Bruton Music and Chappell Library reissues on Vocalion
Following Vocalion’s reissue series that focused on the KPM 1000 Series – one of the world’s most famous recorded music libraries – Vocalion now presents another selection of original albums and compilations taken from two other leading recorded music libraries: the Chappell Library and Bruton Music. Established in 1941, the Chappell Library has to its credit numerous well-known television and radio themes. Founded in 1977 by Robin Phillips, who had previously steered the KPM 1000 Series to such great success, Bruton Music rapidly established itself as one of the UK’s premier music libraries.
Recorded in the 1970s and ’80s, the music here was used extensively in films and documentaries and on television and radio. Several of Britain’s most gifted arranger-composers are featured, among them Roger Webb, Pete Moore, Steve Gray, Johnny Pearson, Keith Mansfield, John Scott, Francis Monkman, David Lindup and Brian Bennett. The music ranges from lush, orchestral easy listening, up-tempo jazz-fusion and soundtrack-styled orchestral suites through to dramatic, Sweeney-style cop-show music and futuristic, electronic music à la Vangelis, Tomita and Tangerine Dream. Much of this material is receiving its first commercial release and these CDs represent the beautifully realised, high quality music that was Chappell and Bruton’s hallmark.
This compilation focuses on the sections of the Bruton Music library containing romantic and jazz-orientated music. The accent is very much on elegant, melodic sounds and several of Bruton’s leading composers are featured – Steve Gray, Johnny Pearson, Keith Mansfield, David Lindup, Chris Gunning and Jeremy Lubbock. Recorded between 1978 and 1985, the material ranges from lush, orchestral easy listening to sophisticated jazz-funk, representing some of the finest music within the Bruton library.
The 25 titles on this CD illustrate why Bruton Music, quite simply, was leagues ahead of the competition.
Drummer and composer Brian Bennett is the man behind the exciting, tension-filled music on Drama Montage Volumes 1 & 2 – two of the finest albums within the Bruton Music library. Best known as the drummer with legendary pop group The Shadows, in the ’60s Bennett’s career as composer took off. He kick-started his career as a composer of library music in the ’70s at the KPM 1000 Series under the aegis of Robin Phillips; when Phillips left to form Bruton Music, Bennett went with him. Drama Montage, recorded in 1978, was his first Bruton Music assignment – an album aimed at the world of television thrillers and cop shows.
Renowned film and television composer John Scott contributed a sizeable body of music to the Bruton Music library in the late 1970s and early ’80s. The albums compiled here represent two of the best albums he wrote for Bruton. Scored for orchestra and rhythm section, Theme Sets’ music is in a grandiose yet contemporary vein and in some ways similar to his film soundtracks of the time. Contrastingly, the Life’s Ritual album was written for smaller forces: Scott employed woodwind, synthesizer and rhythm section as well as ethnic percussion instruments in this atmospheric suite descriptive of life in a natural environment.
Keyboardist-composer Francis Monkman’s Energism is one of the most extraordinary albums in the Bruton Music library. Featuring an exciting blend of conventional rhythm section – Barry de Souza (drums), Mo Foster (bass guitar) and Tristan Fry (percussion) – with synthesizers programmed and played by Monkman, it ranks alongside the work of such electronic music pioneers as Vangelis, Tomita, and Tangerine Dream.
The other album in this collection, 1981’s Futurism, is another characteristically superb Bruton Music album that also focuses on the mix of synthesizers with a conventional rhythm section. Multi-instrumentalist Paul Hart was behind Futurism’s remarkable music, and he soon became one of the Bruton library’s most prolific composers. Both Energism and Futurism represent the cutting edge of electronic music as it was in the late 1970s and early ’80s and are a testament to Bruton Music’s boldly progressive outlook.
The music on this CD is of the funky, jazzy dramatic variety – in fact, much of it sounds like it belongs in a ’70s spy movie or cop show. Chappell’s leading composers are featured – Roger Webb, Pete Moore, James Clarke, Tony Osborne, Cy Payne – alongside two superb French composers, Jack Arel and Pierre Dutour, both of whom wrote extensively for Chappell France’s Dance and Mood Music series of library albums. Exciting, jazz-tinged big band and orchestral music is served up here, all of it performed by leading session musicians and most of it recorded by John Timperley in Chappell’s famous studio located at 52 Maddox Street in the heart of London’s fashionable Mayfair district.
Every CD includes an 8-page booklet detailing the history of the library as well as biographical information and the stories behind the music.
They all are remastered from the original analogue tapes and are for the first time on CD.
For more info and ordering, visit Vocalion.