Ray Conniff

'S Always Conniff

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This 25-track album, recorded live in Tokyo in December 1991, demonstrates that, decades after his commercial heyday in his native country, Ray Conniff successfully continued to pursue his vision of cheery, swing-derived arrangements of familiar tunes. The set list is heavy on Broadway show tunes from Anything Goes to Phantom of the Opera, but there is also room for everything from "An Improvisation on Chopin's Nocturne in E Flat" to "Blowin' in the Wind," all performed in bright, toe-tapping fashion by the Conniff Orchestra and an octet of earnest singers. If the result can sound like music from a time warp, that was always true of Conniff's music, and the lesson of his lengthy (especially international) success may be that he created his own context; the melodies may have come from various sources, but, like the title says, the sound was always Conniff.

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