Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Dancetime--Sammy Kaye and His Orchestra (Decca DL 4655; 1965)


Sammy Kaye, of course, was one of the most popular "sweet" bands of the swing era, along with Guy Lombardo and Freddy Martin.  And I personally have nothing against such outfits, but rest assured that Kaye's 1960s style had nothing to do with his "roots."  For some of these tracks are fit for a Henry Mancini LP, while a couple others practically rock (in the "and roll" sense).  And we get a Latin sound for Red Roses and Willow Weep for Me (maybe my favorite track of the bunch).  I'm anything but an authority on Latin and/or Afro-Cuban beats (there are too many!), but I would describe Roses as a cha-cha without the "cha-cha-cha."  And Willow as bordering on a Bo Diddley groove (in eighth notes, 123-456-78, with an accent on 1, 4, and 7).  Maybe we'll just go with "Latin."

Overall, Kaye swings in a gentle fashion, which by itself is a departure from his trademark non-swing style.  Meanwhile, the truly fine Eight Days a Week almost rocks, and the album's brilliant arranger, Charles Albertine, has Blue Prelude sounding like a Peter Gunn-style detective show theme.  And the triplet-ballad sound of If I Loved You would seem to be from the Peter and Gordon recording of the same year, though the George and Ira Gershwin Sophia sounds nothing like Dean Martin's version, as used in Kiss Me, Stupid.   As for the inclusion of Cry, keep in mind that this number has remained popular to this day, especially in Spain around the time of this LP.

Dear Heart, from one of my favorite films, is given a Henry Busse-style shuffle beat, while Goldfinger receives an as-played-by-Glenn-Miller atmosphere, with a brief foray into dance-club r&r.  (These descriptions are sounding sillier by the track!)  The number gets the big sound it requires, and Vic Mizzy's The Night Walker is first-rate Halloween background.  It slinks along in perfect "Look out!" fashion.  Which might explain its inclusion in my Oct. 31 slaylist.

I suppose this LP ultimately falls into a category whose moniker I dislike--MOR (Middle of the Road).  And MOR has a "don't bother" vibe to it, as if medium-tempo instrumental fare can't be any good.  But this outstanding LP is nothing less than superbly musical, whether used for dancing or for pleasant relaxation.

DOWNLOAD: Dancetime--Sammy Kaye and His Orch. (Decca DL 4655; 1965)

Red Roses for a Blue Lady

Dear Heart


If I Loved You


Eight Days a Week

You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You


Blue Prelude

My Love Forgive Me (Amore, Scusami)

Willow Weep for Me

The Night Walker