Whether credited or
hidden here are twenty-five very different
soloists in a wide array of guises.
So we range from the discographically
significant Roy Bargy with Whiteman
essaying Gershwin the year after the
composer’s death to rather more conventionally
light fare such as the anonymous tuba
playing on Sidney Torch’s recording
of Song of the Maggie. There
doesn’t seem to be an over-arching philosophy
here, just a mélange of styles
and performances, so it would be best
to see this compilation in strictly
the short-lived guitarist Dave Goldberg,
whose jazzier licks are impressive.
Reginald Kell’s recordings with Camerata,
one of the more unlikely areas of his
life on disc, have been reissued in
DG’s complete American Decca recordings
boxed set, reviewed here - review.
Things move into enjoyably sub-Rachmaninovian
mode for the Last Rhapsody theme
played by pianist Edward Rubach and
Sidney Torch for Parlophone in 1953.
The same goes for the unimaginatively
titled First Theme played by
Joe "Mr Piano" Henderson.
Still, what a lot of compression went
into those three-minute Light Music
pocket concerto "singles."
Jackie Bond comes on
all juicy-toned and Freddie Gardner-esque
on Today and Every Day. Gardner
himself is close at hand on Valse
Vanite where he teams up with Peter
Yorke to pour some glutinous sauce over
the tune. We also hear from a brace
of virtuoso whistlers in the forms of
Muzzy Marcellino and Ronnie Ronalde.
Mitch Miller, as is only to be expected,
makes a fine showing as well when teamed
with Percy Faith. Eddie Calvert, another
who died at too young an age, just about
survives – though this is debatable
– the slushy environs of Margot’s
Minuet as dispensed by Norrie Paramor.
Mention of Calvert
should also alert one to a stalwart
on the American scene, Rafael Mendez,
who digs into Hubay with combustible
brilliance. Finally the Roy Bargy-Paul
Whiteman recording of Gershwin’s Second
Rhapsody, which was made in 1939. One
should note that it’s been somewhat
rescored and cut to fit onto two twelve
inch sides but it is of some historic
importance given that both men knew
The transfers have
been done well in the main. But it’s
noticeable how airless and dry the HMV
78 of Lulworth Cove sounds and
how equalization has sought a standardised
sound for these discs. Otherwise with
perspicacious notes and the usual good
selection priorities the Guild Light
Music series goes rolling on.