"...He clutches the piano ouija-board style until he finds a musical figure that 'feels good' and proceeds to play it 'til it turns into a song, grabbing a little of 'this' with his left hand and a little of 'that' with his right."
The main thing, I think, that I was attracted to during my early exploration of Martin Denny's 'exotic' period records was the 'otherness' of certain pieces, the almost total divide between the 'real' world of the late 1950's and the interior headspace of an Easter Island-like 'lost world', pregnant with mysterious pauses and sounds hard to identify. When it worked I was briefly transported, and even now, many years later, and with a much better grasp of arranging and recording they still have grains of that magic in the grooves. As much as I enjoy Les Baxter, and some of the other better-quality purveyors (not to fault, however, the occasional rock-bottom rip-off exotica lp that actually delivers some action), I've found precious few moments on wax that can get near to that strange little meta-world of Denny's. The album under discussion today is one of the big exceptions.
Here's a taste of "Provacatif / Nine Exotic Motifs" by Mr. John McFarland to whet your appetite for more after the jump - Head Hunters