sexta-feira, 11 de setembro de 2009

Ray Ellis and his orchestra - Let's get away from it all

  1. Mountain Greenery
  2. Long Ago (And Far Away)
  3. The Wang Wang Blues
  4. Moonlight Becomes You
  5. I'll Be Seeing You
  6. Shuffle Off To Bufalo
  7. Anything Goes
  8. Let's Get Away From It All
  9. This Love Of Mine
  10. No Such Luck
  11. You're The Top
  12. They Say It's Wonderful
Let's Get Away
The implication of the title may be one of disillusionment, but the contents of the collection belie it. Ray Ellis and his orchestra are swinging away into a cheerful and romantic area not unlike the remarkable wonderland he explored in his first album. Indeed, que quality of ebullience that emanates from this record is so infectious and ingratiating that one is tempted to accompany Ray and his companions off across the horizons. In short, what the talented Mr. Ellis did for one group of splendid tunes in his first outing, he does, again for this likewise excellent program.

One of the most notable features of the Ellis arrangements is his use of a choral ensemble. In itself this is nothing new, but he employs the voices so sparingly that they make their presence felt only as integral parts of the orchestra, rather than calling attention to themselves by virtue of their different timbres. In the ballad portions of the program - "Long Ago", "Moonlight Becomes You", "No Such Luck" and "They Say It's Wonderful", among others - their function is entirely "instrumental". Also notable is Ray's use of expert soloists for brief but enlivening passages in other arrangements; Gene Quill stands out in his sax work in several numbers, as do Mel Davis on trumpet in "This Love Of Mine", and Lou McGarity on trombone in "I'll Be Seeing You".

The opening "Mountain Greenery" of Rodgers and Hart positively swings in the bright and breezy Ellis treatment, pointing up another facet of his talent, a gift for cleverness that does not degenerate into mere showiness. A mellow rendition of the Jerome Kern-Johnny Mercer ballad from 'Cover Girl', "Long Ago", glistens with the characteristic Ellis sheen on the violins, and is followed by a merry arrangement of that old classic, "Wang Wang Blues". A pair of memorable ballads, "Moonlight Becomes You" and "I'll Be Seeing You" appear next, and the first half of the album concludes with a witty workout of "Shuffle Off To Buffalo" from that prototype of the backstage movie musical, "Forty-Second Street".

Cole Porter's title song from "Anything Goes" opens the second half of the album in an amusing presentation followed by the airy "Let's Get Away From It All" by Matt Dennis and Tom Adair. Another pairing of ballads follows, first "This Love Of Mine", then "No Such Luck", both in broad settings that underline their romantic melodies. Ray Ellis then offers a fine, swinging arrangement of another Cole Porter song from "Anything Goes", "You're The Top", and concludes with Irving Berlin's charming "They Say It's Wonderful", played in a warmly sentimental manner.

The Ellis genius for arranging is no news to anyone who has heard either his first collection or his backgrounds for major stars with such varying styles as Johnny Mathis, Frankie Laine, the Hi-Los, The Four Lads, Jill Corey, tony Bennett, Jimmy Dean and Paul Hampton. In each case, he has deftly set off the talents of the singers in the arrangements without allowing the orchestra to subside into mere accompaniment. Right here and now, his invitation provides not only fascinating examples of his manifold talents, but just about the most agreeable handbook on "How to Get Away From It All" that could be imagined.

(From the original liner notes)

Um comentário:

  1. the file is gone for this album. do you happen to have any more Ray Ellis music?


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