Sunday, August 28, 2005

Big, lush, Sixties-style easy listening--from 1946

So, we just have to be talking about Morton Gould, right? Right. Gould, we recall, is the American composer and mood-music Maestro who first recorded his spectacular 1961 "Living Stereo" arrangement of Beyond the Blue Horizon in the year 1947--long before stereo, living or otherwise, and one year before vinyl. He rerecorded the arrangement for RCA in 1955, adding some musical train effects (using musical trains), and this recording, in turn, was reissued in rather thinnish stereo for the Beyond the Blue Horizon LP. I was surprised and delighted to discover the earlier recording.

And I'm delighted to have discovered two more pre-vinyl Gould arrangements that sound way ahead of their time, not only in terms of their sophisticated scoring, but also sound-wise. You'd swear that fidelity this good couldn't have existed prior to, oh, 1956. But the year was 1946.

(Was that a gasp or a yawn I heard?) Anyway, nothing to yawn about in this first number, which just might be my favorite Gould arrangement of all. It's a little too early to tell. Brazil (Barroso), Morton Gould and His Orchestra, from South of the Border album, 1946.

El Rancho Grande is less spectacular, and less vintage-Exotica, but it's still very interesting as pre-lounge lounge. The orchestration is terrific: half-"Pops," half-elevator. I wish I could think of a pun for that. (An elder-vator? No, no....) El Rancho Grande (Ramos), Morton Gould and His Orchestra, from South of the Border album, 1946.

Please save, rather than open, files for best results. Thanks!



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