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.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

George Cates - Polynesian Percussion

George Cates (1911-2002) is best known for his role with the Lawrence Welk orchestra and TV show. Beginning in 1957, Cates was arranger and musical director for the show, which meant he conducted the orchestra in rehearsals.

At Welk's request Cates later conducted the orchestra on camera and stayed with the program until it ended in 1982.

Cates did manage to put out a few records under his own name including a fine album of exotica, Polynesian Percussion (Dot, 1961). What made this album unique was the use of a Novachord, played by Buddy Cole.

The Novachord was the first commercially available synthesizer and was put into production by the Hammond Organ Company in 1938. The first instrument was delivered to U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt in 1940 but the 500-pound behemoth failed to find much of a market. World War II halted production in 1942 and no more Novachords were ever produced. Less than 200 of the more than one thousand instruments manufactured are believed to have survived.

The Novachord was used on movie and TV soundtracks, often in horror and science fiction (House of Frankenstein and the Outer Limits TV show are two examples) and it certainly gives an odd and somewhat unsettling dimension to Polynesian Percussion.


Alvino Rey is the steel guitarist on the album and Larry Bunker and Milt Holland are among the percussionists.

I don't believe Polynesian Percussion has had a CD release. There are a couple of download releases floating about but these appear to be of rather dubious origin. The best sounding one is available here. Vinyl LPs appear to be fairly easy to come by and aren't expensive.

Alvino Rey and the percussionists get a chance to shine on the George Cates version of Hawaiian War Chant.

No comments:

Post a Comment