Tag Archives: big band

Even More Halloween Jazz for a Spooky, Swingin’ Time!

The Witch's Dance Vintage Halloween Card

I offered up a selection of four tracks for a Halloween jazz playlist last year, and I’m back for more this year. These tunes are perfect for setting a spooky, fun mood — whether you’re setting out for trick or treat or holding a classy (and classic) retro Halloween party of your own! Each of these selections has a YouTube video that’s up for now, and I’ve also embedded a Spotify playlist at the bottom of this post. Speaking of which…

(Spotify users — you can listen to these and other featured Sunday Jazz songs by subscribing to my GFS Sunday Jazz playlist.)


Kay Starr — “The Headless Horseman”

Artie Shaw — “Nightmare”

The Casa Loma Orchestra — “The House Is Haunted”

The Boswell Sisters — “Heebie Jeebies”

Henry Hall and his Orchestra (vocals by Val Rosing) — “Hush, Hush, Hush, Here Comes the Bogeyman”

Todd Rollins & His Orchestra with Chick Bullock — “The Boogie Man”

Album cover of the week: Candygram for Mowo!

I knew nothing about Adam Dorn, aka Mocean Worker (pronounced Motion Worker) before last week, but one glance at the cover for his latest album — Candygram for Mowo! — was enough to make me want to check him out. It’s been a long time since I decided to listen to an album just because of its cover, but this did the trick.

Mocean Worker - Candygram for Mowo

Luckily for me, Candygram for Mowo! is actually a good album. Some of the songs evoke the Big Band/Swing era nicely, just like the repurposed photo on the cover. Witness the outstanding lead track, “Shooby Shooby Do Yah!” (linked below) and “Hoot and Hollah.”

“Shooby Shooby Do Yah!” | MOCEAN WORKER by Calabro Music Media

Sunday Jazz: Got them ol’ St. Louis Blues

Years ago I picked up a budget jazz CD set called Jazz Master Files. I figured I’d find three of four songs I liked on it — instead it turned out to be a treasure trove of excellent jazz covering most of the genre’s golden years. One of the tracks on it is a sizzling live performance of “St. Louis Blues” by Louis Armstrong and his band. I had never heard the song before, but instantly fell in love with it thanks to this version (sadly, the CD contained no information on the performance itself so I can’t place a date or venue).

Published in 1914 by W.C. Handy, “St. Louis Blues” remains one of the most popular and enduring songs in jazz history for good reason. It’s energetic and simple, yet has melody that just won’t quit. The most famous take of the song is probably the 1925 rendition from vocalist Bessie Smith, backed by Satchmo on cornet. For your enjoyment this Sunday, here’s a handful of other takes on “St. Louis Blues.”

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