CD Duration: 72.24 / Year: 2021
November 2021 release. His/Her solo Hammond album.
Medley: Bugle Call Rag / In The Mood / Dinah / Lady Be Good / The Sheik Of Araby
Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes
Medley: Alexanders Ragtime Band / An Apple For The Teacher / Paper Doll
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
Medley: La Petit Tonkinoise / Oh Those Raspberries & Cream / Ca C’est Paris / If You Want To Make Me Happy
Begin The Beguine
Besame La Bambita (Kiss The Baby)
Medley: Under The Bridges Of Paris / La Valse Brune / Heart Of Ninon / Frou Frou / Under The Roofs Of Paris
Three O’Clock In The Morning
France never really took to the Hammond organ so it came as a surprise to find in 1954 that Decca was offering a tranche of LPs and singles from their Ducretet Thomson label which included a number by someone unknown, using the name Virginie Morgan, which would have rung more true if they had been of Welsh origin. However one of those albums was on piano, wherein lies the mystery. It appears that someone had cottoned on to the then recent success being enjoyed by Ethel Smith (who had visited Europe to great acclaim) and Ken Griffin (as witness the use of the Cuckoo Waltz here). The piano issue explains a lot: They clearly thought a female artist would have more appeal, but couldn’t find one, so they had to settle for a guy – but not to be beaten they invented a female persona! But who is it actually? As I said the piano disc gives the game away when you discover it’s actually a well known Spanish jazz pianist who was highly regarded in Paris. His name! Miguel Ramos later to go under the name Michel Ramos, which has more of a gallic ring to it. Little wonder we never get a photo of her on any sleeve.
However, Michel Ramos proved to be a success, for his use of the organ showed considerable expertise, as I think you’ll agree after hearing this offering. Besides being an accomplished organist he was also a band leader and arranger.
But, I am still puzzled by one thing about France and its relationship with the electronic organ: since nobody “known” seems to be associated with organs in that country, why were they the only ones to feature them in an hour-long radio programme (on the long wave Paris INTER Station) which was audible in the U.K. every Saturday lunchtime?
Not much except this artist among its local contributors, but many others from the continent that were worth a listen.
So enjoy this and we’ll try and dig up some of those mentioned above soon as well.
Tony Nobbs. 2021.