The very first dance event I ever DJed at outside of my home scene was FLEx 2017, so it was a lot of fun to be invited back to DJ this year! FLEx, or the Falcon Lindy Extravaganza, is a small workshop weekend at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, OH. I started with a set on Friday evening, and while the floor was not super crowded, I enjoyed the challenge of getting people out on it anyway.
I started with a tune that’s rapidly becoming a staple in my library, “Frankie and Johnny,” which is an instrumental Frank Sinatra tribute by Count Basie that really swings! I also featured the hard-swinging Brooks Prumo tune “Bolero At The Savoy” pretty early on. After that, I hung out with a mix of faster tunes (“Clementine,” “Paper Moon,” “That Old Black Magic”) and chiller ones (“In a Mellow Tone,” “Steppin’ Out With My Baby,” “The Ugly Duckling”). I tried heating it up with the Louis Jordan version of “A Chicken Ain’t Nothin’ But A Bird,” and people seemed to enjoy its peppy feeling!
My next set was midnight to 1am on Saturday night, so this one looked a little different. I knew we were heading into late night, so I dug deep into the slower end of my library and came up with some really nice slow stuff that was pleasant to listen and dance to at that hour (but was still Lindy-able).
Highlights from this set include Della Reese’s amazing rendition of “Goody, Goody” (seriously, go listen to it if you haven’t, it’s incredibly swanky and fun), “There’s a Boat Dat’s Leavin’ Soon for New York” by Ernestine Anderson – I feel like everyone only knows her for “I Love Being Here With You,” but she has some other delightful stuff as well – and (of course) Joe Williams and Harry “Sweets” Edison on “Until I Met You (Corner Pocket).” Even though it’s 112 BPM, I will never get tired of swinging out to that song. Williams’ vocals are so warm and inviting, and the instrumentation is light, but present in all the right places. I love it.
And speaking of the rich vocal abilities of Joe Williams, here’s an extra little treat for you that I dug up on YouTube:
I cannot believe the scatting abilities of these folks. Sarah Vaughan is one of my all-time favorite jazz vocalists, and she sounds just as good in 1981 as she does on some of the recordings I have of her in the 1940s. Watch all the way to the end and you might catch a glimpse of Sarah and Joe swinging out!