Swing bands and orchestras were performing and rearranging their tunes at a rapid pace during this period, thus, it is very difficult to find good transcriptions of the recordings we are covering. Here is the lead sheet for “Daphne” and here is the lead sheet for “Bei Mir Bist Du Shoen.”
Next week, we will be discussing the role of women in swing during World War II. Sherry Tucker’s Swing Shift is the best discussion of the role of “all girl” swing bands during the war. Here is a chapter about the role of the “male mass audience.” I look forward to your reactions to her research and how it contrasts with the more typical picture of female jazz musicians as pianists and singers.
Here is the additional listening for this week. I have included two recordings of Duke Ellington’s “It Don’t Mean a Thing” from 1944 that were recorded in December: one from a Carnegie Hall concert in December 19th, and the other a collaboration with Jay Blackton’s orchestra for an NBC radio broadcast from two days prior. I would like everyone to pay attention to the differences between the two recordings and be prepared to discuss Ellington more at length at the beginning of class.
Next week we will be starting our two-week discussion of swing, a style many scholars describe as the apex of jazz’s popularity. Here is a link to the tracks that aren’t available on the Norton CDs.
If anyone in the class is a skilled at swing dancing, please let me know in advance.
Here is a link to the syllabus. Updated syllabus is now available here. Second updated syllabus is available here. Let me know in the comments or via email if you have any questions about the form of the class.
For now, I’ll leave you with a recreation of Kansas City swing (“Blues in the Dark” by Count Basie and Jimmy Rushing) in 1934 from Robert Altman’s Kansas City (1996). The video features solos by James Carter and Joshua Redman: