almost as if Billy's just flavoring the Shearing combo sound just a bit – adding just a dose of magic to cuts that include "Dream", "Your Name Is Love", "Love's Melody", "Blue Malibu", "An Affair To Remember", and "I'll Take Romance". In Black Satin, the George Shearing Quintet – with added orchestrations – all in a blend that's got that pillow-soft sound that Shearing did so well back in the 50s! Arrangements are by George and Billy May – the latter of whom is especially subtle here, bringing things in with the best ballad mode he'd use behind Sinatra – yet tailored nicely for Shearing's use of vibes, guitar, and added Latin percussion. And as with some of George's best records, even when things are gentle, they still know how to swing – thanks to a sense of space and timing that's always a treat. Titles include "Moon Song", "The Folks Who Live On The Hill", "If I Should Lose You", "Black Satin", and "Starlight Souvenirs". (Jazz, Now Sound) CD
(Out of print, 1992 Japanese pressing – includes obi!)

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