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September 24, 2014

Hit That Beat: 172bpm

Hit That Beat is a section dedicated to music of a specific bpm (with a range of ± 6bpm). The articles focus on a specific bpm and showcase a variety of dance style preferences, song energies, and tempos; all the while featuring both classics and B-sides alike. **Keep in mind, this is MY bpm, your bpms may vary.

I like that 172 bpm range. It feels like it gives a slight challenge to the newer lindy hoppers, and still offering advanced dancers room to shine. It can also be a great spot for a moderate balboa and perhaps even some shag.

Everything Is Jumpin’ – Artie Shaw (Live at the Cafe Rouge) 167bpm

Love this song! I love the intricacies that the song offers the advanced dancers, and at the same time the strong rhythm gives the newer dances something to dance on. Don’t be scared by the 5:00 song length on this one, with it’s mellow tone, your won’t even realize they have been dancing that long!

‘taint What You Do (it’s the Way That You Do It) – Billy May (Oscillatin’ Rhythm) 168bpm

The absolute best version to Shim Sham. Hi-Fi, great length, clear rhythm. This song makes it super simple to get everyone out on the floor moving and dancing.

Chocolate Shake – Duke Ellington (The Blanton-Webster Band) 166bpm

First of all, do you own the multi disc set, The Blanton Webster Band?  If not, stop reading and go buy it!  I’ll wait………….OK, now that you own it, listen to it non-stop for the next two days and get with the rest of us.  As far as Chocolate Shake, what a great example of the band.  Noticeable, but not overpowering Duke on piano. An intricate arrangement with killer vocals (Ivie Anderson) and a solid example of Ben Webster’s mastery of the saxophone; with so much to dance to, you could hear that song one hundred times and not dance the same way.

We’ll All Right – Glenn Miller & The Andrews Sisters (The Chesterfield Shows) 167bpm

Call me a sucker for songs where the band joins in on the vocals, but I love that stuff!  I am not normally a fan of the Andrews Sisters, I find their vocals to dominating and a bit distracting.  But with this song, I find it strikes a great balance between vocal and band, where the vocals are working with the vocals in perfect harmony. Just like Beat Me Brother Eight To The Bar, all I want to do is whip the hell out of this song.  Dean and Jewel, lets do this!

Shout’em Aunt TIllie – Chris Barber (Vintage Chris Barber) 168bpm

I like the dixie/trad/nola feel of this song, but somehow I feel like it doesn’t take over. Sure, there is a banjo, but it isn’t dominating. Yah, the arrangement and tone of the track is that dixie/trad feel, but again, somehow, I don’t feel overwhelmed. Mostly, I get this chillin’ cool feel to the song, that makes me want to swing out like I am in the FBI on a stake out or something. Call me weird, I guess. (Did I just use an FBI analogy?)

Jericho – Cozy Cole Allstars (unknown) 173bpm

This isn’t the same ole’ Sydney Bechet version of Jericho that is/was a massively popular tune several years ago. Hard swingin’, familiar riff, and a sense of coolness that I can’t escape. Muted horns always get me hooked. And the minimal, basie like, quality of the piano is super groovy.

Wednesday Night Hop – Andy Kirk and his Clouds of Joy (1936-1937) 173bpm

A popular track around the country for as long as I can remember. A great tune for bal and lindy a like, this song stands out and gets me every time when that rhythm upgrade (if i may) comes in at 1:31 and 2:04. I start bobbin my head like i’m listening to west coast rap or something; that shit is cool!. Just make sure you stick with the Andy Kirk version, trust me on this. And if you’re interested, there is a much faster version floating around out there if you look hard enough 😀  Also by Kirk.

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