Wednesday, April 29, 2009

AccuJazz News: Roll-Out Continues With "Decade: '40s"

This week's new channel makes for the 4th Decade channel at AccuJazz, joining the Pre-1940 channel and a channel apiece for the '50s and '60s.

As with all decades, jazz didn't have a uniform sound or aesthetic during the '40s. In the earlier part of the decade, swing was still king. Tommy Dorsey and Duke Ellington were household names and Benny Goodman's band was one of the hottest touring acts in the country. That soon changed, with big bands becoming harder to keep together and pop crooners taking over the airwaves.

Jazz wan't just going to die, though, right? Nope. You know the story: Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie came swooping in and saved the day with their new, revolutionary style of jazz called "Bebop." The new style breathed life into jazz and spurred on further innovation that continues to this day.

You'll hear everything from Dorsey's sentimental swing to Bud Powell's fiery bop on the channel, as well as gypsy jazz by Django Reinhardt, raucous big band music by Woody Herman, and plenty more.

In my first listening session I heard great tunes by Nat King Cole, Mary Lou Williams, Bud Powell and Duke Ellington. Pretty good start, I'd say.

Go ahead and listen to the channel here, and then let me know what you think in the comments section, or on Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, or the ShoutBox on the AccuJazz home page.

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