Shahram and Shohreh ‎– Telésm (1984)

Okay, let’s go back in time a little bit and recall one of the all-time favs of the ‘IM’, the stunning Ramesh. We’re proud to visit Iran again, but first off, let me remember you to always check the COMMENTS section at every entry to listen to what is referred, in the end, all that matters is the music my dearest matelots stellaires, so do not miss.

This fantastic treasury includes two of one of the mighty artists Iran has ever brought to us, to be sincere, there’s a TON of talent that flourished throughout the country before the 1979 Revolution. Gradually we will enclose most of them and for that, we will stick only with the girl today, the all-time legend Shohreh Solati. Her partner Shahram Shabpareh, simply regarded as the father of pop music in Iran, soon will also be here.

Before we start one last thing, today’s album is exclusive, so please enjoy (only) with us!

Let’s go to our artist:

Shohreh & Shahram Solati (her brother) – 70s

Shohreh Solati  (Persian: شهره صولتی) (born Fatemah Solati on January 4, 1957, in Sar-Cheshmeh) in Tehran to a well-to-do family of artists and entertainers, she developed an interest in music early on, singing at seven years of age. She later went on to study at the Tehran Conservatory of Music, where she received training in singing and the clarinet.

Her first album titled Dokhtar-e-Mashreghi (Persian for “Eastern Girl”) was successfully released in 1976 (even before she already had released a couple of singles), garnering a lot of notability, also, magazines directed toward the youth of Iran in the 1970s gave a ton of exposure to the singer. In a short period, she entered the hall of the Iranian celebs.

Cinema Stars

Shortly before the Revolution, Shohreh left Iran to perform in a series of concerts in the US and, due to restrictions imposed on entertainers by the new leadership, she wasn’t able to return. She moved to Los Angeles in 1982, settling with the exiled Iranian music industry performers of the 70s. Working with songwriters, composers, and arrangers such as Mohammed Moqadam, Jaklin, Siavash Ghomeishi, and Shubert Avakian, she produced, performed and released several new albums in an almost four-decade span.

Zan-e Rooz Magazine – Dream Team Singers

At the turn of the millennium, Shohreh continued releasing more albums outreaching her popularity beyond the borders of Iran. She has been credited to have given sold-out performances in the US, Canada, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Italy, Britain, Sweden, France, Switzerland, Germany, Cyprus, Turkey, Israel and beyond. (!)

She has had one of the most consistently active and prolific careers among contemporary, women Iranian singers who still remain. Having received recognition for her ability to continuously reinvent herself as well. Sometimes called the Iranian Madonna, Shohreh also has been referred to as the Queen of Scene, for her attention-grabbing music videos and stage presence, as well as the (majestic) Queen of Iranian Pop آیا کافی است؟

Actress Irene Zazians

Let’s go to our album:

This second album of her career, in addition to being divided side by side with Shahram, has the special collaboration of Manuchehr Cheshmazer in the arrangements, it also has plenty of excellent American musicians in the backing band, giving a unique touch.

Tehran’s feast winds blow here with an unusual eastern feel between folklore, disco, rock and more. Manoochehr’s keys are truly hypnotic, allow yourself to get into that!

The ‘IM’ highlights are Telésm and Gomshodeh.

Tracks Include:

A1 Telésm
A2 Boro
A3 Rosva
A4 Mitoony
B1 Ghesmat
B2 Chera Rafti
B3 Adat (New Version of Hamvatan)
B4 Gomshodeh

Musicians

Keyboards: Manoochehr Cheshmazar
Guitar: Ardeshir Farah
Bass: Jerry Wats
Drums: Alfredo Reyes, Evan Caplan
Percussion: Shahram Shabpareh, Al Chak, Manouchehr Lashkari
Tonbak: Majeed Ghorbanian
Trumpets: Howie Shear, Rick Page
Tenor Sax: Bob Shepard
Trombone: Doug Wintz, David Stout
Viola: George Hunt, Nina Roma
Violins: Rony Barg, Mihel Moro, Tom Shanon, Edward B. Bone

Arranged By: Manoochehr Cheshmazar

Credits

Recorded & Mixed: Hit City West, LA, CA
Engineered By: Jason Bell
Photo: Orad Azarbeygui
Producers: Djahanguir Tabariai, Vartan Avanessian

Notes

Taraneh ‎– 125
Taraneh Enterprises INC. 1984 U.S.A.

Actual Shohreh Solati

The Markko Polo Adventurers ‎– Orienta (1959)

We’ve already got a little good share of Exotica here in the ‘IM’, you can easily go for Yma, Russ, and Dominic for your exquisite delight! But I think we should talk a little bit more about it since its one of my fav genres, always with some magical cover and a fantastic vibe from faraway, today’s album is no different so let’s get a ticket to the (wild) East.

Let’s go to our history:

Exotica is a form of easy-listening lounge music that draws upon world music, but it doesn’t aim for authentic replication. Instead, exotica’s primary concern is lightweight entertainment, gathering readily identifiable ethnic sounds into a smooth, easily digested pop form. The music typically conjures up images of exotic foreign tourist destinations geared toward white Americans, and in that sense, it’s sort of the equivalent of a pre-packaged resort vacation: fun, inauthentic, and safely familiar. (!)

1958 Fire Goddess

Exotica is usually arranged for standard orchestras, with instrumentation added according to the location being evoked (ethnic percussion, string instruments, etc.); some exotica also borrows the otherworldly sound effects that define the space-age pop style. The Pacific, the Caribbean, Latin America, Brazil, and Africa are among exotica’s most popular regional musical sources, major exotica artists include Les Baxter, Martin Denny, Arthur Lyman, Eden Ahbez, Gene Rains, Esquivel, Yma Sumac and many more.

Let’s go to our artist:

Orienta was the work of three music industry professionals with a history of involvement in exotica and easy listening music. Producer Simon Rady was coming off the huge success of The Music from Peter Gunn, which spent 10 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s album chart, and won the inaugural Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1959. Associate producer Michael H. Goldsen was one of the industry leaders in popularizing Hawaiian music and was later inducted into the (legendary) Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame.

Debra Paget in Fritz Lang’s The Indian Tomb

The album was arranged and conducted by Gerald Fried, a Juilliard School-trained oboist who later went on to fame as a composer of music for motion pictures and television, including the 1960s series Star TrekThe Man from U.N.C.L.E., and Gilligan’s Island.

Orienta was an attempt to capitalize on the popularity of exotica music in the late 1950s. The genre’s popularity peaked in 1959 as Martin Denny’s 1957 album Exotica spent five weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s album chart. The album was recorded in stereo and was designed to appeal to the growing popularity of albums demonstrating the new technology. It features a wide assortment of woodwind and rhythm instruments as the liner notes describe a recording studio filled with as many as 25 percussion instruments.

Sandy Warner, 1959

Let’s go to our album:

The album’s liner notes stated that:

”The music resembles the dreams of an imaginative person who has fallen asleep during a ‘Dr. Fu Manchu’ movie on television, with vignettes that combine the sounds of the East with the wit of the West; the charm of the Orient with the humor of the Occident.”

A lost lounge gem from the RCA catalog, with a dreamy exotica feeling, Gerald Fried arranged and conducted this faux (studio) group, and his overall approach has lots of sweeping woodwinds and percussion, similar to the great Les Baxter work on Capitol during the period. The tracks have a pronounced Eastern feel including original compositions and adaptations from Rimsky-Korsakov, Harry Warren, and Vernon Duke.

The ‘IM’ highlights are Rain in Rangoon and Mountain High, Valley Low.

Tracks Include:

A1 Song Of India-Beggars’ Procession
Arranged By: Gerald Fried
Composed By: Rimsky-Korsakoff

A2 Yokahama Ferryboat
Composed By: Leon Pober

A3 Rain In Rangoon
Composed By: Vèrnon Duke

A4 Madam Sloe Gin’s
Composed By: Leon Pober

A5 The Girl Friend Of A Whirling Dervish
Composed By – Dubin, Warren, Mercer

A6 Mountain High, Valley Low
Composed By: Bernard Hanighen, Raymond Scott

B1 Scheherazade
Arranged By: Gerald Fried
Composed By: Rimsky-Korsakoff

B2 Limehouse Blues
Composed By: D. Furber, P. Braham

B3 Night Of The Tiger
Composed By: Leon Pober

B4 Nagasaki
Composed By: H. Warren, M. Dixon

B5 Train To Ranchipur
Composed By: Gerald Fried

B6 Runaway Rickshaw
Composed By: Leon Pober

Credits

Arranged By: Gerald Fried
Conductor: Gerald Fried
Co-producer (Associate): Michael H. Goldsen
Producer: Simon Rady
Recorded By (Engineer): Thorne Nogar

Notes

Recorded in Hollywood, California, May 15, 21 and 31 and June 6, 1958

Gerald Fried, Alive and Kicking

Dominic Frontiere and His Orchestra – Pagan Festival: An Exotic Love Ritual For Orchestra (1959)

Together with Yma Sumac’s exquisite records, Russ Garcia’s Fantastica, and the unknown The Markko Pollo Adventures self titled album, our today entry comes with great passion, a personal favorite in the Exotica and Space Age Pop universe. You can check a dossier about the subject here, and with our last entries highlighted on top! We believe that the milestone works from Martin Denny and famous arranger Les Baxter are truly amazing, though due to the high commercial appeal and large number of releases, the musical developments became to dilute throughout the years, climaxing with the death of the genre in the mid-60’s.

folder cópia

Together with Yma Sumac’s exquisite records, Russ Garcia’s Fantastica, and the unknown The Markko Pollo Adventures self titled album, our today entry comes with great passion, a personal favorite in the Exotica and Space Age Pop universe. You can check a dossier about the subject here, and with our last entries highlighted on top! We believe that the milestone works from Martin Denny and famous arranger Les Baxter are truly amazing, though due to the high commercial appeal and large number of releases, the musical developments became to dilute throughout the years, climaxing with the death of the genre in the mid60’s.

Nevertheless, expect to encounter ‘Hypnotique’ and ‘The Passions’ here soon!

Let’s go to our artist:

Dominic Frontiere
Dominic Frontiere

Dominic Frontiere (17 June 1931, New Haven, Connecticut) grew up in a musical family, learning several instruments before adopting the accordion as his main focus. He proved a prodigy, and was travelling to New York for lessons with accordion virtuoso Joseph Biviano at 7 and performing solo at Carnegie Hall at the age of 12. From an early age, its interest in music went beyond just performing, though, and he studied classical music, arranging, and composition through high school and after!

He joined Horace Heidt’s big band in 1949, replacing accordion star Dick Contino and becoming lead arranger as well. He left Heidt in 1952 and moved to Hollywood, where he studied with Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco at UCLA and with violinist and studio conductor Felix SlatkinFrontiere was then, taken under the wing of Alfred Newman, music director at 20th Century-Fox studios, and his brother, famous film composer Lionel Newman, who soon had him working on a variety of scoring jobs.

Alfred Newman
Alfred Newman

Frontiere experimented several novelties from his studio work, one was an album for Columbia, Pagan Festival, that is now recalled fondly as one of the prime examples of true exotica. One suspects that he ran Yma Sumac’s albums for a few spins while conceiving on the pieces on this work, which feature titles as ‘Jaguar God’Venus Girl’, with subtitles recalling Mayan or Inca language, as Ixtab, and Tampu-Anca.

Dominic has concentrated on composing for films/television since the early ’60s. His scoring credits include such films as Hang ‘Em High, Incubus, Chisum, The Train Robbers, Brannigan, and The Stunt Man. On television, he composed the theme for the aliens-are-among-us series, The Invaders, science fiction The Outer Limits, and also The Fugitive, The Flying Nun, BrandedMovin’ Onamongst many others.

1968 Film Poster
1968 OST

Along with Art Van Damme and Johnny Hamlin, he ranks among the leading (and only) jazz accordionists, with an active career until the ’90s. Recently many of its soundtracks were available in cd re-releases, where you can check it out here!

Let’s go to our album:

The liner notes on the back cover spoke of the music’s “interpretation of ancient Inca rituals, superstitions, and the romance and mysteries of their colorful civilization“, but the blending of musical styles was not limited to that of the ancient Latin American culture (if anyone knew what that would sound like!). Frontiere let his imagination run wild, and he brought in sounds from the South Pacific to Eastern Europe, e.g.

1963/64 OST
1963/64 OST

So, here a female choir wafted in and out along with string sections, brasses, and reeds, creating a patchwork quilt that somehow held together. Frontiere‘s music charmed like an entertaining Hollywood score for a movie set in some faraway place, it may not have been historically accurate, but it was a lot of fun to listen to, jouir!

The ‘IM’ highlights are House of Dawn (Paccari-Tampu) and Venus Girl (IX-Koben).

Lastly, this is an exclusive release, เดินทางที่ดี!

Tracks Include:

A1 Festival

A2 House of Dawn (Paccari-Tampu)

A3 Temple of Suicide (Ixtab)

A4 Moon Goddess (Ixchel)

A5 Time of Sunshine (Yaxkin)

A6 Goddess of Love (X-Tabai)

B1 House of Pleasure (Tampu-Anca)

B2 The Harvest (Zax)

B3 Corn Festival (Zabacil Than)

B4 God of Seasons (Kukulkan)

B5 Jaguar God (Balam)

B6 Venus Girl (IX-Koben)

Credits

  • Artwork: Irene Trivas
  • Composed, Conductor: Dominic Frontiere

Columbia ‎– CL 1273

Beltrane Fire Festival
Beltrane Fire Festival

The Corporation – The Corporation (1969)

folderToday we’ll have a short entry, The Corporation might not have done the expected success at its time, but they’re not complete strangers when it comes to psychedelic culture, rediscovered and praised by the bloggers’ network since the mid-2000s. Therefore, this could be called a B side from a major label (Capitol), with paramount importance if we look at what was being produced back then; bands like The Power of Zeus, Autosalvage, Fifty Foot Hose, Kalacakra, amongst others, somehow failed to achieve national recognition, however, after more than 40 years since their respective releases we can see how ahead of time they were, let’s stick with them!?

Let’s go to our artist:

Formed in Milwaukee in 1968 at Cudahy’s Galaxy Club, where the Kondos brothers joined up with members of an outfit called Eastern Mean Time. Some months later they were heard by Capitol reps at another club The Bastille, which the band had bought into. With a contract for an album, the band journeyed to Detroit to record at Tera Shirma studios with producer John Rhys. Even though the record ended up not being a huge commercial success, the band continued to write with hopes of a follow-up record on Capitol, this material was eventually spread across two LPs released by Age of Aquarius label, subsequently, Get on Our Swing and Hassles in My Mind.

1969 Promo
1969 Promo

Perhaps more extensive touring might have propelled their first album to greater heights, but except for Chicago and St Paul, the band remained local. There were no television appearances and nothing else to build a greater audience; a European tour was in the plans, but it fell apart along with disagreements with Capitol Records.

Nick Kondos recalls about it: ‘They treat you like kings, they even set you up with the hottest girls, we went to a jam featuring Jimi Hendrix, and then they get the drugs out. But we found out that the album was selling and we didn’t get a penny. We had an argument with Capitol and that’s how the contract ended. Maybe we were a little impatient. You give it everything you’ve got and, if you want to be a star, you have to let them use and abuse you for a while, and THEN worry about the money.’ (!)

Let’s go to our album:

Released in February 1969, with some serious writing on side one by the Kondos brothers, the Lp is notable for the side-long psych rework of John Coltrane’s India, along with heavy fuzzflutes, harmonica, and vigorous vocals in a trippy overall!

John Coltrane, a Navy Reserve
John Coltrane, U.S. Navy Reserve

Straight and simple, the ‘IM’ highlights are Smile and India (fantastic).

კარგი მოგზაურობა!

Tracks Include:

A1 I Want To Get Out of My Grave (John A. Kondos, Nicholas A. Kondos)

A2 Ring That Bell (John A. Kondos, Nicholas A. Kondos)

A3 Smile (John A. Kondos, Patrick D. McCarthy)

A4 Highway (Gerard J. Smith, John A. Kondos)

A5 Drifting (John A. Kondos)

B1 India (John Coltrane)

Credits

  • Bass, Backing Vocals: Kenneth Bernard Berdoll
  • Drums, Backing Vocals: Nicholas Alexander Kondos
  • Guitar, Flute, Harp, Piano, Backing Vocals: John Alexander Kondos
  • Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals: Gerard Jon Smith
  • Lead Vocals: Daniel Vincent Pell
  • Organ, Trombone: Patrick Daniel McCarthy

Recorded: Tera Shirma Studios, Detroit

Engineers: Milan Bogden and Les Chasey

Produced: John Rhys

Capitol Records ‎– ST 175

Summer of Love, 1967
Summer of Love, 1967

Russ Garcia & His Orchestra – Fantastica (1958)

capa cópiaAs we previously approached on Yma Sumac’s first entry, on the very birth of the genre knows as Exotica, today we’ll recap that and add a new genre: space-age pop!

Space-age pop is a music genre associated with Mexican and American composers and songwriters in the Space Age of the ’50s and ’60s. It is also called bachelor pad music or lounge music. It was inspired by the spirit of those times, an optimism based on the strong post-war economy, technology boom, and excitement about humanity’s early forays into space. Although there is no specific album, date, or year when the genre was born, producer Irwin Chusid identifies its heyday as roughly 1954 to 1963, from the dawn of high-fidelity (hi-fi) to the arrival of the Beatles.

Space Escapade, 1958
Space Escapade, 1958

There are several styles that can be recognized as an influence: classical composers like Ravel, Debussy or Stravinsky; the big bands of the ’40s; and different exotic styles, such as Samba, Latin, and Calypso Jazz. It is also related to Exotica and lounge music and may be regarded as a precursor to space music. (!)

Populated with the outcasts from other well-established genres, Space Age Pop is full of brilliant, bizarre, and exciting sounds, which are particularly striking to ears accustomed to the stereotypes that populate the more familiar genres.

Juan García Esquivel
Juan García Esquivel

Let’s go back to Exotica:

The strictest definition limits exotica to the imitations of Polynesian, Afro-Caribbean, and Hawaiian music that were produced by Les Baxter and others from the mid-1950s to the very early ’60s. There were two primary strains of this kind of exotica: Jungle and Tiki. The jungle was definitely a Hollywood creation, with its roots in Tarzan movies or W.H. Hudson’s novel, Green Mansions. Les Baxter was the king of jungle exotica and spawned a host of imitators while opening the doors for a few more genuine articles such as Chaino, Thurston Knudson, and Guy Warren.

Ritual of the Savage, 1951
Ritual of the Savage, 1951

Tiki was introduced with Martin Denny’s Waikiki nightclub combo cum jungle noises cover of Baxter’s ‘Quiet Village’, although Denny’s vibe player, Arthur Lyman, soon became the style’s most representative artist. Tiki rode a wave of popularity in the late ’50s and early ’60s marked by the entrance of Hawaii as the 50th state in 1959 and the introduction of Tiki hut cocktail bars and restaurants around the United States!

Martin Denny's Group
Martin Denny’s Group

Let’s go to our artist:

Russel Garcia (12 April, 1916 – 19 November, 2011) attended at San Francisco State University and then studied composition (with Castelnuovo-Tedesco) before going to work as a professional arranger and composer. He worked with Horace Heidt and Al Donahue before settling in LA to work with a theatre orchestra. He then moved to studio work, first NBC radio and later with Warner Brothers, Disney, and others.

He freelanced around labels, working with singers such as Anita O’Day and Frances Faye as well as several mainstream jazz artists. He also wrote scores for films such as ‘The Time Machine’ and ‘Atlantis’ and contributed music to the television series ‘Rawhide’ and ‘The Virginian’. In the mid-’60s, he wrote several original works for Stan Kenton’s ‘Neophonic’ orchestra. He also published a book on arranging and orchestration that’s still considered a primary text. (!)

Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald & Russ Garcia
Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald & Russ Garcia (Porgy & Bess)

Let’s go to our album:

Fantastica remains the gold standard by which all outer space exotica records are judged, composed and conducted by Russ Garcia, the album is a marvel of sound and structure, brilliantly evoking the music of the cosmos via revolutionary studio techniques, cinematic arrangements, and innovative electronic elements!

Created in tandem with Liberty Records‘ chief engineer, Ted Keep, Fantastica bears little resemblance to conventional earthly music: alongside traditional instruments like woodwinds, harp, and percussion is a series of electronic devices and effects, including a sine wave generator that creates treble and bass tones of almost inhuman extremes. Conjuring horrific images of alien attack (The Monsters of Jupiter), natural disaster (Nova), and chilling isolation (The Lost Souls of Saturn) that articulate the collective unconsciousness of humankind, a true masterpiece!

The Maestro
The Maestro

The ‘IM’ Highlights are Venus and Frozen Neptune. (this is an exclusive rip)

Summing up, this is my Top 3 of the whole genre, an atemporal Lp, nothing appealing or stereotypical as some mentioned during our entry, startle yourself!

Приятно пътуване!

Tracks Include:

A1 Into Space

A2 Nova (Exploding Star)

A3 Lost Souls of Saturn

A4 Monsters of Jupiter

A5 Water Creatures of Astra

A6 Venus

B1 Red Sand of Mars

B2 Goofy People of Phobos

B3 Volcanoes of Mercury

B4 Birth of a Planet

B5 Frozen Neptune

B6 Moon Rise

Credits

  • Arranged, Composed: Russ Garcia
  • Artwork (Cover Design): Garrett-Howard
  • Effects, Electronics, Engineer: Ted Keep
  • Producer: Simon Jackson

Notes

Spectra-Sonic-Sound the ultimate in transistorized stereophonic hi-fidelity sound.

Liberty ‎– LST 7001

Jane Fonda’s Barbarella