Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Impact Records - Kings of Swing

Here’s and ongoing series that I am devoting to albums that made an impact on me as a young musician. Starting with the first jazz LPs given to me as a 10 or 11 year old and moving on through my high school and college years.

'Kings of Swing' & 'The Big Band Era'

These two LP box sets produced by Readers Digest were the 1st jazz recordings I owned - a gift from my Nana when I started learning clarinet. Lots of classic stuff on there.. Ellington, Basie, Harry James, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw etc. Here are three tracks that stood out to me as a kid.

- James P. Johnson's stride classic "Carolina Shout" played by Fats Waller (1941). Puts a smile on my face to this day.
- Gene Krupa "I Hope Gabriel Likes My Music" (1936). I didn't know who Roy Eldridge was then. I remember loving the introduction by the drums and trumpet as well as the solo breaks.
- Lionel Hampton's "On The Sunny Side of the Street" (1937)- featuring the alto of Johnny Hodges. When I started alto a couple of years later I tried playing along with this... tried!

Occasionally I have a listen to these three tracks. The box sets are back in NZ otherwise I would still break out the whole set every now and then (its been a while since I did that).

I seem to return to music from this era - Billie Holiday & Lester Young in particular - more than any other.

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