EXOTIC PERCUSSION STANLEY BLACK AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Exotic Percussion with Stanley Black and his Orchestra was released in the year 1961 on the London Records label. Linear notes on the back album cover includes the following:
In planning the repertoire for our PHASE 4 recording program, certain kinds of albums and certain kinds of music suggested themselves, and it was so natural that "EXOTIC PERCUSSION" to be created. It would be, we said in the early stage, a record which would attempt to capture musically, the basic kinds of pagan expressions, whether it be in the fiery tempos of such songs as "Old Devil Moon" and "Temptation", or quieter almost misty expression of such a song as "By The Waters of Minnetonka". We would strive for several shades of exotic expression, it was decided, and we would let, based upon the musical requirement of a title, the instruments suggest themselves; therefore, "Babalu" features a growling flute, and "Minnetonka", the plaintive, pastoral sounds of the English horn.
We added voices, blending their legato movements across the nervous staccato punctuation of the percussion. Because he is so well-versed in the Latin American idiom, and because he has a magical way of conveying to his orchestra all the drama and tension of the musical score, we asked Stanley Black to direct the project. The results, you will agree, made the choice of Mr. Black not only logical, but indeed exciting. London's sound has never had more impact or more life. A good artist, a good program, a good sound: quite unbeatable!
The song tracklist on the Exotic Percussion Stanley Black And His Orchestra album includes the following songs:
Temptation - With a rousing and raucous call from the French horns, a passionate cry of women and a crash from the cymbals, we move into the exciting world of pagan moods. And punctuating the melody first heard from the woodwinds, and then the horns and until the impassioned "Temptation" shouted out by the voices, is the exciting, sharply colorful percussion.
By The Waters of Minnetonka - The mood speaks of soft love and tenderness, of two hearts gently touching. There is a waterfall suggested by the harp, there is the purring vibrato of the vibraphones, the crisp crackle of the bongos, and behind the smooth rise and fall of a flute and celeste, the maidens chant a love song.
Adieu Tristesse - Swiftly and sharply the mood changes, and all the hot, chaotic and exciting air of carnival is heard. The percussion announces the excitement and a celeste and harp add that touch of uncertainty and discordant sounds. The bongos are slapped sharply and break the movement, giving over to a plaintive flute the melody of love lost. Sadly, against the infectious rhythm picked up by the guitar, the accordion carries on. The piece eventually moves back to the quiet flute until the love melody, forever lost, is overshadowed again by the carnival atmosphere of drumming.
Jungle Drums - The sound of distant drums, a crackling bongo roll and voices cry out the call of the jungle, which is trapped by a second percussive roll on the bongos, it is the flute answered by another flute, and the bassoon calling again, the horns answering again - all of which lead us through the brush to the clearing where the Jungle Goddesses chant.
Hymn to the Sun - A clash of the cymbals and a strident chord from the French horns bring an end to the dark night. And soon, following the flute figure, the oboe lifts its song to the sky, against the soft accompaniment of the harp. The sun maidens herald the richness and golden beauty of the sun.
Babalu - Ushered excitedly by bongos, congas and claves, and a thrilling crescendo by the percussion, the passion and excited fever of the dark mysterious jungle is intoned by voices singing "Babalu". In the distance, voices answer "Babalu", and a growling flute leads us through the paths of the uncharted world.
Old Devil Moon - In the pitch darkness of the night move the witch doctors of the Amazon against the rumbling of the drums, the ominous clash of the cymbals, the hungry Voodoo chanting of sirens and at fever pitch, shattered by the blasting dissonant horns, the spell is cast upon that devil, moon.
Baia - The exotic tale is told at the outset of a triangle guitar, and voices and English horn. Baia - exotic spells in the hot jungle.
Moon of Manakoora - So close you can touch it as it sits pale yellow in the Hawaiian sky. And somewhere on a mystic isle, the sound of the wooly vibes, guitar and tom-tom, the irresistible maidens of Polynesia introduce us to the magic of south sea island romance.
Misirlou - In this tightly dramatic arrangement, all of fever and passionate fervor, of primitive, exotic moment is felt as the percussion cracks off excitement in an introduction of great intensity, the xylophone calls out crisply and the bongo answers, the marimba follows and is answered by the thwack of timbales, until the air, soon shattered by a chord in the French horns, bongos, timbales, is filled with the growing of a primitive flute.
Flamingo - Captured in all its feathery grace and color, we feel the flight of this winged beauty from the time the vibes and soft timps prepare the mood, aided by the voices, until the haunting melody is sung by the pastoral English horn.
Caravan - The hot, shifting sands of the Sahara is the scene of this caravan as the Sheik crosses the desert. The camels sway to, and fro, up and down the dunes of the desert, passing the nomadic Arab tents. The oasis found, the Sheik enters his tent, his harem awaits him. (The sounds are yours to figure out in this splendid arrangement).
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