Paul Mauriat ~ Blooming Hits

01. Somethin' Stupid (2:40)
02. Penny Lane (2:25)
03. This is My Song (2:57)
04. Alone in the World (2:38)
05. Inch Allah (2:52)
06. There's A Kind Of Hush (All Ov (2:18)
07. Puppet on a String (2:11)
08. Love is Blue (2:35)
09. Adieu to the Night (2:13)
10. Mama (2:55)
11. Nocturne (2:48)
12. La Reine de Saba (3:05)
13. You Don't Have to Say You Love (2:47)
14. Mrs. Robinson (3:08)
15. Rain and Tears (2:27)


Helmut Zacharias ~ The Sensational Sound of Zacharias (1971)

This album turned out to be a real rarity. After many months of search, I was finally able to put my hands on a very decent copy. One of the finest, yet underrated album that somehow got overlooked over the decades.  The superb, heavenly arrangements, and as always, extraordinary artistry of Helmut Zacharias and his "talking violin" makes this collection an unforgettable experience.

01. Aquarius (2:24)
02. Carry that weight (3:28)
03. Oh, happy day (2:45)
04. Midnight cowboy (3:04)
05. Sugar, Sugar (2:11)
06. Sweet Charity (3:10)
07. Up, up and away (2:17)
08. Love at first sight (Je t'aime moi non plus) (4:05)
09. Windmills of your mind (2:59)
10. I'll never fall in love again (2:11)
11. This guy is in love with you (3:17)
12. Isadora (3:01)
13. Hare Krishna (4:05)

Carry that weight (Lennon/McCartney)


Paul Mauriat ~ The Russian Album

This album was released in 1965 as Melodies of Russia and was an instant worldwide hit. Mauriat took traditional Russian pieces and beautifully arranged them for full symphonic orchestra. I regard this this Russian 'experience' as among his best works. The other positive about this album is that it uses some traditional Russian instruments to create an original orchestral sound. If you are a dedicated Mauriat collector this album is a must; it's also a must for anyone interested in Paul Mauriat and his orchestra.

01. Bublitschki (Бублички) (2:42)
02. Evening Bells 'Les Cloches Du Soir' (Вечерний звон) (2:27)
03. Kalinka (Калинка) (3:09)
04. Katioucha (Катюша) (1:59)
05. Le Cocher De La Troika (Ямщик, не гони лошадей) (3:02)
06. Le Sarafan Rouge (Красный сарафан) (2:49)
07. Le Temps Du Muguet (Подмосковные вечера) (2:44)
08. Les Bateliers De La Volga (Эй, ухнем) (2:45)
09. Les Deux Guitares (Две гитары - Эх раз, ещё раз) (3:31)
10. Les Yeux Noirs (Очи чёрные) (3:06)
11. Plaine, Ma Plaine (Полюшко) (2:59)
12. Stenka Razine (Стенька Разин) (3:03)

Les Deux Guitares (Две гитары - Эх раз, ещё раз)


Anita Kerr Singers ~ Bert Kaempfert Turns Us On! (1968)

One easy listening giant pays tribute to another on this 1967 release, as Anita tackles 12 tunes composed and inspired by the great German songwriter/arranger.

01. L-O-V-E (Love) (2:34)
02. Two Can Live on Love Alone (2:39)
03. Remember When (3:21)
04. Strangers in the Nigh (3:16)
05. A Swingin' Safari (2:42)
06. The World We Knew (2:36)
07. I Can't Help Remembering You (2:29)
08. Spanish Eyes (2:40)
09. Danke Schoen (2:42)
10. Wonderland By Nigh (3:42)
11. Lady (2:19)
12. For Bert (3:02)



Elvis' Christmas Album (1957)

Elvis' 1957 original Christmas album is one of his most inspired early outings and the first time he tackled anything resembling a thematic concept. Split evenly between rockers and bluesy numbers like "Santa Claus Is Back in Town," "Blue Christmas," and "Santa Bring My Baby Back to Me," perennials like "White Christmas," "I'll Be Home for Christmas," and "Silent Night," and straight-ahead gospel favorites like "I Believe," "Peace in the Valley" and "Take My Hand, Precious Lord," the disc revealed a different side of the rocker for the first time on a public instead conditioned to expect something outrageous. One of the King's shining moments, this is quite simply still one of the best holiday albums available.

01. Santa Claus Is Back In Town
02. White Christmas
03. Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)
04. I'll Be Home For Christmas
05. Blue Christmas
06. Santa Bring My Baby Back (To Me)
07. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
08. Silent Night
09. (There'll Be) Peace In The Valley (For Me)
10. I Believe 2:06
11. Take My Hand, Precious Lord
12. It Is No Secret (What God Can Do)

You might also like:
Dave Kotz & friends ~ A Smooth Jazz Christmas


Anita Kerr ~ And Now ...The Anita Kerr Orchestra

In the 1950s and early '60s, arranger Anita Kerr and her aggregate of backing vocalists helped to define "the Nashville Sound" -- having supported the likes of Eddy Arnold, Perry Como, Floyd Cramer, Red Foley, Jim Reeves, Hank Snow, and Roy Orbison. Along with the Anita Kerr Singers, she re-scored and re-recorded a number of concurrent crossover country and pop singles.

Released in 1966, And Now...The Anita Kerr Orchestra! was the first of five long-players that would bear her name during a brief but prolific run on Warner Bros. Records. It was likewise the only one to credit the Anita Kerr Orchestra, as opposed to the usual Anita Kerr Singers moniker. Her previous tenure in the music business gave her great insight into selecting and recasting the better-known tunes. Rather than a large and pompous display, she gives a refreshing lightness to the update of "Spanish Harlem," which absorbs just enough Latin influence to be effective. Returning briefly to her Nashville digs, Kerr turns up the infectiously fun syncopation of "Sweetie Baby" -- a song that initially gained prominence as the B-side to Floyd Cramer's mega-hit "Last Date."

Refusing to limit her inspirations to any specific genre classification, the swinging "Sermonette" comes from the Julian "Cannonball" Adderley songbook, while the anthemic staple of Americana "This Land Is Your Land" adopts a mod sax-fueled ragtime feel that all but abandons the preconception of its former folkie self. The bluesy "I Almost Lost My Mind" and the slight R&B vibe on "That's Life" are proof Kerr possesses something that her instrumental easy listening contemporaries rarely display...soul. The Italian pop hit "Con Te Spiaggia" could easily be the hippest entry of them all, with a light, bouncy backbeat and an oddly nasal-sounding "yeah yeah" singalong chorus. The cover ofDuke Ellington's "Mood Indigo" -- concluding the album -- stands as a singular triumph for the variety of solo instruments Kerr incorporates, ranging from an eerily lonesome electric guitar to a powerful brass section. In 2007, Collectors' Choice Music reissued several of Anita Kerr's Warner Bros. packages, including And Now...The Anita Kerr Orchestra!, making a sizable portion of her discography available for the first time in decades to a whole new generation of listeners.

01. Spanish Harlem (2:38)
02. Sweetie Baby (2:43)
03. Sermonette (2:39)
04. I Almost Lost My Mind (2:32)
05. Susie (2:15)
06. Over The Rainbow (2:36)
07. That's Life (2:33)
08. Con Te Sulla Spiaggia (2:56)
09. Firefly (2:18)
10. There's A Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon For New York (2:27)
11. Mood Indigo (3:34)

I Almost Lost My Mind


Martin Böttcher ~ Die großen Film und TV Melodien

The noble music of  Martin Böttcher has survived the challenges of ultra-modern times where large orchestral sounds are pretty much thing of the past.  The art of laying out beautiful arrangements is slowly dying and today only few really appreciate this disappearing art.  Martin Böttcher started out his career as a jazz guitar player, but very quickly traded his instrument for a manuscript paper and ever since he has produced the finest music in a genre or movie, TV and lounge.   

01. The High And The Mighty (2:09)
02. High Noon (3:51)
03. Carnival (4:36)
04. The Good, The Bad And The Ugly (2:58)
05. Laura (3:47)
06. A Man And A Woman (2:55)
07. Theme From A Summer Place (2:21)
08. Tara's Theme (2:18)
09. Theme From Love Story (2:42)
10. Wonderland Of Love (3:10)
11. Moonglow / Theme From Picnic (2:40)
12. Pater Brown-Thema (3:37)
13. From Russia With Love (2:47)
14. The Shadow Of Your Smile (3:22)
15. Charade (2:39)
16. Moon River (3:08)
17. The Man With The Harmonica (2:55)
18. Olé O'Cangaceiro (3:32)
19. My Foolish Heart (3:10)
20. The Man I Love (3:07)
21. Exodus (3:17)
22. Somewhere My Love (2:15)
23. Strangers In The Night (3:55)
24. This Is My Song (2:44)
25. Endstation Liebe (3:41)

01. Kriminalmuseum (3:06)
02. Es muss nicht immer Kaviar sein (2:53)
03. Friedhofsballarde (3:15)
04. Salute Sardegna (3:28)
05. Sonderdezernat K 1 (2:12)
06. Easy Going (3:18)
07. Ein schöner Tag (2:31)
08. Judy (2:49)
09. Liebesmelodie (4:03)
10. Flucht (3:25)
11. Midnight In Hamburg (2:57)
12. Melodie für Jessica (3:29)
13. Schöne Ferien (Titelmelodie) (1:57)
14. Happy Teddy (2:23)
15. Kara Ben Nemsi Effendi (2:36)
16. Salzburg Melodie (3:28)
17. Lilli's Melody (2:46)
18. Tausender-Melodie (2:06)
19. Blumenmörder-Thema (2:58)
20. Fernsehmelodie (3:32)
21. Stranger's Serenade (3:20)
22. Marianne's Melody (3:05)
23. Einsam (3:47)
24. Vera's Melodie (3:14)
25. Last Dance (3:44)

art and booklet


Bert Kaempfert ~ The most beautiful girl (1974)

Bert Kaempfert had almost too much talent, ability, and good luck rolled into one career to be fully appreciated, even by his own chosen audience, the lovers of fine orchestral pop music. He was one of the most successful conductors, arrangers, and recording artists in the latter field, but was also a major producer and played a key (if indirect) role in the roots of the British beat boom of the early '60s, which evolved into the British Invasion of America in 1964.

01. The most beautiful girl (2:44)
02. Why can't you and add up to love (2:43)
03. Touch the wind (3:28)
04. Jumpin' blue (2:42)
05. Opus one (3:56)
06. I found my love (2:35)
07. Let me be there (3:09)
08. Easy glider (3:01)
09. Tuxedo junction (3:08)
10. Moon over Baja (2:38)
11. I cover the waterfront (2:54)
12. In the Everglades (3:14)

The most beautiful girl


Franz Löffler ~ Black Eyes (Очи чёрные)

 The unique combination of classical Spanish guitar, the modern pop orchestra and Russian balalaikas.

01 Black eyes (2:56)
02 Katjuscha (2:25)
03 Kallinka (3:35)
04 The red Sarafan (2:42)
05 Stenka Rasin (2:22)
06 The twelwe robbers (2:56)
07 Song of the Volga boatmen (3:00)
08 Pity (2:42)
09 The light (3:07)
10 The Troika (3:25)
11 Bublitschki (1:51)
12 Old Mother Volga (2:51)

alternate link 

Black eyes


The Anita Kerr Quartet ~ We dig Mancini

Some years ago somebody brought a very fine octet from Tennessee to New York to audition for Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scout Show. They were great, but I suggested that they would be less expensive and less cumbersome and, therefore, more practical in our business if they were to cut the outfit in half. Thus was born the Anita Kerr Quartet, an organization with which I have ever since been madly in love. Each member is an accomplished, educated musician (an oddity in itself these days), and each possesses a beautiful voice and knows how to use it. The Anita Kerr Quartet, which made this beautiful album, is probably the most popular singing group in the recording industry today. You have heard these voices many, many times whether you realized it or not. Anita and her group have turned out hit after hit with just about every major recording star in the business. I have been trying for years to get the Anita Kerr Quartet to come to New York as a regular feature of my daily radio show and to appear with me on TV and personal appearances in the night clubs and theaters, but trying to get these people out of Nashville is like trying to get gold out of Fort Knox. Of course, I can hardly blame them.

There, they live happily-each in his own home with his own family in the comparative quiet of Nashville with little, if any, "everyday stress and strain"-and they are netting much more money that we could ever hope no manage for them up here. (Even at minimum scale, a quartet is expensive radio fare!) In addition to the fact that their voices blend superbly, they have great versatility. They are as much at home with Homer and Jethro as they are with Perry Como. Their musicianship is such that they can sight-read anything put before them and are equally capable of turning out a "head" arrangement on the spot, which will sound as though they had worked on it for weeks.

You will love this album. Mr. Mancini, who has won several Academy Awards, writes some of the most beautiful music extant, ranging from the hauntingly melodic Moon River to the highly satirical Pink Panther Theme. The Anita Kerr Quartet meets him more than halfway, and the magnificent blend is that which is preserved on the album you now have in your hand. You, I am sure, will play this album over and over as I already have. It is one of those rarities which grows on you - the more you play it, the more you will want to
play it again. It is a great pleasure to commend this Anita Kerr album to you most heartily.

01. Baby Elephant Walk (2:33)
02. Charade (3:16)
03. Mr Lucky (2:52)
04. Bye-Bye (2:41)
05. Days Of Wine & Roses (2:28)
06. Dreamsville (2:35)
07. How Soon (2:15)
08. The Pink Panther Theme (2:50)
09. Dear Heart (3:11)
10. Too Little Time (2:39)
11. Moon River (2:52)
12. The Sweetheart Tree (2:20)

The Pink Panther Theme

The Sound of The Anita Kerr Singers

Anita Kerr is easily the most remarkable and accomplished female musician of the Space Age Pop era, yet she barely rates a mention in most pop music reference books. When she does, it's usually so the writer can make a wisecrack about her 1965 Grammy Award.

See, in 1965, her quartet's album, We Dig Mancini!, beat out the Beatles' Help! for the award for "Best Vocal Group Performance," a fact that's used to damn the record industry for its ignorance and perfidy. While the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Temptations, the Beach Boys, and others were at the top of the pop charts, the Grammy electorate preferred to recognize a group of thirty year-olds with mortgages.

Now, in hindsight, it wasn't a completely inexcusable choice. Help!, after all, by the admission of Dave Dexter, Jr., the Capitol Records exec responsible for it, wasn't even intended to be an album, and Dexter and George Martin had to dig up a few incidental instrumental tracks from the movie just to pad out the vocal numbers. And the offerings from the other competitors--We Five, Herman's Hermits, and the Statler Brothers--have certainly not aged as well as We Dig Mancini!, which many Space Age Pop fans with plenty of listening time under their belts rate as one of their all-time favorites.

At a time when most women in music were still considered "girl singers," Anita Kerr was routinely pulling off triple plays: not just performing, but producing and arranging her records as well. And she did it more and more, expanding her scope beyond her own groups to others, including several purely fictious ensembles, as well, even as she moved from one major label to another.

01. What's New Pussycat (2:44)
02. Galveston (3:52)
03. You and I (2:05)
04. The Look Of Love (2:34)
05. Lalena (2:06)
06. Make The World Go Away (2:22)
07. The Windmills of Your Mind (2:46)
08. The Windmills of Your Mind (2:47)
09. Walk On By (2:38)
10. My Own Peculiar Way (3:34)
11. What The World Needs Now Is Love (3:18)
12. Natural to be Gone (2:00)
13. Goodbye (3:16)

Make The World Go Away


The Three Suns ~ Movin' 'n' Groovin' (1962)

The story of stereo action 
Stereo Action is a revolutionary new concept of stereo recording in which instruments, singers, whole sections, and even full orchestras are placed into movement so that the listener has, literally, music his eyes can follow.
Stereo Action is a conscious and deliberate effort to set music in motion by utilizing actual movement of instruments and sounds from one speaker to the other, and even, at times, suspending an instrument or sound between speakers. It is a pioneering concept in stereo listening, and resulted from years of extensive experiments and remarkable technical breakthroughs by the RCA Victor corps of engineers.
Stereo Action requires a wholly new approach to recording. Musical motion is first conceived by the composer and arranger. Every note of the music to be recorded must be scored with Stereo Action in mind, as if it were a new and dominating musical instrument or voice. An elaborate system of charting each and every instrument for proper stereo placement guides the actual scoring. In addition to the musical annotation, companion series of non-musical diagrams for the studio work is developed.
This wedding of musical artistry and electronic creativity produces Stereo Action -- literally, the sound your eyes can follow.

Sound, Dimension and Movement find the Three Suns once again Movin' 'n' Groovin'. Add to this performance brilliante, Blend aromatique, Taste magnifique and we sit down to a Suns-Stopper. The imaginative artistry of producer Al Nevins is again combined with the magic of arranger- composer Charles Albertine and, for the first time on records, that talented team -- which gave NBC- TV its theme music for Midnight Movie (Alone with the Blues) and Movie Four (Night Theme) --paints a picture for us in true depth of focus. Albertine has extended his musical thinking into fresh and unexplored worlds with his exciting arrangements for this stimulating new medium, Stereo Action. A very special bow to Alan Lorber (one of America's youngest arrangers) for his help musically in making this album possible. The musical core of the Three Suns -- the familiar guitar, accordion and organ -- has been here augmented by an extraordinary assortment of instruments, including jaw bone, wind bells, chains, tapping shoes, harpsichord, ad infinitum -- all gliding and sliding in a whirlwind of pattern and a maelstrom of motion, sometimes subtly and variously violent, but always Movin' 'n' Groovin'.

01 April Showers 02:54
02 Caravan 02:48
03 Autumn Leaves 03:11
04 Dancing with Tears in My Eyes 02:08
05 Jungle Drums 03:53
06 Movin' 'n' Groovin' 02:54
07 Anniversary Song 03:14
08 Beyond the Sea 03:05
09 Some of These Days 02:52
10 Danny's Inferno 02:49
11 Vagabond King Waltz 03:30
12 Stumbling 03:04
13 I Got Rhythm 02:23
14 They Can't Take That Away from Me 02:35
15 Bidin' My Time 02:52
16 Liza 02:34
17 Sunday Showcase Theme 02:23
18 Twilight Memories 02:19

April Showers


Hugo.Montenegro & His Orchestra ~ The Good The Bad & The Ugly

The Man With No Name" has made a name for himself after all via three hard-hitting, action-packed motion pictures in which a new kind of screen hero - or anti-hero - is born. The "Man" is a cold-blooded, cigar-smoking gunslinger who appears unannounced in Western towns where trouble is brewing and plunges headlong into battle with the troublemakers. By the time he moves out again, the towns are usually a good deal quieter, and the townspeople find that much of their population has been moved to the cemeteries. Clint Eastwood, the rugged actor who was once known to TV viewers as the star of the "Rawhide" series, first portrayed this enigmatic character in "A Fistful of Dollars," which was set in a Mexican border town and dealt with two rival gangs involved in selling contraband whiskey and guns to the Indians and the Mexicans. The "Man" and the movie won so much acclaim around the world he was asked to stands by itself as far as good listening is concerned Written by one of Italy's foremost composers  Ennio Morricone, it is played here by Hugo Montenegro and his orchestra. The selection entitled For a Few Dollars More was originally released as a single and scored a tremendous success for Montenegro. In addition to this hit, the album includes many hauntingly exciting compositions.

01. The Good, The Bad And The Ugly (2:43)
02. March With Hope (2:23)
03. The Story Of A Soldier (3:00)
04. The Ecstasy Of Gold (2:34)
05. Theme From "A Fistful Of Dollars" (2:04)
06. For A Few Dollars More (2:41)
07. Aces High (3:12)
08. The Vice Of Killing (2:15)
09. Sixty Seconds To What? (2:18)
10. Square Dance (2:08)
11. Titoli (2:14)

Sixty Seconds To What?


Isaac Hayes ~ New Horizon (1977)

After 1975's classic Chocolate Chip and a strong production job for the Masqueraders album Everybody Wanna Live On, Hayes' subsequent work with ABC was often poorly executed and conceived, save for the one or two tracks that properly displayed his melodic genius. With his last ABC effort being a live album with Dionne Warwick that just didn't sell, some changes had to be made. This is the first effort for Polydor and it turned out to be successful partnership. With a new label, Hayes also began to record at Master Sound in Georgia rather than his studio in Memphis, Hot Buttered Soul. Both the label and locale switch seemed to freshen up his musical approach. This album didn't start off on the best footing though. Hayes' ghastly discofied cover of "Stranger in Paradise" shows little trace of his arranging skills or song picking abilities. The other dance tracks are markedly better. "Moonlight Lovin' (Menage a Trois)" has him doing Barry White one better by bringing an extra woman into the mix. With its playful rhythm and sweeping changes, he sang gleefully about the "the rendezvous of me and you and you" and said menage a trois enough times his until his "dates" thought it was their idea. On New Horizons Hayes turns in two of his best ballads. The meditative "Don't Take Your Love Away" has him going for more subtle surroundings in a style that suffered the most on his post Chocolate Chip work. On "It's Heaven to Me" he displays a winning vulnerability, and it is easily one of the prettiest songs he's ever recorded. Although some of the best tracks on New Horizon are available on compilations, the entire album is worth seeking out.

1  Stranger In Paradise   10:14
2  Moonlight Lovin' (Ménage Á Trois)   16:15
3  Don't Take Your Love Away   7:39
4  Out Of The Ghetto   5:51
5  It's Heaven To Me   4:20

alternate link

It's Heaven To Me