Friday, September 28, 2012

Morton Gould: After Dark

Ad from LIFE magazine, June 18, 1945

This week I offer something which, had someone told me five years ago (when I acquired this set, for free) that I would be transferring and offering it as a download I would have said they were crazy!  Ordinarily, the type of lush orchestral stylings of popular song à la Kostelanetz or Mantovani, as represented in this album, is complete anathema to me; however, I have become convinced over the past year that Morton Gould (1913-1996) was a genius, and, like it or not, the numerous albums he made of his own arrangements of popular material are a part of his legacy.  (One might argue that they made the more serious part of his legacy possible, as they certainly earned him a lot of money!)  Moreover, Gould's arrangements seem to me a cut above the Kostelanetz standard - more symphonic in character.  Kosty was mainly concerned with gorgeous sounds, and Gould matches him on that level, but there are subtleties of harmony and counterpoint that I don't recall hearing in a typical Kostelanetz cover.  Even so, I wouldn't recommend listening to this album all at once; after one or two tracks, my mind tends to wander.  Here are the details:

"After Dark"
1. Temptation (Freed-Brown)
2. Speak Low (Nash-Weill)
3. Dancing in the Dark (Schwartz-Dietz)
4. Bésame Mucho (Consuelo Velazquez)
5. That Old Black Magic (Mercer-Arlen)
6. I Get a Kick Out of You (Cole Porter)
7. I've Got You Under My Skin (Cole Porter)
8. The Very Thought of You (Ray Noble)
Morton Gould and His Orchestra
Recorded November 22, 1944
Columbia set C-107, four 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 83.48 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 42.71 MB)

Cover design by Alex Steinweiss
This was Gould's last album in Columbia's Popular series (and one of that series' rare 12-inch albums); afterwards, he was switched to the green-label Masterworks semi-classical line, where Kostelanetz reigned supreme.  No doubt Kosty didn't like that!  Certainly, Gould never got the promotion that Kostelanetz got at Columbia, and by 1954 he had jumped ship for RCA.


  1. Thanks, Bryan - I share your high opinion of Gould.

  2. Thanks!
    Gould & Kostelanetz reigned supreme in this realm!

  3. What a lovely surprise. Many thanks, Bryan.

  4. Thanks! Your uploads are masterpieces.

  5. I'm just discovering how much I like the early Morton Gould E-Z listening arrangements. Thanks for providing this!

  6. I just found this particular set in my parents' estate. The cover has some shelf wear (esp corners), but the albums inside are pristine. It is signed "To Eddie and Louie -Two swell guys. And when we move in to your ranch - you will be welcome to stay with us. Best wishes, Mortin Gould" I'm not sure what to do with them.