Reviews

GLCD 5205 – Here’s To Holidays

Various

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Memory Lane – Winter 2013

“Here’s to Holidays” not only features a voluptuous young lady on the cover sleeve it also provides some fascinating destinations of which Venus And Back is perhaps the most exotic. That composition was written by a stalwart of British music, Malcolm Lockyer. Others who could be similarly described are Wally Stott with Skyways, Camel Train from the pen of Steve Race and Sidney Torch’s intriguing titled piece, Oo La La. Some seemingly unlikely orchestras have been featured by Guild but none more so than Red Nichols and the Augmented Pennies. However, they provide a tasteful version of Indiana complete with a Guild rarity, a brief vocal refrain.
GH

Musicweb International – August 2013

There’s an enticing booklet cover for this release in Guild’s gargantuan Light Music series. The summery feel announces holiday time in the decade between 1953 and 1962. We journey by air, boat, spaceship (to Venus, naturally), transcontinentally, and via camel, rickshaw, and highway. The wasp-waisted, bronze-skinned lovely on the cover seems to have stayed at home, but at least she’s blessed with good weather and pristine sand … and at least her pooch hasn’t disgraced itself.
Wally Stott gets us underway with Skyways – Stott has given the Guild team a number of headaches over his name but here they go formal and plump for Walter. Thence we arrive at a series of destinations or evocatively titled tracks that suggest the joys of wine and flirtation. Somewhat unexpectedly Red Nichols turns up – a first appearance from him in this series – to parade the praises of Indiana – an old Dixieland classic. If Nichols and his ‘Augmented Pennies’ – that is, there were more than the usual five – seem somewhat strange, but welcome, bedfellows for this marque, a more sleekly à la mode contribution comes from composer Iain Sutherland whose Here’s to Holidays gives the disc its title track and does so in bang-up-to-date School of ’62 fashion.
A Guild favourite – and mine – is Leonard Trebilco, who used the name Trevor Duncan. The Wine Harvest isn’t quite as distinctive as his best work but it’s well written and well played too, by Cedric Dumont and the New Concert Orchestra on the Boosey & Hawkes label. A note about the trawl through the various labels occasioned by a selection such as this: Vogue Mode, Charles Brull/Harmonic, Liberty, Pye, Southern, De Wolfe, Reader’s Digest, Chappell – and the expected bigger labels too. Just the names of the labels should act as a conduit to the past, let alone the pieces themselves.
It’s good to hear the all-Australian Holiday Bound, written by Clifton Johns and played by the Sydney Light Concert Orchestra on Columbia. Ivor Slaney is a more regular contributor and Midsummer Madness features Dolores Ventura doling out concertante Rachmaninovian asides galore. The Envoy Strings bring some sheen and glamour in Transcontinental and Steve Race paints a rather dapper Camel Train – rather more train than camel – and there’s a bit of cowpokery to Mantovani’s own opus Rickshaw. In contradistinction there’s a suave contribution from Hill Bowen in Domenico Modugno’s Volare. A truly big finish is unleashed in One Night in Monte Carlo, played – how appropriately – by the local Light Symphony Orchestra.
Glamour, the joys of travel and the lure of romance announce post-war unshackling in this astute selection.
Jonathan Woolf