Fallout 3/Grim Fandango-esque Jazz recommendations?
November 19, 2008 10:13 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to listen to some rhythmic jazzy stuff in the same genre as the Grim Fandango soundtrack and Fallout 3's Galaxy News Radio tracklist (in particular: Crazy He Calls Me, Easy Living - Billie Holiday; Civilization - Danny Kaye; Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall - Ella Fitzgerald; I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire - The Ink Spots; A Wonderful Guy - Tex Beneke). Need album suggestions!
posted by archagon to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I'd categorize it (at least for the Fallout 3 music I've heard) as slower tempo swing-era jazz with vocals, but not necessarily Big Band. Depending on how close you want to stay to these particulars (down tempo, not big band, not instrumental), there's a ton of great music out there.

Granted some tracks would vary, but you couldn't go wrong with any Ella Fitzgerald or Billie Holiday compilation. Same for the Ink Spots and the Andrews Sisters (that's them with Danny Kaye).

To throw some vocalist's names out: Ella Mae Morse, Chet Baker, The Mills Brothers, Slim Gaillard/Slim & Slam, The Prisonaires, Anita O'Day and the love of my life, Maxine Sullivan.
posted by turbodog at 11:30 PM on November 19, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks, turbodog! Those particulars aren't necessary, but I would prefer rhythmic compositions.
posted by archagon at 12:06 AM on November 20, 2008

The Japanese singer UA has distinct jazz influences . . . Horizon, Hadou, etc . . .
posted by troy at 12:41 AM on November 20, 2008

Best answer: Can you elaborate on what you mean by "rhythmic" compositions? Rhythm is the structured pattern of stressed and unstressed sounds. Only very experimental art music could be considered to not be "rhythmic".

Based on the songs you mentioned, I recommend you check out: The Prisonaires, The Ames Brothers, Glenn Miller, Doris Day, vocal Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby. The Grim Fandango soundtrack is heavily influenced by 30s swing, so try: Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Fletcher Henderson, Django Reinhardt, Cab Calloway.
posted by wigglin at 1:16 AM on November 20, 2008

Also, if you don't know about pandora.com, you should defintely try that out. Just put in any of those songs or artists you mentioned, and similar music will be played for you. It's pretty awesome.
posted by wigglin at 1:18 AM on November 20, 2008

Response by poster: wigglin: I mean something with a steady beat. Some jazz is much more free-form and "uneven" - Bille Holiday accompanied by piano, for instance.
posted by archagon at 8:35 AM on November 20, 2008

Best answer: This related question might help.
posted by camcgee at 8:43 AM on November 20, 2008

Best answer: Ah, I see what you mean. Any jazz before the late 40s (before 'bebop') will be like this. Most of the jazz you seem to be gravitating to here would be considered 'swing'. Use swing for the last.fm radio tag and you'll find a lot of good stuff.
posted by wigglin at 10:28 AM on November 20, 2008

Best answer: If you're taking a more expansive view then wigglin is right on. From my perspective when "jazz" is mentioned, it refers to bebop music and the styles that came after up to the present day.

It sounds like you'll be wanting jazz from the time when it was dance music, maybe even back to the ragtime era. Most if not all of the musicians brought up so far performed for dancers and the result were accessible and rhythmically driven.

If I can get in a few more names: Joe Williams (especially w/Count Basie), Brook Benton, Carmen McRae, Barbara Morrison, Dinah Washington, Lionel Hampton, Louis Jordan and Louis Prima.

Might I suggest finding a traditional (not west coast) swing dance in your area? Obviously all the music will be danceable and you'll a live DJ if you want ask about what you heard.
posted by turbodog at 10:31 AM on November 20, 2008

Seconding Pandora--it allows you to constantly refine and focus the type/genre/artists played, while introducing the occasional new song to keep your station from getting too staid.
posted by eralclare at 11:22 AM on November 20, 2008

Best answer: This list from wikipedia has a lot of musicians already mentioned, but a few more who are worth looking into.
posted by wigglin at 2:56 PM on November 20, 2008

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