Guest commentary by pop cultural essayist and noted film critic, Stefano P. Morrocchi: In the late 1950s and very early 60s, a new form of lounge and easy listening music emerged, called "exotica" by the record mavens of the day. Others called it "primitiva," "hypnotique" or "romantica." The exponents of this mellifluous style combined the music of South American and African countries, the unique sounds of Hawaii (which was then heavily in vogue in American popular culture along with hula-hoops, Tiki statues in many U.S. patios and middle-class American housewives wearing sarongs), and a smattering of modern jazz and sci-fi instrumentality. Such musical geniuses of "exotica" included Les Baxter and Martin "Quiet Village" Denny. Many of their long playing record album covers (remember those?) invariably were of a shapely, exotic island beauty playing some equally exotic instrument.
June 5th, 2017