Notes and Editorial Reviews
A good cross-section of entertaining tunes, adeptly arranged, and played by first class orchestras.
If there’s a company that does more for Light Music than Guild then I’ve never come across it. The discs emerge forged from the Vulcan’s Forge of their endeavour, and quite a few end up on my desk. This latest doesn’t differ markedly from the others - a good cross-section of entertaining tunes, adeptly arranged by leading practitioners, and played by first class orchestras; that’s the determining series of factors.
It’s good therefore to hear the gutsy and unambiguous strains of Percy Faith essaying Victor Herbert’s
Habanera, and equally so to encounter Frank Chacksfield and his snappily
Swinging on a Star in this Roland Shaw arrangement. Tempos and moods are cannily varied throughout the run of twenty-eight tracks, which allows, for instance, an evocative
In the Heat of the Day.
Greenwich Village, written by J George Johnson and played by the New World Theatre Orchestra, gets a rather blowsy work-out; the alto sax solo could do with a bit of Benny Carter, and the big chordal piano and full production work tends to grate.
No one yields to me in admiration for the great fiddle-leader Georges Boulanger and his own recordings have given me huge pleasure over the years. The poor man assuredly wouldn’t have liked what Hans Georg Arlt and his merry band of Teutons do to
Da Capo. This is the kind of recording for which sea sickness tablets were invented. A phalanx of percussionists does their worst - but at least the fiddles are divided left and right,
which is the least one expects given that the leader had been a pupil of that eminent violinist Max Strub.
By immediate contrast we have the alternately garish and then, much better, refined orchestration by Paul Weston who essays Kern’s
In Love In Vain. Norrie Paramor and the boys knock out some cod Italiana in
Sunset on the Tiber and Carmen Dragon (crazy name, crazy guy) gives us a spirited
La Cumparista. These dance-patterned numbers exert quite a spell even when things are just too Technicolor for optimum pleasure. One can luxuriate in Hal Mooney’s succulent strings, indulge in the big vibrato of Helmut Zacharias and his Magic Violins, overlook the bongos in Geoff Love’s
You Are My Heart's Delight (not very Tauber), and guffaw at the pure corn served up by Monty Kelly in
Neapolitan Nites Mambo. There’s a tango accordion in Ray Martin’s appropriately punning
Tango of Regret and a sassy version of
I Got Rhythm by Kostelanetz. Farnon goes for the whizz bang in the last track, Strauss’s
Fireworks Polka in Farnon’s own arrangement and with his own band - but credited to the ‘Jack Saunders Orchestra’ on the label.
The booklet notes are, as ever, assured; the sound in these 1953-59 recordings attractive.
-- Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International
Works on This Recording
Natoma: Habanera by Victor Herbert
Written: 1911; United States of Ame
Length: 2 Minutes 50 Secs.
In a Sentimental Mood by Edward "Duke" Ellington
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1936; USA
Length: 3 Minutes 1 Secs.
Da Capo by Georges Boulanger
Length: 2 Minutes 10 Secs.
Rain by Eugene Ford
Length: 2 Minutes 28 Secs.
La Cucaracha by Mexican Anonymous
Length: 1 Minutes 53 Secs.
Girl Crazy: I got rhythm by George Gershwin
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1930; USA
Length: 2 Minutes 55 Secs.
Sugar Loaf, song by James Mundell Lowe
Length: 2 Minutes 13 Secs.
Feuerfest, Op. 269 by Josef Strauss
Written: 1870; Vienna, Austria
Length: 2 Minutes 52 Secs.
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