NovolThis piece, for vibraphone and a small jazz ensemble, became widely known when it was used as incidental music for the BBC children’s show Vision On in the 1960s. (It was used for the Gallery section, where paintings sent in by viewers were shown on screen).  It somehow epitomizes the kind of library music and background music the BBC used extensively during the 1950s to the 1970s, for instance between Schools programmes or as a background for the Test Card, which was broadcast for many hours in the days before television became a 24 hour service. These pieces were produced especially by music publishers such as De Wolfe and sold as library or production music with special royalty concessions.

Left Bank Two was apparently a throwaway piece put together by vibe player Wayne Hill and some session musicians from the Netherlands (directed by the Dutch composer, arranger and studio manager Frans Mijts) because they had a few minutes left-over time at the very end of a session for De Wolfe. I’ve always been fascinated by the fluency and length of the melody and the effortless modulations that still somehow manage to return to the home key by the end.  (The guitarist gets a little lost towards the end though, presumably due to lack of any time to rehearse). Wayne Hill wrote a number of other themes, including the theme tune for the ATV television show The Power Game (1965-9),  the startup music for Ulster television called The Antrim Road, and some film soundtracks, but I can find out very little else about him.

On the B-Side of the 1970s 7 inch single reissue is a slightly longer (20 seconds) version of the same recording, let to finish rather than fade out. This was originally issued in 1964 on a De Wolfe 10 inch single, under the title “Left Bank One”. Intriguing after all these years to hear the music actually finish.