Sunday, October 24, 2010

Arthur Lyman - Yellow Bird. 1961

For your listening pleasure the Secret Island brings you the 1961 Arthur Lyman release Yellow Bird. Starting out as a member of Martin Denny's band Lyman wen't on to make his own name in the exotica genre. His signature tune was his cover of "Yellow Bird", which spent 10 weeks on Billboard's Top Ten chart in 1961, reaching #4. At the height of his fame a 1962 Time magazine article from described a typical performance:

"A conch shell wailed, the conga drums thump-thumped, the bamboo sticks clattered. The four men on stage were constantly on the move — clacking wooden blocks, scratching a corrugated gourd, flailing away at Chinese gongs, weaving rhythms that were insistent, sinuous and hypnotic. Occasionally, when the spirit moved them, they barked like seals or whooped like cranes. The happy audience at Chicago's Edgewater Beach Hotel rattled the rafters whooping back.

The album titled and featuring Yellow Bird was his ninth release. Most of Lyman's albums were recorded in the aluminum Kaiser geodesic dome auditorium on the grounds of the Kaiser Hawaiian Village Hotel on Waikiki in Honolulu. This space provided unparalleled acoustics and a natural 3-second reverberation. His recordings also benefited from being recorded on a one-of-kind Ampex 3-track 1/2" tape recorder designed and built by engineer Richard Vaughn. All of Lyman's albums were recorded live, without overdubbing. He recorded after midnight, to avoid the sounds of traffic and tourists, and occasionally on some releases you can hear the aluminum dome creaking as it settles in the cool night air. The quality of these recordings became even more evident with the advent of popular CD reissues, when the digital mastering engineer found he didn't have to do anything to them but transfer the original 3-track stereo masters to digital. The recordings remain state-of-the-art nearly 50 years later.

Enjoy - Arthur Lyman's Yellow Bird. 

No comments:

Post a Comment