on 14 February 2016
Enoch Light (1907-1978) was the conductor of his own orchestra, The Light Brigade, since 1935. He was president of Grand Award label and managing director for Command Records, for whom he produced a long string of hit stereo percussion albums in the 1960s, which were considered as audiophile collector’s items. Enoch’s studio musicians were variously billed as Terry Snyder And The All-Stars, and the Command All-Stars. He was surround by top-notched personnel, including Tony Mottola on guitar, Doc Severinsen on trumpet, Phil Bodner on saxophone and Phil Kraus on percussion.
Enoch Light has 26 charted albums, starting with I Want To Be Happy Cha Cha’s on the Grand Award label, followed by his famous Persuasive Percussion which hit Number 1 for 13 weeks in 1960. There were two very distinctive features: 1) the album covers, which usually featured black round dots (if you have seen the album cover, you will know what I mean), and 2) the ping-pong effect of the first stereo sound.
Enoch Light’s earlier albums are slowly released on CDs by labels such as Varese, Goldies and Sepia, especially those famous Persuasive and Provocative Percussion series. Being a completist, I try to collect as many as possible all the releases of Enoch Light, plus other releases on the Command label, such as Tony Mottola, etc. So far, I manage to have 32 CDs and 35 original albums. When I have time, I shall convert them all into CDs using 32-bit/96kHz remastering.
This CD contains two albums by Enoch Light, with a total of 24 songs. The song listing (with chart position and year) is as follows:
BIG BAND BOSSA NOVA (Command label 844) 6/1962
02 One Note Samba
04 E Luxo So
06 Lullaby Of Birdland
07 Rio Junction (Bossa Nova)
08 Sem Saudades De Voce
09 La Puerta Del Sol
11 Besame Mucho
12 Take The "A" Train
LET’S DANCE THE BOSSA NOVA (Command label 851) 1963
16 Days Of Wine And Roses
17 Big Ben Bossa Nova
18 I Could Have Danced All Night
19 Fly Me To The Moon
20 What Kind Of Fool Am I?
21 O Barquinho (Little Boat)
22 Mi Adorado
23 Moon River
24 Blame It On The Bossa Nova
Sepia Records uses 24 bit Cedar remastering, and the result is vibrant, warm and sexy sound. The stereo separation is clear and crisp.
There is an informative 8-page booklet. Putting the original album covers on the entire front and back covers is greatly appreciated. If Sepia Records also put the album back covers (like Real Gone Music), that will be truly icing on the cake.
Sepia Records is a well respected oldies reissue label in UK. I have purchased numerous CDs from them, like other Enoch Light, Tony Mottola, Billy Vaughn, Lawrence Welk and 10 Volumes of Through The Years by Bing Crosby. Their remastering tool is a high quality 24 bit Cedar system, resulting crystal clear and clean and vibrant sound. Great job.
This is especially true to hear when you can hear every little instrument clearly in this musical percussion CD. I also just received two other recent Sepia releases: Connie Francis Sings Modern Italian Hits and Steve Lawrence and Edyie Gorme: Cozy and Two On The Aisle. I shall review them after I have a good listen to these new purchases.
Bossa Nova is one of the most delightfully natural dancing rhythms that has ever come along. Its beat is pulsating and insistent but it is never overbearing. There is a lightness mixed with its positiveness that makes it seem as though you’re dancing on air. Just as important as the ingratiating rhythm of the bossa nova are the charming bossa nova melodies that have come out of Brazil along with the rhythm. Bossa nova tunes have brought an ear-catching melodiousness back to popular music that once was characteristic of the best of American songs but which has not been particularly noticeable in recent years. Glorious melody and enticing rhythm have been two of the important hallmarks of all of Enoch Light’s recordings. In this case, Enoch Light took its own individual approach to the bossa nova. He kept its light and airy rhythm. And he also kept its enchanting tunefulness. But most of all, he gave it a glorious big band sound that it had never had before. That is why the entire set is totally enjoyable. If you like rhythmic percussion big band music with a bossa nova beat, this set is highly recommended.
Recalling the introduction and popularisation of stereophonic sound during the late Fifties and Sixties, this welcome reissue combines two superbly arranged albums of 1962/1963 intended to demonstrate the spacious and startling advantages of the new sound technology in comparison to the previous boxed-in monaural or monophonic reproduction.
Enoch Light (1905-1978) had gravitas as a classical violinist, bandleader and recording engineer to achieve great results in melding the authentic bossa nova style to big band brass with a mixture of Brazilian tunes and established band stand stalwarts. BIG BAND BRASS imports DESAFINADO and ONE NOTE SAMBA to join the already popular South American favourites, BESAME MUCHO and BRAZIL and theyemet track alongside LULLABY OF BIRDLAND and TAKE THE "A" TRAIN. Having reached the US album chart placement of #8, the inevitable follow-up, LET'S DANCE THE BOSSA NOVA, places more emphasis on popular songs from stage and screen with DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES, I COULD HAVE DANCED ALL NIGHT, MOON RIVER and WHAT KIND OF FOOL AM I? sharing track-space with the authentic MEDITATION and LITTLE BOAT, joined by bossa-nova imitations like BLAME IT ON THE BOSSA NOVA and BIG BEN BOSSA NOVA.
The original liner notes of the albums are included as well as participating musicians; amongst them Doc Severinsen, Tony Mottola, Ubie Green and Eddie Shaughnessy and the joyful listening experience echoes the type of brassy light music rarely recorded nowadays. Thanks to Sepia for again digging deep and revealing these gratifying treasures in superb remastered CD sound.
Big Band Bossa Nova, NOT3CD100
CD1: Stan Getz, Big Band Bossa Nova
1962 with a running time of approx 34 minutes. This 8 track album is a perfect opener for this themed set of albums all dating from the early 1960s. Stan Getz was riding high after his recent success with Jazz Samba and Desafinado and felt there was much more to explore musically in this genre. The arranger on the album was Gary McFarland and the band features many of the best session players of the time.
Compositions are by Luiz Bonfa; Jobim; Gary McFarland & Joao Gilberto. The album was produced by Creed Taylor and released on the Verve label. The album did well charting at number 13 in the USA.
CD2: Enoch Light, Big Band Bossa Nova
The running time for this 12 track stereo album released on the Command label in 1962 is approx 34 minutes.
Enoch Light produced a string of stereo percussion albums in the 1960s, most of which made the Top Ten best-selling charts including "Big Band Bossa Nova", an album of Bossa Nova numbers that peaked at number 8 and remained in the charts for 33 weeks.
In 1962 the bright, new Brazillian rhythm, the Bossa Nova, had just reached North American shores and this album was one of the first that started the craze. Included are the Jobim composed "Desafinado", "One Note Samba", and "Meditation".
CD3: Luiz Bonfa, The King of Bossa Nova
He was there at the birth of the Bossa Nova along with Jobim & Gilberto and in 1962 in common with the other 2 albums he recorded this excellent album highlighting his guitar and vocals skills. This is another album that fully explores the Bossa Nova and with the addition of vocals it rounds off the set of 3 classic recordings. Running time approx 28 minutes.
All told an exciting 3 CD set available at a very reasonable price from Not Now Music. Liner notes, original album covers and recording dates all add to the attractive packaging and combined with very good quality transfers make this an essential collection.