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  • The Best of Ralph Marterie: The Mercury Years
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The Best of Ralph Marterie: The Mercury Years Original recording remastered


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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, August 20, 1996
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 20, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Polygram Records
  • ASIN: B000001ENU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #218,636 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. A Trumpeter's Lullaby
2. Pretend
3. Caravan
4. Warsaw Concerto
5. The Creep
6. Skokiaan
7. Blue Mirage (Don't Go)
8. The Peanut Vendor
9. O Mio Babbino Caro
10. Dry Marterie
11. Sleepy Lagoon
12. Lover's Serenade
13. One Fine Day
14. Bumble Boogie
15. John and Julie
16. Laura
17. In a Persian Market
18. Melancholy Rhapsody
19. Lullaby of Birdland
20. Guaglione (Village in Capri)
See all 25 tracks on this disc

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By AvidOldiesCollector TOP 100 REVIEWER on September 23, 2007
Format: Audio CD
This series dates back about a decade and covers the Mercury years of the likes of Eddy Howard, Vic Damone, Georgia Gibbs, The Crew Cuts, The Diamonds, The Gaylords, Tony Martin, The Penguins, The Danleers, and The Del-Vikings. Each presents the music in excellent sound reproduction and carries several pages of informative liner notes, in this instance four pages by noted author and music historian Joseph F. Laredo.

They also provide a discography of the contents, and from that you learn that no less than nine of the 25 tracks were failed singles, while eight were culled from Marterie E.P.'s or LP's. Which means eight represent what most collectors regard as an artist's "best" - the singles that got them heard on the radio and jukeboxes and sold in sufficient quantities to earn the sobriquet "hit."

And in a span of seven years while recording for Mercury, Ralph Marterie & His Orchestra had 11 such hits. So, why would they release a single volume labeled his "best" and then proceed to leave out three legitimate hits? And it isn't only for this volume in the series that they took this approach.

Omitted, for example, was his first hit, So Long (It's Been Good To Know Yuh), which peaked at # 26 in March 1951, although they do include his second and third hits which didn't come until 1953 when Pretend made it to # 6 early in the year, followed by Caravan which reached the same level in April/May. He then went head-to-head with Bill Haley with Haley's Comets on Crazy, Man, Crazy, losing out by the narrowest of margins after reaching # 13 that June compared to Haley's # 12. Doing the vocals on the Marterie rendition were Larry Rogen & The Smarty-Airs. Unfortunately, that is another omission from this compilation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Richard L. Minnihan on December 6, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Good selection of music (see list of contents). Full orchestration with many different good instrumental solos. Marterie trumpet sound reminiscent of Doc Severinsen. Tempo is upbeat, uplifting and enjoyable. I bought my cd used from Amazon and was in 'like new' condition.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful By STEPHEN T. McCARTHY on July 18, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Ralph Marterie is one of those musicians / arrangers who have been largely and unjustly forgotten by the public. In Marterie's case, I think it can be partially attributed to the time period in which most of his best known music was cut.

The 25 tracks collected here span the years 1951 through 1958, with most of them falling into the first half of that decade. This puts him right on the cusp where the dog days of the Big Band Swing era had significantly given way to Rock 'N' Roll's infancy. You can hear that transition occurring in many of Marterie's numbers. And it makes for some interesting listening.

Due to some imaginative playing from myriad instruments that swing insouciantly, much of this material manages to present the facade of an improvisational approach confined within tightly arranged structures (only one track makes it all the way to the three minute mark). But there's plenty here that should be appreciated by both Jazz fans and early Rock 'N' Roll devotees. Marterie's sound is unique in that he combines Swing components (trumpet and multiple saxophones) with classical instrumentation (strings) and also employs a front and center electric guitar at times. And he occasionally pulls it all together over drumming that exhibits a nearly R 'N' B rhythmic style. (Of course, as Rock 'N' Roll took shape, the strings would get the heave-ho, the reeds would be pared down to a single sax, and the guitar would gain prominence.) It was that pronounced beat on several numbers (CARAVAN; SKOKIAAN; DRY MARTERIE; IN A PERSIAN MARKET; and TRICKY) that undoubtedly endeared Marterie to my Mom and others from her generation who stayed in shape via the dance floor.
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