FIVE STAR #1003 CD THE FRANCIS BAY BIG BAND: LATIN BEAT
Francis Bay......trombone, clarinet, alto, flute, leader; Francis L'Eglise, Jef Verhaegen, Benny Couroyer, Pres Creado, Guy Dossche ......saxophones ; Edmond Harnie, Louis de Haes, Charlie Knegtel, Jean Cortois.... trumpets; Albert Mertens, Paul Annee.....trombones; Jean Evans.............piano; Freddy Saunder...........guitar; Clement de Mayer............bass; Armand Van De Walle............drums; Miguel "El Abuelo" Portillo.........tuba, bongos.
Engineer: Peter Plum Producer: Dave Hubert Cover Design: Leon McFadden Cover Photo: Ray Avery Recorded at the Brussels World's Fair
Some of the best selling big band recordings of the 1950s were made by Belgian Francis Bay for Omega Records and Philips. His name is probably not well remembered today, but as musical director for the Belgian radio and television network, Francis Bay wrote and performed extensively. Most of his recorded output consists of stereo tribute recordings that duplicate note for note the best known big band recordings. He was not the only one to do this; Dave Pell, Maxwell Davis, Enoch Light and others have recorded similar efforts. What is unique about Francis Bay's versions is how they were designed to demonstrate the aural qualities and dimensional realism of "stereo". In other words, to show off the big sound that could be achieved with stereo recording. This they do quite well, and perhaps the one that best exhibits these qualities is Omega OSL-20, Latin Beat, present here. The bandleader who is showcased is Perez Prado. His biggest hits are included, but also some lesser known tunes that show Prado's predilection for jazz.
Dave Hubert of Omega discovered the Francis Bay Big Band at the 1958 Brussels' World Fair. At that juncture, Omega was very much focused on what could be achieved in terms of sound dynamics with stereo. Because of the two or more percussionists used in Latin style big band, this was an ideal medium to show off wide-separation stereo. More than any other Francis Bay Big Band recording, this session is the epitome of space age lounge music! This late 1950's experimentation with stereo using vacuum tube electronics sounds great today. Better still, it is a lot of fun to listen to.
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City Hall Records