Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Music for a Bachelor's Den, Volume 5: The Best of the Arthur Lyman Group
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Excellent example of "Exotica" essence...
William E. Adams | Midland, Texas USA | 08/12/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There are three big names in the "exotica" genre of the 1950's tropical cocktail lounge/smooth jazz: Lyman, whose most popular song, "Yellow Bird" is not on this particular collection, and Martin Denny, whose big hit was "Quiet Village" and Les Baxter, who wrote "Quiet Village." The CD reissues, twofers, and remastered compilations are hard to find at present, and in demand in the auctions. This is a good set if you find it at a price you like. I rate it four instead of five, because I would have loved to have "Yellow Bird" and Lyman's version of "Quiet Village" put on here instead of "March of the Siamese Children" and "Jungle Jalopy." The two missing titles are on a follow-up collection, "More Best of..." on the same label. I paid what I consider a bargain price for my copy, and I am happy with it. It isn't something I'll play more than a few times a year...but as a person old enough to remember the original records, and also as a former resident of Hawaii, I just had to have something by Arthur in my collection. Back when I was in high school, I liked Martin Denny's work even better, but truly, each man has his gifts and subtle strengths. Bird calls, rain noises, lots of percussion from "native" instruments, vibes and guitars...this music is fun, yet mellow. True, after awhile one song begins to sound like another (which was probably a big factor in the downfall of the Exotica category in the first place) but there are weekends when you just might want to hear some tropical parrot sounds over some smooth jazz riffs, above a melody that is familiar from your childhood. This disc has nice sound quality and is not re-recorded...these selections were taken from the Arthur Lyman Group's original work in Honolulu and the original albums on the briefly famous "Hi Fi" label. The original LP album covers were frequently erotic, the sounds inside were exotic to Mainland Americans, yet not disturbing. Everyone who wants his or her collection to cover the highlights of post- WWII popular music will need at least one "Exotica" sample. This disc fills the bill quite nicely."
The Best Of Arthur Lyman
Matthew G. Sherwin | 11/17/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Arthur Lyman, back in the late 1950's, was always one of my favorties because his albums, recorded in the Kaisor Aluminum Dome, with its excellent acustics, were among the few reliably making full use of stereo sound. Even when listened to on my computer, this, presumed to be a digitally re-mastered, album, is still exceptional stereo. On our family stereo it's the type of quality sound that makes one's dog look questioningly with head tilted from speaker to speaker and in the middle. Yet this isn't sound effects gimmic: it's hauntingly beautiful music, sometimes using natural sounds, birds, rain, ocean, as instrument.The CD had a sticker on it titled "Music For a Bachelor's Den." I'm a married woman, but I think that an appropriate sub-title. It's primarily an extremely relaxing, romantic, collection of music.It possibly offers something for everyone:#1, "Taboo," #5, China Clipper," and #6, "Bwana A," are what I think of when I think Arthur Lyman, with exotic Polynesian sounds and rhythms, complete with natural sounds, using native instruments and drums, of course. Those were old familiars to me from LP's. #2, "Love for Sale," and #9, "Busy Port" are jazzy pieces. A number of other selections, like #7,"Fire Down Below," and #8, "Cubana Chant," have South American dance rhythms; others, like #13, "Legend of the Rain," have a Hawaiian sound. # 11, "Hava Nigula," was extremely interesting with these instruments, yet traditional sound and tempo(s)somehow maintained. There were only two I didn't particularly enjoy, #4,"March of the Siamese Children," which although I love the piece, was rendered off key in what sounded a discordant rendering to me, and #14, "Jungle Jalopy," which sounds pretty much as title suggests, and seemed more a demonstration of muscians' capabilities than music to me. Nevertheless, altogether, I'd highly recommend this CD."
Picture yourself on a beautiful South Pacific island--with a
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 04/02/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Arthur Lyman Group produced some of the greatest lounge music of the 1950s and 1960s. This CD contains 18 tracks of very good music to show us why The Arthur Lyman Group achieved such popularity.
The CD starts with "Taboo." The horns open up into a musical arrangement that highlights the percussion, guitar, piano and numerous other percussion instruments. The melody gathers steam; and the only thing I definitely didn't like was the bird sounds sprinkled throughout this number and other numbers on this CD. Otherwise "Taboo" proves to be a solid opener for this CD. "Love For Sale" is track number two; and the melody is so beautiful and infectiously catchy and upbeat that you will be stunned if you haven't heard this number before! The piano and percussion do a great job on "Love For Sale." How elegant!
"Fascination" begins with the xylophone and chimes. Other instruments then join in to make this an elegant, slow paced number. "Fascination" will make you want to grab your sweetheart and slow dance all around the living room! SMILES The piano comes in midway through "Fascination" which infuses this instrumental ballad with a continental flair all its own.
"Hava Nagila" is another catchy track on this CD. The flute and percussion carry the opening of the musical arrangement; and the melody overall is relentlessly happy and upbeat. When the piano and other instruments join in you'd better have plenty of space on your living room floor--you'll be dancing to this number, too!
One especially elegant number on this CD would be "Arrivederci Roma." The percussion, piano and horns all combine to make this a memorable number with a singularly beautiful continental flair. The band members occasionally yell out a "whoop!" to let you know they're enjoying playing this number every bit as much as you're enjoying listening to it.
"76 Trombones (From "The Music Man")" opens strong with the piano, chimes and drums going strong on all cylinders. This rousing instrumental ballad shines and you will enjoy it thoroughly.
The CD closes with the very pretty "Maui Chimes." Obviously, the chimes perform an integral part of the musical arrangement. They sound great when the ukulele comes in, too! When the piano and other instruments are added to the arrangement the excitement only grows. However, this is the last track on this CD--now, where did I put The Best Of The Arthur Lyman Group, Volume Two?
I highly recommend this CD for fans of mood music, lounge music and easy listening music, too. People who enjoy "exotica" music will love this CD as well.