Wednesday, 17 February 2016

April Orchestra Part IV.i: Volumes 41 to 51 [41 and 44 to come]

There is no chance I will last past the early fifties in this series as the pain of slogging through so many dozens of tepid albums ever closer to a lukewarm forgetful kind of nothingness, literally more than 500 tracks, is really getting to my sanity.

Quickly:  Volumes 41 and 44 are to come later, they are not included in this package.  Volume 42 with Lucien Attard on the uber-French Accordeon is a bit grating as it lacks in originality.  You will be pleasantly or in my case unfavourably reminded of being back in that country famous for its cheeses, cathedrals, and spectacular rudeness, when you hear this one.  I have little interest in knowing who Attard is after listening to this, nor in returning to his country after my fourth and last visit there.

Volume 43 presents the team of Roland Romanelli and Jannick Top again, we saw them together before to good effect (no. 38).  Note that the former made a chansonnier private press in the seventies and went on to convert, as so many of his countrymen did, to simple upbeat electronic-synthesizer music in the eighties, as well as contempt for everyone non-french/not white.  Thus his album Connecting Flight from the same year is very similar to any output by for ex. Jean-Michel Jarre, Patrick Vian, or even Teddy Lasry.  Didn't like it myself.  (Though not as much as I hated the arrogantly inept staff at Charles De Gaulle airport.  Like so many others with similar experiences, perhaps half the world, I will never go back there.)  On the other hand, this volume has some very pleasant compositions in the usual soundtracking style.  I guess with that team you couldn't go wrong.  Too bad they don't work at the Gare Du Nord, in Paris.

Volume 45 is pleasant as well with at least a handful of listenable compositions, this time from Francis Rimbert and Jean-Pierre Savelli.  The former appeared in multiple AO's as well, most recently in the 36 which again I hated.  Note that he is another exemplar of the synthesizer-addicted Frenchman.  I wonder what it is about fine red wines, electronic keys, and supreme arrogance that fit together so well.

Volume 46 is interesting, called Carmensijazz (the title of one of the compositions), it includes tracks or excerpts from the Traitement Special record I ripped earlier on the second side, the first presenting some mediocre modal jazz, acoustic though not fusionic, from one Christian Pegand.  This gentleman in the same year (1982) made a record called Salut J' Arrive, could be good?  Anybody know?

Vol. 47 was a popular one due to involvement of library luminaries Milpatte (Bernard Fevre) and Serge Bulot.  I believe it was ripped long ago and is prob. well-known to everyone.  Bulot's album Sanctuaire D'ecole to me is one of the best library records-- ever.  This lp is comparatively disappointing.

48 now instead has Francis Rimbert teamed up with Frederick Rousseau.  The latter's career almost started here, and stretched out into the eighties and nineties.  I wonder if his later output was innocuous or interesting?  At any rate, the economic law of diminishing rate of returns applies here and there are only 2-3 interesting compositions in this one.  It would be magnificent if we could chart the no. of good songs versus progression over time of the volumes, as I am relatively certain we'd get a bell curve with its peak at volumes 32-34.  Well, except for the nadir of czech classical music period from 23-30, where there is literally nothing, so I suppose instead of a bell we'd have a punched derby hat, clearly punched for good reasons (a bimodal distribution, perhaps even trimodal depending on how much you like the sound of Philadelphia).
For example, Rimbert's Quai de l'Enigme:

49 and 50 present the team of Romanelli (here called Izzanelli) and Jannick Top (here called Samy Wathson) for some very simple synthetic easy listening.  I wonder what was the reason for all the pseudonyms in library music, for some specific licencing or copyright purposes?  It doesn't make sense as you'd think the reputations of the composers would mean something.  Strangely the first is forgettable while volume 50 is extremely good, another peak to render more multimodal our curve.  The latter's all-out space theme is particularly nostalgic and evocative for me.  The track Patrouille Spaciale (i.e., space patrol) from them is very Stravinskyesque, it reminds me as well of the best of legendary and hugely versatile library composer Alan Hawkshaw (cf. his 1977 Road Forward, another library masterpiece everyone should know):

In Volume 51 Rimbert is now sadly alone and, so deep in the 80s, we can't really expect too much anymore, nor of course do we get it.  I, too, had low expectations going into the Galeries Lafayette and mostly went with my wife to show her the architecture and design.  Little did we know the salespeople in addition to being unhelpful, obviously, that part was not a surprise, would scream at us to clean up after our children, berate us for our baby pulling off his sock and having a bare foot, and prevent us from touching their shoes for sale (and thus from buying any).  Sigh.  Yet let us enjoy the country still from the safety of our record players...


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  2. Volume 41 to come (Bernard Estardy)

    Volume 42 (Lucien Attard and accordeon)

    Volume 43 (Romanelli - Top)

    Volume 44 to come (Patrick Vasori)

    Volume 45 (Rimbert - Savelli)

    Volume 46 (C. Pegand - Traitement Special)

    Volume 47 (Bernard Fevre - Serge Bulot)

    Volume 48 (Rimbert - Rousseau)

    Volume 49 (Romanelli - Top)

    Volume 50 (Romanelli - Top)

    Volume 51 (Rimbert)

    Volume 52 still to come

    And no more collecting AOs for me after this one, it's too exhausting... I think?

  3. Thank you SO much! These posts have been amazing :)