Sunday, August 23, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Esquivel!

Song:Harlem Nocturne

Mexican composer and arranger Juan Garcia Esquivel recorded experimental instrumental music in the late 50s and early 60s. Not much notice was taken at the time but he underwent a revival in the 90s as the creator of Lounge Music called Space Age Pop. He is known as The King Of Space Age Pop. He was born Jan. 20, 1918 in Tampico, Mexico. His family moved to Mexico City in 1928. Esquivel was a self taught musician. He appeared on radio in the 30s and he formed his own band in 1940. He started recording in the early 50s and after releasing one of his Mexican albums in the US, RCA brought Esquivel to Los Angeles in 1958. Esquivel's music might seem at first to be similar to someone like Ray Conniff. But Esquivel liked to use odd instruments like the theremin, chinese bells and he also liked to experiment with mixing. Remember in those days, stereo was new and record companies frequently released albums to highlight the use of stereo. Harlem Nocturne is from the 1960 album Infinity In Sound Vol. 1. It was produced by veteran RCA house producer Neely Plumb. He was the father of Eve Plumb of The Brady Bunch. Harlem Nocturne is a jazz standard written by film and TV composer Earle Hagen as a tribute to Duke Ellington. Earl Bostic probably had the most success with that song. This comp is a good intro to Esquivel's music. Esquivel left RCA for Reprise in 1962. Frank Sinatra was a huge Esquivel fan and Esquivel opened for Sinatra in Las Vegas in 1964. By the late 60s, Esquivel moved back to Mexico to live in obscurity. But a 1995 interview led to a revival of his music. So he was a celebrity again as the inventor of Space Age Pop. I guess everything old is new again. Esquivel suffered a couple of strokes and he died on Jan. 3, 2002 at age 83. Here's a video for Harlem Nocturne by Esquivel!.

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