Thursday, June 12, 2008


And even more new additions to NeverEndingWonder Radio:

Jacky & Strings - New Era
Groovin', dramatic expertly executed doses of Latin music. Jacky is one hell of a guitarist, and his compositions show off his skills. They also have an exquisit sense of melody and rhythm. Extremely enjoyable listening.

Jacky & Strings

Timothy Cooper - Light on the Water
Solo piano compositions based around the theme of water. Sweeping, sensual, flowing, majestic- these are all words that describe these compositions.
Timothy Cooper

Richard & Robert Sherman - Tinpanorama
Another of my favorite albums from my rare vinyl collection. A dozen tunes penned by the songwriting team that gave us Mary Poppins and many other Disney musicals. These aren't from their musicals though- these are parodies of various styles of music from Tin Pan Alley to early rock music. Given that these guys really know how to write songs the results are delicious. Their "Boogie Woogie Bakery Man" delightfully sends up "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy." Likewise "I'm Blue for You (Boo Boo Boo Boo Boo)" sends up Bing Crosby styled crooning and "Rutabega Rag," voiced by veteran voice talent Paul Frees, is a spot on parody of Al Jolson. "Fountain of Teardrops (In the Valley of Sorrow)" neatly sends up the oh so serious Folk Scare of the early 60s and "You Bug Me Ann-Arlene" is a fun little early rock n roll song pre-Beatles invasion. Every song is perfectly arranged and performed by top voice talents with Camarata handling the musical direction. A real lost gem.

The Laugh of the Party
Another gem from my vinyl collection. This collection of comedy bits from the mid 50s is a perfect cross section of the state of comedy of that era. The Buddy Hackett routine "The Chinese Waiter" could NEVER get released today. Highlights include "The VERY Square Dance" by Steve Allen, "World News Roundup" by Bob & Ray, "The Life Story of Henny Youngman" by Henny Youngman, Old Old Vienna" by Eddie Lawrence and "Tea and Ceylon" by an apparently increasingly inebriated Hermione Gingold and Terry Thomas.

Dudley Saunders - The Emergency Lane
Dudley Saunders more closely resembles Jacques Brel or Edith Piaf than a modern singer/songwriter. That's not to say that his songs sound old fashioned- how could something titled "Love Song for Jeffrey Dahmer" be anything but thoroughly modern? No, it's the delicate precision with which each piece is drawn, the detailed look at a moment in time that remind me of Brel & Piaf. Additionally, the arrangements are equally delicate and precise. Saunders' quitar is lent substance by a seven piece band that includes unique instrumental touches from harmonium, strings, mandolin & dobro. Special mention must be given to producer/arranger Milo Decruz. He is completely in tune with Saunders and draws out the best qualities of each song. Saunders is extremely talented. I look forward to his future releases.
Dudley Saunders

Oskar Sala - My Fascinating Instrument
A wonderful artifact from the history of electronic music. Sala's instrument was the Mixtur-Trautonium. This album was recorded in the 1960s, I believe. Reportedly the Mixtur-Trautonium was so intricate that nobody but Sala could play it. Its voices are stupendously varied for an instrument of its time and the compositions beautiful and weird.

Allen Ginsberg - Ginsberg's Thing
Spoken word release from the beat poet master. Typically amazing Ginsberg, one of the great poetic voices of the 20th Century- and now the 21st.

Random Touch - A Box and a Word & Duologue
Random touch is a perfect name for this collective, as it's all about improvisation. Every time they play together it's completely new. They have released ten albums to date. Duologue, aptly named as it's a collaboration between Christopher Brown (drums and vocals) and Scott Hammill (guitars). It's experimental, dense, wide ranging, frightening at times, but always engrossing.
A Box and a Word adds James Day (keyboards) into the mix. These documents are a fascinating journey into a world of experimentation. If you've an open mind and an ability to appreciate music that's not focused around a three minute pop structure, then this is for you. Hearing these pieces unfold in real time as the musicians play with each other musically is joyous. The interplay, the counterpoint, are intriquing, and ultimately rewarding for the listener who appreciates a challenge.
Random Touch

John Keating - Space Exploration 2
Great synthesizer album loosely based around the theme of space. Classicly trippy sounds.

The Tiger Lillies & Kronos Quartet - The Gorey End
It's hard to describe the music of the Tiger Lillies to someone who hasn't heard them. Gypsy Cabaret mixed with alt rock, experimentalism and chanson. Think Kluas Nomi. Their music is breathtaking, and add the Kronos Quartet to their already quirky sound and you have something truly splendid. This album is based on a number of unpublished Edward Gorey stories. What else do you need to know? How much better could it get?

All this amazing music can be heard on NeverEndingWonder Radio


Anonymous said...

You've sure been keeping busy, Uncle Ozma! Looks like lots of great new stuff.

Bill Realman Stella said...

Glad to find out you've discovered Dudley Saunders, a musician and a voice truly deserving of greater recognition. My first time here, and your mini-reviews are excellent: clear, insightful. Really enjoyed finding someone else who still digs Phyllis Diller as the groundbreaking comedian she is.

NeverEndingWonder said...

Thank you both, Wayne & Bill.

Wayne- I thought you were off fishing!

Bill- thanks for the compliments on my mini-reviews. You're right about Saunders. I hope he graces us with many many releases in the years to come.

Nick said...

In Laugh of the Party, the Tea & Ceylon dialogue - does any one know where I can get a transcript?