Les Baxter Conducts 101 Strings (1970)

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A Taste of Soul

One of the (at least) two records Les Baxter did with 101 Strings for Alshire Records. The other one is »Que Mango!«. For some reason, this seems to be the more popular one, although I think Que Mango! is the stronger one. »La La La« is a cover version of probably Bobby Sherman’s »La La La« from 1969. Some of the arrangements, however, are very different to the original song, and border on Jobim sublime. »Girl On The Boulevard« sounds like a theme for a charming maybe late-1950s comedy film. Indeed, I think there’s still something old-fashioned, 1950s-exotica-style about many of Les Baxter’s later works, along with elements of the respective time. »Bahia Blanca« is a wondrous piece of jet-set mood music with a Brazilian touch – it doesn’t get better than this. »A Taste of Soul« is probably the most popular track in general due to its strong groove elements.

Les Baxter is my man.

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