The CD cover shows the U.S. covers (reissues) and back cover liner notes.
Notes added to the CD reissue:
New and original sounds in popular music have, like changes in the weather, come and gone over the years but some of them have been such inspired creations that lasting recognition and popularity has been assured from the beginning. One thinks of the great big band sound of Benny Goodman at the start of the Swing Era in 1935, the highly melodic, smooth sound of the 1939-1942 Glenn Miller Orchestra and the wonderful pairing of Frank Sinatra's voice and the stylish arrangements of Nelson Riddle in the 1950's.
One of the most distinctive and fresh sounding musical signatures of the past 40 years belongs to Ray Conniff, hi Chorus and Orchestra. By 1956 when Ray launched the sound you will hear in this collection, he had earned a handsome reputation as a trombonist, composer and, most notably, as an arranger. He had worked for Bunny Berigan, Bob Crosby and Artie Shaw during the Swing Era and, after a period of military service in the mid 1940's, as a staff arranger for Harry James. Conniff contributed a superb arrangement of George Gershwin's 'S Wonderful. On joining Columbia Records he arranged and conducted recording sessions for, among others, Marty Robbins and Tony Bennett.
The mid-Fifties mono collection 'S Wonderful was his debut album as a bandleader in his own right, bringing to the project his impressive talents as an arranger who was not afraid to try something new, by blending wordless voices with the orchestra. The result was the male and female singers sometimes taking the part of instruments either in ensemble with the different sections of the orchestra, or in "off shoot" musical passages of their own. This innovative blend of wordless voices and conventional big band plus harp and percussion proved a sure-fire formula for success. Moreover, from the start, two other important Conniff ingredients added to the luster of the recordings. Firstly the musicians taking part in the sessions were among the best in the business - men like Billy Butterfield on trumpet, Urbie Green on trombone, Hymie Schertzer on alto saxophone and Ossie Johnson on drums. Their seasoned skills ensured that the orchestra had a classy sound, while the choral group was made up of the finest session singers around. The second vital ingredient was the excellent selection of songs, all enduring standards, which were given new life by a bright, vital sound characterized by a strong, percussive beat that was infectious and irresistible. 'S Wonderful was the founding bench mark for the Conniff sound followed by 'S Marvelous, a stereo album that was a little moodier and more subtle. These two collections encapsulate all that is good about Ray Conniff's considerable contribution to quality popular music - sounds that are still wonderful and marvelous to the ear!
THE RECORD CENTRE, BIRMINGHAM
Thanks to Ray Purslow for his invaluable help and advice on this reissue.
Ray Conniff International Fan Club
Mr. M G Leach
1, Court Cottages
(Please enclose an S. A. E.)
Back | Home