Orchestra Exotica – Plays Martin Denny (2017) review
As the title and the band’s name implies, the music within is Orchestra Exotica’s version of the Exotica genre, which was defined by Martin Denny back in the 1957. That music was a fantasy mix of South Pacific and the Orient. Later composers (like Les Baxter) brought in influences from Oceania, Hawaii, The Andes, and even Africa. The music on this Orchestra Exotica is all that but modern day listeners may be more apt to describe it as Caribbean space age jazz with a lounge music quality. The whole idea for the album came from the original children’s play written by Bruno Vansina titled ‘MaiTé, het meisje en de vogel’ (translated ‘Mai’Tie, the girl and the bird’- as the bonus disc of this package). Pierre Vervloesem, the master interpreter he is, took these pieces and did a bit of revamping, but not to the extent of defacing them.