Every Friday night we smooth our way into the weekend with music, the universal language. These selections demonstrate that despite what is being passed off as art today, there is plenty of really good music available. Come along and enjoy.
Hard to believe, but this actor…
Turned 87 today. 87.
So, to celebrate this birthday, appropriate Sean Connery music.
We begin, not surprisingly, with Bond. The musical quartet. From their website:
Together Tania Davis (Violin), Eos Counsell (violin), Elspeth Hanson (viola) and Gay-Yee Westerhoff (cello) complete the line-up of BOND.
At its launch, BOND was hailed in the press as ‘the Spice Girls of Classical music’, and went onto turn the world of classical crossover music on its head, spawning many electric string groups inspired by its unique sound.
BOND draws its inspiration from classical, latin, folk, jazz, rock, pop, electro, Indian and middle eastern styles, has built a very active and loyal international fan base over the years and, since its debut, has sold over 4 million albums worldwide, making it the best-selling string quartet of all time.
The musicians, educated to the highest standard at some of the world’s most celebrated music institutions (Royal Academy of Music, Royal College of Music, Guildhall and Trinity College of Music), are pure entertainment, serving up a genuinely genre-defying act willing to explore the joy of music regardless of the cultural hamstrings.
BOND has achieved a staggering 56 platinum and 15 gold discs,
The quartet has made countless international TV appearances in the UK, America, Australia, Central America and Asia.
My favorite James Bond movie? Not even close.
John Barry composed, arranged, and conducted the music for the soundtrack.
It’s the best.
Next, “Casino Royale,” a 1967 comedy spy film starring an ensemble cast of directors and actors. It’s a satire of the James Bond and spy movies of the time.
The backstory: When Charles Feldman bought the screen rights for “Casino Royale” from Bond writer Ian Fleming in 1953, nobody had heard of James Bond or Sean Connery. By the time Feldman got around to making the movie, Connery was clearly famous for the 007 role.
Feldman asked Connery to star in “Casino Royale” and the actor said he‘d do it…for $1 million.
Connery’s suggestion was rejected, so David Niven was brought in to play the original Bond, Sir James Bond 007 who was forced out of retirement to investigate the deaths and disappearances of international spies.
The film was a hit as was the soundtrack that included a classic vocal by the late Dusty Springfield.
Back to Sean Connery as Bond. The year is 1963.
The evil SPECTRE organization plans to steal a decoder that will access Russian state secrets and unbalance the world order. Bond needs to seize the device first, but he must confront enemies that include Red Grant and the ruthless Rosa Klebb, a former KGB agent with poison-tipped shoes. Of course Bond romances a beautiful Soviet defector, knowing he is being lured into a trap. However, the Russians have no knowledge of this as it is a SPECTRE plot to lead Bond to his death.
It’s the second film in the Bond series, and was a box office smash.
Al Caiola on guitar…
BTW, the actor who was first sought after to play Bond…
That’s it for this week.
Have a great weekend.
The film that launched the Bond series in 1962 was “Dr. No.” Our hero is sent to Jamaica to investigate the murders of a British agent and his secretary. During his investigation, Bond encounters the evil and unscrupulous Chinese scientist Dr. No. The villain lives on an island called Crab Key, working in a nuclear laboratory. His scheme is to divert rockets being fired from Cape Canaveral off their charted course and to blackmail the United States to get their rocket launches restored to normal.
We close with legendary big band/orchestra leader Count Basie at the piano.
BONUS! THIS SONG PERFORMED ON THE HOLLYWOOD PALACE WAS A #3 HIT.