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Concert In Rhythm

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Album Review

Ray Conniff's fourth studio album, Concert in Rhythm, delved into the field of "serious" music to create pop-oriented adaptations of classical compositions. The idea, judging from Conniff's statements over the years, was not to bring greater sophistication to pop music, but to make the classics more palatable to a lay audience. The roughly contemporaneous 101 Strings album, Back Beat Symphony, made a similar attempt but with more overt rock elements, whereas Conniff kept his rhythm section at a subtle level and achieved perhaps his purest blend of voices and instruments, particularly on "Theme From Swan Lake Ballet." Tchaikovsky is a favorite source of material for this album, but Conniff also leans on Rachmaninoff and popular adaptations of classical pieces, such as "The Lamp Is Low," a 1939 hit for Tommy Dorsey based on Ravel's "Pavanne for a Dead Princess." Conniff cheekily inserts his "Theme From Ray Conniff Suite" amid the classics, and closes with Schubert's "Serenade," bringing up the drums and chorus to a more typical level. The Top Ten success of Concert in Rhythm prompted a sequel, 1960's Concert in Rhythm, Vol. 2.

Biography

Born: 06 November 1916 in Attleboro, MA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

The man who popularized wordless vocal choruses and light orchestral accompaniment on a mix of popular standards and contemporary hits of the 1960s, Ray Conniff was a trombone player for Bunny Berigan's Orchestra and Bob Crosby's Bobcats before being hired as an arranger by Mitch Miller for Columbia Records in 1954. After he wrote the charts for several sizeable Columbia hits during the mid-'50s, Conniff became a solo artist as well, applying his arranging techniques to instrumental easy listening...
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Concert In Rhythm, Ray Conniff
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