Don Cunningham Quartet Something For Everyone

Glasses clink. Smoke hangs in the air. Everyone’s decked out in their best threads. Bunny hosts take your order as the show begins. Live, onstage at the Playboy Club in St. Louis, 1965 — it’s the Don Cunningham Quartet! Exotic sounds to bring wonder to your ears and make your nature rise. Luv n’ Haight’s reissue of an album sold only through this swingin’ venue is a true curiosity today. Something For Everyone is the kind of album that never went out of style in certain British circles who worshipped "jazz dance” — propulsive, up-tempo jazz that was the antecedent to acid jazz. This disc has all the earmarks of the exotica favoured by Esquivel (Cunningham’s former employer) applied to an Afro-Caribbean format. The arrangements and instrumentation are ludicrously showy. The vocal stylings draw from another former employer, Johnny Mathis — the epitome of supper club soul — soaking this disc in what was then cool and is now deeply corny. Nevertheless, many cocktails with umbrellas will help wash this confection down. It’s a good thing this disc is being released as summer begins — I can’t imagine it having the same appeal on a cold, dark night. (Luv N' Haight)