Bert Kaempfert

The Wonderland of Bert Kaempfert and His Orchestra

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Hooked around a pair of charting mood music instrumentals -- "Tenderly" and "Cerveza," which reached numbers 31 and 73, respectively -- The Wonderland of Bert Kaempfert and His Orchestra was another exploration of the lush orchestral style pioneered on Wonderland by Night the previous year. Even chestnuts like "Auld Lang Syne" are interesting to hear in the ornate pop orchestra arrangements utilized here, making use of pizzicato strings and other devices that sound incredible in hi-fi and stereo; they tease the ear, augmented by the occasional pop-jazz elements such as the extended sax solo on "Savoy Blues." It's midway between Lawrence Welk and bachelor's den-type space age pop instrumentals. And given the recording dates of this material and that from the follow-up LP (Dancing in Wonderland), it's sort of eerie to think that Kaempfert was also in the process of "discovering" and recording the Beatles (principally with Tony Sheridan) at just about the same time that these tracks were being cut.