Winner's Circle/Today's Greatest Hits

Winner's Circle/Today's Greatest Hits

by Arthur Lyman
     
 

Rather than taking a strictly chronological tack to their comprehensive reassessment of Arthur Lyman's sizable Hi Fi Records catalog, Collectors' Choice Music has chosen to thematically pair Lyman's vintage long-players onto a series of two-fer CDs. The late-'60s offerings on this disc -- 1968's The Winner's Circle and 1969's Today's Greatest Hits --See more details below

Overview

Rather than taking a strictly chronological tack to their comprehensive reassessment of Arthur Lyman's sizable Hi Fi Records catalog, Collectors' Choice Music has chosen to thematically pair Lyman's vintage long-players onto a series of two-fer CDs. The late-'60s offerings on this disc -- 1968's The Winner's Circle and 1969's Today's Greatest Hits -- both contain cover versions of songs that were popular chart entries and favorites gleaned from the silver screen and the Great White Way. The band that vibraphonist and arranger Lyman was holding court with during the era encompassed by these LPs featured Harold Chang (percussion), Clem Low (piano and clavinet), and Archie Grant (bass). The ratio of out-and-out rockers is far outweighed by the inclusion of show tunes. However, the overhauls of the Beatles' "With a Little Help from My Friends" and the simplified samba on "Love Is Blue" are unquestionably the best fare on The Winner's Circle. "Love Is Blue" is much better here in a simpler and less dramatic setting, compared to Paul Mauriat's boorish baroque-flavored take. Other above-average to excellent outings are the two Paul Simon numbers from 1968's soundtrack to The Graduate. While "Mrs. Robinson" is given a hearty pace, it is directly contrasted by the cold and appropriately isolated "The Sound of Silence." From 1964's Fiddler on the Roof comes a post-bop jazz-infused "Sunrise, Sunset." Lyman's stylish and simple vibraphone leads lend a sonic stateliness that can often be ruined by the syrupy strings and overbearing chorales of other renditions. Turning to Today's Greatest Hits, Lyman reaffirms his understated abilities as he double dips into music from 1968's controversial play Hair, pulling out "Aquarius" and a Mexi-melted run for the border on "Good Morning Starshine." The same holds true for 1969's soundtrack to Midnight Cowboy. There isn't much to write home about during the conventional "Everybody's Talkin'." Conversely, Lyman's sensitively scored "Midnight Cowboy" is inspired, thanks to his vibraphone tradeoffs with the unforgettable lone harmonica. Lyman even shows off an emerging funk cred with a rousing reading of Blood, Sweat & Tears' summer of 1969 staple "Spinning Wheel." Bringing Lyman back to his inescapable roots in exotica, he turns to the theme from Hawaii Five-O. Although the Ventures' frenetic surf-rock single made it into the Top Ten, Lyman's adaptation goes deeper with a more furtive and probing translation. The results could be likened to that of the incidental soundtrack that would accompany the expository scenes within the television show itself. Both The Winner's Circle and Today's Greatest Hits reflect Lyman's choice to modernize his repertoire -- a decision seemingly having as much to do with keeping his concurrent stage presentation filled with fresh material as it did with actually selling records or competing in the pop charts.

Read More

Product Details

Release Date:
04/08/2008
Label:
Collector's Choice
UPC:
0617742089929
catalogNumber:
899

Related Subjects

Tracks

Read More

Album Credits

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >