Thursday, October 27, 2011

VOODOO - Richard Hayman and his Orchestra

YEAR: 1959

LABEL: Mercury

TRACK LISTING: Danse Calinda, Conjuration, Spell of Deatra, Incantation, Afro, Zombi, Voodoo, Mamba, Haiti, Midnight Ritual, Gris-Gris, Invocation

IMPRESSIONS: "Richard Hayman has here mustered his phenomenally versatile talents as musician, arranger and conductor to capture the mood of voodoo in songs whose very titles can strike awe in the listener: Conjuration . . . Spell of Deatra . . . Incantation . . . Zombi. . . Midnight Ritual. . . Gris-Gris. Here is a musical adventure that transports you into the deepest interior of Haiti. Here is the fearsome fire and the brewing pot. Here are the frightening shadows. And here, above all, are the weird rhythms and sounds of a music that is more than music because it is distilled in ritual and there are those who believe in its magical powers.
This is music to be met half-way in a quiet room with the lights dimmed. Or better still meet it all the way in the still of the night with the lights out. Then Listen! You're not alone any longer. The room is shaken with the frantic dances of the hungans - so-called priests of voodoo - and their faithful. The cauldron boils and froths. The walls echo to the cries and the wails of the believers. That's voodoo!"
--Lou Sidran

MY FAVOURITE TRACKS: Conjuration, Spell of Deatra, Afro, Zombi, Voodoo, Mamba, Haiti, Midnight Ritual, Invocation

FACT SHEET: Richard Hayman is an American arranger, harmonica player, and conductor. Hayman started out as a player and arranger for the Borrah Minevitch Harmonica Rascals before becoming an arranger for MGM studios during the early 1940's. He did arrangements (often uncredited) for the films Girl Crazy. Meet Me in St. Louis, and Thousands Cheer. From 1945-1950, he was musical director for the Vaughn Monroe Orchestra. Hayman is most famous for being the principal arranger at the Boston Pops Orchestra for over 30 years where his award-winning arrangements are still used today. He currently works as the Principal Pops Conductor of the Grand Rapids (MI) Symphony and Music Director of the Florida Space Coast Pops Orchestra in Cocoa, Florida.

1 comment: