Merry Xmas from a Space-Age Bachelor Pad

Posted on December 21, 2010 by

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

Artist: Esquivel
Title: Merry Xmas from the Space-Age Bachelor Pad
Label: BMG/Bar None DRC1-1363
Released: 1996

Although released in 1996, this is a collection compiled from Esquivel’s recording made between 1959 and 1962. For those not familiar, Esquivel was an over-the-top arranger, an Ellington without limits living in a space-age bachelor pad.

“Frosty the Snowman” zu-zu zooms throughout the town over a swinging xylophone, harpsichord, and bending pedal steel, with the guitar borrowing more from Warner Brother’s cartoon sound affects than country music.

Two of the tracks feature the vocal quintet, the Skip-Jacks, which included Stella Stevens as one of the singers. They tend to anchor the mania that is Esquivel. They’re ‘everything is gleeful” approach to melodies are nostalgic memory attributed to the late-50s-early-60s bursting at the suburbs America.

Esquivel swings more than the Three Suns, mostly from the absence of the tuba. It was a manufactured ‘cool’ in the land of housing development cocktail parties, kidney shaped coffee tables and tropical barware. It’s 28 minutes of a time that did exist that we now distort through rose-colored black-rimmed glasses. although our vision may be distorted, Esquivel’s was clear, but maybe only to him.

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