Sunday, December 30, 2007

1st anniversary for Swing, Jazz & Blues

It's time to celebrate. One year has passed since I started this blog. Time flies when you're having fun!

It's time to sum up what has happened. Here is a list with most popular posts.

Most popular posts:

  1. Interview with Cynthia Millman, co-author of the autobiography by Frankie Manning: Frankie Manning: Ambassador of Lindy Hop. The most important book in the swing dance world was finally ready.

  2. Christina Aguilera - Music video: Candy man. Christina Aguilera realeased an album inspired by the 1930's-1940's and this video clip from the song Candyman had many references to the swing era.

  3. Nikki Yanofsky sings Airmail Special like Ella Fitzgerald.

    The young singer Nikki Yanofsky knocked out everybody with her singing. I think she has a brilliant career ahead of her. Also don't miss the video clip where Nikki Yanofsky sings Evil Gal Blues.

  4. Interview with Ralph Giordano, author of Social Dancing in America

    I did an in-depth interview with Ralph Giordano who wrote two volumes about social dance in America. The best thing about the books are that they not just talk about the dance it self but also the social environment where dance dance was created.

    Part 1: How come you wrote a book about social dancing in America?
    Part 2: Which dances do you write about in the book?
    Part 3: Can you share some interesting facts about Lindy hop?
    Part 4: Do you include Balboa in the book?
    Part 5: Tell me about the next book you're writing: Satan in the dance hall
    Part 6: Contents of volume one 1607-1900

  5. Video clips and photographs

    Equally popular were the pages where I collect all the posts that have video clips and photographs. Both are visually very important to this blog.

    If you just recently discovered this blog, I really encourage you to look the archive. There are a lot of gems hiding there. Also check out 5 tips: how to get the most out of this blog

What was your personal favorite post the last year? Tell me.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Sweet Emma & The Mood Swingers at Katalin

Emma Sannervik (bass). Sweet Emma & The Mood Swingers. Copyright: Henrik Eriksson. The photo may not be used elsewhere without my permission.

Tonight the rhythm & blues band Sweet Emma & The Mood Swingers will play at Katalin in Uppsala. You will hear good jumpin' music with great energy.

The band will play in the pub so there is no entrance fee (so buy a beer). They will start playing at 21.

If you check out the new poster for the band, you'll see one of my photos as the main photo.

The photo is taken by me and may not be published elsewhere without my permission. Contact me if you want to license it.

What do you think of Sweet Emma & The Mood Swingers? Tell me.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Sassparilla: Sinners Welcome

Today I want to feature something off the beaten track that I discovered by accident a while ago: the six piece jug band Sassparilla from Portland, Oregon.

Above you'll see their performance at the Whole Earth Festival this summer where the played the song Sinners Welcome. The song is hard to classify but I would call it a swingin' gospel with blues influences. Great raw energy, just like a jug band should have!

The video clip with Sassparilla has not the best sound quality, a much better recording is available from their website. Listen to Sinners Welcome (MP3).

I would not mind playing this at swing dance, but since it's not your usual swing song, I would have to be careful to select what audience to play it for.

Do you think Sinners Welcome by Sassparilla is a song to swing dance to? Tell me.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Royal Garden Blues: Oscar Peterson & Count Basie

Just to honor Oscar Peterson, who died last week, I thought I'd post a video clip with Oscar Peterson playing Royal Garden Blues together with Count Basie.

Wow. Two of the greatest jazz pianists together at the same time. They recorded together at a few occations and one favorite album of mine is Satch & Josh. I really like the first song on the album: "Buns Blues" which is very playful.

Royal Garden Blues is such a great song, composed by Clarence Williams and
Spencer Williams in 1919. Spencer Williams also (co-?)wrote the song "Everybody loves my baby".

What do you think of Oscar Peterson & Count Basie playing Royal Garden Blues? Tell me.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I remember Oscar

One of the greatest jazz pianists, Oscar Peterson, passed away Dec 23rd at age 82.

I will always remember him by his piano style which was light, airy and intricate. My favorite album by Oscar Peterson is Night Train.

Here is a news clip (CTV) talking about Oscar Peterson:

Read an obituary at CBC.

RIP, Oscar Peterson.

What are your memories of Oscar Peterson? Tell me.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The best things happen while you're dancing

Here is a video clip with Danny Kaye and Vera-Ellen dancing and singing the song "The best things happen while you're dancing" from the film White Christmas from 1954.

I'll take a short break for a couple of days during Christmas. In the mean time, why don't you tell me what your favorite blog post of this year has been or what you like to see next year.

I wish you a Merry Christmas!

What do you think of this video clip from White Christmas? Tell me.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Firehouse Five Plus Two plays Jingle Bells

Firehouse Five Plus Two plays a great dixieland jazz version of Jingle Bells in this video clip from the Disney tv show: One Hour in Wonderland from 1950.

"One Hour in Wonderland" is said to be the first tv program that the Disney studios produced.

The band Firehouse Five Plus Two consisted of animators from the studio: Danny Alguire, cornet, Harper Goff, banjo, Ward Kimball, trombone, Clarke Mallery, clarinet, Monte Mountjoy, drums, Ed Penner, tuba and Frank Thomas, piano.

(Yeah, I know, I broke an unwritten dj rule, that is, not to play the same song twice in a row, but sometimes you got to break the rules, especially when it's such a happy and joyful version.)

What do think of Firehouse Five Plus Two playing Jingle Bells? Tell me.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Ondrej Havelka sings Jingle Bells

If you want to get into the Christmas mood then watch this terrific video clip with Ondřej Havelka and His Melody Makers singing "Jingle Bells". There are lots of funny sequences. Enjoy.

If you missed Ondřej Havelka and His Melody Makers in my previous post where they performed Beat me, daddy eight to the bar, then watch it right away.

What do you think of Ondřej Havelka singing Jingle Bells? Tell me.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Diana Krall: Live in Paris: I Love Being Here With You

In this video clip from a live concert from Paris, Diana Krall swings like mad when she plays "I Love Being Here With You".

Wow. Feel the energy coming from Diana Krall and the band. The playing is so tight. I wish I could play piano like that.

Besides swinging like mad, I also like the more mellow part in the middle of the song where it's interesting to study (and enjoy) how the other players drops in some smalls notes to support the other musician who is doing the solo. It really takes a great deal of timing and musicality to do that right.

The Diana Krall concert from Paris is available on DVD.

What do you think of the video clip with Diana Krall playing "I Love Being Here With You" from her jazz concert in Paris? Tell me.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Engelbert Wrobel's Swing Society: "Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone"

After last nights concert with Uppsala University Jazz Orchestra featuring Antti Sarpila I thought I would show you a clip where you can hear Antti Sarpila play clarinet (more about the UUJO concert later.)

Here is a video clip where Antti Sarpila plays the song "Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone" together with Engelbert Wrobel's Swing Society.

Find out more about Engelbert Wrobel's Swing Society.

What do you think about the video clip with Antti Sarpila playing "Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone"? Tell me.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Swinging Christmas with Uppsala University Jazz Orchestra

Ulf Johansson Werre (piano) and Antti Sarpila (clarinet) played at a concert at Katalin with the Swedish Swing Society. Copyright: Henrik Eriksson. The photo may not be used elsewhere without my permission.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) you can hear Uppsala University Jazz Orchestra at Missionskyrkan in Uppsala when they perform their show: Swinging Christmas.

Uppsala University Jazz Orchestra will perform swinging arrangements of American Christmas songs. They will also play the songs composed by band leader Ulf Johansson Werre.

The band will feature the great clarinet player Antti Sarpila. Antti Sarpila is the best clarinet player I know.

Where: Missionskyrkan, St. Olofsgatan, Uppsala. When: Tuesday Dec 18th at 19:30. Cost: 120 kr (80 kr for students).

The photo is taken by me at a concert with Swedish Swing Society and may not be published elsewhere without my permission. Contact me if you want to license it.

Are you going to the concert with swingin' Christmas songs performed by Uppsala University Jazz Orchestra (UUJO)? Tell me.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Mills Brothers sings "Opus One"

Here is The Mills Brothers singing a great version of the song "Opus One".

Hey everybody! I'm back with tips about things that swings! It's good to be back.

What do you think of this version of "Opus One" sung by The Mills Brothers? Tell me.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Computer crash

My computer at home has crashed (Arrrgh!) so I'll not be able to post here until I have a new computer.

In the mean time, take your time to browse through the archives, there are more than 300 posts with good stuff to enjoy.

You can also make suggestions about what you would like to to write about when I get back.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Hey Mr Jesse - Christmas songs

I have no superlatives left to describe the podcast "Hey, Mr Jesse" where Jesse Miner and Manu Swith talks about swing music, so I'll just say: Check it out!

Download the December edition. [42 MB, mp3]

This episode concludes the second year of monthly podcasts. Since it's December and holiday season they feature some swinging Christmas songs. One album they mention is Diana Krall's Christmas Songs. That cd has been on my wish list for quite some time. Another good Christmas album is Yule B Swingin.

Jesse & Manu also listed holiday swing songs last year in Hey Mr Jesse #12. Download.

They feature some of my comments about previous podcasts. They play Benny's Bugle from the band 4beat6 which they describe as

"Man! Smokin'! ... Foot stompin' music ... I just wanna dance."
I couldn't agree more. They also play a clip of Splanky performed by Count Basie at Montreux Jazz Festival 1977. Thank you guys for letting me be a part of the show.

There is so much more, see all the details in the show notes for Hey Mr Jesse #24.

I now realize that I didn't announce the November 2007 edition of Hey Mr Jesse. So if you missed it, download Hey Mr Jesse #23. Then you'll have two hours of swinging jazz music tips to enjoy!

What do you think of Hey Mr Jesse December edition? Tell me.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Benny Goodman theme at Cats Corner

Benny Goodman theme night at Cats Corner.

Tonight first time swing dj Per Wirback will make his debut at Cats Corner. His set will have a Benny Goodman theme. Also this night, you will hear swing dj David Kågedal.

Before the dance, there will be a taster lesson in lindy hop at 19, so if you'd like to try, get down there. The whole night costs 20 kr. How about that! The dance starts at 20 and ends 23.

The dance is run on voluntary basis, where small groups takes care of one or two evenings each semester. Every group could use additional persons, so if you'd like to be part of making Uppsala a really swingin town, talk with an organizer (or by all means, send me a mail and I'll forward it) and join us. Of course, you can band together with some friends and form a new group.

Lindy hop and balboa dancing at Cats Corner. Copyright: Henrik Eriksson. The photo may not be published elsewhere without written permission.

I think it's fantastic to be able to have a weekly dance. Had you asked me two years ago, I would have said that it was just a dream. But thanks to many peoples efforts a weekly dance night is now a reality.

One thing that is great about the group system is that the night can be a much or little work as you make it. If you only have a dj that's ok, but you can also have theme nights like tonight. Last time Johan organized a Jack'n'Jill-competition and there have been balboa themes and beginner nights. It's all up to what you like to do.

The photo is taken by me and may not be published elsewhere without my permission. Contact me if you want to license it.

Do you have ideas about what could be done at Cats Corner? Tell me.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Ondrej Havelka - Beat me, daddy eight to the bar

Once in a while, you come across these absolutely fabulous video clips, this is one of them. The video clip is Ondrej Havelka and His Melody Makers playing "Beat me, daddy eight to the bar".

Ondřej Havelka and His Melody Makers is a band from the Czech Republic who like to play early jazz music. Besides being a musician and band leader, Ondřej Havelka is also an actor and director and you can tell that by the good cinematic quality of the video clip: the angles, the cutting and the acting.

The clip has such energy and humour that it's impossible not to be infatuated by it. Don't we all dream about being swept away to another time and place, where you can dance and enjoy yourself as much as you like and not having to care about a boring job?

Ondřej Havelka is multi-talented and is a good tap dancer, at least those half breaks looks really really good. To find out more about him, read this interview with Ondřej Havelka by Radio Prague.

In the video you can hear and see the vocal group The Swings.

A big thank you goes to band leader and trumpet player Peter Lind who told me about this clip after his concert on Saturday.

What do you think of this video clip with Ondrej Havelka and His Melody Makers playing "Beat me, daddy eight to the bar"? Do you find it as fantastic as I do? Tell me.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Balboa history: Interview with Dwight Lupardus by Peter Loggins

All of you that are intrested in dancing balboa will like this interview with balboa dancer Dwight Lupardus who talks about the history of balboa in southern California. He talks about the dance itself, the dancers and the social context of the dance. He is interviewed by Peter Loggins, a noted swing dance historian.

The interview is about 1 hour long and is divided into 8 pieces on YouTube:

If you want to know more about dance history, check out which is run by Peter Loggins.

I don't have the time right now to give a summary of what is talked about in each part but if you have the time, please comment this post and write a summary yourself.

What do you think of the interview with Dwight Lupardus about the history of balboa? Tell me.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Martha Raye - Mr. Paganini, You'll Have To Swing It

"Mr. Paganini, You'll Have To Swing It" is a song that is mostly associated with Ella Fitzgerald, but here is an hilarious rendition of that song by actress Martha Raye in a scene from the movie Four Jills in a Jeep (1944).

Watch Martha Raye's slap stick version of "Mr. Paganini, You'll Have To Swing It".

The band behind her is the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra.

You might recognize Martha Raye from when she sang "Watch the Birdie" in "Hellzapoppin'".

One unusual fact that I didn't know was that she inspired Anita O'day to be a singer.

What do you think of the video clip from with Four Jills in a Jeep with Martha Raye? Tell me.