Category Archives: Exotica/Space-Age

Song of the Jungle

Vocal exotica never quite carved out the niche that its popular instrumental sister did in the ‘50s and ‘60s. A popular singer might toss the occasional “Bali Hai,” “Moon of Manakoora” or “Caravan” into the mix, but rarely did exotica … Continue reading

Posted on by Little Danny | Posted in Exotica/Space-Age | 5 Comments

Fabu-Les

If the West has impulsively exoticized the rest of the world for centuries now, then the brilliant Los Angeles arranger and composer Les Baxter was the greatest twentieth century pop music proponent of this impulse. A staff arranger and conductor … Continue reading

Posted on by Little Danny | Posted in Exotica/Space-Age | 11 Comments

Organ safari

Rarely did exotic masquerade as authentic.  That’s part of what made exotica exotica: an odd minor key or flourish of African percussion here, some warmed-over Arabic melody there. Exotica, in all of its post-War musical splendor, created an aura of … Continue reading

Posted on by Little Danny | Posted in Exotica/Space-Age, Jazz Obscura | 13 Comments

The Naked City

The late 1950s through the mid-1970s were golden years for television, Hollywood and the crime jazz soundtrack, years when staccato piano chords lurked around every dark corner, and every chase scene was heralded with a steady gallop of bongos. This … Continue reading

Posted on by Little Danny | Posted in Exotica/Space-Age, Jazz Obscura, Latin | 15 Comments

The Middle East, after hours

Mention the Middle East nowadays and it’s hard to not conjure up images of shoulder-fired grenades, the hulks of burned-out cars, blood, strife, extremism.  Decades ago, the average American – the pages of National Geographic open before him – was … Continue reading

Posted on by Little Danny | Posted in Exotica/Space-Age | 9 Comments