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The Golden Age of Light Music – Amor Amor - Music for Romance

Cocktails For Two arr. Robert Farnon [3:10]
Robert Farnon and his orchestra

Easy To Love arr. Ron Goodwin [3:05]
Ron Goodwin and his concert orchestra
Will HARRIS and Victor YOUNG

Sweet Sue [2:57]
David Rose and his orchestra

They Can't Take That Away From Me arr. Johnny Douglas [2:39]
Johnny Douglas and his orchestra
Jack STRACHEY and Harry LINK

These Foolish Things arr. Philip Green [4:23]
Philip Green and his orchestra
Peter de ROSE

Starlit Hour arr. Laurie Johnson [3:07]
Ambrose and his orchestra/Laurie Johnson

Darling Je Vous Aime Beaucoup [3:24]
Henri Rene and his orchestra
Jerome KERN

The Song Is You arr. Angela Morley [4:08]
Kingsway Promenade Orchestra/Stanley Black featuring Stanley Black (piano)

Should I Dream? [3:09]
Sidney Torch and his orchestra

I'll String Along With You [3:08]
Werner Müller and his orchestra

Unforgettable arr. Ray Martin [3:01]
Ray Martin and his orchestra

Lovelight arr. Bruce Campbell [2:49]
Bruce Campbell and his orchestra
Harold ARLEN

Last Night When We Were Young [3:14]
David Rose and his orchestra
George BLAKE and Richard LEIBERT

Come Dance With Me arr. Robert Farnon) [2:50]
Robert Farnon and his orchestra
Victor YOUNG

My Foolish Heart [2:52]
Roberto Inglez and his orchestra
Vivian ELLIS

She's My Lovely arr. Philip Green [3:23]
Philip Green and his orchestra

Amor Amor arr. Frank Cordell [2:26]
Frank Cordell and his orchestra

Bread, Love And Dreams (Pane, Amore e Fantasia) [2:29]
Percy Faith and his orchestra

I Love The Moon [2:43]
Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra/Charles Williams

The Long Hours [2:25]
Sidney Torch and his orchestra
Jerome KERN

Touch Of Your Hand [3:30]
Gordon Jenkins and his orchestra
Norman GIMBEL and Eddie HEYWOOD

Land Of Dreams [2:41]
Hugo Winterhalter and his orchestra featuring Eddie Haywood (piano)

Vision Of Delia [3:14]
The Melachrino Strings/George Melachrino

You Were There; Dearest Love arr. Roland Shaw [6:17]
Frank Chacksfield and his orchestra

The Light Music series from Guild, rather like Old Man River, just keeps rolling along. I’ve no idea how many volumes are yet to be squeezed, extracted, filleted, compiled or otherwise assembled from the mass of material available but the results are always imaginatively selected and presented. Ancillary information on composers and arrangers is thoughtfully given, though Guild is careful not to reprise details of every composer, arranger or bandleader – since so many reappear throughout the volumes that would be simply exhausting.

The theme of this disc is Love – or Amor, Amor which, being foreign, sounds better. The composers range from Gershwin, Porter, Kern, Arlen and Young to names that are barely remembered today – de Rose, Sosenko, Croudson and others. Most of the bands have been staples of this series – Farnon, Rose, Goodwin, Philip Green and Melachrino are just some of the elite aggregations on display.

This then is a self-definingly Romantic selection recorded during the years 1940 to 1956, though a little caution seems to be exercised over the earlier date. A few thoughts then. Farnon encourages some exquisitely beautiful wind solos in Cocktails For Two whilst Ron Goodwin reprises the idea with fine cor anglais work in his arrangement of Easy to Love. The supremo of the genre, David Rose, contributes a lusciously slow version of Sweet Sue, succulently beautiful, whilst bolder feelings emerge via the fat toned solo trumpet in Philip Green’s orchestra, who together essay These Foolish Things. This is taken at a loping tempo and sports a mellifluous clarinet, and fine flute work – and also, an occasional hazard of the genre, the accordion.

Naturally there are still solo spots for pocket piano virtuosi. Stanley Black offers some pianistic fills and asides on The Song is You whilst simultaneously dusting his cuffs for some of the more strenuously Rachmaninovian moments. Along with the accordion and the harmonica one of the occasionally grating sounds of the time was modish percussion. An example of this regrettably not-yet-extinct genus comes in Werner Müller’s I'll String Along With You. This track sounds rather strange to my ears; is the now-coming, now-going string sound reflective of the original? It sounds muddy to me.

The title track is played by Frank Cordell and his orchestra. Its tango-ish, Bolero-esque drama is well calibrated and contrasts strongly with I Love The Moon, the gentle seriousness of which is delicately touched in by that superb veteran Charles Williams, an old East End fiddle player. Let’s forgive the vague boogie cow-pokery of Land of Dreams as suggested by Hugo Winterhalter with pianist Eddie Haywood.

Another notch then on Guild’s Light Music bedpost - insinuating romance from a less than burnished time.

Jonathan Woolf




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July 2022

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