Listen To:


Selected MP3s of guitar instrumentals, jazz, big band, and classic easy listening from the original vinyl.

Welcome to Guitars & All That Jazz

Welcome to Guitars & All That Jazz

Guitars & All That Jazz was a radio station that webcast via Live365 for 11 years, ending in June 2011. The playlist consisted of guitar instrumentals, jazz, big band, early rock 'n' roll, lounge music and classic easy listening.

I hope to share some of this music with you via this blog. Most of it will be taken from the original vinyl (LPs and 45s) , cassettes and the occasional commercially unavailable CD.

Here's hoping you'll find something to enjoy. Please note files are available only for a limited time.

I urge you to purchase the digital version of the albums featured, either on CD or via download, wherever possible.

Listen to the Music
There are now two music streams. Click the appropriate player to the right.
1. Guitars & All That Jazz: Five hours of the best in jazz, guitars and other instrumental gems. New songs are added weekly.
2. Tiki Shores: Music to sweep you away to a tropical isle, a South American dance floor or a bossa nova on the beach at Rio. About 4.5 hours of classic exotica music, Latin rhythms and bossa nova.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Claude Thornhill & His Orchestra Play for Dancing


By the time this album came out on the budget Design label in 1959, bandleader, pianist arranger and composer Claude Thornhill (1909-1965) had largely been forgotten.

After making a name for himself with arrangements for the orchestras of Paul Whiteman, Benny Goodman and Ray Noble, Thornhill put together his own band in 1940. Although it was basically a dance band, the orchestra began attracting the attention of the jazz world after the addition of arranger Gil Evans in 1941.

A progressive post-war band put together by Thornhill retained the services of Evans and utilized soloists such as alto saxophonist Lee Konitz and trumpeter Red Rodney. This band's sound and arrangements influenced the development of the cool jazz that emerged in the late 1940s, in particular the 1949 sessions of the Miles Davis Nonet that produced the legendary Birth of the Cool recordings.

Thornhill's discography is extensive and it's difficult to figure out just where Play for Dancing fits in. As was the norm for budget recordings, the album notes give no indication when or where this was recorded. It also doesn't indicate any of the musicians involved, outside of Thornhill of course.

The sound of the recording indicates it was probably recorded in the 1950s, perhaps even especially for Design, although their products were often resissues of much earlier recordings. From the original vinyl album comes Where or When. Listen and/or download below.

Where or When

This album isn't available in a digital format, but used vinyl copies turn up now and then on auction sites. The prices will probably deter all but the most diehard Thornhill fans.

As a composer, Thornhill's most famous song is Snowfall, which has been recorded by dozens of artists and has become a standard since its introduction by the Thornhill band in 1941.

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