Blue Note designed Oscillatin' Rhythm: Great Swing Hits in Hi-Fi to appeal to Gen-X hipsters enamored with Sinatra, martinis, lounge music, cigars and Swingers. Unfortunately, the label didn't quite understand that the twentysomethings were celebrating the kitsch of '50s easy listening and the suave humor of the Rat Pack -- the music, in most cases, was secondary. That's why Oscillatin' Rhythm isn't an ideal package for the audience Blue Note wants to reach. The disc contains a selection of classic swing songs that Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Billy May and Glen Gray recorded during the '50s and '60s. All of these versions are solid, but they're not quite as good as the original '30s and '40s versions, which used extremely similar arrangements. More problematic for hipsters, these version play it too straight for the batchelor pad tastes. So, Oscillatin' Rhythm falls in a bizarre netherworld -- it's good music that isn't kitschy, so it won't appeal to Gen-X swingers, but the very structure of this kind of various artists album won't appeal to jazz fans who genuinely appreciate this music. And it's unfortunate that it exists in that limbo, because it contains some very good music.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine