A little over four years ago, a blog by the name of Painted on Silence blasted out a hot stream of rare library LPs-- an admirable collection brought into the light by what must have been considerable labor and expense. Among the many bright jewels of this windfall were quite a few excellent selections from Roger Roger and/or Nino Nardini.
Their links lived but a short time. Fortunately, Mr. Durango of Val Verde Music (among other things) was courageous enough to resurrect many these treasures. You can still find them, four years later, here. These otherwise rare selections, as rescued by Mr. Durango, helped me immensely in compiling my Roger Roger & Nino Nardini project, Obsession Exotique.
While many of the LPs from which I culled the selections that ended up on Obsession Exotique were worthwhile in their entirety (more or less, anyway) these two LPs seemed to me to beg for a spotlight of their own. The idea of Obsession Exotique was to find the exotica selections sprinkled throughout a massive and obscure ouvre, but these particular LPs are openly, classically, wall-to-wall exotica.
Exotica of a sort, anyway: they're what we might call vacation/"foreign film" exotica, more in the manner of Morton Gould or John Scott Trotter's Escape to the Magic Mediterranean (or even, sad to say, 101 Strings), than Les Baxter or Jungle Obsession, but for a true exotica hunter they surely hold enough allure to be worth a good listen.
Musique Des Iles is the stronger of the two, mixing in with those silver strings and that Scheherazade sound an occasional samba rhythm, some snazzy percussion, a playful sensibility, and sometimes coming out sounding like a Fellini soundtrack. "Bolero Chinoise" is a real highlight, as is the sexy build-up of "Sortileges", where flashes of Roger Roger's admiration for Mr. Baxter possibly shine through. Méditerranée is pretty cool too, just a little more same-y throughout, and overall a bit lighter in tone. I'm particularly fond of "Tears" and "Anouman."
Check these out. But also follow the above links through and pick up the rest of the story-- thanking the gentlemen responsible along the way. Their labors are our pleasures. (And check out Obsession Exotique, if you haven't already.)
MUSIQUE DES ILES (320)