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Selected MP3s of guitar instrumentals, jazz, big band, and classic easy listening from the original vinyl.

Welcome to Guitars & All That Jazz

Welcome to Guitars & All That Jazz

Guitars & All That Jazz was a radio station that webcast via Live365 for 11 years, ending in June 2011. The playlist consisted of guitar instrumentals, jazz, big band, early rock 'n' roll, lounge music and classic easy listening.

I hope to share some of this music with you via this blog. Most of it will be taken from the original vinyl (LPs and 45s) , cassettes and the occasional commercially unavailable CD.

Here's hoping you'll find something to enjoy. Please note files are available only for a limited time.

I urge you to purchase the digital version of the albums featured, either on CD or via download, wherever possible.

Listen to the Music
There are now two music streams. Click the appropriate player to the right.
1. Guitars & All That Jazz: Five hours of the best in jazz, guitars and other instrumental gems. New songs are added weekly.
2. Tiki Shores: Music to sweep you away to a tropical isle, a South American dance floor or a bossa nova on the beach at Rio. About 4.5 hours of classic exotica music, Latin rhythms and bossa nova.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Raoul Meynard - Continental Visa

Beginning with Continental Visa in 1958, a handful of orchestral LPs credited to Raoul Meynard were issued by Warner Brothers. The releases ended in the early '60s.

There appear to be no other Meynard releases on Warner Brothers or any other label. As well there is not a shred of biographical information in the album notes on any of the LPs, other than a vague, and quite likely fibbed, reference to European hotel appearances.

This leads me to suspect that these recordings may well have been done not in Europe but in the U.S., a suspicion reinforced by the fact that the producer of the third Meynard release, Continental Visa Renewed (1959), was Alvino Rey, the American guitarist and bandleader. It stretches credibility to believe that he would have been sent to the Continent to record a European orchestra.

In any case most of the Meynard LPs evoke echoes of Europe through generous use of mandolins, accordion, etc., as well as titles like the previously mentioned Continental Visa pair, Carte Blanche/ContinentaleStrolling Mandolins and Continental Host.

The Poor People of Paris is the first track from Continental Visa. In France this song was known as La goualante du pauvre Jean (The Ballad of Poor John) and was a big hit for Edith Piaf. In English markets most recordings of The Poor People of Paris have been instrumentals, with Les Baxter's version topping the U.S. chart in 1956. In Britain pianist Winifred Atwell had the hit recording. Here's the Raoul Meynard version.

Several of the Raoul Meynard LPs, including Continental Visa, are available via download from most of the major sources. The releasing company is listed as Marathon Media and tellingly there's no sign of the Warner Brothers logo on the cover art. That undoubtedly means these releases were put together without access to the master recordings and without the blessing of whoever owns the Warner catalog these days.

Funiculì, Funiculà is a famous Neapolitan song composed in 1880 to mark the opening of the first funicular (inclined railway) on Mount Vesuvius. Raoul Meynard's version comes from his 1961 LP Continental Host. It's also on the download released pictured in the video.

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