AlbumS of the week: Peter and Julia’s contemporary favorites

Our Lindy 3 and 4 teachers Peter and Julia present us every Monday with an Album of the Week, always including some amazing historical context and fun trivia. This made us really enthusiastic about learning more about the culture and the music. So we thought we’d share the love by putting all of them on our website. 

This time around they have given us NINE!! Because these are contemporary bands that actually play on festivals we visit, we encourage you to seek them out and buy their merch and music whenever you can! Bands love to play for us, so supporting them financially is one way we can return the favor! We’ll let Julia take it away.

Julia:
“Hi dears! We missed one album of the week last week, and we will supply it later. But hereby the special edition of the AOTW for the last class of the block.

This time we have albumS of the week. For us dancing is about music, and we love dancing to good live music and connecting to the musicians. Therefore, we wanted to point you to some of our favorite bands out there. We hope you will catch them at one of the Swing festivals – the bands are usually one of our deciding factors for festivals.”


1. Hot Swing Sextet: What’s Your Jive? (2020) (France)

Listen to the album on Spotify
Listen to the album on Youtube

Julia:
“We were blown away when we first saw them at New Years Jam in Krakow: with only 6 musicians, they manage to sound like a little big band with a lot of emphasis on powerful horns. They always bring a lot of energy and showmanship to the stage. The frontman tries to educate the crowd a bit about the songs and composers and the guitar player and drummer have the biggest smile on their faces watching the dancers. They truly love engaging with dancers.”


2. The Big Five: The Bellmer Session (2023) (Germany)

Buy their album on Bandcamp

Julia:
“We were introduced to this band when we visited Berlin, their hometown. They are inspired by 1930s/40s Harlem and Chicago Jazz. As stated on their website: A driving rhythm section, a fiery horn-led frontline and dynamic song-arrangements. The drummer, David Hermlin, is a true star. Sometimes I forget to dance because I’m simply in awe.”


3. Reverent Juke: We Are The Juke (2019) (Belgium)

Listen to the album on Spotify
Listen to the album on Youtube

Julia:
“Some of my best, most intense dance nights have been at festivals with Reverent Juke as a headliner. They somehow never stop playing and it’s simply incredible. They bring fire to the dance floor with their crazy Swinging arrangements, but they are also excellent at creating a very intimate atmosphere. They have the skill to create a natural flow in the night, making you forget about time and the next day’s responsibilities. An extra shoutout for the saxophone player Mathieu Najean, who has done some beautiful improv exchanges with dancers.

(They have newer albums, but this one has some of my favorite songs. But honestly, nothing beats their live sets)”

Editor: They are also the band that made the rendition of “Black Coffee” that is the music to our very own Swing in Utrecht solo routine by Stella Bakker.


4. Jonathan Stout and his Campus Five: Spreadin’ Rhythm Around (2017) (American)

Listen to the album on Spotify
Listen to the album on Youtube

Julia:
“Jonathan Stout, being a dancer himself, knows exactly what makes dancers move. That’s why all his albums are spot on and each song is as danceable as the next. Jonathan Stout is a guitar player, drawing inspiration from the rhythm guitar of Freddie Green, the electric single-note style of Charlie Christian, the acoustic block-chord solos of Allan Reuss, and the gypsy-jazz of Django Reinhardt.”


5. Shirt Tail Stompers: That;’s My Kick (2023) (United Kingdom)

Buy their album on Bandcamp

Julia:
“These guys are at the center of some of my early swing festival experiences. They know how to get the crowd going. Apparently Duncan (clarinet) and Steven (trumpet and also a dancer) compete with each other when solo-ing for dance competitions. They amplify the movements of the dancers with their sound. The aim is to make the couple that dances during their solo win. This shows how much they love the dance/music interaction. They are based in London and are a cornerstone of the dance community. They also regularly give musicality classes at festivals, where they explain the roles of the different instruments and how they can be expressed in dancing.

(on piano the incredible Luca Filastro from Italy)”


6. Lester’s Blues: Red Label – Hommage to Lester Young & the Basie-Ites (2018) (Belgium)

Listen to the album on Spotify
Listen to the album on Youtube

Julia:
“This band was established as an homage to Lester Young and Count Basie. I love them for their hard Swinging stuff – which often is also very inviting for Collegiate Shag, actually. Their songs tickle toe and one o clock jump are two of my favorites.

(I love their first album)”


Julia:
“We have some excellent bands in the Netherlands as well. The bands that we follow around whenever we can are: the Roaring Cats and the Hi-Stakes (both led by Sam Ghezzi) and the Fried Seven.”

7. The Hi-Stakes: The Hi-Stakes (2024) (The Netherlands)

Listen to the album on Spotify
Listen to the album on Youtube

Julia:
“More at home in the 50s, 60s, Rhythm and Blues. They are really good at creating a party vibe.”


8. The Fried Seven: Late to the Party (2023) (The Netherlands)

Listen to the album on Spotify
Listen to the album on Youtube

Julia:
“Their album covers mostly 20s stuff with lots of New Orleans vibes, but they’re also able to Swing hard for Lindy Hop during live performances. Peter once called out flying home, and with half the musicians not even knowing the song well, they created an amazing version on the spot.”


9. Roaring Cats: Introducing Roaring Cats (2022) (The Netherlands)

Listen to the album on Spotify
Listen to the album on Youtube

Julia:
“The record is also more in the early Jazz, but they have recently been including more 30’s/40’s Swinging stuff in their repertoire to cater to Swing dancers. So good!!!”

Whether or not they will be following up with the final Album of the Week for the first block of 2024 we’ll have to see, but we want to take a moment to thank Peter and Julia so much for their wonderful Lindy 3 and 4 lessons, and to tickle our musical senses with these consistently good albums of the week. An amazing finale to this awesome list. We hope to see it again some block!

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