Thursday, September 12, 2013

Glenn Crytzer's Savoy Seven - Focus Pocus - Capturing That Old Magic Feeling

Glenn Crytzer's career is a testament to the power and joy found in 1930's Jazz.  What else could entice such a talented musician, writer, and band leader to focus his efforts on this labor of love?

It's not a huge secret that if you want to become a wealthy musician you don't focus on early 20th century niche genres. Instead of spending hours working on arrangements, practices, and hunting down grand pianos you instead focus on sampling, compression, and auto-tuning. To make the big bucks you do what everyone else has been doing.

Glenn takes exactly the opposite approach, and on his brand new release, Focus Pocus, he manages to create something both old and yet brand new.

The 7 songs on this album are all original compositions. The live energy and recording quality capture the feeling of classic Jazz recordings and fit in right next to these old songs at DJ'd dance events.

Glenn and his Savoy Seven manage to add just the right ingredients into their magic cauldron, creating Jazz that works perfectly for dancing and listening. I'm sure that this is intentional as Glenn and other members of the band are also Lindy Hoppers and understand the dynamic connection between the music and the dance.

All of Glenn's recordings do a good job of spanning tempos and moods. All That I Can Give You Is A Meloday has a Drag Blues feeling, perfect for a late-night, while Focus Pocus has more of a Balboa feel. The other songs fill in the tempos in between and all of them tell me to swing out.

For those of you familiar with his last release, Skinny Minne, the song The Grass Is Always Greener (If You're High) returns rerecorded and is, in my opinion, the superior version.

If you're into 1930's style Jazz or any of the vintage dance styles, do yourself a favor and try out Glenn's newest concoction. I'm sure you'll fall under their spell too.

For more info check out their Facebook page, or hit up CDBaby to purchase the new album.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Big Apple - September at The Lindy Connection

During September at The Lindy Connection we are teaching a version of a late 1930's dance that swept the nation, but few people remember today.

The Big Apple might sound familiar due to the similarity to the nickname for New York City, and although dancers from New York helped to make the dance famous, it's history is much more complex and interesting.

The Wikipedia article is a good place to look for a little history about the dance, which may have come from African-American dances as far back as the 1860's.

The version of the dance we will be focusing on is a routine choreographed by Frankie Manning based only on a description in a telegram. Some would argue that this makes the dance less authentic, since Frankie had not seen or participated in doing The Big Apple before creating his own version.  However, Frankie's version created it's own place in history, was captured in the film Keep Punching, and has been danced among the swing revival scenes across the world for the last three decades.  

Today's Lindy Hop scene has been informed by the moves and feeling of this performance, so it's a great addition to your dancing vocabulary. 

Here's the clip from Keep Punching.

If you happen to live in the Tampa Florida area or within driving distance come join us for the next 4 weeks to learn The Big Apple.  Here's the link to our Facebook Event.

We'd love to see you out!