Swing 2000; Jumpin' Jivin' Dance Party
can tell a lot about a band not only by its choice in cover songs
but what it does with the arrangements. Anyone with a modicum
of musical ability can learn the proper notes and inflections,
but it takes a real artist to re-envision a song and make it personal.
With the resurgence of swing, several bands have taken a new approach
to the cover: The New Morty Show found the Louis Prima in Metallica
and do a version of Poisons Unskinny Bop thats
better than any of their originals. Unfortunately, the Swing
2000 compilation proves that just adding a horn section,
jazz guitar and Vegas vocals does not a swing song make.
producers at Q Records have compiled a selection of hits from the
60s, 70s and 80s and arranged them as an early-50s
dance band might. Although the idea is fun, one cant
help but feel the inspiration for this album came from someone watching
a really swinging wedding band. Most of the chosen
songs are classic R&B numbers, and since all swing music is
in someway related to blues and, thus, R&B, the idea of transposing
these tunes into swing seems an exercise in futility. Pick
Up The Pieces, Dance To The Music, and Gimme
Some Lovin are already great dance songs without the
swing makeover, and the covers pale in comparison the originals.
Similarly, if you cant Lindy to the original Respect
or Dancing In The Street, you need to seriously reconsider
CD almost redeems itself on those songs that arent necessarily
considered dance floor standards. The arrangements of I
Saw Her Standing There and The Boxtops The
Letter are inventive and help them stand up on their own.
And Im not a big Steely Dan fan, so anything you can do
to Do It Again is an improvement. But by far the best
song on the album is Princes 1999. Granted,
this is already an R&B flavored dance hit, but its new
jack, and hearing it brought back to the old school is amusing
and gives it new life.
in here, there is a much better album waiting to get out. Hot
For Teacher, Smells Like Teen Spirit, You
Oughta Know? there are a horde of strange and great swing
covers just waiting to happen. One can only hope the gang at Q