The king of kitsch, Jonny Trunk, returns with another masterful collection of headscratching oddities, garnered from unreleased film music, quirky nursery rhymes, and excerpts from children?s TV shows, with the De Wolfe Library ransacked for a few rarities to attract the ?collector contingent.? Jonny?s subtitle, ?A small collection of rare, delightful folk oddities for strange adults and maybe their children too,? explains it all and almost renders this review moot, but let?s delve a little deeper into some of my favorite selections. Opening with a rare demo from Basil Kirchin (?the man who invented ambient music,? according to the promotional notes), ?I Start Counting? is a delightful little breath of fresh air that was originally intended for Cilla Black, but ended up being performed by the anonymous daughter of Kirchin?s anonymous drummer. It sounds like something tailor made for Nico?s ?Chelsea Girls? debut, and if either of you are out there, get in touch. I?d love to hear if you?ve done anything else!
The Barbara Moore Singers? ?Singing Low? is the sort of lightweight pop I probably heard back when I was growing up and listening to some old Jackie Gleason album or on an old episode of the Lawrence Welk Show. If you?re a fan of Trunk?s previous ?Music For Biscuits? highlighting the work of the Mike Sammes Singers, then this is right up your alley, as is Orriel Smith?s ?Tiffany Glass,? sung in a voice of such cotton-soft delicacy that I want to envelop her in the warmth of my loving embrace and retire to the back room for some further ?conversation.? The glistening windchimes, xylophone and fluttering flute are all cherries on top. The scatter-brained flip side of this glorious one-off single on the Tudor label, ?Winds of Space,? which sounds like Klaus Nomi on helium is also included and together they?ve sent everyone who?s heard them scurrying off in search of Smith?s other recordings, which will hopefully find their own compilaiton release someday soon.
Claude Vasori?s simple ?Folk Guitar? is a lovely acoustic guitar solo, not unlike Mason Williams tackling ?Greensleeves.? Arthur Birkby?s ?Cuckoo? is a jolly little children?s dittie, reminiscent in style and melody of the similarly titled track from an old Chantal Goya children?s play, TITLE. Peggy Zeitlin?s ?Spin Spider Spin? is another candidate for grammar school glee clubs or a Boy/Girl Scout song manual; it was original recorded for a children?s educational recording. I?d love to hear B?Eirth/In Gowan Ring or Timothy Renner have a go at this one. The lovely flute solo synches it for me. The loungy cha-cha of ?The Elf? from the wondrous Barbara Moore Singers had me reaching for my Sergio Mendez & Brazil ?66 records. I eventually adopts the melody from ?Georgy Girl? and runs with it to it?s gloriously giddy coda.
Reg Tilsley?s playful ?The Troll? sounds like the score to some syncopated robot dance that borrows heavily from Carl Stallings? legendary Warner Brothers scores. This one comes from the De Wolfe library and was originally released in the late 60?s on the 10? LP, ?Quietly With Johan.? And you haven?t lived until you?ve heard The Piggleswick Folk?s kazoo rendition of ?Teddy Bears Picnic.? I can?t make this stuff up, folks!
So, if you went ga-ga over Trunk?s previous compilation of The Mike Sammes Singers or fell in love with Marina?s two-volume ?In-Kraut? series of German jazz, blues, and pop/psych novelties, you owe it to yourself to pick this up, particularly if you?re a grade school music teacher or scoutmaster. 7/10 -- Jeff Penczak (27 December, 2006)