Our exotic adventure begins on side one, with “Stranger in Paradise.” As the mellow sounds of the vibraphone slid from my speakers, I was instantly transported to a faraway land. The addition of sounds like a slide whistle meant to sound like birds whistling away in the jungle or voices simulating monkeys in the trees add the desired effect of being somewhere tropical and this is repeated throughout the album.“Hawaiian War Chant” doesn’t actually sound a lot like a war chant, but a peppy number that is heavy on the percussion, primarily in the form of drums and congas.
As you take in the serene tones of “Paradise Found,” you can close your eyes and imagine yourself in some far-off tropical locale, having just discovered a hidden-away crystal blue lagoon. The whimsical cha-cha rhythms of “My Little Grass Shack In Kealakekua, Hawaii Cha Cha Cha” would fit in both at a Hawaiian luau or a cocktail party, as long as you were adorned in a fez and smoking jacket. The mystique of some of the lush settings these songs convey is perhaps lost a bit in our era of information-on-demand. Many in the general public would see some of these places only in movies, and in turn, the Exotica style appealed to that sense of the unknown in John Q. Listener.
The album closes out with Denny’s version of Les Baxter’s “Quiet Village.” Utilizing more of the aforementioned wildlife mimicry, the song is a piano number that slides along with various percussive instruments. The inclusion of the instrumental version of this song, and the naming of the album, was presumably a marketing move by Liberty Records. “Quiet Village” originally appeared on Denny’s debut album, 1957’s Exotica. The song proved to be his biggest hit, reaching number two on the Billboard charts, and propelling Exotica to the number one spot. The vinyl district. #Vinyl#microgroovesvinyl#martindenny#quietvillage#theexoticsoundsof#exotica#lounge