1. Louis Armstrong, Earl Hines – The Louis Armstrong Story-Volume 3: Recorded, 1928 on Columbia. This compilation released in 1950, chronicles the early work of Armstrong and Hines from 1928; the New York years. This compilation includes the classic tracks “West End Blues”, “Muggles” and “St James Infirmary“. Highly Recommended!!!!!
2. Benny Goodman – The Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert (2 lps): Recorded, 1938 on Columbia.. The Carnegie Hall performance was considered an landmark event, because Benny Goodman was the first musician to perform Big Band Swing Jazz at Carnegie Hall. Notable musician on the date include: Teddy Wilson on piano, Gene Krupa on drums and Lionel Hampton on vibraphone. Highly Recommended!!!!
3. Chick Webb – A Legend: Recorded, 1929-1936 on Decca. This compilation highlight why Chick Webb was considered the King of Swing , beating out heavy hitters like Count Basie and Benny Goodman during live battles at the famed Savoy. Non of the tracks on this compilation feature Ella Fitzgerald, however, it still top notch swing. Recommended!!!
4. Fats Waller – The Joint Is Jumping: Recorded between 1929 – 1943 on Bluebird. This compilation showcase 14 years of the man known as Fats Waller; pianist, composer, and writer. 9 tracks are of Fats Waller alone on piano. Recommended!!!
5. Billie Holiday – The Billie Holiday Story Vol. 3: Recorded, 1937 – 1942 on Columbia. This 2 album set was released in 1973 and features classic songs by Ellington, Gershwin, and Holiday’s classic “God Bless The Child“. Notable musicians include: Teddy Wilson, Lester Young, Jo Jones, Benny Carter, Kenny Clarke, Milt Hinton, Harry James, Harry Edison, Roy Eldridge and Hot Lip Page Highly Recommended!!!!!
6. Bix Beiderbecke – Bix Beiderbecke: Recorded, 1927-1929 on Columbia. Beiderbecke was one of the most influential jazz soloists of the 1920s. His turns on “Singin’ the Blues” and “I’m Coming, Virginia” (both 1927), in particular, demonstrated an unusual purity of tone and a gift for improvisation. Recommended!!!
7. Duke Ellington – The Blanton-Webster Band (3 lps): Recorded, 1940 -1942 on Bluebird. an extensive documentation of Ellington’s work from 1940 – 1942. Ellington was at his peak and creating great work during the early forties, Notable musicians include: Billy Strayhorn on piano, Ben Webster on tenor sax, Ivie Anderson on vocals, Jimmy Blanton on bass, Johnny Hodges on alto & soprano sax, Juan Tizol on trumpet, and Cootie Williams on trumpet. Highly Recommended!!!!!
8. Count Basie – The Original American Decca Recordings: Recorded, 1937 – 1939 on Decca. Released in 1992, “The Decca Recordings” represent the first 63 track ever recorded by Basie and his orchestra. Standout tracks include: “Honeysuckle Rose“, “Jumping At The Woodside“, “One O’clock Jump“, “The Glory Of Love“, and “Hey Lawdy Mama”. Notable musicians: Chu Berry on tenor sax, Jo Jones on drums, Harry Edison on trumpet, Buck Clayton on trumpet, Helen Humes on vocals, and Jimmy Rushing on vocals.
9. Jimmie Lunceford – The Complete Jimmie Lunceford Decca Sessions: Recorded, 1937 – 1944 on Decca. Released, 2011 this comprehensive boxset showcases Jimmie Lunceford and His Orchestra at their height. Notable musicians include: Sy Oliver, Snooky Young, Trummy Young, and Gerald Wilson.
10. Glenn Miller and His Orchestra – Glenn Miler: Recorded, 1939 – 1942 on Victor. Released, 1945, this compilation compiles Glenn Miller hits from early 78rpms. Peaking at number one for 16 weeks on the Billboard charts.