Ya - I read that part and still had never heard of him. Had you, Haydn? Is he popular in the UK or just the UCK?
He filmed a big SWING TV special and recorded a SWING CD this summer, so be prepared :
"What about that dance couple in the O of Lotti? Swing is a dance, or even a collection of dances, but swing music has much more to offer than just the dance alone.
But this dance originated in the same period, the twenties of last century, which were also the years of The Roma. The first varieties to the swing dance style, for example the Lindy Hop, caused great commotion. It was too black, too African in rhythm and movements. It’s this rhythm we feel in the music of the swing, even though we are still not sure what it is exactly that appeals to us. This triple aspect is what characterises the swing music until today. Swing is ternary, the four counts of one beat are divided in three (Helmut shows it rhythmically).
The rhythm section played an increasingly big part in those twenties and thirties, so big that the big bands had to be divided in sections: rhythm section, wind section, keyboards and violins. To accommodate the growing popularity of swing with the white youth, and to be able to play in smaller clubs, most big bands stopped using the string section in the mid thirties. They swung along without the violins.
I am not going to do that. As always I handle music my own way, with my style of arrangements, together with Wim Bohets, with our Golden Symphonic Orchestra, with our feeling for what swings.
Because swing became the entertainment version of jazz. The American soldiers brought swing over to Europe during the second world war, and soon swing was the music of liberation, literally and figuratively. It was the liberating pop music before the beginning of rock ‘n roll.
Swing, just as rock ‘n roll later on, was also liberating from another point of view. It was the first music to break through racism in the United States. Duke Ellington was refused entrance to hotels, so he bought a train, his own train, with a carriage for his piano, a carriage for rehearsals, several carriages to sleep in, and travelled from city to city like this.
Call it a healthy, liberating way of headstrongness. I’ve been as headstrong as that this time. Of course Mack The Knife is on the CD, in two different versions even, the English one and the original German version by Berthold Brecht. So on Time to Swing I will swing in my own way, with my orchestra, and I will do it with trumpets, with trombones, without saxes but with choir and violins. But today we’re in the middle of our studio sessions, so I’ll keep it small and acoustic for now, especially for you."