Crack open a coconut, insert your straw, and pass out under the stars. Exotica Volume II. The pinnacle of Denny's career, Hypnotique earns a place in history for its achingly beautiful jacket design alone.
The same photo shoot also yielded the cover photo for the Denny-produced "Exotic Dreams" by singer Ethel Azama. The music of Hypnotique is just as compelling, producing an effect that certainly must be described as hypnotic, if not occasionally feverish. Hypnotique is incredibly strong from start to finish, one of the first records one should pack in that slim, proverbial "desert island" suitcase. Exotica introduced the hit "Quiet Village," catapulted the ersatz musical idiom of the same name, and brought much attention to the Martin Denny Group from visitors to the group's base in Hawaii.
Even the gorgeous jacket photo -- of "exotica girl" Sandy Warner peeking out from a bamboo curtain -- is a classic of the era. With all this going for it, it almost seems unnecessary to point out that half of the tunes are from Les Baxter's tremendous "tone poem" Ritual of the Savage, itself an early classic of exotica. All of the tracks are solid and appropriate. Oddly enough, the record reflects Liberty Records' refusal to release its monaural recordings in electronically simulated stereo.
The original, monaural version of the LP was recorded before stereo records were produced. That version features Arthur Lyman still fresh after drunkenly discovering the allure of birdcalls and is considered brighter, wilder, and more interesting than the stereo re-recording.
The stereo version features Lyman's replacement on vibraphone, Julius Wechter later founder of the astoundingly boring Baja Marimba Band.
A Taste Of Honey. Taking a tip from George Shearing, Martin Denny cruised through most of the '60s with a slew of bossa nova and jazz cocktail albums. Denny's late-'50s exotica records had established him as a name to reckon with in bachelor pad circles, but were only good for a limited stretch. Denny didn't forsake this period completely, though, when he turned to jazz; on this release at least, one hears bits of his earlier South Seas and Hawaiian backdrops in the bongo accompaniment and occasional leftfield percussion accent.
The whole album, for that matter, is well played, but things do go south a bit towards the end as the band slips into background music mode. This is not to say that versions of war horses like "Exodus" and "Claire de Lune" aren't enjoyable, or even tailored made for entertaining guests, but they don't offer much in the way of exotic thrills or rarefied touches.
Still, A Taste of Honey should resonate with dedicated Denny fans; and since there has to be at least a few gems on each of the several lounge jazz records Denny released, someone should put together a compilation covering this period as a compliment to Rhino's exotica-era collection.
It is one of his more diverse outings, though, if only for the sheer variety of instruments employed. Say what you will about the cheesiness of this pseudo-world music, Denny deserves some sort of credit for bringing instruments like the m'bira, Burmese gongs, koto, Buddhist prayer bowls, and "primitive log from New Guinea" into the mainstream. They can all be heard on this album, and some of the cuts are among the artist's most rhythmic efforts.
Latin Village. Consistently pleasing, Latin Village is the triumph of Martin Denny's search for a new style, post-exotica. Be the first to write a review for this item OR just rate it.
By the s, suburban America wanted to have backyard luaus with tiki torches while wearing Hawaiian shirts and sipping fruity rum cocktails. Was this how they did it in Polynesia? Well, no, not really. Sandy Warner on the cover of Martin Denny's first album, 'Exotica' It was jazz with an exotic veneer, and it became popular. Baxter invented exotica, but Martin Denny perfected it. Denny added bird calls, croaking frogs, and even the distant roaring of lions and tigers to his tracks.
This was music to transport middle-class Americans to exotic ports of call, and it worked. Denny's single "Quiet Village" written by Les Baxter went to 2 on the pop chart in , and the album on which it appeared, Exotica , went to 1. A blonde Sandy Warner on the cover of 'Afro-Desia' The sound wasn't the only thing that appealed to record buyers and propelled Exotica to the top -- Sandy Warner's face had a little something to do with it as well."The versatile Martin Denny" release is just that--a chance for Denny to show another side of this music. Some great tunes on here, including a bossa nova version of Quite Village. "Latin Village" is a terrific album. The title says it all--Denny does tunes with a latin tinge. Bossa, samba, etc all all there/5(15).