The Great Swing Debate
In order to diversify the Windom Earle audience, LL Coolbreeze
decided to submit mp3's of the band under the swing section of
www.mp3.com. Over 1000 downloads later he recieved a complaint:
"No swing music in your stuff. Why not try to find a
suitable place for it?."
So Coolbreeze tried to justify Windom's right to be swing:
i beg to differ.
i grew up listening to swing and all sorts of different styles
of music. my music has elements of traditional swing in it but
it comes out quite differently than most swing artists. that
doesn't mean it shouldn't be classified as swing. it is danceable.
i don't have a band to back me up or a singer to croon over it,
but i do what i can in my limited abilities and instruments to
make something new out of something old.
i admit, some of the songs don't sound anything like swing at
first, but trust me, i have tested these songs at local juke
joints and swing shows and they passed the test with flying coulors.
a local swing band, dressed to kill, has asked to cover "allewishes"
for their live show. my school's jazz ensemble included "i
wish you were mary" along side such classics as "in
the mood" and "bobby's got big pants" as part
of their swing medly.
so please if you still don't think there is any swing in my music,
give me a definition of the genre and tell me all of the rules
because i thought swing was about fun. i had no idea it was an
elite musical genre that excluded any experimentation or interpretations.
my hero, swing legend, Jimmy "The Slim Hot Dog" Williams
would be rolling in his grave if that were true.
And then this guy replied:
"it is danceable? Have you heard Lawrence Welk? What
has being danceable got to do with being swing? People dance
to the worst garbage ever written. Swing is not country western
music. No matter what the I learned to play guitar in 3 weeks
cowboys say. Country/Swing is a corrupt bunch of crap concocted
by the country-western music business to keep the country audience.
No connection to the real thing. Swing is NEVER done without
saxaphone. (Clarinet possible exception) Listen to any swing
band, swing era or now. Swing is a style of music which happens
to be danceable. You may have grown up listening to swing, but
what were you listening to? Hillbillies? Guys with big hats?
R&B people? Soul people? Tricky funk people? Fun? The spice girls
are fun to their fans. Fun? Fun is no more a criteria for swing
music than is being danceable. I grew up listening to many styles.
So what? How does that make me understand?"
so coolbreeze wrote
i have heard of lawrence welk. actually the first L in LL Coolbreeze
stands for lawrence welk. The second L stands for loves. have
you heard of jive bunny and the master mixers?
my grandfather, bucky winters, actually started the whole swing/country
thing first, but the record labels laughed at him. anyways, what
does country music have to do with anything?
i didn't take the 3 week cowboy guitar course, but i heard it's
overrated. i don't even know how to play guitar. i do most of
my stuff with a synthesizer
Swing is NEVER done without saxaphone? would you consider kenny
g more swing than me? i think my synthesizer has a saxaphone
option. i had no idea that was why you don't think i should be
in swing. and besides, wrex 'n effex didn't have a saxaphone
on their song, "new jack swing" (but they did have
one on "rumpshaker" if i'm not mistaken).
look, if you don't like my music, that's fine. but if you don't
think i should be in swing because i can't afford a saxaphone,
then you have a problem. my father works hard at the mill to
pay child support and before he left us all he gave me his father's
synth and a crappy computer. i'm struggling with what little
"You may have grown up listening to swing, but what were
you listening to? Hillbillies? Guys with big hats?"
i did grow up watching the beverly hillbillies, but i don't think
they had too much of an effect on my music. if i'm not mistaken,
abraham lincoln wore a big hat, so if you you're criticizing
me for listening to honest abe, then you can not call yourself
all kidding aside, i'm really trying to take swing to a place
it hasn't been before. i know it doesn't sound like everyone
else and i don't want it to. i can't live in lawrence welk's
shadow. i'm not skilled enough to pull off what many swing musicians
do, but i'm trying to do this within my capabilities and try
something new with the genre. i'll put up songs that are more
traditional to keep you happy, but i really can't help you out
with that whole saxaphone thing. i think your definition of swing
is a little narrow. my definition might be too broad. i think
of swing in terms of emotion and energy. it takes me to a certain
place spiritually. i really don't like to classify genres in
terms of instruments or hairdo's. i'm sorry if you can't accept
me as a legitimate swing artist. it is my opinion that people
who limit their musical taste in terms classifying types of music
are missing out as much as people who only listen to music that
is popular. so if you can't cut the rug to my interpretation
of swing, then go jump jive and wail off a bridge.