Friday, 4 June 2010

Hidden Gem: The Adventurers - The music of Antonio Carlos Jobim – The Ray Brown Orchestra. Arrangements by Quincy Jones

I bought this record off a guy called Ian who lives in Leytonstone. Ian and I met at Verygoodplus – a chat site for record nerds. Ian has some very nice records and from time to time I pop over and part with my hard earned cash for some fine slabs of wax.

I popped over last Sunday and got a Pentangle LP I’d been after for a while, some novelty easy records and this. He played a couple of choice moments and I was sold. I’ve always liked Quincy – his version of Superstition, his work with Jacko but if I’m honest I’ve never really sat down with whole albums – until now.

The Adventurers was a rather poor attepmt at a James Bond-esque blockbuster based upon a Harold Robbins book. In buying the soundtrack I urge some caution as there are actually two different versions in circulation - make sure you get the one with Quincy's orchestration. Quincy had taken it upon himself to re-record his own version of the soundtrack following its initial release.

What I like about this record is its sheer variety. Each tune stands up and yet, each inhabits a slightly different genre. This record touches on Go-Go, Southern funk, Jazz show tunes and TV themes yet hangs together very well.

First track Polo Pony is funky – almost Booker T-esque but most definitely an opener. You suspect the second track will see a drop in quality and yet its actually much better. Go Down Dying sounds like a 50’s goth TV theme. It sounds so familiar (partly because it was sampled by Bjork on the track Human Behaviour)but despite its simple production it has a deep groove which would sound fantastic in a 50’s style pussycat club with leopard skin walls. El Lobo’s March takes us in another direction again. It starts like an English folk recording before veering off. A couple of easy tunes follow to finish off Side 1.

The second side starts with visit to a sixties lounge bar. Coming and Going, it has to be said, is notable for the female orgasm shrieks over the top of some funky grooves. Better than J’Taime anyway...

Fat Cat Strut is yet another highlight. We visit the Mardi Gras of New Orleans for this one and it has a great drum breakdown towards the end.

So there you have it – it will set you back a few bob if you want it - £20-£30 perhaps, but, in my opinion worth it. Like a fine bottle of Bordeaux or a Cuban cigar some things are worth paying for. Thanks Ian

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