Charlie Parker With Strings and Clifford Brown With Strings are probably the best-known albums by jazz artists backed by a string section. The concept of placing strings behind a jazz soloist became more prevalent after World War II, when pop records began to outsell virtually all other genres of music. As the record business entered the LP era in the late 1940s, the merging of jazz and strings was an attempt by producers to give jazz a sweeter, more legitimate feel for wider acceptance among at-home listeners of pop and classical albums.
Here are 10 lesser-known but equally superb jazz albums with strings:
Dizzy Gillespie: And His Operatic Strings (1952)—recorded live in Paris, arrangements were by Jo Boyer and Daniel White.
Ben Webster: With Strings (1955)—backed by pianist Teddy Wilson, the orchestra here was arranged by Ralph Burns on a session for Verve.
Bud Shank: I'll Take Romance (1958)—Bud recorded this while in Milan, Italy, featuring the arrangements of "Len Mercer," a pseudonym for Ezio Leoni.
Stan Getz: Focus (1961)—arranged by Eddie Sauter, this one wasn't conceived as a "mood for strings" date but still retains a long-hair feel.
Coleman Hawkins: The Hawk and the Hunter (1963)—Hawkins sounded good on anything and with anyone, but he sounds particularly contemplative on this quasi-easy listening date arranged by Frank Hunter and recorded originally for Sesac.