Apr 22, 2009
HAGOOD HARDY & THE MONTAGE - MONTAGE (GRT 1970) Jap/Kor mastering cardboard sleeve
Dreamy vocal pop from early 70s Canada -- a set that owes a lot to the 60s sweetness of Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66! The Montage have an approach that's a bit more rock-based overall, but there's definitely some Sergio-like touches in the music -- especially the way the two female vocalists sing together in a nicely spaced-out sort of sound -- warm, but with an undercurrent of coldness -- mixed in with some very groovy rhythms from Hagood Hardy on vibes, electric piano, marimba, and percussion! There's also a fair bit of bossa in the mix too -- not as overtly as on Brasil 66 records, and more filtered down into a 70s sort of hipness -- expanded out with wider pop influences, and some traces of Sunshine styles as well. Titles include great versions of "Cast Your Fate To The Wind", "Come Saturday Morning", "Baby I'm A Want You", "Guantanamera", "It's Too Late/I Feel The Grass Grow Under My Feet", and "If" -- and the record would be right at home on A&M! [Dusty Groove America]
Hardy is best remembered as a composer of TV advertising jingles and his 1975 hit The Homecoming (originally written to advertise tea). Before that he had a jazz tinged pop group called Montage (not the band featuring Left Banke- and Stories member Michael Brown) and they made this excellent album featuring treasures such as a brilliant reworking of Vince Guaraldi's 'Cast Your Fate To The Wind' and Dory Previn & Fred Carlin's bittersweet 'Come Saturday Morning'.
Hardy started his professional career as a vibraphonist in 1956 at the House Of Hamburg. After relocating to New York in the early '60's he became a much-in-demand performer with all of the Jazz elite including The Village Vanguard.
He began touring with the likes of Herbie Mann, George Shearing and Martin Denny for nearly seven years in such places as Las Vegas and Hawaii.
He moved back to Toronto in 1966 to form Hagood Hardy & The Montage which toured internationally for six years. It was around this time that he started music for film and television.
He wrote "The Homecoming" in 1972 for a Salada Tea commercial and once people began writing to the company to find out how they could get a copy of the instrumental piece Hardy finally released it. In 1975 it was released as a single and the song went Top-10 across Canada. Two Juno Awards followed for 'Composer Of The Year' and 'Instrumental Artist Of The Year'.
Hardy died after an 18 month struggle with stomach cancer in Hamilton on January 1, 1997 and is survived by 4 children...[net]