Tuesday, March 11, 2014

"When I Grow Too Old To Dream" - The Cats and the Fiddle

I've decided after some time off from the blog that I'd start this baby back up with some new ideas.  The first of these is a semi-regular series where I highlight a specific song or artist.  I think we'll call it...
That's My Jam!

So what's my jam this week?

"When I Grow Too Old To Dream" by The Cats and the Fiddle.

I recently included this in the Advanced J&J Prelims a few weeks ago at the Zendah Grotto.

In my mind there is a category of song that screams, "Swing Out!" and this is clearly one of those songs.  Even if you can't exactly dance at the moment just listening to it makes me tap my feet and want to move.

Now, I'm no expert on this group, and very little is revealed in their Wikipedia article about what these guys were like, but I have my suspicions.  

As many musicians know, you spend a lot of your time hanging out and just jamming on the songs you know. This recording feels like the hundredth time they played this song - they've got this thing down and they've experimented with a hundred different ways to improv vocally and instrumentally with this, and now this song is all feel.  It just jams out.  It's been boiled down to it's primal instrumental groove, and the melody dances around the remnant of the original.

For contrast, here's Nat King Cole's version recorded a good decade plus later.

It's slower, groovier, and the melody is a lot straighter.  And it's still a good song.

An additional fun note.  Many of you will know of Lindy Hop instructor Mike Faltesek.  His band, Falty and the Defects, just recently released their first album and this song is one of their Jam's too.  Check it out at Reverb Nation and give them a like on their Facebook page.  Who knows, maybe someday we'll get them to come play down here in Florida.

No comments: