11 Acorn Lane + Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica – Happy Holy Days + Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica presents The Unforgettable Sounds of Esquivel

January 01, 1970

(Wooden Hat) (Orchestrotica)


www.11acornlane.com ; www.orchestrotica.com


The space age lounge jazz
experimentalism of Mexican composer/arranger Juan Garcia Esquivel (1918-2002)
has long wound its way through pop’s cultural adventurers from the kitsch
(B-52s) to the sober (Stereolab) and from the native (Mexican Institute of
Sound) to the worldly (Dimitri from Paris). Yet after the initial rush of
alternative cheering (late ‘90s through his passing) the heat around Esquivel
cooled just a tad. This season things get hot as 11 Acorn Lane celebrate the
holidays in blipping exotica fashion and Mr, Ho’s just goes all out


11 Acorn Lane’s Thomas Foyer and Neal Pawley have been at the
Esqu-exotica thing for a minute (pay cable fans hear 11AL stuff while watching
HBO’s Bored to Death and Showtime’s Weeds) and bring the same zest to the
songs of the season. It’s not easy to stay original when appropriating the vibe
of the holy yet the pair sass up tunes of the Christian holiday with just the
perfect blend of camp and reverence. “Deck the Halls” is hilarious and their
version of “Oh Tannenbaum” (“Oh Christmas Tree”) will give Guaraldi fans a fright
when it comes to Charlie Brown holiday spectaculars


 Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica’s twenty-plus member
ensemble from Boston sound as if they came from Guadalajara by way of Hollywood right on the eve of John Glenn’s
Mercury ride. Transcribed from the master’s original (and once lost)
arrangement charts, the live-recorded Unforgettable
tinkles and tickles and whoopsies like Esquivel’s mesmerizing
strange large lounge ensembles on songs such as the dippy “Sentimental
Journey.” But in reality, Ho’s 23-piece big band roars with the mighty (and
nearly as odd as Esquivel) heft of Stan Kenton’s Capitol years on tunes such as
“Take the A Train.” Seconding as a debut in the Exotica for Modern Living
series, Ho’s intentions are as unforgettable as his and Juan’s giddy sound.


DOWNLOAD: 11 Acorn Lane: “Silent
Night,” “Floats And Balloons,” “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”; Mr. Ho’s: “The
Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” “Frenesi,” “Mini Skirt” A.D. AMOROSI




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