Sunday, March 28, 2010

Isham Jones

Abe writes in:
One band I've come across that doesn't seem to get nearly the attention it should from the swing world is the Isham Jones Orchestra, the band that after 20 or so years, became the Woody Herman band. "King of Dance Bands" I believe was their claim to fame. While recordings of the "better" Jones tunes are available on CD, I'd recommend grabbing them off the free Red Hot Jazz Archive (here's a link, though it can be a bit of a pain to get working as it requires the realplayer2.0 codec). Some of the songs more "in-tune" to dancing include
  • Black Magic,
  • Blue Room,
  • Dallas Blues,
  • Doin' the Uptown Lowdown,
  • Don't Let Your Love Go Wrong,
  • Got the Jitters,
  • I Hate Myself (For Being so Mean to You),
  • Out of Space,
  • Sentimental Gentleman from Georgia, and
  • Sweet Georgia Brown.
Many of these might not be ideal lindy songs, but would provide excellent choreography opportunities.
I'm a little bit familiar with Isham Jones--I like his recording of Doin' the Uptown Lowdown quite a lot. To my ear, Isham's orchestra sits on the border between "society" dance music and "hot" music, with their later recordings (esp. the ones Abe recommends) moving more towards hot. I've got a soft spot for this style of music (for instance, see here), though I do see why it isn't mainstream--a lot of lindyhoppers don't really appreciate dances like foxtrot, peabody, and "society" styles of charleston, which is the sort of movement that this music inspires.

It's great to get tips from y'all, so keep them coming!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Milwaukee Lindy Hop Summit

My wife and I spent this past weekend at the Milwaukee Lindyhop Summit, teaching and dancing. The weekend featured several sets of instructors, all friends of mine, and it was a lot of fun to rotate in their classes and observe their teaching. The classes were all PACKED and full of very enthusiastic dancers, which made it easy and enjoyable to teach.

Here's the short set I played Friday night:
  1. On The Sunny Side Of The Street - Duke Heitger And His Swing Band - Rhythm Is Our Business - 3:48 - 105
  2. Solid As A Rock - Count Basie - Count Basie Et Son Orchestre 1950-1951 - 3:03 - 135
  3. Gettin' In The Groove - Panama Francis & his Savoy Sultans - Gettin' in the groove (Paris 1971) - 3:06 - 130
  4. Jump Through The Window - Roy Eldridge - Little Jazz Giant - 2:44 - 145
  5. Bei Mir Bist Du Schane - Janis Siegel - Swing Kids - 4:11 - 150
  6. It Takes Two To Tango - Lester Young - Lester Young: 1951-1952 - 3:14 - 100
  7. Honeysuckle Rose - Louis Armstrong - Satch Plays Fats - 2:56 - 170
  8. Tain't What You Do - Jimmie Lunceford - Jimmie Lunceford - 3:06 - 160
  9. Easy Does It - Paul Tillotson the Love Trio - Lindy Hop Blues - 2:57 - 130
  10. Minor Swing - The Boilermaker Jazz Band - Give Me Your Telephone Number - 3:41 - 195