Thursday, January 17, 2008

Recommendations Needed!

I know this is not movie-related but it is somewhat relevant to the "out of the past" theme of this blog!

I am looking for recommendations on music CDs. I just got an gift card and I'd like to invest in some 40s/50s/60s jazz music, some 20s/30s dance music and some 50s/60s pop music. I'd like to build my library a bit with artists or collections that I don't already have.

I've got what I need of Chet Baker, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz, Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday. Any other big names that you recommend? It would be nice to get a themed or "Best of" collection on one CD. I really love the "For Lovers" series.

For 20s/30s dance, I have the Original Dance Music of 1920's & 1930's which I absolutely love, but am scared of trying another compilation. Anyone out there have one similar to this that they adore and would suggest to me?

For 50's/60's pop, all I got is Bobby Darin. Now I love me my Bobby Darin. In fact, I love him so much that when I bought my copy of Bobby Darin: The Hits Single Collection at Barnes & Noble 2+ years ago it went from the store to my car and hasn't left the car since. Literally! I listen to it on long drives, short drives, even medium-length drives. I love to sing along really loudly in the privacy of my Toyota Corolla. But I digress. I'd really like to try something else fun from this time period. Probably a collection, but a single artist would be fine too.

Please! Help! Comment or e-mail! Thank you in advance!


  1. Man, thats one open question - I have been a collector of jazz, big band, swing, 20's and 30's stuff for years and there sure is a lot of good stuff and a lot that is pretty pedestrian. I would say on the jazz side, you need some early and middle Miles. The Prestige recordings, Workin, Steamin,Cookin, etc. along with Sketches of Spain, Porgy and Bess and Someday My prince will come. Gotta have a best of Boswell sisters - make sure it includes 42nd street and Shuffle off to Buffalo. Parker with Strings can introduce you to "Bird" in a fairly mellow way. Sorry, I could go on for hours with recommendations, but that will do it for now from this musiholic - oh except get Nat King Cole trio from the Forties era - great stuff - and Art Tatum solo performance..STOP STOP AHHHHHHH.

  2. Thanks for the great recommendations!!! You can keep going I don't mind!

  3. Who needs anyone other than Bobby Darin?!! I could listen to him 24-hours a day if I didn't have to eat and sleep, but seriously I do occasionally listen to other music. Latin music from the 50s is fun like salsa or bossa nova. Definitely get some Celia Cruz, the "Queen of Salsa". Rhino Records has a good "best of" CD. You might also like the Dave Brubeck Quartet "Time Out" album with the classic "Take Five". For early jazz with unusual instrumentation there's Django Reinhardt, the French gypsy jazz guitarist, and his Hot Club of France quintet which also featured Stephane Grapelli on jazz violin. I could go on, but hopefully that along with the previous commentator's suggestions will get you started.

  4. I also really like Django Reinhardt, too. I have this great CD I would be happy to make a copy of for you.

    Also, check out Nina Simone. I got into her music over the last year. She's incredibly soulful, and has such a unique. Definitely in a class by herself!

    Other 60's pop music you should check out is Serge Gainsbourg. His music is very jazzy, funny, experimental and diverse.

  5. I'll second the Django recommendation. There's also some compilation CDs of 30's music on Amazon. Just look for "Hits of '34" and you should be able to find the entire series for the decade.

  6. Thank you Laura and Kevin for your recommendations!

    Thank you Carrie! Now that you and Laura have recommended Django, I'll definitely check it out. I'm familiar with the compilation CDs of 30s music on Amazon (I have one myself), but instead of blind buying, if someone had one particular that they liked to recommend, I might look into that instead.

    Thanks again folks!!! My wishlist is going to be packed to the brim!

  7. Here is great clip of Django - one of my favorites as well.

    FYI - two of Django's fingers on his left hand were damaged in a fire and left unusable. Also, his brother is on rhythm guitar.

  8. Jo Stafford. One of the finest pop singers ever from the 1940s and 1950s, who also had made a few albums featuring jazz, gospel, American folk classics, and some hysterical comedy albums parodying a very bad lounge singer. She could do it all, but for soulful heartfelt tunes right out of what is now called the American Songbook, you can't do better than Jo Stafford.

  9. Look for compilations of the best of Annette Hanshaw, Lee Wiley and the Boswell Sisters (who simply are incredible).


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