Les Baxter is one composer I had to make a post about even though he is so well known here at Double Sided Galaxy. We have quite a few of his albums in our vinyl collection. I tried to find a lesser classic Les Baxter album at least for his showcasing on this blog. This is an interesting album by him with some very groovy drum sections. Considered exotica or lounge, he composed easy-listening albums and film scores during the 1950’s and 1960’s. The beginners of exotica music are Les Baxter, Martin Denny, and Arthur Lyman.
There’s a strange controversy regarding Baxter’s compositions; rumors spread over the decades that he didn’t write his own music. There’s not really any proof, just statements from other composers that supposedly held grudges against him. There are accounts of Baxter not being able to read his own scores, and writing a part for oboe of which included notes unplayable by an oboe, but other accounts say they worked with Baxter and saw his compositions written in his own handwriting. Whatever the case may be, the compositions credited to Les Baxter’s name are great and you should explore them all!
And here is the most classic Les Baxter album: