Saturday, August 8, 2009

Betty Hutton - "Murder, He Says"

Jive talk was the slang language of the 1930's and 1940's. Here is video clip with some of the expressions from the swing era.

Betty Hutton sings the song "Murder, He Says" in which she is rather annoyed with the way her lover speaks when they get into an intimate situation.

According to the YouTube poster this clip is from "November 1943 for the Armed Forces Radio Service show "Command Performance" (episode 92)". I suspect that this video clip appeared in the movie Strictly G.I.

Films like Strictly G.I. were made to boost the morale for the American troupes in World War II.

What do you think of Betty Hutton belting out "Murder, He Says"? Please comment.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Movits! - Fel del av gården

Lately I've been listening a lot to the Swedish hip hop /jazz group Movits!. I discovered them a couple of months ago but now they have become really popular.

Right now, Movits! album Äppelknyckarjazz is the most popular album on the Top MP3 Albums in Rap & Hip-Hop, before artists like Eminem, Jay-Z and Mos Def, how about that!

Movits! combines rap/hip hop with gypsy jazz and balkan rhythms. In the video clip with the song "Fel del av gården" (The Wrong Part of the Yard) you can also see dancing by the Swedish swing dance troupe The Harlem Hot Shots.

Movits! got a lot of attention when they were interviewed on the tv program The Colbert Report last week where they performed the song "Fel del av gården". In the interview they say that they were inspired to add a swing touch to their music when they heard the swing song "Sing, Sing Sing".

Do you like the music but don't know what the heck Movits! are rapping about? Here is the lyrics for Movits! song "Fel del av gården".

From a swing music point of view I like that one of the songs on the album, "Stick iväg Jack, del II" tells story about what happend after "Hit The Road, Jack".

Regarding the the name of Movits! album, Äppelknyckarjazz; "Äppelknyckare" refers to a certain kind of pants that were popular in the 1930's and 1940's. I would translate "Äppelknyckare" as "apple nickers".

The name comes from the fact that the legs of the trousers ended just below the knee and the legs could be tightened, so if you were a young rascal nicking apples from the neighbour's garden you could put all the apples inside the pants and you could run away with ease if you were discovered. Here is a photo of äppelknyckare.

In Sweden 'äppelknyckare' is very much associated with the swing era.

What do you think of Movits! and the music video for "Fel sida av gården"? Please comment.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Jazz in the Botanical Garden: Ulf Johansson Werre

Ulf Johansson Werre (trombone, piano, composer, band leader). Copyright: Henrik Eriksson. The photo may not be published elsewhere without written permission. Contact

Tomorrow night, Monday Aug 3rd, there will be a jazz concert at the Botanical garden in Uppsala, at Orangeriet, with a jazz trio led by Ulf Johansson Werre (trombone and piano). Together with him are Erik Ojala (bass) and Robin Englund (guitar). They will play both Swedish as well as international love songs.

Two years ago Ulf Johansson Werre did a large scale concert in the Botanical garden called Botan Brass. & Fireworks with the Uppsala University Jazz Orchestra in which Robin Englund plays the guitar. Erik Ojala plays in several jazz bands in Uppsala.

The jazz concert is a part of Konstsommar i Uppsala. The concert starts at 19 and the ticket costs 120 kr (100 kr with UNT-card).

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

What do you think of the musicians in the band? Please comment.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Jerry Lewis - Leap Frog

I found this video clip with Jerry Lewis from the movie The Nutty Professor via a comment made by leazwell. Jerry Lewis has made perfect examples of the phenomenon that I call "the music made me do it". Look at him in the films Errand boy or Cinderfella.

In this video clip he cant help himself, he just has to dance to the song Leap Frog performed by Les Brown and His Band of Renown.

The nutty professor explains:

"I got carried away by the music, it was a toe tapper"

What songs do you consider a "toe tapper"? Please tell me.

I've featured a very different version of Leap Frog before in my blog post "Jazz as a conversation" but it was also a example of "the music made me do it".

What do you think of Jerry Lewis in The Nutty Professor? Please comment.