Broadway In Rhythm
About This Album
Three of the most popular elements in recording today are dance music, Broadway show tunes, and the arrangements of Ray Conniff. The combination of these three would seem to be a natural, and here on this record is proof that it works. For Mr. Conniff, one of the most gifted arranger-conductors around these days, has taken fourteen splendid songs from Broadway and given them his own inimitable arrangements for orchestra and wordless chorus, and produced yet another in his engaging series that began with the enormously popular "'S Wonderful."
Three-fourths of Mr. Conniff's program comes from the works of Rodgers and Hammerstein, the remaining quarter from Lerner and Loewe's "My Fair Lady," covering on a single disc four of the most popular and distinguished productions of the musical theater. The Conniff arrangements, designed especially for dancers, sometimes change the mood of a song, but never the melody, and they offer a dazzling invitation to dance as well as some fine listening.
Selections from "Oklahoma!" open the program, beginning with a lively presentation of the title song that also has references to other favorites woven through it. Then comes People Will Say We're in Love, set in the delightful Conniff shuffle rhythm, and an airy, jaunty version of The Surrey with the Fringe on Top. Departing from the original 3/4 time, Mr. Conniff presents Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin' as a fox trot with a strong bet, and then moves on to selections from "The King and I." Hello Young Lovers appears as an engaging fox trot in medium tempo, followed by a breezy melody of Getting to Know You and I Whistle a Happy Tune to conclude the first half of the program.
"My Fair Lady" opens side two, with a merry shuffle version of On the Street Where You Live,and then Ray Conniff presents a medley of I Could Have Danced All Night and I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face in beguine tempo. The varied dance program then moves on to "South Pacific" and a catchy 4/4 arrangement of A Wonderful Guy,followed by the romantic Bali Ha'i in moderate tempo with a strongly accented beat. Younger Than Springtime appears next, in a typical Conniff setting, and Ray concludes with a brightly arranged version of Some Enchanted Evening. Throughout the program, he uses the chorus as a section of the orchestra, employing the voices for coloring rather than lyrics, and placing them against various other sections in different combinations for some unusual effects. Thus, "Broadway in Rhythm," through the imaginative dance arrangements of Ray Conniff, add a sparkling addition to his best-selling collections.