Review: The Ken Woodman Sound

The Ken Woodman Sound
“Town Talk!”

Volume Six of RPM’s Mood Mosaic series documents the bold-stroked ’60s orchestral pop of UK producer Ken Woodman. Contemporary “orch pop” exhibits a schmaltzy neo-romanticism that more to do with America Middle Of The Road styles of the period. Woodman, however was a horn player by profession in the 50’s and interjects his arrangements, whether originals like “Town Talk” or renditions of Top 40 material like “Mighty Quinn”, with jump-up-and-dance jazz band rhythms. So, this is not the soundtrack to “Love Story”, but more like classic Henry James or Count Basie incarnated into the pop recording studio. Woodman was instrumental as producer or music director in recordings by Tom Jones, Lulu, Mia Farrow, Roy Orbison and more. Listening to this compilation culled from 1966 and 1969 recordings (“That’s Nice”, “Vibration”) as well as taking in the detailed booklet shows how shaping his work, also hear on many radio and TV shows, was for 60’s and 70’s pop.