New GEORGE GEE CD is ready!

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New GEORGE GEE CD is ready!

#1 Post by buddhaboogie » Thu May 10, 2007 11:00 am

Hello Music Lovers:

We have a new CD, "If Dreams Come True," by The Jump, Jivin' Wailers ready and I'd like to get you a copy! If you're a DJ, PM me with your contact info (mailing address, email, URL) and I'll get one out to you.

Info/clips at:

Great classic big band swing jazz - ideal for Lindy, Balboa and Charleston. We just got done with a very successful Southern CA tour, in which we played all the new music from the recording to enthusiastic crowds!


Thanks for your swing support.....

Keep on swingin'

George Gee

Last edited by buddhaboogie on Fri May 11, 2007 7:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#2 Post by straycat » Fri May 11, 2007 4:27 am

I actually just bought this one on iTunes, am listening to it now and loving it. An excellent (and very danceable) album.

Thank you.

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#3 Post by buddhaboogie » Wed May 16, 2007 5:49 pm

Here is one of the first reviews on

“The first few bars of “All the Cats Join In” rolled out featuring Dan Block’s clarinet and I oooed to nobody in particular, ‘This is going to be a good CD.’ George Gee and the Jump, Jivin’ Wailers Swing Orchestra’s If Dreams Come True lives up to the CD cover billing of “classic big band jazz for listen’ & dancin’.”

If you are a fan of having your jazz with a lot of horns, you will enjoy this album. Musical director Walt Szymanski’s trumpet solo on Count Basie and Harry Edison’s “Shorty George” is masterful. The tune honors Shorty George Snowden, a barely five foot tall dancer at the Savoy Ballroom during the late 1920s and early 1930s, and considered to be the innovator of the lindy hop dance step. Throughout the CD Brian Bonvissuto (trombone), Mark Gross (alto sax/clarinet), Michael Hashim (tenor sax) and Alex Harding (baritone sax) are at the top of their game.

Being too young to remember the heyday of big band swing jazz in the thirties and forties, my only impressions of that era have come from period movies or bands such as this one. The cinema screen of my imagination however was flashing with pictures of all those old or period movies and the romance of the day.

Smooth and completely unblemished is the best way to describe the band’s recreation of tunes such as the title track “If Dreams Come True” and “Sent For You Yesterday.” John Dokes gives a wonderful vocal performance on the later tune, while Willard Dyson goes soloing on drums during “If Dreams Come True.”

Throughout the CD If Dreams Come True in terms of excellence, bassist Marcus McLaurine matches the horns step for step. McLaurine is particularly noticeable on Irving Berlin’s “Puttin’ On The Ritz.”

The critically acclaimed singer Carla Cook is simply outstanding with her interpretation of “It Had To Be You,” surely evoking heart palpitations among men everywhere. When the Grammy nominated Cooks sings, “Nobody else gave me a thrill,” you want to believe that it is you she is singing to. There are no wasted or misspent phrases in her vocal performance.

Another highlight to look for on this CD is “Lulu’s Back In Town” with another sparkling clarinet performance from Dan Block and an incredible vocal interpretation by Walt Szymanski. The singer’s rich, deep vocals make this song worth spinning over and over again.

This reviewer gives an enthusiastic thumbs up to bandleader George Gee and Jump, Jivin’ Wailers Swing Orchestra for creating a spectacular album with If Dreams Come True. Szymanski has created some very good arrangements. “

Reviewed by: Joe Montague

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#4 Post by wspeid » Wed May 23, 2007 5:15 pm

Thanks George! This is a wonderful CD and offers a good range of tempos for dancers. I particularly love your version of Sent For You Yesterday (it had our dance floor packed last week).

It looks like we'll have a nice group of folks driving up to see you at Glen Echo next month. Looking forward to see you perform the numbers live.

Billy Bakelite
Swing Virginia

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#5 Post by Option » Tue May 29, 2007 1:03 pm

I just finished listening to George's new CD and had a question for those DJ's who have already heard it. Which tracks if any on this CD would you play at an event instead of playing the more well known recordings of the same tune?

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#6 Post by kitkat » Tue May 29, 2007 3:27 pm

All The Cats Join In.

It's got all the makes-me-want-to-dance moments of the originals, but the sound is better.

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#7 Post by kitkat » Tue May 29, 2007 4:05 pm

Okay, listening to the sound samples, here's what I think:

I like it enough that I'm gonna buy it next time I get the chance to in person (that way, George's band keeps all $15) or, if that takes too long, eventually off CDBaby. I think this might be the first modern swing band's CD I'll have bought new, so congratulations.

However, for spinning, here's my breakdown by track (again, only as far as I know from the samples--CD-quality sound may push a few up over my threshhold)
  1. I'll spin this. Reasons written above.
  2. I enjoy listening to it, and it gets me wanting to move in some extremely physical way, but I don't feel like I personally have the dance skills to get down to it. I'll have to ask the balboa dancers around town if it makes them want to bal. If so, I'll spin it. (I'd ask regular dancers of other dances, but they're so obscure around here that only 1 or 2 couples would be out on the floor doing them, so no point in spinning a song if it only makes them feel comfortable dancing.)
  3. Sorry. I like this, and the way it sounds contributes to why I think the CD is good enough to buy at 3X my per-CD limit, but there's no way in heck you're gonna get me to spin anything but this version. I think it's the easiest to lindy hop to.
    (Actually, that's not quite true about never playing anything but Basie's. Gee's take is a little more bal-inducing in the background. If someone asked me to DJ a bal night around here, though I can't imagine why they would since I hardly know how to do the dance, I'd pull out Gee's instead of Basie's.)
  4. I never have settled on a favorite vocal version of this song. Like "Honeysuckle Rose," it seems to be something that's very hard for a talented band to make uninspiring for lindy hopping. I'd rotate it in!
    (By the way, my all-time favorite version of the song is by Benny Goodman, and instead of going into the melody of the lyrics, they keep the mood of that descending introductory melody and play with it over the chord changes instead.)
  5. It's very nice to have a hi-fi version of this song that hasn't lost the "makes me want to lindy hop" energy that the early versions had. If the last minute or so of it is like the first 2 minutes, I'd throw it into rotation with good older versions of the song. Plus, it's a little hard to find a medium-tempo version of this song (rather than a medium-fastish version) that doesn't lose "makes me want to lindy" energy. Gee managed that feat, though.
  6. If I got to make a request at a ballroom dance with lots of talented dancers--especially ones who can throw in or do some random promenadey and shuffley stuff from the 20's (rather than just "I compete in ballroom!" foxtrot) and then watch them go, I just might use this song! Or if I got better at my own improvised-side-shuffley leading, I might throw it on, grab a follow, and take her around the room.
  7. I'm kind of surprised this one doesn't have vocals. I don't know if I'd play it or not. It's such a famous song in pop culture that I usually play a version with vocals to help newer dancers connect with the music. As it is,'d be a rarity, but a nice one if I could get the audience right. Again, I think balboa dancers would like it and I'd play it for a room full of them... I also think our one or two shaggers would like it.
    As far as dancing to it myself, like #6, I'd want to have someone creative to put one arm up in the air with (rather than a low-set "lindy" hand-hold) and jump/shuffle/kick about. Someone like Allen Hall, Jeff Camozzi, or Kevin Buster (hope those references help).
  8. Totally a listening song (though a fine one). I can't even imagine myself ballroom dancing to it.
  9. Depends on the sound system. I'd play Krupa if I had a decent one, since it's available with perfectly fine mastering and was recorded reasonably well. However, if I didn't and I wanted to play this song, I'd go with Gee's.
  10. I think if I were trying to lindy to this song, it'd have a rhythm making it easy to lindy to, but I'd kind of tune out and not dance my best. That might just be because I don't already know the song's melody.
  11. I love this song so much. George, you beat the band I was requesting this song of! Guess I'll just have to spin yours. ;-) (Most of the other versions I've heard are too charlestoney for lindy or too hard to hear, so I've never spun this song that so makes me want to dance but I never could quite express myself to.)
  12. There are a lot of recordings of this song that it's competing with! Would I replace all of them with this? Probably not. But if someone requested it, I could easily fit it into an average set of mine with no qualms. Which I guess means that it's exactly like "Sent For You Yesterday" or "Down South Camp Meeting" in that I'd "throw it into rotation," except that I never spin "Topsy" anyway, never having found a favorite version, so when I first started typing this track review I gave it a slightly different qualitative description.
  13. I like it, and what's more, I think people in my city would love it. The drum solo reminiscent of "Sing, Sing, Sing" (what's more, reminiscent of the "Swing Kids" version's timbre) at the beginning would really hook people. And that break with the trombone going, "Doo dee doo-de-doo doo de doo" kicks ass.
    George, I think if you had this song on a cheesier album, like a movie soundtrack, during the swing revival, it could've been in the swing scene what those studio band recordings of "Shout & Feel It" and "Sing Sing Sing" are today.

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#8 Post by buddhaboogie » Thu Jul 12, 2007 5:48 am

another new review:

CD Review:

George Gee's big band specializes in a sound that lies somewhere between traditional big band swing and the jump blues of Louis Jordan and Cab Calloway. The focus here is on dancing, not on showing off -- though there are plenty of hot solos and nifty arrangements. Imagine yourself in the Savoy Ballroom on a Saturday night circa 1942, then take the tempo up just a touch. Sound like fun? Then buy this disc. (RA)

Rick Anderson
CD HotList: New Releases for Libraries

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#9 Post by Greg Avakian » Tue Jul 17, 2007 7:44 am

Love the CD. Reasonable tempi, great sound, new arrangements. Also a great CD because the flavor of the arrangements allow it to act as transition music between vintage and modern songs.
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