Swinging singing

June 25, 1998|By J.D. Considine

As the swing sounds of the '30s and '40s are being augmented by today's swing revival bands, swing fans can choose between two styles. There are the original hits of Count Basie, Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey and the like (still in print on CD), and there's the gutsy sound of these young swingers (on disc and MTV), which draws on the past without being defined by it.

Some fans may swing both ways, while others will prefer one style over the other. Here's a sampling of both.

Vintage swing:

* Glenn Miller, "Chattanooga Choo Choo: No. 1 Hits" (Bluebird 3102). The most popular tunes by the era's most popular band.

* "Masters of Jazz: Big Bands of the '30s and '40s" (Rhino 72470). Includes Fletcher Henderson's "King Porter Stomp," Duke Ellington's "Cotton Tail" and Lionel Hampton's "Flying Home."

* Count Basie, "April in Paris" (Verve 422 825 575). Great, sophisticated big-band pop from the '50s.

* "Big Bands of the Swinging Years" (Tradition 1035). Includes Tommy Dorsey's "Opus One" and Benny Goodman's "Let's Dance."

* "Sentimental Swing" (Columbia/Legacy 53822). Mellow and specially sequenced for dancing. Own your own make-believe ballroom!

Swing revival:

* Squirrel Nut Zippers, "Hot" (Mammoth 0137). Quirky, witty leaders of the swing revival.

* Cherry Poppin' Daddies, "Zoot Suit Riot" (Mojo/Universal 53081). Brash and brassy, with both attitude and a video on MTV.

* The Brian Setzer Orchestra, "The Dirty Boogie" (Interscope 6367). Rockin' big band led by the former Stray Cats guitarist.

* Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, "Big Bad Voodoo Daddy" (Coolsville/Capitol 12126). Boozy cross between Cab Calloway sass and lounge-lizard charm.

* Royal Crown Revue, "Mugzy's Move" (Warner Bros. 46931). Energetic, muscular sound, thoroughly grounded in California zoot suit culture.

Pub Date: 6/25/98

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