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  #1  
Old 05-03-2012, 05:42 AM
kombatminipig kombatminipig is offline
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Need recommendations for some good party jazz

Hey all,

I'm having a party this weekend with a general Speakeasy theme to it, and I'd like the soundtrack to match the event and era. So I guess I'm looking for some good classic jazz, both with a bit of swing for the start of the evening and a bit more mellow for the end of the evening.

Knowing nothing about jazz, I appreciate all suggestions of bands and singers to include in my playlists =)
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  #2  
Old 05-03-2012, 06:34 AM
JKellyMap JKellyMap is online now
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If you need to be chronologically authentic and just do the "swing era", you'll have to pretty much stick to Big Band greats like Duke Ellington and his numerous virtuoso bandmembers, plus maybe some Count Basie or Lester Young. And other, non-big-band stuff from that same era (1920 to 1945) could also include Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, and Django Reinhardt.

But that will already cover a lot of musical territory. Mostly upbeat stuff, with a few ballads, too.

One problem, though, is that recordings from that era are pretty "low quality" ton our ears. Might want to instead do great performers of later eras playing the music of these guys. (For example, McCoy Tyner did an albun of Ellington stuff.)
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:35 AM
Horatio Hellpop Horatio Hellpop is offline
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Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Bessie Smith.
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:37 AM
Eve Eve is offline
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If it's a speakeasy theme, you should stick with Prohibition-era music (no late-30s or '40s swing). Bix Beiderbecke is safe , as he died during Prohibition!
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:54 AM
Sigmagirl Sigmagirl is offline
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Below links are all Amazon MP3 downloads (ETA: Coon-Sanders is Wikipedia link to band page).

Here's an invaluable download that gets plenty of play on my iPod. This is more poppy than jazz, but also looks good, 60 cuts for $8.99 and includes many essentials, like Running Wild, Black Bottom, Miss Annabelle Lee, Collegiate, and Chicago (you probably don't want to play The Prisoner's Song during cocktail hour).
I have several of these Coon-Sanders CDs and you'll find plenty of fine, fast jazz there. They were hot stuff.

Last edited by Sigmagirl; 05-03-2012 at 07:55 AM..
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:41 AM
cjepson cjepson is offline
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Fats Waller.
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:03 AM
Eve Eve is offline
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Also, for a more realistic speakeasy atmos., you should pour some rubbing alcohol or bug spray into, say, every fifth bottle, and have someone burst in and beat the holy crap out of your bartender at some point in the night.
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:58 PM
K364 K364 is offline
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Ramsey Lewis - "The In Crowd"
http://youtu.be/m3cZ6W12TUQ
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:31 PM
Runs With Scissors Runs With Scissors is offline
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Artie Shaw, of course.

I love swing jazz from the 20s, 30s, and 40s. Sometimes I think I was born 69 years too late. But I'm still glad I was
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:48 PM
Bumbershoot Bumbershoot is offline
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For something mellow at the end of the evening, I suggest some Eddie Lang.
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  #11  
Old 05-04-2012, 04:54 AM
kombatminipig kombatminipig is offline
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Thanks for all the suggestions! This is turning into a neat playlist!
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:56 AM
JKellyMap JKellyMap is online now
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Don't forget Sidney Bechet (clarinetist).
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:49 AM
Skywatcher Skywatcher is offline
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Annie Lennox's cover of "Keep Young and Beautiful".
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:24 AM
Skywatcher Skywatcher is offline
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There were some Ragtime composers still active, such as Zez Confrey.

Last edited by Skywatcher; 05-04-2012 at 10:26 AM..
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:45 AM
Skywatcher Skywatcher is offline
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Some stuff at the Internet Archive that should be useful:
1920s Dance Bands.
Roaring 1920's.
Jazz.
Marion Harris.
Sophie Tucker.
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