words of windom

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.

Yours truly
LL Coolbreeze

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 i have.

"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 an american.

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.

LL Coolbreeze