Lately, Gypsy Jazz has become very fashionable for dancing Balboa. One only has to think of the London based Kings Cross Hot Club to find a well known example.
Recently on Facebook, I came across Brighton based Gypsy band The Swing Ninjas.
Listen to their music and I challenge you not to have a smile on your face. They play with a wonderful energy and more than a touch of humour. They do some original tracks as well as their unique take on some old favourites.
I particularly like the ‘oompa’ feel of the Helicon.
They describe themselves as “dirty horn Gypsy swing”.
Mixing the sounds of New Orleans and ’30s Parisian swing, The Swing Ninjas will entertain and delight any crowd of any age. Saxophone, manouche guitar and helicon (tuba) create the perfect combination of dirty horn jazz and Gypsy swing, while 3-part vocal harmonies complete their sound.
The Swing Ninjas have performed at clubs, festivals and events all over Europe. Their energy on-stage and enthusiasm is infectious, while their obvious enjoyment of raw musical pleasures shines through. This is is definitely not chin-stroking jazz – this is dancing, shouting, foot-tapping swing at its finest.
I think Gypsy Jazz is great fun, but I still love dancing to big bands.
At this years London Lindy Exchange there was a fantastic Big Band Battle between Echoes of Ellington (led by Pete Long) and Skin Deep, Colin Skinner’s Count Basie style band. As always, it was a real thrill dancing to unamplified big bands, much as it must have been in the glory days of the Savoy Ballroom and Rendezvous Ballroom.
Listen to Echoes of Ellington and see what you think.