Monday, December 29, 2008
Twenties-something mood music
Here's the latest batch (as small as it is) of vintage mood/easy/lounge/Bachelor Pad music. As I'm always preaching, the popular instrumental music we associate with the post-WWII period had its start well before hi-fi sets and space-age album jackets.
To help make this point in the most audio fashion possible, I added concert-hall texture and reverb (or was it echo?) to the two 1927 Louis Katzman sides we're about to hear--the results (in spots) are straight out of Fifties "library" music, early-Forties Kostelanetz recordings, and the soupy, reverb-y sound of Mantovani. I have a weird theory that the Dave Clark Five used Monty's recording engineer, though I'm probably completely in error. That never stopped me before, though.
Hopefully, you'll hear what I'm jabbering about. Otherwise, just assume I'm mad. (I am, you know! Hoo hoo, haa haaaa!)
I've included the Katzman sides in both their original, undoctored state and their Mantovani-ized versions. We also get to hear Ippolitov-Ivanov's 1894 classic March of the Sardar (with an s added in error) from that composer's Caucasian Sketches, as recorded in 1928 for Brunswick's "Mood Accompaniment Library" series. And I'm just now Googling that phrase. Looks like there's a lot to be read. Check this out: The Sampler, Nov. 9, 2004. As I thought--motion picture and/or theater accompaniment. The modern term is "production music." Far out.
The matrix number is 230 L, which likely means it was recorded around July 1928 in Los Angeles.
Added treat: Paul Whiteman's electrical-era re-recording of Cho-Cho-San (melodies by Puccini arranged by Joseph C. Smith's brilliant Hugo Frey). The disc has the usual damage in the louder spots, but I de-noised it pretty effectively. Just a terrific arrangement, originally recorded in 1921.
I'd close with a "mood"-related pun, but I can't think of one. To the music, all ripped and burned from 78s in my collection:
ZIP FILE NO LONGER AVAILABLE
ALLAH'S HOLIDAY--Louis Katzman and His Salon Orch., 1927.
KASHMIRI SONG--Same, 1927.
MARCH OF THE SARDARS (sic)--Brunswick Mood Accompaniment Library (1928)
ALLAH'S HOLIDAY (Mantovani-ized)
KASHMIRI SONG (Mantovani-ized)
CHO-CHO-SAN (Puccini melodies arr. by Hugo Frey), Paul Whiteman Orch., 1926.
By the way, the Brunswick Mood Accompaniment Library label is white, not pink. The lighting came out wrong, is all.