...and want to dance to bands that play the lindy hop circuit nowadays...
- Check out Jump for Joy, the latest album from the Boilermaker Jazz Band. The selection of tunes is interesting, the music is peppy and fun, and the tempo range is pretty wide, so you'll find plenty of music to push your boundaries.
- Swingmatism by the Seattle-based Solomon Douglas Swingtet is tailor-made for lindy-hoppin'.
- From the Los Angeles area, Jonathan Stout and his Campus Five are also frequent featured performers at dance weekends. Try their album Moppin' And Boppin' (or any of their others, they're all good).
- Can't forget George Gee and the Jump Jivin' Wailers, a great swingin' big band from the birthplace of lindy hop, New York City. Their biggest influence has always been the New Testament Count Basie Band, as on their album Swingin' Away. On their latest, If Dreams Come True, they branch out into some interesting older material.
- For a whole lot more links, see my blog post listing bands whom I featured on Yehoodi Radio. Nearly all of the groups listed can currently be heard at dances or in night clubs around the country.
...and also smoke pot...
- check out some Slim and Slam (Slim Gaillard and Slam Stewart). Actually even if you have never used hallucinogens, you might like this goofy, fun music. Ice Cream on Toast is a pretty good album, or dive right in with the inexpensive box set Laughing in Rhythm.
- Slim and Slam is a gateway into a whole world of "Stoner Swing." If your still looking for a fix, try hitting up The Harlem Hamfats, Stuff Smith, Willie Bryant, or Fats Waller.
...and like groovy jazz...
- For upbeat, swingin' dance music that is still solidly blue, check out Let the Good Times Roll by Helen Humes.
- Oscar Peterson's Night Train has lots of tunes that people have been part of the lindy hop D.J.'s repertoire for ages (or at least as long as I've been dancing). If you like dancing to piano trios, you'll be in heaven. But even if you don't, you should get this album because the music is phenomenal. Sit and listen to it, and you'll see what I mean.
...and are wondering what music people danced to back in the day, like at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem...
- Get yourself some Chick Webb, either the album Strictly Jive or the cheap box set Stomping at the Savoy.
- Investigate Mills Blue Rhythm Band--the album titled Mills Blue Rhythm Band: 1933-1936 is a good place to start.
- Check out An Anthology of Big Band Swing 1930-1955. Over the past couple years, the Silver Shadows dance troupe (Skye, Frida, Peter, Ramona, Todd, Naomi, Andy, Nina) have used music from this album for several of their routines, including Savoy (by Lucky Millinder) and Rock and Rye (Earl Hines). The album has a wide variety of classic big band songs that you would not find on your average "Best of the Big Bands" compilation. Lots of the tunes are fantastic for swinging out.
Note: Dancers, DJs, and folks searching for music, let me know what you think of these recommendations, and please don't be shy about posting a comment to suggest some of your favorites too.