For Dancers Only! A Lindy Hop Compilation

Everything about the swinging music we love to DJ

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Shorty Dave
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For Dancers Only! A Lindy Hop Compilation

#1 Post by Shorty Dave » Wed Dec 22, 2004 10:58 am

Here's what we just posted on Yehoodi...I hope you all check it's got some pretty great stuff on there!

For Dancers Only! A Lindy Hop Compilation Not since "Frankie Manning's Big Band Favorites" has there been a swing compilation that was made specifically for the lindy hop community and specifically by lindy hoppers (at least here in the US). The popular independent jazz label Chiaroscuro has teamed up with the gang at Yehoodi and Jelly Roll - as well as with well known DJs Jesse Miner, Rayned Wiles, Manu Smith, Steve Wexler, Greg Avakian, and David Jacoby - to put together the best songs to lindy to from their catalog.

We culled through over 1000 songs in their collection to pick out a great mix. Manu worked with their sound engineers while Jesse wrote the liner notes. So no matter what style or level you are, this cd has something for you. It's a great mix of musicians you know and love, as well as some musicians you've probably danced to but may not have heard of.

We think you'll enjoy this cd and have made a special deal with Chiaroscuro records just for yehoodites. If you use the link below, you can order the cd at the reduced price of $11.95 (normally $14.95). To purchase the cd, click here. If you're in town, you can also purchase them at our weekly Frim Fram Jam, starting this week.

Here's the track list:
1. Call It Whatchawanna (The New Al Grey Quintet) - 3:29, 150 bpm
2. I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter (Jay McShann) - 3:55, 146 bpm
3. Everyday I Have The Blues (The Clark Terry Qnt. featuring Carrie Smith) - 4:51, 126 bpm
4. My Blue Heaven (Bob Wilber & Kenny Davern) - 4:00, 134 bpm
5. Blue Mance (Junior Mance) - 4:31, 118 bpm
6. Four Or Five Times (The Chiaroscuro All Stars featuring Joe Williams) - 4:48, 136 bpm
7. Boss Blues (Buck Clayton) - 4:42, 136 bpm
8. Undecided (Bobby Hackett & Vic Dickenson) - 3:43, 186 bpm
9. Bag's Groove (The Red Holloway Quintet. featuring O.C. Smith) - 4:27, 124 bpm
10. Social Call (The Dave Glasser Quartet) - 4:26, 132 bpm
11. I Ain't Got Nobody (Ruby Braff & Ralph Sutton) - 3:52, 148 bpm
12. Do Wah (Jay McShann/Ralph Sutton) - 3:51, 172 bpm
13. For Dancers Only (The Clark Terry Spacemen) - 4:20, 132 bpm

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#2 Post by Nate Dogg » Wed Dec 22, 2004 11:16 am

Ordered my copy, forwarded Dave's post , as well as Jesse's remarks from the Chiaroscuro website, to the local Austin Swing DJ YahooGroup*.


* Not a competitor to this site, the local list is mostly used for scheduling and administrative stuff.

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Mr Awesomer
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#3 Post by Mr Awesomer » Wed Dec 22, 2004 11:27 am


I don't own a single cut on that "Lindy Hop" compilation... and I think that's just awesome.

Funniest thing I've seen in quite some time. Thanks guys.
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#4 Post by GemZombie » Wed Dec 22, 2004 11:40 am

Lindy Hop Music?

It boggles the mind. Faster folks! FASTER!

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#5 Post by Yakov » Wed Dec 22, 2004 11:48 am

I haven't heard of any of those tracks so I can't comment. But it sho looks neet.

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#6 Post by JesseMiner » Wed Dec 22, 2004 12:45 pm

For Dancers Only is a labor of love that we have been working on for most of 2004 and are thrilled to finally see released. This is a unique compilation. Many of these tracks aren’t found on any other release. You’ve probably heard many, if not all, of them DJed at dances by Rayned, Dave, Greg, Manu, Steve and me. Every track is swinging! I was honored to write the liner notes (which are more extensive than the bit on the website by the way) and to help in selecting the amazing music featured (Jay McShann and Al Grey and Clark Terry--oh my!). It is amazing working with Chiaroscuro, a jazz label that is interested in connecting with the dancers. They are incredibly generous working with to offer a discounted price for dancers, and Yehoodi will be benefiting from every sale. Please pass on the information about it to dancers/DJs/instructors in your community. Everyone should own this essential CD.


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#7 Post by Mr Awesomer » Wed Dec 22, 2004 1:07 pm

I can appreciate the effort that you all put into this. However I don't plan on owning it, nor do I see it as essential (and for the record I don't see the album I helped on as "essential" either.) Nothing personal, and I'm sure I'll be further labeled an "ass" just for expressing my opinion, but hey different strokes. Maybe I'm just being put off by the marketing right now, dunno. My opinion of the music doesn't matter anyway, as I'm sure many others will enjoy it, it should be a nice success and will benefit everyone involved in promoting your (that's a collective "your" of course) flavor of "Lindy Hop." More power to you all!
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#8 Post by Swifty » Wed Dec 22, 2004 1:11 pm

Looks good and I'll probably wind up getting it sooner or later, but I wish there were more than two tunes over 150.

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#9 Post by Platypus » Wed Dec 22, 2004 1:35 pm

Very cool thing to see Dapper Dan's uncle Ruby Braff included! Thanks for your hard work.

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#10 Post by laf » Wed Dec 22, 2004 1:54 pm

I'm sure I'll be further labeled an "ass" just for expressing my opinion
actually, that was a surprisingly un-ass-like comment, under the circumstances.

i will add to the chorus of those generally supportive and admiring of an impulse to celebrate lindy hop music but surprised and, frankly, disappointed that such a collection has nothing over 186bpm, which is around the speed at which things are just starting to get swinging.


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#11 Post by Nate Dogg » Wed Dec 22, 2004 2:04 pm

I think some people are missing out on the purpose of the compilation. It is not to celebrate Lindy Hop in general. It is celebrating songs from the
Chiaroscuro catalog.

The label started making records in the 1970s.

I think the project is valuable addition to the community. I suggest that the DJs who are dissing it contact a record label and work to produce something more in line with their vision. Lord knows, we have plenty of crappy "swing dance" compilations on the market, the more that have significant input from DJs, the better.
The name CHIAROSCURO is synonymous with what has become a tradition of the finest mainstream jazz recordings for more than twenty-five years !

Pronounced: "Key + Arrow + Skew + Row," the most frequent question people ask about CHIAROSCURO RECORDS is "what kind of name is that?" Fair enough, it's not the most common name, or the easiest to pronounce, but it's a very appropriate name for a jazz label, and it means something. The word "chiaroscuro" (pronounced: key + arrow + skew + row) is primarily used as a fine arts term, pertaining to pictorial representation in terms of light and dark without regard to color. One definition in Webster's Tenth Collegiate Dictionary Edition is, "the interplay of light and shadow on a surface".

The Mona Lisa, Leonardo DaVinci's most famous work, is as well known for its mastery of technical innovations as for the mysteriousness of its legendary smiling subject. This work is a consummate example of two techniques—sfumato and chiaroscuro—of which Leoneonardo was one of the first great masters. Sfumato is characterized by subtle, almost infinitesimal transitions between color areas, creating a delicately atmospheric haze or smoky effect; it is especially evident in the delicate gauzy robes worn by the sitter and in her enigmatic smile. Chiaroscuro is the technique of modeling and defining forms through contrasts of light and shadow; the sensitive hands of the sitter are portrayed with a luminous modulation of light and shade, while color contrast is used only sparingly.

As one considers the meaning of the word, its relevance and the images it implies, the connection to jazz music is easily understood. Also, the name was chosen by Hank O'Neal, the label's founder, because back in the 1930's, Eddie Condon presented what were referred to as Chiaroscuro Concerts. Condon was a close friend and mentor of O'Neal's, and he was one of the first artists recorded on CHIAROSCURO RECORDS. Everything just seemed to fit. Although it didn't take long for the company to achieve enough success to undertake full color jackets, the name also helped justify printing strictly in black and white, which was an important consideration for a new company that was operating on a shoestring budget. Regardless, the printing and production quality of all CHIAROSCURO releases has consistently maintained very high standards for the past twenty five years, and will continue to do so. Ultimately, it's not the name that matters, it's the music!


After twenty five years of recording many of the most prominent and extraordinary jazz musicians in the world, CHIAROSCURO RECORDS boasts one of the finest mainstream jazz catalogs in existence, with recordings featuring a long list of luminaries, including such legendary artists as Earl Hines, Bobby Hackett, Teddy Wilson, Eddie Condon, Buck Clayton, Gene Krupa, Benny Carter, Mary Lou Williams, Gerry Mulligan, Joe Venuti, Jay McShann, Clark Terry, Cab Calloway, Flip Phillips, Louie Bellson, Milt Hinton, Dizzy Gillespie, Dorothy Donegan, Bob Wilber, Kenny Davern, Bucky Pizzarelli, Herb Ellis, Urbie Green, Nat Adderley, Buddy Tate, Al Grey, Lionel Hampton, Woody Herman, Joe Williams, Frank Wess, Frank Foster, Jimmy Heath, Terry Gibbs, Buddy DeFranco, Dick Hyman, Junior Mance, Phil Woods, and many, many more... In fact, more than half of the inductees in The American Jazz Hall Of Fame have recorded for CHIAROSCURO RECORDS. In addition, many of the younger phenomenons of jazz who will carry the tradition of this great music well into the next century are also well represented on CHIAROSCURO RECORDS. Among them are such extraordinary talents as Howard Alden, Bill Charlap, Winard Harper, Jon Gordon, Virginia Mayhew, Ingrid Jensen, Leon Parker, Chris Potter, Mike Jones, Kenny Washington, Vincent Herring, Jesse Green, and Gerry Gibbs. It's also no coincidence that many members of the "fifty something" fraternity of jazz masters, who have played significant roles in weaving the evolutionary threads of jazz music, are also included on the distinguished list of wonderful musicians who have recorded for CHIAROSCURO RECORDS. Among them are such great artists as Gary Burton, Jack Wilkins, Michael and Randy Brecker, Jack DeJohnette, Eddie Gomez, George Young, George Mraz, Adam Makowicz, and Al Foster. CHIAROSCURO RECORDS has been releasing high quality recordings for a quarter of a century. The very first release was an album of piano solos by the legendary Earl Hines, which was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1971. It was an exceptional piece of music, but Bill Evans took home the Grammy that year, and coincidentally, a few years later, in 1975, he also appeared on CHIAROSCURO RECORDS with The National Jazz Ensemble.

Today, there are hundreds of small, independent jazz labels in the United States. In 1970, however, you could literally count them on one hand. The large "major label" companies had become completely "pop" oriented, and had absolutely no interest in the older pioneers of traditional jazz music, despite how significant their contributions may have been. These men and women were seriously overlooked, under-recorded, and profoundly under-appreciated until, in the early 1970's, a small, independent record company revealed these hidden treasures, and began producing some incredible recordings by these marvelous musicians. The company was CHIAROSCURO RECORDS.

CHIAROSCURO also began to bring some of the most superb players of that era, men like Dave McKenna, Zoot Sims, and Lee Konitz, back into the recording studio after long absences that had been initiated by the politics and unmusical marketing agendas that sometimes seem to pervade the industry. In late 1976, however, Hank O'Neal, the company's founder and chief producer, began seeking out many of these phenomenal musicians, and began recording them at Downtown Sound, a small studio he owned and operated in New York City's West Village, which has since become somewhat notorious for having been one of the most comfortable and consistently fertile environments for producing great jazz in the 1970's. Downtown Sound was also where CHIAROSCURO first established its reputation as a magnet for talented younger players interested in honing their skills and carrying on the tradition of this wonderful music. For example, Scott Hamilton's very first album with his name on the cover was a CHIAROSCURO RECORDS release in 1977. It was also at Downtown Sound that Jon Bates first came on board with CHIAROSCURO. He began there as an assistant engineer in 1977, having recently graduated from college, pursuing a career as a drummer and audio engineer. By 1978 he was a staff engineer and studio manager and began handling many of the sales and distribution chores as well. Today, he not only serves as chief engieer and overseas most of the day-to-day operations for CHIAROSCURO RECORDS, but has also proven his talents as a producer, and manages to keep a very full schedule as a drummer and bandleader as well.

In the late seventies, as there began to be a few more independent labels producing good mainstream jazz records, CHIAROSCURO continued in this direction, and also slowly began to broaden its musical base, reaching into the fringes of the avant garde and beyond. Abdullah Ibrahim, Arthur Blythe, Hamiett Bluiett, Don Cherry and many other exceptional artists of that caliber recorded for CHIAROSCURO during that period. There was no other US-based record company at the time, large or small, that produced such a wide variety of music, ranging all the way from the Harlem stride style of Willie the Lion Smith to Bill Evans with The National Jazz Ensemble. CHIAROSCURO RECORDS became particularly noted for being able to place very unique combinations of players in new musical settings. For example, there was Gerry Mulligan's baritone sax next to Hamiett Bluiett's; Lee Konitz would sit in a saxophone section next to Earle Warren. The mix and diversity of the highest caliber players within the jazz genre became synonymous with the CHIAROSCURO name. In the years from 1970 through 1978 there were more than one hundred CHIAROSCURO RECORDS LP releases, which were critically acclaimed at the time, and which, because of their content have easily withstood the test of time. Newly remastered as CD's, the timeless jazz that this company recorded in the 1970's sounds just as exciting today.

In 1979 Hank O'Neal sold CHIAROSCURO RECORDS to pursue other interests, including the formation of Hammond Music Enterprises with legendary producer, talent scout and social activist, John Hammond. O'Neal remained part of this CBS distributed company until 1984, at which point the economics of trying to produce and distribute quality jazz recordings had become increasingly more difficult in a world gone mad with Disco. It just wasn't paying the rent. Sustaining the dream had become a luxury that O'Neal could no longer afford, and he was forced to focus his attention on more lucrative endeavors. CHIAROSCURO RECORDS had been inactive for almost a decade, when, in 1987, a high powered industrialist from Pennsylvania named Andrew Sordoni approached O'Neal and suggested they join forces, retain ownership of the original master tapes, and resurrect the label. As a prominent figure in the business world, the founder and chairman of some major arts foundations, an experienced concert promoter, and the producer of numerous National Public Radio jazz programs, Sordoni was clearly capable of providing significant impact toward the revitalization of CHIAROSCURO RECORDS. In addition to all his other attributes, Sordoni was a bonafide jazz fan. He had a genuine love for the subject. He had played saxophone for many years, he had every CHIAROSCURO recording ever made in his personal collection, and he was extremely knowledgable and passionate about the music. Although O'Neal had managed to supress previous temptations of this sort, he felt this was an extraordinary opportunity that he just couldn't ignore. The reincarnation of the label became a reality. They were soon able to acquire the original CHIAROSCURO master tapes, add to them many additional recordings that O'Neal had produced between the years 1978-84, purchase the original master tapes from the now defunct Chaz Jazz label, and begin actively planning new recordings. The guiding principles of the new CHIAROSCURO RECORDS were the same as the old company, dedicated to recording the best jazz artists under the best possible conditions with the primary emphasis being the production of extraordinary music that was not influenced by any trends, fads or overtly commercial considerations. The music, the graphics, even the liner notes, all had to be nothing less than exceptional.

The first new CHIAROSCURO recordings in over a decade were released in 1989. Since that time over 80 CDs have been issued, with a good mixture of fine new recordings and classic reissues. A classic reissue not only features everything that was on the original LP release. It also includes a good deal of previously unissued recorded and printed material. Jazzspeak also became a trademarked feature on many releases, as well as new graphics, additional photographs, and extensive liner notes. Typically, a CHIAROSCURO reissue will have an eight to twelve page booklet, all the original as well as updated liner notes, and, wherever possible, many previously unpublished photographs. CHIAROSCURO is very proud it doesn't simply take an old analog tape and merely reissue it. Each reissue is carefully remixed, equalized and transferred into a digital format. It is the policy of most companies that have a "back catalog" to simply reissue an LP as it was originally mastered; if the vinyl disc had 35 minutes of music, that's what can be found on the CD. That's not the way CHIAROSCURO RECORDS does it!


In case you are not familiar with the trademarked CHIAROSCURO RECORDS feature called Jazzspeak, this is something which enhances the historical and archival value of the label. Jazzspeak is a special spoken segment that is included at the end of many CHIAROSCURO CDs. CHIAROSCURO RECORDS believes the men and women who have recorded for the label are very important from a cultural and historical standpoint, and that they have important things to say about their music and the creative process. Therefore, they are encouraged to offer any spoken commentary they feel is appropriate and it is added to the end of the CD program. This spoken portion never interferes with the musical content of a CHIAROSCURO CD, it is strictly an added bonus. As newer technology has allowed, this feature has been programmed as a "hidden track" since 1997, which allows the listener to access it only when desired. New CHIAROSCURO releases average 68 minutes of music, and any time included for Jazzspeak is in addition to that. In most cases, consumerr response to Jazzspeak has been very favorable and, radio programmers and show hosts will often use it to construct what appear to be "live" interviews with the artists.

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#12 Post by Toon Town Dave » Wed Dec 22, 2004 2:13 pm

While I generally sit with the same chorus as Reuben and Lucy, I will say it's refreshing to find a record label in North America willing to accomodate this kind of specialized project. It's a far greater effort than we could expect from the labels that "own" most of the classic stuff.

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#13 Post by Bob the Builder » Wed Dec 22, 2004 3:12 pm

Well done guys. I will be definitely getting this CD over the next few months. The Artists included in the compilation, are some I haven't explored very well and this CD I'm sure will encourage me to do so.


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#14 Post by CafeSavoy » Wed Dec 22, 2004 3:13 pm

Toon Town Dave wrote:While I generally sit with the same chorus as Reuben and Lucy, I will say it's refreshing to find a record label in North America willing to accomodate this kind of specialized project. It's a far greater effort than we could expect from the labels that "own" most of the classic stuff.
I don't know if that is true. I think a lot depends on the luck of circumstance and whether you take advantage of the opportunity. We have to credit David for taking advantage of luck and providing this opening. Hopefully the label will want to do another project and we will get a chance to more closely go over their catalog. Given the artists that have recorded for the label (thanks for the list Nate), it's hopeful that their vault includes more dances tunes, both hot and cool.

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#15 Post by sonofvu » Wed Dec 22, 2004 6:33 pm

I'm surprised that there are only 13 tunes on this thing. I would think that for a lindy hop compilation it might be a two cd affair. Of course, I realize that compilations are difficult to assemble but I'm hoping for more future collaborations of this type.
Yard work sucks. I would much rather dj.