17 Apr 2021


"New York's finest triumvirate of labels are revisited for some stunningly soulful outings."

'UK collection that focuses on the great '60s Soul music released on the New York labels Scepter, Wand and Musicor. The imprints were much more than the hits of the time, already widely available so we've gone back to the one-offs, the neglected and indeed the newly discovered sides that have turned up in recent times. Big city ballads are rightly represented and the notable ones include Winfield Parker's scarce 'Will There Ever Be Another Love for Me', George Tindley's beautiful 'So Help Me Woman' and a previously unissued version of the popular beat ballad 'Millionaire' by the unknown artist Lee Thomas. Finally we're including Johnny Maestro's flip to 'Stepping Out of the Picture', 'Afraid of Love', which is a corking early Soul sound deserving of plays. Kent. 2011.'

Too Good to Miss

'As with any 'Ace/Kent' cd this has a good informative booklet with photo's and label scans. Sound quality is great as are most of the tracks. The tracks on this cd can be divided into three parts - A) Tracks 1-12 lots of great songs with strong melodies (early to mid 60's) worth buying for these tracks alone. Real standout songs would be 'Thats no way to treat a girl' by Marie knight, the unissued 'Millionaire' by Lee Thomas and two fantastic tracks 'Its a dream i've always had' by Porgy & the Monarchs and my favourite track 'Take my love with you' by The Tabs. B) Tracks 13-17 are from the early 1970's (not my thing) except 'Girl i could love you more' by Buckeye Politicians is very good. C) tracks 18-24 are an eclectic mix with two good unissued tracks 'Diamond ring' by Fabulous Dinos and 'One time too many' by the Shirelles (its always good to hear an unissued Shirelles song). Overall a very good compilation.' -Amazon Customer

'Manhattan Soul: Scepter Wand & Musicor collects tracks from the influential triad of independent labels that were based out of New York in the '60s and '70s. This isn’t another compilation of hits by artists who recorded for the labels. You won’t find Dionne Warwick, the Kingsmen, B.J. Thomas, or the Isley Brothers, as they are easily found on various primer collections. These 24 tracks boast lesser-heard but no less enjoyable cuts by the Shirelles, the Toys, and the Platters along with previously unissued songs “A Little Bit of Heartbreak” by Helen Henry, “The Same Change” by Jackie Moore, and "Stick by Me" by Ed Townsend. The fan of the eclectic soul labels will be pleased with the rarities on this set, which also includes a great booklet with plenty of photos, label scans, and essays.' -AllMusic Review by Al Campbell

'Kent Records cut its teeth on these great New York labels’ recordings. The imprints were so much more than the sum total of their hits. Many of the big records are out on Kent already, so we have gone back to the one-offs, neglected sides and the newly-discovered that have turned up more recently: for soul collectors only.

Dancers are catered for by Northern Soul’s adopted sides such as Marie Knight’s ‘That’s No Way To Treat A Girl’, here in the intriguing long version that Kent first discovered, Betty Moorer’s Latin-tinged ‘Speed Up’, Diane Lewis’ Detroit opus ‘Without Your Love’ and J.B. Troy’s current in-demander ‘Live On’.

There are some choice unissued recordings from the unknown Helen Henry, singer/producer Ed Townsend (who purveys a beaty proto-soul number written by none other than a Poet) and a terrific slab of early funk from the mighty Jackie Moore. An Ashford, Simpson and Armstead number ‘One Time Too Many’ is a mouth-watering taster of a forthcoming CD of unissued Shirelles’ recordings. A further previously unheard debut comes from the Fabulous Dinos (a group well from their King recordings as the Fabulous Denos), whose ‘Diamond Ring’ is a different song to Sammy Ambrose’s ‘This Diamond Ring’, although cut for the same Musicor stable. Conversely, debutant recording artist Lee Thomas’ ‘Millionaire’ is the same song Chuck Jackson cut in the early 60s and which caused quite a stir in rare soul circles when first played out and eventually released in the mid-80s.

The more modern sounds of the labels’ influential 70s singles are represented by a southern-sounding Ann Bailey, a Curtis Mayfield-inspired Patti Jo and the oddly named, but surprisingly soulful, Buckeye Politicians, whose fascinating biog is featured in the booklet. Two crossover ballads cut in Philadelphia by Winfield Parker and George Tindley are from the turn of the 60s and show how Wand had a great ear for quality music, even if the sales were disappointingly low – what they lost in $, we’ve repaid them in admiration over the past decades. From the same city, but from a musical era a world away, comes one of the first deejays to cut (as opposed to spin) a disc, Douglas “Jocko” Henderson. His ‘Blast Off To Love’ is a catchy mover that was style over soul, as befits a hip wordsmith.

Overlooked 45s such as the Tabs’ ‘Take My Love Along With You’ sound great from a new mix-down from the original multi track tape, while Johnny Maestro’s ‘Afraid Of Love’ (the flip of ‘Stepping Out Of The Picture’) has been neglected solely because of the attention paid to its topside (well, that and the four-figure price tag). Dan & the Clean Cuts substantially cheaper ‘Walking With Pride’ epitomises cool long before the term was universally applied to anything vaguely half-decent.

The booklet has some stunning photos of the artists along with a nice selection of label scans to pretty up the several thousand word musical and historical appraisal. Welcome back Scepter, Wand and Musicor. It’s been too long.' By Ady Croasdell

1. Marie Knight - That's No Way To Treat A Girl 2:38
2. Maxine Brown - I Want A Guarantee 2:15
3. Porgy & The Monarchs - It's A Dream I've Always Had A.K.A. Hey Girl 2:44
4. The Platters - I Love You 1,000 Times 2:42
5. The Tabs - Take My Love Along With You 2:33
6. Helen Henry - A Little Bit Of Heartbreak 2:25
7. Ed Townsend - Stick By Me 2:07
8. Johnny Maestro & The Crests - Afraid Of Love 2:55
9. J.B. Troy - Live On 1:58
10. Jerry Fischer & The Nightbeats - I've Got To Find Someone To Love Me 2:30
11. Lee Thomas - Millionaire 2:27
12. Dan & The Clean Cuts - Walking With Pride 2:08
13. The Buckeye Politicians - Girl I Could Love You More 2:56
14. Winfield Parker - Will There Ever Be Another Love For Me 3:34
15. Patti Jo - Ain't No Love Lost 3:16
16. Ann Bailey - Sweeping Your Dirt Under My Rug 2:09
17. Jackie Moore - The Same Change 2:52
18. Betty Moorer - Speed Up 2:30
19. Diane Lewis - Without Your Love 2:51
20. The Shirelles - One Time Too Many 2:22
21. The Toys - You Got It Baby 2:06
22. Douglas "Jocko" Henderson - Blast Off To Love 2:11
23. The Fabulous Dinos - Diamond Ring 2:12
24. George Tindley - So Help Me Woman 2:18

Tracks 6, 7, 11, 17, 20 & 23 are previously unissued.

Incl. 16 page booklet


Classic album with great artwork too

'In 1979, when Henry ‘Junjo’ Lawes and Jah Life began working with him, Barrington Levy was still a raggamuffin youth. But he was already blessed with a rich voice and the ability to make up lyrics on the spot. Wherever he went, whatever he was doing, he accompanied himself with song. He had a new vibration and the interaction between the adolescent vocalist and the young but experienced session men, created an electrifying musical mix that reflected a change in the course of reggae.'

'There is heat permeating throughout this album from start to finish. Bounty Hunter is Levy’s critical debut during the dancehall era. With candied melodies and a stunning voice, the lovey-dovey ‘Moonlight’ is effortlessly beautiful. It is the perfect tune to send to your loved one.'

'Bounty Hunter boasted three smash singles, "Reggae Music," "Shine Eye Girl," and "Looking My Love" and a bevy of other tracks just about as good. Bounty Hunter was swiftly followed by the mighty Englishman, a record which was overseen by the unbeatable studio grouping of Junjo Lawes and two of King Tubby's protégés -- Scientist and Prince Jammy, only a teen. Levy was only a teenager himself, a fourteen-year-old who was a popular performer at Jamaican dancehalls.

In an August 2014 interview with Midnight Raver, record producer Delroy Wright revealed that it was his brother Hyman Wright who first met Barrington Levy in the mid-1970s through Wade "Trinity" Brammer. According to Delroy Wright, Hyman Wright recorded a host of tracks with Barrington Levy prior to introducing him to Henry "Junjo" Lawes. These tracks would eventually appear on the album Bounty Hunter which was released on the Jah Life record label. Thus started Barrington Levy's career. Although albums were not terribly important in Jamaica at the time, Levy released four albums before 1980: Shaolin Temple, Bounty Hunter, Shine Eye Gal and Englishman, a critically acclaimed record. His success led to many earlier studio and sound system performances being reissued without his consent, releases he described as "joke business". By the time his 1980 album Robin Hood was released, Levy was one of the biggest Jamaican stars, and saw his international fame growing as well, especially in the UK.

There is an innocence to Bounty Hunter and to Barrington Levy's interesting voice which is quite appealing. The cartoonish juvenile album cover doesn't hurt either.' -catwomyn

1. Bounty Hunter 3:13
2. Shaolin Temple 3:22
3. Shine Eye Girl 3:02
4. Trod With Jah 2:48
5. Look My Love 3:24
6. Skylarking 4:30
7. Jah Life 3:02
8. Weeding Ring 3:41
9. Don't Fuss And Fight 3:31
10. Walk 2000 Miles 4:35
11. Moonlight Lover 4:08
12. Skylarking Version 7:44
13. Moonlight Dub 6:36
14. Shine Eye Girl Version 3:52

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – King Tubby's Studio
Recorded At – Channel One Recording Studio

Backing Band – The Roots Radics
Producer – Henry "Jungo" Lawes

Incl. inlay

16 Apr 2021

Montenegro / France

One the most important and revered Lp in the library world.

'This is such a great record, not just a great library record. I have the Vadim reissue but the sound on that one is a bit hit or miss. There's so much going on arrangement wise that a lot of it sounds distorted. Was listening to the streaming version of Broc Recordz' new reissue, and the sound is the best I've heard of this (or any Montparnasse 2000) album. I might be wrong about this, but I seem to remember reading that the master tapes of the entire Montparnasse archive is long gone? "Rythmes contemporains" sounds like it's from the masters this time around...' -ericmivalstoothbrush

Janko Nilović 

'Montenegrin born in Istanbul, precocious pianist growing up in an embassy, brilliant musician. Prolific composer speaking eight languages, he arranged music for jazz, pop music, adopting multiple identities.
For one label, he is Andy Loore; for another, Emiliano Orti. For others, he is called Alan Blackwell or Johnny Montevideo, but behind all these aliases, there is only one man: Janko Nilovic.'

'Almost always working with the same musicians as André Ceccarelli, Jean Shultheis, Tony Rubio, Michel Barrot, to name a few, one day they asked me to start a Big Band Jazz. I immediately jumped on it and wrote in very little time the pieces that appear on this record. After some rehearsals, a few concerts, we decided to record these songs. I made the choice of stand out from traditional Jazz Big Band by composing in a Jazz-Rock style. I also asked the cast of 'Hair' to sing on three pieces. Then, the director of MP 2000 noting that only 100 copies had been sold, decided to release a Library version called 'Contemporary Rhythms' I would never know why this choice of the title, with a very special cover:, a nice African, which has nothing to do with the kind of Jazz compositions! Needless to say, this record has had an international success with many American singers (Jay Z /Dr. Dre and others) who sampled some titles from this album.' -Janko Nilovic

'Here we have an obscure record of epic proportions. A Funky, Big Band Jazz onslaught of the highest standard.
This is one of the most renowned ‘Library’ records to come out of Europe in the seventies.
Montenegrin poet, composer and pianist Janko Nilovic worked mostly on TV series soundtracks etc and most of his work was never actually released to public.
On ‘Rhythmes Contemporains’ we find an explosive presentation of masterful arrangements that are mostly Funk driven. Nilovic hand picked a massive 45 of the best musicians in France to work with on these sessions which explains the spectacular sounds and huge dynamic range of this very haunting and monumental recording.
The liner notes explain “Nilovic isolated himself from the rest of the world to create his own universe in a Parisian suburb, consisting of his instruments, local musicians and composers. At least 10 hours a day of experimenting and searching for the right composition”.
This record has been sampled a gazillion times throughout the decades and is a favorite amongst record collectors.
A very unique record well worth checking out.
I have not been able to source the names of the personnel who played on this record, but all songs were arranged by Janko Nilovic himself.' -mysticriverman

'Digitally remastered edition of one of the most ambitious and costly records to come out of '70s library music, the legendary Rythmes Contemporains from the brilliant Janko Nilovic. This complex and protean work shines out particularly from the rich discography of this Yugoslavian composer, and according to his many fans across the world, is one of his greatest achievements. The year is 1972 and Janko Nilovic is in his most creative period. The label Montparnasse 2000, trusting him entirely, give him the means to make his ambitions a reality, allowing him to put together a gigantic big band comprising 45 musicians, including the gifted drummer André Ceccarelli, percussionist Jean Schultheis and Catherine Laura on lead violin. And so everything is in place to make these recordings an exceptional moment that embodies elegance. The result is beyond the wildest expectations and the 6 tracks pressed into the heart of this rare vinyl resound music of incredible strength and coherence. A whirlwind of notes and epic rhythms which go crazy, calm down then stir once more at the command of Nilovic who truly gives his all.'

'Here, Janko Nilovic proves that at least one copy of Bitches Brew made it all the way to France. There's a sinister funk mode here, at least that's what they're going for, but there's just enough of a European twist to keep things unique and from sputtering out in the great desert of homage. Those who can't get enough of quirky soundtrack recorders like Morricone or Rota probably have ears for this. Likewise, anyone in search of light, quirky background music should be into this. Those in search of how Europe brought the funk should keep looking.' -AllMusic Review by Rob Ferrier

By Mr
What many people don't know, is that this wasn't originally a library record - it was originally a commercial release, issued as "Giant" on Z Records. The original sleeve lists the personnel of the impressive 30+ member orchestra performing on here. (See my transcription of this list on Discogs.)
- Of course that's André Cecccarelli on drums! ;)
Though absolutely brilliant, I never quite understood how one would employ these 5+ min. long cues to library usage, and it sort of makes sense seeing as how that was never strictly the intention. The rear sleeve of the original MP 2000 library release hilariously attempts to break the dense, long compositions into ready-for-editing sections:

1. Black on a White Ground 6:38
2. Giant Locomotion 8:17
3. Xenos Cosmos 4:58
4. Underground Session 10:07
5. Mouvements Aquatiles 2:35
6. The Savage Rose 5:01

What a sound!! Amazing reissue and perfect balanced! Janko Nilovic i believe was present for the remaster too. -SpirFrelini


Some classic riddims given a special nice dubwise treatment and not too heavy handed on the overlaid synths and silliness prevalent at the time from the Gibbs Dub camp, this release just as good if not better than his more famed 'African Dub' series as a result of this tastefulllnesss. -moondoggieferg

'Classic dubwise set recorded, mixed, arranged and produced by Ossie Hibbert at Channel One and issued in Jamaica circa 1976 through the auspices of Joe Gibbs. Features dubs to Dennis Brown's Whip Them Jah, Gregory's Lovelight, Junior Ross' Rasta Man A Say and Freddie McKays' Creation, Revolutionaries on the riddim tracks.'

'Prime selection from the Hot Pot label. Ossie Hibbert here producing his first dub album with Channel one's Revolutionaries in deep rockers' congress, Sly Dunbar's rightfully celebrated flying sound to the fore. Priceless dub cuts to some bona fide classics too, Dennis brown's "Whip them jah", used by Tappa Zukie for 'Pick up the rockers", Junior Ross' "So jah jah say" and "Judgement Time", Ken Boothe's "Girl I left behind", "Rainy Night", Abyssinians "Declaration of Rights" versioned here across three full pieces, U Brown's "Heavier Than Lead" and a recut of Mad Lads' "Ten to one". Blinder.' -Boomkat

'This sterling dub set from 1978 features the legendary Ossie Hibbert on the organ and behind the mixing board. The Hot Pot label has generously appended eight bonus dubs to the original release's spare 10-track line-up, making for over an hour of thunderous bass, wildly echoing percussion, and sweet, free floating horn lines courtesy of the great Tommy McCook. Hibbert was working with some of Jamaica’s finest musicians on this set, and their work is only enhanced by his undeniable--though long underappreciated--prowess as a mixer and producer.' -AllMusic Review by James Steiner

Tasty Classic Dub

'What can I say? It seems like Steve Barrow has brought us yet another great dub collection. Earthquake Dub was produced & mixed by Ossie Hibbert (also on organ), and performed by the Revolutionaries. One of the goals of the Hot Pot label is to bring attention to the overlooked mixing powers of Ossie Hibbert. Other Hibbert releases on the label include "Leggo Dub."

This dub amounts to a crisp, spacy, texturally nuanced soundscape. The bass is front and center, very deep, rich and clear. In fact the listener may (for once) want to turn the bass down just a tad in order to hear the small, elegant details which are hidden below like tiny fossils. Several tracks feature some fine solo and ensemble horn lines (featuring Tommy McCook), which are appropriately spaced-out and ethereal. There is a also a bit of organ providing some sweetness to the mix, including some courtesy of producer/ mixer Ossie Hibbert. In fact, it may be Hibbert's capacity as a musician which allowed him to make such tasteful (and tasty) dubs on this, his very first dub album. There are virtually no vocals bringing Earthquake Dub down to earth, and that fact helps elevate it to true high art, abstract, nonlinear, and unfettered by earthly concerns. The deftly applied echo and reverb, augmented by the occasional bleep and bloop makes the tracks feel startlingly modern and fresh. Once again, I find myself marveling at how remarkably creative and ahead of their time the 1970s Jamaican dubmasters (including Hibbert) actually were. This is essential for any fan of the Revolutionaries, even for the track "River Bank" alone, which is an upbeat dubbed-out solo sax work out, with a skanky, almost carnival-sounding rhythm which will remind you why it's good to be alive. Highly recommended.' -Jillian

'This is more correctly dubbed as being from OSSIE HIBBERT & THE REVOLUTIONARIES, with Ossie being the producer and crazed mixing board mad scientist. I howl alone and in utter shame at discovering this one, one of the best dub LPs of all time, just this year. I’ll put this right next to my other three big ones, the IMPACT ALL-STARS’ posthumous collection “Forward The Bass”, AUGUSTUS PABLO’s “King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown” and the amazing “SCIENTIST MEETS THE ROOTS RADICS” for lowdown, dirty echo-heavy dub greatness. This one from 1975 has a very consistent and seamless vibe throughout each track, which reflects the fact that this was conceptualized and created as a dub album, rather than a collection of B-side versions. The drums, deftly handled by the legendary Sly Dunbar, totally cook and crackle all over the corridors of perception, thanks to Hibbert’s forward-thinking sense of production space. Like, it’s not a radical dub record by any means, it’s just a great set of original rocksteady rhythms that have been repurposed and torn inside-out for spacey, slow-groove appeal. The CD also contains a plethora of bonus tracks, some with some cool DJs ranting over the dub in a non-obnoxious manner. It’s clear that some crazy dub was being created in the Channel One studios during this time, and the Revolutionaries were pretty much the house band. (Another excellent collection of versions from this era, many featuring the band in a non-headlining role, is “MAXFIELD AVENUE BREAKDOWN – DUBS AND INSTRUMENTALS 1974-79”). Seriously, I know that there are some folks out there who may want to know how to dip a toe in the wacky world of 70s Jamaican dub; if you’re one of them, this is probably as, uh, “crucial” an album as you’re going to get, and I have no qualms about recommending this as anyone’s first dub album. I wish it had been mine.' -Jay H.

Essential reissue of Classic era Reggae Dub LP with Ossie Hibbert and friends from 1976

The Revolutionaries ‎– Earthquake Dub (aka Satisfaction In Dub) -- Hot Pot ‎– HPCD1002/Cooking Vinyl USA ‎– CKV-CD-2202

Recorded and Mixed at Channel One Studios, Kingston 1975-1977.

Heavy driving intricate crisp rhythms, subtle horn lines and great echo-oe-oes on this collection of instrumental Dub b-side versions (mostly) of songs produced by Ossie Hibbert.
His first Dub LP.

1. Earthquake Dub 2:39 (Whip Them Jah/Pick Up The Pieces rhythm)
2. Rasta Foundation 2:46 (Love Light rhythm)
3. Fletchers Land 3:31 (So Jah Jah Say rhythm)
4. Ital Menu 3:25 (Love Was All I Had rhythm)
5. Secret Agent 3:32
6. Heavy Rock 3:37 (Girl I Left Behind/Homeland rhythm)
7. An Event 3:24
8. Black Diamond Rock 3:29 (Stop That Train rhythm)
9. Collie In Dub 2:30 (Declaration Of Rights/Judgement Time rhythm)
10. Pain Land Dub 2:09 (Rainy Night In Georgia rhythm)
11. Whip Them In Dub* 2:36 (Whip Them Jah rhythm)
12. River(To The) Bank* Saxophone [Featuring] – "Deadly" Headley Bennett 2:57
13. Bank Version* 3:10 (River To The Bank)
14. Kissinger* 3:15 (Declaration Of Rights/Judgement Time rhythm)
15. Death Sentence* 2:56 (Declaration Of Rights/Judgement Time rhythm)
16. Heavier Than Lead Version* 3:06 (Funny Feeling rhythm)
17. Hog Head* 3:46 (Funny Feeling rhythm)
18. Conscience Version* 2.27 (Conscience A Go Beat Them/Ten To One rhythm)
* CD bonus

Musicians include:
Bass: Bertram Ranchie McLean
Drums: Sly Dunbar
Guitar: Earl Chinna Smith, Radford Duggie Bryan
Keys: Ansel Collins, Ossie Hibbert
Horns: Tommy McCook, Vin Gordon, Bobby Ellis, Headley Bennett, Dean Fraser, Herman Marquis
Percussion: Noel Scully Simms, Uziah Sticky Thompson
Producer/Engineer – Ossie Hibbert

Sound mastering is excellent.

See also:
Linked by versions:
Tappa Zukie ‎– In Dub -- Blood & Fire ‎– BAFCD 008
Junior Byles & Friends 129 Beat Street Ja-Man Special 1975-1978 -- Blood & Fire ‎– BAFCD 023
Ossie All Stars ‎– Leggo Dub -- Hot Pot ‎– HPLP1004
The Aggra(o)vators & The Revolutionaries ‎– Guerilla Dub -- Burning Sounds ‎– BSRCD984
Ossie Hibbert ‎– Crueshal Dub

Incl. booklet

15 Apr 2021

Ukraine, USSR

Beautiful one! This guy has a way with electronic music.

'Enchanting ‘80s electronic soundtrack for a Ukrainian animated adaptation of Lewis Caroll’s eternally influential ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ - abundant echoes of Italian library music, bucolic BoC, the ‘Jan Zonder Vrees’ OST or Ghost Box, with added cutesy oddness.

Following up Shukai’s first release - a smoky space age lounge jazz reissue from the ’60s - this one returns to later in the Soviet era with pianist and composer Volodymr Bystriakov’s previously unreleased soundtrack for a colour animation created by Kyivnauchfilm studio and directed by Efim Pruzhansky, originally broadcast on Ukrainian TV in 1982.' -Boomkat

'Shukai is psyched to announce our second release - music for the animated television film Alice Through the Looking Glass, which has never been released before. The music was recorded in 1981 and the film was broadcasted on Soviet television in 1982. Alice Through the Looking Glass was created by Kyivnauchfilm studio and directed by Efim Pruzhansky is a colour animated film based on the novel by Lewis Carroll. Volodymyr Bysrtiakov is a Soviet analogue of French Vladimir Cosma or Italian Ennio Morricone. Great soundtrack composer whose most active years were '80-90s when he worked at the Kyivnauchfilm studio which audio department was like the British BBC Radiophonic Workshop at those times. The soundtrack for the animated film Alice Through the Looking Glass is an attempt to create a psychedelic electroacoustic piece with victorian flavour. The film animation style is similar to Terry Gilliam’s Monty Python cartoon clips.'

Очень хорошо.
Хотя это советская аниме-музыка, она была очень интересной, потому что представляла собой сплав элементов электро и классики.

Very good.
Although this is Soviet anime music, it was very interesting because it was a fusion of elements of electro and classical music.

Шикарная музыка, отличное исполнение.
Уровень мастерства создателя такой, что, слушая музыку, проникаешься самим духом историй про Алису и понимаешь их смысл, причем для этого даже необязательно смотреть мультфильм (который сам по себе отличный).
Это высший класс, что не так часто удается. Вспоминается не так уж много произведений, от которых исходит описанный выше эффект, например  увертюра Дунаевского к "детям капитана Гранта", музыкальная тема Дашкевича к фильмам про Шерлока Холмса.

Вообще, музыкальное сопровождение советских фильмов и мультфильмов - это целое непаханое поле, целый прекрасный мир, абсолютно неизвестный за рубежом.
Из электронной музыки, например, вспоминается блестящее музыкальное сопровождение под авторством Владимира Мартынова

Great music, great performance.
The level of the creator's skill is such that, listening to the music, you get imbued with the very spirit of the stories about Alice and understand their meaning, and for this you don't even have to watch the cartoon (which is great in itself).
This is the highest class, which is not often done. I recall not so many works from which the effect described above emanates, for example, Dunaevsky's overture to "Captain Grant's Children", Dashkevich's musical theme to films about Sherlock Holmes.

In general, the musical accompaniment of Soviet films and cartoons is a whole unpaved field, a whole wonderful world, absolutely unknown abroad.
From electronic music, for example, I recall the brilliant musical accompaniment by Vladimir Martynov.

1. Title Theme I 0:37
2. Alice Theme I 3:13
3. Untitled I 1:06
4. The Garden Creatures Theme 2:00
5. The Black Queen Theme I 1:41
6. Title Theme II 1:40
7. The Train Theme 2:47
8. The Black Queen Theme II 0:40
9. Title Theme III 2:07
10. The Mirrored Book Reading Theme 1:12
11. The Flying Hippos Theme 0:46
12. The White King And Queen Theme 1:57
13. Living Backwards 1:50
14. Untitled II 1:22
15. Alice Theme II 1:20
16. Untitled III 0:32
17. The Mirror Cake Theme 1:52
18. Untitled IV 0:17
19. Behind The Looking Glass 3:02
20. The Royal Theme 0:20
21. Alice Theme III02:52
22. The Wind Theme 1:01

Soundtrack, Ambient, Film Score, Leftfield, Sci-Fi, Soviet, Space Age, Synth Pop

Profile: Shukai Estonia
Shukai (Ukr. Шукай, Eng. Hunt, Look for)
Archive record label focused on bringing back to life the lost tapes from 60–80s — soviet music for films and television. Sub-label of Muscut.


18 track Cambodian rock compilation. Features the vocal stylings of Srei Sothear and Sin Sisamouth on top of the most groovy, twangy and fuzziest music you will ever hear!

'This is a great album. It is unlike anything else you're likely to hear, in a good way. Upbeat, light-hearted and free, it is 60's-style swinging rock with high, distinct vocals. And the song titles are hilarious. These songs combine western rock with what I assume is traditional Cambodian sounds, and they do it beautifully. It is so sad that this entire generation of talented musicians was murdered during the Khmer Rouge. Listening to this album makes me wonder what Cambodia was like before the Khmer Rouge; it's sort of a glimpse into a lost culture. But beyond all that, it's good music and we're lucky that it survived. Thanks for all the effort that went into making it available online.' -Greenwood

'Though this album is presented primarily as a psychedelic compilation, it also serves as a documentation of the Cambodian pop scene, due to overlap. Like all foreign psych comps, it has an unintended artificial distance, created by not understanding the language. However, the distance is bridged by the music. For example, on “Maxy, Maxy,” the vocals tremble on scream, as the organ freaks out, creating an intense passion worthy of soul singers. There are covers of (at the time) popular western songs, which may appeal more to Western ears, due to familiarity. “Venus” is a piano focused track, like the original, but unlike the original, it has a haunting ethereality, especially shown at the wordless bridge, where the “ahs” float like a hot air balloon. This isn’t just a one off, as the Cambodian scene tended to have a talent for infusing covers with melancholy. It’s probably because the singing style resembles the crooner style of Edith Piaf and Frank Sinatra, which is a style that rings pathos out of any song, no matter how slight. By combining this old fashioned style with psych instrumentation, it creates a view of an alternate universe: where traditional pop and rock music can live in harmony and compliment each other. It’s a beautiful glance, which unfortunately wasn’t imitated by the rest of the world.' -GenevieveGilliam

1. Unknown Artist - Month After Month Always Busy, Can't Go Out 3:30
2. Unknown Artist - Maxy Maxy (Pretty Woman) 2:38
3. Unknown Artist - Venus 3:22
4. Unknown Artist - Go-Go Dance 2:40
5. Ros Serey Sothea - If You Wish To Love Me Don't Laugh Or Cry 2:48
6. Unknown Artist - Don't Worry Just Be Happy And Happy 3:00
7. Unknown Artist - Gentlemen Chill Out At Bar 2:23
8. Unknown Artist - As Young Woman Wanted Now 31 Years Old So No Good 3:57
9. Unknown Artist - Marrison (Classic) 3:52
10. Unknown Artist - Power Of Her Eye 4:09
11. Unknown Artist - Enjoy Now While You're Young 3:02
12. Unknown Artist - Please Tell Me How Much You Love Me 3:28
13. Ros Serey Sotheam - Sweet Sixteen 3:51
14. Ros Serey Sotheam- Wooly Bully 2:48
15. Cambodian Psych-Outtake #1 3:28
16. Cambodian Psych-Outtake #2 2:26
17. Cambodian Psych-Outtake #3 3:37
18. Cambodian Psych-Outtake #4 3:50

Compiled By, Mastered By – Bump Stadelman, Rob Girardi
Graphic Design – Jason H. Thornton
Lacquer Cut By – KPG

With the fall of Cambodia to the Khmer Rouge in 1975, Sin SiSamuth and Ruos SereiSothea were killed along with their band and millions of their fans. This album serves as a tribute to their one-of-a-kind musical contributions. All proceeds from this album will go to the Cambodian relief fund Adopt-A-Minefield® of the United Nations to help land mine victims.

This music comes from hunting through the markets of Siem Reip in Cambodia just next to the incredible temples of Angkor Wat.

'13 is not sweet16 by Ross Srey Sotheam, that song is sing by Hous Meas÷'

River C.
'Someone else posted drums were added. Another person said this is not the original so somebody has found either a different version of the album or added drums probably a different version of the album because of what would survive from that era would be kind of random stuff like an alternative take with drums. But that's just a guess. Great music.'

14 Apr 2021


Classic highlife music from the Essiebons Music Archives (Ghana)

'Second half of the B-side makes this one worth while. Deep highlife.' -Sun Shadow Records

Adonten Singers – Adonten Singers 

Rare Deep Highlife Gospel

Label: Essiebons – EBL 6135
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Mono
Country: Ghana
Released: 1975
Style: Highlife, Gospel

A1 W'Adesoa 3:29
A2 Nea Onyame Ye N'Eye 3:30
A3 Ghana My Happy Home 3:31
A4 Africa 3:02
A5 Life In This World 3:10
B1 Abode 3:21
B2 Monto Dwom Pa Mma Agyenkwa (Presbyterian Twi Hymn No. 15) 2:57
B3 Onipa Ye Boniaye 3:51
B4 Fa Woho Gyina 3:21
B5 Abodin 3:31

Alto Vocals – B. W. Ayisi
Bass Vocals – J. K. Ahwireng
Composed By, Arranged By – W. E. Offei
Design [Sleeve] – E. E. Lamptey
Engineer – George Andoh, Bossman Amoako, John Archer, Francis Kwakye
Guest, Bass Guitar – Slim Bright
Guest, Chorus – E. A. K. Amaah
Guest, Congas – Attoh Kpakpo
Guest, Drums – Israel Annoh
Guest, Guitar – D. K. Ocran, S. K. Oppong
Guest, Organ – Ray K. Ellis
Leader, Bass Vocals – S. B. Ankomah
Photography By – Studio X23
Tenor Vocals – E. O. Ntow, Ellen Offei (Mis.), Owusu Gyeruah, S. K. Dua
Treble Vocals – Janet Ayirebi, Paulina Korang


Sounds of the Freedom Movement in the South, 1963-1964

'Songs played a large role in the movement to close the racial divide in America during the 1960s, and prayers, chants, sermons, and shouts were also fundamental to this task. This album features clips of these cries for freedom heard across the southern states of Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and the District of Columbia. At voter registration rallies, in churches, at conferences or during mass meetings these words changed lives.'

1. Songs, Sermons, Shouts, Prayers, Testimony 21:04
2. Songs, Sermons, Shouts, Prayers, Testimony 21:40

Incl. Pdf

“Paul Robeson, world famous baritone, leading Moore Shipyard workers in singing the Star Spangled Banner, 1942”

Music & Social Reform

By Catherine A. Paul

“Every participant in revolutionary activity knows from his own experience that a good mass song is a powerful weapon in the class struggle. No other form of collective art activity exerts so far-reaching and all pervading an influence” – Aaron Copland, American composer (Copland, 1934).


Throughout the history of the United States, music has been used to bring people together. By singing together, people are able to form emotional bonds and even shape behavior. For example, when citizens sing their country’s national anthem, they are filled with a sense of shared identity and patriotic pride. Likewise, military music, marching cadences, and chants help to build unity, strengthen morale, and emphasize discipline among soldiers. In many religious communities, congregational hymn singing is regarded as both educational and uplifting (Rosenthal & Flacks, 2011).

Therefore, it is unsurprising that social movements have similarly interwoven music and action to create and sustain commitment to causes and collective activities. Anyone who can speak, can sing, making music an accessible and powerful way to express identity. Songs are easy to learn and adapt, and lyrics are portable, allowing individuals to carry their beliefs and passions with them into everyday life (Rosenthal & Flacks, 2011).

Thus, the following sections briefly explore the rich history of American music being used to rally and inspire groups of people as they worked for social change.

Temperance Movement

Gone are the days when saloons were on our street  

Gone and for aye, they have made their last retreat.

Gone from our land to return, no, nevermore!

The Constitution now has banished from our shore

Drink demons,

Drink demons!

And their wicked work is done!

Our hearts rejoice, our homes are free,

For rum is gone!

“Temperance Rally Song” [Tune: “Old Black Joe.”], by C. A. Russell

Between 1840 and 1860, schools around the United States began incorporating music instruction into their curricula. Simultaneously, temperance songs became popular, with new words being added to old, familiar, and oftentimes religious tunes. Inspired by Protestant Christian morality, these secularized temperance-themed songbooks were distributed in schools in hopes of shaping future citizens who never drank alcohol. Furthermore, children could help reach adult audiences. By learning these temperance songs in school, children were able to persuade, or even shame, their parents and other family members into abstaining from alcohol (Sanders, 2015).

Suffrage Movement

Day of hope and day of glory! After slavery and woe,

Comes the dawn of woman’s freedom, and the light shall grow and grow

Until every man and woman equal liberty shall know,

In Freedom marching on!

Woman’s right is woman’s duty! For our share in life we call!

Our will it is not weakened and our power it is not small.

We are half of every nation! We are mother of them all!

“Song for Equal Suffrage” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The suffrage movement began in 1948, and for the next 50 years women’s rights activists worked tirelessly to secure women the right to vote. These women faced fierce opposition by many, especially those in power. Thus, activists needed music to make themselves heard, to lift their spirits, and to keep people focus on their mission.

Suffragists faced many unique obstacles as they strove for the right to vote. One of these hurdles was having to balance their desire for further citizen rights with their cultural gender expectations. In order to succeed in gaining the right to vote, suffragists realized they had to reassure society that political change would not lead to a decay in the moral, spiritual, or domestic virtues typically attributed to women. Therefore, suffrage music simultaneously rejected the image of the defiant wife while asserting that women should not be slaves to their husbands. Unity, patriotism, and nationalism were common themes, and the lyrics appealed to ideals of tradition, religion, and family values. This strategy sought to demonstrate that giving women the right to vote would resolve domestic and social issues, such as drunkenness and domestic violence, without compromising the self-image of the conservative American middle-class (Hurner, 2006).

Hull House Music School

“Why do I pick the threads all day,

Mother, mother,

While sunshine children are at play?

And must I work forever?

Yes, shadow-child; the livelong day,

Daughter, little daughter,

Your hands must pick the threads away

And feel the sun shine never.”

“The Shadow Child,” by Harriet Monroe

The Hull House Settlement was founded by Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr in 1889 on the Southside of Chicago. An important component of the Hull House’s mission was the creation of its Music School, which, under the direction of Eleanor Smith, contributed to the development of talented working-class musicians throughout Chicago. Between 1900 and 1915, Eleanor Smith wrote and composed numerous social protest songs. These songs were typically performed during Hull House concerts and were attended by other residents, neighbors, and even prominent members of Chicago society. This collection of songs, titled Hull House Songs, is a critique of capitalism as a system, rather than capitalists as individuals. By articulating through music the woes of class struggle against capitalism and exploitation, Jane Addams and Eleanor Smith hoped to bridge the void between American art and political cultures (Cassano & Payette, n.d.).

Labor Strikes & Child Labor

“Rock-a-bye baby, on the tree top,

When you grow up, you’ll work in a shop;

When you are married, your spouse will work too,

So that the rich will have nothing to do.

Hush-a-bye baby, on the tree top.

When you grow old, your wages will stop;

When you have spent the little you’ve saved –

Hush-a-bye baby, off to the grave.”  

“Rock-A-Bye Baby,” author unknown.

The United States’ labor history is a combination of its slave labor, plantation-based economy and its wage labor, industrial economy (Rojas & Michie, 2013). The transition between these economies was fraught with oppression and exploitation, leading to the creation of unions. Unions sought to address social problems that accompanied the industrial revolution, such as the treatment of factory workers, fair wages, child labor, and safe working conditions. These issues frequently converged with the fight for women’s rights and racial equality, which is demonstrated in the music of this time (Library of Congress, n.d.).

By the early 1900s, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), a labor union committed to racial equality, was using songs during strikes, picket lines, and rallies to promote their message of developing “one big union.” These songs were organized into a collection called the “Little Red Song Book” (Dreier & Flacks, 2014).  The lyrics were often religious, but also spoke of difficult times, hard work, sorrow, and death. (Roscigno & Danaher, 2004).

Similarly Pete Seeger, Alan Lomax, and Lee Hays, amongst others, created the People’s Songs, an organization that published a monthly bulletin of labor songs and stories from 1946 through 1949. Pete Seeger is especially notable for his performances around the country at Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) benefits and progressive organizations, reinforcing the belief that folk music could be a powerful tool for social change (Sing Out!, n.d.).

Civil Rights Movement

“We shall overcome

We shall overcome

We shall overcome someday

Oh, deep in my heart

I do believe

We shall overcome some day”

“We Shall Overcome,” adapted from Charles Tindley’s gospel song “I’ll Overcome Some Day” (1900).

The civil rights movement is perhaps the best example of integrating music and activism, drawing heavily on slave songs and spirituals to raise hope and morale during times of intense struggle. “We Shall Overcome,” originally a church hymn, became the movement’s anthem as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) embarked on sit-ins and freedom rides (Dreier & Flacks, 2014). These freedom songs were crucial in bridging the cultural gap between Southern Black and middle class activists, building relationships while conveying values and specific tactics of the movement (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, 1997). Thus, as described by the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings (1997):

When Black students sat in and were beaten at segregated lunch counters across the South, they sang. They sang as they were dragged across the streets. They sang in the paddy wagons and in the jails. And they sang when they returned to the Black community’s churches for strategy rallies. When the buses carrying the Freedom Riders were stopped and burned, when the riders were pushed to the ground and beaten, they sang. When the Freedom Riders were jailed in Mississippi’s Hinds County Jail and Parchman Penitentiary, they sang again. During the summer of 1961 when students in McComb, Mississippi, were suspended from school for participating in SNCC’s first voter education project, they sang.

In the 1960s, there were two categories of freedom songs: professionally composed commentaries on protest events, and gospel songs adapted for group participation. By adapting “I” to “we,” these songs fostered the belief that when a community overcame oppression, each individual would thrive (Kernodle, 2008).

Highlander Folk School

“Ain’t you got a right to the tree of life

My life will be sweeter (ain’t you got a right)

So sweet some day (ain’t you got a right)

Ain’t you got a right (ain’t you got a right)

To the tree of life”

“Ain’t You Got a Right to the Tree of Life” by Guy Carawan

The Highlander Folk School, located in Monteagle, Tennessee was created in 1932 by Myles Horton and Don West to educate “rural and industrial leaders for a new social order” (One Thousand Little Hammers, 2010). From its creation through the mid-1940s, the Highlander Folk School worked to build a progressive labor movement in the South. Then, in the 1950s, Highlander became a popular meeting place for civil rights activists, including Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. (Carey, 2013).

Highlander helped to make music the central activity of social movements. The school’s leaders worked with unions, farmers, community groups, churches, and civil rights organizations to challenge power structures and foster empowerment. Although most of Highlander’s leaders were white, their unfaltering commitment to racial inclusiveness and equality earned them the support of black progressives. The Highlander Music School included and encouraged music-making in its leadership and organizational skill building trainings. These workshops were designed to provide participants a place in which they could safely discuss community problems and brainstorm solutions. Musicians on staff helped participants learn how to lead community singing and how to utilize song as an effective form of protest (Roy, 2010).

The American Indian Movement (AIM)

Maamwi g’da maashkozimi. Together we should be strong.

Niizhwaasing shkode gii boodawewaad. The seventh fire has been lit by them.

Boochigo Anishinaabemyaang. We have to all speak.

Anishinaabemowin. Mino bimaadziyaang. We are living well.

Mino bimaadziyaang. We are living well. – “Aim Song”

Music and dance have been representative of the American Indian resistance to Euro-American culture for more than a century. The initial inspiration for Native activism was drawn from outrage at the misrepresentation of Native culture and daily life as depicted in Wild West shows and World Fairs in the early 20th century. Thus, by embracing traditional powwow music and dance, Native Americans are able to embody their cultural past and identity. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, powwow became both a symbol of cultural militancy, as well as an avenue for cultural activism. AIM songs typically addressed several themes, including police brutality, but also celebrated specific accomplishments such as the establishment of the first Indian urban-based health care provider in the nation, the installation of the legal rights center to address legal issues facing the Indian people, and the founding of the Red School House, which offers culturally-based education services (Rojas & Michie, 2013).


East London

From the 1920's to the 1950's swinging hot Jewish dance bands were the talk of the town in East London.

Re-discovering the East Ends Yiddisher Jazz scene.

'Way before the arrival of hipster cafes, Cross-rail construction, and sari shops, East London’s multicultural melting pot was the epicentre of London Jewish life. Yiddish was spoken on the streets and talented young Jewish cockneys were putting their own unique stamp on the rhythms taking the western world by storm.

Levy’s record shop in Whitechapel was the epicentre of this scene, a place where the community could buy records and where couples could be scene waltzing to songs about Jewish life. Years later, traces of the Yiddisher Jazz phenomenon were scarce. Not Until broadcaster Alan Dein did some digging, inspired by his Easter European Jewish roots. He compiled a fascinating new collection of recently-discovered Yiddisher Jazz sounds, featuring legendary big band icons like Ben Ambrose. He called the record: “Music is the most beautiful language in the world.”

The songs move from tributes to Brick Lane beigels to Yiddish ballads about life before the war. They are relics of another world, salvaged from charity shop. Now they’ve found a new life online, ready to pass the beautiful language of Yiddisher jazz on to new generation.' -Space Station

Music is the Most Beautiful Language in the World

'A vibrant soundtrack to the Cockney Jewish experience, when the swinging hot dance bands were still all the rage, and the Yiddish language was spoken on the streets of Whitechapel. Feast on long forgotten 78 rpm discs that have only recently been unearthed, starring a host of recording artists united for the first time on ‘chai fidelity’ vinyl, CD and now also for worldwide digital distribution on play loud! productions.

Hear the legendary dance band figures of the era like Bert Ambrose and his Orchestra, and Lew Stone and his Monseigneur Band, to the relatively unknown Jewish speciality acts like the Johnny Franks and his Kosher Ragtimers, and Rita Marlowe, the siren of the Yiddish song. And just like the old time Yiddish Theatre where the audience were left with both a smile on their face and a tear in their eye, we can delight in the cheeky street patter of the incomparable slapstick drummer Max Bacon rejoicing in the East Enders love affair with ‘Beigels’, we celebrate the world famous Petticoat Lane street market with not one, but two 1920s fox trots - but also shed a tear with Leo Fuld, the remarkable Dutch Yiddish singer, whose recordings in post-war London were haunting reminders of a way of life decimated by the Holocaust.

‘Music is the most Beautiful Language in the World’ is compiled by Alan Dein, the multi award winning radio documentary presenter, whose own family harks back to the major wave of immigrants fleeing the pogroms in Eastern Europe from the end of the 19th century. The album title is inspired by a 1920s Yiddish slogan of an East London gramophone record shop. A time when Whitechapel was a fertile breeding ground for singers, songwriters, conductors, and cantors to musicians, managers, proprietors of record shops and club owners - and according to Dein, “their stories are now entwined with the development of the British recorded music industry. But for the first time ever, we can the discover the remarkable sounds of Jewish-themed jazz recorded in London between the 1920s and the 1950s - which thankfully had been preserved within the grooves of ancient discs”.

The accompanying booklet designed by Will Bankhead includes a detailed essay by Dein, illustrated with rare photos and memorabilia. This release is co-compiled by Howard Williams, better known for his Japan Blues radio show on NTS, and a series of compilations spanning Moondog (The Viking of Sixth Avenue), cult Japanese jazz singer Maki Asakawa, and glimpses into the worlds of Japanese surf rock (Takeshi Terauchi), rockabilly (Masaaki Hirao), and soul funk and disco (Lovin’ Mighty Fire).'

A history of Jewish jazz 

'Yiddisher jazz' was once all the rage in London's East End, so where did it go? Alan Dein reports.

“Music is the most beautiful language in the world,” proclaimed Weinberg’s gramophone shop in the 1920s. This formed the basis of one of their adverts in a Yiddish language newspaper once sold on the streets of Whitechapel. At the time, swinging dance bands were all the rage and local venues like St George’s Town Hall, Grand Palais and the People’s Palace proudly hosted jazz dances, complete with live bands and foxtrot competitions. At Levy’s record store on Whitechapel High Street, which was known both locally and further afield as “the home of music”, customers could find the latest jazz imports and even discs pressed on Levy’s own record labels, Levaphone and Oriole.

This was a landscape where generations of gifted young Jewish East Enders – musicians, impresarios, club and record shop owners – would go on to forge a remarkable contribution to the development of the British music scene. These include Ronnie Scott, Lionel Bart, Bud Flanagan, Alma Cogan, Georgia Brown, Joe Loss and Stanley Black, to name but a handful. Their legacies can be found easily in a few clicks online, but surprisingly, given the Jewish cultural and religious backdrop, what has proved far more elusive to track down are physical Jewish-themed jazz and dance band discs or folk and musical comedy numbers recorded in London between the 1920s and 1950s. There’s no problem in finding their equivalents in the US, or even the Jewish dance music from pre-Nazi era Germany or Poland. So my quest was to seek out and rescue the ‘Yiddisher jazz’ soundtrack of the old Jewish East End from aural oblivion and release them in a new collection: Music is the Most Beautiful Language in the World.

I found some remarkable 78 rpm discs in the archives of the British Library and Jewish Museum London, several records in private collections, and I even spotted extremely rare examples in charity shops in Hendon and Golders Green.

It’s inevitable that such discarded treasures would emerge in the districts where former Jewish East Enders settled and after all these years the recordings preserved within the shellac grooves perfectly evoked the joy and vigour of my grandparents’ generation.

I’ve devoted most of my working life to music history and making sound recordings and I’m convinced that audio has a unique power to conjure up the soul and atmosphere of a past world. It almost mirrors the old time Yiddish theatre performances, where audiences would experience an emotional rollercoaster, inevitably leaving them both smiling and welling up.

We can delight in the cheeky street patter of the slapstick drummer Max Bacon, rejoicing in the East Enders’ love affair with doughy rolls, recorded for Decca in 1935. Bacon’s ‘Beigels’ is a fabulous Whitechapelset rumba and was one of a series of playful musical sketches he performed in ‘Yinglish’, a cod European/Cockney mash-up of Yiddish and English. Other titles included ‘Shmoul, Pick Up the Kishke’, ‘Cohen the Crooner’ and ‘I Can Get it For You Wholesale’. And take Bacon’s word for it – on this side of the pond, the dough with the hole is pronounced ‘by-gel’, not ‘bay-gel’.

Local haunts like Petticoat Lane market were regularly name-checked in recordings and, in 1929, Mendel & His Mishpoche Band offered up lyrics sung in Yiddish to a pounding foxtrot: “The women rush to get bargains, a chicken with schmaltz, a new sock, a bit of chrain, soup, a beigel with a hole, all this you can get in the Lane / A fish-sweet, half a kishke, an onion, fish, a meaty bone, a bride with a dowry, a woman looking for a husband, such things you can get in the Lane.”

Besides bands with fictitious monikers (the musicians’ names have been lost in time), there are Jewish-themed numbers by hugely successful stars of the era. Like Whitechapel boys Benjamin Baruch Ambrose (or ‘Bert’) and Lew Stone, whose 1930s BBC Radio broadcasts made them both household names across the nation. Ambrose was born in Warsaw in 1896 and spent his early childhood in East London, but, in fear of the Zeppelins overhead in World War I, his mother packed him off to an aunt in New York. The teen prodigy swiftly rose from a member of a cinema orchestra to musical director at the Palais Royal and by the 1920s Ambrose returned to London a star. His residencies at the Embassy Club and May Fair Hotel, broadcasts and prolific recordings assured legendary status in the dance band era. In 1934, Ambrose and his orchestra recorded a foxtrot for Decca – A Selection of Hebrew Dances – a pounding medley of Jewish tunes arranged by the orchestra’s East End-born clarinettist Sid Phillips.

‘A Brivella der Mama’ (‘A Letter to My Mother’) is a popular Yiddish tearjerker, first recorded in America in 1908 by its composer and lyricist Solomon Smulewitz. As the decades passed, numerous versions flooded the stage and screen. Band leader Stone (formerly with Ambrose) even covered the song in 1933. This hauntingly atmospheric rendition of ‘Brivella’ is remarkable, as the lyrics are sung in Yiddish by the massively popular, Mozambican-born crooner Al Bowlly.

It was a treat to discover Johnny Franks and his Kosher Ragtimers, who recorded for independent label Planet Recordings, which operated from a flat in Stamford Hill in the early 1950s. As a lad Franks worked in his father’s kosher butcher shop, but by his early 20s he was composing and playing on a series of extraordinary records. His light-hearted version of Artie Wayne and Jack Beekman’s ‘Mahzel’ brings a whacky assortment of Yiddishisms and comic sound effects to a 1947 song that had already been covered in the US as an instrumental by Benny Goodman, as well as the AfricanAmerican doo wop quartet The Ravens. Franks also performs on perhaps the most wellknown and poignant track in the collection, Chaim Towber’s 1951 Yiddish classic ‘Whitechapel’. It’s a homage to a way of life that’s disappearing in front of the singer’s eyes as East London’s Jewish community disperses northwards to new suburban homelands.

We also shed a tear with Leo Fuld, the remarkable Dutch Yiddish singer whose recordings in post-war London were haunting reminders of a way of life decimated by the Holocaust. Fuld made his professional debut in the capital at the Mile End Empire, and it was while in London that he first recorded ‘Where Shall I Go?’ This is an emotionally charged anthem of the displaced Jewish people searching for a new home after World War II. The song had touched Fuld deeply when he heard a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto singing it in a Yiddish nightclub in Paris and he vowed to make it a world hit. Lesser known, but truly exceptional is his drone-like ‘Hebrew Chant’, which was the B-side when it was released by Decca in 1949.

Stepney-born Rita Marlowe was East London’s siren of the Yiddish song. A former singer with dance bands in the prewar years, she devoted her later career to performing solely in Yiddish. Her terrific version of ‘Why be Angry Sweetheart’ (a traditional tune made famous by the Barry Sisters) is my pick of her recorded output for the Hebrew Series of Levy’s Oriole label.

The recordings on Music is the Most Beautiful Language… spin from the foxtrots of the 20s to the arrival of new dancehall crazes in the mid-50s: Brazilian samba and rock ’n’ roll. In September 1956 Oriole Records released Stanley Laudan’s Yiddish Cocktail 10” LP, just in time for the Jewish New Year. It included two particularly infectious numbers: ‘Yiddisha Samba’ and ‘Rock ’n’ Roll Kozatsky’.

Laudan, like so many of his fellow Jewish musicians, was a regular in the ballrooms of the kosher hotels of Brighton and Bournemouth (the British equivalent of the American Borscht Belt). But in the end, they saw little commercial future. That’s one of the reasons why all these tunes ended up as minor footnotes in the discographies of all those great musicians striving for success in the entertainment industry. For me, however, it’s been a labour of love researching and compiling this beautiful music. I’m sure it will be a nostalgic reunion for those who grew up listening to these songs and I hope that the music will also be a heady eye opener for a new generation intrigued by their roots, and that Whitechapel continues to be a source of inspiration and creativity.

By Alan Dein

Rediscovering The East End's Yiddisher Jazz Scene
By Maire Rose Connor

'When some one says 'Jazz Age', beigels, bustling markets, and Jewish brides probably aren't what spring to mind. But put flappers, bootleg liquor, and other F. Scott Fitzgerald-style excess aside for a moment, because we're travelling back in time to 1920s-1950s Whitechapel, where a rather different flavour of jazz well and truly flourished.

Way before the arrival of hipster cafes, Crossrail construction, and saree shops, London's multicultural melting pot was the epicentre of London Jewish life. Yiddish was spoken on the streets. Kishke and chraine were hawked alongside jellied eels. And talented young Jewish cockneys were putting their own unique stamp on the red rhythms taking the western world by storm.

Generations later, though, traces of the Yiddisher jazz phenomenon were scarce. That is, until broadcaster Alan Dein — himself a descendant of late 19th century Eastern European Jewish migrants — did some digging.

The award-winning radio documentary presenter has compiled a fascinating new collection of recently-unearthed Yiddisher jazz sounds, featuring legendary big band icons like Bert Ambrose and his Orchestra to the "siren of the Yiddish song", Rita Marlowe.

It's a wonderfully eclectic mix, featuring Kosher foxtrots about Petticoat Lane Market, sentimental ballads, and 'Yinglish' linguistic mash ups. Alan has kindly agreed to share some of his highlights from the record with us, as well as some fascinating nuggets of Yiddisher jazz trivia.'

1. Beigels - Max Bacon (1935)

“In Aldgate East, to Aldgate West, I work and I never complain, I laugh and I sing, and they call me the king of the beigels in Petticoat Lane”

Max Bacon was a "portly multi-talented drummer in Bert Ambrose’s Orchestra", says Alan. He released a "series of playful musical sketches on disc, all performed in ‘Yinglish’, a cod European/Cockney mash-up of Yiddish and English". The above clip is one of them, a Whitechapel-set rumba recorded for Decca.

2. Mahzel - Johnny Franks and His Kosher Ragtimers (1950)

You got to have a bissel (a little bit of) mahzel

Mahzel means good luck. If you got that bissel mahzel

You’ll never come unstuck

This cover of Artie Wayne and Jack Beekman's Mahzel brings a "wacky assortment of Yiddishisms, whistles, and sneezes" to the 1947 song.

3. Selection of Hebrew dances - Ambrose (1934)

Polish-born Bert Ambrose grew up in New York as a "teen prodigy" who "swiftly rose from a member of a cinema orchestra to musical director at the Palais Royal". After moving to London in the 1920s, he enjoyed residencies at the Embassy Club and the May Fair Hotel before releasing this "pounding medley of Jewish tunes".

4. A Brivella Der Mama - Lew Stone (1933)

A letter to your mother you shouldn’t forget. Write soon, my dear child, and send her a consolation. Your mother will read your letter and she will be nourished by it. Heal her suffering, her bitter heart. Refresh her soul.

This popular Yiddish tear-jerker was first recorded in 1908 by its composer, Solomon Smulewitz. Band leader Lew Stone recorded this version 25 years later and thanks to some innovative arrangements and star turns from trumpeteer Nat Gonella and vocalist Al Bowlly becaome a "huge favourite with the listening public and music critics alike".

5.  Kosher Fox Trot - Petticoat Lane Mendel & His Mishpoche Band (1929)
The women rush to get bargains, a chicken with schmaltz, a new sock, a bit of chrain, soup, a beigel with a hole, all this you can get in the Lane. A fish-sweet, half a kishke, an onion, fish, a meaty bone, a bride with a dowry, a woman looking for a husband, such things you can get in the Lane

The earliest piece in Dein's collection, this "Kosher" fox trot medley conjures up a fantastically vivid picture of a bustling Petticoat Lane Market. "The market became almost synonymous with Jewish London with the increasing Jewish presence in the Spitalfields locality."

6. Whitechapel - Chaim Towber & Johnny Franks

Whitechapel, my Whitechapel, the heart of Yiddish London

You were once the crown of the Jews,

Whitechapel, my Whitechapel, where is your Yiddish shine.

Sung in Yiddish, Dein describes this lament as a "nostalgic yearning for a world fading out of sight in front of his eyes - as the old community has disperses into a new homeland in suburbia". Sure enough, the lyrics wax poetic over the Whitechapel of yore, from the point of view of a gentleman who decamped to Golders Green.

1. Max Bacon – Beigels (1935) 2:58
2. Johnny Franks and his Kosher Ragtimers – Mahzel (1951) 2:40
3. Ambrose & his Orchestra – Selection of Hebrew Dances No. 1 (1934) 3:08
4. Johnny Franks and his Kosher Ragtimers – Wilhemina (1951) 3:02
5. Lew Stone and The Monseigneur Band - A Letter to my Mother (1933) 3:07
6. Baker and Willie with Orchestra – A Day in The Lane (1951) 2:33
7. Stanley Laudan – Yiddisher Samba (1956) 1:37
8. Johnny Franks and his Kosher Ragtimers – Tzena Tzena Tzena (1950) 2:28
9. Mendel and his Mishpoche Band – A Kosher Fox Trot Medley (Petticoat Lane) Part 1 (1929) 2:55
10. Stanley Laudan – Rock’n’Roll Kozatsky (1956) 1:50
11. Maurice Winnick and his Sweet Music – Bei Mir Bist du Schoen (1937) 2:46
12. The Plaza Band – Petticoat Lane (1929) 3:00
13. Rita Marlowe – Why Be Angry Sweetheart (1949) 2:48
14. Oscar Grasso and his Intimate Music – Return To Me (1948) 3:13
15. Leo Fuld – Hebrew Chant (1949) 2:51
16. Chaim Towber with Johnny Franks Orchestra – Whitechapel (1951) 2:59
17. Chaim Towber with Johnny Franks Orchestra – Festival Of Britain (1951) 2:57
18. Jews’ Temporary Shelter 75th Anniversary Appeal, flexidisc (1960) 3:59

2020. Originally released on JWM Records in 2018

This release is compiled by Alan Dein, the multi award winning radio documentary presenter. Alan Dein is an oral historian and radio broadcaster, mainly for BBC Radio 4. Co-compiled by Howard Williams, better known for his Japan Blues radio show on NTS.

Bonus track included in the digital release: Jews’ Temporary Shelter 75th Anniversary Appeal, flexidisc, 1960 (Speaker: A.P.W. Simon. Music: Choir of Carmel College)