CD REVIEW – BEGUINE AND BUGATTI STEP
The Aspidistra Drawing Room Orchestra

Hampden Roar (F. Hartley) Stringing Along (E. Tower) Melodie Beguine (J. Olan) *At The Codfish Ball (L. Pollack) Thistledown (H. Wood) Kitchen Rag (F. Baron) *Tell Me Again (Grosz) The Bugatti Step (J. Jezek) April Message (C. Ancliffe) Whistling Rufus (K. Mills) *I Never Knew How Wonderful You Were (J. Burke) Puszta Fox (M. Erdelyi) La Patrouillette (V. Sumkai) Ich Brauche Keine Milionen (P. Kreuder) *Drifting And Dreaming (E. Schmidt) Precision (C. Dumont) Love’s Awakening (A. Ketelbey) Blue Tango (L. Anderson) *I’ve Joined The Squirrel Family (H. Trix) Moomin (R. Farnon) Launische Geige (H. Zander).

*vocal numbers

It seems hardly possible that the Aspidistra Drawing Room Orchestra was formed as long ago as 1995. During these twenty years, it has admirably occupied a distinctive niche in the world of Light Music and its popular annual London concerts continue to attract a loyal band of regular supporters.

The new release marks the players' fifth foray into the recording studio, and once again contains a good mix of pieces by British, European and American composers. The orchestra’s repertoire has always included a good measure of lesser-known works by often unfamiliar composers, and this CD is no exception. It gives us the opportunity to savour the delights of works by e. g. Mihali Erdelyi, Frank Baron, Hans Zander and Victor Sumkai and these 'rub shoulders' with the likes of – inter-alia – Robert Farnon, Albert Ketelbey, Montague Ewing, Leroy Anderson and Haydn Wood. Five of the tracks are vocal numbers, featuring Liz Menezes (who is also one of the violinists) and Camilla Cutts.

The Orchestra plays with its usual combination of precision, panache and enthusiasm; congratulations are due once again to Adam Bakker and his merry band of music-makers for producing another very enjoyable and highly recommendable CD.

It can be obtained from Aspidistra, and some of the previous issues may also be available – check the website.

Tony Clayden – December 2015

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