Friday, January 24, 2014

The Space-Age Surf Lounge Sounds of KAI WINDING

"More" (or is it called "Soul Surfin'"?) by Denmark's trombone-toting bandleader Kai Winding is one of my favorite thrift-store finds, a thoroughly unique mixture of EZ orchestra rockin' to a surf beat, and featuring the pre-Moog electronic keyboard, the Ondioline.  Huh? Who came up with that combination?  Perhaps it was an attempt to cross over from the youth rock market to the adult pop world and grab a potentially huge audience.  If so, the plan worked - the single "More" was a big hit in 1963 and this album followed. Which is pretty unusual, as most adult pops bandleaders didn't get into the dirty world of rock'n'roll, and if they did, they'd cover a rock song in a jazzy big band style. But not here - actual electric guitars and 4/4 drumming keep it cool for the kids. The arrangement here of the surf standard "Pipeline" isn't all that radically different from the Chantay's original.

Quite a fun album, perfect for lunar pool parties and tiki lounges, but I'm posting it today because the composer of "More," the great Italian soundtrack composer Riz Ortalani just died at age 87. Kai's instrumental version became Riz's biggest hit in the States, and countless others, from Sinatra on down, would cover "More," esp. after lyrics were added. If you buy enough EZ/lounge records from the Sixties, you will become very familiar with this haunting theme for the Italian "shockumentary" "Mondo Cane." "Mondo" is the Italian word for 'world,' (the film title translates to 'A Dog's World'), but after 'Mondo Cane,' the word came to mean anything weird and sensational, e.g.: Russ Meyer's "Mondo Topless." I have Riz's original soundtracks to "Mondo Cane" and its sequel, and they're quite nice.  Nothing too crazy about them.  Has anyone actually seen "Mondo Cane," and is it really that weird and shocking? I kind of doubt it.

Kai Winding "More!!!"

The wiki article on Kai Winding suggests that it was none other than legendary Moog-master Jean-Jacques Perrey himself performing on the Ondioline, tho Winding claims that he played it himself. I've been meaning to check out Perrey's book.  Maybe the mystery is solved within it's covers...


9 comments:

DIDI said...

Many thanks for posting this LP and reminding the great composer Riz Ortalani. Decades ago I recorded More from our German radio, but they didn't name the artist. Today I believed to have solved the riddle, but after comparing both recordings, I got in doubt: Does there exist an alternate Winding recording of More? If you allow, I would sent the file to your e-mail address. Thanks in advance. Didi

dj trish said...

excellent find.I don't don't comments on here often to do love your blogs

Nathan said...

thank you for posting this bro. what a weird record.

Anonymous said...

I think it's a really GOOD record! In case anyone was wondering...--Bill

Anonymous said...

Thank you, love it! It's an awesome album.

O

Mr Fab said...

You're welcome, all. And you know Bill, that is exactly what I was wondering! But seriously, I hadn't listened to this in a while, but after this post I checked it out again, and there is some top-notch stuff here, e.g.: the Ondioline action on "China Nights" the sci-fi fx on "Surf Bird." Yes, now you know - sometimes I post albums, and THEN listen to them. (But only if I've heard them before and knew they were good, honest!)

I got Didi's email w/mp3, and it sounded like an organ version. I suspect Klaus Wunderlich.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this one, I really enjoyed this album.

O

juan said...

Hey There!..

I just discovered this blog...lots of good stuff in here.
I have archive years to dig in here...
Kai Winding record it's amazing!...thanks for sharing and definitely keep them coming...very refreshing to find likeminded people in this jungle called The Internet!...juan.

Mr Fab said...

Glad to hear that you finally found us Juan, but just a head's up: the Blue Meanies of the internets took down my rapidshare and mediafire posts, which is to say, most of what used to be here. You can always request an oldie, I still have some (but not all) that I can repost.