Monday, October 03, 2005

Leading-edge Lounge

Seven examples of vintage lounge that sound as if they were recorded 10, 15, 20 years later. Innovative lounge--is that possible? Of course. It's what this blog is all about.

We start with Jerome Kern's Poor Pierrot, arranged by Morton Gould, who plays the piano on this. This sounds, to my ears, as if it were recorded circa 1966--so much so, you can almost hear the stereophonic sound. Gould just doesn't get the respect he deserves, lounge-history-wise. And it's possible he wouldn't want it, come to think of it.

Poor Pierrot (Kern), Morton Gould, piano and orchestra, 1951.

And here's Alfred Newman, from 1953, conducting his very own Street Scene--a symphonic jazz classic he penned for King Vidor's 1931 movie of the same name.

Street Scene (Newman, 1931), Alfred Newman conducting the Hollywood Symphony Orchestra, 1953. From Mercury 45.

And, as an added bonus (isn't that a redundant redundancy?), here's George Greeley with the Warner Brothers Orchestra, from 1961:

Street Scene (Newman, 1931), George Greeley, Warner Brothers Orch., 1961. (Is there an echo in here?)

That was George Greeley with the Warner Brothers Orchestra, in case I forgot to mention it. And here is--I mean, are--Arthur Whittemore and Jack Lowe with the RCA Victor Orchestra (cond. by Victor Alessandro) in a roots-of-Ferrante-and-Teicher performance of Lover. This is another side that could easily pass for 1966, let alone 1946.

Lover (Rodgers-Hart), Whittemore and Lowe with the RCA Victor Orchestra, cond. by Victor Alessandro, 1946.

Another ahead-of-his-time loungster (loungster??), Andre Kostelanetz, is definitely not regarded by most people as the cutting edge of anything. But witness (aurally) how much this 1944 gem sounds like The 101 Strings, circa 1958. Which, again, isn't something that cries "innovation," but these things are relative, needless to say....

Blues in the Night (Harold Arlen), Andre Kostelanetz and His Orch., 1944. From vinyl (shellac would be more authentic, but I only have vinyl, in this case).

Louis Alter (best-known, possibly, for Manhattan Serenade) wrote the following gem in 1950. Here's Domenico Savino's 1959 recording:

Stranger in the City (Alter), Domenico Savino and His Symphonic Strings, 1959. From RCA Camden LP.

And we close with the late Salvadore "Tutti" Camarata's light music gem of 1953, Pizzicato Rhumba, which is exactly what the title describes. (Who would dare come up with a name like that and not live up to it?) Camarata, of course, arranged for Jimmy Dorsey and later worked for the Disney label (Annette, et al.), which he cofounded!

Pizzicato Rhumba (Camarata), Camarata conducting the Kingsway Symphony Orch., 1953. From Decca 45 (recorded in England).

And... Blogger's photo upload is not working (again). Oh, well.... It's the music that matters!



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