Thursday, September 21, 2006
Morton Gould, 1946--"Rendezvous"
"This being 1946, I've got to look all serious and stuff...."--Morton.
This near to Halloween, maybe I should be putting up Morton Ghoul, instead. Assuming there is a Morton Ghoul.
Eerie listening--Andre Ghostelanetz, Percy Cape, David Rose (From the Grave), Annunzio Hauntovani, The Ray Coffin Singers, 101 Screams....
But, this time around, we've got Morton Gould. These tracks were ripped from the 12" 78-rpm set Rendezvous. The record numbers say 1947, but the inside cover says 1946. 1946, it is:
This is what the labels look like:
Is it possible? Was elevator music actually issued by Columbia on its Masterworks label? Answer: yup, until around 1953, at which point light instrumental pop was transferred to the regular, ordinary Columbia popular ("CL") series. Hence, a bunch of early Columbia EZ exists in both "ML"- and "CL"-prefix form. Isn't that fascinating?
Oh. Yeah, that is rather dry. But so's a lot of elevator music! (Laugh track, fade)
And, in fact, the elevator music of old often sounds anything but dry--almost as if to spite its reputation for blandness and soporiferousness (love that word), classic EZ changes its mood every chorus and, typically, runs the gamut from soft to loud. Soothing but not boring. Not that I took to this sort of music at first--in fact, my ears rejected it flat out when I first encountered it on vinyl, years ago. I didn't mind "store music" (my childhood term for EZ), but I sure couldn't conceive of listening to an entire LP's worth of the stuff. Why was it released it on vinyl at all, I wondered? I thought it existed only on dusty discs stored away in the National Muzak Archives, or someplace like that.
The terrible truth, at last--at one time, your blogger couldn't stand this stuff. However, because I kept running into it, I decided I had to study it, that there was no choice. I did, and I grew to like it. I could not have predicted this.
Anyway, great stuff here--to my ears, Morton Gould was way ahead of his era. Consider the fact that this first arrangement was recycled in Living Stereo for the Gould LP of the same name (Beyond the Blue Horizon). A 1946 arrangement that sounded at home in 1961.
These sides boast crisp and clear fidelity--that's the good news. The bad news: moderate surface noise that regularly intrudes and which forced me to clip more of the upper end than I wanted to. I hate it when that happens:
Beyond the Blue Horizon (Whiting), Morton Gould and His Orchestra, 1946. From 78-rpm set Rendezvous.
Shadow Waltz (Warren).
Night and Day (Porter).
Time on My Hands (Youmans).
What Is This Thing Called Love? (Porter).
Tea for Two (Youmans).
Through Your Eyes to Your Heart (Gould).
This moderately scratchy Rendezvous has been brought to you by the friendly chap at MY(P)WHAE.