Friday, October 2, 2015

UK Jazz Singer Bexi Owen Using Music and Original Vintage Memorabilia for Dementia Project

Jazz starlet Bexi Owen has recorded her velvet voice in aid of a very worthy cause - to raise funds for her dementia project. Bexi started the project at the start of the year to help those with dementia. Entitled 'Forget Me Never' it aims to use music and authentic vintage memorabilia in order to help with memory function and encourage social interaction.

Bexi explains, "I started the project after singing at a wartime memorial event and seeing how amazingly members of the audience who had dementia responded to the music. So I decided to set up on my own, delivering sessions at community centres across the country."

"When raising initial funds I set up a crowdfunding campaign and played an accompanying live tour, the support for both was overwhelming and so many people got in touch with their own stories. To keep the project going I thought it might be a nice idea to record some of the jazz classics that I sing during the sessions so I did!"

As well at the project, Bexi has been very much in demand with recent shows in Switzerland and Spain as well as performing at many festivals and the National Vintage Awards which she was named Best Performer at in 2013.

For more information about the project and Bexi's music, please go to or 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Peggy Lee and George Shearing...Beauty and the Beat!

Beauty and the Beat! is a mostly live (yes, mostly live) album by the great Peggy Lee with the equally talented George Shearing at the piano. It's interesting that they recorded introductions to these songs after the live concert was recorded. However, despite this unusual feature this disc is extremely pleasing to the ear. Peggy sounds just great here and George plays his piano wonderfully. We also get two bonus tracks that apparently were not on the record album release of this recording; Peggy and George perform "Nobody's Heart" and "Don't Ever Leave Me."

For decades we've been listening to the live-in-concert "Beauty and the Beat" and hearing a studio project with applause, announcements and low volume audience chatter dubbed in. Now all the distractions have been removed, along with the echoey sound necessary to make it all sound live, and what we have is a beautiful, detailed collection with great depth never before apparent. In the previous version Peggy sounded like she was socking it over to an enthusiastic audience; now, with the very same recordings, she sounds intimate and close. Shearing sounds the same--totally engaging and delightful.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Robert Crumb's Heroes of Jazz, Blues and Country

Anyone who knows R. Crumb’s work as an illustrator knows of his passion for music. And all those who collect his work prize the Heroes of the Blues, Early Jazz Greats, and Pioneers of Country Music trading card sets he created in the early to mid 1980's. 

They have been packaged together in book form, along with an exclusive 21-track CD of music selected and compiled by Crumb himself (featuring original recordings by Charley Patton, “Dock” Boggs, “Jelly Roll” Morton, and others). A bio of each musician is provided, along with a full-color original illustration by the cartoonist. A characteristically idiosyncratic tribute by an underground icon to the musical innovators who helped inspire him, R. Crumb’s Heroes of Blues, Jazz & Country is a must-have collection for Crumb aficionados, comics fans, and music lovers alike.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Monday, August 24, 2015

Herb Alpert presents Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66..landmark album from 1966

This is the album that put Brasil'66 on the map and transformed Sergio Mendes from a respected jazz pianist to an international pop star.  It's been called some of the best samba music of all time with its rich and full production. Herb Alpert knew what he was onto when he gave this album kudos back nearly 40 years ago, and the album has maintained its greatness all through the decades.

The album is a milestone for Bossa Nova and for what was going to be known as Brazilian Jazz; no serious Bossa Nova collection would be complete without this jewel by Maestro Sergio Mendes.

 1. Mais Que Nada
 2. One Note Samba / Spanish Flea  
 3. The Joker
 4. Going Out Of My Head
 5. Tim Dom Dom  
 6. Day Tripper  
 7. Agua De Beber
 8. Slow Hot Wind
 9. O Pato

click here for more information

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Electro-Retro singer Joanne Weaver releases second album Interstellar Songbook II

New York based artist, Joanne Weaver, has released her second studio album, Interstellar Songbook II, the anticipated sequel to her debut album, Interstellar Songbook, that she independently released in 2012. Weaver’s new album consists of nine American songbook classics that she personally curated from the archives of the 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's, transforming them to modern-day trip hop lounge songs with glitchy electronic beats and dark orchestration. 

The Ticker says,“With a voice as velvety as the curtains that hug the stage, Weaver is not to be missed.”

See previous post here: Sultry Songstress Joanne Weaver releases steamy new music video "Sway"

Marty's review: Joanne Weaver's 2nd album, Interstellar Songbook II, continues in the vein of her first release with a collection of jazz and nostalgic standards that are done with a contemporary sound and feel that will appeal to all lovers of cool jazz, nostalgic sounds and contemporary jazz-pop. With a voice that's silky, smooth and sultry, Joanne takes these standards and puts her own twist on them by creating a whole new dimension to the arrangements yet still keeping the timeless appeal and romance of the originals. Listen to classic tunes like "Begin the Beguine", "Moonlight Serenade" and "As Time Goes By" and see if you can't listen to them in a new and refreshing style that will have you up slow dancing and leave you breathless for more.


Lana Del Rey, Florence + The Machine or Ella Fitzgerald


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Saturday, June 20, 2015

Jazz Noir - Various Artists...60 Menacing Masterpieces of Mystery, Murder and Mayhem

60 Menacing Masterpieces of Mystery, Murder and Mayhem

Few genres of cinema are as striking and iconic as Film Noir. A dangerous cocktail of crime, gangsters and femme fatales, the music that accompanied the pictures was just as devastatingly beautiful. Composers such as Henry Mancini, Alex North, Miles Davis, Elmer Bernstein, Chico Hamilton, Lalo Schifrin, Art Blakey, John Barry, Leith Stevens, John Lewis and Duke Ellington guide you through darkly lit bars and hazy streets on this 3 disc set.

Bringing together the many musical styles that have brought musical atmosphere to the world of movies, here you will find the works of many composers performed by many of the finest jazz and orchestral performers. Quite a lot of the numbers included could be familiar especially if you are a film goer but there are plenty you may not instantly recognise...the question is will you check them out on line and perhaps get the film because of the music?


preview Jazz Noir 1
preview Jazz Noir 2
preview Jazz Noir 3

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Monday, June 8, 2015

Melbourne's Golden Days Radio 95.7 FM streaming live..Playing Yesterday's Music, Today

Golden Days Radio has a music format that has broad appeal for people of any age who have an affection for and appreciation for the nostalgic sound of radio as it used to be from the 1930's into the 1960's.

These days, “talk back” radio has reduced or completely removed the music content from many radio stations and numerous listeners to today’s radio usually have only two choices of radio programming - talk back, or music that they do not understand or enjoy. Hence, the unique sound of Golden Days Radio which is carefully formulated to fill the void. the nostalgic sound of radio as it used to be heard from the 1930's to the 1960's. So it's on the music and radio style of those years that Golden Days Radio mainly concentrates, with some attention given to music outside those parameters provided it is of good lyrical and melodic quality and of an evergreen standard which falls kindly on the ear. Many listeners attracted to this type of sound also value the light classics, operetta, ballads and musical comedy and there is a place for these genres too, in the Golden Days’ range of musical styles. 

See more on website or click radio below to stream live.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Firecracker Jazz Band....Hot Vintage Jazz...keeping traditional jazz alive

Traditional Jazz at Its Finest

In hundreds of performances since 2003, Firecracker Jazz Band has played everywhere from street corners, speakeasies, jazz festivals from coast to coast, beer-soaked dance halls, Bonaroo and the Kennedy Center. Based in the beautiful confluence of plentiful music and majestic mountains that is Asheville, N.C., a performance by Firecracker Jazz Band is not to be missed. With jubilant vigor that spills from the stage to the streets, these six musicians revitalize traditional jazz with unbounded energy. In paying homage to the pioneers of early 20th Century Jazz, including that of Dixieland and New Orleans, Firecracker Jazz Band carries the torch that was once lit by such greats as Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong & Bix Beiderbecke.

visit their website

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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Sultry Songstress Joanne Weaver releases steamy new music video "Sway"

Sultry pop vocalist Joanne Weaver releases the video for her latest single “Sway” off of her upcoming album, Interstellar Songbook II, that is set to release March 31, 2015. “Sway” is the fourth music video that Joanne Weaver has created with Director John Byrne, who has also directed and/or choreographed for Florence + the Machine, David La Chapelle and Mariah Carey.
Joanne takes classic jazz standards and creates a fresh, contemporary version with her own unique style.

The sensuality of the “Sway” video accentuates the passionate lyrics and Weaver’s vocals that the Examiner says, “will transport the listener to a 1940's supper club in farthest reaches of Pluto.” First made popular in 1954 by Dean Martin, check out Joanne's modern-day electro twist on this mambo classic and her steamy video that goes along with it.

Joanne has been featured on this blog previously. CLICK HERE to view the original post.

See more on Joanne here at her official website.


Visit my other music blogs here:
Soundtrack Heaven
The Aussie Music Blog
The Vintage Music Blog
The Jazz Music Blog
This Jukebox Rocks
The Blues and Roots Music Blog
Martin's Music Machine
Twitter @islandmanrocks

Monday, February 23, 2015

So Rare...Gramophone Records Compilation by Barry Humphries ...update of expired link

This was the first post on this blog way back in January, 2013. It has been very popular with numerous hits and the expired link has now been updated. 

Check it out for the first time or to revisit again click here

Friday, January 9, 2015

Italiano Americano - Popular Hits of the 1940s, 50s & 60s Brilliantly Remastered

This collection of popular Italian-American tunes from the 40's to 60's will have you dancing and singing along wherever you are. Featuring the most popular Italiano Americano artists and recognizable songs from their peak years. Fabulous remastering from the original records - 23 brilliantly entertaining tracks.

Just check out this amazing track list and see how many you know and remember..

Tony Renis - Quando Quando Quando
Connie Francis - Torero
Dean Martin - That's Amore
Renato Carosone - Tu Vuo Fa L'Americano
Peggy Lee - Chi-Baba, Chi-Baba
Louis Prima - Angelina
Frank Sinatra - Isle Of Capri
Nat King Cole - Non Dimenticar
Dean Martin - Sway
Doris Day - Que Sera Sera
Perry Como - Papa Love Mambo
Louis Prima - Buona Sera
Lou Monte - Lazy Mary
Bing Crosby - Mona Lisa
Mina - Renato
Frank Sinatra - Nevertheless
Tony Bennett/Count Basie - With Plenty Of Money And You
Dean Martin - Volare
Bobby Darin - Mack The Knife
Dean Martin - Bella Bella Bambina
Louis Prima - Just A Gigolo/Ain't Go Nobody
Dean Martin - Mambo Italiano
Fred Buscaglione - Love In Portofino

Purchase direct from Past Perfect, Amazon and iTunes

 Past Perfect


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Retro-Electro artist Joanne Weaver's unique version of "SWAY" from her forthcoming album Interstellar Songbook II

A planet hurls through space. Zoom in on a couple, eyeing each other from across a dance floor; almost circling each other like two hungry tigers. Maybe it's on Earth; maybe not. It's a timeless story. The music begins...and so does the story.....

"Retro-Electro" artist Joanne Weaver's latest release is a version of the all-time classic "Sway" from her forthcoming album Interstellar Songbook II. Joanne takes classic jazz standards and creates a fresh, contemporary version with her own unique style.

Check out the new single for yourself on the SoundCloud link below, brought to you for your slinky, sultry...and maybe a little bit salacious...listening pleasure. Enjoy .....

Click here to listen to "SWAY" now.


Skope Magazine called Joanne's previous album "amazing...Grade: A." while The Ticker describes her voice as "velvety as the curtains that hug the stage". The songstress receives inspiration from and pays homage to great artists like Sarah Vaughan, Peggy Lee, David Lynch and Julee Cruise.  

Find out more about Joanne on her official website click here

Have a listen also to Joanne's version of "Black Coffee" from her previous album"Interstellar Songbook"and her recent single "Golden Earrings"



Saturday, November 22, 2014

Steven Chera Pays Homage to Elvis with New Album "My Tribute To The King"

NYC Crooner, Steven Chera, pays homage to Elvis Presley in MY TRIBUTE TO THE KING

New Album Out Now!

Steven Chera is a singer and song stylist of 1940-1960′s era music — born, bred, and still living in New York City. He has four released CDs, including his most recently released album Smile–his first CD of original material–written for him by his director and coach, Shellen Lubin.

Following last year’s releases of In The Key of Jazz: A Tribute to The Beatles, out last July and Smile, released last October, Steven Chera releases My Tribute To The King, comprised entirely of his take on Elvis classics. Chera’s chief influences range from American Songbook to Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra, to the Beatles and the Doors. Reigning supreme among his musical heroes, though, is Elvis Presley, whose music Chera fell in love with early in life. In honor of the king of rock 'n' roll, the release of My Tribute To The King coincided with the anniversary of Elvis' passing (August 16th).

Chera has been honing his Elvis impression to perfection from an early age, as is evidenced in songs like "Mean Woman Blues" and “I Want You, I Need You, I Love You”. The self-taught singer reaches the latter song’s peak as he croons, “But now I know that I will go on loving you eternally,” effortlessly singing in the style of the King while infusing his own brand of charisma.

The Brooklyn-born Chera spent his early years listening to and studying music legends like Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, and Bobby Darin. He started to perform at the age of 13, and has never stopped pursuing his music alongside his responsibilities to the family retail business. His work reflects a range of musical styles and appeals to the fans of Elvis Presley and the Beatles, to Queen and the Doors.


My Tribute To The King - track listing
1. That's Alright Mama
2. Love Me
3. Mean Woman Blues
4. I Want You, I Need You, I Love You
5. Trying To Get To You
6. One Night With You
7. Little Sister
8. It's Now Or Never
9. Suspicious Minds
10. Wonder Of You

Listen to samples here
Find out more about Steven on his website

Marty's review: There have been many artists releasing albums of Elvis covers and tributes (not to mention the numerous amount of Elvis impersonators worldwide), but Steven Chera has done a sterling job of presenting a selection of Elvis favorites done in his own style. Without trying to sound exactly like the King, Steven's voice is more than suited to these tracks and he does it in a style that compliments the originals without changing the arrangements too dramatically. Whether you're an Elvis fan or not, this album will certainly appeal as a collection on its own and deserves attention and listening.

Be sure to check out Steven's other albums too. Available on iTunes


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Joanne Weaver's version of "Black Coffee" from the album "Interstellar Songbook"

Joanne Weaver has one of the most beautiful voices that you may not have heard yet! Her first full length album, Interstellar Songbook, is just the thing for sending to aliens who might have been impressed by earlier transmissions of "I Love Lucy" and are coming back to see if Earth's culture has evolved. Joanne has a very 1920's-1940's sound, even when her band is doing more contemporary things. The vocals on Interstellar Songbook are pure silk, very easily flowing, relaxed and natural. It's a jazz lullaby that you'll play a lot. Take a listen!


Friday, October 17, 2014

Past Perfect..Vintage Music on CD and Pre Loaded iPods & MP3 Players

Past Perfect vintage music is an independent record label founded in 1993. They remaster original 78 rpm records; 20s, 30s & 40s music with the characteristic crackle removed; and then produce them for a new life on audio CDs, MP3 players, iPods, media cards and USB flash drives.

Over 50 albums of the most popular music from the 1920s, 30s and 40s. From classic jazz and swing, to amazing big bands and dance bands, and French chansons and vintage love songs.

Their very clever remastering experts obtain the most remarkable sound currently available from the original 78rpm records. They guarantee that you won’t be disappointed!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Recomposed Vivaldi The Four pioneer Max Richter continues to reinvent

Max Richter is a trailblazer in the world of contemporary music. Continuously re-imagining the possibilities and blurring the lines between genres, Richter has made a career of opening doors that once never existed. Recently, he has chosen the task of revitalizing a masterpiece of nearly three hundred years. Inspired greatly by the piece himself, Max used this project as an opportunity to bring The Four Seasons to the attention of 21st-century music lovers, and the result is a beautiful contemporary work with the spirit of 18th-century Vivaldi beaming throughout. 

"...[Recomposed] goes to the soul of the piece and as a result we learn 
not just about a new concerto, but we learn about Vivaldi as well." 
- Daniel Hope, violinist 
Richter picked his favorite bits of the score and reshaped them into "new objects", layering and looping familiar fragments to reinvigorate a work diminished by overuse in elevators, TV ads and as telephone "holding music". "I only kept about 25 percent of the notes but there's Vivaldi DNA in all of it," says Max. 

Follow the links below to hear for yourself:

Spotify                 Youtube                  iTunes                   Amazon


A few things you need to know about Max:

Composer, musician, producer, remixer and collaborator extraordinaire, Richter defies definition. An enigma he may be; what is beyond argument is that he is one of the most prolific musical artists of his generation. 

Inspired as much by Tri Angle Records as Renaissance Polyphony, Richter blends baroque beauty with minimalist methodology, classical orchestration with modern technology.

The result is a monumental body of work encompassing concert music, operas, ballets, art and video installations, multiple film, theatre and television scores and a series of acclaimed solo albums incorporating poetry and literature.

In March 2014, Max Richter signed an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon
The next chapter of his extraordinary career is now set to unfold...Listen for him on HBO's new show, The Leftovers.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

L.A.Confidential original soundtrack Vintage Sounds from the 1950's

Compilation soundtracks are a great way to collect songs from different artists, eras and genres, and this soundtrack is no exception.  Each vintage recording from the 50s perfectly underscores every scene in the film and the 50s period itself. With a fine selection of artists including Gerry Mulligan, Kay Starr, Johnny Mercer, Chet Baker, Lee Willey, Joni James, Jackie Gleason and Betty Hutton - all household names at the time and musical kingpins in this award-winning, romantic crime thriller, this soundtrack is the perfect backdrop for some excellent vintage sounds. 

It was Jackie Gleason who was perhaps the first to introduce "mood" music - music for lovers - and it caught on big-time during most of the 50s. Picture long flowing hair on the women, cool martinis, a black and white legal system, racial tension between the haves and have-nots - and this soundtrack captures it almost perfectly. As a bonus, there are two tracks of the original motion picture score by Jerry Goldsmith, including the emotionally evocative closing credits with the understated trumpet lead. 

1. 'Badge Of Honor' - Jerry Goldsmith
2. Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive - Johnny Mercer
3. The Christmas Blues - Dean Martin
4. Look For The Silver Lining - Chet Baker
5. Makin' Whoopee - Gerry Mulligan Quartet
6. Hit The Road To Dreamland - Betty Hutton
7. Oh! Look At Me Now - Lee Wiley
8. The Lady Is A tramp - Gerry Mulligan Quartet
9. Wheel Of Fortune - Kay Starr
10. But Not For Me - Jackie Gleason
11. How Important Can It Be - Joni James
12. Looking At You - Lee Wiley
13. Powder Your Face With Sunshine - Dean Martin
14. L.A. Confidential - Jerry Goldsmith

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Nelson Eddy...A Perfect Day...Original 1935-1947 Recordings

Nelson Ackerman Eddy (June 29, 1901 – March 6, 1967) was an American singer and actor who appeared in 19 musical films during the 1930s and 1940s, as well as in opera and on the concert stage, radio, television, and in nightclubs. A classically trained baritone, he is best remembered for the eight films in which he co-starred with soprano Jeanette MacDonald. He was one of the first "crossover" stars, a superstar appealing both to shrieking bobby-soxers as well as opera purists, and in his heyday was the highest paid singer in the world.

During his 40-year career, he earned three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (one each for film, recording, and radio), left his footprints in the wet cement at Grauman's Chinese Theater, earned three Gold records, and was invited to sing at the third inauguration of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941. He also introduced millions of young Americans to classical music and inspired many of them to pursue a musical career.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Frank Sinatra .. Sinatra Sings the Songs of Van Heusen and Cahn

Here's a conversation many years ago between Frank Sinatra and his favorite lyricist Sammy Cahn one night at the Palladium Ballroom during the earliest part of his musical career:
Sinatra: "I'm gonna be the best singer in the world."
Cahn: "There's no doubt about it."

Yes, indeed, both Sinatra and Cahn were right about it. Cahn didn't doubt Sinatra when he said that he's going to be the best singer in the world. Of course, he became the best of the best, unmatched, one-of-a-kind and unsurpassed.

In this remarkable album, Sinatra sings the songs of an exceptional songwriting pair of Sammy Cahn and Jim Van Heusen, who have written some of the most beautiful songs from the Great American Songbook. Sammy Cahn's compositions are exceptionally charming and he really had a way with words. Five out of twenty-two songs are from the creative pens of Jim Van Heusen and Johnny Burke. All these are the songs made popular by the Chairman of the Board and were recorded between 1960 and 1968 with seven creative and the best arrangers/conductors of all-time: Nelson Riddle, Gordon Jenkins, Johnny Mandel, Sy Oliver, Quincy Jones, Neal Hefti and Torrie Zito. He left his indelible mark of excellence into these songs and made them his very own. 

One of the most influential and humanitarian people in the world, Bono, once said, "Sinatra's songs are his home, and he lets you in." It's very true, one can just imagine the beauty that he injected into each song even the most ordinary and obscure songs. They become magically wonderful to the ears of the listeners when he interpreted them.

1. Ring-A-Ding-Ding
2. The Last Dance
3. Imagination
4. Polka Dots and Moonbeams
5. It's Always You
6. Indiscreet
7. Come Waltz With Me
8. The Look of Love
9. The Tender Trap
10. Come Blow Your Horn
11. Call Me Irresponsible
12. All The Way
13. Swinging On A Star
14. My Kind Of Town
15. I Like to Lead When I Dance
16. The September Of My Years
17. I'll Only Miss Her When I Think Of Her
18. Come Fly With Me
19. Love And Marriage
20. Moonlight Becomes You
21. Oh, You Crazy Moon

22. Star!