Arthur Lyman

Love for Sale

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This Arthur Lyman LP has been issued under two distinctly different names. Initially titled I Wish You Love (1963), after the surprise success of the Cole Porter ballad "Love for Sale" -- which took the LP into the Top Album survey and the single itself into the Pop Singles countdown -- the effort was repackaged and renamed. The new moniker Love for Sale (1963) would incorporate an essentially identical tune stack and packaging -- even going so far as to have been allocated the same catalog number. Ultimately though, Love for Sale served as the third and final time that the artist would place so highly in the charts. The platter itself contains the typical Lyman fare -- updates of popular standards of the day and a number of concurrent and memorable show tunes from the Great White Way and the Silver Screen alike. Perhaps in keeping with the romantic theme, the sole conspicuous omission is the dearth of folk songs and/or traditional Polynesian material. That certainly isn't to suggest that the combo -- featuring the talents of Lyman (vibraphone/marimba), Harold Chang (percussion), John Kramer (bass/flute/guitar) and Alan Soares (keyboards) -- don't venture into the occasional tiki-infused interpretation. Getting things started is a thoughtful reading of the "Love Song from Mutiny on the Bounty (Follow Me)" that bears haunting flute leads from Kramer. Similarly, the former title track "I Wish You Love" takes on a considerable intimacy, lightened by the resonance of Lyman and Soares -- as they incrementally unveil sublime tandem runs on the vibraphone and piano. There is little wonder why "Love for Sale" became such a key entry in Lyman's repertoire. The frolicking and extremely catchy tempo is the perfect setting for Lyman's brisk, jazzy contributions. The album likewise includes several equally inspired works scattered throughout the remainder of the platter. Of primary interest to enthusiasts of the exotica genre is the energetic "Love" and a slightly over the top rendering of "Love Is a Many Splendored Thing" -- replete with cymbals and gongs -- as well as the exceedingly kitschy "Love Dance". For this Les Baxter composition, Lyman and company prove they haven't abandoned their abilities to transport listeners deep into the tropics, conjuring bird calls, moody percussive interjections, and the like. Other standouts are the buoyant "Sentimental Journey" and the ardent reworking of "When I Fall in Love". In 2008, Collectors' Choice Music paired Love for Sale with the Many Moods of Arthur Lyman (1962) onto a two-fer CD, effectively making both available for the first time in over 40 years.

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