Because my spring break covered two Friday nights, I got to return to Ann Arbor for a second stint in the DJ booth just a week after I spun some tunes there on March 2nd. This week went hard for a punchy feel with a strong lead-up to some fast-swinging tunes, and although I tried to chill the mood a bit after that, the dancers kept pushing the tempo on me! It was great to work a floor with so much energy – it made me search for the songs that would keep the floor moving even when people got tired, and I think overall I was pretty successful.
The songs “Beaver Junction” and “Circus In Rhythm” from Count Basie are new to my library, courtesy of my friend Scott’s generosity with a new CD of his, The Chronological Count Basie. The album contains hits from Basie’s orchestra from 1943-1945, which was right when they were recording some of the their best dancing music, so there were some gems on the album, including “Taps Miller,” which I had already, but is still one of my all-time favorite fast Lindy tunes.
I hadn’t played “Keepin’ Out of Mischief” by Louis Armstrong and His All Stars in a while, and I’m glad I did – it’s a sweet classic, and no one beats Louis Armstrong belting out those vocals in his unmistakable voice. Every time I listen to Louis Armstrong sing, I’m reminded of the magic of being unapologetically yourself. The man most certainly did not possess what anyone would call a classic jazz voice, but he owned his sound and now people get nostalgic when they hear it. I think that’s an amazing approach to art, and to life in general.
Finally, just two days ago I got my copy of Glenn Crytzer’s new double album, Ain’t It Grand, and folks, this one is a doozy. I’m listening to it right now and every single song rocks along, each striking a different mood but all lending themselves beautifully to dancing. If you preorder it from Bandcamp now, you get $5 off the retail price and 5 tracks right away! (You’ll get the rest when the CD is released on May 9.) And no, one one’s paying me to say this – I really just think the album is that good and worth you’re time. I’ll be doing a full album review soon where I discuss some of my favorite tracks, but for now, take it on good faith that this is one modern jazz collection you don’t want to miss.
Keep on swinging, and I’ll see you at the Stomp in Lansing on March 24th and at Bowling Green State University for FLEx from April 6-8th!