Upbeat Recordings - Your specialist source for the best Jazz & Nostalgia CD's around today

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Download The 2014 Upbeat Newsletter


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Download The February 2015 Upbeat Newsletter


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Download The June 2015 Upbeat Newsletter

It is with extreme sadness that I announce that John Griffith died on 4th January at 4.30am. He had battled bravely and was cheerful throughout the traumas of a recurring brain tumour. John and I worked very closely together on many, many albums that he produced for Upbeat Jazz over the last 23 years. He had an encyclopaedic knowledge of both classical and jazz music and was such an enthusiastic and lovely man. His sense of humour was quite unique – calling my office a dogstacle course as I have two dogs…..only John could have coined that phrase. John will be sorely missed. Indeed, I miss him already!

Welcome to the Upbeat Recordings website - home of the very best music recordings. UPBEAT JAZZ keeps on releasing great CDs so make sure you keep updated throughout the year. You will see that our Mail Order Shop has now moved to a dedicated site, so if you are looking to purchase from our catalogue, please enter via Upbeat Mailorder (the third button on the Home Page)..

URCD265 COLYER FROM THE ARCHIVES featuring Sammy Rimington with Ken Colyer's All Stars Previously unreleased live riverboat session from 1973 sees Ken in fine form! 72 glorious minutes.

URCD266 THE RISE OF THE CROONER 1945-1975 - The London Swing Orchestra The fourth and final release in this history of 20th century jazz from the London Swing Orchestra.

URCD256 YOUNG SATCHMO - Birth of a Jazz GeniusThis unique compilation of early Armstrong features classic tracks with Bessie Smith,Fletcher Henderson, King Oliver,Clarence Williams and Sidney Bechet. CRITIC'S TOP 10 CHOICE 2014 Jazz Journal International

URCD263 THE BIRTH OF SWING 1935-1945 The London Swing Orchestra - volume 3 in their complete history of 20th Century popular music.

URCD262D KID ORY - STORYVILLE NIGHTS plus Kid Ory plays WC Handy and Dixieland Marching Songs. These are his last recordings....

URCD259 KID ORY and his ORCHESTRA - THE ORIGINAL JAZZ Recordings from 1957 of the classic Ory line-up, plus the final 2 tracks from Dance with Kid Ory or Just Listen and two more tracks from Kid Ory in Europe.

URCD255 THE ELEGANT THIRTIES Graham Dalby and The London Swing Orchestra in the second volume of their History of Jazz series, this time with a portrait of the music of the 30s.

URCD257 KEN COLYER'S JAZZMEN - LIVE REDISCOVERED TREASURES FROM THE CLASSIC YEARS - This new CD contains over an hour of previously unheard, digitally remastered tracks from what was considered to be Colyer’s ‘classic’ line-up from the late 50s playing standards, blues, spirituals and rags in their relaxed and inspired way!

The Rise of the Crooner - The London Swing Orchestra featuring Graham Dalby

The Rise of the Crooner - The London Swing Orchestra featuring Graham Dalby

CD Number: URCD266

In The Shops 18th September. Available from Upbeat Mailorder NOW!
The fourth and final chapter in the London Swing Orchestra’s comprehensive anthology of Jazz and Swing charts the rise of the crooner. Although crooners such as Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra had toured with band leaders in the thirties, it wasn’t until post 1945 that the vocalist totally eclipsed the band leader to become superstars.
From 1945 there was a distinct decline in Big Bands that had held popular music in sway in America: so many players were overseas involved in various conflicts of World War II it was difficult to keep the large eighteen-piece bands together. The difficult economic climate also made it easier for bands to survive as five-piece jump-jive combos that were a forerunner to rock and roll groups. Two such artists are featured on this album – Louis Jordan Is You Is, or Is You Ain't My Baby (1945) and Louis Prima Just a Gigolo (1956).
Frank Sinatra 'Ol’ Blue Eyes' had his career promoted by his 1930’s success with Big Bands such as Goodman and the Dorseys and his collaboration with Nelson Riddle in the ‘50’s is well represented on this album with classics like I’ve Got You Under My Skin and Come Fly With Me. Bing Crosby has just one feature from his 1956 film High Society Now You Has Jazz as does Tony Bennett from 1954 I Left My Heart in San Francisco. Into the early 60’s the velvety voice of the pianist/crooner Nat King Cole followed Sinatra into the pop world with a string of hits including Let There Be Love 1961 and Let’s Face The Music and Dance 1963. Bobby Darrin’s brief career as a crooner is marked by two huge hits of 1959 Beyond the Sea and Mack the Knife. The album closes with the iconic title song from Scorsese’s film New York New York before a 'lights out' trumpet feature from 1965 by Nini Rosso brings the anthology to a close.

COLYER FROM THE ARCHIVES - Ken Colyer's All Stars featuring Sammy Rimington

COLYER FROM THE ARCHIVES - Ken Colyer's All Stars featuring Sammy Rimington

CD Number: URCD265

Available by mail order and digital download NOW! In the shops from 8th June.

This live Thames riverboat session dates from the early 70s - a time when traditional jazz was fighting for its existence. Ken Colyer's Studio 51 Club in Leicester Square had recently closed after 20 years as a mecca for lovers of New Orleans music. Ken had given up leading a regular band, but was offered a regular weekly slot at the 100 Club in Oxford street and the All Stars were born. The stars on this recording were Sammy Rimington, Mike Pointon, Bill Stotesbury, Annie Hawkins and Colin Bowden. 72 glorious minutes of previously unreleased material!

KID ORY - STORYVILLE NIGHTS -Kid Ory Plays WC Handy plus Dixieland Marching Songs - Double CD

KID ORY - STORYVILLE NIGHTS -Kid Ory Plays WC Handy plus Dixieland Marching Songs - Double CD

CD Number: URCD262D

The three sessions represented on this double CD set cover the final studio recordings made by Kid Ory's band, apart from 2 albums he made with Red Allen as a warm up for the European tour in 1959. This is a package of musical Americana with a triple impact,: the music of Storyville, Jelly Roll Morton's jazz and Kid Ory with his trombone and band.
The first, released as Kid Ory Plays WC Handy we have spread across the two CDs as respectively the final 5 and 4 tracks on each. It reunited Ory with Teddy Buckner.
Tracks 1-13 on CD 1 are from an extremely rare LP of Dixieland Marching Songs , and yet only two are actually from this particular genre!
Storyville Nights opens CD 2 and was Ory's farewell release. The band recreates the atmosphere and merriment of the now obsolete pleasure districts that were once established in law.

THE ORIGINAL JAZZ - Kid Ory and his Orchestra

THE ORIGINAL JAZZ - Kid Ory and his Orchestra

CD Number: URCD259

Upbeat Jazz is delighted to continue their Kid Ory series with the first UK release on CD of The Original Jazz by his fine studio line-up of 1957 plus the remaining 2 tracks from Dance With Kid Ory Or Just Listen that there was not space for on URCD 241. We also feature two more numbers from the 1956 Paris concert Kid Ory in Europe that featured on URCD 236. This is great music from 1957 - not to be missed!

Ken Colyer’s Jazzmen Live - Rediscovered Treasures From The Classic Years

Ken Colyer’s Jazzmen Live - Rediscovered Treasures From The Classic Years

CD Number: URCD257

Upbeat now present a welcome addition to their acclaimed Ken Colyer series. This new CD contains over an hour of previously unheard, digitally remastered tracks from what was considered to be Colyer’s ‘classic’ line-up from the late 50s playing standards, blues, spirituals and rags in their relaxed and inspired way.
Four songs feature the rarely-recorded vocalist Rosina Scudder, one of the few female singers to guest regularly with the Jazzmen.
All the exciting ambience of Colyer’s Studio ‘51 basement club is recaptured here including a bonus number from Ken’s pioneering skiffle group.

JASS AT THE OHIO UNION - The Historic George Lewis 1954 Concert - Double CD

JASS AT THE OHIO UNION - The Historic George Lewis 1954 Concert - Double CD

CD Number: URCD244D

Available by mail order only NOW! Watch this space for news of shop release...
This historic concert has been treasured by George Lewis fans for many years, and now we here at Upbeat are proud to announce the first UK release of this landmark recording of the Lewis band at its exciting digitally remastered best! An essential double-album for all lovers of authentic New Orleans music.
By the mid-50s the band often performed on the college concert circuit for their developing fan base of young, mainly white, jazz enthusiasts for whom genuine New Orleans music was a revelation and we can feel the warm rapport they had with their new audience. That evening Nick Gagliano (the band’s manager) introduced them and to our surprise we learned that the concert was being recorded. The concert was a great success.
We’ve used the artwork and extracts from the original sleeve notes of the first release LP, but for the sake of accuracy have corrected some mis-titled tunes in our updated running order.
Personnel: George Lewis clarinet leader, Avery ‘Kid’ Howard trumpet, Jim Robinson trombone, Lawrence Marrero banjo, Alton Purnell piano vocals, Alcide ‘Slow-Drag’ Parvageau string bass, Joe Watkins drums vocals.

 THE ELEGANT THIRTIES - The London Swing Orchestra

THE ELEGANT THIRTIES - The London Swing Orchestra

CD Number: URCD255

In the shops September 7th 2013. Availably by mail order only now!
The Elegant Thirties follows directly on from the bestsellling album The Roaring Twenties - URCD249. The cover design is in keeping with the travel bug that gripped the well healed in this elegant decade of foxtrots and foie gras.
Graham Dalby and The London Swing Orchestra have spent twenty-five years performing around the world from Berlin to Hong Kong and back again! So sit back and enjoy their inimitable style and panache and some great jazz!

SING, SING, SING - Prime Louis Prima

SING, SING, SING - Prime Louis Prima

CD Number: URCD243

In all of jazz’s turbulent history there have been few instrumentalist / performers who personified showmanship more than Louis Prima. In a positive way he brought many essential elements of New Orleans music to a wider public long before the roots of the so-called ‘Revival’ ever took shape. This CD traces the evolution of his charismatic talent, covering the years 1933 –1955, and includes rare tracks that have not been heard for many years.

Louis' award winning composition Sing Sing Sing – the title track of this compilation - was placed into the Grammy Hall of Fame, while another track Buona Sera was featured during the closing ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympics! In 2010 he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

To younger audiences, Louis Prima will forever be the voice of King Louis in the 1966 Disney classic animation The Jungle Book – and he received a gold disc for the million selling soundtrack recording.

KENNY BALL AT THE BBC 1957-1962 - THE AIRSHOTS

KENNY BALL AT THE BBC 1957-1962 - THE AIRSHOTS

CD Number: URCD157

These recordings comprise broadcasts mostly for BBC Jazz Club and run from 1957-1962. They include some tunes that had not appeared on studio commercial recordings. They complement the sessions from our series of BBC Jazz Club and our special issues of Colyer and Barber from the same time. The personnel are Kenny Ball trumpet and vocals, John Bennett trombone, Charlie Galbraith trombone, Dave Jones clarinet, John Potter banjo, Dick Bishop banjo and vocals, Diz Disley banjo and guitar, Paddy Lightfoot banjo, Pat Mason piano, Colin Bates piano, Ron Weatherburn, piano, Vic Pitt, bass, Jack Fallon bass, Ron Bowden drums and John Welling drums (in varying combinations listed inside!)

Cliff 'Ukulele Ike' Edwards - I Did It With My Little Ukulele

Cliff 'Ukulele Ike' Edwards - I Did It With My Little Ukulele

CD Number: URCD254

Re-engineered version now in the shops and available by Mail Order!

This CD celebrates the unique talent of Cliff 'Ukulele Ike' Edwards, pioneer of an instrument once again in fashion, the ukulele, and one of the first true crooners. ‘Ukulele Ike’, as Edwards became known, was an entertainer whose inimitable style exuded a quality rare in today’s jaundiced world: charm. Edwards was a prolific recording artist in the 20s and 30s - by some accounts selling around three-quarters of a million 78s - and his vaudeville background made him an ideal performer for the early ‘talkies’. He appeared in over 100 'talkies', but today he is perhaps best remembered for his wistful vocalising of When You Wish Upon A Star as Jiminy Cricket in Walt Disney’s classic Pinocchio from 1940. This collection admirably showcases his innovative talent, his scat singing underlining his jazz credentials alongside the distinctive interpretations of his movie songs, and of course the sound of the uke. He sold in excess of three quarters of a million 78s, including the title track of this CD 'I Did It With My Little Ukulele'.
Cliff Edwards was inducted into the Ukulele Hall of Fame Museum in 2000 and the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2002.

THE MAGIC OF A THOUSAND STRINGS - FARYL SMITH with The International Harp Ensemble

THE MAGIC OF A THOUSAND STRINGS - FARYL SMITH with The International Harp Ensemble

CD Number: URCD250S

THE INTERNATIONAL HARP ENSEMBLE is unique in the Europe and was originally formed to provide professional training and introduce the full range of the harp to the general public. However its sound has resonated around concert halls across Europe and has left audiences clamouring for more ! Founded by award-winning solo harpist Luisa-Maria Cordell in 2002, The International Harp Ensemble is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and now numbers 33 harpists of all ages, all of whom are dedicated to bringing ‘the magic of a thousand strings’ to a wider general public. The sound of one harp is beautiful, but together the Ensemble has a depth and excitement that is truly amazing. The Ensemble’s unique style and rich repertoire are perfectly showcased on this CD – The Magic of a Thousand Strings – which is also the title of their current touring show.
The Harps are joined on both this CD and the touring show by special guest singer FARYL SMITH. Her youth and vocal timbre are the perfect complement to the Orchestra’s young talent and haunting sound. Faryl was a finalist in the 2009 Britain's Got Talent and her debut album was the fastest selling debut album EVER! It was nominated for a Classical Brit Award in the Best Album category, and Faryl herself was nominated as Best Young Performer. Now 16, Faryl is singing better than ever, and her haunting tone is wonderfully enhanced by the Harp Ensemble. This is truly a matching made in Heaven!

For a short snippet of the CD and the artists in rehearsal, click on the YouTube button in the left hand column below and follow the link.....

BARBER,  BALL and BILK AT THE BBC - Re-issue

BARBER, BALL and BILK AT THE BBC - Re-issue

CD Number: URCD230

The three Bs all together on one album - recorded by the BBC at their famous JAZZ BAND BALL sessions. Re-issued and re-packaged by popular demand. (Formerly URCD166). Full personnel details listed inside.

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