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Reviewers: Don Mather, Marc Bridle, Ian Lace, Peter Woolf, Colin Clarke

Western Swing
Hot Hillbilly Jazz and Blues 1935 - 1947
ASV mono Living Era CD AJA 5214

This CD contains 27 tracks of a music called Western Swing and, like all the ASV series, it has a very informative sleeve note, this time by Tony Russell who obviously knows a great deal about this form of music. As a jazz person, I always have problems in listening to the jazz off-shoots be they Rock and Roll, Country and Western, Rhythm and Blues or whatever. I know that most of the musicians involved, don't really want to play that stuff, but they have to make a living. Jazz has provided a very few people with a significant income, because it demands a level of attention most listeners are not prepared to give. That is not too say that these are not good performances many are excellent, but the feeling that they would rather be playing in a jazz outfit is always there for me .

Western Swing came to being in the early 1930's, mostly as dance music and it was a fusion of Southern American folk music and the jazz that the people could now hear on radio and records from New York and Chicago. The instrumentation was drawn from both camps as well and the record gives a very interesting sample of the music of that time.

Western Swing experienced a revival in the 1970's and is still popular to-day. For the devotee this record is a must, I don't think it will have the same appeal for the jazz fan however.

I give it because it's a well-produced and interesting compilation.


Don Mather

Don Mather is a Saxophone Player and Bandleader based in Coventry

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