One of the things that really separates this type of music in my mind is the use of horns. It all has a swingy, big band kind of feel to it and little to no guitar. Being of the folk, bluegrass, and rock persuasion, where the focus is almost always on guitar and other stringed instruments, this was quite different to my ear. And I liked it a whole lot.
Turns out, even cows like the horns! Or are at least quite curious about it! Check out this video I found via the blog Practical Parsimony where the cows all gather round for their own private performance. Pretty neat, don't you think?
So after three months of no XM, and thus no 40's on 4, you can also then understand my utter delight at discovering the complete collection of Ken Burns' Jazz CDs for check out at my library. This stuff even predates the 40's on 4 era going back to the early 1920's in some cases. It is completely amazing the level of talent and diversity of style found in this collection...even more amazing that quality recordings from the time still exist! In some cases they aren't even sure who was playing. It has been lost through the years. The liner notes say "possibly So-and-So on saxophone" in some cases. Some time I'm going to have to work up to watching the Ken Burns' Jazz documentary as well. I am sure it is fascinating and would only add to the depth of my appreciation for the artists and the genre, but it is quite a long series and I have a short attention span when it comes to videos. In the meantime I will just continue tapping my toes and dancing around the kitchen listening to Ella Fitzgerald, Count Bassie, Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, Lester Young, Duke Ellington, Billie Holliday, Charles Mingus, and the like.