The Exotic Sounds: The Very Best of Martin Denny

This Japanese compilation was issued on CD in 1991, and I found it at an antique store in Sacramento for $8 and picked it up immediately. Though the case is clipped, the CD is in great shape and the booklet is too – apart from nearly all of the writing being in Japanese!

I’ve been looking for this one for a long time, and it includes four tracks I don’t have on any of the other CD or digital reissues of Denny’s material. In fact, I’d say this 74 minute album is actually a pretty comprehensive collection that spans most of Denny’s 1950s-1960s output. The strongest material comes from Denny’s murderer’s row of 1950’s albums that ended with The Enchanted Sea, of course. But some of the 1960s tracks are quite good and representative of Denny’s later material, including “Blue Paradise” from 1962’s Romantica and “Indrani” from 1968’s A Taste of India. The version of “Black Orchid” is a live version that sounds great.

The photo of Denny and his band on the back cover features “The Modernist” tiki and is possibly taken outside the San Francisco Trader Vic’s.

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