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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.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Peter Hamilton and His Orchestra - Golden Film


Golden Film by Peter Hamilton and His Orchestra was issued on CD and cassette in 1991 by Point Productions, based in The Netherlands. But the tracks had been recorded by Vedette Records in Italy, probably in the 1970s.

Vedette was a label that was primarily associated with Italian beat groups, but the company also made a number of easy listening albums, some of which came out under the Peter Hamilton name. It's likely a pseudonym.

Golden Film was marketed mainly in discount outlets like Wal-Mart and K-Mart and can often be found in the thrift store bins. Among the selections is Michel Legrand's theme from The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Les parapluies de Cherbourg), the 1964 French romance written and directed by Jacques Demy and starring Catherine Deneuve.

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg



More than a dozen Peter Hamilton albums are available for download from iTunes and other major sources. You'll find at least some of the tracks from Golden Film among these collections that are being marketed by the original Vedette label.

Here's the Peter Hamilton version of the Barbra Streisand film theme The Way We Were. This can be found on the download album Spotlight -- Film Themes.


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Hank Crawford - Double Cross


Saxophonist Hank Crawford is firmly in the soul jazz camp for Double Cross (Atlantic, 1968), which is not surprising since it was released at the height of popularity of saxophone and/or organ led combos.

Crawford's alto takes the vast majority of the solo space, although tenor heavyweight David (Fathead) Newman is along to provide support as are trumpeters Joe Newman and Melvin Lastie. Guitarist Carl Lynch works in quite a few licks as well.

What better track to choose as a single than the Quincy Jones-penned theme for In the Heat of the Night, one of the biggest movie hits of 1967 and winner of five Academy Awards, including best picture and best actor (Rod Steiger).


The single, at 2:13, is about half the length of the LP track. But unlike a lot of jazz singles this one isn't merely faded out when convenient. It has actually been edited into a reasonably coherent track by cutting some of Crawford's solo. The 45 likely was designed mainly for DJ and jukebox use as I can't see many jazz fans opting for a single over the album. If you like what you hear you'll probably want the full version.

Note for trivia buffs: The piano fills on In the Heat of the Night are by Brother Jack McDuff, who's usually heard on organ.

In the Heat of the Night (45 edit)



Double Cross received a first-rate CD release in 2001, a two-on-one issue on the Collectables label that pairs it with an earlier Crawford album on Atlantic, True Blue. It's available directly from the company at Oldies.com, at a very reasonable price.

Double Cross is also available from most of the major sources as a download issued by Rhino/Atlantic.

Wrapping it up, here's another tune from the album, also taken from a 45 apparently.


Monday, May 26, 2014

Ramblin' Valley Boys - Guitar Hop (single)



The country/rockabilly instrumental Guitar Hop sounds like it was recorded in the 1950s, but it's from 1967 and was on the "B" side of a Vietnam War-themed country vocal, Hill 881.

Although Northland Records was based in Nashville, the Ramblin' Valley Boys apparently were from Michigan. And that's all I know about them. Northland released a dozen or so singles between 1967 and 1970 before calling it quits.

Guitar Hop



This single is likely the only release by the Ramblin' Valley Boys, whoever they might have been. Guitar Hop is included on two widely available download compilations. Rockabilly Hoodlums, Vol. Two comes from the Netherlands-based Collector Records and was previously released on CD (1995). A few CD copies still seem to be floating around. Expect to pay in the $20 range.


True Rockabilly, Vol. 1 (Serenity, 2014) is a download only release that contains many of the same tracks as Rockabilly Hoodlums, so the latter should probably be your first choice.


Here's another instrumental that's included on Rockabilly Hoodlums.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Eddie Maynard & His Orchestra - Broadway in Ping Pong Percussion


Stereophiles wanting to give their new sound systems a workout in the late 1950s and early '60s had a wide range of companies waiting to sell them records that would do just that.

Top-line labels like Command, Mercury Living Presence and Time Records offered mainly easy listening, big band and exotica LPs that featured ping-ponging percussion and sound effects that traveled from left to right and back again. Then there was a host of budget labels that also offered the same type of thing, but often with inferior recording quality and pressed on substandard vinyl. These cheap albums often sold for a third of what the top-line products were going for.

Labels like Diplomat, Spin-O-Rama, Pirouette, Promenade, Premier and a host of others, many of them based in New Jersey, sold most of their products from racks in drug stores, supermarkets and other businesses, rather than in record stores.

A name that often popped up on these labels was Eddie Maynard and His Orchestra. I suspect that this was a name that was just slapped on any collection of tracks that the companies happened to have sitting around awaiting release to ride the coattails of whatever fad was current.

The quality and style of recordings bearing the Maynard name varied widely -- anything from marching bands and easy listening to exotica and big bands. Happily Broadway in Ping Pong Percussion is one of the better releases and is obviously aimed at the customer who was buying those early Command label releases by Enoch Light and his cohorts.

Notice the ultra-cheap album cover on which someone (not me) has thoughtfully scrawled the name of the artist in grease pencil. Maynard's name appears only on the record label. Note that although the cover identifies the releasing label as Diplomat the label says Pirouette. Not only that but the title on the label is Broadway Percussion Sampler, which gives you some idea of the level of quality control. At least the catalog number is consistent.



Still, this is a great sounding recording, especially for a cheap label, in the easy listening-exotica genre. The minute's worth of train sound effects, created by percussion, moving back and forth between channels at the beginning of the sample track is stunning, bearing in mind that the recording was made more than 50 years ago.

They Call the Wind Maria



Broadway in Ping Pong Percussion has not been released in a digital format, at least legally. However, Eddie Maynard LPs populate thrift store bins just about everywhere.

Another LP recorded under the Maynard name was a version of the Pal Joey score. It came out on Promenade in the U.S. and on the Gala label in the U.K. some time around 1957. Here's the Main Theme (on some pressings it's called The Overture, which is probably more correct).


Be aware that if you spot this LP anywhere it's mainly vocals, with only the opening and closing themes being instrumental. Several tracks, dubbed from a vinyl EP issued in the U.K., are available for download on most major sites.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Various Artists - Georgia Blues


The 17 tracks on the compilation LP Georgia Blues (Rounder, 1975) consist of field recordings made by blues scholar George Mitchell in the Lower Chattahoochie Valley of southwestern Georgia from 1969 to 1971.

These are mainly simple recordings, with the vocalist accompanied by just guitar or sometimes harmonica. Among those recorded by Mitchell was Bud Grant, who lived and worked all his life in his birthplace of Thomaston, Ga.


Grant died in 1970, at age 46, less than a year after recording tracks included in the Rounder LP. Grant would play the blues at sawmills where he worked and also played at parties -- "mostly little frolicking pieces, you know, just for somebody to dance off," he told Mitchell. Perhaps they sounded something like the instrumental Bud Grant's Hen Strut, taken from the album Georgia Blues.

Bud Grant's Hen Strut



The Georgia Blues LP has not been issued on CD. However, all of George Mitchell's Georgia field recordings are available in a box set, either CDs or vinyl. The George Mitchell Collection can be purchased directly from Fat Possum Records.

In this video, George Mitchell talks about the unique sound of blues from the Lower Chattahoochie Valley.


Monday, May 19, 2014

Tutti Camarata - Tutti's Trombones (Post No. 2)


While arranger, composer, conductor, producer and music company executive Tutti Camarata (1913-2005) was running Disney's music companies for two decades he managed to put out two great big band albums -- Tutti's Trumpets (1957) and Tutti's Trombones (1970). For the background on these two albums please read this previous post.

Bainbridge Records re-released Tutti's Trombones on LP, cassette and CD in 1983. That's the release pictured above.

The Sweetest Sounds was among the selections on this album. Richard Rodgers wrote both the music and lyrics for this song, which was included in the 1962 musical No Strings. The Sweetest Sounds was also used as the title for an episode on Rodgers in PBS's American Masters series.

The Sweetest Sounds



As stated in the previous post the best bet for obtaining the contents of Tutti's Trumpets and Tutti's Trombones is via download. All CD issues are out of print and pricey.

Twelfth Street Rag is a genuine relic of the ragtime era, composed in 1914 by Euday L. Bowman. It became well known in 1927 when Bennie Moten's band recorded it. But the best-known recording is by Pee Wee Hunt, who had a No. 1 hit with it in 1948.

This version is from Tutti's Trombones.




Saturday, May 17, 2014

Sonny Stitt - Deuces Wild


Sonny Stitt's 1967 Atlantic LP Deuces Wild found him in the familiar company of organist Don Patterson and drummer Billy James.

For the most part this is a typical tenor sax/organ date, but the participation of alto saxophonist Robin Kenyatta on the two original tunes he contributed takes the album into hard bop territory. There's also one track with Rufus Harley on bagpipes, definitely an acquired taste.

Although this album is billed as "Introducing Robin Kenyatta" this may not be his first recorded work. His discography lists earlier appearances on Atlantic LPs by pianist Valerie Capers and trombonist Roswell Rudd.

One of the Kenyatta originals on Deuces Wild is In the Bag, which was paired with the title tune on a promotional single for jazz DJs. Both tunes were severely shortened from the album versions.


Here's the version of In the Bag from the single.



Deuces Wild was released on CD in 2001 by Collectables Jazz Classics. It's still in print and available from Oldies.com at a reasonable price. The album is also easily obtained as a download from many sources.

From YouTube here's the title tune from Deuces Wild.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Bill Justis - A Taste of Honey/The In Crowd


Bill Justis's main claim to fame came in 1957 when he composed and recorded Raunchy for Sun Records in Memphis. It was the legendary label's all-time biggest selling instrumental, settling at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Although Justis later concentrated on arranging for and producing other artists he did record some albums under his own name, including at least eight in the 1960s for the Smash label in which he covered top instrumental hits.

For more on Justis and his Smash recordings read these previous posts: Justis1, Justis2, Justis3.

A Taste of Honey/The In Crowd (1966) was Justis's final LP for Smash. The formula is the same -- cover versions of instrumental hits.

Among the tunes is Guitar Boogie popularized in the 1940s by Arthur (Guitar Boogie) Smith. He recorded it in 1945 for the small Super Disc label. But it didn't become a hit until MGM re-released it three years later after purchasing Super Disc. Smith claimed he had picked up the boogie rhythm from a Tommy Dorsey recording.

Guitar Boogie, re-titled Guitar Boogie Shuffle, was revived in the rock 'n' roll era when a Philadelphia group, The Virtues, had a hit with it in 1959. In the U.K, it was a version by Bert Weedon that made the chart.

Justis's recording of Guitar Boogie is interesting because it seems to draw influences from Smith, The Virtues and Tommy Dorsey. The big band horn arrangement complements the guitar lead very nicely.

Guitar Boogie



Bill Justis's Smash recordings remain unavailable on CD or as legal downloads. But they do pop up now and again on blogs or from other sources. The LPs themselves seem to be quite common and are often for sale online. They'll even turn up in thrift stores now and again.

To close, another selection from one of Justis's Smash albums. Mexico was a hit in 1961 by Nashville bassist and orchestra leader Bob Moore.


The Last Word: Arthur (Guitar Boogie) Smith died at his Charlotte, N.C., home on April 3, 2014, two days after his 93rd birthday.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Jimmy McPartland - Dixieland!


Cornetist Jimmy McPartland (1907-1991) was one of the foremost exponents of what came to be known as the Chicago style of Dixieland jazz.

Jazz traveled north in the same migration of poor blacks from the U.S. south that brought the blues to Chicago beginning around 1917. King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong all became stars in Chicago. Later, white jazz musicians like McPartland, Muggsy Spanier, Eddie Condon and Bud Freeman embraced the Chicago style, which was faster and favored more solos than the New Orleans version of Dixieland and substituted the string bass for the tuba and the guitar for the banjo.

The nine selections on the McPartland LP Dixieland! (1968), on Columbia's budget Harmony label, were originally included a 1957 Epic LP, Jimmy McPartland's Dixieland.


Below is a selection from the Harmony re-release. Unfortunately it has been electronically enhanced for stereo, but is nonetheless quite listenable. Besides McPartland, personnel on this date included Peanuts Hucko on clarinet, Tyree Glenn on trombone, pianist Dick Cary, Bill Crow on bass, Al Casamenti on guitar and Cliff Leeman, drums.

Third Street Blues



All 12 selections on the original Jimmy McPartland's Dixieland LP are available for download from all the major outlets. This is likely a sourced-from-vinyl affair.

The complete Jimmy McPartland's Dixieland was also included in an eight-cd box set, The Classic Columbia Condon Mob Sessions (Mosaic, 2001), fronted by guitarist Eddie Condon.


It's out of print and used copies are going for about $150.

To close, another selection that appears on both the original Epic LP and the Harmony re-release.




Saturday, May 10, 2014

Jimmy Mundy and His Orchestra - Playing the Numbers


Swing era arranger Jimmy Mundy (1907-1983) began his career playing saxophone in several bands in the 1920s. At the beginning of the following decade he joined Earl Hines and it was with this orchestra that he first became interested in arranging. One of the tunes Mundy worked on was Cavernism, which became Hines's closing theme.

From Hines, Mundy moved on to Benny Goodman, where he arranged some of that band's most famous numbers, including Sing, Sing, Sing, Solo Flight and Springtime in the Rockies. Others he arranged for included Count Basie and Gene Krupa.

Although Mundy was highly recorded by his fellow musicians he never became well known to the general public and made few recordings under his own name. But he did manage a brace of albums for the Epic label, On a Mundy Flight (1958) and Playing the Numbers (1959).

For the latter LP all the selections referred to numbers in their titles, like the opener Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?, a Depression-era number from 1932. Bing Crosby, Rudy Vallee and Al Jolson all had hits with the song after it appeared in the musical Americana.

Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?



Unfortunately, none of the musicians on this excellent big band recording are identified. Mundy had given up his instrument some years earlier and was concentrating on arranging and conducting when this was recorded.

Neither of his Epic albums has received a digital release.

Here's a recording Jimmy Mundy and His Orchestra did for V-Disc in 1946. V-Discs were 12-inch 78 r.p.m. discs that were made available to U.S. military personnel serving overseas in World War II. These recordings were not sold in the United States. Production of V-Discs ended in 1949.

This video also includes a selection by Buddy Rich.



Thursday, May 08, 2014

Peter DeAngelis Orchestra & Singers - Love Is a Guitar


Orchestra leader Peter DeAngelis (1929-1982) gathered some of the top New York studio guitarists for the album Love Is a Guitar (ABC-Paramount, 1966). Don Arnone (1920-1995) took the lead on most tracks, ably assisted by Al Casmenti, Vincent Bell and Ralph Casale.

DeAngelis had co-founded Chancellor Records with Bob Marcucci in 1957. The label's major success was launching the careers of teen idols Frankie Avalon and Fabian. DeAngelis had also penned songs for Dean Martin, Eddie Fisher and Al Martino, among others.

Arnone began his professional career at age 18 and he participated in countless recording sessions in New York until his premature retirement at the age of 58, largely due to carpal tunnel syndrome. The full extent of his recording career likely will never be known because he was often not credited, sometimes at his own request. But he did appear on a number of albums by fellow guitarists Tony Mottola and Al Caiola, as well backing such artists as Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler and Perry Como.

Here's Arnone with the Peter DeAngelis Orchestra and Chorus.

The Shadow of Your Smile



Love Is a Guitar has never received a digital release, so if you see a used vinyl or cassette copy at a reasonable price it's well worth picking up for some first-rate easy listening guitar.

As well as providing the musical direction for Chancellor Records, DeAngelis recorded a few sides of his own for the label. Here's one of them. The "happy mandolin" is picked by Al Caiola.


Monday, May 05, 2014

Urbie Green - The Persuasive Trombone of Urbie Green


What sets The Persuasive Trombone of Urbie Green (1960) apart from most other early releases on the Command label is the jazzy arrangements, courtesy of Bobby Byrne and Lew Davies.

Command focused on appealing to audiophiles who had purchased stereo systems, so the emphasis on many of the label's LPs by Enoch Light and others was spotlighting the still developing technology. The result was a lot of "ping-ponging" of instruments, particularly percussion, between left and right channels and a lot of gimicky arrangements.

Not so with The Persuasive Trombone of Urbie Green, which turns the spotlight on one of the busiest studio trombonists of the 1950s and '60s. Green (b.1926) had appeared on over 600 recording sessions by the time he made his last record in 1995. He got his start in the big band era of the late 1940s, including stints with Woody Herman, Gene Krupa, Jan Savitt and Frankie Carle.

I'm Getting Sentimental Over You, from the vinyl LP of Persuasive Trombone, is a tune most often associated with Tommy Dorsey.

I'm Getting Sentimental Over You



There was a second volume of Persuasive Trombone and both albums were combined on CD by Lone Hill Jazz in 2008. This is out of print and you'd have to take out a second mortgage for the prices they're asking on Amazon (try $150 for a used copy!).

But the two volumes of Persuasive Trombone are also included on the four-CD set Seven Classic Albums Plus Bonus EP (Real Gone Jazz, 2013). Used copies start at about $9 on Amazon. This set may be sourced from vinyl and I can't vouch for the quality.

Download versions of Persuasive Trombone are also being sold, but some are of poor quality, so proceed cautiously.

Here's another selection from The Persuasive Trombone of Urbie Green.


Saturday, May 03, 2014

The Consolations - Groovey (sic) Grubworm (single)


The Consolations recorded their version of Groovey Grubworm (complete with a misspelled title) for Hill Records, a small label based in Kokomo, Ind. That would have been some time in 1969 or '70, just after the original version by Harlow Wilcox and the Oakies was a hit on both the country and pop charts.

The Hill label had a very short lifespan, with the company's entire output consisting of four singles. I have no information about the Consolations. This appears to their only recorded effort. The "A" side of this single has them backing a vocalist, George Moses.

Groovey Grubworm



As for the original hit version of Groovy Grubworm, Harlow Wilcox (1943-2002), a guitarist from Norman, Okla., and his band the Oakies recorded the tune for a local label, Impel. The record somehow came to the attention of Shelby Singleton, head of Plantation Records in Nashville, who put it out on his label and onto the national charts.


Groovy Grubworm was Wilcox's only national success and after a couple of singles and a like number of LPs it was back to Oklahoma.

Both of Wilcox's Plantation albums are available as downloads but not on CD. Used vinyl copies turn up fairly often.

The Consolations' recording has been included on several semi-bootleg CD collections including Strictly Instrumental, Vol. 9 (Buffalo Bop, 2006). It's for sale on line, but it's not cheap.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Nordisle Bois Orchestre - Poetry of the Mountain


It's hard to know what to say when all the CD booklet will tell you is the song titles and composers.

What's almost certain is that the Nordisle Bois Orchestre (or Orchestra on some CDs, depending on where they were released) is strictly a studio creation. This sounds to me like a mixture of a few real instruments and some electronic enhancement, although the results are somewhat better than is usual for these sort of things.

Despite the French sounding moniker attached to this CD it originated in Japan on the Denon label. In fact there were number of albums released by Denon in the 1980s and '90s that bore the Nordisle Bois name. Some were also released in Europe and a few made it to North America.

On almost all of these albums the selections were composed entirely of Western pop songs, including some, like Feelings and Say You, Say Me, that a goodly number of people would go out of their way to avoid.

Here's one of the better selections from Poetry of the Mountain.

This Masquerade



Very few of the Nordisle Bois Orchestre CDs seem to be for sale on line. And those that are sell for ridiculous prices -- $25 and up, mostly for used copies. No legal downloads are available, so this is one of the few occasions when I might suggest that those of you who like easy listening covers of pop hits to look for downloads elsewhere, if you know what I mean.

I've also seen these CDs occasionally turn up in thrift stores and pawn shops, so keep your eyes peeled.

The selection below comes from the 1990 release Morning, not Magic Moment (1994) as shown in the video. A few of the tracks from Poetry of the Mountain are also on both of these CDs. Ballade Pour Adeline is very much in the style of Richard Clayderman, who had the hit version.