“Swingin’ at the Seance” Volume 1. Jazz for a Halloween’s Night: Ghostly Selections 1919-1953
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DODL-32-20-23 “Swingin’ at the Séance” Volume 1. Jazz for a Halloween’s Night: Ghostly Selections 1919-1953. 21 Tracks. Various Artists. Digital Download. Informative Booklet Notes by Madame Enault. Detailed Discography. Vol 1 of 3.
Music that is designed to incite fear, horror and frissons of excitement has been with us since the Dark Ages with the emergence of what was known as “diablous in musica ” literally ”Satan in Music”. This relied upon disharmony such as that created by a tritone which gave an uncomfortable and dissonant sound. In later years composers also began to give their works titles that left the listener in no doubt that their piece was intended to scare and thrill perhaps the best-known example was “Danse macabre” by Camille Saint-Saëns in 1874,
By the early 1900s as the sheet music craze was at its height there were already a number of spooky and devil rags to be had. Halloween itself was established as an event that called for pumpkin and witches outfits as the sheet music to Halloween Dance by H. Engelmann 1908 attests.
As the Blues and Jazz recording age dawned the themes of the Devil , hauntings and the power of hoodoo were repeated over and over again. The desire to communicate with the ancestors and so called spirit guides seems innate in humans even though it is often frowned upon by modern western religions.
To see you through a modern Halloween (which seems now to encompass most of October ) download Swinging at the Séance. This album brings together some of the most stylish and “hot ” jazz and swing numbers from such musical greats as The Original Dixieland Jazz Band, Merritt Brunies, The New Orleans Owls, Elgar’s Creole Orchestra, Walter Page’s Blue Devils, Duke Ellington, Jack Hylton and his Orchestra, Cliff Jackson and his Krazy Kats, Fess Williams & His Royal Flush Orch. Gene Kardos and his Orchestra, Raymond Scott Quintette, Larry Clinton Orchestra, Artie Shaw, Chick Webb, Charlie Barnet, Jimmie Lunceford, Johnny Messner, The Glenn Miller Orchestra and The Mills Brothers.
Spooky but essential listening for swinging thrill seekers
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