Hardcore nap music.
February 11, 2012 4:57 AM   Subscribe

Looking for some sleepy 1920's-1950's music.

A friend of mine introduced me to an album by The Caretaker (listen here), and I found myself fascinated by the sleepiness of the entire album. It has left me craving for relaxing old blues and jazz, of which I know very, very little. Perhaps you fine folks can enlighten me!

Bonus points if the artist/recording isn't digitally remastered, i.e. still has many beautiful flaws that come from vinyl.
posted by Philipschall to Media & Arts (18 answers total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
Sounds like the Caretaker has looped and mixed a lot of old string samples for that dreamy sound. I'm not hearing any coherent lengths of band music that would sound just like this.

Nearest I can find is recent; Colleen's The Golden Morning Breaks. It has samples, dreaminess, crackling.
posted by scruss at 5:26 AM on February 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

A large portion of Billie Holiday's work may fall into your category. Grab a Best-Of album and listen for what interests you.
posted by kuanes at 6:33 AM on February 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

I used to follow a site called Honey Where you Been So Long which was all pre-war blues and a lot of the music I think you're referring to. They haven't updated in a while but I think a lot of the songs are still available for download. Worth making a small donation and getting some of the mixes. I've done it in the past and if the guy is still around [his twitter strongly implies he is] then you can get some of the collected mixes and it's totally worth it if it's the stuff you're looking for.
posted by jessamyn at 6:37 AM on February 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Maybe some Glenn Miller? Tuxedo Junction sounds about right.
posted by phunniemee at 6:57 AM on February 11, 2012

Pretty much all of Leon Redbone's oeuvre fits this description.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 7:27 AM on February 11, 2012

One for my baby (and one more for the road) as sung by Billie Holiday was what came to mind when I read your question.

T-Bone Walker may suit you as well. Stormy Monday is a fine example of his laid back music.
posted by sciencegeek at 8:31 AM on February 11, 2012

You might want to check out Dr. John's cover album of Johnny Mercer's work, Mercernary. The originals are from the 1940s or so but it seems like Dr. John is doing a more laid back arrangement (though there are some uptempo songs here as well). Check out Hit the Road to Dreamland or Lazy Bones, maybe some of the others could work as well.
posted by cali59 at 8:33 AM on February 11, 2012

Memphis Slim might also work for you. Everyday I have the blues. I can't find a good example of his song, Mother Earth.
posted by sciencegeek at 8:40 AM on February 11, 2012

Not exactly what you asked for, but you might be interested in the 'cool jazz' subgenre.
posted by box at 9:12 AM on February 11, 2012

Django Reinhardt's music is sort of sleepy even when it's very busy. It's less about napping than sort of staring into space pondering things equanimously or baking cupcakes in a tiny kitchen on a random Wednesday or something.
posted by kengraham at 9:25 AM on February 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

First: Thanks for asking this question, because I had never heard of The Caretaker before, and it's very cool stuff!

Second: This is a tough question to answer because this seems like sort of a genre unto itself. Nevertheless, a few things that aren't exactly this, but might be applicable:

The Beau Hunks' recordings of music from The Little Rascals capture that early 20th century orchestra feeling pretty well; it's not always sleepy, but it's very evocative of the time period.

Raymond Scott's music might be a little peppy, but definitely deserves a listen - here's a scratchy 78 of The Penguin, and there's a fantastic album (remastered, sorry) of original recordings of Scott and his six-man quintette [sic].

Daniel Knox (Previously on the blue) has a spooky/melancholy old-fashionedish reverb piano thing going on.

Portishead are not really old jazz-inspired, but have a lot of crackly vinyl sampling going on in their stuff, and Sparklehorse's album It's a Wonderful Life, has a sleepy/melancholy vibe and crackly vinyl noise on some tracks. Sea of Teeth, It's a Wonderful Life.
posted by usonian at 10:08 AM on February 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Nelson Riddle was the king of the laid-back big band jazz sound.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:21 AM on February 11, 2012

I immediately thought of I Don't Want to Set the World On Fire by The Ink Spots.

Brought to you by Three Dog! AWOOOOOOOOO!!!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:59 AM on February 11, 2012

The Singing Detective soundtrack features sleepy music from the 20's to the 50's
posted by mattoxic at 12:38 PM on February 11, 2012

Idle Moments - Grant Green
Step Lightly - Bobby Hutcherson
posted by misteraitch at 1:41 PM on February 11, 2012

there was a question about The Caretaker a week ago, and spindle offered up some really great links.
posted by mannequito at 4:26 PM on February 11, 2012

Perry Como and Bing Crosby are both Sominex in suits.
posted by sourwookie at 5:56 PM on February 11, 2012

Another phrase to search for: Torch Songs.
posted by softlord at 8:13 AM on February 12, 2012

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