We’ve had ‘Bright and Breezy’, and now it’s time for ‘Light and Easy’. It’s just a convenient handle on which to hang more tracks from the genre in recordings made between 1947 and 1960. The orchestras and associated maestri are very well known by now and for those versed in the genre there will be nothing but pleasure.
You couldn’t open with much more of a stunner than Leroy Anderson’s
Pyramid Dance, a dazzling piece of bravura originally heard in the musical
Goldilocks. It’s from a rip-roaring 1960 Brunswick. It’s followed by The Clebanoff Strings and Orchestra essaying
Mack the Knife. They remove it wholly from its Weimar milieuRead more and transplant it to the sunny West Coast with considerable alacrity. The result is more David Hockney than Otto Dix, but there you go. There’s an unusually brooding
I Love Paris from the Paris Theatre Orchestra and a well recorded 1957 Paxton from Dolf van der Linden of Cyril Watters’
On A Cheerful Note. On the subject of record labels, one of the consistent features of this long series has been the way it has mixed and matched from the big companies and the smaller fry – all have valuable recordings to offer. So RCA and Mercury share space with Urania and Somerset and we profit thereby.
Bruce Campbell gives us one of the best things here, an alluringly ardent
Main Line, though Sidney Torch’s recording of Philip Green’s
Pan American Panorama offers richly orchestrated vistas. Part of this Guild disc is programmed to present a ‘holiday’ theme, a typically droll piece of work from a company that does this kind of thing with tongue firmly attached to cheek – sometimes, at least. The
Las Vegas Lady has been around a bit, geographically speaking, but don’t confuse her with plain
Las Vegas which, in this Laurie Johnson-Group-Forty Orchestra recording, became widely known as the theme song for BBC TV’s
Kermit Leslie provides outstanding work on
Bermuda Holiday – taut sectional contributions and interjections make this one really fly. I think I know what Bernie Wayne was trying to do in
Blues on the Rocks on a 1957 ABC LP. It’s just that this Gershwin-and-Bourbon number falls between the stools in attempting mini-piano concerto status. Tune in, instead, to the echo chamber strings swinging hard on David Rose’s
4.20 AM. The elite Pittsburgh Strings shine on
Stella by Starlight – a beautifully performed piece. For instrumental fans Ronnie Chamberlain takes the soprano sax solo for Frank Cordell on
There’s A Lull in My Life.
Once again there’s plenty of romance, vitality and verve in this well transferred selection, complete with typically fine booklet notes.
-- Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International Read less