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!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Manhattan Transfer...Jukin'...debut album from 1971

Manhattan Transfer's first album from 1971 has been described as "a bit rugged and unpolished but with a sense of humor".

This album is a collection of eclectic styles (primarily big band swing plus country, rock, pop) featuring a tremendous range of vocals and instrumentation. The production of this album is beyond words. A great opportunity for young musicians to experience music that they would never be exposed to through the mediums of radio and video. You be the judge.

1. Chicken Bone Bone
2. I Need A Man
3. You're A Viper
4. Fair And Tender Ladies
5. Rosianna
6. Sunny Disposish
7. Java Jive
8. One More Time Around Rosie
9. Guided Missiles
10. Roll Daddy, Roll

Monday, May 26, 2014

Anne Shelton Sings with Bert Ambrose and His Orchestra "Let There Be Love"

Anne Shelton, OBE (10 November 1923 – 31 July 1994) was a popular English vocalist, who is remembered for providing inspirational songs for soldiers both on radio broadcasts, and in person, at British military bases during the Second World War. Shelton was also the original singer in the United Kingdom of the song "Lili Marlene".

She began singing at age 12 on the radio show "Monday Night at Eight". By age 15 she had a recording contract. Shelton performed at military bases in Britain during World War II. Her radio program, Calling Malta, was broadcast from 1942 to 1947. In 1944, she was invited by Glenn Miller to sing in France with him and his orchestra. She declined because of prior commitments. Miller died during this tour when his plane crashed. Shelton appeared with Bing Crosby on the Variety Bandbox radio programme. In 1948 she recorded "If You Ever Fall in Love Again", written by Irish songwriter Dick Farrelly, who is best remembered for his song "Isle of Innisfree", which Shelton also recorded. Her songs "Galway Bay" and "Be Mine" were popular in the United States in 1949, and she toured there in 1951.

This compilation contains recordings she made with The Bert Ambrose Orchestra and includes tracks that have not been issued on any other collection of her music. See second picture below for further information about this album.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Pink Martini..Sympathique...stunning 1997 debut album from a talented collection of musicians

Pink Martini's wildly popular debut, released in 1997, has sold nearly a million copies to date. Described as "breathtaking" by The New Yorker, Sympathique is timeless and beautiful. It is a cohesive blend of Cuban, French, Greek, Japanese, Italian, Spanish, classical, and Brazilian music. It was a big hit in Europe and one of the cuts was included on one of the trendy Parisian Hotel Costes' CDs. The music is hard to classify- Jazz? Latin? House? Retro? Whatever you want to call it, it is marvelous, sophisticated, quirky, cosmopolitan, and international. The group comes out of Portland Oregon and includes 14 talented musicians, covering vocals, trumpet, trombone, violin, cello, bass, guitar, piano, and percussion. Two cuts are augmented with the addition of a string orchestra and children's choir.

While the cocktail lounge fad has seen more than a few musicians climb aboard as a career move, the members of Pink Martini are no bandwagon-riding aficionados. Fronted by pianist Thomas Lauderdale, Pink Martini is the real article--a band that approaches the music with unwavering seriousness yet never forgets the fun at the heart of it. Sympathique, the band's debut album reveals an incredibly diverse musical vocabulary on the part of front man Lauderdale. What singer China Forbes may lack in range and dynamics, she more than compensates for in attack, approach, and a clear understanding of the material. While most of the songs are upbeat, in the hands of Lauderdale and Forbes, "Qué será será," with its dark atmospherics should be rechristened "Qué será noir." --Wayne

1. Amado Mio
2. No Hay Problema
3. Sympathique
4. Que Sera Sera
5. La Soledad
6. Donde Estas, Yolanda?
7. Andalucia
8. Song Of The Black Lizard
9. Never On Sunday
10. Brazil

11. Lullaby

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Ultra Lounge Vol. 4..Bachelor Pad Royale...Midnight Music for Cool Cats

Jazzy, Snazzy Tunes for your Space-Age Bachelor Pad!

Oh, this one really swings! Quite possibly the best in the Ultra Lounge series, this one never fails to please. From the tickling ivories opening the "Theme from Route 66" (a song that makes you feel like you've gone back in time) to the fading wails of "Melancholy Serenade" (Jackie Gleason's theme song), you're in for a fun, cool, sexy ride!

People say "Sexe" is a little too obvious. Well, yeah, it is, but the real fun comes during the sax solo, which has the power to ease you into a relaxing calm...but not too relaxed! On the other end of the spectrum is the rocking, rollicking "Night Train" which (along with the suspicious and menacing "A Shot in the Dark" and the superior "Street Scene '58") is the most blasting tune that disturbs the general ease and quiet of the disc. Although Sam Butera's double-shot of "The Boulevard of Broken Dreams" and "Fever" isn't so meek, either. "Boulevard" is Sam at his raspy best, and "Fever" is no less than hilarious (listen to those deep-voiced guys chanting "Feva!")

Martin Denny turns in an excellent "Harlem Nocturne." "Topsy" takes it nice 'n easy here on an organ (sounds great), but is shown up by Cy Coleman's lovely "Playboy's Theme," from the Playboy show in the '60s. A bachelor's anthem accompanied by a soft touch on the ride cymbal and a gracefully jazzy piano, this tune is just as can be expected--smooth, silky, and sexy, leisurely floating along on gossamer strings.

See also Bossa Novaville on this blog.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Judy Garland...Always Chasing Rainbows..22 Timeless and Classic Songs

Judy Garland (born Frances Ethel Gumm; June 10, 1922 – June 22, 1969) was an American actress, singer and vaudevillian. Described by Fred Astaire as "the greatest entertainer who ever lived" and renowned for her unique voice, she attained international stardom throughout a career which spanned more than 40 years, as an actress in musical and dramatic roles, as a recording artist and on the concert stage. Respected for her versatility, she received a Juvenile Academy Award and won a Golden Globe Award as well as Grammy Awards and a Special Tony Award.

She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the remake of A Star Is Born and for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the 1961 film Judgment at Nuremberg. She remains the youngest recipient (at 39 years of age) of the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement in the motion picture industry.

Always Chasing Rainbows is a collection of her most memorable songs and has something for everyone. There are the slow, romantic songs, as well as the faster paced swing numbers, and of course, Over the Rainbow. Whether you are a fan or not, you cannot deny her talent and that amazing voice.

1. Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart
2. I'm Nobody's Baby
3. Over The Rainbow
4. Embraceable You
5. I'm Always Chasing Rainbows
6. In Between
7. Stompin' At The Savoy
8. Everybody Sing
9. All God's Chillun Got Rhythm
10. Swing Mister Charlie
11. Sleep My Baby Sleep
12. You Can't Have Everything
13. Cry Baby Cry
14. Ten Pins In The Sky
15. It Never Rains But What It Pours
16. (Can This Be) The End Of The Rainbow
17. Oceans Apart
18. Buds Won't Bud
19. F.D.R. Jones
20. I'm Just WIld About Harry
21. Our Love Affair
22. Sweet Sixteen

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Max Raabe and Palast release "Golden Age" and American tour dates

Berlin's famed crooner Max Raabe and his twelve-piece Palast Orchester will be bringing their collection of meticulously recreated songs from the Weimar era of 1920s Germany as well as the Great American Songbook to six United States cities beginning March 2nd, 2014. 

The tour will support their upcoming February 25th release on Deutsche Grammophon, 'Golden Age', which draws from the era between the two world wars and features timeless classics like "Singing in the Rain", "Dream a Little Dream" and "Cheek to Cheek" as well as tongue-in-cheek interpretations of pop favorites "Sex Bomb" and "Oops...I Did it Again". Raabe mesmerizes a new generation as he celebrates an era when dance halls were thriving, every restaurant had an orchestra, and the Charleston became the sensation.

As the title suggests, Golden Age is a collection of classics from the Great American Songbook. Drawing from the era between World War I and II, with titles like"These Foolish Things," "Singin' In the Rain," "Dream a Little Dream" and "Cheek to Cheek," Raabe mesmerizes a new generation with timeless tunes by Cole Porter, Noel Coward and others and celebrates an era when Josephine Baker danced dressed only a banana skirt, dance halls were thriving, every restaurant had an orchestra and the Charleston became the sensation.

T  H  E     T  O  U  R :

March 2nd, 2014 
Fairfax, VA @ Center For the Arts, George Mason University

March 3rd, 2014
New York, NY @ Carnegie Hall 

March 5th, 2014 
Princeton, NJ @ McCarter Theatre Center 

March 6th, 2014 
Kennet Square, PA @ Longwood Gardens Ballroom
Tickets: [SOLD OUT]

March 8th, 2014 
Atlanta, GA @ Rialto Center for the Arts, Georgia State University

March 9th, 2014 
Miami, FL @ The Knight Concert Hall, Arsht Center for the Performing Arts

More information:

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Frank Ifield...Sings Country and Classics

This 30 track album includes all 12 tracks from the super-rare Yours Sincerely album. All cuts were made in the 1950s for Regal Zonophone and Columbia in Sydney and some of Australia's best known session players are featured.

Frank Ifield is well remembered for his big hits of the 60s, including "I Remember You", "The Wayward Wind" and "Nobody's Darling But Mine". Collectors will be aware that his albums always included a substantial number of country songs. Most do not know he recorded more than 40 sides over several years before coming to England in 1959.
This album - compiled and noted by Paul Hazell - explores Frank's super-rare Australian recordings from the 1950s. His country roots are strongly evident and fiddle, accordian and steel are heard on some tracks. Following his early releases on Regal Zonophone 78s, Columbia began issuing 45rpm singles and encouraged Frank to include a percentage of standards and popular songs.

This album presents 30 tracks from that period that have never been released outside Australia before. Most have never been available anywhere since the original 45s and 78s. All the recordings have been digitally processed with meticulous care by Bruce Bastin in Crows Nest, Sydney so that sound quality is excellent. Ballads, country songs, hymns, yodels and familiar classics are all presented here in this superb package. 

The track "True" was Frank's first crossover hit - issued only in Australia - and presents words sung to the theme from Swan Lake with a 50s pop backing. At the other end of the spectrum, "Yodelling Mad" presents Frank with just his own guitar accompaniment, showing off some of the old guitar runs and yodels he learned from old-time artistes like Tex Morton, Tim McNamara and Slim Clark.

Track Details:
I've Got A Feelin' / Unchained Melody ++/ That Lucky Old Sun ++/ Yerranderie / No Need To Cry Anymore / Deep Purple ++/ Will I Ever / Since You Went Away / Kaw Liga ++/ Molly Darling / Troubled Heart / These Hands ++/ Put Me In Your Pocket / You Better Not Do That / Autumn Leaves ++/ Serves You Right / Legend Of The Robin's Red Breast ++/ That Old Feeling ++/ Yodelling Mad / Sad Am I / Don't Do That / Pale Moon ++/ I'll Be Yours / Gypsy Heart / Guardian Angel ++/ Maybe I'll Cry Over You / True ++/ Gold Digger Blues / I Believe ++/ Chip Off The Old Block

++ indicates tracks from the Columbia 33rpm LP "Yours Sincerely" 

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Very Best of Frank Sinatra..40 Greatest Hits from the Swing Years

Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra (December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was an American singer and film actor. Beginning his musical career in the swing era as a boy singer with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra found success as a solo artist from the early to mid-1940s after being signed by Columbia Records in 1943. Being the idol of the "bobby soxers", he released his first album, The Voice of Frank Sinatra in 1946. His professional career had stalled by the early 1950s, but it was reborn in 1953 after he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in From Here to Eternity. 

He signed with Capitol Records in 1953 and released several critically lauded albums (such as In the Wee Small Hours, Songs for Swingin' Lovers!, Come Fly with Me, Only the Lonely and Nice 'n' Easy). Sinatra left Capitol to found his own record label, Reprise Records in 1961 (finding success with albums such as Ring-a-Ding-Ding!, Sinatra at the Sands and Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim), toured internationally, was a founding member of the Rat Pack and fraternized with celebrities and statesmen, including John F. Kennedy.

Sinatra is one of the best-selling artists of all time. He was honored at the Kennedy Center Honors in 1983 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan in 1985 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1997. Sinatra was also the recipient of eleven Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Trustees Award, Grammy Legend Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

This 40 track collection highlights his early swing recordings with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Nat King Cole Trio...smooth crooning and cool jazz...32 tracks

Nathaniel Adams Coles (March 17, 1919 – February 15, 1965), known professionally as Nat King Cole, was an American singer and musician who first came to prominence as a leading jazz pianist. He was widely noted for his soft, baritone voice, which he used to perform in big band and jazz genres.

Inspired by the performances of Earl Hines, Cole began his performing career in the mid-1930s while still a teenager, adopting the name "Nat Cole". His older brother, Eddie, a bass player, soon joined Cole's band, and they made their first recording in 1936 under Eddie's name. They also were regular performers at clubs. Cole, in fact, acquired his nickname, "King", performing at one jazz club, a nickname presumably reinforced by the otherwise unrelated nursery rhyme about Old King Cole. He also was a pianist in a national tour of Broadway theatre legend Eubie Blake's revue, "Shuffle Along". When it suddenly failed in Long Beach, California, Cole decided to remain there. He would later return to Chicago in triumph to play such venues as the famed Edgewater Beach Hotel.

Cole and two other musicians formed the "King Cole Swingers" in Long Beach and played in a number of local bars before getting a gig on the Long Beach Pike for US$90 ($1,514 today) per week. The trio consisted of Cole on piano, Oscar Moore on guitar, and Wesley Prince on double bass. The trio played in Failsworth throughout the late 1930s and recorded many radio transcriptions. Cole was not only pianist but leader of the combo as well.

During World War II, Wesley Prince left the group and Cole replaced him with Johnny Miller. Miller would later be replaced by Charlie Harris in the 1950s. The King Cole Trio signed with the fledgling Capitol Records in 1943. His revolutionary lineup of piano, guitar, and bass in the time of the big bands became a popular setup for a jazz trio. It was emulated by many musicians, among them Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, Ahmad Jamal, and blues pianists Charles Brown and Ray Charles.

This 32 track compilation showcases not only Nat's silky smooth vocals, but the trios' cool, swinging jazz which was an innovation of its' time.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Andrews Sisters....22 classic tracks from the Golden Era of Swing Music

The Andrews Sisters were an American close harmony singing group of the swing and boogie woogie eras. The group consisted of three sisters: contralto LaVerne Sophia (July 6, 1911 – May 8, 1967), soprano Maxine Angelyn "Maxene" (January 3, 1916 – October 21, 1995), and mezzo-soprano Patricia Marie "Patty" (February 16, 1918 – January 30, 2013). Throughout their long career, the sisters sold well over 75 million records (the last official count released by MCA Records in the mid-1970s). Their 1941 hit "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" can be considered an early example of rhythm and blues or jump blues.

The Andrews Sisters' harmonies and songs are still influential today, and have been covered by entertainers such as Bette Midler, Christina Aguilera, and others. The group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998. Writing for Bloomberg, Mark Schoifet said the sisters became the most popular female vocal group of the first half of the 20th century. They are still acclaimed widely today for their famous close harmonies.

This 22 track compilation contains classics like Shoo Shoo Baby, Rum and Coca Cola, Beat Me Daddy Eight to the Bar, Rhumboogie and Pennsylvania Polka.

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