Sound Byte Radio Episode 8: All That Jazz

We take a journey into a timeless music genre featuring tracks from Grim Fandango all the way to recent fare like L.A. Noire. Play it again, Sam!


For this week's tribute to video game music, we're going to stick to one particular genre that's been around since the beginning of the 20th century: jazz. Born out of a combination of African and European music traditions with a huge emphasis on improvisation, different countries and regions across North America have since developed their own interpretation of the genre.

Sure, it's hard to define jazz narrowly and in a simple manner, but we can all agree that listening to it can both calm the mind and make you bust a move. So let's celebrate the genre in the annals of video game music history by, well, listening to some highlights.

Do download the podcast here, as well as give your two cents at the bottom of the page. Do you want more themed episodes like this? Fire away!

No Caption Provided

Music from today's show:

Skullgirls Original Soundtrack

Song: Pedestrians Crossing
Composers: Blaine McGurty, Brenton Kossak
Buy from iTunes, CD Baby, and Amazon.

Street Fighter III: Third Strike

Song:Jungle Jazz (remix for 'Makoto Stage ~ Spunky')
Remixer: McVaffe (Twitter, Facebook)
Composers: Hideki Okugawa, Infinite
Get from OCRemix.

Gyakuten Saiban Jazz Album ~Gyakuten Meets Jazz Soul~

Song: Godot ~The Fragrance of Dark-Colored Coffee
Composer: Noriyuki Iwadare
Performers:Metamorphosis Jazz Band
Buy from e-Capcom and Play-Asia.

Sam & Max Season One Soundtrack

Song: Cogs in Motion
Composer: Jared Emerson-Johnson
Buy from Telltale Games.

Gravity Daze Original Soundtrack

Song: Pleajeune
Composer: Kohei Tanaka
Buy from CD Japan.

This is Namco!

Song: Main Theme from "Rolling Thunder"
Composer: Junko Ozawa
Arrangers: Kenichiro Isoda, Kenichi Mitsuda
Buy from Play-Asia.

Grim Fandango Original Soundtrack

Song: Mr. Frustration Man
Composer: Peter McConnell
Sample from Grim

Chrono Trigger Arranged Version: The Brink of Time

Song: The Brink of Time
Composer: Yasunori Mitsuda
Arrangers: Hiroshi Hata, Kalta Ohtsuki
Buy from Amazon.

L.A. Noire Original Soundtrack

Song: Torched Song (featuring The Real Tuesday Weld)
Vocals: Claudia Brucken
Composers: Andrew Hale, Simon Hale
Buy from Rockstar Games and iTunes.

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Avatar image for mayaalt2man

Great pick from Grim Fandango, that's the best song on the soundtrack. Great choices all around, I think.

Avatar image for sirkibble2

I liked this show. The first one I listened to. I love music from video games. Thanks for hosting this show.

Avatar image for LiveandLedZep

Sonic Generations casino night remix is brilliant!

Avatar image for Raad78

Made my day at work. Jazz is speechness Jazz is speechless!

Avatar image for pogswarts

Love Grim Fandango!

Avatar image for Johny_47

That first thumpy song reminds me of the part in the club on the Mask and some old gangster films set in Chicago. I think Chicago could make a good setting for the next game - Chicago Noire, in the days up to or around Al Capone etc.

I really like the Chicago level on Timesplitters 2

Braces - "He's back in town"

Mr Big - "Whaaaaat?!"

Braces - "He's back and he's lookin' for ya"

Mr Big - "RAAAAHH! - I want that son of a ... I wan' him dead you hear me, DEAD!"

GTA III's got a nice slow Jazzy intro, and I hear Mafia 2's got alot of nice Jazz music from the time its based in aswell, quite a nice playlist and thanks for the article.

Avatar image for sirkibble2

@Johny_47 You just brought me back with those quotes. Loved that game. I want to go play it again.

Avatar image for Johny_47

@sirkibble2 Good stuff =)

Avatar image for deadpeasant

No jazz songs from Gran Turismo 5??? It has a whole jazz section all to itself! Cmon guys.

Avatar image for CptJuancho

@deadpeasant I LOVE GT series jazz songs. I play them on drums XD

Avatar image for TheCarl

Great episode Jon! I do enjoy the themed shows. Will this show have a RSS address or be available for addition via a Android podcast gathering program (ie DoggCatcher)?

Avatar image for boing734


Avatar image for RIIIIKU

The jazz music in this game and Mafia 2 was just EPIC !! ....i used to drive all the time just to listen it