Where Here Meets There – Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica Quartet – Exotica for Modern Living

Where Here Meets There – Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica Quartet [TrackList follows] – Exotica for Modern Living IKI-003 ****:

(Brian O’Neill, vibes & percussion; Geni Skendo, flutes; Jason Davis bass; Shane Shanahan, percussion; Tev Stevig, tanbur & oud; Noriko Terada, percussion on tr. 4)

Mr. Ho’s chamber or full orchestra releases follow many different strains: Esquivel, John Barry’s spy music, crime jazz scores, exotic sounds of Les Baxter and Martin Denney, scores of Morricone, surf music, space-age and Playboy-martini-lounge fare.  This CD will be a wonderful trip back into the 60s and 70s lounge-type music area. One of the nine tracks on it sums it all up pretty well: “Would You Like Bongos With That Fugue?”

Gershwin’s jazzy Three Preludes for piano are on this Mr. Ho CD, with the second one titled “The Siamese Cat Song.”  Guess that’s a reference to some Disney animation.  Music of De Falla is also given a going-over with the assistance of such as Dizzy Gellespie and Chano Pozo in “Ritual Mallet Dance.” The album concludes with a Cal Tjader tune, “Black Orchid,” and naturally the vibes player gets to shine on this one. Great fun. Isn’t it nice we still have the same old two-channel stereo that sounds terrific when most of the rest of the listeners are making do with the more expensive and compromised (but more convenient) MP3s and streaming?


Chiseling Music, Sansaz; Maracatune for Chalco, Would You Like Bongos With That Fugue?, Ritual Mallet Dance, GERSHWIN: Three Preludes for Piano, Black Orchid

—John Henry

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