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Top 100 Jazz Artists
By Dream Door Lists

1. Louis Armstrong
2. Duke Ellington
3. Miles Davis
4. Charlie Parker
5. John Coltrane
6. Dizzy Gillespie
7. Billie Holiday
8. Thelonious Monk
9. Charles Mingus
10. Count Basie
11. Lester Young
12. Ella Fitzgerald
13. Coleman Hawkins
14. Sonny Rollins
15. Sidney Bechet
16. Art Blakey
17. Ornette Coleman
18. Bill Evans
19. Art Tatum
20. Benny Goodman
21. Clifford Brown
22. Stan Getz
23. Jelly Roll Morton
24. Sarah Vaughan
25. Herbie Hancock
26. Bud Powell
27. Wayne Shorter
28. Fletcher Henderson
29. Django Reinhardt
30. Horace Silver
31. Dave Brubeck
32. Rahsaan Roland Kirk
33. Cecil Taylor
34. King Oliver
35. Sun Ra
36. Gil Evans
37. Lionel Hampton
38. Art Pepper
39. Eric Dolphy
40. Oscar Peterson
41. Charlie Christian
42. Ben Webster
43. Fats Waller
44. Earl Hines
45. Woody Herman
46. Wes Montgomery
47. J. J. Johnson
48. John McLaughlin
49. Artie Shaw
50. Lee Morgan
51. David Murray
52. Chick Corea
53. Modern Jazz Quartet
54. Max Roach
55. Anthony Braxton
56. Bix Beiderbecke
57. Cannonball Adderley
58. Dexter Gordon
59. Keith Jarrett
60. Lee Konitz
61. Stan Kenton
62. Chet Baker
63. Roy Eldridge
64. Joe Henderson
65. McCoy Tyner
66. Gerry Mulligan
67. Benny Carter
68. Teddy Wilson
69. Lennie Tristano
70. Freddie Hubbard
71. Jimmy Smith
72. Mary Lou Williams
73. George Russell
74. Fats Navarro
75. Albert Ayler
76. Bennie Moten
77. Jimmie Lunceford
78. Wynton Marsalis
79. Charlie Haden
80. Erroll Garner
81. Billy Strayhorn
82. Meade Lux Lewis
83. Pat Metheny
84. Jack Teagarden
85. Johnny Hodges
86. Chick Webb
87. Jimmy Giuffre
88. Jaco Pastorius
89. Hank Mobley
90. Elvin Jones
91. Evan Parker
92. Paul Chambers
93. Ron Carter
94. Philly Joe Jones
95. Carla Bley
96. Bennie Golson
97. James Carter
98. Donald Byrd
99. Johnny Dodds
100. Glenn Miller

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Jazz Discographies


Classic Jazz 1
Classic Jazz 2
Classic Jazz Box Sets
Classic Jazz DVD
Jazz Mart

Swing Era Songs from
Dream Door List
1. Sing, Sing, Sing - Benny Goodman & His Orchestra (1937) 2. Take The A Train - Duke Ellington (1941) 3. In The Mood - Glenn Miller Band (1939) 4. Begin The Beguine - Artie Shaw & His Orchestra (1938) 5. Lover Man (Oh Where Can You Be) - Billie Holiday (1944) 6. White Christmas - Bing Crosby (1942) 7. Stardust - Artie Shaw & His Orchestra (1940) 8. I'll Never Smile Again - Tommy Dorsey Orchestra w/Frank Sinatra & the Pied Pipers (v) (1940) 9. Mack The Knife - Louis Armstrong (1955) 10. Chattanooga Choo-Choo - Glenn Miller Band, w/Tex Benecke & The Modernaires (v) (1941) 11. String of Pearls - Glenn Miller Band (1942) 12. Bei Mir Bist Du Schon - The Andrews Sisters (1937) 13. Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy - The Andrews Sisters (1941) 14. At The Woodchoppers Ball - Woody Herman Orchestra (1939, Decca) 15. Jumpin' At The Woodside - Count Basie Orchestra (1938) 16. T'Ain't Whatcha Do - Jimmie Lunceford Band (1939) 17. One O'Clock Jump - Count Basie Orchestra (1937) 18. Flying Home - Lionel Hampton Band (1942) 19. Blues In The Night - Woody Herman w/his Orchestra (v) (1941) 20. Tenderly - Randy Brooks & His Orchestra (1946) 21. Sentimental Journey - Les Brown Band w/Doris Day (v) (1945) 22. Sometimes I'm Happy - Lester Young (I) (1943) 23. Don't Be That Way - Benny Goodman Orchestra (1938) 24. Stardust - Charlie Spivak Orchestra (1943-aircheck) 25. The Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives To Me - Sidney Bechet & His Hot Six (1951) 26. Satin Doll - Duke Ellington & His Orchestra (1953) 27. Solitude - Billie Holiday (1940) 28. Why Don't You Do Right? - Benny Goodman Band w/Peggy Lee (v) (1942) 29. The Man I Love - Benny Goodman Quartet (I) (1937)





















































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Jazz has been called America's classical music, and for good reason. Along with the blues, its forefather, it is one of the first truly indigenous musics to develop in America, yet its unpredictable, risky ventures into improvisation gave it critical cache with scholars that the blues lacked. At the outset, jazz was dance music, performed by swinging big bands. Soon, the dance elements faded into the background and improvisation became the key element of the music. As the genre evolved, the music split into a number of different styles, from the speedy, hard-hitting rhythms of be-bop and the laid-back, mellow harmonies of cool jazz to the jittery, atonal forays of free jazz and the earthy grooves of soul jazz. What tied it all together was a foundation in the blues, a reliance on group interplay and unpredictable improvisation. Throughout the years, and in all the different styles, those are the qualities that defined jazz.

Although the term "traditional jazz" has been used for everything from Dixieland to the current straight-ahead jazz scene, Trad was the name for the form of New Orleans jazz that flourished in the United Kingdom during the 1950s and 1960s. Similar in style and sound to Dixieland, the best trad bands developed their own repertoire and distinctive approach to playing the happy music. The most popular bands were led by trumpeter Kenny Ball (who had a major hit with "Midnight in Moscow") and trombonist Chris Barber, and stars like Humphrey Lyttelton, Ken Colyer, and Monty Sunshine kept the scene alive and well -- at least until the Beatles caught on. ~ Scott Yanow Scott Yanow

Not all jazz from the 1920s can be described as New Orleans jazz or Dixieland. The 1920s were a rich decade musically, with jazz-influenced dance bands and a gradual emphasis on solo (as opposed to collective) improvisations. Whether it be the stride pianists, the increasingly adventurous horn soloists, or the arranged music that predates swing, much of the jazz from this decade can be given the umbrella title of Classic Jazz. Some of the modern-day revivalists -- many can be heard on the Stomp Off label -- who look beyond the Dixieland repertoire into the music of Fletcher Henderson, Clarence Williams, and Bix Beiderbecke (to name a few) are playing in this open-ended style. ~ Scott Yanow

While New Orleans jazz has improvised ensembles, when jazz started becoming popular in the 1920s and demand was growing for larger dance bands, it became necessary for ensembles to be written down, particularly when a group included more than three or four horns. Although Swing largely began when Louis Armstrong joined Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra in 1924 and Don Redman began writing arrangements for the band that echoed the cornetist's relaxed phrases, the swing era officially started in 1935 when Benny Goodman's Orchestra caught on. Swing was a major force in American popular music until the big-band era largely ended in 1946. Swing differs from New Orleans jazz and Dixieland in that the ensembles (even for small groups) are simpler and generally filled with repetitious riffs, while in contrast the solos are more sophisticated. Individual improvisations still paid close attention to the melody but due to the advance in musicianship, the solo flights were more adventurous. The swing-oriented musicians who continued performing in the style after the end of the big band era (along with later generations who adopted this approach) were also playing "mainstream." The many stars of swing during the big band era included trumpeters Louis Armstrong, Bunny Berigan, Harry James, and Roy Eldridge; trombonists Tommy Dorsey and Jack Teagarden; clarinetists Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw; tenor saxophonists Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, and Ben Webster; altoists Johnny Hodges and Benny Carter; pianists Teddy Wilson, Art Tatum, Earl Hines, Count Basie, and Nat King Cole; guitarist Charlie Christian; drummers Gene Krupa and Chick Webb; vibraphonist Lionel Hampton; bandleader Glenn Miller; and singers Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Jimmy Rushing. ~ Scott Yanow