Digital Only Releases 2014 | Part Two

In the course of researching our Ember jazz compilation The Flamingo Connection (FVDD025), we unearthed several sets of tapes for Vic Lewis & His Allstars’ At The Beaulieu Festival album (first released on CJS 807 in June 1964, repackaged on SE 8018 in 1974). It was apparent that, for whatever reason, the applause had been dubbed in after the event, so we can now present the entire album both with and without that applause, all mastered from the original tapes. With Vic Lewis conducting, the Allstars comprised Dick McPherson, Jimmy Deuchar, Les Condon, Gordon Turnbull, Keith Christie, Roy East, Vic Ash, Art Ellefson, Ronnie Ross, Terry Shannon, Arthur Watts and Allan Ganley. The Beaulieu Suite was composed by Tony Crombie; The Springbok and American Suites (side two of the original vinyl) by Vic Lewis.

Recorded in London in 1969, and released on Ember CJS 823 in 1970, Adam’s Rib Suite is a conceptual jazz suite of compositions named after, and reflecting, the character of eleven women drawn from history, mythology and fiction, it was composer Ken Moule’s second suite, following on from 1958’s Jazz At Toad Hall. Credited to The London Jazz Chamber Group, Ken Moule (piano) is joined on Adam’s Rib Suite by Kenny Wheeler, Roy Willox, Lennie Bush, Ronnie Stevenson and Louis Stewart, plus the Pat Halling String Quartet. Previously available on CD, this new digital release has been remastered from original tapes. As well as being of interest to jazz aficionados, there is much of interest on here for lounge fans.

From 1971, the film You Can’t Have Everything was written and directed by Martin Zweibach, and also saw release as Cactus In The Snow. The comedy stars Richard Thomas as an American soldier hoping to lose his virginity before the Vietnam draft, who encounters a young woman played by Mary Layne. The soundtrack album was released on Ember (NR 5055), written by Joe Parnello and Rudy Durand, and performed by The Joe Parnello Orchestra. Four tracks graced Big Sound: Ember Soundtracks & Themes (FVCD048), but now we have made the entire soundtrack album available digitally, and added on the single version of The World Started Without Us.

Peter Collinson’s X-certified film The Penthouse was adapted from Scott Forbes’ play The Meter Man. The 1967 film depicts an adulterous couple (Terence Morgan and Suzy Kendall) shaken out of their complacency by a trio of thuggish intruders (Tom Beckley, Norman Rodway and Martine Beswick). The Ember soundtrack album (NR 5040) featured original music composed and arranged by John(-ny) Hawksworth, whose TV credits in the ’70s would include George And Mildred, Man About The House and the animated series Roobarb. Lisa Shane sings The World Is Full Of Lonely Men, and the album is rounded out by dialogue from the film, plus two tracks by Mark Wirtz, previously released on an Ember Mood Music Library album.

Starring Richard Wyler as Interpol agent Anthony Smith, Man From Interpol ran for 39 episodes, broadcast by Associated-Rediffusion from 1959, and by NBC in the States from January 1960. An album were released on Top Rank (35/043) in 1959, credited to Tony Crombie arranging and conducting the Studio Orchestra. In 1960, Kruger’s new label Ember released its own Man From Interpol album (EMB 3300). Featuring 17 tracks, the album  credits Crombie as composer and arranger, and the artists as Parliament Brass And Orchestra directed by Buddy Kaye, an American better known as a songwriter. The Ember album shares some titles with the Top Rank release, but the title theme for one is a distinctly different recording and other titles are unique to the album. For this digital-only reissue, all tracks have been mastered from tape sources, including five previously unreleased bonus tracks.

Directed by A Edward Sutherland, International Detective ran between December 1959 and June 1961. It followed the investigations of Ken Franklin (US actor Art Fleming) for the William J. Burns International Detective Agency. The soundtrack album was released on Ember in 1960 (EMB 3304), credited to the TV All Stars directed by Edwin Astley.  All compositions bar the Leroy Holmes/Sid Shaw-penned title theme are composed by Edwin Astley. Best known for his work on The Saint theme, in the early ’50s Astley had arranged for the popular band leader Geraldo, led his own Ted Astley Orchestra and composed for other performers. Work for British TV series in the ’50s and ’60s included Danger Man, The Adventures Of Robin Hood, Department S, Randall And Hopkirk (Deceased), The Baron, Gideon’s Way and Civilisation. The album also surfaced in the Ember Mood Music Library series (ERL 3306), albeit with all tracks bar the title theme renamed. We have used the titles as listed on EMB 3304 and tacked on a longer version of the title theme.

Galway-born singer Lee Lynch moved to England in 1956 and was discovered by Vince Hill. He cut a single for Decca in 1966 and signed to Ember in February 1969. In March he recorded his first session for the label, produced by Jimmy Duncan and engineered by Eddie Offord (who later worked with Yes and ELP). The orchestra was arranged by Johnny Arthey. This yielded the Les Reed/Geoff Stephens-penned Stay Awhile (the GB entry in an international song competition hosted by Belgium) and follow-up Don’t Hold On To Yesterday. Further singles and a (Belgium-only) album followed over the next couple of years, and Lee Lynch next surfaced on the Columbia label. Our digital-only selection, Stay Awhile, rounds up twelve sides issued by Ember and/or licensed from them for release on the Continent, including a cover of The Beatles’ Here, There And Everywhere.

Recorded 12 October 1963, Live Folk From The Mayfair Theatre London offers a snap shot of the sort of music which might have been billed billed under the umbrella description of “folk” in clubs at the time, although the actual performances range from the bluegrass of The Malcom Price Trio, to the Woody Guthrie-style “talking blues” of Talking John Berry and the rather polite folk-pop of Jill Freedman. This album was released in November 1965 on the Ember label (FA 2014), but the tracks by the aforementioned artists had all previously appeared spread across two EPs released by Ember in March 1964 (Hullabaloo Volumes One & Two, EMBEP 4532 & 4533). So the main attraction of the album would have been the previously unissued performances by Chad & Jeremy, who by this time were at least six months into their post-Ember contract with US Columbia. It’s fascinating to hear what the duo sounded like live at the start of their career, performing their soon-to-be hit Yesterday’s Gone alongside folk and humorous material, including a beat group send-up on (Ain’t That) Just Like Me and a rewrite of Frankie And Johnny as Stanley And Dora.

Back then it was rare for Carmen McRae to record outside New York, let alone the USA, but in May 1961 the legendary jazz vocalist did just that, at the legendary Flamingo Club in London, and Ember captured this rare event on tape for the album Carmen McRae In London, released June 1962 (NR 5000). With a trio comprising Los Angeles-born pianist Don Abney (who had accompanied McRae on sessions since 1958) and two Brits: bassist Kenny Napper and celebrated drummer Phil Seaman, Carmen interprets eleven standards in her distinctive style, and these performances are highly rated among cognoscenti. However, this was no one-take concert performance, as has sometimes been stated. With characteristic perfectionism, McRae performed several takes of many of the numbers, to the delight of the audience, and in the course of revisiting the original tapes for this digital-only reissue, we have mastered eight alternate takes. In some cases the differences are small, but in others distinctive, like I Could Write A Book and the version of A Foggy Day (In London Town) with no solo from Seaman. A fascinating insight into one of the most influential of jazz vocalists.

In March 1967, UK label Ember released The Soul Of Etta James (EMB 3390), a compilation of her 1954-1958 recordings for the Modern label. For this digital-only release, we have retained the original artwork but expanded the selection by six tracks from the same era, so that as well as her 1955 R&B #6 hit Good Rockin’ Daddy, you now also get the R&B chart-topper The Wallflower, the record that kicked off the great R&B and soul singer’s three decades-spanning chart history.