This is the way crossover should be: luscious, exotic, slightly tacky, and wholly wonderful. The first eight tracks are devoted to Gould’s colorful Lecuona arrangements, including Andalucía, Malagueña, and the album’s title track, Jungle Drums. The rest consists of classical and jazz favorites along the same lines, from Ellington’s Caravan to Villa-Lobos’ Little Train of the Caipira, Falla’s Ritual Fire Dance, and Fernandez’s Batuque. Morton Gould also contributes to the program (his Tropical), but best of all, you can find this jazzy arrangement of the Hawaiian War Chant (sound clip). This is one of those pieces that everyone knows but often can’t remember what it is or where it comes from. So here is your source. Read more Everyone should have a disc of classic “lounge music” in their collection. It is to the 1950s what Albert Ketèlbey was to the 1920s and ’30s. No one put together better programs, or produced better arrangements, than did Morton Gould. He also got opulent sonics from RCA’s engineers. A whole generation of listeners learned to appreciate classical music from programs like this. Today we laugh, but today’s musicians can learn a lot from how enjoyable the mere act of listening to this program can be; specifically, that it’s possible to be both serious and fun at the same time, and that there is only good music and bad music–all the rest is trivia. And don’t think for a moment that the performances or production values are one whit below first class. A great disc.
Auditory Time TravelNovember 23, 2013By Reginald Jones (Hamilton, VA)See All My Reviews"A dawn-of-stereo extravaganza (1955), beautifully restored. The sound stage is wide and deep. No one could beat Mortin Gould in these show pieces."Report Abuse