Sunday, December 20, 2015

So Rare 2 A second selection by Barry Humphries of his favourite gramophone records and songs

If you enjoyed the first instalment in this series (see previous post here) then this second volume will please you even more. 51 tracks of classic nostalgia from the 1920's, 30's and 40's with artists such as Anne Shelton, Bing Crosby, Kay Thompson, Greta Keller, Dick Todd, "Hutch", Chick Henderson, Comedy Harmonists, Al Bowlly, Fats Waller and a host of others.

So wind up that gramophone, sit back in your favourite armchair in front of an open fire, and just cast yourself back to those times when these tunes were the hits of their day.

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Monday, December 7, 2015

Eddie Lang and Joe Venuti 1920's and 1930's Sides Volumes One and Two

Eddie Lang and Joe Venuti were masters of their instruments (guitar and violin, respectively). They were pioneers in the "string swing" type of jazz, almost a decade before Django and Stephane Grappelli started doing it over in France (admitting to have been influenced by Lang and Venuti). Only a few of the selections on these two discs are popular tunes of the day, most of the others are compositions of those performing (and it's not just Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang--we also hear Jimmy Dorsey, Frankie Trumbauer, Rube Bloom, Adrian Rollini, and some others on some of the "Blue Four" tracks). These recordings were ahead of their time, and they hold up remarkably well today.

Thanks to the excellent remastering by John R. T. Davies, the recordings sound fresher than other re-issues. Joe Venuti's high-pitched harmonics come through sparkling clear as a bell, and Adrian Rollini's bass sax is so warm and rounded, it's the best thing we have to hearing the group perform live. Most of the tracks on the disc have the same overall texture. If you like one, you'll like 'em all. 

Disc: 1
  1. Black And Blue Bottom - Eddie Lang/Joe Venuti
  2. Stringing The Blues - Eddie Lang/Joe Venuti
  3. Stringing The Blues - Eddie Lang/Joe Venuti
  4. Wild Cat - Eddie Lang/Joe Venuti
  5. Sunshine - Eddie Lang/Joe Venuti
  6. Doin' Things - Eddie Lang/Joe Venuti/Arthur Schutt
  7. Goin Places - Eddie Lang/Joe Venuti/Arthur Schutt
  8. Kickin' The Cat
  9. Beatin' The Dog
  10. Cheese And Crackers
  11. A Mug Of Ale
  12. Penn Beach Blues - Joe Venuti/Don Murray/Frank Signorelli/Eddie Lang/Justin Ring
  13. Four String Joe - Joe Venuti/Don Murray/Frank Signorelli/Eddie Lang/Justin Ring
  14. Dinah
  15. The Wild Dog
  16. The Man From The South
  17. Pretty Trix
  18. Doin' Things
  19. Wild Cat
  20. The Blue Room
  21. A Sensation

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Disc: 2
  1. My Honey's Lovin' Arms
  2. Goin' Home
  3. Runnin' Ragged (Bamboozlin' The Bassoon)
  4. Apple Blossoms
  5. Raggin' The Scale
  6. Put And Take
  7. Put And Take
  8. The Wild Dog
  9. Really Blue
  10. I've Found A New Baby
  11. Sweet Sue-Just You
  12. Pardon Me Pretty Baby
  13. Little Girl
  14. Little Buttercup (I'll Never Be The Same)
  15. Tempi Di Modernage
  16. There's No Other Girl - Joe Venuti's Rhythm Boys
  17. Now That I Need You You're Gone - Joe Venuti's Rhythm Boys
  18. The Wolf Wobble - Joe Venuti's Rhythm Boys
  19. To To Blues - Joe Venuti's Rhythm Boys
  20. Doin' Things - Joe Venuti's Rhythm Boys
  21. Wild Cat - Joe Venuti's Rhythm Boys

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Friday, October 2, 2015

UK Jazz Singer Bexi Owen Using Music and Original Vintage Memorabilia for Dementia Project

Jazz starlet Bexi Owen has recorded her velvet voice in aid of a very worthy cause - to raise funds for her dementia project. Bexi started the project at the start of the year to help those with dementia. Entitled 'Forget Me Never' it aims to use music and authentic vintage memorabilia in order to help with memory function and encourage social interaction.

Bexi explains, "I started the project after singing at a wartime memorial event and seeing how amazingly members of the audience who had dementia responded to the music. So I decided to set up on my own, delivering sessions at community centres across the country."

"When raising initial funds I set up a crowdfunding campaign and played an accompanying live tour, the support for both was overwhelming and so many people got in touch with their own stories. To keep the project going I thought it might be a nice idea to record some of the jazz classics that I sing during the sessions so I did!"

As well at the project, Bexi has been very much in demand with recent shows in Switzerland and Spain as well as performing at many festivals and the National Vintage Awards which she was named Best Performer at in 2013.

For more information about the project and Bexi's music, please go to or 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Peggy Lee and George Shearing...Beauty and the Beat!

Beauty and the Beat! is a mostly live (yes, mostly live) album by the great Peggy Lee with the equally talented George Shearing at the piano. It's interesting that they recorded introductions to these songs after the live concert was recorded. However, despite this unusual feature this disc is extremely pleasing to the ear. Peggy sounds just great here and George plays his piano wonderfully. We also get two bonus tracks that apparently were not on the record album release of this recording; Peggy and George perform "Nobody's Heart" and "Don't Ever Leave Me."

For decades we've been listening to the live-in-concert "Beauty and the Beat" and hearing a studio project with applause, announcements and low volume audience chatter dubbed in. Now all the distractions have been removed, along with the echoey sound necessary to make it all sound live, and what we have is a beautiful, detailed collection with great depth never before apparent. In the previous version Peggy sounded like she was socking it over to an enthusiastic audience; now, with the very same recordings, she sounds intimate and close. Shearing sounds the same--totally engaging and delightful.

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Friday, September 18, 2015

Robert Crumb's Heroes of Jazz, Blues and Country

Anyone who knows R. Crumb’s work as an illustrator knows of his passion for music. And all those who collect his work prize the Heroes of the Blues, Early Jazz Greats, and Pioneers of Country Music trading card sets he created in the early to mid 1980's. 

They have been packaged together in book form, along with an exclusive 21-track CD of music selected and compiled by Crumb himself (featuring original recordings by Charley Patton, “Dock” Boggs, “Jelly Roll” Morton, and others). A bio of each musician is provided, along with a full-color original illustration by the cartoonist. A characteristically idiosyncratic tribute by an underground icon to the musical innovators who helped inspire him, R. Crumb’s Heroes of Blues, Jazz & Country is a must-have collection for Crumb aficionados, comics fans, and music lovers alike.


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Monday, August 24, 2015

Herb Alpert presents Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66..landmark album from 1966

This is the album that put Brasil'66 on the map and transformed Sergio Mendes from a respected jazz pianist to an international pop star.  It's been called some of the best samba music of all time with its rich and full production. Herb Alpert knew what he was onto when he gave this album kudos back nearly 40 years ago, and the album has maintained its greatness all through the decades.

The album is a milestone for Bossa Nova and for what was going to be known as Brazilian Jazz; no serious Bossa Nova collection would be complete without this jewel by Maestro Sergio Mendes.

 1. Mais Que Nada
 2. One Note Samba / Spanish Flea  
 3. The Joker
 4. Going Out Of My Head
 5. Tim Dom Dom  
 6. Day Tripper  
 7. Agua De Beber
 8. Slow Hot Wind
 9. O Pato

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Electro-Retro singer Joanne Weaver releases second album Interstellar Songbook II

New York based artist, Joanne Weaver, has released her second studio album, Interstellar Songbook II, the anticipated sequel to her debut album, Interstellar Songbook, that she independently released in 2012. Weaver’s new album consists of nine American songbook classics that she personally curated from the archives of the 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's, transforming them to modern-day trip hop lounge songs with glitchy electronic beats and dark orchestration. 

The Ticker says,“With a voice as velvety as the curtains that hug the stage, Weaver is not to be missed.”

See previous post here: Sultry Songstress Joanne Weaver releases steamy new music video "Sway"

Marty's review: Joanne Weaver's 2nd album, Interstellar Songbook II, continues in the vein of her first release with a collection of jazz and nostalgic standards that are done with a contemporary sound and feel that will appeal to all lovers of cool jazz, nostalgic sounds and contemporary jazz-pop. With a voice that's silky, smooth and sultry, Joanne takes these standards and puts her own twist on them by creating a whole new dimension to the arrangements yet still keeping the timeless appeal and romance of the originals. Listen to classic tunes like "Begin the Beguine", "Moonlight Serenade" and "As Time Goes By" and see if you can't listen to them in a new and refreshing style that will have you up slow dancing and leave you breathless for more.


Lana Del Rey, Florence + The Machine or Ella Fitzgerald


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Saturday, June 20, 2015

Jazz Noir - Various Artists...60 Menacing Masterpieces of Mystery, Murder and Mayhem

60 Menacing Masterpieces of Mystery, Murder and Mayhem

Few genres of cinema are as striking and iconic as Film Noir. A dangerous cocktail of crime, gangsters and femme fatales, the music that accompanied the pictures was just as devastatingly beautiful. Composers such as Henry Mancini, Alex North, Miles Davis, Elmer Bernstein, Chico Hamilton, Lalo Schifrin, Art Blakey, John Barry, Leith Stevens, John Lewis and Duke Ellington guide you through darkly lit bars and hazy streets on this 3 disc set.

Bringing together the many musical styles that have brought musical atmosphere to the world of movies, here you will find the works of many composers performed by many of the finest jazz and orchestral performers. Quite a lot of the numbers included could be familiar especially if you are a film goer but there are plenty you may not instantly recognise...the question is will you check them out on line and perhaps get the film because of the music?


preview Jazz Noir 1
preview Jazz Noir 2
preview Jazz Noir 3

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Monday, June 8, 2015

Melbourne's Golden Days Radio 95.7 FM streaming live..Playing Yesterday's Music, Today

Golden Days Radio has a music format that has broad appeal for people of any age who have an affection for and appreciation for the nostalgic sound of radio as it used to be from the 1930's into the 1960's.

These days, “talk back” radio has reduced or completely removed the music content from many radio stations and numerous listeners to today’s radio usually have only two choices of radio programming - talk back, or music that they do not understand or enjoy. Hence, the unique sound of Golden Days Radio which is carefully formulated to fill the void. the nostalgic sound of radio as it used to be heard from the 1930's to the 1960's. So it's on the music and radio style of those years that Golden Days Radio mainly concentrates, with some attention given to music outside those parameters provided it is of good lyrical and melodic quality and of an evergreen standard which falls kindly on the ear. Many listeners attracted to this type of sound also value the light classics, operetta, ballads and musical comedy and there is a place for these genres too, in the Golden Days’ range of musical styles. 

See more on website or click radio below to stream live.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Firecracker Jazz Band....Hot Vintage Jazz...keeping traditional jazz alive

Traditional Jazz at Its Finest

In hundreds of performances since 2003, Firecracker Jazz Band has played everywhere from street corners, speakeasies, jazz festivals from coast to coast, beer-soaked dance halls, Bonaroo and the Kennedy Center. Based in the beautiful confluence of plentiful music and majestic mountains that is Asheville, N.C., a performance by Firecracker Jazz Band is not to be missed. With jubilant vigor that spills from the stage to the streets, these six musicians revitalize traditional jazz with unbounded energy. In paying homage to the pioneers of early 20th Century Jazz, including that of Dixieland and New Orleans, Firecracker Jazz Band carries the torch that was once lit by such greats as Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong & Bix Beiderbecke.

visit their website

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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Sultry Songstress Joanne Weaver releases steamy new music video "Sway"

Sultry pop vocalist Joanne Weaver releases the video for her latest single “Sway” off of her upcoming album, Interstellar Songbook II, that is set to release March 31, 2015. “Sway” is the fourth music video that Joanne Weaver has created with Director John Byrne, who has also directed and/or choreographed for Florence + the Machine, David La Chapelle and Mariah Carey.
Joanne takes classic jazz standards and creates a fresh, contemporary version with her own unique style.

The sensuality of the “Sway” video accentuates the passionate lyrics and Weaver’s vocals that the Examiner says, “will transport the listener to a 1940's supper club in farthest reaches of Pluto.” First made popular in 1954 by Dean Martin, check out Joanne's modern-day electro twist on this mambo classic and her steamy video that goes along with it.

Joanne has been featured on this blog previously. CLICK HERE to view the original post.

See more on Joanne here at her official website.


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Soundtrack Heaven
The Aussie Music Blog
The Vintage Music Blog
The Jazz Music Blog
This Jukebox Rocks
The Blues and Roots Music Blog
Martin's Music Machine
Twitter @islandmanrocks

Monday, February 23, 2015

So Rare...Gramophone Records Compilation by Barry Humphries ...update of expired link

This was the first post on this blog way back in January, 2013. It has been very popular with numerous hits and the expired link has now been updated. 

Check it out for the first time or to revisit again click here

Friday, January 9, 2015

Italiano Americano - Popular Hits of the 1940s, 50s & 60s Brilliantly Remastered

This collection of popular Italian-American tunes from the 40's to 60's will have you dancing and singing along wherever you are. Featuring the most popular Italiano Americano artists and recognizable songs from their peak years. Fabulous remastering from the original records - 23 brilliantly entertaining tracks.

Just check out this amazing track list and see how many you know and remember..

Tony Renis - Quando Quando Quando
Connie Francis - Torero
Dean Martin - That's Amore
Renato Carosone - Tu Vuo Fa L'Americano
Peggy Lee - Chi-Baba, Chi-Baba
Louis Prima - Angelina
Frank Sinatra - Isle Of Capri
Nat King Cole - Non Dimenticar
Dean Martin - Sway
Doris Day - Que Sera Sera
Perry Como - Papa Love Mambo
Louis Prima - Buona Sera
Lou Monte - Lazy Mary
Bing Crosby - Mona Lisa
Mina - Renato
Frank Sinatra - Nevertheless
Tony Bennett/Count Basie - With Plenty Of Money And You
Dean Martin - Volare
Bobby Darin - Mack The Knife
Dean Martin - Bella Bella Bambina
Louis Prima - Just A Gigolo/Ain't Go Nobody
Dean Martin - Mambo Italiano
Fred Buscaglione - Love In Portofino

Purchase direct from Past Perfect, Amazon and iTunes

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