Kodachrome is the folks at Basta Records' fourth and best effort so far in re-creating Raymond Scott's endlessly imaginative and oh-so-treacherous-to-play repertoire. In the case of Kodachrome, 17 Scott originals are selected from among his lesser known works, mainly big band scores, radio production music, and commercial advertising work. Although some of this music was recorded by Scott himself, the originals are currently unavailable, and in a few instances this music is only known from manuscript sources. There are many a little masterpiece here, among them Fifinella, which will be familiar to fans of old-time radio as a collection of cues scattered throughout various broadcasts. Also, there is Secret Agent, an amazing 1942 piece that demonstrates that Raymond Scott was already thinking in the Mancini mode when Henry Mancini himself was still in high school. Although some of the titles are "cartoony," none of this is cartoon music in a specific sense; pieces such as A Bullfighter and his Piccolo, Birdseed Special, and Two Young Lads in Saxophone School were written as "extras" for vintage radio programs. Symphony Under the Stars, inspired by a 1938 evening spent at the Hollywood Bowl, and Kodachrome were both written for Scott's ill-fated 1942 big band. Whereas Naked City was written in the early '50s for no specific reason, it seems to bear a kinship to Scott's music for the Broadway show Lute Song. Such is the range of wealth of rare material that is included here and played expertly well by the Metropole Orchestra.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Uncle Dave Lewis