Many of the best tracks here are included in Jasmine's excellent 2-CD MELODY FAIR, but the clear advantage in this release is hearing all the tracks complete in their original concept-album context, and especially in impeccably restored sound. These are genuine Decca ffrr mono recordings from 1954-55, and they sound almost like stereo in this remastering lovingly supervised by Michael Dutton himself.
MELODY FAIR is quite brief, lighter than air and something of a hits compilation, since you will find here many of Farnon's most familiar signature lollipops: the title track, "A star is born," "Journey into melody," "How beautiful is night," "Portrait of a flirt" and "Manhattan playboy." The descriptive titles are arbitrary; the melodic invention and complexity of the arrangements are not.
CANADIAN IMPRESSIONS is rather longer, miniature tone poems by an expat recalling the prewar Dominion. The music of course is not specifically "Canadian" (again, the titles are arbitrary) but pure Farnon and purely beautiful. I detected bits of David Raksin in "Gateway to the west" and vague progressions from "Stranger in paradise," but titles ("Alcan Highway," "Pow wow") or not it's all very arresting, Farnon working in slightly longer and more ambitious forms than his trademark miniatures. It's a distinguished release both for the original music and for the sound restoration, and an even better representation of Farnon at his prolific peak than the Jasmine set. Both releases are essential, but the Jasmine is padded with filler and some nonrepresentative material, not found here.