50s bands for swing dancing

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Jerry_Jelinek
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50s bands for swing dancing

#1 Post by Jerry_Jelinek » Mon Mar 22, 2004 10:56 am

Being more from the radio side of DJ'g, I was wondering if you pro
swing DJs have used any of the following artists for dances?

These are primarily 50s bands that play a hard bop swing style:

Terry Gibbs, Si Zentner, Les Brown band from 50s, Maynard Ferguson
from 50s, Dave Pell, Billy May, Neal Hefti, Harry James from 50s.

These are just a few which come to mind. Mostly instrumental tracks,
and I would think a lot of the material would be good from dancing.

Jerry

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#2 Post by Mr Awesomer » Mon Mar 22, 2004 11:09 am

No.
Reuben Brown
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#3 Post by Nate Dogg » Mon Mar 22, 2004 11:25 am

Not really hard bop, but since you mentioned Harry James, I might as well mention some 50s swing recordings that get play.

One compilation that I play from, as well as other DJs is this Harry James Capitol compilation, Trumpet Blues (not to be confused with other Harry James compilations of the same name). Consists of Captol Records cuts from 55 to 58. Popular DJ tracks include "Two O'Clock Jump" and "Barn 12"

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Also recomended and popular are the 50s re-recording compilations from Capitol, these CDs include:

Oscillatin' Rhythm (probably the most popular one)
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Swingin' At Capitol
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Big Bands in Hi-Fi, Vol. 1: Let's Dance
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Big Bands in Hi-Fi, Vol. 2: In the Mood
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NOTE: other threads exist that reference these albums, complete with the obligatory lo-fi vs hi-fi debate.

Also, popular but hard to find, the Big 18 albums from 1959.
Live Echoes of the Swinging Bands and More Live Echoes of the Swinging Bands.

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#4 Post by Mr Awesomer » Mon Mar 22, 2004 11:46 am

Those debates usually come down to the quality of the music, not so much the quality of the recording. I don't think anyone would prefer a lo-fi recording vs. a hi-fi one of an IDENTICAL performance. It's just unfortunate that the performances captured on the very albums you mention are just plain "cheesy" compared to those captured in lo-fi.
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#5 Post by Nate Dogg » Mon Mar 22, 2004 11:53 am

GuruReuben wrote:Those debates usually come down to the quality of the music, not so much the quality of the recording. I don't think anyone would prefer a lo-fi recording vs. a hi-fi one of an IDENTICAL performance. It's just unfortunate that the performances captured on the very albums you mention are just plain "cheesy" compared to those captured in lo-fi.
Yes, some of the songs on the comps are not good dance songs, a few are too sweet, etc... Especially, on the Big Bands on Hi-Fi (or at least on Volume 1, I don't own Volume 2), but there are still some quality tracks on them.
Last edited by Nate Dogg on Mon Mar 22, 2004 12:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#6 Post by Jerry_Jelinek » Mon Mar 22, 2004 12:01 pm

GuruReuben wrote:....It's just unfortunate that the performances captured on the very albums you mention are just plain "cheesy" compared to those captured in lo-fi.
Well I can comment on the Harry James Nathan referenced. I would disagree that the performances are 'cheesy'.

Harry James complete Capitol set is on Mosaic:

http://www.mosaicrecords.com/DisplaySel ... tionID=981

I have the set and find both the Harry James and Gene Krupa performances to be outstanding.

For the Harry James stuff, he used top notch west coast guys. From memory Conrad Gozzo is playing lead trumpet on the tracks Nathan mentioned. Gene Estes is on drums, Willie Smith on lead alto.

Along with dynamite arranging, the James set should have a ton of high quality dance things. All of the James tracks are in hi-fi.

The Gene Krupa tracks are also outstanding. Performances are great, but being from the mid 1940s, the sound quality is lo-fi. The band Gene had after he got out of prison and re-established his big band is first class. Red Rodney and Don Fagerquist on jazz trumpet. Gerry Mulligan did quite a few arrangements, including a VERY funny and hip arrangement of "King Porter Stomp".

In looking at the personel, Charlie Kennedy on lead alto, Charlie Ventura on lead tenor, etc.

So I would disagree on the Harry James being poor performances.

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#7 Post by Mr Awesomer » Mon Mar 22, 2004 12:04 pm

I should have added that Harry James of any era is just plain cheesy... cheese on white bread with plenty of mayonnaise.
Reuben Brown
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#8 Post by Jerry_Jelinek » Mon Mar 22, 2004 12:14 pm

GuruReuben wrote:I should have added that Harry James of any era is just plain cheesy... cheese on white bread with plenty of mayonnaise.
WOW!!! That is a first. I've never heard Harry James called 'cheesy'. Differences in musical taste between us.

Now to my definition, Mitch Miller is cheesy. Harry James??!!! Never.

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#9 Post by Addict » Mon Mar 22, 2004 7:19 pm

Jerry,

You've stumbled into a big pit here. Some of the people in the current swing scene are very particular about their music.

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Re: 50s bands for swing dancing

#10 Post by CafeSavoy » Tue Mar 23, 2004 9:25 am

Jerry_Jelinek wrote:Terry Gibbs, Si Zentner, Les Brown band from 50s, Maynard Ferguson
from 50s, Dave Pell, Billy May, Neal Hefti, Harry James from 50s.

These are just a few which come to mind. Mostly instrumental tracks,
and I would think a lot of the material would be good from dancing.

Jerry
I'm not sure when it was recorded, but I like Dave Pell's Lester Young tribute with Joe Williams.

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#11 Post by main_stem » Tue Mar 23, 2004 9:53 am

Addict wrote:Jerry,

You've stumbled into a big pit here. Some of the people in the current swing scene are very particular about their music.
Some? I would say most. Just depends on what side of the fence you sit on.

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#12 Post by mousethief » Tue Mar 23, 2004 10:45 am

Addict wrote:Jerry,

You've stumbled into a big pit here. Some of the people in the current swing scene are very particular about their music.
I certainly pay particular attention to music I spend my money on. I would hope other DJs did as well.

Kalman
"The cause of reform is hurt, not helped, when an activist makes an idiotic suggestion."

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#13 Post by Lawrence » Tue Mar 23, 2004 8:36 pm

Jerry_Jelinek wrote:
GuruReuben wrote:I should have added that Harry James of any era is just plain cheesy... cheese on white bread with plenty of mayonnaise.
WOW!!! That is a first. I've never heard Harry James called 'cheesy'. Differences in musical taste between us.

Now to my definition, Mitch Miller is cheesy. Harry James??!!! Never.

Jerry
Jerry, you would find the same opinion shared by MANY Lindy Hoppers, especially because Harry James' biggest hits were cheesy, Sweet ballads. Nonetheless, there are surprising exceptions in both hi-fi and lo-fi.
Lawrence Page
Austin Lindy Hop
http://www.AustinLindy.com

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#14 Post by Jerry_Jelinek » Tue Mar 23, 2004 9:30 pm

Lawrence wrote:[Jerry, you would find the same opinion shared by MANY Lindy Hoppers, especially because Harry James' biggest hits were cheesy, Sweet ballads. Nonetheless, there are surprising exceptions in both hi-fi and lo-fi.
Well also keep in mind the music was not designed for lindy dancing. If the criteria for cheesy versus non cheesy is the ability to lindy dance, then I'll accept that.

To my ear, cheesy is closer to uninspired arranging and/or uninspired performances. The ability to lindy to the music to me has nothing to do with the quality of music.

Again differences in preferences for musical listening.

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#15 Post by kitkat » Tue Mar 23, 2004 9:30 pm

GuruReuben wrote:I should have added that Harry James of any era is just plain cheesy... cheese on white bread with plenty of mayonnaise.
I'm pretty sure Harry James is the artist Julius bought an album by who surprised us all during the Binge--I hope he reads this thread and can confirm. I remember when he popped it in--several people commented how great and swinging the music was, and being totally perplexed by his answer! Couldn't find the album under the "Last 10" thread, though.

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