Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Howard Lanin's Ben Franklin Dance Orchestra

Continuing on my 'hot dance' rave from yesterday, here are two glorious records from Howard Lanin. I've been familiar with 'Melancholy Lou' for years, but 'Don't Wake Me Up, Let Me Dream' was introduced to me by US cornettist Andy Schumm on his recent trip to Australia.

This music is nuanced and infectious (musically speaking!), giving clear evidence of the value of 1920s popular music as opposed to so-called 'true' jazz. Had I been a jazz musician in the 1920s, I believe I would have been very happy playing in a dance band like this, not in the least affected by the musical claustrophobia allegedly suffered by jazz soloists constrained by larger groups (i.e. Bix with Paul Whiteman).

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