A Little Bit of Faith

CarefreeIt’s exceptionally difficult not to indulge in the carefree climate that Percy Faith and His Orchestra spews forth with unquestionable fluidity. The March of Siamese Children, The Hot Canary, Kitten on the Keys, Fiddle Derby, and Dizzy Fingers, to name only a few, make this Columbia Records 10” LP worthy of any layperson’s engaging Thursday evening.

Op Klompen

ClogsI can’t say I’ve ever owned a pair of clogs, or op klompen, but I doubt I could rock the boisterous, and seemingly uncomfortable, style quite like the German King, James Last. Acquired maybe 8 or so years ago, I’d just gotten around to listening to the fascinating record the other day, and let me start by saying it wasn’t at all what I’d expected. I’d half expected some cartoon clown banging a trash can, a screaming eel tap dancing atop a tin roof, or some other such sort of unthinkable nonsense, but what I got was a lighthearted, easy listening, and slightly somber, orchestral odyssey through various, and at times very similar, instrumental interpretations celebrating the clog.

Now that I know this title’s meaning, I’ll have to go back and try and detect any actual musical use of the clog, but as it stands, Op Klompen exists as one of those albums with a necessary cover, which far outreaches the music within.

The World’s First Stereo Scored Orchestra

Hits Cover101 Strings, not unlike Dalmatians, is a wondrous sight to behold. Apart from being a monumental mass of “the finest musicians in Europe today” (circa: 1961), the wistful beauty discharged from these prominent performers is seductively pleasing to both the visual, as well as the hearing senses. Coupled with (The Wondrous World of) Stereo Fidelity, a US based subsidiary of Somerset Records, these 10 Italian hits that make up, well, Italian Hits, emerge from the stereo with a protuberant level of piercing and erotic joy, that is seemingly unheard of today, let alone in 1961.

Hits BackTouching upon such Italian classics as Volare, Cha-Cha Italiano, La Dolce Vita, and Ciao Ciao Bambino (which translates into “Hello Hello Baby”), Italian Hits, as far as I can tell, does a satisfactory job of representing exactly what the back cover boasts: The Biggest Popular Hit Songs from Italy in the Past Ten Years. A “Pop” Program in the Sound of Magnificence.

I’ve never been to Italy, but thanks to 101 Strings and the four, straw-sucking minxes on the cover, I feel as though Italy is as close as a car jam on the 405.Stereo Fidelity_smaller

Cha-Cha-Cha with Art Mooney

Art CoverWhen Luke Skywalker said to Han Solo in the murky bottoms of a damp and dungeon-like trash compactor, “Did you see that?!” What the ol’ scoundrel SHOULD have answered was, “Why, yes I did, kid. That’s the sound of Art Mooney.”

Decades old intergalactic space references aside, I’m here to tell you that Art Mooney’s music on Cha-Cha-Cha with Art Mooney does, in fact, set sound in motion… it says so right on the cover, “Movement in Sound.” Like a 12-6 curveball, the bachelor-pad-ready-sound from this smokey-lounge-album moves, man! It moves in ways that force parents to shield the virgin ears of their children, you dig?

Art BackThe next time my significant other and I decide it’s time for a change of scenery, I’m calling Art Mooney and His Orchestra to help us move. If he’s half as good at hauling my T-Z shelf as he is delivering the moving sound of the Cuban Cha-Cha-Cha, we’ll be hosting casual dinner parties at our new digs in no time.

“He enjoys golf, swimming and tennis and is a classical records’ collector.” – Back Sleeve