Nat Shilkret's dance band recordings have been selectively reissued by the Swing Time, Living Era, and Vintage Music Productions labels. Whereas those collections are loaded with high-class pop music of the 1920s performed by an ensemble sounding very like that of Roger Wolfe Kahn, Shilkret's approach to full scale symphonic jazz is the focus of an impressive sampling of his work as conductor of the majestic Victor Symphony, Salon, and Concert Orchestras. Released in 2002 by Naxos Jazz Legends, the album brings into general availability ten choice examples from the years 1928-1932. It is named for "Skyscrapers," a pleasantly dissonant ballet for chorus and orchestra by John Alden Carpenter, composer of "Adventures in a Perambulator." At nearly 22 minutes, this is the most extended work on the collection. The second longest recording is an almost 13-minute immersion in Hans-Werner Janssen's award-winning tone poem for large orchestra "New Year's Eve in New York." In 1945, Shilkret's "Genesis Suite" would be presented by the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra with Werner-Janssen conducting.
"Manhattan Serenade" and "Manhattan Moonlight" were written by Louis Alter, accompanist for Nora Bayes and composer of "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?" "Two American Sketches: Nocturne and March" are by Thomas Griselle, who won a $10,000 prize from the Victor Talking Machine Company in 1928 for composing these works. "Jazz Nocturne (My Silent Love)" is credited to Dana Suesse, composer of "Ho Hum," "You Ought to Be in Pictures," and "The Night Is Young and You're So Beautiful." "Song of the Bayou" was composed by songwriter and jazzman Rube Bloom, an accomplished session pianist who recorded with Bix Beiderbecke, Joe Venuti, and Eddie Lang. "Buffoon" is a delightful study by novelty ragtime composer Zez Confrey. It was given perhaps its all-time zippiest reading by xylophonist Harry Breuer on his 1958 Audio Fidelity album "Mallet Magic." Shilkret's own "Skyward" dates from 1928. His other works in "classical" form include a Clarinet Quintet, "Southern Humoresque" for violin, and the "Firefly Scherzo."