Eight terrific Andre Kostelanetz selections ripped from bulky, 12-inch Columbia Masterworks 78s of the 1940s. Two of them--the Porgy and Bess highlights and Oklahoma medley--are two-siders, so in fact we actually have ten sides here, come to think of it. My rips came out smooth and crisp, and I managed to get most of the pops and clicks removed from the last three titles, which were in MM (mildly mistreated) condition (needle digs, scrapes, etc.).
I'm not sure why, but I thought it would be funny to leave the sound of the run-off groove (between sides) on the 1944 Oklahoma Medley. Audio proof that you're hearing a 78, I guess.
Now, here's the thing: when you listen to the 1945 Lotus Land (a light classic composed by Cyril Scott in 1905), remember the received wisdom regarding Exotica--namely, it didn't start until the early 1950s with Les Baxter. Sure, this is an earlier example of the genre, but so what? This is the Internet, a realm in which popular notions never yield to mere proof. I could find a hundred such examples, and the conventional wisdom would remain what it is. So we'll have to think of this recording of Lotus Land as, um... pre-Exotica. Or near-Exotica. Or... or Rhythm 'n' Exotica.
Fabulous stuff. World-class musicianship, great arrangers--Kostelanetz couldn't miss had he tried.
To the 78 rpm Kosty: Kostelanetz Classics
HIGHLIGHTS FROM PORGY AND BESS (Columbia Masterworks 7362-M; 1940)
OKLAHOMA MEDLEY (Columbia Masterworks 7417-M; 1944)
LOTUS LAND (Cyril Scott) (Columbia Masterworks 7515-M; 1945)
BEAUTIFUL DREAMER/MASSA'S IN DE COLD, COLD GROUND (Foster) (Columbia Masterworks 7372-M; 1940)
MANHATTAN SERENADE (Columbia Masterworks 7507-M; 1944)
WHEN DAY IS DONE (Columbia Masterworks 7504-M; 1944)