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April 17, 2007

current favourite songs

Posted by dogpossum on April 17, 2007 8:58 PM in the category djing and lindy hop and other dances and music

I really love Stompy Jones (Ellington 1934 200bpms), but only played it for the first time last Thursday. It went down well. But I was playing such a shitty set I miscombined it and it didn't work as well as it should.

I love love love the song Jungle Nights in Harlem (Ellington again, 1930 202 bpms) but have only played the Charleston Chasers' version, which swings less and is more 'charlestony' (and is 213bpm). I like the trumpet. Of course.

On a completely different tack, I really like Turn it Over by Bus Moten and his Men (1949, 148bpm). I'm sure it's in a minor key (I'm sure JNIH is too, which is why I like it), it has a mellow, laid-back feel which makes it sit well with Slim and Slam, has a sparse instrumentation (on a quick listen - electric guitar, sax, piano, trumpet, drums, bass) and simple vocals. It's probably a song about sex (though the words are about playing records - "flip it, flop it, don't drop it, flip it flap, don't you slap it - turn it over on the other side") and has a nice hummy melody. I play it later at night when people are over their crazed energy but still have some juice in them - it starts mellow but gets more energetic. I like to sing along.

Four or Five Times - Woody Herman, Jimmie Lunceford, Lionel Hampton, McKinney's Cotton Pickers - any version is good. I really like the lyrics and the feel of it. This is definitely a song about sex, and how if you can manage 4 or 5 times the ladies will looooove you. Or possibly the fellas - the McKCP are a little more ambiguous. Because they are naughtier. I like the Herman version for high-energy, crazy lindy, the Lunceford one for mellower dancing, the McKCP one for crazy loungeroom dancing. And the Hamp one is just plain neat dancing.

Jimmie Lunceford
Is whetting my whistle. Again. I especially love his versions of Blues in the Groove (1939 205bpm) (surely a song about sex - groove being a euphemism for vaginas after all - and it's a fun, highenergy number that sounds like great, sweaty fun).
Stomp it Off (190bpm, 1934) - possibly another minor key, but great fun. Sounds lower energy so it gets people dancing, but is actually quite quick and energising. But 'light'.
Hittin' the Bottle (1935, 211bpm - the early-mid 30s were good to Lunceford) - great fun. I like the way they 'call' steps: "move it around, keep going to town, now make a break and wiggle like a snake" (the last two in 'the break'). I've always thought it would make a fun jazz routine song.
Organ Grinder's Swing (120bpm, 1936). A mellow, nice song that I love dancing to and singing as I ride home - it's the perfect bike riding song. I like it because it reminds me of the Mills Brothers (who do a version) and their version of Walking Stick (1938, 158bpm), which I also like. Mostly because it has humming, a really nice bit of Louis Armstrong singing (and I'm not a fan of his vocals), and a sparse bit of instrumentation - maybe just guitar? - with novelty 'instrumental' vocals.

Posted by dogpossum on April 17, 2007 8:58 PM in the category djing and lindy hop and other dances and music