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Oranj Symphonette

Oranj Syphonette

Review: The Oranj Album

The Oranj Symphonette's second disc of music, The Oranj Album, brings together a wide variety of groovy jazz scores, many of which listeners should instantly recognize. The CD's fifth track is the group's fanciful rendition of the opening title music for Woody Allen's 1971 comedy Bananas, certainly a rare find.

The disc contains a slate of jazz-infused film music, as well as a number of other standards. Perhaps this explains why the backside of the CD coyly brags, "Oranj Symphonette plays your favorite popular favorites." The disc's musical choices are thoroughly delightful, starting with the very first track Call Me Mister Tibbs, which is followed by the anthemic signature theme from The Magnificent Seven.

The people behind the musical quintet, as it turns out, are a group of excellent musicians from California's Bay Area, led by cellist/bassist Matt Brubeck, one of Dave Brubeck's sons. Brubeck met Joe Gore and Ralph Carney while working together to record Tom Waits' musicial score for the Jim Jarmush film Night on Earth.

The team formed in 1993 to record a collection of Henri Mancini's music. This became their first album Oranj Symphonette Plays Mancini, a delightful collection of tunes from Mancini's library. (See track information below) Clearly, recording these tunes was such a blast the group subsequently recorded in 1998 The Oranj Album.

The Oranj Album also contains a moving rendition of the theme music from Midnight Cowboy. Other songs include a lengthy Up, Up and Away, which rings odd at first without hearing those airy voices singing the lyrics. The disc also includes music from the movies Valley of the Dolls, Arabesque (does anyone independently even remember the music to Arabesque?) There's also a trippy rendition of "Satin Doll".

These two albums from the Oranj Symphonette are now out of print, however they are still readily available for purchase in the Amazon Marketplace. Fans of playful, jazzy romps will really dig both CD's, so they should not miss these diamonds in the rough.

The Oranj Album - Audio CD (October 13, 1998)

  1. Call Me Mister Tibbs
  2. Magnificent Seven
  3. Satin Doll
  4. Beat Girl
  5. Bananas
  6. Dreamsville
  7. Man and a Woman
  8. After the Fox
  9. Arabesque
  10. Midnight Cowboy
  11. Up, Up and Away
  12. Chelsea Bridge
  13. Valley of the Dolls
  14. Listen to samples of all tracks

Plays Mancini - Audio CD (October 15, 1996)

  1. Shot in the Dark
  2. Experiment in Terror
  3. Pink Panther Theme
  4. Lujon
  5. Inspector Clouseau Theme
  6. Moon River
  7. Charade
  8. Days of Wine and Roses
  9. Mr. Yunioshi
  10. Mr. Lucky
  11. March of the Cue Balls
  12. Baby Elephant Gunn (Baby Elephant & Peter Gunn)
  13. Listen to samples of all tracks

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