Eden's Island: The Music of an Enchanted Isle (60th-Anniversary Edition) Eden Ahbez
Genre: Easy Listening
Artist: Eden Ahbez
Composer: Eden Ahbez (1908-1995)
Album including Album cover
- 1Eden's Island (Remastered)02:12
- 2The Wanderer (Remastered)03:42
- 3Myna Bird (Remastered)02:19
- 4Eden's Cove (Remastered)02:42
- 5Tradewind (Remastered)03:01
- 6Full Moon (Remastered)02:57
- 7Mongoose (Remastered)01:47
- 8Market Place (Remastered)02:25
- 9Banana Boy (Remastered)02:47
- 10The Old Boat (Remastered)02:32
- 11Island Girl (Remastered)02:14
- 12La Mar (Remastered)03:06
- 13Surf Rider (Remastered)02:39
- 14Tobago (45Rpm Single) (Remastered)02:24
- 15The Wanderer (Alternate Take [Remastered])01:25
Info for Eden's Island: The Music of an Enchanted Isle (60th-Anniversary Edition)
The ultimate reissue of one of the world’s most important albums in the field of Exotica, Jazz and even Proto Psychedelic Music from 1960! Ahbez, was a 20th century maverick, possibly comparable to Moondog and Harry Partch. A bearded, vegetarian, sandal wearing traveller, known for sleeping in caves and even under the Hollywood sign - in the 1940s. He wrote Nature Boy, first recorded by Nat King Cole and numerous others. This record, his only album, recorded in 1960, sits quite comfortably alongside exotica proponents Arthur Lyman and Martin Denny: vibraphones, heavenly choruses and bamboo sticks abound, with poetic meandering and a sprinkle of jazz
This reissue of Eden Ahbez' sole album includes 20 almost unreleased bonus songs from different sessions.
Carefully remastered by prolific grammy nominated sound engineer Jessica Thompson.
Now here we go with a project that can easily be labeled a mammoth. Who remembers Eden Ahbez actually, except for a couple of born too late retro hippies? Well, here we go with the story:
It is 1960, Rock’n’Roll has just lost a couple of its protagonists during this and the previous year, the time of the great balladeers has just begun, but soon will run out due to the new and exciting beat invasion. In US mainstream the tiki culture has reached a certain peak and is about to collapse, but still goes strong and with it comes the so called “exotica” music, a crossover between smooth jazz and swing, Latin grooves, haunting melodies that are rooted in the folkloristic sounds from different parts of this world, plus weird sound effects that often create a spooky jungle or dreamy island beach atmosphere. It can even bend your mind that far you would see palm trees growing out of your speakers and witness monkeys and parrots having fun in your room. Eden Ahbez, born in 1908, passed in 1995, a man living dropout and hippie lifestyle way before the movement became what people remember it to be in the mid 60s, a beat poet and composer who wrote the hit tune “Nature boy” that gave Nat King Cole his first big success in 1948, approaches the field of exotica music from a different point of view creating an epic concept album about an utopian society living in peace and harmony on an island far away from the modern western world as we know it. And indeed we find many trademarks of the prototypical exotica music beginning with this relaxed groove combining easy listening swing and Latin patterns, peaceful, dreamy and even transcendental vocal melodies, tinges of folk music from around the world including powerful dances and a whole color palette of mind expanding sounds giving the whole music an even greater depth and width. The latter being created entirely with real instruments such as Eden Ahbez' wood-flute. Some tunes are rather gentle and relaxed with the lyrics being narrated, which adds much to the epic feel of the album. Since this is a really unique effort, now „Eden’s Island“ alone is a masterpiece of proto psychedelic music and showcases the peak of Ahbe’s creativity, but he did write and record music before and after, as mentioned above. And he inspired people along the way, he still does, even decades after his passing. When a young record collector named Brian Chidester found a picture of Ahbe with a youthful Brian Wilson of BEACH BOYS fame dating from probably 1967, he felt the urge to research and investigate deeply into the life of Ahbe, who was more of a mystical figure, obscured by the passing of time rather than the fairly well recognised allfather of the hippie lifestyle, without whom there would have not been such a movement at all and certainly no woodstock, not much psychedelic music and no such things. At least not in the way that they did happen. So Mr. Chidester embarked on journey of more than twenty years that culminates in a movie, „As the wind: The enchanted life of Eden Ahbez“, telling the story of one of pop culture’s most enigmatic figures in full. Brian Chidester and his filmmaking partner John Winer now have not only gone wild in bringing the life of the first of all hippies to a wider attention, they have taken part in what is the main subject of my writing here, the ultimate rerelease of Eden Ahbez‘ first and only cult full length record, 1960’s „Eden’s Island (The music of an enchanted isle)“ as I already described above in nearly all it’s glory. For it was only half of what this ultimate edition has to offer. First of all the album has been carefully remastered by grammy nominated sound engineer Jessica Thompson, an icon in the field of restoring and remastering old and often obscure yet cult recordings from Jazz to Punk to Afro Beat and great fan of Eden Ahbez. Jessica has done another mavellous job and probably this could become one of her most prolific and important ventures. The other half of the music on this reissue, which comes as a wicked double vinyl in gatefold sleeve in limited editions of different colours, is made up by those tunes hat Eden never properly put on albums, that remained in obscurity unbeknownst by man until today. Jessica Thompson also did the mastering here and Brian Chidester supported this treasure trove of musical jewelry, which expands Eden Ahbez‘ epic concept album style and also showcases his skills in writing accessible, yet unique proto psychedelic pop tunes that, as I mentioned above, lead your mind into a different world. (Eden Ahbez)
The Crew Cuts
Herb Jeffries, vocals
The Nature Boys
Annita Ray, vocals
Don Carson And The Casuals
Bob Romeo Sextet
Marti Barris, vocals
Gene Chandler, vocals
Biggie McFadden, vocals
Robie Lester, vocals
John Harris, vocals
Please Note: We offer this album in its native sampling rate of 48 kHz, 24-bit. The provided 96 kHz version was up-sampled and offers no audible value!
Eden Ahbez was one of the authentic fringe figures in space age pop, a one-shot wonder so dramatically different from anyone else that he became, perhaps, a greater legend than his accomplishments justify. Born a good Jewish boy in Brooklyn, he ended up cultivating a Christ-like appearance and reputation among the fruits and nuts of sunny southern California.
Echoes from Nature Boy LPJust what brought him from Brooklyn in 1908 to Los Angeles in the mid-1940s awaits a better biographer's investigation. He claimed to have been raised in an orphanage, and have crossed the U.S. on foot eight times by the age of 35. He settled in L.A., married a woman named Anna Jacobsen, slept with her in a sleeping bag in Griffith Park, claimed to survive as a vegetarian on three dollars a week, and stood on street corners in Hollywood lecturing on various Oriental forms of mysticism.
He emerged to public attention around 1948, when Nat King Cole recorded his song, "Nature Boy," that told a fantasy of a "strange enchanted boy" "who wandered very far" only to learn that "the greatest gift" "was just to love and be loved in return." Having no job and no fixed residence, he had plenty of time to hang around places like the Lincoln Theater, where he accosted Cole's manager, Mort Ruby, insisting that Cole look at the soiled, rolled-up manuscript of "Nature Boy."
Cole recognized the underlying Yiddish melody in the song (as did the publishers of the Yiddish song, "Schwieg Mein Hertz," who later settled out of court with Ahbez after the tune became a hit) and expressed mild interest in adding it to his repertoire, since he was looking for a Jewish song to add to his act. After trying it a few times in his show, he decided to record it, with Frank DeVol provided the arrangement. He and DeVol tossed out the original waltz melody and went rubato, without a set rhythm, and recorded it on 22 August 1947. Buddy Cole played the piano part Nat had written.
Cole and Capitol didn't know what to make of the song, so they sat on the record for months. Meanwhile, word-of-mouth about the tune began to grow from Cole's live performances, and eventually Cole realized the record should be released. Unfortunately, no one had bothered to secure the rights to the song, and Ruby went off on a hunt to locate Ahbez. Legend has it that he found Ahbez and his wife camped out below the first "L" in the "HOLLYWOOD" sign. It turned out that Ahbez had given a half dozen people different shares of the publishing rights, and he ended up with virtually nothing. (After Cole died, his wife eventually gave the rights in toto back to Ahbez.)
Capitol released the tune as a "B" side, but when it first played on WNEW in New York, the station was bombarded by calls, and "Nature Boy" quickly became Capitol's #1 single. Frank Sinatra, Dick Haymes, Sarah Vaughan, and others rushed out cover versions, with the Petrillo recording ban looming just days away.
Ahbez was a legend in Hollywood for his unusual life style. Even after he and Jacobsen had a son, they kept on living out under the stars, with not much more than a bicycle, their sleeping bags, and a juicer to their name. The story may be apochryphal, but it's said that once, when Ahbez was being hassled by a cop who assumed from his wild appearance that he deserved to be hauled off to a mental institution, he remarked calmly, "I look crazy, but I'm not. And the funny thing is, that other people don't look crazy, but they are." The cop thought it over and responded, "You know bud, you're right. If anybody gives you any trouble, let me know."
Although Ahbez (or "ahbez," as he insisted in being called, holding that capital letters should be reserved for the divine) later had another tune, "Land of Love," recorded by Cole, he faded back onto the street corners until 1960, when Del-Fi Records boss Bob Keane brought him into the studio to record Eden's Island. For this album, Ahbez recited his poetry/songs in front of a pseudo-Martin Denny jungle exotica arrangement. Mickey McGowan has described this album as sounding like "Martin Denny had gotten together with Jack Kerouac" (if Kerouac had become a hermit instead of a beat, that is).
Ahbez popped up in a few different places during the 1960s, most prominently with Brian Wilson somewhere in the days before the legendary Pet Sounds and Smile albums were recorded. He cut another album, Echoes from Nature Boy, similar to Eden's Island, putting his poems in musical settings, which was released posthumously. Ironically, he died in 1995 after being hit by a car.
This album contains no booklet.