Devil City Swing has got to be one of my favourite exchanges. So I was thrilled to be playing a set there. My set was Sunday night at the last venue (The Grand Poobah). We were late getting into the venue so I couldn’t have music playing when people arrived. The first couple of songs were essentially the sound check as the system was set up. As it was the last night I knew that folk would be sitting, chatting and drinking (though clearly not enough as the venue didn’t go through till as late as they could have) as well as dancing so I tried to play tunes that would work for both listening and dancing.
Name – Artist – Album – Duration – BPM
Sweet Home Chicago – The Blues Brothers – Motion Picture Soundtrack – 7:51 – 124
Like I said this was a ‘set up’ song. Everyone was still coming in and getting settled and the sound gear was still being tuned.
Billie Jean – Pink Turtle – Back Again – 4:58 – 137
Continuing with a blues theme I played this version of Billie Jean. It’s a good version but the harmonica solo in the middle gets a bit much for dancing, which makes it perfect for when nobody’s ready to dance yet.
Red Top/Ella’s Blues/C-Jam Blues/Blow Top Blues – Barbara Morrison – By Request: Volume 2 – 3:12 – 141
Heading back into Lindyland I threw down this number which was the first that a couple of people started dancing.
Big Fine Girl – Jimmy Witherspoon – The ‘Spoon Concerts – 4:54 – 153
Keeping with the blues I went straight to Mr. Blues himself. His vocals are fantastic and he has an awesome band backing him on these live recordings.
Sixty Minute Man – The Dominoes – Eat to the Beat – 2:30 – 130
This was hardly the dirtiest song I played but seeing as how my set ended up going for about 60 minutes once we were all in the venue, set up and ready to dance in retrospect it was appropriate.
Sister Kate – New Orleans Moonshiners – Frenchmen St. Parade – 3:31 – 116
This is a new release. I love the song Sister Kate (and yes I wish I could shimmy like her) and this is a nice slow version. I don’t have many versions of the song (the Gordon Webster version I have goes insane-fast at the end, which is just cruel and unusual punishment at the end of a lindy exchange) so this felt like a good option to open up a ‘New Orleans’ mini set. Oh yeah and check out this album, it’s awesome (it even has a track about lindy hop on it)
Moan You Moaners – Palmetto Bug Stompers – Live @ Dba – 4:46 – 126
The second of my New Orleans mini set featuring Washboard Chaz on the well…. it needs no explanation. With the washboard and two guitars you get a nice chunking bass line on this tune.
Fortunate Love – Glenn Crytzer and His Syncopators – Harlem Mad – 2:54 – 132
This is a new release and a new composition. And it counts as the third in my New Orleans mini-set as the vocalist, Meschiya Lake, is from there. It’s a seriously dirty ditty (the entire song is essentially one big ‘that’s what she said’ joke). I’m not sure how many people picked up on the baudiness, but I enjoyed myself (in bed!).
And Her Tears Flowed Like Wine – Stan Kenton – Artistry in Rhythm – 3:05 – 152
I played alot of new material in this set and wanted to get some old tracks in to balance it out a little. Stan Kenton has a bunch of really swingin’ tracks with good audio quality. This one seemed to fit the bill with the tempos heading higher.
C Jam Blues – Gordon Webster – Live in Philadelphia – 4:12 – 170
I hadn’t wanted to play any Gordon Webster as his tracks had gotten a good workout over the weekend. But I hadn’t gotten the next song cued up properly so I tossed this one down.
Black Coffee -The Careless Lovers – From the Seattle Vintage Jazz Dance Swing/Jazz Music Video Contest
Now this was something a little bit different. The Careless Lovers are amazing – I heard them play live when I went to Camp Jitterbug last year (in the back room at the late night and then in the street after the last afternoon of the camp – when we pretty much closed the road by dancing on it). After seeing this clip online (and linking it around like crazy) I wanted to play it. However they don’t yet have a CD out so I decided to DJ it off Youtube. 🙂 It was a fast song for this point of the weekend but there were a bunch of couples out there digging it (and I think they’d seen the clip before as they were hitting the breaks just a little too easily).
Apollo Jump – Lucky Millinder and his Orchestra – Apollo Jump: Disc 1 – 3:26 – 147
After a fast unfamiliar tune I wanted to play a crowd-pleaser, slightly uptempo, to get the floor moving again. It’s a standard but I hadn’t heard it before during the weekend.
I Don’t Care Who Knows – Catherine Russell – Sentimental Streak – 3:18 – 130
I play this song a lot. It’s got a nice blues bass line, great vocals and some good piano action. It’s a great party tune and keeps the energy from Apollo Jump going.
Kitchen Man – Tuba Skinny – Six Feet Down – 3:59 – 119
Returning to New Orleans and showcasing a band that had recently visted Australia I played this version of Kitchen man. There had been a number of other Tuba Skinny songs played during the weekend but I felt that this one was worth listening too.
Mr. Rhythm – Glenn Crytzer and His Syncopators – Harlem Mad – 4:08 – 131
Another new composition featuring Meschiya Lake this is one nice cruisy number. I feel like I’m going to be playing much more of it. Oh yeah and buy the CD.
Bizet Has His Day – Les Brown & His Band of Renown – Session #55 – 2:27 – 158
This is a modern version of the song played by the new Band of Renown (no longer featuring Les Brown but still with a number of the original musicians). It was recorded in about 2002 I think and is slightly more uptempo than the most popular version of Bizet Has His Day. It’s a fucking awesome song with lots of contrast.
Song of the Volga Boatmen – Glenn Miller – The Magic of Glen Miller Unforgettable Moments – 3:26 – 125
This is one of the rare Glenn Miller tunes that swings hard. I tend to play it a fair bit, if only to proove that Glenn Miller can actually swing (I’ve found that a lot of his transcript/live recordings tend to be far superior to the stuff that he recorded for records).
Daydream – Casey MacGill’s Blue 4 Trio – Three Cool Cats – 3:46 – 108
A slower tune before I finished off my set and another Seattle band (it seems that there was a lot of Seattle and New Orleans featured in this set).
Shake That Thing – Smoking Time Jazz Club – Smoking Time Jazz Club – 4:25 – 123
I really like this song, I really like this band and I had a really great time with this set.