William Holden Presents A Musical Touch Of Far Away Places (Original Album plus Bonus Tracks, 1959)
William Holden & Warren Barker and His Orchestra
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Although this may seem on the surface to be merely a slice of kitsch, A Musical Touch of Faraway Places is possibly one of the finest pieces of lounge/exotica ever cut. Although actor William Holden has little to do with the actual record (aside from liner notes and taping some ambient sounds in Japan — and the cover photo, natch), it just doesn't matter. Songwriter/producer/arranger Warren Barker offers up 12 cuts of definitive exotica, most of it derived from South Pacific countries such as Japan, the Philippines, and Polynesia. It's exquisitely well-produced and executed — a virtual travelogue. The end result is one that rivals records by masters of the form such as Martin Denny and Arthur Lyman. Superb.