It's small wonder that Hawaii's biggest moonlight attraction for the past several years has been a talented group of four musicians producing the "exciting and exotic sounds of Martin Denny."
The Exotic Sounds of Martin Denny
When "Forbidden Island" was produced -- in March, 1958 -- the Denny group was just finishing nine consecutive months at Don the Beachcomber's famed Bora Bora lounge in the International Market Place in the heart of Waikiki.
This is Denny's third album; "Exotica - Volume I" and "Exotica - Volume II" launched a new style of Hawaiian music. That style stresses sound -- exciting sound--exotic sound--pumping an intoxicating throb into the romantic rhythms of Polynesia. "Forbidden Island" is an even more thrilling album, if that is possible . . . it features four Martin Denny originals: Forbidden Island, Exocica, Primitiva and Cobra, and one original by Julius Wechter: Goony Birds.
When you hear the Denny group's interpretation, whether it's a standard such as "Port au Prince" or an original audience-stopper such as "Exotica", you will sense a surging passion that sweeps through both the musician and the listener.
Denny, a veteran arranger and composer, organized his group nearly three years ago expressly to be able to offer the new sounds that soon were attracting nightly throngs to their first big showplace, Henry J. Kaiser's Hawaiian Village Hotel. They were there for a year, setting attendance records that may never be matched; then moved to California recording sessions, television appearances and Nevada engagements including the Royal Nevada in Las Vegas and the Riverside Hotel in Reno.
Seven months later they returned to Hawaii and the Bora Bora Lounge, where they have a standing offer for a lifetime contract.
- Notes by: Buck Buchwach, City Editor
Who makes the sounds that have captured the imagination of Hawaii and the world?
- Port Au Prince
- Little China Doll
- Bali Hai
- Narcissus Queen
- Sim Sim
- Goony Birds
- March of the Siamese Children
- Forbidden Island
To enrich this album of "Forbidden Island", Denny called on four guest specialists . . .
- Martin Denny: Leader, composer, and gifted arranger; piano and celeste; originator of "exotica" music
August Colon: Latin instruments, special effects, bird calls; a "banging bongo-er"
Julius Wechter: Only 22 year old, brilliant on the vibes; also marimbas, xylophone; doubles on percussion instruments
Harvey Ragsdale: Toured with Stan Wilson, who rates him tops on string bass. Big round tone and unexcelled moving line
- Lew Paino: Percussion
Will Brady: Flute and musette
Bud Lee: Guitar and Japanese Samisen
Mike Garcia: Conga drum
Producer: Si Waronker
Engineers: Bob Lang and Ted Keep
Cover Design: Garrett-Howard
Liberty Records - Album LRP-3081