Although Big Bands - meaning a jazz group that features over 10 musicians - have played a variety of different styles in jazz history, from bop to free jazz, it usually is understood to refer to the '30s and '40s, the classic era of swing. During that time, most of the jazz groups were Big Bands and they played a robust, invigorating style of swing that derived from New Orleans jazz. Swing was dance music, yet it offered individual musicians a chance to improvise musically fresh, technically complex solos. Since swinging Big Bands led by Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey were extraordinarily popular, the terms became interchangeable in the public eye. It may be disingenuous to call all Big Bands "swing" - just like all "swing" isn't performed by Big Bands - but the two are forever tied together, since they matured simultaneously. Furthermore, Big Bands from different genres, whether it's cool jazz or jazz-rock, often borrow from the Swing Big Band tradition.

(All Music Guide)


Ben Webster - Soulville

Listen to: Soulville

Webster, Ben (ts); Peterson, Oscar (p); Brown, Ray (b); Ellis, Herb (g); Levey, Stan (dr)

Recorded: 15-10-1957



Billie Holiday - A Musicial Romance (With Lester Young)

Listen to: Mean To Me

Teddy Wilson & His Orchestra: Holiday, Billie (voc); Clayton, Buck (tp); Bailey, Buster (cl); Hodges, Johnny (as); Young, Lester (ts); Wilson, Teddy (p); Reuss, Allan (g); Bernstein, Artie (b); Cole, Cozy (dr)

Recorded: 11-05-1937



Coleman Hawkins - Body And Soul

Listen to: Body And Soul

Coleman Hawkins & His Orchestra: Hawkins, Coleman (ts); Lindsay, Tommy; Guy, Joe (tp); Hardy, Earl (tb); Fields, Jackie; Moore, Eustis (as); Rodgers, Gene (p); Smith, William Oscar (b); Herbert, Arthur (dr)

Recorded: 11-10-1939



Chu Berry - The Story Of Chu Berry

Listen to: Forty-Six West Fifty-Two

Eldrige, Roy (tp); Berry, Chu (ts); Hart, Clyde (p); Barker, Danny (g); Shapiro, Artie (b); Catlett, Sid (dr)

Recorded: 11-11-1938



Lester Young - Lester Leaps In

Listen to: Lester Leaps In

Kansas City Seven: Wells, Dicky (tb); Young, Lester (cl, ts); Clayton, Buck (tp); Basie,Count (p); Green, Freddy (g); Page, Walter (b); Jones Jo (dr)

Recorded: 05-09-1939



Ella Fitzgerald - At The Opera House

Listen to: Stompin' At The Savoy

Getz, Stan; Hawkins, Coleman; Jaquet, Illinois; Young, Lester; Phillips, Flip (ts); Stitt, Sonny (as); Eldridge, Roy (tp); Johnson, J.J. (tb); Peterson, Oscar (p); Ellis, Herb (g); Brown, Ray (b); Jones, Jo; Kay, Connie (dr)

Recorded: 11-05-1937



Sarah Vaughan - Sarah Vaughan

Listen to: Lullaby Of Birdland

Vaughan, Sarah (voc); Brown, Clifford (tp); Mann, Herbie (fl); Quinichette, Paul (ts); Jones, Jimmy (p); Benjamin, Joe (b); Haynes, Roy (dr)

Recorded: 1957



Erroll Garner - Concert By The Sea

Listen to: Mambo Carmel

Garner, Erroll (p); Calhoun, Eddie (b); Best, Denzil (dr)

Recorded: 19-09-1955



Oscar Peterson - The Jazz Soul Of Oscar Peterson

Listen to: Con Alma

Oscar Peterson Trio: Peterson, Oscar (p); Brown, Ray (b); Thigpen, Ed (dr)

Recorded: 1959