Mr. Richard’s Reviews: 101 Strings – A Night In The Tropics EP


101 Strings – A Night In The Tropics EP – The Lady And The Matador, You My Love, Exotic Night, and The Magic Island (performed by The 101 Strings Orchestra)

This was an odd find whilst crate digging in town. As I love easy-listening music, I didn’t hesitate to pick it up when I found it. As far as the EP goes, this is one from the series of literally hundreds that is worth having.

As soon as it comes on, there is an orchestral fullness of Mexican undertones. Because there are anywhere from 128 to 141 players at once, the quality of the recording is amazing and it brings me back to my trip to Cozumel, Mexico, or an any other island in the Caribbean I imagine.

The 101 stringed instruments are always 30 first violins, 26 second violins, 20 violas, 18 cellos, and 7 string basses. The rest of the instruments may include woodwinds, brass, and percussion typically, all of which are comprised of interchangeable concertmeisters in the first chairs and other talented concert performers from around Europe. This is a way to keep costs down but still maintain the style and sound of “name” conductors’ orchestras and build a wide variety of releases.

Usually the EPs, started by Dick L. Miller in 1957, were produced around a particular, unifying theme like the work of a well-known artist or songwriter, a specific topic (patriotism, holidays, et al.), TV/movie themes and scores, songs from a particular country, revampings of familiar tunes from other genres, and so on. However, some were original scores. ‘A Night In The Tropics’ is an EP from the first year that the group formed in 1957 and released in 1958.

Unfortunately, they were disbanded in 1981, but if you can find any of their 45rpm EPs don’t hesitate to purchase it and try it out. Hopefully it isn’t a reissue as some are very collectible and sought after! This truly is one of my favorite 4 song EPs that we own.

– Mr. Richard

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