Louis Armstrong & Friends – What A Wonderful Christmas (1997)

FrontCover1Although this Christmas compilation is credited to “Louis Armstrong & Friends,” it’s really more aptly categorized as a various artists anthology, since Armstrong only has six of the fourteen tracks. The disc is filled out with seasonal offerings by Dinah Washington, Mel Torme, Louis Jordan, Lionel Hampton, Peggy Lee, Eartha Kitt, and Lena Horne, Duke Ellington, mostly from the 1950s. It’s pleasant pop-jazz that doesn’t rate among the highlights of any of these talented artists’ careers. But it makes for an above-average Christmas disc, especially on Lionel Hampton’s “Merry Christmas, Baby,” Louis Armstrong’s “Cool Yule,” and Louis Jordan’s “May Everyday Be Christmas,” which celebrate the holiday with more gutsy hipness than the usual Yuletide fare. (by Richie Unterberger)

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Tracklist:
01. Louis Armstrong/Benny Carter Orchestra: Christmas In New Orleans (Sherman(/v.Winkle) 2.54
02. Louis Armstrong/Gordon Jenkins Orchestra: White Christmas (Berlin) 2.39
03. Dinah Washington: Silent Night (Gruber/More) 2.23
04. Mel Torme: The Christmas Song (Tormé/Wells) 3.07
05. Louis Armstrong/Benny Carter Orchestra: Christmas Time In Harlem (Scott/Paris) 2.39
06. Peggy Lee: It´s Christmas Time Again (Burke/Elliott/Harwood) 3.00
07. Louis Armstrong/The Commanders: Cool Yule (Allen) 2.55
08. Lionel Hampton: Merry Christmas, Baby (Moore/Baxter) 3.22
09. Louis Armstrong/The Commanders: ‘Zat You, Santa Claus? (Fox) 2.40
10. Eartha Kitt/Henri Rene Orchestra: Santa Baby (P.Springer/T.Springer/Javils) 3.26
11. Duke Ellington: JIngle Bells (Pierpont) 3.00
12. Lena Horne: Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (Coots/Gillespie) 2.43
13. Louis Jordan: May Everyday Be Christmas (Jordan) 3.11
14. Louis Armstrong/Gordon Jenkins Orchestra: Winter Wonderland (Bernard/Smith) 3.00

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Various Artists – I Got Rhythm, Vol. 1 (Swing Classics) (1999)

FrontCover1Swing music, or simply Swing, is a form of American music that developed in the early 1930s and became a distinctive style by 1940. Swing uses a strong rhythm section of double bass and drums as the anchor for a lead section of brass instruments such as trumpets and trombones, woodwinds including saxophones and clarinets, and sometimes stringed instruments such as violin and guitar, medium to fast tempos, and a “lilting” swing time rhythm. The name swing came from the phrase ‘swing feel’ where the emphasis is on the off–beat or weaker pulse in the music (unlike classical music). Swing bands usually featured soloists who would improvise on the melody over the arrangement.

The danceable swing style of big bands and bandleaders such as Benny Goodman was the dominant form of American popular music from 1935 to 1946, a period known as the Swing Era.

The verb “to swing” is also used as a term of praise for playing that has a strong rhythmic “groove” or drive. (by wikipedia)

This is Volume 1 of a real fine introduction to this music … one the most important roots of Jazz !

BookletBackCover1Tracklist:
01. Duke Ellington: It Don´t Mean A Thing (Ellington/Mills) 3.08
02. Benny Goodman: Stompin´ At The Savoy (Sampson/Goodman/Parrish) 3.14
03. Glenn Miller: Don´t Sit Under The Apple Tree (Brown/Tobias/Stept) 3.09
04. Lionel Hampton: Muskrat Ramble (Ory/Gilbert) 3.13
05. Cab Calloway: Aw You Dawg (Hoover/Calloway) 2.46
06. Count Basie: Jumpin At The Woodside (Basie) 3.02
07. Bob Crosby: South Rampart Street Patade (Haggart/Baudic/Crosby) 3.30
08. Tommy Dorsey: Song Of India (Korsakoff) 3.05
09. Benny Goodman: King Porter Stomp (Morton) 3.07
10. Cab Calloway: The Scat Song (Parish/Perkins/Calloway) 3.05
11. Teddy Wilson: Don´t Be That Way (Goodman/Sampson/Parish) 3.02
12. Artie Shaw: Lady Be Good (I.Gerschwin/G.Gershwin) 3.01
13. The Andrew Sisters: Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (Ray/Prince) 2.39
14. Jimmy Dorsey: Tangerine (Mercer/Schertzinger) 3.09

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