Wednesday, 16 April 2014

CD Review: The Nina and Frederik Collection - Listen To The Ocean (Jasmine Records)

The sleeve notes to The Nina and Frederik Collection: Listen to the Ocean open with Paul Pelletier's stark observation "Where are they now, people might ask, but sometimes it is better to remember how they were then..."

Indeed, Frederik Van Pallandt's story didn't have the happiest of endings, an untimely demise in 1994 cast a dark shadow over Nina and Frederik's Pre-Beatle era safe image of some three decades previous despite the pair divorcing in 1976.

The Danish music duo gained quite a popular following  in the late 1950s with their interpretations of folk inspired songs which occasionally swayed into the world of calypso and popular standards.

The Nina and Frederik Collection: Listen to the Ocean recalls no less than 24 tracks in mono (except a stereo take of Listen To The Ocean) featuring accompaniment from the Jorn Grauengarrd Orchestra and John Barry and his Orchestra from the duos Columbia and Pye Records output.

Among the tracks featured are the popular single Listen To The Ocean as well as renditions of Carnival (from Black Orpheus), Man Smart, Woman Smarter, Nine Hundred Miles and a 1961 vocal version of Sucu Sucu. However, Nina and Frederik are probably best remembered for their popular recordings of Christmas songs and there's a fairly liberal sprinkling of those here including Mary's Boy Child, Away In A Manger, Silent Night and their biggest hit recording Little Donkey.

Nina and Frederik's contribution to the popular music scene has undoubtedly been overlooked in recent years, but as this Jasmine Records CD proves there's a lot more to their musical legacy than those well remembered Christmas recordings.

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