Jazz music was one of America's first truly original contributions to the world art community. The period of the 1930s and 1940s is thus far the only age in history when the popularity of jazz eclipsed all other genres of music in the U.S. It is an epoch known as the Big Band era, and during it swing music was king.
The popularity of jazz, and the way of playing it in the swing music style, waned after WWII. However big bands like those of Duke Ellington, Woody Herman, Count Basie and others upheld the tradition into the 1970s and beyond. Furthermore smaller jazz groups, comprised of both former big band era soloists and new young musicians alike, have continued to utilize many parallel distinctions of the language of swing in their playing and recordings since the fall of the big bands. Similarly the great pop and jazz vocalists of the 1950s and 1960s employed arrangements and instrumentation by arrangers and musicians previously associated with, and understanding of, the phraseology of the Big Band era.
The language of swing is still spoken today by a number of talented latter-day jazz musicians and swing bands. In the mid 1990s renewed interest in swing music was fueled by a swing dance resurgence of the Lindy-hop and jitterbug swing dances. Today's successful session and band-leaders who acquiesce to play and record jazz that swings do so with the knowledge that capturing the attention of new jazz fans is somewhat similar to satisfying the tastes of swing dancers; great playing is easier to understand and relate to when it flows as backed by smooth, steady, and fluent underlying rhythms, much as it was popularized in the mid 1930s.
Since 1985 we have been involved in the research, collecting, and radio broadcasting of swing music that spans seven decades of jazz history. It is this experience and love for big band era music and straight ahead jazz that compelled us to put together Swing Music.Net. Here you will find a brief background of the history of jazz and the evolution of big band music plus artist biographies, links, recording information, historic jazz magazine articles and photos, and references to some of the best re-mastered, vintage jazz on CD.
Whether you like finger poppin' straight ahead jazz and big band music, swing dancing the Lindy hop or jitterbug swing dance, or Americana and retro culture, we hope you find this site to be both informative and entertaining. Please check back often, as we will continuously be adding more information, historic jazz magazine articles, photos and audio archives. We make every attempt to preserve the integrity of the history of jazz by using the most credible reference books, discographies, historic jazz magazine articles and biographies here on Swing Music Net... as is the case on our weekly jazz and big band music radio show.
Speaking of which, Jazz Joint Jump, our straight ahead jazz and big band radio show, can now be heard streaming live world-wide every Tuesday evening from 4-6 PM Pacific Time. Jazz Joint Jump emanates from 90.7 FM KFSR in Fresno.
We strive to make our broadcast one of the freshest and most swingin' around. We achieve this by playing the highest quality CD re-masters of 1930s and 1940s jazz and big band music; by mixing in mainstream jazz and hi-fi big band recordings; by playing only the finest jazz grounded modern swing bands; and by adding new jazz recordings weekly to an already nearly endless play list.
Our straight ahead jazz and big band music radio clambake is now in its its 28th year of continuous broadcast. For a first hand experience of how all of the jazz musicians referred to on this site fit into the show you're invited to listen live via the Jazz Radio page.
Additional jazz biographies and Swing era photos are coming soon. We invite you to listen to our jazz radio show live Tuesdays from 4-6PM Pacific Time via the Jazz Radio page where swing music and jazz that swings is still king.