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, October 28, 2012

American Folk Blues Festival - 1962-1965

Some of the most influential American blues musicians, including harp player Big Walter Horton, were introduced to European audiences through the American Folk Blues Festival, a 10-year series of events that began in 1962. The festival's early years were documented in a five-CD set issued by Evidence in 1995. Many of the selections had been previously issued on vinyl but there were also plenty of unreleased gems in the CD release.

The All Music Guide describes Horton (1918-1981) as "one of the most influential blues harmonica players of all time, and a particular pioneer in the field of amplified harmonica." But Horton, a shy man, was never as popular as other harp greats like Little Walter or Sonny Boy Williamson II, preferring the more anonymous life of a sideman. He played on classic Chess recordings by the likes of Muddy Waters, Johnny Shines and Otis Rush, as well as recording some sides of his own for producer Willie Dixon.

I remember seeing Horton perform with Dixon at a college in Nelson, British Columbia, in the early 1970s, a show that also included pianist Lafayette Leake and other musicians from the Chess studios. Seating was on a concrete floor, no chairs, and the opening act was a horrible white blues-rock band. The main attraction was worth the discomfort, however.

Four of the discs in the American Folk Blues Festival set are live recordings, but the fifth is a studio session. From it comes Blues Harp Shuffle by Horton.

Blues Harp Shuffle

The box set of the festival's first years is still available from various sources. Expect to pay about $60; not bad for a five-disc set. As well some tracks from festival performances are available as downloads from the usual places. And there are DVDs of many of the concerts. A Google search will give you all the information you need.

Here's a great YouTube video of Big Walter Horton playing at an American Folk Blues Festival concert in Copenhagen in 1970.

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