Category: cat blogging

  • the Blue Rhythm Band

    Ok, Sydney’s jazz scene is A1. We have so much live jazz on Sundays that even our huge scene can’t field enough dancers to cover them all. We do all the styles: hot jazz, classic swing later swing easing into bop, NOLA reactionist stuff, NOLA purist stuff, big band swing, small group swing, neoswing, jump […]

  • Ellington in the 1950s. Live.

    Though I have a STACK of Ellington, I’m late come to Ellington playing live in the 50s, and it’s such a joy to discover him now. DJ Ryan Swift put me onto ‘The Private Collection, Vol. 2: Dance Concerts, California, 1958’ and vol 6 of the same series. This tip was part of a long, […]

  • Metronome All Stars

    The Metronome All Stars. Metronome magazine had an annual comp between about 39 and 60-something, where the readers voted for their favourite musician. The ‘winners’ recorded a song or two that year. BOOM. Good songs. I think Brian Renehan first put me onto these recordings in about 2004, and I’ve since squeed with joy every […]

  • The best thing ever made

    Armstrong’s band playing Basin Street Blues in 1933 (featuring Teddy Wilson on piano)

  • Buy this CD now

    Trust me. It’s fantastic. And some of the recordings are live. Tom Baker’s Chicago Seven and Friends’ album ‘Dixieland Jazz’ This album features a veritable who’s who of Australian jazz greats: Tom Baker, Don Heap, Lynn Wallis, Roger James, Paul Finnerty, David Ridyard, Paul Furniss, Pat Qua, George Washingmachine, Pat Qua, David Parquette. Lynn Wallis […]

  • David Stone Martin

    I have a thing for David Stone Martin.

  • Swing DJing. Start here: Count Basie

    Start here. Thinking about DJing for swing dancers? Dancing a bit of lindy hop and looking for music? You’ll need some music. I’ll say this right now: if you want to DJ for swing dancers and you don’t like jazz, then you should not be DJing for swing dancers. It’s not for you. If you’ve […]

  • DJing thoughts

    Because of the goddamm Swing Kids soundtrack, this was the only version of ‘Beir Mir Bist Du Schoen’ I’d DJ for years. Benny Goodman Quartet (Teddy Wilson, Gene Krupa, Lionel Hampton, Martha Tilton) in 1937 This sort of song is one of the reasons I love Benny Goodman’s small groups. I don’t actually own very […]

  • Swinging with Duke

    This is a post about Duke Ellington and dance, because he is on my mind at the moment. I’ve recently discovered the 1951/52 stuff by the Johnny Hodges band on this dodgy digital download album Pound of Blues is really great for teaching dance, particularly choreography which recognises strict phrasing. It’s good, solid stuff, and […]

  • Jazz hands

    (image from mindlessmunkey) To make the perfect jazz hands, you must relax your hands, then extend your fingers. It’s important to leave your palm relaxed. If you just stretch out your hands, they look too uptight and anxious. If you just let your hands flop there, they look as though they have nothing to say. […]