Mantovani And His Orchestra – Latin Rendezvous (1963)

FrontCover1Annunzio Paolo Mantovani  (15 November 1905 – 29 March 1980), known as Mantovani, was an Anglo-Italian conductor, composer and light orchestra-styled entertainer with a cascading strings musical signature. The book British Hit Singles & Albums states that he was “Britain’s most successful album act before the Beatles…the first act to sell over one million stereo albums and [have] six albums simultaneously in the US Top 30 in 1959”.

Mantovani was born in Venice, Italy, into a musical family. His father, Bismarck, served as the concertmaster of La Scala opera house’s orchestra in Milan, under the baton of Arturo Toscanini. The family moved to England in 1912, where young Annunzio studied at Trinity College of Music in London. After graduation, he formed his own orchestra, which played in and around Birmingham. He married Winifred Moss in 1934, and they had two children: Kenneth (born 12 July 1935) and Paula Irene (born 11 April 1939). By the time World War II broke out, his orchestra was one of the most popular British dance bands, both on BBC radio broadcasts and in live performances.

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He was also musical director for a large number of musicals and other plays, including Noël Coward’s Pacific 1860 (1946) and Vivian Ellis’s musical setting of J. B. Fagan’s And So to Bed (1951).[4] After the war, he concentrated on recording, and eventually gave up live performance altogether. He worked with arranger and composer Ronald “Ronnie” Binge, who developed the “cascading strings” effect (also known as the “Mantovani sound”).[5] His records were regularly used for demonstration purposes in stores selling hi-fi stereo equipment, as they were produced and arranged for stereo reproduction. He became the first person to sell a million stereophonic records. In 1952, Binge ceased to arrange for Mantovani but the distinctive sound of the orchestra remained.

Mantovani recorded for Decca until the mid-1950s, and then for London Records. He recorded in excess of 50 albums on that label, many of which were Top 40 hits. His single tracks included “The Song from Moulin Rouge”, which reached Number One in the UK Singles Chart in 1953;[2] “Cara Mia” (with him and his orchestra backing David Whitfield) in 1954; “Around the World” in 1957; and “Main Theme from Exodus (Ari’s Theme)” in 1960. In the United States, between 1955 and 1972, he released more than 40 albums with 27 reaching the “Top 40”, and 11 in the “Top Ten”. His biggest success came with the album Film Encores, which attained Number One in 1957.

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Similarly, Mantovani Plays Music From ‘Exodus’ and Other Great Themes made it to the Top Ten in 1961, with over one million albums sold.

In 1958, Mantovani and his family bought a holiday home in Bournemouth in Durley Chine Road, and then in 1961 acquired a new property in Burton Road (now part of Poole). He moved, finally, to a new home in Martello Road in Poole.

Mantovani starred in his own syndicated television series, Mantovani, which was produced in England and which aired in the United States in 1959. Thirty-nine episodes were filmed.[7] Mantovani made his last recordings in the mid-1970s.

He died at a care home in Royal Tunbridge Wells Kent. His funeral was held at the Kent and Sussex Crematorium and Cemetery on 8 April 1980.

Annunzio Paolo Mantovani (1970)

The cascading strings technique developed by Binge became Mantovani’s hallmark in such hits arranged by Binge as “Charmaine”. Binge developed this technique to replicate the echo experienced in venues such as cathedrals and he achieved this goal through arranging skill alone.

Author Joseph Lanza describes Mantovani’s string arrangements as the most “rich and mellifluous” of the emerging light music style during the early 1950s. He stated that Mantovani was a leader in the use of new studio technologies to “create sound tapestries with innumerable strings”, and that “the sustained hum of Mantovani’s reverberated violins produced a sonic vaporizer foreshadowing the synthesizer harmonics of space music.” His style survived through an ever-changing variety of musical styles prompting Variety to call him “the biggest musical phenomenon of the twentieth century”.

From 1961 to 1971 David McCallum Sr was leader of Mantovani’s orchestra. At this time, his son David McCallum Jr was at the height of his fame, prompting Mantovani to introduce his leader to audiences with the quip, “We can afford the father but not the son!”

Mantovani is referred to by name in The Kinks song “Prince of the Punks”. He also had a big influence on Brian May, Queen guitarist.

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He is also mentioned in the song “Paradise Place” by Siouxsie and the Banshees and in the song “Nainen tanssii tangoa” by the Finnish rock band CMX.

During his lifetime, Mantovani did not always get respect from his fellow musicians. When George Martin first suggested overdubbing Paul McCartney’s recording of Yesterday with strings, McCartney’s initial reaction, according to Martin, was that he didn’t want it sounding like Mantovani. Martin therefore used a more classical sound, employing a string quartet.

Much of his catalogue has reappeared on CD. There are also many compilations. A large number of CDs are available containing unauthorised recordings, billed as Mantovani or Mantovani Orchestra, for example the CD titled “The Mantovani Orchestra” released in 1997 contained a track from the 1980s Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “Cats”, which would have required posthumous conducting on the part of Mantovani. There have also been CDs released under the Mantovani name of recordings made by others while Mantovani was still alive.

Following Mantovani’s death in 1980, the Mantovani Estate continues to authorise numerous concerts worldwide and recordings using original and newly commissioned arrangements. (by wikipedia)

And here is one of his countless albums … I guess he was a music maniac like James Last-

Enjoy the beautiful sound of Mantovani  & his Orchestra !

Linernotes

Personnel:
Mantovani And His Orchestra

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Tracklist:
01. Malaguena (Lecuona/Banks/Hansen) 3.52
02. Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps (Farres/Davis) 2.41
03. Be Mine Tonight (Lara/Skylar) 3.16
04. Cielito Linda (Santos) 1.54
05. La Paloma (Yradier) 2.47
06. Siboney (Morse/Lecuona) 3.20
07. A Garden In Granada (Baer/Vasilescu/Lewis) 3.40
08. Perfidia (Tonight) (Dominguez/Leeds) 2.59
09. Andalucia (The Breeze And I) (Stillman/Lecuona) 2.33
10. La Golondrina (Serradell) 3.51
11. Maria Elena (Barcelata/Russell) 2.44
12. España (Chabrier) 2.36

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Various Artists – An Easy Christmas (2001)

frontcover1This is just a sampler, full with 20 old and classic christmas songs, performed by many stars in the easy listening style.
You can hear singers like Don McLean, David Bowie, Andy Williams, Nat King Cole, Doris Day, Perry Como and Al Green.

“This is my most favourite christmas album ever-I had to order a second copy as the first had a scratch on. I listen to it all the time. Not your average Christmas album!”(by miss r aughton)

“Great to listen to while wrapping presents” (by Zoe Bell)

And I guess, I will play this album (amongst others) on December 24, 2016 … Enjoy this romantic and sentimental sampler.

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Tracklist:
01. Andy Williams: Most Wonderful Time Of Year (2001) (Pola/Wyle) 2.34
02. Nat King Cole: Christmas Song (1963) (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) (Tormé/Wells) 3.14
03. Eartha Kitt: Santa Baby (1953) (Javits/Springer) 3.26
04. Dean Martin: Let It Snow Let It Snow Let It Snow (1965) (Cahn/Styne) 1.58
05. Judy Garland: Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (1944) (Martin/Blane) 2.45
06. Harry Belafonte: Mary’s Boy Child (1957) (Hairston) 2.59
07. Bing Crosby: White Christmas (1954) (Berlin) 3.04
08. Al Green: Silent Night (1963) (Gruber/Mohr) 3.19
09. Crystal Gayle: Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer (1996) (Marks) 2.57
10. Anne Murray: Snowbird (1978) (MacLellan) 2.11
11. Don McLean: Winter Wonderland (1991) (Bernard/Smith) 2.54
12. Charles Brown: Please Come Home For Christmas (Christmas Finds Me Oh So Sad) (1961) (Brown/Redd) 3.18
13. Doris Day: I’ll Be Home For Christmas (1964) (Gannon/Kent/Ram) 2.27
14. Andy Williams: Sleigh Ride (live) (2001) (Anderson) 2.22
15. Crystal Gayle: Silver Bells (1996) (Livingston/Evans) 4.09
16. Don McLean: Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town (1991) (Coots/Gillespie) 3.06
17. Perry Como: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (1959)(Traditional) 2.56
18. Al Green: What Christmas Means To Me (1963) (Story/Gaye/ Gordy) 3.44
19. Bing Crosby + David Bowie: Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy (1977) (Fraser/Grossman/Alan Kohan/Simeone/Davis/Onorati) 2.38
20. Michael Ball: Happy New Year (1999) (Andersson/Ulvaeus) 4.18

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Amalia Rodrigues – The Queen Of Fado (2011)

FrontCover1When Amalia Rodrigues died October 6th, 1999 (aged 79) the government of Portugal declared three days of national morning. Political activity in the country’s general election campaign came to a halt. The president was the chief mourner at the singer’s state funeral. It was a singular expression of national grief and in some ways a peculiar one.

Entertainers, however famous, rarely, if ever, depart in such ceremony. It did not happen to Maria Callas, perhaps the most celebrated opera singer of recent times, when she died in 1977; or to Frank Sinatra, who died in 1998. There was some sadness, certainly; a lot of reminiscences, of course; but life went on largely uninterrupted in Greece and America. The sanctifying of Amalia Rodrigues may say something about the nature of the Portuguese as well as about what the prime minister called “the voice of the country’s soul”.

Amalia01She was known simply as Amalia. The diminution of her name was itself a reflection of her fame (as was Britain’s Diana, or Di, whose death in 1997 also briefly interrupted the life of her country). Her style of singing is called fado, the Portuguese word for fate. “I have so much sadness in me,” Amalia said. “I am a pessimist, a nihilist. Everything that fado demands in a singer I have in me.” Amalia’s message of fatalism seems to have echoed a mood among her admirers. Portugal is still among the least modern of European countries, though it has been modernising rapidly of late. It expects its economy to grow by about 3% this year, compared with an average of only 1.9% growth for the rest of the euro area. But GDP does not change a country’s sentiment overnight. Portugal was the first European country in modern times to carve out a great trading empire. Go almost anywhere in the world and you find traces of Portuguese architecture, language and genes. Generation by generation, the once-rich Portuguese have seen their empire slowly vanish, and not very gracefully. East Timor is still formally Portuguese. “I sing of tragedy,” Amalia said, “of things past.”

Amalia02Amalia Rodrigues was never sure of her exact birthday. Her grandmother said it was in the cherry season, so she assumed she was born in early summer. Other details of her childhood were also obscure. Some accounts said her father was a shoemaker; others that he was a musician. The story that as a teenager she sold fruit on the docks of Lisbon, capturing the hearts of her customers with her singing, was willingly believed by those who adored her. The adoration was put to the test in 1974 when Portugal emerged from half a century of dictatorship. Amalia’s critics said she had benefited from the patronage of the most enduring of Europe’s fascist regimes.

“I always sang fado without thinking of politics,” Amalia responded angrily. It was a claim impossible to contradict. Yet fado, with its melancholy fatalism, was an appropriate accompaniment to the thinking of the Portuguese leader, António de Oliveira Salazar. Not for him the ruthless urgency of Hitler. Rather, in his corporate state he wanted to preserve Portugal as a rural and religious society where industrialisation and other modernising influences would be excluded. He kept Portugal out of the second world war. It was too wearisome.

Amalia03Fado was the music of Portuguese tradition. If it had any foreign ingredients they were from Africa, but these were acceptable: huge areas of Africa had been Portuguese. And here was Amalia, the queen of fado, clad all in black, her throbbing voice accompanied by two guitarists, her head thrown back, her eyes closed. She was the essence of sadness, bearing the memories of two marriages; both unhappy. When Salazar heard “O Grito” (“The Cry”) he allowed himself a tear.

Unsurprisingly, the Portugal that followed the dictatorship wanted cheering up, as well as modernising. The question of whether Amalia had been a supporter of the old regime became irrelevant. Fado itself fell out of fashion. Rock was the music of democracy.

Amalia, however, had built up other audiences abroad. The Brazilians, whose language is Portuguese, flocked to see her dozen or so films. A six-week tour to Rio and other cities had to be expanded to three months. In the United States record collectors said that her songs, with their four-line stanzas, were like the blues, and she did indeed make some recordings with a jazz saxophonist, Don Byas. Italians claimed to see links between fado and opera. The French said Amalia reminded them of Edith Piaf, who sang nostalgically of the tragedies in her life. A fado song given the English title “April in Portugal” became a hit in several countries.

In Portugal fado and Amalia gradually made a comeback. Amalia showed that she was really a democrat at heart by recording “Grandola Vila Morena”, the song that had swept the country when the dictatorship ended. The socialist government presented her with the country’s highest decoration, the Order of Santiago. She was giving concerts up to a year ago, and every one was sold out. “The sadder the song, the more the Portuguese like it,” she said. In this new time of change, pessimism was back in fashion. For Amalia, it was the happiest of endings.(by economist.com)

And this is a unique collection of her greatest and most popular songs from a glittering career spanning more than 50 years.

Amalia04Personnel:
Amalia Rodrigues (vocals)
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various orchestras and musicians

Booklet03ATitel:
01. Barco Negro (1955) (Mourão/Ferreira/Velho) 4.12
02. Nao Digas Mal Dele (1953) (Barbosa/Armandinho) 3.26
03. Uma Casa Portuguesa (1953) (Ferreira/Seqeira/Fonseca) 2.28
04. Novo fado da Severa (1953) (DantasdeFreitas) 3.11
05. Perseguicao (1945) (deSousa/Pereira/da Maia) 2.35
06. Duas luzes (1945) (de Mata/do Amaral) 3.20
07. Faz hoje um ano (1952) (Galhardo/Ferrao) 4.40
08. Passei Por Vocк (1945) (de Brito/Marceneiro) 2.55
09. Fado do ciume (1945) (do Vale/Valério) 2.57
10. Sei finalmente (1945) (Barbosa/Armandinho) 2.53
11. As penas (1945) (Caldeira/Bacalhau) 3.10
12. A tendinha (1945) (Gallhardo/Ferraro) 2.06
13. Fado Amalia (1951) (Gallhardo/Valerio) 3.01

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Pete Seeger – American Folk Songs for Children (1953)

FrontCover1We are sorry to report that Pete Seeger himself passed away yesterday at 94 “after a short illness” (as reported by BBC News). His loss is keenly felt, and our thoughts and prayers are with the Seeger family at this difficult time. Pete was an extraordinary man – singer, songwriter, activist, and far more – but the influence of his life and his music will live on in all of us with whom he shared his gifts. He is well loved and will be sorely missed.

The Pete Seeger Appreciation Page will continue to be hosted in honor and memory of Pete. (taken from the Pete Seeger appreciation website).

The eleven songs on this album were specifically selected from an identically titled book anthology of folk songs for children collected by Seeger’s stepmother, Ruth Crawford Seeger. Pete Seeger renders them plainly and simply, singing and playing and banjo, on a program designed especially (but not solely) for children between three and seven years of age. “Jim Crack Corn,” “Frog Went A-Courting,” and “She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain” are some of the better-known tunes on the record, but not all of them are as overly familiar. It’s been reissued on a single-disc CD that also includes a similar Pete Seeger album, 1962’s American Game and Activity Songs for Children. (by Ritchie Unterberger)

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Personnel:
Pete Seeger (banjo, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Jim Along Josie 2.06
02. There Was a Man and He Was Mad 1.44
03. Clap Your Hands 2.58
04. She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain 1.54
05. All Around The Kitchen 2.01
06. Billy Barlow 2.35
07. Bought Me A Cat 3.11
08. Jim Crack Corn 2.16
09. Train Is A-Coming 3.08
10. This Old Man 2.37
11. Frog Went A-Courting 4.23

All songs: Traditional

PeteSeeger3Thank you and goodbye Pete Seeger: R.I.P.

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Max Kaminsky All Star Dixieland – When The Saints Go Marching In (1953)

FrontCover1Max Kaminsky (September 7, 1908- September 6, 1994) was an accomplished musician at an early age, first playing the cornet before embracing the trumpet as his instrument of choice. He began his career in Boston before moving on to Chicago and New York where he could seriously pursue his goals and collaborate with musicians of the same caliber.

During World War II, he joined the Navy and performed with the Artie Shaw Navy Band as he toured the South Pacific. After serving in the Navy, Kaminsky continued recording and touring the world, and in 1963 wrote his autobiography, My Life in Jazz, documenting the initial portion of his incredible life story.

Although Kaminsky was not from New Orleans, his family believed his lifelong love of New Orleans jazz made the Hogan Jazz Archive at Tulane a fitting repository for his materials upon his demise. The Max Kaminsky Photography Collection chronicles a fascinating life, with photos from his time in the navy, world tours, iconic jazz institutions and performances with artists including Eddie Condon, Jack Teagarden and Pee Wee Russell. (by Hogan Jazz Archive)

And this is one his great albums with dixieland-jazz on a very high level !

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Personnel:
Ernie Caceres (clarinet, saxophone)
Dick Cary (piano
Al Casamenti (guitar)
Cutty Cutshall (trombone)
Bob Haggart (bass)
Peanuts Hucko (clarinet, saxophone)
Jo Jones (drums)
Max Kaminsky (trumpet, vocals)

BackCover1Tracklist:
01. Royal Garden Blues (Williams) 3.01
02. Squueze Me (Williams/Waller) 3.02
03. Go Go Go (Kaminsky/Cary) 3.11
04. I’ve Got The World On A String (Arlen/Koehler) 3.35
05. When The Saints Go Marching In (Traditional) 2.45
06. Samat Joy Blues (Kaminsky/Cary) 3.29
07. Original Dixieland One-Step (LaRocca) 3.31
08. Eccentric Rag (Robinson) 2.54

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