78 rpm Records of Indian Music: The Manhattan Jazz Band

Here’s a change of pace: a disc from the “Manhattan Jazz Band,” released on the Calcutta-based Zonophone label. My best guess is this was from some point in the 1920s or 30s; the music is what was called jazz at the time — by people who didn’t know what jazz was.

In the late 1990s I picked up a great many 78s at a small store in Bombay’s Chor Bazaar. Among them were a few of these recordings of “English Music.” Apparently these were mostly recorded in England and released in India, for the enjoyment of the Brits. I had a brief fantasy that these were Indian musicians hired to play this repertoire, which would have been ethnomusicologically fascinating. Turns out that’s not what happened. Ah, well.

The amount of crud on the surface of the disc is beyond imagination.

Enjoy “Everybody’s Jazzing Now”:

And here’s “That Big Jazz Band”:

29 Aug 2013, 4:26pm
by bryan kingsley

got one on zonophone called THE MAD JAZZ RAZZ.Sounds closer to RAGTIME.

6 Jul 2011, 12:53pm
by Josh Shaine

I’d heard “Everybody’s Jazzing Now” previously:

That says 1919, which would explain at least a little of the kind of sound they are playing…

BTW, thank you for all these postings! They are wonderful.

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