Primarily known as a session musician, arranger, and accompanist to the stars, British pianist Tony Osborne also charted a couple of singles in England under his own name and recorded a number of instrumental albums in the '60s and '70s. Music from the Movies and Other Romantic Melodies reissues 29 orchestral instrumental recordings Osborne made for the Rediffusion label between 1967-1974, not all of which feature his piano playing very prominently. Osborne wrote all of the arrangements, however, so even when his piano is barely audible or nonexistent, as on "The Magnificent Seven," his skills as an arranger are on display. Osborne's characteristic approach throughout the pop songs, standards, and movie themes included on this anthology is to begin with moody strings playing the melody, then bring in muted horns or other instruments to take the lead while the strings recede into the background, and finally introduce the piano in the second half of the piece. This gives the songs a subtly kaleidoscopic quality as the melody line is restated throughout the arrangement in different instrumental voices. Osborne's interpretations of contemporary pop songs such as "Something Stupid" and "Call Me" are more modern-sounding but still flow with his other pieces. "Hey There" (from The Pajama Game) and the original composition "Puerto de la Cruz," with their emphases on the piano, serve as the most extended showcases for Osborne's musicianship. Despite the late-'60s and '70s session dates, most of the songs sound as if they could have been recorded in the late '50s or early '60s.
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