Friday, 21 December 2018


«What other duo-pianist can boast that they have played together since the age of six? Arthur Ferrante and Louis Teicher were fellow prodigies at New York’s famous Juilliard School of Music, and even while students they appeared as a team. After graduation they gave a few joint recitals, then decided to take time out to prepare a really distinctive repertoire. Together they returned to Juilliard, this time as fellow members of the faculty, and spent all their spare hours for the next year or so working over the standard pieces and cleansing them of every last hackneyed cliché. Their professional debut as a team took place quite a distance from the concert hall, for they bowed in as a popular piano duo at New York’s sophisticated penthouse night club, Spivy’s Roof. They were such a hit with the starlight crowd that they went on to more cosmopolitan boites like the Blue Angel, the Little Club and the Ritz-Carlton Terrace. Since 1947 they have been crisscrossing the country annually, winning laurels everywhere for what The New York Times called their "prodigious technical feats." Radio and television audiences know them for their guest stints on Piano Playhouse, and the Firestone, Telephone, and Carnation hours...They have also appeared with leading symphony orchestras throughout the country. Their gift for blending the classic with the modern and the "heavy" with the "light", their extraordinary sensitivity, their technical perfection — these are just a few of the reasons why one stern Manhattan critic, echoing the national consensus, called Ferrante and Teicher "the most exciting piano team of our time".»

[from "Adventure in Carols" liner notes]

Here we are again, approaching that particular time of the year when we all become good and exchange gifts... Even though I don't have a 'rule' to post a Christmas record every month of December, this time it's my pleasure to introduce a masterpiece by Ferrante & Teicher which has never been re-issued on CD, and whose digital version available on the market comes with no less than an indecent amount of clicks, crackles and even... skips!!! And what other month would suit better an album titled "Adventure in Carols"?

For this remaster I also ventured in a territory in which I'm still experimenting to find my way: the 'simulated stereo' effect. In some of the most recent posts I already offered a few pseudo-stereo tracks derived from original mono recordings, but for this post I decided to process the entire album.

Basically, I tweaked the Eq of the left and right channels and used the differences between them to assign different pan positions to certain groups of frequencies. As I said, I'm still in an early stage and I would like to know your sincere opinion, so don't be shy and let your comments flow!

Some quite rare and particular releases are going to be featured on the blog in 2019, I will try to post at least one record every month and I beg you to believe that I really can't do better than this. I also have a couple of requests to honour and I'll try my best to keep my word as usual.

If you enjoy what you read and/or listen on these pages, then please let me know about it: leave a comment or get in touch, my e-mail address is written at the bottom of each post.

Have fun and a Merry Christmas! Now let's move on to Ferrante & Teicher and their immensely creative "Adventure in Carols"!

The following biography was created comparing the most relevant information available on the pages dedicated to Ferrante & Teicher hosted on AllMusic, Amoeba Music,, Space Age Pop and Wikipedia.

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Arthur Ferrante (September 7, 1921, New York City - September 19, 2009, Longboat Key, Florida) and Louis Teicher (August 24, 1924, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania - August 3, 2008, Highlands, North Carolina) met while attending the prestigious Juilliard School of Music; both were child prodigies, and they struck up a fast friendship, performing together as a duo even while they were still in school.

After graduating as piano majors, by 1943 they both joined the Juilliard faculty, while developing a distinctive style of their own during their spare time. In 1947, they became a full-time concert act, at first playing nightclubs, then quickly moving up to classical music with orchestral backing. A switch to popular songs and standards by the likes of Kern, Porter, Gershwin, and Rodgers made them mainstays in the pops-orchestra field.

At the same time, they began experimenting with modifications to pianos, inserting objects into the string beds, striking keys or strings with blocks, and generally striving to figure out how to get the strangest possible sounds. By adding paper, sticks, rubber, metal bars, chains, glass, mallets, and other found objects, the duo was able to produce a variety of bizarre sound effects that sometimes resembled percussion instruments, and other times produced an outworldly and dreamy, almost electronic sound well before synthesizers were commonly used in recordings. The treated piano works of John Cage influenced their early work, but they had their own unique sound.

Here's how the pair described this musical transition: « was while teaching that we began experimenting and creating new material for two pianos. For novelty numbers we stuffed wads of paper, sticks, rubber stops, masonite strips, cardboard wedges, and sandpaper into the pianos conjuring up weird effects (a la [John] Cage) resembling gongs, castanets, drums, xylophone, and harpsichord. Though we have gradually dropped many of these gimmicks, we feel that we have developed a musical style, and undoubtedly play in a manner that makes some former colleagues at Juilliard wince a bit.»

However innovative and exciting their work was, it was tough to translate into commercial success. Their concerts were as likely to be held in gymnasiums, churches, cafeterias, and ballparks, as in concert halls. Much of what they earned went into new motors for their delivery truck. «If our wives hadn't worked,» Teicher once said, «we never could have survived...»

Some tracks from "Adventure in Carols" were previously released on "Xmas Hi-Fivories"... (front cover)

People who associate Ferrante & Teicher only with the Easy Listening music they produced from the early '60s onwards, are often startled to hear their prepared piano works of the '50s. There is nothing quite like them in the annals of recorded sounds. In fact, throughout this period, the duo was accused of using more than just pianos to generate these sounds, and they had to produce the following affadavit to convince Columbia Records before the label released their first single:

«Divers persons upon hearing records of "Susanna's Last Stand" and "Caravan" and subsequent recordings by Ferrante and Teicher have asserted, implied or otherwise made known that such recordings were made by the use of various sundry instruments other than two pianos. Upon our solemn oath and undertaking we hereby assert, acknowledge, testify and state without equivocation or fear of contradiction that the only instruments played by Ferrante and Teicher in connection with the recordings of such compositions were two pianos. - Howard Scott and David Oppenheim, 24 Dec 1952.»

Among the twenty or so albums that the duo recorded until 1960, it is worth mentioning at least those that are entirely comprised of prepared piano pieces, here'a list: "Hi-Fireworks" (Columbia, 1953), "Xmas Hi-Fivories" (Westminster, 1954), "Soundproof" (Westminster, 1956), "Soundblast" (Westminster, 1956), "Adventure in Carols" (Westminster, 1956), "Heavenly Sounds in Hi-Fi" (ABC-Paramount, 1957), "Ferrante and Teicher With Percussion" (ABC-Paramount, 1958), "Blast Off!" (ABC-Paramount, 1958) and "Dynamic Twin Pianos" (United Artists Ultra Audio, 1960).

...a 10" album issued on Westminster back in late 1954. (back cover)

In 1959, their ABC-Paramount producer, Don Costa, moved to United Artists and got Ferrante & Teicher signed by his new label, where they quickly began to tailor their sound to a more mainstream audience. Costa was sent the scores from the United Artists movie "The Apartment" and thought that the main theme would have sounded good on twin pianos. In brief, the "Theme from 'The Apartment'" single went up to #10 on the charts.

This success was quickly followed by their biggest hit, an arrangement of Ernest Gold's epic theme from the movie "Exodus", which climbed to #2 and inspired a popular jazz version by saxophonist Eddie Harris. 1961 brought them another hit with the song "Tonight", which was originally featured on the Brodway musical "West Side Story" in 1957 and in the movie of the same name. This lead to the release of their highest-charting album, the #10 "West Side Story and Other Motion Picture & Broadway Hits".

At their next gigs they started dressing alike, donning flashy tuxedos, horn rim glasses and wigs. They added dramatic flourishes to their performances, did comedy bits in between songs and billed themselves as The Grand Twins of the Twin Grands. Their bookings increased and their salaries skyrocketed. Their United Artists contract called for at least three albums a year, but they often recorded more: a flood of Ferrante & Teicher LPs was released over the course of the '60s, with around thirty of them reaching the Pop charts up through 1972.

They maintained a heavy touring schedule, playing more than a hundred concerts a year at the height of their popularity. They also managed to release one final Top Ten single in 1969 with their cover of the theme from the movie "Midnight Cowboy", which featured the distinct 'water guitar sound' of Vinnie Bell.

Ferrante & Teicher's voluminous recording pace tailed off during the '70s, although they did continue to put out albums on a regular basis. In 1979, they left United Artists to form their own label, Avante Garde, the title perhaps an ironic nod at their early days as serious pianists. They stopped performing and retired in 1989, setting up homes near each other in Sarasota, Florida.

The Lounge / Exotica revival of the '90s helped renew interest in their experimental early recordings, and led to the first-ever issue of "Denizens of the Deep" (Varese Sarabande, 2001), a 1950 set of treated piano instrumentals meant to evoke sea creatures that constituted their first recorded work, which went unreleased at the time due to the perceived lack of commercial potential. A few simple embellishments were added to the archival recordings in order to complete their original concept for the pieces. This was their last release.

Ferrante & Teicher as they appear on the back cover of "Adventure in Carols", 1956

My remaster of "Adventure in Carols" contains the following tracks:

01. Sleigh Ride [original mono] (2:55)
02. Good King Wenceslas [original mono] (2:00)
03. What Child Is This? [original mono] (2:39)
04. Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer [original mono] (2:06)
05. White Christmas [original mono] (3:33)
06. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town [original mono] (2:06)
07. Christmas Song [original mono] (3:28)
08. The First Nowell [original mono] (2:22)
09. Silent Night [original mono] (2:16)
10. Jingle Bells [original mono] (3:01)
11. Adeste Fideles [original mono] (3:03)
12. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen [original mono] (1:58)

Bonus tracks:

13. Sleigh Ride [simulated stereo] (2:55)
14. Good King Wenceslas [simulated stereo] (2:00)
15. What Child Is This? [simulated stereo] (2:39)
16. Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer [simulated stereo] (2:06)
17. White Christmas [simulated stereo] (3:33)
18. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town [simulated stereo] (2:06)
19. Christmas Song [simulated stereo] (3:28)
20. The First Nowell [simulated stereo] (2:22)
21. Silent Night [simulated stereo] (2:16)
22. Jingle Bells [simulated stereo] (3:01)
23. Adeste Fideles [simulated stereo] (3:03)
24. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen [simulated stereo] (1:58)

All tracks were remastered from the original vinyl in December 2018 and are available in FLAC lossless format along with complete artwork reconstruction and printable PDF files.

As usual, please have a look at the comments for the download links.

"Adventure in Carols" was released by Westminster in November 1956 with catalogue number WP 6021. As per title, the album includes twelve Christmas carols which were performed by Ferrante & Teicher on two prepared / treated pianos. The LP comes housed in a playful sleeve that depicts a futuristic scene that involves Santa Claus being launched on a rocket by a team of other Santas. My copy of the album also includes a Westminster promotional leaflet advertising other Christmas and Classical Music records.

Eight of the twelve selections - namely "Sleigh Ride", "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer", "White Christmas", "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town", "Silent Night", "Jingle Bells", "Adeste Fideles" and "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen" - were already been released by Westminster two years ealier on the 10" album "Xmas Hi-Fivories" with cat. number WL 3044. You can see the original cover (front and back) a few paragraphs above.

I really have no idea if the four exclusive tracks on "Adventure in Carols" were recorded at the same time of those previously issued on "Xmas Hi-Fivories" in 1954, or if they were still 'fresh' at the time of release, so to speak...

The recording volume on the original album is quite low, and the music is rich in dynamics and contrasts. It wasn't easy to restore the beauty of the quieter parts, but I guess I found the right compromise between clicks/crackles removal and clarity. This resulted in an increasing of the background noise that I didn't attenuate to preserve the 'pureness' of the higher frequencies.

As I wrote in the introduction to this post, it is my pleasure to present "Adventure in Carols" both in the original mono version and in an all-new 'simulated stereo version'. However, don't expect anything mind-blowing: the differences are subtle and the treatment is in line with the spirit of the original recordings, it adds them a little bit of 'movement' without creating unpleasant artefacts.

The following is a slightly edited version of the liner notes that are printed on the back cover of "Adventure in Carols":

«If you are looking for something different in Christmas music - if your Christmas office parties or gatherings at home have been too much the same for the past few years, and you would like to introduce a refreshing new note into the proceedings - let pianists Ferrante & Teicher take you on an "Adventure in Carols".

The paths along which this talented team will lead you bear the old names with which you are familiar ("White Christmas", "Jingle Bells", "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and others just as popular...) but the names, plus the famous melodies, are the only things about this recording which bear any resemblance to any other version of these carols you may have heard.

For this recording Ferrante & Teicher arranged the carols for two pianos - or should we say that they arranged two pianos for the carols? Actually, they did both - for, if playing conventional pianos in the conventional manner did not produce the effect the boys were after, they worked on both music and pianos until they got just what they wanted.

A Westminster promotional leaflet advertising other Christmas and Classical Music records

Westminster’s studios never had seen anything like the session that produced this unique recording. All over the country, of course, audiences for years have seen Arthur Ferrante or Louis Teicher rise from his bench in the middle of a performance and address himself to the innards of his Steinway - alternately muting, plucking, strumming and beating the strings.

Nor does either of them hesitate to use his elbows, forearms or knuckles to elicit a desired chordal effect - not to mention an assortment of wooden and metal gadgets designed to give the pianos a new personality altogether.

These unorthodox and sometimes gymnastic doings are not calculated to amuse. They are an integral part of the team’s very special arrangements. Their goal always is to achieve the maximum tonal contrasts and to simulate orchestral color as vividly as possible within the limitations of pianistic dynamics.

But no concert audience ever saw what Westminster’s engineers saw - or ever heard what has been captured on this recording. It’s not a single recording, to start with, but a double one - no pun intended. The boys played everything through once, then donned earphones and went over the same ground again, interpolating all manner of fancy figurations and fugal folderol.

What with a profusion of microphones stationed over the keyboard, the gadget-laden strings and the paired celestas, the results herewith are unlike any pianism, duo or otherwise, that you have ever experienced. It is as if Santa had, at last, discovered high fidelity. After so many years of hearing the same old tunes played the same old way, Old Nick undoubtedly would join everybody else in welcoming these new Christmas sounds.»

Arthur Ferrante and Louis Teicher, circa early '60s

The following clips offer a complete preview of the remastered album, enjoy!

More information about Ferrante & Teicher and "Adventure in Carols" is available here:

If you have any other useful information about Ferrante & Teicher and "Adventure in Carols", or if you spot any dead links, please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

Wednesday, 28 November 2018


You say it's your birthday
It's my birthday too, yeah
They say it's your birthday
We're gonna have a good time
I'm glad it's your birthday
Happy birthday to you

Yes we're going to a party party
Yes we're going to a party party
Yes we're going to a party party

I would like you to dance - Birthday!
Take a cha-cha-cha-chance - Birthday!
I would like you to dance - Birthday!

I would like you to dance - Birthday!
Take a cha-cha-cha-chance - Birthday!
I would like you to dance - Birthday!

You say it's your birthday
It's my birthday too, yeah
You say it's your birthday
We're gonna have a good time
I'm glad it's your birthday
Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday!

[from the lyrics of "Happy Birthday"]

It's time for another post concerning a record included in the impressive ECHK / S-ECHK series published in Southeast Asia by EMI / Columbia starting from the second half of the '60s up to the early '70s.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to discover much information about Pietro Attila and The Warlocks, but as usual I'd like to share them with you. Most of the details were sourced from the description of this clip on YouTube and the booklet included in the "Steam Kodok" CD compilation... Here we go:

Pietro D'Angelo was born in Sicily, Italy, sometime during the late '30s. He spent the first part of his life in his native island mastering the tenor saxophone; here he got married and also had a daughter. During the late '50s / early '60s he moved to Hong Kong and made his base there.

Later he adopted the stage name Pietro Attila and his charactheristic 'bald dome and pony tail' look. He came to Singapore in 1968 with a foreign edition of The Warlocks and they did gigs in local clubs.

At some point, the group went back home but Pietro stayed and formed a new edition of The Warlocks comprising mainly Asian musicians. They got signed by EMI and in 1969 they released an album, "Something In the Air", and an untitled EP of exclusive tracks, which is the subject of this post. A single with two cuts taken from the album ("Something In the Air" and "Dizzy") was also released the same year.

Subsequently, the group changed again. In the early '70s, drummer Lim Wee Guan performed with Pietro and The Warlocks for six months at the New Latin Quarter nightspot in the Akasaka district in Tokyo after The Quests split. Thereafter he moved on with them to Guam for another six months.

The following Lim Wee Guan quote is taken from the book "Call It Shanty! - The Story of The Quests" written by Henry Chua:

«After The Quests broke up, I was still playing with other groups. I was with this group called The Black and White Rainbow which had Robert Suriya on lead. After that, they joined up with Pietro and The Warlocks and then they asked me whether I could travel and I thought why not, I had nothing on so I joined Pietro with Robert and Colin Rozario. So we went to Japan, we stayed there for about six months, then from there we went to Guam. After that, I found the music was getting too commercial and I wasn't getting anywhere so I came back. The group later broke up and Pietro left Singapore. I think it was about 1973.»

A rare picture of Pietro Attila and The Warlocks in the early '70s, from left: Robert Suriya, Colin Rozario, Pietro, Lim Wee Guan and Steve Bala

Here's the track list for this 7" EP:

01. Happy Birthday (2:47)
02. This Guy Is In Love With You (3:17)
03. Beggin' (2:47)
04. Turn Around, Look at Me (3:11)

All tracks were remastered from the original vinyl in November 2018 and are available in FLAC lossless format, along with scans of the original item.

Please have a look at the comments section for the download link.

The "Pietro and The Warlocks" EP was released by EMI /Columbia in Singapore sometime in 1969 with cat. number ECHK 625. I assume that this was the group's debut release and that their album entitled "Something In the Air" - which will be the subject of another post in the future - was released months later. Of course it could also be the other way round, who knows...

Also, in this post I always refer to the group as Pietro Attila and The Warlocks, as they are credited on their LP release, but their name is spelled as the simpler Pietro and The Warlocks both on this EP and their "Something In the Air b/w Dizzy" 7" single excerpted from the album...

Anyway, the EP comes in a colourful cover that portrays the group in stylish suits and medallions on the front, while on the back an emphasys is given on Pietro, who seems to hold the band in his hand giving the impression of a caring but authoritarian leader.

Side 1 opens with a wild rendition of The Beatles' "Birthday" which is re-entitled as the more popular "Happy Birthday". The original version, which is no less full of energy, was recorded in September 1968 and was included on the remarkable White Album a few months later.

A cover of the popular Bacharach-David song "This Guy Is In Love With You" follows. The original was recorded by trumpeter Herb Alpert in early 1968. In this recording Pietro Attila's English pronunciation is not exactly perfect and clearly shows some limits...

On Side 2 we find "Beggin'", a song which was made popular by The Four Seasons in 1967 - my favourite cut from the EP - and the slow-paced "Turn Around, Look at Me", a song written by Jerry Capeheart, which since its first version recorded by Glen Campbell in 1961 was also covered by The Lettermen, the Bee Gees and The Vogues.

The following clips offer a complete preview of the remastered EP, enjoy!

More information about Pietro Attila and The Warlocks is available here:

If you have any other useful information about Pietro Attila and The Warlocks or if you spot any dead links, please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

Tuesday, 30 October 2018


«Joe Carlton, Command Records president, is moving on several roots to advance the field of electronic pop music. He is proposing to guitar companies that they manufacture a guitar synthesizer which, he believes, will be the perfect device for electronic rock. On another level, he is working with key chains such as E. J. Korvette, Sears, Roebuck, Whitefront and others to establish a separate category for electronic music, with separate browsers and racks. Carlton added: "We have plans for a synthesizer which will go beyond Moog. The present Moog synthesizer, both monophonic and polyphonic, is based on a keyboard instrument approach... But the biggest contribution of the rock musicians derives from their guitar rather than keyboard technique... Use of a guitar synthesizer would be superior to the present method of taking a hard rock performance on conventional guitar and putting it through the keyboard synthesizer." Carlton, who has produced such hits as "Moog: The Electric Eclectics of Dick Hyman" and the single "The Minotaur", says that this music, because it is new and futuristic, appeals to all young and old and black and white. He added, "As electronic music comes to the fore, as it becomes more familiar, people will recognize its artistic values." He pointed out that the sounds of Stravinsky, Charles Ives and other pioneers were initially attacked but today they are celebrated. "This is the beginning of the world of electronic music," he said.»

[from "Carlton's Electronic Pop Music Campaign on Move", Billboard, August 9, 1969]

Richard "Dick" Hyman (born March 8, 1927, New York City) is an American Jazz pianist/keyboardist and composer, best known for his versatility with Jazz piano styles. Over a 50-year career, he has functioned as a pianist, organist, arranger, music director, and, increasingly, as a composer. His versatility in all of these areas has resulted in well over 100 albums recorded under his own name and many more in support of other artists. [1]

Hyman's career is pretty intimidating in its achievements and scope. He has scored, arranged and/or performend for Broadway, movies, television and live radio, and he's recorded in every format, from 78s to CD-ROMs. He's got a whole gamut of music genres covered, from Jazz and Blues to Classical to Pop and Electronic Psychedelia. Hyman is exceptionally renowned as a professional musician, and was inducted into the Jazz Hall of Fame in 1995. His articulate and wry anecdotes, commentary on the business, and techniques of making music have been published along with sheet music in a series of books. [2]

Beginning in the mid-1950s he started recording with his own name for MGM. His cover of "Moritat", on harpsichord with his trio, sold over a million copies in 1956 and was the most successful recording of the tune until Bobby Darin did it as "Mack the Knife". He was the musical director of The Arthur Godfrey Show from 1958 to 1961. He was an early staple of Enoch Light's Command label, for which he recorded light classical, swinging harpsichord, funky organ, and "now sound" combo albums. He also demonstrated his continuing interest in new keyboard instruments, releasing two of the earliest Moog albums. Hyman has stayed in demand as much as any musician around, working for TV, scoring film soundtracks for Woody Allen, and, more recently, as a Jazz pianist and organist. [3]

So, here comes the last chapter in Hyman's Electronic / Experimental triptych. The 1963 masterpiece "Moon Gas", credited to him and Mary Mayo, was covered on Stereo Candies both in mono and stereo some time ago. More recently it was the turn of the seminal "Moog - The Electric Eclectics of Dick Hyman", an album of original compositions and improvisations recorded in late 1968 using mainly the Moog Modular. Now it's time for "The Age of Electronicus", his second - and last - Moog album on Command Records. More of Hyman's recorded output will be featured on these pages in the future, now let's take care of this primordial little jewel of Electronic Pop Music.


[1] from Wikipedia

[2] from the introduction to an interview with Dick Hyman conducted by Michael David Toth, published on Cool and Strange Music!, issue #7, 1997

[3] from Space Age Pop Music

"The Age of Electronicus" outer gatefold reconstruction

"The Age of Electronicus" inner gatefold reconstruction

The following liner notes, written by Dick Hyman and entitled "Working with the Moog Synthesizer", are included in the inner gatefold of "The Age of Electronicus". They give a hint about how the album was made - basically by recording one different sound at a time on a multitrack reel-to-reel system that you can see pictured on the inner gatefold of the album, probably an Ampex AG440-B - and the way he approached this work.

«It is a lot of work; it is painstaking, repetitive, and even frustrating work. And yet the results, when they come off, are a kind of music, very much worth all that effort. I began working with the Moog Synthesizer when Joe Carlton, the head of Command Records, assigned me to produce the album prior to this one, "Electric Eclectics". Walter Sear, the expert programmer with whom I work, initiated me into the electronic intricacies of Synthesizer sound, and gradually I learned some of the things that the Synthesizer can do.

The Moog Synthesizer is a new instrument and, like many new things, it is somewhat misunderstood. I think of it as a super-organ which offers the player vast new possibilities in tone production, and which at the same time requires him to organize his thoughts in a serial way, as opposed to creating an entire performance at one sitting. In other words, it is not all done at once. Successive lines of tones are recorded in conjunction with a multi-track recorder. The Synthesizer is not analogous to a player piano, nor will it make up its own arrangements. It is very much a played device, and the programming which is involved relates to the production of individual tones (their timbre, duration, attack, decay, etc.). It is the arranger-composer, not the Synthesizer, who groups these tones into the desired musical organization exactly as he would do if he were playing a conventional instrument or writing a score.

Another common misunderstanding about the Synthesizer is the notion that it is a perfect substitute for all instruments and types of orchestras which have preceded it in musical history. The Synthesizer is not about to replace any of these instruments or orchestras. It is not nearly as efficient, although it can do some pretty imitations. An orchestra sounds more like on orchestra than a Synthesizer can, and a lot more quickly and economically too. But when the Synthesizer is used to create its own thing, the new aural events are remarkable for both the player-arranger and the listener. The new sounds (unlike those which any orchestral instrument can produce), the unexpected alterations of the old sounds, the convenience of being able to play them on a keyboard and have them recorded directly on a multi-track recorder — these are the factors which encouraged an imaginative and programmatic approach to the arrangements in the present album.»

"The electronic soul of Command", reconstruction of a double-page spread advert originally published on the August 9, 1969 issue of Billboard

"The Age of Electronicus" contains the following tracks:

01. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (2:48)
02. Give It Up or Turn It Loose (3:13)
03. Blackbird (3:12)
04. Aquarius (2:49)
05. Green Onions (7:53)
06. Kolumbo (7:42)
07. Time Is Tight (3:08)
08. Alfie (3:44)
09. Both Sides Now (3:04)

Bonus tracks:

10. Green Onions (Single Edit, Stereo Version) (3:08)
11. Strobo (Simulated Stereo Version) (2:58)
12. Lay, Lady, Lay (Simulated Stereo Version) (3:18)

All tracks were remastered in October 2018 from the original vinyl records, except "Give It Up or Turn It Loose", "Kolumbo" and "Time Is Tight" which were remastered from the expanded CD version of Hyman's "Moog - The Electric Eclectics of Dick Hyman". They are available in FLAC lossless format along with complete artwork reconstruction and printable PDF files.

As usual, please have a look at the comments for the download links.

Dick Hyman, circa late '60s / early '70s

Here's the complete credits and personnel list of the album:

Dick Hyman - Moog Modular synthesizer, Baldwin electric harpsichord, Lowrey organ, Maestro Rhythmaster unit, Echoplex tape delay unit, triangle

Billy LaVorgna - drums

Arranged and Produced by Dick Hyman.

Programming by Walter Sear.

Mixing: Fred Christie at Fine Recording

Mastering: Lee Hulco at Sterling Sound

Cover and Liner Design: Byron Goto / Henry Epstein

Photos: Roger Pola / Eric Goto

Coming just months after the successful "Moog - The Electric Eclectics of Dick Hyman", "The Age of Electronicus" was released by Command-ABC Records in August 1969 with catalogue number 946-S. The album was also released as a Reel-To-Reel stereo tape with catalogue number X 946, and was preceded by a 7" single containing two of its most favourable tracks, namely the covers of the well-known "Green Onions" by Booker T. & The M.G.'s and "Aquarius" by The 5th Dimension.

When the LP was released, the previous "Moog - The Electric Eclectics of Dick Hyman" was still in the Billboard Top 100 LP Chart. Surprisingly, "The Age of Electronicus" failed to repeat the success experienced by its predecessor, even though everything was apparently made to enhance its accessibility and Pop charm.

Coming in a colourful gatefold cover, "The Age of Electronicus" was released as part of an Electronic Pop Music series which, as you can see from the Command Records advert featured in this post, also included Walter Sear / The Copper Plated Integrated Circuit's "Plugged In Pop" and Richard Hayman's "Genuine Electric Latin Love Machine". Both these albums will be investigated at a later date here on Stereo Candies.

The main difference between Hyman's two Moog albums is that "Moog - The Electric Eclectics of Dick Hyman" is entirely made of original compositions and improvisations created by Hyman himself, while "The Age of Electronicus" is mostly based on the re-elaboration of successful Pop tunes with the only exception of "Kolumbo", a more experimental track someway similar to the now legendary "The Minotaur", also by Hyman: that was the track which got picked up by radio stations months earlier and was fundamental to the success of the previous album, becoming the very first single featuring a Moog synthesizer to chart.

Another significative difference between the albums is that the tracks on "The Age of Electronicus" don't feature any regular instrument except Billy LaVorgna's great drumming on selected tracks: most of the sounds are generated by the Moog and a few other devices as detailed on the album credits and the liner notes that follow.

The album only spent 11 weeks in the Billboard Top 200 LP Chart - peaking at #110 - and the poor performance of the "Green Onions b/w Aquarius" single, which peaked at #126, didn't help the LP to reach the success I think it deserved. Furthermore, by the time "The Age of Aquarius" was released, record shops were also offering many other Moog albums and, despite the hype and curiosity surrounding the all-new electronic instrument, without the help of another groundbreaking single the record failed to make a difference.

Hyman's memories about the recording of "The Age of Electronicus" and "Moog - The Electric Eclectics of Dick Hyman" are available in a great piece written by Thom Holme for the Bob Moog Foundation website. Pictures of a Moog Modular system very similar to the one used on these albums are available here.

The following track-by-track commentary is a slightly edited version of the original liner notes included in the inner gatefold of the album.

"Green Onions / Aquarius" single, Side A

Side 1 opens with "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da", originally by The Beatles. The song features a not-quite piccolo sound, a sort-of bass clarinet sound, and a spitting-tobacco kind of sound in which the timbre changes as an individual tone is sustained. A Baldwin electronic harpsichord provides the plectrum effect. The rhythm section, recorded after the Synthesizer tracks were completed, is composed of Billy LaVorgna on drums and the arranger on triangle. The by-play among the three 'horns' is the result of recording each line separately on the multi-track recorder and is particularly effective here in giving the impression of the kind of playful communication three musicians might have with each other.

"Give It Up or Turn It Loose" is an experiment in Electronic Soul, specifically that of James Brown, whose recording is the basic model for this arrangement. The excitement of James Brown's singing and dancing is expressed electronically by the Synthesizer in swooshes, sweeps, and explosions of what engineers call, ironically, 'white noise'. Live drums play along with the Maestro Rhythmaster, a metronome-like mechanical drum device.

"Blackbird" is arranged as an electronic orchestration of the Beatles' recording. The Synthesizer elaborates on the original sparse elements and dwells unexpectedly on a section of bird calls. The sound of the Baldwin electronic harpsichord was fed through the Synthesizer to provide the moving tenths.

"Aquarius" demonstrates the Synthesizer's impression of how the Inhabitants of Saturn might perform the hit song from the musical "Hair". It should be emphasized that the inhabitants of Saturn are an extremely smooth-skinned race, but they do their best. Bill LaVorgna, however, who is quite hirsute, is added on drums. The arranger plays electronic harpsichord and Lowrey organ in addition.

"Green Onions" takes as its premise the classic recording by Booker T. & the M.G.'s and goes on from there. The organ-like sound of the first soloist becomes unexpectedly slippery as the Synthesizer's portamento possibilities are explored. The second and third soloists join in until a feeling of New Year's Eve in Times Square reaches us. After some frantic polyphony, we return to Booker T. in Memphis. (Lowrey organ, drums and electronic harpsichord added).

"Green Onions / Aquarius" single, Side B

Side 2 starts with "Kolumbo", an original number created by Dick Hyman. This track was performed simultaneously on the Synthesizer and the Maestro Rhythmaster, the mechanical drum device, the tones of which were fed through an Echoplex tape reverberation unit. Not only the duration and the frequency of reverberation but the fundamental rhythms were altered during the improvised performance, so that there is an effect of a battery of African drummers following an improvising soloist. The listener can provide his own scenario of what seems to be a musical battle, as a second soloist abruptly materializes, challenging the first man. At the end, the original soloist states a brief epilogue, packs up his horn, and splits.

"Time Is Tight", a song by Booker T. & the M.G.'s, begins with a banjo-like effect obtained by running the sound of the electronic harpsichord through the tape reverberation unit. The Synthesizer states the melody by means of a sine wave programmed to develop an increasingly wide vibrato. (There is a resemblance to a certain type of girl singer who used to work with the big bands). The other 'soloist' is expressed by use of a pulse wave programmed to incorporate a gradual timbral change. Live drums are added.

In "Alfie" the melody undulates over a shifting landscape as the two moons of Mars inscrutably look down. The title translates into Martian as, "What's it all about, Alpha Centauri?" This is my favourite track from the album, it took hours of work to properly clean it from but it was worth every single second!

"Both Sides Now", the Joni Mitchell song, developed into a program piece which postulates what might happen if a bagpiper wandered into an orchestral performance of some characteristic nineteenth century music. The Synthesizer constructs a cartoon symphony, playfully adding to its impression of standard instrumentation a honky-tonk piano (actually the electronic harpsichord). "After an elaborate exposition", as Deems Taylor would have explained, "the main theme returns in a grand Wagnerian finale, our undaunted bagpiper skirling above the orchestral tutti". As mentioned here, this is Hyman's favourite track from the album.

"Strobo / Lay, Lady, Lay" promotional single, Side A

My remaster of "The Age of Electronicus" also includes three bonus tracks:

"Green Onions (Single Edit, Stereo Version)", as the title implies, is an edit of the longer version originally included on the album. In brief, the structure of this edit is the same that was released as a single but uses a stereo mix instead of the mono mix.

"Strobo (Simulated Stereo Version)" and "Lay, Lady, Lay (Simulated Stereo Version)" are enhanced versions of the tracks that originally appeared on the "Strobo / Lay, Lady, Lady" promotional single released in late 1969, which I have already featured here months ago. Basically, I tweaked the Eq of the left and right channels of the mono versions and used the subtle differences between them to assign different pan positions to groups of frequencies achieving a pseudo-stereo effect. This is the first time I experiment with such possibilities, so I would be quite pleased to know what you think about the result.

Here's what I wrote about these two tracks in the original post:

"Strobo" is an original number written by Hyman himself. In a similar fashion to the hit "The Minotaur", recorded in late 1968, the track is built on the top of a dense rhythm played by the Maestro Rhythm Unit, probably feeded through an Echoplex. Some people describe this music as Proto-Techno and others even catch a glimpse of Drum 'n' Bass in its skittering beat. Whatever your view on the subject is, "Strobo" was pretty ahead of its time and its shrill keyboard lines undeniably have a futuristic charm.

"Lay, Lady, Lay" is an instrumental version of the song written by Bob Dylan which was released months earlier on his "Nashville Skyline" album. Hyman replaces the original vocal lines with the Moog, giving the song a very strong imprint. The acoustic rhythm section in the background adds to the value of this cover, creating a somewhat pleasant alienating effect. As much as I enjoy "Strobo", I must admit that this piece induces me in a compulsive state, and I can't help to press the repeat button again and again...

"Strobo / Lay, Lady, Lay" promotional single, Side B

The following clips offer a complete preview of the remastered album, enjoy!

More information about Dick Hyman, "The Age of Electronicus" and the Moog Modular synthesizer is available here:

If you have any other useful information about Dick Hyman and "Moog - The Electric Eclectics of Dick Hyman" - especially corrections and improvements to this post - or if you spot any dead links, please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

Friday, 28 September 2018


«Enjoy a wild, all-out performance of “Puppet Man” featuring Julio Ruggiero on Fender bass, Bernie Glow and Mel Davis on trumpets, Dick Hyman on electric organ, Arnie Lawrence on alto sax.

Experience the new Beatles hit “Let It Be” starring the solo performances of Derek Smith on piano, Bob Tricarico on tenor sax, Dick Lieb playing the Moog.

Travel on the “Marrakesh Express” featuring Vinnie Bell on guitar, Arnie Lawrence on alto sax, Billy LaVorgna on drums.

Hear beautiful “Scarborough Fair” with unbelievable Moog excitement.

Reminisce with “It Was a Very Good Year” starring Arnie Lawrence, sax; Bob Alexander, trombone; Al Klink, flute - all three using new electronic equipment which adds fantastic “sound expansion” to their great performances.

These and many other provocative hits make “Permissive Polyphonics” a new, highly personalized experience in listening excitement.

Every explosive advance in modern arranging and modern instrumentation has been explored in this fascinating album.»

[from the back sleeve notes of "Permissive Polyphonics"]

Hey, long time no see! Another long hot summer is gone and autumn has begun... Almost two months are already passed since the last post, so it's high time for something new here on Stereo Candies.

Before I start rambling on this mindblowing Stereo-4 Quadraphonic version of Enoch Light and The Light Brigade's "Permissive Polyphonics", I would like to express my gratitude to Steve K., a follower of this blog who donated his precious and pristine copy of the album so that we all could enjoy: thank you Steve!!!

So, for those who may not be aware of his importance, let's start with a short biography of Enoch Light just slightly adapted from those available on Wikipedia and Space Age Pop:

Enoch Henry Light (18 August 1905, in Canton, Ohio – 31 July 1978, in Redding, Connecticut) was a classically trained violinist, danceband leader, and recording engineer.

As the leader of various dance bands that recorded as early as March 1927 and continuing through at least 1940, Light and his band primarily worked in various hotels in New York. For a time in 1928 he also led a band in Paris. In the 1930s Light also studied conducting with the French conductor Maurice Frigara in Paris.

Throughout the 1930s, Light and his outfits were steadily employed in the generally more upscale hotel restaurants and ballrooms in New York that catered to provide polite ambiance for dining and functional dance music of current popular songs rather than out and out jazz.

"Permissive Polyphonics" back cover

At some point his band was tagged "The Light Brigade" and they often broadcast over radio live from the Hotel Taft in New York where they had a long residency. Through 1940, Light and his band recorded for various labels including Brunswick, ARC, Vocalion and Bluebird.

He broke up the band toward the end of the 1940s and went into management, working for several record companies before becoming president of Waldorf Music Hall Records in 1954. Later on, as A&R (Artists and Repertoire) chief and vice-president of Grand Award Records, he had several successes with Dixieland and Honky-tonk piano albums.

He sold Grand Award to AB-PT (...then ABC Records...) and formed Command Records in 1959 with the specific aim of capitalizing on the emerging market of stereo fanatics. His music was intended for older audiences, presumably because he saw them as more-serious audiophiles who had more money to spend on high end stereo equipment, as opposed to most popular music of the time, which was generally intended for teenagers and young adults.

Light is credited with being one of the first musicians to go to extreme lengths to create high-quality recordings that took maximum advantage of the technical capabilities of home audio equipment of the late 1950s and early 1960s.

He fully explored left-right channelization without stooping to tricks like ping-pong effects, and his experiments had a huge influence on the whole concept of multi-track recording that would become commonplace in the ensuing years.

"Permissive Polyphonics" inner gatefold, left panel

Light was a meticulous engineer and put as much effort into the quality of his recording equipment and production systems as into the music itself. He tested a number of New York studios before selecting. Doing so, he arranged his musicians in ways to produce the kinds of recorded sounds he wished to achieve, even completely isolating various groups of them from each other in the recording studio.

The first of the albums produced on Command Records, "Persuasive Percussion", became one of the first big-hit LPs based solely on retail sales. His music received little or no airplay on the radio, because AM radio, the standard of the day, was monaural and had very poor fidelity. Light went on to release several albums in the Persuasive Percussion series, as well as a Command test record.

The Command album covers were generally designed with abstract, minimalist artwork that stood out boldly from other LP jackets. These pieces were usually the work of Josef Albers. Light was so interested in the sound of his music that he would include lengthy prose describing each song's sounds. In order to fit all of his descriptions on to the album sleeve, he doubled the size of the sleeve but enabled it to fold like a book, thus popularizing the gatefold packaging format.

During his years at Command, he pioneered many recording techniques such as the use of 35 mm magnetic film instead of magnetic tape, thereby reducing the effects of "wow" and "flutter". These recordings were released under the "35MM" series, starting from "Stereo 35/MM" released in 1961.

Musicians who appeared on Light's albums include The Free Design, The Critters, Rain, Doc Severinsen, Tony Mottola, Dick Hyman and organist Virgil Fox (on the Wanamaker Organ). As an arranger, Lew Davies was one of the label's most important contributors.

"Permissive Polyphonics" inner gatefold, right panel

In 1966, Light sold the Command record label to ABC Records. Unfortunately the quality of the Command LPs released after Light's departure deteriorated until ABC discontinued releasing new material on the label in 1971. The Command name was then used by ABC on quadraphonic LP releases from the ABC, Dunhill, Westminster and Impulse! catalogues and on double album compilations and special anthologies from Command's catalogue until 1976, when the label was officially retired.

After the sale of Command Records, Light launched a new label called Project 3 and continued recording. Light produced several successful big band albums with an ace-group of studio musicians, many of whom were veterans of the greatest bands of the Swing Era who were still regularly working in New York's television and recording studios.

Released as Enoch Light And The Light Brigade, the arrangements used on those recordings were transcribed note-for-note from some of what were the hallmark original recordings. The arranging reconstructions of these now "classic" arrangements were completely reconstructed by arrangers Dick Lieb, Dick Hyman, Tony Mottola and Jeff Hest.

Among Light's later works, also released as Enoch Light and The Light Brigade, we'd like to mention at least two gems that benefited of the then recently invented Moog synthesizer, namely "Spaced Out" (1969), and "Permissive Polyphonics" (1970), the subject of this post.

Enoch Light, circa 1966

"Permissive Polyphonics" contains the following tracks:

01. Marrakesh Express (3:13)
02. Let It Be (3:54)
03. Easy Come, Easy Go (3:35)
04. Puppet Man (3:10)
05. Prelude For Young Lovers (2:26)
06. It Was a Very Good Year (2:38)
07. Mas Que Nada (3:12)
08. Monday, Monday (3:25)
09. Sittin' On the Dock of the Bay (3:09)
10. Scarborough Fair (2:26)
11. Michelle (3:08)
12. Pass and I Call You (4:20)

All tracks were remastered from the original vinyl in September 2018 and are available in FLAC lossless format, along with complete artwork reconstruction and printable PDF files.

As usual, please have a look at the comments for the download link.

"Permissive Polyphonics" was released on Project 3 Total Sound in 1970. I wasn't able to discover the specific recording and publishing dates, but since the original version of the most recent song on the album, The Beatles' "Let It Be", was released as a single in early March 1970, I guess that a mid-year release date is fairly correct.

The album was made available in three formats: LP, Reel-To-Reel and 8-Track Cartridge. In addition to the classic Stereo mix, the album also received the Quadraphonic treatment and, according to the thread going on in this forum, different quadraphonic mixes exist.

I must admit that I'm not an expert on this matter, and just reading the discussion linked above I came down with a big headache... Anyway, the quadraphonic version of "Permissive Polyphonics" that I'm offering in this post is the "Stereo-4", also called "EV" or "EV-4".

I haven't had the chance to listen to the other quadraphonic mixes of the album, but according to Steve K. - who, as you may remember, is the donor of the vinyl record that I used for my remaster and also a great fan of this album - this is by far the superior mix.

Catalogue number is "50-2019" in the top right corner on front of the sleeve, "PR5048SD" on the spine and "PR 5048 QD" on the center labels. Five writings differentiate the cover of this particular version of the album from all the others:

- "Realistic" is printed in the top left corner;
- "Processed in STEREO-4™" is printed below the "this is the NEW stereo." blurb that also appear on the top left of cover (...which in turn is also usually written on a white sticker, and not directly printed on the cover...);
- "TM" is written just above the end of the album title, suggesting that it is a trademark;
- "Allied Radio Shack - A Tandy Corporation Company" is printed in the bottom left corner, making it clear that this item was sold through the old RadioShack chain of electronics stores;
- "20 TO 20,000 CPS AUDIOPHILE SERIES" is printed in the bottom right corner.

By the way, there is no trace of this version of the album among the many listed in the pertinent Discogs entry; it may be that it's a bit of a rarity or... Who knows.

A credit for the album design does not appear anywhere in the sleeve notes. It's a pity that the author of the simple but effective artwork featured on the cover is left unknown, but it happens sometimes...

As far as I am concerned, this album sounds great and for once please allow me to say that I'm completely satisfied with the results of my remaster: the vinyl was almost flawless, the original mix is superb and I was able to get rid of all the usual vinyl-related imperfections without compromising: mission accomplished!

Enoch Light conducting, circa 1967

Dick Lieb, Dick Hyman and Tony Mottola have discussed their personal and professional relation with Enoch Light in three precious interviews conducted in 1996-97 by Robbie Baldock for the Spaced Out / Enoch Ligth website.

As author of all the arrangements of "Permissive Polyphonics" and player of the Moog synthesizer parts used on all its tracks, Lieb's interview is particularly interesting because offers first-hand commentary about the album. It also makes it clear that, contrary to what many believe, The Free Design were not involved as vocalists on this project.

The following liner notes and track-by-track commentary are taken from the inner gatefold of the album. Audio previews of all the tracks are also included along with a detailed credits and personnel list at the bottom.

Oh, and since we are on the subject: the track-by-track commentary on this particular version of the LP is slightly different from the one that was included on the regular stereo copies: it omits a few details about the position of the instruments and also doesn't mention Bob Haggart's participation to the recordings.

Here we go:

«This new Enoch Light album integrates most of the new discoveries in the field of electronic music and exploits them through the highly personalized and professional work of many of the world's finest musicians.

Enoch Light has consistently been a pioneer in recording innovations. He produced the first really significant musical stereo recording "Persuasive Percussion", and has participated in the development of many new recording techniques. These include multi-microphone placement, recording on 35 mm. magnetic film, the use of special microphones which complement the characteristics of the various orchestral instruments and experimentation with the Dolby system and with the Neumann automatic mastering lathe equipped with the SX68 cutter head.

In selecting the songs for this album we have taken advantage of the great changes in modern popular song composition and combined these wonderfully fresh, inventive ideas with the newest of recording techniques. We do hope that this album will give you great pleasure and that you will enjoy the musical excitement which motivated all of us at these recording sessions.

Marrakesh Express
(written by Graham Nash, originally performed by Crosby, Stills & Nash)

We're off and running on the Marrakesh Express, with the Moog synthesizer supplying the train whistle effect. Vinnie Bell's electric sitar presents the tune. This exciting arrangement is spurred on by the swinging jazz of Arnie Lawrence's electric alto sax, Billy LaVorgna's great drumming and Julio Ruggiero's driving bass. The vocal group takes over in the second chorus, complemented by the power-packed horn ensemble. The Marrakesh Express roars out of sight with Arnie Lawrence wailing again on electric sax.


Let It Be
(written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, originally performed by The Beatles)

Gospel-style piano, played by Derek Smith, opens this arrangement, answered by the soulful tenor sax of Bob Tricarico and a brass choir. The Moog is featured melodically in a variety of timbres in this version of the Beatles' classic. Also featured is the vocal group "speaking words of wisdom" against a driving rhythm section and insistent horns.


Easy Come, Easy Go
(written by Jack Keller and Diane Hildebrand, originally performed by Cass Elliott, it was later brought to success by Bobby Sherman)

Marimba, Fender bass and drums establish a rhythmic figure and are joined by the delightful combination of three alto flutes and one bass flute. Phil Kraus' marimba and Dick Hyman's electric harpsichord takes up the rhythm and introduce the vocal group. The Moog is again heard in a featured melodic role, followed later by a "shuffle" feeling and a sumptuous flute solo by Don Ashworth.


Puppet Man
(written by Howard Greenfield and Neil Sedaka, originally performed by Neil Sedaka, it was later covered by The Fifth Dimension)

Vinnie Bell's guitar is pitted against a wailing sax section before the brass make their introductory statement. The Moog states the first chorus of the tune, punctuated by hard-hitting brass figures. A climactic explosion on the Moog is heard before the brass take over. This arrangement also features great organ fills by Dick Hyman behind the chorus and some fine jazz by Arnie Lawrence on electric alto sax.


Prelude For Young Lovers
(written by Frédéric Chopin, adapted by Dick Lieb)

Once the atmosphere is set by Dick Hyman on electric harpsichord, three flutes and an English horn engage the brass section in a cascading dialog. The theme of this piece (taken from Chopin's "Prelude No. 4") is first stated by the voices. The beautifully interweaving melodic lines cushioned on a flowing, rhythmic accompaniment add to this sensitive orchestration by Dick Lieb.


It Was a Very Good Year
(written by Ervin Drake, originally performed by The Kingston Trio, it was subsequently made famous by Frank Sinatra)

A recurring motif by the Moog structures the introduction and sets the verses off from each other. Electronically amplified horns are featured: Arnie Lawrence on alto sax, Bob Alexander on trombone and Al Klink on flute divide the solo work, each with his own inspired jazz flavoring. And notice how the electronically produced lower octave adds such a new spatial dimension to the normal sounds of their horns!


Mas Que Nada
(written by Jorge Lima Menezes a.k.a. Jorge Ben, originally performed by him, later covered by Sérgio Mendes)

Trumpets and the Moog join the happy jazz samba set by the rhythm section in anticipation of a luscious bass flute solo by Don Ashworth. Trumpets play the first chorus over the soft cushion of four flutes, vibes and voices. The arrangement also features a "swing" chorus. Reverberation fills the air as the tune fades out.


Monday, Monday
(written by John Phillips, originally performed by The Mamas & The Papas)

The "wah-wah" guitar of Vinnie Bell is featured along with piano, bass and drums in the introduction. The tune itself starts as a duet between Vinnie and the voices. A full sounding horn ensemble adds "punch" to the arrangement, as does an exciting "double-time rock" section. Later on Urbie Green's trombone is heard soaring over the ensemble as the tune goes in to a fade ending.


Sittin' On the Dock of the Bay
(written by Otis Redding and Steve Cropper, originally performed by Otis Redding)

The "white-noises" of the Moog are used to punctuate organ, bass and drums before they are joined by Vinnie Bell's guitar. The explosive brass chorus is followed by Walt Levinsky's alto sax solo. After Bob Rosengarden's drums do some fancy shuffling, Urbie Green's commanding trombone makes the first statement of this Otis Redding tune. The vocal group is again featured in some "soulful" swinging.


Scarborough Fair
(a traditional English ballad, adapted and brought to success by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel)

Bass and drums start on the left (in 5/4 meter!) and swing across to the right where they are joined by the drone sounds of Vinnie Bell's guitar, the vibes and the organ. The Moog takes up the melody, moving rapidly through the speakers with a unique timbre. The ensemble swings into a jazz waltz, as the voices enter on the third chorus, complemented by four saxes (who later switch to three alto flutes and one bass flute for some jazz figures). The Moog (played by arranger Lieb), flutes and voices follow each other as the arrangement fades to an end.


(written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, originally performed by The Beatles)

Bells, voices, bass and organ build a pyramid of sound after which the four flutes pile up for a similar pyramid. Bernie Glow (right) and Mel Davis (left) - an incredibly matched pair of giants! - engage in a beautiful and seemingly effortless flugelhorn duet on the melody. This arrangement also features a subtly blended vocal group and very sensitive flute playing.


Pass and I Call You
(written by Johann Sebastian Bach, adapted by Dick Lieb)

Pun intended! Bach's "Passacaglia in C minor" is at the core of Dick Lieb's writing here. Bass, drums and guitar pave the way for an explosive ensemble. The Moog takes over and announces the Bach theme which will be the basis for some very clever variations in the "top" part of the band. Featured in this arrangement are Vinnie Bell, Dick Hyman (with a remarkable solo on organ) and some really hard swinging musicians and singers!

Here's the complete credits and personnel list of "Permissive Polyphonics":

Dick Lieb: Moog synthesizer
Dick Hyman: organ, harpsichord
Derek Smith: piano
Vinnie Bell: guitar, electric sitar
Julio 'Julie' Ruggiero: Fender bass
Bob Haggart: Fender bass
Billy LaVorgna: drums
Bob Rosengarden: drums
Phil Kraus: marimba, vibes
Al Klink: flute
Don Ashworth: flute, bass flute
Bernie Glow: trumpet, flugelhorn
Mel Davis: trumpet, flugelhorn
Arnie Lawrence: sax, alto sax
Walt Levinsky: alto sax
Bob Tricarico: tenor sax
Bob Alexander: trombone
Urbie Green: trombone

Arranged by: Dick Lieb

Executive Producer: Enoch Light
Associate Producers: Tony Mottola / Jeff Hest

Recording Engineer: Donald Hahn
Mixing: Chuck Irwin
Supervising Engineer for 4 Channel Mixing: John Eargle
Mastering: Phil Austin

Enoch Light in the studio, circa 1967

More information about Enoch Light and "Permissive Polyphonics" is available here:

If you have any other useful information about Enoch Light and "Permissive Polyphonics", or if you spot any dead links, please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

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