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MORT GARSON - Music from Patch Cord Productions LP

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No doubt you know the name Mort Garson from his myriad writing, conducting, and arranging credits, topping a thousand in total: the Kim Sisters, Gi Sönne, Lola Novaković, Pfc. Craig Brown, Emilio Pericoli. Or failing that, his sides for Patti Page, Mel Tormé, Rosemary Clooney, Percy Faith, and Mr. Magoo himself. Which is to say, Mort Garson’s road to cool cultural caché and the sublimity of Plantasia meant a decades’ long journey through an underworld of sophisticated, international, string-laced dreck (ie, your great-grandparents’ record collection) to arrive at Music From Patch Cord Productions, this set of queasy-listening you now hold.

Juilliard-educated and active as a session player in the post-war era, Garson seemingly never said no in the decades ahead. You could say he was an early adopter to the gig economy, taking any and every job that came his way. He cranked out lounge hits, scored plush arrangements, rendered jingles and TV themes and more, from the late 1940s into the swinging ‘60s. As his daughter Day Darmet put it: “The joke about my dad is he would wake up and work all day until dinner. He would eat dinner, then take a 2-hour nap, then work all through the night again. He was constantly on it.” That meant putting those weeping countrypolitan strings around Glen Campbell’s “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” making the Simon & Garfunkel catalog sound even more mellow, and making guitar duo Santo & Johnny cover a slew of Beatles’ hits. His charts made Doris Day’s Sentimental Journey even more deliriously mawkish. Garson’s penned hit “Our Day Will Come” moved from Ruby and the Romantics to elevate to the ranks of standard: James Brown, Amy Winehouse, k.d. lang, Isaac Hayes, Tony Joe White, Max Romeo, Yasuaki Shimizu have all covered the song.