Arthur Lyman and his orchestra pretty much define early Exotica Jazz for me. It was some of the earliest music of this type I was exposed to, and I just find it both appealing and ridiculous. I really love the vibraphone and marimba work; the bird calls push it over the edge.
This song is “Taboo Tu” by Arthur Lyman from the 1960 album Taboo 2: The new exotic sounds of Arthur Lyman. I find this stuff relaxing in the evenings. I want some music, but no lyrics to get in the way of whatever story I’m reading.
Exotica is a school of jazz that sought to recreate what suburban America of the 1950s thought about the South Pacific. Bird calls abound for some reason. Think Trader Vic’s, and drinks with odd names sporting little umbrellas (reminiscent of the beach, I suppose). It has experienced something of a renaissance since the late 1990s.
No one epitomized Exotica more than Arthur Lyman. This is “Taboo” from an album by the same name that was released in 1958.
As crazy as it seems, I’ve started listening to Exotica in the evenings when I’m reading, though mostly I listen to the more modern versions.