Ernest Tomlinson, the grand old man of British light music, once
said that what makes light music what it is, is that it’s music
where the tune is more important than what you do with it. This
disk is full of great tunes with colourful orchestrations, and
a real sense of fun and enjoyment. Starting with a bright and
breezy Robert Farnon arrangement of Sunny Side Up – where
Farnon proves that a full orchestra can really swing like a dance
band - this disk is a delight.
of the joys of this collection is the mixture of well known,
and less well known, composers. The programme has been put
together with such great care that one never tires of the
fact that there is hardly any respite from the high spirits.
And what high spirits they are.
does one even begin to give a flavour of such a collection?
Well, let’s look at the better known composers. Ron Goodwin’s
Red Cloak contains a reference to the music he was
soon to write for Margaret Rutherford as Agatha Christie’s
Miss Marple, mixing an animated piano solo with Spanish-suffused
brass and percussion writing. Ronald Binge’s Mischievous
Mac contrasts what seems to be a military quick-step with
different, contrasting, episodes. As a young composer, Angela
Morley came under the spell of Robert Farnon – which gave
her the inspiration for A Canadian in Mayfair – and
Starlight (here conducted by Farnon) is a lovely nocturne.
Ernest Tomlinson is probably best known for the delicious
Little Serenade, which grew out of incidental music
he wrote to a BBC radio production of The Story of Cinderella,
and this Fairy Coach is from the same source. It’s
much in the manner of Benjamin Frankel’s Carriage and Pair,
from the film So Long at the Fair (1948), but this
coach has faster horses! Sidney Torch’s three movement London
Transport Suite celebrates three modes of public transport
– the Hansom Cab, the Bus (a Routemaster, no doubt, none of
that bendy bus nonsense, this is real music for a real bus)
and the train – and is a delightful concoction. Bert Kaempfert’s
Las Vegas is a pizzicato scherzo of great lightness,
with a lyrical middle section.
much to enjoy from the lesser known composers – OK, they are
lesser known to me, but perhaps not to you.
was particularly taken with Strop and Michel’s Clown on
the Eiffel Tower, with its bucolic bassoon and flirty
flutes, Ira Lee’s Toot Sweet is another pizzicato scherzo
with lyrical middle section and Pares and Roger’s Holiday
on the Road is one long delightful tune, with some great
orchestrations for the brass.
isn’t one dud amongst these 28 pieces – they’re all winners!
recordings come from a variety of sources and the sound quality
is excellent, but lacking the kind of sense of a concert hall
we are used to today, so if you’re going to listen to the
whole CD in one sitting it can be slightly tiring on the ears.
But this is not a complaint for the discs are presented, without
tampering, in their original condition and with their original
sound. For this we must be grateful. Fantastic!
disk is an absolute must for all lovers of light music and anyone
who enjoys a good tune. A super issue.
Buddy De SYLVA (1895–1950), Nacio
Herb BROWN (1896–1964), Roy
HENDERSON (1896–1970) Sunny Side Up (arr. Robert FARNON (1917–2005)) [1:57]
Bert KAEMPFERT (1923–1980) Las Vegas [2:36]
Luis GIUGLIEMI (aka Louiguy) (1916–1991), Jacques LARUE (1906–1961), Mack DAVID (1912–1993)
Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White (arr. Johnny
GREGORY–pseudonym for Giovanni
GREGORI (b. 1924)) [1:51]
Nino RAVASINI Baffi (1957) [2:15]
Dany MICHEL Clown
on the Eiffel Tower [2:31]
Robert KATSCHER My Friend Elizabeth [2:12]
Ira LEE Toot
Ron GOODWIN (1925–2003) Red Cloak [2:36]
George SIRAVO Bumps-a-Daisy
Bernie WAYNE (pseudonym for Bernard WEITZNER) (1919–1993)
The Telegraph Operator and the Chorus Girl [2:30]
Georges BOULANGER (1883–1958) Pizzicato Waltz [2:26]
Marvin M WRIGHT
Easy on the Eyes (1957) [2:15]
Moro MORALES Vuelve (arr. Laurie JOHNSON)
Jack SAY (pseudonym for Jacques YSAYE) Madame Pompadour [2:41]
Angela MORLEY (at that time known as Wally STOTT) (b. 1924)
Tony TAMBURELLO Party Dress (arr. Bruce CAMPBELL) [2:16]
Ronald BINGE (1910–1979) Mischievous Mac [2:54]
Peter (Gabriel Philippe)
PARES, Roger ROGER (1911–1995) Holiday
on the Road (1957) [2:47]
Len STEVENS Lido fashion Parade [2:49]
Cyril WATTERS (1907–1984) Flat Spin [2:40]
Ernest TOMLINSON (b. 1924) Fairy Coach (1955) [2:37]
Van PHILLIPS (1905–1992) Practical Joker (1956) [2:42]
Frank STERLING (pseudonym for Dennis BERRY) Bel Air [2:50]
Sidney TORCH (1908–1990) London Transport Suite (1957)
LEWIS, COCHRANE My Last Love [3:03]
Mahlon MERRICK (1900–1969) Prairie Duster [2:48]
Nelson RIDDLE (1921–1985) Orange (1956) [2:56]
Nacio Herb BROWN (1896–1964) Dance of Fury [2:40]
David Carroll (Lee), Robert Farnon (Brown), Robert
French (Say), Ron Goodwin (Goodwin), Bert Kaempfert (Kaempfert),
George Liberace (Boulanger), Monia Liter (Ravasini), Geoff Love
(Cochrane), Ray Martin (Katscher), Mahlon Merrick (Merrick), Cyril
Ornadel (Giugliemi), Franck Pourcel (Strop/Michel), David Rose
(Brown), George Siravo (Siravo), Dolf van der Linden (Sterling),
Louis Voss (Watters) and Bernie Wayne (Wayne) all conducting their
own Orchestras; Ambrose and his Orchestra with strings/Laurie
Johnson (Morales), Crawford Light Orchestra (Binge, Stevens and
Tomlinson), Danish State Radio Orchestra/Robert Farnon (Morley
and Torch), Grosvenor Studio Orchestra (Wright and Pares/Roger),
Stuttgart Radio Orchestra/Kurt Rehfeld (Phillips), Symphony Orchestra/Frank
Sinatra (Riddle), Telecast Orchestra/Elliott Mayes (Tamburello).