Welcome to Guitars & All That Jazz

Welcome to Guitars & All That Jazz

Guitars & All That Jazz was a radio station that webcast via Live365 for 11 years, ending in June 2011. The playlist consisted of guitar instrumentals, jazz, big band, early rock 'n' roll, lounge music and classic easy listening.

I hope to share some of this music with you via this blog. Most of it will be taken from the original vinyl (LPs and 45s) , cassettes and the occasional commercially unavailable CD.

Here's hoping you'll find something to enjoy. Please note files are available only for a limited time.

I urge you to purchase the digital version of the albums featured, either on CD or via download, wherever possible.

Listen to the Music
Click on the player to the right to listen to the Guitars & All That Jazz music stream. Five hours of the best in jazz, guitars and other instrumental gems. New songs are added weekly.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Everly Brothers - EB 84


This 1984 album on Mercury was the first new material from the Everly Brothers in 11 years and followed a televised reunion concert. Producer Dave Edmunds managed to preserve the Everlys' traditional harmonies while at the same time updating their sound.

EB 84 has tunes by Paul McCartney, Jeff Lynne and Bob Dylan, several originals by Don Everly and The First in Line, a wonderful ballad by Paul Kennerley, an English singer-songwriter working in Nashville. He has written songs for the Judds, Marty Stuart and Sweethearts of the Rodeo, among others. Kennerley also was responsible for the concept albums White Mansions and The Legend of Jesse James, both of which featured an all-star lineup of country and rock artists.

The MP3 is from a cassette copy of EB 84.

The First in Line



EB 84 was released on CD by Razor & Tie in 1994, but a copy of that out-of-print disc will set you back $60 or more. However, used vinyl or cassette copies of the album are plentiful and cheap online, starting at around $4. There is no legal download to be had.

This song was written for EB 84 by Jeff Lynne.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Jimmy McGriff - I Can't Get No Satisfaction (45 single)


With the exception of a few of Jimmy McGriff's early singles for Sue Records his 45s were almost exclusively designed to promote his LPs. McGriff singles like I Got a Woman, All About My Girl and Kiko were chart hits in the early to mid-'60s and the albums containing those tracks were issued later.

But most of the organist's later singles for labels like Capitol, Groove Merchant and Solid State were mere promotional releases for his albums.

A notable exception was the 1967 single of I Can't Get No Satisfaction/I Can't Give You Anything But Love Baby. Neither of these tracks ever appeared on a McGriff LP.

There is no indication of the personnel involved in the recording session, other than producer Sonny Lester.

I Can't Get No Satisfaction



McGriff's cover version of the Rolling Stones' hit was listed on Billboard's Bubbling Under chart at No. 130 in May 1967 but never climbed into the Hot 100. Neither this track nor the flip side is available in a digital format. However, copies of the vinyl single seem to turn up fairly often on eBay and other online sites.

The selection below, The Worm, is from a 1968 session for Solid State that featured saxophonist Fats Theus and trumpeter Blue Mitchell.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Bernie Green with the Stereo Mad-Men - Musically Mad


Musically Mad (RCA Victor, 1959) by Bernie Green and the Mad-Men is an extension of the brand of musical satire popularized by Spike Jones and His City Slickers in the 1940s and '50s. But make no mistake: Despite the Mad magazine-inspired cover (the mag apparently commissioned this LP), this is an album of first-rate big band jazz, albeit one with a sense of humor.

A few jazz fans take their music far too seriously, which probably accounts for the negative online reviews that Musically Mad sometimes receives.

Bernie Green's background was mainly in television (he was musical director for The Garry Moore Show) and he conducted the orchestras for the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants. Perhaps that accounts for the cinematic nature of his arrangements on Musically Mad.

Listen to Give Me That Good Old Progressive Jazz. As the album notes put it: "If you have stereo you'll hear the drummer actually move across the bandstand [to kill the chimes player.]" That's Phil Kraus banging the kit on this one.

Give Me That Good Old Progressive Jazz



Musically Mad made a brief appearance on a European CD in 2004 but copies of that are now selling for $50 and up. A much better buy is the download ($9.99) on iTunes and elsewhere. Online reviews indicate it's very good quality, but make sure you get the version from Sony Music. Other companies are also marketing this album and the quality may vary.

Here's another bit of musical madness from Bernie Green.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Spring Break


Guitars & All That Jazz is taking a break for a spring road trip. Posting will resume on April 11 after the pause that does indeed refresh.

The Deuce Coupes - Hotrodders' Choice


Hot rod music was an extension of the surf music genre, but apart from monotonous hot rod and dragster sound effects on many LPs, like the Deuce Coupes' Hotrodders' Choice (Del-Fi, 1963), there was little to distinguish hot rod from surf.

The Deuce Coupes began life as the Avantis, a southern California surf group formed by brothers Lolly and Pat Vegas. The siblings went on to form the 1970s rock group Redbone.

Hotrodders' Choice, recorded with session musicians who included guitarists Glen Campbell and Tommy Tedesco and pianist Leon Russell, was the group's only album. Another session group calling itself the Deuce Coupes recorded an LP for the budget Crown label the same year, but there was no connection between the two bands.

You can listen to one of the tracks that isn't burdened by those annoying dragster SFX from the link below.

Tijuana Gasser



Hotrodders' Choice came out on CD in 1995 and although it's out of print, you can buy cheap copies on Amazon and elsewhere. It's also available as a download.

Another track from Hotrodders' Choice, Nite Prowler, frequently shows up on compilation CDs. It was also on the soundtrack of Home Alone 3.

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Johnny Williams Orchestra Plays Sounds from Screen Spectaculars


The Johnny Williams Orchestra Plays Sounds from Screen Spectaculars (Craftsmen, 1957) spotlighted future composer and conductor John Williams at the beginning of his career as a pianist and studio musician.

This was long before Williams gained wide fame for his scores for such movie blockbusters as Jaws and Star Wars, and for conducting the Boston Pops Orchestra.

This budget label LP does not appear to have sold very well and within a year it was reissued with a new title, Big Hits from Columbia Pictures, and a far more sales worthy cover featuring cheesecake portraits of Kim Novak and Rita Hayworth.


This version came out on no less than three different labels -- Tops, Golden Tone and Mayfair -- in 1958. All the labels were owned by the same company, with the Golden Tone and Mayfair releases including stereo versions of the LP.

Note that the album is now credited to the Hollywood Grand Studio Orchestra conducted by John T. Williams.

The Latin standard Brazil was among the tracks on the LP due to its inclusion in the film The Eddy Duchin Story, which came out in 1956. The orchestra sits out for this tune: It's just Williams on piano with a small combo.

Brazil



This early album by John Williams gained new life in the digital age when it was released on a Pickwick CD in 1996.


Movie Memories was mastered from the original stereo tapes and the sound quality is excellent. The CD is out of print but there are plenty of cheap copies for sale online. The album is also available as a download.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Golden Hits of Guitar


For an album with the uninspired title of Golden Hits of Guitar this cassette release contains some pretty fair guitar instrumentals. The cassette was manufactured in Canada and released on the SuperSound label, but the sound of the guitars indicates that the music on this mysterious release originated in Europe.

There is no information other than song titles and a catalogue number on the insert -- no date, no recording information, no artist, nothing. And what's with that cover picture?

Some of the guitar instrumental warhorses are here, Guitar Boogie Shuffle, Apache and Sleep Walk among them. Then there's this piece entitled The Dream. When you listen to it you'll probably recognize Romanza, a familiar classical piece by an anonymous composer that probably dates from the late 19th century. In recent times it's also often recorded under the title of Forbidden Games (Jeux interdits) because of its use in the 1952 French film of that name.

The Dream



I'm sure these recordings have been endlessly repackaged under various titles, as is usually the case with these anonymous recordings. And who knows, you might even spot this cassette at a garage sale or thrift store. Who could resist cover art like that?

Here's a more classical interpretation of Forbidden Games. It's a nice clean digital recording, but again credits are sadly lacking.