I Wish You Love

Arthur Lyman

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I Wish You Love Review

by Lindsay Planer

I Wish You Love (1963) was one of Arthur Lyman's best-selling long-players thanks in part to his signature cover of the Cole Porter ballad "Love for Sale." The update yielded a Top Pop Singles side and led the way for the rest of the album to make enough of an impression on the Top 40 Album survey -- where it landed as Lyman's third and final charting title. As was usual for the artist, Lyman filled the project with remakes of pop standards and show tunes. However, there is one striking difference between this outing and the combo's typical dozen-song long-players. Here, they all but forgo their occasional foray into folk and native Polynesian material -- presumably in an effort to adhere to the proceedings' amorous theme. Lyman (vibraphone/marimba) is accompanied by John Kramer (bass/flute/guitar), Alan Soares (keyboards), and Harold Chang (percussion). The quartet's opening selection, "Love Song from Mutiny on the Bounty (Follow Me)" sets the pace with its languid tempo and enchanting melody. One can all but taste the salt air wafting through Kramer's simple, yet effective flute. There is a perceptible undercurrent of melancholia throughout "I Wish You Love." It incrementally dissipates under Lyman's otherwise optimistic shimmering interplay. Specifically worth hearing is the resonance as it blends with Soares' empathetic piano phrases. The conclusion takes a lively turn with Chang's percussion providing the perfect aural augmentation. On sheer catchiness alone, "Love for Sale" seems practically predestined to have garnered significant notice. Lyman's good-natured and jazz-fueled vibraphone leans toward a Latin flavor that recalls the likes of Cal Tjader. The winsome "Pagan Love Song" boasts a charming air with Lyman's chiming bell-like projections set against the prototypical backdrop. "Love" -- appropriately enough -- is one of the set's stand-out tracks. The high-energy number is the perfect outlet for the entire ensemble to demonstrate their considerable skills -- especially Chang's nimble handiwork. A comparatively moderate tempo marks the stunning update of "Love Is a Many Splendored Thing" complete with crashing cymbals and gong flares punctuating Lyman's unhurried rendering. Returning to their roots as purveyors of jungle-fied kitsch is the Les Baxter-penned "Love Dance." The band goes all out -- including bird calls and other aural ephemera -- to conjure a definite mood. Switching gears yet again is the easygoing "Secret Love" thanks to the winning combination of Lyman's vibraphone and Soares even-handed piano. No, Arthur Lyman and crew have not gone polka. However, presumably Soares has taken up the accordion and his sweet playing graces "To You My Love," giving it a homespun visage that is unlike most other Lyman recordings. The fun and slightly frisky "Sentimental Journey" is a treat as the quartet gel beneath Soares and Lyman's tandem performance. Wrapping up I Wish You Love is Lyman's take on "It's So Right to Love." Again it is Soares who steps up for an exuberant keyboard run and is ably supported by the rest of the band.

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