Monday, April 4, 2016

The Raymond Scott Quintette - Microphone Music

The Raymond Scott Quintette - Microphone Music (2003)

Microphone Music is a 2003 double CD compilation by The Raymond Scott Quintette. It is "a collection of unreleased titles, radio performances, first-rate rehearsals and forgotten gems by the Raymond Scott Quintette recorded between 1936 and 1939." (The sizes of each version are correct, these are mono recordings converted to each format.)

Warner Bros. licensed his music for the Looney Tunes cartoons. Powerhouse and few others will be familiar to fans of these classic cartoons. Enjoy.


Jazz music, always known for its spirit of improvisation, was hardly the medium for composers or producers during its first 50 years. Even the greatest early arrangers – Duke Ellington, Fletcher Henderson, Don Redman – allowed plenty of room for solos, and would've been deserted by most of their musicians if they hadn't. All of which explains why Raymond Scott was never considered a jazz artist. His pieces, impressionistic yet rigidly composed, did use all the same components of a jazz band and exhibited close superficial similarities to Duke Ellington's early jungle band and the Benny Goodman Orchestra. The difference lay with his insistence on perfection, in his recording techniques and the members of his band. The Raymond Scott Quintette was a clean, technical, utterly precise swing machine – the logical progression, in his mind, of the noisy jazz racket originally delivered on record by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band in 1917. Microphone Music, another Scott-related reissue by the Basta label, is a two-disc bonanza of unreleased titles, rarities, and rehearsals from the late '30s that will taste of manna from heaven for listeners who spent a decade in the wilderness after Columbia's greatest-hits volume, 1992's The Music of Raymond Scott: Reckless Nights & Turkish Twilights. These certainly don't sound like afterthoughts, either; Scott took quality control very seriously, and the result is a set of 40 splendid, fascinating songs that often sounds better even than the Columbia release. Most of the songs are new to CD, and even the familiar titles (like the Scott perennial "Dinner Music for a Pack of Hungry Cannibals") are presented in radically different interpretations. Drummer and percussionist Johnny Williams (father of composer John Williams) is revealed as an extraordinary talent, not just keeping time for the quintette, but splitting it into halves and quarters with his brisk, perfectly timed fills. As for Scott, who's usually recognized solely as a compositional or arranging genius, the focus here is on his talent for sound reproduction. The title is a nod to the importance of engineering and microphone placement in his music – a reprint of a Popular Mechanics article appears in the liner notes – and his constant recording experiments produced dynamic music utterly unlike anything heard before, since sound had never been picked up and amplified the way Scott did it. The relative scarcity of Quintette recordings is enough to boost this set into recommended status, but the bounty of fabulous music inside makes it essential for fans and highly recommended for the uninformed. Really fun with headphones.
oooops- for you early adopters - disc1 is now fixed.

DISC 1
1. Egyptian Barn Dance (April 1938)
2. The Penguin (December 1938)
3. Christmas Night In Harlem (March 1939)
4. Pretty Petticoat #1 (April 1939)
5. Square Dance For Eight Egyptian Mummies (1938)
6. Moment Whimsical (December 1938)
7. Devil Drums (June 1939)
8. A Little Bit Of Rigoletto (APril 1939)
9. Hypnotist In Hawaii (April 1939)
10. Dinner Music For A Pack Of Hungry Cannibals (April 1937)
11. The Toy Trumpet (December 1936)
12. Suicide Cliff (December 1939)
13. Siberian Sleighride (1938)
14. Steeplechase (April 1939)
15. Peter Tambourine (March 1939)
16. Celebration Of The Planet Mars (January 1938)
17. Brass Buttons And Epualettes (January 1938)
18. Bumpy Weather Over Newark (June 1939)
19. Pretty Petticoat #2 (May 1939)
20. Turkish Mish-Mush (March 1939)
(UNLISTED TRACK)
21. Powerhouse (rehearsal) (1940)
DISC 2
1. Microphone Music (January 1938)
2. Twilight In Turkey (February 1939)
3. New Year's Eve In A Haunted House (December 1938)
4. Tobacco Auctioneer (April 1939)
5. The Girl With The Light Blue Hair (January 1939)
6. Sleepwalker (March 1937)
7. The Happy Farmer (April 1938)
8. Oil Gusher (January 1939)
9. Boy Scout In Switzerland (March 1939)
10. Reckless Night On Board An Ocean Liner (April 1937)
11. Swing, Swing Mother-In-Law (December 1936)
12. Girl At The Typewriter (1939)
13. Yesterday's Ice Cubes (March 1937)
14. Pretty Petticoat #3 (April 1939)
15. War Dance For Wooden Indians (February 1939)
16. Dead End Blues (January 1937)
17. Harlem Hillbilly (June 1939)
18. The Quintet Goes To A Dance (March 1939)
19. Bugle Call Rag (March 1937)
20. Powerhouse (June 1939)
(UNLISTED TRACK)
21. A Happy Frenzy At Aquackanack

wowser d1

wowser d2

5 comments:

Christopher tm said...

Thank you for Raymond Scott.

-Xtm

biggs33 said...

Great stuff, thanks! Sadly disc 1 appears to be missing track 10 (Dinner Music For A Pack Of Hungry Cannibals).

DaBoss said...

Sorry about that folks. Disc 1 is fixed the song is back where it belongs.
Cheers

Christopher tm said...

Thanks again!

-Xtm

briviba-41 said...

Thanks.

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