Martin Denny

The Enchanted Isle

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1982's obscure The Enchanted Isle was the only musically significant record made by Martin Denny after 1969. 1980's From Maui With Love, intended for limited, personal distribution (autographed and given away as souvenir?), was solo piano with little or no trace of exotica. The Enchanted Isle, however, is the only Martin Denny record on which he successfully blends his later, front-and-center piano style with bird-call exotica. (There really is no reason to listen to Martin Denny apart from his exotica style.) "Coronation" and "Rain" are remakes, and there are four originals: "Happy Island," "Sugar Train" (essentially an update of "Burma Train"), "Friendly Island," and the title track. "The Enchanted Isle" includes whistling as well as wordless vocals; "Tahitian Sunset" includes abstract voice. Altogether, it is one of Denny's most consistent later records, with nothing exceptionally great or bad about it. The signature birdcalls at the tune's ends do become tedious in their almost self-congratulatory excess, however.