Raymond Scott – Reckless Nights and Turkish Twilights

Raymond Scott - Reckless Nights and Turkish TwilightsThis amazing album of vintage late-1930s recordings by American jazz composer Raymond Scott will sound quite familiar if you’ve ever spent any time watching Looney Tunes. Scott, who was considered mondo bizarro in his own day, and was heavily criticized by his session players for asking them to perform his uniquely whimsical jazz numbers as written instead of improvising, lives forever in the annals of American music simply because Warner Bros. cartoon composer extraordinaire Carl Stalling lifted many of his pieces to score the misadventures of Bugs Bunny and friends. Though Raymond Scott’s original recordings of such pieces as “Powerhouse” and “The Penguin” aren’t as raucous and don’t soung as “big” as they later became with Stalling’s help, they are distinctly recognizable and charming in their own right. As the liner notes point out, Scott was something of a technological prodigy as well, recording his works on metallic discs instead of acetate, which means that the music heard here is not only 60+ years old, but is heard exactly as it was recorded (allowing for some audio spectrum limitations of 4 out of 4that vintage studio equipment). I have a feeling that it’ll be a while – probably not even in my lifetime – before Raymond Scott takes his place alongside such American musical luminaries as Copland…but after hearing this very unique music, I can’t help but feel that he will eventually attain that status. After all, thanks to Bugs, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck and the Road Runner, who among us hasn’t heard and loved his music?

Order this CD

  1. Powerhouse (2:56)
  2. The Toy Trumpet (3:00)
  3. Tobacco Auctioneer (2:36)
  4. New Year’s Eve in a Haunted House (2:22)
  5. Manhattan Minuet (2:40)
  6. Dinner Music for a Pack of Hungry Cannibals (2:56)
  7. Reckless Night on an Ocean Liner (3:06)
  8. Moment Musical (2:17)
  9. Twilight In Turkey (2:43)
  10. The Penguin (2:38)
  11. Oil Gusher (2:39)
  12. In an 18th Century Drawing Room (2:39)
  13. The Girl at the Typewriter (3:02)
  14. Siberian Sleighride (2:52)
  15. At an Arabian House Party (3:21)
  16. Boy Scout in Switzerland (2:50)
  17. Bumpy Weather in Newark (2:51)
  18. Minuet in Jazz (2:51)
  19. War Dance for Wooden Indians (2:31)
  20. The Quintet Plays Carmen (2:40)
  21. Huckleberry Duck (2:51)
  22. Peter Tambourine (2:55)

Released by: Columbia / Sony
Release date: 1992
Total running time: 61:45