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The Golden Age of Light Music ó Three Great American Light Orchestras
Track details below
rec. 1950-1961
GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD 5199 [78:46]

 

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The focus here is narrower than usual, though by no means uniquely so in this long running Guild series. Guild takes three maestros: Percy Faith, David Rose and Paul Weston and lines up twenty-four tracks, equally distributed between them. As David Ades notes, only one of the musicians was actually born in America. Paul Weston, who was born Paul Wetstein, came from Massachusetts.
 
Canadian Percy Faith starts off with his brand of fulsome romantic balladry, a richly voiced Somewhere and a silken Petite followed by the cowboy pokery of his own rather vapid The Last Dance, complete with glutinous sax solo. Note that there is no resemblance to the Floyd Cramer song of the same name. Much better is the languorous cantilena of La Mer and the Francophile theme is reprised in Mon Oncle, the theme from the Tati film. The last Faith contribution, Go-Go-Po-Go is a downright swinger. Remember that if not everything here is top drawer Percy Faith, this Guild series is littered with his contributions.
 
David Roseís own patented brand of lusciousness is on display too in Iíve Got The World On A String and in The Happy Bow, his own song, he feints for one moment toward a fugato. Now that would be unusual in the Light Music genre. I canít remember many fugues in this series. Strings get a bluesy working during Lonesome On Main Street and then Ray Turner arrives to parade a pocket piano concerto in The Mask Waltz. Youíll know Ponderosa, as itís the music from Bonanza. On no account overlook Itís A Most Unusual Day, film music performed with true class and a palette of intriguing colours.
 
So finally to Paul Weston who starts with a fruity version of Whispers In The Dark (more shouts than whispers from the sound of it) and calms down with the reflective My Darling, My Darling. Weston encouraged rather ripe brass playing from time to time, and his trumpet principal had a decidedly effusive, Harry James-like tone, but his own piano playing was enjoyably cocktail in orientation. At least thatís the score on There Will Never Be Another You, where the pianism is decidedly on the decorative side. Heís heard at his best in Folks Who Live On The Hill which is beautifully done. As a real bonus thereís a final track which lasts six and a half minutes. It features Weston discussing his 1958 Jerome Kern album. This was a special promotional feature issued by Columbia, and itís well worth a listen to get an idea of how composers and lyricists work.
 
Jonathan Woolf
 
Faith, Rose and Weston across twenty-four tracks.
 
Track details
Somewhere ('West Side Story') Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein, arr. Percy Faith PERCY FAITH AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Petite (Mon Petite Monde a Moi) David E. Coleman, Rudi Revil, arr. Percy Faith PERCY FAITH AND HIS ORCHESTRA
The Last Dance Percy Faith PERCY FAITH AND HIS ORCHESTRA
My Shawl Stanley Adams, Xavier Cugat, arr. Percy Faith PERCY FAITH AND HIS ORCHESTRA
La Mer (Beyond The Sea) Charles Trenet, arr. Percy Faith THE PERCY FAITH STRINGS
Mon Oncle (Theme from the film) Franck Barcellini, arr. Percy Faith PERCY FAITH AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Italian Street Song (from 'Naughty Marietta') Victor Herbert, arr. Percy Faith PERCY FAITH AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Go-Go-Po-Go Percy Faith PERCY FAITH AND HIS ORCHESTRA
California Melodies David Rose DAVID ROSE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Iíve Got The World On A String (from 'Cotton Club Parade') Harold Arlen, Ted Koehler, arr. David Rose DAVID ROSE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
The Happy Bow David Rose DAVID ROSE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Lonesome On Main Street David Rose DAVID ROSE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
The Mask Waltz David Rose DAVID ROSE AND HIS ORCHESTRA featuring RAY TURNER, piano
Flavia David Rose DAVID ROSE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Ponderosa (from the TV series 'Bonanza') David Rose DAVID ROSE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Itís A Most Unusual Day (From the film 'A Date With Judy') Jimmy McHugh, Harold Adamson, arr. David Rose DAVID ROSE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Whispers In The Dark Leo Robin, Frederick Hollander, arr. Paul Weston PAUL WESTON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
My Darling, My Darling (from 'Whereís Charley?') Frank Loesser, arr. Paul Weston PAUL WESTON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Day By Day Paul Weston, Sammy Cahn, Axel Stordahl, arr. Paul Weston PAUL WESTON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Soon Ira Gershwin, George Gershwin, arr. Paul Weston PAUL WESTON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
There Will Never Be Another You (from the film 'Iceland') Harry Warren, Mack Gordon, arr. Paul Weston PAUL WESTON AND HIS ORCHESTRA featuring PAUL WESTON, piano
When April Comes Again Paul Weston, Doris Schaefer PAUL WESTON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Folks Who Live On The Hill (from 'High, Wide and Handsome') Jerome Kern, arr. Paul Weston PAUL WESTON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Who (from the show 'Sunny') Jerome Kern, arr. Paul Weston PAUL WESTON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Paul Weston discussing his Jerome Kern recordings in 1958 for a special promotional feature by Columbia Records

 



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