From the Vault...


Martin Denny
"Exotica I And II"

© Scamp Records

Year of Release: 1996

track listing
  • Quiet Village
  • Return To Paradise
  • Hong Kong Blues
  • Busy Port
  • Lotus Land
  • Similau
  • Stone God
  • Jungle Flower
  • China Nights
  • Ah Me Furi
  • Waipo
  • Love Dance
  • Soshu Night Serenade
  • Island Of Dreams
  • Japanese Farewell Song
  • Singing Bamboos
  • The Queen Chant
    (E Lili U E)
  • Wedding Song
    Ke Kali Ne Au)
  • Escales
  • When First I Love
  • August Bells
  • Bacoa
  • Ebb Tide
  • Rush Hour In Hong Kong

  • WSVNRadio Archives
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
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    Martin Denny Website
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    Martin Denny
    "Exotica I And II"

    I do not recall the music of Martin Denny while growing up, yet as I researched the Billboard #1 Albums chart, Martin Denny reached the top spot with his 1957 release, Exotica. This album would reach the #1 albums chart in two years later, in the summer of 1959. A good time of season of summer was appropriate for this album, as the Exotica release has similar Hawaiian overtunes, and mostly the songs do resemble a strong and warm feeling. The second volume of Exotica was released in 1958; it didn't reach the top spor as of its successor, being that the first Exotica would be Denny's only #1 album of his career. None of the songs themselves reached #1 on the singles Pop chart, although many of the songs on this double reissue could have easily been, on many charts of Easy Listening and Jazz fans.

    Another interesting instrumentalist (as Denny) was Enoch Light. Like Denny's Exoticas, Light's music truly defines great Big Band/Jazz styles. Sad to say, Light's releases are discontinued on compact disc, where most of Denny's original releases can be found on CD. As for Enoch Light, he was another bandleader who I didn't remember growing up, as Martin Denny.

    The first 12 tracks of the two volumes of Exotica I & II easily fits the moderate Easy Listening (and more appropriate) Jazz overtones. "Quiet Village" would be the biggest hit from here, and other standouts are the Jazz'd "Busy Port," "Similau" to name a few.

    The remaining 12 songs (Exotica II) equals the first volume, making this 2 Volume set exceptional to listen to. "Island Of Dreams" is simply beautiful and relaxing. The familiar (Hawaiian) "Wedding Song" will bring memory bells to those who remember this song (with vocals) by Andy Williams. Most of the songs on Exotica II have a more slower, more easy going style, than the first volume, yet all in all both volumes as a whole are exceptional.

    There is really no need to explain each song from the Exotica volumes. Each song stands out on their own. Displaying a unique sound -- It's Jazz -- It's Hawaii music -- It's Romantic music -- It's great background music for a relaxing atmosphere. And summarizing in one word, EXOTIC. Martin Denny would record many albums from the late 1950s into the next 2 decades. Obvious to some, his name was not household, yet, his music was truly entertaining, of the likes of Enoch Light, and even Jackie Gleason. (Recently, both Enoch Light and Jackie Gleason were reviewed on Like Gleason and Light, adding Martin Denny to the list truly defines each bandleader creating music in their own unique ways and styles, and resulting in truly beautiful, entertaining music for generations to come.

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    Brian Wilson--Imagination