This rendition of I Got Rhythm may or may not be to your taste – it’s nowhere near my DJing criteria, I honestly find it quite challenging – it’s little…
OK -- so yes -- there’s a rhythm section… but in the main, this is a two man show between Barney Bigard and his clarinet with Arvell Shaw on bass -- and Sid Catlett gently contributing some subtle percussion in the background.
Listen to the whole track before ever DJing it. That may seem self-evident, but given the time pressures of modern living, and the urgency need we can feel to build up a great collection of music as quickly as possible, it’s easy to get half-way through a track, go: “This is a great version! Next!” and add it for later DJing.
I’ve been talking a lot for a while now about the role of swing music in Lindy hop and the other swing dances. For that matter, for the last three years, I’ve been giving an ever-evolving talk about swing music, what it is, what it so irresistible for dancers – what makes it swing, in other words. What I haven’t really done is to distill that talk down and start putting my thoughts on it online – I’ve touched on it in a couple of posts, but no more than that.
So I want to talk about what makes the music what it is – and I want to do this with a dancers’ focus. Not all swing is great for Lindy, so my focus inevitably turns to the music that I like to play for dancers.
What better place to start than with the rhythm section? For most swing bands the rhythm section is the cornerstone of the band – a driving force, as it were, to provide basic timing and energy for the rest of the musicians, which the band can use to build on.
Lionel Hampton was chiefly known for his vibraphone playing and his drumming skills, which were phenomenal. What’s a little less known is that he was a a very impressive pianist… but what’s a little bizarre is that he generally played with a two-finger style – a little akin to his vibes playing. And it was still amazing.
You can spend far too much of your life watching YouTube videos — and I’m quite sure I have. I might as well put that to good use on occasion…
You never quite know where something’s going to lead you. I fired up Spotify the other day, and it prompted me to look at someone’s blues playlist (to my shame,…