Friday, November 09, 2018

Friday Night Videos

Friday Night Videos

I've been on an Esquivel kick recently. If you are unfamiliar with the late bandleader, you're in for a treat. His musical style was described as "Space Age sounds for the jet set" and that only scratches the surface. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to have left behind any video of his live performances--at least, none that have made it to YouTube. Fortunately, Mr. Ho's Orchestrotica--and in this particular case, the Waitiki Orchestrotica, a precursor to Mr. Ho's incarnation--does elaborate Esquivel tributes, such as "Let's Dance". Esquivel used huge orchestras in his productions, and his arrangements of popular tunes (as well as original compositions) were insane. He combined instruments in ways that brought out sounds never heard before. So that's challenging in it's own right, but to make things more complicated, almost none of Esquivel's arrangements survive. All were destroyed several decades ago due to an unpaid bill on a Las Vegas storage locker, so Brian O'Neill of both Waitiki and Mr. Ho transcribed the arrangements by ear. This took roughly 20 hours per song. Madness, yes, but madness you and I benefit from.

While I'm at it, here's a bonus documentary of Esquivel in Las Vegas:

And as a double bonus, here's a rare interview with Esquivel himself from 1968:

Previously on Friday Night Videos... Jan & Dean.

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