Favorite Swing Pieces?

Discussion in 'Radio' started by IndianaGuybrush, Feb 22, 2005.

  1. IndianaGuybrush

    IndianaGuybrush One of the Regulars

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    I've been getting the nagging compulsion to learn how to swing dance recently, and it has reminded me that the only remotely Big Band/Swing piece I know by title is 'Sing, Sing, Sing' . I thought I'd come to the resident experts and ask you what a few of your favorites were.

    BTW - Does anyone know the name of that song they play in the old Bugs Bunny cartoons during those scenes with any kind of heavily automated machinery? I always get it stuck in my head with no way to play it since I have no idea what it's called :eek:

    Fire away folks.
     
  2. db5zx

    db5zx Familiar Face

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    Well, that's a tough one. Not because it's hard to find a good one, but because it's tough to decide which one is bad.

    I personally love Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey and Jimmy Dorsey, but Artie Shaw and the others are also great. So, as I said, really tough! ;-)

    And song-wise, I of course love "In the Mood" and "American Patrol", but also "Stompin' at the Savoy", "Sing Sing Sing" (There is a great version of that from Benny Goodman's 1938 Carnegie Hall Concert. It is about 12 minutes long), "Six lessons from Madame LaZonga", "The Breeze and I".


    So, I think all you can do is listen to as much as you can and decide what you like or not. You can for example go to Live365 and find a station that plays Big Band music.

    Hope that helps...
    ...Jens
     
  3. Skywlkrinc

    Skywlkrinc New in Town

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    I have the Benny Goodman recording from Cargegie Hall the rendition of Sing, Sing, Sing on the album jacket is titled Sing, Sing, Sing (With A Swing). At 12+ minutes long and including an extended drum solo by Gene Krupa (which is awesome) is by far my favorite piece of swing music.

    Luke
     
  4. PrettyBigGuy

    PrettyBigGuy A-List Customer

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    I think the song you are thinking of is called "Powerhouse"
    This website had an MP3 file of a cover of the song.
    http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/rickfinkghg
    There is another song called "Powerhouse" that Spike Jones has performed but it is totally different.
    Let me know if this the song you were thinking of.

    As far as big band swing music, there are loads of great songs! Here's a few to get you started:
    Glenn Miller- Moonlight Serenade, String of Pearls, Pennsylvania 6-5000, In The Mood, Little Brown Jug
    Benny Goodman- One O'Clock Jump, Stomping At The Savoy, Stardust
    Count Basie- April In Paris, Shorty George, Hitin' Twelve.

    There are several others, but I'll be here all day if I start throwing guys like Tommy Dorsey or Artie Shaw! Good luck with you dance lessons. I met my fiancé swing dancing and we still go frequently!
    PBG
     
  5. IndianaGuybrush

    IndianaGuybrush One of the Regulars

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    Thanks guys, all these suggestions are great, and I'm going to keep an eye out for them for sure.

    PBG, that is exactly the song I was thinking of, thanks a million!

    Keep 'em coming folks, weigh in with your favs.
     
  6. jitterbugdoll

    jitterbugdoll Call Me a Cab

    One of my favorite swing songs is "Cherokee", by Charlie Barnet (it was my grandfather’s favorite song in the early 40s; he told me once that he would play it at every jukebox he could find.)

    I also enjoy a lot of songs by Harry James—“Beginning to See the Light� is a good one for dancing.

    "Boogie Woogie", “Kiss the Boys Goodbye� and “Yes Indeed�, all by Tommy Dorsey, are also wonderful (actually, the Dorsey brothers had a lot of great tunes!)

    In terms of modern bands, Bill Elliot sounds right on--some of his original works sounds exactly like they were culled from the 1940s.

    I often turn on the Swing Music channel offered on cable--I've heard some wonderful songs and learned about groups that are not as well remembered as say, Glen Miller.

    Hope that gives you some more ideas!
    ~Amanda
     
  7. Dr. Shocker

    Dr. Shocker One of the Regulars

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    There are some great sources for Big Band, Swing, Jump, Jazz ect. on the net....if you can find a club offering lessions near you, you will also get a chance to hear contemporary as well as classic bands the mix (in my mind) is nice. There are some great new bands playing old music and you can ussually find everyflavor you ever wanted......
     
  8. IndianaGuybrush

    IndianaGuybrush One of the Regulars

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    I live in NYC and regularly (though not as often as I would like) hit up some of the darker jazz clubs in the village with a few friends of mine. True, they're a heck of a lot better lit than they were 50 or so years ago, but some of the atmosphere has persevered.

    The most amazing set I saw there was after the main set had finished and most people had left. The musician who had played the piano (and was pretty good) came down off the stage after a few drinks and led an old blind man up to the piano. The guy must have been 85 years old, and he could barely walk, but the second he sat down behind those keys he was king. I spent most of the next 40 minutes with my eyes closed listening to the thrilling jam of those fingers and the desperate attempt of the alto sax guy, drummer, and bassist, trying to keep up. Most of the time they could... barely. When they couldn't they just let him do his thing. I still try to go at least once a month but i never found out what that guy's name was, and I haven't seen him since.

    Anyway, thanks for the nudges in the right direction guys! And feel free to add more as they coem to you, think of me as an empty slate ;)
     
  9. Mycroft

    Mycroft One Too Many

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    My favoite swing song is Jump Jiving by Brian Seltzer's Orcastra...if you count it as a swing song.
     
  10. BD Jones

    BD Jones One of the Regulars

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    Actually, I believe you mean "Jump, Jive, 'an Wail". This is a Luis Prima song from the early 50's and is definitely a swing song. Prima's version is better than Setzer's. Setzer's voice is too "clean", too rockabilly for me.

    Prima is (was) the man!! After all, he did write arguably the greatest and most famous swing tune ever.
     
  11. Mycroft

    Mycroft One Too Many

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    Yea, thats the one, sorry about the title mix up.
     
  12. BD Jones

    BD Jones One of the Regulars

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    Location:
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    Here is my a list I made up a while back. It list the "Essential" swing/jazz artists from the Golden Era (a and the early 50's). This was posted once before. Some of these have been mentioned already, but most have not. This is also an incomplete list (obviously). I have another list with about 15 more artist some where, but I can't seen to find it. It has artists like The Andrews Sisters, Luis Prima, Ella Fitzgerald, etc. There is WAY too much good stuff out there.

    Benny Goodman (Clarinetist/Band Leader)
    Essential Albums:
    The King of Swing and His Band: 1934-1939
    Benny Goodman and the Giants of Swing
    Stompin' at the Savoy
    Sing, Sing, Sing
    Benny Goodman - Greatest Hits [RCA]

    Essential Songs:
    “Jumpin’ At The Woodside�
    “A String Of Pearls�
    “Stompin’ At The Savoy�
    “King Porter Stomp�
    “Sing, Sing, Sing�

    Glenn Miller (Trombonist/Band Leader)
    Essential Albums:
    Glenn Miller – The Popular Recordings (1938 – 1942)
    The Complete Sustaining Broadcasts, Vol 1-4
    Glenn Miller – Greatest Hits [RCA]

    Essential Songs:
    “In The Mood�
    “Chattanooga Choo Choo�
    “Pennsylvania 6-5000�
    “American Patrol�
    “Little Brown Jug�
    “Moonlight Serenade�
    “String of Pearls�

    Tommy Dorsey (Trombonist/Band Leader)
    Essential Albums:
    The Ultimate Collection – Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey
    Frank Sinatra and Tommy Dorsey – Greatest Hits [RCA]

    Essential Songs:
    “Song of India�
    “The Music Goes ‘Round and ‘Round�
    “Opus One�
    “Basin Street Blues�

    Count Basie (Pianist/Band Leader)
    Essential Albums:
    Complete 1941-1951 Columbia Recordings
    The Essential Count Basie, Vol. 1-3
    Count Basie –Greatest Hits [RCA]

    Essential Songs:
    “’Lil Darlin’�
    “Splanky�
    “Basie Blues�
    “Oh, Lady Be Good�

    Gene Krupa (Drummer)
    Essential Albums:
    Swing Era, 1927 – 1947 – Gene Krupa

    Essential Songs:
    “Drum Boogie�
    “After You’ve Gone�
    “Sing, Sing, Sing� (w/Benny Goodman)

    Artie Shaw (Clarinetist/Band Leader)
    Essential Albums:
    Artie Shaw – Greatest Hits [RCA]
    King Of The Clarinet – Artie Shaw and His Orchestra (1938 – 1939)

    Essential Songs:
    “Begin the Beguine�
    “Stardust�
    “Any Old Time�

    Duke Ellington (Pianist/Band Leader)
    Essential Albums:
    Duke Ellington – Greatest Hits [RCA]
    Duke Ellington – Masterpieces (1926 – 1949)

    Essential Songs:
    “Mood Indigo�
    “Solitude�
    “Take The ‘A’ Train�
    “It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)�

    Hoagy Carmichael (Composer/Band Leader)
    Essential Albums:
    Stardust Melody: Beloved and Rare Songs Of Hoagy Carmichael
    Hoagy Carmichael – 1927 – 1944
    Hoagy Sings Carmichael

    Essential Songs:
    “Georgia On My Mind�
    “Stardust�
    “Riverboat Shuffle�
    “Winter Moon�
    “Heart and Soul�

    Woody Herman (Clarinetist/Saxophonist/Band Leader)
    Essential Albums:
    The Best Of The Decca Years
    Woodchoppers Ball, Vol. 1
    Thundering Herds, 1945 – 1947
    Blues On Parade

    Essential Songs:
    “Woodchopper’s Ball�
    “Woodsheddin’ With Woody�
    “Blue Flame�
    “Blues On Parade�

    Dizzy Gillespie (Trumpet/Band Leader)
    Essential Albums:
    Dizzy Gillespie: The Complete RCA Victor Recordings – 1937 – 1949
    Shaw Nuff
    Dizzier and Dizzier

    Essential Songs:
    “Manteca�
    “King Porter Stomp�
    “Anthropology, Pt 2�
    “Minor Walk�
    “Cubana Be�
    “Night In Tunisia�
    “That Old Black Magic�

    Charlie Parker – aka “Bird� (Saxophonist)
    Essential Albums:
    Early Bird – 1940-1944
    Charlie Parker – Bird/The Savoy Recordings (Master Takes)

    Essential Songs:
    “Lady Be Good�
    “Honeysuckle Rose�
    “Cherokee�
    “Swingmatisim�

    Billie Holiday (Singer/Band Leader)
    Essential Albums:
    The Quintessential Billie Holiday, Vol. 1 – 9
    The Complete Billie Holiday on Verve 1945-1959
    Compact Jazz: Billie Holiday

    Essential Songs:
    “Sophisticated Lady�
    “I Wished On The Moon�
    “Twenty-Four Hours A Day�
    “Billie’s Blues�
    “Pennies From Heaven�
    “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off�
    “When You Smiling�
    “All Of Me�

    Al Jolson (Singer/Entertainer)
    Essential Albums:
    Very Best Of Al Jolson

    Essential Songs:
    “Let Me Sing I’m Happy�
    “Anniversary Song�
    “Swannee�
    “Waiting For The Robert Lee�
    “Alexander’s Ragtime Band�
    “When Your Sweet Sixteen�
    “My Mammy� (late 1920’s, but his most defining song)

    George Gershwin (Composer)
    Essential Albums:
    The Essential George Gershwin
    The Song Is Gershwin

    Essential Songs:
    “I Got Rhythm�
    “Rhapsody In Blue�
    “Summertime�
    “’S Wonderful�
    “Strike Up The Band�
    “Someone To Watch Over Me�
    “They Can’t Take That Away From Me�
     
  13. ITG

    ITG Call Me a Cab

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    Did Louis Prima write "Sing, Sing, Sing"? One of the CDs I have has down "(Prima)" as the writer. Just didn't know if it was the same Prima. This question was bugging me on Monday of this week. I have a Louis Prima CD with "Sing Sing Sing" on it but with the words to the song (Yeah, I didn't know "Sing, Sing, Sing" had words until I heard it on Louis Prima's cd). Definitley my favorite swing song with "In the Mood" as a close 2nd.

    Guybrush, you need to watch "The Benny Goodman Story," "Swing Kids", and "The Glenn Miller Story" to listen to some great swing era music in movies.
     
  14. db5zx

    db5zx Familiar Face

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    Location:
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    Yes...

    ...Louis Prima DID write "Sing, Sing, Sing". A little know but interesting fact. It sounds so different than most of his other songs, and people would most likely attribute it to Benny Goodman just as they would attribute writing "In the Mood" to Glenn Miller (which he didn't).

    Actually, "In the Mood" was written by someone whose name I have forgotten. He offered it to Artie Shaw who didn't think it could become a hit (talk about poor judgement :p ). So it was offered to Glenn Miller as a "backup plan", so to speak, and became what it is today...

    ...Jens
     
  15. BD Jones

    BD Jones One of the Regulars

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    Location:
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    Joe Garland wrote "In The Mood", along with many other great swing tunes. In fact, many of the songs we associate with great swing artists (Miller, Shaw, Goodman) were written by someone else.
     
  16. db5zx

    db5zx Familiar Face

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    Location:
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    Thanks...

    ...that was the guy I was thinking of... it's a shame that we only know the bands that played the songs and not the guys who actually wrote the music we love so much... but I guess that will always be that way. Oh, well...

    Jens
     
  17. Michaelson

    Michaelson One Too Many

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    My list is as long as BDJ's, considering I played upright bass and electric (when forced to) in a big band years ago, but two that immediately pop into my mind are Tommy Dorsey's 'Well, get it!' with Ziggy Elman on lead trumpet, and Woody Herman's 'Caldonia'! I saw Herman twice in concert (among many others), and his performances were ALWAYS something to see. Regards. Michaelson
     
  18. IndianaGuybrush

    IndianaGuybrush One of the Regulars

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    WOWEE ZOWIE...
    Thanks guys, I knew I came to the right place!

    Also great bit of trivia about Louis Prima, I've been a fan of his for years and I never knew he wrote Sing, Sing, Sing.
     
  19. Chad Sanborn

    Chad Sanborn A-List Customer

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    Location:
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    There are some good modern swing bands as well. Royal Crown Review is a bit rough around the edges but they do a unique version of Sing Sing Sing.
    Also, one of my favorite contemporary songs is Brown Derby Jump by Cherry Poppin Daddies. If your looking for a good consistant band, try Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. They do a version of Old McDonald that I think Frank Sinatra first sang. Its very good!

    Chad
     
  20. IndianaGuybrush

    IndianaGuybrush One of the Regulars

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    BIg Bad Voodoo Daddy also does a pretty good version of Minnie the Moocher... Thanks Chad. Cool Avatar, are you into close-up magic at all? If so you look a lot like the late great Chappy Brazil.

    EDIT : Upon closer inspection of your website I can see you are quite the magician! I'm a strict amateur at best, and in fact am extremely rusty since I haven't consistently had any practice since the end of High School. I was introduced to the world of close-up by JB Benn, who is a really great guy and a wonderful magician. I know magicians tend to have a pretty tight community, any chance you know him? Anyway, again, I like the avatar, and keep up the great work.
     

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