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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Music Ferrante and Teicher: Pianos in Paradise
Ferrante and Teicher: Pianos in Paradise
procinema29
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 31, 2003
Posts: 474
From: los angeles
Posted: 2006-08-09 08:15 am   Permalink

I finally got me one of those tiki-type records with the lush foliage and the girl on the cover! It cost me one dollar at the local thrift store. And I am damn happy with it. It is Ferrante and Teicher's "Pianos in Paradise"....I like the record, it features some really bizarrely experimental music, and it is even exemplary of polypop's "faux" nature, since the girl on the cover is a caucasian who has been made up with a dark stain and stylized eyeliner for that angular look.

Evidently they were having a difficult time getting her to look convincingly tropical, because they thought it was a wise decision to obscure a good portion of her face behind the foliage. There is a sort of apologetic lameness to the cover that I find strangely endearing!


 
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bb moondog
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 18, 2006
Posts: 491
From: Gilbert AZ
Posted: 2006-08-09 09:09 am   Permalink

I got that--gave it a listen...and BACK IT WENT to the thrifter. Ferrante & Teicher are TWIN LIBERACES of the piano--LURE OF THE TROPICS by Andre Kostelantz is a better 'mellow' tiki w/strings album; after collecting for over 10 years, any HALF-ASSED tiki LPs go back to the land where they came. I am STILL FINDING Denny & Lyman LPs I don't have; also props to Kono for providing the iPod with much Exotica. listening to Thom Yorke now so feeling nice & ALIENATED

 
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Kaiwaza
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 06, 2003
Posts: 451
From: Waikiki Beach, Hawaii
Posted: 2006-08-09 12:10 pm   Permalink

You made me pull that LP off the shelf and take another look at it. I had always noted that LP for being one of the few exotica jackets to feature a black woman....rather than an Asian or a Caucasian made up to look like an "islander." Looking at the jacket now, I still think this is a black woman. It even looks as if her hair has been straightened.
At any rate, F & T did dozens of easy listening records and I think they made a worthwhile effort to cash-in on the exotica fad. And getting it for only $1.00 makes it all the much more fantastic! I'll never forget when I scored "Percussionata" by Monta Moya & The Surfers on Everest...quite the rarity..for only $2.00 at a used LP sale. If I had paid $25 for it, I think I would have disappointed, as the music is really very much of a Cal Tjadar latin jazz sound, but, HEY, for $2.00...It's a treasure!


 
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OnyaBirri
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 02, 2006
Posts: 419
Posted: 2006-08-09 3:00 pm   Permalink

I thought it was a black woman on the cover too. As for the music, it's not as great as their earlier prepared piano albums, but it has its moments.

 
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Blue Thunder
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 06, 2006
Posts: 115
From: San Diego
Posted: 2006-08-09 4:17 pm   Permalink

This album is going for $20 in collector circles if in excellent condition. It was a record club only LP and sold 2 million copies and was their most popular album. It is scheduled to be re-released on CD soon too.


There are downloads available if anyone wants to hear it at

http://tamtammelodie.blogspot.com/2005/10/ferrante-teicher-pianos-in-paradise.html

The blog is in French but the downloads are obvious.
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[ This Message was edited by: Blue Thunder 2006-08-09 16:22 ]


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I, Zombie
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 14, 2003
Posts: 539
From: the Les Baxter Grotto (Minneapolis)
Posted: 2006-08-09 6:00 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-08-09 09:09, bb moondog wrote:
Ferrante & Teicher are TWIN LIBERACES of the piano--



BB,

Their later 60s / 70s stuff is definitely hit or miss (and I know, a lot of "miss"). BUT their early stuff on ABC/Paramount is CRAZY and definitely worth tracking down. You'd never know it was the same two guys.

I,Z


 
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ikitnrev
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jul 27, 2002
Posts: 1304
From: D.C. / Virginia
Posted: 2006-08-09 6:53 pm   Permalink

Yes, I agree that much of Ferrante and Teicher's 1950's 'prepared piano' work was quite avante-garde for the time, and still sounds quite exciting. But they really hit it big in the early 60's with a more symphonic and stringy 'Boston Pops' type sound, and I'm afraid that most people on Tiki Central probably haven't started to appreciate that genre of music. Perhaps we've been exposed to nearly 40 years of 'Boston Pops' type of music, and it thus isn't fresh and has the impact as it did in the early 60's.

'Pianos and Paradise' was released in 1962, right about when Ferrante and Teicher were experiencing their career highs on the charts. Over a one and a half year period, they had 3 top 10 singles (Theme from the Apartment (#10), Exodus (#2), and Tonight (#8)), and 4 LPs that appeared in the Top 30.

I'm not sure if 'Pianos in Paradise' ever sold 2 million - it doesn't appear in Joel Whitburn's Billboard books - but it is likely that 'Pianos in Paradise' did sell many copies, and was listened to many ... and is thus a good choice for those who truly want to replicate the sounds of what was really being played in home tiki rooms back then.

The songs 'Taboo' and 'African Echoes' are good representations of their earlier prepared piano work - very atmospheric and mood-enhancing. And are there any other exotica LPs that features the song 'Taboo' followed immediately by one titled 'Negligee'?

It is interesting that the next two Ferrante and Teicher LPs released by United Artists were 'Snowbound' - which has one of my favorite Christmas LP covers of all time (a couple in 'making out' position on a couch, while a blizzard rages outside)- and the wonderfully titled 'The Keys to Her Apartment.' In this context, the trio of 'Pianos in Paradise', 'Snowbound', and 'Keys to Her Apartment' are right at the level of Jackie Gleason covers for representing the bachelor pad hedonistic aesthetic.

Vern



[ This Message was edited by: ikitnrev 2006-08-09 18:56 ]


 
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I, Zombie
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 14, 2003
Posts: 539
From: the Les Baxter Grotto (Minneapolis)
Posted: 2006-08-09 9:00 pm   Permalink

Vern,

THAT was a great post!!! Thanks!

I, Z

[ This Message was edited by: I, Zombie 2006-08-09 21:02 ]


 
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Blue Thunder
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 06, 2006
Posts: 115
From: San Diego
Posted: 2006-08-12 08:26 am   Permalink

Here is a little more info about this album including sales figures. I dont think record club issues are commonly rated.

http://tralfaz-archives.com/coverart/F/Ferrante/ferrante_paradise.html



BT
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procinema29
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 31, 2003
Posts: 474
From: los angeles
Posted: 2006-08-19 11:13 pm   Permalink

Wow...I looked at some scans of the album cover, and I realize that my cover is REALLY faded. But I do believe everyone is correct about this girl being black. My first take on this was totally incorrect. And that does look like straightened hair, and not a wig as I first assumed. You know, I wish I had a fresher copy of the cover (the vinyl is in pretty good shape though), because based on the scans I've seen, I think this one was packaged very charmingly.

 
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Sneakytiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 31, 2003
Posts: 1795
From: Boise, Idaho
Posted: 2006-08-21 01:18 am   Permalink

You are both right about the race of the LP covergirl, African Americans who have ancestry going back any significant amount of time in the Americas have a good portion of European American ancestry. That said I always believed it to be an African American woman with tortured straight hair. Just to take this post further off topic, almost half of all African Americans claim american Indian ancestry as well, and it is a little known fact that early on Indians were enslaved as workers as well as blacks. I have seen many black- Indian marriage records from the original colonies and though Jazz is credited as a black and sometimes black/white American invention, the creoles who started it often had as much Indian blood as they did black ancestry. Americans judge race by cultural rules. if half white/ half black ,than black, half Indian/ half white, than Indian, half black/ half Indian, than black, these rules are actually based on real laws from colonial times that said anyone with even an eighth black blood was colored and a half Indian was colored, but not a 1/4 Indian, you then had your rights as a white, of course this was in the Massachusettes charter, Southerners were either more extreme in their racism or more varied in their categorizations. Race is just a cultural construct. Sicilians are more closely related to African Moors than Norwegians, they are white due to sharing with Most Europeans a Judeo Christian, Roman influenced history. etc. etc.

 
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OnyaBirri
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 02, 2006
Posts: 419
Posted: 2006-08-21 3:00 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-08-21 01:18, Sneakytiki wrote:
...Race is just a cultural construct...



Points well taken. The only reason I thought it noteworthy to menion that the cover model is "black" is because most albums by "white" easy listening artists of the period featured "white" cover girls on their albums - even the exotic albums.

On a related note, some 10 years after this LP's release, F&T would go on to record their classic "Hong Kong Soul Brother," further breaking down ethnic boundaries and really sticking it to The Man.


 
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