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Tribute to a Generation: Salute to the Big Bands


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Audio CD, May 25, 2004
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 25, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Smithsonian Folkways
  • ASIN: B0001XXBCA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #182,955 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

During World War II the big band music of Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Glenn Miller and others was the soundtrack of life on the home-front. This music also reached the battlefront through recordings and broadcasts where familiar tunes and bands became a metaphor for the way of life that American soldiers were fighting to preserve. Playing original arrangements, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterwork Orchestra pays tribute to this musical inspiration in the World War II years. Extensive notes, 36 page booklet, 17 tracks, an hour of music

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By honest_johns_used_cds on July 27, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I'm fairly happy with this purchase. Overall, a nice collection of big band music.

The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra plays all the songs in the same arrangements as that of the various original artists who made each of the selections popular.

Yes, be aware ... these songs are not recordings by the original artists!

If you are looking for a collection of big band classics, recorded more recently so as to get the higher level of fidelity you are used to with modern recordings ... this might be your CD. The usual problem with modern recordings of big band music is that while the fidelity is better (none of that hollow hissing as in the originals - no offense to those who find this to be part of the "big band sound") the songs don't "swing" nearly as much as the originals from the 30s & 40s. However, as the arrangements are the same here, the recordings sound near identical to those by the original artists ... a positive I think as compared to other "collection" CDs where the performers have taken famous songs and done them their own way.

I was surprised though when I got my CD and found all the selections to be "live" versions. It's not really all that bad, just applause at the end of tracks. Just be aware ... I missed that when I first looked at the listing on Amazon.
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By F. Morris Rosman on October 20, 2014
Format: Audio CD
Did you even know that the Smithsonian Institution has a Jazz Orchestra? Well, they do and they are absolutely fabulous. This recording is a must-own for all music lovers, even if you think you don't like jazz. You'll like this, trust me, I'm a librarian! Highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Do you REALLY need more information than that?
These people don't PLAY music , they STUDY music. Faithful , note for note , renditions of classic big band / jazz / swing by the finest musicians in the world.
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By Matthew Holland on August 17, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This CD is one of the best jazz CD's in my collection. I would recomend this CD to anyone who likes real swing charts. These guys are the best of the best!
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