Saturday, November 15, 2008

Playlist from Now You Has Jazz

Just back from my DJ/Music-lover's workshop. Most of the folks that came were really just curious to learn more about music, not necessarily specifically because they are interested in DJing. I promised to post the music I played, so here it is. I'll ask Dave if he can remember what he played, and if so I'll add that to this list.
  • Take It Easy Greasy - Lil Johnson - Lil Johnson & Barrelhouse Annie Vol. 3 1937 (This was an example of a song I really like that I don't spin due to recording quality.)
  • It's Only a Paper Moon - Oscar Peterson - With Respect to Nat (In contrast, this track has great fidelity.)
  • Shake That Thing - Preservation Hall Jazz Band - Shake That Thing (Example of music with a two-beat feel, good for teaching beginner's six count, but not so much for anything that involves triple-steps.)
  • Jersey Bounce - Benny Goodman - B.G. in Hi-Fi (Example of classic big-band sound, rhythm that makes you want to triple-step, and very good recording quality.)
  • Groove Juice Special - Slim Gaillard - Chronological, 1938-1946 (Example of a song I love that I don't play because of the tap-dancing solo in the middle.)
  • In the Mood - Glenn Miller - Ken Burns' Jazz (Example of stereotypical big band music.)
  • In the Mood - Glenn Miller - Best of the Lost Recordings (A slightly faster rendition, that I like more and would actually DJ.)
  • There's Rhythm in Harlem - Mills Blue Rhythm Band - Mills Blue Rhythm Band: 1933-1936 (Same riff as In the Mood, but this rendition kicks ass.)
  • Tar Paper Stomp - Mora's Modern Rhythmists - Call of the Freaks (I didn't play this during the workshop, but this is another track with the same riff as In the Mood. Mora's Modern Rhythmists is a great modern band that plays in the style of a 1930's big band. They're amazing to dance to live.)
  • Brown Derby Jump - Cherry Poppin' Daddies - Zoot Suit Riot (Neo-Swing, baby!)
  • I'm Gone - King Pleasure - King Pleasure Sings (First swish from our "wine-tasting." We decided that this is an interesting, challenging track for more advanced lindyhopper/blues dancers to play with, but not good for beginners.)
  • Everything is Jumpin' - Artie Shaw - The Very Best Of Artie Shaw (Great, really swingin' big band music. Good for dancing, no matter what your skill level.)
  • Fiddle Dee Dee - Lionel Hampton - Lionel Hampton Story 1: Hot Mallets (Interesting, mysterious introduction, followed by really swingin' small-group.)
  • Lazy River - Bobby Darin - The Ultimate Bobby Darin (This was used to illustrate transitioning between styles.)
  • Give My Regards to Broadway - Pete Fountain - The Dixieland Kings (Going right from Bobby Darin to this would be disconcerting, but with the right song in between, we made it work.)
If you were there this afternoon, thanks for coming out! And thanks for your participation and questions--it made for an interesting afternoon. And thanks for the rootbeer. If you have a comment or follow-up question, feel free to leave it as a comment to this blog post.

From the feedback I've gotten so far, it sounds like the stuff we covered this afternoon might have assumed too much prior knowledge of jazz. We didn't really talk explicitly about different genres or styles of jazz/swing dance music--and unfortunately we didn't get to my Old Testament/New Testament Basie band example. It's too bad, as I think it would have been really interesting and eye-opening for many people. So....just have to do another workshop, I guess. Maybe next time, it should focus just on introducing people to different styles of music. Title it "A Basic Primer in Music for Swing Dancing" or something like that. What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. hi! think i wandered over from swingdjs... just wanted to say, back when i was a wee dancer in knoxville, one of the DJs would throw an occasional "musicality" class into our beg./int. rotation that talked about jazz history and things to listen for... the basic primer in music for swing dancing class you're proposing sounds like it'd transmit a lot of the same knowledge. those were some of my favorite classes coming through, and i'd say that they definitely inspired a lot of my starting to listen to swing music outside of dances. good luck, however the idea develops!