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January 22, 2015

Hit That Beat: 210bpm

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.

210bpm…Let’s get this shit goin’!  Comfortable for most balboa dancers, but an approachable tempo for any killer swing dance, at any time of the night. Here is a list of killer dillers to get your heart pumpin’ and swingin’.

Comes Love – Jack Teagarden (Live at Frank Daily’s) 211bpm

Great arrangement of a sweet tune, done in classic 1939 fashion. A swingin’ gem in the Teagarden anthology, I love listening deep into this song for the drummer playing around with all sorts of tools on his kit. Add to that the finish of the band after Dolores O’neil sits, those horns are full of energy and vigor.

Shorty George – Count Basie (The Complete Decca Recordings) 206bpm

No list like this would be complete without a Basie tune, and Shorty George fits right in as a 210 killer diller. With plenty of room to dance WITH the band, this song is a popular track inviting dancers of all flavors onto the floor. And don’t worry about keeping up, Basie helps you out with some soft piano right in the middle preparing you for that big ending.  SWING OUT!

Main Stem – Duke Ellington (Any) 212bpm

Just like Basie on this list, it would be a crime to leave off Main Stem. My favorite part of any Duke Main Stem recording is the exchange of solos through the song. In perfect harmony from one musician to another.  Those soloists continue that Main Stem melody and vibe throughout each of their turns. A great lindy hop tune if I ever heard one.

St. Louis Blues – Sidney Bechet (Le Petit Fleur) 204bpm

I love the memories this brings up for me of my dances with Nadia Siller. But for those who don’t have those like I do, this song will give you the best of both worlds: great swingin’ rhythm and Sidney Bechet on soprano saxophone. Love that part at 4:08 where he extends that note.  Goose pimples abound.

Sugar Foot Stomp – Benny Goodman (Live in Bangcock 1956) 216bpm

Thank you DJ Beef Brisket, David Bradford (Texas) for introducing me to this fantastic album. It feels like this is a jam arrangement of a classic swing tune. So loose, like really loose, in it’s playing, but still sitting well within the bounds of the song. Less we forget, this is Benny Goodman, so you are guaranteed a killer solo from the King of Clarinet.  and, oh yeah, he said Bangcock.

King Porter Stomp – Teddy Hill and the NBC Orchestra (1935-1937) 204bpm

The only shame about this song, is that there aren’t more like it from Hill. I love the rhythm section that carries you through the song, while the horns seamlessly go from musician to musician. A solid Balboa track if I ever heard one.

Roll ‘Em – Benny Goodman (Any) 204bpm

What a killer diller to end this list with. If you have watched old dance clips, you have prolly come across this fan favorite from the movie The Powers Girl. I love how this song starts, with that memorable introduction from the band and then strong boogie woogie piano.  I can’t stop from getting excited when I hear the start of this song knowing what’s about to come. THEN, THEN, THEN add in a plethora of different options of solo (depending on the version) and you get a whole slew of killer options of Benny soloing on clarinet. A not to miss song for all dancers and DJs alike. (Again, stick with Goodman and you can’t go wrong)

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