The Maestro – Enoch Light
Listen -Enoch Light & the Glittering Guitars – You Showed Me – MP3
Welcome to another fantabulous autumnal week, in which my attempts to do psychic battle with the leaves in my yard result only in their repeatedly mocking me by falling to the ground.
In an attempt to soothe my shredded nerves I figured I’d get things started this week with something on the mellow side.
I have previously described my ongoing fascination with the sounds of Mr. Enoch Light.
Light spent the 30s, 40s and 50s as the leader of a popular big band, but it wasn’t until that last decade that he carved himself out a place as one of the true leaders of the ‘Now Sound’ with his work creating hi-fi masterworks engineered for full exploitation of the topography of the American bachelor pad.
Light, via his Command and Project 3 labels pioneered hi-tech stereo recording to 35mm sound and built a significant and widely varied catalog of albums. On the surface many of these records – especially the earlier ones – seemed aimed exclusively at hi-fi nuts who liked to sit between expensive loudspeakers listening to sounds bounce back and forth between the channels.
However, as Light and his army of crack session players (including keyboard whiz Dick Hyman, guitarist Tony Mottola and drummers like Bobby Rosengarten and Ed Shaugnessy) moved on into the swinging sixties, the material they covered on these records, under a variety of names, began to lean toward the hip side of the street.
And – wonder of wonders – the recordings of this material started to sound just as hip. The records by Enoch Light and the Light Brigade (or the Brass Menagerie, or as in this case the Glittering Guitars) and Hyman especially began to reflect less exploitation and more empathy with the material, so much so that if their interpretations sometimes sounded a little far out (listen to some Hyman’s visionary moog recordings of the 60s) they were more often that not very interesting.
The tune I bring you today hails from the compilation LP ‘Enoch Light Presents Patterns In Sound Vol. 6: The Now Scene’, which features selections from of number of the instrumental groups in the Command roster as well as the two best known vocal groups in Light’s stable, the Free Design and the Critters. The tune I bring you today is by Enoch Light and the Glittering Guitars, a cover of the Turtles classic ‘You Showed Me’.
The Light version features an ‘easy’ background, over which are layered a couple of very fuzzy, very sustained lead guitars (one by Vinnie Bell). Delivered at a familiar tempo, the juxtaposition of strings and fuzzed guitars sounds like the backing track for a mod boudoir scene in a period exploitation film.
It’s very groovy and I hope you dig it.
I’ll be back later in the week with something cool.