Reviews

GLCD 5180 – Bright and Breezy

Various

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Journal into Melody, Issue 188 – June 2011

You could almost hear the call “Lights, Camera, Action” prior to the opening number of this latest Guild release ‘Bright and Breezy’ which is also the title track by Peter Dennis: a typical show bizz/film opening number and newsreel backing of the 1950s, followed coincidentally or perhaps on purpose by Charles Williams’ Jealous Lover which was used as the theme for Billy Wilder’s 1960 film `The Apartment’, musical director Adolph Deutsch. The recording on this CD is by Billy Vaughn and his Orchestra and very good it is too. I’ve always thought of Vaughn as a jazz/swing musician but this is pure concert orchestra and Charles Williams would have given the thumbs up at this version I’m sure. This isn’t the first time Charles Williams’ music has appeared in an American feature film; one of his many Chappell mood pieces Barrage on C234 was used in `The Rocketeer’ (1991) as backing to a supposed Nazi propaganda cartoon and his name appears on the end credits. This sequence can be seen on YouTube. Upping the tempo somewhat we have the Harry Warren/Bob Russell number Carniva! played by Les Baxter and his Orchestra fotlowed by the Robert Farnon Orchestra with Bob’s own arrangement of They Call the Wind Maria from ‘Paint Your Wagon’ and you can almost “see the wagon train crossing the prairie”. I’m not sure that Ragazza Romanza as played by The Melachrino Orchestra comes under the banner of “bright and breezy”, or Misty played by The Knightsbridge Strings, but Painted Carousels from the De Wolfe Library by Anthony Mawer and Bill Davies’s Toy Town Trumpeters from the Josef Weinberger library certainly do. Ernie Freeman, sometimes known as Sir Chauncey (where do they get these monikers from?) and his Orchestra play a piece called Midi-Midinette and as I’d no idea what a ‘midinette’ is I checked out my Chambers Dictionary: it’s a “young female worker, especially in the Paris fashion or millinery business” from the South of France and after all that it’s not a bad. piece either, the music I mean. The Starlight Symphony conducted by Cyril Ornadel give a super performance of Begin the Beguine from ‘Jubilee’ by Cote Porter with what sounds like a wordless chorus, then the tempo perks up courtesy of Reg Owen and his Orchestra with Bambalina which needed three writers, Vincent Youmans, Otto Harbach and Oscar Hammerstein to pen it. Although not “bright and breezy” Bob Farnon’s Players Cigarettes Commercials’ music Sea Shore played by Rawicz and Landauer and accompanied by Wally Stott’s Orchestra make a pleasing contribution to the programme … but back to the theme of the CD: Ivor Slaney’s Stringendo, Dancing Daffodils by the Guy Luypaerts Orchestra and Up and Coming by the unsung Cyril Watters get the tempo back on track. Still up to speed is a topnotch recording on the Embassy Label of Marquina’s Spanish Gypsy Dance by Jacques Leroy and his Orchestra, whoever he is or was. Go to the top of the class if you know. From the MGM 1936 film ‘San Francisco’ comes the title number in this splendid arrangement by Carmen Dragon who conducts the Standard School Broadcast Orchestra on a transcription disc recorded in Capitol Studios in 1960. The CD ends with a 1937 German recording of the Ernst Fischer suite `South of the Alps’ played by a Concert Orchestra conducted by Bruno Seidler-Winkler. A fine piece of Continental light music to end this 80`” Guild Light Music release.
Ken Wilkins