Monday, November 18, 2013

Ultra Lounge Vol.14 Bossa Novaville ... various artists..Cool and Swinging Lounge Sounds

So Cool..So Sexy..So Rio...So Ipanema

Flying down to Rio? No need to. These 18 velvet Brazilian Bossa-beaters are smoother than scratch-free Formica and cooler than a Frigidaire. 

In the 50's and 60s, dancing the Bossa Nova was the most cool and fashionable thing to do and be seen doing! There were many clubs where you could dance to it and Bossa Nova parties were all the rage.

Just the thing for your next poolside party. So, stick around, you're in Sambatown. Suave!


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Johnny Mercer....The Capitol Collectors Series

John Herndon "Johnny" Mercer (November 18, 1909 – June 25, 1976) was an American lyricist, songwriter and singer. He was also a co-founder of Capitol Records.

He is best known as a lyricist, but he also composed music. He was also a popular singer who recorded his own songs as well as those written by others. From the mid-1930s through the mid-1950s, many of the songs Mercer wrote and performed were among the most popular hits of the time. He wrote the lyrics to more than fifteen hundred songs, including compositions for movies and Broadway shows. He received nineteen Academy Award nominations, and won four.

Well regarded also as a singer, with a folksy quality, Mercer was a natural for his own songs such as "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive", "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe", "One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)", and "Lazybones". He was considered a first-rate performer of his own work.

It has been said that he penned "One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)"—one of the great torch laments of all times—on a napkin while sitting at the bar at P. J. Clarke's when Tommy Joyce was the bartender. The next day Mercer called Joyce to apologize for the line "So, set 'em up, Joe," "I couldn't get your name to rhyme."

This 20 track compilation contains all his classics and more.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Very Best of PEGGY LEE

Peggy Lee (May 26, 1920 – January 21, 2002) was an American jazz and popular music singer, songwriter, composer and actress, in a career spanning six decades. From her beginning as a vocalist on local radio to singing with Benny Goodman's big band, she forged a sophisticated persona, evolving into a multi-faceted artist and performer. She wrote music for films, acted, and created conceptual record albums—encompassing poetry, jazz, chamber pop, and art songs.

Peggy Lee was a major influence in the vocal community and influenced other singers like the late Dusty Springfield who she outlived by only a few years. She was known as the grand dame of singing whether in small cabarets, dinner clubs, or arenas and was always a class act. She was highly regarded, respected, and admired by her peers and colleagues and was truly a lady onstage and offstage, without a hint of scandal.

This 21 track collection demonstrates Peggy's versatility -upbeat swinging songs, slow, sexy songs, Latin-flavored songs and so much more. Of course, it is not possible to do full justice to Peggy's vast legacy in a single CD, but for anybody new to Peggy's music, this is a very commendable compilation with a good cross section of her work.

So, whether you are new to her music or a committed fan, this is sure to provide you with plenty of entertainment.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Glenn Miller and The American Band of the AEF...The Lost Recordings....Sep - Nov 1944

The American Band of the Allied Expeditionary Force conducted by Major Glenn Miller
featuring Dinah Shore, Irene Manning, Johnny Desmond and Ray McKinley

Alton Glenn Miller (March 1, 1904 – missing in action December 15, 1944) was an American big band musician, arranger, composer, and bandleader in the swing era. He was one of the best-selling recording artists from 1939 to 1943, leading one of the best known big bands. Miller's notable recordings include "In the Mood", "Moonlight Serenade", "Pennsylvania 6-5000", "Chattanooga Choo Choo", "A String of Pearls", "At Last", "(I've Got a Gal In) Kalamazoo", "American Patrol", "Tuxedo Junction", and "Little Brown Jug". 

In 1942, at the peak of his civilian career, Miller decided to join the war effort. At 38, Miller was too old to be drafted, and he persuaded the United States Army to accept him so he could, in his own words, "be placed in charge of a modernized Army band." After being accepted into the Army, Miller's civilian band played its last concert in Passaic, New Jersey, on September 27, 1942. His patriotic intention of entertaining the Allied Forces with the fusion of virtuosity and dance rhythms in his music earned him the rank of Captain and he was soon promoted to Major by August 1944.

Miller initially formed a large marching band that was to be the core of a network of service orchestras. His attempts at modernizing military music were met with some resistance from tradition-minded career officers. For example, Miller's arrangement of "St. Louis Blues March", combined blues and jazz with the traditional military march. Miller's weekly radio broadcast "I Sustain the Wings", for which he co-wrote the eponymous theme song, moved from New Haven to New York City and was very popular. This led to permission for Miller to form his 50-piece Army Air Force Band and take it to England in the summer of 1944, where he gave 800 performances. While in England, Major Miller recorded a series of records at EMI owned Abbey Road Studios. 

There were also the Miller-led AEF Orchestra-recorded songs with American singer Dinah Shore and other singers. These were done at the Abbey Road studios and were the last recorded songs made by the band while being led by Miller. They were stored with HMV/EMI for fifty years, never being released until their copyright expired in Europe in 1994. This double CD set is a compilation of those recordings made between September and November, 1944.

While he was traveling to entertain U.S. troops in France during World War II, Glenn Miller's aircraft disappeared in bad weather over the English Channel. In the mid-1940s, after Miller's disappearance, the Miller-led Army Air Force band was decommissioned and sent back to the United States. "The chief of the European theater asked [Warrant Officer Harold Lindsay] Lin [Arinson] to put together another band to take its place, and that's when the 314 was formed." According to singer Tony Bennett who sang with it while in the service, the 314 was the immediate successor to the Glenn Miller led AAF orchestra. The Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band's long term legacy has carried on with the Airmen of Note, a band within the United States Air Force Band. This band was created in 1950 from smaller groups within the Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, D.C. and continues to play jazz music for the Air Force community and the general public. The legacy also continues through The United States Air Forces in Europe Band, stationed at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Caro Emerald...jazz, swing, tango and pop with a vintage sound

Caro Emerald is a Dutch singer whose music crosses between jazz, swing, tango, pop and hip-hop with nostalgic influences. She debuted on 6 July 2009 with her single "Back It Up" and her 2009 single "A Night Like This" was a No.1 single in her native Netherlands.

Caroline Esmeralda van der Leeuw was born on 26 April 1981 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She started singing lessons at age 12 with James Gilloffo in Amsterdam and joined a girl vocal group, Les Elles, under his guidance. Following high school she trained as a jazz vocalist at the Amsterdam Conservatory, graduating in 2005.

In early 2007 Dutch producer Jan van Wieringen invited van der Leeuw to sing the vocal on a demo track he was co-producing with songwriter and producer David Schreurs. The song, "Back It Up", had been written by Schreurs together with Canadian songwriter Vince Degiorgio and was based on a hip-hop beat created by Jan and Robin Veldman. Caro's jazzy vocal style was considered a "perfect match" for the new song.

The song demo was pitched to various publishers and labels but although the reaction was positive they struggled to imagine it suiting any particular artist and didn't believe it had a strong enough chart potential. In the meantime, however, the song was posted on YouTube reaching public notice around the world. Radio stations picked it up and the song gained popularity.

When Degiorgio, Schreurs and van Wieringen discovered van der Leeuw's sound had such potential, they set about working on a full album presenting Emerald as the star in the summer of 2008 and used "Back It Up"'s mix of 40s–50s jazz, easy listening, orchestral Latin, combined with infectious beats as a model. Adopting a sample based approach but with live instrumentation, the writing sessions drew from a wide range of influences including jazz organist Jackie Davis, exotica composer Martin Denny, mambo king Perez Prado, 20s/30s jazz and van der Leeuw's own vocal inspirations of The Andrews Sisters, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan. The usual method would be for Schreurs to produce the backing tracks at home and then get together with top line writer and lyricist Degiorgio to write the song. Van der Leeuw would occasionally pitch in her own melody and lyrical ideas, and Van Wieringen co-created the tracks for "The Other Woman" and "Dr Wanna Do".

Her debut album "Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor" set a new all-time Dutch chart record on 20 August 2010, spending its 30th week at number one on the country's albums chart, beating the previous record set by Michael Jackson's "Thriller" by one week. The album became the biggest selling album of 2010 in the Netherlands and has sold over 300,000 copies so far. In total more than a million copies have been sold. On 3 October 2010, Emerald was awarded the Dutch music prize "Edison Award" for Best Female Artist.


 In April 2013, her second studio album "The Shocking Miss Emerald" went to No. 1 in the UK album chart, becoming her first UK No. 1 album.

Soundcloud link

Caro Emerald offcial website

download FREE Acoustic Sessions EP here



Saturday, September 21, 2013

Vintage Charleston..Original Recordings 1924 - 1928

The Charleston is a dance named for the harbor city of Charleston, South Carolina. The rhythm was popularized in mainstream dance music in the United States by a 1923 tune called "The Charleston" by composer/pianist James P. Johnson which originated in the Broadway show Runnin' Wild and became one of the most popular hits of the decade. Runnin' Wild ran from 29 October 1923 through 28 June 1924. The peak year for the Charleston as a dance by the public was mid-1926 to 1927.

While the Charleston as a dance probably came from the "star" or challenge dances that were all part of the African-American dance called Juba, the particular sequence of steps which appeared in Runnin' Wild were probably newly devised for popular appeal. "At first, the step started off with a simple twisting of the feet, to rhythm in a lazy sort of way (this could well be the Jay-Bird). When the dance hit Harlem, a new version was added. It became a fast kicking step, kicking the feet, both forward and backward and later done with a tap." Further changes were undoubtedly made before the dance was put on stage.

The Charleston was one of the dances from which Lindy Hop and Jazz Roots developed in the 1930s. A slightly different form of Charleston became popular in the 1930s and '40s, and is associated with Lindy Hop. In this later Charleston form, the hot jazz timing of the 1920s Charleston was adapted to suit the swing jazz music of the '30s and '40s. This style of Charleston has many common names, though the most common are Lindy Charleston, Savoy Charleston, '30s or '40s Charleston and Swing(ing) Charleston. In both '20s Charleston and Swinging Charleston, the basic step takes eight counts and is danced either alone or with a partner.

This compilation captures the sounds of the 20's craze about as well as anything. Great titles, especially by Paul Whiteman, "I'd Rather Charleston" by Fred and Adele Astaire with George Gershwin accompanying, "South Wind", by Roger Wolfe Kahn's Orchestra, a great arrangement and spirited playing, plus tracks from Jelly Roll Morton and George Olsen among others. A well remastered collection of hard-to-find recordings.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Ella Fitzgerald......Early Ella

Ella Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996), also known as the "First Lady of Song", "Queen of Jazz", and "Lady Ella", was an American jazz vocalist with a vocal range spanning three octaves (D♭3 to D♭6). She was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing and intonation, and a "horn-like" improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing. Fitzgerald was a notable interpreter of the Great American Songbook. Over the course of her 59-year recording career, she sold 40 million copies of her 70-plus albums, won 13 Grammy Awards and was awarded the National Medal of Arts by Ronald Reagan and the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George H. W. Bush.

She made her singing début at 17 on November 21, 1934, at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, New York. She pulled in a weekly audience at the Apollo and won the opportunity to compete in one of the earliest of its famous "Amateur Nights". In January 1935, Fitzgerald won the chance to perform for a week with the Tiny Bradshaw band at the Harlem Opera House. She met drummer and band leader Chick Webb there. Webb offered her the opportunity to test with his band when they played a dance at Yale University.

She began singing regularly with Webb's Orchestra through 1935 at Harlem's Savoy Ballroom. Fitzgerald recorded several hit songs with them, including "Love and Kisses" and "(If You Can't Sing It) You'll Have to Swing It (Mr. Paganini)". But it was her 1938 version of the nursery rhyme, "A-Tisket, A-Tasket", a song she co-wrote, that brought her wide public acclaim. Chick Webb died on June 16, 1939, and his band was renamed "Ella and her Famous Orchestra" with Ella taking on the role of nominal band leader. Fitzgerald recorded nearly 150 songs with the orchestra before it broke up in 1942. 

This collection focuses on her early 30s and 40s recordings.


Friday, August 23, 2013

The Best of Paolo Conte..elegant and seductive rhythms with a touch of Tango

Italian singer-songwriter Paolo Conte is famous for his gravelly voice – often compared to singer-poets such as Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen - his elegant and seductive rhythms, melodies and lyrics that sometimes veer towards hot jazz or bar-room tangos. It is a music of memories - half true, half dreams, poetic fragments of colors, images and fantasies.

He is a completely original talent, and his leathery, life-weary face on the cover is the first clue to the evocative music of this poet, painter, musician, and lawyer from Asti in northern Italy. Observations on the tide of human existence deftly rendered in vividly poetic lines that startle with their originality are highlighted in smoky vignettes of '40s jazz- and tango-inflected tunes, teetering between Cabaret, The Circus, and 42nd Street. Conte's unfiltered raspy voice is the perfect vehicle for his poignant view of the foibles of adult life mused from the corner barstool, admiring women whose "pungent smells [beckon] him like an old-fashioned grocery, its doors flung open to the spring outside." The music is a treat in itself, but the real gold is to be found in his lyrics, and luckily translations are in the liner notes. --Derek Rath (Amazon review)

This album is a collection of 20 of his finest recordings...

1. Elisir
2. Sotto Le Stelle Del Jazz
3. Via Con Me
4. Boogie
5. Sparring Partner
6. Come Di
7. Azzurro
8. Gelato Al Limon
9. Happy Feet
10. Gli Impermeabili
11. Max
12. Gong-Oh
13. Colleghi Trascurati
14. Bartali
15. Alle Prese Con Una Verde Milonga
16. Dragon
17. Hemingway
18. Ho Ballato Di Tutto
19. Quadrille
20. Genova Per Noi

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Gabriela Pepino...A mix of Brazilian Roots into American Music..new album released

Gabriela Pepino is a Brazillian native singer/songwriter who has just debuted her first album, "Let Me Do It". Gabriela's musical roots are planted in jazz, blues, soul and pop.

Some fast facts about Gabriela:
·      Gabriela is a former Berklee College of Music alumni
·      Gabriela has been a part of multiple jazz festivals around the world.
·      Gabriela sings in English instead of her native language Portuguese.

"Let Me Do It" exposes Gabriela's talent of being able to sing different styles of music from across the ages. The album is a mix of some old favorites ranging from a cover of Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vincius de Morals's 1956 hit "Someone to Light Up My Life" to Tina Turner's 1993 hit song, "I Don’t Wanna Fight Anymore". Along with covers of old classics, she has some mixed in some of her own originals such as, "If I Lived in France."

Gabriela's choice of singing in English, instead of her native language, came as natural as her musical initiation." It was bigger than me! I've been writing these songs for the past four years!" adds Gabriela Pepino.

In times where figurative music and singers are programmed to follow the beat of the moment, Let Me Do It injects honesty and vitality to this often addicted business. Gabriela Pepino is a true singer that makes real music like old times. History – emphasis on Amy Winehouse's (1983-2011) success – has been kindly generous to those who follow this retro path with soul. Let Gabriela Pepino do it!

"Gabriela Pepino does not hide her jazz and bossa nova roots. Her refined “Let me do it”, shows that she’s here to stay." Rolling Stone Magazine (Brazil)

“It is amazing, how this voice that reminds me of powerfull african american singers, comes so naturally from this tiny beautiful blonde woman! Doesn’t look like it’s coming from her at all, it is fascinating!" Ronnie Von (Brazilian tv host)

“Gabriela is young, dedicated and focused, well qualified. It is very stimulating to be part of her talented development!" Gilvan de Oliveira – Latin Grammy Award winner guitarist

Genre: Soul, Blues, Jazz, R&B
Location: Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Comparison: Joss Stone, Duffy, Amy Winehouse, Etta James, Elton John

go to Gabriela's Soundcloud Page for streaming music samples

It's amazing how naturally Gabriela faces a Blues like "Dose of Scotch" as if she was placed in a mid 20's cabaret. Her rhythmic skills shown in Baby, are a delight to all ears, Again proving her naturally talented skills as a songwriter/composer.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Lys Gauty..Chanteuse Extraordinaire!

Lys Gauty (Alice Gautier) is perhaps the greatest of all the chanteuses. While some would prefer the more overt emoting of Piaf, the classically trained Gauty was the most vocally accomplished of all. She is by far the most subtle of her number, inflecting the text wonderfully according to the mood of each song and able to conjure up an astonishing range of vocal colours, from robust mezzo for "men's" songs to light soprano for more feminine numbers. In her hands, each song becomes a miniature play, and it's easy to see why she was one of Kurt Weill's favourite interpreters of his songs.

This album covers a good selection of her songs and will leave you wanting for more. A wonderful memento of an extraordinary artiste.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Bing Crosby..CBS Radio 1943-44

Harry Lillis "Bing" Crosby (May 3, 1903 – October 14, 1977) was an American singer and actor. Crosby's trademark bass-baritone voice made him one of the best-selling recording artists of the 20th century, with over half a billion records in circulation.

A multimedia star, from 1934 to 1954 Bing Crosby was a leader in record sales, radio ratings and motion picture grosses. His early career coincided with technical recording innovations; this allowed him to develop a laid-back, intimate singing style that influenced many of the popular male singers who followed him, including Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, and Dean Martin. Yank magazine recognized Crosby as the person who had done the most for American G.I. morale during World War II and, during his peak years, around 1948, polls declared him the "most admired man alive," ahead of Jackie Robinson and Pope Pius XII. Also in 1948, the Music Digest estimated that Crosby recordings filled more than half of the 80,000 weekly hours allocated to recorded radio music.

On September 2, 1931, Crosby made his solo radio début. Before the end of the year, he signed with both Brunswick Records and CBS Radio. Doing a weekly 15-minute radio broadcast, Crosby quickly became a huge hit. His songs "Out of Nowhere", "Just One More Chance", "At Your Command" and "I Found a Million Dollar Baby (in a Five and Ten Cent Store)" were all among the best selling songs of 1931.

During the "Golden Age of Radio," performers often had to recreate their live shows a second time for the west coast time zone. Through the medium of recording, Crosby constructed his radio programs with the same directorial tools and craftsmanship (editing, retaking, rehearsal, time shifting) being used in motion picture production. This became the industry standard.

This 25 track collection from the 1940s contains live numbers recorded with The Henderson Choir, The Andrews Sisters, The Charioteers and Bob Hope, and a beautiful version of "White Christmas".


Monday, July 15, 2013

For Jumpers Only!..Jump Blues from the 40s and 50s...various artists

Let's take a JUMP forward (or back) to the 40s and 50s for this album. If you like jump blues, this is a great collection of some early tunes.  With artists like Illinois Jacquet, Cab Calloway and Panama Francis, this compilation will have you JUMPING for the ceiling and around the floor!

1. Benson's Bounce - Panama Francis
2. Bottoms Up - Illinois Jacquet
3. On My Own - Willis Jackson
4. Duck Fever - Fred Jackson
5. Jump & Shout - Erline Harris
6. For Jumpers Only - Cat Anderson
7. B.O. Plenty's Return - Morris Lane
8. Top 'N' Bottom - Tab Smith
9. Pink Cadillac - Paul Bascomb
10. Top Flight - Arnett Cobb
11. Benson Alley - Sir Charles Thompson
12. Shotgun Boogie - Cab Calloway

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Django Reinhardt...40 Breathtaking Recordings

Jean "Django" Reinhardt (23 January 1910 – 16 May 1953) was a pioneering virtuoso jazz guitarist and composer. He was born in Liberchies, Pont-à-Celles, Belgium, into a family of Manouche Romani descent. Reinhardt's nickname "Django", in the Romani language, means "I awake." Reinhardt spent most of his youth in Romani (Gypsy) encampments close to Paris, playing banjo, guitar and violin from an early age.

Reinhardt is often regarded as one of the greatest guitar players of all time and is the first important European jazz musician who made major contributions to the development of the idiom. Using only the index and middle fingers of his left hand on his solos (his third and fourth fingers were paralyzed after an injury in a fire), Reinhardt invented an entirely new style of jazz guitar technique (sometimes called 'hot' jazz guitar) that has since become a living musical tradition within French gypsy culture. With violinist Stéphane Grappelli, he co-founded the Quintette du Hot Club de France, described by critic Thom Jurek as "one of the most original bands in the history of recorded jazz."Reinhardt's most popular compositions have become jazz standards, including "Minor Swing", "Daphne", "Belleville", "Djangology", "Swing '42", and "Nuages".

This collection contains the best of his immortal recordings with Stephane Grappelli together with other highlights illustrating his instrumental prowess.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

George Olsen and His Music..Beyond the Blue Horizon.. 24 original mono recordings 1923 - 1933

George Olsen (originally from Oregon, USA) went from being drum major of the University of Michigan marching band to leading successful pit orchestras for some of the most famous Broadway musical productions of the 1920s. He appeared in numerous Ziegfield follies, George White scandals, etc. His orchestra began recording for Victor records in 1924 and soon became a rival to the top-rated orchestras of Paul Whiteman and Fred Waring. Olsen's most successful recording was the 1925 smash hit, "Who?", and was followed by many others including, "Lucky Day", "Do Do Do", "Varsity Drag", and "Doin' the Racoon". Olsen appeared in the Eddie Cantor talking picture, Whoopee, in 1930. He also was Jack Benny's first orchestra leader when Benny began his weekly show on radio in 1931.

Olsen's recordings were generally up-tempo renditions of Broadway or other popular tunes. The arrangements were complex, musically "busy", and featured a rotation of lead instruments on repetitions of the main theme, driven by a relentless rhythm section of the "boom-chick" variety. The music reflects and embodies the carefree spirit and hyperactivity of the "jazz age". The vocals are remarkably good and surprisingly understated, for the period. The lead singer was usually Fran Frey who had an unpolished-but-effective-and-charming, relaxed, baritone delivery. (Frey was later musical director for the Ice Capades.) Other songs were tastefully and satisfactorily performed by a vocal trio. Several songs on this CD were sung by Olsen's wife, Ethel Shutta, who had an almost angelic, ethereal, soprano voice.



Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Essence of Jazz Vocals...various artists

The roots of jazz music were very much vocal, with field hollers and ceremonial chants, but while the blues maintained a strong vocal tradition, with singers such as Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith heavily influencing the progress of American popular music in general, early jazz bands only featured vocalists periodically, albeit those with a more "bluesy" tone of voice; one of the first "jazz" recordings, the 1917 Original Dixieland Jass Band recordings featured one Sarah Martin as vocalist.

It was Louis Armstrong who established singing as a distinct art form in jazz, realising that a singer could improvise in the same manner as an instrumentalist, and along with American vocalist Adelaide Hall they established scat singing as a central pillar of the jazz vocal art.

The entrance of Billie Holiday into the world of jazz singing in the early 1930s was a revelation. She approached the voice from a radical angle, explaining, in her own words,"I don't feel like I'm singing, I feel like I'm playing the horn." Compared to other great jazz singers, Holiday had a rather limited vocal range of just over an octave. Where Holiday's genius lay, however, was to compensate for this shortcoming, with impeccable timing, nuanced phrasing, and emotional immediacy, qualities admired by a young Frank Sinatra.

With the end of prohibition in the United States, a more "danceable" form of jazz music arose, giving birth to the Swing era, and with it big bands such as those led by Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Tommy Dorsey, Jimmie Lunceford, Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw and Chick Webb. Many of the great post war jazz singers sang with these bands in the infancy of their careers.

With the end of the Swing era, the great touring Big bands of the past decade were no longer a viable option, and the demise of the typical big band singer was further complicated by the advent of be-bop as a creative force in jazz. The rise of be-bop saw a new style of jazz singer, one who could match instrumentalists for sheer technical skill, and this was evident in Ella Fitzgerald's rise to fame, the art of jazz singing was elevated to even higher rankings, allowing the notion of "free voice" to exist, giving instrumental qualities to the voice through timbres, registers and tessitura.

This 44 track compilation showcases the cream of the jazz vocalists from the 30s, 40s and 50s including Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Cab Calloway, Ivie Anderson, Bing Crosby, Sarah Vaughan, Peggy Lee and many more........


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Ivie Anderson (with Duke Ellington Orchestra)...It Don't Mean A Thing

Ivie Anderson (sometimes Ivy) (July 10, 1905 – December 28, 1949) was an American jazz singer. She is best known for her performances with Duke Ellington's orchestra between 1931 and 1942. Anderson, was born in Louisiana. With a sweet, clear singing voice, she was a popular attraction with Ellington's band. Her performance of "Stormy Weather" in the movie short Bundle of Blues (1933) was only eclipsed by the later and far better-known version sung by Lena Horne in Horne's movie that was also entitled Stormy Weather (1943).

Over Ellington's long career as bandleader, his indifference toward vocalists changed with the hiring of Anderson, who was generally considered the best vocalist he ever employed. She also appeared as a singer in the Marx Brothers movie A Day at the Races (1937) and the same year in Hit Parade of 1937 (as Ivy Anderson).

Distinguished Jazz critic Nat Hentoff described Anderson as 'easily the sensitive and musical female vocalist Ellington ever had'. She 'sang with a simplicity ... so artless that she is ... remarkably neglected in ... writings about jazz.' She 'sang with a supple warmth and caressing beat that made her one of the unforgettable voices in Jazz.' He also calls her 'direct, completely unpretentious and ungimmicked'

There are many who regard Ivie Anderson as The Duke's best vocalist, and this compilation can only reinforce that belief. It covers the period of her career with Ellington, from 1932 when she first recorded with him, to 1942 when she gave up touring, and throws in for good measure her 1946 recording of Empty Bed Blues. She melded perfectly with the orchestra, establishing herself in a predominantly male clique, and was adored by musicians and audiences alike. As with all the best singers, her personality radiates from the recordings, be they exuberant up-tempo numbers like "Truckin'" or melancholy numbers like "Troubled Waters".

This very generous 26 track compilation is a joy to listen to. Recommended without reservation.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Harry James and His Orchestra..original live radio broadcasts

Harry James was, along with many other more well known artists of the WWII era, (i.e. Glenn Miller,Tommy Dorsey) a pioneer of swing in its rawest form. The basic foundations of his blues inspired compositions have been the baseboard of jump jivin' dance hall swing that is heard all over the radio today and emulated by modern artists such as the Stray Cats and a myriad of Rockabilly groups heretofore and everything in between.

James took this genre to the nth degree, and went all over the map with it, but never becoming blase or redundant. He had an inimitable knack for composing low-slung bluesy trumpet laden instrumentals right alongside jazz infused swinging jump jive. James' music inspired more than this wonderful musician was ever given credit for, and any lover of the swing era would be amiss to not listen to, and discover what this amazing musician gave to us.

This 22 track collection features some of his live radio big band recordings with guest vocalists.


Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Very Best of Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong, Satchmo or Pops, was an American jazz trumpeter and singer from New Orleans, Louisiana. Coming to prominence in the 1920s as an "inventive" trumpet and cornet player, Armstrong was a foundational influence in jazz, shifting the focus of the music from collective improvisation to solo performance. With his instantly-recognizable gravelly voice, Armstrong was also an influential singer, demonstrating great dexterity as an improviser, bending the lyrics and melody of a song for expressive purposes.

Renowned for his charismatic stage presence and voice almost as much as for his trumpet-playing, Armstrong's influence extends well beyond jazz music, and by the end of his career in the 1960s, he was widely regarded as a profound influence on popular music in general.

This 40 track collection highlights some of his most memorable performances..


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Legendary Big Band Singers...various artists

This 1994 release comes from the Jazz label GRP Records(GRP became an abbreviation for Great Records Period). With one exception, the opening track by Cab Calloway which was recorded in 1931 on the Brunswick label, it covers a wide range of Decca recordings artists from 1936 to 1951, some of the tracks are quite rare. The line-up on this collection speaks for itself. All the greats are here giving an insight to the talent that was available to the big bands of the era.

1. Minnie The Moocher - Cab Calloway
2. Thanks A Million - Louis Armstrong
3. The Melody Man - Sy Oliver
4. Until The Real Thing Comes Along - Pha Terrell
5. Wham - June Richmond
6. Sent For You Yesterday - Jimmy Rushing
7. Sing For Your Supper - Helen Humes
8. Vol Visit Du Gaily Star - Bon Bon
9. Blues To The Lonely - Jack Teagarden
10. Green Eyes - Helen O'Connell & Bob Eberle
11. Hootie Blues - Walter Brown
12. Trouble In Mind - Sister Rosetta Tharpe
13. When My Sugar Walks Down The Street - Ella Fitzgerald
14. Blues In The Night - Woody Herman
15. You Always Hurt The One You Love - Kay Starr
16. Blow Top Blues - Dinah Washington
17. Hey! Ba-Ba-Re-Bop - Lionel Hampton
18. I Wish I Knew - Little Johnny Scott
19. Since I Fell For You - Ella Johnson
20. What Will I Tell My Heart - Arthur Prysock

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Best of The Mills Brothers

The Mills Brothers, sometimes billed as The Four Mills Brothers, were an American jazz and pop vocal quartet of the 20th century who made more than 2,000 recordings that combined sold more than 50 million copies, and garnered at least three dozen gold records. The Mills Brothers were inducted into The Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998.

1. You Always Hurt The One You Love
2. Lazy River
3. Someday
4. Paper Doll
5. Put Another Chair At The Table
6. Dedicated To You
7. Georgia On My Mind
8. F.D.R Jones
9. Lazy Bones
10. Sweet Georgia Brown
11. Stardust
12. Limehouse Blues
13. Love Bug Will Bite You
14. It Don't Mean A Thing
15. Meet Me Tonight In Dreamland
16. Pennies From Heaven
17. Dinah
18. Shine
19. Shoe Shine Boy
20. Nagasaki
21. Some Of These Days
22. In The Shade Of The Old Apple Tree
23. Across The Alley From The Alamo
24. I'll Be Around
25. Goodbye Blues

Monday, April 1, 2013

Scott Joplin ... The All-Time Ragtimer

Scott Joplin (1867–1917) was an African-American composer and pianist. Joplin achieved fame for his ragtime compositions, and was later dubbed "The King of Ragtime". During his brief career, he wrote 44 original ragtime pieces, one ragtime ballet, and two operas. One of his first pieces, the "Maple Leaf Rag", became ragtime's first and most influential hit, and has been recognized as the archetypal rag.

Joplin's music was rediscovered and returned to popularity in the early 1970s with the release of a million-selling album of Joplin's rags recorded by Joshua Rifkin, followed by the Academy Award–winning movie "The Sting", which featured several of his compositions, such as "The Entertainer". The opera "Treemonisha" was finally produced in full to wide acclaim in 1972. In 1976, Joplin was posthumously awarded a Pulitzer Prize.

This 35 track compilation features the finest Ragtime numbers from the legendary composer including "Maple Leaf Rag", "Elite Syncopations" and "The Entertainer".