Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Bacharach Baroque

Johann Sebastian Bacharach makes his debut on this record by the 18th Century Corporation. Ever wondered what "This Guy's In Love With You" sound's like when it's played on the Viola d'Amore? How about "Wishin and Hopin" played on harpsichord and baroque trumpet?

Then look no further. This tasty, albeit brief set of renditions of some of Burt's faves using a baroque chamber ensembles works surprisingly well, given such a gimmicky premise. The bass flute in particular stands out - its mellow timbre is well suited to that easy-listenin' sound.

First published in 1969, the album cover betrays the desire of those marketing types to attract the alternative culture to their brand of sound...No doubt the Garden of Eden described in the previous post would have looked much like this.

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Mr Snookles

Monday, February 26, 2007

Sven Libaek - Grass - The Musical

And God said:
Let the Earth bring forth the grass
The grass was good
Good was the grass
And so there were heaven, earth, creatures, flowers, grass.
And God who is wise
Called it the Garden of Paradise.

Yes folks, the year is 1974, God is a hippie, and Sven Libaek (who has since gone on to become a respected film and serious music composer - see The Australian Music Centre for more details) teamed up with Avatar Linden, of whom I can tell you nothing - not even the gender. The result was yet another hippie love-rock musical replete with New-Age morals and Old Testament references.

There's a number of fine Australian musos in the band, including George Golla on guitar, and Don Burrows on flute. Nice to know that these venerated elders of the local jazz scene once had some hair to let down.

So get out the cheesecloth shirts, light the joss sticks and take the journey with Janet Ant, her boyfriend Terry, and the rest of the bunch of freaks who live in the flea-market selling in-things and incense.

It's a groove, man.

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Grass Pt 1, Grass Pt 2
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Grass - The Musical

Mr Snookles

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Burt Bacharach Plays His Hits


Here's a nice collection of instrumental and vocal versions of some of Burt's biggies. The previous Burt album from last Christmas proved to be the most popular download from this site, so I thought I'd see what other albums by the maestro are to be found in the Snookle collection. Burt plays his piano. the orchestra swells into the choruses, and the brass plays those trademark riffs. Essential Burt.


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Mr Snookles

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Astrud Gilberto & Walter Wanderley - A Certain Smile, A Certain Sadness


Astrud Gilberto teams up with Walter Wanderlay for this laid-back bossa album from 1966. Astrud's "desafinado" (deliberately off-pitch) vocal style is one of the hallmarks of lounge music, and the haunting tone of her vocals has endeared her to many bossa fans around the world.

Brazilian organist Wanderley worked with Astrud and her husband Joao Gilberto as an accompanist and arranger for years, and has a good understanding of the subtleties she brings to the tunes. His Hammond syncopations are a joy to listen to, and add an edge to the music that lifts it to another level.

Now, can anyone tell me if there is any truth to the rumour that
Antônio Carlos Jobim wrote the tune "Desafinado" after having an affair with Astrud? Salacious gossip in the comments section please.


Sorry folks - had to withdraw this one as it has been re-released on CD by Verve.
If you're keen, check out the Verve website and order yourself a copy online.

Mr Snookles



Sunday, February 11, 2007

There's Music In The Air!

For those of you who think the only way to serve a martini is at 30,000 feet, here's a collection of lounge faves to listen to as you sip amongst the clouds.
This collection is from the Qantas in-flight library circa 1973. Cruise to the sounds of the Harry Roche Constellation, the John Keating Orchestra, Ron Goodwin, Pepe Jaramillo, and other luminaries of the genre.

As The liner notes say: "Music to relax by, music to tap your feet by. Music to match your mood and serve as a memory of your flight on the Qantas 747B. So take to the clouds and distant places. Switch on your record [mp3] player and switch off the everyday hum drum of the world. Take off with the sounds of the 747B and Qantas."

And don't forget that martini.


p.s. Despite the Mr Snookles quality vinyl restoration process, the first minute of so of track one has a hint of distortion as the record has been played so often the grooves have become worn. Back in those days, styli were much heavier than today, and repeated playing could cause damage. After the first minute the vinyl comes good, and the quality thereafter is first-class (and is there any other way to fly?)

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There's Music In The Air

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There's Music In The Air

Mr Snookles

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Al Caiola - Golden Guitar


Here's one more album from our pal Al to round out the Caiola carnival. If you haven't already done so make sure you pop over to LoungeTracks and Licorice Pizza to snaffle some other albums from the prolific guitarist. Also make sure you look in the comments for some bonus Caiola goodies.

This is classic Al - smooth mellow tones, languid phrasing, and a minimal yet effect backing from the Manhattan strings, plus the occasional honk from a baritone sax to keep the rhythm percolating.

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Al Caiola - Golden Guitar

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Al Caiola - Golden Guitar

Mr Snookles

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Klaus Wunderlich - Mr Hammond

If there is one sound that says "This is lounge" more than any other, it's the sound of the Hammond organ. And no-one knows the Hammond like Klaus Wunderlich. If there is a tone. a timbre, a nuance to be found in the Hammond, Klaus will find it. If I needed to provide a definition of Lounge music to some poor benighted soul who was ignorant of the genre, I think I would have to point them to Klaus and his chintzy rhythm group playing "A Walk In The Black Forest" and say - "This Is Lounge".

This double album contains a bumper collection of Wunderlich wonder. Its 24 tracks are a showcase of lounge classics, and each one shows a different aspect of Klaus' technique. Percussive chord vamps, swirling glissando, and of course those trademark key changes. So sit back and enjoy the one and only "Mr Hammond".


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Klaus Wunderlich - Mr Hammond pt1
Klaus Wunderlich - Mr Hammond pt2
(make sure you get both parts)

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Klaus Wunderlich - Mr Hammond

Mr Snookles