This swirling little dream-like track comes from an album released in 1960 called, ‘The Savage and the Sensuous Bongos’. Categorised as ‘Space-Age and Easy Listening,’ this album consists of 14 tracks, all of which were written by music arranger, composer, and producer Don Ralke.
Don Ralke spent over four decades working in Hollywood studios creating music for films, television and pop recordings and in the early part of his career he also began working with bongo music. In the late 50’s this percussive instrument had been widely used in lots of jungle exotica music, but it was to be Don Ralke’s arrangements that brought this instrument back into the limelight, his creations also resurrecting Jack Costanzo’s fad called Bongo Craze which transferred the post-World War II phenomenon into the early 60’s.
During that time in the late 50’s, Ralke began collaborating with flute and reed man, Buddy Collette on an album called, ‘Jazz Heat, Bongo Beat.’ After this release, Warner Brothers hired him for the albums, ‘Gershwin with Bongos’ and ‘The Sensuous and the Savage,’ of which the latter has now become known as one of the best jungle exotica albums of that era!
Taken from this album comes the curious, mystical and extremely alluring, ‘Face Beside the Fire,’ its a great track, orientated around percussion/drums which is always going to get a serious head nod from me! Listen above and if you like this, check out the whole album here.