Search - Various Artists :: Swing Time: Big Band Era

Swing Time: Big Band Era
Various Artists
Swing Time: Big Band Era
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Blues, World Music, Jazz, Special Interest, Pop, R&B, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists, Latin Music
  •  Track Listings (22) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (22) - Disc #2
  •  Track Listings (22) - Disc #3


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CD Reviews

Old Jazz Fan
K. Giorlando | 12/24/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)

"5 STAR for the music and 1 STAR for the reproductions. The music is the greatest! However, the quality of the CD's were horrendous. I have records that are 50 years old, played hundreds of times, that sound better! No matter if they used CEDAR or any other method of restoration, they sound lousy to me!!!"
A blast from the past.
Mister Chris | Peekskill, New York USA | 02/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Consider this three CD set from Columbia as a sort of start-up kit into the fabulous world of Big Band music. I'm one of those souls who always feel they were born in the wrong era and for a nostalgia nut like me these recordings still give off a vibe both jazzy and innocent. This was a time when men and women made music without the use of any technological recording wizardry and through a combination of craftsmanship and sheer moxie created a sound that was the "rock" and "rap" for whom some call the "greatest generation." There's a youthful exhuberance here. Just close your eyes when you here the first cut of "Sweet Georgia Brown" by the California Ramblers (featuring future Big Band stars Red Nicols and Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey) and you soon realize that your hearing not your granddad but guys in their twenties and thirties letting loose and sharing in what was primarily a Black American art form.

"Swing Time" is a wonderfully designed package that includes a lavish booklet featuring both history and enlightening analysis of the era from writer Michael Brooks. Some musicologists will no doubt gripe about what may or may not be included here. No matter, for my untrained ears these 66 cuts speak for themselves brilliantly. ."
A Fine Overview of a Sound
K. Giorlando | Eastpointe, Michigan United States | 05/08/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is hardly a definitive collection - how can there be an ultimate swing set with only three discs? - but it IS a great collection for the novice, or just for the collector.
My favorite disc is disc one, which gives an overview of the roots of swing from the 1920's and early '30's. Some hoppin' tunes here, the kind of Jazz that had parents fretting over the music their children were listening to. Yes, that's something that many younger folks are not aware of. This period in time was the beginning of the teenager as a rebellious sort, and that continued on until the Great Depression put an end to the frivolousness of their ways - driving fast and wild in their automobiles, wearing outrageous clothes, crazy bobbed haircuts, diggin' these hep cat grooves while dancin' as if they were possessed. And you thought that the teen's of the 1950's were out of control! My grandmother and her sisters were part of the roaring twenties scene and turned their mother's hair white!
The Great Depression and the unrest in Europe of the 1930's didn't stop the swinging sounds that came out of the big American cities. The youth of the day needed a release, and the edgy music of Swing was IT. Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, the Dorsey Brothers, Chick Webb, and so many more kept the sounds coming and the kids alive, allowing them to forget their troubles for a few minutes while Tain't What You Do, Let's Dance, and Stompin' At the Savoy played on.
Of course, WWII soon came to America and, although there were some swinging cuts, for the most part the music began to ease on the jumpin' and jumped on the vocal sounds instead. This set, however, shows us that, although the smooth Frank Sinatra may have been king of the jukeboxes during the war, the hep sounds still did abound with Take The A Train, Caldonia, and Let Me Off Uptown.
This collection is a great starter set as an introduction to a musical form that was, in its day, every bit at wild as rock and roll was in the 1950's. There are glaring ommissions (no Sing Sing Sing?) but neat trivia tunes such as Hot and Anxious by the Baltimore Bellhops, which is where Glenn Miller 'borrowed' the rif for his In The Mood (also on this collection).
A worthy set that's worth your buck."