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Informative and interesting post, richidoo. You could teach music history!
As a guy who teaches swing dance, my preference leans heavily towards the pre-bop phase of jazz. However, one cannot deny that the quality of recordings improved substantially in the post-war era.People also may not realize how much the technology behind recording (and playback) affects what becomes popular, and thus shapes how music will evolve. It's very difficult to record and play back orchestral or big band sounds. You just can't recreate that feeling of being there, and it sounds bad. Small groups and soloists however, much much easier and if you can get a good recording, people will listen and buy them, etc.
Have you listened to Count Basie Orchestra (sound-wise) 1958-62? Lot of good stuff there. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Count_Basie_Orchestra#The_1950s
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