Double Exposures by Manny Albam & His Orchestra [1960]

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“The wedding of pairs of songs.”

This weeks Sunday Lounge Listening is “Double Exposures” by Manny Albam & His Orchestra, 1960. An interesting concept for a album, where two songs with similar rhythms and chord sequences were blended together. Manny Albam himself explained more on the back cover:

The makeup of music is formed by nature so that chords which comprise the foundation upon which melodies are written move in a natural pattern rather than haphazardly by the whim of the composer. It is not surprising that two or more songs are built upon the same chord sequences; which is actually something to wonder about that so many different melodies are conceived which on the surface sound as though they have no relationship to one another. This is no way indicative of imitation but many of our most popular songs are based on eternal sequences, chords upon which Bach and Mozart and all before or since have woven their unique style of melodies.

The task involved in the arranging of this album was not an insurmountable one once the idea for the content became known. There was much research into the first chord patterns and then the logging of the proper melodies for these patterns. It then became obvious that some of the melodies would bump heads against each other when they met. Another consideration was the type of emotion the songs depicted so that the arrangements would not wind up with split personalities. The tailoring of the songs was then done; and as in a suit of clothes, more than one fitting was made. MILLION DOLLAR BABY for instance was moved up one measure to accommodate JERSEY BOUNCE. It was found that THAT THE “A” TRAIN, EXACTLY LIKE YOU and the first two were compatible also and the choice of partners was made. UNDECIDED, THIS CAN’T BE LOVE, OPUS ONE and CRAZY RHYTHM all have common foundations and here again partners were chosen so as the pairs would meld naturally. The orchestrations were done finally, and with crossed fingers we entered Webster Hall. The players took charge; and in the end, the wedding of pairs of songs was performed by Engineer Ray Hall.

Except for a slight tendency of trying to interpolate new melodies upon others whenever I listen to the radio of my Hi-Fi, I have returned to a comparatively peaceful existence here at “Happydale”.


Side 1

  • Jersey Bounce / I Found A Million Dollar Baby
  • Undecided / This Can’t Be Love
  • Take The A Train / Exactly Like You
  • Jada / It’s A Wonderful World
  • Blue Moon / Mountain Greenery

Side 2

  • Crazy Rhythm / Opus 1
  • Sweet Sue / Honeysuckle Rose
  • I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart / Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
  • You’re Driving Me Crazy / Moten Swing
  • Perdido / You Can Depend On Me
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