The Exotic Sounds of Martin Denny

In Waikiki, where I live whenever I get the chance, a bistro known as the Daggar Bar and its accompanying Bofa Bora Lounge has for some time been the mecca of people who enjoy a new type of music. I'm one of the gang that gathers there to hear the fresh, clean tropical sounds of Martin Denny and his group.

Why do I go for Denny's type of music? It's professional, and very expertly put together for the public. It's new, for it uses instruments and rhythms not usually found in modern popular music. It's witty, and much to the taste of people who like a little humor for the long haul.

But in my case, I like it particularly because it reminds me of places I've been, and sounds I've loved. It's really very exciting to see the Denny group perform in Hawaii. The great brass gongs, the Asian instruments (whose names I never can remember), the tropical setting, and the proficiency of the performers make the music a delight for the late wanderer.

This is music to see and on this record there are many new sounds that will force the listener to create his own word pictures. It's music to feel and Denny is careful to provide in his orchestrations the specific sound of things banging into other things, or scraping across them, or being struck by a human hand.

As you can see, I get a charge out of my friend',; music and this record is a new departure in that for the first time Denny utilizes voices and strings to augment his wood.

This 'blurb' is different from many that you read these days I'm not getting paid a nickel for it ... I just happen to like the music that comes with the package, and I think you will too.

- James Michener

James Michener is one of the outstanding American novelists of our time and is an authority on the people and customs of the islands in the Pacific, Asia and the Orient. The most famous of his books, "Tales of the South Pacific," won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1948. It was adapted as a musical play in 1949 by Rodgers and Hammerstein II, and enjoyed a record breaking run on Broadway and as a motion picture.

His other best selling novels, which have been made into highly successful motion pictures, are "Sayonara," "The Bridges At Toko Ri," and "Return To Paradise."

  • Jungle Madness
    (H. Johnson - M. Denny) 3:30
  • On a Little Street in Singapore
    (P. De Rose - W. Hill) 2:30
  • Voodoo Dreams
    (Les Baxter) 2:25
  • Chinese Lullaby
    (R. H. Bowers) 2:52
  • Hypnotíque
    (M. Denny - M. Davis) 3:10
  • St. Louis Blues
    (W. C. Handy) 2:39
  • We Kiss in a Shadow
    (O. Hammerstein-II - R. Rodgers) 3:00
  • Summertime
    (G. Gershwin - H. Du Bose) 2:52
  • Scimitar
    (Les Baxter) 2:30
  • American In Bali
    (Martin Denny) 2:24
  • Japanese Sandman
    (R. Whiting - R. Egan) 1:30
The Martin Denny Group:
Martin Denny: Arranger Composer, Piano, Celeste
Julius Wechter: Vibes, Marimba, Percussion
Harvey Ragsdale: String Bass, Marimbula
August Colon: Bird Calls, Percussion. Bongos, Congas

Guest Artists:
The Jack Halloran Singes
Barbara Smith: Japanese Koto
John Mechigashari: Japanese Flute - Shakahasbi
Francis "Bud" Lee: Japanese Samisen

Producer: Si Waronker
Vocal Arranger: Hal Johnson, Musicologist
Color Photography: Garrett Howard
Engineers: Bob Long and Ted Keep

Liberty Records - Album LRP 3102