Latin Rendezvous


How long has it been since you heard the sound of burning-bright Mediterranean sunshine? When did you last listen to the colour-splashed beaches of a blue-bordered Spanish bay? Have you ever let your ears take in the magnificent beauty of a Latin girl’s flowing black hair?  Do you long to hear again the panoramic splendour of a luxuriant Italian valley? These and hundreds more audio pictures will leap out of your ears, grasp the attention of your mind’s eye, conjure up past memories and future dreams, when you play this irresistable new Mantovani programme.

So, here we have The Mantovani Orchestra‘s first Latin album, but this ain’t yer typical South American easy vibes. The focus here is on the more classically inclined music of Southern Europe, and the sound is big, brash and beautiful.

According to Tony Barrow’s sleeve notes, this album came about as a result of a competition, where fans of Mantovani were invited to submit an album title and tracklist for his next record. The winner, a Mr. Angelo Ruggerio of Milford, New Jersey, was flown to London in 1963 to meet Mantovani and watch him work on the recording of this album. He was also given an exciting sight-seeing tour of the UK capital.

Published in: on December 3, 2009 at 7:46 am  Leave a Comment  
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Super Stereo Sound Sampler


Turntable + vinyl + sofa + attractive (slightly tipsy?) female = the perfect recipe for a quiet night in.

This record was “designed simply and solely as a showcase – a shop window for a most attractive series of specially designed and recorded LPs. The wide variety of sounds and moods are a cross-section of the albums currently available in Mercury’s Super Stereo catalogue.”

Quincy Jones makes an appearance with his Big Band, and Peter Knight has a crack at orchestrating “Lovely Rita”, but the best track by a mile is “Tally Man” by Big Jim Sullivan, taken from an album called Sitar Beat, which I will definitely be keeping my eyes peeled for, though I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s quite a kitschy collectable among psychedelia fans.

Published in: on November 27, 2009 at 1:41 pm  Comments (2)  
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Blooming Hits – Paul Mauriat and his orchestra

Paul Maureat

Music from my childhood – this is one of the records I got from my parents when they went all digital ages ago (in addition to some tasty vintage 70s hifi gear).  Back in the late 60s we all live in the States – and this is one of the records of the time they bought whilst over there – to be honest – this is not really to my particular liking – being a light-weight orchestral-rendering of pop things – but ‘A Kind of Hush’ is sort of funky  – and they all sound uber-failiar having listened to them during the years after they were first purchased.  A load of other classics from them will be posted – some are absolutely excellent to hear – this on the other hand is quite a visual classic !!

Published in: on October 16, 2009 at 7:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Ray Conniff HI-FI Companion

The Ray Conniff HI-FI Companion

What a cover – love the totally full-on colour of this print – everything is just right – and the look she gives – man you would never really guess that this is a smulchy double-LP of orchestral-chorus compositions that (according to the sleeve-notes) “recreate the essance of popular music” – well at leastthat must have been the case circa-1950 …

Does not really matter what is inside – when the sleeve is so damn nice however ..!

And just take a look at old Ray on the back – total dude (“one of the foremost conductor-arranges of our time, dynamic …”  – there you have it …

The Ray Conniff HI-FI Companion

Published in: on October 9, 2009 at 8:22 pm  Comments (2)  
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Piano Music by Eric Satie. Performed by John McCabe. Saga Records, 1974. Splendid condition. Mine for a quid. Sweet.

While I’m here, check this excellent post by our friend Kek on the nature and psychology of the thrifty collector, which certainly rang a few bells in my skull.

Published in: on September 14, 2009 at 10:12 pm  Comments (1)