Enoch Light, at work
The track I bring you today is from the files of easy but not quite cheesy takes on the discotheque-au-go-go sound of the mid 1960s.
Enoch Light is a big fave of mine as artist, producer and label honcho.
Through the 50s, 60s and 70s he and a battalion of NY-based studio cats laid down some of the coolest ‘adult’ sounds (in the age bracket sense) of the day.
Most of what he did was aimed at your parents and the hi-fi nut down the street (with the marked exception Free Design, which was aimed at hipsters 30 years in the future), but along the way he managed to lay it all out with a sense of professionalism, imagination, adventure and even a touch of the far out.
Though the album that yielded today’s selection doesn’t sport any info about personnel, Light often used guys like keyboardist Dick Hyman (who did some very forward thinking moog experimentation under Light’s aegis) and drummer Bobby Rosengarden (the leader of the band on Dick Cavett’s show) who were sliding into middle age yet hip and lively enough not to sound like it.
This cover of Don Julian and the Larks ‘The Jerk’ appeared on the 1965 LP ‘Discotheque Vol 2’, which like the previous volume in the series is an approximation of the ‘teen’ sound filtered through a slightly hip society dance band.
This is a perfect representation of the kind of now sound-ery that you’d find in a discotheque scene in a TV show or movie of the period, in which (as is laid out here at length) the older set is working on sounding like the younger set, failing, yet creating something groovy all the same.
There are a number of similarly cool cuts on this record (the first volume is recommended as well). When I play this I get nostalgic for a long-departed local record joint, run by a truly weird guy, that used to harbor a huge stash of Command/Project 3 stock, of which I was the premier plunderer of for a few years.
That said, those days are gone, but many of those records remain in my crates.
I hope you dig the cut, and I’ll see you all next week.
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