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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, September 20, 2014

Various Artists - Dance Time (Parliament label box set)


The 1950s and '60s were awash with big band compilations and box sets for those who wished to relive swing's heyday in the '40s.

RCA Victor, Columbia, Reader's Digest and Longines Symphonette were all into this sort of thing, as were the budget labels. Releases on the cheap labels were all over the place quality wise, ranging from unlistenable to surprisingly good.

Parliament, one of the bevy of budget labels headquartered in New Jersey, wasn't known for the quality of its LPs. But the company outdid itself with Dance Time, a five-record box set with excellent sound. I believe this was issued in the mid-'60s. Many of the tracks are in true stereo, which means the recordings must have been fairly recent.

All of the names would be recognizable to fans of swing, jazz and Latin bands with the exception of the first, Paul Fontaine. The only Paul Fontaine I can find reference to in a musical context was a trumpeter with the Woody Herman band in the '60s and later taught at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

He's unlikely to have been responsible for the tracks included here as most are soft dance band melodies. Carolina Moon, for instance, has muted brass and strings, not unlike Jackie Gleason's recordings for Capitol. But the guitar player (not identified, of course) contributes an all-too-brief break and does some fine comping (easily audible) throughout that really set the tune apart.

Carolina Moon - Paul Fontaine



The Dance Time box naturally hasn't had a digital release, although it's possible some of the tracks may have been issued in other compilations. Best to visit the vinyl bins at your local thrift stores as this set is just the sort of thing that's liable to turn up.

Finally a bit about Carolina Moon, written in 1924 by Joe Burke and Benny Davis. Crooner Gene Austin had a No. 1 hit with it in 1929. Thirty years later a version by Connie Francis gained some notice when it was included on the flip side of her hit Stupid Cupid.

Here's Gene Austin's original.



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