Sunday, March 18, 2007

Body language

This 1957 LP contained ten recordings made in 1949 by the second Raymond Scott Quintet. Originally released on privately pressed ten-inch 78 rpm discs, the tracks were nicely remastered for the age of microgroove hi-fi.

Five Scott originals (Bird Life in the Bronx, Street Corner in Paris, Ectoplasm, Snake Woman, and Dedicatory Piece to the Crew and Passengers of the First Experimental Rocket Express to the Moon) share platter space with five serenades by Dorothy Collins. It was a strange juxtaposition of lightweight '50s chick-pop and cerebral chamber-jazz.

Collins was Scott's protégée and first sang with his orchestra in 1944 at age 16. Both commenced seven-year star turns on TV's Your Hit Parade in 1950, and they exchanged wedding vows in 1952. The LP cover photo (by Burt Owen) appears contemporaneous with the album release. The often-stormy marriage ended in a 1964 divorce.

In this 1957 photo, for an album on which they are musically paired, husband and wife sit comfortably, holding hands—at arm's length. In the foreground, she gets the fruit, he gets the ashtray.

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