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.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Swing Era 1940-1941 (Time Life box set)

Time-Life Records began issuing a series of three-LP box sets in 1970 that recreated the hits of the swing era. Most of the recordings were made by Billy May and His Orchestra, with some sets featuring tracks made by Glen Gray and a modern version of his Casa Loma Orchestra. All arrangements followed the original hits very closely.

Each box set (there were 14 of them) included a 64-page book. Despite the fact that these are not the original recordings The Swing Era series proved to be enormously popular -- one of Time-Life's biggest sellers. The records were pressed by Capitol Records Special Markets division and the pressings and stereo quality are top of the line.

Below is May's version of the Erskine Hawkins hit Tuxedo Junction, taken from the volume covering 1940-1941.

Tuxedo Junction

These Time-Life big band recreations were reissued at least three times in their entirety -- twice on vinyl box sets, with slightly different covers in the mid-1970s and entirely new covers later in the decade, and on CD, beginning in 1999. The track listings for the CDs varied from those on the LPs and the covers looked like this:

Reasonably priced vinyl box sets are easy to come by online. They also seem to populate thrift store shelves fairly often. The CDs, however, are harder to come by and seem to be quite pricey. These recordings haven't been marketed as downloads under The Swing Era title, but it's possible they're available on other compilations.

Here's another sample of the Swing Era series, this one taken from a CD. This time it's the Glen Gray Orchestra recreating Andy Kirk's Moten Swing.

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