A pre-exotica relic – cut just a year or two before bachelor pad music really broke big, and a very important album in helping get the whole thing started! The record's got a more serious feel than you might think – as pop classical conductor Morton Gould put together this mix of traditional, classical, and jazz compositions to create a suite of tropical sounds based around the compositions of Ernesto Lecuona. As the title would imply, the album's got a lot of percussion – mixed with the larger orchestrations that Gould normally used in his work – and titles include "Danza Lucumi", "Swamp Fire", "Batuque", "Ritual Fire Dance", "Jungle Drums", and "Gitanerias". LP, Vinyl record album
(Mono shaded dog pressing with deep groove. Cover has some pen on the back.)
San Sebastian Strings/Rod McKuen/Anita Kerr —
For Lovers ... LP Reprise, 1969. Near Mint- ...
An amazing document of adult love – as important to the easy generation as Barry White's work was to the soul crowd – and the kind of record that makes you willing to throw away all your prejudices about Rod McKuen! The set's got a simple, snakey sort of approach – one that uses electric bass underneath light string arrangements by Anita Kerr – in a way that has the same sexy, slinky appeal as some of the best mellow easy from the end of the 60s – that period when the genre had firmly shaken off the mood music audience of housewives, and was hitting a younger, lustier crowd on the FM airwaves. There's a compressed perfection to this album that's beyond belief – not just in Kerr's sublime arrangements, but also in the incredible interpretation of McKuen's writings by Joey Benson – spoken into the microphone in a way that makes a simple whisper speak volumes, and which has this breathy, Bacharach-era brilliance that's dripping with mature sexuality. McKuen's words are presented beautifully by Benson – given just the right pauses, phrasing, and power to unlock a playfully illustrative sense that doesn't always come through in other collaborations with Anita Kerr. A real lost treasure – the kind of record we never expected we'd ever like at all – but which has held us rapt with its brilliance – almost a Scott Walker for the American easy crowd of the late 60s! Titles include "Foreign Movies", "Why I Follow The Tigers", "Love Hasn't Any Windows", "Make A Bigger Circle With A Softer Touch", "For Lovers", "No Loving Without Losing", and "Looking Up Through Wednesday's Silence". LP, Vinyl record album
One of the grooviest albums cut by this legendary MPS vocal group – a set that has some very hip friends from the American scene – who blend perfectly with the soaring vocals that the quartet forged in Germany for the MPS label! The music features vocal arrangements from group leader Gene Puerling – very much in the best mode of their other harmonic gems – but it also gets some superb help on instrumentation from the wonderful Pat Williams – whose sense of lightness and sparkle is perfect for the voices! Pat's group here is loaded with great musicians – both Clare Fischer and Dave Grusin on keyboards, plus Tom Scott on reeds – each adding subtle but important energy to the backings – on tunes that include "Just Friends", "I'm Gonna Go Fishin", "When The Sun Comes Out", and "Eleanor Rigby". (Vocalists, Now Sound)LP, Vinyl record album
Advice on life, love, and all things important – a series of readings by 60s Japanese celebrity Kazuo Yagi that will set your life straight – used as bridges to link together a set of swinging jazz music bits, some of which continue with speaking, others which groove on instrumentally. The record starts with Yagi speaking a bit of lyric from "Strangers In The Night" – but after that, the whole set's in Japanese. But if you don't understand Japanese, look at it this way: you're probably sick of having all of your English-speaking friends give you advice already, so wouldn't it be better to hear it from someone you don't understand? And the music is pretty darn great too – a cool mix of Japanese jazz styles from a time when the nation's scene was really taking off – all linked with a message of middle class seduction and consumerism! (Jazz, Now Sound)CD