Monday, January 23, 2006


I admit that I first picked this one mostly for the cover. You would have picked it up too. I liked the picture but spelling ‘Markko’ with two K’s was kinda cool too. The other main selling point was the Raymond Scott song. It turns out that song wasn’t even one of the better ones on the LP.

ORIENTA was put together by Gerald Fried, who trained as an oboist at Juilliard. In the late fifties, Fried was scoring movies in Hollywood. Among many others, Fried worked on the great I Bury The Living, Poor White Trash and several Stanley Kubrick movies.

Apparently, Fried put this album together as a parody of exotica records. I didn’t get the joke forty years later. I thought the Adventurers were including rock and roll & jazz because they liked it. Oops. I didn’t need any help to figure out that the song about the tiger attack on a festival was supposed to be a joke.

I think the reason I didn’t get the joke was because the songs were really good. Parody or not, “Song of India/Beggars' Procession” and “The Girl Friend of a Whirling Dervish” are two of my favorite exotica songs.

The Markko Polo Adventurers was Fried's only album, he went back to film and TV work, most notably Star Trek, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and working with Quincy Jones on the music for Roots.


Blogger B.D. said...

In a weird synergy, Planet Xtabay posted this same album today. It's part of the chosen list of best 10 exotica albums according to that blogger. Here's the link:

24/1/06 6:23 AM  

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