Various Artists

Ultra-Lounge, Vol. 11: Organs in Orbit

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The organ has a respected slot in the space age pop/lounge lineup, and Organs in Orbit gives the Hammond its due by featuring 18 cuts in the style, originally recorded for Capitol in the 1950s and 1960s. It's a long way from here to Jimmy Smith, and you should check any hopes for funkiness at the door. If you've got a yen for the inimitable vibrant qualities of the instrument in some of its less critically respected contexts, however, it's a solid sampling of vintage recordings, even if it sometimes sounds like organs in search of a roller rink. Often these artists revamped standards like "Patricia," "The Third Man Theme," "Perfidia," and "Fever," but the Forbidden Five's "Enchanted Farm" (a "Quiet Village" satire?) pushes the envelope by inserting sound effects of roosters crowing. Besides organ outings by well-known space age popsters Martin Denny, Ernie Freeman, John Buzon, Billy May, and Walter Wanderley, you also hear it put to weirder use by unknowns like Sir Julian, who gave the instrument a shaky quality with frequencies that could probably burst martini glasses. Another bonus is the inclusion of two instrumentals by none other than Denny McLain, the notorious '60s star baseball pitcher who played organ on the side.

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