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Great American Big Bands: From The 1930s & 40s

(2 customer reviews)

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What is it about the American Big Bands which explains their enduring appeal? American writer Gene Lees described their characteristic sound as “one that will not go away”… be assured, we don’t let it!
“For lovers of big American bands this is a collection that I recommend. They are the most beautiful music of great talents. Quick service and delivery times.” A. Sammarini, Italy

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  1. Sent For You Yesteday Count Basie 0:30
  2. Chicks Is Wonderful Jack Teagarden 0:30
  3. These Foolish Things Benny Carter 0:30
  4. When I Get Low I Get High Chick Webb 0:30
  5. Christopher Colombus Benny Goodman 0:30
  6. I Never Knew Louis Armstrong 0:30
  7. Flop Joe Venuti 0:30
  8. Take The 'A' Train Duke Ellington 0:30
  9. Strictly Instrumental Harry James 0:30
  10. All Of Me Jimmy Dorsey 0:30
  11. The Prisoner's Song Bunny Berigan 0:30
  12. Barrelhouse Bessie From Basin Street Bob Crosby 0:30
  13. My Blue Heaven Jimmie Lunceford 0:30
  14. A String Of Pearls Glenn Miller 0:30
  15. Run Little Rabbit Cab Calloway 0:30
  16. Twin City Blues Woody Herman 0:30
  17. I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now Ted Weems 0:30
  18. Stop, Look And Listen Tommy Dorsey 0:30
  19. I Hope Gabriel Likes My Music Frankie Trumbauer 0:30
  20. A Study In Brown Casa Loma Orchestra 0:30
  21. Deep Purple Artie Shaw 0:30
  22. Drummin' Man Gene Krupa 0:30
  23. Nola Lionel Hampton 0:30


  • Foot-Tapping Big Bands
  • Over 1 Hour Of Entertainment
  • The Best US Big Bands
  • 23 Digitally Remastered Tracks
  • Louis Armstrong & Artie Shaw

What is it about big bands which explains their enduring appeal? American writer Gene Lees described their characteristic sound as ‘one that will not go away’. Once heard, never forgotten in other words, and especially true for those who grew up with the idea that the best kind of fun came from dancing to the beat of a big band. The extraordinary popularity of social dancing prompted the formation of a great many travelling orchestras, some linked to a lushly romantic style, others committed to altogether hotter rhythms. There were dance halls on every corner and minor musical masterpieces were turned out by the score, all designed to tap into the upbeat mood of post-Depression America.

While it was entirely possible for these bands to survive and achieve success without ever entering the studios, it is unarguable that major reputations were built (and sustained) through recordings. Twenty-three of these top-rated groups are represented here. Some of them stayed around for decades, others were short-lived; some were led by fine instrumentalists, black and white, and a few by artists who are active still. Although the basic format doesn’t differ much – big bands usually include trumpets, trombones, saxes and a rhythm section – these selections clearly show the stylistic diversity of the idiom. Each offers unique variations of ensemble balance and texture; soloists are recognisably individual. Who said big bands all sound the same?



2 reviews for Great American Big Bands: From The 1930s & 40s

  1. Richard C

    A few gems but also some unknowns.

  2. Jazzpodium Magazine

    The instruments come across so clearly one could transcribe the score!

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