Tag: Swing (page 1 of 2)

Lullaby of Birdland

Lullaby of Birdland by Ella Fitzgerald, 1954
Song of the Week #010

Originally recorded in 1952, with music by George Shearing and lyrics by George David Weiss, this song refers to Charlie "Bird" Parker and the Birdland jazz club that was named after him. The song has become a Jazz standard.

A lovely smooth medium tempo jazz track, this is great for dancing too when you want to take it easy and just enjoy the moment.

Recorded by many artists (including Amy Winehouse), this version was recorded by the inimitable Ella Fitzgerald (1917–1996) in 1954.

Skye & Frida at ALHC 2005

Skye Humphries & Frida Segerdahl  at the American Lindy Hop Championships, 2005
Video of the Week #009

You will find loads of video clips on Youtube of Swing dance competitions. This is a clip of the wonderful Skye & Frida  competing at the ALHC back in 2005. We just love the playfulness and musicality in this routine.

And check out the moves at around 1:51 into the clip. We told you that doing lots of triples to one side and also just doing hip shimmies are ACTUAL moves! It all depends of when you do them in the music ;-).

The song is "Look A There" by Slim & Slam.

Won’t You Come Home Bill Bailey

Won't You Come Home Bill Bailey by Ella Fitzgerald, 1962
Song of the Week #009

Originally titled as "Bill Bailey, Won't You Please Come Home?" this popular song published in 1902 is commonly referred to as just simply "Bill Bailey". Its words and music were written by Hughie Cannon (1877–1912), an American songwriter and pianist. It is still a standard with dixieland and traditional jazz bands.

This version was recorded by Ella Fitzgerald (1917–1996),  an American jazz singer often referred to as the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz and Lady Ella. She was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing and intonation, and a "horn-like" improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing.

Wade In The Water

Wade In The Water by Eva Cassidy, 1997
Song of the Week #008

It' not only swing & jazz music that is great for swing dancing. This song relates to the Old and New Testaments and reflects the Israelites' escape out of Egypt. The original version of this song goes back as far as the 1920's. It has been recorded by many artists over the years and this version is especially great for slow swing and blues dancing.

Eva Cassidy was an American vocalist and guitarist known for her interpretations of jazz, blues, folk, gospel, country, rock, and pop classics. She passed away in 1996 and this version was released a year later.

Skye & Naomi at Uptown Swing

Skye Humphries & Naomi Uyama perform at Uptown Swing
Video of the Week #007

A couple of world renowned Swing dance teachers, performing at a social event for Boston based dance company, Uptown Swing. Also performing are the great Gordon Webster and his band.

We love this video clip because it has lot of lovely little bits all the way throughout the dance, without trying to be flash or fast or energetic ... just full of joy!

The song is "Crazy Bout My Baby" by Fats Waller.

Sure Cure For The Blues

Sure Cure For The Blues by Shirley Haven & The Four Jacks, 1952
Song of the Week #007

A spirited song with lots of lovely energy by the Four Jacks, who consisted of Ellison White (bass), Bowling Mansfield (1st tenor), Buell Thomas (2nd tenor), and George Comfort (baritone). They recorded a half-dozen recordings in a ten-month period for Ralph Bass' Federal Records in the early 1950s.

They were joined here by California-born actress Shirley Haven. Shirley tried for a movie career in Hollywood but talent scouts told her she could not get movie roles because she "did not look Negro enough." After getting nothing but extras jobs, she gave up and joined Charles Brown's orchestra on a Southern tour. She also  toured with the first black USO troupe to entertain the troops fighting in Korea.

i Charleston London

i Charleston London
Video of the Week #006

The Charleston is a lovely happy dance and a global "trend" among Lindy Hoppers is to film their community dancing in different places, to show off their wonderful home towns & cities.

This is a a fun video that some of us had the pleasure of being involved in back in 2013, of the London swing dancing community performing The Charleston, in various iconic locations around London.

The song is "Sweet Georgie Brown", by Brother Bones (1949) and The Shirt Tail Stompers.


Lindy Hoppers Delight

Lindy Hoppers Delight by Ella Fitzgerald, 1939
Song of the Week #006

This is a song that every swing dancer should know!! Used many times over for performances, this is still a great tune just to dance too.

Composed by William Henry "Chick" Webb, an American jazz and swing music drummer as well as a band leader. He died on June 16, 1939 (aged 34) and never got to record this song. Instead it was recorded by Ella Fitzgerald a few months afterwards, who led his bad until 1942.

Tain’t What You Do

Tain't What You Do by Jimmie Lunceford, 1939
Song Of The Week #005

James Melvin "Jimmie" Lunceford (June 6, 1902 – July 12, 1947) was an American jazz alto saxophonist and bandleader in the swing era.

This song was written by jazz musicians Melvin "Sy" Oliver and James "Trummy" Young. It was first recorded in 1939 by Jimmie Lunceford, Harry James, and Ella Fitzgerald and again the same year by Nat Gonella and His Georgians.

The "Shim Sham" is often danced to the Lunceford recording of this song. The Shim Sham was originally a tap dance routine and is regarded as tap dance's national anthem. For today's swing dancers, it is a stroll (line dance).

The Shim Sham was attributed to tap dancers Willie Bryant and Leonard Reed. Besides the tap dancing version, there are other Shim Sham versions, among which those choreographed by Dean Collins, Leon James (the Savoy Shim Sham) or Frankie Manning.

In 2009, dancers from all around the world danced the Shim Sham  as a tribute to the late great Frankie Manning, for his 95th birthday. For more information on this, click << here >>.

Guide To Basic Floorcraft

The Swungover* Guide to Basic Floorcraft (swing dance)
Video of the Week #004

The dance floor can sometimes get a little crowded so it's always a good idea to be aware of the other dancers and how much space you have / can take up and how you can try and "minimise" bumping into people.

Here's a great video from the guys at Swungover (Bobby White & Annabel Truesdell Quisao) with some really useful tips on floorcraft. Music is by the Mint Julep Jazz Band.

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