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1. Perfect Swing: Best Swing Bands of the 20s 30s & 40s
By: Various Artists, Jimmie Lunceford, Teddy Wilson, Count Basie, Harry James, Duke Ellington, Benny Carter
February 26, 2008

  • Of course, to lovers of between-the-wars jazz, swing is far more than a portmanteau term for a musical style. But try to get a fan or indeed, a critic to define what they mean by swing and you tend to get a response which echoes Fats Waller's famous dictum: "If you have to ask, you'll never know.
  • What better way to open our marvellous collection of re-mastered classics from the swing era than with At The Woodchopper's Ball? Woody Herman's greatest commercial and popular success features Woody's haunting blues clarinet and Neil Reid's punchy trombone with Saxie Mansfield on tenor-saxophone and trumpeter Steady Nelson.
  • Benny Goodman makes two appearances in our compilation and that is only fitting, given his dominant position in the swing pantheon. Christened the 'King of Swing' by his promotions people, Goodman was an incisive instrumentalist, a clarinet virtuoso who had emerged from Chicago's Jewish ghetto, made good musically and formed an excellent big band.
  • It was Lil Armstrong (nee Hardin) who set her husband Louis on the path to stardom with some astute promotional ideas. When he moved on and they divorced, Lil re-built her career as a bandleader and cut some tasty small-group records. Her tribute to the Lindy Hop (a dance craze pioneered at Harlem's Savoy Ballroom) spots her girlish vocal and some hot trumpet from the underrated Shirley Clay.
  • Louis Armstrong so much liked Swing That Music that he used it as the title for his (ghosted) autobiography. He made two versions of this exciting piece in 1936, the first with his own band and this with the popular Jimmy Dorsey orchestra just three months later.

Perfect Swing: Best Swing Bands of the 20s 30s & 40s
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2. Fascinating Rhythm: Original Songs of the 1920s
By: Bert Firman, Red Nichols, Savoy Havanah Band, The Charleston Chasers, The Savoy Orpheans, Paul Whiteman, Louis Armstrong, Arthur Roseburg, Lloyd Keating, Various Artists
February 26, 2008

  • This collection, impeccably restored to pristine clarity, is a own time machine, a way of buying into those far-off times of glitzy pleasure, when sober reality was simply not on the agenda
  • Including The Charleston, in a version by the Savoy Orpheans which is notable for some typically tricky saxophone choruses and the danceable tempo
  • With Paul Whiteman - a true giant of American dance music in every sense, for not only was Whiteman a man of impressive physical bulk, he was also the 'King of Jazz',
  • Featuring Louis Armstrong, the most celebrated jazz musician of his day. His creativity, instrumental command and rhythmic daring setting the pace for a generation of musicians
  • Danceable 1920s tempos, strong melodies, wacky lyrics, wailing saxophones, banjo and tuba rhythms, a sense of fun, no thought in mind other than the creation of pleasure

Fascinating Rhythm: Original Songs of the 1920s
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3. Afro-Latin Party
By: Putumayo Presents
March 22, 2005


Afro-Latin Party
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4. The Great British Dance Bands
By: Jack Hylton, Ambrose, Henry Hall, Joe Loss, Roy Fox, Nat Gonella, Mantovani, Sid Phillips, Ray Noble, Geraldo
February 26, 2008

  • If the Hylton unit could be described as Britain's leading showband, few would dispute Ambrose's Orchestra. Ambrose's position as the man behind the top British dance combination of the period.
  • Henry Hall's band went from strength to strength, until by 1934, over fifty per cent of all the post arriving at Broadcasting House was for Henry from his multitude of fans.
  • Surely the record for longevity as an active bandleader is held, perhaps forever, by the late Joe Loss. He wielded the baton for almost sixty years, from 1930 until a few months before his death in June 1990.
  • It wasn't only good tunes that we received from across the Atlantic. Bandleaders arrived too - Carroll Gibbons, Jack Harris, Jay Whidden and Hal Swain all found fame and fortune on this side of the water. To these must be added Roy Fox, who landed here in September 1930, fresh from leading his own orchestra at the Embassy Club in Hollywood.
  • We know that for those who remember this music of the time, this album will bring back happy memories. For those perhaps too young to remember, it still has the ability to set your feet tapping.

The Great British Dance Bands
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5. Age of Style (50 Classic Tracks from the 1930s)
By: Age of Style (50 Classic Tracks from the 1930s)
February 26, 2008

  • A Vivian Ellis composition (words and music) opens our compilation. Sung by Frances Day (1907-1984), How Do You Do, Mr Right?' comes from the musical 'The Fleet's Lit Up' which enjoyed a run of 199 performances at the London Hippodrome, closing in February 1939.
  • Change Partners' by the suave and elegant Fred Astaire came from the 1938 Astaire/Rogers film 'Carefree' which boasted a score by Irving Berlin.
  • It's no mistake that the name of Carroll Gibbons features more on this set than that of anyone else. Aside from the six tracks with his Boy Friends we find Massachusetts born Carroll as conductor and/or pianist on sides with Jessie Matthews, Noel Coward, Al Bowlly (where he's moonlighting to Decca) and Hildegarde.
  • Sultry-voiced Greta Keller had an intimate style. She was described as possessing 'a perfect microphone voice'. Listen especially to her spoken introduction preceding the song Lamplight'.
  • Transatlantic Lullaby is a world class song introduced in 'The Gate Revue' at the Ambassadors Theatre in London in March 1939. Our recording is by the instantly recognisable warm voice of Adelaide Hall (1901-1993),

Age of Style (50 Classic Tracks from the 1930s)
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6. Perfect Nostalgia: Best Music of the 1920s 30s & 40s
From: Past Perfect

  • Music from The 1920s, 30s & 40s
  • 24 Nostalgic Tracks
  • Over An Hour Of Vintage Music
  • Expertly Remastered Classics

Perfect Nostalgia: Best Music of the 1920s 30s & 40s
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7. Noel and Gertie: Show Music From the 20s 30s and 40s
By: Noel Coward, Gertrude Lawrence
February 26, 2008

  • Born in Teddington, Middlesex on 16 December 1899, Noel Pierce Coward was a star pupil of the Itala Conti stage school and was recalled by fellow pupil and contemporary Gertrude Lawrence as "...a thin, unusually shy boy with a slight lisp". Little could either teenager have foreseen the years of world fame that would follow and the times when they would work as a team and enthrall their audiences.
  • Noel's first big break came in 1923 in the Andre Charlot revue London Calling where he appeared with his soul mate Gertrude Lawrence. As librettist and composer, his Parisian Pierrot as performed by Gertrude was the hit of the show.
  • The following year saw Coward's career really begin to snowball. He had written a meaty part for himself in a play called 'The Vortex', which created a sensation with its frank depiction of drug taking.
  • With the revue On With The Dance in 1925 Noel began a nine year partnership with leading impresario C B Cochran.
  • Noel had a busy war, giving innumerable troop concerts all over the world. Along the way he wrote the comedy 'Blithe Spirit' (later filmed) and a handful of songs including 'London Pride', inspired by his admiration at the way Londoners were determinedly going about their lives even during the Blitz.

Noel and Gertie: Show Music From the 20s 30s and 40s
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8. Xavier Cugat: The Gold Collection
By: Xavier Cugat
February 17, 1999

Xavier Cugat: The Gold Collection
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9. Weekend In Havana: 1940-1947
May 11, 1999

Weekend In Havana: 1940-1947
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10. Cugie a Go Go
By: Xavier Cugat
May 13, 1997

Cugie a Go Go
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See Also...
 Alternative Rock
 Broadway & Vocalists
 Children's Music
 Classic Rock
 Comedy & Spoken Word
 Dance & Electronic
 Holiday & Wedding
 Latin Music
 New Age
 Opera & Classical Vocal
 Rap & Hip-Hop
 Special Interest
 World Music

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