Stereo offered opportunities to display nuance in recordings of Light Music. Novelty effects gradually became passé and bandleaders and arrangers adapted to the new technology avidly. So this was the state of play around 1960 and 1961 when these recording were released onto the market. As ever with this company, in its ever-increasing catalogue, selection has provided some fantastic things, some interesting things and some exotic things.
Busy but grand, big-boned but crippled by modish percussion, Cyril Ornadel gets us underway with Night and Day, closely followed by the dapperly arranged Bidin' My Time which shows the genre in altogether better fashion: Frederick Fennell, naturally. Clebanoff and his famous strings reveal an impressive rate of movement in a splendid showcase performance of Bobsled, a skittering and joyful opus, outstandingly performed. From ice to heat next in one of Guild’s trademark eyebrow-raising conjunctions, where we move to Italia Mia for some Mediterranean warmth courtesy of Mantovani. This geographical shift incites the brainy archivist at Guild to give us Coney Island next, a lively tone poem courtesy of that flexible aggregation, The Sinfonia of London. This six-minute piece sports a languorous sax solo (who?). Guild isn’t finished with apt conjunctions. There’s a mini occupations theme with Jockey on the Carousel (Morton Gould) followed by Pedro the Fisherman, a snappy little piece.
David Carroll plays Petite Waltz with a rather eccentrically arrayed orchestration: the harpsichord and surrounding business give it a strangely Bal-musette feel. Not unattractive, however. There’s percussion to consider as well, not least when the sonic spectacular that is stereo is involved. There’s a fiesta of bangable and crashable impedimenta in Amparito Roca, with Fennell again leading the way. The Light genre still hadn’t fallen out of love with Rachmaninovian piano interludes; there’s one to start One Eyed Jacks and the famous one in Dream of Olwen, which is played here by Russ Conway. There is rich poetry here too, such as Percy Faith’s handling of Lisa, if I can put it that way, and the comedic is never too far away, witness On The Beach At Waikiki.
As can be seen, variety, variety, variety. I haven’t even mentioned the superb wind playing in Wal-Berg’s Fete Circassienne or the fine Eric Johnson orchestra performing genre maestro Eric Coates’s Mayfair or that Farnon and Rose are both here as well.
Variety, variety, variety.
1 Night And Day (from the film 'The Gay Divorcee') Cole Porter, arr. Brian Fahey CYRIL ORNADEL AND THE STARLIGHT SYMPHONY 3:20
2 Bidin' My Time George Gershwin, arr. Rayburn Wright FREDERICK FENNELL AND HIS ORCHESTRA 2:45
3 Bobsled Wayne Robinson,Caesar Giovannini, Herman Clebanoff CLEBANOFF AND HIS ORCHESTRA 2:15
4 Italia Mia Annunzio Paolo Mantovani MANTOVANI AND HIS ORCHESTRA 2:41
5 London Serenade Ron Goodwin RON GOODWIN AND HIS ORCHESTRA 2:31
6 Coney Island Don Banks THE SINFONIA OF LONDON Conducted by DOUGLAS GAMLEY 6:18
7 Carioca (from the film 'Flying Down To Rio') Gus Kahn, Edward Eliscu, Vincent Youmans JACK SHAINDLIN AND HIS ORCHESTRA 3:32
8 What Is There To Say Vernon Duke, E. Y. Harburg DAVID ROSE AND HIS ORCHESTRA 2:20
9 Jockey On The Carousel Jerome Kern, arr. Morton Gould MORTON GOULD AND HIS ORCHESTRA 3:34
10 Pedro The Fisherman (from 'The Lisbon Story') Harold Vousden Purcell, Harry Parr-Davies, arr. Johnny Douglas THE LIVING STRINGS Conducted by JOHNNY DOUGLAS 2:02
11 Petite Waltz Joe Heyne DAVID CARROLL AND HIS ORCHESTRA 2:10
12 Amparito Roca Jaime Texidor EASTMAN-ROCHESTER POPS ORCHESTRA Conducted by FREDERICK FENNELL 2:22
13 One Eyed Jacks - Love theme from the film Hugo Friedhofer FERRANTE AND TEICHER at two pianos, with Orchestra and Chorus 3:03
14 Lisa Percy Faith PERCY FAITH AND HIS ORCHESTRA 3:26
15 Ruby (from the film 'Ruby Gentry') Heinz Roemheld, Mitchell Parish THE MELACHRINO ORCHESTRA Conducted by GEORGE MELACHRINO 2:49
16 On The Beach At Waikiki Henry Kaikimai, G.H. Stove, arr. William Hill Bowen THE LIVING STRINGS Conducted by WILLIAM HILL BOWEN 3:00
17 Dream Of Olwen (from the film 'While I Live') Charles Williams RUSS CONWAY, Piano, with MICHAEL COLLINS AND HIS ORCHESTRA 3:55
18 Nobody's Heart Richard Rodgers, arr. Frank Cordell FRANK CORDELL AND HIS ORCHESTRA featuring NEILL SANDERS, horn 2:44
19 The Alamo - Theme from the film (Green Leaves Of Summer) Paul Francis Webster, Dimitri Tiomkin BILLY VAUGHN AND HIS ORCHESTRA 2:26
20 Fete Circassienne Wal-Berg WAL-BERG AND HIS ORCHESTRA 6:57
21 Mayfair (from ‘London Again' Suite) Eric Coates ERIC JOHNSON AND HIS ORCHESTRA 5:47
22 Away Out West (from the film 'Around The World In Eighty Days') Victor Popular Young, Harold Adamson, arr. Robert Farnon ROBERT FARNON AND HIS ORCHESTRA 3:23