Command Records

April 11, 2006

My father sent me quite a nice surprise in the mail today, an Enoch Light album of the year's most popular themes in 1963. At first I groaned in pain, thinking not another album of elevator music of tunes I have collected for over 40 years! It smelled moldy, it had gotten wet so I had to pull the gatefold cover apart tearing it, and when I looked at the vinyl  it was all full of fingerprints and dirty. I saw yet another Lawrence of Arabia, Days Of Wine And Roses, and More but then I noticed Hud and The Peking Theme. To be honest I had no idea who composed Hud or this Peking thing but discovered Elmer Bernstein did Hud and Tiomkin did the Peking theme. Well I put the second side on first after a cleaning and discovered that Hud was in wonderful condition and what a great theme and a couple of good solo performances from Al "Glenn Miller" Klink and Doc Severinson. It is a little like The Man With The Golden Arm but has a bit of western flavor to it. Light likes percussion and lots of brass which he uses to full advantage on the 35mm Magnetic Film. This is what Command used for recording purposes and there sound was superior to most! It was followed by the main theme from Mutiny on the Bounty again decently arranged and performed. Excellent brass and again it had hardly been played. The same thing cannot be said about Days of Wine and Roses. This likely could have been one of the reasons why they purchased the album. It was awful! The Peking Theme or "So Little Time" had that oriental sound to it that we are accustomed to listening to and just as I started to tune it out, it got interesting. The electric guitar was set up to sound like a lute! Tony Mottola, a famous guitar player in his day, had turned all the bass off and created a pretty cool sound. Phil Bodner, another good reed player, added a neat sounding english horn solo to make this a nice tune indeed. And it was followed by a tune from Max Steiner I had never heard, that from Spencer's Mountain with a good solo from Severinson. There was also a nice rendition of Antony and Cleopatra, using english horn solos by Irving Horowitz, who also was a pro wrestler!  What a combination.  The Lawrence of Arabia theme featured a lot of brass, a decent arrangement.  Light seemed to have found some good sidemen in New York, where his studio was located.  This was a nice find in an lp by my father, as I have already put it onto a CD'R to enjoy.  Now if I could just get rid of that moldy smell!

2 Responses to “Command Records”

  1. David Horowitz Says:

    I’d like to communicate with sdtom to learn what he knows about Irving Horowitz who was my father.

    It is interesting to hear that “he was a Pro Wrestler.” He wasn’t but he hung out and worked out with a lot of the wrestlers of the time. They were all a part of the NY scene many years ago. There was a gym in the Holland Hotel on 42nd street where many of them hung out.

  2. Steve Says:

    I have the LP — it seems to be in good condition. I’ll give it to you if you return it on a highest quality CD

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