So, I DJed a few sets at MLX this past weekend. The second one was in the back room, which became a lindy hop room while the main room became a blues room with a live band. Yeah, don’t ask me about that. It is meant to be a lindy exchange, but heck, I just book the DJs.
Anyway, it meant that there was a smaller crowd at that late night, and the back room had a much smaller lindy hopping crowd than MLX usually sees. For me, it made for a really lovely DJing experience. I like the layout of the room, the sound is great, and it meant that I could do a more intimate, personal set than I’d do in a huge room full of lindy hoppers. I started at 1.30 or 2am or something, and the crowd was quite tired. The crowd was quite lovely – almost all the DJs were in there rocking out (which I took as a great compliment), the numbers fluctuated as the band did sets or had breaks, and the dancing experience and ability of the crowd really varied – from people who’ve been dancing one hundred years, to total noobs. It was actually fabulous to play for that group, and the reshuffle meant that no parts of the room had been staked out as ‘cats corner’ or any of that shit. Just a good old fashioned dance party.
Alice, who was on before me, played a really nice set. So I figured, heck, I’ll just play a bunch of songs I like. Love. No pressure to make people crazy. Just play good songs that I love. The last half hour is a bit shit, I reckon, because I was exhausted and kind of lost focus. I also changed it up a bit as the crowd really changed in that last part of the night.
Anyway, here it is:
title artist bpm year album song length
Turn It Over Bus Moten and his Men (Richard Smith, Ben Webster, Johnny Rodgers, Lloyd Anderson, Jesse Price) 148 1949 Kansas City Blues 1944-1949 (Disc 3) 2:38
Yacht Club Swing Fats Waller and his Rhythm (Herman Autrey, Gene Sedric, Al Casey, Cedric Wallace, Slick Jones) 177 1938 The Middle Years – Part 2 (1938-1940) (disc 01) 3:02
Central Time Pokey LaFarge 198 2013 Pokey LaFarge 3:00
You Got to Give Me Some Midnight Serenaders (David Evans, Dee Settlemier, Doug Sammons, Garner Pruitt, Henry Bogdan, Pete Lampe) 187 2007 Magnolia 4:02
You Hear Me Talkin’ To Ya Luke Winslow-King (Rich Levison, Cassidy Holden, Shaye Cohn) 142 2009 2:12
Jumpy Nerves Wingy Manone and his Orchestra (Chu Berry, Buster Bailey, Conrad Lanoue, Zeb Julian, Jules Cassard, Cozy Cole) 177 1939 Classic Chu Berry Columbia And Victor Sessions (Mosaic disc 05) 2:53
West End Blues Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five (Fred Robinson, Jimmy Strong, Earl Hines, Mancy Carr, Zutty Singleton) 85 1928 The Complete Hot Five And Hot Seven Recordings [Disc 4] 3:22
Wild Man Blues Johnny Dodds and his Chicago Boys (Charlie Shavers, Lil Armstrong, Teddy Bunn, John Kirby, O’Neil Spencer) 174 1938 The Myth Of New Orleans 3:11
Stompin’ At The Savoy Jimmy Dorsey and his Orchestra 162 1936 Swingsation: Charlie Barnet and Jimmy Dorsey 3:12
Perdido – Take 1 Duke Ellington and his Orchestra 130 1942 The Duke Ellington Centennial Edition: Complete RCA Victor Recordings (disc 13) 3:09
Hootie Boogie (1945) Jay McShann 148 1945 Jay McShann: Complete Jazz Series 1944 – 1946 2:55
Chicken Shack Boogie Lionel Hampton and his Sextet (Benny Bailey, Johnny Board, Gene Morris, Wes Montgomery, Roy Johnson, Earl Walker) 124 1949 Hamp: The Legendary Decca Recordings 3:16
Joog, Joog Duke Ellington and his Orchestra 146 1949 Duke Ellington and his Orchestra: 1949-1950 3:01
A Viper’s Moan Willie Bryant and his Orchestra (Teddy Wilson, Cozy Cole) 153 1935 Willie Bryant 1935-1936 3:26
I’se A Muggin’ Stuff Smith and his Onyx Club Boys (Jonah Jones, Raymond Smith, Bobby Bennett, Mack Walker, John Washington) 161 1936 Stuff Smith: Complete Jazz Series 1936 – 1939 3:14
Peckin’ Johnny Hodges and his Orchestra (Cootie Williams, Barney Bigard, Otto Hardwick, Harry Carney, Fred Guy, Hayes Alvis, Sonny Greer, Duke Ellington, Buddy Clark) 165 1937 The Duke’s Men: Small Groups Vol. 1 (Disc 2) 3:10
With a Smile and a Song (-1) Teddy Hill and his Orchestra (Hot Lips Page, Pee Wee Russell, Chu Berry, Sally Gooding) 110 1937 Classic Chu Berry Columbia And Victor Sessions (Mosaic disc 03) 3:10
B-Sharp Boston Duke Ellington and his Orchestra 126 1949 Duke Ellington and his Orchestra: 1949-1950 2:55
Corner Pocket Count Basie and his Orchestra 137 1955 Complete Clef/Verve Count Basie Fifties Studio Recordings (Mosaic disc 05) 5:18
Corina, Corina Jimmy Witherspoon with Roy Eldridge, Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Woody Herman, Earl Hines, Vernon Alley, Mel Lewis 140 1959 The ‘Spoon Concerts 3:22
Hound Dog Big Mama Thornton 125 1965 American Folk Blues Festival 1962-1965 (disc 05) 3:20
I Ain’t Mad At You Mildred Anderson 158 1960 No More In Life 3:04
On Revival Day Carrie Smith acc. by George Kelly, Ram Ramirez, Billy Butler 189 1977 When You’re Down and Out 3:49
La La Blues Pokey LaFarge 201 Riverboat Soul 3:42
Short Dress Gal Shotgun Jazz Band 138 2013 Don’t Give Up The Ship 3:10
San Francisco Bay Blues Lu Watters’ Yerba Buena Jazz Band with Barbara Dane 160 1964 Blues Over Bodega 3:42
My Baby Just Cares For Me Nina Simone 120 The Great Nina Simone 3:38
As I was playing ‘Yacht Club Swing’ I was explaining to a friend sitting next to me why I love that part where it goes deee-dooo-dee-doo. A minute later, another DJed plopped next to me to explain why he loved the part where it goes do-do-do-dee. Fats Waller brings all the nerds to the yard.
Pokey Lafarge. Love. I don’t know how I’d dance to this song, and neither did anyone else, really. Except those guys doing bal which kind of slipped into 2-step. They had it going on. Great party song, though.
I love Pokey Lafarge so close to Luke Winslow-King. I love Luke W-K.
Then I played Jumpy Nerves because people’d been complaining about how they hate In The Mood. So I was totally pranking them with that song (which features the ‘in the mood’ riff).
Relistening now, I have no idea how ‘West End Blues’ fitted into the vibe. But at the time, it was just perfect. A room full of lindy hoppers dancing slowly to the best recording of a blues song of all time. It was quite magical. They didn’t ‘blues dance’, they just danced. Except for that one chick who crumpled up her nose and said to me, really loudly, across the DJ table “AH! There is a whole room of this next door!” And I LOLed and said “I doubt the Hot Five is playing next door. If it was – I’d be there!” Anyway, this song went down perfectly.
I think this sort of odd transition worked because the population of the room was fluctuating so much. I’d have a packed room for three songs, then it’d empty as the band started its next set. Then a couple of songs in an emptier room, then a sudden influx.
Love ‘Wild Man Blues’. I’m definitely playing a particular type of set here, from Wingy Manone on for the next ten or 12 songs.
This is my favourite version of ‘Stompin At the Savoy’. As I was playing this, a Canadian dancer yelled to me “I love this song! I learnt to do the shim sham to it!” And loled, because I did too, and because we’d just finished teaching the shim sham using this song.
‘Perdido’ because we are all Lennart. And because there were a HEAP of solo folks in the room at that time, rocking out their rhythm variations in a pretty hard core way. It was like the room was suddenly all about jazz. A friend called it a ‘good jazz session’. Yes.
And then ‘Hootie’s boogie’ because that’s the other song Lennart uses to teach with a lot.
‘Chicken Shack Boogie’ because peeps were tired, and I love following up Hootie’s Boogie with this we love teaching 6-count partner stuff to boogie because it’s fun.
‘Joog Joog’ because MOAR ELLINGTON. A couple of dancers looked up at me with crumpled brows when the intro began, and I gave them the reassuring thumbs up, because it is a great dancing song.
‘Viper’s Moan’ because Teddy Wilson, and because some of the people in the room didn’t know much of what I was playing, and I figured they needed something familiar to hang onto. Also it is great. And I like the way we move between such different piano styles from Jay McShann to Hamp’s band to Ellington and then to Willie Bryant’s band.
…after that things went a bit ordinary, I reckon. I was tired, I had had a particularly shitty night dealing with admin problems, and I was just a bit over it all. So I didn’t do my best work. But that first part of the set makes me happy.